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Julian Bray provides: Opinion, comment, forward thinking speculation on Travel, Cruise & Aviation: conflict zones, terrorist impact, drone (UAV) issues, safety (black boxes, emergencies), airline operations, aviation finance, political implications, and all forms of incident risk. Worked at board level with several airline and aviation groups, including Alitalia, British Island Airways, British Airways, Galileo , British Aerospace, Skyways, former CEO City firm Leadenhall Assoc. Founder CNS City News Service. Director NTN Television News (joint co. with ITV Wales TWW) Debretts People 2017 and in launch edition of PRWeek Black Book.

Direct links to a selection of television and radio contributions can be found at foot of this page. Scroll down.

Join the conversation here or on Twitter at @aviationcomment

A retweet, comment or other publication by any means does not constitute an endorsement.

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During career an active MCIPR, MMC & MBDS

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Saturday, 22 April 2017

American Airlines suspends employee following an alleged assault featuring a baby's pram in San Francisco.

American Airlines                           
American Airlines has suspended an employee from duty after a tussle over an infants pushchair in San Francisco.

A passenger armed with a cameraphone  uploaded video of the fallout from the incident. The passenger Surain Adyanthaya said a mother holding an infant to here chest had been struck with the pram as it was being forcibly removed by the employee.

It then goes from bad to worse as the video posted on Facebook records the employee saying, "Hit me! Come on, bring it on", when challenged by another male passenger.

Julian Bray Broadcaster and Aviation Expert comments:  "Sadly we are likely to see more of this type of boorish behaviour as support functions servicing fleet aircraft at airports are increasingly outsourced to specialist sub contractors and contract workers; employees directly coming into contact with airline passengers therefore may not be direct employees of the airline and put through detailed customer care programmes.  There is also a time target mentality as employees/ sub-contractors face commercial penalties if the aircraft turn around exceeds agreed limits."

American Airlines PR department swung into damage limitation mode saying it was "deeply sorry for the pain we have caused" [to the woman passenger and her family].

The incident follows another widely reported incident on a United Airlines plane two weeks ago, when a passenger, a still practicing  medical doctor of pensionable age was violently removed from a fully booked flight (it was NOT OVERBOOKED) as United wanted to clawback 5 seats for a flight crew transiting to the destination airport to pick up an aircraft needing a crew .
This latest incident now involving  American Airlines incident unfolded at San Francisco International Airport as AA flight 591 prepared to take off for Dallas/Fort Worth.

Passenger Surain Adyanthaya, who posted the video to Facebook, said that preceding the footage the employee had "violently" taken the pram from the mother, hitting her and narrowly missing her baby.  The Facebook posted footage shows the mother clearly distraught as other employees and passengers try to intervene.

One male passenger demands the name of the employee involved and when a man dressed in American Airlines uniform enters the plane, the passenger tells him: "Hey, bud, you do that to me and I'll knock you flat."

The employee confronts the passenger, telling him to "stay out of this", then saying: "Hit me! Come on, bring it on."
He adds: "You don't even know what the story is."
The passenger replies: "I don't care what the story is. You almost hurt a baby."

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 

Aviation Incidents and Airport Alerts April 2017

Algerie AT72 at In Salah on Apr 21st 2017, engine shut down in flight
An Air Algerie Avions de Transport Regional ATR-72-212A, flight AH-6465 from In Salah to Algiers (Algeria), was climbing out of In Salah when the crew needed to shut an engine down and returned to In Salah for a safe...
Read full story »

KLM B772 at Quito on Apr 18h 2017, rejected takeoff due to engine problem
A KLM Boeing 777-200, registration PH-BQP performing flight KL-751 from Quito (Ecuador) to Guayaquil (Ecuador), was accelerating for takeoff from Quito's runway 36 when the crew rejected takeoff at low speed due to an engine (GE90) problem. The...
Read full story »

Delta B763 over Atlantic on Apr 6th 2017, lavatory or armoury
A Delta Airlines Boeing 767-300, registration N394DL performing flight DL-221 from Manchester,EN (UK) to New York JFK,NY (USA), was enroute over the Atlantic Ocean when a passenger went to a lavatory and found a loaded gun. The passenger handed the...
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Dana MD83 at Lagos on Apr 21st 2017, bird strike
A Dana Air McDonnell Douglas MD-83, registration 5N-SRI performing flight 9J-343 from Lagos to Port Harcourt (Nigeria), was in the initial climb out of Lagos when anengine (JT8D) ingested a bird prompting the crew to shut the engine down and return...
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Comair B738 near Johannesburg on Mar 13th 2017, altitude deviation causes TCAS RA
A Comair Boeing 737-800, registration ZS-ZWS performing flight MN-6234 (callsign CAW234) from Port Elizabeth to Johannesburg (South Africa) with 130 passengers and 6 crew, had been enroute at FL410 and upon reaching the top of descent into...
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Thursday, 20 April 2017



IATA AIR Cargo Market Analysis Report released:

Key points:   
  • Despite an easing in the quarterly pace of growth over the past three months, year-on-year growth in air freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) has made a strong start to 2017.
  • The pick-up in air freight volumes over the past nine months has been set against an upturn in global economic and trade conditions.
  • Business surveys point to another quarter of robust annual FTK growth in Q2.
  • When surveyed in January, airline heads of cargo were positive about the demand outlook over the year ahead.
View full report (pdf)

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert,   Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476  


Mia Culpa Earlier post suggested it was 'fights' to 5 USA Cities, of course we meant Flights.... let us all not sink to the 'United' way of denied boarding ....  

Emirates Airlines are cutting flights to five US cities from next month, following the introduction of new security rules particularly targeting air passengers from the Middle East.

The Dubai-based airline however claims the changes are due to weaker demand for US travel.  Recently the US banned electronic devices, larger than a mobile phone from cabin luggage on flights from 10 airports.  This included Dubai, as well as from other airports in the Middle East, north Africa and Turkey.

Speaking to the BBC, an Emirates spokeswoman said: "The recent actions taken by the US government relating to the issuance of entry visas, heightened security vetting and restrictions on electronic devices in aircraft cabins have had a direct impact on consumer interest and demand for air travel into the US. Over the past three months, we have seen a significant deterioration in the booking profiles on all our US routes, across all travel segments."

Emirates president Tim Clark confirmed that demand to the US had fallen by about a third since President Trump's announcements.

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert,   Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476  

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Aviation and Airport related Incidents Log

THY B739 at Istanbul on Apr 17th 2017, lightning strike
A THY Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-900, registration TC-JYB performing flight TK-537 from Istanbul (Turkey) to Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), was climbing out of Istanbul when the aircraft received a lightning strike. In the absence of abnormal...
Read full story »

Canada A333 at Montreal on Apr 16th 2017, dropped main wheel on departure
An Air Canada Airbus A330-300, registration C-GFUR performing flight AC-864 from Montreal,QC (Canada) to London Heathrow,EN (UK) with 294 people on board, departed Montreal's runway 06R and completed what appeared to be an uneventful flight with a...
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Thomson B752 near Porto on Apr 17th 2017, cracked windshield
A Thomson Airways Boeing 757-200, registration G-OOBF performing flight BY-6133 from Las Palmas,CI (Spain) to Bristol,EN (UK) with 220 people on board, was enroute at FL380 about 240nm southsouthwest of Porto (Portugal) when the crew initiated a...
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Hawaiian B763 near San Jose on Apr 18th 2017, engine problem
A Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 767-300, registration N594HA performing flight HA-43 from San Jose,CA to Honolulu,HI (USA) with 252 passengers and 11 crew, was climbing out of San Jose when the crew stopped the climb at about FL200 reporting a problem...
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Elite CRJ7 at Newark on Apr 14th 2017, bird strike
An Elite Airways Canadair CRJ-700, registration N11EA performing flight 7Q-302 from Vero Beach,FL to Newark,NJ (USA), was on approach to Newark at about 5000 feet MSL when the aircraft flew through a flock of birds and received a number of impacts...
Read full story »

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Saturday, 15 April 2017


Not such a 'Good Friday' as more than 20 people were removed from a Jet2 flight at Manchester Airport following several reported incidents of "disruptive" stag party antics on board.
The aircraft was set to depart for Prague in the Czech Republic at about 15:15 BST on Good Friday. However, the cabin crew, on instructions from the captain called for police assistance.  

The airline apologised to its passengers and said it would "not let the behaviour of a disruptive few spoil the flight for everyone else". 

A further flight delay of over an hour was caused by the need to re-open the sealed cargo hold, then identify and remove 20 sets of hold luggage belonging to those denied boarding.

Several passengers took to  social media describing the scene. One, Lauren Sian, said the group had been "damaging property, swearing and being disruptive" before they were escorted from the flight.

Dave Illingworth tweeted: "Stuck on the tarmac at Manchester Airport as some idiot stags and their luggage are removed. Don't envy the jet2 staff at times like this."
Jet 2 said police arrested one passenger while two others were "issued with public order offences".

Sources:PA, BBC, CNS, AirNews, 

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Friday, 14 April 2017

4 Councils spend £350,000 on failed legal challenge to Heathrows planned third runway

Four councils under Heathrow Airport's flight path spent £350,000 on legal fees challenging the planned third runway, the BBC has learnt.
Hillingdon Council's leader said it would provide funding to challenge it for "however long it takes to win this battle".
Wandsworth, Richmond and Hillingdon councils spent £300,000 from their general funds on legal action.

Windsor and Maidenhead Council spent £50,000 from its development fund.

The details were obtained by the BBC using Freedom of Information laws.
Council general funds are where money for most council services is drawn, with funds raised from council tax and central government grants.

The four councils failed in an attempt to challenge the decision to build the runway at the High Court in January. The case against the runway brought by the councils was struck out by Mr Justice Cranston in January on the basis that the court had no jurisdiction to hear the claim, but further legal action against the runway may take place.

Full story:

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Thursday, 13 April 2017


The mother of all PR disasters unfolds.... 

It looks as if the roughed up United Airways passenger Dr David Dao, the 69-year-old Vietnamese born Doctor who fled Vietnam in 1975 when Saigon fell, is keeping the worlds worst aviation PR disaster firmly on the boil. Not one but two leading Chicago law firms are now on the case.

Julian Bray Aviation Expert & Broadcaster will be talking about this, updating Andrew Pierce - who is sitting in for Nick Ferrari - with all the latest developments from Chicago, on LBC Radio at 07:20am on Friday April 14th

At a lengthy press conference the Dao family including Dr David Daos' daughter Crystal,  introduced, their attorney the formidable Aviation lawyer Thomas Demetrio of Corboy & Demetrio.

The law firm issued an initial statement and during the press conference confirmed their client has now been discharged from hospital.

Dr. David Dao, the United Airlines passenger who was removed from an airplane seat on United Airlines Sunday, is undergoing treatment in a Chicago hospital for his injuries.

“The family of Dr. Dao wants the world to know that they are very appreciative of the outpouring of prayers, concern and support they have received.  

Currently, they are focused only on Dr. Dao’s medical care and treatment,” said Chicago attorney Stephen L. Golan of Golan Christie Taglia, who along with Chicago aviation attorney Thomas A. Demetrio of Corboy & Demetrio, represents the Dao family.  

Until Dr. Dao is released from the hospital, the family is asking for privacy and will not be making any statements to the media, both attorneys said.

Speaking to the assembled media and pausing from time to time to explain points of law, it emerged that Dr Dao sustained a concussion, lost his two front teeth and is nursing a broken nose, and had only been released from hospital earlier in the day.

Dr. Dao was not present at the lawyer hosted press conference, as he will have to undergo reconstructive surgery and clearly won't be attending to his patients for some time.

The attorney explained that his firm had been contacted by United employees both past and present, also other passengers on the same flight, who Mr Demetrio claimed all passengers had been financially compensated by United. But 'the airline had not reached out to Dr Dao' as the United CEO had suggested a day earlier.

The lawyer then set out the story so far, as they were still at the early due diligence stage,  but had already booked a Chicago court hearing for Monday in front of a judge 'in order to preserve substantial amounts of evidence, which we may require at a later date.' He explained they were not in a position to sue at this stage, as the charges had to be set and many additional matters needed to be considered. It was also pointed out the aircraft was NOT OVERBOOKED but fully booked, with every seat taken and all fare paying passengers strapped in ready to fly. It was United wishing to relocate four flight crew members and needing to seize or reclaim four seats that started the problem. It was pointed out that a four hour car journey would have resolved the problem,  UBER would have charged just $400 for the journey. 

He did not rule out filing an additional lawsuit against the City of Chicago as they employed the 'airport police' however Mr Demetrio pointed out that the United Captain or Commander was ultimately responsible for everything that happened on board his aircraft. "He is in effect the captain of the ship, he is the law" ....  Watch this space, this will run and run...

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert,   Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476  


Courtesy CNN

CNN are reporting the US military has dropped (now confirmed by the Pentagon) an enormous eleven tonnes of TNT (9,800KG) aerial bomb on Afghanistan according to US military officials with direct knowledge of the mission.

The bomb is a GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb — nicknamed MOAB the "Mother of All Bombs" —  and was dropped in at 7 p.m. local time Thursday, CNN sources said. 

The MOAB was pushed out of the back of a huge heavy lift cargo plane a Special Operations C130 (US version of the Hercules) "as it's far too heavy to be carried, and dropped by a conventional bomber." This new development follows the killing of a special combat operations soldier by ISIS a few days ago.

Presidential spokesman Shah Hussain Murtazawi told the BBC that ISIS commander Siddiq Yar was among those killed. Mr Murtazawi said the ISIS fighters in the tunnels had "come from Pakistan and were persecuting people in the local area".

This is the very first time a MOAB has ever been used in the battlefield, according to the US officials.  Military sources said the target was a network of deep ISIS caves and tunnels and personnel in the Achin district of the Nangarhar province, this region isn't far from the Pakistan border and known to be a major supply route for ISIS. The US military is currently assessing the damage.

War historians say the ultra heavy non-nuclear munition was developed during the Iraq War, but was never used in the battlefield, but an unknown number of them survive, stored and clearly are now being put to use.

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Courtesy : AAIB

Aircraft Accident Report AAR 1/2017 - G-BXFI, 22 August 2015

Crashed onto public road during air display, near Shoreham Airport, 22 August 2015.

The accident was reported to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch by Shoreham Air Traffic Control.

In exercise of his powers, the Chief Inspector of Air Accidents ordered an investigation to be carried out in accordance with the Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations 1996 and the European Regulations EU996/2010 on the investigation and prevention of accidents and incidents in civil aviation. The sole objective of the investigation under these Regulations is the prevention of accidents and incidents and not the apportioning of blame or liability.

The AAIB dispatched a team of investigators and support staff to the accident scene to commence an investigation immediately.


At 1222 UTC (1322 BST) on 22 August 2015, Hawker Hunter G-BXFI crashed on to the A27, Shoreham Bypass, while performing at the Shoreham Airshow, fatally injuring eleven road users and bystanders. A further 13 people, including the pilot, sustained other injuries.

The AAIB investigation considered the circumstances in which the aircraft came to be in a position from which it was not possible to complete its intended manoeuvre, and the reasons for the severity of the outcome.

The AAIB recognises that as well as being enjoyed by large numbers of spectators and participants, flying displays are also considered to provide important economic and educational benefits .

A safe flying display relies on the training and experience of the participating pilots, the airworthiness of the aircraft, and the planning and risk management of the event. Regulations, guidance and oversight provide the framework for these activities.
The aircraft was carrying out a manoeuvre involving both a pitching and rolling component, which commenced from a height lower than the pilot’s authorised minimum for aerobatics, at an airspeed below his stated minimum, and proceeded with less than maximum thrust. This resulted in the aircraft achieving a height at the top of the manoeuvre less than the minimum required to complete it safely, at a speed that was slower than normal.
Continued >>>>

Virgin Trains through Peterborough will strike for 48 hours on April 28 and 29 over role of guards and safety.

Virgin Trains East Coast travelling staff in the UK are to stage a 48-hour strike in a dispute over the role of guards and jobs, says the RMT union.
Staff will walk out for 48 - hours on April 28 and 29 April, this latest development follows recent strikes affecting three other train operators in disputes over staffing, safety and working conditions.

The union is seeking  "explicit clarification" from Virgin Trains on the future role of guards on trains. The train operator provides services though Peterborough and between London, north-east England and Scotland, on what is known as the East Coast Main Line.

Meanwhile Virgin Trains claim they have yet to receive formal notice of industrial action by RMT members.
A tersely worded union statement said: "The only response the company has offered is to repeat the vague and non-committal mantra of 'within our discussions we have confirmed that the safety-critical duties of the guard will remain on the train'.

"This mealy-mouthed form of words gives no reassurance to RMT members in the front line nor any protection from the possible introduction of driver-only operation."

A Virgin Trains spokesman said consultation over "widespread on-board changes" had been going on for more than a year, adding that the company had implemented the changes from March without a formal agreement.

Mick Cash, RMT general secretary noted: "It is simply appalling that Virgin East Coast have refused to give the most basic assurances on the safety-critical role of the guard on their trains continuing into the future." 

"Consultation over widespread on-board changes has been going on for over a year. RMT has told the employer that their proposed changes will not work. Despite this, the company has implemented the changes from March 31st, with no agreement with the union. The new service is not fit for purpose and has turned into a chaotic shambles, with untrained staff forced into roles and the whole train crew left to work it out for themselves.

"Passenger complaints have soared and the employer has responded on its official Twitter feed by disgracefully blaming staff sickness for problems that are wholly down to Virgin/Stagecoach. The employer is now also planning to force through dramatic changes to stations and travel centres. RMT has made it crystal clear that the union will not stand by and accept the spread of chaos to other vital departments within the company.

 "In light of all the above, RMT’s executive has agreed to instruct our members at VTEC (except engineering grades) to take 48 hours of strike action by not booking on for any turns of duty scheduled to commence between 00.01 hours on Friday 28th April 2017 and 23.59 hours on Saturday 29th April 2017."

The RMT is currently in dispute over staffing and driver-only trains with Southern, Merseyrail and Arriva Trains North.

In  an escalation of the long running disputes RMT members  recently staged a 24-hour stoppages on Grand National day.

The winning nag was later asked for a comment, all he would say is 'Please don't strike furlong' [Ed: abject apologies..]

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Wednesday, 12 April 2017


March Report
of the
Airlines Financial Monitor

Key points:   
  • Despite an improved performance by European carriers, the latest financial results for Q4 2016 confirm a second quarter of modest easing in industry-wide profitability – albeit from historically high levels. 
  • Global airline share prices fell by 1.5% in March, unwinding recent gains, with a correction in the North American index more than offsetting modest gains in Europe and Asia Pacific.
  • Brent crude oil prices fell substantially in March, ending ~6.4% lower, at $US52.40/bbl. Oil prices are 30% higher compared with a year ago and are still expected to rise only gradually over the next 2-3 years. 
  • Although still well down on their year-ago level, average passenger yields are showing preliminary indications of having possible bottomed, after falling steadily for around 4 years.
  • The momentum that passenger and freight demand carried into 2017 may be starting to wane, although the data are always more volatile at this time of the year.
  • The industry-wide passenger load factor remains steady at historical highs a record highs, while the freight load factor has eased a little after a strong recovery in 2016.
  • Premium airfares continue to hold up better than those of the economy cabin, supporting airline finances.
View full report

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An aviation firm that has for many years enjoyed lucrative major public sector defence contracts has confirmed its Flintshire branch is set to close after failing to find a buyer.
The site location would under pre-brexit EU rules attract investment and financial support. However post brexit EU funding would drain away.
Marshall Aviation Services began a 45-day consultation with its 126-strong Broughton workforce last month after plans to close were first announced.

"Sadly, we have been unable to identify any viable options to continue trading as a going concern," the firm said.

Economy Secretary Ken Skates said the Welsh Government was supporting affected workers.

"This is a highly skilled workforce in an area where aerospace engineering expertise is in high demand and we remain optimistic that those affected by the decision will quickly find re-employment," he added.

Marshalls Cambridge business remains unaffected
Full story:

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Tuesday, 11 April 2017


April 2017
The AAIB has released Safety Recommendation documents for the following aircraft accidents:

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Monday, 10 April 2017



'Mia Culpa' Letter in full
The truly horrific event that occurred on this flight has elicited many responses from all of us: outrage, anger, disappointment. I share all of those sentiments, and one above all: my deepest apologies for what happened.

Like you, I continue to be disturbed by what happened on this flight and I deeply apologise to the customer forcibly removed and to all the customers aboard. No one should ever be mistreated this way.

I want you to know that we take full responsibility and we will work to make it right.

It’s never too late to do the right thing. I have committed to our customers and our employees that we are going to fix what’s broken so this never happens again.

This will include a thorough review of crew movement, our policies for incentivising volunteers in these situations, how we handle oversold situations and an examination of how we partner with airport authorities and local law enforcement.

We’ll communicate the results of our review by April 30th.
I promise you we will do better.

Oscar [Munos]

Coming shortly after a furious row over a female occupying a discounted staff seat, but transgressing the airlines strict staff dress code by wearing leggings.....   

'Out stone cold' United Airlines passenger gets roughed up, and 'bloodied' as he is lawfully 'offloaded' to make room for an airline relief transit crew.....  

... United Airlines AGAIN finds itself at the top of the news agenda after a passenger was forcibly removed from a United Airlines flight, as it was full and seats needed to be found for a UA relief transit flight crew... 

The male passenger believed to be 69 years old and of Vietnamese origin, has been videoed (by several cameraphones) being roughly manhandled by three 'police' officers, and then on a second video shot from another cameraphone, the unlucky passenger dragged along the passenger cabin central corridor seemingly unconscious, and with blood pouring from a facial injury.

It is understood that one of the police officers, has now been placed on leave....

It is understood the police managed to remove the gentleman from the plane but it seems he escaped their clutches, only to run back up the steps and was briefly on board again.....

The third clip on social media shows the gentleman running up and down the corridor holding an iPhone and repeatedly screaming  "I want to go home, I want to go home"

The United Airlines muted response on Twitter

The clips have gone viral on social media, as the remaining passengers were distressed and loudly protested to the officers, whilst still filming, one sarcastically shouting "Good Job Officer."

From the clips, it appears that several cameraphones operated  by United Airlines passengers witnessed three men wearing baseball hats and jackets with POLICE written in white block letters across their backs, pulling a man vertically face down out of a seat, he clearly didn't want to co-operate, so the police officers used force, as the man by this time screaming and wailing was dragged from his designated seat, and in the process sustained an injury to his face. 

All this seemingly happened because the airline had overbooked the flight and needed to get people to co-operate by leaving the plane and flying on a later flight.

From a legal standpoint the passenger, was in the wrong, and should have left the aircraft. That however might not work for the airlines public relations and marketing effort...

The flight was an internal USA flight from Chicago to Louisville, Kentucky on Sunday evening.
One passenger Audra Bridges, who was armed with her cameraphone, covertly videoed what happened from her nearby seated position, she later claimed the airline needed to remove passengers, so a standby crew, who had to be in Louisville the next day, could be seated.
They initially asked for volunteers from the fare paying passengers, they would normally be offered, as appropriate, an all expenses overnight stay and possible upgrades,  vouchers even but when no-one came forward. 

The United Airlines computer (they say) randomly selected the names and seat numbers of four passengers, who by this time were already strapped into their seats ready for takeoff.

A couple were chosen and agreed to depart the plane, but when the man featured (in the several - now viral - on social media) video was called, he refused to budge, claiming he was a doctor, who was due to see patients in Louisville, the next morning.

The man was travelling with his wife, she had also been selected for 'deplaning' seemingly by the UA computer.
In one video clip, the three men who pull the passenger from the seat are carrying radio equipment and wearing security jackets. Other video clips confirm the security jacket is a clearly a POLICE jacket.
What happened next, is a mega PR nightmare scenario. The resulting global exposure initially wiped a billions bucks off the United Continental parent company bottom line. The video clips will be used by generations of future PR students to demonstrate how not to do it.

As the man is forcibly pulled at speed from his seat, his body launched face downwards, into the central aisle,  his head/nose/face appears to come into contact with the rigid metal arm rest of the aisle seat, across the aisle from his own now 'vacated' seat. At this point the passenger appears to have been 'knocked out cold' or suffering concussion ,as he is dragged away by his shoulders to the front of the aircraft.

As he is dragged down the aisle, now on his back with a bloodied lip, a female voice is heard shouting: “This is wrong. Oh my God, look at what you did to him.”

The same woman had earlier asked why the standby crew could not be driven to Louiseville.
“Everyone was shocked and appalled,” Audra Bridges told The Louisville Courier-Journal. “There were several children on the flight as well, they were very upset.”
She said a medical crew was brought on to tend to the man. The flight was delayed by around two hours.
In a later statement, United Airlines said: “Flight 3411 from Chicago to Louisville was overbooked. After our team looked for volunteers, one customer refused to leave the aircraft voluntarily and law enforcement (ie POLICE) was asked to come to the gate. We apologize for the overbook situation.”

United Airlines Chief executive Oscar Munoz later issued a statement about the “upsetting event” and half heartedly apologised. but a later uncompromising internal memo to staff appeared on social media and seemed to 'add gas to the fire' read it here:   
The following day Munoz dramatically altered his position and made a full apology, but clearly for a man voted Communicator of the Year by the USA PR Week trade magazine it was too little and way too late. History will tell if Munoz keeps his job and United ceases to be ridiculed on social media. 
“Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities, and conduct our own detailed review of what happened,” he wrote.
“We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve this situation.” 

Julian Bray Aviation expert speaking early Tuesday Morning on 'Wake Up To Money' on BBC5LIVE , World Service, BBC Foyle, BBC Scotland and on many BBC Local Radio stations throughout the day commented: 'No doubt the airline will also wish to urgently view all the video footage, in this case clearly the camera cannot lie. It is however normal for airlines to routinely overbook allowing for cancellations.

'Normally the overbooking level is around 5 percent, with cancellations normally thought to be at 15 percent; this time however the unexpected extra seats demanded by the airline for the relief transit air crew, upset this calculation.

'The legal position is clear, the captain has absolute command over who or what is carried on his aircraft. So technically the passenger refusing to leave or being 'offloaded or deplaned' is breaking the law if he disobeys a lawful command from the commander ie the Captain. '   

Later a leaked copy of a staff memo by the United CEO was posted:

Here is the full text of the email Munoz sent to company employees.

Dear Team,
Like you, I was upset to see and hear about what happened last night aboard United Express Flight 3411 headed from Chicago to Louisville.

While the facts and circumstances are still evolving, especially with respect to why this customer defied Chicago Aviation Security Officers the way he did, to give you a clearer picture of what transpired, I've included below a recap from the preliminary reports filed by our employees.

As you will read, this situation was unfortunately compounded when one of the passengers we politely asked to deplane refused and it became necessary to contact Chicago Aviation Security Officers to help.

Our employees followed established procedures for dealing with situations like this. While I deeply regret this situation arose, I also emphatically stand behind all of you, and I want to commend you for continuing to go above and beyond to ensure we fly right.

I do, however, believe there are lessons we can learn from this experience, and we are taking a close look at the circumstances surrounding this incident. Treating our customers and each other with respect and dignity is at the core of who we are, and we must always remember this no matter how challenging the situation.

Summary of Flight 3411
  • On Sunday April 9, after United Express Flight 3411 was fully boarded, United's gate agents were approached by crew members that were told they needed to board the flight.
  • We sought volunteers and then followed our involuntary denial of boarding process (including offering up to $1,000 in compensation) and when we approached one of these passengers to explain apologetically that he was being denied boarding, he raised his voice and refused to comply with crew member instructions.
  • He was approached a few more times after that in order to gain his compliance to come off the aircraft, and each time he refused and became more and more disruptive and belligerent.
  • Our agents were left with no choice but to call Chicago Aviation Security Officers to assist in removing the customer from the flight. He repeatedly declined to leave.

  • Chicago Aviation Security Officers were unable to gain his co-operation and physically removed him from the flight as he continued to resist - running back onto the aircraft in defiance of both our crew and security officials.

Clearly no truth in the rumour that United is actively considering marketing a new Fight Club Class...... BUT JUST WATCH WHAT HAPPENED TO UNITEDS SHARE PRICE ouch!

 Sources: AP, Huffpost, BBC Radio 5 live, CNS, Julian Bray,

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert,   Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476  

Saturday, 8 April 2017

AIRSHOW SPECIAL: Bob Jones Memorial Airshow at Welshpool Airport on Sunday June 11th 2017

The Bob Jones Memorial Airshow at Welshpool Airport on Sunday June 11th 2017, is always an exciting and fun day for the whole family.   

This year will be no exception.  Added to thrilling displays in the skies, we feature the Transport Festival with its wide range of  exhibits including  classic and vintage cars, motorbikes, buses and all kinds of industrial vehicles.

Other attractions on the day will include helicopter rides (during which you will see Welshpool and the Airport in a very different way), trade stands, activities for the children and stalls (some selling teas, coffees and all kinds of food).

Aircraft confirmed so far include:
  • Red Devils Freefall Team  
  • BAC Strikemaster (Pair)
  • Twister Aerobatics Team
  • Grob Tutor
  • Old Bückers
  • Team Raven
  • Gyrocopter
  • Aviat Husky (with Bob Pooler performing his renown aerobatic skills
  • Pitts Special S1-S, Lauren Richardson
  • Westland Whirlwind HAR10

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert,   Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476  

To pilot or not to pilot, VA115 ultra light Co-axial helicopter strand can also be used as a UAV.....

The two UAV versions of the VA115 and VA250 will create new applications both in industrial and commercial applications.

At the 2017 AERO Show, RotorSchmiede is also highlighting plans for its VA250 (the first double seat ultra-light helicopter, weighing 250kg).

DEA and RotorSchmiede celebrate the successful first flight of its VA115 ultra light Co-axial helicopter.   A larger, two-seater version is to follow in 2018.

DEA General Aviation company, Germany’s RotorSchmiede returns to AERO Friedrichshafen, the global show for general aviation this week (5th to 8th April) hard on the heels of the first flight of its single-seat, ultra light Co-axial VA115 helicopter.   

On March 27th, 2017 the fully instrumented VA115 prototype (D-MPVA) successfully demonstrated its  agility and precision to Andrej Vlasov and Vitali Brandt, key architects of this project.

Earlier the RotorSchmiede team, led by CEO Dr Hanns-Walter Schulz, Head of Serial Development, prepared flight tests in co-operation with Luftfahrtbundesamt (LBA), Oskar-Ursinus-Vereinigung (OUV) and the Deutsche Ultraleichtflugverband (DULV). 

This co-operation resulted in ‘Permit to Fly’ approval, just weeks after the German Government set in place the legal requirements for the ultra light helicopter class in Germany – at the end of 2016.

RotorSchmiede becomes the first company to obtain official approval based on the new airworthiness requirements for ultra-light helicopters. 

“We are bringing a new generation of helicopters to the general public,” commented  DEA CEO Mike Creed. 

The RotorSchmiede VA119 is displaying on the DEA Stand – Hall A7 Booth No 311.

The successful first flight is a major milestone, not only for the VA115 programme, but also for the entire helicopter portfolio of RotorSchmiede. 

RotorSchmiede has defined a family of ultra light helicopters, which takes full advantage of co-axial systems.
VA115 ultra light Co-axial helicopter.         RotorSchmiede VA250 Helicopter.

At the 2017 AERO Show, RotorSchmiede is also highlighting plans for its VA250 (the first double seat ultra-light helicopter, weighing 250kg), at the design concept stage ( ready in 2018), it will carry two passengers inside a weatherproof cabin.

The two UAV versions of the VA115 and VA250 will create new applications both in industrial and commercial applications.

The unmanned VA115, for example, will be highly suitable in a crop spraying role,  capable of spraying up to 110 litres of fertilizer efficiently with the help of the rotor downwash.  Alternatively, the unmanned VA250 cargo hook can transport up to 350 kg of external load.

RotorSchmiede is currently evaluating various industrial applications to develop special unmanned vehicles based on its Co-axial technology and manned helicopters.

RotorSchmiede GmbH is part of the DEA General Aviation Group of China.  Other partner companies in the Group, including XtremeAir GmbH (the manufacturer of EASA certified full-carbon aerobatic and sport aircraft), HIRTH GmbH (Göbler-HirthmotorenGmbH & Co. KG) – a UAV propulsion specialist offering 2 to 4-stroke engines for UAV and ultralight applications) and Mistral Engines SA (providing rotary piston engines in the power range of 200 – 300 hp).

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations Analyst/expert,   Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476  
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