Australian Qantas A380 gets rare ‘jolt’ from wake turbulence

The turbulance is caused by another aircraft (Shutterstock)
Updated 14 June 2018
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Australian Qantas A380 gets rare ‘jolt’ from wake turbulence

  • Wake turbulence is a disturbance in the atmosphere that forms behind an aircraft as it passes through the air
  • Qantas said it has notified the Australian Transport Safety Bureau of the incident

Australia’s Qantas Airways Ltd. said on Thursday one of its Airbus SE A380 jets had experienced a rare “jolt” from wake turbulence after flying 20 nautical miles behind another one of its super-jumbos this week.
Wake turbulence is a disturbance in the atmosphere that forms behind an aircraft as it passes through the air, and air traffic control requires more spacing behind larger jets like the A380 in an attempt to avoid the phenomenon.
Wake turbulence incidents are uncommon and typically involve a larger jet and a smaller aircraft rather than two super-jumbos.
The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which handled air traffic control during the Qantas incident, does not specify a minimum distance of separation between two A380s during flight due to wake turbulence risks.
It specifies that Boeing 747s require 4.5 nautical miles of separation and smaller jets up to 8 nautical miles.
No passengers were injured and there was no aircraft damage from the incident which involved an A380 flying from Los Angeles to Melbourne behind another Qantas A380 flying from Los Angeles to Sydney, a Qantas spokesman said.
“The trailing airplane, the Qantas 94 encountered some wake turbulence from the Qantas 12, and that caused a jolt to the airplane for a short period of time,” Qantas Chief Technical Pilot Alex Passerini told a Sydney radio station.
“The airplane climbed maybe 100 feet or so and descended back to its cruising altitude, and the captain took action to avoid the further exposure to the wake vortex.”
Australian television presenter Eddie McGuire, who was on board the flight, said the incident had lasted about 10 seconds.
“It did have that feel of, you know when you go over the top of a rollercoaster and you just get a little bit of a feeling, and the plane did bank to port, to the left-hand side, a little bit,” he said on Channel 9.
“But it steadied up after about 10 seconds, and I have to say that what the most reassuring part of the situation was that the Qantas pilot came on immediately and said we’d gone in to the back of the turbulence of the Sydney plane.”
Qantas said it has notified the Australian Transport Safety Bureau of the incident.
An Airbus spokesman said Qantas had reported the incident to the manufacturer. “The situation was handled fully in accordance with procedures and the aircraft performed as designed,” he said.
In January 2017, wake turbulence behind an Emirates A380 sent a business jet into an uncontrolled descent, with the smaller airplane losing nearly 9,000 feet of altitude before the crew was able to gain control, according to an interim report by German investigators.


Afghan Taliban frown at militants’ Eid cease-fire selfies

Updated 18 June 2018
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Afghan Taliban frown at militants’ Eid cease-fire selfies

  • Both the Afghan government and the militants declared temporary cease-fires for the end-of-Ramadan Eid Al-Fitr holiday
  • The Taliban cease-fire ended on Sunday. The government extended its cease-fire with the Taliban, which had been due to end on Wednesday, June 20, by 10 days

PESHAWAR, Pakistan: The Afghan Taliban are angry at their members swapping selfies with soldiers and government officials during their three-day cease-fire, a senior Taliban official said on Monday, after the militants roamed at will through cities before the truce ended.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the Taliban official also said Pakistan had wanted the Taliban to include US and other foreign troops in the cease-fire, but the Taliban’s leadership and supreme commander, ‎Sheikh Haibatullah Akhunzada, did not agree.
“Last night, an emergency meeting was called and all the commanders were informed and directed to take strict disciplinary action against all those Taliban members who visited citizens and took pictures with the Afghan authorities,” he told Reuters.
Some Taliban seen taking selfies w‎ith Afghan government forces and officials had been warned, the Taliban official said.
Both the Afghan government and the militants declared temporary cease-fires for the end-of-Ramadan Eid Al-Fitr holiday, leading to fraternization between the two sides as militants emerged from their hideouts to enter towns and cities.
The government cease-fire did not include the Islamic State militant group and the Taliban did not include US-led foreign forces in theirs.
The Taliban cease-fire ended on Sunday. The government extended its cease-fire with the Taliban, which had been due to end on Wednesday, June 20, by 10 days.
Another Taliban commander, also speaking on condition of anonymity, said that some attacks had been planned in the southern Afghan province of Helmand where short clashes were reported, according to the spokesman for the Helmand governor.
Anti-war activists set off on a peace march last month, spending the fasting month crossing harsh, sun-baked countryside en route to Kabul where they arrived on Monday, their numbers swelling and ebbing at different points along the route.
Abdul Rahman Mangal, spokesman for the Maidan Wardak provincial government, next to Kabul, said the Taliban attacked two security checkpoints in the Saidabad district in the early hours of Monday which “left casualties.”
Clashes were also reported in Faryab in the northwest and Laghman, to the east of Kabul, and Nangarhar, on the border with Pakistan and the scene of two bomb blasts over the weekend, one of which was claimed by Islamic State.
While many war-weary Afghans welcomed the cease-fires and the fraternization between the combatants, some have criticized the government cease-fire, which allowed the Taliban to flow into cities, though the militants said they were withdrawing.
The Taliban are fighting US-led NATO forces combined under the Resolute Support mission, and Ghani’s US-backed government to restore sharia, or Islamic law, after their ouster by US-led forces in 2001.
But Afghanistan has been at war for four decades, ever since the Soviet invasion in 1979.