"Welcome to the birthplace of MIRCE Science, an endeavour to explain and predict time evolution of performances of functionable systems by determining mechanisms of all causing actions."   Dr J. Knezevic, Founder, 1999

   

Jun 12, 2014

MIRCE Science observed actions


Category: General
Posted by: daneswood

12 May 2022: TIBET airlines A319 caught fire during take off in China

On Thursday 12 May, a Tibet Airlines Airbus A319, with registration B-6435, caught fire and burst into flames after a catastrophic runway excursion at China’s Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport. It was about to depart as flight TV9833 for Nyingchi
(Tibet) when it suffered a runway excursion and burst into flames. All of the 113 passengers and nine crewmembers on board evacuated the aircraft via an evacuation slide and were taken to the terminal. Around 40 passengers were taken to hospital with mild injuries. CCTV said the fire had been extinguished. The airport officials reportedly said that the fire began on the left side of the aircraft, towards its nose. The runway was temporarily closed after the incident and it resumed operations two hours after the accident.

 7 May 2022 Software Bug Prompts EASA Emergency Directive for Airbus A350

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has warned operators of the Airbus A350-900 and –1000 to amend the applicable AFM (airplane flight manual) and Minimum Equipment List due to a software issue that could lead to a loss of elevator control. The directive was issued on May 5th and has been assigned an effective date of May 9th. It states that "an occurrence was reported where the PRIMary flight control computers (PRIMs) indicated that both elevator actuators were considered faulty." The airworthiness directive (AD) also states that subsequent investigations had found that incorrect instructions had been implemented with the introduction of the "PRIM P13 standard", which is part of the Flight Control and Guidance System (FCGS) X13 standard. According to FlightGlobal, this software snag could lead to loss of elevator control for the Airbus A350 - a potentially severe condition that would affect the pilot's ability to control the aircraft. EASA is mandating that operators must amend the applicable airplane flight manual (AFM) within seven days, or by May 16th. It also states that operators must "inform all flight crews, and, thereafter, operate the aeroplane accordingly." Affected operators must also amend the Airbus A350 Master Minimum Equipment List (MMEL) accordingly.
However, this is not the first software bug reported for the Airbus A350. In July 2019, Aviation Weekly reported that some models of the A350-900 had an avionics issue that could be rectified by a software update, or by switching the aircraft off and on again at least once every 149 hours. Performing this rudimentary action would have avoided "partial or total loss of some avionics systems or functions." This AD was prompted by in-service events where "a loss of communication occurred between some avionics systems and avionics network." The directive noted that different consequences were observed and reported by operators, "from redundancy loss to complete loss on a specific function hosted on common remote data concentrator and core processing input/output modules.” There was another interesting situation for the A350. This would be a combination of human error and a design oversight - and not a software bug. Indeed in February of 2020 an emergency airworthiness directive was issued due to in-service occurrences reported "involving inadvertent liquid spillage on the centre pedestal in the flight deck on A350 aeroplanes." In both cases, EASA notes that the aeroplane experienced an un-commanded engine in-flight shut-down (IFSD) of an engine some time after the liquid spillage. Airbus' interim fix, established in the emergency AD, was to define "a liquid prohibited zone in the cockpit."

 3 May 2022 Mumbai Airport Will Close For 6 Hours To Allow Monsoon Preparation

With the monsoon season approaching, the airport’s runways in India need to be prepped for the heavy rainfall. For example, Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (CSMIA), will be non-operational between 11:00 to 17:00 on May 10th. This is yearly practice of pre-monsoon repairs and maintenance. The monsoon season can be tough on Mumbai, with the city often coming to a standstill following heavy downpours and the resulting waterlogging. In the past, the city has even had to shut rail and air services as it gets flooded and clogged with water. Landing in Mumbai during the monsoons can also be challenging at times for pilots. In 2019, A SpiceJet 737 coming from Jaipur overshot the runway while landing amid heavy rain. The incident led to the shutdown of the main runway of the Mumbai airport, with flights canceled or diverted to the nearby airports. The aircraft was stuck at the end of the runway for days before it could be pulled out.

21 April 2022 Thrust reverser deploys during go-around on TAP A320

The 12.4 years old A320 with registration CS-TNV and performing flight TP-754 from Lisbon (Portugal) to Copenhagen (Denmark) with 102 passengers and 7 crew, was landing on Copenhagen’s Runway 30 when the flight crew decided to abort the landing initiating and applied Take-off/Go-around thrust (TOGA). The aircraft at low altitude started veering to the left, the speed over ground reduced sharply from about 133 to about 120 knots, but it neither climb nor accelerate as expected by the flight crew, which temporarily made it difficult for the flight crew to maintain control of the A320. The flight crew noticed an indication for engine no. 1 thrust reverser door(s) to be unlocked. Engine nº 1 was at idle thrust. The pilots regained control of the aircraft and established a single engine climb toward a safe altitude. During the climb, the flight crew declared an emergency (“Mayday”) and performed relevant checklists. Air Traffic Control issued radar vectors for a priority landing on runway 22L. Without further incidents, the aircraft landed safely about 20 minutes after the go-around. Three out of four thrust reverser doors on engine no. 1 were in the fully deployed position. The investigation into this serious TAP incident will continue, with experts looking at various sources of information to determine why the aircraft suffered in-flight thrust reverser deployment. For this, they will examine flight recorders, the engine itself, the weather, simulations and carry out interviews with crew and others.
Thrust reversers are only deployed when the aircraft is on the ground to help slow down the speed after landing reducing wear on the brakes and enabling shorter landing distances. (18 April 2022)

14 April 2022 Corrosion From Inactivity Flagged On Pratt-powered 777 Engine Parts

The Pratt-powered 777 fleet has been grounded since February 2021, when a fractured fan blade triggered an inflight engine shutdown (IFSD), which was the third such incident in three years. Pratt, Boeing, and the FAA have been developing new fan blade inspections and nacelle modifications that address risks spotlighted in the occurrences, including the shedding of nacelle parts due to damage caused by the blade failure. The latest IFSD took place during a November 2021 ferry flight, on the non-identified, by FAA, operator. However, Aviation Week’s Tracked Aircraft Utilisation (TAU) shown United Airlines flew the only Pratt-powered 777 cycles that month. Pratt traced the failure to an oil leak caused by corrosion, the FAA said. More digging turned up 19 instances of air/oil heat exchanger oil leaks in the previous year, which included 10 months of no activity due to the grounding, compared to an historical average of about four annually. The lack of operation may have exacerbated corrosion on the air/oil heat exchanger. Both engines installed on the airplane may develop leaks on the air/oil heat exchangers.

7 April 2022 Crash landing of DHL B757 in San Jose

The Boeing 757, with registration HP-2010DAE, was operating a cargo flight from San Jose Juan Santamaria to La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City when it was forced to return to its departure airport due to an emergency, which the crew declared an requested. Shortly the aircraft entered into a holding pattern to dump fuel before landing. However, on landing the aircraft didn’t come to stop and veered off the runway and broke apart. The aircraft was transporting cargo material and had reported hydraulic problems in the air. Both crew members are reported to be safe without any serious injuries.

6 April 2022 Malaysia Airlines 737 drops 7000 feet in seconds

Passengers onboard a Malaysia Airlines B737 reportedly got a scare when their plane suddenly dropped 7,000 feet. The operating aircraft was 9M-MLS, an eight-year-old Boeing 737-800 on en route from Kuala Lumpur to Tawau. According to a report in The New Straits Times, Malaysia Airlines flight MH2664 was 30 minutes into the flight cruising over the South China Sea at about 30,000 feet when a sudden descent occurred. It shows a descent of about 17,000 feet, taking around 10 minutes. A passenger onboard later said on social media the plane dived 7,000 feet in a matter of seconds, causing several passengers to "float" off the seats. One likely reason for the sudden drop is a pocket of turbulence, colloquially referred to as an 'air pocket'. In a nutshell, an air pocket is a region of low pressure causing an aircraft to lose height suddenly. Air pockets are just an extreme form of turbulence where a downdraft causes the aircraft to drop suddenly. Modern planes are built to withstand extreme turbulence, but an unexpected drop isn't much fun for people onboard, especially if not buckled in. Injuries (and more rarely, fatalities) are caused mainly by people and objects being tossed around the cabin. The passenger quoted in the New Straits Times report says people were screaming, crying, and fearing for their lives. On Sunday, April 10, the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) issued a statement saying that based on the examination of the flight data recorder, the technical issue that occurred during the flight was due to a malfunction of the pitot-static system that produced a false speed indication onboard, resulting in the aircraft pitching up and deactivating the autopilot. In response to this, the pilot in command's immediate and correct reaction was to regain positive control of the aircraft."

29 March 2022 A320 LANDS WITH NOSE GEAR ROTATED BY 90 DEGREES

The Airbus A320-200, with the registration CC-BAS, was climbing out of Medellin’s runway 01 as flight LA4292 to Cartagena, Colombia when the crew noticed an issue with the nose landing gear. It was confirmed that a fault was detected in one of the gear tires forward after takeoff. Thus, a crew stopped the climb at 13,000 feet and decided to fly over the airport to consume part of the fuel and land safely. The A320 entered a hold and landed back on runway 01 about 45 minutes after departure from the same runway. A LATAM Airlines aircraft made an emergency landing with the nose gear locked 90 degrees off-centre. No one was injured among those 147 passengers and crew members on board, and they disembarked onto the runway via stairs. On 6 March 2021, Batik Air Flight 6803, operating an A320 from Jambi to Jakarta, suffered an accident similar to Flight 292 when the gear turned sideways. The plane returned to its base and all passengers and crew survived.

 23 March 2022 Spacewalking astronauts completed maintenance tasks on ISS

Two NASA astronauts on a spacewalk completed several maintenance tasks outside of the International Space Station, despite getting off to a slow start due to loose helmet-mounted camera, that cause 1-hour delay. The space station has six radiators, three on each side of its backbone truss, which are used to draw heat and keep the modules at a liveable temperature. A pair of flex hoses connecting one of the port-side radiators to a valve module was leaking ammonia coolant, which led to a 2017 spacewalk to vent the hoses and remove them from use. The leaky hoses were returned to Earth the following year, repaired and re-launched in 2019. Today, one astronaut reinstalled the flex hoses, restoring use of its associated radiator and completing the primary task planned for this spacewalk. At the same time the second astronaut finished running the power and data cable for the new camera before moving over to install a jumper on a Columbus module and release some clamps on the Bartolomeo science platform. Finally, the Mission Control directed that both spacewalkers meet at the Port 3 (P3) truss segment to work on removing and replacing the older video camera with a high definition unit and wireless communications port. A "ping" test showed the installation was successful. This was the third Extra Vehicular Activity (EVA) of the year and the 248th in support of the assembly, maintenance and upgrade of the International Space Station since 1998.

23 March 2022 Material Defect Prompts PW1100G-JM Inspection Mandate

On 18 March 2020 the uncontained failure of an International Aero Engines V2500 powering a Vietnam Airlines A321-200 took place, which sent debris into the engine cowling and prompted an aborted takeoff. Investigators soon discovered an HPT 1st stage disk failed, prompting the FAA to issue an emergency airworthiness directive on March 21, 2020, ordering the removal of certain disks from service. However, this type of failure may be more widespread than originally believed. The latest batch of affected high pressure turbine (HPT) 1st and 2nd stage disks may be installed on as many as 189 engines on Airbus A320neo-family aircraft in the U.S.-registered fleet, an FAA draft directive set for publication March 24 shows. Previous analysis by Pratt & Whitney found the issue affected fewer than 10 U.S.-registered V2500s and PW1100G-JMs. Both subsets are covered by existing mandates. Pratt determined the issue was “due to an undetected subsurface material defect in an HPT disk that may affect the life of the part.” In June 2021, Pratt “expanded its root cause analysis to include a review of records for all other IAE and PW engines that contain parts of similar material,” the FAA said in a subsequent mandate. The engine-maker discovered a few more at-risk disks, including three in the U.S., which should be removed. The FAA mandated that recommendation in September 2021. Following that mandate, Pratt “identified another sub-population of HPT 1st-stage disks and HPT 2nd-stage disks that require inspection and possible removal from service,” the FAA said in the new draft directive. The latest mandate, which covers all 10 certified PW1100G-JM models, stops short of ordering affected parts removed. Instead, the FAA proposes an ultrasonic inspection (USI) of specific HPT 1st and 2nd stage disks at the next shop visit. Disks that do not pass the USI should be replaced before further flight, at a cost of about $170,000 per part, the FAA draft directive said.

 22 March 2022 Boeing 777 Fuel Systems Modifications Requested by FAA

FAA plans to require affected Boeing 777 operators to modify fuel systems to ensure they are accurately tracking the amount of fuel going into centre wing tanks, correcting a design flaw that has led to over-reporting of fuel amounts, causing some diversions as a result. A draft airworthiness directive (AD) published calls for mandating Boeing-recommended changes to fuel quantity processor units (FQPUs), either updated software or replacing existing units with new ones containing the new software. The change corrects a 777 fuel quantity indication system (FQIS) design flaw that can cause the system to miss-state the amount of fuel in the centre wing tank. That can lead to too little fuel being added, and the aircraft being dispatched without enough fuel for its mission. At least 25 in-service events have been reported by operators and in 11 cases, the flight “had to land at a diversion airport. According to Boeing the discrepancy was caused by FQIS ultrasonic tank units calibrating incorrect velocity of sound (VOS) in the fuel during centre tank fuelling, the FAA explained. The problem is manifested as an improper fuel density calculation, and results in the FQIS showing a different fuel amount from the actual fuel quantity in the CWT. The current FQPU software “is subjected to this stale VOS value under certain conditions due to insufficient VOS reset functions. This is limited to 777-300Ers, which currently is related to 257 U.S.-registered aircraft. Proposed compliance times for the FQPU changes follow Boeing’s recommendations and range from 6-30 months, depending on the aircraft configuration.

 18 February 2022 Fuel System Part Linked to UPS 747-8F Incident

In the July 202 the UPS 747-8F just after departing Hong Kong en route to Dubai when the crew experienced N1 overspeed and fire warnings, led to an inflight shutdown of the No. 1 engine and prompted the crew to return to Hong Kong. After landing, the engine reignited and emergency crews extinguished the fire. An NTSB-led investigation found “several” fuel system leaks, including at the bypass valve pressure port. Also, the investigation concluded that the [bypass valve plug] might not have been torqued properly during production or during an engine shop visit. The manufacturer soon developed instructions recommending the inspection protocol and sent them out in December 2021 service bulletins. The FAA’s directive is based on GE’s bulletins. On 22 February 2022 the FAA has ordered inspections of GE Aviation GEnx-1Bs and -2B fuel metering unit (FMU) parts after an improperly installed valve plug was linked to fuel leakage and an inflight engine shutdown on a UPS Boeing 747-8-F last July near Hong Kong. An immediately effective airworthiness directive (AD) gives affected operators of GE-powered 747-8s and 787s 150 flight cycles, roughly 90 days, to inspect FMU bypass valve plugs to ensure they are properly installed. The “shim check inspections” should be done with a 0.005-in. feeler gauge and can be accomplished either on- or off-wing.

8 February 2022 Curiosity rover’s wheels severally damaged by rugged Mars

The car-sized NASA's Curiosity Mars rover landed on Gale Crater's floor in August 2012, on a mission to determine if the area could ever have supported microbial life. The wheels on have accumulated some damage during the robot's nine-plus years on the Red Planet, as the photo snapped on 27 January 2022 by Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) shows. The rugged landscape has taken some substantial bites out of Curiosity's six aluminium wheels during the nine years of operation. The current predicted odometry remaining is expected to be sufficient to support Curiosity throughout the remainder of the mission, according to a spokesman for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California, which manages Curiosity's mission. Since September 2014, Curiosity has been climbing the flanks of Mount Sharp, which rises 3.4 miles into the sky from Gale's centre. The rover is reading the rock layers as it goes, searching for clues about Mars' long-ago shift from a relatively warm and wet world to the frigid desert planet we know today. Curiosity has travelled a total of 16.86 miles on Mars to date. The rover's wheels started showing signs of wear and tear relatively early in the mission, spurring its handlers to take some mitigation measures by picking routes across gentler terrain when possible. Eventually "traction control" software that adjusts Curiosity's speed depending on the type of ground it's traversing has been beamed up. Those measures seem to have worked, Good said, noting that the mission team recently started snapping wheel-inspection imagery every 3,300 feet of ground travelled rather than every 1,650 feet, as had been the norm. Curiosity's wheel-wear experiences helped shape the design of NASA's next Mars rover, Perseverance, which touched down on the floor of Jezero Crater in February 2021. For example, Perseverance's wheels are slightly larger in diameter and have twice as many treads as those of Curiosity. In addition, the life-hunting, sample-caching Perseverance's treads are gently curved instead of chevron-shaped. And they don't spell out "JPL" in Morse code on the red dirt as the rover drives, like those of Curiosity were designed to do.

7 February 2022 Geomagnetic storm destroys SpaceX Starlink satellites

On the 3 February SpaceX launched 49 satellites to low Earth orbit to further increase the company's huge Internet megaconstellation. However, 40 out of 49 satellites lofted spacecraft will never beam any broadband signals down, thanks to a powerful sun eruption. Charged particles from that solar blast spawned a geomagnetic storm on 4 February, substantially increasing the density of Earth's atmosphere and thus the drag experienced by the new, low-flying Starlink batch. Geomagnetic storms occur when intense solar wind near Earth spawns shifting currents and plasmas in Earth's magnetosphere. This interaction can warm Earth's upper atmosphere and increase atmospheric density high enough above the planet to affect satellites in low orbits like SpaceX's new Starlink craft. Friday's geomagnetic storm came on the heels of a sun eruption on 30 January. Space debris burned up over Puerto Rico on 7 February were recorded by a camera operated by the Sociedad de Astronomia del Caribe. It was likely a piece of the recently launched SpaceX Starlink satellite batch that was severely affected by a geomagnetic storm, according to satellite tracker Marco Langbroek. The three-minute video shows two distinct break-up events about one minute apart. These could be two pieces of the same satellite or two separate spacecraft that had been travelling in the same orbital plane.

4 February 2022 Landing gear of Sun Country B737 collapse on landing

The 20 years old, a Sun Country Boeing 737-800 suffered a collapse of its right-hand main landing gear on touch down after a problem with the landing gear retraction on take off. It was performing flight SY-110 from Las Vegas to Minneapolis, USA was climbing out of Las Vegas’ runway 01R when the crew stopped the climb at 9500 feet due to a problem with the retraction of the right-hand main gear. The crew performed troubleshooting and about 30 minutes after departure decided to return to Las Vegas and landed 40 minutes after departure. After touching down, the right hand side main landing gear collapsed and the aircraft came to a stop on the runway. No major injuries were reported on 50 passengers plus 6 crew, which all were disembarked by stairs,

28 January 2022 China Airlines Cargo B747F damaged after colliding with baggage cart at Chicago O’Hare

China Airlines stated that their Boeing 747-400F freighter, registration B-18715 operating flight CI5240 from Taipei via Anchorage landed at Chicago O'Hare Airport at 5:10 am local time. The ground was slippery due to heavy snow, and the aircraft collided with ground equipment, causing damage. No injuries were reported. Picture and CCTV video footage released to media showed damage to the engine fairing, fan case, and blades of the number two engine.

2 February 2022 Service Return Mandates for Pratt & Whitney powered B777s

Pratt & Whitney-powered Boeing 777s were grounded in February 2021 following the engine fan blade-out events, two involving United Airlines 777-200s, in February 2018 and February 2021, and one on a Japan Air Lines 777-200 in December 2020. These events highlighted unrecognised risks of airframe damage caused by parts of the nacelle breaking away. The global fleet totalled about 130 when the grounding occurred, with most flown by United Airlines (52). United plans to work them back into its network, while other operators, including Japan AirLines, have accelerated plans to retire their aircraft. Cargo and charter specialist Eastern Airlines purchased some during the model’s grounding, the only other U.S. carrier with Pratt-powered 777s in its fleet. Boeing’s safety management system process has identified a set of all known root causes of the relevant fan blade-out events and resulting impacts to the engine nacelle and informed the FAA on 17 December 2021. Boeing completed a comparative safety assessment showing that the implementation of each modification, and the combination of modifications proposed for certification, prior to return to revenue service will reduce risk of an unsafe outcome as compared to the unmodified design. Boeing, Pratt and the FAA have been working for months to develop specific changes for the affected 777 fleet, with the agency pressing Boeing on how its proposed changes address the issues and whether they introduce any new risks. Now, the FAA issued draft rules their return-to-service, adopting Boeing-recommended nacelle modifications and new Pratt-developed fan blade inspection protocols. The three draft airworthiness directives (AD) propose mandating fan blade inspections, nacelle inlet modifications and changes to thrust-reverser components. The modifications and initial fan blade inspections must be done before the affected fleet can return to service. The directives also call for repetitive inspections for the fan blades and hydraulic pump shutoff valves, meant to reduce flammability risk during an engine fire. The revised maintenance protocol for the fan blade, called the first-stage low-pressure compressor (LPC) blade on the PW4000 series, adds ultrasonic inspections to Pratt’s existing, proprietary thermal acoustic imaging (TAI) method. Under the revised program, ultrasonic checks of each blade’s flow path region, the area nearest the blade root, are required every 275 flight cycles (FC), while inspections of two “mid-span” areas farther out from the root are done every 550 FC. All blades undergo a TAI every 1,000 FC. Damaged blades must be replaced at an estimated cost of $125,000. The instructions were finalised with FAA input in the fall of 2021 and communicated to operators in an Oct. 15, 2021, service bulletin. The inlet modification includes “adding ballistic shielding and support structure to the inlet outer barrel, revising the outer cowl aft-row fasteners, adding support structures to the aft bulkhead, and revising the inlet attach-ring to A-flange engine bolts and associated barrel nuts,” the draft directive said. Operators also must inspect the outer barrel for “moisture ingression,” thought to have contributed to parts of the inlet composite structure breaking away during the three events. Boeing first flagged the potential issue in a Dec. 7 filing to the FAA that recommended inspections for possible “fluid ingression” in certain composite panels. Neither Boeing nor the FAA have detailed the type of damage or moisture involved. Estimated per-engine cost for the inlet modifications is $418,600, including $362,500 in materials. The third directive would require installing debris shields on thrust--reverser inner walls, inspecting fan cowl doors for moisture damage and performing the repetitive hydraulic-pump checks. Estimated cost for the modification is $14,500, including $4,300 in parts. In each case, Boeing is proposing phased-in changes that improve the nacelle design. The proposed directives are the first set for the Pratt-powered 777 family and target the highest risks, while similar steps for the 737NGs—which, unlike the PW4000-powered 777s, were not grounded following in-flight fan blade-out events—are expected out by mid-2022.

 27 January 2022 Door Ripped of British Airways B777 in Cape Town

The front left door of A British Airways Boeing 777 was ripped off the aircraft, with sources suggesting that the plane was pushed back with the jet-bridge still attached, on the ground. BA B777, G-YMMH departed from London on Wednesday evening and landed in Cape Town half an hour early at 07:31. The aircraft is typically expected to be on the ground in Cape Town for around 12 hours. Instead of occupying a gate all day, the plane is moved to a parking stand for much of the day. This is standard practice at busy airports, as it allows the gate to be used for other flights, and parking stands cost less to occupy than gates. However, as the aircraft was being sent towards its parking stand for the day, the door came off the plane while it was being towed with no passengers onboard. It has been suggested that the jet-bridge was left attached to the aircraft, ripping off the door as the plane was pushed past it.

19 January 2022 Ash from Tonga volcano eruption reaches record altitude

The Tonga volcanic eruption was the most powerful our planet has experienced in 30 years. It destroyed a small island in Polynesia on Saturday (Jan. 15) injected a huge amount of ash into a record altitude but won't cause any disruption to Earth's climate, experts said. Satellites detected the ash cloud, which has already spread over Australia, at over 24 miles (39 kilometres) above Earth's surface This was the first time volcanic ash has been detected so high in Earth's atmosphere. However, scientists think that the eruption won't affect Earth's climate. Despite the apocalyptic proportions of the blast, which was documented in real time by several satellites, the amount of ash it contained was relatively small compared to other cataclysmic volcanic eruptions known from previous centuries.

 18 January 2022 Most B777 Flights to US Cancels due to 5G Roll-out

The high-speed 5G cellular network uses so-called C-band frequencies similar to those used by radio altimeters on aircraft. Top U.S. airlines have warned that the roll-out near airports could interfere with equipment that planes use to take off and land. Airlines such as Air India, ANA, Emirates and Japan Airlines are cancelling most B777 flights to/from the U.S. this week over concerns on how 5G will affect jet instruments. In most parts of the world, the 5G usage spectrum is 3.2-3.8GHz. In the US the spectrum goes up to 3.9GHz to 4.1-4.2GHz. Altimeters installed on the aircraft are in the 4.4GHz range. Though the FAA has indicated there is no need for concern but most of the airline operators are saying that there is a chance of potential interference with the 5G spectrum in the U.S. However, the FAA said 5G interference could prevent engine and braking systems from transitioning to landing mode, which could prevent an aircraft from stopping on the runway. The directive requires crews "to be aware of this risk and to adopt specific safety procedures when landing on these runways."

9 January 2022: FAA details 50 airports that will have 5G buffer zones

The USA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) disclosed a list of 50 U.S. airports that will have buffer zones when wireless carriers turn on new 5G C-band service on Jan. 19. Telecommunication companies that are the most affected are AT&T (T.N) and Verizon Communications (VZ.N) have agreed to buffer zones around 50 airports to reduce the risk of disruption from potential interference to sensitive airplane instruments like altimeters. They also agreed to delay deployment for two weeks, averting an aviation safety stand-off. The list includes airports in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Detroit, Dallas, Philadelphia, Seattle and Miami. The FAA said it does not "not necessarily" mean that low-visibility flights cannot occur at airports that are not among the 50. ACI-NA President and CEO Kevin Burke, who heads the association representing U.S. and Canadian airports, said on Friday the FAA list "is largely irrelevant because the entire aviation system is about to be adversely impacted by this poorly planned and coordinated expansion of 5G service in and around airports." He said the "so-called fix will create winners and losers within the airport community, and the entire aviation system will suffer under the terms of this deal."

5 January 2022: Drone-Based Aircraft Inspections at Korean Air 

Although airlines have been using drones to inspect aircraft for several years, Korean Air has just demonstrated the first version of the technology that uses a swarm of drones to combine indoor autonomous navigation, cloud-based data sharing and artificial intelligence (AI) to visually inspect difficult to reach areas of an aircraft. The development that started in 2017 uses the drones that are equipped with high-performance cameras that can identify objects up to one millimetre in size, which the airline says enables detection of micro defects that cannot be seen with the naked eye. According to Korean Air, the drone swarm technology reduces inspection time by 75% compared to the deployment of a single drone. Compared to manual inspection techniques, it says drone swarms reduce visual inspection time from approximately 10 hours to four hours, a reduction of about 60%. To program the drones’ paths, Korean Air has developed inspection-planning software that enables users to generate optimal inspection plans. An inspector can choose the aircraft model, camera settings and number of drones, then check the flight plan in advance through 3D graphics. The system features redundancies in place so the remaining drones can complete an inspection if one drone malfunctions. The airline has also applied a collision avoidance system and geofencing to maintain safe distances from surrounding facilities and prevent drones from breaking away from the inspection area. While the carrier has not established a time-frame for full implementation of the technology, it plans to launch AI-based identification by 2024.

4 January 2022 Tail Strike Damaged British Airways A350 at Heathrow

A British Airways A350, G-XWBC, was landing in London finishing flight BA 104 from Dubai, the plane experienced a tail strike landing on Heathrow’s Runway 27L, which prompted the go-around and safely landing on Runway 27R. It will now remain at Heathrow until it is deemed safe to fly.

4 January 2022 Fire Onboard Diverts Ryanair B737

A Ryanair B737-800, EI-EFY, had been flying from Manchester to Faro at flight level 410 when the incident unfolded leading to an emergency landing in Brest, safely.
According to data from RadarBox.com, after departure, the flight turned to the south, climbing to flight level 41,000. Just 40 minutes later the aircraft started to squawk 7700, the code for an emergency. It started a rapid descent, which slowed slightly at around 10,000 feet. The aircraft’s rate of descent reached -6,100 feet per minute at its highest. The plane landed in Brest (France) on Runway 25L for approximately 25 minutes before taxing to a parallel runway where passengers were de-planed.