Plane crashed in Havana, shortly after takeoff

A Cuban-operated airliner with at least 110 people on board crashed into a cassava field just after takeoff from Havana's international airport on Friday. There appeared to be mass casualties as Cuban officials said three people had survived, but had yet to give an official toll. Authorities said there were 104 passengers and nine foreign crew members on the flight that was headed to the eastern city of Holguin. Witnesses said they saw a thick column of smoke near the airport. Authorities are still gathering information about the crash and cannot confirm if Americans were on the flight or not, a U.S. State Department official said Friday.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/plane-crash-havana-cuba-today-2018-05-18/

The newest commercial drone technologies on the Horizon

Four panelists offered the packed auditorium in Amsterdam a variety of insights and perspectives around the future of drone technology, data gathering and data processing, security and many other topics. The ability to inspire young people to enter the field and become the voices of the future is his driving force. The drone industry should follow in the footsteps of larger markets such as autonomous cars and mobile phone industries, arguing that their respective budgets and access to resources stood orders of magnitude above that of the drone industry as a whole.

https://www.expouav.com/news/latest/a-look-at-the-newest-commercial-drone-technologies-on-the-horizon/

Southwest plane quickly landed after engine failed

Southwest pilots righted plane quickly after engine failed. When the engine on the left wing broke in mid-flight, the pilots of Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 had to deal with a 737 that suddenly banked left on its own, well past any angle they would use. The plane was pitched at an angle of more than 40 degrees for a few unnerving seconds before it leveled out and began an emergency descent, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt told reporters Wednesday in Philadelphia.

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/04/18/us/southwest-emergency-landing/index.html

Drone industry predictions

Drone Industry Predictions. The FAA has released the newest Aerospace Forecast, and there is no surprise that major growth is predicted for the drone industry. The Unmanned Aircraft Systems section of the Forecast reflects both concerns and optimism for the sector.  The FAA says that while “robust growth” in the sector and the introduction of UAS into the NAS “has opened up numerous possibilities, it has also created unique operational challenges. Despite these challenges, the UAS sector holds enormous potential, with commercial applications ranging from aerial photography to package delivery.”

https://dronelife.com/2018/03/16/the-faas-new-aerospace-forecast-drone-industry-predictions/

Canada lent a family $41 million to buy a luxury jet

Canada lent a family $41 million to buy a luxury jet. Now the jet is missing. The jet belonged to South Africa's notorious Gupta family, whose alleged corruption helped trigger the scandals that recently forced President Jacob Zuma out of office. But the Guptas bought the plane with help from a $41 million loan from Export Development Canada, or EDC, Canada's state-owned export-import bank. EDC was helping Bombardier Inc., the Canadian aerospace firm, land the jet sale. But that turns out to have been a poor bet: EDC now says the family defaulted on the loan in October and still owes the bank $27 million.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/03/02/canada-lent-a-family-41-million-to-buy-a-luxury-jet-now-the-jet-is-missing/?utm_term=.6561f1335ff1

Plane slides off runway because of snow at Wisconsin Airport

A passenger plane slid off an icy runway at an airport in eastern Wisconsin after it was diverted from Minnesota because of heavy snow. Officials say no injuries were reported among the 180 passengers and seven crew members on United Airlines flight 878. Investigators say it slid about 75 meters off a runway around 3 a.m. Friday at Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay.

https://www.google.com/url?hl=en&q=https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/passenger-plane-slides-off-icy-runway-at-wisconsin-airport/2018/02/23/fb4c7ddc-18b5-11e8-930c-45838ad0d77a_story.html?utm_term%3D.df8d3fedc430&source=gmail&ust=1519566853887000&usg=AFQjCNEmn2T0K-yfG2imfbnra977_JHInA

Elk crashes helicopter in Wasatch County

Elk crashes helicopter in remote Wasatch County. A pilot and passenger from Australia sustained only small cuts and bruises when an elk jumped and severed the tail rotor of their helicopter Monday evening near Currant Creek in Wasatch County. The pair was attempting to net the animal, Wasatch County Search and Rescue said on Facebook. Few details were immediately released, and it was not clear how the elk fared. First responders from Fruitland evaluated the two aboard the helicopter.

https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900010137/elk-fells-helicopter-in-remote-wasatch-county.html

Plane crash in Iran

Sixty-six people are feared to have been killed in a passenger plane crash in the Zagros mountains in Iran. The Aseman Airlines plane, en route from Tehran to the south-western city of Yasuj, came down near the city of Semirom in Isfahan province. The Red Crescent deployed search and rescue teams to the site. The airline has retracted a statement saying definitively that all aboard were dead. Flight EP3704 left Tehran at 04:30 GMT, and crashed about an hour later.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-43103192

Engine on United Airlines plane falls apart on flight to Hawaii

Passengers aboard a United Airlines flight from San Francisco to Honolulu had a scary trip over the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday, after the casing around one of the engines ripped apart, officials said. United flight 1175, with more than 370 people on board including crew members, landed without incident at Honolulu International Airport, United Airlines Inc spokesman Charles Hobart said in an email.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-airlines-engine/passenger-jet-lands-in-hawaii-after-engine-covering-rips-apart-idUSKCN1FY06F

First plane powered partly by mustard seeds

A Qantas plane powered partly by mustard seeds has become the world’s first biofuel flight between Australia and the United States, after landing in Melbourne on Tuesday. The 15-hour flight used a blended fuel that was 10% derived from the brassica carinata, an industrial type of mustard seed that functions as a fallow crop – meaning it can be grown by farmers in between regular crop cycles. It was a Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 which reduced carbon emissions by 7% compared with the airline’s usual flight over the same LA to Melbourne route.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jan/30/qantas-uses-mustard-seeds-in-first-ever-biofuel-flight-between-australia-and-us

A drone had an apparent call with a jumbo jet

The FAA has launched an investigation after a drone had an apparent close call with a jet near McCarran International Airport. Video circulating online shows the drone hovering as what appears to be a Frontier Airlines jet flies almost directly beneath it. FAA regulations generally prohibit drone operators from flying above an altitude of 400 feet, near other aircraft or in controlled airspace like the area near an airport. There are, however, instances in which pilots can apply to have those rules waived under specific circumstances. It's not clear under which regulations this pilot was flying.

http://abc7.com/technology/drone-has-frightening-apparent-close-call-with-jet/3028857/

The Supermoon on the night of January 31

The January 31 full moon is special for three reasons: it’s the third in a series of “supermoons,” when the Moon is closer to Earth in its orbit -- known as perigee -- and about 14 percent brighter than usual. It’s also the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a “blue moon.” The super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse. While the Moon is in the Earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a “blood moon.”

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/super-blue-blood-moon-coming-jan-31

NASA tests new material to fold aircraft wings

NASA has led a two-day test at the Armstrong Flight Research Center in California on a new material that works to fold aircraft wings while in flight. The space agency said Friday the demonstration is part of the Spanwise Adaptive Wing project, which seeks to determine if a material called “shape memory alloy” provides the capacity to fold outer sections of aircraft wings and their control surfaces to different angles.

https://www.executivegov.com/2018/01/nasa-led-team-tests-new-material-to-fold-aircraft-wings/

The drone racing career of Australia's teenage champion Thomas Bitmatta

Drone racing career beckons for Australia's teenage world champion Thomas Bitmatta. The 18-year-old from Melbourne hit the big time last year when he edged out more than 300 of the world's top drone fliers to win the MultiGP International Open in the US. Bitmatta, from Roxburgh Park in Melbourne's north, has been accepted to study mechatronics but will defer for a year to travel the world — particularly the US — racing drones. Bitmatta will head to Florida this month to compete in the first US competition of the season.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-18/drone-champion-looks-to-turn-talent-into-career/9306908

Emirates saved Airbus from the scrapheap

Emirates Airline has pledged to order up to 36 extra Airbus A380s, and, in doing so, has essentially saved the European firm’s flagship commercial plane from the scrapheap. Airbus needs to make at least six A380s a year in order to maintain an efficient production line, and no orders came in during 2017. A few days ago, the company warned it may have to end production unless a big new order came in soon.

http://fortune.com/2018/01/18/airbus-a380-emirates-order-deal/

Plane skids off runway in Turkey

A passenger plane skidded off a runway and was left stuck precariously on the side of a cliff in northeast Turkey. All 162 passengers and crew on board the Pegasus Airlines' Boeing 737-800 miraculously escaped, with no serious injuries reported, following the incident at Trabzon Airport, on Turkey’s Black Sea coast. Panicked passengers were evacuated from the aircraft early on Sunday after emergency service crews arrived at the scene.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/01/14/passenger-plane-skids-runway-gets-stuck-cliff-edge-turkey/

Commercial airlines had their safest year ever

Commercial airliners had their safest year ever. There were no fatalities on commercial passenger jets in 2017, according to two groups that track airplane crash data, making it the safest year in modern aviation history. There were two fatal accidents in passenger airliners involving small turbo-prop planes, according to To70, a Dutch aviation consulting firm. These numbers mean that the rate of fatal accidents in commercial flights in large airplanes is one per 16 million flights, according to To70.

https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/01/02/575071619/commercial-airliners-had-their-safest-year-ever-flight-trackers-say

Delta flight returned to Atlanta

An unexpected stowaway forced a Delta flight to turn around late Saturday morning. Delta flight 1943 from Detroit to Atlanta had to return to Detroit “shortly after takeoff” because a small sparrow had snuck into the cockpit, airport officials said. The feathered culprit slipped on the plane during boarding and then made its way into the cockpit, where the captain become aware of the nuisance.

http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2017/12/31/bird-flies-into-cockpit-forces-delta-flight-to-turn-around.html