Recent impromptu verbal outbursts against the sitting civil aviation minister has more to do with deep frustrations among paying passengers for having made to wait for someone as if they did not matter
Not being able to find proofs of something that had definitely happened is quite frustrating. I had encountered the same as mentioned in my previous piece. This time I was looking for details of a helicopter accident on TIA runway that had resulted in several hours of airport closure.
As we all know, it would be difficult for women, or even men for that matter, to manage without a chopper in the kitchen. But even if this piece is not about the kitchen thing, I will get back to it later. As for the term, Americans found it logical to call helicopter a “chopper” as its rotor made “chop, chop” like sound more so because of long blades and slow rotation.
This piece is about radio in general with obvious aviation leanings. The basic thing one has to understand about propagation is that wavelength multiplied by number of times it moves in a second (frequency) gives its velocity. Radio wave’s velocity is derived as 3x108mtr/sec (or 300,000 Km/sec), and this is recognised as “universal constant”. Most people take “SW-FM” as two facets of radio, representing short wave (or HF) and frequency modulation (FM).
Most find it baffling as how aircrafts fly long distances, safely and amidst crisscrossing traffic—seemingly under no control. If that was so, it would have resulted in frequent collisions or other types of midair calamities typically reflecting Kathmandu traffic scene where lack of patience rules supreme. It is not that drivers do not know the rules.
Nothing could be worse for an airline or an aircraft maker if circumstances lead to groundings of their fleet. Aircrafts are made to fly, not to sit idle. In fact, it costs money even to keep them on ground. Airlines work endlessly to make maximum use of the fleet they have. But it is no surprise that RA is seen to suffer first, for being slow in making efforts to increase its fleet utilisation and second, in failing to move away B757 it has opted to ground. Both 757s still sit occupying constricted TIA space.
It is sensible to have backups for a “what if” like situation in case things do not turn out the way planned. Long years of load-shedding had compelled us to go for inverters to keep storage batteries charged. Rooftop solar panels offered greener charging alternative while some, with high electricity demand, could not just do without generators.
Irrespective of the suffering caused by the cancellation of RA’s flight (RA231) to Dubai (DWC) due to night time runway closure after 10 PM, it was good that Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) was strictly followed. Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) is currently passing through a phase of ten hours airport closure that is to last until the end of June. By then, the whole of runway surface will have been scrapped out and done anew.
This one is more on arrival experience with passing reference to runway refurbishment works that have just begun. As is well known, TIA as the entry port is more famous for its negative attributes than anything else. Being the only international airport it is naturally frequented by high flying travellers including majority of tourists and businessmen. A general Nepali will not fly unless compelled. Being accustomed to low level of facilities all around we tend not to complain, knowing that it is not going to make much difference either way.
The aviation world was rocked by Ethiopian Airline’s (ET) recent crash involving a B737Max8 that happened less than five months after Lion Air (JT) crash in Indonesia. Normally, the period is not crucial, but the common narratives seem to show very identical circumstances with both crashing within few minutes after takeoff.
Even if not in consonance with expressed views, we generally detest commenting publicly for not wishing to offend. A positive note, in my mail box about my last write up “Positive spin gone awry” (Republica, January 12) was a rare happening. But a comment in the online edition, from a well known scribe, had me floored by his cryptic line while the only person with the widest knowledge of the widebody “deal” just opted to deal with peripheral technicalities.
It was unbelievable that something big, both in terms of size and money involved, would ever be purchased/leased without extracting a proportionate kickbacks in this country. But we were made to believe, right in the beginning, that everything would be made “quite transparent” this time. It was in a way, a tacit admission that things were murky in previous instances.