Author Archives: Ofonime Essien

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Airline Mechanic Spends 75 years in Same Job

Airline Mechanic Spends 75 years in Same Job

By Ofonime Essien

91 Year Old Celebrates 75 Years Anniversary Working for American Airlines Azriel Blackman Celebrates 75 Years Anniversary Working for American Airlines Azriel Blackman holds the world record for having the longest airline mechanic career Azriel Blackman Celebrates 75 Years Anniversary Working for American Airlines An aircraft dedicated to Azriel Blackman
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Azriel Blackman holds the world record for having the longest airline mechanic career

Azriel Blackman started out as a 16-year-old apprentice on 50 cents an hour. Seventy-five years later Azriel Blackman holds the world record for having the longest airline mechanic career.

He may not be as hands on as he once was, but the 91-year-old New Yorker defies his advancing years to work five days a week as aviation maintenance technician crew chief for American Airlines at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

US Government Accepts Responsibility for July 2015 Midair Collision

His shift starts at 5am and last until 1pm, but so great is his enthusiasm that he arrives at the hangar more than two hours early each morning.

From the flying boats of the 1940s to the Boeing 777, he has worked on more than 50 types of aircraft during his three-quarter-of-a-century career.

Nor is he ready to hang up his boots just yet.

“Don’t think for a second that this is a retirement letter,” he wrote in a column for the company website to mark the 75-year milestone. “It’s never really felt like a job because it’s a craft I love and take great pride in.”

Help Is On The Way

On Tuesday the airline unveiled a Boeing 777 dedicated to Blackman that sports his name and signature on the fuselage behind the cockpit.

Record

A representative from Guinness World Records also presented Blackman with the title of “longest career as an airline mechanic.” A spokeswoman dated the record at 74 years, 355 days on July 7.

In 2015, AP asked Blackman was he was still working, and he replied: “If you love what you do, it’s not work.”

Pilot Crashes After Six Unsuccessful Approaches

He first started working for the company in the sheet metal shop fresh out of Aviation High School in Manhattan. But his days of heavy lifting are now over, and his primary role now is coordinating team members.

“You might find this hard to believe, but I still see every day as a new challenge,” he said. Blackman turns 92 next month.

(Gulf News)


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U.S. Government Accepts Responsibility for July 2015 Midair Collision

U.S. Government Accepts Responsibility for July 2015 Midair

By Ofonime Essien

Cessna 150 July 2015 Midair Collision

The U.S. government has taken responsibility for the July 2015 midair collision between a U.S. Air Force F-16 and a Cessna 150 that killed two people. NTSB

In taking responsibility for the July 2015 midair collision between a U.S. Air Force F-16 and a Cessna 150 near Charleston SC (CHS), a government report said the FAA’s air traffic controllers were responsible for actions and omissions that led to the accident. Citing the see and avoid concept, the report said the pilots of both aircraft were considered factors in the collision.

85 Year Old Pilot Enjoys Birthday Flight With Her Son

The government’s admission came in response to a lawsuit filed by the families of the two victims aboard the Cessna who perished in the crash. The F-16 pilot ejected after the collision and was unhurt. In the report, the U.S. government added, “Accordingly, the United States does not contest its liability for their deaths [the two men aboard the Cessna] in this case, but does contest the existence, type and quantum of damages available to plaintiffs.”

The attorney for the victims, well-known aviation safety analyst and TV commentator Mary Schiavo, said the victory was, “… just the first step, a very important first step. The government finally admitted that they caused this horrible disaster.” Schiavo is expected to call for a jury trial next to seek damages from the government.

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The Cessna 150 had departed Moncks Corner Airport just before 11 a.m. local time for a VFR flight to Myrtle Beach and was flying a southeast heading, while the F-16, heading in a southerly direction, was under the control of the Charleston TRACON. The F-16 pilot was preparing for a practice instrument approach to Charleston AFB at the time of the collision. The Cessna pilot never made radio contact with CHS ATC.

The Charleston controller called the Cessna as traffic to the F-16 pilot approximately 30 seconds prior to the collision, although the fighter pilot never saw the other aircraft. An NTSB animation of radar data indicates the F-16 would most likely have passed behind the Cessna if the controller had taken no action at all.

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As the two aircraft approached closer, however, the Charleston controller turned the F-16 to a 180-heading placing the fighter on a collision course with the Cessna. At the time of the accident, the Charleston controller was working alone, but was assisted by a radar handoff controller, a typical configuration at CHS.

(Flying Mag)

 

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85-year-old Pilot Enjoys Birthday Flight with Her Son

Category : News

85-year-old Pilot Enjoys Birthday Flight with Her Son

By Ofonime Essien

Marguerite Moncrieff-Buck

Former pilot Marguerite Moncrieff-Buck celebrated her 85th birthday on Friday by taking a flight with her son and pilot, Glyn Buck, at Windsor airport.

Marguerite Moncrieff-Buck thought she should do something memorable to mark her 85th birthday.

Dinner out with family and friends or maybe a second piece of cake just wasn’t going to cut it.

“It’s a significant year,” Moncrieff-Buck reasoned. “A lot of people don’t make it to 85. I did and I thought I have to do something special.”

So Moncrieff-Buck decided to dust off the pilot’s licence she earned back in 1960 and made plans to take a birthday flight with her son, Glyn Buck, on July 7.

Seeing how more than 50 years had passed since she last climbed into a cockpit, Moncrieff-Buck scheduled a session at Windsor Airport earlier in the week with flight instructor Dayne Morrison.

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“I hated every second of it,” Moncrieff-Buck said, adding it had nothing to do with Morrison.

Rather, the instrument panel was totally foreign to her as was the technique used for landing. And the arm strength required to pull on the yoke used to steer the plane was simply too much.

“Everything was foreign, it was like you’re used to driving a Model T and they’re putting you in a 747,” she said.

“Give me a tail dragger,” she said referring to an older style of plane and how you landed it.

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With the birthday flight already scheduled and looming just two days away, like any good pilot, Moncrieff-Buck charted another course of action.

“I had a brilliant notion,” she said of asking Morrison if he could give her son Glyn the controls and let him fly while she took it all in from the back seat.

“I loved every second of it,” she said. “I enjoyed watching my son fly. I can’t think of anything more important than flying in the back seat for his first flight.”

Of course, the new flight plan caught Glyn off guard.

“I’ve logged a lot of commercial miles as a passenger and I’ve been in a small plane a couple of times but at the back,” the 52-year-old said. “It’s very different in the front. It was thrilling but slightly terrifying at the same time.”

With Morrison at his side, Glyn steered the plane along the riverfront, through LaSalle, Amherstburg and out to Leamington before heading back to Windsor.

His wife, Tracie, and son, Carter, took pictures and video from the tarmac.

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“It was quite a day,” Glyn said.

Mother and son walked arm-in-arm out to the airplane signing a 1959 tune written about the atomic bomb titled “We will all go together when we go.”

It was another war song that inspired Moncrieff-Buck’s life-long love of flight.

She was a child when the 1942 film Captains of the Clouds came out, chronicling the story of two Canadian pilots in the Second World War. Moncrieff-Buck loved the title song of the same name.

She knew all the lyrics and their wonderful tale of flying made her wish she was old enough to join the air force.

Later, as an adult, a friend suggested she take flying lessons.

She flew for several years until she started raising children.

Moncrieff-Buck tells a hair-raising story about her solo flight which entailed flying from Windsor to London to St. Thomas and back. Having missed her first checkpoint she had to guestimate her way to the London airport. Then on the next leg, she misread the windsock in St. Thomas and wound up executing a tricky manoeuvre in order to land the plane downwind instead of the preferable method of into the wind.

A group of men watched in amazement outside the St. Thomas hangar.

“When I climbed out of the plane they were lined up with their hands on their hips and said ‘Do you know you just landed your plane downwind?’ I said yes, can you please sign my logbook I’ve got to get back home.”

Fortunately, last Friday’s flight was much more routine.

“He did well,” she said of Glyn. “I was very proud of him.”

(Windsorstar)

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British Airways Cabin Crew Begin 16-Day Strike Over Wages

British Airways Cabin Crew Begin 16-Day Strike Over Wages

By Ofonime Essien

British Airways Cabin Crew

British Airways cabin crew

After 26 days of strike action taken already this year in connection with a protracted pay dispute, British Airways cabin crew began a further 16-day strike at 00:01hrs on July 1, which will last until 23:59hrs on July 16.

The strike is being held by members of the Unite union who work on both long-haul and short-haul flights out of London’s Heathrow Airport. Additionally, the union is voicing objections over the threat of sanctions against cabin crew who strike.

Father & Son Set Forth on Round the World Helicopter Flight

According to Unite, British Airways has a blacklist of cabin crew who have gone on strike.

According to the union’s national officer, Oliver Richardson, “Vindictive threats from British Airways amount to corporate bullying from an airline more interested in punishing workers on poverty pay than addressing why cabin crew have been striking.” Richardson added that: “Unite believes it is tantamount to a blacklisting operation and that it is unlawful. We will fight both industrially and legally to defend our members’ fundamental human right to stand up to bullying and for decent pay.”

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Unite is maintaining that “despite promises that pay would be 10 percent above the market rate, basic pay starts at just GBP£12,192 with £3.00 an hour flying pay.” Unite also claims that the average mixed-fleet crew member earns £16,000, which includes allowances, per annum.

Amid protestations from Unite that it breaches international labor standards and regulations concerning wet-leasing aircraft from outside the EU, BA has sought the help of its oneworld airlines fellow member, Qatar Airways, to fly some short-haul routes. BA will lease nine aircraft and crew on a temporary basis.

BA has confirmed that all flights to and from London Gatwick, London City and Stansted airports will operate as normal, and that it will still operate 99.5 percent of its normal schedule.

(Avitrader)

 

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Father-and-Son Set Forth on Round-the-World Helicopter Flight

Father-and-Son Set Forth on Round-the-World Helicopter Flight

By Ofonime Essien

C150 Global Odyssey

Bob and Steven Dengler are a father-and-son team who take off from Ottawa on July 1 in their bid to be the first Canadians to fly around the world by helicopter. C150GO

Bob Dengler and his son, Steven, took off in their Bell helicopter from the Canada Aviation and Space Museum on the first day of a 40-day, 38,000-kilometre flight around the world.

If successful, the Denglers will be the first Canadians to fly around the world by helicopter and the first father-and-son team to accomplish the feat. The Citizen caught up with Steven Dengler to talk about the C150 Global Odyssey.

The Flight

C150 Start

C150 Global Odyssey starting their global journey

Starting Saturday morning from their home base in Vaughan, north of Toronto, the Denglers will fly to Ottawa for a 9:30 a.m. ceremony before heading east on a journey that will pass through 14 countries and 103 airports. They’ll visit every provincial and territorial capital.

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“We’re extremely fortunate to be at a place in our lives where we have the time and resources to do this trip,” said Dengler. “Canada 150 is a wonderful time to do the trip, but the idea had been kicking around for a while. But Canada 150 came around and we said, ‘Let’s give it a shot. We’ll raise some money for charity. We’ll celebrate Canadian history and culture and innovation around the world. We’ll make it one for the history books.’ ”

The Pilots

Bob Dengler, 77, is an engineer who founded his own mining company and took up helicopter flying 10 years ago. Steve Dengler, 48, is also an engineer and co-founder of the world currency website, xe.com. He’s been a fixed wing pilot for a decade and learned to fly helicopters in preparation for the C150GO flight. A third pilot, retired Bell Helicopter test pilot Rob MacDuff, will also be on board. Ask Steve Dengler what he’s most looking forward to and he has two answers:

“The inside the helicopter answer is I’m just looking forward to spending time with my father. He started a business that he ran for 25 years. I started a business that I ran for 20-plus years. We’ve been busy our adult lives, and when you’re that busy you don’t get a lot of quality time to spend with each other. I’m very aware of how fortunate I am to, not just have this monumental journey, but to re-engage with my father on something we both love, which is aviation.”

The ‘Guests’

Retired Canadian astronaut Dave Williams will join the team for the first leg from Vaughan to Ottawa. Williams, a physician who twice flew on the Space Shuttle, is now president and CEO of Southlake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket, one of two charities the C150GO team is backing.

In addition to winning five Stanley Cup rings, former NHL great Guy Lafleur is also a pilot who will fly several legs with the Denglers.

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“He is an outstanding helicopter pilot and he has a long-standing relationship with Bell Helicopters,” Dengler said. “If you’re getting a Bell helicopter delivered, you never know if you’re going to get a surprise visit from Guy Lafleur. He loves to fly.”

Award-winning photographer Peter Bregg will fly about two-thirds of the journey, too, documenting the flight and the landscape. Bronwen Evans, the director of True Patriot Love, the second charity the flight will support, will also take part in some of the events.

Bell 429

Bob and Steven Dengler are a father-and-son team who take off from Ottawa on July 1 in their bid to be the first Canadians to fly around the world by helicopter. C150GO

The Helicopter

“The helicopter is every bit as Canadian as we are,” Steven Dengler says. “It was designed and built at the Bell plant in Mirabel, and it’s really the first brand new Bell design in 40 years. It’s legacy free. They basically said, ‘Let’s start over.’ ”

The twin-engine Bell 429 Global Ranger is one of the most advanced helicopters in the world, with a cruising speed of 150 knots and a range of 411 nautical miles. That doesn’t give much room for error on the Denglers’ longest leg — the 398-nautical mile flight from Pangnirtung, Baffin Island, to Nuuk, Greenland — so they’ll carry an extra fuel bladder on board and wait for favourable winds before taking off. The Bell 429 doesn’t come cheap. It’s worth about $7.5 million.

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The helicopter is also equipped with Honeywell’s Aspire 200 satellite Internet broadband system, which will let the Denglers upload photos and video in real time. You can follow C150GO on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

“It’s not just going to be me and my father in a tin can for 40 days,” Dengler said. “It’s going to be us sharing our journey with the world.”

The ‘outside the helicopter’ answer

So what was the second thing that Dengler is looking forward to?

“Outside the helicopter — Canada is a giant beautiful country and very few people get to see it like we’ll see it,” he says. “We’re going to fly through  Gros Morne Park. In Labrador, we’re going to fly up Saglek Fiord. These are some of the natural wonders of the world — not just Canada — the world. And we’re going to fly through them in a helicopter and we’re going to be sharing them with Canadians. What an opportunity and what delight to be able to share that.”

(Ottawa Citizen)

 

 

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Pilot Who Donated Kidney to Sick Father

Pilot Who Donated Kidney to Sick Father

By Ofonime Essien

Kidney donorThe thought of losing a father was the scariest thing that’s ever happened to Frances Nagatalevu.

It was back in 2010, her father was sick and needed a kidney. His two elder daughters were pregnant and his only son, Frances’ twin, was asthmatic. So it all came down to his third daughter and pilot, Frances, to give a kidney to their father.

Frances hopes sharing her story will be a lesson to others who take family for granted. She said she was able to do what was necessary through the grace of God.

“We spent three months in India, we were basically temporary residents,” Frances said.

Daddy, I’ll Be A Pilot. And He Was Only 4 Years Old

“This was one of my toughest times, the thought of losing my father was the scariest thing ever. But everything happens for a reason and for us, it brought us closer as a family and closer to God.

“The power of prayer, you’ll be amazed at what the Lord can do for you if you put your faith in Him.”

While in India, she was interviewed to determine whether she was giving her kidney on her own free will. One of the questions focused on the possibility of her not carrying on as a pilot.

The Rejected Flight Attendant Who Started Her Own Airline

“I just told them, ‘I will find something else to do’. I’ve always wanted to do marine science.

“But I can now say I’m a pilot with one kidney,” she said with a laugh. “I didn’t get here by my own strength. It’s by the grace of God I get to do what I love to do and that is flying.”

The Rakiraki, Yale, Kadavu native who has maternal links to Ogea, Lau said they had gone through so much as a family but she thanked God for everything He had done for their family.

Her father was a senior air traffic controller back then and so the young Frances spent most of her days at the CAAF (Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji) quarters in Nadi with her siblings.

Frances had a dream and that was to be a marine biologist as she loved the ocean. However, her parents offered to pay for her fees to attend flying school.

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“After my first flight, I never looked back, I knew this is what I wanted to do.

“Being a woman in a male-dominated industry is a challenge. If men can do it, what is stopping women? I’m a very competitive person, I like a challenge. Like my uncle always says, ‘if the sky is the limit, then to me the limit is the sky’.”

If there was someone Frances would like to dedicate her achievements to, it would not be one but two people, as her parents have been her source of inspiration.

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“My parents mean the world to me and the meaning of success to me personally is making them proud, nothing satisfies me more than putting a smile on their faces.

“They worked hard every day just so we could have a better life than they did. So everything I do now is for them.”

Frances loves her career, she loves flying, she loves taking on challenges and treasures every moment of her career because they help her to look forward to every day and to what life has to offer.

“If I was to give advice about looking for a career, it would be ‘whatever makes you happy’.

“I suffered a lot of ups and downs. But who hasn’t? Just get back up and dust yourself off.

“God has a plan for everyone, we just need to trust Him.”

(Fiji Times)
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‘Daddy, I’ll Be A Pilot!’ And He Was Only 4 Years Old

‘Daddy, I’ll Be A Pilot!’ And He Was Only 4 Years Old

By Femi Adesina

Pilot dream

Be careful what you dream about, it may well come to pass. Oluwatobi is my firstborn, “my might, and the beginning of my strength.” One day, when he was just four years old, we were all in the living room; myself, his mom, and his sister, when he exclaimed: “Daddy, I’ll be a pilot!”

I looked at him, looked at his mother, and said casually: “What does he know about piloting?” For by then, Oluwatobi had not gone near an airport, not to talk of entering an airplane.

But somehow, what he said refused to leave my mind. Just like the biblical Mary, after the angel told her of the virgin conception, I “kept all those things, and pondered them” in my heart.

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‘Tobi (as we call him) began to live his dreams. He needed to see only the picture of an airplane in a newspaper or magazine, and he would cut it, file it away, or paste on the wall of his bedroom. When he was old enough to manipulate a computer, he always went to sites where he could read about aircraft.

I had thought he would outgrow the passion. But the older he grew, the firmer and clearer the dream became. “Daddy, I’ll be a pilot!”

As a growing journalist with growing means, I got to the point I could go on vacation with my family once a year. We started with Ghana. Then South Africa. And London… Tobi was in secondary school, and talked about nothing save flying a plane. Each time we travelled, it was like nirvana. While I kept looking at my wristwatch, expecting the time we would land, my son, and his sister, Tosin, felt completely at home in the sky.

I had expected two people to baulk, and talk Tobi out of his dreams. His mother, and my own mother (Tobi’s grandma, whom he was particularly close to). But the two women surprisingly did not dissuade the boy. They submitted to the perfect will of the Almighty. Underneath are the Everlasting Arms.

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Never underestimate the power of dreams. At 18, my son packed his baggage, and was on the way to Aeronav Academy, in South Africa. The fees were staggering, but by then, I was Deputy Managing Director/ Deputy Editor-in-Chief of The Sun Newspapers. The pay was good enough, and with some belt tightening and lots of sacrifice, I could afford the fees.

Tobi got to Johannesburg at the peak of winter. “A cold coming we had of it, just the worst time of the year. For a journey, and such a long journey, the ways deep and the weather sharp, the very dead of winter.” (T.S Eliot, The Journey of the Magi). I remember the first email he sent to me: “Daddy, it’s so cold, I had to sleep with my shoes on.” Lol. My heart went out to him, but he that would eat honey from the rock must never consider the blade of his axe.

By the end of his first year, he got the private pilot license. Second year, he got the commercial license. I was breathing like a hog under the financial burden, but didn’t Jesus promise that his yoke was easy, “and my burden is light?” I kept trudging on, and one day, at age 21, my son was back, a fully licensed pilot.

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But there was still one more river to cross. And when he told me about it, I almost bolted (just as our President almost did, when he saw the state of the treasury after inauguration into office). Tobi told me of the need to proceed to Sweden, for a type rating license, in which he would specialize on the Boeing 737. A boy of 21 years, planning to fly a whole house in the sky? The money, in dollars, sent my heart racing, and my head spinning. But by then, I was already Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief of The Sun. The publisher was a welfarist, and he took good care of his staff. If the family would take garri, instead of corn flakes, well, we could send Tobi to Sweden. And off he went, coming back months later with a type rating license. Arik Airline gracefully gave him a job.

For almost two years, the young pilot has been plying his trade, but he never flew me. The closest we got was one Saturday morning, about a year ago. I had just landed in Lagos, and who did I meet on the tarmac? Tobi and the crew that was taking over the airplane for the next flight. Safe skies, I told him, after we had taken some pictures, along with Captain Mohammed, an Arik veteran.

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Then D-day came. And it was Monday this week. I had gone to Lagos to be part of Father’s Day celebration in my church, Foursquare Gospel Church, which held on Sunday. Return journey was 7 a.m Monday, aboard Arik.

On Sunday night, Tobi told me: “Daddy, you’ll be on my flight back to Abuja tomorrow.” Great expectations.

I approached the aircraft with Mr Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra State, and an old friend. An airline staff collected my hand luggage, and took it onboard. I then offered to relieve the former governor of the burden of his own luggage. Trust the ever self-effacing man. He hid the bag behind his back, as I made for it. We laughed.

I was on Seat 1D. The former governor was directly behind me. I told him my son was the co-pilot, and he was so very happy and excited at the news. And then, who came in, and took Seat 1F, right beside me? Another gentleman and friend, Mr Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria. We began to chat about the economy, and the risks falling oil prices in the international market could pose to the steadying exchange rate of the dollar to the naira. That was when Tobi struck. He came out from the cockpit, and said the Captain had consented that I should be their guest throughout the flight.

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I first declined. Flying in the air was tough enough, who wants to go and frighten himself to death in a cockpit?

“Daddy, come and see what you paid for. Come and see where your money went,” my son said. I introduced him to the CBN governor, and excused myself from the cabin. The co-pilot to the co-pilot had come. Father and son were in the cockpit.

Captain Carretero Alberto hails from Spain. And what a genial man he turned out to be throughout the 55 minutes flight. I got to know about his family, his professional background, and many others. He had kind words to say about Tobi, and, indeed gave him the thumbs up sign many times, as the young pilot flew the plane, and made what he considered smart moves.

Preparing to lift into the air was a whole set of ceremony. Many things to check. Engines, lights, wings, doors, everything. As Tobi handled the joystick, the joy kiln was kindled in the heart of a proud father.

Communication with the control tower was continuous, and lasted almost throughout the flight. As the plane lifted, and soared into the deep, azure sky, I could not see a thing. Not the foggiest thing. How do pilots do it? But there was a forest of buttons and knobs. They kept touching and pressing them. Is this what they call instrumentation? At a point, the sun streamed in powerfully, in all its brightness. And they fixed their sun visors. “This is why pilots wear sunglasses,” Tobi told me.

As the journey progressed, memories flooded in. The plane was moving forward, but I was going back in time. I remembered that June 25, when unto me a child was born, and unto the Adesinas a son was given. When I got to the hospital, and he was brought out for me to have a look, I remember the yell he gave. Now, the tot of that day is flying a Boeing 737. What will he fly next, a 747 or Dreamliner? The wonders of our God.

Then I chuckled. What did I remember? When Tosin, my daughter was born. Tobi was already three. He had not seen as much soft drinks as on the naming ceremony day. He drank Coke, Fanta, Pepsi, Sprite, everything. Then later, he came to meet me: “Daddy, my tomach (that was how he called it) is paining me. ” I laughed, and asked why his tomach would not pain him, as I had seen him, mixing the drinks? Now, the boy is flying a plane.

I chuckled again. What is it this time? The time he was going to secondary school. A day before resumption, I had taken him to Ikeja, where we bought a pair of boots, which would be part of the school uniform. We barely got home before Tobi slipped into the boots, and for the rest of the evening, he strutted round the house in the jackboot. It was yeoman’s effort to get him to remove it at bedtime. Even then, he put the boots daintily on his bed, throughout the night.

My First Helicopter Flight Experience

And then, the winter night he slept with his shoes on, in Johannesburg. Lol.
Soon, the plane swung right. And Tobi pointed the runway of the Abuja airport to me. We had begun to descend earlier, and would land in eight minutes. At the dot of that time, he brought the big bird gently onto the runway. What an experience for a father!

Since that Monday, when I posted the pictures of father and son on Facebook, the thanksgiving on our behalf has been overwhelming. I thank everyone who commented, and prayed for us. May your day of joy not be postponed. Amen.

My friend and brother, Onochie Anibeze, editor of Saturday Vanguard,  asked for this write up exclusively for his newspaper. I was glad to oblige. Gloating is not one of the reasons I went public about my joy. Far from it. Rather, it is out of thankfulness to God. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony.” Glad to talk about the wonders of our God.

This is my story, this is my song. May every father have cause to rejoice in his son. And on the day of that joy, may the fathers not have toothache.
I can hear the amen. Oh, glory to God.

Adesina is Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity.

 

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Colombian Low-cost Airline Wants ‘Standing Seats’ on Flights

Colombian Low-cost Airline Wants ‘Standing Seats’ on Flights

By Ofonime Essien

VivaColombia

A budget airline in Colombia has renewed calls for “standing seats” to be permitted on aircraft to further drive down the cost of flying.

VivaColombia is the latest budget carrier to express interest in so-called vertical seating, akin to perching on a bar stool, which would enable airlines to cram more passengers onto flights.

“There are people out there right now researching whether you can fly standing up,” VivaColombia’s founder and CEO William Shaw said. “We’re very interested in anything that makes travel less expensive.”


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VivaColombia is not the first airline to consider stand-up flights.

In 2010, Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary expressed interest – and even doubted whether seat belts were necessary.

A plane is “just a b****** bus with wings”, he said at the time. “If there ever was a crash on an aircraft, God forbid, a seatbelt won’t save you. You don’t need a seatbelt on the London Underground. You don’t need a seatbelt on trains which are travelling at 120mph and if they crash you’re all dead…”


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The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) disagrees with O’Leary. It claims seatbelts are essential for passenger safety and said there would be many hurdles to jump through before carriers could launch “stand-up” flights.

Sky Rider Plane Seats

The SkyRider was showcased at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in 2010 Credit: GETTY

“First the airline would have to ask the manufacturer of the aircraft to fit them in, then the manufacturer would have to get those seats approved,” said Richard Taylor, a spokesperson for the CAA. “Unless they can make it 100 per cent safe, it won’t be viable.”


Air Senegal to Launch Operations with Two ATR 72-600


Vertical seating – or “bar stools with seat belts”, as Ryanair dubbed them – was originally touted by Airbus in 2003. The idea has since been developed by the Italian firm Aviointeriors, which claimed its SkyRider perch could reduce space on an aircraft by 25 per cent.

So far no such seat has been approved by regulators. The quest for stand-up flights continues.

(Telegraph)

 

 

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Air Senegal to Launch Operations with Two ATR 72-600s

Category : News

Air Senegal to Launch Operations with Two ATR 72-600s

By Ofonime Essien

Air Senegal

ATR 72-600 | ATR

Air Senegal SA, the new Senegalese national airline, has signed a contract for a firm order of two ATR 72-600s at the Paris Air Show.

With an estimated value of approximately 50 million euros at catalogue price, the contract was formalised today in the presence of Maimouna Ndoye Seck, Senegal’s Minister for Tourism and Air Transport and Elisabeth Borne, French Minister for Transport.


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Delivery of these two turboprop aircraft, which will constitute the initial fleet of the airline, will be made in November 2017. Air Senegal SA’s inauguration ceremony will be held on December 7, 2017, in conjunction with the inauguration of the new Blaise Diagne International Airport in Diass, located some 50 kilometers from Dakar.

The reinstatement of a national airline is part of the wider scope of a government plan called Plan for an Emerging Senegal (PES), aimed at establishing new economic and social policies in the medium to long term, to revitalise the economic growth of the country and to improve the quality of life of its inhabitants.


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“Since the liquidation of Senegal Airlines, domestic air services have been disrupted within the country,” commented Mamadou Lamine Sow, Chief Executive Officer of Air Senegal SA. “Our ambition is for this new airline to play a major role in Senegal, and in all of West Africa. After a year of assessment, conducted by a team of experts assisted by a consulting firm, and on the basis of the airline’s business plan, the choice of the initial fleet focused on the ATR 72-600s. It is Air Senegal SA’s wish to offer its passengers a pleasant and affordable experience aboard a modern aircraft. We are confident that ATR is the best choice to meet the requirements of the market.”


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Christian Scherer, ATR’s Chief Executive Officer, added: “We are delighted to welcome both a new airline and a new country into the ATR family. According to our market forecasts, Africa and the Middle East should need 300 turboprop aircraft by 2035, and 400 new routes should be created. With the ATRs, Senegalese passengers will benefit from a transport offer that will generate many business opportunities, thereby helping to boost the local economy.”

As part of its development, Air Senegal SA next plans to acquire single-aisle aircraft, followed by high-capacity aircraft, which should enable it to operate the famous Paris–Dakar route.

(Aviation Tribune)

 

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The Rejected Flight Attendant Who Started Her Own Airline

The Rejected Flight Attendant Who Started Her Own Airline

By Ofonime Essien

Sibongile Sambo

Sibongile Sambo, Founder, SRS Aviation Africa

When Sibongile Sambo, a 42-year old woman from South Africa, was told by South African Airways that she did not qualify for a flight attendant position because she did not meet their minimum height requirement, she decided to take matters into her own hands.

She became an entrepreneur, and started her very own airline called SRS Aviation, and until this day, her company is the only Black woman-owned and operated aviation company in Africa.

So, how did she do it?

Starting an airline is not an easy or cheap thing to do, but despite this, she was still able to get it off the ground.

First, she formed her company and gave it the name of SRS Aviation. Then, she bid and won a contract for cargo transport issued by the South African government and formed a partnership with MCC Aviation – a South African-based fixed & rotor wing charter operator.

Finally, she sold her car and cashed out her mother’s pension to help her obtain an Air Operating Certificate (AOC) from the South African Civil Aviation Authority (SA CAA). It wasn’t an easy process, but she was able to raise the needed capital and make it work!


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Now, Sambo’s company offers their clients professional and personalized flight options to destinations in Africa and around the world. Their services include VIP charters, tourist charters, cargo charters, game count & capture, and helicopter services. Her customers pay anywhere from $1,000 USD to $200,000 USD per flight.

Her vision

Sambo’s vision is to be the number one choice in affordable air service solutions for individuals and businesses, locally and worldwide, by providing an unparalleled air service. She also aims to uphold the highest safety standards.

When it comes to giving back to her local community, she is also very passionate about helping young people by sharing her knowledge and expertise.


How I Became a Helicopter Pilot


During a recent interview with CNN, she commented, “I’m where I am today because somebody invested in me. It’s my opportunity now to invest in other people.”

(BBnomics)

 

 

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