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Welcome to AESO Media Page

Here you will find information articles from AESO Social Media postings.

Also, interesting media recordings such as Guest Speaker Interviews, Real people of the Aviation Industry – Interviews, and also a section entitled ‘Best Submitted Writing Sample Of The Week!’


From the AESO Facebook Page this week

Ingenuity of mankind over the past century!


Recently, I visited the magnificent Woodbridge house situated on the banks of the Swan River in Perth’s beautiful Swan Valley.  The 1885 homestead was built by Charles Harper a wealthy gentleman, to house his family of twelve.  Surrounded by vineyards, the homestead sits in a very picturesque area in close proximity to Perth International airport.  The homestead itself is situated directly beneath the mid-final approach path of Runway 21.

On the day I visited Woodbridge House, the stillness and tranquillity of the afternoon was briefly interrupted with the passage of EK420 a huge Emirates Airbus 380 airliner thundering down final approach, landing into the sea breeze.  It was at that moment that the concept of how much technology has advanced over the past 130 years really hit me.

Back in 1885, transportation to Australia from the Middle East was undertaken by the ‘new’ P&O and Orient Lines steamships.  The journey from Port Said (Suez Canal) to Fremantle (Perth’s local shipping port) took in excess of 3 weeks.  The diagonal sea crossing over the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean was arduous and at times uncomfortable, especially for the passengers travelling in Steerage Class. In contrast, the overflying Emirates Flight EK420 was just two minutes from touchdown after completing basically the same route as those steamships (Dubai to Perth) in just over ten hours! 

Back when Charles Harvey and his family were living at Woodbridge House, aviation hadn’t even been invented.  Indeed, the concept of air transportation was nothing more than a dream.  What would Charles have thought had he been able to see into the future?  Flying at 85% of the speed of sound and well above 40 000 feet above the ground, the Emirates Airbus 380 jetliner carries up to 500 passengers in relative luxury.

The resourcefulness and ingenuity of mankind has brought us to this point in 2015.  Can you possibly imagine air travel in 130 years from now?  The mind boggles!

Paul Darwin

Aviation English Skills Online


Aviation Quiz Question:
Just how much power /thrust is required to keep an aircraft airborne (flying in the air)?
a) 75% b) 40% c) 0%

As long as the aircraft has vertical height above the ground, absolutely no thrust is required! Even the largest airliners will glide to ground level without power. So if you answered c) you are correct! Indeed, the higher an aircraft flies the further it will be able to glide. The best descent profiles for jets is ‘thrust cut off’ (idle engines) from the top of descent, right down to the start of the approach phase. This saves a lot of fuel if the pilots can achieve it.

Amazingly, in July 1983, an Air Canada Boeing 767 experienced total engine failure at an altitude of 42 000 feet above ground level. The crew, unable to restart the engines, flew the aircraft for almost 150 kms and even managed to successfully land the jet on a disused WW2 runway near Winnipeg in Canada – totally without engine power!

In 1985 the Captain, Robert Pearson and First Officer Maurice Quintal received the well-deserved Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Diploma for Outstanding Airmanship for their handling of this powerless flight.

A few considerations about volcanic ash penetration – implications to aircraft operations

Posted 6 April 2014

  • How many active volcanoes are there in the world?

                                                    Approximately 1500

  • Where are more than 75% of active volcanoes found?

‘Pacific Ring of Fire’ along the Western, Northern and Eastern perimeter of the Pacific Ocean

  • Why can’t volcanic ash cloud be picked up by airborne weather radar?

It is very dry and does not contain water

  • Why is volcanic ash / dust so abrasive?

Volcanic ash / dust is composed of miniscule particles of rock that have razor sharp edges

  • What is the melting point of volcanic ash?

Around 1100ºC

  • What can happen to inlet vanes on bypass engines that pass though volcanic ash cloud?

Because the ash is very abrasive it can cause significant surface abrasion to inlet vanes

  • Why do significant deposits of volcanic glass coat the high pressure turbine blades?

In the hot section of a jet engine, the ash melts to glass and this gradually builds up  on the high pressure turbines because cruise engine temperatures are typically around 1400 ºC (well above the melting point of volcanic ash).

  • What is significant about engine temperatures around ‘flight idle’ setting, in the context of volcanic ash hazards?

Jet engine temps at flight idle are typically below 1100ºC (below 1100ºC  ash will not melt and will not therefore, coat the turbine blades in the hot section of the engine.

  • What other aircraft components / systems may be affected by penetration into volcanic cloud?

It may contaminate and adversely affect the bleed air / pressurisation system, damage and clog pitot-static and temperature probes – affecting related cockpit instrumentation and can affect electrical systems, causing arcing of electrical components

So as you can see there are numerous reasons why flying through volcanic ash cloud can be highly dangerous to aircraft operations.  The golden rule – As soon as penetration into ash cloud is suspected . . . make a 180 as soon as possible!