Posts Tagged ‘failure’

QANTAS Abandons S.F. for Texas – No More Qantas Rolls-Royce Ka-Booms over the 415 – SFO’s Airbus A380 Cargo Cult

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

How long has it been since three-star-rated former Mayor Gavin Newsom left office – has it been a week or two? Well, we’ll leave that to the judges and justices ‘n stuff, but, irregardless, it’s been long enough* for Qantas Airways Limited to announce that its abandoning the San Francisco Bay Area, g’night, mate.

Why? Well it’s ’cause they’ve been losing mad dollars on non-stop flights betwixt SFO and Cindy, Australia for donkey’s years. Enough is enough they figure, so future flights from Down Under will alight in Dallas, Texas. (Some Bay area travel(l)ers are not amused, not at all.)

Now, weren’t we due for superjumbo Airbus A380 double-decker service by now for those non-stop flights to Oz? Oh yes, but instead of getting that, we’re losing the non-stop, regular-jumbo Boeing 747-400 service we have now. I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking how could this be, San Francisco is a “natural amphitheater,” a “world-class” city even. Well, not anymore, or at least SFO isn’t a “world-class” airport anymore.

However, there’s a silver lining. You see, them Rolls-Royce engines, those RB211′s and those Trents 500 and up, well they blow up sometimes, ka-boom! Call it an “uncontained failure” they do. And QANTAS well, that’s pretty much all they run these days, the Rolls-Royce. (Just look at Australia’s national flag, why not, for the reason.) So, less Qantas = less less RR = less ka-boom over our heads.

For example, check out this Qantas flight out of SFO just last summer. It had passed the Farallones with almost full tanks and then, kaboom, Rolls-Royce engine #4 exploded. Oh well. Everybody made it back safe tho. Check it on the YouTube.

Flight 74 getting a little sparky high above the deep briny – not what you want to see looking out your window. Time to dump your avgas and circle back to Millbrae:

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I hear you, you’re saying that’s the old Rolls-Royce. But, you know, that Qantas A380 engine that blewed up just after leaving Singapore late last year, that’s the new RR – indeed, that was a fairly recent vintage Trent 900 engine that destroyed itself. Oh well. The Aussie A380s have been patched up and now Qantas is flying them as far as they want again, to Los Angeles among other places. But not very long after the flights started again, yet another Qantas Rolls Royce engine went kaboom - this one was a contained failure, so that’s some consolation, anyway. Check it:

“A Qantas spokeswoman said yesterday the Rolls-Royce RB-211 engine would be replaced and the aircraft would be in service shortly. She said the latest incident involving Qantas jets and Rolls-Royce engines did not indicate any pattern of trouble. ”We certainly don’t view it that way at all,’ the spokeswoman said.”

O.K. fine. Whatever you say, lady.

Now with the SFO cargo cult. Leave us review:

“Cargo cult activity increased significantly during and immediately after World War II, when the residents of these in some Pacific islands observed the Japanese and American combatants bringing in large amounts of material. When the war ended, the military bases closed and the flow of goods and materials ceased. In an attempt to attract further deliveries of goods, followers of the cults engaged in ritualistic practices such as building crude imitation landing strips, aircraft and radio equipment, and mimicking the behaviour that they had observed of the military personnel operating them.”

See where I’m going here? Didn’t we just get done re-doing SFO so that we could handle five or six A380 superjumbos at a time? Hells yes! We saw a few test runs from aircraft with Airbus, Emirates and Qantas livery over the past few years.**

But those big metal birds didn’t come back.

No cargo for us.

So am I saying that it was a stupid idea for SFO to prepare for the Age of the Super Jumbo Jet? No, not really. I don’t know all the deets of how things costed out, and who knows, it wasn’t impossible that official San Francisco’s dream of somehow besting Los Angeles could have eventually worked out. But if you could have seen how proud SFO officials were of their A380-only, double decker jet bridges in the new International Terminal back in the day, well, you’d be thinking cargo cult too.

Who knows what the future will bring. International air travel will increase like gangbusters over the coming decade, so we’ll probably get some use out of those dusty double-decker jetways sooner or later. And maybe then Qantas will be back, with or without A380s. (The Q has abandoned us before, and we made do.) Or maybe Emirates will get a little more MPG from the non-Rolls-Royce, American-made GP7200 engines on their A380s so they’ll be able to make a non-stop superjumbo hop to the Bay Area from the Mid-East. Maybe.

(And maybe by that time SFO will be called Willie Lewis  Brown Jr. International Airport, I’m seriously, that’s what the other former Mayor of SF wants, he wants us to chuck the extremely well-known SFO moniker for WLB. Can you imagine?)

Anywho, if you want to go Sydney after May 2011, your only choice will be United Airlines. Now, that flight is on an old jet that the President of United says is “unacceptable,” but at least you don’t have to fly to Los Angeles on your way Down Under.

So long, Qantas.

*They waited a only a few days – what a joke!

**Man, what a load this was:

“Sensitive to the politically charged nature of outsourcing and offshoring, the Airbus chairman for North America, Allan McArtor, said 50 percent of the A380′s components are being made in the United States. McArtor hailed the new aircraft as quieter and more fuel efficient than wide-body jetliners of the past. Final assembly of the plane will be done in Toulouse, with the first test flights scheduled for next year.”

50% American content? Absolutely not. There’s a bit of American content in A380′s (some of them have more and some less) but it ain’t nowhere near 50% and there’s no way it could have been 50%. Airbus is run by the Euros – why would they go out of their way to employ Americans?

“G’Day Airbus!  Qantas A380 Arrives at SFO

Qantas' A380 arrives at the International Terminal“On January 14, 2009, SFO welcomed Qantas Airways’ new A380 as it arrived from Sydney – the first Airbus A380 to bring scheduled passengers to SFO. The aircraft’s arrival was celebrated with a party at its gate in the International Terminal.   Sponsored by Tourism Australia, the party featured Australian music, meat pies and sausage rolls, and a kangaroo.

The International Terminal, which opened in December 2000, was specifically designed to easily handle the arrivals and departures of large capacity airplanes such as the A380, the largest passenger aircraft in the world.

SFO’s International Terminal, with the country’s only built-in A380-ready gates, is the future for comfortable and convenient international air travel,” said John L. Martin, Director of San Francisco International Airport. “We welcome visitors from our sister city, Sydney, and look forward to offering regularly scheduled Airbus flights and connections for all of our international visitors.”

The International Terminal features five gates that can be used by the A380 – three with double loading bridges and two with triple loading bridges. SFO was the first airport in the United States to offer triple loading bridges. The third loading bridge extends to the A380’s top deck, which allows the aircraft’s 500-plus passengers to be conveniently and directly loaded or off-loaded from the gate to the aircraft in 40 minutes – approximately the same time it takes to load a 747-400. Moreover, SFO can accommodate a rapid turnaround for the Airbus. SFO is the only airport in the United States with such a high level of built-in readiness.

Qantas currently offers daily nonstop service between SFO and Sydney on its 747-400 aircraft. The airline plans to bring its A380 aircraft to San Francisco on a regular basis in the next few years.

Sorry H&M, Nobody’s Arms are This Slender – Try a Little Less Photoshop Next Time, Huh?

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

I don’t know, I’m not sure of the point of stretching out arms, thusly.

As seen in the Western Addition:

Click to expand

Of course, when stretching things out, it pays to pay attention:

Else you’ll get yet another Photoshop Disaster:

Jerry Brown Throws Down: Owners of Recalled Toyotas and Lexuses Get Loaner Cars

Friday, February 26th, 2010

California Attorney General Jerry Brown can’t abide you fretting over your recalled Toyota or Lexus - so he just struck a deal with Toyota USA so that you’ll be taken care of when getting service.

It’s all going to be on a case-by-case basis, so if you’re totally freaked out and you just don’t want to drive your car no mo, then maybe your dealership can send somebody to come around your place to pick up your car, fix it and return it as good as new. Or you can get a loaner if your repairs go into extra innings.

Read the news, below.

Jerry Brown, automático para la gente:

Brown Forges Deal with Toyota to Help Consumers While Recalled Vehicles are Repaired

Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced that his office has reached an agreement with Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc. to provide California Toyota owners with at-home pickup and vehicle return and cost-free alternative transportation while their recalled vehicles are being repaired.

“This agreement goes a long way towards easing the burden caused by Toyota’s massive recall,” Brown said. “It will now be much easier for Toyota owners to get to work and take their kids to school while critical safety repairs are made on their cars.”

Under the terms of today’s agreement, Toyota will provide owners of recalled vehicles the following services:

- Pick-up and return of vehicles by the dealership;
- Transportation to the dealership and/or to the owner’s place of work;
- Alternative transportation, such as a rental car, loaner vehicle or taxi reimbursement for a reasonable period that the customer is unable or unwilling to use his or her car; and
- Expedited scheduling for repair services.

These services will be provided by Toyota through the dealers at no cost to either the owners or the dealer.

The following Toyota vehicle recalls are covered by today’s agreement:
- September 29, 2009 for floormat entrapment;
- January 21, 2010 for sticking accelerator pedals;
- February 8, 2010 for anti-lock brake system issues; and
- February 12, 2010 for drive-shaft failure.

The following vehicles are involved in the recent Toyota and Lexus vehicle recalls: 2005-2010 Avalon, 2007-2010 Camry, 2009-2010 Corolla, 2007-2010 ES 350, 2008-2010 Highlander, 2006-2010 IS 250 and IS350, 2009-2010 Matrix, 2004-2009 Prius, 2010 Prius, 2009-2010 RAV4, 2008-2010 Sequoia, 2005-2010 Tacoma, 2007-2010 Tundra, 2009-2010 VENZA, and 2010 HS 250h.

More information on the specific vehicles affected by the recalls can be found at www.nhtsa.dot.gov and www.toyota.com/recall.

Californians are encouraged to contact their local Toyota and Lexus dealers if they believe they are eligible for these accommodations. Consumers can also contact Toyota’s customer service center at 1-800-331-4331 or Lexus at 1-800-255-3987.

This agreement will remain in place until all Toyota vehicles subject to the recall have been repaired. If additional safety recalls arise, an extension of this agreement or other appropriate provisions will be pursued.

Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc. is based in Torrance, CA.

Good YouTube News for MUNI: The 19 Polk Collision Was the Other Driver’s Fault

Thursday, January 7th, 2010

Well looky here, just posted less than an hour ago on the YouTube by“GetBackJoeJoe” (does he work for MUNI?) is DRIVECAM footage of the January 5, 2010 accident involving a 19 Polk line bus.

Of course it would be nice to have more info (and maybe a view to the left and the right as well) but, man oh man, I’d hate to be the pickup truck driver’s Plaintiff’s Shyster on this one. Obviously, that was way fast for a California Stop from the MUNI driver,* but did you see how far the bus made it through the intersection before getting hit? And did you hear that lengthy panic stop?

(Not sure if GPS is the best way to measure the speed of the bus, but no matter, both drivers should show more a lot more respect to stop signs, needless to say.)  

The moment of impact, courtesy of the DRIVECAM:

The passengers inside the bus have a great case (assuming they were physically injured). As always, make sure to file your claim with the govmint comfortably within six months of the date any injury. (If you, the bus passenger, get a lawyer, he or she will sue any and all parties that could possibly be at fault, of course.)

Let’s hope for a quick recovery for all injured and fewer intersection collisions in 2010.

UPDATE: SF Weekly has posted some other views after reviewing more of the video released by the SFMTA. It’s too bad that aging pickup (Toyota?) didn’t have the latest ABS and airbags. 

UPDATE: Additional views are here.

UPDATE: From the SFAppeal comes this spirited defense of the MUNI driver. Obviously, the MUNI driver rolled through the stop sign but that didn’t cause the collision. You know, maybe the MUNI driver ran a red light the day before or rolled through a stop sign at the previous intersection – you know, maybe he did something illegal before the accident, but that didn’t cause this particular accident. This collision was caused by the pickup driver. 

The MUNI driver was in way too much of a hurry so he needs some kind of attitude adjustment, but the pickup driver will not be able to pin blame on the MUNI driver, no way Jose.    

*That kind of behavior is generally tolerated from cyclists in San Francisco, but definitely not from drivers.

MUNI’s Pathetic San Francisco CultureBus Gets Mocked on Its Final Run

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

A kind of black celebration was held in Golden Gate Park this afternoon to mark the end of the MUNI’s San Francisco CultureBus.

See the death throes of CB via Steve Rhodes, Whole Wheat Toast, Plug1, Octoferret, MattyMatt, SftaJan, AgentAkit, and Jamison

Who showed up? Transit fans and local online royalty. Click to expand:

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This 74-X couldn’t leave without baffling its last pair of tourists. They didn’t get on. Surprised?

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All that was left was the filled-in pole hole that used to mark the CB bus stop:

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Yes, the 74X is terminal. It’s dead, Jim

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Here’s one last glimpse through the famous see-through bus: 

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Perhaps these brand new buses and their friendly drivers will soon be put to better use, just in time for the possible BART strike.

We Can Only Hope.

Who’s Responsible for the Failure of MUNI’s CultureBus?

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Today will see the last run of the San Francisco CultureBus (or “Culture Bus,” some people call it that). Yes, they’re “taking Old Yeller out back to shoot it and put it out of its misery.” But once you have a carcass, you need to find someone to take the blame for the FAIL. So, around whose neck should this screaming yellow albatross go?

The answer in MUNI chief Nat Ford. But not for the reason you might think.

“Is it he?” quoth one, “Is this the man?”
by him who died on cross,
With his cruel bow he laid full low
The harmless CultureBus.

Nat Ford is the Ancient Mariner:

Ancient_mariner_statue_arp_500pix copy

Watchet, Somerset, England. Via Adrian Pingstone

Is the source of the idea of the CultureBus documented anywhere? Not that I’m aware of. Obviously, the whole program was highly redolent of the New York City “Culture Bus” that ran from 1973 to 1982, but who had the idea to revive CB here in San Francisco? Perhaps it doesn’t really matter.

Whether or not the CultureBus concept was forced upon MUNI, doesn’t MUNI have the right and obligation to tinker with the idea? Did MUNI do anything to alter the CultureBus program once it became obvious (I’d peg it at early October 2008) that the daily ridership was turning out to be extremely low? I mean something other than spewing the stereotypical platitudes you’d expect them to spew?

Here’s what MUNI did – it cut back service 66% in January and raised prices 43% in July. That’s it. Just how airtight were these unseen agreements made amongst the stakeholders? Nothing could be done? Srsly?

(So, it’s like the Great Helmsman, the Dear Leader appoints you manage the Yangtse River Watershed and then tells you to kill every damned songbird within a 500 mile radius - how would you respond? Here’s what you’d do, you’re a team player right? You’d execute the plan and then wait for millions to die, powerless to alter Fate. And then you’d say boy, that Great Leap Forward, boy, it just didn’t work out.)

Wouldn’t it have been interesting to try something different? Lower the price to $1.50 for the sole purpose of actually moving people about the City in light of the circumstances? Or just trying anything except the same old same old, month after month?

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Oh well.

So there’s your albatross, Nat. 

But that’s why you get paid the big bucks.

And as for you CultureBus, your pain is over, boy. Soon the Twitter birds will descend to lift you to Heaven.

Sleep! It is a gentle thing:

cb 

(In Elysium, there’ll be plenty of diesel and you’ll always be full of happy passengers.)

Good night, sweet CultureBus.

The Fullest CultureBus Seen in a Good Long While

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

Here it is, the fullest CultureBus seen on the Streets of San Francisco since debut weekend back in September 2008.

Upwards of eight blond(e) Euro-types could be seen through the tinted windows.

Click to expand:

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Perhaps its the Tut Effect.

Who knows?

Tourists Continue to be Baffled by MUNI’s Culturebus

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Look at this sad scene from Golden Gate Park yesterday. See all these people? They’ve been patiently waiting out in front of the California Academy of Sciences since just after the closing time of 5:00 P.M. The problem is that 5:00 P.M. is when the last Culturebus departs for the day.

However, los turistas don’t know that. I told some of them about the 44 O’Shaughnessy but that didn’t tempt them. They sort of knew about the 5 Fulton, but the closest stop is about 1000 feet away. The $7 fare - news of that is what it took to drive the bulk of them away from this bus stop. 

The Euro-looking family held out hope as they could see a CB stopped at the other end of the Music Concourse but, for some odd reason, the schedule is set up to deliver people to the Cal Academy 40 minutes after closing time – it doesn’t accommodate anybody wanting to depart Golden Gate Park after 5:00 PM.  

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The poor devils, they’d be better off hailing a cab, if they could find one. Click to expand.

Now if I were a “courteous CultureBus operator” I’d feel obligated to take these people wherever they wanted to go in Union Square irregardless of the schedule. But that’s just me.

Could somebody put up “Fare: $7, last pickup at 5:00 PM” on this CultureBus bus stop sign?

Is that too much to ask?

Why Doesn’t the Richmond’s Killer Geary Boulevard Have More Traffic Lights?

Thursday, February 19th, 2009

See this pedestrian in red in the middle of Geary Boulevard in the Richmond District? She just came halfway across from the left and it sure looks like she’s fixing to make it the rest of the way on 22nd Avenue to the southern side of the street.

Let’s say you’re the driver, perhaps in a first person shooter video game or whatever, what do you do here? SFPD Richmond Station Captain Richard Corriea has his troops fired up about traffic safety, so this could be another sting operation using an undercover babushka lady or pink bag mafiosa as bait. Therefore, you gots to yield to let her across. But what happens then?

Click to expand, it’s fun to play along:

What happens then is that inbound traffic in the slow lane (seen on the right) doesn’t stop. Zing, zing, zing they go past. Unseen is the Steven Fowler-type behind you in a BMW (it’s always a BMW, which model does Fowler probably have by the way, M5, M3, X5? something like that) laying on his horn because you, the idiot driver ahead of him, doesn’t know how to drive.

Should you go forward as well? That’s a failure to yield moving violation right there, but by waiting for her are you encouraging her to do something dangerous, like crossing the damn street in the Richmond, the biggest danger, by far, in her life?

On it goes for half a minute, the pedestrian waits for the three-series  behind you to catapult launch around you up the slow lane and then the ped makes it across.

This is insanity. Shouldn’t this be an electronically-controlled intersection with traffic lights instead of just a couple of stop signs for cross traffic? Why aren’t there traffic lights and countdown pedestrain signals for the whole of Geary Boulevard in the Richmond all the way up to Avenue 30 or 40 or something?

Money? We can’t afford it? Geary Boulevard is too wide and too busy for this kind of half-assed, a couple of stop signs are good enough, we’ll repaint those crosswalk lines when we feel like it attitude.

Who will be the next to die?