Friday, November 21, 2014

Dreamliner Fuels the Boom in International Flying

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A UA 787-9 photo courtesy United
Passengers on United Flight 98 from Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia on October 26, participated in small slice of aviation history; flying on the world's longest Boeing 787 route. They not only flew the longest route, but on the first American airline to fly the new stretched version of the Dreamliner, the dash-9.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Malaysian Artist's Mixed Media View of Aviation

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Masnoor in his studio in April 2014
One night in Spain, I took a walk down to the edge of the Mediterranean where a brilliant white moon seemed to turn the water into a sea of graphite. I had no camera and so I challenged myself to recreate the scene with words. In his 2012 trip across the Atlantic in a Pilatus PC 12, Malaysian painter Masnoor Ramli Mahmud was asked to do the opposite, tell the story of trans-oceanic flight in pictures.  The result is the one-man show, PATHFINDER#PC12, which will open in Kuala Lumpur on November 27th. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pilots Didn't Want to Fly With Capt. Who Crash-Landed SW Flight 345

Flight 345 on the runway NTSB photo
The Southwest Airlines captain who flew a Boeing 737 into the runway nose first at LaGuardia Airport last summer had been on the receiving end of multiple complaints by first officers at the airline who did not want to fly with her, according to an employee at the airline who asked not to be identified. The process, called a bid avoidance, is not unique to Southwest. Delta Air Lines, United and others also give their pilots a way to opt out of sharing the cockpit with captains they find difficult to work with.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Hawaiian Weapons in Battle for Market Share; Seaweed and Ukulele Charm

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Flight attendant Kama Iona, on an Ohana by Hawaiian flight
When I peeled back the foil on my in flight meal somewhere over the Pacific between Tokyo and Honolulu, I was not thrilled to discover a thin sheet of seaweed, a rectangular wad of rice and a chunky slice of spam. "This can't be a traditional Hawaiian dish," I harrumphed. "Where are the Waikiki meatballs with pineapple?"  But the funny thing about authentic cuisine is that sometimes it has a way of undoing Betty Crocker-inspired notions of what various cultures eat.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Latest AA Emergency; Sliding Seats, Unhinged Service Doors and the Ongoing Safety Challenge

After three episodes of seats separating from the track on American Airlines flights in 2012, the Dallas-based carrier may have thought its maintenance woes were out of the public eye. Note I did not say that its woes were over, only that the spotlight was off.

That changed Tuesday when American Airlines Flight 2293, a Boeing 757 en route to Dallas, returned to San Francisco after interior cabin panels separated in flight.

James Wilson, a passenger on the flight from Kyle, Texas told Associated Press passengers watched in horror as the wall along Row 14 split "from the floor to the ceiling."