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October 2015

A380 with RR Trent XWB-97 getting ready for test flight

Airbus is preparing the RR Trent XWB-97 for the flight test campaign. This engine is designed to be used on Airbus A350-1000, it can produce 97,000ibf of thrust at take-off.

Image Courtesy of Airbus

It is currently fixed on Airbus A388 testbed getting ready for the flight test. The registration is likely to be F-WWOW, the current active A388 testbed airframe.  With these photo been released by Airbus, we will be expecting the test flight soon.

A Little information about RR Trent XWB-97

RR XWB-97 engines nacelle may look the same with XWB-84, the changes are seen deep in the engine. Even though XWB-97 has the same number of blades and diameter on the front fan, but it runs about six per cent faster. The core is also larger to handle the increased airflow. The combustor and turbines are also hotter than that of XWB-84. New materials and coatings are also used.

A Beriev Be-200 by the Russians arrived at Palembang.

Beriev Be-200 operated by the Russian’s Ministry of Emergency Situations has arrived at Palembang.

Courtesy of FlightRadar

This is part of the international respond team in helping Indonesia to put out the forest fire caused by rampage forest clearing. It made multiply stops before it reached Palembang.

Beriev Be200 Ch S in action(Use for illustration). Courtesy of Yevgeny Pashini

The aircraft with the registration RF-31130 took off from Krasnoyarsk (KJA) in Russia on 19 Oct 0350hours (UTC) and made one stop in another Russia Airport, followed by two stops in Vietnam and arrived at Palembang on 21 Oct 0411 hours (UTC).

This is multipurpose amphibious aircraft capable of landing on both sea and land. It can be customised for passenger, cargo or arial fire fighting services. This particular aircraft sent to Indonesia is able to carry up to 12 tonnes of water or retardant. It has the ability to scoop water while skimming across water surface at 90 to 95% take off speed. This allows multi mission per flight.


With this aircraft joining in, we hope the forest fire which caused the haze to be put out soon.

Tigerair Flight TR2934 Delayed - (9V-TAM) made an Air Turn Back.

Tigerair flight TR2934 (9V-TAM) took off as usual from Changi airport around 7.20am(Singapore Time) on 20 Oct 2015, with its destination HaiKou, China. It is scheduled to arrive at Haikou at 1045hours (local time).  

About 27 minutes after take-off, they requested to do a turn back to Singapore. No emergency is declared. The turn back was made when the pilots detected a hydraulic malfunction. About five minutes after requesting a turn back, the crew reported that they have lost both autopilot1.

The aircraft is vector into a holding area to burn off fuel in preparation for landing. After holding for about 1.5 hours, it exited holding pattern. The plane landed safely at around 1015hours at Changi Airport.

Passengers are transferred into another plane and left for Haikou at around 11am.

Courtesy of Flightradar24
  1. - A320 has 2 independent autopilot. Losing autopilot should not affect safety. Pilots are trained to fly manually. 

9V-TRH Fan Cowl door lost (Additional details)

The TigerAir 9V-TRH which turned back minutes after taking off for Chennai on 16 October 2015 was reported in the news that its engine cowling was missing and landed back in Singapore. Another source (ninervictor) reported that the landing gear indicators did not showing all gear down resulting in the first landing approach to be abandoned.

The first approach to land was aborted. This can be supported by Flightradar24 data. Now we need to wait for the official incident report to understand the whole incident.

Photo: Twitter user H_Lucke

With more photos surfaced on the internet, from these photos, it looks like both the left and right hand side of engine number 1 fan cowl door were missing. A closer look at the latest photo, it looks like a part of the pylon fairing was torn off. The right hand side photo taken during flight with the engine scan lights turned on is not clear for further observation (Photo in previous article).

What had caused the first approach to be abandoned or what caused the landing gear indicators to show otherwise a down and lock indication need a more detail analysis. Any further discussion based on the two photos is just purely guesswork.

The cause(s) of 9V-TRH’s engine fan cowl door to come off have to wait for the official report, however this is not the first time an A320 family fan cowl door was lost. According to a bulletin released by European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), it had provided serval recommendations to operators in cowl door loss prevention. The EASA’s report further stated that Airbus is currently working on a new design solution for A320.

New information
Edited on 20 Oct 2015(with great thanks to willischong)


It is verified through the communication between ATC and pilots flying the flight TR2638 on 16 Oct 2015 that they indeed having indication that the gear was not down and locked.

The plane was in the approach, while the pilot tried to put down the land gear, an indication of unsafe gear showed up for the left main landing gear. The pilot thereafter declared “Mayday” which the control copied. The pilots reported that the Maximum Landing weight (MLW) of the aircraft is 64.5 tonnes and the aircraft at that moment weighted 69tonnes2.

The MLW is the design specification by the plane maker, the pilots and the operators follows a set of SOP and inspections in the event an overweight landing occurred. This will not affect flight safety generally.

After burning off fuel over a holding area, the pilot requested for an overshoot approach at 300ft for the ground engineers to do a visual observation of the landing gear. When the engineers confirmed the gear was down and locked, the pilot go-around and landed.

In the communication, the “brace brace brace” command was heard transmitted over the radio.


1 - need further verification. (New information is presented)

2- At take off, the weight is usually over the MLW, due to fuel weight. There is a Max Take off weight (MTOW) specification.

Further Reading

EASA Bulletin SIB No:2015-15


KLM First B787-9 (PH-BHA) had completed its first test flight.

KLM’s first Boeing 787-9 (B789), registration number PH-BHA had just completed its maiden flight (test flight) on 14 October 2015. As the common practice, the aircraft will be delivered within a couple of weeks, if there is no outstanding issue during the Boeing test flight and Customer test flight. Following this generic guide, we can expect to see KLM receiving their first B787-9 very soon. 

KLM B787-9 landing. Courtesy of Woodys Aeroimages

This aircraft is powered by two General Electric GENxTM engines. This engine produces 74,100 ibf of thrust at take-off. The cabin configuration includes 30 Business Class seats, 48 Premium Economy Class seats and 216 Economy Class seats.

Passengers can enjoy more comfort and privacy on KLM's B787-9.

The Boeing 787-9 enables KLM to offer passengers even more comfort and privacy. KLM has chosen to add specific improvements to this special aircraft, which make it unique among other 787s. All these details add up to ensure our passengers can experience a new way to fly.

Pieter Elbers - KLM President & CEO

B787-9 is more fuel-efficient and quieter. This reduces the carbon footprint of KLM. The fuel-efficient engines will reduce CO2 emissions by at least 20%.

Passengers can expect more legroom together with the new LED lighting system, larger windows and higher cabin pressure enhancing the unique flight experience. We will update with more features once the aircraft is delivered.

Aircraft Details-
  • Type: B787-9
  • Registration No: PH-BHA
  • MSN: 36113
  • Line No: 356
  • Engines: 2xGENx- 1B