Tag: a320

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Germanwings Flight 4U9525 Plummets in French Alps, All Aboard Feared Dead

Where: France
March 24, 2015 at 12:03 PM | by | ()

A flight operated by Lufthansa's Germanwings budget airlines crashed into a remote area of the French Alps at 10:53am this morning, killing all 144 passengers including several schoolchildren and 6 crew members.

The Airbus 320 (A320) was flying from Barcelona to Dusseldorf when it suddenly dropped out of the sky. So far, there have been no reports of bad weather nor mechanical issues. However, there is some conflict over a distress call with Germanwings not sure if one had been made but France's aviation regulator said the plane lost radio contact and descended for eight minutes without explanation, thus prompting the controller to issue its own distress call.

Right now recovery efforts are underway in a fairly unmanageable section of the Alps. Making the process harder is that bad weather is expected for the area with rain and snow.

For now, Germanwings has changed their logo on social media from its usual happy orange and red to a somber black and gray.

They've also posted this statement on its site about the crash:

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The Tragedy of Indonesia AirAsia Flight 8501: Who to Follow for the Latest Updates

December 29, 2014 at 8:55 PM | by | ()

"Until today, we have never lost a life." - AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes, 28 December 2014.

There's been no resolution yet to the question of what happened to Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501, an Airbus A320 (tail PK-AXC) which disappeared while en route from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore, and we're not going to speculate.

More and more there's been an issue with the responsible reporting of aviation incidents. FOX News is an infamous offender, prone to flagrant speculation and misinformation, but they're not the only ones. Even CNN can get their facts wrong. For example, today the CNN Asia Pacific Editor, Andrew Stevens, compared the search area to the size of California. In reality it's less than half that size; Stevens made a mis-calculation between square kilometers and square miles, but issued no correction. Media loves a soundbite like that California size comparison, so automatically CNN spreads flawed information.

If you'd like to follow along with the latest in the search, we recommend checking out the few sources we trust in these matters:

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Why One Little Green Airplane is Flying with a Big, Bushy Mustache

November 3, 2014 at 1:20 PM | by | ()

For several years, airlines like British Airways, Brussels Airlines, Virgin America and more have "flown in the face of men's health issues" by getting involved with the Movember movement. For 2014, the mustachioed will be joined by yet another airline, as Aer Lingus waxes up their own cookie duster.

The plane with the 'stache is an Airbus A320 named "Des" (the tail number is EI-DES) and, if you spot him on the tarmac at your home airport, you can share your photos of Des using the hashtag "#moplane."

Since Aer Lingus accepted the challenge from the Ireland chapter of Movember to participate, the airline has set up a Movember site for donations from their flyers.

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Watch This Jet Buzz Through Budapest at 500 Feet

August 29, 2014 at 3:01 PM | by | ()

This Monday is Labor Day and the unofficial end of summer. With the close of the sunniest season comes a finish to the bulk of the year's Air Show program. There's still the Red Bull Air Race in Dallas, TX to look forward to next weekend, but we're wishing we had known about another event earlier in the year, over in Budapest, Hungary.

Red Bull's Aerobatics team was out in full force over the Danube River back in May for the capital's Air Show, but they weren't even the highlight! Budapest's air authorities allowed for some maneuvers that outshown these dare devils, beginning with a grand opening of a plane taking off from the roadway of a bridge (view it above).

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The First Airline to Hyperlapse is...

August 28, 2014 at 3:30 PM | by | ()

Two days is about the correct amount of time before big brands begin experimenting with new social media apps. This has again proved true for Hyperlapse from Instagram, as travel companies race to see how sped-up video can enrich their online presence.

Technically the first airline to dabble in Hyperlapse was Qantas, as they re-grammed a Hyperlapse from one of their travelers, who captured Qantas airplane movements from a lounge at Sydney International Airport before his own flight.

But the first airline to create their own Hyperlapse video using the new app was...

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Finally! Onboard and Online with JetBlue's New Fast and Free 'Fly-Fi' WiFi Network

December 11, 2013 at 5:36 PM | by | ()

[Update: To view what routes will have Fly-Fi each day, check the frequently updated list on JetBlue's blog]

December, 2007: JetBlue christens an Airbus A320 "BetaBlue" and becomes the first airline to offer in-flight WiFi, even if it is extremely limited and quickly outdated.

December, 2013: JetBlue again launches an Airbus A320 with in-flight WiFi, but this time the focus is on freedom and a tech-positive future. The system is called Fly-Fi and it promises to do everything other in-flight networks cannot, and still go beyond. It is the Survivor of in-flight WiFi networks, designed to "Outwit Outplay Outlast."

It was only this morning that Fly-Fi saw its first official flight, and we were onboard. Naturally we tried our very best to break the network or at least throttle it, but to no avail; Fly-Fi is a beast of technology, an in-flight WiFi network passengers can finally rely on, and likely even come to love.

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New Airline Alert: Get High in the Himalayas with Bhutan Airlines

Where: Bhutan
September 25, 2013 at 9:33 AM | by | ()

Bhutan, the little country tucked away in the Himalayas, has some big plans for increasing the number of tourists visiting the country. Now, air access to the high altitude nation is just that much easier with the launch of Bhutan Airlines and expanded international service.

The new national airline will officially take off on October 10 with flights originating in Bangkok and flying over mountain peaks to the nation's only international airport in Paro. As you can probably guess, the terrain and remote location make Paro one of the more dangerous airports from which to take off and land, so perhaps read the fine print on your travel insurance policy.

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JetBlue Gets Approval to Move Forward with In-Flight WiFi

September 6, 2013 at 8:37 AM | by | ()

We’ve done our best to more than fill you in on all the goings-on related to JetBlue and their plans for in-flight WiFi. Now we have a little bit of an update, as the carrier just received some of the approvals for which they’ve been awaiting for quite some time.

Uncle Sam—through his buddies at the FAA—just handed out everyone’s favorite piece of government paperwork. It’s the Supplemental Type Certificate—STC to those in the know—and it was awarded to JetBlue’s A320s. That means that installation across the fleet can move forward full speed ahead. We imagine as you’re reading this there’s a JetBlue plane out there getting some new wires and antennae.

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What's Up with JetBlue's In-Flight WiFi?

July 1, 2013 at 4:46 PM | by | ()

Consider the night sky. On a clear evening you can count on twinkling stars, the moon, a couple planets and, every so often, the faint blink of a passing aircraft. Now think about all the satellites flitting around up there; Quora puts the number at 3,500-ish, or 3,501-ish if you consider that even JetBlue now has their own (named ViaSat-1) to support what they hope will be "the industry's best inflight broadband for commercial aviation."

That's right—we're talking about in-flight WiFi on JetBlue, or "Fly-Fi" as they've dubbed it. Fly-Fi is already active on one A320 aircraft—that's tail N804JB "Got Blue?" for all you with an eye to the sky—and the test flights finished up last week. It shouldn't be much longer now until FAA certification and then the fun can really begin.

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Why You Should Care About Airbus' Great White Sharklets

February 21, 2013 at 6:04 PM | by | ()

No, it's not Shark Week, but airlines are a little obsessed with sharks right now. First there was the news that Lufthansa is testing a sharkskin-like material on their wings, and now JetBlue is flaunting the first Sharklets in the USA. Not baby sharks, sadly, but Sharklets, which is just a slick term for elongated wingtips stuck onto the ends of A320 wings.

Today JetBlue became the first US airline to send an A320 out into the skies with Sharklets, but why should you care?

Well, if you've ever taken a moment to reflect on how much fuel an airplane burns on a flight (900-ish gallons an hour for an A320) and then considered the impact that has on the environment, you'll want Sharklets on your plane.

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Test Your Cockpit Knowledge to Win a Day at an Air Canada Flight Simulator

Where: Canada
February 1, 2013 at 1:08 PM | by | ()

"Have you ever dreamed of sitting in an airplane's pilot seat?"

Air Canada isn't asking if you've ever dreamt of flying a plane, just if you want to sit in the pilot seat, which is all well and good considering they've just opened up a Facebook contest to win a day with an Air Canada instructor pilot in a flight simulator at the airline's Flight Training Center in Toronto.

To score such an awesome prize, you've got to show off some basic A320 cockpit knowledge by playing a multiple choice game called "Land Your Way."

Progress through three levels of harder and harder questions to reach the status of "Captain" and view your final score. The more points you get, the more times your name is entered into the draw to win the flight sim grand prize. Unfortunately the prize is only open to Canadian citizens, but that's not stopping you from playing the game.

[Photo: Facebook screenshot]

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Exclusive: Inside Virgin America's San Francisco HQ and Pilot Training Center

December 17, 2012 at 4:31 PM | by | ()

What began as one floor is now an entire building, and their original two coast-to-coast flights are now a respectable route network. We're speaking of Virgin America, whose headquarters outside SFO in Burlingame, California we recently visited for a look at the cogs turning behind the scenes.

Virgin America celebrated their fifth anniversary this year. That makes them the baby of the bunch, for both US airlines and Virgin. Heck, Virgin Atlantic has been flying since 1984 and Virgin Australia since 2000. Indeed Virgin America isn't shy about their newbieness; they take pride in it. Google them and the first words you'll see below the link to their official site are "A brand new airline dedicated to making flying good again."

You know what else is new? Their cabin trainer and A320 flight simulator still have that "new plane smell," since they were introduced as recently as October 2011 and May 2012, respectively. Home to many photo shoots (and in-flight service training, duh), the cabin is outfitted with everything from the deep mood lighting to working overhead bins and those massage chairs in First Class. Before a flight attendant can ask if you'd like another in-flight absinthe, she or he must first pass muster here.

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