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Scotland Yard detectives to return to holiday resort where Madeleine McCann vanished ‘within days’ to follow up new leads | Mail Online


 

Scotland Yard detectives to return to holiday resort where Madeleine McCann vanished ‘within days’ to follow up new leads

New leads: Scotland Yard detectives could travel to Portugal in the coming days to follow up on new leads in the case of missing Madeleine McCann (pictured)

New leads: Scotland Yard detectives could travel to Portugal in the coming days to follow up on new leads in the case of missing Madeleine McCann (pictured)

Detectives searching for Madeleine McCann could fly to the Portuguese holiday resort where the youngster went missing within days to follow up on new leads.

Metropolitan Police officers could potentially interview suspects, search properties and even make arrests in the Algarve where Madeleine disappeared while on a family holiday in 2007.

The Crown Prosecution Service has written a Letter of Request to Portuguese judges this week asking for permission to work in the country to gather evidence alongside local police.

According to the Daily Mirror, the letter included the names of some of the suspects that police wish to speak to regarding the case and an outline of a number of offences being investigated.

Madeleine went missing from an apartment in Praia da Luz on May 3, 2007, as her parents dined with friends at a nearby tapas restaurant.

The shambolic Portuguese inquiry was shelved in 2008, but Scotland Yard began a Home Office-funded review in 2011 – known as Operation Grange – following the intervention of David Cameron.

The Met said earlier this month that it was preparing to swoop on 38 suspects ‘scattered across Europe’ after announcing a full criminal investigation.

Among them are a dozen British nationals who were visiting or living in the Algarve at the time the then three-year-old went missing.

Investigators said that they have no prime suspects but said that they had found no evidence that the youngster had been murdered.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood, who is leading the inquiry, said: ‘We continue to believe that there is a possibility that Madeleine is alive.’

Crime scene: The Ocean Club Resort in Praia da Luz where Madeleine went missing in 2007

Crime scene: The Ocean Club Resort in Praia da Luz where Madeleine went missing in 2007

New hope: Madeleine's parents Kate and Gerry McCann welcomed the Met's announcement that it had new leads earlier this month

New hope: Madeleine’s parents Kate and Gerry McCann welcomed the Met’s announcement that it had new leads earlier this month

The Met’s announcement came toward the end of a two year £5million review of the case which officers said has created a ‘unique picture’ of what happened in the Algarve.

Hopeful: Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said that police have no evidence that Madeleine was murdered

Hopeful: Detective Chief Inspector Andy Redwood said that police have no evidence that Madeleine was murdered

Mr Redwood said the painstaking review has brought together all the information about Madeleine for the first time.

He said: ‘That has given us the ability to see this case with fresh eyes, and through that bring out new – genuinely new – lines of inquiry.

‘I’m hopeful that when we pursue those lines of inquiry, we will be able to bring some sort of resolution.

‘Whether we will be able to solve it is a different issue, but I hope we will be able to have the ability to move the investigation on.

‘I believe that this is an important moment for Madeleine. It is a great opportunity which we intend to exploit to the full.’

A Met Police spokesman refused to comment on when detectives will be sent to Portugal as part of the investigation and the CPS was unavailable for comment.

Prime Minister David Cameron had ordered the review of the case back in 2011.

Scotland Yard detectives to return to holiday resort where Madeleine McCann vanished ‘within days’ to follow up new leads | Mail Online

July 20, 2013 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Charity, Death, Health, Holiday, Holidays, Internet, Just Wrong, nature, Politics, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

The cheapest places in the UK and world for petrol – Yahoo! Finance UK


 

The cheapest places in the UK and world for petrol

Petrol prices vary wildly from region to region and country to country, so where’s cheapest?

 

 

The bank holiday is an opportunity for people to head out of (or into) town and visit friends, relatives – or even jet overseas for a short break.
But those driving in the UK will not just encounter a change of scenery, but a large difference in the cost of filling up the car.
Figures from Santander show there’s a 16.2p a litre difference in the petrol prices paid by Brits in different parts of the country, meaning filling up could cost you £10 more (or less) depending on where you go.

Where’s cheapest then?
Looking at credit card data, Santander compared the prices paid for unleaded at petrol stations across the country – the cheapest region to fill up in was Grampian in Scotland with an average petrol price of 129.7 pence a litre.
Outside of Scotland, Denbighshire in Wales has the cheapest price per litre of 130.9p.
Regionally, north-west England was cheapest at an average of 131.9 pence per litre of premium unleaded fuel.
Where to avoid
As well as the cheapest place to fill up in Britain, Scotland is also home to the most expensive – with a litre of unleaded the Shetland Islands costing 145.9p on average, more than anywhere else.
After the Shetland Islands, Humberside was the next costliest place to fill up, where petrol costs 137.9p a litre. That high price helped push Yorkshire and Humberside to the top of the most expensive region table.

Average petrol costs by region

Region

Price

Yorkshire & Humberside
133.4 pence per litre

South West
133.2 pence per litre

Wales
133.1 pence per litre

West Midlands
133.0 pence per litre

Scotland
132.8 pence per litre

East Midlands
132.8 pence per litre

North East
132.5 pence per litre

London
132.3 pence per litre

East of England
132.3 pence per litre

South East
132.2 pence per litre

Northern Ireland
132.1 pence per litre

North West
131.9 pence per litre

[Related feature: The real reason UK petrol prices are so high]
Heading overseas
The savings available to people in different countries dwarf those available to people in different parts of the UK.
New research from car dealers
Evans Halshaw shows Venezuela is the cheapest country to by petrol in for the second year running.
At just 8p a litre, the South American state has a bigger petrol smuggling trade than a drug smuggling one – especially given that residents of neighbouring nation Columbia pay more than 40 times as much for their fuel.
After Venezuela, Egypt (9p a litre), Saudi Arabia (10p a litre), Qatar (12p a litre) and Bahrain (15p a litre) are the cheapest countries to but petrol in.
By contrast, Norway was found to be the most expensive country to fill up in – with petrol costing an astonishing 1.64p a litre in the Scandinavian state.
Turkey (£1.62 a litre), the Netherlands (£1.48 a litre), Italy (£1.46 a litre) and Greece (£1.45 a litre) were the next most expensive.
[Related feature:
The countries where petrol costs the most]
The 10 cheapest countries to buy petrol

 

The cheapest places in the UK and world for petrol – Yahoo! Finance UK

August 27, 2012 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Computers, Holiday, Holidays, Internet, Just Wrong, Money, nature, People, Politics | , | 1 Comment

Australia surfer bitten in half by shark – Yahoo! News UK


Australia surfer bitten in half by shark

AFP

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A surfer was bitten in half in a savage shark attack off Australia’s west coast Saturday, witnesses and officials said, the fifth such fatality in the region in less than a year.

An eyewitness explains how the shark also attempted to attack him.

The man was surfing near Wedge Island, north of Perth, on Saturday morning with a friend when he was mauled by the shark, suffering severe and extensive injuries.

A man jet-skiing near the surfers said it was a gruesome scene, with "half a torso" all that remained of the victim.

"There was just blood everywhere and a massive, massive (great) white shark circling the body," he told ABC television, estimating the fish was four or five metres (13 to 16 feet) long.

"I reached to grab the body and the shark came at me on the jet-ski and tried to knock me off. I did another loop and when I came back to the body the shark took it."

Made infamous by the horror movie "Jaws", great whites are among the largest shark species in the world and can grow up to six metres long (20 feet) and weigh up to two tonnes.

Beach patrol officials confirmed that the attack was fatal, and a large-scale air, coast and sea search was underway for the remains of the victim, who was reported to be in his early 20s.

A police spokesman told AFP: "At this stage no remains have been located."

All beaches in the area were closed until further notice, and fisheries were hunting the shark in order to kill it.

"We’ll go right through to nightfall tonight, we will then resume that tomorrow morning and make some decisions tomorrow," a fisheries spokesman said.

It was the fifth fatal shark incident off Western Australia since September — an unprecedented spate of attacks that sparked calls earlier this year for a cull.

Local marine scientists have described Australia’s west coast as the deadliest shark attack zone in the world, and a tagging and tracking programme has been launched in a bid to limit fatalities.

A sea kayaker narrowly escaped the jaws of a great white last month, with a friend managing to pluck him from the water after he was rammed by one of the marine predators off Perth’s Mullaloo Beach.

That attack came just hours after another great white, thought to be five metres long, lunged from the water at a crab fisherman at a dive park south of Perth.

Sharks are common in Australian waters but deadly attacks are rare, with only one of the average 15 incidents a year typically proving fatal.

Experts say the average number of attacks in the country has increased in line with population growth and the popularity of water sports.

Best of Yahoo! News

Australia surfer bitten in half by shark – Yahoo! News UK

July 14, 2012 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Death, Disgusting, Health, Holiday, Holidays, Internet, Just Wrong, nature, People | | Leave a comment

Weather alert as deluge expected – Yahoo! News UK


 

Weather alert as deluge expected

Press Association

Youngsters make their way in a boat along a flooded road in Felpham near Bognor Regis, West Sussex, during last month's downpours

More than a month’s rain is expected to fall over just two days in parts of the UK this week.

A severe weather warning has been issued by the Met Office, with fears of flooding and disruption on Friday and Saturday.

Central and northern England is expected to be worst affected, with an amber alert – the second most severe category that can be given – in place for north-east England.

Up to 100mm (3.9 inches) of rain could fall in 36 hours during the downpours. The average UK rainfall for July is 69.9mm (2.8 inches), and 64.4mm (2.5 inches) for the north of England.

Met Office chief forecaster Martin Young said: "We are expecting outbreaks of heavy rain across a wide area of the UK, with worst affected spots likely to be in central and northern parts of the country.

"Rainfall totals could be 40-60mm (1.6-2.4 inches) widely across warning areas, but some places could see up to 100mm (3.9 inches) of rain through Friday and into Saturday.

"Given the saturated ground from the record rainfall in June, this could cause disruption – including difficult driving conditions and flooding in some areas."

People living in the affected areas have been warned to be prepared for flooding.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: "Heavy rain on Friday and Saturday may lead to significant flooding of properties across parts of northern England. We urge people to remain vigilant and prepared for flooding by checking the Environment Agency website and signing up for localised river flood warnings."

Last month was the wettest June since records began, with double the average rain falling during the month. Provisional figures from the Met Office showed the UK received 145.3mm (5.7 inches) during June, beating the previous record of 136.2mm (5.4 inches) in June 2007.

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July 5, 2012 Posted by | Blog, Computers, Entertainement, Food, Health, Holiday, Holidays, Money, nature, People, Weird | | Leave a comment

BBC News – Michaela McAreavey’s widower John gives evidence in Mauritius


Hold your head up high John McAreavey and Family…in these hard times for you and your family you are a shining light for everyone in N Ireland and indeed the world…I hope that justice will be found for you and your family…many people are thinking about you at this time of hardship!!!

Michaela McAreavey’s widower John gives evidence in Mauritius

The BBC’s Natasha Sayee reported live from the Supreme Court in Mauritius

The widower of Michaela McAreavey has told the trial of two men accused of murdering her that on the day she was killed, his "life ended as well".

Avinash Treebhoowoon, 30, and Sandip Moneea, 42, both deny murdering Mrs McAreavey in her honeymoon suite in Mauritius in January 2011.

John McAreavey said she was "a very special human being".

He told the court he felt the police had been insensitive towards him in the hours after his wife’s death.

Mr McAreavey, who is appearing as a prosecution witness, said one officer told him: "What are you crying about? You’re young, you’ll get another wife."

He said he was handcuffed and left alone in a room for more than five hours.

Mrs McAreavey, 27, a teacher from County Tyrone, was found dead at the Legends Hotel. She was the daughter of Tyrone Gaelic football manager Mickey Harte.

Mr McAreavey recalled finding their hotel room door open, then seeing her in the bath with the water still running.

He said his wife had returned from a poolside restaurant to their room to get biscuits. He said he had offered to go, but she had insisted that she would.

"Obviously I wish I had gone," he told the court.

Rushing water

Asked what was going through his mind when he heard the rushing water, he said his first thought was that Michaela had just decided at the last minute to have a bath.

John and Michael McAreavey 

John and Michaela McAreavey pictured at their wedding, days before she was murdered

In emotional scenes at the Supreme Court in Mauritius, he said: "I ran to the bathroom, dropped my bag and grabbed Michaela."

He said he did not know what was going on, but she was cold and he noticed marks on her neck.

He said he pulled Mrs McAreavey from the bathtub, and although he did not know CPR he attempted to resuscitate her.

"I was holding her in my arms, telling her to wake up – Michaela, Michaela, come on, wake up," he told the jury.

Mr McAreavey said he then screamed for help.

‘Wonderful person’

He began his evidence on Wednesday by setting the scene and talking about their relationship.

He said his wife was a "wonderful person", and showed the court photographs taken on their wedding day and during their honeymoon.

Mr McAreavey said it had been Michaela’s idea to have their honeymoon in Mauritius, after reading favourable reviews from other Irish couples on the internet.

During his evidence, he also spoke about how he was treated by police following his wife’s death.

Mr McAreavey said four officers had brought him from the hotel to a "derelict-looking building", where he was put in a room.

Officers took off his shirt and examined him for marks, he told the court.

"I could see what was going through their minds," he said.

Handcuffs

"They put handcuffs on me and I was sat down on a bench."

Mr McAreavey said he was then left alone in the room.

John McAreavey's father Brendan and his sister Claire 

John McAreavey’s father Brendan and his sister Claire were among those supporting him in court

"It was for at least five hours, I’m sure, more – actually it was late into the night."

He said that after making a statement, he was eventually released and brought back to the hotel where a nurse cared for him through the night.

Later on Wednesday, Mr McAreavey was cross-examined by defence lawyers, who asked him about his movements on the day his wife was killed, and discrepancies in his six police statements.

Mr McAreavey said: "During those statements, I didn’t care one iota about what was put down.

"My life had ended, and all my focus was on getting my wife home.

"I make no excuses for not being able to remember each and every detail."

Among police photographs of the crime scene were ones with Michaela’s body, and he clearly found this distressing.

“Start Quote

I make no excuses for not being able to remember each and every detail.”

End Quote John McAreavey

At the end of his cross-examination, the judge told him he was free to leave the court or stay and watch the proceedings. He left the witness stand to rejoin his family.

The court has adjourned for the day.

Mr McAreavey was accompanied in court by his sister Claire, his father Brendan and his brother-in-law Mark Harte, as well as an Irish Embassy official and two PSNI detectives.

BBC News – Michaela McAreavey’s widower John gives evidence in Mauritius

June 6, 2012 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Death, Disgusting, Health, Holiday, Holidays, Internet, Just Wrong, nature, People, Politics, scams | | Leave a comment

How animals around the world have taken a tip from us to cope with the hot weather | Mail Online


 

Cool of the wild: From sunhats to ice-cream, how animals around the world have taken tips from us to cope with the hot weather

By Nick Enoch

An ice lolly, a dip in the pool, deckchairs… when it comes to cooling off in the hot weather, these animals don’t play by the rules.

As Britain enjoys a heatwave, with the mercury hitting 27c (81f) today, these are just some of the cunning ways our furry friends cope.

And as the pictures below show, it’s not just those here who are feeling the heat – from China to Germany, Indonesia to the U.S., animals are scoffing at what they’ve seen in nature documentaries and trying something a little bit different…

Let sleeping dogs lie: Tara the dog opts for sunbed and parasol to see her through the blistering heat in Britain

Let sleeping dogs lie: Tara the dog opts for a sunbed and parasol to see her through the blistering heat in Britain

Bird bath with a difference: Jacquille the parrot cools down in a tea cup in Costa Rica

Bird bath with a difference: Jacquille the parrot cools down in a tea cup in Costa Rica

One cool dude: Dudu the walrus beats the summer heat in China, at Qingdao Polar Ocean World

May contain nuts: A squirrel gets stuck into a frozen treat in Swindon, Wiltshire

One cool dude: Dudu the walrus beats the summer heat in China, at Qingdao Polar Ocean World; right, a squirrel gets stuck into a frozen treat in Swindon, Wiltshire

I've got this licked: An African lion in Brookfield zoo, Chicago refreshes himself with a block of ice

I’ve got this licked: An African lion in Brookfield zoo, Chicago refreshes himself with a block of ice

Sealion solution: Keepers at Qingdao Polar Ocean World have come up with innovative ways to keep their animals cool

What a hoot: Eski the snowy owl could do with a towel in the New Forest, Hampshire

Sealion solution: Keepers at Qingdao Polar Ocean World have come up with innovative ways to keep their animals cool; right, Eski the snowy owl could do with a towel in the New Forest, Hampshire

Flew what a scorcher! A tufted titmouse suns itself in Massachusetts

Flew what a scorcher! A tufted titmouse suns itself in Massachusetts

Spread the whirred: This chilled dog has found himself a new fan

Chino the donkey enjoys an ice-cream at Pennywell farm in Buckfastleigh, Devon

Spread the whirred: This chilled dog has found himself a new fan; right, Chino the donkey enjoys an ice-cream at Pennywell farm in Buckfastleigh, Devon

Furry nice! A squirrel takes a dip in a swimming pool in San Antonio, Texas

Furry nice! A squirrel takes a dip in a swimming pool in San Antonio, Texas

Does it come in banana flavour? A baboon enjoys an ice lolly at Hangzhou wild animal centre in China

Chilling is seemples: A meerkat at Marwell wildlife conservation park in Hampshrie

Does it come in banana flavour? A baboon enjoys an ice lolly at Hangzhou wild animal centre, China; right, a meerkat at Marwell Wildlife Conservation Park, Hants

To hell with the diet... An orangutan at Ragunan zoo in Jakarta, Indonesia

To hell with the diet… An orangutan at Ragunan zoo in Jakarta, Indonesia

Just follow my lead: Harland the poodle on Southsea beach in Hampshire

It gets my seal of approval: A fur seal relaxes in Stromness, South Georgia Island

Just follow my lead: Harland the poodle on Southsea beach in Hampshire; right, a fur seal relaxes in Stromness, South Georgia Island

White tiger cubs Jeevan and Ashoka cool off in a paddling pool at a safari park in Germany

White tiger cubs Jeevan and Ashoka cool off in a paddling pool at a safari park in Germany

Trunks, glasses and parasol...this pooch looks good - and he knows it

Trunks, glasses and parasol…this pooch looks good – and he knows it

I'll be finished in about nine hours... A young gorilla chews on a block of ice containing fruit at Los Angeles Zoo

I’ll be finished in about nine hours… A young gorilla chews on a block of ice containing fruit at Los Angeles Zoo

Do I look like I want to share? A ring-tailed lemur at Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne, Herts

Do I look like I want to share? A ring-tailed lemur at Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne, Herts

Pass the oinkment, dear: Some pigs tan themselves in Cambridgeshire

Pass the oinkment, dear: Some pigs tan themselves in Cambridgeshire

It's bacon hot! A piglet falls asleep in a doll's house deckchair at Pennywell farm in Buckfastleigh, Devon

It’s bacon hot! A piglet falls asleep in a doll’s house deckchair

How animals around the world have taken a tip from us to cope with the hot weather | Mail Online

May 23, 2012 Posted by | Animals, Art, Awards, Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Entertainement, Food, Funny, Health, Holiday, Holidays, Internet, nature, Weird | , | Leave a comment

Amazing ‘tsunami cloud’ hits Florida coastline – Yahoo!


 

Amazing ‘tsunami cloud’ hits Florida coastline

At first glance, it looks as though a tsunami wave is about to crash into a swathe of high-rise tower blocks.
But for beachgoers and surfers alike along Panama City Beach, Florida, there was no need to panic, the giant wave was just an curious illusion caused by harmless sea fog rolling off the Gulf of Mexico.

The tsunami-like clouds are just a harmless weather phenomenon.

Photo: Splashnews

So what’s the science behind the captivating photograph taken from a helicopter earlier this month?
This ‘tsunami cloud’ effect is believed to be caused by a phenomenon known as the ‘Kelvin–Helmholtz instability’ that can occur in both air and water.

This is when a fast-moving layer of fluid or air washes over a slower, thicker layer – creating the wispy wave effect.
According to helicopter pilot JR Hott, the clouds appear a few times a year but normally further down the coast.

Mr Hott wrote: "When the temperature, humidity and winds are just right, we’ll get this fog that forms on the high rise condos on the beach.”

He added: “The event, while it can form quickly, moves gently and slowly. It isn’t something that happens with more than a gentle breeze.”

Amazing ‘tsunami cloud’ hits Florida coastline – Yahoo!

Yahoo! NewsBy Gaby Leslie

John 3:16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

Brought to you by BibleGateway.com. Copyright (C) . All Rights Reserved.

February 13, 2012 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Computers, Entertainement, Health, Holiday, Holidays, Internet, People, pollution, religion, Uncategorized, Weird | | Leave a comment

Plane makes emergency landing at Belfast Airport | Mail Online


 

Caught on camera: The moment Thomas Cook holiday jet carrying 175 passengers made emergency landing at Belfast Airport

By Daily Mail Reporter

 

A holiday jet carrying 175 people has made an emergency landing at Belfast International Airport.

The Thomas Cook Airbus A320, which had been bound for Tenerife, came down just before 11.30am after developing a problem with its undercarriage.

It had been circling nearby Lough Neagh to burn fuel for an hour-and-a-half before making a final descent.

Touchdown: The Thomas Cook plane makes an emergency landing at Belfast International Airport today after experiencing technical problems shortly after takeoff

Touchdown: The Thomas Cook plane makes an emergency landing at Belfast International Airport today after experiencing technical problems shortly after takeoff

Standby: Nine fire engines, paramedics and police waited near the runway as the plane came down

Standby: Nine fire engines, paramedics and police waited near the runway as the plane came down

Airport staff evacuated the runway and nine fire engines and ambulance crew were on standby.

However, the captain was able to bring it down safely before taxiing to a stand at the terminal.There are no reported injuries.

The airport says the plane will be inspected by fire officials before passengers are allowed to disembark. Thomas Cook, one of Britain’s biggest tour operators  expects them to fly on to Tenerife at 3pm.

A spokesman for tour operator confirmed the emergency had been caused by a ‘minor technical difficulty with the landing gear shortly after takeoff.

‘We’re pleased to confirm that flight TCX 8126, which turned back after developing technical problems, has now landed safely at Belfast International Airport,’ she said.

‘A replacement aircraft is on its way and we expect to get everyone off on their holidays to Tenerife this afternoon.’

Investigation: The plane was being checked over by fire service staff and Thomas Cook technical teams

Investigation: The plane was being checked over by fire service staff and Thomas Cook technical teams

Arrivals: There were delays at Belfast International as a result of the emergency

Arrivals: There were delays at Belfast International as a result of the emergency

The flight took off from Belfast International at 9.40am today. It is understood that the pilot realised there were technical problems almost immediately.

A spokesman for the airport said: ‘An emergency stand-by was declared on board by the pilot shortly after take-off.

‘The plane has landed safely and has been taxied on to its stand. We have no idea what was wrong with the plane.’

She told the Belfast Telegraph there had been ‘huge relief’ when the aircraft touched down.

‘Thankfully we have had a safe landing and everyone is okay,’ she said. I am sure there will be a few passengers on board who will have found this experience a bit daunting however, thankfully everyone is safe and well.’

The Police Service of Northern Ireland was one of the emergency services that responded to the alert.

A PSNI spokeswoman said: ‘At approximately 10.13am this morning police responded to reports from Belfast International Airport that an aircraft had reported difficulties shortly after taking off.

‘Emergency services were put on stand-by. However, the plane was able to land safely at the airport at approximately 11.30am.

‘There have been no reports of any injuries.’

Emergency: The control tower and terminal buildings at Belfast International Airport County where the Thomas Cook landed safely this morning

Emergency: The control tower and terminal buildings at Belfast International Airport County where the Thomas Cook landed safely this morning

Flight path: The plane circled over Lough Neagh before making is final descent

Flight path: The plane circled over Lough Neagh before making is final descent

Plane makes emergency landing at Belfast Airport | Mail Online

February 7, 2012 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, CELEBRITY, Computers, Death, Flying, Health, Holiday, Holidays, nature, People, Space | | 2 Comments

Costa Concordia cruise tragedy in photos Photos | Costa Concordia cruise tragedy in photos Pictures – Yahoo!


Investigators approach the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia which leans on its starboard side after running aground in the tiny Tuscan island of Isola del Giglio, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. The Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Tuscany, sending water pouring in through a 160-foot (50-meter) gash in the hull and forcing the evacuation of some 4,200 people from the listing vessel early Saturday.

Investigators approach the …

January 21, 2012 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Death, Disgusting, Health, Holidays, Just Wrong, nature, People, Politics, pollution | | Leave a comment

Thomas Cook jet seconds from disaster after captain miscalculates weight and takes off at the wrong speed


 

Thomas Cook jet with 223 on board just seconds from disaster after pilot underestimates its weight by 17 TONS and isn’t fast enough to get off the ground

  • Captain miscalculates weight of aircraft by 17 tonnes

A holiday flight with 223 passengers on board narrowly avoided disaster after the captain miscalculated its weight by 17 tonnes, an accident report revealed today.

The Airbus A321, operated by Thomas Cook, was due to fly from Manchester airport to Heraklion in Crete when its co-pilot who was tasked with flying the plane asked for its take-off weight – and received the wrong figure from the pilot.

As a consequence the aircraft took off without enough thrust or speed which could have caused the pilot to lose control, endangering all those on board.

Dangerous: The Airbus A321-211 took off at the wrong speed after the captain made an error

Dangerous: The Airbus A321-211 was programmed to take off at the wrong speed after the captain made an error

Luckily, the co-pilot noticed that something was wrong, and made adjustments which averted disaster.

The report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said the incident took place on the morning of April 29 this year – the day of the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

Describing the incident as ‘serious’, the report said the captain had accidentally read out the amount the plane weighed without fuel on board.

Dangerous calculation: The captain of the Thomas Cook flight accidentally read out the amount the plane weighed without fuel on board

Miscalculation: The captain of the Thomas Cook flight accidentally read out the amount the plane weighed without fuel on board (file picture)

The flight management system was then programmed ‘with the incorrect speeds’.

The report went on: ‘The aircraft took off using less thrust and lower speed than were required.’

When the feel of the aircraft and the displays on the speed scale alerted the pilot to the problem he ‘responded by reducing the pitch attitude, which allowed the aircraft to accelerate to a safe climb speed’, said the report.

The AAIB said there were ‘a number of errors that occurred’, firstly because the captain read out the wrong number and afterwards when staff missed chances to detect the error.

Manchester Airport, where the incident took place

Manchester Airport, where the incident took place

Shockingly, today’s report indicated that potentially dangerous mistakes are common before take-off, and go unreported across the industry.

It said there have been ‘a significant number of reported incidents and several accidents resulting from errors in take-off performance calculations around the world in recent years’.

‘There must also have been many similar events which were either unreported and/or unnoticed, some of which will have had the potential to cause accidents,’ it added.

Commenting on the report, Thomas Cook Airlines maintained that: ‘On recognising the error, the captain immediately amended the flight path to ensure the aircraft climbed safely away. No impact whatsoever was felt by the passengers.’

Thomas Cook has also hit headlines recently for its precarious financial situation. The second biggest tour operator in Europe was forced to ask its banks for an extra £100m loan to deal with its spiralling debt, totalling nearly £1billion.

Fears that the 170-year-old company was on the brink of collapse caused its share-price to plummet up to 75 per cent in one day as rumours circulated that the company was set to close 200 shops and axe 1,000 jobs to reduce its debt mountain.

The company, which has delayed releasing its end of year results due to its negotiations with the banks, is reportedly also set to cut its fleet of aircraft as another cost-cutting measure.

Unrest caused by the Arab Spring – especially in Egypt and Tunisia – and the ongoing eurozone crisis have been blamed for poor bookings this year, but the company has rushed to reassure travellers that their holidays are secure.

Following the crash in share price two weeks ago, Thomas Cook’s interim chief executive Sam Weihagen published a letter in national newspapers saying it is safe to book breaks with the group.

Mr Weihagen’s letter began: ‘What a week it has been for Thomas Cook,’ adding that it is now ‘an even stronger and more confident company’ and members of the public ‘can be sure that your holiday really is in safe hands’.

Thomas Cook jet seconds from disaster after captain miscalculates weight and takes off at the wrong speed | Mail Online

December 8, 2011 Posted by | Blog, Blogroll, Death, Health, Holidays, nature, People, Space | | Leave a comment

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