This week: Dark times for Malaysia Airlines, AA mishaps, Kathmandu fire & more

This has been a dark week for the aviation industry with the missing Malaysia airlines flight. Our thoughts are with the families of the passengers and crew on that flight. Obviously this incident is our top story, however we did find a few other news bites this week too:

No other airport or airline news really matters much when you have a commercial flight with 239 passengers and crew on board that has gone missing. The Sydney Morning Herald wrote that with the arrivals board (in Beijing) still showing the Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) as delayed on Saturday morning, distraught family members and friends broke down as news filtered through that the flight had in fact gone missing hours earlier. Malaysia Airlines first confirmed the missing flight on their specially setup website – called “the dark site” – on Saturday morning local time. The BBC wrote late last night that Chinese authorities have stepped up security at the country’s airports, following the disappearance of the Boeing 777-200 aircraft. So what happened to the plane? No one knows for sure yet, but Yahoo! News reported that online flight data suggested the aircraft may have experienced a very rapid loss of height and change of direction prior to slipping off the radar. Sadly authorities hold little hope for those onboard. Updated information can be found on the Malaysia Airlines website.

In other airport reports this week Dallas News reported of two incidents of the same airline at the same airport this week: One American Airlines jet slipped off a Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) taxiway Monday morning, while another AA plane clipped a concrete column at Terminal D. Luckily no one was hurt in either incident.

More serious was an incident that happened in Nepal this week: NDTV reported an Indigo plane from Delhi with 182 people on board caught fire after it landed at Kathmandu airport (KTM) but no one was hurt. According to the article all passengers and crew were safely evacuated from emergency doors soon after the ground engineers observed fire from the right brake assembly of the Airbus 320, officials and the airlines said, adding the fire was immediately brought under control.

And a totally different – and refreshing – article reached us this week from Wired where Associate Professor of Physics at Southeastern Louisiana University Rhett Allain asked whether you could see the curvature of the Earth in an airport terminal? In an interesting read, even for normal people like us, Rhett analyzes the airport terminal inside the long corridors of Atlanta airport (ATL) and looks into questions and estimations to see if you could use this space to measure the curvature of the Earth.

And to finish the week, we found a video report from Bloomberg looking into Google’s plans for transforming part of Silicon Valley’s San Jose Airport (SJC) to fit their employee’s needs. Watch the video here.

That’s all for this week – safe travels everyone!

[Graphic showing flight MH370 from FlightAware]