Mattheus’ Aviation News 12/15/18-12/23/2018
Image Credits: Me
In the American Aviation Community, it is widely a joke that Spirit is a terrible airline. (we all know it, don’t deny it) However, due to some recent FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) statistics, they are the best in one category. Being on time. In a recent analysis on Spirit, the FAA found that 89% of Spirit flights arrive on time, more than any other airline. “In addition, the airline also had the second-lowest rate of canceled flights.” This would give Spirit a major advantage in the American Airline Industry. However, there are several things wrong with Spirit. However, they are working to improve it.
Spirit has been improving in the late years. “According to the Sun-Sentinel, the carrier struck a deal with unionized pilots that resulted in a 43 percent pay hike back in February. A happy employee, no doubt, can also mean an efficient one as well. In addition, former Spirit CEO, Bob Fornaro, also put forth management and executive bonuses to give employees incentive to be on time, Travel Pulse reported.”
The newer and higher wages have made a boost in Spirit’s staff. Thus giving us more on-time flights, as well as better service. Spirit has been at work on a new baggage policy where they hope to lower the price of more bags for customers. As well as removing hidden fees and other charges that make an inflated fare.
With these changes in the making, not only will service be improved, but Spirit may once again become home of the bare fare.
A Virgin Australia ATR-72 had a rare double flameout while descending into Australia’s capital on the 13th. The aircraft landed safely with passengers reporting a smooth landing. “While the aircraft was descending through 11,000 ft in heavy rain, the right engine’s power rolled back (decreased) and the engine flamed out,’’ The ATSB (Australian Transport Safety Board) said. “The engine automatically re-started within five seconds."
Flameouts are so unlikely, that the chance of getting one is a 1 in 100,000th chance. “Although engines are designed to cope with extremely heavy rain, experts say it is normal to switch to continuous ignition as a precaution when heading into storms.”
The descent of the aircraft continued, however after passing 10,000 feet, the aircraft reported that the left engine’s power rolled back. However, it restarted and continued on. The pilots made the decision to continue with manual ignition to keep the plane afloat. The ATSB has downloaded the flight records to conduct a full investigation.
Two drones that entered the runway at London’s Gatwick Airport, grounding over 500 aircraft and stranding 11,000 passengers. Police are now saying the stranding could extend through Christmas. The chief executive of the airport said the drone intrusion was “highly targeted” and designed to cause “maximum disruption” just before Christmas.
The drones were spotted at around 9:00 PM BST by airport staff and were thought to be an attack. The airport was immediately shut down which stranded 11,000 people. “Fear of a collision with an airliner compelled authorities to close Gatwick’s lone runway shortly after 9 p.m. local time on Wednesday after two drones were spotted. The runway reopened briefly at about 3 a.m. Thursday but shut 45 minutes later after a further sighting and remained closed at midday — 15 hours after the first sighting.”
It is unknown if this was a kind of prank, a terrorist activity, or a person doing this for fun. London police have said that they are investigating the incident. About 20 police units from two forces tried in vain to find the drone operator as soon as the first unmanned aircraft was noticed.
“Each time we believe we get close to the operator, the drone disappears. When we look to reopen the airfield, the drone reappears,” Sussex Police Superintendent Justin Burtenshaw said. From what it seems is that until the operators are caught, the airport will not reopen. Stranding passengers for what could be days. Police described the drones as “industrial specification,’’ an indication they’re larger than the typical hobby aircraft and could be more dangerous if they crash into a plane’s windshield or get absorbed by its engines.
Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said the army has been called in to support Sussex Police.
“The armed forces have a range of unique capabilities and this isn’t something we would usually deploy, but we are there to assist and do everything we can so that they are in a position to open the airport at the earliest opportunity,’’ Williamson said.
Update: MI5, as well as the UK’s Military, have become involved. They have employed aircraft and airlines to bait the drone pilots so that they can shoot down the drones. A few suspects have been taken into custody by the military and MI5. More information coming soon.
Update 2: Normal operations have resumed. However, the hunt is still on for the drone pilots.
Image Credits: Me
United has begun adding an extra fee for economy seats in more preferred seats in the main cabin. This, of course, will be a problem for regular economy flyers. Such fees can add quite a bit to the cost of a ticket. Delta, for example, charges an $80 fee for a preferred economy seat on a flight from New York to Los Angeles.
Along with that, United Rewards members are being rewarded for sitting in these spots. They are also being provided with a discount for flying these spots. This has made a few people mad at the fact of rewards members having unfair discounts. Finally, these seats have no extra benefits such as legroom or seat length. Basically, people are paying more for the same seat. With the only exception of it being in a preferred part of the aircraft.
So, what do you guys think about this? I will come to you every week with news in the aviation industry. Please rate your opinion on how good this will be. If you have any news that you want me to share, feel free to PM me!