Posts Tagged ‘incident’

Showdown at Masonic on the #5 Fulton Bus: Did a MUNI Driver Discriminate Against a Disabled Rider?

Monday, September 26th, 2011

It’s hard to say.

Famous San Francisco photographer Justin Beck was on the scene:

“Photo: #Muni rider who refused to leave the bike rack of the 5 Fulton bus, and the driver whom he called a motherfucker. http://pic.twitter.com/jIphZ9Cw

Via Justin Beck – click to expand

Here’s the prior scene.

And here’s the aftermath.

I don’t know what to make of this one…

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:

Click to expand

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.

The “Co-Owner” of a Local Flying School Threatens This Very Blog

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Read below to see the message that came over the transom of this little blog yesterday, the very blog you’re looking at right now. It concerns a post from a year and half ago about an airplane crash-landing that resulted in no major injuries

The missive, in its entirety: 

“When you google Flying Vikings your false article comes up. If you do not fix your false statements. I will deal with you. My name is Celine Correa and I am a co-owner of Flying Vikings. You need to report on the many thousands and thousands of flight hours we have done. Call me and I will give you verifiable details no false hoods. You need to correct your article immediately.
 
Celine”

O.K. fine. If anybody wants to go through and find any of the purported “false statements,” well then have at it – that would help me out.

Otherwise, I don’t think I’ll be “reporting” on Flying Vikings’ “many thousands and thousands of flight hours” (is that a lot? My dad, currently pushing up daisies in Virginia, had five figures worth of flying hours with no accidents, AFAIK) in some sort of fairness-doctrine type of deal.

The comments are open on this post, if anyone wants to pipe up. Thanks for your help.

Here it is: 

Another Accident Involving Hayward-based Flying Vikings, Inc.

Today’s headlines include news of the crash landing of a Flying Vikings, Inc. Cessna 172 in Oakland, California.

The San Jose Mercury News earlier reported that N61736 ”had a gas leak,” but now is going with ”mechanical problems” as the cause of this incident. KCBS, which labels this single engine plane the KCBS Radio Traffic Plane, is reporting the pilot claimed the oil pressure guage plummetted just before the engine conked out. This aircraft, built in 1974, suffered “substantial damage” during an incident in 1981.  

The following language, written before today’s accident, appears on the Flying Vikings website:

Since Flying Vikings also has a contract with local news gathering organizations, students are offered opportunities to build time that no other school can. Fly 3 to 6 hours a day and get paid.

A visual aid to help imagine yourself staring at a motionless propeller low over the Bay Area. Click to expand:

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The dash of a Cessna 172 and a view of Candlestick Park, from the incredible Telstar Logistics Flickrstream

Here’s a photo of a different Flying Vikings aircraft, a Piper that suffered a fatal accident in 2006. Readers may find this link, relating to the Piper crash, of interest, however, it might lead you to unproven speculation about the cause of that tragedy.

The Federal Aviation Administration and Cal OSHA should be able to determine the cause of this forced landing fairly easily.

A relatively happy ending to a scary situation.

So that’s the purported “false article” from 2008.
 
Actually, the only reason I found this incident noteworthy at the time was the number of conflicting reports about the cause of  this incident. The National Transportation Safety Board investigated and concluded the problem was:
 
“A loss of engine power due to oil starvation. The oil starvation event was due to the failure of maintenance personnel to tighten the mounting bolts for the newly installed vacuum pump.”
 
Seems the pump had just been replaced three days earlier and the flight of June 30, 2008 was the first one using the new pump.
 
All the deets from the NTSB, after the jump.
 
(more…)

San Francisco Marks 20th Anniversary of Tiananmen Massacre with Candlelight Vigil

Friday, June 5th, 2009

This was the scene last night in Chinatown, where people turned out with their candles to mark the 20th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre.

All photos by Whole Wheat Toast. See more at the Toasted Blog.

Portsmouth Square, San Francisco:

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The Goddess of Democracy:

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Tiananmen Massacre Anniversary: All Quiet at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

There doesn’t appear to be a whole lot going on to mark the 20th anniversary of  the Tiananmen Square Massacre (aka June 4 Incident, aka “6-4“) around San Francisco today so far.

This is the scene at the sometimes-busy Chinese consulate in the Western Addition – barricades are ready to be used if needed.

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Appears as if there’ll be a candlelight vigil in Chinatown’s Portsmouth Square at the Goddess of Democracy statue around 7:30 or 8:00 PM tonight.

Candlelight vigil 4th June at 8p at Portsmouth Sq, Chinatown, San Francisco re: Tiananmen Square”

Here she is, the GoD, being ignored last year by Mayor Gavin Newsom in all the excitement leading up to the international Olympic Torch Relay fiasco of 2008. (Don’t look forward to any more of those international relays – they’re cancelled forever by the International Olympic Committee due to actions from the Sacred Flame Protection Squad, etc.)

go8f1313a

June 4th is being remembered in San Francisco, but it doesn’t seem to be that big a deal at this point. Here’s one account from Tiananmen, in the virtual pages of SFGate:

Our eyes locked. He was attractive in a stern sort of way, with wide-set eyes and a strong, dimpled chin. He was probably four or five years my junior. We looked into one another’s eyes for a few seconds, our limbs locked in this aggressive parody of a dance. I had an absurd memory of senior prom…” On it goes.

Anyway, it looks like Chinatown will be the venue for the biggest 6-4 observation in town today.

KCBS in Denial About Yesterday’s Crash Landing in Oakland, CA?

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

First,  let’s all agree that denial, (also called abnegation), is:

 ”is a defense mechanism‘ postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept…”

Can a radio station be in denial? Well, how about the coverage KCBS AM 740  is giving to yesterday’s crash landing of a traffic-reporting Cessna 172. KCBS reports this incident thusly: “Plane Lands near I-80 Ramp” with an account about how “freeway traffic was not affected by the landing”.

Firstly, KCBS used this in the webpage URL: “Plane-Blocks-I-80-Off-Ramp” – so this was spurious information? Or maybe the plane blocked the off-ramp, but not the freeway? Secondly, other media sources correctly called this incident a “crash-landing,” as that’s what it was. Thirdly, KCBS reported last month’s other crash landing of a Cessna 172 in the bay area as a “crash landing.”

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The dash of a Cessna 172 that didn’t crash land in the bay area last month, from the incredible Telstar Logistics Flickrstream

There’s lots of ways to report a story. KCBS certainly chose a drama-free approach. As must be obvious by now, you can put a Cessna 172 (that has a landing weight pretty close to a tiny 2-seat Smart Car) down in a very small piece of real estate, but yesterday’s crash landing could easily have been fatal.

So, better check yo self before you wreck yo self (again). Just saying,

Another Accident Involving Hayward-based Flying Vikings, Inc.

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Today’s headlines include news of the crash landing of a Flying Vikings, Inc. Cessna 172 in Oakland, California.

The San Jose Mercury News earlier reported that N61736 ”had a gas leak,” but now is going with ”mechanical problems” as the cause of this incident. KCBS, which labels this single engine plane the KCBS Radio Traffic Plane, is reporting the pilot claimed the oil pressure guage plummetted just before the engine conked out. This aircraft, built in 1974, suffered “substantial damage” during an incident in 1981.  

The following language, written before today’s accident, appears on the Flying Vikings website:

Since Flying Vikings also has a contract with local news gathering organizations, students are offered opportunities to build time that no other school can. Fly 3 to 6 hours a day and get paid.

A visual aid to help imagine yourself staring at a motionless propeller low over the Bay Area. Click to expand:

175264529_c84380bc84_o-copy.jpg

The dash of a Cessna 172 and a view of Candlestick Park, from the incredible Telstar Logistics Flickrstream

Here’s a photo of a different Flying Vikings aircraft, a Piper that suffered a fatal accident in 2006. Readers may find this link, relating to the Piper crash, of interest, however, it might lead you to unproven speculation about the cause of that tragedy.

The Federal Aviation Administration and Cal OSHA should be able to determine the cause of this forced landing fairly easily.

A relatively happy ending to a scary situation.