AirAsia "Crash" Revealed

So Ray forwarded me this email with pictures of an AirAsia plane that has apparently crashed after a landing.


Slide rafts deployed. An emergency evacuation has been carried out.


Front nose wheel seemed to have vanished.


Van ferrying passengers away? AirAsia umbrellas can be seen on the ground.


Looks like the fire engines did not spray any sort of foam on the aircraft.


I wonder what they were talking about.

This “crash” did in fact happen. Below is an excerpt from b737.org.uk:


7 Nov 2004 – AirAsia 737-300 over-runs runway in heavy rain

KOTA KINABALU – AirAsia in a statement said due to heavy rain and bad
weather, its aircraft bound for Kota Kinabalu from Kuala Lumpur skidded lightly
off the runway after it touched down at Terminal Two of the Kota Kinabalu
International Airport. In the 5.10pm incident yesterday, two passengers and the
two pilots suffered minor injuries.

The 111 passengers on board AirAsia’s Boeing 737-300 flight from Kuala Lumpur
had an uneventful journey till the plane landed at Kota Kinabalu. One of the
injured, a five-year-old girl, sprained her left wrist during evacuation from
the Boeing 737-300 aircraft, the Star reported.

The passengers, including six top Laotian government officials, were shaken
by the incident that occurred during a downpour.

Flight AK104 from Kuala Lumpur skidded onto the grassy patch towards the
south end of the runway, forcing passengers to be evacuated via emergency chutes
as Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) fire engines and ambulances rushed to
scene.

A DCA official said the nose-wheel of the Boeing 737 was bogged down in soft
soil and engineers were finding it difficult to extricate the aircraft because
of nightfall.

The shutdown of the country’s second-busiest airport resulted in the
diversion, rescheduling and cancellation of dozens of flights, affecting at
least 2,000 travellers.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, scheduled to depart on his
executive jet at 9.30pm after a short visit, left at 10.45pm. He was here to
break fast with Umno members.

Although the DCA has “closed” the airport, it has allowed individual airlines
to land or take off at their own risk.

A Universiti Teknologi Mara student who identified herself only as Zilla said
the whole plane shook badly before it hit the grass. “I was afraid. I thought we
were going to die,” she said.

Raymond Danker, from Penang, who was visiting with his Sabahan wife and three
children, said it was their first trip to the state since their marriage 10
years ago. “We were so happy about it and this had to happen,” he said. He said
his daughter, Tracie, suffered a sprain to her left wrist while sliding down the
emergency chute, and his wife and two sons, aged three and seven, were shaken by
the whole episode.

Among the passengers was Laotian deputy director-general of the Cabinet
Committee for Planning, Houmpheng Souralay, one of the six senior Laotian
officials here for a study tour organised by Yayasan Sabah. “I am thankful that
nothing serious happened,” said Souralay.

According to passengers, there were moments of pandemonium on the plane as
they pushed and shoved each other towards the emergency exits during the
evacuation.

The passengers were then ferried to the VIP terminal and given medical
examinations before they were taken to Terminal Two and allowed to collect their
luggage at about 7pm.

I went to Malaysia Uncut who featured a post on this “crash”. In the comments, some people were claiming that the photos were doctored and there were no such AirAsia plane with that livery. But that aircraft did in fact exist:


Left side. Photo courtesy: airliners.net


Right side. Photo courtesy: airliners.net

This is quite an old incident by the way. Compare this with the photos of the “crash” above and you’ll see that they are the same. It was registered as 9M-AAP when the “crash” took place. The plane wasn’t damaged so badly so it was probably sent for a repair and it is still flying to this day. Currently, it is with Thai AirAsia, carrying the registration HS-AAP.

The forwarded mail also came with this:


AIR ASIA BOASTS OF GOOD SAFETY RECORD…….CHEAP FARES……ECONOMY TRAVEL…….WHEN U SEE THIS,
U WILL THINK AGAIN ABT FLYING AIR ASIA…..THE BN CRONY’S AIRLINE…..WITH SUCH CHEAP AIR FARES, ONE
WOULD WONDER HOW THEY MAINTAIN THEIR AIRCRAFT, BETTER STILL, DO THEY MAINTAIN THEIR AIRCRAFT ?

INTERESTINGLY ENOUGH, THIS INCIDENT WAS NEVER REPORTED IN THE NEWS MEDIA…..WOULD BE EXPECTED
IF THIS INVOLVED THE GOVT……BUT FOR AN AIRLINE THAT SERVES THE PUBLIC…..I WONDER WHY ????
I WOULD RATHER SPEND THE EXTRA AND FLY WITH MALAYSIA AIRLINES OR ANY OTHER NORMAL CARRIER.

PASS THIS ON AND LET THE MALAYSIAN PUBLIC KNOW HOW WELL-MAINTAINED AND GOOD AIR ASIA IS, ESP WITH
KEEPING NEWS LIKE THIS AWAY FROM THE PUBLIC…..

As I’ve mentioned many many many times, the safety of an aircraft is never ever overlooked. AirAsia can cheap on the food, cheap on the in-flight entertainment, cheap on the leg space, cheap on the airport, cheap on their service, and be no-frills. But when it comes to maintaining the safety of its fleet, I’m sure it is as serious as any other airline. You can’t send any plane to Ah Beng’s workshop and get it fixed. There are tons and tons of regulations and certifications in maintaining a plane. I’ve mentioned this in another post. They’ll ground your plane if they suspect anything amiss.

So now that you know what actually happened (plane skidded after landing due to heavy rains), there should be no reason to be afraid of flying with AirAsia (or any other airline for that matter).


Adam Air Boeing 737 waiting for it’s fate. Continue reading

Welding is Cool

“Why do you need to kill a person 100 times? Isn’t 1 time enough?” Joanne asked.

That should be the answer to the question of why is welding cool. Or more specifically, why TIG (tungsten inert gas) welding is cool. Because you’re controlling an arc that carries about 30 amps to melt aluminum or steel plates in seconds. And with 30 amps, you can kill a person 100 times over.


TIG welding. Photo courtesy: quality-fab.com.

Welding is a skill that takes 10 minutes to learn but a long time to master. It’s easy to learn how to weld. I can teach you now. First, hold the torch with the tungsten tip just above the material. Press the trigger and wait for the arc to form and the metal to melt. Once the metal melts, put in the filler rod. Advance the torch to the left (or right if you’re using the rightward method) and repeat. Easy? Wait till you start burning holes through the material.


The basic setup of a TIG welding system. Explanation below. Image courtesy: wikipedia.com

The tungsten tip is where the arc forms with the material. Tungsten is used because it can stand high heat. Why else would they make light bulb filament with it. Argon gas is to prevent the hot metal from oxidizing because it displaces the oxygen around the weld. The filler rod is made out of the same material as the material to be welded. If you’re doing welding on an aluminum sheet, you’ll use an aluminum filler rod. If you’re welding on a stainless steel sheet, you’ll use a stainless steel filler rod. This makes sure that the final weld consists of a mixture of similar metals so dissimilar metal corrosion will not take place.


TIG welding torch. Photo courtesy: wikipedia.com

If you look at the picture above, the tungsten tip is sharp. That means it’s used for welding steel. Blunt tips are used for welding aluminum. The sharp tip ensures that the arc is concentrated at a smaller point so more heat is directed to a small point only. Contaminated tips (tips that came in contact with the filler rod or molten material) must be cut off or the weld would not form properly. This is what I learned after two days of welding so don’t quote me. But it works.



Not me by the way. Video courtesy: Shufi.

Welding is fun but it’s also difficult. It takes a long time to have that gut feeling. You have to have a steady hand to place the weld beads properly and spaced equally. You have to know the speed to advance the torch or it’ll burn a hole through your material. All these take time and experience to master. So the next time you see a welder at work, think of all the time and hard work he spent to acquire the skills and experience. Even if you don’t respect him for that, don’t mess with him. He has the power to kill 100 men, right at his fingertips. Now that’s cool. Continue reading

Youtube Video Collaboration: The Date

The great thing about youtube is that it is a community-based video sharing site. People participate in the community by posting comments, watching videos, posting video responses and participating in video projects.

Now this is a pretty funny one.



The video that started it all.



The final product.



And the girl who acted out “Rosa”.



And someone went and integrate it into 300.

That’s how alive youtube is. Continue reading