Deborah Hersman – NTSB chairman – about what happened on Southwest Airlines B-737

7 major airlines outsourcing 40% of their maintenance

A Boeing 737-300 has recently been forced to perform an emergency landing after an explosive depressurization due to a rather big hole in its fuselage. Reports suggested that some MRO (Maintenance; Repair; and Overhaul) operations had been outsourced to El Salvador, and might have caused such an accident.

However, the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) said that the last heavy « C » check – the last major MRO operation on the aircraft – was performed at the Dallas Southwest maintenance facilities in March 2010.

The TWU (Transport Workers Union) has condemned the use of aircraft repair stations outside the USA, calling on Congress and the Federal Aviation Administration to toughen the FAA’s oversight – Watch the video:

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Beriev Be-2500 almost twice as big as A380!

The Beriev Be-2500 Neptune is a super-heavy transport seaplane proposed by the Beriev Aircraft Company of Russia. Its maximum take-off weight should reach 2,500 tons! It would be the largest aircraft ever proposed. It might weigh four times more than the largest aircraft in the world, the Antonov An-225.

This gigantic project would range from $10 to $15 billion. The Be-2500 would be a « flying ship » able to compete with the maritime shipping and air transport industries. Its size is not clearly quoted due to a discrepancy in the figures available. However, it would nearly double the Airbus A380 size!

It is deemed to be an ekranoplane (also known as a « wing-in-ground-effect – WIG », « flarecraft », « wing-in-surface-effect ship – WISE », « sea skimmer », « ground effect vehicle – GEV » thanks to its cushion of high-pressure air provided by the aerodynamic interaction between the wings and the surface, which is known as ground effect.

Last but not least, it could fly far over the surface (airborne) like any heavy cargo. Watch what it could look below:

News – Nato cargo via Kazakhstan

NATO, Kazakhstan sign Afghanistan cargo transit deal

16:10 27/01/2010 NATO and Kazakhstan signed on Wednesday a deal which would allow the alliance to transport its Afghanistan-bound military cargo via the territory of the Central Asian state.>>