Posts Tagged ‘pilot’

Whoa: Asiana Airlines Flights To and From SFO “Likely” to be Suspended for as much as Four Months – Punishment for Flight 214

Thursday, November 13th, 2014

From San Francisco-based military writer Kyle Mizokami comes word of a plan to temporarily suspend Asiana Airlines flights between Incheon International Airport (ICN) and SFO:

Asiana Faces Suspension of San Francisco Flights

“Under the plan, the ministry will ask Korean Air to use larger aircraft on the Incheon-San Francisco route to increase the number of seats, bring in chartered planes, or channel passengers on transit routes. A senior ministry official recently visited concerned lawmakers at the National Assembly to brief them on the plan.”

Does this seem real to you? It seems real to me. Or perhaps elements of the Republic of Korea are trying to scare Asiana straight after the Flight 214 disaster?

Korean Air currently uses Boeing 747 and 777 aircraft on this route – might it be tough for it to expand capacity just for a few months? IDK. I can’t think of too many options for KA to use planes larger than these, excepting for one or two of their ten newish double-decker superjumbo Airbus A380′s, but it’s not like those aircraft are just sitting around waiting to be used this way.

This suspension idea doesn’t make sense to me – I suppose we’ll find out tonight…

[UPDATE: Well, a 45 suspension just got handed down, but Asiana wants to appeal the decision.]

Help Break the SFMTA’s Secret Shuttle Bus Code: Send in Your Photos of the ID Numbers You See on All Those Buses

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

This older post from Nitasha Tiku of ValleyWag might be a bit out of date, as I know some of the codes listed there don’t match what I’ve been seeing IRL.

This is what I’m talking about here:

7J7C6661 copy

So, “Loop Transportation Inc” uses SFMTA code “07″ – are there other names for this outfit? I know not. Anyway, they have at least 74 vehicles, one assumes (based upon observations).

7J7C6662 copy

Here’s the list:

1. Bauer’s IT
2. Sunset Development/Bishop Ranch
3. Black Tie Transportation
4. WeDriveU
5. SFO Airporter
6. Royal Coach Tours
7. Lux Leasing
8. Storer Coachways
9. MV Transportation
10. LOOP Transportation
11. Corinthian

So if you see a bus that has a different code than what you see here, take a photo and send it in to the email address you see on the top of this blog. Or really, I don’t need a photo, I just need to know the Pilot Program ID number and then the “Operated By” info on the side of the ride.

Then I’ll look into things and then post an updated list complete with the highest bus number observed and then I’ll post it for tout le monde to see. (I don’t know why the SFMTA considers this info so supr secrt but it does.)

And of course, if you have some big beef against some bus, what you’re supposed to do is call 311 and then tell them the five-digit code so they can take action, if necessary. That’s the system, baby.

Aviation Writer James Fallows Commits the MSM Blunder of the Year with “Don’t Blame Malaysia Airlines” in the NYT

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Hoo boy: “Don’t Blame Malaysia Airlines

“Was this disaster somehow the airline’s fault? The answer is no — but to understand why, you have to look at the complex realities of modern commercial aviation.”

My isn’t this a touch patronizing? Well, obviously the primary fault is with the crew and commanders of the Gadfly missile system used to shoot down the plane. But Malaysian Air Systems is partially to blame for its negligent operation.

“Malaysia Airlines, already world famous because of the still-missing flight MH370, appears to have been following all normal safety rules.”

Is anybody suggesting that this flight was somehow illegal? I don’t think so. So talking about Malaysian following the “rules” is pointless.

“…explicit prohibitions are critical, because the entire aviation system works on the premise that unless airspace is marked as off-limits, it is presumptively safe and legal for flight.

OK again, Jimmy, the flight was unsafe but legal. Nobody’s suggesting that the flight was not legal.

“…when they crossed this zone at 33,000 feet, they were neither cutting it razor-close nor bending the rules, but doing what many other airlines had done, in a way they assumed was both legal and safe.”

Again, Jimmy, why are you harping on what’s “legal” to make your point that Malaysian wasn’t negligent? It’s as if the New York Times has turned into the Public Relations arm of Malaysian Air Systems or the government of Malaysia.

All right, it’s time to review. Here’s a partial list of airlines that were specifically avoiding this part of eastern Ukraine before the shootdown:

Asiana Airlines

Korean Air Lines  

China Airlines

Air France

British Airways

Air Berlin [Germany's second-largest airline]

The operators of these airlines would have been able to fly over eastern Ukraine legally, but they chose not to. Why’s that, Jimmy? Why would these airlines spend more on kerosene for no reason?

Mr. Fallows continues in The Atlantic:

Somehow I suspect that if it had been a Lufthansa plane that was attacked, there would be fewer starting-point assumptions that the carrier had somehow been cutting corners at the cost of its passengers’ safety. 

This sounds like it came straight from Malaysian Airlines, this racism (or whatever) argument he’s pushing. In any event, corner-cutting at the expense of passenger safety is exactly what occurred here.

And here’s the stinger:

“If a government or rogue faction shoots down a commercial plane, is that really an “air safety issue?” 

Well, hell yes it is, Jimmy. It’s exactly an air safety issue. That’s why all those airlines cited above, plus others, were avoiding the area. For safety.

Comes now aviation writer Christine Negroni to offer views contrary to that of flyboy fanboy James Fallows:

So while Malaysia is self-evidently correct it its statements; the airspace was open and hundreds flights between Europe and Asia were using it every day, it is a weak reply to a valid question of responsibility

Indeed.

Why James Fallows wants to shut down the conversation about the question of responsibility is a mystery to me…

Pilot Embarrassment: A Missed Approach Above SFO

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

The pilots in this Delta Connection Compass Airlines Embraer 175 or whathaveyou had some kind of issue trying to land at SFO so they gave up by climbing and circling ’round for another try:

Click to expand

Which is no big deal, but it’s a kind of failure so it’s a bit embarrassing so sometimes pilots don’t follow the rules and try to force the plane down and that’s how something like Asiana 214 occurs.

It’s human nature.

Asiana Air Crash Update – Reviewing KTVU TV’s “Sum Ting Wong” Fiasco from 2014 – TRIGGER WARNING: Speculation

Friday, January 24th, 2014

1. So KTVU, the way to make up for your error is to disclose what occurred, IMO. The way NOT to do it is to air “Success Makers*” featuring “Survivor” winner Yul Kwon interviewing other notable Korean Americans. This tit-for-tat, Black-Eye vs. Feather-in-the-Cap, yes-but-is-it-good-for-the-Jews accounting system is a big fat joke and everybody knows it. If you all want to air this kind of “aspirational” bullcrap at 7 AM on a Sunday morning, well then be my guest, but you don’t need to commit the U.S. Media Blunder of the Year 2013 first, right? One thing has nothing to do with the other, IRL. You can throw a bone to the Asian American Journalists Association whenever you want, right? Why connect the two?

2. OTOH, KTVU, if you want to go through the pretty much pointless process of sending out take-down notices hither and yon so that certain people, certain older, out of touch people, can see that you’re trying to placate them, well, at least that makes more sense than Success Makers.

3. So, KTVU, what happened? Your viewing public is confused. And rightly so, since you’re hiding your own story from them. Some think that you all got punked by another TV station as payback for all the crowing you were doing about your Asiana coverage up to that point. Others think that some low-level KTVU employee made a joke and then things got out of hand. But that’s not what I heard.

4. My theory. Some aviation buff from the Midwest, let’s say in Illinois or a neighboring state, posts on a regional forum that the names all the pilots have just been revealed: “Sum Ting Wong,” “Wi Tu Lo,” “Ho Lee Fuk,” and “Bang Ding Ow.” This joke just sat out there for a day or so and then it started getting repeated on other boards and Twitter and the like. A retired pilot, somebody that KTVU had dealt with in the past, came across the names but didn’t get the joke. So he earnestly passed the names along to a contact at KTVU and that’s what got the ball rolling. Do you want a guess on who that person is? Well, my WAG is a former United Airlines pilot who’s now living in a leafy East Bay suburb. Someone who is older. He’s younger than my grandmother, who would not have gotten the joke either, but old enough to have grown up in a more sober-minded era. (That’s an era where a kind of blue-collar, single-income fam could actually afford to buy a Brady Bunch kind of house on an ironically-named street just before it massively appreciated.)

5. So then, the KTVU crew runs the names by a Chinese-American(?) woman who  doesn’t wonder why all the Korean pilots have Chinese-sounding names? (NB: If you don’t have a Kim, a Lee, or a Park in there, then something might very well be suspect.) And the news reader lady, who, after all is pretty much mindlessly reading the Teleprompter, pronounced one of the names as Fook instead of Fuck and boy aren’t we clever to not make that mistake

6. I’ll tell you, it’ll take a long time before a carrier like Asiana has four Chinese national pilots on one of its widebodies. OTOH, there were a heck of a lot of Chinese passengers on the Korean plane. Why’s that? Well, I’ll tell you, one of my former co-workers flew to South Korea last year just before the SFO disaster and this person specifically avoided using the two big Korean carriers even though it cost hundreds more to do so. Why? A strong mistrust of South Korean aviation safety. So, a Chinese carrier, Taiwanese, American? Sure, but not Asiana. One assumes that Asiana had pretty low fares in the summer of 2013…

7. So KTVU, as long as your happy, huh? You had a problem, you dealt with it, you fired some people, you paid off some settlement(s) for firing some people, you aired an aspirational TV show to several thousands of viewers and that’s that. What this all reminds me of is what the San Francisco Chronicle went through after it posted DIARY OF A SEX SLAVE, which was a major investment in time and money.** Boy, that one really hit the fan. After this similar kind of backlash, the Chron agreed not to syndicate the series, which prolly cost the Chron big bucks I’m guessing. Oh well.

8. Anyway, KTVU, that’s what some people might be thinking, but not saying. Try to focus on what’s correct, not what’s confirmed, you old MSM dinosaur you. The way you handled this mess is a bigger problem than the initial mess itself is what I’m saying. Go and sin no more. And I’ll tell you, the FAA / NTSB gets an A+ so far for the accident investigation. It’s like a WHAT WENT WRONG SO WE DON’T DO THIS AGAIN kind of thing. Why doesn’t KTVU do the same kind of thing so we can all benefit?

*”I’ll be hosting a special on KTVU tomorrow night after the 49ers-Seahawks game. The show is called “Success Makers” and I profile/interview four Asian American trailblazers, including Gideon Yu (president of the 49ers and former CFO of Facebook) and Daniel Dae Kim (star of Lost and Hawaii 5-0). Their stories are fascinating, and notwithstanding the painfully rusty host, the show is actually pretty eye-opening.”

**The problem was that the important parts were single-sourced. (“Typical college student?” Please.) IMO, that was the real prob with it. 

Bay Area Media Road Trip: “Investigative Hearing on Asiana Flight 214″ – Dec. 10-11 in Wash DC

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

This is it, this is the big one. Details below.

And if you don’t think that PILOT ERROR was the primary cause of death of the only passengers killed in a Boeing 777 in its entire two decade history, well, I have a drug test for you, you know, one just like the drug and alcohol tests that WEREN’T GIVEN to the three Asiana pilots who were on the flight deck on Flight 214.

And hey, could it have been Sully who emailed the fake pilot names to KTVU? IDK – we never heard about the details of that fiasco, die we?

Fresh from the Feds:

NTSB releases agenda and media logistics for Investigative Hearing on Asiana Flight 214

December 5

The National Transportation Safety Board today released the agenda for the two-day investigative hearing on the ongoing investigation into the July 6 crash landing of Asiana Airlines flight 214.

The hearing will be held on December 10th & 11th at the NTSB’s Board Room and Conference Center at 429 L’Enfant Plaza SW in Washington D.C. and begins at 9:00 a.m. on the first day and 8:30 a.m. on the second day.

Hearing witnesses, including representatives of the Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing, Asiana Airlines, Korean Office of Civil Aviation, and International Federation of Air Line Pilot’s Associations,Commercial Air Safety Team will testify and answer questions from NTSB Board members, technical staff, and parties about flight deck design concepts and characteristics, pilot training on automated systems and visual approach procedures, pilot awareness in highly automated aircraft, emergency response, and cabin safety. The full agenda, including a list of witnesses is available at http://www.ntsb.gov/news/events/2013/asiana214_hearing/agenda.html.

Investigative exhibits for the hearing will be placed in the electronic docket at the start of the hearing and will be available athttp://www.ntsb.gov/news/events/2013/asiana214_hearing/index.html once the hearing begins.

NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman will be available to answer questions from the media at the conclusion of each day. Additional details about those availabilities will be announced at a later date.

Television coverage of the proceedings will be by network pool. Escorted cutaway for video media will be permitted for brief periods throughout the hearing. Still photographers will be permitted in the seating area of the Board Room and by escort to areas in front of the witness panels.

Because of construction at and around L’Enfant Plaza, satellite and other media trucks will have to obtain credentials for parking and running cable through the construction zone. To expedite this process, media must RSVP to keith.holloway@ntsb.gov by December 9. Access to the Board Room is available beginning at 7:30 a.m.

A media room is also available with tables, chairs and an audio mult box with interpretations of the proceedings into English, Mandarin and Korean. Audio headsets will be provided. Generally-accepted media credentials will be required for access to the media room. In addition, a fully equipped overflow room has been established and will serve as a storage area for video equipment during the hearing.

Seating for the general public in the Board Room is on a first-come, first-served basis. Given the international makeup of those onboard Asiana flight 214, the hearing will be webcast live in English, Mandarin and Korean. Access to the webcast can be found at www.ntsb.gov.

There will be standard federal security procedures for entry into the Board Room and Conference Center. All persons entering the facility will need to show a photo ID and their possessions will be subject to inspection. Persons leaving the facility will have to pass through screening again to gain re-entry.

Directions to the Board Room are available at www.ntsb.gov/about/conference_center.html.

Office of Public Affairs
490 L’Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington, DC 20594
Keith Holloway
(202) 557-1350
keith.holloway@ntsb.gov

The Floating Helicopters of San Francisco – How Inflatable Airbags Help When Crash Landing in the Bay

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

These tourist choppers sometimes conk out near the Golden Gate Bridge and when that happens then only thing for the pilot to do is pop open the compressed gas container you can see there in order to inflate the six airbags you can also see there.

Then a call to the Coast Guard, which will give you a friendly tow to land, hurray!

It happens sometimes

FAA Launches Five Year Plan to Improve Training – Addresses Pilot Errors in Recent Air France, Comair, and Air Colgan Crashes

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Here’s the news of the day:

Stall Recovery, Simulator Improvements In New FAA Training Rule”
By John Croft john.croft@aviationweek.com
Source: AWIN First

Well this certainly covers the gamut of the ways that commercial pilots have killed their passengers the past decade or so. The last major crashes we’ve had in America were in 2001 (caused by terrorism and, in one case, by some odd rudder inputs) and it would appear that those issues have already been addressed.

And here’s something to ponder:

“The agency says the costs of implementing the rule, in part due to the simulator upgrades, will be as much as $354 million, while the benefits of accidents averted will be $689 million.”

It seems that the feds have assigned a dollar figure to the value of your life. Maybe it’s $10,000,000 or so.

How do you feel about that?

Anyway, I feel pretty good about this push from the FAA

Brave Early-Morning Cushman Pilot, Haight Street – He’s a Cowboy, On a Steel Horse He Rides

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Click to expand

The Best Royalty-Free Stock Photo Ever: “Baby’s Pilot” – This One Has It All – But Who On Earth Could Use This Shot?

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

I know not