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Cinnamon patrol

Mr and Mrs Lili Wedding


Air travel digest

For those interested in things aviation the interim report from the UK's AAIB makes interesting reading. If you recall, this concerns the British Airways Boeing 777, which crash landed at Heathrow on Jan 27, after the engines failed to respond to increased demand for thrust an the very end of it's final approach.

Why wait for the "Seconds for Disaster" special when you can read all the details right now? Included are are some interesting graphs: various temperature readings over the course of the flight from Beijing and multiple data series (pitch, roll, speed, etc) plotting the aircraft's final approach. There is a detailed discussion of the 777's fuel system which serves as a primer for the explanation of the many ways they have been trying to simulate ice build-up in said fuel system. The conclusion: ice almost certainly built up, blocked something, and meant the engines didn't have enough fuel for the thrust demanded; they know the likely places it happened; but they can't figure out why the conditions were so unique as to cause a problem on this 777 flight and not the 3.9 million others. You might have seen the article about opertional changes for Air NZ's 777 fleet due to this report: the suggestions are to change altitude here and there if flying through a cold air mass for a long period of time, and rev the engines a bit (I'm not kidding) well before the final approach to break / melt any ice that might have built up.


And here's an incredible article I found this morning. Can you believe it? They actually caught someone at Dublin airport!!! The stars must have all lined up for this one because, let me describe for you my average experience of airport authorities on arrival at Dublin airport:
  • First off is the immigration control. Like the Dutch in this article, I have a EU passport so I get a special line. The best case is that we hold our passports open at the photo page and they do a cursory check as we file past the window. But the last time I went through the immigration lads were too busy talking to each other to bother with that - they just waved me through without looking, that is to say, even glancing, at my passport.

  • Then there is the baggage collection. Not much to mention here. There are no officials, and no dogs. Just baggage (if you're lucky).

  • Then there's the bio security area. Well - "area" - is perhaps too strong a term. There are x-ray machines. They are turned off, and there's never anyone by them.

So I figure these poor Dutch became ill during there flight, disembarked the plane and collapsed in the gate lounge. This was not enough to arouse suspicion as I forgot to mention that the departure gate area of Dublin airport is like a very very long bar with people wandering around with pint glasses from one place to the next. So, rightly, anyone would have assumed these two were just sleeping off their drinks. After a couple of days the next shift of cleaners came on, one of whom was a highly-trained ER physician from Minsk. Noticing immediately that these two had ingested drugs and had fallen sick from it, and with the help of a baggage trolley, he carts them directly to the airport's Police HQ. There's no one there. But after lunch they do show up, and make their dramatic discovery...

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