Two criminals escaped from a Belgian prison after a helicopter crash-landed inside the prison grounds as an apparent diversion, police said. The two men, including notorious serial escapee Nordine Ben Allal, managed to flee in a car thanks to armed accomplices, police said. The unknown accomplices had hijacked the helicopter then crash-landed it in the prison courtyard south of Brussels to allow Ben Allal, convicted of several armed attacks, to flee in the confusion and smoke, according to Belgian media. RTL television reported that a prison guard had been taken hostage during the commando-style operation and that several people were injured. A major police search, including helicopter surveillance, was underway. Media reports said the car was found abandoned about five kilometres from the prison. The prison did not wish to give any immediate information on the situation and the local police commander was similarly tight-lipped. Ben Allal has escaped from prison before, notably in 2004 when two police officers were injured in the getaway.
COPENHAGEN - The landing gear of an SAS turboprop plane collapsed on landing at Copenhagen's Kastrup airport on Saturday, but no one was seriously injured. None of the 44 people on the flight from Bergen, Norway was injured when the right main landing gear of the Q400 aircraft collapsed, Danish TV 2 quoted Copenhagen police as saying.Television images showed the plane tip and swerve to its right as it landed before coming to a halt with the fuselage intact. SAS and airport officials were not immediately available for comment. Ritzau said one of two runways at Kastrup airport was closed after the accident which took place around 1500 GMT.
The Scandinavian airline last month grounded its entire fleet of 27 Q400 planes, built by Canada's Bombardier, after two crash landings, one in Lithuania on Sept. 12 and one in Denmark on Sept. 9. Both incidents involved problems with the planes' landing gear, but no one was seriously hurt.
Ritzau quoted a spokesman for the Danish Civil Aviation Authority as saying the Scandinavian aviation authorities had issued a new flight ban on all SAS's Q400 turboprops, effective immediately, after Saturday's accident. "Some of the aircraft are in the air at the moment in different parts of Europe, but when they land they will not be allowed to fly again," Thorbjorn Anker said.
The Q400 is designed for regional services and carries up to 78 passengers.
SAS, 50 percent owned by the governments of Sweden, Denmark and Norway, restarted Q400 flights this month after replacing part of the landing gear, and wants compensation from Bombardier to cover the losses. SAS cancelled hundreds of flights last month after the first two incidents and said it would seek compensation totalling about 500 million Swedish crowns ($78 million) from Bombardier.
The collapse of the main landing gear in the September incidents has been attributed to corrosion. But official investigations by Lithuanian and Danish authorities have not yet been completed.
A commercial A380 flight will take off from Singapore for Sydney The world's largest passenger plane, the Airbus A380, has taken off on its first commercial flight - from Singapore to Sydney, Australia. Singapore Airlines took delivery of the huge plane dubbed the Superjumbo just over a week ago and passengers bought seats in a charity online auction.
It can carry some 850 passengers but is carrying about 450 to Sydney.
The Superjumbo's advent ends a reign of nearly four decades by the Boeing 747 as the world's biggest airliner.
The new aircraft suffered almost two years of delays because of a number of construction problems but took off on time on Wednesday.
The BBC's Rajan Datar reports from aboard the plane that the journey is going smoothly.
Part of history:
Hundreds of staff and passengers at Singapore's Changi Airport watched it lift into the sky, snapping the moment with pocket cameras and camera phones.
"I'm a big airplane freak and I love everything about planes," passenger Ernest Graaff told Reuters news agency before he boarded the liner. He had paid $40,000 for two business-class tickets on the jet.
"I'm excited about being a part of history," he added before the seven-hour flight.
Passengers paid between $560 and $100,380 to be on the inaugural flight.
Lern more about Airbus: www.airbus.com
The Embraer aircraft corporation of Sao Paulo, Brazil has made a name for itself in recent years by designing and manufacturing regional jets. The first of these jets, the Embraer 145 made its first flight in 1995. The ERJ-145 is a 50 passenger jet powered by two rear mounted Rolls Royce turbo fan engines. It has a wing sweep of approximately 22 degrees and has a T-tail configuration.
The operational success of the ERJ-145 and its similar competitors such as the Canadair Regional Jet and the airlines’ desires for a larger model brought about the “E” series of jets from Embraer.
The Embraer 170 is the base model “E” jet. It’s a narrow body airliner powered by two General Electric CF-34 turbofan engines. Each engine is FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control) equipped.
The first flight of the Embraer 170 took place in March 2004 and the aircraft passed FAA certification in September of 2005. The EMB -170 features a fully digital flight deck.
The Honeywell Primus Flight Information Display provides pilots with increased situational awareness, increased information retrieval and better flexibility. The system consists of a total of 5 cathode ray screens and allows pilots to present flight, aircraft performance, terrain, weather and air traffic on the various displays.
The EMB- 170 cockpit is roomy which is a departure from the E-145. The base aircraft configuration holds 70 passengers in a 2+2 configuration with lavatories forward and aft.
The EMB-170 is operated with a crew of four. Two pilots and two flight attendants. It has a range of 2100 miles and a maximum speed of 481kt (mach .86). It’s maximum service ceiling is 41,000 ft.
Currently Republic Airlines, Shuttle America Airlines, LOT Polish Airlines, Egypt Air, Air Canada and Compass Air operate the EMB 170.
Lern more about Embraer: www.embraer.com