Arcticterntalk.org

The blog of a travelling psychiatrist and football lover. Who happens to be a halfway decent photographer. Takes a cynical view of the world

Archive for the tag “switzerland”

The Cabaret of shopping at Zurich Airport


On a recent short trip to Zurich my two main reflections were that so many people still smoked in Switzerland and how expensive airport shopping is at Zurich Airport.

Lets start with the airport. The shops are fairly good except if you want to buy anything at normal prices. Let me suggest a few items that one could have bought there. A nice side of salmon for £132. A nice bottle of champagne £192. A nice selection of cheese £35. And  I will not begin to tell you about the cost of Mont Blanc watches and pens. My main grouse is not that these were for sale, clearly people can and will afford to buy these, but that there were no normal priced items available. Bottle of wine for a mere £197. If you want Mont Blanc, Lindtt, Porsche, etc and so on, you are fine. Try looking for the Swiss equivalent of Poundland, and goodness that will take a while!

Switzerland reeks not only of cigarette smoke but also money. Nothing looks average and no-one I saw looked poor. The streets were clean and the bars looked nice. But one has to have the money to compete in living there. The streets looked however also relatively empty and certainly no evidence of traffic problems nor traffic jams.

IMG_0872

Switzerland Pedestrian Crossing

But normality is seen also in Switzerland with the type of graffiti normally seen in most European countries. Especially on the sides of trains or as here wagons. But a kind of functional graffiti and not in my top ten graffiti images for 2016.

LH487 Engine on fire. Where best to land?


One of the more interesting apps is FLIGHTRADAR. Late sunday evening one of the twitter accounts I follow, Flight Emergencies, told us that flight LH487 had squawked 7700 meaning ” emergency”. The plane had taken off from London city airport heading to Basle. The usual reason for most emergencies seems to be those of a medical sort. However on this occasion an engine had caught on fire and the plane landed safely. The Guardian reported this story with a few more perhaps not so important facts the next day.

http://t.co/vkm8HfHHNJ

By chance having followed the flight on FLIGHTRADAR I took a few screenshots of the plane’s routing. As can be seen below, something happened over Gillingham , the plane circled there, then headed in a route suggesting it was returning to London City Airport, then turned north and landed at Stansted. I am no aviation expert but this does not look like a route that the plane would normally have taken if it was landing at Stansted in an emergency situation such as a fire. Surely a more direct route. My guess is that its original destination of London City Airport was altered to Stansted. Some more important information comes from an article written almost a year ago May 2013.  The answer may come from questions raised by Richard Tracey. This is what was reported:

Richard Tracey, London Assembly Member for Merton and Wandsworth, has written to Heathrow authorities to ask why the BA aircraft with its engine ablaze was routed to fly back into Heathrow last week rather than being diverted elsewhere.

Richard’s questions followed worried enquiries from Wandsworth councillors Rosemary Torrington and James Maddan who represent the riversideThamesfield ward on the flightpath.

He wrote, “I represent Wandsworth and Merton GLA constituency comprising around 500,000 people.

“Can I ask why Heathrow/BA decided to bring in a plane in flames right over central London rather than landing it in a country airfield like Farnborough or some such safer location.

“Could you please provide me with an answer promptly.”

He received a prompt response as requested from Abigail Morris, Heathrow’s Government Relations Manager: “The normal procedure in these circumstances if for the Captain to decide what is the safest course of action, and this is what happened in this case. This is an approved procedure.

I appreciate you wanted a quick answer, and I hope this covers that request, but happy to meet and discuss the procedures in more detail alongside our BA colleagues if this would be helpful.”

Richard Tracey has reported back to his Conservative colleagues on Wandsworth Council, but still they feel that, as the blazing aircraft flew over Hertfordshire and Essex before returning to Heathrow over east London and then the densely populated west London boroughs, a decison should have been taken to divert it to one of the less populated areas with an airport

http://t.co/GFO8A5um1b

So in the case of LX487 this seems to have happened but seemingly not in a rush. All speculation but a probable explanation.

What also has stoked interest is that this was the second Swiss International Airlines Avro RJ100 to have a serious engine problem taking off from London City Airport. On March 27th a similar sounding engine fire and explosion prevented a plane taking off, LX437 from London City Airport to Geneva

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/27/london-city-airport-plane-engine-blew-up

LH487 copyright chris bushe arcticterntalk.org

LH487
copyright chris bushe
arcticterntalk.org

 

 

 

LH487 copyright chris bushe arcticterntalk.org

LH487
copyright chris bushe
arcticterntalk.org

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