FAA Issues Emergency Order to Braille Battery over lithium ion battery shipments by air

+++ ALERT +++ ALERT+++ ALERT+++
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on September 16 issued an emergency order to restrict and prohibit Braille Battery, Inc. of Sarasota, Fla., from offering to transport by air any lithium ion battery not in compliance with the DOT's Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) or the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) technical instructions. 

Despite FAA warnings, Braille Battery failed to ship lithium ion batteries in accordance with appropriate regulations and continued to offer for air transport lithium ion batteries that were not properly tested, violating the HMR. Further, the FAA determined that Braille Battery’s overall conditions and practices constitute an imminent hazard.
As a lithium ion battery manufacturer, Braille Battery is responsible for ensuring that any lithium ion battery it offers for transportation is properly tested for classification, packaged, marked and labelled prior to offering for transportation.

In addition, Braille Battery, as a hazmat employer, must ensure that employees who perform functions regulated under the HMR are trained adequately.  
The agency also issued a Safety Alert for Operators (SAFO) to warn the airlines about the risk that some Braille Battery lithium ion batteries could present when accepted and transported as air cargo.

The SAFO recommends that operators implement their control measures to prevent Braille batteries from introducing this known risk into their systems. The SAFO includes a list of Braille battery models known to have been UN tested.
If Braille Battery does not comply with this Order, the company is subject to criminal prosecution as well as civil penalties of up to $179,933 for each violation, for each day they are found to be in violation.

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com


Nieuwegein (Netherlands)  - The missile that downed flight MH17 killing all on board, over eastern Ukraine was transported from Russia, the Dutch inquiry into the MH17 tragedy has concluded, and some 100 people are still being investigated for playing "an active role" in the disaster.

The investigators claim they have  "irrefutable evidence" that a  BUK missile system was used to target the Malaysia Airlines plane out of the sky, investigators also suggested the missile was fired from "a field in a part of eastern Ukraine then controlled by pro-Russia separatists."

The findings of the Dutch-led mission did not however accuse  Moscow of any direct involvement the incident, and to underline the point both the rebels and Russian sources issued fresh  statements denying responsibility even putting the Russian Foreign Minister on the BBC World TV Hard Talk political programme, for a brutal grilling.

The new information does however appear, at face value, to support accusations from Ukraine and the West that pro-Russian rebels were to blame. But the Dutch investigators are still refusing to categorically state this.

The Boeing 777 was targeted by a proximity missile exploding near the cockpit, and breaking the aircraft into several pieces, it happened during a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur over Ukraine, a conflict zone, where a war between separatists allegedly armed by Russia against the Kiev government started in April 2014.  298 people on board the plane including 196 Dutch citizens were killed. There were no survivors.

There have now been two official international investigations, but the question of who actually gave the order for the BUK missile to be fired, and who physically armed the trigger still remains unanswered.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said of the inquiry's initial findings: "We have solid proof of who is to blame for this dreadful crime and who bears full responsibility for the terrorist attack." But the Russians point out Ukraine is still to this day withholding military satellite and other circumstantial data from the Dutch investigators.

A "BUK missile from the 9M38-series, came from the territory of the Russian Federation," said Wilbert Paulissen, the head of the Dutch police investigation. The Russians however dispute the BUK missile type and suggest it was effectively  'old stock' and no longer a part of Russian inventory.

The investigators say the BUK reached Ukraine "where it was transferred onto a white Volvo truck and escorted by armed men in uniform." Afterwards the missile launcher system "was taken back to Russia," Paulissen commented.

Over two years, up to 200 investigators studied half a million photos and videos, over 200 witness statements and listened to 150,000 tapped telephone conversations.

They have also assessed five billion internet pages to reconstruct the route taken by the convoy which allegedly brought the missile system into eastern Ukraine.

The 700-kilogramme (1,500-pound) BUK, a complex radar-guided ground-to-air anti-aircraft weapon, was fired from a field in Pervomaiskyi which at the time "was in the hands of the Russian separatists," said Paulissen.

Moscow, currently under EU sanction for its alleged role in the Ukrainian conflict, has always denied being part of the MH17 disaster. It described the inquiry as "biased" and "politically motivated" saying it was "disappointed" by the results.

Ukrainian rebels also quickly rejected any conclusion that they were behind the disaster.

"The forces of the People's Republic of Donetsk could not have fired at the plane from a BUK system because we have no such sort of weapons," general Eduard Basurin of the self-proclaimed republic told French news agency AFP.

But Dutch prosecutors later released the names of two men heard speaking Russian in a wiretapped conversation, saying they wanted more information about them.

The criminal investigation has now been extended to 2018, but the investigation team could make "no promises" about when any suspects if detected would be brought to justice.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called the preliminary findings "an important step on the road to the ultimate goal: finding and prosecuting the perpetrators."

And Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said his country sought "firm action" so that those responsible "will be brought to justice."

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com


Julian Bray Aviation Expert comments: A pilot whose vintage jet crashed at the Shoreham Airshow, killing 11 people, is under  Sussex police criminal investigation for manslaughter, but a police High Court bid to seize protected AAIB sourced evidence has failed, apart from releasing some film footage.

Former RAF pilot Andy Hill, 52, was interviewed under caution by police last December, after partially recovering from serious injuries following his ejection in the 2015 crash. This was disclosed in legal bundles filed by Sussex Police in its High Court bid to access evidence.

The police application to the High Court failed on most counts but the AAIB (Air Accident Investigation Board) will only have to release film footage from inside the vintage Hawker Hunter which crashed and was ripped into four pieces, hitting people on the nearby A27.

CPS Statement: Today Wednesday 28 September), the High Court handed down its judgment in the case between the Chief Constable of Sussex Police and the Secretary of State for Transport.

Sussex Police applied to the High Court for the disclosure of records that are given a protected status in law.

The Secretary of State did not resist the application, since he considers it to be a matter for the Court to decide whether disclosure should be made in cases such as these.

Sussex Police applied for the disclosure of:
  • Statements made by the pilot to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch in response to discussions or interviews;
  • Film footage of the flight which was made by cameras which had been installed on the aeroplane in question on a voluntary basis; and
  • Material which has been produced by various other people subsequently, such as experiments conducted and tests done on various aspects of the accident.
The judgment refused the application for disclosure in this case except in relation to the film footage from within the aircraft.

The order to disclose materials is subject to a number of conditions.
A spokesperson for the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said:

“The AAIB is not able to release protected air accident investigation records of its own accord. Only the High Court can allow for their release. We note today’s judgment and will now release the film footage to the Chief Constable of Sussex Police.”

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com

IATA CALL FOR COLLABORATION TO STEM UNRULY PASSENGER INCIDENTS: 10,854 unruly passenger incidents in 2015 alone.

Collaboration urgently needed to stem unruly passenger incidents
Geneva - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released figures showing that reports of unruly passenger incidents on board aircraft increased in 2015.

Some 10,854 unruly passenger incidents were reported to IATA by airlines worldwide last year.

This equates to one incident for every 1,205 flights, an increase from the 9,316 incidents reported in 2014 (or one incident for every 1,282 flights).

The majority of incidents involved verbal abuse, failure to follow lawful crew instructions and other forms of anti-social behaviour.

A significant proportion (11%) of reports indicated physical aggression towards passengers or crew or damage to the aircraft.

Alcohol or drug intoxication was identified as a factor in 23% of cases, though in the vast majority of instances these were consumed prior to boarding or from personal supply without knowledge of the crew.

"Unruly and disruptive behaviour is simply not acceptable. The anti-social behaviour of a tiny minority of customers can have unpleasant consequences for the safety and comfort of all on board. The increase in reported incidents tells us that more effective deterrents are needed. Airlines and airports are guided by core principles developed in 2014 to help prevent and manage such incidents. Be we cannot do it alone. That’s why we are encouraging more governments to ratify the Montreal Protocol 2014," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

The Tokyo Convention was modernized with the Montreal Protocol 2014, closing gaps in the international legal framework dealing with unruly passengers.

To date, six states have ratified the Protocol.

"More are needed in order to have a consistent global approach to this issue," said de Juniac.

Also in 2014 the airline industry set out core principles for a balanced, multi-stakeholder strategy for tackling unruly behaviour, based around enhancing the international deterrent and more effective prevention and management of incidents.

In some countries there has been a focus on the role of alcohol as a trigger for disruptive behaviour.

Airlines already have strong guidelines and crew training on the responsible provision of alcohol.

IATA is supporting initiatives, such as the code of practice pioneered in the UK, which includes a focus on prevention of intoxication and excessive drinking prior to boarding.

Staff in airport bars and duty-free shops must be trained to serve alcohol responsibly and there is a need to avoid offers that encourage so-called ‘binge drinking’.

Evidence from an initiative by Monarch Airlines at London’s Gatwick Airport has shown instances of disruptive behaviour can be cut 50% with this pro-active approach before passengers’ board.

The industry believes that adopting this cooperative voluntary approach is preferable to heavy-handed regulation and licensing.

"There is no easy answer to stem the rise in reported unruly behaviour. We need a balanced solution in which all stakeholders can collaborate. The industry’s core principles can help to manage the small percentage of passengers who abuse alcohol. And it must be balanced with efforts by governments taking advantage of all their deterrence mechanisms, including those provided through the Montreal Protocol 14," said de Juniac.

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com


This Manchester Evening News photograph clearly shows the SAMSUNG brand 

A Samsung tablet accidentally wedged under a luxury seat on a Delta Airlines flight 'began smoking' when the device overheated - caused the Boeing 767-400 heading to Amsterdam, to divert for an emergency landing at Manchester.

Recent Aviation Incidents:Cockpit smoke, lack of oxygen, depressurised cabin, wheel fire and emergency evac.

United B772 near Las Vegas on Sep 26th 2016, smell of smoke in cockpit
A United Boeing 777-200, registration N771UA performing flight UA-1469 from Los Angeles,CA to Newark,NJ (USA) with 269 people on board, was enroute at FL370 exactly overhead Las Vegas' McCarran Airport,NV (USA) when the crew reported the smell of...
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American A333 over Atlantic on Sep 25th 2016, lack of flight crew oxygen
An American Airlines Airbus A330-300, registration N276AY performing flight AA-719 from Rome Fiumicino (Italy) to Philadelphia,PA (USA), was enroute at FL360 over the Atlantic Ocean about 960nm eastnortheast of Gander,NL (Canada) when the crew...
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Nepal A320 at Kathmandu on Sep 26th 2016, smoke in cockpit
A Nepal Airlines Airbus A320-200, registration 9N-AKX performing flight RA-206 from Delhi (India) to Kathmandu (Nepal) with 154 passengers and 9 crew, was descending through 13,000 feet towards Kathmandu when the crew reported smoke in the cockpit....
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Skymark B738 at Nagoya on Sep 25th 2016, cabin did not pressurize
A Skymark Airlines Boeing 737-800, registration JA73NA performing flight BC-951 from Nagoya to Okinawa (Japan) with 168 people on board, was climbing out of Nagoya when the crew stopped the climb at FL150 due to problems with the automatic cabin...
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Cebu AT72 at Cebu on Sep 26th 2016, rejected takeoff due to engine oil fluctuation, wheel fire on taxi and evacuation
A Cebu Pacific Avions Transport Regional ATR-72-212A on behalf of Cebgo, registration RP-C7252 performing flight DG-6577 from Cebu to Tacloban (Philippines) with 67 people on board, was accelerating for takeoff from Cebu when the crew observed...
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A new development in the continuing MH 17 investigation. In a major development the Russian Air Force claimed earlier today they had detected a Ukrainian radar near MH17 crash site, and say this proves the tactical presence of Kiev's air defence system.


Julian Bray Aviation Expert comments:

As I suggested on the RT television news channel earlier today, link here, although the release of this sensitive data by the Russians, is a huge and welcome step forward, it comes with a demand that Ukraine and others also release sensitive top-level military information. Something that is in the current political climate is sadly unlikely to happen.

A kind of political tit-for-tat, after two years, in reality, it matters little to the families who have lost loved ones on flight MH17, who actually fired the missile, the terrible deed has been done, it cannot ever be reversed.

Some say, it could have been an horrible mistake, 'collateral damage' mistaking an innocent civilian aircraft for a military transport. Or someone with little experience accidentally 'trigger happy' launching the missile. But launched it was. That cannot ever be undone.

What is important, some two whole years on, is to give the families sound verifiable information as to what did really happen, to bring closure, so they can move on with their lives. Compensation really is not the issue,  and in any event even at the highest comparable rates still would be a minute financial fraction of any defence budget.

It must be possible for all sides to release data under highly controlled security conditions, to an independent 'isolated' third party or panel, and for them, to make a rapid determination and then promptly securely return the data to the respective sources?

The redacted information, would then be included as  an annex and materially contribute to the Dutch final report.

This is not about apportioning blame, but providing families with closure.

It has been two years since the crash. Two long years. I would be pleased to be part of any investigating independent panel, if it would rapidly move the process along, and provide the answers the bereaved are urgently seeking.  JB

During a press conference to release this new information Lt. Gen. Igor Konashenkov suggested that satellite data relied on by the US and Ukraine could quickly clarify the issue of the missile launch on the Malaysia Airlines aircraft, and if it did indeed fire from from Kiev-held territory.

His argument is simply that if Kiev is withholding data showing the images of MH17 crash, as in his view the flight was within airspace wholly controlled by Ukrainian radar and air defence.

Essentially the Russians are suggesting Kiev's refusal to release its radar data suggests that the missile had been launched from Kiev-held territory 

"It's not a coincidence that the Ukrainian side is hiding information that could help to reveal the whole picture of the crash. The flight MH17 was controlled by Ukrainian radars, air defence units and Ukrainian air traffic controllers."

By suggesting Ukraine should unveil information on the exact location of its mobile Buk SAM system location and matching that with air traffic control communication on the day of the MH17 crash in east Ukraine, would in the Russian view clear matters up.

"Kiev has not made public the information on the locations of its Buk missile systems on the day of the crash, negotiations of air traffic controllers, servicemen, on its radars, data on the work of Ukrainian air defense, witnesses' comments." BlinovAnti-Bellingcat Reports Debunk Myths about MH17 Crash and Russia's Hand in It

The Russians are keen to get across that Kiev has both military and civilian information related to the airspace movement near the MH17 crash site.

Russian radar has not detected any 'third-party objects' except for two civilian aircraft around MH17 crash site,  that could have caused its destruction, said Deputy chief designer of the Ust-Donetsk Utes-T air route radar surveillance complex of the Research and Production Corporation 'Lianozovo Electromechanical Plant,’ a part of Almaz-Antey concern, said Monday.

The Russian Defence Ministry said that in their view the MH17 crash investigation 'is on the wrong track' because the missile type and launch point are they claim identified incorrectly.

In an uncompromising statement the Ministry said "As a member of the joint investigative group, Ukraine clearly holds back data and manipulates the probe which is taking a wrong path; from providing controversial data on projectiles to wrongly identifying the type of the missile and subsequently the time of its launch."

Russia vowed to provide data by Almaz-Antey on the airspace situation near the MH17 crash site to Netherlands investigating the tragedy.

Read more:

Julian Bray Aviation Expert offers a possible solution to assist the MH17 investigation: https://www.rt.com/op-edge/360687-military-intel-mh17-include/

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com

National Crime Agency (NCA) says fake passports being used by illegal migrants to enter the UK by air cost just 700 euros.....

Air Pakistan senior steward Shaukat Ali Cheema,59,  as reported by the Birmingham Mail, jailed for five years who attempted to smuggle into the UK, 26 passports, 37 biodata passport pages and 13 driving licences all concealed in his specially adapted underpants.

Julian Bray reports: According to the National Crime Agency (NCA) Fake passports and a variety of European identity cards are being seized in greater numbers at small regional airports, from an increasing  influx of air passengers, who in reality are migrants attempting to illegally enter the UK.

Clearly the flow should have been stopped at the departure point, before the aircraft took to the skies, but due to the pressure of loading, backhanders, and despatching aircraft within a small turnaround time slot, many passengers, admittedly with valid boarding cards, are being let through on a daily basis.  

The problem is highlighted as security at Calais is tightened and professional traffickers seek to find other access routes into the UK. Many of the passports being discovered are real, but stolen, and have little more than a change of photograph pasted in, covered with clear sticky back plastic.

It is possible to buy on the 'dark web' a passport for as little as 700 euros. Gangs of Albanian pickpockets are known to work the major European capitals, and tourists are always an easy source of supply. 

Specially adapted underpants  with multiple pockets...

There is also the shocking case of Air Pakistan steward Shaukat Ali Cheema,59, as reported by the Birmingham Mail, jailed for five years who attempted to smuggle into the UK, 26 passports, 37 biodata passport pages and 13 driving licences all concealed in his specially adapted underpants, in custom pockets which had been expertly sewn in.....

Just some of the fake passports Cheema attempted to smuggle into the UK

Border Force acting on a tip off, arrested the senior air steward at Birmingham Airport. It is thought that Cheema had been acting as a courier for these documents for some time, so many hundreds could be already circulating within the UK, along with fake driving licences, effectively putting everyone on the road at risk.   

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com


Possibly better late than never. Monarch finally get around to releasing an official rebuttal to the weekends shock financial rumours...  Julian Bray will be discussing the latest position live on BBC Three Counties Radio at 17:10hrs on Monday

Deutsche Bank were charged with urgently finding a buyer for Monarch Airlines, fat chance now the seemingly troubled Bank itself is in the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons....  

Monday September 26 2016

Over the weekend, there has been negative speculation about Monarch’s financial health.

Monarch is trading well and is expected to achieve an EBITDA of over £40m at the end of this financial year (October 2016). This is despite a difficult period for the holiday industry due to terrorist incidents, Brexit and the resulting devaluation of sterling.

Our flights are operating as normal, carrying Monarch customers as scheduled.

To weather tougher market conditions and to fund its ongoing growth, Monarch expects to announce a significant investment from its stakeholders in the coming days.

UK budget airline Monarch has been forced to deny a growing number of rumours, that its flying days are numbered, about to cease trading and set to call in administrators. Passengers meanwhile are taking to Twitter for urgent reassurance, their future booked seats are indeed safe. 

Speculation began to circulate on Sunday, over several social media boards, that the airline, was ceasing operations.

Julian Bray Aviation expert commented: The airline maintains the social media tweets are just a series of unfounded rumours....it would have helped their case, if the airline had immediately blitzed the media with formal press statements (even though, it was a Sunday) rather than just leaked tweets sent to worried customers....a City PR consultants head may roll for this lapse... it turns out that Bell Pottinger, are the tardy City PR firm in the frame.

Who are the mysterious and very private backers, and how did the City rumours start? Julian Bray looks at the background:

Greybull purchased ninety percent  of Monarch Holdings Ltd, a UK airline, trading as Monarch, on October 25, 2014, in return for a £50m capital commitment,  the remaining 10 percent passing directly to Monarch's pension scheme.

Greybull Capital's partner Marc Meyohas, said at the time: "We are delighted to acquire Monarch and invest our capital into a very strong brand with great potential" 

On the back of Greybull's investment, the airline then secured £125m of capital and liquidity facilities, but at a price. The airline had to restructure, reducing its aircraft fleet by 8 from 42 to 34. The payroll was slimmed down with some 700 redundancies, and overall fairly harsh wage and salary reductions.

The FT reported: Since Greybull bought Monarch, the travel airline has been transformed. Monarch in 2015 delivering its first profit in three years.

Greybull amazingly employed Deutsche Bank in April 2016 - itself possibly on the verge of a bail out (see end note ***)-  to 'explore strategic options for Monarch Airlines', including growth opportunities in Europe and/or possibly selling it.

Monarch Airlines were also seeking in June 2016 to secure an additional financial facility of £35m, either from Greybull or a third party, and it could be a combination of the Deutsche Bank feelers being put out, and the series of poor investment decisions Greybull has made recently.  

Morrisons sold M local to a team led by retail entrepreneur Mike Greene from Peterborough, backed by Greybull Capital, for £25m.

The deal incurring a loss of about £30m. Under Greybull, 140 of the convenience stores were rebranded ‘My Local’, safeguarding jobs of the 2,300 staff.

M local's operating loss for 2014 was £36m, so Greybull put My Local into administration in June 2016, just nine months after buying it.

Ninety stores closed, and more than 1,200 shop workers laid off, some allegedly without redundancy pay.  

The remaining thirty five stores sold off.  Morrisons then offered to rehire former employees, who lost their jobs.

Part of the sale to Greybull involved Morrisons guaranteeing some store rents if the business collapsed. So Morrisons was left with a potential liability of some £20m.

Earlier deals were somewhat rocky.

Graybull Capitals COMET store all boarded up just months into the rescue deal.

Comet’s demise caused the loss of more than 6,000 British jobs   

Greybull Capital, which has invested many millions of pounds in attempts to rescue some of Britain’s best-known retail brands.

Greybull alarmingly backed the abortive buyouts of Comet, the electrical goods chain; Game Group, the computer games retailer; and Rileys, the snooker hall business.

Until now, almost nothing was known about the two brothers behind it, Marc and Nathaniel Meyohas, but their recent involvement and the subsequent financial failure has cause the reclusive financiers to come reluctantly into the glare of the media spotlight. 

Hopefully Greybull will quickly find a buyer for Monarch, if only to remove the continuing uncertainty surrounding the airline.  


Monarch Airlines might also wish to consider the German government is considering injecting billions into beleaguered Deutsche Bank,the advisors packing up the troubled airline for possible sale (!) German media outlets are heavily suggesting, but this is just hours after the politicians insisting there would be no state-backed bailout of the bank.

German newspaper Die Welt has since revealed the government is undertaking contingency planning to assess how it could step in to save the bank from financial collapse - an event which could trigger shockwaves through Europe's financial system and wreak more havoc than the demise of Lehman Brothers in 2008, analysts have warned.

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com


Julian Bray aviation expert comments: In what is now sadly a regular series of events, being reported on this blog. Brits seem to be increasingly early morning ... 'pre-loading', before arriving at the final gate, i.e. already consumed a substantial amount of alcohol, possibly duty free on the ground.

The effects of intoxication are however rapidly felt and magnified at 33,000 ft due to the dehydration factor of being inside a pressurised cabin and breathing scrubbed recycled air.  

To compound the issue, some in this sorry state, are then choosing to have all out public rows once they have boarded their holiday aircraft.  In a sorry list of incidents, a couple really stand out.

 A female adult passenger was removed from an easyJet flight from Barcelona to Liverpool on Friday morning after swearing at passengers, and also hurling abuse at her mother. 

The commotion is said to have started on the easyJet flight to Liverpool's John Lennon airport from El Prat [SIC] in Barcelona.  
According to the Liverpool Echo, two women were taken off the flight because of 'disruptive behaviour'. The mother went voluntarily.  Easyjet apologised to customers for the delay in a statement. 

Earlier in the week,a woman who was removed from a Monarch flight from Ibiza was defended by her family after she was accused of racism. 

Naomi Watts, from Runcorn, Cheshire, was asked to leave the Monarch flight along with three female friends, after four groups of passengers asked to be moved away from the women. 

A number of people, including the captain, phoned the police and the group were then removed from the aircraft. 

Source Liverpool Echo, CNS, Daily Mail, BBC
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Aviation Incidents September 23 2016

Network Australia F100 at Perth on Sep 23rd 2016, hydraulic problem, fumes on board
A Network Aviation Australia Fokker 100 on behalf of Qantas, registration VH-NHY performing flight QF-1623 from Newman,WA to Perth,WA (Australia) with 97 passengers and 5 crew, was on approach to Perth, when the crew reported hydraulic problems...
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American B773 over Pacific on Sep 20th 2016, pilot incapacitated
An American Airlines Boeing 777-300, registration N730AN performing flight AA-192 from Hong Kong (China) to Los Angeles,CA (USA), was enroute at FL350 over the Pacific Ocean about 100nm west of San Francisco,CA (USA) when the crew declared a medical...
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Expressjet CRJ2 at Chattanooga on Sep 22nd 2016, nose gear door remained open
An Expressjet Canadair CRJ-200 on behalf of Delta Airlines, registration N860AS performing EV-5583/DL-5583 from Chattanooga,TN to Atlanta,GA (USA), was in the initial climb out of Chattanooga's runway 20 when the crew reported a nose gear door had...
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Germania B737 at Erfurt on Sep 22nd 2016, unusual odour in cockpit
A Germania Boeing 737-700, registration D-AGEQ performing flight ST-3356 from Erfurt (Germany) to Tenerife South,CI (Spain) with 119 passengers, was in the initial climb out of Erfurt's runway 10 when the crew stopped the climb at 5000 feet due to...
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Samsung Galaxy Note 2

A Samsung smartphone stored in an overhead baggage compartment on an Indian plane emitted smoke in mid-flight on Friday. India's aviation regulator has confirmed, due to the prompt action of cabin crew there was no damage and the aircraft landed safely

Passengers on board an IndiGo flight smelled and saw smoke coming from the overhead baggage bin, alerted cabin crew who opened it up and were met with sparks and acrid smoke coming from a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 phone.  The airline, is owned by InterGlobe Aviation,

Flight crew used a fire extinguisher and then put the phone in a container filled with water. The IndiGo flight was on its way to Chennai from Singapore.

The regulator formally described the incident as a suspected fire however the airline said there had been no fire.

Samsung had earlier issued a worldwide recall for its new Note 7 smartphone this month due to faulty batteries causing the device to catch fire while charging and in normal use.

There have been no previous reports of problems with the Note 2 model, first released in 2012.  Samsung is looking into Friday's incident, a company spokesman said: "We are in touch with relevant authorities to gather more information."

India's aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), is to send an advisory to airlines warning passengers to keep all Samsung Note smartphones switched off during flights or avoid carrying the phones on commercial jets altogether, a spokesman said.

The DGCA has called Samsung representatives to its office in New Delhi on Monday to discuss the incident.

Regulators and airlines in several countries, including the United States and China, have now issued a series of warnings to air travellers to keep Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones turned off and unplugged during flights.

Asked about the incident in India, a spokesman for Europe’s air safety regulator, the European Aviation Safety Agency, referred to previous guidance stating passengers should inform cabin crew if any electronic device is damaged, hot, produces smoke, is lost, or falls into the seats.

It has advised airlines to tell passengers not to turn on or charge their Galaxy Note 7s when on board.

Source: Reuters, CNS,  CompUni, Samsung

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com 


Amazon plc has been found guilty of attempting to ship dangerous goods by air, including lithium-ion batteries and flammable aerosols between the years 2014 and 2015. The firm was fined £65,000 at Southwark Crown Court . 

It was found guilty earlier today at Southwark Crown Court of causing dangerous goods to be delivered for carriage in an aircraft in breach of air navigation rules.

The prosecution had been brought by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) under the Air Navigation (Dangerous Goods) Regulations 2002.

The goods were scheduled for flights both in and outside the UK, comprising four shipments between January 2014 and June 2015.

During a Royal Mail routine screening they were discovered when the cargo was seized before departure, and before they were loaded on board the aircraft.

Southwark Court heard that Amazon had tried to ship a lithium-ion battery to Jersey on a day before 7 January 2014, and a flammable gas aerosol to Romania on a similar date.

Another shipment, destined for Ireland on a day before 17 July 2014, contained another aerosol, while Amazon illegally tried to send two more lithium-ion batteries to Northern Ireland between 12 May and 3 June 2015.

The CAA's general counsel, Kate Staples, said: "There are important international and domestic restrictions to prohibit the shipping of certain goods that pose a flight safety risk.

"We are constantly working to further improve and will continue to work with the CAA in this area."

Julian Bray aviation expert comments: It was only in August this year, reported by this blog, that IATA launched a major campaign to raise awareness of the hazards of lithium battery shipments, more particularly ones they term 'rogue shippers'

Governments must urgently clamp down on Rogue Lithium Battery Shippers says IATA


Airline and battery manufacturers call for stricter enforcement coupled with stiffer penalties 
Geneva – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has partnered with leaders of the lithium battery supply chain to demand stricter enforcement of international regulations regarding the transport of lithium batteries.

In a joint letter to Ministers of Trade, Industry and Transport, and Directors of Civil Aviation in the world’s largest lithium battery manufacturing and export countries, IATA, PRBA, the US Rechargeable Battery Association, RECHARGE, the European Advanced Rechargeable and Lithium Battery Association, the Global Shippers Forum (GSF) and the International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) have called for lithium battery safety regulations to be enforced at the point of origin including the initial shipper and the battery manufacturer.

The letter also called for implementation of cooperative enforcement initiatives between jurisdictions to address situations, where lithium batteries manufactured in one state are driven over a border to be flown from another state.

The global associations also called for significant fines and custodial sentences to be imposed on those who circumvent the regulations.

"Safety is aviation’s top priority. Airlines, shippers and manufacturers have worked hard to establish rules that ensure lithium batteries can be carried safely. But the rules are only effective if they are enforced and backed-up by significant penalties.

Government authorities must step up and take responsibility for regulating rogue producers and exporters. In addition, flagrant abuses of dangerous goods shipping regulations, which place aircraft and passenger safety at risk, must be criminalized," said Tony Tyler IATA CEO.

"The actions of a minority threaten to undermine confidence in legitimate battery and product manufacturers. This a matter of deep concern for our members," said George A. Kerchner, Executive Director of PRBA which represents most of the world’s largest manufacturers of lithium ion and lithium metal batteries and manufacturers of products powered by these batteries.

IATA and the PRBA have repeatedly called upon governments to address the danger posed by the wilful disregard of the international regulations by rogue manufacturers and shippers and to close existing legal loopholes that prevent prosecutions of serial offenders.

Lack of enforcement is increasing pressure on airlines and regulators to unilaterally ban all forms of lithium battery shipments from aircraft.

This would add to the cost of global supply chains and consumer goods, and encourage those who flout the law to increase mislabelling of batteries, further increasing safety and security risks.

"A ban on the shipment of lithium ion batteries aboard aircraft would put lives at risk by slowing delivery of life-critical and life–enhancing medical equipment and jeopardize the security of many countries because a large number of military applications are powered by lithium batteries," said Kerchner.

JULIAN BRAY +44(0)1733 345581 Aerospace & Incident Management Expert, Journalist & Broadcaster, Aviation Security & Airline Operations, Travel / Maritime & Cruise Industry, NUJ, EQUITY, LIVE ISDN LINK, Broadcast ISDN COOBE ++44 (0)1733 345020 e&oe Old faithful NOKIA: 07944 217476 www.aviationcomment.com


European Commission - PRESS RELEASES - Press release - Protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland

http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-18-6423_en.htm European Commission - Fact Sheet Protocol on Ireland and Northern Irel...