Taxi to pub gets pilot arrested and plane impounded

Nov 3, 2014

A 37 year old pilot has been arrested after he taxied his wingless, single engined aircraft to a local pub.

After taking the aircraft down the street and parking outside the Newman Hotel’s Purple Pub the pilot walked inside and reportedly ordered ‘a cold one’.

Pilot Takes Plane To Pub

The incident happened on Friday and is thought to have been a Halloween prank.  Reports say the arrested man does not hold a pilot’s licence and Police have charged him with ‘endangering a life’. Although no-one was hurt the aircraft had its propeller spinning as it made its way to the pub.

Sergeant Mckenzie of Newman Police said “It was a pretty stupid thing to do.”

“Kids were coming home from school. It could have been very ugly. All he needed was one gust of wind… because without the wings it’s not stable”

Yahoo Australia: A policeman checks out the plane

“People think it was a bit of a laugh but it was very dangerous and we’re not very happy with it.”

The aircraft was towed away and impounded, it’s pilot will appear in Newman Magistrate’s Court on the 18th November.

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Join the party with us on the new Virgin Atlantic 787 today live #FlightDecks

Oct 23, 2014

It’s Party Time onboard Birthday GirlVirgin Atlantic’s new 787.

To celebrate this new aircraft’s arrival and the airline’s 30th birthday, this new jet will be leaving Gatwick Airport today, at 2pm, to fly to Atlanta. Onboard will will be 250 guests and VIPs who will be enjoying some unique inflight entertainment!

During this nine and a half hour flight BRIT Award-winning, platinum-selling London four-piece Rudimental and hit-makers Gorgon City will perform for the passengers. But the entertainment is not just for those on the flight as this will be the first ever gig to be streamed live from above the Atlantic Ocean over the Internet.


As well as being able to listen to the music live you can see our updates on the flight by just following us on Twitter.

The schedule for the event is as follows:

  • 14.00 Flight departs
  • 17.15 Gorgon City – first set
  • 18.45 Rudimental – second set
  • 19.45 Rudimental vs. Gorgon City – final set

To listen to the music live just click on the player below.  Hopefully everything will be on time but as with any live event, all start times are subject to change. However, we expect that all the sets will be performed within a 30-minute window of the times specified.


Virgin Atlantic 787-9 Dreamliner facts

Passengers: Configured for between 250 to 290 passengers – depending on whether for business or leisure routes

Range: 8-8,500 nautical miles

Wing span: 203 ft

Length: 206ft

Height: 56ft

Cruise speed: Up to Mach 0.85 (similar to 747)

Cruise altitude: up to 43,000ft

After the event you will also be able to access the mixes on SouncCloud.

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Air New Zealand do it again with the most epic safety video #airnzhobbit

Oct 23, 2014

Air New Zealand have only gone and done it again! They’ve made another fantastic Hobbit Safety Video!

Dwarves, Orcs and Elves take flight once again as Air New Zealand unveils The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made ahead of the December release of the final film in The Hobbit Trilogy, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, a production of New Line Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures (MGM).

Starring in The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made are members of the cast from all three films in the Trilogy – Elijah Wood (Frodo Baggins), Dean O’Gorman (Fili the Dwarf) and Sylvester McCoy (Radagast).  The video, which is directed by Kiwi filmmaker Taika Waititi (Boy, What We Do in the Shadows) also features cameos from The Hobbit Trilogy director Sir Peter Jackson, Weta Workshop co-founder Sir Richard Taylor and Waititi himself, who appears as a Wizard.

Air New Zealand - The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made #airnzhobbit

Air New Zealand – The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made #airnzhobbit

The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made

The safety video was shot over six days across a number of New Zealand’s Middle-earth locations, including Hobbiton and Central Otago, both of which appear in The Hobbit Trilogy.  Behind the scenes creative talent from the films was also involved in the production of the video, including Weta Workshop, which supplied costumes and more than 150 make-up prosthetics, and Weta Digital, which created the visual effects.

Sir Peter Jackson says, “Air New Zealand has created yet another fantastic video to celebrate The Hobbit films.  This latest offering combines members of our cast and our locations with Air New Zealand’s unique personality.  I had a lot of fun on the set with Taika and the team and look forward to seeing the video on board.”

Air New Zealand Head of Global Brand Development Jodi Williams says the latest safety video wraps up a successful three-year association between the airline and The Hobbit films.

“We are very proud to be the official airline of Middle-earth and have worked hard over the past three years to create highly effective global marketing campaigns, including distinctive branded aircraft and Hobbit-inspired online content, which have got the world talking about both our airline and destination New Zealand.”

Air New Zealand Safety Videos

The Most Epic Safety Video Ever Made follows the airline’s first safety video to be inspired by The Hobbit films – An Unexpected Briefing (2012) – which attracted more than 12 million global online views and generated huge media and social media coverage.

“We’re confident our final Hobbit-inspired on board safety video will delight fans as much as the first one and inspire even more people to consider a visit to Middle-earth,” says Ms Williams.

Air New Zealand’s safety video show reel includes the Bear Essentials of Safety featuring adventurer Bear Grylls, Safety Old School Style with Betty White and Fit to Fly starring fitness legend Richard Simmons.  Collectively the airline’s safety videos have clocked up more than 30 million hits online.

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China gets its first Airbus Helicopters EC135 Air Ambulance

Oct 10, 2014

Airbus Helicopters has delivered China’s first fully-equipped EC135 air ambulance. This twin-engine EC135 helicopter will become the reference helicopter for Chinese airborne emergency medical service operations

 This Airbus Helicopters’ delivery of a twin-engine EC135 is the first rotary wing aircraft outfitted for dedicated helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) missions in the country.

During a ceremony at Airbus Helicopters’ Donauwörth, Germany engineering and production site, where the aircraft was assembled, the  EC135 was handed over to the 999 Emergency Rescue Centre (999 Centre), which is a Beijing Red Cross Foundation subsidiary.

“In addition to benefiting from the EC135’s excellence as an EMS helicopter, we also appreciate the added value of Airbus Helicopters’ experience and relationships with HEMS operators,” stated Mr. Ma Runhai, Executive Vice President of Beijing Red Cross Society of China.

“It enables us to help achieve the national strategic goal of comprehensively deepening the reforms and propelling the modernization of the governance system and capacities. It will also help Beijing Red Cross Society of China to achieve the goal of becoming a leader in China and a first-class organization in the world.”

The air ambulance helicopter  is the EC135 P2e version of Airbus Helicopters’ lightweight twin-engine rotary wing aircraft family, and is fully equipped with medical systems from Bucher – the same provider for many established European HEMS operators.

2)Mr Wolfgang SCHODER, CEO Airbus Helicopters Germany, handing over the EC135 to LI Libing, General Director of Beijing 999

2) Mr Wolfgang SCHODER, CEO Airbus Helicopters Germany, handing over the EC135 to LI Libing, General Director of Beijing 999

“The EC135 is a benchmark for HEMS operators worldwide, as it has been designed with the expertise of doctors for medical transportation and services,” explained Wolfgang Schoder, CEO of Airbus Helicopters Germany.

“It is the perfect platform to kick-start China’s efforts in ramping up its airborne emergency medical services.”

A delegation of doctors from the 999 Centre are currently undergoing familiarisation courses in Augsbourg on the Bucher-supplied equipment. This follows a one-week introduction to HEMS in the ADAC HEMS Academy near Cologne. In parallel, Airbus Helicopters is providing helicopter training, organising a cooperation outreach, and establishing relationships and workshops for the Chinese with leading European air rescue operators to ensure a smooth and successful initiation of the country’s new HEMS operations.

“The relaxation of China’s low-altitude airspace augurs well for the development of HEMS which is very much needed in a country of such geographical and population size,” said Norbert Ducrot, President of Airbus Helicopters China.

“999 Centre’s initiative to launch this public service is highly commendable and will be well-appreciated by the people of China.”

In addition to this initial EC135 P2e a second helicopter will be delivered in the first quarter of 2015 and a letter of intent for two EC145 T2 helicopters has also has been signed by the air ambulance institution.

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New airport lounge adds to A380 Washington experience for BA passengers

Oct 3, 2014

There is more than just a new British Airways A380 to experience for First and Club World passengers as they depart Washington for Heathrow today. The airline has also upgraded the business / first class lounge at the US Capital’s airport.

The new British Airways airport lounge at Washington

The new British Airways airport lounge at Washington

This refit follows from recent upgrades to lounges in airports at Newark, Cape Town, Edinburgh and Belfast City.

BA's new airport lounge at Washington for First and Club World passengers

BA’s new airport lounge at Washington for First and Club World passengers

Based on the flagship Terminal 5 passenger lounge the new 10,00 square foot   of space offers intimate bar areas, business facilities, fine dining, shower suites and a private VIP area. These new areas allows up to 200 ‘guests’ to relax and unwind, or refresh and work.

BA's new Washington lounge ideal for A380 passengers

BA’s new Washington lounge ideal for A380 passengers

A private dining room is available for customers travelling in First which offers comfort and privacy and those travelling in Club World can enjoy their pre-flight dining with views over the runway. For people wanting a lighter snack, a new deli area offers a range of options along with Twinings tea, freshly ground Fairtrade coffee. A stylish new bar area offers a range of complimentary wines and spirits.

Dining at BA's new airport lounge at Washington

Dining at BA’s new airport lounge at Washington

The extra space is certainly needed  as today also marks the first non-stop A380 service between the two capitals. Onboard the A380 provides 14 First Class seats, 97 Club World / Business Class seats and the remaining seats split between World Traveller and World Traveller Plus cabins.

With 111 seats just on this aircraft for Business and First Class passengers this upgraded airport lounge wont take long to fill.

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Building the Virgin Atlantic ‘Birthday Girl’ 787-9 in under 3 minutes

Sep 22, 2014

Virgin Atlantic are preparing to begin flights with its new 787-9 aircraft name ‘Birthday Girl’.

Their 787 Dreamliner is configured with 31 Upper Class, 35 Premium Economy and 198 Economy seats.

This new aircraft in the Virgin fleet will be breaking new ground with its #FlightDecks maiden flight next month.

The first flight will include the first ever gig to be streamed live from over the Atlantic Ocean. UK chart toppers Rudimental & Gorgon City will play live to a cabin full of competition winners and to an online audience around world.

If you would like to enter just visit the #FlightDecks website.

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The Lightning – preparation and flying in Cape Town

Sep 13, 2014

Here is a great insight into how to keep a Lightning T5 flying.

ShortFinal TV speak with Chief Engineer Johann Rosenstrauch and find out about the process of restoring ZU-BBD to full flying condition

The Ex 56 Squadron English Electric Lightning T5 is the only aircraft of it’s type flying in the world. The film covers each step of the restoration of this supersonic jet fighter from the Cold War era – right through to its test flight. It first flew on 30th June 1965.

Flying the Lightning

“The aircraft flew perfectly in every way.”

Pilot and owner Mike Beachy Head flew his Lightning on the 14th January 2014 making it the only airworthy Lightning currently flying.

The Lightning - preparation and flying in Cape Town

The Lightning – preparation and flying in Cape Town

Mike used to run this type of aircraft for passenger flights until November 2009.

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Do you heart the new look Southwest Airlines?

Sep 9, 2014

Southwest Airlines have shown off their new aircraft livery, logo and airport ‘experience’. The new look is based around a heart and which they have dedicated to their 46,000 employees.

It’s a great way for the bosses to show their appreciation to the huge team that provided some of the best service any airline or passenger could wish for.

“Our collective heartbeat is stronger and healthier than ever, and that’s because of the warmth, the compassion, and the smiles of our People,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest Airlines Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer.

“The Heart emblazoned on our aircraft, and within our new look, symbolizes our commitment that we’ll remain true to our core values as we set our sights on the future.”

The heart logo maybe a bit too much for some but it looks like it will at least start a new trend when boarding any of the 600+ aircraft in Southwest’s fleet.

Hand on Heart

Hand on Heart - Southwest Airlines

Hand on Heart

With thousands of passengers grasping their hand luggage with one hand and touching the aircraft with the other before they enter the cabin will this start to cause a few issues? Will it slow boarding? Will it mean that a little patch of the 737 needs reinforcing? Or at least a new logo needs to be applied every few months.

It hopefully wont matter too if passengers do touch the logo as they enter as it will just make them feel closer to the carrier.

Southwest has shown the way as a low-fare carrier and is being careful not yo splash the cash too much with regards to its new look. The airline is phasing in the new livery to both aircraft and airports. Aircraft will receive the newly painted livery within the airliner’s existing repainting schedule and new aircraft will be delivered in the new Heart livery. With regards to the airport conversions these will also be incorporated into existing and upcoming airport improvement projects. Unfortunately because of this cost-conscious approach to the conversion of planes and airports, it might be some time before all passengers and employees see the new design in person.

Painting a Southwest 737 with the new Heart logo

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