Stuck Windshield Wiper Forces ERJ145 To Return To Chicago

On 29th April 2020, an Envoy Air ERJ-145LR was forced to return to Chicago with just 11 passengers…

Stuck Windshield Wiper Forces ERJ145 To Return To Chicago

On 29th April 2020, an Envoy Air ERJ-145LR was forced to return to Chicago with just 11 passengers on board after a windshield wiper malfunction. Crews had noticed the problem during departure but believed it could be fixed during the route. However, that was not the case. After reaching 10,000 feet, the aircraft returned to the ground and was fixed in Chicago O’Hare Airport.

Earlier this week, an Envoy Air ERJ-145 returned to Chago after windshield wiper issues. Photo: redlegsfan21 via Flickr

What happened?

On 29th April 2020, an Envoy Air ERJ-145LR was caught in a bit of trouble after issues with its windshield wiper. At 21:35 UTC, the aircraft began its departure from Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) operating flight AA3895, for American Airlines. The aircraft, registered N673AE, was departing via Runway 28R when the crew noticed issues with the windscreen wiper.

Despite detecting the error, the decision was taken to proceed with departure. Crews onboard the aircraft attempted to rectify the mishap; however, it was not possible. The aircraft climbed to a height of 10,000ft before it turned around. The plane which should have touched down at Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF) instead landed on Runway 27L at ORD at 22:30UTC.

Envoy ERJ145
It took 15 hours before the aircraft was back in service. Photo: BriYYZ via Wikimedia Commons

Once it had arrived back in Chicago, maintenance workers were able to work on the problem. However, it was not a quick fix. The aircraft was not returned to service for some 15 hours.

A spokesperson from American Airlines told Simple flying:

“Aircraft can’t fly into areas of precipitation without a functioning windshield wiper. And it wasn’t a serious issue — the pilot never declared any type of emergency, but can’t continue into an area that was expecting precipitation. Passengers boarded a replacement aircraft and re-departed.”

Very few passengers on board

Despite a maximum seating capacity of 50, this ERJ-145 carried just 11 passengers. Perhaps that’s due to travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus, but whatever the reason, back-tracking to Chicago was certainly inconvenient. Not only would these passengers have been delayed before they could leave Chicago again, but the situation will have also put undue stress on the airline.

Envoy ERJ145
How serious is a windshield wiper failure? Photo: PlanespotterA320 via Wikimedia Commons

At this time, airlines should be even more conscious about saving money where they can. A plane with less than half the passenger capacity already represents a higher operating cost per seat. Turning back for a maintenance issue also adds an extra financial implication. Not only for getting passengers on another flight but also for jet fuel costs and staff payment.

Although the windshield wiper issue sounds minor, it was not one that should have been ignored. Correctly functioning wipers are integral to visibility. If the aircraft had encountered poor conditions, this could have been a much more severe problem.

All’s well that ends well?

According to Flight Radar 24, N673AE is scheduled to fly the route between ORD and SGF again on 4th May 2020. The issues with this aircraft are now fixed.

ERJ175 and ERJ145
This isn’t the first time an Envoy Air ERJ-145 has encountered a problem. Photo: Sla2931 via Wikimedia Commons

However, this is not the first time in recent history that Envoy Air has had a problem with its ERJ-145s. On 11th November 2019, we reported that another ERJ-145LR encountered problems at Chicago O’Hare when it skidded on ice on the runway. In the end, after aborting a first landing attempt, all passengers were safe, and there were no other issues with the aircraft.

So, how do people generally feel about the ERJ-145? Well, a few airlines are looking to retire the model because of customer dissatisfaction.

Inside the ERJ-145
The ERJ-145 is not the roomiest. Photo: Cory W. Watts via Wikimedia Commons

One carrier planning to do this is United Airlines. It says its passengers don’t like the aircraft. The 50 seat all-economy aircraft might indeed be lacking in a few more luxurious features like legroom and comfort. However, some passengers like this Business Insider writer enjoy the private-jet like the feel and the swiftness of take-off.

That said, Envoy Air has a robust fleet of Embraer aircraft that it relies on. According to Air Fleets, it has 174 ERJs across the -145 and -175 range.

What do you think about the ERJ-145? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. 

Source : Simple Flying More   

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ICAO Forecasts 1.5 Billion Fewer International Passengers In 2020

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has been monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 since February. On 30th…

ICAO Forecasts 1.5 Billion Fewer International Passengers In 2020

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has been monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 since February. On 30th April, it issued a prediction for how the industry would be hit by the end of the year. The ICAO predicts that international air travel demand could drop by 1.5bn passengers at the end of the year in the worst case. It’s also made forecasts for airport traffic, revenues, and seat capacity.

Europe will be the worst-hit area as ICAO predicts 1.5bn fewer passengers in 2020. Photo: Getty Images

ICAO predictions could aid recovery plans

Earlier this week, the ICAO shared a forecast on its latest findings of how the coronavirus pandemic is expected to hit the industry. Among its figures were details about a steep decline in passenger numbers by the end of the year.

The ICAO has been monitoring the COVID-19 situation since February 2020 when the virus became more widespread. It hopes that countries and airlines will use its latest findings to define they recover after the coronavirus.

A comment in its latest press release said:

“The projections are significant to many countries now planning their COVID-19 recovery scenarios, given the importance of tourism, global supply chains, and many other air connectivity factors to local socio-economic prosperity.”

International passenger numbers to rapidly decline

Perhaps the most shocking and impactful of the ICAOs predictions is the fall in passenger numbers. It says that by the end of the year, international air travel could see as much as 1.5bn fewer travelers.

Empty departures at Narita Airport, Japan
A best-case scenario could still see fewer than 805 million international travelers. Photo: Getty Images

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, 2020 was looking like a prosperous year. The industry had estimated it would cater to an additional 67 million passengers by the end of the year. However, things have since changed.

In the best-case scenario – one that sees a quick recovery of the international air travel – the ICAO estimates that passenger air traffic for the year-end will be well below 2019 levels. 2020 could lose between 805m to 1.2bn passengers compared to last year’s figures. That represents a reduction of between 872m and 1.3bn passengers on what had been forecast for the year.

However, the ICAO forecasts that if the coronavirus continues for a prolonged period and the industry does not recover quickly enough, then passenger numbers could fall between 1.1bn and 1.5bn on those pre-outbreak expectations.

International seat capacity could decrease by 72%

The ICAO reported that on 6th April 2020, 96% of all the world’s destinations had implemented some form of travel restriction. The organization now predicts that international seat capacity will fall by the end of the year, where it should have risen.

Empty delta plane coronavirus
Seat capacity should have risen this year but it’s already falling. Photo: Getty Images

Initially, seat capacity worldwide was expected to increase by some 3.4%. Now, in a best-case scenario with quick recovery, that figure could fall by up to 56% by the end of the year. With a prolonged coronavirus impact and slow recovery, the ICAO predicts this number could be up to 72%.

The ICAO forecasts that Europe will be one of the worst areas hit. As we come into the summer peak season, Europe will lose many of the holidaymakers that routinely flock to the continent on annual summer vacations.

By the end of the year, Europe will lose between 40-74% of its seat capacity. European airports could also lose around 35% of their passengers and approximately 42% of their revenue.

The drop in travel demand will also hit the Asia/Pacific region hard.

Barcelona Airport departures
Popular destinations like Barcelona will miss out on holiday travelers this year. Photo: Avinash Bhat via Flickr

Bleak revenue forecast for the months ahead

All of these losses accumulate to a substantial financial loss for the industry. In its report, the ICAO believes that international air travel could miss out on upwards of US$150bn.

With a short recovery, international gross passenger operating revenues could fall between $153bn to $231bn. In the worst-case scenario with a slow recovery, this drop could be between $198bn and $273bn.

By contrast, gross passenger operating revenues were due to increase by $12bn in comparison to 2019 levels.

These latest figures shed light on just how problematic coronavirus has become for the industry. Most would have expected demand, seating capacity, and revenue to drop. But, did anyone expect it to be by this much?

Are these figures inline with your own predictions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. 

Source : Simple Flying More   

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