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Crystal Swing, He Drinks Tequila (Video)

This is something I heard about on Newstalk’s Breakfast Programme for the past few mornings. Its an Irish band called Crystal Swing and a song called “He Drinks Tequila”. The video of He Drinks Tequila is below if you want to watch it, it is also a huge hit on You Tube with a well organised Crystal Swing You Tube Channel getting huge hits this week. They have become an Internet Sensation overnight, especially after ‘American Idol’ judge Ellen DeGeneres, posted a link on Twitter to the YouTube clip of Crystal Swing, made up of Mary Murray-Burke, her son Derek and daughter Dervla from Co. Cork. I have yet to watch the video the whole way through, as the song itself just reminds me of 11:30 at an Irish Wedding. I’m not overly sure what the fuss is all about but certainly they seem to have some sort of hit on their hands with all the publicity and You Tube hits.

Captain Sullenberger Retires – Hero on the Hudson pilot retires

Captain Sullenberger Retires 

The hero pilot, Captain Sullenberger, who landed his Airbus 320 safely on the Hudson River, in New York, on Jan 15 2009 has retired after 30 years. Captain Sullenberger, 59, officially retired at a private ceremony in Charlotte after flying his last commercial gig, Flight 1167 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida – landing 17 minutes ahead of schedule. Captain Sullenberger also flew with the same co-pilot as during the Hudson landing of US Airways Flight 1549, First Officer Jeff Skiles. Also on board were some of the same passengers that were on Flight 1549 to celebrate his final flight. If you don’t know the history of Flight 1549 and the amazing landing on the Hudson, check out the video below.

M9 Kilcullen/Carlow section of Motorway to open Monday 21st December

Minister Noel Dempsey reversed his decision to open the M9 Motorway on 8th Jan 2010 and the motorway will now be opened on Monday 21st December between 12 midday and 2pm with varying setups for north and south traffic. The website boards.ie was inundated with posts about the M9 situation with calls made to the media and radio stations such as WLR FM, Kildare FM, Joe Duffy and Today FM. At lunchtime the decision was made to go ahead and open the new stretch of Motorway on the date set out in Tuesdays Irish Times. At one point there was a “People Power” movement which was going to go to the motorway at 2pm and manually move the bollards – i.e. the people would open the Motorway if the NRA did not. Thankfully sense was seen through and all is well again in the world! This should really cut down driving times to Waterford and Kilkenny from Dublin as well as getting rid of the usual delays at Castledermot (or Hassledermot) as it was called this week. At Last ; Goodbye N9 at Castledermot – Hello M9.

Northwest Airline Pilots Suspended after laptop use

Northwest Airline Pilots Suspended after laptop use

The incident with 2 Northwest pilots which took place on October 21, 2009 has escalated. The Federal Aviation Administration has now announced the indefinite suspension of the licenses of the pilots of Northwest Flight 188. Captain Timothy Cheney and First Officer Richard Cole have now been suspended. These were the Northwest Airlines Pilots using Laptops on the flight and missing the runway by 150 miles. (And people complain about Ryan Air flying miles outside the destination!)

Northwest Flight 188 from San Diego to Minneapolis on October 21, 2009 failed to land at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport as scheduled and overshot the Minneapolis airport by 150 miles. Once the problem was noticed the pilots had to circle back to land. (See below)

Northwest Airlines Flight 188 Route

The pilots have denied that they were asleep, drunk or arguing at the controls. They claim that they were in a heated debate about a new pilots scheduling system which was in use following the merger of Delta and Northwest airlines back in 2008.

The FAA will be using the results from the inflight data recorder – however since this only records 30 to 60 minutes of data this might be a problem.

Northwest Airlines has offered the 144 passengers of Flight 188 travel vouchers of $500 as compensation.

Northwest Airlines Pilots using Laptops while flying get lost

Northwest Airlines Pilots using Laptops while flying get lost

It turns out that the Northwest Airlines pilots who overshot their destination by 150 miles were using laptops.

The incident involving a Northwest Airlines Airbus A320, raised fears of a possible hijacking and there were 2 fighters ready to take off as all ATC (Air Traffic Control) attempts failed.

The 2 pilots, both of which have now been suspended, whose Northwest Airlines plane went 150 miles further than it should have on Wednesday, said they were using their laptop computers. The federal agency (FAA) investigating the incident quoted the pilots as saying they had “accessed their personal computers during the flight” and “had lost track of time” as they discussed staff rostering. The was no ATC contact with the Northwest Airlines for more than an hour before it landed in Minneapolis.

The initial speculation was that they had fallen asleep, but the initial rumour was that they got into a heated discussion and lost track of where they were.

They admitted that during their discussion, they did not monitor or respond to calls from air traffic control via voice and to messages relayed to the in-flight systems via text.

My Thoughts…
What I can’t understand is how 2 trained pilots could disregard ATC. If you start ignoring this, then you might ignore or be slow to respond to onboard alerts from other systems such as TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System).

Could they have been asleep but covered it up with this – a less alarming story?

What do you think of these Northwest Airlines Pilots using Laptops? Real or fake news? Leave a comment!

New River Suir Bridge, The Cat Flap : Tolls, Route and M9

New River Suir Bridge, The Cat Flap : Tolls, Route and M9

Since I put up the posts about the Waterford bypass and the New River Suir Bridge there has been huge traffic on the website. On Monday, I had over 2,200 visitors on the site, the day the new bridge opened, all looking for information or pictures of the event.

In response to emails and blog comments I got, here is some extra information.

Naming of the bridge – Apparently the official unofficial name of the bridge is the River Suir Bridge. Some people are saying that the bridge will not have a name, others are saying we should call the bridge something more imaginative. Kilkenny residents are calling the bridge “The Cat Flap”

Tolls – Toll charges as of Monday 19th October 2009 are as follows;
Motor Cycles €1.00, Motor Cars €1.90, Buses or Coaches €3.40, Goods Vehicles with a design gross weight not exceeding 3,500 kilograms €3.40, Goods Vehicles with design gross weight exceeding 3,500 kgs & having 2 or 3 axles €4.80, Goods Vehicles with design gross weight exceeding 3,500 kgs & 4 or more axles €6.10.

Route – The N25 Waterford City Bypass is 24km in length. The New N25 route stretches from Kilmeaden in Co.Waterford to Slieverue in Co. Kilkenny (if one takes the new bridge). The route will also benefit people who want to go to places like Tramore, so that you can go from Co. Kilkenny, across the new suir bridge and take the first left exit to continue through the Cork Road and on to the Tramore road.

M9 to Dublin – The first phase of the M9 towards Kilkenny should be open before Christmas, this will be ideal for people traveling to places like Thomastown and Kilkenny and they are claiming that you will be able to get to Kilkenny in 30 mins on the new M9.

Bridge Lighting – The lights on the new bridge now switched on at night which makes for a very impressive sight, but the placement of the lights means that some parts of the bridge are lit up while others are not so lit up – might be nice to include the blue style lights which are on Rice Bridge.