Archive for : August, 2017

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Chasing the 2017 Eclipse Across the Sky

On Monday, 21 August, millions across the United States turned skyward for a few moments to enjoy a total solar eclipse. Thousands of people in hundreds of flights also enjoyed the eclipse from the air. (more…)

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AvTalk Episode 12: Out on the Airfield

On episode 12 of AvTalk, we discuss Air Berlin’s insolvency and what that might mean for other airlines in Europe, NASA gets ready to study the eclipse, and we list some of our favorite airports. We also talk with Dan Kierna, an airport operations supervisor at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago about what it takes to keep one of the world’s busiest airports running on a daily basis. (more…)

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Recent Interest—Tracking Russian Treaty on Open Skies Observation Flights

On Wednesday, 9 August, a CNN article noted the presence of a Russian aircraft in the skies over Washington D.C. conducting low-altitude surveillance. The Tupolev Tu-154 was in the area conducting a standard scheduled overflight as part of the Treaty on Open Skies, of which both the United States and Russia are parties. The aircraft on all Open Skies missions fly unarmed. (more…)

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AvTalk Episode 11: 747s, Skunks, and Babies

In Episode 11, we check in on the 747 to note a few melancholy milestones and the possibility that two 747s might soon find an interesting new home. We run through some of the flights that made the news recently, including some for the wrong reasons. And we ponder the thorny legal issues that airborne labor and delivery can create.

Melancholy Milestones

As the 747 ages, many airlines are sending their fleet to the desert, marking the end of long-haul routes and the conclusion of domestic service. We walk through some of the milestones, including the delivery of what is likely the last commercial passenger 747.

HL7644, very likely the last commercial passenger 747 Boeing will ever deliver to a customer.

Also in the news this week, the US Air Force and Boeing moved closer to a deal to use two 747s originally ordered by now-defunct airline Transaero and currently stored in the California desert as the next presidential aircraft. We debate the merits of this approach.

Happy Milestones

In July, Flightradar24 set a monthly record of 5.3 million flights and a daily record of 189,168. We also installed a few new remote receivers, including the third receiver on St Helena and one in far-north Greenland.

Flights in the News

An Air India flight forgot to retract its landing gear and needed to divert because it ran low on fuel.

AI676, which diverted to Nagpur after the crew failed to retract the A320’s landing gear


As part of its ongoing dispute with countries in region, Qatar has requested its own Flight Information Region.


A interesting flight over Ontario, Canada caught our eye.


There was a hail of a storm in Istanbul and at least four aircraft were damaged, including severe damage to an Atlas Global A320.

Video of the Atlas Global A320 landing back at Istanbul with significant hail damage.

Photos of the Delta 747 damaged by hail in 2015.

Spending 3.5 hours holding waiting for the weather to clear at Funchal, Enter Air flight 834 ended up diverting away anyway.

E4834 Speed and Altitude Graph

Lufthansa 543 welcomed an additional passenger en route from Bogota to Frankfurt when a passenger gave birth to a baby boy. Mother and baby are doing well. Jason wonders where the baby can claim citizenship. If you know—or think you know—email us to fill us in.

LH543 welcomed an additional passenger southwest of Ireland


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Boeing Uses a 787 to Draw a 787 Dreamliner During ETOPS Test

At 15:38 local time N7874, the fourth 787 built, departed Boeing Field in Seattle for an 18-hour, 22 state test flight. The crew spent the overnight hours above the United States performing ETOPS testing on the new Rolls Royce Trent 1000 TEN engine, which will power the 787-10. (more…)

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