521 Appareo Systems ADS-B

Appareo Systems is the maker of Stratus transponders for ADS-B systems. United Airlines announces its goal to cut greenhouse emissions by 50%, Airbus is investing in synthetic spider silk for composite aerostructures, the fatal crash of a Cessna 335, flight attendants on bad behavior by emotional support animals. Also, a conversation about passing the Cirrus SF50 checkride.

Kelly Keller flying in Alaska.

Kelly Keller flying in Alaska.

Guest

Kelly Keller is the Central US Territory Manager for Appareo Systems, maker of the Stratus line of transponders for ADS-B systems.

Appareo Stratus ADS-B In.

Stratus ADS-B In.

Kelly tells us about ADS-B In and ADS-B Out and explains what each does. From the Appareo website: “ADS-B is the technology being implemented by the FAA to provide surveillance and improved situational awareness to both pilots and air traffic controllers. The FAA mandate states that all aircraft operating in current Mode-C airspace must be ADS-B Out equipped by 2020. For the pilot, the two primary benefits come in the form of ADS-B In weather and traffic information.”

We explore the “hockey puck” and the “ghosting” effects and come to understand the implications if your airplane is ADS-B In equipped but not ADS-B Out equipped. Kelly also discusses the demand for installation and certification services and the increasing labor rates.

Kelly's Grandfather in a B-17.

Kelly’s Grandfather in a B-17.

Kelly attended the 2018 AOPA Santa Fe Fly-In and she shares her impressions from that event.

Kelly is a third generation pilot. Her grandfather was a WWII B-17 bomber pilot who flew two tours in the European theater, and her father was a Vietnam veteran, an airline pilot, an A&P/IA, and an avid advocate for general aviation.  Kelly has been a private pilot since 2010, with ASEL and ASES class ratings. She’s currently finishing up her instrument rating.

 

 

Kelly's family in front of the Staggerwing at Oshkosh.

Kelly’s family in front of the Staggerwing at Oshkosh.

Kelly in her old Citabria,

Kelly in her old Citabria,

Aviation News

United CEO announces his airline is going to cut greenhouse emissions by 50% and power its jets with biofuels

United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz says, “…United Airlines became the first U.S. airline to make a public commitment to reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions – 50 percent by the year 2050.” This will be accomplished through engine and airframe technology developments, and the use of biofuels. United made an aviation fuel purchase agreement with Fulcrum BioEnergy, and the airline celebrated their commitment with the longest transatlantic biofuel flight to date, from San Francisco to Zurich. See also: Major air carriers plan to use more biofuels.

Video: Fulcrum Corporate Video 2017-Nov

The airplane of the future might have synthetic spider silk inside it

Airbus partnered with AMSilk to develop a prototype composite material composed of Biosteel fiber and resin. AMSilk is a German company that produces Biosteel in the lab which is designed to mimic spider silk in terms of flexibility and strength. Biosteel is created through a “closed-loop, bacterial fermentation process.” They hope to debut the composite in 2019.

Surprising Details Emerge From Sunday’s Cessna 335 Crash

A Cessna 335 recently crashed on approach to Florida’s Palm Beach County Park/Lantana Airport. The twin-engine airplane hit the ground a mile from the airport, killing the pilot and his wife. The man did not hold a valid pilot certificate. In fact, his certificate had been revoked in 1997 “for making fraudulent or intentionally false statements on his application for a medical certificate.” See also, Crash Pilot Had Certificate Revoked.

Flight attendant survey says 61 percent worked flights where emotional support animal caused a disturbance

In its survey Emotional Support Animals Negatively Affecting Air Travel, the Association of Flight Attendants asked about 5,000 flight attendants across 30 airlines for their experiences with emotional support animals. The results are concerning and the AFA has called on the Department of Transportation to take action to limit abuse.

Mentioned

Audi Stuart Air Show, November 2-4, 2018 in Stuart, Florida.

Cirrus Aircraft Vision Jet – Max Trescott tells us about his experience passing his checkride on the SF50.

Brian will be attending Dorkfest 2018.

The Aviation is Your Future self-paced Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) celebrates Girls in Aviation Day on October 13. This course is a project of the Woman in Aviation International Chapter at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide. Oct 8 – Oct 22, 2018.

NBAA Chair, Gen. Newton, To Receive Wright Trophy

Delta Belatedly Is Facing Up To Its One Big Mistake: Investing In An Oil Refinery

How do you move 11 whales and dolphins 1,000 miles?

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

520 UPS Airlines

We look at UPS Airlines, including the fleet, the pilots, the technology, and the processes employed. Also, the Perlan 2 altitude record flight, GA accident rates, an F-35C incident, and pizza for 159 American Airlines passengers. We celebrate the 97th birthday of a WASP, look at the Immortal Red Baron air show act and a new Old Guys and Their Airplanes video. We also have a promo code for tickets to the 2018 Audi Stuart Air Show.

UPS Airlines 747-8F

UPS Airlines 747-8F. Courtesy UPS.

Guest

Jim Mayer is public relations manager for UPS Airlines. He’s based at the airline’s headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jim Mayer, UPS Airlines Public Relations Manager.

Jim Mayer, UPS Airlines Public Relations Manager.

We talk about the UPS Airlines fleet makeup: the “brown tails” (including the new 747-8F freighters) and the small feeder aircraft vendors. Jim explains the daily cycle at the Worldport® global air hub in Louisville, Kentucky. This is the world’s largest automated package sorting hub, where they experience airplane landings every 70 seconds over about a three hour period each night.

Jim tells us about cockpit technology projects, the hot spare aircraft that stand ready, and the UPS Flight Path program with Ameriflight to help keep new pilots in the pipeline.

UPS is the official logistics provider for Expo 2020 Dubai and we talk about the daily nonstop flight from the Worldport hub to Dubai, UAE. Made possible with the Boeing 747-8F freighter, this route improves time-in-transit from North and South America to Middle East destinations by one business day.

Of course, over the years UPS Airlines has encountered some unique shipments, and Jim tells us about a few of them, as well as recent humanitarian flights to Puerto Rico.

Jim joined UPS in 2003 following a career as an Emmy-award-winning broadcast reporter. As PR manager at UPS Airlines, Jim manages media relations and external communications for one of the world’s largest airlines. He has traveled extensively around the world, helping to tell the UPS story, including coverage of major facility expansions in China and Europe; and unique charter moves such as whale sharks and humanitarian aid flights.

Jim is a Chicago-area native and has a B.A. in Telecommunications from Indiana University in Bloomington.

Follow UPS Airlines on Twitter at @UPSAirlines, and find them on Facebook and Instagram. Also, see the latest news at the UPS Pressroom, where you’ll also find UPS Air Operations Facts

UPS Airlines Worldport global hub.

UPS Airlines Worldport global hub. Courtesy UPS.

Pushing the tank onto UPS Airlines. Courtesy UPS.

Pushing the tank onto UPS Airlines. Courtesy UPS.

Aviation News

Experimental Perlan 2 aircraft breaks high-altitude human flight record

The Airbus Perlan Mission II pressurized glider has been out riding atmospheric pressure waves, and it’s reached more than 76,000 feet. That’s believed to be the record for subsonic human flight in a winged aircraft. This meant the flight crossed the Armstrong Line, the altitude above which a human’s blood will boil without some kind of protection.

AOPA Nall Report: Accident Rates Drop Again

The AOPA Air Safety Institute’s Joseph T. Nall Report [PDF] says that the general aviation overall and fatal accident rates are at a 10-year low. Fatal crashes decreased to 0.84 per 100,000 hours. Accidents with pilot-related causes make up 74 percent of non-commercial, fixed-wing accidents. Accidents related to mechanical and maintenance issues made up about 16 percent of the overall total.

F-35C, Super Hornet Damaged During At-Sea Aerial Refueling

An F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter flying from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was damaged during an aerial refueling exercise. The engine ingested debris from an aerial refueling basket.

American Airlines pilot buys Papa John’s Pizza for 159 passengers after flight is diverted

American Airlines Flight 2354 from Los Angeles to Dallas/Fort-Worth experienced extreme thunderstorms and was diverted to Wichita Falls, Texas. The next flight to DFW was the following day. Captain Jeff Raines responded by ordering 40 pizzas from the local Papa John’s store, and even hand carried the pizzas from the delivery car to the waiting passengers.

Audi Stuart Air Show

November 2-4, 2018 in Stuart, Florida you can experience the Treasure Coast’s largest annual event with breathtaking performances including by the United States Marine Corp Harrier, the Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration Team, the Phillips 66 Aerostars, and others. Of course, there will be many static displays like The Movie Memphis Belle, the C-17 Globemaster III, and the OV1 Mohawk. 

At the Stuart Air Show, you can also take advantage of rides offered with special guests, including a Cobra Attack Helicopter and a T-6 Texan. Plan your Audi Stuart Air Show experience now at stuartairshow.com.

Also, starting September 17th, Airplane Geeks has teamed up with the Stuart Air Show for a week of aviation trivia.  Each day September 17 – 23rd at 6 pm on their Facebook page, they will be posting an aviation-related trivia question.  The person with the most correct answers (and who answers the fastest) will win 4 tickets to their VIP event on November 2nd! That is a $600 value!  Learn more about the Stuart Air Show at stuartairshow.com and on Facebook.

We are thrilled to be able to bring our listeners a special ticket offer to the Stuart Air Show. Use promo code “geekspodcast” at checkout to enjoy a special $10 ticket offer through October 31, 2018.

Immortal Red Baron

At the Blue Bonnet Air Show at the Burnet, Texas Municipal Airport, Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari interviewed Stefan Trischuk of the “Immortal Red Baron” air show. This was a different act as it was a staged dogfight with another airshow performer.

Immortal Red Baron

Jane Doyle

Also at the Blue Bonnet show, Launchpad met Mrs. Jane Doyle, celebrating her 97th birthday. Jane is one of the last WASP.

Mentioned

Artist John Mollison has released another “Old Guys and Their Airplanes” video featuring 2nd Lt. James Kunkle who flew P-38s with the 9th Air Force over Europe during WWII. Jim was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his combat action on Sept. 16, 1944.  In this video, Jim describes a terrific dogfight that he experienced in 1944 where he took on 20 or so German fighter planes. OGTA #12 – Split Second – The Jim Kunkle Story.

Listener Hendrik sent in a picture from his wedding to his lovely wife Marielle.  If you remember a few weeks back, on their way to Hawaii for their honeymoon, they got a tour of Los Angeles from Brian during their LAX layover.  Featured in the picture is a Beluga, Marielle’s favorite plane, carrying some precious cargo: their wedding rings.

Whirly-Girls opens their 2019 scholarship season.

This photographer captured total solar eclipse from a commercial airplane at 39,000 feet

Above and Beyond

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

And special thanks to co-host Max Trescott for constructing Knoxville Studio B, just for this episode:

Now that’s how you do it in a hotel room!

 

519 Bits & Pieces XXII

This is a Bits & Pieces episode with recorded segments from the hosts, contributors, and listeners. The segments that make up this episode [with start times]:

Spurwink Farm Pancake Breakfast and Fly-In (Part 2)

Our Main(e) Man Micah has more interviews from this year’s Spurwink Farm Pancake Breakfast and Fly-In:

Bunk Chase comes from a flying family and talks about EAA Chapter 141, the history of the pancake breakfast and fly-in, growth of the event, and the Young Eagles program. [0:02:01]

Dave DeVries flew in the 1935 Kinner Sportwing, the only one in the world. He tells the story of how he acquired the plane. [0:08:46]

Tim Bickford tells us about his 1928 Travel Air 4000, an ex-cropduster from the 1950’s and now restored. [1:24:35]

Jonathan Goode is an FAA safety inspector and also air boss at the fly-in. [1:29:18]

Micah and a 1935 Kinner Sportwing B2

Micah and a 1935 Kinner Sportwing B2

The Travel Air

The Travel Air

Ernie Eaton sent us some photographs from the 2017 event:

Hillel in the Hangar

At AirVenture Oshkosh 2018, Hillel interviewed two company founders:

Crew Dog Electronics, maker of the Stratux ADS-B receiver. [0:16:47]

SkyVector, a provider of aeronautical charts, online mapping and related flight planning products and services. [0:30:31]

Launchpad Marzari

Airplane Geeks reporter at large tells us about his visit to the Titan Missile Museum, the only remaining Titan II site open to the public, located in Green Valley, Arizona, a short distance south of Tucson. [0:39:35]

Launchpad also tells us about his best flight. [1:33:33]

Innovations in Flight

Micah provides his thoughts on the 2018 Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. [0:49:34]

Micah, Mike, and Jeff

Some of the crew at the Red Robin after-party.

Micah and Bill Barry.

Captain Rick and Micah.

The Friendly Skies Exhibit

Brian reports on the Friendly Skies exhibit at the Peekaboo Gallery which is based on the Pan Am Experience. [0:59:07]

Across the Pond

Pieter Johnson talks with Neil McCarthy, a 20-year civilian pilot with over 800 hours on military jets. Neil has a habit of taking on new aviation projects every year and having last talked to Neil in 2012, Pieter hears about his latest projects which include a full size 737 flight simulator and his return to general aviation flying. [1:04:35]

Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six

Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six

A 14-year Old Student Pilot

After receiving an email from a 14-year-old student pilot in Australia, we had to talk with him about his passion for flying. Solomon intends to take his solo soon, and he has plans to encourage other young people to take an interest in aviation. [1:39:01]

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

518 Betty in the Sky

Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase podcast host and author Betty Thesky tells us about the life and experiences of a flight attendant. We look at airline seating, airline fees, and pay for flight attendants. Also, a “new” indigenous fighter jet from Iran and an Across the Pond segment on the Light Aircraft Association and general aviation in the UK.

Guest

Betty in the Sky with a SuitcaseBetty Thesky is a flight attendant with a major U.S. airline, and she produces the Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase podcast, a collection of funny airline and travel stories reminiscent of an old-fashioned radio show. Her job as a flight attendant allows her to indulge in her passion for travel and has taken her all over the world. The popular show launched in 2005 and it is one of the first aviation-related podcasts. Betty in the Sky also spawned several books and Betty has branched off into writing fiction.

Betty tells us how the podcast got started and how her theme song was created. We talk about the life of a flight attendant, how that has changed over the years, and what type of person makes a good FA. Betty also has some tips for travelers that would improve their experience.

As a child, when someone asked Betty what she wanted to do when she grew up, her answer was, “I want to travel!” and that’s exactly what she went on to do. She earned her BA in Communications with a minor in Psychology and was then hired by People Express as a flight attendant. Later she applied at one of the major airlines and has been there for more than 20 years.

Visit the Betty in the Sky website, follow @skybetty on Twitter, and find Betty Thesky on Facebook.

Aviation News

US big three airlines consolidate business class changes, slowly

When American Airlines installs premium economy on its Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner aircraft, it will cut the number of business class seats to 20 from 28. The seats will be the Zodiac Aerospace Concept D product in a staggered forwards-backward herringbone configuration, rather than the outward-facing B/E Aerospace Super Diamond seat on other American 787s in the American fleet. Delta is replacing the Zodiac inward-facing herringbone seats on the Boeing 777-200ER and -LR fleet with the Thompson Vantage XL staggered doored product. United continues to roll out it’s Polaris retrofits, but at a slow rate.

Do airline tickets need warning labels?

The Senate version of the FAA Reauthorization Act mandates that airlines disclose their baggage fees, cancellation fees, change fees, ticketing fees, and seat selection fees “in a standardized format.” Christopher Elliott asks, “Why is it so hard to figure out what you’ll have to pay for a plane ticket — and what you’re paying for?”

United Airlines will charge an extra fee for economy seats near the front of the plane

United Airlines plans to start charging more for an economy class seat near the front of the plane than it does for the seats in the back. At the International Aviation Forecast Summit, United Airlines President Scott Kirby said, “We’ve got ‘Economy Plus’ today, which has more legroom, but there are also rows that don’t have more legroom but they are at the front of the airplane. We are now going to let those people select those seats as well for a fee.”

Military experts say Iran’s new fighter jet is actually a US plane from the 1970s

Iran says that it has domestically produced a new fighter jet, the “Kowsar.” but some military experts say the fighter is really a U.S.-made F-5F from the early 1970s. Iran purchased F-5s in 1974, before the Iranian Revolution of 1978–79. Also, Iranian F-5 fighter jet crashes at air base, killing one pilot.

How Much Do Flight Attendants Make?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the median wage was $50,500 in 2017, with the lowest 10% earning less than $26,860, and the highest 10% earning more than $79,520. PayScale says the average flight attendant salary is $39,022. Glassdoor says the average reported salary is $52,217, with some as low as $18,000.

Across the Pond

In this month’s Across The Pond segment, Pieter talks to Neil Wilson from the Light Aircraft Association about their role supporting general aviation in the UK and he gets a preview of the upcoming LAA Sywell Rally, the UK’s biggest fly-in.

Copyright Light Aircraft Association

Copyright Light Aircraft Association

Neil mentioned the Flying Across Britain with Arthur Williams TV programme by Arthur Williams which was covered in episode 84 of Xtended.

Arthur Williams with his treasured Piper Cub (Copyright Arthur Williams)

Arthur Williams with his treasured Piper Cub (Copyright Arthur Williams)

Airplane of the Week

David's Lego drone.

David’s Lego drone.

Mentioned

craftplicator

Was the Navy’s F-111 Really That Bad?

Germerican Pilots – About flying in the USA.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

517 Back at the Airport

Social and technology changes at airports, including ridesharing, facial recognition, and carry-on screening. Also, the recent AAviation Day with American Airlines, working the de-icing pad, airport outreach, and stairs trucks. In the news, Norwegian wet leases an A380 and Southwest issues a policy for trained service animals.

Guest

Jennifer Adams, airport enthusiast, employee, and blogger.

Jennifer Adams

Jennifer Adams combines her experience in accounting with her passion for aviation by working in the accounting and finance department of a mid-sized midwestern airport. When she’s not paying the bills and sending invoices to airlines, you can find her helping out on the de-ice pad, plane spotting, and getting unreasonably excited about stairs trucks.

Jennifer reports on her experience at the AAviation Day event with American Airlines and Airline Geeks at PHL. The annual event takes place at a number of airports in conjunction with National Aviation Day, held August 19 each year to celebrate the history and development of aviation.

Jennifer gives us insights into the impact at airports of social and technology changes, such as the rise in the use of ridesharing services and changing airport security methods. We look at some statistics that characterize the growth in airport passengers and the cargo business and hear about some of the factors that facilitated the change. Jennifer describes examples of good airport outreach, and her experience training to manage the de-icing pad.

And of course any conversation with Jennifer is incomplete without talking about stairs trucks, and we don’t disappoint.

Jennifer blogs about her aviation adventures at Tales From the Terminal. Follow her on Twitter at @Jen_Niffer.

Aviation News

Facial scan technology makes debut in airports

Orlando International Airport is using facial recognition technology for all arriving and departing international travelers. The program comes from a partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and SITA, a private cyber security company. Passengers stand on a yellow footprint and a camera takes an image which is then matched against the CBP passport photo database. The system offers security and processing speed advantages.

A new scanner could speed up airport security

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is testing a new x-ray machine for carry-on bags. If the tests are successful, removing liquids and electronics from bags may become unnecessary. The promise is that explosives could be detected inside the bags. Fifteen airports are testing the device.

There’s curbside chaos at DFW Airport — thanks in part to the surge of Uber and Lyft

With limited curbside space at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport arrivals, the increased popularity of ridesharing services, and the length of time some people park outside arrivals, a significant traffic problem is created. DFW is responding with some changes.

Norwegian to deploy Hi Fly’s A380 as 787 cover

Norwegian is negatively impacted by the Trent 1000 engine problem on their Boeing 787s. In response, the airline has been leasing an A380 from Hi Fly to cover their evening London-New York service.

Southwest Airlines is formally allowing miniature horses on its planes as service animals

On their Customers with Disabilities page, Southwest Airlines says, “Effective for travel beginning September 17, 2018, Southwest is making changes to our existing policies for accommodating Customers with disabilities who seek to travel with a fully trained service animal in the cabin. Customers with disabilities seeking to travel with a trained service animal must still provide credible verbal assurance that the animal is a trained service animal.”

Mentioned

Stinar SPS-3518 Passenger Stair Truck, 96-228″ – on offer from Aero Specialties.

Airport Vehicle Racing – Top Gear – BBC

Plane Narrowly Misses Collision with Van

Asking the right questions after a q400 is stolen, in The Air Current by Jon Ostrower.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

516 University Aviation Program

The aviation program at the University of Maine at Augusta, the stolen and crashed Horizon Air turboprop plane, the proposed British jet fighter, the effect of elevated carbon monoxide levels in the flight deck, the percentage of women pilots, a lawsuit over lavatory access, the fatal Ju 52 crash, and a pancake breakfast and fly-in.

Guest

Greg Jolda, university aviation program

Greg Jolda, aviation program coordinator at the University of Maine at Augusta.

Greg Jolda is the aviation program coordinator at the University of Maine at Augusta, as well as a lecturer in computer information systems.

Greg was a United States Air Force pilot and retired as Lieutenant Colonel and Command Pilot with over 3000 hours in four operational aircraft, including over 1000 hours as an instructor pilot. He served as Fighter Pilot, T-33; Instructor Pilot, T-37; Group Chief, Systems Avionics Group, Wright Aeronautical Labs, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; Aircraft Commander C-130 and Air Operations Officer, Yokota Air Base, Tokyo, Japan; Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander, T-38, Chief, Wing Academics, Reese Air Force Base, Lubbock, Texas; Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.

Greg earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston and an MS in Electrical Engineering, from the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton.

He is also a Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP).

News

Sea-Tac officials, airlines to meet Monday to discuss security protocols after turboprop heist

Seattle-Tacoma plane thief ‘had full airport credentials’

A Horizon Air Bombardier Q400 turboprop was stolen by an airline employee at Seattle’s SeaTac International airport and made an unauthorized takeoff. Horizon is a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group. During a 75-minute flight, the plane made some aerobatic maneuvers, was chased by two Air National Guard F-15Cs, and crashed on Ketron Island in Puget Sound.

See:

And:

Todd Curtis interviewed by BBC 5 Live Radio about the crash of Horizon Air Q400

Meet the UK’s New, Very British Fighter Jet

A full-scale model of the UK’s new Tempest fighter jet was displayed at Farnborough this year. It’s being called a 6th generation fighter with two engines and twin vertical stabilizers, not unlike the F-22. The UK’s Ministry of Defense plans on spending $2.6 billion to develop the plane through 2025. Then a decision will be made to proceed with a 2035 rollout.

Stale Cockpit Air May Be Dulling Your Airline Pilot’s Performance

A new Harvard University study published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology has found that carbon dioxide concentrations in the cockpit can affect pilot performance. Current regulations don’t address fresh air in airline flight decks and the impact of carbon dioxide on safety. The article is Airplane pilot flight performance on 21 maneuvers in a flight simulator under varying carbon dioxide concentrations.

Women airline pilots: a tiny percentage, and only growing slowly

CAPA, the Centre for Aviation, says, “Data for the US and the UK indicate that just over 4% of airline pilots are women.”

  • 7.0% of all US FAA pilot airline pilot certificates are held by women, while 4.4% of US airline pilots and 4.3% of UK airline pilots are women.
  • Women pilots’ share is growing but by less than 1ppt over a decade.
  • Among global airlines surveyed by the International Society of Women Airline Pilots, the US big three have the highest number of women pilots.
  • IndiGo has the highest percentage of women pilots, with 13.9%.

The ICAO Global Aviation Gender Summit was held August 8-10, 2018 in Cape Town.

Suing the Airlines for Better Bathroom Access

The 1986 Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination based on disability in air travel. New twin-aisle planes are required to have a wheelchair accessible lavatory. Single-aisle planes have no such requirement. The Paralyzed Veterans of America organization has filed a lawsuit against the United States Department of Transportation.

From the press release: Paralyzed Veterans of America Sues Department of Transportation For Unlawful Delay of Rule Intended to Make Airline Restrooms Accessible for Travelers With Disabilities:

“…on behalf of Paralyzed Veterans of America, Democracy Forward challenged the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for its unjustified and unlawful delay in issuing rules intended to make airplane restrooms accessible for travelers with disabilities.”

Ju 52 Crash in Switzerland

Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari presents his findings on the fatal crash.

Ju 52 at AirVenture Oshkosh 2012. Photo by David Vanderhoof.

Ju 52 at AirVenture Oshkosh 2012. Photo by David Vanderhoof.

Spurwink Farm Pancake Breakfast and Fly-In (Part 1)

Airplane Geeks contributor-at-large Micah brings us two interviews from the event: Shawn Moody and Ed Thompson.

Micah with Shawn Moody, Bunk Chase, and a Carbon Cub.

Micah with Shawn Moody, Bunk Chase, and a Carbon Cub.

Micah and Van's RV-12 on Spurwink Farm.

Micah and Van’s RV-12 on Spurwink Farm.

Mentioned

Aviation Week’s Check 6 podcast (Darpa’s Space Shakeup) with Fred Kennedy, the director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office.

Air Warriors and Mighty Planes on the Smithsonian Channel.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

515 Jon Ostrower’s The Air Current

Aviation journalist Jon Ostrower is now editor-in-chief of The Air Current. Jon shares his views on Farnborough, electric aircraft, the Embraer/Boeing and Bombardier/Airbus linkups, and a Boeing middle market jet. Also, union reaction to single pilot cargo planes, Rolls-Royce financial woes in light of Trent 1000 problems, and a general aviation exhibit coming to the National Air & Space Museum. We also announce the winner of the Pima Air Museum book giveaway.

Guest

Jon Ostrower, editor-in chief, The Air Current.

Jon Ostrower, editor-in-chief, The Air Current.

Jon Ostrower is a longtime professional aviation journalist. He was editor of FlightBlogger for Flightglobal, a staff reporter covering aerospace at The Wall Street Journal, and aviation editor at CNN. Jon has recently embarked on a new project as editor-in-chief of The Air Current, a subscription-based service providing in-depth industry analysis which “connects the dots” of current aviation news stories.

In our conversation, Jon gives his perspectives on this year’s Farnborough Air Show, the Embraer/Boeing and Bombardier/Airbus linkups, and a possible Boeing middle market “B797.” He ties these together with a possible rise in stature of the Chinese aviation industry. Jon also explains how he believes electric aircraft are poised to bring more change to aviation.

As a special offer for Airplane Geeks listeners, Jon is giving a discount on subscriptions to The Air Current. To take advantage of the discount, use the offer code “airplanegeeks” when you subscribe at subscribe.theaircurrent.com.

Aviation News

Airline pilots protest study on allowing cargo planes to have one pilot, remote help

Sec. 744 of H.R.4 – FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 says, “The FAA, in consultation with NASA and other relevant agencies, shall establish a research and development program in support of single-piloted cargo aircraft assisted with remote piloting and computer piloting.” A group of unions representing many commercial airlines doesn’t know who put that in the legislation, or why, and they are not happy.

In Stop Government Funding of Single-Piloted Commercial Aircraft, ALPA urges members to submit a “Call to Action to urge your Senators and Members of Congress to protect aviation safety and airline pilot careers.”

Rolls-Royce flies into loss on Trent engine trouble

This article quantifies some of the financial impacts on Rolls-Royce of their Trent 1000 engine problems. In the first half of 2018, Rolls suffered an after-tax loss of £962 million ($1.26 billion). In the first half of 2017, RR earned a net profit of £1.17 billion. Rolls-Royce took an extra £554-million exceptional charge linked to costs involved in fixing the Trent 1000, and the company estimates the total cost of Trent 1000 repairs between 2018 and 2022 to be upwards of £1.3 billion.

Rolls-Royce Offers Airlines Credits for 787 Groundings

Rolls-Royce Holdings “plans to offer airlines maintenance credits, limiting direct compensation for grounding Boeing Co. 787 planes in a bid to minimize the impact of unexpected wear issues on cash flow…”

Donations Energize NASM’s New GA Exhibit

The Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. is undertaking a seven-year upgrade project that will include a new “We All Fly” exhibit about the many forms of general aviation. To help finance the exhibit, the NASM has accepted a $10 million donation from the Thomas W. Haas Foundation. The exhibit will include an aerobatic biplane flown by Sean D. Tucker and is scheduled to open in 2021.

Pima Air & Space Museum Book Giveaway

Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari announces the winner of our PIMA Air & Space Museum guidebook giveaway. We again want to thank Scott Marchand for his generous gift to our listeners. An album of listener photographs is available at AirplaneGeeks.com/pimabook.

Mentioned

WeatherSpork –  An all-purpose weather planning app for aviators at all experience levels.   

A spork, but not a WeatherSpork.

A spork, but not a WeatherSpork. A KFC spork.

Police: Man tried to steal plane for concert

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

514 Aircraft Crash Sites

Our guest documents aircraft crash sites and helps next of kin find closure. In the news, we look at Boeing’s Aviall unit helping Antonov, a statement by aviation groups concerning GA fees charged by FBO’s, Delta’s test of a new dining experience for some international coach travelers, and an update on fan blade inspections following the fatal uncontained engine failure on Southwest. We also reminisce a bit about our past experiences with model rockets.

Guest

Pat Macha documents aircraft crash sites.

Pat Macha, founder of the Project Remembrance Team.

Pat Macha began documenting aircraft crash sites in the mountains and deserts of California in 1963. Twenty-five years ago Pat founded the all-volunteer Project Remembrance Team that is dedicated to facilitating the requests of next of kin who wish to learn more about the loss of loved ones in aircraft accidents. The Project Remembrance Team has assisted more than one-hundred-fifty next of kin to fulfill their wishes for accident reports, maps, photographs and crash site visitations. More than two dozen memorial markers have been placed at or near aircraft crash sites. All with the permission of the property owners.

All missions are completed with respect and admiration for those who have come forth to honor the memory of those whom they have lost. Losses suffered by first responders and members of armed forces receive an appropriate extra measure of attention.

The Project Remembrance Team includes retired military service members, pilots, rangers, educators, firefighters, law enforcement officers, professional scuba divers, and business people. Pat has authored six books on crash sites in California, and he is a well-received speaker on aviation accident history and aircraft archaeology.

To learn more about aircraft crash sites, visit AircraftWrecks.com.

Calspan Douglas B-26 crash site engine impeller.

Calspan Douglas B-26 crash site engine impeller.

Lockheed P-38 aircraft crash site.

Lockheed P-38 aircraft crash site.

Aviation News

Boeing steps in to help the manufacturer of the world’s biggest plane

At the Farnborough International Airshow, Boeing and Antonov signed a deal where Boeing’s Aviall unit would supply components to Antonov. This will allow Antonov to resume production. Antonov chief Oleksandr Donets said Aviall will support Antonov to build AN-1X8 planes and will have exclusive rights to help service the planes.

Women in Aviation Withdraws Support for Recent AOPA Letter on Airport Access

AOPA reported in Coalition Calls for Action on Airport Access that “16 general aviation groups issued a joint statement calling on the FAA to take action against ‘egregious, hidden fees and denial of affordable access to airport ramps.’” Among the groups signing the statement was Women in Aviation International, but now WAI has rescinded their support. WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian said, “As a pilot myself, I am sympathetic to the financial challenges inherent in flying, but we also recognize that FBOs provide services crucial to our flying as well as extending comforts which enhance general aviation operations.”

Also note: Plans Underway for WAI Girls in Aviation Day 2018. The worldwide outreach scheduled for October 13, 2018. A growing list of Girls in Aviation Day events around the world can be found at https://www.wai.org/events/girls-aviation-day-2018.

Delta Air Lines Just Made a Truly Stunning Announcement About Economy Travel. (But Will Other Airlines Just Copy Them?)

Delta Air Lines testing (majorly) enhanced international economy meals

Delta Air Lines is testing an “enhanced meal and beverage service” for international economy class passengers on flights between Portland, Oregon, and Tokyo. The dinner service includes cocktails and sparkling water, appetizers, choice of three-course dinner, and Haagen-Dazs ice cream for dessert. The meal is served in courses, on white dishes.

World’s Best Economy Class Airlines 2018

Thai Airways tops the list, followed by Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates, ANA All Nippon Airways, and fifteen others.

Southwest: Other carriers finding cracked engine fan blades

Following the April fatal uncontained engine failure of a CFM International engine on a Southwest flight, GE spokesman Rick Kennedy said about 150,000 blades have been inspected. A small number of fan blades with cracks have been found and Southwest CEO Mike Van de Ven said “maybe four or five” cracked fan blades have been found at other carriers.

Airventure 2018

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 Facts and Figures

Airplane Geeks at AirVenture.

AvGeeks at AirVenture.

Max Trescott recording at Oshkosh.

Max Trescott recording at Oshkosh.

Mentioned

B52 Crash Site in Maine, and The Wreck Chaser

United Airlines donates flights to reunite families separated at border

Mary Ellis, RAF Pilot, Dies At 101

Mary Ellis flying onboard a 2 Seat Spitfire and today (02.02.17) is her 100th Birthday

Brian attended the launching of some model rockets as part of the after-school program sponsored by the Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum based in Compton, CA. In addition to successfully launching some rockets built by students Sarah and Jonathan, Brian let them launch two of his 3D printed rockets.  One rocket failed to deploy the parachute, as the 3D printed plastic melted from the engine heat. The other rocket properly deployed the parachute but experienced an internal structural failure that resulted in the rocket coming to earth in two pieces.   Both launches were considered a success as all parts were recovered and the students will learn from the failure analysis and design better rockets in the future.

United CEO Refused to Sit Coach for an Interview About How Shitty Coach Seats Are Today

The UK’s first disabled air display team gets ready for takeoff

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

513 Farnborough Airshow 2018

This episode we take a look at some of the stories to come out of the 2018 Farnborough Airshow including the orders, the Boeing NMA, the Airbus A220, a startup airline, and engines powering new aircraft. In the news, we look at the Ryanair strikes, the top ten airlines, United flight attendants preparing to pitch the airline’s credit card, and the Airbus A321LR and XLR. We also have an interview with the director of the Portland International Jetport, and an important announcement.

Farnborough Airshow

The Farnborough Airshow was 16-22 July 2018. We talked about some of the stories from that week:

CFM to compete for NMA even if required thrust rises

Even if Boeing’s power requirement for the New Mid-market Airplane’s engines goes over 50,000 lb-thrust each, CFM International still plans to participate in the competition. CFMI is the joint venture between GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines (formerly known as Snecma).

Airbus, Boeing gain more than 960 aircraft orders at Farnborough

Airbus and Boeing announcing firm net orders and commitments for more than 960 aircraft, valued at $160 billion at list prices. This compares to sales of 917 aircraft announced at the Paris Air Show in 2017.

Airbus says Pratt & Whitney catching up on engine delays

Airbus has had up to 100 A320neo jets sitting on the ground waiting for engines, mainly from Pratt & Whitney.

United order for 70-seat E175s raises questions

United plans to take the 25 of the E175 SC variant in 2019, replacing Bombardier CRJ700s at a regional operator. The SC variant is configured with 70 seats instead of the US standard of 76 seats. United’s scope clause with its pilots limits it to 255 large regional jets with 70-76 seats, including 102 70-seaters and 153 76-seaters. The United chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) responded, “This aircraft is designed to hold over 80 seats and will be flown to outsourced express carriers in the 70-seat configuration. Revenue plummets and costs skyrocket. Bringing this flying back to mainline United Airlines will lower costs, increase revenue, and allow United to once again control its product.”

A220 gains ETOPS certification

Pratt & Whitney’s PW1500G geared turbofan has been granted extended twin-engined operations (ETOPS) of up to three hours. A total of 38 A220s are in service at Swiss, Air Baltic, and Korean Air. Another 424 are on order, including the 60 ordered by JetBlue Airways earlier this month.

Pratt engines to power planes for startup airline

Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Eric Schulz announced that Pratt & Whitney will supply at least 120 geared turbofan engines to power the 60 Airbus A220-300 aircraft for David Neeleman’s new airline. Airbus signed a memorandum of understanding at the Farnborough International Airshow with a group of “experienced investors” who plan to start the new U.S. airline.

GoFly Personal Air Taxi Competition Racks Up Support

GoFly was launched in September 2017 as a contest to create a personal aircraft that can fly a human 20 miles safely without recharging or refueling and using VTOL or near-VTOL capability. Pratt & Whitney is sponsoring the $100,000 Disruptor Award for the most innovative team in the competition. Over the next two years, teams will compete to win $2,000,000 in prizes. At the Farnborough Airshow, GoFly announced the 10 Winners of the GoFly Challenge: Phase 1.

Video: GoFly Prize: Celebrating the Phase I Winners

The LM-100J Wows a Global Audience at Farnborough Airshow

The Lockheed Martin LM-100J civil cargo plane performed a loop at the Farnborough Airshow.

Other Aviation News

Ryanair says biggest-ever strike to ground 600 flights next week

Labor issues continue at Ryanair with a strike by cabin crew scheduled for two days. Ryanair, published a list of cabin crew benefits on Twitter, while the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) convened a group called Cabin Crew United and released the Ryanair Cabin Crew Charter.

The World’s Best Airlines for 2018

The 2018 Skytrax World Airline Awards are out and Singapore Airlines tops the list, followed by Qatar Airways, ANA All Nippon Airways, Emirates, and EVA Air. U.S. carriers placed deep in the list. This year’s survey saw over twenty million entries.

United Becomes Latest Airline to Deploy Flight Crews to Pitch Credit Cards

Travel news website Skift reports that starting in September, United will join other airlines in pushing their branded credit card to passengers. Flight attendants will receive $100 for every customer they sign up. John Slater, the senior vice president of in-flight services said, “Some of our biggest competitors, including American, actively promote their cards through the Inflight division and have a sizable lead on the number of new customers their flight attendants generate by marketing the card on board. We need to answer this challenge just as we would any other competitive threat.”

For more background, see Study: Intro Bonus Offers for Travel Rewards Cards Nearly Triple in 10 Years by Benét J. Wilson.

An Airbus A321XLR Could Be a Game Changer for JetBlue

JetBlue has the option to convert some of its Airbus A321neo orders to the A320LR with a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles, but they must give Airbus 24 months notice. JetBlue is considering where they can make the greatest margins – on domestic flights with the A321neo or transatlantic flights with the LR neo variant. But a possible A321XLR with a 4,500-mile range may be on the way with a larger center fuel tank and increased maximum take-off weight.

Interview

Our Main(e) Man Micah spoke with Paul Bradbury, airport director at Portland International Jetport about a number of topics that impact the airport and the community.

See Federal grant will fund improvements to help jetport handle more passengers.

PWM Airport Director Paul Bradbury & Main(e) man Micah.

PWM Airport Director Paul Bradbury & Main(e) man Micah.

Mentioned

Brian Coleman attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Compton Airport for a new DC-3 food truck:

DC3 food truck

 

 

 

 

 

The Columbia from the Undone podcast, by Gimlet from January 23, 2017.

Craftplicator

The Wings Over New Zealand Show.

National Advanced Fire & Resource Institute (NAFRI).

Tankers Is a Job for a “True Airman” from Flying Magazine. For more aerial firefighting videos, see the Neptune Aviation Services Inc. YouTube channel.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

512 Aerial Firefighting

The COO of an aerial firefighting company tells us about the aircraft, the pilots, and flying the missions. In the news: early Farnborough orders, the rebranded CSeries (now the Airbus A220), a Rolls Royce Hybrid VTOL concept, and an engine OEM says, “not so fast.” Also, Pieter Johnson’s aviation weekend (rather amazing), listener Nicki takes Brian on a flight, Hangar Hotel, and information about AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 gatherings of aviation podcasters and listeners.

Aerial firefighting with the BAE 146-200 jet. Courtesy Neptune Aviation Services.

Aerial firefighting with the BAE 146-200 jet. Courtesy Neptune Aviation Services.

Guest

Dan Snyder is the chief operating officer of Neptune Aviation Services, an aerial firefighting company and the primary provider of large airtanker services to the United States Forest Service for more than 25 years.

Dan tells us about Neptune Aviation’s transition from the Lockheed P-2V Neptune to the BAE 146-200 jet for aerial firefighting. In making its selection to replace the aging aircraft, the company considered factors such as jet spool-up time and how to slow the aircraft. Another significant issue was the culture change going from radial to turbofan.

We look at how the fire retardant tanking system was designed and the approvals required. Dan describes the life of an air tanker pilot and what Neptune looks for in a pilot. We touch on safety issues, Forest Service contract models, and aerial firefighting safety – now and in the past.

Aerial Firefighting. Courtesy Neptune Aviation Services.

Aerial Firefighting. Photo courtesy Neptune Aviation Services.

Dan has been involved in both flight and maintenance related aviation for over 24 years. At Neptune Aviation Services, he manages all of Neptune’s day-to-day operations, including aerial firefighting operations. Prior to his current position, Dan spent time in Alaska flying and maintaining aircraft. He served as Director of Maintenance for several repair stations and operators and flew for various corporate operators. Dan also has experience as a Part 142 ground and simulator instructor, a part 135 check airman, and an FAA examiner in several corporate jet types. Dan continues to fly and flight instruct from time to time. He holds FAA ATP, CFI, CFII, A&P, and IA certificates.

In Alaska, Dan flew a de Havilland Buffalo. This video features the Buffalo, but that’s not Dan flying (we don’t think): CC-115 de Havilland DHC-5 Buffalo STOL Takeoff.

Aviation News

Airbus Takes The Lead At Farnborough With 186 Order Commitments, Advantage In Asia

The Farnborough International Airshow kicked off this week, launching the annual “contest” for orders. The forecasts point to the most aviation growth in the Asia-Pacific region. Airbus placed orders for 186 planes compared to 175 for Boeing. The A320neo picked up 159 orders and options and the 737 MAX received 145. Additionally, Airbus had orders for 27 A350 aircraft while Boeing reported that United Airlines had previously put in an undisclosed order for four 787-9 planes.

Airbus wins JetBlue order for its newly rebranded A220

The same day that Airbus unveiled the A220 name for the jet formerly known as the Bombardier CSeries, JetBlue announced it would buy 60 of the A220-300 jets. These are to replace JetBlue’s 60 Embraer E190 aircraft and are powered by Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan (GTF) PW1500G engines. These A220s will be assembled at Airbus’ Mobile, Alabama, facility.

Rolls Royce Reveals Hybrid VTOL

At Farnborough, Rolls-Royce showed a hybrid VTOL concept that could carry four or five passengers at speeds up to 217 knots with a range of up to 435 nm. The design should be flying by the “early 2020s.” The concept vehicle uses a gas-turbine to generate the electricity that powers six electric propulsors. A battery provides energy storage.

Engine Maker to Boeing-Airbus: Not So Fast on 737, A320 Ramp

CFM International has signaled Boeing and Airbus to be careful about increasing their production rates. With record backlogs of B737 and A320 family aircraft, the airframers are motivated to increase the rates but CFMI wants to catch up before committing to a higher production rate.

Across the Pond

Pieter Johnson tells us about his aviation experiences over a weekend – one memorable, one hopefully not to be repeated.

Recorded Segments

Brian Coleman goes flying with listener Nicki.

Brian Coleman and Nicki.

Brian Coleman and Nicki.

Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari talks with Kelly Criddle, senior marketing manager for Hangar Hotel. Mentioned is Fredericksburg Brewing Co.

Photo courtesy Hangar Hotel

Photo courtesy Hangar Hotel

Mike Harris from the Why We Fly podcast provided a run-down of some podcast / social media events happening at Oshkosh this year.

Nick Herring provides some very nice feedback and introduces us to V1: The Podcast.

Mentioned

Aircraft in Pretoria crash was a 1954 Convair 340, recently acquired by a Dutch museum

Two Qantas pilots in South African Convair 340 plane crash

Wonderboom plane crash: It was a ‘thank you’ flight

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.