Here's a bit of news and questions.
I'm presently on Xmas vacations in Sri Lanka from the UK and recently spoke to an AirLanka pilot.
Apparently three of the airline's five A340's have been grounded after 16+ cm cracks were found on the aircrafts' fuselages.
AirLanka is to upgrade all of it's cabins (F/J/Y) on it's A340 aircraft. A new livery is also planned and I guess this will appear on it's 1st A330. The cabin improvements include satellite phones (though not in every seat) and seat-back TV's in all classes. Other improvements will be made to the cabin decor and seating. Even though the TriStar's will stick around for a while, they will not be included in the upgrades.And now for 2 questions:
1) I flew to Colombo from Manchester via Dubai with Emirates. On approach to Dubai, the pilot initiated a go-around due to "visiblity dropping below permissible levels". It was unusually very misty at Dubai. However, the aircaft involved was an A300-600. I thought these aircraft could be landed automatically? Any ideas?
2) After having landed on the second attempt, I was taking a look at the aircraft parked at the stands in Dubai. The mist was so intense that the only external recognisable feature of our aircraft was the flashing navigation light at the end of the wing!! Anyway I did notice the aircaft that were parked in the clear patches of weather (namely a Swissair A330, Kuwait Airways A320 and a BA 777). I was amazed to notice a 737-500 of Olympic airways!! (I'm guessing it was a -500 series, as it looked like a short 737-300). Athens to Dubai is a long route- but is it within the range of some 737 models?
Sorry if my questions sound naive, but I only recently took an interest in civil aviation!!
Thanks a lot,