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Japan Airport Collision Probe Asks: Why Was Coast Guard Plane on the Runway?

Aircraft was told to go to a holding point two minutes before a Japan Airlines jet collided with it. All 379 people on board a Japan Airlines jet that burst into flames after a collision at a Tokyo airport managed to escape relatively unscathed. Experts explain how air safety advances and the plane’s design helped to ensure their survival.

Japanese authorities investigating a fiery collision at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport are zeroing in on why a coast guard plane was present on the same runway where a Japan Airlines jet had permission to land.

Just moments before Tuesday’s collision, the coast guard plane inched forward onto the runway, but regulators said they haven’t found any record of it being cleared to do so. Its movements placed it in the path of the descending Japan Airlines Flight 516.

The two planes collided on the runway, and the smaller coast guard aircraft exploded, killing five of the six personnel aboard. The Japan Airlines Airbus A350 caught fire and its 379 passengers and crew escaped with just minutes to spare.

A transcript of control-tower communications released by Japanese regulators shows the Japan Coast Guard plane, a De Havilland Canada Dash 8 turboprop, was instructed at 5:45 p.m. to taxi to a holding point called C5 right next to the runway.

Excerpt from WSJ
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Airbus Plans to Boost Production of Biggest Jets Amid Rebounding Demand

Plane maker wants to avoid supply constraints it has suffered on smaller narrow-body model

LONDON—Airbus SE decrease; red down pointing triangle, buoyed by its latest deal to sell wide-bodies to Air India Ltd., is planning to boost production rates of its two biggest models as it tries to capitalize on resurgent demand for long-haul travel, according to people familiar with the matter.

The European plane maker is planning to increase its so-called build rate for both of its currently produced wide-body aircraft, the A350 and the A330neo, according to these people. An announcement could come as early as this week, the people said, cautioning that a decision has yet to be finalized.

Airbus decrease; red down pointing triangle slashed production of its wide-body planes at the onset of the pandemic, when travel restrictions and border closures brought international traffic to a near standstill and airlines were clamoring to cancel and defer aircraft orders.

Excerpt from WSJ
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Airbus Hits New Supply-Chain Hurdle in Race With Boeing

Engine maker Pratt to recall 1,200 engines over 12 months just as Airbus is trying to cement its supremacy in narrow-body jets. 

LONDON—Airbus decrease; red down pointing triangle faces another high hurdle in delivering its bestselling jets as it races to solidify a commanding lead over rival Boeing BA 0.70%increase; green up pointing triangle.

Airbus has been working to rapidly increase output of its bestselling A320 family of aircraft as it seeks to deliver on a backlog that now stretches out into the early 2030s. Many of those planes are powered by a certain type of Pratt & Whitney engine, which the engine maker said earlier this week will need to be recalled and inspected.

Pratt said it would need to inspect 1,200 of its geared-turbofan engines after it discovered a fault in the metal that could lead to cracking. Both Pratt and Airbus have said the issue doesn’t impact the safety of the aircraft.

The recall could further slow Airbus’s plans for higher production rates of the jet. With the affected engines being taken out of service, Pratt will need to hold on to more of its new engines for a spare-engine pool.

Excerpt from WSJ
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FAA Clears Boeing 737 Max 10 Jet for Test Flights

Long-awaited approval puts company on track for first deliveries of bigger MAX model in 2024. A Boeing 737-10 aircraft demonstration during the 54th International Paris Air Show near Paris, France, last June.

U.S. air-safety regulators cleared Boeing BA 0.66%increase; green up pointing triangle to begin key flight tests on its 737 MAX 10 jet, a milestone toward preparing the plane for commercial service.

The airborne checks are a preliminary validation for Boeing by the Federal Aviation Administration and put the company on track for its first deliveries next year.

“Our entire team has remained focused on this goal, working with diligence and resilience in a dynamic environment,” Boeing executives said in a message to employees announcing the development.

The 737-10 is Boeing’s biggest offering in the MAX family of single-aisle airplanes. United Airlines, Ryanair, Air India and SunExpress are among the airlines that have placed orders for the jets.

Boeing in recent years has faced a series of delays and setbacks in getting new planes in service and in restarting deliveries of its 737 MAX airplanes after a pair of fatal crashes grounded those planes in 2019.

Excerpt from WSJ
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