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Tata chairman says interested in bidding for Air India

Air India

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s Tata conglomerate is interested in bidding for state-owned Air India as the group needs to increase the sizes of its aviation business, its boss told television channel CNBC TV18 in an interview on Monday.

Tata would “definitely look” at Air India once the government finalised the privatisation process, N. Chandrasekaran, chairman of Tata group’s holding company Tata Sons, told the channel.

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He said Tata, which already has two small airline joint ventures in India, one with Singapore Airlines and the other with Malaysia’s AirAsia Bhd, was still not clear about what a sale would look like.

The government has not said whether it will sell all or parts of Air India and what it might do about the loss-making airline’s debt burden of $8.5 billion.

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“We still don’t have all the details,” Chandrasekaran said. “We have two airlines, both are subscale. I feel scale is important.”

When asked whether Tata had spoken to Singapore Airlines about its interest in bidding for Air India, Chandrasekaran said: “Do you think I would have not?”

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Tata’s interest in Air India has been reported but Chandrasekaran had not spoken publicly about a possible bid.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet in June gave the go-ahead to sell Air India, which has received $3.6 billion since 2012 in state aid.

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Last month the government invited bids to appoint financial and legal advisors for the sale process.

Some companies including low-cost Indian carrier IndiGo, owned by InterGlobe Aviation, ground handling company Bird Group and Turkey’s Celebi Aviation Holdings have expressed an interest in buying some of Air India’s various businesses.

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Courtesy : Reuters

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Aerospace

The LCA Tejas Aircraft Crash: Understanding the Reasons – Air Marshal GS Bedi’s Perspective

The LCA Tejas Aircraft Crash: Understanding the Reasons - Air Marshal GS Bedi's Perspective

Air Marshal GS Bedi, a renowned fighter jet pilot and experienced crew member, recently participated in a YouTube interview with Def Talks hosted by Aadi. During the interview, he provided insights into the recent Tejas aircraft crash in Rajasthan, which marks one of the first crashes involving an aircraft from the Tejas family since its production commenced 20 years ago.

Numerous questions have emerged regarding the circumstances surrounding the Tejas aircraft crash and the potential causes of failure. Air Marshal Bedi adeptly addressed these concerns by outlining possible scenarios that could have led to the crash. His expertise shed light on the complexities involved in such incidents and provided valuable perspective on the aviation community’s understanding of the event.

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At the outset, Tejas lacked a simulator and a trainer aircraft for initial training. However, pilots were provided with simulation trials before flying the Tejas aircraft. Initial reviews indicated stability during flight, with the aircraft maintaining a straight glide. However, there was an incident where the aircraft experienced an engine malfunction, prompting the pilot to eject safely.

Pilot Safe Ejections

The decision to eject was made as a precautionary measure, considering the aircraft’s low altitude and steep descent angle. With the aircraft’s altitude dropping rapidly, attempting to balance and land it was deemed too risky. Ejecting ensured the pilot’s safety, as deploying a parachute at such low altitudes could have been disastrous.

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He chose to eject to ensure a safer distance from the ground. The aircraft is at an angle of less than 3 degrees during the approach. At a height of 100 meters, the aircraft is nearly 20 times its length away from the ground. This means the touchdown point will be approximately 4 kilometers ahead.

However, as the altitude decreases, the approach becomes too short due to the rapid descent rate. Consequently, the pilot opts to eject rather than attempt to stabilize the aircraft for a ground landing. If he had not ejected, there’s a high probability that his parachute would have deployed at that low altitude.

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LCA Tejas engine Issue

Investigations revealed the engine malfunction was likely due to lubrication issues or other technical faults. Such split-second decisions underscore the potentially catastrophic outcomes that can result from technical failures.

The pilot involved was highly experienced and well-trained for airshow displays, suggesting timely decision-making. Nevertheless, accidents can stem from technical glitches, human errors, or unforeseen circumstances like bird strikes.

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Air Marshal Bedi emphasized the importance of pilots being trained for emergency situations, including ejecting from the aircraft when control is lost. Despite advancements in technology, technical issues remain unpredictable, necessitating ongoing learning and improvements in aircraft systems.

Today, the Tejas mk1A aircraft completed its inaugural flight at the Bangalore station, marking the dawn of a new, advanced version of the Tejas aircraft. This iteration boasts enhanced avionics and improved aircraft structure.

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China is secretly testing its next-generation medium combat helicopter Z21

China is secretly testing its next-generation medium combat helicopter Z21

China consistently keeps aviation enthusiasts surprised with its advancements in fighter jets and other aircraft. Leading the pack in Asia, China continuously pushes boundaries in developing domestically-built aircraft.

Recently, images circulating on the internet reveal China’s latest creation, the Z-21 helicopter. Resembling its predecessor, the Z-10, this helicopter boasts enhanced fighter capabilities. The emergence of these images sparks questions regarding the fate of plans to acquire Russian-made Ka-52K attack helicopters, particularly the naval version.

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Observing the helicopter in flight, it shares design elements with the Harbin Z-10, notably in the front fuselage and cockpit canopy. The wing stubs for weapon mounts exhibit similar shapes, though with less pronounced angular features. With a tandem seating arrangement, the Z-21 also draws comparisons to the Mil Mi-28, featuring an elongated body with five rotor blades and weapon bays on its sides.

The unveiling of the Z-21 has triggered speculation about its potential role in future military operations. Analysts suggest that beyond its firepower, its introduction could signal significant technological advancements. There’s particular interest in whether China will incorporate a ‘manned-unmanned teaming’ system akin to later Apache models, enabling the Z-21 to control armed drones for reconnaissance and attacks, reducing risks to the helicopter itself.

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The emergence of the Z-21 underscores China’s increasing military prowess and its commitment to developing cutting-edge weaponry. Its deployment and capabilities will be closely monitored, especially concerning regional security dynamics.

The helicopter presents a significant challenge to American-built Apache and other medium helicopters, boasting superior capacity for flying at higher altitudes and more powerful speed and combat capabilities, thus enhancing its effectiveness on the battlefield. On the other hand, amidst ongoing Indian border tensions, this aircraft is poised to play a crucial role in surveillance along the sensitive China border and beyond.

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Qantas Airbus A330 Makes Safe Landing After Engine Blowout

Woman spends tortuous three months trying to resolve huge Qantas errors

A Qantas Airbus A330 Aircraft, flight number QF781, has landed safely without incident in
Perth after the passengers on the Perth-bound flight reported hearing a ‘loud bang’ from one
side of the twin-engined plane engine. The Airbus A330 aircraft made a priority landing at
Perth Airport around 9:37pm local time on 25 March, arriving approximately 52 minutes
behind schedule.


Upon landing, emergency services met with the aircraft on the tarmac. However, the aircraft
taxied to the gate without assistance, with the passengers disembarking normally.
The ‘loud bang’ heard by passengers happened due to a mid-air engine blowout, therefore
resulting in the pilots having to manually shut off the affected engine, together with
requesting a priority landing into Perth Airport. Qantas also added in a statement that the
Airbus A330 aircraft was designed to operate with one engine too.

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Qantas QF781 is a daily scheduled flight from Melbourne to Perth, utilising the Airbus A330
on the route. The Aircraft in question is VH-EBA, an approximately 21 years aircraft,
equipped with 2 GE CF6 engines according to airfleets.net. The Airbus A330 have been a
frequent regional workhorse in Qantas’ fleet, connecting major australian cities with major
destinations within Asia. the Airbus A330 is also used on high-density domestic routes,
similar to QF781, from Melbourne to Perth.

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Engine Issues – Should you be concerned?


While engine issues are highly uncommon due to the stringent checks and quality control on
each component within the engine, there might still be exceptional occasions where such
incidents happen. However, while recognising the risks of dual engines, Aircraft
Manufacturers and Organisations have actually came up with standards so as to ensure that
an aircraft can also land on a single engine, similar to what we saw on QF781.


One of the most well known standard is Extended-range Twin-engine Operations
Performance Standards (ETOPS) which is an acronym for twin-engine operation in an
airspace further than one hour from a diversion airport at a designated one engine
inoperable speed. This ensures that twin-engined aircraft could safely operate routes over
water or remote land without an alternative airport near the flight path, which once required
aircraft with 3 or 4 engines to fly on that route.

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In this case, the Airbus A330 has been certified to fly ‘Beyond ETOPS 180’, and have
received ETOPS 240 certification, which is a certification to enable the twin-engined aircraft
to fly for up to a maximum of 240 minutes with 1 engine inoperative in a cruise condition.
Currently, most twin-engined widebody aircraft in operation would generally have an ETOPS
certification of at least ETOPS 180, with the new Airbus A321LR also having ETOPS 180
certification, therefore enabling the narrowbody to fly long haul flights.

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