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Aviation Archives

Simulated airplane crash in Peoria trains emergency responders

On Saturday, the Illinois Air National Guard and a number of local emergency response agencies held a full scale drill at the Peoria International Airport to test their response plans. The disaster drill is designed to provide responders an opportunity to refine their practices for responding to a plane crash. Approximately 70 local youths participated as crash victims wearing prosthetics and makeup to replicate the types of injuries they would likely suffer in a real airline accident.

Airplane lands safely after losing power

Another in the recent string of near misses for the airline industry yesterday as a United Airlines flight made a safe emergency landing after the on-board power went out shortly after take-off. Without any instruments to guide them, the pilots relied on the directions from air traffic controllers and the landmarks which they could see out the window of the cockpit to return the airport.

Boeing 737 operated by Southwest Airlines rips open during flight

About 20 minutes after taking off from Phoenix Sky Harbor Internal Airport on Friday afternoon, Southwest Airlines Flight 812 made an emergency landing after the plane's fuselage ruptured causing a 5 foot long tear in the ceiling. Some of the plane's 118 passengers described hearing loud pops and then seeing a gaping hole rip through the roof of the Boeing 737. The plane suffered rapid decompression, and oxygen masks popped out as the plane dove to a lower altitude where passengers could breathe on their own. According to one passenger, some people "were passing out because they weren't getting the oxygen" from masks that dropped from above during the emergency. Terrified passengers thought the end was near, and one woman texted her husband, "Plane going down. Love you."

Construction at O'Hare poses flight safety risk

When a FedEx airplane taxied out to takeoff from Chicago's O'Hare airport, a preflight check determined that the plane was too heavy to use the runway to which it was originally assigned because that runway was only 8,000 feet long. Air traffic controllers gave the flight the option of a new runway and the plane prepared for takeoff. They began accelerating down the new runway unaware that a blast fence had been erected for the runway construction, shortening the runway to only 6,000 feet. The pilots were surprised as the moved down the runway and saw the fence quickly approaching. The plane was already moving too fast to stop in time to avoid the fence so the pilots took the plane into the air as quickly as possible narrowly missing the blast fence. They were close enough though that the exhaust from the engines blew away the blast fence.

More finger pointing regarding napping air traffic controller incident

You likely heard about a situation last week in which two airline flights, including one from Chicago, landed at Reagan National airport without the assistance of the air traffic controller who had dozed off. Fortunately both plans landed safely, but now there are rumblings within the airline industry about what should happen when a situation like this arises.

United plane that caught fire was flown without being repaired

During a flight last may, about 30 minutes after takeoff, flames shot into the cockpit from the window of a United Airlines airplane with 112 passengers on board, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. The flames extended 14 to 16 inches into the cockpit from the window near the captain. The captain quickly grabbed a nearby fire extinguisher to douse the flames, but after he initially had them under control, they reignited. A flight attendant brought him another fire extinguisher which he also emptied in an attempt to put out the fire. As the plane headed to Dulles Airport for an emergency landing, the inner pane of the window in front of the captain shattered. The first officer then took control of the plane and landed it safely.

Two killed in Southern Wisconsin Airplane crash

The Chicago Tribune reports that two people were killed in a fatal airplane accident yesterday at about 6:30 in the evening. The crash occurred in south central Wisconsin about 15 miles from Baraboo. The plane had taken off from an airport in Lake in the Hills, Illinois.

Chicago Executive Airport cleared for new runway safety systems

As you may know, the south end of the main runway at the Chicago Executive Airport ends very near to Palatine Road. The owners of the airport, Prospect Heights and Wheeling, have now approved the installation of a runway safety system to be installed at both ends of the runways to help stop airplanes that overshoot the runways.

NTSB investigating fatal plane crash

The Chicago Tribune reports that the National Transportation Safety Board is leading an investigation into a fatal plane crash that occurred Wednesday night in Indiana. The crash of the twin engine Cessna occurred at approximately 8:15 according to Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory.

Engine failure forces Delta flight to make emergency landing

The Chicago Tribune reports that a flight originating from Fort Lauderdale airport was forced to make an emergency landing after the aircraft suffered a mid-air mechanical failure. The airplane had left the Florida airport at approximately 7:45 on Sunday morning. The engine failed shortly into the flight and the plane was forced to return to Fort Lauderdale airport to make an emergency landing.

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