Pointing lasers at aircraft will cost offenders big time

Pointing lasers at aircraft can cost pilots their lives. The FAA has decided to increase the penalty. This prank is to cost the offenders a hefty fine – up to $11,000. Some pen-shaped laser pointers have been reported around a thousand times in the USA in 2011, and 2,836 incidents were reported last year.

It may seem a harmless prank. However, when a laser pen user aims at an aircraft, it turns into a dangerous hazard as the laser light is reflected everywhere. When the beams re reflected into the pilots’ eyes, the can get blind, and cause a crash.

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JSF F-35 Lightning II at Paris Airshow 2011

The U.S. F-35Cs – 5th-generation-fighter a/c – showed below are CATOBAR fighter jets. CATOBAR stands for Catapult Assisted Take Off But Arrested Recovery. It means that this variant of the F-35 JSF – Joint Strike Fighter aka Lightning II – is designed to be launched from a CV (Carrier Vessel aka aircraft carrier), and it is designed to land thanks to arrestor (or arresting) wires and hooks – Video:

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Argentine, Uruguayan Flights, and more Cancelled due to Volcanic Ash

An ash blanket has covered Buenos Aires today June 9, 2011.

The Puyehue – a Chilean volcano – has been erupting since June 4, and as a result, all the aircraft have been grounded, as well as all the flights have been cancelled at the main Buenos Aires airports – Ezeiza International Airport (also Ministro Pistarini International Airport); Jorge Newbery Airport; and Ástor Piazzolla International Airport. Flights have been cancelled in Uruguay at Carrasco International Airport.

Traffic troubles had begun in Argentina on Tuesday, then the flight resumed on Wednesday. A huge ash cloud is still hovering over the Argentine capital at FL 290 (9,000 m). The cleaning operation are going on.

Watch the video hereafter:

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Airlines extra fees in 2010: $22 billion!

According to a Wall Street Journal report, the American carriers have made a lot of money thanks to add-fees – $22 billion in 2010.

For instance, Matt McCall, the president of Penn Financial Group reports in the following video that he had to « pay 50 dollars for 4 inches » exceeding the standard luggage size the night before.

Most people pay such add-fees as they do not want to change bags in the very last minutes. It depends on the airlines – as in the video – but the fee for overweight carry-on bags can be twice as expensive. Some passengers are willing to pay add-on fees if needed.

However some other passengers may not have time to perform the luggage change required, and they pay add-on fees just before departure. So they pay, and the airlines rake the add-on fees revenue which is to increase even further:

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Cold weather DC3 cargo aircraft flights to Antarctica

The Canadian Kenn Borek Ltd. DC-3 you can see below has been modified to perform landing on ice strips with skis. This aircraft, as well as another DC-3T – a Basler BT-67 – carry out Antartica Logistics and Expeditions (ALE) flights. Therefore they have been upgraded to sustain take off, flight, and landing at very low temperatures. Please, listen to Philippe Cousteau:

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