April 2020

Not much has happened (indeed) in the air during last month, while the most draconic economic turmoil in aviation history has affected all airlines across the globe without exceptions. Small companies have gone bankrupt, large companies are about to, and the rest have huge problems.

For those who have taken to the sky there has been among them just two engine shut-downs, two cases where turbulence has caused injury, five cases of smoke onboard, two tailstrikes, one runway excursion and quite a few navigational errors where safe altitudes have been compromised. The most spectacular one was in Moscow where an Emirates A380 managed to chase a false glidepath from above with 1600 f/m descent rate, when they were instructed three times by the controller to do something in order not to hit Russia outside an airport. They managed to make a go-around with the closest distance to ground of 395 feet in the manouvre. Some 450 souls on board.

On the brighter side a new gadget has been introduced on A350 to cover the pedestal since it has proven not to be waterproof after all. Coffee recently knocked out several different functions causing a multitude of visual and aural warnings, indicating that pilot errors come in many different shapes.

While everybody is fighting for survival, sense of honor – or the lack of it – becomes evident. One low-cost carrier is making a lot of noice over the refusal of a countrys government to grant economic support, where they for more than a decade has been trying to tilt the playing field in their favor, with tax and social benefit avoidance and other low-cost manouvres, pressing the economy of the regional national carrier into dark red figures. To save anyone from guessing the low-cost carrier is of course Norwegian and the prestigious airline – called by some ‘the pride of Scandinavia’ – with a 70 year old tradition of uncompromising safety is SAS. Surprised?

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