NTSB report: Pilot felt pressure to fly Kobe Bryant to game

FILE – In this July 26, 2018, file photo, former Los Angeles Laker Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna watch the U.S. national championships swimming meet in Irvine, Calif. Federal safety officials are expected to vote Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021, on what likely caused the helicopter carrying Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others to crash into a Southern California hillside last year, killing all aboard. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson, file)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — As helicopter pilot Ara Zobayan encountered a cloud bank and decided to try to climb out of it, he was likely worried about getting his star client, Kobe Bryant, his daughter and six others to a girls basketball tournament, federal safety investigators said.
That decision cost them all their lives, the National Transportation Safety Board said Tuesday in releasing long-awaited findings of the Jan. 26, 2020, crash that killed all nine aboard.
The NTSB primarily blamed Zobayan for a series of poor decisions that led him to fly blindly into a wall of clouds where he became so disoriented he thought he was climbing when the craft was plunging toward a Southern California hillside.
Zobayan, an experienced pilot, ignored his training, violated flight rules by flying into conditions where he couldn’t see and failed to take alternate measures, such as landing or switching to auto-pilot, that would have averted the tragedy.
NTSB Chairman Robert Sumwalt said the accident illustrated that even good pilots can make bad decisions.
“Here is a case where a pilot who is well regarded apparently got into a very bad situation,” Sumwalt said. “The scenario we believe happened he is flying along, he realizes that he’s sort of getting boxed in with visibility and then he must have made the decision, ‘You know what, I’m just going to punch up through these clouds and get on top.’”
The board said it was likely he felt self-induced pressure to deliver Bryant to the destination. It’s not the first time investigators have seen that happen with celebrities. Vice Chairman Bruce Landsberg cited separate aircraft crashes that killed musicians Buddy Holly, Patsy Cline, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Aaliyah.
“In all of those cases you are dealing with someone of great star power status and pilots who desperately want to do a good job for the customer,” Landsberg said. “My sense is that the preponderance of the evidence, let’s call it 51%, indicate this pilot really wanted to get where he was going.”
The agency also faulted Island Express Helicopters Inc., which operated the aircraft, for inadequate review and oversight of safety matters.
When Zobayan decided to climb above the clouds, he entered a trap that has doomed many flights. Once a pilot loses visual cues by flying into fog or darkness, the inner ear can send erroneous signals to the brain that causes spatial disorientation. It’s sometimes known as “the leans,” causing pilots to believe they are flying aircraft straight and level when they are banking.
Zobayan radioed air traffic controllers that he was climbing when, in fact, he was banking and descending rapidly toward the steep hills near Calabasas, NTSB investigators concluded.
Flying under visual flight rules, Zobayan was required to be able to see where he was going. Flying into the cloud was a violation of that standard and probably led to his disorientation, the NTSB said.
There were 184 aircraft crashes between 2010-2019 involving spatial disorientation, including 20 fatal helicopter crashes, the NTSB said.
“What part of cloud, when you’re on a visual flight rules program, do pilots not understand?” Landsberg said.
NTSB member Michael Graham said Zobayan ignored his training and added that as long as helicopter pilots continue flying into clouds without relying on instruments, which requires a high level of training, “a certain percentage aren’t going to come out alive.”
Zobayan had been certified to fly using only instruments, but was no longer proficient, Sumwalt said.
The Sikorsky S-76B helicopter was flying at about 184 mph (296 kph) and descending at a rate of more than 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) per minute when it slammed into the hillside and ignited, scattering debris over an area the size of a football field. The victims died immediately.
Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and six others who left Orange County that morning were headed to the game at his Mamba Sports Academy in Ventura County. The group had flown to the same destination the previous day and Zobayan had flown Bryant along that route at least 10 times in 2019.
The aircraft itself had been flown on largely direct routes between the airports in Orange and Ventura counties about two dozen times since late 2018, data shows, but the pilot took the chopper farther north because of low visibility that day.
There was no sign of mechanical failure and the pilot was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, investigators said.
The helicopter did not have so-called “black box” recording devices, which were not required, that would have given investigators a better understanding of what happened.
The NTSB report reiterated a previous recommendation to require flight data and cockpit voice recorders on choppers, but the agency only investigates transportation-related crashes. It has no enforcement powers and must submit suggestions to agencies like the Federal Aviation Administration or the Coast Guard, which have repeatedly rejected some board safety recommendations after other transportation disasters.
The NTSB report is likely to factor into litigation in the case, whether it’s admissible in court or not, said Dallas lawyer Michael Lyons.
The crash generated lawsuits and countersuits, with Bryant’s widow suing Island Express and the pilot for wrongful death on the day a massive public memorial was held almost a year ago at Staples Center, where the Lakers all-star played.
Vanessa Bryant has sued Island Express Helicopters Inc., which operated the aircraft, and its owner, Island Express Holding Corp. She said Zobayan was not properly trained or supervised and should have aborted the flight.
Zobayan’s brother, Berge Zobayan, has said Kobe Bryant knew the risks of flying in a helicopter and that his survivors aren’t entitled to damages from the pilot’s estate. Island Express Helicopters Inc. denied responsibility and said the crash was “an act of God” that it could not control.
Lawyers for Berge Zobayan and Island Express declined to comment on the NTSB findings.
Families of other victims sued the helicopter companies but not the pilot.
The others killed in the crash were Orange Coast College baseball coach John Altobelli, his wife, Keri, and their daughter Alyssa; Christina Mauser, who helped Bryant coach his daughter’s basketball team; and Sarah Chester and her daughter Payton. Alyssa and Payton were Gianna’s teammates.
The companies have countersued two FAA air traffic controllers, saying the crash was caused by their “series of erroneous acts and/or omissions.”
While air traffic controllers failed to report the loss of radar contact and radar communication with the flight, which was inconsistent with their procedures, it did not contribute to the crash, the NTSB said.

Link: https://www.wavy.com/news/national/ntsb-report-pilot-felt-pressure-to-fly-kobe-bryant-to-game/

Why The MD-11 Was More Successful As A Cargo Aircraft

The trijet McDonnell Douglas MD-11 took its maiden flight a little over 31 years ago. However, the aircraft is only active with four airlines these days – all of them cargo operators. Despite once being flown by passenger airlines around the world such as Finnair, KLM, Japan Airlines, and VARIG, the jet no longer takes on a passenger role. So why was the MD-11 more successful as a cargo aircraft?

The MD-11 was never that popular

The MD-11 program was officially launched at the end of 1986. Its release was met with orders from 12 customers for a total of 52 units, according to the Los Angeles Times. In total, however, just 200 would end up being built during a production period that would last just over 10 years.

Its slightly smaller predecessor, the DC-10, at least notched nearly 450 deliveries, while even the relatively unpopular Airbus A340 was able to achieve 375 deliveries over its nine years of production.

However, data from Planespotters.net indicates that about 107 MD-11s are listed as active. What’s more, global shipping company UPS announced last year it was acquiring more of the type. For an aircraft that ended production two decades ago, that’s quite impressive.

Efficiency doesn’t matter

While the aircraft’s three engines make it less efficient and more fuel-hungry, this is a much smaller concern for cargo operators. That’s because cargo aircraft tend to fly less frequently than passenger aircraft do, meaning that differences in efficiency don’t accumulate and compound in the same way as aircraft in passenger service. This is why you’ll see cargo airlines operate older Boeing 747s, 767s, 757s, Airbus A300s, and of course, MD-11s.

But fuel efficiency (or lack thereof) is just one thing to consider. The other big factor is maintenance. In general, cargo airlines can pursue older jets because their aircraft will tend to fly less frequently for longer distances. This equates to fewer pressurization cycles and lowers some maintenance requirements.

So we’ve explained some of the general factors that make some very old jets useful for freight service. What is it about the MD-11 specifically that has made it successful as a cargo jet?

High capacity, low acquisition cost

Perhaps the two biggest reasons that the MD-11 is doing well as a cargo jet (especially in 2020 and 2021) is its low-cost of acquisition combined with its high capacity.

As CAPA noted last April, “extending the leases on its elderly MD-11Fs would be a lower-cost way for Lufthansa Cargo to maintain freighter capacity than replacing them with more modern aircraft.”

When compared to a 777F, the MD-11 would only be able to carry 81% of the load capacity (534 vs. 653 cubic meters). However, the latter would also end up being cheaper and more readily available when compared to the newer 777F.

Although more efficient in the long run, converting a passenger 777 into a cargo version would take time and ultimately cost more than an MD-11. That makes the latter a more attractive option for the time being. This is especially true right now when belly hold capacity is low with passenger flights down significantly. Freight companies have a limited window of time to capitalize on the demand for cargo aircraft, and the old MD-11 helps them achieve this.

FedEX MD-11
FedEx has 59 MD-11s in its fleet at the moment. These have an average age of 27.2 years. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

Link: https://simpleflying.com/md-11-cargo-aircraft-success/

Daftar Maskapai Penerbangan Teraman di Dunia Tahun 2021

Daftar tersebut termasuk Air Baltic, Air New Zealand, Alaska Airlines, All Nippon Airways, AirAsia, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Eva Air, Japan Airlines, Jetblue, KLM, Korean Airlines, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Southwest, Qatar Airways, dan Westjet. Menurut AirlineRatings, maskapai-maskapai penerbangan ini telah melakukan perlindungan yang luar biasa untuk para penumpang. Thomas menggarisbawahi misalnya, bagaimana Qatar Airways menyediakan faceshield dan juga masker. Sementara Emirates memperkenalkan asuransi kesehatan yang mencakup Covid-19 serta alat kesehatan untuk penumpangnya.

Berikut ini daftar lengkap maskapai penerbangan teraman di dunia untuk tahun 2021:

  1. Qantas
  2. Qatar Airways
  3. Air New Zealand
  4. Singapore Airlines
  5. Emirates
  6. EVA Air
  7. Etihad Airways
  8. Alaska Airlines
  9. Cathay Pacific Airways
  10. British Airways
  11. Virgin Australia/Virgin Atlantic
  12. Hawaiian Airlines
  13. Southwest Airlines
  14. Delta Air Lines
  15. American Airlines
  16. SAS
  17. Finnair
  18. Lufthansa
  19. KLM
  20. United Airlines

Artikel ini telah tayang di Kompas.com dengan judul “Daftar Maskapai Penerbangan Teraman di Dunia Tahun 2021”, Klik untuk baca: https://travel.kompas.com/read/2021/01/16/212000127/daftar-maskapai-penerbangan-teraman-di-dunia-tahun-2021?page=3.
Penulis : Syifa Nuri Khairunnisa
Editor : Kahfi Dirga Cahya

Man found living in Chicago airport for three months ‘due to fear of Covid’

a view of O’Hare International Airport
A California man was arrested after living in a secure part of O’Hare international airport in Chicago for three months because he was scared of coronavirus. Photograph: Kamil Krzaczyński/Reuters

Aditya Singh allegedly stayed in secure area of O’Hare international airport after becoming too afraid to return home to California
A California man was arrested after living in a secure part of O’Hare international airport in Chicago for three months because he was scared of coronavirus.
A man has been living in a secure section of Chicago’s international airport for three months, apparently telling police he was too afraid of coronavirus to return home to Los Angeles, according to multiple reports.
The 36-year-old man, Californian Aditya Singh, was arrested this weekend and charged with criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport, a felony, and theft, a misdemeanour, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Prosecutors said on Sunday that, according to police, the man arrived on a flight from Los Angeles to O’Hare international airport on 19 October. Nearly three months later, on Saturday afternoon, Singh was approached by two United Airlines employees who asked to see identification. Singh allegedly showed them an airport ID badge that had been reported missing by its owner, an airport operations manager, on 26 October.
Assistant state attorney Kathleen Hagerty told Cook County judge Susana Ortiz that other passengers had been giving food to Singh, who does not have a criminal background. Hagerty said Singh had found the badge in the airport and was “scared to go home due to Covid”.
Ortiz reportedly told the court: “You’re telling me that an unauthorised, non-employee individual was allegedly living within a secure part of the O’Hare airport terminal from 10 October, 2020, to 16 January, 2021, and was not detected? I want to understand you correctly.”
After finding Singh, the United Airlines employees called 911. Police took him into custody on Saturday morning.
Singh has a master’s degree in hospitality, is unemployed and lives with roommates in Orange, Los Angeles, according to assistant public defender Courtney Smallwood.


“The court finds these facts and circumstances quite shocking for the alleged period of time that this occurred,” said Ortiz. “Being in a secured part of the airport under a fake ID badge allegedly, based upon the need for airports to be absolutely secure so that people feel safe to travel, I do find those alleged actions do make him a danger to the community.”
Singh’s bail was set at $1,000. Should he be able to post bail, he is barred from entering the airport.
The Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) said in a statement: “CDA has no higher priority than the safety and security of our airports, which is maintained by a coordinated and multilayered law enforcement network.
“While this incident remains under investigation, we have been able to determine that this gentleman did not pose a security risk to the airport or to the traveling public. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners on a thorough investigation of this matter.”

Link: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/18/man-found-living-in-chicago-airport-for-three-months-due-to-fear-of-covid

Singapore urges national airline to be first to vaccinate all staff

SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Singapore on Monday urged workers at its national airline to help make it the world’s first carrier with all staff vaccinated against COVID-19, with Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Phong Choon also encouraging employees to receive shots.
Vaccinating Singapore’s 37,000 frontline aviation and maritime staff is seen as key to reopening borders of the island-state, which is preparing to host events such as the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting and the Shangri-La Dialogue Asian security summit in a few months’ time.
Singapore Airlines (SIA), in which state investor Temasek is the biggest shareholder, lacks a domestic market to cushion it against the coronavirus border closures which have shattered the aviation industry globally. It said last year it had cut 4,300 jobs, or around 20% of its staff.
“SIA (Singapore Airlines) can be the first vaccinated international airline of the world. Try to get that done,” Transport Minister Ong Ye Kung told aviation workers at a vaccination drive at the airport on Monday.
More than 5,200 SIA employees have signed up to be vaccinated since staff started being inoculated last week, according to a memo sent to staff by CEO Goh on Monday.
An SIA spokesman said that represented about 50% of those eligible for the vaccine, which is being offered for free to residents by the government on a voluntary basis.
“Vaccinations are widely expected to be the game-changer in facilitating the opening of borders once again,” Goh said.
“This will also be an important differentiator in the airline industry…I strongly urge everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”
Unlike other mass vaccination programmes in the United States and Britain, Singapore is administering the jabs having largely contained the disease locally.
The plans have stirred rare hesitancy among some due to the low risk of infection and concern about any possible side effects from rapidly developed vaccines.

Link: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/singapore-urges-national-airline-first-102751765.html

US NTSB team arrives in Indonesia to join the investigation of Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500 crash

JAKARTA, Indonesia — A team from the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board has arrived in Indonesia’s capital to join the investigation into the crash of a Sriwijaya Air Boeing 737-500, the head of Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee said Saturday.
The team also comprises representatives from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, Boeing and General Electric. They joined personnel from Singapore’s Transportation Safety Investigation Bureau at the search and rescue command center at Tanjung Priok port in Jakarta to see some of the plane debris.
The plane lost contact with air traffic controllers minutes after taking off from Jakarta during heavy rain on Jan. 9. The jet crashed into the Java Sea, killing all 62 people on board.
Divers found parts of the cockpit voice recorder on Friday as more personnel joined the search for wreckage and victims. Investigators have already downloaded information from the plane’s flight data recorder, which was recovered earlier this week.
“There are 330 parameters and everything is in good condition. We are learning about it now,” said Soerjanto Tjahjono, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Committee.
Indonesia’s government granted a waiver allowing the NTSB team to enter the country during its coronavirus-related travel ban in which foreigners are barred from entering.
The 26-year-old Boeing 737-500 was out of service for almost nine months last year because of flight cutbacks caused by the pandemic. The airline and Indonesian officials say it underwent inspections, including for possible engine corrosion that could have developed during the layoff, before it resumed commercial flying in December.
Members of Indonesia’s National Transportation Safety Committee and investigators with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board inspect debris found in the waters around the location where a Sriwijaya Air passenger jet crashed, at the search and rescue command center in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Jan 16, 2021.Indonesia’s aviation industry grew quickly after the nation’s economy was opened following the fall of dictator Suharto in the late 1990s. Safety concerns led the United States and the European Union to ban Indonesian carriers for years, but the bans have since been lifted due to better compliance with international aviation standards.

Link: https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/airline-news/2021/01/16/boeing-crash-ntsb-investigates-indonesia-sriwijaya-air/4188460001/

Indonesia certifies N219 regional turboprop

N219
An N219 test aircraft in 2017

State-owned Indonesian Aerospace (IAe), also known as Dirgantara Indonesia, has received certification for its N219 commuter aircraft. A type certificate was officially issued by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on 18 December, the transport ministry said in a statement on 28 December. 

The ministry plans to order the small regional turboprop for flight calibration purposes and for providing air transport services to remote regions, among others. It states: “The Minister of Transportation hopes that this achievement will motivate Dirgantara Indonesia to continue to innovate, because technical improvements are still needed in the next generation of aircraft so that they can compete with foreign-made aircraft and have high [commercial value].” The same statement indicates that the aircraft has been undergoing certification since February 2014 and the three-year validity on the certification period was extended twice, on 8 February 2017 and 11 February 2020. 

According to the ministry, each aircraft is fitted with two Pratt & Whitney Canada’s PT6A engines and can carry up to 19 passengers. Following the type certification, IAe has plans for the N219 to enter the commercialisation phase in 2021, it states in a 28 December evening update posted on its official Twitter account. English-language media Jakarta Globe reported on 11 December that the aircraft type completed its final test flight that day. According to the report, Indonesia’s minister for research and technology Bambang Brodjonegoro said the final test flight would clear the way for a commercial aircraft licence for the N219 to fly commercial routes in the country. 

Cirium fleets data shows that IAe has two prototypes. PK-XDT (MSN 001) was rolled out in November 2015 and launched its first flight in August 2017. PK-XDP (MSN 002) was rolled out in September 2018 and its first flight was in December that year. The local government of the semi-autonomous Aceh province most recently showed interest in the programme, placing in December 2019 an LOI to order four examples. 

Domestic airline Aviastar Mandiri has by far shown the greatest support for the programme, placing in October 2018 an LOI for 20 orders, adding to an April 2015 LOI for 20 orders and 10 options. Other LOIs – for eight orders by national private charterer Air Born and 10 orders and options for five by for Jakarta-based Trigana Air – also date back to April 2015. Defunct airlines Merpati and Nusantara Buana Air had lapsed LOIs to order 20 examples each, placed in 2011 and 2012, respectively. Nusantara also had options for another 10.

Link: https://www.flightglobal.com/aerospace/indonesia-certifies-n219-regional-turboprop/141763.article

For Airlines, Dry Ice in Vaccine Transport Demands Special Attention

A worker with dry ice at a Pfizer plant in Puurs, Belgium. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must be stored at minus-70 degrees Celsius.
PHOTO: OLIVIER MATTHYS/ASSOCIATED PRESS

The refrigerant needed to maintain some doses during distribution is regulated as a dangerous good for aviation transport
The large amounts of dry ice needed to speed Covid-19 vaccine candidates to pandemic-weary populations will call for special attention from airlines and safety regulators.
Dry ice, the solid form of carbon dioxide, is a critical part of plans to transport the vaccine developed by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE, which must be kept at ultracold temperatures. Pfizer expects to ship 50 million doses world-wide by the end of the year. The vaccine was the first to be authorized in the West, receiving clearance for emergency use in the U.K. last week. It is under review by the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S.
Widely used as a refrigerant, dry ice is classified as a dangerous good by the International Civil Aviation Organization and the U.S. Department of Transportation because it changes to gas form as it breaks down, a process called sublimation. Shippers must use ventilated containers that allow the gas to release, to prevent pressure from building up and rupturing the packaging.
The gas can also displace oxygen in confined spaces with poor ventilation, creating a suffocation hazard, though the risk is minimal under normal cabin ventilation, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
“If oxygen levels get down below 19%, that could cause a hazard to people and animals,” said Delmer Billings, technical director for the Dangerous Goods Advisory Council, a nonprofit trade group that promotes safe transportation of hazardous materials. “If you deplete oxygen sufficiently, it could cause unconsciousness, even death,” he added.
Air carriers involved in vaccine transport efforts are asking aviation regulators to increase the amount of dry ice they are allowed to carry on flights hauling vaccines as they work with drugmakers and governments to set up distribution channels. Restrictions on the amount of the material on planes are typically based on aircraft ventilation rates and factors such as the size of the plane and whether it is used for passenger or cargo flights, said Robert Coyle, senior vice president of pharma and healthcare strategy at freight forwarder Kuehne + Nagel International AG.
On Thursday, Delta Air Lines Inc. said it had received FAA approval to double the allowed load of dry ice on its Airbus A330 and A350 wide-body jets, and six times the prior allowed load for shipments using a special suitcase-sized storage container that Pfizer designed.
Delta has done trial runs with vaccine cargoes from Europe and to Latin America, and within the U.S., all on cargo-only flights.
United Airlines Holdings Inc. secured FAA approval last month to boost its dry-ice allowance to 15,000 pounds from 3,000 pounds, for chartered cargo flights between Brussels International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport to support distribution of the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine. A United spokeswoman said the airline “has effective procedures in place to ensure we safely handle all the hazardous materials we are permitted to carry on board our aircraft.”
Extremely cold with a surface temperature of about minus-78 degrees Celsius, dry ice has long been used to ship medicine, pharmaceutical products and perishable food such as meat or ice cream.
“When packaged and stored properly, it poses no risk,” said Rafael Teixeira, president of World Courier and ICS, a specialty logistics provider owned by drug distributor AmerisourceBergen Corp.
The scale of the Covid-19 vaccine distribution effort is unprecedented, involving billions of doses with strict temperature-control requirements that are expected to strain cold-chain shipping networks.
The Pfizer and BioNTech shots must be kept at minus-70 degrees Celsius—colder than the average annual temperature at the South Pole and lower than some other vaccine candidates require. Moderna Inc.’s shot, the other leading front-runner, must be shipped and stored at a below-freezing temperature that most home or medical freezers can accommodate.
Makers of dry ice are bracing for an expected demand surge. Logistics providers have been building “freezer farms” with hundreds of portable units that store pharmaceuticals at ultralow temperatures.
Plymouth, Minn.-based Pelican BioThermal LLC, which makes packaging that typically uses engineered materials to maintain temperatures, has tested and approved the use of dry ice in its systems to provide the sub-frozen temperatures needed to maintain the efficacy of Covid-19 vaccines. The company is also ramping up global production of its large shipping containers that can hold full pallets of goods on rising demand from pharmaceutical companies looking to ship vaccines.
“There are a lot of investments bhttps://www.wsj.com/articles/for-airlines-dry-ice-in-vaccine-transport-demands-special-attention-11607370720eing made right now to get this done,” said Ira Smith, director of Pelican’s rental program in the Americas.

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-airlines-dry-ice-in-vaccine-transport-demands-special-attention-11607370720

Chuck Yeager, 1st to break sound barrier, dies at 97

GRASS VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles “Chuck” Yeager, the World War II fighter pilot ace and quintessential test pilot who showed he had the “right stuff” when in 1947 he became the first person to fly faster than sound, has died. He was 97.

Yeager died Monday (7 Dec 2020), his wife, Victoria Yeager, said on his Twitter account. “It is w/ profound sorrow, I must tell you that my life love General Chuck Yeager passed just before 9pm ET. An incredible life well lived, America’s greatest Pilot, & a legacy of strength, adventure, & patriotism will be remembered forever.”

Yeager’s death is “a tremendous loss to our nation,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement.
“Gen. Yeager’s pioneering and innovative spirit advanced America’s abilities in the sky and set our nation’s dreams soaring into the jet age and the space age. He said, ‘You don’t concentrate on risks. You concentrate on results. No risk is too great to prevent the necessary job from getting done,’” Bridenstine said.
“In an age of media-made heroes, he is the real deal,” Edwards Air Force Base historian Jim Young said in August 2006 at the unveiling of a bronze statue of Yeager.

He was “the most righteous of all those with the right stuff,” said Maj. Gen. Curtis Bedke, commander of the Air Force Flight Test Center at Edwards.
Yeager, from a small town in the hills of West Virginia, flew for more than 60 years, including piloting an X-15 to near 1,000 mph (1,609 kph) at Edwards in October 2002 at age 79.
“Living to a ripe old age is not an end in itself. The trick is to enjoy the years remaining,” he said in “Yeager: An Autobiography.”

“I haven’t yet done everything, but by the time I’m finished, I won’t have missed much,” he wrote. “If I auger in (crash) tomorrow, it won’t be with a frown on my face. I’ve had a ball.”
On Oct. 14, 1947, Yeager, then a 24-year-old captain, pushed an orange, bullet-shaped Bell X-1 rocket plane past 660 mph to break the sound barrier, at the time a daunting aviation milestone.
“Sure, I was apprehensive,” he said in 1968. “When you’re fooling around with something you don’t know much about, there has to be apprehension. But you don’t let that affect your job.”

The modest Yeager said in 1947 he could have gone even faster had the plane carried more fuel. He said the ride “was nice, just like riding fast in a car.”
Yeager nicknamed the rocket plane, and all his other aircraft, “Glamorous Glennis” for his wife, who died in 1990.
Yeager’s feat was kept top secret for about a year when the world thought the British had broken the sound barrier first.
“It wasn’t a matter of not having airplanes that would fly at speeds like this. It was a matter of keeping them from falling apart,” Yeager said.

Sixty-five years later to the minute, on Oct. 14, 2012, Yeager commemorated the feat, flying in the back seat of an F-15 Eagle as it broke the sound barrier at more than 30,000 feet (9,144 meters) above California’s Mojave Desert.
His exploits were told in Tom Wolfe’s book “The Right Stuff,” and the 1983 film it inspired.
Yeager was born Feb. 23, 1923, in Myra, a tiny community on the Mud River deep in an Appalachian hollow about 40 miles southwest of Charleston. The family later moved to Hamlin, the county seat. His father was an oil and gas driller and a farmer.

“What really strikes me looking over all those years is how lucky I was, how lucky, for example, to have been born in 1923 and not 1963 so that I came of age just as aviation itself was entering the modern era,” Yeager said in a December 1985 speech at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
“I was just a lucky kid who caught the right ride,” he said.

Yeager enlisted in the Army Air Corps after graduating from high school in 1941. He later regretted that his lack of a college education prevented him from becoming an astronaut.
He started off as an aircraft mechanic and, despite becoming severely airsick during his first airplane ride, signed up for a program that allowed enlisted men to become pilots.
Yeager shot down 13 German planes on 64 missions during World War II, including five on a single mission. He was once shot down over German-held France but escaped with the help of French partisans.

After World War II, he became a test pilot beginning at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.
Among the flights he made after breaking the sound barrier was one on Dec. 12. 1953, when he flew an X-1A to a record of more than 1,600 mph. He said he had gotten up at dawn that day and went hunting, bagging a goose before his flight. That night, he said, his family ate the goose for dinner.
He returned to combat during the Vietnam War, flying several missions a month in twin-engine B-57 Canberras making bombing and strafing runs over South Vietnam.

Yeager also commanded Air Force fighter squadrons and wings, and the Aerospace Research Pilot School for military astronauts.
“I’ve flown 341 types of military planes in every country in the world and logged about 18,000 hours,” he said in an interview in the January 2009 issue of Men’s Journal. “It might sound funny, but I’ve never owned an airplane in my life. If you’re willing to bleed, Uncle Sam will give you all the planes you want.”

When Yeager left Hamlin, he was already known as a daredevil. On later visits, he often buzzed the town.
“I live just down the street from his mother,” said Gene Brewer, retired publisher of the weekly Lincoln Journal. “One day I climbed up on my roof with my 8 mm camera when he flew overhead. I thought he was going to take me off the roof. You can see the treetops in the bottom of the pictures.”

Yeager flew an F-80 under a Charleston bridge at 450 mph on Oct. 10, 1948, according to newspaper accounts. When he was asked to repeat the feat for photographers, Yeager replied: “You should never strafe the same place twice ’cause the gunners will be waiting for you.”
Yeager never forgot his roots and West Virginia named bridges, schools and Charleston’s airport after him.
“My beginnings back in West Virginia tell who I am to this day,” Yeager wrote. “My accomplishments as a test pilot tell more about luck, happenstance and a person’s destiny. But the guy who broke the sound barrier was the kid who swam the Mud River with a swiped watermelon or shot the head off a squirrel before going to school.”
Yeager was awarded the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal and the Purple Heart.

President Harry S. Truman awarded him the Collier air trophy in December 1948 for his breaking the sound barrier. He also received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985.
Yeager retired from the Air Force in 1975 and moved to a ranch in Cedar Ridge in Northern California where he continued working as a consultant to the Air Force and Northrop Corp. and became well known to younger generations as a television pitchman for automotive parts and heat pumps.

He married Glennis Dickhouse of Oroville, California, on Feb. 26, 1945. She died of ovarian cancer in December 1990. They had four children: Donald, Michael, Sharon and Susan.
Yeager married 45-year-old Victoria Scott D’Angelo in 2003.
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On the Net:
Yeager: http://www.chuckyeager.com/

Link: https://www.yahoo.com/news/chuck-yeager-1st-break-sound-051713166.html

Pesawat Citilink yang Tabrak Layang-layang Mendarat Selamat, Kru dan Penumpang Aman

pesawat-citilink-yang-tabrak-layang-layang-mendarat-selamat-kru-dan-penumpang-aman
Tim teknik Citilink Indonesia menyingkirkan layang-layang yang tertabrak pesawat yang ingin mendarat di Bandara Adisucipto, Yogyakarta. (Sumber: dok. PT Angkasa Pura I Bandara Adisutjipto via Kompas.com)

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.TV – Pesawat Citilink yang mengalami insiden menabrak layang-layang saat melakukan pendaratan di Bandara AdisuciptoYogyakarta turun dangan selamat.

Pesawat dengan nomor penerbangan QZ 1107 jenis ATR 72-600 itu menabrak layangan yang memiliki lebar sekitar 50 sentimeter di bagian landing gear pada Jumat (23/10/2020) sore kemarin.

VP Corporate Secretary & CSR PT Citilink Indonesia Resty Kusandarina menjelaskan sebelum mendarat pilot sudah melakukan komunikasi serta berkoordinasi kepada pihak menara serta menyampaikan kondisi banyaknya layang-layang yang terbang di wilayah area bandara.

Namun karena layang-layang berada di landasan pacu dan sulit untuk dihindari, pilot berusaha agar mendaratkan pesawat dari Bandara Internasional Halim Perdanakusuma, Jakarta itu dengan baik.

“Seluruh kru dan penumpang telah mendarat selamat,” ujar Resty dalam pesannya, Sabtu (24/10/2020).

Resty menambahkan seteleh insiden tersebut, tim teknik Citilink Indonesia telah melakukan pemeriksaan seluruh bagian pesawat secara intensif.

Menurutnya, tidak ada kerusakan pada pesawat tersebut dan laik untuk beroperasi kembali.

“Kami sampaikan terimakasih kepada pihak bandara yang telah memberikan himbauan kepada masyarakat sekitar terhadap bahaya bermain layangan di sekitar area bandara,” ujar Resty.

Pesawat menabrak layang-layang pada pukul 16.46 WIB. Sekitar tiga menit setelah mendarat, layang-layang tersebut ditemukan di roda pesawat.

Kejadian itu tidak mengganggu lalu lintas dan jadwal penerbangan di Bandara Internasional Adisutjipto Yogyakarta.

Petugas sudah menindaklanjuti lebih dalam dan tidak ditemukan kerusakan dan kondisi pesawat dipastikan siap terbang.

Pihak bandara juga telah melakukan sosialisasi dan mengimbau agar masyarakat tidak bermain layangan di kawasan bandara karena dapat mengancam keselamatan penerbangan.

Link: https://www.kompas.tv/article/118395/pesawat-citilink-yang-tabrak-layang-layang-mendarat-selamat-kru-dan-penumpang-aman?page=all