Two unarmed U.S. B-52 bombers flew over disputed islands on a training mission in the East China Sea without informing Beijing while Japan’s main airlines ignored Chinese authorities when their planes passed through a new airspace defense zone on Wednesday.
The defiance from Japan and its ally the United States over China’s new identification rules raises the stakes in a territorial standoff between Beijing and Tokyo over the islands and challenges China to make the next move.
China published coordinates for an East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone over the weekend and warned it would take “defensive emergency measures” against aircraft that failed to identify themselves properly. The zone is about two thirds the size of Britain.
“If the United States conducts two or three more flights like this, China will be forced to respond. If China can only respond verbally it would be humiliating,” said Sun Zhe, a professor at the Center for U.S.-China Relations at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
When flight 214 crashed last week at the San Francisco airport, killing two people and injuring dozens, many people were in a state of disbelief. How could a Boeing 777 — the “Titanic” of commercial airliners — be piloted so carelessly that the pilot seemingly flew it into the seawall and caused the accident?
But that’s the problem, you see: There are no more pilots flying these planes. The real pilots have nearly all retired, leaving a bunch of “computer geeks” who have almost no flying skills and only know how to operate the computerized, automated flight equipment which is subject to catastrophic failure.
That’s what “Pilot X” told me in a phone interview. His identity is being secret for his own protection, but he recently retired from over two decades of flying Boeing’s largest aircraft for major U.S. airlines. He has received more actual flight time than 99% of today’s active commercial pilots, and he’s an expert in Boeing flight automation equipment. His testimony, below, reveals insider details that only a real commercial pilot would know.
The pain for Boeing never stops. Just out from Reuters:
U.S. FAA says requiring airlines to temporarily stop flying Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. #BREAKING
FAA: Battery failures on Boeing 787s could damage critical systems and structures, spark fire, if not corrected
FAA: Will work with Boeing, airlines to develop corrective action plan to resume 787 operations as “quickly and safely as possible”
FAA: Decision to ground Boeing 787s prompted by second incident involving lithium ion battery failure
FAA: Will also examine Boeing 787 batteries as part of comprehensive review announced last week
So, will Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (i.e., the US government) perhaps reassess his conclusion from last week that the Dreamliner is “safe” or perhaps this too is just more teething problems… Or merely an ultra aggressive case of industrial sabotage from EADS? In other news, perhaps it is time to find a more appropriate name for the Dreamliner? Continue reading »
Whistleblower pilots flying for United / Continental airlines warn that they are being “worked until we drop,” forced to pilot consecutive long-distance flights with as little as three hours’ sleep. In a series of secret meetings with NaturalNews, three United / Continental pilots described the “utter hell” they are being put through:”We are being worked until we drop,” one pilot to me in a recent face-to-face meeting in Texas. “United-Continental is flying us in violation of FAA legal requirements. Pilot fatigue is at red alert levels. This is an accident waiting to happen.”
The FAA requires pilots to have at least 8 hours of rest in any given 24-hour period. From the FAA’s website:
…a pilot is not allowed to accept, nor is an airline allowed to assign, a flight if the pilot has not has at least eight continuous hours of rest during the 24-hour period. In other words, the pilot needs to be able to look back in any preceding 24-hour period and find that he/she has had an opportunity for at least eight hours of rest. If a pilot’s actual rest is less than nine hours in the 24-hour period, the next rest period must be lengthened to provide for the appropriate compensatory rest.
But NaturalNews was told that United-Continental is operating in blatant violation of this rule. One pilot explained to me, in detail: Continue reading »
DALLAS — The parent company of American Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday, seeking relief from crushing debt caused by high fuel prices and expensive labor contracts that its competitors shed years ago.
The company also replaced its CEO, and the incoming leader said American would probably cut its flight schedule “modestly” while it reorganizes. He did not give specifics. American said its frequent-flier program would be unaffected.
AMR Corp., which owns American, was one of the last major U.S. airline companies that had avoided bankruptcy. Competitors used bankruptcy to shed costly labor contracts, unburden themselves of debt, and start making money again. Delta was the last major airline to file for bankruptcy protection, in 2005.
American — the nation’s third-largest airline and proud of an 80-year history that reaches back to the dawn of passenger travel — was stuck with higher costs and had to match its competitors’ lower fares or lose passengers.
Other airlines also grew by pursuing acquisitions and expanding overseas. American was the biggest airline in the world in 2008, but has been surpassed by United, which combined with Continental, and Delta, which bought Northwest.
Over 700 hundred Continental and United pilots, joined by additional pilots from other Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) carriers, demonstrate in front of Wall Street on September 27, 2011 in New York City.
Hundreds of uniformed pilots, standing in stark contrast to the youthful Occupy Wall Street protesters, staged their own protest outside of Wall Street over the past couple of days, holding signs with the picture of the Hudson river crash asking “What’s a Pilot Worth” and others declaring “Management is Destroying Our Airline.” This comes after pilots at United asked a federal judge to halt the merger with Continental, arguing that the whole thing is proceeding too quickly.
Hundreds of flights to and from France will be cancelled on Tuesday with another 24-hour strike planned by air traffic controllers.
Half the flights in and out of Paris Orly airport and nearly a third of all flights to all other airports will be scrapped, according to the French civil aviation authority.
Ryanair has already cancelled 200 flights and British Airways says it expects “delays and disruption” to its services.
A similar walkout last week forced hundreds of cancellations, with short-haul flights the worst affected.
Charles de Gaulle airport has already reported disruption to flights on Monday after a number of refuelling staff went on strike.
Airlines running short-haul flights have been told to carry enough fuel for their return journeys, following strikes at 12 of the country’s oil refineries. It is reported that around a quarter of petrol filling stations across the country have run dry.
Ryanair is planning to run flights where passengers stand during the journey at a cost of just £5 per ticket.
Michael O’Leary, the airline’s chief executive, will set out proposals today that include charging customers to use the loo.
A standing area with “vertical seats” will be introduced at the back of its fleet of 250 planes.
He said that charging customers £1 to make use of facilities would encourage travellers on one hour flights to use lavatories at the airport instead of on the aircraft.
The Irishman said he intended to introduce coin-operated loos and added: “The other change we’ve been looking at is taking out the last 10 rows of seats so we will have 15 rows of seats and the equivalent of 10 rows of standing area.” Continue reading »