Tag Archives: Boeing 777

Dramatic Footage Shows Luftwaffe Typhoons Escorting Boeing 777 Gone Silent Over Germany.

Jet Airways Boeing 777-300 Gets German Fighter Escort After Communications Lost Due to Error.

Jet Airways flight 9W-118, a Boeing 777-300 registered as VT-JEX, was intercepted by a pair of German Luftwaffe Typhoons as a security precaution over Germany on Thursday, February 16, after radio communications with the airliner were briefly lost.

The Typhoons were diverted to the intercept mission while already airborne according to a report in The Aviation Herald by Simon Hradecky.

Dramatic video of the security intercept at 36,000 feet was captured from another airline aircraft, likely a British Airways flight according to unconfirmed information. The video shows the Jet Airways B777 flying normally as first one, then a second Typhoon fly up behind the aircraft. The first Luftwaffe pilot approaches the big Boeing 777 from the same altitude and offset to the airliner’s left, possibly enabling the Typhoon pilot to make an attempt at visual contact with the occupants of the cockpit as a precaution prior to any other contact attempt.

GAF Typhoons (Airbus)

At the 1:59 point in the video the first Typhoon can be seen to rock his wings, a universal aviation signal from International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) rules, Annex 2-Appendix A, 2.1:

“DAY-Rocking wings from a position slightly above and ahead of, and normally to the left of, the intercepted aircraft and, after acknowledgement, a slow level turn, normally to the left, on to the desired heading.”

Once the first German Typhoon arrives Jet Airways flight 9W-118 must have made a radio frequency change and established voice communications since he does not respond with a reciprocal wing rocking.

The reason for the incident was a perception and/or ergonomic error when the flight was handed off from air traffic controllers in Bratislava to Prague Center ATC. Normally controllers will tell an airline pilot “Contact Prague Center ATC on frequency 132 decimal 89. Good day.”

Then the crew makes the radio frequency change manually.

If the crew makes an error dialing in the frequency correctly, normally done on the center radio console by rotating an indexed knob with a corresponding digital display, or they mis-quote the radio frequency- or both- then they may inadvertently arrive on the incorrect radio channel.

An investigation today, Feb. 20, revealed that the correct radio frequency information for the flight was transmitted by air traffic controllers during the hand-off from Bratislava to Prague controllers at 15:53 Zulu time. The loss of communication lasted a total of 33 minutes according to the report from today’s investigation.

The Jet Airways flight was en route to London’s Heathrow Airport in the United Kingdom from Mumbai, India carrying 330 passengers and 15 crew members. Once the intercept incident shown in the video concluded the flight continued normally.

Air intercept incidents are not unusual.

Another similar incident, this one potentially more significant, occurred on Friday, Feb. 17 when U.S. Air Force F-15s from Homestead AFB were launched and went supersonic over Florida in response to an aircraft that approached U.S. President Donald Trump’s resort home Mar-a-Lago near Palm Beach Florida.

FAA restrictions and Notice to Airmen warn general aviation and airline aircraft away from a restricted airspace surrounding the President of the United States.

Salva

Swiss International Air Lines Boeing 777-300 Diverts to Remote Iqaluit Airport Near Arctic Circle

Swiss Boeing 777-300 Bound for L.A. from Zurich Makes Arctic Emergency Landing of Snowy Runway

On Feb. 1, Swiss Airlines Boeing 777-300 operating as flight LX40 from Zurich, Switzerland, to Los Angeles, California, diverted to Iqaluit, Canada, capital of Nunavut in the Canadian Northern Territories.

The diversion was caused by an engine problem that required the shut down of the engine and an emergency diversion: actually, according to a statement later released by Swiss, a malfuction message caused the engine to automatically shutdown. The crew decided to make a precautionary landing.S

The selection of Iqaluit Airport (airport code: YFB) is remarkable since official sources state that Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) officers at this airport have only small general aviation aircraft capacity with for more than 15 passengers.

The large Boeing 777-300 can carry up to 550 passengers in its dense-capacity interior configuration.

Flightradar24.com screengrab showing the track of LX40.

Video posted to YouTube show the large ETOPs (Extended Twin Operations) aircraft making a normal-looking approach and landing on a snowy runway. Additional video shows the aircraft being pushed-back with a ground tug once at the snowy airport.

Editor of TACAIRNET.com, Ian D’Costa, provided this report to The Aviationist.com. Video credit on YouTube is from @Tattuinee on Twitter.

D’Costa, a veteran aviation reporter and airport operations officer told The Aviationist.com, “[It is] unprecedented to say the least. A 777 has an ETOPS rating that would allow it to divert to Toronto, Montreal or Ottawa, or even Gander. So something must have been very concerning.”

This video shows how Malaysia Airline MH17 was shot down by a Russian-made Buk missile

The Dutch Safety Board released a video which shows how the MH17 flight was shot down by a Russian-made Buk surface-to-air missile.

On Jul. 17, 2014 Boeing 777 (9M-MRD) with 280 passengers and 15 crew members, flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, crashed about 50NM to the northwest of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.

The Dutch Safety Board (DSB) which conducted the technical investigation issued its final report on the crash on Oct. 13, 2015 and determined that the aircraft was shot down by a Buk surface-to-air 9M38-series missile with 9N314M warhead that hit the left hand side of the cockpit (as it appeared to be quite evident based on the puncture marks visible on the wreckage).

The shrapnel fired by the explosion killed the flight crew and torn off the cockpit. The DSB calculated the trajectory of the SAM and determined it was fired within a 320-square-kilometre (120 sq mi) area southeast of Torez.

The DSB, that did not say who operated the SAM launcher: whether the missile was fired by the pro-Russia separatist or not it is still subject to debate. For sure, the report highlighted there was sufficient reason to fully close the airspace over eastern Ukraine, where the MH17 was flying because of the reasons we explained in this post, as a precaution.

The Buk, known as SA-11 (or SA-17) is a self-propelled medium range, medium altitude anti-aircraft system with a maximum range of 13NM and a ceiling of 39,400 feet. With a semi-active radar homing guidance system and a 70 Kg warhead it may hit a large plane at FL330 and cause a catastrophic decompression.

Watch a Boeing 777 bank sharply and land in a 120 km/h wind storm

“Any landing you can walk away, is a good landing.”

The following video was shot at Amsterdam Schiphol airport on Jul. 25.

It shows KLM Asia Boeing 777 flying as KLM868 (from Osaka) approaching the runway and landing with a dangerous roll to the right just before touchdown, induced by wind gusts up to 75 mph (120 km/h) measured at the Dutch airport.

In the past, we have posted articles with videos and photos showing crosswind (xwind) approaches performed by civil liners as well as military aircraft (both airlifters and tactical jets).

As explained back then, a common procedure used with xwind wing gusts is to “crab” the plane (i.e. to apply a WCA, Wind Correction Angle, by aligning nose with the wind direction).

Just before touchdown, the pilot usually reduces the WCA angle in order to prevent landing gear damages by “decrabbing” the plane: this phase is the most dangerous one, as the airplane becomes more vulnerable to the gusts. For this reason, all aircraft apply cross-controls: left rudder, right aileron (if wind is coming from starboard) meaning rudder and aileron in opposite directions.

This doesn’t mean that the aircraft has always to lower the wing on the upwind side, but this may be required to keep the aircraft on the runway even though many experienced pilots landing on dry runway are able to land with levelled wings.

 

Analysis: what these signs on the wreckage tell us about the missile strike that downed MH17

Evidence of shrapnel damage to the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 has emerged from images taken at the crash site.

Photos taken at the MH17 crash site clearly show shrapnel signs on various parts of the wreckage of the Boeing 777 shot down over eastern Ukraine while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 298 people on board.

Among all the images published on media outlets from all around the world, the one first published by Financial Times over the past weekend, struck our attention.

The piece of wreckage, reportedly measuring 1 mt sq, has a couple of distinctive features that may help the identification: the colored stripes of the Malaysia Airlines livery and the bolts of the cockpit side windshield.

Based on these details, with the help of our contributor Giuliano Ranieri, we identified (and obviously we were not the only ones) the piece as a chunk of front fuselage located next to the cockpit (slightly below it), on the left hand side of the plane.

The piece has several burn marks, a large central hole and several smaller punture marks surrouding it. The edges of the small holes seem to be bent outwards, evidence of something that got out of the skin from the inside of the plane.

This is a sign the missile, most probably fired by an SA-11 system according to almost all reports to date, equipped with a proximity fuse, detonated on the right side of the aircraft not too far from the nose, scattering several fragments of shrapnel so fast that they traversed the plane from side to side: they entered through the right side of the airframe and got out from the left one.

Furthermore, considering the amount of puncture marks concentrated at the base of the cockpit window’s we can assume both pilots were hit by high speed, hot shrapnels that most probably did not give them time to realize what was going on.

MH17 part with holes identified

Image credit: FT.com/graphic by Giuliano Ranieri

Update:

New, higher resolution images of the same part of wreckage have emerged. These images seem to point in a different direction.

Indeed, the holes have edges that appear to be inward. This could be coherent with a missile which did not blast on the aircraft’s right hand side, but on the left one, between the nose and the leading edge of the left wing. Still, the type of puncture marks and the concentration are suitable with a SARH.

new debris

Image credit: Jeroen Akkermans Flikr account