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Flying? The safest form of transport!!

Looking around and looking up, just to keep an eye on the world of aviation and report those obscure findings and happenings.

Hudson River Airbus makes its final journey.
26 February 2009

Well as I said in my posting yesterday aeroplanes are designed for flying and getting them down the streets of New Jersey is not such an easy task. Here are a few shots of the now famous Hudson River Airbus on it’s way to the breakers yard.


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Plane down in Amsterdam.
25 February 2009

Preliminary news coming through says just the one fatality from this crash which occured just an hour ago. The Boeing 737-800 is very similar to those operated by Ryanair and will be fairly new.

From an outsiders view, no fire which is good, but fuel should have been almost down to reserves at that point of the flight anyway. Also I would suggest a tail first quite heavy impact causing the splits in the usual places. All emergency doors are open.
Unfortunately for passengers, planes are not designed like cars to withstand an impact, they are designed to fly and coming down in the wrong place at the wrong time is not something the manufacturers cater for.
Possible but remote causes? Bird strike, no fuel, serious system failure.

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Ryanair... It's good to talk.
19 February 2009

 Michael O’Leary says passengers don’t find much peace on Ryanair flights as crews sell scratchcards, sandwiches and cigarettes and his planes are about to get louder as the carrier introduces a mobile-phone service. Passengers can call, e-mail and send text messages from 20 planes, expanding to 50 aircraft in the next six months and the Dublin-based carrier’s entire fleet if the service is popular.

O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive officer who charges passengers to check in hold baggage or be first to board, predicts “enormous demand” for in-flight calls. “Nobody is flying on Ryanair because it is a bastion of solitude where you can contemplate life,” said O’Leary, who arrived at a press conference in Dublin wearing a mobile-phone outfit covered with a “Now Use Your Mobile on Board” sign. Ryanair wants the OnAir NV service to boost so-called ancillary revenue, the money the airline makes aside from ticket sales. That accounted for more than a fifth of revenue in the quarter ended Dec. 31, rising 19 percent to 132 million euros ($167 million).

Passengers will make and receive voice calls at non-European Union international roaming rates of 2 euros to 3 euros a minute. Text messages will cost about 50 cents and e-mails using phones and other devices will cost as much as 2 euros per message. “It is expensive but it’s your choice whether you want to use it or not,” the CEO said.

O’Leary said Ryanair is the first all-economy carrier to let travelers make calls. Air France-KLM Group tested a phone service on one plane last April in Europe’s first trial of airborne mobile-phone voice service. New York-based JetBlue Airways Corp. agreed to buy Verizon Communications Inc.’s Airfone business in June to expand its e-mail and messaging services aboard planes, but U.S. regulations don’t permit voice calls. In-flight calls are connected via a miniature cellular network inside the aircraft. A modem transmits data and calls to a satellite that routes them to a ground station and then onward to the passenger’s network, which can cause some delays.

O’Leary, who says airports estimate about 60 percent to 70 percent of Ryanair’s customers may be traveling for leisure, doesn’t expect the service to put other travelers off. “We’ve no interest in quiet zones,” the CEO told journalists “It will make a break from the in-flight announcements on a Ryanair aircraft.”

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Ryanair planning another "fleet".
04 February 2009

Ryanair operates an all-Boeing fleet of 737s that is now up to 181 planes, but may now be considering Airbus also as once an airline's fleet has reached about 200 planes, the cost advantages of operating only one type of plane are not as significant. "We're large enough now to run two fleets," Michael Cawley, deputy chief executive of Ryanair, told reporters Monday at a news briefing in London. "We see no cost handicaps that can't be overcome by running two fleets." He said Ryanair, which could place the order for up to 400 planes in the next 18 months to two years, wants to take advantage of any decline in aircraft prices should the current industry downturn continue and passenger traffic continue to fall.
In the past, O'Leary has placed some of the industry's biggest single orders, for 100 or more planes at a time. By doing do, Ryanair has been able to lock in very good prices, including options. Just this month, Ryanair exercised 12 of its options, adding to the 143 planes that it still had on firm order with Boeing at the end of last year. That brought to 337 the number of 737s that Ryanair has ordered directly from Boeing. Its fleet includes some 737s that have been leased.
Ryanair carried 58 million passengers last year, up 18 percent from 2007. Cawley said that in the "very long term," he can envision Ryanair hauling 200 million people a year.

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The day the music died?
02 February 2009

Just after 1 a.m. February 3, 1959, a three-passenger Beechcraft Bonanza went down about five miles northwest of Mason City Municipal Airport, near Clear Lake, Iowa. The plane crash took the lives of the pilot, Roger Peterson, and three musicians: Charles Hardin Holley, better known as Buddy Holly, 22; Ritchie Valens (originally Valenzuela), 17; and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, 28.  The three young musicians were part of the "Winter Dance Party," a ramshackle tour that started in Wisconsin. It has become famous, in Don McLean's "American Pie" formulation, as "the day the music died." The event has echoed through rock 'n' roll history for 50 years, representing, if not the end of rock 'n' roll itself, the close of an era, the end of the first bloom of rock anarchy and innovation.

As they have for decades, visitors have been making the pilgrimage to the resort town about 110 miles north of Des Moines. Tonight, the 50th anniversary of the trio's deaths, the city's Surf Ballroom and Museum will host a huge concert in conjunction with the Rock Hall.

The three young musicians were part of the

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