No transmissions from UIA 737 crew before crash: investigators
January 09, 2020
Flight recorders from the crashed Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737-800 in Tehran have been retrieved, with their memory units, although both have signs of physical damage. But there are no firm indications as to the circumstances of the 8 January event, including whether it might have been the result of hostile action or sabotage. The Iranian Civil Aviation Organisation says both the flight-data and cockpit-voice recorders were recovered from the wreckage of the jet after it came down shortly after take-off from Tehran Imam Khomeini airport. It states that the aircraft initially climbed to 8,000ft before radar contact was lost and the jet struck the ground. Ukraine International Airlines concurs with this figure, putting the altitude at about 2,400m (7,900ft). “No radio transmissions from the pilot were received regarding unusual circumstances,” says the Civil Aviation Organisation’s chief, Ali Abedzadeh. The aircraft’s trajectory was initially westwards, he says, but the jet started to turn right as the problem emerged, and appears to have been heading back to the airport. Abedzadeh says that preliminary information – from eyewitnesses on the ground at crews at altitude – indicate the aircraft was on fire, before its impact with terrain and subsequent explosion. The initial ground impact was in the vicinity of an amusement park, he says. Officials in Ukraine and the USA have been notified along with governments in Sweden and Canada. Ukraine has been formally invited to participate in the accident inquiry. Abedzadeh says 146 of the 167 passengers and nine crew members held Iranian passports. He says the aircraft left the stand at 05:45 before its take-off at 06:13, and was initially cleared to Mehrabad control which cleared it to climb to 26,000ft. Contact was lost at 06:18 and the aircraft came down near the province of Saba Shahr. No conclusions have been released on the circumstances of the crash. The aircraft was less than four years old, and powered by CFM International CFM56 engines. Preliminary weather data from Tehran indicates no adverse conditions at the time. Ukraine International Airlines says the captain had logged 11,600h on 737s including 5,500 in command, while the first officer had 7,600h on type. The flight crew was augmented by an instructor pilot with 12,000h on 737s including 6,600h as captain. It adds that Tehran is not a “simple” airport and that the carrier has, for several years, used Imam Khomeini as a training location for 737 crews to check pilot proficiency. ”Given the crew’s experience, error probability is minimal,” the airline claims. “We do not even consider such a chance.”

Source: Cirium

Airbus set to offer A350 with dimmable windows
January 09, 2020
Airbus is intending to offer electronically-dimmable windows as an option on A350s, and plans to disclose more details at the Aircraft Interiors Expo at the end of March. The airframer does not currently use such technology in its aircraft range, unlike Boeing which fits dimmable windows on its 787s. Airbus says the new windows, developed by US firm Gentex, are a newer design, developed in co-operation with the airframer and able to block 99.999% of light. It says the feature will be available “in the near future” for Airbus customers. They will be “mechanically simpler” than normal window shades, the airframer claims. The manufacturer has not publicly identified an initial customer for the development. FlightGlobal understands that the A350 is in line to receive the new windows, but Airbus has not specified whether they will be fitted to other types. Airbus plans to give further information on the technology and the timeframe for its introduction at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg which runs from 31 March.

Source: Cirium

Boeing recommends simulator training for all 737 Max pilots
January 08, 2020
Boeing is recommending pilots complete flight simulator training prior to returning to the cockpits of 737 Max – a position reversal for a company that long insisted computer-based training was sufficient. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says it is reviewing Boeing’s recommendation, but has not disclosed what training it will ultimately require when clearing the Max to fly. But should the FAA mandate simulator time, airlines would face the task of running thousands of pilots through a small number of simulators, which observers have said could take many months, slowing carriers’ ability to get their aircraft back in service. Boeing says only 34 simulators are currently in existence, and US airlines have said they have only a handful. “Boeing is recommending 737 Max simulator training in addition to computer-based training for all Max pilots prior to return to service of the 737 Max,” says Boeing in a statement. “This recommendation takes into account our unstinting commitment to the safe return of service as well as changes to the airplane and test results. Final determination will be established by the regulators.” The FAA says it “will consider Boeing’s recommendation for flight crew simulator training during the upcoming Joint Operations Evaluation Board” meeting, says the agency. The Joint Operations Evaluation Board (JOEB) is composed of pilots from US and international 737 Max operators and is tasked with evaluating 737 Max pilot training. “The flight crews will be subjected to rigorous validation testing that will help the FAA and other international regulators evaluate proposed flight training and emergency procedures,” says the FAA. The JOEB will send information and data to the FAA’s Flight Standardisation Board, which will make the FAA’s final training recommendations. “The FAA is following a thorough process, not a set timeline, to ensure that any design modifications to the 737 Max are integrated with appropriate training and procedures,” says the FAA. Industry insiders have speculated the FAA will lift the Max’s grounding early this year.

Source: Cirium


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