INCIDENT Strong wind blocked the deployment of an emergency slide during Vueling aircraft evacuation

Cabin of Vueling flight VY2118 from Malaga to Barcelona was filled with smoke.

Passengers told media that the cabin started to fill with smoke 20 minutes before landing – causing widespread panic on board.

The plane’s inflatable slides were temporarily rendered unusable by strong winds which blew them off the ground.

Passengers were forced to hold down the inflatable slides so that others could escape. Authorities are still trying to determine what caused the incident.

Etihad Airways #EY131 diverted to Dublin due to smoke from a passenger’s tablet

An Etihad Airways flight to Washington DC made an emergency landing in Dublin after a smoke emitted by a passenger’s tablet triggered the flight diversion on Monday.

The airline confirmed that Etihad Airways flight EY131 was diverted on September 16 to remove the device before making an onward flight to the US capital.

In a statement, an airline spokesperson said: “Etihad Airways flight EY131 operating from Abu Dhabi to Washington, D.C. on 16 September has diverted to Dublin as a precaution due to smoke emanating from a guest’s tablet device.

“The situation was managed swiftly by the crew and the aircraft landed safely in Dublin, where the device was removed before the flight continues to its destination.

A passenger arrested for allegedly planting a hidden camera in an United Airlines plane’s bathroom

A Malaysian citizen, is facing charges of video voyeurism for allegedly planting a hidden camera in an airplane bathroom onboard a United Airlines flight on May 5, 2019, from San Diego to Houston.

The device was discovered by a fellow first-class passenger on flight 646, who “noticed an item with a blue blinking light” that was “located near the cabinet and wall area close to a door hinge,” as noted in the criminal complaint and reported by ABC News.

She removed the suspicious item using a paper towel and handed it to the flight crew upon leaving the lavatory. They turned the item over to United Airlines Corporate Security upon landing at George Bush International Airport in Houston, which confirmed that it was a video recording device, according to court documents.

Security investigated footage that revealed a man installing the camera in the first-class facilities, although his face wasn’t visible. However, based on the perpetrator’s attire and accessories, which included several distinct details, they were able to match the man in question using FBI San Diego video footage, which was taken of all the passengers boarding United Airlines Flight 646.

A criminal complaint was filed earlier this week in the Southern District of Texas and Lee was arrested by Houston police on Thursday, August 8, 2019, and placed in a detention facility, pending a bond hearing.

The FBI recovered previously deleted video files from the device, which showed passengers indecently caught on camera in another airplane bathroom, one of whom was wearing an Emirate Airlines flight crew uniform.

This type of crime carries with it a prison sentence of up to one year, according to the law.

USAF B-2 stealth bombers flew their first Arctic missions, a message to Russia

U.S. Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa

In a clear message to Russian forces, three US B-2 Spirit stealth bombers flew an extended sortie over the Arctic Circle for the first time on Sept. 5, the Air Force’s 509th Bomb Wing.

“This familiarization was the B-2’s first mission this far north in the European theater,” according to a Facebook post from the US Air Forces in Europe and Air Forces Africa.

Details about the sortie over the Norwegian Sea are scarce, but the aircraft involved completed a night refueling over the Arctic Circle as part of Bomber Task Force Europe.

In March, Norway accused Russia of jamming its GPS systems and interfering in encrypted communications systems.

Once the MAX is allowed to flight, Boeing will face the biggest logistical operations in civil aviation history

As Boeing sets its sights on winning approval to fly its 737 MAX within weeks, following a six-month safety ban, engineers around the world are rolling out plans for one of the biggest logistical operations in civil aviation history.

Inside Boeing’s 737 factory at Renton, Washington, south of Seattle, workers have pre-assembled dedicated tool kits for technicians tasked with installing software updates and readying over 500 jets that have sat idle for months.

Boeing will have to juggle the delivery of two different MAX categories: some 250 produced since the ban, parked at various facilities in tail-to-nose configurations that conjure the puzzle game Tetris; and those that will roll off the production line post-approval.

Preparations for a return to service are finely tuned to the company’s present assumption that the 737 MAX will resume commercial flights in the October-December timeframe, Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg told Reuters in August.

Once regulators certify the MAX for flight, Boeing will have to mobilize hundreds of mechanics and pilots to bring the roughly 250 stored aircraft out of hibernation.

Airlines estimate the process – which includes installing new software, changing fluids and cycling the engines – will take 100 to 150 hours per jet, and months in total for Boeing.

The maintenance process will be followed several days of test flights as part of a standard customer acceptance period, but another challenge is finding enough pilots to work through the backlog.

A pilot spilling coffee in the cockpit caused transatlantic Condor flight #DE2116 diversion

A pilot spilling coffee in the cockpit of a plane flying over the Atlantic Ocean forced it to turn back and land in Ireland.

The hot coffee damaged an audio control panel, which gave off an electrical burning smell and smoke, an accident report found. It created significant communication difficulty for the pilots flying the Airbus A330, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said.

The incident happened on 6 February and resulted in the Condor flight from Frankfurt in Germany to Cancún, Mexico, being diverted to Shannon airport. The smoke and the fumes did not result in injuries to any of the 11 crew or 326 passengers onboard.

The AAIB report found the 49-year-old captain had put his coffee cup on a tray table – where objects were “vulnerable to being knocked over” – despite Airbus recommending pilots use the cup holders provided.

The AAIB said the small size of cups used by Condor “generally discouraged” use of the holders. Condor has responded to the incident by ensuring cup lids are provided on all flights, reminding pilots to be careful with liquids and supplying cups that are an appropriate size for cup holders.

A spokeswoman for the airline, which is a subsidiary of Thomas Cook Group, said: “Flight DE2116 from Frankfurt to Cancún on 6 February 2019 diverted to Shannon airport as a precautionary measure due to a minor amount of smoke in the cockpit after a liquid spillage.

Heathrow appears to have worked out how to jam drone signals to stop climate-change protesters

London’s Heathrow Airport appears to have worked out how to jam drone signals to stop climate-change protesters from disrupting its airspace.

Activists from the group Heathrow Pause attempted to fly drones close to the airport at about 3 a.m. on Friday but found when they tried to launch them that most did not work.

They speculated that airport staff used “signal jamming” to stop the drones from working.

Two US F-15 fighter jets flew under parachutists in UK near miss

Two US fighter planes were in danger of colliding with a pair of skydivers in Cambridgeshire after the jets inadvertently flew across a parachuting site, a report has revealed.

A GoPro camera fitted to the helmet of one of the parachutists recorded video of the F-15 fighter jets flying beneath them as they fell at 120mph. The UK Airprox board, which reports on air proximity events in British airspace, said regulations and procedures were not complied with and the pilots should have been made aware of the skydiving centre at Chatteris airfield.

As they were handed over from air traffic controllers at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire to those at RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk just before 1.20pm on 17 April this year, the planes slightly changed course to avoid a refuelling tanker. After the changeover the frequency became busy, meaning the controller was unable to change the heading of the F-15s.

The incident was classified in the second-highest danger category but the board was unable to establish how close the two pairs came to colliding. The pilots did not see the parachutists, the report said.

The board noted it was “unfortunate” that the air traffic controller at Lakenheath had not warned the pilots “due to the completion of the handover at a busy time”. The controlled had not subsequently filed a report on the incident.

The American air force base at Lakenheath has rebriefed crews all of its crews to remind them of the need to avoid the parachuting site.

Operators from Chatteris, home to several skydiving centres, call Lakenheath each morning to advise that they are active, and the board said there was “very little more that Chatteris could have done from an operational perspective to prevent the airprox”.

Seven activists from a group planning to use drones to disrupt flights in and out of Heathrow airport have been arrested

London police deployed Friday a sweeping security cordon around Heathrow Airport and made seven arrests to thwart climate activists’ efforts to shut down Europe’s busiest travel hub using toy drones.

Campaigners from Heathrow Pause — an offshoot of the Extinction Rebellion group backed by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg — had hoped to disrupt the travel plans of tens of thousands of passengers from across the world over the weekend.

But their first miniature device failed to take flight after receiving no signal from its hand-held remote control.

Boeing CEO expects 737 MAX to resume flying around November in the U.S.

Boeing chairman and chief executive Dennis Muilenburg on Wednesday reiterated his projection that the 737 MAX should begin to return to service around November.

However, he conceded that lack of alignment among international regulatory bodies could mean that the grounded jet may first resume flying in the United States, with other major countries following later.

“We’re making good, solid progress on a return to service,” Muilenburg said, speaking at a Morgan Stanley investor conference in Laguna Beach, Calif. He later added that “a phased ungrounding of the airplane among regulators around the world is a possibility.”

A week ago, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) publicly criticized the certification process of the 737 MAX. And the agency said that it would favor a redesign of the airplane’s systems to take readings from three independent Angle of Attack sensors rather than the two-sensor system in Boeing’s proposed upgrade to the MAX.

Muilenburg played down the possibility that this could mean potentially expensive hardware changes to the airplane in addition to the planned software upgrade.

Referring to the fact that the Airbus A320 — the direct competitor to the 737 — has three Angle of Attack sensors, Muilenburg said that “our architecture on Boeing airplanes is different than Airbus airplanes,” and added “that doesn’t necessarily mean hardware changes.”

He said the concern over the level of redundancy in the Angle of Attack system could also in some cases be addressed “with simulation work, software updates or process updates.”

Muilenburg said the software update to the flight control system that went wrong on the two MAX crash flights in Indonesia and Ethiopia — called MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) — was completely wrapped up midyear and has been tested.

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