أرشيف الوسم: Transportation accidents

Air Canada jet lands safely in Toronto after losing a wheel

[ad_1]

Air Canada says everyone is safe after one of its planes landed in Toronto missing a wheel on a main landing gear

An Air Canada jet made a safe landing Tuesday in Toronto after losing one of its main landing wheels, apparently during takeoff from New York.

The airline said the Airbus A319 jet was carrying 120 passengers and five crew members. There were no injuries when the pilots made an emergency landing at Toronto Pearson International Airport, according to Air Canada.

The plane “experienced an issue with one of its six tires on take-off,” Air Canada said in a statement. The flight took off from New York’s LaGuardia airport. The airline said it had no further details pending an inspection.

The Airbus jet normally has two large wheels on each of the two main landing gears, and two smaller wheels under the nose. One of the two wheels on the right-side main landing gear was missing when the plane touched down.

It is rare for an airline plane to lose a tire or entire wheel, although in January a passenger took video of sparks flying and then a tire falling off another Air Canada flight during takeoff in Montreal. That plane circled and landed safely back at the same airport.

Most airline jets have more than one wheel on a landing gear, and wheels and tires are designed to withstand the extra load if another one fails.

[ad_2]

Source link

New virus has infected more than 60,000 people globally

[ad_1]

A viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 60,000 people globally

A viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 60,000 people globally. The World Health Organization has named the illness COVID-19, referring to its origin late last year and the coronavirus that causes it.

The latest figures reported by each government’s health authority as of Wednesday in Beijing:

— Mainland China: 1,367 deaths among 59,804 cases, mostly in the central province of Hubei.

— Hong Kong: 51 cases, 1 death

— Macao: 10

— Japan: 251, including 218 from a cruise ship docked in Yokohama, 1 death

— Singapore: 58

— Thailand: 33

— South Korea: 28

— Malaysia: 19

— Taiwan: 18

— Vietnam: 16

— Australia: 14

— Germany: 16

— United States: 14. Separately, one U.S. citizen died in China

— France: 11

— United Kingdom: 9

— United Arab Emirates: 8

— Canada: 7

— Philippines: 3 cases, including 1 death

— India: 3

— Italy: 3

— Russia: 2

— Spain: 2

— Belgium: 1

— Nepal: 1

— Sri Lanka: 1

— Sweden: 1

— Cambodia: 1

— Finland: 1

———

The number of mainland Chinese cases has been corrected in this report.

[ad_2]

Source link

NTSB releases details in 2 crashes involving Tesla Autopilot

[ad_1]

SAN FRANCISCO —
An Apple engineer who died when his Tesla Model X slammed into a concrete barrier had previously complained about the SUV malfunctioning on that same stretch of Silicon Valley freeway.

His complaints were detailed in a trove of documents released Tuesday by federal investigators in two Tesla crashes involving Autopilot, one in California and the other in Florida.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the March 2018 crash that killed Walter Huang near Mountain View, California. It’s also probing a crash in Delray Beach, Florida, that happened about a year later and killed driver Jeremy Banner.

The documents say Huang told his wife that Autopilot had previously veered his SUV toward the same barrier on U.S. 101 near Mountain View where he later crashed. Huang died at a hospital from his injuries.

“Walter said the car would veer toward the barrier in the mornings when he went to work,” the Huang family’s attorney wrote in a response to NTSB questions.

Records from an iPhone recovered from the crash site showed that Huang may have been using it before the accident. Records obtained from AT&T showed that data had been used while the vehicle was in motion, but the source of the transmissions couldn’t be determined, the NTSB wrote. One transmission was less than a minute before the crash.

Huang had described Autopilot’s previous malfunctioning to his brother, the Huang family attorney wrote, in addition to talking with a friend who owns a Model X. Huang, a software engineer, discussed with the friend how a patch to the Autopilot software affected its performance and made the Model X veer, according to the attorney.

The Huang family is suing Tesla and California’s Department of Transportation for allegedly failing to maintain the highway.

Autopilot is a partially automated system designed to keep a vehicle in its lane and keep a safe distance from vehicles in front of it. It also can change lanes with driver approval. Tesla says Autopilot is intended to be used for driver assistance and that drivers must be ready to intervene at all times.

The full NTSB board is scheduled to hold a hearing on the Mountain View crash on Feb. 25. At that time, it will determine a cause and make safety recommendations.

NTSB staff members have already recommended that California transportation officials move faster to repair highway safety barriers damaged by vehicles.

A report from the agency says California officials failed to fix the barrier that was damaged in a crash 11 days before Huang was killed. In that incident, a 2010 Toyota Prius traveling over 75 mph (120 kmh) crashed against the attenuator, a cushion that protects vehicles from hitting the end of concrete lane dividers.

The California Highway Patrol responded to the March 12 crash but did not notify the state Department of Transportation of the damage as required, the NTSB said.

Huang’s 2017 Tesla Model X was traveling at 71 mph (114 kph) when it crashed against the same attenuator, which the NTSB determined had been damaged and repaired more frequently than any other left-exit in Caltrans’ District 4, which includes all of the San Francisco Bay Area.

In the three years before the Tesla crash, the device was struck at least five times, including one crash that resulted in fatalities. A car struck it again on May 20, 2018, about two months after the Tesla crash, the NTSB said.

NTSB first released some details from its investigation in September.

The California Department of Transportation said in a statement Tuesday that it has “identified and is implementing several steps to enhance monitoring and tracking of the repair of damage” to highway infrastructure.

“These efforts include updates to its policies and maintenance manual, training of staff, and enhanced reporting on the timely repair of high priority traffic safety devices,” Caltrans said.

In the Florida crash, Banner turned on the Autopilot function of his Model 3 sedan 10 seconds before the crash, then took his hands off the steering wheel, NTSB documents said. The car then drove underneath a tractor-trailer that was crossing in front of it, sheering off the car’s roof and killing Banner. It was eerily similar to another Florida crash in 2016 in which a Tesla on Autopilot went beneath a semi trailer.

The NTSB said in a preliminary report that it still hasn’t determined the cause of the crash. According to the report, traffic was light on the four-lane highway and dawn was breaking when Banner, 50, set his speed at 69 mph (111 kph) and activated the autopilot as he headed to work. The speed limit was 55 mph (88 kph). Seconds later, a tractor-trailer driven by Richard Wood, 45, pulled from a driveway and began to cross to the other side of the highway.

Wood said he saw two sets of car headlights coming toward him, but he thought he had time to make it across. “It was dark and it looked like the cars was back further than they was,” Wood told NTSB investigators four days after the crash.

A photo taken by the NTSB from Tesla’s front-end video camera showed Wood’s trailer fully blocking the road 1.5 seconds before the crash. Data from the Tesla’s computer shows that Banner hit his brakes less than a second before the crash, but the car went under the trailer. Wood says he saw a second car but it didn’t hit the trailer.

————

Krisher reported from Detroit. Terry Spencer contributed from Orlando, Florida.

[ad_2]

Source link

Aviation experts puzzled after airliner dumps fuel over city

[ad_1]

LOS ANGELES —
Some aviation experts said Wednesday that they were puzzled after the crew of a commercial airliner decided to dump fuel at low altitude during an emergency landing, causing a vapor to fall on schoolyards and neighborhoods east of Los Angeles International Airport.

“No one is going to dump fuel where these guys did it over populated areas and schools. It’s a pretty outrageous thing,” said Ross Aimer, CEO of Aero Consulting Experts and a retired United Airlines pilot. “They should have gone over the ocean or landed heavyweight.”

Delta Air Lines said Flight 89 to Shanghai had an engine problem after takeoff Tuesday and needed to quickly return. The Boeing 777-200 landed safely after circling back over Los Angeles while dumping fuel to reach a safe landing weight, the airline said in a statement.

Los Angeles County firefighters were called to schools where nearly 60 children and adults were examined for minor skin and lung irritations, but none required hospitalization. Fire Inspector Sky Cornell also said monitoring showed the vapor wasn’t flammable.

When a plane is forced to turn back after takeoff, the weight of a full load of fuel carries a risk of damaging the jet during landing. That can be costly for airlines to fix. And even if there isn’t damage, airlines try to avoid overweight landings because they are required to inspect planes, which puts them out of service.

When turning back with a full fuel load, pilots have three choices, according to John Cox, a safety consultant and former airline pilot: burn the fuel, which can take hours, dump it or land overweight.

In case of a fire, he said, pilots will dump as much fuel as quickly as they can and land. A less dangerous situation tends to lead to using up or dumping fuel.

According to recorded radio communications, air traffic control asked the Delta crew if they wanted to return to LAX immediately or linger over the ocean “to hold and burn fuel.”

“We’re going to go ahead,” the pilot or co-pilot responded. “We’ve got it back under control. … We’re not critical.”

“OK, so you don’t need to hold or dump fuel or anything like that?” the controller asked.

“Ah, negative,” was the response.

But the plane did dump fuel as it headed back.

The Delta crew reported a compressor stall in the engine “but they got the engine back under control … they were not in an immediate threat condition, and they started out over water,” Cox said. “Why they continued to dump fuel at low altitude when they weren’t in a fuel-dumping area, and didn’t advise ATC (air traffic control) that they were dumping fuel — those are questions this crew is going to have to answer.”

The Federal Aviation Administration said it is investigating, citing procedures that “call for fuel to be dumped over designated unpopulated areas, typically at higher altitudes so the fuel atomizes and disperses before it reaches the ground.”

Scott Martin, a propulsion expert at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, said a stall puts more pressure on the compressor, and the Delta pilots might have assumed the worst — that they could soon face an engine failure that could cause parts to break off and become shrapnel capable of piercing the fuselage, fuel tanks or hydraulic lines.

That might also explain why they were flying at such low altitude — to avoid putting more stress on the troubled engine, he said.

“They may have decided, ‘We don’t have time to fly higher and dump the fuel, we need to get the fuel off now and get back down to the runway,’” Martin said.

A Delta official spoke at a press conference with school officials Wednesday but offered no further insight into the fuel dumping.

“I know that there are a lot of questions about the process that was followed and those kinds of things,” said Dana Debel, Delta’s managing director of government affairs. “There is an ongoing investigation that was opened immediately after the flight landed back.”

Little is known about the health effects of exposure to kerosene-type jet fuel, according to the federal Health and Human Services Department. Studies using military personnel suggest it can affect the nervous system, but that research involved people who work around jet fuel all the time. Rats that were fed kerosene showed no increase in tumors, the agency said in a 2017 summary.

The Los Angeles County Public Health Department said students that were exposed to the fuel vapor were sent home with instructions on how to clean themselves with soap and water and to thoroughly wash their clothes and to discard them if the odor remained.

“Some exposed individuals have experienced mild symptoms such as skin irritation and upper respiratory irritation such as cough,” the department said in a statement. “These symptoms are generally expected to improve on their own.”

Delta sent cleaning crews to work with Los Angeles Unified School District crews to clean outside areas of the campuses and all reopened Wednesday.

——

Condon reported from New York City. Associated Press reporters David Koenig in Dallas and Ellen Knickmeyer in Washington, D.C., contributed to this report.

[ad_2]

Source link