An experienced walker has died after falling more than 100ft (30m) on a mountain in Snowdonia.
The incident happened on the 2,733ft (830m) peak Pen yr Helgi Du in the Carneddau range on Sunday afternoon.
The man, in his 60s and from the south of England, was airlifted to Ysbyty Gwynedd hospital in Bangor by a rescue helicopter from RAF Valley on Anglesey.
The man is understood to have fallen from a footpath. He was with other walkers who gave him first aid.
Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Team was also called out to the incident.
The dead man was said to be an experienced, well-equipped walker.
Sourced by BBC News
By Sion Morgan,
The so-called ‘sonic boom’, a sound associated with the shock waves created by an object travelling through the air faster than the speed of sound, occurred at approximately 1.10pm
People in Aberystwyth reported feeling a huge tremor on Monday afternoon which has been attributed to RAF jets on a training exercise in West Wales.
The so-called “sonic boom”, a sound associated with the shock waves created by an object travelling through the air faster than the speed of sound, occurred at approximately 1.10pm.
Sonic booms generate huge energy, sounding like an explosion.
A Ministry of Defence timetable confirms operational low flying training by fast jets and Hercules transport aircraft were due to take place on Monday between 10am and 1pm.
Further low flying exercises between 100ft and 250ft are planned for every day this week.
The Ministry of Defence has been asked to comment.
Sourced by Wales Online
Vietnamese navy planes have spotted what could be fragments from the missing Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared almost two days ago.
Officials said it was too dark to be certain the objects were from Flight MH370, which had 239 people on board.
A multinational team is searching for wreckage and ships will try to confirm the find after dawn.
Investigators are also checking CCTV footage of two passengers who were travelling on stolen passports.
Malaysian military officials said on Sunday that the plane may have turned back from its scheduled route shortly before vanishing from radar screens, further deepening the mystery surrounding its fate.
Relatives of the missing passengers have been told to prepare for the worst.
Flight MH730 left Kuala Lumpur, bound for Beijing, at 00:41 local time on Saturday (16:41 GMT on Friday). But radio contact was lost at 17:30 GMT, somewhere between Malaysia and Vietnam.
Late on Sunday, the Vietnamese authorities said possible debris from the plane had been spotted in the sea off south Vietnam.
“We received information from a Vietnamese plane saying that they found two broken objects, which seem like those of an aircraft, located about 50 miles to the south-west of Tho Chu Island,” an unnamed official from the National Committee for Search and Rescue told AFP news agency.
“As it is night they cannot fish them out for proper identification. They have located the position of the areas and flown back to the land,” he added.
The potential debris was in a similar area to a possible oil slick seen by Vietnamese navy planes on Saturday, but officials have cautioned that this too may be nothing to do with the disappearance of Flight MH370.
South-east Asian states have joined forces to search waters between Malaysia and Vietnam after a Malaysia Airlines plane vanished on a flight to Beijing, with 239 people on board.
Malaysia Airlines said in a statement that flight MH370 had disappeared at 02:40 local time on Saturday (18:40 GMT on Friday) after leaving Kuala Lumpur.
It had been expected to land in Beijing at 06:30 (22:30 GMT).
Malaysia’s transport minister said there was no information on wreckage.
“We are doing everything in our power to locate the plane,” Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.
“Our hope is that the people understand we are being as transparent as we can, we are giving information as quickly as we can, but we want to make sure information has been verified.”
Malaysia Airlines chief executive Ahmad Jauhari Yahya said the focus was on helping the families of those missing. He said that 80% of the families had been contacted.
The plane went off the radar south of Vietnam, according to a statement on the Vietnamese government website.
Its last known location was off the country’s Ca Mau peninsula although the exact position was not clear, it said.
The Boeing B777-200 aircraft was carrying 227 passengers, including two children, and 12 crew members.
Malaysia’s military said a second wave of helicopters and ships had been despatched after an initial search revealed nothing.
Territorial disputes over the South China Sea were set aside temporarily as China dispatched two maritime rescue ships and the Philippines deployed three air force planes and three navy patrol ships.
Vietnam also sent aircraft and ships while Vietnamese fishermen in the area were asked to report any suspected sign of the missing plane.
“In times of emergencies like this, we have to show unity of efforts that transcends boundaries and issues,” said Lt Gen Roy Deveraturda, commander of the Philippine military’s Western Command.
The passengers were of 14 different nationalities, Mr Jauhari said.
Among them were 152 Chinese nationals, 38 Malaysians, 12 people from Indonesia and six from Australia.
The pilot was Capt Zaharie Ahmad Shah, 53, who joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981, Mr Yahya said.
A Vietnamese navy official told the BBC the plane had gone missing within Malaysian maritime territory.
Friends and relatives expecting to meet passengers from the flight in Beijing were instructed to go to a nearby hotel where officials were meant to be on hand to provide support.
“They should have told us something before now,” a visibly distressed man in his thirties told AFP news agency at the hotel.
“They are useless,” another young man said of the airline. “I don’t know why they haven’t released any information.”
In Kuala Lumpur, Hamid Ramlan, a 56-year-old police officer, said his daughter and son-in-law had been on the flight for an intended holiday in Beijing.
“My wife is crying,” he said. “Everyone is sad. My house has become a place of mourning. This is Allah’s will. We have to accept it.”
The plane had been flying at an altitude of 35,000ft (10,700m) and the pilots had not reported any problems with the aircraft, Fuad Sharuji, Malaysian Airlines’ vice-president of operations control, told CNN.
Air traffic control lost contact with the Malaysia Airlines plane after leaving Kuala Lumpur
The aircraft never made it into Chinese airspace as John Sudworth reports from Beijing International Airport
The route between Kuala Lumpur to Beijing has become more and more popular as Malaysia and China increase trade, says the BBC’s Jennifer Pak in Kuala Lumpur.
The Boeing 777 had not had a fatal crash in its 20-year history until an Asiana plane came down at San Francisco airport in July of last year. Three teenage girls from China died in that incident.
Boeing said in a statement posted on Twitter: “We’re closely monitoring reports on Malaysia flight MH370. Our thoughts are with everyone on board.”
Flight MH370 passengers
- 153 Chinese including one child
- 38 Malaysians
- 12 Indonesians
- 6 Australians
- Four Americans including one child
- Three French
- Two each from New Zealand, Ukraine and Canada
- One each from Russia, Italy, Taiwan, Netherlands and Austria
Sourced by BBC News
Helicopter charity Wales Air Ambulance has carried out its 19,000th mission since the service was launched in 2001.
The landmark mission comes as the charity celebrates its 13th birthday this month. The specialist aircrew went to their very first mission on St David’s Day 2001, airlifting a young rugby player from Glyn Neath.
Swansea-based crew were called to an adult male with central chest pains while walking high in the snow-covered Brecon Beacons, near Talybont reservoir.
The helicopter landed on scene at 12:48 and the patient was diagnosed as having a heart attack. The conditions were so cold and exposed that the crew flew him to lower ground for immediate treatment, before heading to the specialist cardiac unit at UHW Cardiff in just six minutes.
Clinical and operations manager Jason Williams said: “This mission really demonstrates how important the air ambulance is: we were able to reach the mountains, which were covered in snow, in 15 minutes and get the patient to the care he needed. When someone is having a heart attack, every second counts and the helicopter saved precious time.”
The crew coordinated the mission with the local mountain rescue team.
Wales Air Ambulance relies entirely on donations to raise over £6 million each year. To find out how you can help, call 0844 85 84 999 or email email@example.com.
By Phil Davies,
A preliminary deal on a law that will exempt long-haul flights from paying for carbon emissions until 2016 is reported to have been reached yesterday.
EU sources said negotiators from the European Parliament, the Commission, the EU executive, and the EU presidency, representing member states, had tentatively agreed that an existing suspension of EU law for intercontinental flights should be extended, The Guardian reported.
EU diplomatic sources said the deal would maintain a suspension of the law for intercontinental flights until 2016, with a provision to revert back to making all aviation pay for allowances in 2017 if a global deal on curtailing aviation emissions cannot be agreed.
A meeting of EU diplomats representing member states is expected to debate the agreement and possibly endorse it on Friday.
If confirmed, it would be a further weakening of the bloc’s stance following immense international pressure and threats of a trade war.
The International Civil Aviation Organisation agreed in October to deliver a global plan to curb airline emissions by 2016 for implementation in 2020.
The commission’s response was to propose amended legislation, only charging aircraft for emissions in EU airspace, rather than for the entire flight.
That prompted international criticism however, and leading EU members the UK, France and Germany proposed it should be scrapped, paving the way for Tuesday’s watered-down deal.
Sourced by Travel Weekly
By Phil Davies,
Dubai’s popularity with European tourists is to be boosted by an exemption to travellers from a further 13 countries from requiring pre-entry visas.
People from the other 15 European member states, including the UK, are already exempt.
The announcement by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs means that all citizens of the European Union holding an ordinary passport will be allowed to enter the UAE without having to previously apply for a visa from March 22.
The 13 countries that come under the new exemption are: Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Hungary, Latvia, Estonia, Malta, Cyprus, Croatia, Romania and Bulgaria.
Dubai’s top 20 visitor source markets in 2013 included five European Union countries, each of which were already exempt from requiring pre-arrival visas: the UK (ranked 3rd), Germany (7th), France (14th), Italy (17th) and Holland (20th).
Helal Saeed Almarri, director general of Dubai’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, said: “This is a very positive announcement from the UAE ministry of foreign affairs and one which will have a significant impact on the attractiveness of Dubai as a destination for tourists from the 13 countries included today in the exemption.
“With regards to business visitors, the exemption for citizens of all European member states further enhances Dubai’s status as the meeting point for Europe to host and conduct business with the partners from across the MENASA supra-region.
“European countries have traditionally featured prominently in our top 20 source markets for visitors, with more than 2.8 million Europeans staying in our hotels during 2013.
“The lifting of visa restrictions provides for easier travel arrangements from across the continent so it is no surprise that the news has been received extremely positively.”
The easing of visa restrictions combines with continual expansion of airline route networks and the opening of a second international airport, to ensure that Dubai is ever more accessible and connected to the world, he added.
Dubai’s tourism vision for 2020 sets out how the city will double its annual visitor numbers from 10 million in 2012 to 20 million in 2020.
Sourced by Travel Weekly
Sky News has reported that the money would be used to buy ships in a bid to rival some of the cruise industry’s biggest names including Carnival and Royal Caribbean.
The virgin Group has already appointed the US-based corporate advisory firm Allen & Co to oversea the development of the venture which is expected to be named Virgin Cruises.
While the project is still in its early days the company has already had detailed talks with the banks about raising the cash to buy the first vessels.
A further $700 of equity would be raised by selling stakes in Virgin Cruises to outside investors.
Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson is believed to have been eyeing the cruise market for some time.
The headquarters for Virgin Cruises would be based in the US to take advantage of the country’s thriving cruise market.
Sky News added Virgin has also been in discussion with Allen & Co regarding setting up a new chain o four-star city-centre hotels.
The first will open in Chicago this autumn with others to follow in US cities served by the Virgin flights.
Sourced by TTG Digital
By Alud Davies,
Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson flies Corporate Jet Investor from Blackbushe Airport, near London, to St Athan-Cardiff on the Total Eclipse business jet.
I should probably admit right from the start that I was a little bit skeptical about flying on the Total Eclipse.
While I have never been particularly convinced about the aircraft itself – or the very light jet model in general – the weather leading up to the day hadn’t been perfect for flying, so it was with trepidation that I arrived at Blackbushe Airport in the south of England to meet up with Cardiff Aviation’s Bruce Dickinson.
Dickinson, front man for heavy metal rock group Iron Maiden and former airline pilot, joined the board of European Eclipse distributor Aeris Aviation late in 2013 as non-executive chairman and had kindly offered to take Corporate Jet Investor for a flight in the Total Eclipse.
The Eclipse we’ll be flying on today is 2007-build msn 0072 / N843TE, originally delivered to Helijet Holdings in Texas, but now owned by Aeris Aviation and based at Dunkeswell Airport in the UK. Although it’s one of the older Eclipse 500 models, the aircraft has been upgraded to Total Eclipse standards and now includes added system functionality, the most important of which is GPS-coupled autopilots.
Meeting Bruce Dickinson
After brief introductions, Bruce gives us a quick look around the aircraft, both inside and out. The aircraft today is fitted with two seats in the back, one for me and the other for Corporate Jet Investor’s deputy editor Alex Andrews, who is also along for the ride.
Before we can depart to St Athan-Cardiff Airport in South Wales, we’re taken to the Blackbushe cafe, where Dickinson tells us all about the Eclipse, his involvement with Aeris Aviation and some upcoming developments over tea and coffee.
Total Eclipse of the heart
It’s fairly clear from the start that Dickinson has a bit of a love affair with the Eclipse, telling us all about the aircraft with a wide smile and a glint in his eye.
He tells us about his flights the previous day, a zig-zag that started from Blackbushe and visited Cardiff, Southend and Cranfield, before getting him back to Blackbushe in time for dinner with his family in West London.
Bruce estimates the hourly cost of the Eclipse to be £500 (less than $850) and enthuses about how the previous day’s flying wouldn’t be possible in any other jet. He talks about the Eclipse using smaller airports, EASA’s problems certificating the Eclipse 550 due to the US shutdown and talks with passion about upcoming plans with Aeris Aviation.
One of the most interesting developments is a proposal for an Eclipse 550 ownership scheme that would work in a similar way to fractional jet ownership. Under the scheme, a maximum of four owners would enter into a company that purchases an Eclipse 550. That company would then be added to Cardiff Aviation’s Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), with the company managing and flying the aircraft on behalf of the owners.
Later in the day we’re shown the Cardiff Aviation facility at the main Cardiff International Airport and it’s proposed that this is where the jets will be based. Cardiff International sees few business aircraft flights (although we notice a pair of King Air 200s sat on the ramp), but the airport operates 24 hours a day, so Dickinson sees Cardiff as the perfect base for a fleet of Eclipses.
Dickinson commits flying
Walking back to the Eclipse I tell Dickinson that after seeing a picture of the jet, my wife tried to stop me from coming today. I’m expecting a missive about how comfortable and safe the Eclipse is, but instead he just smiles and tells me that I should have just brought her along for the ride so she can see for herself.
That comment in itself tells us a lot about the confidence Dickinson has in the aircraft he’s flying and soon enough we’re strapped in and given our full safety briefing by Captain Dickinson.
Fortunately, the wind that had been battering the UK for much of the last few months is taking a break and the rain has calmed down too. After a brief exchange with Blackbushe tower, we’re given permission to taxi off the ramp and hold short of runway 25.
Turning to us with a broad smile, Dickinson says “let’s commit flying” and gently spools up the engines as we enter the runway. The Eclipse’s power to weight ratio of 3:1 makes getting off the ground an easy task and in no time at all we’re gently lifting into the sky above the Hampshire countryside.
Cruising to Cardiff
As we’re only flying a short distance today, our cruising altitude is 13,000 ft, although the aircraft is certificated to fly at 41,000 ft. Dickinson explains that the aircraft handles like a bigger jet, which makes it a pleasure for him to fly.
Inside the cabin Alex and I are busy snapping away on our cameras; the level of noise in the cabin isn’t as high as I was expecting and we don’t have issues hearing each other talk.
Barely 15 minutes in our flight, we start approaching St Athan. On the radio, we can hear the St Athan tower refusing to let us descend lower until we’re visual with the airport. Later, Dickinson tells us that the cloud-base was low enough that he thought we might have to do a go-around.
Eventually we break through cloud at around 2,500 ft and get a bird’s-eye view of the main airport on the left-hand side. Soon we’re lined up on runway 08 at St Athan and our rock star pilot gently glides the jet down for the smoothest landing I’ve ever experienced.
After a long role out, we’re quickly parked up at St Athan – which incidentally featured in finale of Sherlock Season 3 – where the only other aircraft in sight are ones that are being dismantled.
A tour of Cardiff Aviation
St Athan is home to Cardiff Aviation, which Dickinson co-owns with Mario Fulgoni, and he takes a great deal of pride on showing us around the facilities.
As well as scrapping aircraft, Cardiff Aviation also offers a full-range of maintenance options, and in two of the company’s largest hangars today are a Mongolian Boeing 737-800 and a Vladivostock Avia Airbus A320.
Inside Cardiff Aviation’s facility at St Athan-Cardiff Airport.
The hangars the aircraft are housed in were once used by the Royal Air Force for maintaining the old Vickers VC-10 tanker aircraft and much of the equipment still remains.
One of Cardiff Aviation’s plans for the future involves completion work on Boeing BBJs, with the company currently bidding for its first contract. Dickinson walks us through the hangar that would be used.
We then visit Cardiff Aviation’s facility at Cardiff International. We step inside a huge hangar, which contains three simulators side-by-side, two of which are Boeing 747 models, but the third is a Sikorsky S-61N helicopter simulator. Work is still being done inside, but Dickinson points out a red line across the hangar floor and tells us that a dividing wall will eventually separate the simulators from the business jet hangar.
After our tour of Cardiff Aviation, it’s time to fly back or “commit flying” as Dickinson would say. But before we can leave, Dickinson is asked to sign a few posters for the Iron Maiden film ‘Flight 666.’ It turns out that a lot of airline CEOs were Iron Maiden fans when they were growing up.
Back to Blackbushe
Back on the Eclipse, it’s my turn to sit up front. After my un-glamorous clamber into the right-hand seat, Dickinson talks me through the systems. This morning, he had talked about how easy it was to program the Flight Management Computer with the built-in keyboard and he quickly enters in the details for the flight.
The flight from St Athan to Blackbushe is one that been done quite a few times and Dickinson is quickly able to load up a stored flight plan, which has an estimated 24 minute flight time. After departure from St Athan’s runway 08, we’ll make a left hand turn and then point the jet directly at Blackbushe.
We’re given clearence by St Athan tower to start up and soon we’re on our way to the runway, entering at the 26 end and backtracking for a 08 departure.
Dickinson is keen to tell us that the Eclipse doesn’t need the full length of the runway to depart and true to his word, we slow down half way down the runway and start to turn around.
Spooling up the engines half-way through the turn, we start to pick up speed. We’re not locked on the runway center-line by this point, but we’re skillfully overmanned until the front wheel lines up. A gentle nudge forward of the throttles and we’re powering down the runway and off above the Welsh countryside.
Once we reaching our cruising altitude of 13,000 ft, Dickinson talks me through the AVIO NG cockpit suite, showing me that everything he changes on his display is also changed on the screen in front of me. It’s a bright and clean system, with any changes being made to the on-screen display popping out for a few seconds so you can see what’s been changed.
Soon we’re alerted by Air Traffic Control to some traffic crossing in front of us at a few hundred feet below and we turn into a pair of plane spotters, both scanning the horizon to see if we can see the aircraft.
The aircraft soon passes us several miles in front from left to right and once a safe distance we’re given clearance to start our decent into Blackbushe.
Handed off by Farnborough to Blackbushe, we’re given permission to join the left-hand circuit for an approach to runway 25 and Dickinson turns off the auto-pilot, electing to fly the approach himself.
The approach is smooth and controlled and we’re soon back on firm ground having completed a pair of flights that have completely changed my opinion of the Eclipse.
A great little aircraft
So what did I really think? Although I had an open mind about the aircraft, there was a lingering thought at the back of my mind that this little aircraft would be exactly that: a small aircraft that might as well be a twin turboprop.
But I must confess that I was actually really impressed with the Eclipse. With a power to weight ratio of 3:1, the aircraft took off effortlessly and the smoothness of the ride was far better than anticipated.
It’s clear to see why Dickinson is so enamored with the Eclipse. It’s a great little aircraft capable of flying four people comfortably for up to two hours. Dickinson told us that he wished they made a slightly longer version that could accommodate a rear lavatory, but over short distances this isn’t much of an issue.
Together with Aeris Aviation, Dickinson has big plans for the Eclipse 550 in Europe and it’s not hard to see why. Essentially, the aircraft returns to the basic premise of business aviation. It gets you from one point to another quickly and comfortably and in doing so, it becomes the essential business tool that a private jet should be.
Sourced by Corporate Jet Investor