Today’s good news is that the criminal case against Continental and its mechanic have been dropped. Criminal charges can only hamper air accident investigations, which need to focus on how to avoid issues degenerating into fatal crashes, rather than looking to allocate blame.

BBC News – Concorde crash: Continental Airlines killings verdict quashed

A French appeals court has cleared US airline Continental of criminal blame for the July 2000 crash of a Concorde jet shortly after take-off from Paris.

The ruling comes two years after another French court fined the airline and held it criminally responsible for the crash in which 113 people died.

But Continental may still be liable for damages after the court said the firm still bore civil responsibility.

A piece of metal from a Continental jet was blamed for causing the crash.

For more on this, see Patrick Smith’s Ask the Pilot blog post on the subject: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE CONCORDE DISASTER


It looks like we will find out about the Sptifires very soon now! I’m holding my breath.

Britons near moment of truth in quest to find buried Spitfires in Burma | World news | The Guardian

Early next year, after more than 15 years of negotiating bureaucracy, snakes, monsoons, rivals and a military junta, a Lincolnshire farmer and his team will stand at the edge of a Burmese airport and hope to God that they were right.

If they are, then 10 metres beneath their feet will lie a dozen, three dozen, or perhaps even more, Mk14 Spitfires that were painstakingly interred as the second world war ended in the far east.

It’ll be devastating if there’s nothing there!


Meanwhile, a different WW2 aircraft has been discovered: an American Hellcat fighter at the bottom of the ocean!

Hellcat Fighter Plane Wreckage Discovered Off Miami Coast (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Members of a submarine crew sent to examine artificial reefs off the coast of Miami had the surprise of their lives earlier this year when they instead stumbled across a World War II relic.

Researchers in a deep-water submersible discovered a 28-foot long Grumman F6F Hellcat fighter aircraft, a WWII fighter plane, buried more than 240 feet deep

Note to the wise: don’t read the comments on that article. I lost two IQ points just skimming them.


There’s an app for everything these days!

Qantas to put iPads in the cockpit – Flights | hotels | frequent flyer | business class – Australian Business Traveller

Qantas is putting iPads at the most pointy end of the plane, in the form of an ‘Electronic Flight Bag’ (EFB) app set for the Red Roo’s Airbus fleet.

Airbus confirms that Qantas is one of the launch customers for its ‘FlySmart with Airbus’ cockpit app

“Qantas pilots took part in testing the Airbus applications and worked with Airbus engineers to help define the best iPad EFB applications for the pilot community” Airbus said in a statement.

The Airbus EFB app contains all their Airbus operational manuals and allows pilots to compute aircraft performance calculations.

The main problem I gave up on using an iPad in the cockpit is that the sun glare made it near impossible to read the screen. Maybe not so much in the A380 though. *jealous sigh*


Quite honestly, I’d think the smell of grease and batter would be reason enough to keep these out of the cabin.

Finger licking at 30,000ft! Japan Airlines set to serve KFC chicken to passengers | Mail Online

Japan Airlines is to begin serving Kentucky Fried Chicken to passengers on some US and European flights for three months next week.

It may seem like a strange move for an airline whose national dish is the rather more healthy raw fish dish of sushi.

But apparently, Colonel Sanders’ fast food has a huge following in Japan, especially around Christmas time.

The fried chicken yuletide craving apparently stems back to when US expats couldn’t find turkey.

They relied on the coated chicken dish for their Christmas dinner and the trend soon took off with Japanese youth.

They say it’s popular with Japanese youth and yet the fried chicken is specifically on offer on the US and European flights – sneaky fast food for businessmen on the road?


Negroni writes a detailed analysis of the cause of the American Airlines scandal when passenger seats came loose on during flights.

Installation Problems Seen in American Airlines’ Loose Seats – NYTimes.com

American, like other carriers, is in the midst of reconfiguring its coach section to give more leg room to some economy seats. To get the extra space, it is creating three rows instead of four. The airline then charges more for the seats, which it calls Main Cabin Extra.

But the airline, in trying to cut costs during bankruptcy, hired outside maintenance companies this summer for the first time to modify its cabins. And airline documents show that those workers did not understand how to properly install the seats.

The Federal Aviation Administration has opened an investigation into the seat problems.

I’ll be interested to read their report.


Is there aviation news that I missed? Please feel free to share in the comments!