SPECTACULAR CROSSWIND LANDINGS at Bilbao Airport


Agrandir le plan

Some pilots experienced very difficult conditions at Bilbao Airport a few days ago as strong crosswinds – up to 60 miles per hour – swept the runway from starboard (in French: tribord) ie from their right handside, forcing several of them to go around (in French: remettre les gaz):

SKYDIVER TO BREAK NEW FREE FALL RECORD

 

Felix Baumgartner, an Austrian skydiver, performed a challenging test jump on Thursday March 15, 2012.

Felix Baumgartner has the right stuff. He is a well known BASE jumper. B.A.S.E. means Buildings; Aerials; Spans (jumps from bridges); and Earth (jumps from cliffs). He performed numerous stunts such as jumping from the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, World Financial Center T101 in Taipei, and the Millau viaduct.

Yesterday’s jump test is just a stage in his attempt to break a new free-fall record. He jumped above Roswell, New Mexico at an altitude of 71,581 feet ie 21.8 kilometers; 13.6 miles; or Flight Level 716. He should then carry out another jump test before leaping again from a capsule lifted by a helium balloon at around 120,000 ft ie 23 miles or 37 km this year, and could become the first man to break the sound barrier while free falling.

 


 

MEDICAL CHALLENGE

This is not a simple leap in the sky. People may not understand how dangerous skydiving at such heights is. The air density is so low that it cannot brake movements as drag becomes poorer up there.

Therefore, a position mistake can make the human body tumble violently or spin very fast. High rotation speeds involve high-G forces due to the centrifugal force, and may lead to G-LOC (G-force induced Loss Of Consciousness), and even to the rupture of blood vessels.

Moreover, if a spacesuit were to leak (due to a dormant seal failure or a cracked/crazed faceplate, for instance), the blood could be boiling (ebullism at 37°C above 63,000 ft or 19 km) because of the very low air pressure, and the body could be swelling, and actually freezing to death as the external temperature can reach down to -70°C, and even lower, not to mention the risk of pulmonary barotrauma.

The current record is held by Joseph Kittinger (a former USAF pilot who is curently advising Felix Baumgartner on his project) who jumped from 102,800 feet in 1960. He temporarily lost the use of his hand which got twice as big as a glove seal was leaking during the final part of the ascent. With this test jump, Felix Baumgartner already belongs to the highest three skydivers along with Joe Kittinger, and Russian Eugene Andreev who performed the longest parachute jump from 83,523 feet (25.5 km).

The following video shows that this feat is not only a matter of pushing limits as researchers are working on this Red Bull Stratos project to prepare flight safety of the future spacecraft:

FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR ACCIDENT FALLOUT

Firefighters, as well as military personnel might be involved in a CRO (Crisis Response Operation – WARNING as this acronym has many other meanings in the military).

To whom it may concern, a short vocabulary review could be useful in case of (let’s hope you won’t deal with it) either natural disasters or a nuclear powerplant accident.

For instance:

  • « Fallout » is used in the headline above, and it means « consequences » but it also means « fallout » like in « radioactive/radiological fallout » (retombees radioactives/radiologiques)
  • NRBC (Nuclear, Radiological, Biological, and Chemical) or CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear)
  • Meltdown scenario = scenario de fusion du coeur du reacteur
  • Plume of smoke = Panache de fumee
  • Tidal wave, tsunami = Tsunami
  • Earthquake, quake = Tremblement de terre
  • Tremor = Secousse, replique
  • Shake, shaking = Secousse
  • Mud slide (prononcez [meud slaïd])/Land slide = Coulee de boue/Glissement de terrain
  • Flood/Flooding (prononcez [fleud] ou [fleuding]) = innondation
  • Fire/Arson = Incendie/Incendie criminel

…and so on. Watch, and listen carefully to this PBS News-Hour video:

  

HURRICANE Irene to reach NEW-YORK

A pilot risking his life onboard a 53d Weather Reconnaissance Squadron WC-130J Weatherbird weather reconnaissance aircraft, observed the hurricane in the eye of the storm and reported winds at around 100mph today:

New-York braces for what could be the most destructive hurricane since 1938 maybe 1821. South and North Carolina are beginning to feel the effects of Irene. As showed in the videos hereafter, Irene might cause widespread damage particularly by flooding well beyond the coastal cities such as Virginia Beach; Norfolk; Atlantic City, as well as Kill Devil Hills, the site of the Wright Brothers National Memorial close to Kitty Hawk:

Rio-Paris Flight 447 Crash Analysis

Special thanks to Thierry Hermas who teaches English radiotelephony at the French Air Force Academy (EOAA Salon de Provence). Indeed, he has analyzed, and compiled some extracts of the Air France Flight 447 reports issued by the BEA (Bureau d’Enquêtes et d’analyses pour la sécurité de l’aviation civile – Flight safety investigations and analyses bureau www.bea.aero) for training purposes.

CLICK HERE (updated):                        

Images and publications of Rio-Paris crash
 
 
 

Another update – 2012 FINAL REPORT OF RIO-PARIS FLIGHT 447

 
 
 

In addition to this document, Mr Hermas suggested two videos about the Rio-Paris crash which happened on June 1, 2009. The video hereafter is the first of a series of four:

The second video is available here: http://www.france24.com/en/20110527-air-france-flight-rio-paris-pilots-crash-brazil-airbus

Here is another video about a few extracts of the cockpit audio transcript translated into English: