The weirdest stowaways

  • Jul 24th 2012, Manchester

    A Boeing 737-300, registration G-CELG performing flight LS-791 from Manchester, EN (UK) to Rome Fiumicino (Italy), departed with an 11 year old boy in the passenger cabin, who had run away from home and was making his way to Rome without boarding pass, passport or other papers. Other passengers realised in flight that the boy was travelling alone and informed cabin crew. In consultation of flight crew with dispatch it was discovered the boy was travelling as stowaway. The aircraft continued to Rome for a safe landing, the boy was kept aboard while all other passengers disembarked.

    The boy was returned to Manchester on board of the aircraft, that departed Rome as flight LS-792 with a delay of 2 hours as result of the boy's adventure and reached Manchester with a delay of 80 minutes, where the boy was handed back to his family.

    Police confirmed the boy had separated from his mother while she was shopping and went to the airport to take his way to Rome, while his mother started a search for him. After the crew called dispatch, police was able to identify his whereabouts and inform his mother and after the aircraft's return reunite the family.

    The airline confirmed the boy was travelling aboard their aircraft without proper papers after passing five security checks, where the lack of boarding pass and lack of travel documents went unnoticed. The relevant staff has been suspended pending investigation results.

  • Oct 22nd 2012, San Francisco

    A China Airlines Boeing 747-400, registration B-18210 performing flight CI-4 (dep Oct 21st) from Taipei (Taiwan) to San Francisco,CA (USA), had completed a seemingly uneventful flight.

    Airport Authorities at San Francisco however discovered a passenger was arriving with a forged passport. Further investigation revealed the passenger had no ticket and was travelling from China via Taiwan to San Francisco, having come on board of the aircraft in Shanghai disguised as cleaning personnel before the aircraft departed for flight CI-504 from Shanghai's Pudong Airport (China) to Taipei. The man had been hiding on board of the aircraft in an electrical compartment inside the pressurized cabin all the way from Shanghai to San Francisco and thus had escaped detection by cleaning personnel, cabin crew and security personnel on all three airports.

  • Dec 25th 2009, Madinah

    An Air India Airbus A330-200, hajj flight from Madinah (Saudi Arabia) to Jaipur (India) with 273 pilgrims, was about 45 minutes into the flight, when a stowaway was discovered in the aircraft cabin. The crew decided, he was not a threat to the safety of the flight and continued to Jaipur for a safe landing, where the stoaway was handed to airport security personnel. Police was informed several hours later early Saturday morning (Dec 26th).

    The circumstances of the discovery are not clear. The passengers reported, that the stowaway simply walked out of the toilet 45 minutes into the flight and took an empty seat, but stood out from the other passengers still wearing his overall. Police reported, that a flight attendant was puzzled about a toilet being locked up for a long time, therefore opened the toilet and found the stowaway.

    The Indian man (25) told the crew, that he had gone to Saudi Arabia 6 months earlier for work at the Madinah Airport as a loader, but hadn't been paid regularly and wanted back home, however the employer had confiscated his passport as is usual with foreign workers.

    Police is taking action against the stowaway for violations of the passport act and against Air India officials. India's Civil Aviation Authority have opened an investigation.

  • Sep 13th 2011, Uberlandia

    A Gol Linhas Aereas Boeing 737-800, registration PR-GGP performing flight G3-1779 from Porto Alegre,RS to Brasilia,DF (Brazil), was enroute near Uberlandia,MG (Brazil) when the flight crew decided to divert to Uberlandia to verify suspicions of a stowaway on board after unusual noises had been heard from the cargo area of the aircraft. The aircraft landed safely, no surplus of people was found on board.

    The aircraft arrived in Brasilia with a delay of 2.5 hours.

    The airline confirmed that the aircraft was diverted to verify a suspected problem prompted by noises in the cabin.

  • Jun 6th 2009, Washington

    An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767-300, registration ET-ALJ performing flight ET-500 from Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) via Rome Fiumicino (Italy) to Washington Dulles,DC (USA), had arrived in Washington without obvious incident. When the luggage handlers opened the cargo compartment and began to unload the luggage, they saw a hand amidst the luggage and found an exhausted and dehydrated man in his mid thirties. The man was brought to a hospital and taken into federal custody.

    Authorities believe, that the man had entered the cargo compartment in Ethiopia and remained in there for around 18 hours. They are about to send the man back to Ethiopia.


[English pages] Rendition aircraft

Rendition aircraft are aircraft used by national governments to move prisoners internationally, a practice known as rendition, the illegal version of which is referred to as extraordinary rendition. The aircraft listed in this article have been identified in international news media as being used for prisoner transports.

N221SG in Kabul, 2010
N221SG is a nondescript Learjet 35 with the tail number "N221SG", reported in the media to possibly be used as a US Department of Defense prisoner transport. The plane is registered to Path Corporation of Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, identified as a CIA front company.

When the aircraft landed in Copenhagen, Denmark on March 7, 2005, the Danish opposition party Red-Green Alliance demanded an explanation of the plane's presence.

The last flight originated in Istanbul, Turkey on March 7, 2005. Turkish media reported at the time that individuals of interest to the CIA captured by the country's security services were to be handed over to the American intelligence agency.

N313P/N4476S (manufacturer's construction number 33010/1037) is a plain white 737-7BC Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) that the Chicago Tribune reported on Tuesday, February 6, 2007, flew from Tashkent to Kabul, Afghanistan on September 21, 2003, and then to Szczytno-Szymany International Airport in Poland, landing at 9 p.m. "It stayed on the ground for 57 minutes before taking off for Baneasa Airport in Bucharest, Romania, an airport that, according to the Marty Report, 'bears all the characteristics of a detainee transfer or drop-off point,'" states author Tom Hundley on page 14 of the Tribune. The 737 then continued on to Rabat, Morocco, and Guantanamo Bay, the Marty Report said. In 2004 the plane was used to render LIFG leader Abdel Hakim Belhaj and his wife Fatima Bouchar to Libya.

"The registered owners of both planes [Boeing 737, N313P, and Gulfstream V, N379P] appear to be CIA front companies. Previous attempts by the Tribune to contact the owners produced a trail of non-existent people at unlikely addresses, or law firms that did not want to discuss the nature of their interest in aviation. Both planes have been involved in rendition cases documented by the Tribune, other media and EU investigators," states the Chicago daily on page 14.

The aircraft is reported by news media to be used as a US Department of Defense prisoner transport. It is also known as the "Guantánamo Bay Express".

The N313P registration for a Boeing 737 was subsequently cancelled, and it was reassigned to an experimental Van's Aircraft RV-7. The 737, previously owned by Premier Executive Transport Services, was re-registered as N4476S in ownership of Keeler&Tate Management a company located in Reno, Nevada.

N44982 with a later registration: VH-CCC

The Gulfstream V executive jet with manufacturer serial number 581, changed registrations several times to avoid detection. Among the collection of former registrations are tail numbers N44982 N8068V, N379P, N581GA). The aircraft has been reported in several press sources as a U.S. Department of Defense prisoner transport, also known as "Guantánamo Bay Express". The craft has been reported to being used to transport suspected terrorists to undisclosed locations for either extraordinary rendition or into the CIA prison system. It has been the subject of criminal complaints and parliamentary inquiries.

According to an in-depth investigation into the worldwide network of detention and interrogation facilities employed in the War on Terror, by the British Guardian newspaper, (March 2005):

We were able to chart the toing and froing of the private executive jet used at [an abduction in Sweden] partly through the observations of plane-spotters posted on the web and partly through a senior source in the Pakistan Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI). It was a Gulfstream V Turbo, tailfin number N379P; its flight plans always began at an airstrip in Smithfield, North Carolina, and ended in some of the world's hot spots. It was owned by Premier Executive Transport Services, incorporated in Delaware, a brass plaque company with nonexistent directors, hired by American agents to revive an old CIA tactic from the 1970s, when agency men had kidnapped South American criminals and flown them back to their own countries to face trial so that justice could be rendered. Now "rendering" was being used by the Bush administration to evade justice.

Robert Baer, a CIA case officer in the Middle East until 1997, told us how it works. "We pick up a suspect or we arrange for one of our partner countries to do it. Then the suspect is placed on civilian transport to a third country where, let's make no bones about it, they use torture. If you want a good interrogation, you send someone to Jordan. If you want them to be killed, you send them to Egypt or Syria. Either way, the U.S. cannot be blamed as it is not doing the heavy work."


The first media mention of N379P was six weeks after September 11, 2001, when, according to the Chicago Tribune, a Pakistani newspaper reported that a student at the University of Karachi and a citizen of Yemen, had been seen being forced onto the plane at Jinnah International Airport by Pakistani security officers on the morning of October 23, 2001. The Chicago Tribune reported on the aircraft again on February 6, 2007, stating that N379P departed Washington Dulles International Airport July 27, 2003, and flew to Frankfurt, Germany according to FAA records. The FAA then records the Gulfstream taking off from Tashkent, Uzbekistan on July 31, 2003, bound for Glasgow, Scotland, and then return to Dulles. The Tribune then states that Polish aviation records indicate that N379P landed at Szczytno-Szymany International Airport, a remote airfield at Szymany, Poland, at 2:58 a.m. on July 30, 2003, after a flight from Afghanistan. How the aircraft moved from Frankfurt to Tashkent remains unreported. The Szymany airport is located southwest of the Stare Kiejkuty intelligence base in northern Poland.

The executive jet with the tail number N379P was again brought to public attention by Swedish TV4's documentary, Det brutna löftet ("The broken promise"), aired May 17, 2004. The documentary claimed that the expulsion of two men, Ahmed Agiza and Muhammad al-Zery - ordered by the Cabinet - to Egypt on December 18, 2001, was carried out by hooded U.S. agents. The plane booked by the Swedish Security Police (SÄPO) was cancelled when another plane arrived - N379P - a Gulfstream V executive jet supplied by the firm (Premier Executive Transport Services, Inc.) which works exclusively for the U.S. Defense Department.

Agiza and al-Zery were arrested and brought to Bromma airport in Stockholm where Swedish police handed them over to hooded operatives. The two prisoners had their clothes cut from their bodies by scissors, without their hand- and footcuffs being loosened. The naked and chained prisoners were given suppository of unknown kind inserted into their anus, and diapers were put on them. They were forcibly dressed in dark overalls. Their hands and feet are chained to a specially designed harness. On the plane, both men are blindfolded and hooded. The plane took off at 21.49 and set course towards Egypt.

Later on, when the Gulfstream's log books came into a journalist's hands, the wider scope became clear:

Analysis of the plane's flight plans, covering more than two years, shows that it always departs from Washington DC. It has flown to 49 destinations outside America, including the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba and other U.S. military bases, as well as Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Morocco, Afghanistan, Libya and Uzbekistan.

Witnesses have claimed that the suspects are frequently bound, gagged and sedated before being put on board the planes, which do not have special facilities for prisoners but are kitted out with tables for meetings and screens for presentations and in-flight films."

Registration history

Originally N581GA, it became N379P in 2000 when it was acquired by Premier Executive Transport Services. In December 2003, it became N8068V. On December 1, 2004, it was reregistered N44982, and ownership was transferred to Bayard Foreign Marketing, an apparent shell company registered in Portland, Oregon. Its registration was changed once more on January 20, 2006, as N126CH to XXXXX, 2930 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33137-4122. It was sold and reregistered to Wilmington Trust Company, 1100 N Market St, Wilmington, Delaware on August 18, 2006. The Aircraft was reregistered to VH-CCC and is now owned by Crown Melbourne Ltd, Australia where it is now used as a 'high roller' transport for Crown Casino.

Disappearance from the FAA's online registry

In January 2006, N44982 was re-registered as N126CH under N126CH Inc. Sometime in late 2006, the records for N44982 and N4476S seem to have disappeared from the FAA's registration database. In August 2006, the plane was again transferred to VH-CCC under Wilmington Trust Co Trustee. It is now under the ownership of Crown Melbourne Limited, to transport high rollers to their casino in Melbourne, Australia. As of 2014, N44982 is registered/reserved by a private person in New Jersey, USA.

Appearance in fiction

N379P appears in the episode "Hundrede dage" of the Danish TV series Borgen which focuses on the problems for the Danish prime-minister caused by the revelation of rendition flights landing at Thule.


Another Gulfstream V, N596GA, manufacturers serial number 596, has also been mentioned in print as a possible transport for the CIA program of extraordinary rendition. Author Dave Willis wrote in Air Forces Monthly in May 2008 that this airframe, ordered in 1999 by the United States Air Force as a C-37A, serial 99-0405, was rolled out as N596GA but only briefly took up its military serial before reverting to the civil registration, issued on September 20, 2001, nine days after the 9-11 attacks. It was registered to National Aircraft Leasing of Greenville, New Castle County in Delaware, "and is believed to have been used by the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation Systems (JPATS), managed by the U.S. Marshals Service. JPATS is responsible for moving prisoners and non-US citizen criminals around and has its own fleet of aircraft, as well as frequently leasing others. N596GA is also said to have been used in the CIA's programme of extraordinary rendition against terrorist subjects."

The author also mentions N379P, of Premiere Executive Transport Services, (later N8068V and N44982), and its alleged use in rendition missions.

As of at least June 24, 2011, this Gulfstream V, c/n 596, flies as N977GA, registered to the United States Department of Justice. On the aforementioned date, this aircraft was dispatched to California to retrieve fugitive New England crime boss "Jimmy" Bulger and his girlfriend Catherine Greig, transporting them to Boston's Logan International Airport.

On October 5, 2012, together with a privately owned Dassault Falcon 900 (N331MC), the two planes carried terror suspects Abu Hamza, Babar Ahmad, Syed Ahsan, Khaled Al-Fawwaz and Adel Abdul Bary to the United States to face trial after losing their last-ditch attempt to stay in Britain.

N85VM/N227SV is a white Gulfstream IV jet aircraft with the tail number "N85VM", reported in the media as possibly being used as a US Department of Defense or CIA prisoner transport. The plane, owned by one of the partners of the Boston Red Sox, was seen in Cairo on February 18, 2003, wearing the team's logos. Because of the timing of the aircraft's arrival and departure, it was linked by the media as possibly the aircraft used to render Abu Omar, who had been captured in Italy and taken to Cairo where he was imprisoned by the Egyptians.

Between June, 2002 and January 2005, the aircraft made 51 trips to Guantánamo Bay, as well as 82 visits to Dulles International Airport and Andrews Air Force Base. It also visited U.S. air bases at Ramstein and Rhein-Main in Germany, Afghanistan, Morocco, Dubai, Jordan, Italy, Japan, Switzerland, Azerbaijan and the Czech Republic.

The aircraft was subsequently re-registered N227SV, with ownership being Assembly Point Aviation, which offers the aircraft for charter.

N987SA aka 'Cocaine One'

On September 24, 2007, Gulfstream II, N987SA, c/n 172, crashed in the Yucatan, Mexico, carrying 6 tons of cocaine. At the time of the crash, the business jet was registered to Donna Blue Aircraft Inc, which had acquired it using money from the trust of the company Powell Aircraft. The two flight crew and only occupants were Omar Alfredo "el Piolo" Jácome del Valle and Edic Muñoz Sanchez.

The same aircraft, while registered under tail number N987SA to Air Rutter International, a California-based air-charter service, had been involved in extraordinary rendition to Guantanamo Bay. Logs show that the aircraft flew to Guantanamo Bay from Washington, D.C. twice and from Oxford, Connecticut once. It is likely that the purpose of these flights was to ferry CIA and Pentagon interrogators to Guantanamo to question detainees.

Subsequently, the aircraft changed hands multiple times in quick succession. On August 30, 2006, it was sold to Donna Blue Aircraft, owned by two Brazilians. On September 16, not even three weeks later, it was sold on to two Americans, Clyde O'Connor and Greg Smith. Over the next two days, money from the Americans trust company Powell Aircraft Title was used to acquire the aircraft for the drug trafficker Pedro Antonio "The Architect" Bermúdez Suaza.

The aircraft departed Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport in Florida, USA, on September 18 for Cancun, Mexico, then flew on to Colombia to pick up the load of cocaine from the FARC rebel group before returning to Mexico. Bribes paid to local civil aviation officials in Cancun were supposed to allow the aircraft and its cargo to avoid customs on arrival, but only minutes from landing, Bermúdez personally phoned co-pilot Muñoz and demanded the crew divert to Manzanillo, over 1500 km to the west, on Mexico's Pacific coast. The flight had been tracked by the Mexican Air Force since it entered Mexican airspace and a heavy military presence was waiting for them on the ground at Cancun. When the Gulfstream deviated from its approach to Cancun, Mexican Air Force aircraft which had been shadowing it moved in to intercept. Trapped, the Gulfstream crew put their aircraft into orbit over the town of Tixkobob near Mérida in northwestern Yucatan for almost two hours before finally crash-landing in the jungle. Soldiers reached the crash site the next day, recovered 132 bags containing a total of 6.3 tons of cocaine from the wreckage and arrested the crew, who were injured and unable to flee.

N900SA - note the plaque next to the door

A McDonnell Douglas DC-9-15 aircraft with the former tail number N900SA (c/n 45775) was involved in drug smuggling and was caught with 5.5 tons of cocaine onboard after landing in Mexico on April 10, 2006. On April 13, 2006, the aircraft was deregistered and sold to an unknown customer in Venezuela. In December 2006, Mexican Newspaper Reforma reported the previously seized aircraft was being operated by the Procuraduría General de la República (PGR) to transport prisoners with extradition charges to the USA under Daniel Cabeza de Vaca and was based in Mexico City as XC-LJZ.


Leszállás Majurón Dash 6-ossal

Leszállás egy Twin Otterrel a Majuro International 07-es pályájára..

[English pages] Marshall Islands Airports

The Marshall Islands, officially the Republic of the Marshall Islands is an island country located in the northern Pacific Ocean. Geographically, the country is part of the larger island group of Micronesia, with the population of 68,480 people spread out over 24 low-lying coral atolls, comprising 1,156 individual islands and islets. The islands share maritime boundaries with the Federated States of Micronesia to the west, Wake Island to the north, Kiribati to the south-east, and Nauru to the south. The most populous atoll is Majuro, which also acts as the capital.

Marshall Islands International Airport (MAJ/PKMJ)

Marshall Islands International Airport also known as Amata Kabua International Airport, is located in the western part of Rairok on the south side of Majuro Atoll, the capital of the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

The airport was built during World War II (1943) on Anenelibw and Lokojbar islets. It replaced Majuro Airfield, a coral-surfaced airstrip at Delap Island near the eastern end of Majuro Atoll that had been originally constructed by Japanese occupation forces in 1942.

Current airport facilities include a terminal building, Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) facility, Air Marshall Islands Hangar and fuel delivery system.
The 7,530 square foot terminal was built in 1975 and features a main lobby for both departing and arriving passengers where ticketing, security, shops, car rental and a restaurant are all located.

Between 2007 and 2009, airport improvement projects replaced the runway surfaces, rebuilt the apron to better handle aircraft and repaved and added markings to the runway. In 2007 the FAA add two new airport fire tenders to the existing 3 tender fleet as part of the airport improvement projects.

Airport Reference Code: D-III
Airport Coordinates: N07°03.90′ E171°16.32′
Critical design craft: Boeing 737-800
Runway: 7/25, 7,897ft

Airlines and destinations

It is served by international carrier United Airlines, regional carrier Our Airlines and Air Marshall Islands, our local commuter airlines. Cargo is received from United Airlines as well as Asia Pacific Airlines, a cargo carrier. General aviation and private jets occasionally bring passengers to MAJ.

Air Marshall Islands: Airok, Aur, South Tarawa, Ebon, Enejit, Jaluit, Jeh, Kaben, Kili, Kwajalein, Majkin, Maloelap, Mejit, Mili, Namdrik, Utirik, Wotje
Our Airline: Brisbane, Nauru, Nadi, Tarawa
United Airlines: Chuuk, Guam, Honolulu, Kosrae, Kwajalein, Pohnpei

Kwajalein International Airport (KWA/PKWA)

Bucholz Army Airfield or often known as Kwajalain International Airport is a United States Army airfield located on Kwajalein Island, Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands. Its position is ideal for refueling during trans-Pacific flights, and the airport is available to civilians through Air Marshall Islands and United Airlines.

Since the entire Kwajalein Island is a military base, non-military passengers on commercial flights are transported to and from the neighboring island of Ebeye, the civilian population center of Kwajalein Atoll.


Bucholz Army Airfield was initially built by the Japanese in 1943 as part of a large naval base. It came under heavy air attacks in late 1943 to neutralize the island. The atoll was assaulted by American forces on 31 January 1944. After the seizure from the Japanese, Kwajalein was developed into a major American base and staging area for further campaigns in the advance on the Japanese homeland.

After World War II, the United States used Kwajalein as a main command center and preparation base for Operation Crossroads and an extensive series of nuclear tests (comprising a total of 67 blasts) at the Marshalls' atolls of Bikini and Enewetak. Later, in the 1950s and 1960s, Bucholz became part of the Atomic Energy Commission Pacific Testing Area.

Although the Marshall Islands was officially granted independence from the United States, and became an independent republic in 1986, Kwajalein atoll is still used by the United States for missile testing and various other operations. Although this military history has deeply influenced the lives of the Marshall Islanders who have lived in the atoll through the war to the present, the military history of Kwajalein has made tourism almost non-existent and has kept the environment in relatively pristine condition. American civilians and their families who reside at the military installations in Kwajalein are able to enjoy this environment with few restrictions.

As of 2009, Bucholz Army Airfield is still operated by the United States Army. All civil and military operations require 24 hours' prior permission.

Airlines and destinations

Air Marshall Islands: Airok, Bikini, Elenak, Enewetak, Lae, Likiep, Majkin, Majuro, Woja, Wotho
United Airlines: Chuuk, Guam, Honolulu, Kosrae, Pohnpei, Majuro

Outer Airfields

The Marshall islands has a total of 29 outer island airstrips. These 29 outer airstrips are classed commercial (non-primary) and Air Marshall Islands (AMI) operates commuter service to them.

Airok Airfield

Location: Ailinglaplap, RMI
Runway Length: 3,082 feet
Runway Width: 120 feet
Airport Identifier: AIC
Airport Reference Code: B-II
Design Aircraft: Dash 8
Distance From Majuro: 146 miles
Land Area: 1.08 sq. mile

Ailuk Airfield

Location: Ailuk, RMI
Runway Length: 2150 feet
Runway Width: 150 feet
Airport Identifier: AIM
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft: Dornier 228
Distance From Majuro: 228

Arno Airfield (closed)

Location: Ine, RMI
Runway Length:
Runway Width:
Airport Identifier: IMI
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft:
Distance From Majuro: 15

Arno Airfield (closed)

Location: Tinak, RMI
Runway Length: 3500 feet
Runway Width: 150 feet
Airport Identifier: TIC
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft:
Distance From Majuro: 15

Bikini Airfield

Location: Bikini, RMI
Runway Length: 3650 feet
Runway Width: 200 feet
Airport Identifier: BII
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft: Dornier 228, Dash 8
Distance From Majuro: 436

Ebon Airfield

Location: Ebon, RMI
Runway Length: 2950 feet
Runway Width: 100 feet
Airport Identifier: EBO
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft: Dornier 228, Dash 8
Distance From Majuro: 211

Enewetak Airfield

Location: Enewetak, RMI
Runway Length: 7000 feet
Runway Width: 200 feet
Airport Identifier: ENT
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft: Dornier 228, Dash 8
Distance From Majuro: 668

Jabat Airfield

Location: Jabat, RMI
Runway Length: 2050 feet
Runway Width: 100 feet
Airport Identifier: JAT
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft:
Distance From Majuro: 142

Jaluit Airfield

Location: Jabwor, RMI
Runway Length: 4,060 feet
Runway Width: 300 feet
Airport Identifier: UIT
Airport Reference Code: B-II
Design Aircraft: Dash 8
Distance From Majuro: 138.5miles
Land Area: 4.38 sq. mile

Jeh Airfield

Location: Ailinglaplap, RMI
Runway Length: 4,000 feet
Runway Width: 30 feet
Airport Identifier: JEJ
Airport Reference Code: B-II
Design Aircraft: Dash 8
Distance From Majuro: 141 miles
Land Area: 1.08 sq. mile

Kili Airfield

Location: Kili, RMI
Runway Length: 4,150 feet
Runway Width: 150 feet
Airport Identifier: KIO
Airport Reference Code: B-II
Design Aircraft: Dash 8
Distance From Majuro: 154 miles
Land Area: .36 sq. mile

Kwajalein Airfield

Location: Elenak, RMI
Runway Length: 3200 feet
Runway Width: 300 feet
Airport Identifier: EAL
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft: Dornier 228
Distance From Majuro: 262

Lae Airfield

Location: Lae, RMI
Runway Length: 1950 feet
Runway Width: 145 feet
Airport Identifier: LML
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft: Dornier 228
Distance From Majuro: 319

Likiep Airfield

Location: Likiep, RMI
Runway Length: 2,800 feet
Runway Width: 130 feet
Airport Identifier: LIK
Airport Reference Code: B-II
Design Aircraft: Dash 8
Distance From Majuro: 202 miles
Land Area: 3.96 sq. mile

Majkin Airfield

Location: Namu, RMI
Runway Length: 3,500 feet
Runway Width: 170 feet
Airport Identifier: MJE
Airport Reference Code: B-II
Design Aircraft: Dash 8
Distance From Majuro: 512 miles
Land Area: 6.42 sq. mile

Maloelap Airfield

Location: Taroa, RMI
Runway Length: 3500 feet
Runway Width: 150 feet
Airport Identifier: MAV
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft: Dornier 228
Distance From Majuro: 113

Maloelap Airfield

Location: Kaben, RMI
Runway Length: 2650 feet
Runway Width: 200 feet
Airport Identifier: KBT
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft: Dornier 228
Distance From Majuro: 114

Mejit Airfield

Location: Mejit, RMI
Runway Length: 2600 feet
Runway Width: 150 feet
Airport Identifier: MJB
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft: Dornier 228
Distance From Majuro: 194

Mili Airfield

Location: Enajet, RMI
Runway Length: 3000 feet
Runway Width: 300 feet
Airport Identifier: EJT
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft: Dornier 228
Distance From Majuro: 92

Mili Airfield

Location: Mili, RMI
Runway Length: 2850 feet
Runway Width: 75 feet
Airport Identifier: MIJ
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft: Dornier 228
Distance From Majuro: 365

Namdrik Airfield

Location: Namdrik, RMI
Runway Length: 3100 feet
Runway Width: 110 feet
Airport Identifier: NDK
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft: Dornier 228
Distance From Majuro: 207

Namu Airfield (closed)

Location: Loen, RMI
Runway Length: 2600 feet
Runway Width:
Airport Identifier: MJE
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft:
Distance From Majuro: 512

Rongelap Airfield

Location: Rongelap, RMI
Runway Length: 4,100 feet
Runway Width: 150 feet
Airport Identifier: RGP
Airport Reference Code: B-II
Design Aircraft: Dash 8
Distance From Majuro: 408 miles
Land Area: 3.07 sq. mile

Tabal Airfield

Location: Aur, RMI
Runway Length: 2550 feet
Runway Width: 130 feet
Airport Identifier: TBV
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft: Dornier 228
Distance From Majuro: 84

Ujae Airfield

Location: Ujae, RMI
Runway Length: 2500 feet
Runway Width: 100 feet
Airport Identifier: UJE
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft:Dornier 228
Distance From Majuro: 15

Utrik Airfield

Location: Utrik, RMI
Runway Length: 2600 feet
Runway Width: 135 feet
Airport Identifier: UTK
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft:Dornier 228
Distance From Majuro: 299

Woja Airfield

Location: Ailinglaplap, RMI
Runway Length: 4,150 feet
Runway Width: 150 feet
Airport Identifier: MJA
Airport Reference Code: B-II
Design Aircraft: Dash 8
Distance From Majuro: 141 miles

Wotho Airfield

Location: Wotho, RMI
Runway Length: 2850 feet
Runway Width: 200 feet
Airport Identifier: WTO
Airport Reference Code:
Design Aircraft:Dornier 228
Distance From Majuro: 363

Wotje Airfield

Location: Wotje, RMI
Runway Length: 3,366 feet
Runway Width: 200 feet
Airport Identifier: WTE
Airport Reference Code: B-II
Design Aircraft: Dash 8
Distance From Majuro: 174 miles
Land Area: 3.16 sq. mile


[Webszemle] 55 fokban élni sokmilliós gázsiért

Ön mit választana? Luxuskörülmények között, villákban, elkerített, őrzött városnegyedben élhet, olyan fizetése lesz, amiről Magyarországon a többség csak álmodik, a cég fizeti a gyerekének a tandíját, nyugdíjat is ad öregkorára, és egy sor más juttatást is kap, a felesége hazajöhet szülni, de egy távoli, más kultúrájú országban kell élnie, bár sokszor nem is látja a családját, kinn, a szabad ég alatt pedig hőgutát lehet kapni. Az Emirates légitársaság pilótatoborzásán jártunk.

Budapest egyik elegáns szállodájának egyik termében 15 férfi és egy nő figyeli, ahogyan az előadó azt ecseteli, milyen az élet a fényűző Dubaiban, egy zárt és őrzött kisvárosi házban, akár villában is lakhat az ember, igaz, tanácsos a lakásban maradni, mert kint nem ritka, hogy 55 fok van. De megéri az egész – érződik ki szavaiból. A nő aztán egy kis idő után elhagyja a termet, a gyerekéhez siet az óvodába. A nő az egyik ott levő férfi felesége.

Ez a néhány perc alatt lejátszódó történet jól szemlélteti azt a dilemmát, amelyet annak a teremben maradó 15 férfinak kell feldolgoznia, akik a világ egyik legnagyobb légitársaságánál kívánna dolgozni. Az 1985-ben alapított Emirates légitársaságnak. amelynek a központja Dubaiban van, már most is csaknem 230 gépe száll a világ minden pontjára, köztük van a legnagyobb utasszállító is, hat év alatt pedig megduplázzák a flottát, ezért szinte csillapíthatatlan étvággyal keresnek pilótákat, mostanában hetente 10 ember áll be dolgozni hozzájuk. Kilenc magyar pilóta dolgozik nálunk, de pénteken és szombaton a pilótatoborzó roadshowjukkal Budapesten jártak, ami abból a szempontból is evidens, hogy 2014. október 27-én elindítják a Budapest és Dubai között naponta közlekedő, menetrendszerinti járatukat.

A fiúk szeretik a nagy játékokat

Az első nap mi is kinn voltunk. Délben kezdődött a program egy általános tájékoztatóval, azt gondoltuk, talán az időpont a magyarázata annak, hogy alig több mint egy tucatnyian mentek el rá, pedig jó pár nappal az előtt nagy hírverést csaptak a toborzásnak. Zsolt, aki még repülés előtt eljött meghallgatni az Emirates ajánlatát, elmondása szerint másodszor jelent meg az Emirates toborzásán, a Malév 2011 eleji csődje után nem sokkal volt egy hasonló rendezvény, elmondása szerint akkor tolongtak az emberek, körülbelül 200-an jöttek érdeklődni Dubai iránt. De azóta a Malév-pilóták jó része talál magának állást, legtöbbjük a két, Budapestről is induló fapados légitársaságnál, a Wizz Airnél és a Ryanairnél helyezkedett el. (A cikkben a toborzáson megjelentek nevét a személyes adatok védelme miatt megváltoztattuk.)

Az Emirates kötelékében repül a világ legnagyobb utasszállítója, az A380-as, az előadást tartó Michael Keating pilótatoborzásért felelős menedzser szerint szerint a „fiúk szeretik a nagy játékokat”. De a sok vonzerő közül ez csak az egyik. Az Emirates elsősorban elsőtiszteket keres. Keating a azt magyarázta, hogy fiatal pilótáknak kivételes esélyeik vannak az Emiratesnél, a belépéshez minimum követelt 4000 repült órát egy fapados légitársaságnál 3-4 év alatt lehet teljesíteni, a cégen belül pedig biztos az előrelépés, így akár 30 éves korára kapitány lehet valakiből. Ezt más légitársaságoknál 15-20 ledolgozott év alatt lehet elérni. A toborzáson megjelent pilóták azonban más megfontolandó szempontokat is számba vettek.

Mindenhol jó, de a legjobb a saját ágyban aludni

Gábor jelenleg egy európai fapados légitársaságnál dolgozik, így gyakran haza tud járni a családjához és a „saját ágyában aludni”. Neki, bár az Emirates vonzó a stabilitása miatt, nagy áldozat lenne a hosszú utakat elvállalni. Mivel családja van, neki nagyobb döntést kell meghoznia, mint az egyedülálló Zsoltnak, aki szerint ezt az életformát csak így lehet csinálni. Gábor, bár az Emirates sofőrt küldene érte minden munkanap reggelén, alsó tagozatos fiáért és feleségéért is felelős, akiknek az Emirates ugyan biztosítana iskolázási támogatást, lakhatást, orvosi ellátást és bérautót, de idegen környezetben kéne megállniuk a helyüket – nélküle, hiszen ő havi 10-18 napot lenne csak új otthonukban. „Ez itt van, de fapados. Itt nem jön sofőr. Az viszont ott van, de más kultúrájú ország, az iskolák tele vannak, 55 fok van nyáron. Súlyozni kell” – gondolkodik hangosan Gábor. „Nem. Egy életünk van”- válaszolja, amikor arról kérdezem, opció-e, hogy a családja nélkül költözzön Dubaiba.

Megkérdeztük Vajkot, egy volt pilóta fiát, milyen volt úgy felnőni, hogy édesapja Afrikában lakott. „Ha hazajött, havonta körülbelül egy hétre, az iskola, különórák akkor sem álltak meg”. Vajk szerint a pilóta teljesen kimarad a családi dolgokból, édesanyja döntött mindenben a hétköznapokban. Ők nyaranta tudtak kiutazni édesapjához Afrikába, a hotelt a légitársaság fizette. Korábban kiutaztak a családdal Koreába, Vajk ott kezdett iskolába járni, ahol az Emirateshez hasonlóan a cég biztosított nekik lakhatást, de a leépítések során első körben a külföldi munkaerőt küldték el.

Ugyanakkor Zsolt sem biztos, hogy szeretne az Emiratesnél dolgozni, bár a 777-es Boeing nagyon tetszik neki. Szerinte szakmailag mindenki előrelépésként és biztos előrehaladási lehetőségként tekint az Emirates Airlines-ra, de a Dubaiba való költözéssel fenntartásai vannak, „nyáron, az 55 fokban meg lehet dögleni”.

Nem ennyire kritikus a helyzet az életvitel, család szempontjából Bondor István szerint, aki tudja, mit beszél, az Emirates első magyar pilótái között volt, és már lassan 15 éve repül Dubaiból. A megjelenteknek el is mondta, hogy nála szakmai döntés volt a váltás, a Malévnél elérte a legmagasabb, oktatókapitányi rangot és új szakmai kihívást keresett, légiutaskísérő feleségével és kisfiával költözött el. Ő nagyon elégedett volt azzal, ahogy a cég fogadta őket, illetve nagy kultúrsokkot sem jelentett a váltás – ő is és felesége is jártak már korábban Dubaiban, tudták, mire kell számítani. István emellett Dubait nagyon nyitott és befogadó helynek ismerte meg, szerinte egymás szokásainak alapvető tiszteletben tartása mellett nagyon jól együtt élnek európaiak, indiaiak, fülöp-szigetekiek és muszlimok, még karácsonyfát is lehet kapni. Az ő családjának a hosszú utak sem jelentenek megterhelést – korábban ő is és felesége is vállaltak hasonló feladatokat, a háztartásba pedig könnyen lehet kisegítő munkaerőt, szittert, maidet felvenni. Nekik az éghajlattal kell leginkább megküzdeniük: nagy divat a légkondícionálás, de így a család be van zárva a házba, „ők nem menekülhetnek el Ausztráliába, ahol éppen tél van”.

Az Emirates egészen bőkezű a hozzá igazolókkal, de ez kell ahhoz, hogy a fent taglalt nehézségeket, köztük a 14-16 órás repülőutat, a folyamatosan új repülési útvonalakat és a legkínzóbb jetlaget bevállalja valaki. A náluk dolgozó pilótáknak és családjaiknak komplett csomagokat kínálnak mind karrier, mind életvitel szempontjából. A pilótáknak és családjaiknak a légitársaság zárt és őrzött kisvárosban biztosít lakást vagy villát, ha valaki mégsem szeretné igénybe venni a biztosított ingatlanokat, akkor igény szerint lakhatási hozzájárulást adnak. A gyerekek 4-19 éves koráig az Egyesült Arab Emírségekben szokásos tandíj körülbelül 90 százalékát a társaság fizeti, továbbá orvosi és fogorvosi ellátást is biztosítanak, amit igény szerint támogatnak a „tengeren túlon” is, vagyis egy magyar pilóta felesége hazajöhet szülni Magyarországra. Ezen kívül a pilóták alapfizetése adóterhektől mentes, ehhez jön a repülési órabér, továbbá az igénybe vehető támogatások autóbérlésre, hazautazásra, lakhatásra, oktatásra, valamint az Emirates nyugdíjat is biztosít minden pilótájának.

A toborzásnak az általános része után egyenként ülhettek le és tehették fel kérdéseiket a megjelentek az Emirates munkatársainak. Az után kaptak egy kis csomagot, benne egy pendrive-val, amelyen már az is rajta volt az egyik legfontosabb információ, amit az előadások során kerültek az Emirates-esek, és kérdésünkre sem árulták el: hogy mennyi pénzt kínálnak a hozzájuk igazolóknak. Ha azonban egy számítógépen megnyitják az adathordozót, könnyen lehet, hogy az meggyőzi őket arról, hogy csatlakozzanak a vállalathoz.

Szakmabeliekkel beszélgettünk, elmondásuk szerint amikor még volt Malév, annak pilótái havonta 1-1,2 millió forint körüli összeget tehettek zsebre, de nagy volt a szórás, az elsőtisztek feleannyit kerestek, mint a nagyobb tapasztalattal rendelkező és nagyobb felelősséget is viselő kapitányok. Ezzel szemben a maléves fizetés többszörösét kínálták már 2010-ben is az európai fapados cégek és az ázsiai légitársaságok. A Ryanairnél szerintük például havi 13 ezer euró (körülbelül bruttó 3,6 millió forint) volt a pilóták átlagfizetése. A gyorsan fejlődő közel-keleti és ázsiai piac légitársaságai már négy éve is ennél is jobban fizettek: az Emiratesnél a kapitányi havi kezdő fizetés adómentesen 34410 dirham (9370 dollár, azaz durván 2 millió forint), volt, amihez még olyan juttatások jöttek, és ez ma is így van, mint a repült órák és a hatékonyság után járó prémiumok.


Repülés drónnal MEX felett

Mexikóváros repterén a hivatalos szervek felkérésére készültek ezek a remek felvételek.. :)

La Palma B757-essel

Az alábbi videón a Condor 757-esével Frankfurtból La Palmára látogatunk egy gyors utascsere erejéig.. ;)

[English pages] [British Oversees Territory Airports] Wideawake Airfield

Busy apron during the Falklands War in 1982
RAF Ascension, more commonly known as RAF Ascension Island, and sometimes known as Wideawake Airfield or Ascension Island Base, is a British Royal Air Force station on Ascension Island in the Atlantic Ocean, near the Equator.

In 1943, by arrangement with the British government, the United States built an airbase, known as "Wideawake", on Ascension Island to supply and augment extensive amphibious aircraft antisubmarine patrol operations ongoing from the early days of the war. (The name is after a nearby colony of sooty terns (locally called 'wideawake' birds because of their loud, distinctive call, which would wake people early in the morning). The airbase, which was under construction by the 38th Combat Engineer Battalion of the Army Corps of Engineers, was unexpectedly visited by two British Fairey Swordfish torpedo planes on 15 June 1942. According to one of the pilots, Peter Jinks, the planes were fired upon before being recognised as allies. The Swordfish had to land on the unfinished airstrip, thus becoming the first land-based aircraft to land on Ascension Island proper — which had long served as an ASW base for Catalina (PBY Catalina) flying boats.

The airfield was used by the US military as a stopping point for American aircraft crossing the Atlantic Ocean on the way to theatres of operation in Europe and Africa. American bombers based at Wideawake were engaged in the Laconia incident. After the end of World War II, and American departure, the airbase fell into disuse.

3054m long runway (13/31) with strange humps
With the Space Race and the Cold War, the Americans returned in 1956. Wideawake Airfield expanded in the mid-1960s. The runway, with its strange hump, was extended, widened, and improved to allow its use by large aircraft, and later to act as an emergency runway for the Space Shuttle, although the Shuttle never had occasion to use it. The United States Air Force uses the island as part of its Eastern Range.

In 1982 a British task force used Ascension Island as a staging post during the Falklands War, though according to Matthew Parris, " the start of the Falklands conflict Washington at first refused Britain permission to use the USA-operated airfield facilities for refuelling RAF jets. Only after Mrs Thatcher intervened with Ronald Reagan did the Americans reluctantly concede." The Royal Air Force deployed a fleet of Vulcan bombers and Victor tankers at the airfield. Vulcans launched the opening shots of the British offensive from Ascension in Operation Black Buck. The RAF also used the base to supply the task force. Because of the increase in air traffic during the war, Wideawake was the busiest airfield in the world for a short period. The Royal Navy's fleet stopped at Ascension for refuelling on the way. Following the war, the British retained an increased presence on the island, establishing RAF Ascension Island, and providing a refuelling stop for the regular airlink between RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, and RAF Mount Pleasant in the Falkland Islands.

Air Seychelles B767 on behalf of the UK MOD
In 2003 the British and US governments signed the Wideawake agreement designed to allow a limited number of non-scheduled civilian aircraft to land on Ascension Island, under responsibility of the British government. The island has a regular airlink with the United Kingdom and the Falkland Islands, with twice weekly flights from the RAF Ascension Island to the UK (RAF Brize Norton) and to the Falkland Islands (RAF Mount Pleasant). These are by an Airbus A330 aircraft operated by AirTanker Services on behalf of the Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom) although a limited number of commercial passenger tickets are available. All visitors to Ascension Island need the Administrator's written permission before travelling. The United States maintains a weekly flight between the island and Patrick Air Force Base in Florida for the use of its personnel only.

Ascension serves as a diversion airport for ETOPS aircraft crossing the Atlantic. In January 2013, a Delta Air Lines Boeing 777-232LR en route from Johannesburg to Atlanta diverted to Ascension as a result of engine problems.


[English pages] Horror on the ramp

On January 16, 2006, at 0905 mountain standard time, (unless otherwise noted, all times in this report are mountain standard time based on a 24-hour clock) a Boeing 737-524, N32626, operated by Continental Airlines as flight 1515, was parked at the gate in preparation for departure from El Paso International Airport, El Paso, Texas, when a mechanic was fatally injured while performing maintenance on the right engine. The right engine was substantially damaged. The scheduled domestic passenger flight was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 121, and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and the flight's intended destination was Houston, Texas. The airline transport rated captain, first officer, 3 flight attendants, and 114 passengers reported no injuries.

During the preflight inspection conducted by the first officer, a puddle of fluid was noticed on the tarmac under the right engine. Both the captain and the first officer re-inspected the puddle of fluid under the right engine and agreed that it appeared to be an oil leak. The captain notified Continental El Paso Operations via radio from the cockpit to request authorization for contract maintenance to check for problems on the right engine.

Continental El Paso Operations contacted Continental Headquarters Maintenance Control and received authorization for contract maintenance to respond to the aircraft based on the captain's report. Three mechanics from Julie's Aircraft Services, Inc., a fixed based operation at the airport, arrived at the airplane and began to investigate the source of the reported oil leak. Both sides of the right engine fan cowl panels were opened for inspection, and the mechanics requested that the captain conduct an engine run to check for the oil leak.

Witnesses on the ramp and in the airplane observed one mechanic position himself on the inboard side of the right engine and another mechanic position himself on the outboard side of the right engine. The third mechanic was positioned several feet clear of the engine during the accident sequence; this mechanic was assigned by the lead mechanic to observe the maintenance procedure as part of his on-the-job training.

At this point in the accident sequence, the airplane was completely boarded with all passengers and crew via an air stair truck (the jetway was inoperative), except for one passenger in a wheel chair who was being prepared to be boarded on a lift truck. (The accident occurred prior to this passenger boarding the airplane).

The engine was started and stabilized at idle RPM for approximately three minutes while the initial oil leak check was performed. One of the mechanics called the captain on the ground intercom system and reported that a small oil leak had been detected. The mechanic requested that the captain increase the engine power to 70 percent for three minutes. According to conversations recorded on the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) just prior to the accident, the captain asked the mechanic on the intercom: "clear back there?" and the mechanic replied "yeah, we're all clear." The captain then stated: " 'kay here goes."

Shortly after the engine power was increased, two witnesses on the ground (mechanics) and one witness in the airplane (passenger) observed the mechanic on the outboard side of the right engine stand up, step into the inlet hazard zone, and become ingested into the engine.

The captain stated that approximately one minute and 30 seconds after increasing the RPM to 70 percent, he sensed an engine buffet which increased in intensity, and this was followed by an engine compressor stall. The captain stated that he retarded the power lever back to the idle position. The first officer informed the captain that something went into the engine, and the captain immediately cut off the start lever.


The mechanic who was fatally injured, age 64, held a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) airframe and power plant certificate, issued on July 13, 1966. In addition, the mechanic held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land, issued on July 6, 1962. The mechanic was hired by Julie's Aircraft Services in November 1997. According to Continental Airline training documents, the mechanic received line maintenance training from the Continental Airlines in on-call maintenance paperwork, policy, and procedures on March 2, 2004. The records also indicate that he received training regarding alternate fueling, auxiliary power unit operations, and contractor tow procedures for the B737, B757, and MD-80 series airplanes. He also received additional audiovisual training in extended operations (ETOPS) and CAT awareness. The documents did not indicate any specific training regarding ground engine runs.


The Boeing 737-524 transport category airplane (serial number 27530), was manufactured in 1995 and was powered by two CFM-56 series engines. According to the airport operations manual for Continental Airlines, the ingestion danger zone for this type configuration covers a 13-foot radius around the front of each engine and extends to 5-feet behind the front of each engine. The maintenance practices manual for Boeing Aircraft defines a similar area as the inlet hazard zone and encompasses a 9-foot radius around the front of each engine and extends to five feet behind the front of each engine on the inboard side and four feet behind the engine on the outboard side of the engine.


The 0851 surface weather observation at the El Paso International Airport reported wind from 110 degrees at 14 knots, gusting to 20 knots, visibility 10 miles, few clouds at 5,500 feet, scattered clouds at 12,000 feet, temperature 43 degrees F, dew point temperature 18 degrees F, and an altimeter setting of 29.92 inches of Mercury.


There was no communication between the flight crew and El Paso air traffic control during the engine run and maintenance check. Communication was established between the flight crew and the maintenance personnel on the ground via the airplane's ground intercom system.


At the time of the accident, a Letter of Agreement (LOA) was in effect between the El Paso Air Traffic Control Tower and the El Paso International Airport, with an effective date of April 16, 1996. The subject of the LOA was "Engine Run-up Procedures". A cover letter was attached to the LOA. The letter was dated October 19, 2005, and titled "Priority Briefing Item." These documents outlined engine run-up procedures while aircraft are parked at the gate. The LOA states: "Except for power-up associated with beginning taxi, engine power is restricted to idle RPM on one engine at a time for a maximum of five minutes while on any parking or service apron areas, including the terminal ramp."

Neither Continental Airlines El Paso Operations nor the contract maintenance company had a copy of this document on file. A survey of all tenant aviation units at the airport revealed that this directive had not been distributed by the El Paso International Airport.


The airplane was equipped with a Fairchild model A-100S, 30-minute, digital cockpit voice recorder (CVR), and a Honeywell Universal Flight Data Recorder (UFDR), Model 980-4100. The recorders were removed from the aircraft following the accident and shipped to the Vehicle Recorder Laboratories of the National Transportation Safety Board on January 18, 2006. The recorders arrived in working condition and data was recovered from both devices.


The El Paso County Medical Examiner stated that neither an autopsy nor toxicological tests were possible due to the nature of the accident and the condition of the remains.


Airline Maintenance Procedures

Interviews with airline representatives, and review of airline procedures, indicate that contract maintenance is used frequently at airports where airline maintenance is not available. Once the ground services support agreement was signed by the contract maintenance station, the airline provided training that was conducted by classroom, interactive computer based scenarios, and training videos.

According to the airline's General Maintenance Manual (GMM) that was in effect at the time of the accident, Julies Aircraft Services was listed as an "approved contract agency" that had "entered into a contractual agreement to provide on-call maintenance resources."

All maintenance manuals were maintained at Continental Headquarters Maintenance Control, and extracts of those manuals were transmitted to the contractor when specific maintenance was to be performed. This procedure was developed by the airline to insure that the most current procedures were used, and to eliminate the need for several airport contractors to maintain publications libraries.

According to the airline GMM that was in effect at the time of the accident, under the section entitled "Approved Contract Maintenance Arrangements", the following instructions are cited: "The Pilot-in-Command or the station personnel must make contact with approved contract maintenance personnel, however, maintenance is not to be performed on the aircraft until Maintenance Control is contacted by telephone and has approved the action to be taken." The GMM also states: "The [airline] Maintenance Controller will send a teletype message authorizing the mechanic to perform the maintenance and execute the required maintenance release."

According to the senior maintenance controller at Continental Airlines Maintenance Control who was working the accident flight, he was contacted by the airline's El Paso operations that the captain noticed the oil leak. The controller stated that he advised El Paso operations to notify Julies Aircraft Services to "investigate the pilot report." The controller further stated: "Some time went by and I heard nothing back from [Julies] or [El Paso] operations. As departure time became near, I tried to contact operations to find out the outcome of the problem, and still could not reach anybody." The controller then attempted to call Julies directly several times. He stated that when he finally contacted them, the accident had already occurred.

The investigation revealed that Julies Aircraft Services did not make contact with Continental Airlines Maintenance Control to obtain the required maintenance approval and required documentation.

In an interview with the surviving mechanic who was assisting in the troubleshooting of the engine, the mechanic was asked how and why he conducted the engine run with no maintenance procedures from the airline. The mechanic responded that engine oil leaks were a common occurrence, and that he continued without the instructions because of his past experience.

Airport Procedures

There were no written procedures in place at the airport requiring the flight crew to contact either the Continental El Paso Operations or El Paso Airport Air Traffic Control prior to starting the engines.

Awareness of the Use of Lanyards

The airline reported that interviews were conducted with aircraft mechanics at their main maintenance facility in Houston, Texas, to determine the use and awareness of the Boeing recommended safety lanyard while performing maintenance related functions in the vicinity of running engines. Nearly all of the mechanics indicated they never use lanyards and expressed concerns with quick release and escape during an emergency.

Post-Accident Airline Safety Efforts

Following the accident, Continental Airlines developed the following safety enhancements:

- An interface system requiring coordination and communication with the appropriate Maintenance Control Center by mechanics and the airline's System Operations Control Center by pilots prior to engine runs.

- A series of checklists to coordinate communication and documentation between flight crew pilots, mechanics, and the System Operations Control Center prior to performing any required engine run.

- Requirements and a maintenance training system to include an enhanced Contract Maintenance training syllabus utilizing Computer Based Training (CBT) technology.

- An Enhanced Engine Safety Training Video to highlight the hazards of running engines. This video was made mandatory viewing for all maintenance providers.

- Evaluation and audit checklists for contract and on-call maintenance providers. The checklists were included in the GMM.

- Policies and procedures for Flight Operations in support of engine run procedures at non-maintenance stations.

- The airline purchased an additional 23 safety lanyards following the accident and reinforced procedures for their optional use.

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