Thursday 28 August 2014

Investigators of MH370 Consider Earlier South Turn

Investigators examining radar and satellite data in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared on March 8th this year on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people on board, continue to refine their analysis in an effort to pinpoint the most likely area where the Boeing 777 came down in the South Indian Ocean.

In June, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) awarded Fugro Survey in the Netherlands the contract to map and search an underwater area of 60,000 square miles using two specialist vessels. One vessel, Fugro Equator, is already in the area conducting a bathymetric survey, and will be joined by Fugro Discovery in late September to commence the deep-tow search.

Today, Australia’s deputy prime minister, Warren Truss, said that further analysis of a failed satellite phone call made to the cabin of MH370 after radar contact was lost “suggests to us that the aircraft might have turned south a little earlier than we had previously expected”. Until now investigators worked on assumption that MH370 made a south turn over the sea between the north-western Peninsular Malaysia and the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Truss revealed that there is a distinct possibility that the aircraft turned south earlier than what the initial data indicated. The implication of this is that MH370 could have travelled farther south into the South Indian Ocean.

The preliminary report, released on May 1st into the disappearance of MH370, did indicate ground staff at Malaysia Airlines attempted to contact the crew by satellite phone at 02.39 MYT but the call failed. The unanswered call was placed 14 minutes after the last handshake at around the time of the suspected south turn.

Today's news places greater significance on that failed call and may once again send investigators into revision mode as to the precise crash site, and with a 12 month search costing $48 million and about to begin, this really isn't the best time to be rushing back to the drawing board, particularly if that area stretches to or beyond the edges of the current search area.

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Malaysia Airlines: 'spike in cabin crew resignations' after MH17 and MH370 tragedies | The Telegraph UK

The Telegraph newspaper reported today that Malaysia Airlines has experience almost two hundred cabin crew resignations since the loss of MH370 and MH17. The airline is believed to planning a rescue restructuring plan due to be implemented soon. If staff have been leaving the airline then I'm not sure how delivering a talk to them titled Exclusive Discourse - MH370 and MH17 from the perspective of Islam really helps matters.
Almost 200 cabin crew resigned from Malaysia Airlines in the year to July, many as a result of the MH17 and MH370 tragedies, Malaysia Airlines has confirmed, as rumours swirl about the airline's future.
"Following the MH17 incident, there was a spike in crew resignations but the number has now decreased to acceptable and routinely expected levels,” Malaysia Airlines said in a statement to the Telegraph.
"Many cited 'family pressure' as the reason for their resignation due to the MH17 and MH370 tragedies," the statement said.
A spokesman for the airline would not comment on rumoured crew shortages, but said the organisation’s resignation rate was "way below the industry norm”, and pointed to the company’s support for staff through counselling and special prayer sessions, as well as a talk held last week titled 'Exclusive Discourse - MH370 and MH17 from the perspective of Islam’.

Via The Telegraph.

Are Windowless Jets The Shape of The Future?

Are windowless planes the shape of future passenger flight? Passengers tend to be divided on window seats - some want one as a preference and others feel uncomfortable sitting in one.

Paris-based design company Technicon Design has won an award for their IXION Windowless Jet Concept design. Removing windows from an aircraft reduces the cost and weight of an aircraft as well as providing more interior design flexibility. Technicon Design's concept allows for a 360-degree panoramic view projected onto screens mounted on the cabin walls and ceiling inside the plane via outside cameras.

The company began the concept project as a way of challenging current design theory of modern aircraft thinking. Airbus and US firm Spike Aerospace have both been exploring future projects in this area.

The future of passenger flight may be about to get a lot more panoramic, even without windows!


IXION Windowless Jet Concept from Technicon Design - France on Vimeo.

This windowless jet project was created specifically for , and was shown at the 2013 NBAA business aviation show. It was also a winner in the 2014 International Yacht & Aviation Awards in the Exterior design category.

Tuesday 26 August 2014

Manufacturing of Boeing Aeroplane in Factory

In 1967, the Boeing Everett, Wash., facility opened for business to produce the historic 747 jumbo jet. Now, more than 40 years later, Everett employees are making history again as they design and manufacture the company/s newest twin-aisle airplane, the 787 Dreamliner.
Everett factory (Neg#: K63553-01)
The Boeing partnership with the Everett community didn't begin with jetliners, though. During World War II, the company operated two facilities in Everett to provide subassembly support for the B-17. This included work on bulkheads and the radio operator's section.
In October 1956, employees building jigs and shipment fixtures for the B-52 and KC-135 programs moved their operations to Everett. The move involved transferring 283 employees from the Seattle and Renton, Wash., plants and hiring 70 new employees from the Everett community. The employees occupied facilities at the Everett-Pacific Shipyard.
In March 1957, the Everett community officially welcomed Boeing by celebrating "Boeing Week." Storefronts featured Boeing displays, and The Everett Herald ran a special "Welcome to Boeing" supplement. Boeing President William M. Allen attended a special Boeing Week banquet, which included speakers from the Air Force and the Everett community. A congratulatory message was read from U.S. Sen. Henry M. Jackson.
In March 1966, the Boeing board of directors decided to proceed with an ambitious airplane program, the 747 jumbo jet. The program was launched officially the following month when Pan American World Airways announced a $525 million order for 25 747s. The huge jetliner would require special production facilities, so in June 1966 the company purchased 780 acres adjacent to Paine Field in Everett. In January 1967, the first production workers arrived at the Everett site. On May 1 of that year, the major assembly buildings opened.
747-8 production line (Neg#: NEF09-0153-001)
Boeing and its Everett employees made world headlines on Sept. 30, 1968, when the first 747 rolled out of the factory. The first flight of the 747 took place Feb. 9, 1969. Since then, more than 1,400 747 airplanes have been built, all in Everett. Now, employees are assembling the newest versions of the airplane, the 747-8 Freighter and 747-8 Intercontinental.
The site's second jetliner program, the 767, got under way in July 1978 when United Airlines ordered 30 of the new twin-aisle airplanes. From 1979 to 1980, the Everett site expanded to accommodate the new program. The first 767 rolled out of the factory in August 1981, followed by first flight on September 26 of that year.
The Boeing 777 program was launched in October 1990 when United Airlines ordered 34 of the new jetliners, with options for 34 more. In July 1991, Boeing received the first construction permit to begin a major expansion of the Everett site, primarily to support the 777 program. This included a 50 percent increase in what was already the largest (by volume) building in the world. Construction was completed in October 1993.
777 production line (Neg#: K64595-01)
Ceremonial rollouts of the first 777 took place April 9, 1994. Approximately 100,000 employees, guests, customers and suppliers attended the events. The first flight of a 777 took place June 12, 1994, and lasted nearly four hours.
In April 2004, the Boeing board of directors approved the formal launch of what was then called the 7E7. All Nippon Airways placed a firm order for 50 7E7s, the largest launch order ever for a new Boeing jetliner. In January 2005, the airplane received a new model designation to become the 787 Dreamliner. As the first airplane largely made with state-of-the-art composite materials, the 787 promises less waste, more durability and a better passenger experience (with lower cabin altitude and higher humidity). Using 20 percent less fuel on a per-passenger basis, the 787 is the most fuel-efficient twin-aisle airplane available. The first 787 made its inaugural flight in December 2009.
From 2005 to 2009, the Everett site implemented the Future Factory project to create new, open and desirable work areas in the main factory building. The goal was to enhance collaboration, improve the employee experience and support overall production efficiencies. About 4,000 people moved into 600,000 square feet (55,741 sq. m.) of renovated space in five office towers.
Renovations included Tully's Coffee cafes, new and upgraded cafeterias, employee service centers and 35 skylights. Separately, the Everett Delivery Center was remodeled with a new second-story observation deck overlooking the flight line; new customer offices, conference rooms and common areas; a Tully's Coffee café; and renovated crew shelters on the flight line.
production line (Neg#: NEF10-0029-105)
Because of its size and magnitude, the Everett plant represents Boeing to the world. Dignitaries to visit the site have included former U.S. President Bill Clinton; former U.S. Vice President Al Gore; former Texas Governor and U.S. President George W. Bush; former Russian President Boris Yeltsin; Chinese President Jiang Zemin; Prime Minister Paul Keating of Australia; Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad of Malaysia; President Ion Iliescu of Romania; Prince Philippe of Spain; President Meri of Estonia; the late King Hussein of Jordan; His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, The Duke of York; President Megawati Sukarnoputri of Indonesia; former U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives Dennis Hastert; former U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong; and Crown Prince Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa of Bahrain.

The Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour debuted in December 2005. With developments in aviation technology coming at an ever-quickening pace, Boeing, Future of Flight Foundation, Snohomish County Public Facilities District and the Snohomish County Airport (Paine Field) joined forces to create an interpretive center so visitors could glimpse the future of commercial aviation. By incorporating and expanding the existing Boeing Tour, the Future of Flight offers an opportunity to see both commercial airplane production today and the direction aviation is headed in the future.

MH370: Some Recent and Forthcoming Books

There are some important benefits to self-publishing for authors who choose this path, not least the ability to be in complete control of a project from the process of writing the book right through to the execution of a marketing plan. This freedom of control brings with it many important decisions, but I believe the two most fundamental decisions begin with when...

When is my book completely written and edited and as good as it can be?

When and how quickly should I publish it?

Both questions are intrinsically linked and you can't answer the second question without knowing the answer to the first one. Far too many authors have an instant answer to the second question without ever having asked themselves the first question. The rush to publish is not just a symptom of the self-publishing community alone. While we may consider the turnaround time of a book from traditional publishers archaic—anything from nine months to eighteen months (typically twelve months)—some will make exceptions if the topic of a book is particularly popular; an anniversary of note coincides with the book's release, a marketing tie in with a TV programme or film, or a similar book is in the pipeline from another publisher. But in an effort to hit a publishing deadline and cash in on the latest trend, craze or celebrity popularity, even a big publisher can carelessly (or even deliberately) overlook the importance of the first question.

I'm going to turn to a subject I have a great deal of interest in, and I would consider myself reasonably well-read and it's also an area I have researched and written on as a journalist and social media blogger, outside of my role as a publishing consultant. Yes, thankfully, on occasion, I get to take a break from all things publishing and indulge my writing and research in other areas. I've had a very long interest in the aviation industry and aeronautics. I sat the entrance exams to become a pilot twice with a national airliner when I was a teenager, reaching the final dozen candidates on both occasions until they discovered I'd bluffed on my application when I said I could swim. Damn it. Didn't think they were going to actually test me on that until I was already accepted and it was too late! In all the years since, I've yet to meet or speak to a pilot who needed to swim anytime he/she flew!

On March 8th this year, Malaysia Flight MH370—departing Kuala Lumpur en route to Beijing—during a routine Air Traffic Control handover between Malaysia and Vietnam airspace over the South China Sea without any distress signal or communication from the crew that there was any problem. To date, almost six months later, no physical trace of the aircraft and its 239 passengers and crew have been found despite the largest and most expensive search in aviation history.

Like all disasters and tragedies, whether natural or man made, be it air crash, tsunami or terrorist attack, it usually results in intensive—near 24 hour media coverage—for a period of time, and is usually followed by a slew of TV documentaries, films and books on the subject. The mystery of flight MH370 is no different. However, in most cases we quickly have the bones of the disaster or tragedy, and many of the answers to the why and how. If the documented story of MH370 is to be a film or book, then it is truly an extraordinary mystery to recount in any medium. We have no plot, no central character, no bodies, no concrete motives or answers, and we are not even positively sure of the location of our mystery.

But this has not stopped the announcement of a film based loosely on MH370, The Vanishing Act, which is currently in the process of seeking investment, though Indian director Rupesh Paul appears to consistently back-pedal during promotional interviews, stating now that the film will only have indirect links to the events of MH370.

At the time the mainstream media were picking up on Rupesh Paul's film, John Blake Publishing in London was actually publishing Nigel Cawthorne's Flight MH370: The Mystery—its main conjectural claim is that the aircraft was shot down accidentally during joint United States-Thai military exercises. Now for an independent publishing house, that is some extraordinary submission to publication turnaround time—eight weeks!! The book has average reviews on Amazon and its reviewers seem to agree that while it is well written, full of detail, it does also fill pages with accounts of other air accidents and the author indulges in the exploration of theories like alien abduction and global espionage. I should add, Cawthorne is a thriller writer of over a hundred books but no aviation expert.

John Blake Publishing wasn't the only publisher looking for its piece of MH370 literary history. In May, big five publisher Penguin Random House acquired the rights to Christine Negroni's Crashed: What the World’s Most Mysterious Airplane Disasters Teach Us About Design, Technology and Human Performance. Unlike Cawthorne, Negroni has worked as a private aviation investigator and journalist and was invited by the Federal Aviation Administration to sit as an independent voice on improved safety rules for ageing aircraft. She has also appeared as an aviation expert on CNN, ABC and is a familiar face on many aviation documentaries. She wrote the bestselling book, Deadly Departure: Why The Experts Failed To Prevent The TWA Flight 800 Disaster And How It Could Happen Again. Negroni has mentioned her forthcoming book on MH370, remarking that it is coming soon, but wisely both author and publisher seem to have pushed the publication date back. Currently the book has yet to appear on Amazon for pre-order, and I would doubt we will see this book until much later this year or early next year.

This month another book on MH370 was published, Goodnight Malaysian 370, and though it might first appear to be published by an established, specialist, traditional publisher (Wilson Aviation), this company is in fact not a publisher, but a specialist in representing overseas aircraft manufacturers wishing to sell their aircraft, products and/or services in the New Zealand, Australian and Pacific Islands market. The company is owned by one of the co-authors of the book, Ewan Wilson, who wrote the book with a provincial New Zealand newspaper editor, Geoff Taylor. Essentially, this is a self-published book. It has 7 reviews on Amazon as of now, five of which are five star reviews.

Wilson has published two other books with small independent presses, and there is no question he is a man who knows the aviation business. Wilson founded budget airline Kiwi Air before it eventually collapsed a little over a year later with mounting debts. Wilson was later convicted of four counts of fraud and banned for five years from being a company director. It's little details like this that can damage an author's credibility when writing a book.

But if you believe the above books might be published or scheduled a little too early, cast your eyes on the following motley crew...

Yes, believe it or not, the first 'book' on MH370 was published on March 19th in print, eleven days after the aircraft went missing! John Washington's Malaysian Flight 370 Report: An International Search for 239 Passengers was self-published through CreateSpace and began an avalanche of similar books using Amazon's self-publishing imprint. Washington's book is just 50 pages long, and another by Dimitrinka Iv. Staikova (Clairvoyant/Psychic Predictions about the missing Malaysia airplane flight MH370: Psychic Predictions missing flight MH370+Psychic News 2013), comes in at just 42 pages, again, via CreateSpace. That's some title! Oh, and it's priced at $7.20! And there are plenty more (some promising, some not by a long way):

MH370: A Novella [Kindle Edition] (May 31st)
Into Oblivion: Understanding MH370 [Paperback] (July 22nd)

A search on MH370 returned a total of 126 books published or shortly due for release. The overwhelming majority are self-published, both in print and e-book. Equally, the overwhelming majority, from examining descriptions, previews and reviews are utter dross—a combination of books based almost entirely on material cobbled together from the online news sources (paste and copy which clearly violates copyright), and some books simply using MH370 as a vehicle to disseminate political and conspiracy theory rants. To describe some of the publications as books would be seriously stretching the definition of a book. In a world of social media and blogs, I've no idea why an author would want to publish (again, clearly cut and paste) a lengthy, blog post and present it as a book and think they can charge between $3 and $15!

In Conclusion
And yet in those 126 books, I discovered several gems, written by aviation experts I recognised and would not have expected to be using Kindle or CreateSpace.

In light of my original two questions after today's examination on books about MH370 (truthfully, I suspect this applies to much of what is self-published via Kindle and CreateSpace.

When is my book completely written and edited and as good as it can be?

If you self-published, only you as the author can answer that question. If you contract an editor, prepare to shift the point at which you 'thought' your book was ready for the world. If you don't contract an editor, you are doing nothing more than making available what you have written, and you are likely rejecting some of the basic fundamentals of a published product for sale—respecting and valuing your readers, producing a quality work for the medium it was intended, and above allowing you to move to your next work without regrets.

When and how quickly should I publish it?

Unless you are a journalist working to daily, weekly and monthly deadlines, writing is not a sprint race, nor is publishing that work. If the first line or paragraph of your work immediately leads to this question, then you are falling into a growing trap in self-publishing. This says the more books you publish, the more sales you will create. It's a literally fallacy, and one created from the top down in the self-publishing community by already successful authors with a large reader following imposing and suggesting a template of author-publishing based on quantity of  books published equals exposure and more sales. That's not how it works, and believe me it's not how it worked for them in the beginning, no matter what they say or claim.

What I did notice from today's test of books on MH370 is that there is a minority of authors using both Kindle and CreateSpace to publish and then continue to refine and add to their book over a period of time—almost building their book in public and treating readers as subscribers. It's not a process I'm comfortable with, but it is clearly happening, as if some authors are treating Amazon KDP like Wattpad. The majority take the quick, publish-and-dump approach, and will probably move on to the next MH370 or whatever popular subject they think they can churn out a book of a few thousand words.

As always, your thoughts and comments are welcome.  

Sunday 24 August 2014

Aer Lingus EI627 Diverts to Schiphol Following Medical Emergency

Thankfully Aer Lingus Flight EI627 has landed safely at Schiphol Airport at about 11.30pm Amsterdam time. The pilot of the Airbus A320 declared an emergency approximately 40 mins into the flight and requested an immediate alternative airport to land following its departure from Copenhagen to Dublin. The flight was diverted to Schiphol Airport and a medical emergency is currently being dealt with.

The aircraft has been unloaded of passengers and baggage.

00.53 - Aircraft reloaded and back on its journey to Dublin. No word on medical emergency.

Sunday 17 August 2014

MH17: So Much For The Fighter Plane Evidence

What's been most disturbing about articles like this linked one from Global Research, is how all their "evidence" and journalistic delivery has been driven by their own bias. So much of the "fighter plane" evidence is all drawn back to, a completely unreliably source of evidence that pretends to be an academic institution, and is nothing more than a pro-Russian media company.

Unlike the writer of this piece, I've resourced satellite images of the crash site, looked at countless images of debris taken in the opening hours of downed MH17, mapped the site with parts of aircraft, identified parts of the aircraft, and nothing supports his claims. Claims of fighter jets (SU25) that can fly at 33,000, taking down the jet are nonsense. SU25s use heat seeking missiles, that hit the hottest point of a target - the engines! Both engines fell in the same main burn field at the latter end of the crash site. No engines were hit or fell off the aircraft at the initial point the aircraft was disabled by a proximity missile at the forward point.

The crash site confirms exactly as you would expect, that the first debre fall occured on the front part of the airplane, and the remaining part of the plane flew on for several kilometres before decending.

Another nonsense story put out is that holes in the front part of the aircraft show 30mm canon file because of the evidence of blast bending holes inward and outward. Suggesting cannon fire from left and right, and even the suggestion that there were two fighter jets. Again, rubbish. A massive decompression will cause forces in an aircraft like an inward "air" explosion, causing fragemented metal to sheer the cabin and burst outward.

The crash site tells the real story. It does not need politically motivated and bias "experts" to create their own story of what they *think* happened.

Thursday 7 August 2014

Search For Bodies at MH17 Crash Site Continues

I’m always amazed when people listen/watch a delivered statement and then proceed to extract an entirely different version of what was said or meant. I’ve listened to what Dutch PM Mark Rutte said in both English and Dutch. Maybe something is being lost in the translation or people just want to read between the imaginary lines or believe what they think they hear.

At no point did Rutte praise the separatist rebels, nor say they did a fantastic job of recovering human remains.... He also did not say the search for remains had ended indefinitely. The search has ended for now because the Ukrainian army continues to push east closer to the crash site and take back territory held by rebels. That push and increased firepower and conflict in the area has made the crash site ‘too dangerous’ for the investigators. The investigation has continually operated on a stop-go basis for days due to localised artillary and rocket fire.

The rebels did not recover human remains from the site. They were too busy rifling through the personal belongings of passengers to see what they could get their hands on. The recovery of human remains was tasked to local villagers and authorities with the help of hundreds of local miners. Rutte has accepted on the advice of a doctor overseeing the initial recovery that the search for human remains was far more extensive than first thought. The investigators at the site in the past few days have said they found some human remains, but not many.

There are 220+ coffins at the medical centre in Hilversum, Netherlands currently being exaimed and identified, but that does not mean there are 220 bodies. As no proper identification could be made at the crash site, some of those coffins may very well contain more than the remains of one person. Sadly, due to the fact that there was an intensive burn inferno (when it struck the ground) from the central part of the aircraft where the fuel tanks where, not all of the remains may be recovered.