Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Airline List FAQ

http://airlinefaq.tripod.com

Frequently Asked Questions for the Airline list hosted at listserv.cuny.edu.

Revision 1.006 - January 25, 2002 - David Mueller, kawika42@mac.com

Have a suggestion for additions toor corrections in the FAQ? Send them to us here or e-mail webmaster@airlinefaq.cjb.net.

Please note that the mention of any web site in this FAQ should not be considered an endorsement of that particular site or service by the maintainers of the FAQ or the administrator of the Airline list. In most cases there are several different sites that provide a similar service and it would be beyond the scope of this FAQ to list them all.


Table of Contents

1. List Administration

1.1. Who is the list administrator?
1.2. How can I join the list?
1.3. How can I leave the list?
1.4. How can I change my e-mail address?
1.5. What are the various list options and how do I set them?
1.6. A few words on list etiquette.
1.7. What happened to my file attachment?

2. Aviation Questions

2.1. What does this code/abbreviation mean?
2.2. What is the Wright Amendment?
2.3. Where did these unintuitive airport codes come from?

2.3.1. ORD - Chicago O'Hare International

2.4. What is ETOPS?
2.5. How can I find out the status of a flight?
2.6. What was the first...

2.6.1. Commercial jet service?
2.6.2. Trans-Atlantic twin jet service?
2.6.3. Trans-continental United States 747 service?

3. Internet Resources

3.1. General Resources
3.2. News Resources
3.3. Historical Airline Resources
3.4. Spotting/Photography Resources


1. List Administration

1.1. Who is the list administrator?
The Airline list is administered and moderated by Geert Marien, listmgr@monmouth.com.

1.2. How can I join the list?
Send an e-mail to listserv@listserv.cuny.edu with the following in the message body:
SUB AIRLINE <your name>
replacing <your name> with your name.

You have two options for receiving messages from the list, see question 1.5 below for further details.

After subscribing to the list, messages you send to the list may require approval by the moderator before they are distributed to the list members. This is called being on Review. Once the moderator is comfortable that your postings are consistently relevant to the topic of the list, you will be removed from Review and messages you send to the list will be distributed to other list members immediately.

1.3. How can I leave the list?
Send an e-mail to listserv@listserv.cuny.edu with the following in the message body:
SIGNOFF AIRLINE

Note that if you are leaving the list only temporarily, it is better to set your subscription mode to NOMAIL by sending an e-mail to listserv@listserv.cuny.edu with the following in the message body:

SET AIRLINE NOMAIL
When you return to the list, send an e-mail to listserv@listserv.cuny.edu with the following in the message body:
SET AIRLINE MAIL
Or, if you subscribed to the list in digest mode (see question 1.5), send this instead:
SET AIRLINE DIGEST
By using this method rather than signing off and then resubscribing when you return, you will be able to resume posting to the list immediately and will not be subjected to having your postings Reviewed by the moderator.

1.4. How can I change my e-mail address?
From your old e-mail address, send an e-mail to listserv@listserv.cuny.edu with the following in the message body:
CHANGE AIRLINE <new e-mail>

replacing <new e-mail> with your new e-mail address. It is important to do this before your old e-mail account is terminated, as you will be asked to confirm the change.

1.5. What are the various list options and how to I set them?

There are several options available, however most people will be concerned with only a few of them.

The option to consider first is how you want to receive messages from the list. You can have messages sent either individually, as they are received, or in a digest, sent out daily or whenever approximately 30k of messages are received. To switch to individual messages, send an e-mail to listserv@listserv.cuny.edu with the following in the message body:

SET AIRLINE MAIL

To switch to digest mode, send:

SET AIRLINE DIGEST

You can also turn off sending of messages altogether. This is useful when you will not be checking your e-mail for several days, to prevent filling your mailbox, as the Airline list is quite active. To do this, send:

SET AIRLINE NOMAIL

When you wish to resume having messages sent, switch the list to either mail or digest mode.

Another option you might wish to set is whether or not your receive confirmation of your messages being sent to the list. Note that if messages are delayed for any particular reason, you will receive a notice regardless of this setting. To turn on message confirmations, send:

SET AIRLINE ACK

To turn off message confirmations, send:

SET AIRLINE NOACK

You can also decide whether or not you receive a copy of your own messages to the Airline list. To receive a copy of your own messages, send:

SET AIRLINE REPRO

To turn off receiving a copy of your own messages, send:

SET AIRLINE NOREPRO

There are a few other list options that may be of interest, to receive a full list send:

INFO REFCARD

and a copy of them will be embalmed to you.

1.6. A few words on list etiquette.

The Airline list is read by people around the world. Primarily we are an easygoing bunch, but there are a few things that will provoke the list members. Thus bear these suggestions in mind:

1.7. What happened to my file attachment?

File attachments are not accepted on the Airline list. Your attachment will be removed before the message is distributed to the list members. So if you have a file you want to share, you will have to place it somewhere on the Internet and then send a message to the list with the address of that item to the list. If you already have a web site, you can simply place that file somewhere in your web site directory. If you do not want to go through the trouble of setting one up if you don't already have one, you can use a service like Yahoo Briefcase <http://briefcase.yahoo.com/> to make the file available to others.


2. Aviation Questions

2.1. What does this code/abbreviation mean?

The airline industry has a ton of abbreviations and codes that are used, and many are used for shorthand on the Airline list. The most common abbreviations you will see are for airlines and airports. There are two major types of code for each. Aircraft type codes are also commonly used.

Airline codes are usually either 2-letter IATA codes, or 3-letter ICAO codes. IATA codes are the most common codes recognized by the general public, as they are frequently used on airline tickets and checked baggage tags, as well as in printed timetables. ICAO codes are commonly used by Air Traffic Control. In addition, most airlines have a radio callsign used by air traffic control. Some are simply based on the airline's name (such as "Delta" which is used by Delta Air Lines) but others are less obvious (such as "Speedbird" which is used by British Airways).

Airport codes come in 3-letter IATA/FAA and 4-letter ICAO varieties. The IATA/FAA codes are more commonly recognized by the traveling public, as they are used in the same places as IATA airline codes. The ICAO codes are used by Air Traffic Control and pilots.

There are several code lists on the Internet. One such list of airline and airport codes can be found at: http://www.wajb.freeserve.co.uk/codes.htm. A list of airline codes (IATA, ICAO, ICAO Numeric, and Boeing Customer) with callsigns can be found at: http://www.geocities.com/hawaiian717/airinfo.html. A list of aircraft type codes can be found at: http://www.house747.freeserve.co.uk/acrtypes.htm. There are several others out there; you can look on any major search engine or directory site.

2.2. What is the Wright Amendment?

Contributed by Nick Laflamme, dplaflamme@alumni.nd.edu

The Wright Amendment, named after the Congressional Representative who wrote it, is a Federal regulation about the use of Dallas's two airports, Love Field (DAL) and Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). Designed to make sure DFW became viable, it limits the kind of commercial air traffic that can fly to and from DAL, in an attempt to make sure most traffic moved to the newer DFW.

Flights from DAL must meet one of two criteria: they must carry fewer than fifty-seven passengers, or they must be to or from a city in Texas or one of its neighboring states. (An amendment to the amendment, the Shelby Amendment, later permitted flights to Kansas, Mississippi and Alabama in addition to the states immediately adjoining Texas.)

There have been lots of lawsuits about attempts to fly from Love Field to cities beyond the original Wright Amendment area, mostly by parties with large interests in DFW, such as American Airlines and the city of Fort Worth <http://www.fortworthgov.org/cmo/Wright/wrindex.htm>. Continental Airlines announced plans for Continental Express service from Cleveland to DAL using regional jets that conformed to the size rule, in 1998 but didn't clear legal challenges to this service until June of 2000. Legend Airlines started service from DAL to Los Angeles, Washington Dulles, and Las Vegas in June of 2000 using DC-9-30s configured for 56 seats, and added New York-LaGuardia in September of 2000. Delta Connection similarly serves Atlanta from the Legend Airlines terminal at DAL using regional jets.

Finally, with a minor touch of irony, American Airlines has started flying reconfigured Fokker 100s from DAL to ORD, LGA, and LAX; the latter service competes directly with Legend Airlines.

2.3. Where did these unintuitive airport codes come from?

2.3.1. ORD - Chicago O'Hare International

Contributed by William J. Armstrong, wja1933@juno.com

O'Hare International occupies the site of a former military airfield called Douglas Field, which was used by the US Army Air Force during World War II as a base for assembling and testing the Douglas C-54 transport. For several years after the war the site was used as a fighter base for the Air Defense Command.

The airport code ORD for O'Hare was derived from the fact that the area was originally known as Orchard Place.

The present airport, which was opened in 1955, was named in honor of Lieutenant Edward "Butch" O'Hare, who won the Medal of Honor for shooting down five Imperial Japanese Navy "Kate" torpedo planes in a single engagement. O'Hare flew a Grumman F4F Wildcat fighter off the USS Lexington (CV-2) in what was the first large dogfight of the war between American and Japanese naval aircraft. The engagement took place in the Bismarck Archipelago east of New Guinea on February 20, 1942.

2.4. What is ETOPS?

Contributed by Nick Laflamme, dplaflamme@alumni.nd.edu

ETOPS refers to the sets of rules governing waivers to normal rules for twin-engine airliner operations. The basic rule is that a two-engine airliner must be able to limp to a suitable airport within an hour if an engine fails. The ETOPS waivers allow airlines to fly routes where an airliner would be farther from a suitable airport: ninety minutes, 120 minutes, 138 minutes, 180 minutes, and under specific conditions, 207 minutes. An ETOPS rating is granted to a specific combination of hardware and airline operations and is granted only after both the airline and the airliner are shown to be adequately reliable for the more demanding ETOPS scenarios. An ETOPS rating is not permanent; it can be revoked if an airline or airliner starts having operational problems that call into question the reliability that was previously demonstrated. (I don't know of any lost ETOPS ratings, though.)

Maintenance on ETOPS equipment must follow certain rules designed to eliminate single points of failure. For example, the same mechanic may not perform the same procedure on both engines if a mistake in the way the mechanic performs the task could result in both engines to fail. (This kind of failure has happened in the past, such as on an Eastern Airlines L-1011 on which the same mechanic mis-seated o-rings on the oil lines to all three engines, causing losses in oil pressure on all three engines.)

The 138 minute ETOPS rating (120 minutes plus 15%) is to enable some routes across the northern Atlantic that are less direct under a 120 minute ETOPS rating. The 207 minute ETOPS rating (180 minutes plus 15%) is to enable some northern Pacific routes under certain conditions. It does not let airlines fly routes in which alternate airports are always more than three hours away; it lets the airline fly its normal route if an usual alternate airport (under 180 minute ETOPS) is temporarily unavailable and the next alternate is between 180 and 207 minutes away during parts of the flight.

ETOPS ratings have been granted to B757s, B767s, B777s, B737s, and A330s. (They probably have for A319/20/21, but I can't cite any examples.) The B777 has the distinction of being ETOPS certified for United when United took delivery and put it into revenue service, based partly on United's ETOPS experience with the B767 and partly with the design and testing of the B777.

Fans of the A340 and to a lesser extent the B747 occasionally raise the specter of a dual engine loss on an ETOPS flight as a reason folks should favor their favorite plane. However, at this time, there have not been any casualties or losses due to ETOPS-specific issues. When ETOPS rated airliners have crashed, they've been lost for reasons that have nothing to do with whether they were ETOPS rated or not.

2.5. How can I find out the status of a flight?

Many airlines will be happy to provide this information over the telephone or on their web sites. In addition, there are a couple of web sites that can provide information about flights from many different airlines:

TRIP.com flightTRACKER: http://www.trip.com/ft/home/0,2096,1-1,00.shtml

FlightArrivals.com: http://www.flightarrivals.com/

FlightView: http://www.rlmsoftware.com/fvtrack.htm

2.6. What was the first...

2.6.1. Commercial jet flight?

Contributed anonymously.

The world's first commercial jet service was operated by British Overseas Air Corporation (BOAC) Comet 1 G-ALYP. The flight left the ground at London at 3:12pm on May 2, 1952 for Johannesburg via Rome, Cairo, Khartoum, Entebbe and Livingstone.

2.6.2. Trans-Atlantic twin jet service?

Contributed by Alexandre Avrane, http://www.aerotransport.fr.st

A Caravelle 10B charter program operated by Sterling from December 1971 onward, flying Oslo, Norway to Gander, Canada with 99 passengers over 4200km in 5 hours, 33 minutes.

2.6.3. Trans-continental United States 747 service?

Contributed by Alexandre Avrane, http://www.aerotransport.fr.st

Los Angeles, California to New York/Kennedy in February, 1970 operated by Trans World Airlines. American Airlines began the same route in March, 1970 using 747s leased from Pan American.


3. Internet Resources

The Internet, and the World Wide Web in particular, contain a vast amount of information. While the Airline list is an excellent resource and members are nearly always willing to provide information, there are some limits to the collective knowledge of the members, and also to the amount of time the members can dedicate to reading and responding to messages. That said, the sites below are excellent resources that may provide the information you desire.

The usual Internet disclaimer applies here, in that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided in the sites linked below.

3.1. General Resources

AirNav <http://www.airnav.com/> Database of airport, navigational aid, and enroute fix information.

Airliners.net <http://www.airliners.net/> Very large collection of airplane photographs, contributed by photographers from around the world.

Airlines of the Web <http://www.flyaow.com/> Links to various airlines, manufacturers, etc.

Commercial Aircraft Orders <http://surf.to/orders> Database of commercial jet aircraft orders.

Commercial Jet Aircraft Census <http://www.bird.ch/bharms/asr_sh00.htm> Database of every Airbus, Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, Lockheed, and Concorde commercial jetliner built.

Great Circle Flight Path Display <http://www.chicago.com/airliners/gc.html> Compute the shortest distance between any two airports.

World Airline Fleets <http://www.intercpt.demon.co.uk/fleets.html> List of the aircraft in each airline's fleet.

3.2. News Resources

Airliner World Magazine <http://www.keymags.co.uk/airworld/> Montly UK-based magazine.

Airliners Magazine <http://www.airlinersonline.com/> Bimonthly US-based magazine.

Airways Magazine <http://www.airwaysmag.com/> Monthly US-based magazine.

AviationNow <http://www.aviationnow.com/> Online news from Aviation Week Magazine.

Yahoo Airlines/Aviation News <http://biz.yahoo.com/news/airlines.html> Press releases and news articles related to the airline industry.

3.3. Historical Airline Resources

AirCal (Air California) <http://members.aol.com/aircal737/aircal.htm>

Braniff International <http://www.braniffinternational.com/>

Eastern Airlines <http://www.spiderwww.com/eastern.htm>

Pacific Southwest Airlines <http://www.iflypsa.com/> and <http://catchoursmile.com/>

Pan American World Airways <http://www.panam.org/>

3.4. Spotting/Photography Resources

1st Spotters <http://members.nbci.com/spotter/>

PlaneSpotting.com <http://www.planespotting.com/>


FAQ Maintenance History

1.0 - present: David Mueller, kawika42@mac.com