Episode 51: A Dark & Stormy Flight

As Courtney prepared to leave the Airplane Geeks, he noted that Australia holds the lead for providing non-USA news segments for the Airplane Geeks. Go us! :)

Steve sends in his recording opening with the news that Qantas is feeling the pinch during what it hails as the biggest down turn in travel in the jet age. As such, it’s expected to report an annual profit of only $85 million, saved mostly by a great first half of the year. Meanwhile Virgin Blue is likely to drop into a loss due to costs associated with setting up its long-haul carrier: V-Australia

Qantas are also making changes to their maintenance procedures after a CASA audit revealed some areas of non-compliance. The audit followed the recent incidents where a 747 had an oxygen bottle explode and an A330 experienced an uncontrolled descent & ascent over the ocean near WA.

Virgin Blue may start services to Japan with its new V Australia long haul branch.

Finally, Steve’s least favourite airline, Tiger Airways, is getting its own reality tv show: “Air Ways” will screen on Channel 7. He doubts this show will be able to make Tiger look any good at all.

Grant’s out flying balloons at the moment, but he did manage to get a recording in that compares the recent Qantas A330 uncommanded pitch commands (due to a faulty Air Data Inertial Reference Unit – ADIRU) to AF447 and another Qantas A330 incident which was caught & rectified before experiencing a wild ride. Could a lightning strike have fried the onboard computer systems on AF447 leading to conflicting & faulty indications on the cockpit? Whatever the cause, only the Flight Data Recorder & Cockpit Voice Recorder can shed more light on the situation, assuming they’re ever found.

Regardless of the cause, being in the cockpit during a dark & stormy flight with erroneous information and failed computer systems, recovery to controlled flight would be very difficult indeed.

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