Boeing 777X: World’s largest twin-engine jet completes first flight - Canada News Media
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Boeing 777X: World’s largest twin-engine jet completes first flight

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Boeing has successfully completed the first test flight of the world’s largest twin-engined jet, the 777X.

It comes as the firm attempts to boost its image after its 737 Max plane was grounded last year following two fatal crashes that killed 346 people.

The flight took off near Seattle and lasted four hours. Two attempts were called off this week due to high winds.

Further tests are needed before the aircraft enters service with Emirates next year.

The 252-foot-long passenger jet had been due to launch this year but has been delayed by some technical difficulties.

The 777X is a larger and more efficient version of Boeing’s successful 777 mini-jumbo. Standout features include folding wingtips and the world’s largest commercial engines.

“It represents the great things we can do as a company,” said 777X marketing director Wendy Sowers.

Boeing says it has sold 309 of the plane – worth more than $442 million each at list prices.

The plane will go head-to-head with the Airbus A350-1000 which seats about 360 passengers.

Boeing has been in crisis since the 737 Max crashes, which occurred within five months of each other – first in Indonesia in October 2018 and then in Ethiopia last March.

It is facing multiple investigations amid accusations that it sacrificed safety as it rushed to get its jets to customers. It is attempting to have the plane re-approved for flight.

The grounding of the 737 Max, which had been Boeing’s best-selling plane, is estimated to have already cost Boeing more than $9bn.

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British Airways to halt Beijing, Shanghai flights – PaxEx.Aero

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As health concerns mount and waiver options grow some airlines are going a step further in their response to the virus outbreak in China. British Airways is taking the significant step of halting its flights to Shanghai and Beijing effective immediately. A formal announcement is expected early Wednesday in London.

Based on documents reviewed by PaxEx.Aero the carrier’s flights BA39 and BA169 on 28 January 2020 will be the last flights in for a month. The crew working those flights will return as passengers and all downline crew will also return on the BA38 and BA168 flights leaving China on 29 January.



The statement set by airline executives to crewmembers reads, in part:

The situation regarding the new coronavirus in China is constantly developing and tonight the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office position has changed, advising against all but essential travel to China. As you would expect, this situation has been monitored constantly for the last week and updates have been provided for our colleagues on the One portal. A contingency group has met again tonight (Tuesday) to define a plan and there will be a further operational update early on Wednesday.

The safety of our colleagues remains our priority. The aircraft currently airborne to PVG and PKX will return with all crew currently downroute in these locations… For our Chinese crew based in PKX and PVG who are currently on trips in London, we are making arrangements to get you home.

The company also notes in the memo that it is monitoring other stations in the region but will continue to operate those routes for now.

Inventory on flights through 29 February appears to be zeroed out indicating that the carrier expects the cuts to last at least that long.



The news follows on United Airlines announcing earlier today that it will cull 24 flights to Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong in the coming week.

The British Airways news is far more significant given the depth and duration of the cuts. It surpasses the waivers that had been issued by many airlines and the move by the Chinese government to curtail all group travel packages out of the country. The cuts are likely to increase in the coming days as more countries issue similar statements advising against travel to the region.

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24-year-old credits free Ontario program for helping her overcome anxiety and depression – CTV News

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TORONTO —
Time and money – along with stigma – are often cited as barriers to getting treatment for mental health. But, a program called BounceBack addresses all those concerns.

For 24-year old Shealyn Ivany, it turned out to be the only formal type of mental health treatment she needed after she graduated from the University of Toronto in 2017.

“A lot of my anxiety and depression was situational at that time, because of the uncertainty that I felt in my life and within myself.”

She had always been a high achiever in school but was unable to find a fulfilling job after university and fell into depression.

A solo trip to Banff, Alta. gave her time for introspection and confidence that she could succeed with some help.

Her physician referred her to BounceBack, a phone-based service for anyone above the age of 15.

BounceBack helps people with mild to moderate anxiety or depression, or even those having difficulty with stress. Clients can be referred by a doctor or be self-referred. The program began in British Columbia and was brought to Ontario five years ago.

banff

Rebecca Shields, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) in York Region said “this is a program that they can access over the phone and they get connected to a coach who can help them work through an individualized program.”

Clients call in and set up an appointment to talk with their own personal “coach,” who will teach them CBT – Cognitive Behavioural Therapy.

CBT is a method of modifying one’s thinking and behaviour to reduce anxiety. To attend an in-person session on this method can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, which is money Ivany didn’t have as a newly graduated student. Furthermore, she was concerned about the amount of time and travel that might be involved in seeking treatment.

BounceBack is free – managed by the CMHA. Coaches are available between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays and between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on weekends. As well, since it is done over the phone, it’s discreet and there’s no travel time involved.

Clients are given a series of workbooks, chosen specifically to address their own individual problems, such as difficulty sleeping or being assertive.

workbook

“I like to think of it as guided self-help” Ivany said. “So you check in with your BounceBack coach every month but for the majority of the time it’s just you with these worksbooks that address areas you want to work on.”

She spent five months doing the BounceBack program and says she’s doing fine now. She writes and speaks about mental health to groups and she’s started her own website – livingembrace.ca – to give hope to others.

As she contemplates the importance of Bell Let’s Talk Day, she says “I love how these initiatives bring attention to the topic in such a widespread way on days like Bell Let’s Talk Day but for me, I really believe this is something we need to talk about every other day of the year as well.”

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Why are staff blowing whistles at every LRT station? A faulty camera system: sources – Ottawa Citizen

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To signal the all-clear, the platform staff blow a whistle and the train starts rolling. This is supposed to repeat before every train leaves every station whenever the Confederation Line is operating.


Light Rail Train (LRT) from OC Transpo at the Blair Station in Ottawa, March 20, 2019.


Jean Levac / Postmedia News

Reliability issues with the Confederation Line’s camera system have necessitated the full-time installation of whistle-blowing platform staff at every one of Ottawa’s LRT stations to ensure trains depart safely, this newspaper has learned.

According to multiple people with knowledge of its operations, the light rail system is equipped with cameras that feed into a display in the operator’s cab, offering a view of the train doors and surrounding platform area while at a station. Sources said that the camera system is unreliable and has failed to operate at times.

As a safety measure, staff have been contracted at every station to ensure no one remains in the yellow hazard area at the edge of the platform once the doors have closed. To signal the all-clear, the platform staff blow a whistle and the train starts rolling. This is supposed to repeat before every train leaves every station whenever the Confederation Line is operating.

According to sources, who were granted anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, there’s no concrete end date for the use of whistling officials to clear trains for departure.

It’s unclear how often the camera system falters or how long it will take to fix.

Rideau Transit Group, which built the LRT system, did not acknowledge emailed questions and a voicemail on Tuesday.

In a statement, Ottawa’s director of transit operations Tony Charter said the whistle-blowing “spotters” are on the platforms to provide “redundancy” for the camera system as a safety precaution for LRT users.

“As with any new system, there can be intermittent technical issues and, as such, mitigation measures were implemented prior to the launch of revenue service to help minimize any potential impacts to service,” Charter said.

It’s been a rough ride for the Confederation Line in recent weeks when it comes to equipment reliability. On Monday, Ottawa’s transportation general manager John Manconi reported that the light rail vehicles appear more prone to power loss during “wet or inclement weather,” and that the root cause of this is under investigation.

Meanwhile, some train wheels have developed flat spots that need to be rounded out. Track switches have also been problem-plagued.

In a transit commission meeting last week, the chief executive of RTG’s maintenance arm said the company has been consumed with reacting to problems rather than studying day-to-day operational issues.

This led to the hiring of JBA Corp., international rail experts brought on to examine a dozen issues flagged by the city about LRT maintenance. The consultants have been helping the City of Ottawa’s transportation department figure out if RTG is off track with the maintenance program, and now RTG, which is a partnership of ACS Infrastructure, EllisDon and SNC-Lavalin, has hired the consultants to fix troubles related to LRT upkeep.

JBA has experience with Alstom trains and infrastructure.

-With files from Jon Willing

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