International Travel News
JetBlue pilot subdued after erratic behavior
Source: USA Today
It was an extraordinarily rare incident in the air — and a frightening one for passengers: A JetBlue captain was locked out of the cockpit and wrestled to the floor by passengers after screaming about a bomb during a flight from New York to Las Vegas.
JetBlue said that the captain of Flight 191, which was diverted to Texas on Tuesday morning, had a “medical situation” and that an off-duty captain traveling on the flight entered the cockpit before the landing “and took over the duties of the ill crewmember once on the ground” in Amarillo.
The co-pilot became concerned that the captain was behaving erratically during the flight, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which is investigating in coordination with the FBI, the Transportation Security Administration and Amarillo police.
“The captain had exited the cockpit during the flight, after which the co-pilot locked the door,” said Brie Sachse, an FAA spokeswoman. “When the captain attempted to enter the locked cockpit, he was subdued by passengers.”
Tony Antolino, a security executive from Rye, N.Y., realized something was wrong on the flight when the captain left the cockpit and starting walking erratically through the cabin, drinking water and becoming agitated.
Antolino, 40, says he and several other passengers realized they needed to subdue him after the co-pilot locked the captain out of the cockpit. The captain started yelling about Iraq and Afghanistan, then told passengers to start reciting the Lord’s prayer.
“That’s when everybody just tackled him and took him down,” says Antolino, an executive with a security firm headed to an industry conference. “We just physically stood on top of him until the flight was diverted and we landed in Amarillo.”
Although flight attendants have had outbursts and had to be restrained, it’s extraordinarily rare for a pilot. The incident raises questions about pilots’ mental and physical fitness as well as passengers’ safety when a captain and first officer are behind locked and hardened cockpit doors.
Tom Murphy, another passenger, told CNN the flight attendants tried to take the captain to the back of the plane, but he broke free and ran to the front, threatening to blow up the plane and saying there was a bomb on board.
“He started screaming about al-Qaeda and possibly a bomb on the plane and Iraq and Iran and about how we were all going down,” Gabriel Schonzeit of New York City, who was seated in the third row, told the Amarillo Globe-News. “It seemed like he went crazy.”
Heidi Karg, another passenger on the flight, told CNN that the man was shouting, “I need the code! Gimme the code! I need to get in there!”
“We heard the word ‘bomb,’” Karg said. “We didn’t know exactly what was going on.”
Several passengers wrestled the captain to the floor. David Gonzalez, 50, a former New York City Department of Corrections officer, told ABC News he put the captain in a choke hold.
“We got to get this plane down,” Gonzalez, who was traveling to an annual security show, said he recalled thinking. “This guy is nuts.”
Former pilot John Cox, president of Safety Operation Systems, said he could recall only a couple of incidents similar to Tuesday’s in 40 years in commercial aviation.
Cox said the first officer could have landed the plane safely, even without assistance from the off-duty captain. Cox said crewmembers are trained to restrain combative passengers under a program called Crew Resource Management that could have applied to the pilot.
“The same training to restrain an abusive passenger that presents a physical threat could be utilized against a crewmember,” Cox said. “It was great that there was another captain that was on the flight that could assist the first officer. Had he not been there, though, the first officer is completely capable and trained to land the aircraft. There was never a risk to the passengers.”
Airline pilots must have a first-class medical certificate, which is renewed annually if the pilot is under 40 and every six months over that age, according to the FAA. As part of that process, the pilot must have a physical exam by an FAA-designated medical examiner, who assesses the pilot’s psychological condition as part of the checkup. The examiner can also order additional psychological testing.
No official mental health testing is required. Instead, pilots are trained to be on the lookout for any sign of mental distress among their peers. “The mental health side is constant monitoring from your co-workers,” said Dave Funk, a retired Northwest Airlines captain now an aviation consultant with Laird & Associates.
If someone’s personality changes drastically, he said, “we’re going to pull him aside. Management will get involved and not in a hostile fashion. We work with people.”
“I’d say the system functioned properly,” Funk said. “There’s a reason we have two pilots. There’s a reason we have flight attendants. … One healthy pilot on the flight deck who’s qualified would have no problem landing the plane.”
Antolino commended the co-pilot for recognizing the captain’s erratic behavior, getting him out of the cockpit and landing the plane safely.
“The co-pilot from JetBlue was the real hero for having the sense to recognize that something was wrong here,” Antolino says.
In August 2010, an upset JetBlue flight attendant, Steven Slater, pulled the emergency chute on a flight from Pittsburgh International Airport to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. He went on the plane’s public-address system, swore at a passenger who he claimed treated him rudely, grabbed a beer and slid down onto the tarmac.
Slater completed a court-ordered treatment program and was sentenced to one-year probation. “That was one moment; that was not indicative of who I am,” Slater said at sentencing.
On March 9, American Airlines passengers were settling in for a trip from Dallas to Chicago when a flight attendant launched into a rant on the public-address system about 9/11 and the safety of the plane.
Several passengers wrestled the woman into a seat while the plane was still on the ground, and the attendant was taken to Parkland Hospital for evaluation.
Aviation expert Michael Barr said there aren’t any good procedures in place if a pilot has a meltdown in the cockpit and the cockpit door is closed, even after the 1999 crash of an EgyptAir flight, in which the pilot appeared to have intentionally crashed the plane.
“Even after EgyptAir there really wasn’t a great new procedure. What can you do? The first officer or the captain is going crazy and then you end up with a battle on the flight deck between the two of them and that’s not a good thing,” he said.
Travel in the dot-com age
Source: The Hindu
Travel has become ever so simple in the digital era. All you have to do is browse the scores of websites on the Internet, read an e-book or consult an app on your smart phone to get information about destinations and make holiday plans. You can even take a virtual vacation thanks to Google Street View.
Summer is up and so are your travel plans. It's fun travel in the digital age, to be one of a new breed of travellers. As a digital nomad, the first thing you do when the air turns hot is to log on to a digital device. And Google. Where you go, where you stay, with whom, what you do, how big a bite your credit card will take, and who will go with you are all decided digitally. The merit or unworthiness of hotels comes from the reviews of total strangers. In the place of the bulky guidebook, you now carry a sleek laptop.
Hundreds of websites such as Travelindigitalage.com promise to fetch you the best possible travel tips, tricks and offers “out there.” Blog pages give you “ideas” about the best — read scariest, cheapest, remotest, coldest, most romantic and exotic places, how-tos and other travel information. Travel companies offer solutions to suit every whim and oddity. As Venkat at Vacations Exotica says, “You can go to a little-known place today and find an Indian restaurant there.” Travel has never been so doable.
No more a hassle
Getting travel ready isn't a hassle either (though passing through airports can dampen your enthusiasm).You can learn the local language on the Internet or through an app on your smart phone. You could browse e-books to know of places you want to leave your footprint on. Packing is a breeze as we've shed heavy clothes and our inhibitions — a couple of jeans, keds and T-shirts are all we need. We can indulge in things we haven't dreamt of — White water rafting? Hang gliding? Scuba diving? Snorkelling? Rappelling? Skiing? We supply equipment! — get a minute-by-minute itinerary, know about food options and even a massage. You scan a 360-degree view of the rooms in a resort before booking your holiday there. If you're still in doubt, you can log on to Facebook, or start a tweet on your destination to buzz up advice. Want to talk it over? Call for a Skype conversation or a video chat.
But you hate to leave your couch and miss your daily dose of serials. You're suspicious of the food in strange places and will need curd rice for sustenance. You worry about the comfort quotient. Yet, you want to talk intelligently about travel. Right, you can watch travel programmes on someone else's tour choices or take a virtual vacation with Google Street View (GSV).
Check out Google's latest Street View mapping projects. They allow you to take a leisurely stroll in the lush Amazon rainforest or find yourself in unknown areas in Thailand.
Google Street View isn't anything new. Its cameras have taken us voyeuristically through local roads, college campuses, malls and airports. But recently GSV has updated itself to take viewers comfortably on a trip through the Amazon basin or to watch the reconstruction of Thailand after last year's bludgeoning monsoon.
This is the highpoint of this particular GSV: there are hardly any roads in the Amazon, so you get to see a lot of jungle images, of places you would never have ventured into. Some 50,000 images taken along the rivers capture the beauty of the rainforest in 360-degree view. The GSV then helpfully picks your locations for “sightseeing.” You watch scenes of Tumbira, the largest community, in a developed village in the Amazon reserve, or float down the Rio Negro. The adventurous can try to navigate the jungle trails, and find out where Brazil nuts are harvested.
In faraway Thailand, you get to “walk” the roads of Bangkok, Phuket and Chiang Mai by punching a few keys. The Tourism Authority of Thailand is particularly happy about this GSV since it shows how the cities have been rebuilt after nearly five months of flooding. Viewing the renewed streets of its historic places, Thailand hopes, will persuade travellers to pack their bags for a real experience. “We really want to show that Thailand isn't still under water,” David Marx, Google's Tokyo-based communications manager, told Reuters. “People should see Thailand for what it is.” You can, just go to GSV.
Google might have had its controversies, but this GSV project has been welcomed, especially by armchair travellers and eco activists. GSV images bring attention to how precious and fragile Amazon rain forests are, they say. It will sensitise the world to the challenges of climate change and help spread information about the effects of large-scale deforestation.
Is GSV the same as being there and getting one's feet wet and arms mosquito-bitten? Does it take away from an ‘authentic' experience? Answer these later. If you're feeling stressed and are in dire need of an instant vacation, get on board a virtual tour of the Amazon and Thailand.
February sets records for average North American hotel rates
Source: Travel Daily News
Rates paid for North American hotel rooms in February led to record increases over prior year for both business and leisure bookings, according to the latest data from Pegasus Solutions reported in The Pegasus View. Corporate rates edged past previous record margins of +7.0% from January 2012 and July 2011 to a new high of +7.1%, while leisure rates rose +7.3%, almost a full percentage point more than June 2011’s previous high of +6.4%.
Bookings, which had fallen off inflated prior-year levels in January, enjoyed a bump from Leap Year as the extra day in the month drove global booking volumes up for both channels. Globally, corporate bookings rose +5.1% over prior year, and would still have risen +0.5% without the extra day. Leisure bookings, which rose +2.5%, would have returned a slight drop of -1.6% without the 29th.“By the numbers, February was a good month worldwide,” said Mike Kistner chief executive officer of Pegasus Solutions. “No doubt, business and consumer reservation volumes were bolstered by the extra day of bookings, but it wasn’t Leap Year that drove rates up – demand did. And it did so in an utterly convincing manner for both channels, setting records in North America and still rising elsewhere.”
Reservation growth in North America did not match the rate gains for business or leisure travel, but still improved from January. Corporate bookings in the region grew +3.5% over prior year, compared to +7.0% for all other global regions combined, while leisure volumes realized an increase of +1.8%, far shy of the +6.8% gain realized outside of North America.
While North America continues to lead the rate recovery as a region, corporate rates grew +3.7% globally, and increased a slight +0.3% for all other regions in total. Leisure rates outpaced North America globally at +7.6% over 2011, returning gains of +3.6% outside North America.
The Pegasus View reporting on February 2012 bookings is available online and by free subscription at www.pegs.com. Data reported in The Pegasus View comes from billions of transactions processed monthly by Pegasus Solutions, the world’s single largest global processor of hotel transactions. It is the only industry report to reflect data drawn from both GDS and ADS transactions, representing the business and leisure markets respectively for approximately 90,000 hotels worldwide.
Top 10 safety websites that women must know about
Self-defence Instruction for women online aims is to acquaint girls with basic self-defence moves that will help them when in trouble. The goal is to help them develop a successful plan before something happens.
Basic self defence moves given on the website have been designed by professionals who have years of experience in creating self-defence programs. The practical self-defence moves are specifically crafted for women/girls, who have no previous training in combatives, or martial arts. Log on to this site to learn these easy moves and stay safe.
On this website detective Kevin Coffey, an expert in travel safety and other crime avoidance advice, lists important safety measures that women should take in their daily lives. From smart safety travel tips on how to avoid date rape drugs, tips to prevent rape and escape from the rapist to a host of other safety tips from experts including women cops, the website has a comprehensive coverage of various safety issues surrounding women. The detailed presentation of these topics with subheads makes it easier for one to implement the instructions. For instance, safety tips for women travellers has sub-topics such as how to choose a hotel, how to have a safe flight, how to take care of your luggage, money and etc.
The safety tips given on this website provide you with common day to day measures that you can take to protect yourself against criminal activity. Each of the articles listing safety tips give information on real life threatening scenarios and how you can prepare yourself to ensure your safety. Having the knowledge and a pre-planned set of actions to take for as many scenarios of danger as you may face, can improve your chances of not getting victimised. Some of the articles on this website are on ATM safety, driving safety, home safety, parking lot safety, transportation safety, travel safety, vacation safety, and walking safety.
This is yet another website that should feature in a woman’s must-check list. There are a wide range of topics on women safety that are covered here. Beginning with safe dating tips, night-outs, returning home late from work, solo boating safety practices, to tips on how to be safe in unfamiliar countries, use the cell phone safely and more, there’re a host of useful tips for women. It also has a special section for single pregnant travellers. Most of these tips are handy and can help avert awkward and uncomfortable situations. Also it tells you what to do if you are being followed, if you are walking alone to your home at night, if you are out on your first date with a person you don’t know well, and more.
This website by a woman called Sera is meant for women. Though on the outset it may look like any regular website offering beauty, shopping, health and fitness tips and easy recipes but delve a little further in the tips section, and you come across interesting tips on how to stay safe at night. The website suggests you take your dog along with you, carry a weapon like pepper spray or a knife, tell someone where you are heading to, be confident etc. It also provides you with tactics to deal with burglars.
A comprehensive women safety website that gives out self-defence tips and tricks for women. The USP of the website is one new safety tip that pops up on the top right side, prompting what to do when caught in a life-threatening situation. It also has a section on domestic violence and how to deal with it. The category titled common threats enumerates all possible threats that a woman is likely to face, and ways to avoid them. It encourages readers to share their stories and ways through which they got out of a dangerous situation. It also has pictures showing self-defence methods when one is attacked.
The website has put up life-saving lessons taken from real life interactions with children’s groups, college students, civic groups, corporations, rape survivors, and veteran cops at police academies. There is also a special section on home security that creates awareness about home invasions and burglaries and also gives safety tips on how to avoid them. You will also find the inputs on safe driving, parking lot safety, and street crime tips quite useful. The real-life stories throughout this website show you how to stack the odds in your favour. You’ll also find tips on how to avoid a face-to-face encounter, control fear, and most importantly, how to outsmart them.
Women-related laws and women-centric issues are tackled in detail in this resourceful website. The online portal simplifies laws and makes women aware of their legal and safety rights. Many real life stories and legal cases with the verdict are available on the website for women to refer to and learn from them. Some interesting must-reads here are Legal Rights: Problems Faced by Working Women in India; Indian Laws: Domestic Violence and Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill. So, if you have any doubts regarding your rights and don’t know what to do, try logging into this website, and know about the your laws in details, without having to worry about tough language or incomprehensible jargon. The cases in example act as good reference points for women.
All motorists need to be careful on the highway, but female drivers of all ages, unfortunately, have to be doubly vigilant to avoid becoming victims of crimes while driving, including carjacking, sexual assault, robbery and worse. Articles on this website give tips to women on such issues so that such unwarranted incidents of carjacking, robbery, sexual assault by a passenger etc can be avoided. This website has everything that you need to know about safe commuting. Read up before you take to the roads, and be safe.
This website gives practical and helpful tips to women who are living alone or are planning to live alone for the first time. Right from choosing an accommodation to installing alarm systems, and getting to know the neighbours, the site tells you everything that you need to know about safety and security when you are on your own. You can also find information about your legal rights when it comes to taking a place on rent, dealing with the landlord and other issues related to accommodation. Detailed and simplified explanations make this website quite
Today, we tell you how you can save yourself from a person who tries to hit you with a baton. Also, cut and keep our poster on the top 10 websites dealing with women’s safety
If a person is coming to attack you, hold out your hands and yell “stop” or “stay back!” Most rapists look for an easy target, so they tend to leave a woman alone if she makes noise or shows that she is not afraid to fight back. Holding out a sharp object like a paper knife will also be a deterrent.
Know your rights
Have you ever been intimidated by people who were drunk in a train? According to Section 145 of the Railways Act if any person in any railway carriage commits any nuisance in a state of intoxication, then he may be removed from the train by any railway employee, and shall be punished with imprisonment up to six months and with a fine up to R500.
Where I feel unsafe
Crowded Metro stations and trains aren’t a safe haven for girls at all. Some men take undue advantage of the situation and grope and harass women. A lot of thefts also occur over here. I feel unsafe in such places.
This incident happened when I was waiting for a bus at IFFCO Chowk around 8pm, a few days ago. A guy came and stood beside me, continuously laughing and staring at me. The area isn’t well lit and usually not crowded. My bus was also not coming, and this guy just wouldn’t leave the site! Finally, I had to call for a cab. There wasn’t any a traffic policeman around also. Since the cab was taking time, I started moving towards the crossing which was better lit, but this guy started following me, making lewd gestures. I was so panic-stricken that I wasn’t able to make up my mind whether to call for help or take out my pepper spray. Fortunately, the cab arrived at that moment and I was saved. Shilpa, via Facebook (name changed)
What the expert says
“Sexual abuse happens in the most unsuspecting situation by the most unsuspecting perpetrators. Most adults, who seek therapy in later years, often express regret as to why they did not speak about their situation earlier. Talking also facilitates catharsis of pent up emotions which can often lead to guilt and feeling responsible for the abuse. I can’t surely predict how your parents will react but its important for them to face it for your psychological well being. Before you speak to your parents, talk to a counsellor, who will help you deal with the situation and communicate with your parents. Don’t feel isolated or guilty in any manner, it is not your fault whatsoever,” says Dr Deepak Raheja, psychiatrist.
How do you tackle an attacker armed with a baton?
Attacking a person with a stick is a common trick used by attackers. It happens mostly when a woman is all alone. It is a dangerous situation as the attacker can make you unconscious with one blow, and take advantage of you. But don’t worry, there’s a way out, and you can escape even a life-threatening situation such as this. Just keep your cool and follow these five practical steps to get out of there.
1) If a person tries to attack you with a baton, get close to him and block his arm with yours
2) Grab his armed hand and kick his groin with your knee while putting pressure on his nape
3) Once the attacker is in pain, twist his arm to pull the stick out of his grip
4) Once you have the stick, lock your shoulder with his, punch and push him to the ground
5) As he falls to the ground, flee from the spot as soon as you can.
Top Travel Insurance Tips for a Stress Free Easter Getaway
Source: Money Super Market
- Policies shouldn't be selected based on price alone
- Holidaymakers must ensure they have adequate cover to suit their needs, urges MoneySupermarket.com
With many Brits preparing for an Easter getaway, Money Super market outlines its top tips to ensure holidaymakers have the right cover in place to safeguard against any unexpected holiday mishaps.
Bob Atkinson, travel expert at Money Super market, said: "For those fortunate enough to be jetting away this Easter, having the right travel insurance in place is essential to ensure peace of mind whilst away from home. Having a policy with the appropriate levels of cover will help safeguard against any unexpected eventualities.
"Travel insurance shouldn't just be about price. For some, the cheaper policies don't provide adequate cover. A family of four holidaying for a week in Spain would need to pay around a few pounds more for a policy that provides suitable levels of cover compared to cheaper less comprehensive policies.*
"Reading the policy wording before choosing travel insurance is vital to ensure the cover offered meets your needs. Additionally, taking out insurance as soon as you book your holiday will ensure you are covered should circumstances arise that prevent you from taking your trip."
Medical and personal liability cover
When travelling abroad, it is essential to have adequate medical cover in place. If travelling inEurope, many think a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will suffice, but the cover offered is not as extensive as you may think. While the EHIC card will provide you with the same treatment as a resident of the EU country you are visiting, standard treatment between European countries varies, as does the cost you may have to contribute to it.
Money Super market recommends having at least £2 million worth of cover for medical expenses and £1 million worth of personal liability cover. This means travellers are protected against the cost of a doctor's consultation through to any hospital treatment needed. Some cheaper or less comprehensive policies won't include 'hospital benefit' which covers any incidentals you need to pay for in hospital, and holidaymakers are also advised to consider cover for the expenses a family member or friend will accumulate if they stay in the country with you during a hospital stay.
Organising your travel insurance as soon as you book your holiday will protect you in the event that you are not able to travel. Most policies include this cover as standard, but it is important to check the value of the cover matches the cost of the holiday you've booked, otherwise you will not be paid out for the full amount should unforeseen circumstances prevent you from travelling.
Insurers set a cap on the amount of baggage cover you can claim for should anything be lost or stolen. In general, holidaymakers tend to underestimate the value of their belongings leaving them woefully underinsured; items such as designer sunglasses, brand name clothing and gadgets such as mobile phones, iPads and eReaders can all add significant value to your baggage.
Knowing and understanding your excess levels is also important as cheaper policies tend to have a higher excess rate and this can sometimes deem a claim as worthless especially if the excess matches the cover offered. MoneySupermarket recommends you have at least £1,500 worth of cover in place for lost or stolen baggage. Also take note of what is and isn't covered by your policy as you may need separate cover for sports equipment or expensive jewellery, such as wedding rings.
Personal money and documents cover
Some policies may leave you in the lurch should you have your personal money or your travel documents stolen. Be careful to have enough cover for the amount of money you are taking with you, and consider the costs and implications if your passport and other travel documents go missing whilst abroad. Some policies will not only cover the costs of your documents, which can run into hundreds of pounds, but will also offer assistance in the event of needing to get a passport replaced.
Missed or delayed departure cover
Getting stuck in traffic on the way to the airport could turn into a holiday disaster if you don't have missed departure cover, as you may have to stump up the full price for a new ticket. Basic policies do not cover for missed or delayed departure, so paying a little more for a better policy could save your holiday in the event of a delay.
End supplier failure, catastrophe and strike cover
Package holidays provide cover in the event of end supplier failure or strike cover, as the travel operator is responsible for getting you back to the UK or reimbursing your costs if you didn't manage to leave the country. For those holiday makers who have not booked a package holiday, it is important to make sure your take out a travel insurance policy with 'end supplier failure' to cover you if your airline or hotel goes out of business.
MoneySupermarket.com recommends at least the following level of cover:
- £2m for medical expenses
- £1m personal liability
- £3000 cancellation - or enough to cover the total cost of your holiday
- £1500 baggage
- £250 for cash
- Policy excesses under £100
- Cover for scheduled airline failure and end supplier failure as desirable
- Delay cover (e.g. £20/hour for first 12 hours)
Notes to editors:
1 Week Single Trip to Spain & Canaries (2-9 April), Family of 4
Medical Expenses Cancellation Baggage Provider Premium Cover Cover Cover
OUL Direct GBP5,000,000 GBP500 GBP200 Bronze Single (GBP250 (GBP250 (GBP250 Best Price Trip GBP8.99 Excess) Excess) Excess) Virgin Money - ms.com Recommended Exclusive GBP10,000,000 GBP3,000 GBP1,500 Cover Essentials (GBP150 (GBP100 (GBP100 Levels Single Trip GBP10.15 Excess) Excess) Excess)
Debenhams GBP10,000,000 GBP3,000 GBP1,500 Essentials (GBP150 (GBP100 (GBP100 Single Trip GBP10.30 Excess) Excess) Excess)
Holiday GBP5,000,000 GBP3,000 GBP1,500 Extras (GBP150 (GBP150 (GBP150 Supersaver GBP11.00 Excess) Excess) Excess)
Sourced by MoneySupermarket.com 21.03.12
2 Week Single Trip to the USA (31 March - 14 April), Family of 4
Medical Expenses Cancellation Baggage Provider Premium Cover* Cover* Cover* Travelinsuranceweb.com GBP5,000,000 GBP500 GBP500 - ms.com exclusive (GBP200 (GBP200 (GBP200 Best Price Budget Single Trip GBP28.06 Excess) Excess) Excess) Recommended GBP5,000,000 GBP3,000 GBP1,500 Cover Holiday Extras (GBP150 (GBP150 (GBP150 Levels Supersaver GBP31.00 Excess) Excess) Excess)
GBP10,000,000 GBP3,000 GBP1,500 Debenhams (GBP150 (GBP100 (GBP100 Essentials Single Trip GBP32.30 Excess) Excess) Excess)
Virgin Money - ms.com Exclusive GBP10,000,000 GBP3,000 GBP1,500 Single Trip inc Winter (GBP150 (GBP100 (GBP100 Sports GBP37.70 Excess) Excess) Excess)
Sourced by MoneySupermarket.com 21.03.12
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Air travelers might want to avoid Flights 191
Even the least superstitious of travelers might want to avoid Flight 191.
The flight number, which has already been linked to a number of tragedies, hit the headlines again this week when a JetBlue pilot suffered an apparent breakdown on flight number 191 from New York to Las Vegas.
The Captain began shouting "Iraq, al-Qaeda, terrorism, we’re all going down" before being subdued by passengers. The flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Texas.
"191 is one of the most tragic of flight numbers," reported Scott McCartney in his Wall Street Journal column The Middle Seat.
The history is unsettling.
Delta Air Lines Flight 191, an L-1011 wide-body, crashed in wind shear just before landing at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in 1985, killing 137, including one man on the ground, according to the Journal.
American Airlines Flight 191 was the DC-10 that had an engine rip off from under the wing, severing hydraulic lines and sending the jumbo jet into a field near the end of the runway. The 1979 crash killed 271 people on board and led to a grounding of all DC-10s until technical issues were resolved, the newspaper said.
"You won’t find a flight 191 at either Delta or American anymore. Airlines eliminate crashed flight numbers from use," McCartney writes.
Since the most recent 191 incident, Capt. Clayton Osbon, 49, has been suspended from his duties.
Osbon, a commercial pilot since 1989, was not at the controls but "began acting erratically, flipping switches in the cockpit and appearing confused," according to some accounts.
They said his co-pilot tricked him into going to the passenger compartment to check something out, then locked the door and changed the security code behind him.
"Osbon also yelled jumbled comments about Jesus, September 11, Iraq, Iran, and terrorists," according to the criminal complaint. "He also yelled, 'Guys, push it to full throttle.'"
The FAA called the incident a medical emergency, but law enforcement sources have called the outburst a panic attack.
Australian billionaire announces construction of Titanic II, a high-tech replica
Source: Fox news . com
An Australian billionaire has announced the construction of the Titanic II: a replica of the iconic ship with the same dimensions, rooms and smokestacks, but with a 21st-century interior makeover.
Weeks after the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the original Titanic, Clive Palmer said Monday he has signed a memorandum of understanding with state-owned Chinese company CSC Jinling Shipyard to build the Titanic II. Construction of the ship will begin in late 2013, the Australian reports, with its maiden voyage from England to New York set for 2016.
"It will be every bit as luxurious as the original Titanic, but ... will have state-of-the-art 21st-century technology and the latest navigation and safety systems," Palmer said in a statement. He called the project "a tribute to the spirit of the men and women who worked on the original Titanic."
The Titanic II will have 840 rooms on nine decks, like the original, along with gymnasiums and swimming pools, Palmer said, according to Bloomberg.
Libraries, high-end restaurants and luxury cabins will round out the ship's interior, Palmer told the Sydney Morning Herald.
The diesel-powered ship will have four smokestacks like the coal-powered original, but they will be purely decorative.
The space of the old coal boilers will be used as an exhibition room to promote tourism for Queensland, Australia, where Palmer is from, the Herald reports.
Some of the most obvious changes from the original Titanic would be below the water line, including welding rather than rivets, a bulbous bow for greater fuel efficiency and enlarged rudder and bow thrusters for increased maneuverability, Palmer said.
But Palmer wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the ship sinking.
"Of course it will sink if you put a hole in it,” he told The Australian. "It will be designed as a modern ship with all the technology to ensure that doesn't happen. But of course if you are superstitious like you are, you never know what could happen."
More than 1,500 people died after the Titanic hit an iceberg in the North Atlantic on its first voyage. It was the world's largest and most luxurious ocean liner at the time.
Palmer built a fortune on real estate on Australia's Gold Coast tourist strip before becoming a coal mining magnate. BRW magazine reported he was Australia's fifth-richest person last year with wealth in excess of $5.2 billion ($5 billion Australian dollars).
Palmer said at a news conference that previous attempts to build a Titanic replica failed because proponents did not raise enough money or commission a shipyard. The Titanic II is the first of four luxury cruise ships Palmer has commissioned CSC Jinling Shipyard to build.
The Chinese Navy will escort the ship to London after its completion, Bloomberg reports.
Palmer did not provide a cost estimate. He said he had established a new shipping company, Blue Star Line Pty. Ltd., and that design work for the Titanic II has begun with assistance from a historical research team.
Brett Jardine, general manager for Australia and New Zealand in the industry group International Cruise Council, said Titanic II would be small by modern standards, but could prove viable at the top end of the luxury market.
"From a marketing point of view, many will embrace it and perhaps there'll be some that wouldn't," Jardine said.
"If you've got a niche, it's going to work. Why go out there and try to compete with the mass market products that are out there now?" he added.
While the Titanic II would carry around 1,680 passengers, most modern cruise ships create economies of scale by catering to more than 2,000 passengers, he said.
Allure of the Seas, one of the world's largest passenger ships, is 295 feet (90 meters) longer than the 886-foot (270-meter) Titanic and has 2,700 cabins.