AirplaneGeeks 378 NBAA 2015 Debrief

Aerion AS2 In-Flight

Aerion AS2 In-Flight, Courtesy Aerion Corporation

The 2015 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition, a supersonic business jet, and new turboprop engines. Also, AC-130 Ghostrider, used Boeing 777 prices, the TSA, and ATC operating systems, AusDesk and Across the Pond segments, and lots of listener feedback.


Flexjet Order For 20 Supersonic Jets Boosts Aerion

Membership and charter services company Flexjet has placed a firm order for 20 Aerion AS2 supersonic jets, valued at $2.4 billion. Flexjet plans to use the jets for overseas flights and flights to China. The Aerion AS2 business jet is to have a top speed of Mach 1.5, carry eight to twelve passengers, with a range of 4,750 nautical miles at supersonic speed. See also the Flexjet press release: Flexjet to Purchase 20 Aerion Supersonic Business Jets.

Airbus Seeking Manufacturing Site for Supersonic Jet

Airbus Group is collaborating with Aerion on the three-engine jet. First flight is expected in 2021, with entry into service in 2023. Reportedly, Airbus and Aerion are looking for a US manufacturing site.

GE Aviation launches new turboprop engine

Textron Aviation and GE announced that Textron Aviation will power its single engine turboprop (SETP) with an all-new 1,300 shaft horsepower turboprop engine from GE Aviation. Textron’s SETP is expected to have a range of more than 1,500 nautical miles and speeds higher than 280 knots. GE expects to conduct the detailed design review (DDR) for the new turboprop in 2017, with the first full engine test in 2018.

GE Aviation’s Advanced Turboprop Engine

P&WC Launches Most Powerful PT6 Turboprop

Pratt & Whitney Canada announced a Dash A version of the 867-shp PT6-140 turboprop engine used in the Cessna Caravan. It features 15% more power and 5% better specific fuel consumption than comparable engines in its class.

Textron Aviation Unveils Hemisphere Jet

The Cessna Citation Hemisphere will feature a 102-inch diameter cabin, a range as far as 4,500 nm, with a maximum cruise speed of at least Mach 0.9. First flight of the $35 million jet is expected in 2019.

NBAA Charity Event Raises $505,000 to Support Life-Saving Flights for Corporate Angel Network

The annual NBAA/CAN Soiree charity benefit raised funds to help support CAN’s life-saving flights for cancer patients.

NBAA’s Single-Pilot Team Creates Loss-of-Control Safety Video

With loss of control in flight (LOCI) accidents resulting in more fatalities in business and commercial operations than any other category of accident over the last decade, reducing LOCI is a priority of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and aviation professional organizations across the globe. The NBAA Safety Committee Single Pilot Safety Working Group produced this video and story of “John,” a single owner-pilot who finds himself in a loss of control situation. The 10-minute video stars Airplane Geeks co-host Rob Mark.

Best and Worst Airlines: Find Out Which Carrier to Fly

Consumer reports conducted a survey of more than 20,000 passengers who took a domestic nonstop flight. The fliers rated the airline on comfort, carry-on space, ease of check-in, in-flight entertainment, and fees.

Brand New AC-130 Ghostrider A Total Loss After Going Inverted While Out Of Control

An Air Force Special Operations Command AC-130J Ghostrider Gunship was flown inverted at 15,000 feet in a test flight, but exceeded its operating g limits and design load and will have to be scrapped.

Why A Boeing 777 Only Costs $10 Million

A new 777-200ER has a list price of $277 million. If you assume a 30% discount, $194 million is a likely purchase price. Delta says it was offered used 777’s from Boeing for $10 million, a lot less than the book value and professional appraisal cited by others.

City,TSA spar over screening services

The Transportation Security Administration will not be providing screening services at the Greater Lake Klamath Regional Airport in Oregon. The TSA says the airport passenger load is too variable and infrequent to warrant the expense. The alternative system would have passengers from Klamath Falls screened at destination Portland.

Flight chaos as airport admits its air traffic control PCs still run Windows 3.1

Orly airport in France has been experiencing groundings and flight delays due to the air traffic control system breaking down. The French air traffic controller union said the problem was that the air-traffic software runs on Windows 3.1.

Man busted for shining laser pointer at aircraft

A 40 year-old man was arrested in California after shining a green laser at a Southwest Airlines plane preparing to land at Sacramento airport. A California Highway Patrol plane sent to find him was hit by the same laser, which made it easy to track down his location.

Aircraft carrier crew creates Star Wars spoof

The crew of the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower won the internet Friday with a mock trailer Sea Wars: The Force Awakens.

The Airplane of the Week

Thanksgiving Turkeys and Fullbacks, from David.

The Australia News Desk

Big news this week as the RAAF lands one of their C17s on the Wilkins ice runway.

Our Prime Minister needs a bigger executive jet to take his entourage with him on longer summit missions.

Mining magnate Clive Palmer is trying to offload his lovely Citation X as well as his MD80s that have been sitting around for awhile.

TigerAir’s first 737 has been seen in the wild.

On the Mark

Rob’s Aviation Minute has evolved into On The Mark, a video report on The inaugural episode Who Was Really in Command of Malaysian Flight 17? covers the ins and outs of regulation 91.3 which gives pilots complete control over aircraft en route. But what happens when regulation 91.3 runs up against route efficiency and corporate profits? And how do Malaysian flight 17 and Metrojet flight 9268 fit into the discussion?

Across the Pond

Photo Copyright XTPMedia

Photo Copyright XTPMedia

With support being shown for France last week, Pieter brings us some French news along with the sounds of the French Navy Display Team made up of two Super Etendards and a Dassault Rafale-M.

Photo Copyright XTPMedia

Photo Copyright XTPMedia


Jetblue Teams Up With Rob Gronkowski for Most Bro-tastic Airline Commercial Ever

Sukhoi Superjet 100 Orders, deliveries and operators

DCS: NEVADA Test and Training Range Map – Teaser and M-2000C for DCS WORLD Teaser flight sim videos.

PilotEdge professional air traffic control for flight simulators.

Emirates: #HelloJetman

Armed with unguarded ambition and the vision to push boundaries beyond the unthinkable, Jetman Dubai and Emirates A380 take to the skies of Dubai for an exceptional formation flight.

Is China a real threat to Boeing and Airbus?

The Last Adventure in AviationA 28 minute audio program about from BBC Radio about the world of ferry pilots in Britain.

Andover Flight Academy

“I Sit Around” – Airline Pilot Parody

Lionheart over Tennessee:

Lionheart over Tennessee

Courtesy Chris Davis, EAA 190, Moontown, 3M5


Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at


AirplaneGeeks 377 Flight Simulation on the PC

Airbus A319 Czech Airlines OK-MEK

An enthusiast talks about PC flight simulation, Dubai Air Show 2015 debrief, flight training with the Cirrus Aircraft SR22 at Emirates, antitrust lawsuit blocks United’s plan to purchase slots, and bag fees increase at low cost carriers.


Guest Nicolas Jackson talks about PC-based flight simulators. We learn that you can create the flight simulation experience you want – from flying a GA airplane in the pattern around your local airfield, to a transcontinental commercial flight.

We talk about alternatives to Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX), such as Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D® simulation software and X-Plane from Laminar Research. Nicolas recommends the Steam edition of FSX distributed by Dovetail Games for new simmers. He also tells us about, an international online flying network, and broadcasting on, a live streaming video platform and community for gamers.

Nicolas Jackson

Nicolas Jackson

Nicolas Jackson fell in love with aviation at the age of 10 when he got his first ride in a GA aircraft. Five minutes at the stick and he was hooked. Soon after that first flight, he bought Sierra Pro Pilot 99. He later switched to Microsoft Flight Simulator starting with FS98 and running all the way to FSX. He started flying on the international online flying network VATSIM with complex airliner add-ons in 2006, and hasn’t looked back since. Nicolas currently flies a variety of FSX aircraft and co-hosts the Unicom Podcast as part of The IFlySimX Team.   


Resources for flight simulation:


Boeing, Mostly Booked Until 2020, Comes Up Empty at Dubai Air Show

The Airbus A350 and A320 family, as well as the Boeing 787 and 737, are sold out to 2020 and beyond. Airlines and leasing companies have no incentive to purchase more airplanes.

OPINION: Dubai air show sees lack of commercial sales from Middle East

Bombardier unveils launch customer for CS300 airliner

airBaltic becomes the launch customer for the CSeries CS300 airliner when it takes delivery in the latter part of 2016. The Latvian flag carrier has orders for 13 firm and 7 options for the 160 passenger CS300.

Bombardier said it has 603 orders and commitments for the CS300 and CS100, 243 of which are firm orders. Also, Bombardier said it was nearing completion of the CS100 flight test program and was “on track” for certification of the airplane by Transport Canada this year. CSeries flight test vehicles took more than 1,000 flights during testing.

DUBAI: SuperJet confirms March delivery and winglets for CityJet

CityJet plans to take delivery of the 98-seat Sukhoi Superjet 100 in March 2016. The Irish regional airline is negotiating for 15 Superjets with 10 options.

DUBAI: Embraer details plan for E2 test fleet

Embraer plans to build six test aircraft as part of the E2 E-Jet re-engining program: four of the E190-E2 variant and two of the E195-E2. Both E195-E2s and three of the E190-E2s would be ready by end of 2016, with the fourth following in 2017. The Pratt & Whitney PW1900G will power the planes, and Dutch lessor AerCap will be the launch customer for the 97-seat E190-E2.

DUBAI: USAF secretary to redouble efforts on sluggish FMS process

US Air Force secretary Deborah Lee James says industry and regional partners voiced complaints that the approval process for US foreign military sales is slow.

Military spend outshines orders at Dubai Airshow

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force bought two Saab Global 6000 long-range surveillance aircraft, and will upgrade two existing Saab 340 jets. Lebanon will purchase six Embraer Super Tucano aircraft for basic missions and training. Boeing says five customers are interested in its Maritime Surveillance Aircraft, a long-range spying plane. Lockheed Martin was awarded a $262.8 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to service Saudi Arabia’s F-15 sniper targeting system.

Emirates Airline Selects Cirrus Aircraft SR22 for Flight Training Academy Fleet

Emirates Flight Training Academy is going to use a fleet of twenty-two Cirrus SR22 aircraft for its flight training program.

U.S. Tries to Block United’s Acquiring More Slots at Newark

United Continental Holdings Inc. wants to buy 24 slots at Newark Liberty International Airport, from Delta Air Lines Inc. The U.S. Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit to block the sale.

Justice Department antitrust chief Bill Baer says, “Allowing United to acquire even more slots at Newark would fortify United’s monopoly position and weaken the ability of other airlines to compete. That would leave the 35 million air passengers who fly in and out of Newark every year holding the bag.”

Frontier, Spirit Airlines raise bag fees for holidays

Last year, ultra low cost carrier Spirit Airlines began increased bag fees for the holidays, and they are doing the same this year. Frontier Airlines is also increasing their bag fees, but not just for the holidays. Frontier says they’ll charge a higher fee during the college spring break season, and during the summer travel season, from June 9 through Aug. 16.

Senator blasts airlines for holiday bag-fee boost; Frontier chief strikes back

Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, the ranking Democrat on the Senate’s transportation committee sent letters to major airline CEOs asking them not to raise bag fees. Nelson wrote, “These increased surcharges fly in the face of declining fuel costs and appear focused on increasing profitability on the backs of American families,”

Airplane of the Week

Dassault Rafale

Dassault Rafale

This week David looks at the tip of the spear for the Armee de L’Air, the Dassault Rafale.

Across the Pond


Pieter welcomes back Diego López-Salazar from Aeropodcast to talk about his recent visit to Airbus and their Innovation Day presentations. They talk about some of the non-flying innovations Airbus is creating that may well find uses in other industries, such as Airbus Glasses, waste compactors, and paper cable ties. Pieter and Diego also get a short discussion in on the latest British Airways news, that IAG owned Vueling boss Alex Cruz is to become Chairman and Chief Executive of British Airways.

Follow the Spanish-language Aeropodcast on Twitter and Facebook.


Terrafugia founder Carl Dietrich appears in the movie Back in Time,” a documentary tribute to the Back to the Future movie series. The film is available on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes, with tour dates running through November 24th. (The Terrafugia segment starts at 1:13:30 if you want to skip straight to it.)

Connie’s 60th Birthday Start Up

25 Things You Didn’t Know About Air Force One

New Routes Mean More Noise for Some Homes Near Airports


Post photo Airbus A319 Czech Airlines OK-MEK courtesy aerosoft.

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at

AirplaneGeeks 376 Van’s Aircraft Founder and CEO Dick VanGrunsven

Vans RV-14

Van’s Aircraft kitplanes, Boeing doesn’t plan to change the Dreamliner for Emirates, NASA is looking for astronauts, the first customer-built SubSonex jet flies, the Pilatus PC-12 business jet also has its first flight, and livestock pass gas.


Photo of Van and RV-10 by Jim Koepnick.

Dick VanGrunsven

Dick (“Van”) VanGrunsven is founder and CEO of kitplane maker Van’s Aircraft. Van has been flying since 1956 and has logged more than 15,000+ hours (the majority of it in airplanes of his own design) and holds CFI, multi-engine, and ATP ratings.

We talk with Van about the kitplane business in general and the Van’s Aircraft planes in particular. Van tells us what it is about the character of the planes that makes them so popular with kit builders and with the pilots who fly them. We also touch on personal jets, the decrease in numbers of amateur built planes, and how the availability of used experimental planes contributes to shrinking sales of new kits. Van also talks about getting good flight instruction in experimental aircraft.

Throughout high school and college Van flew a Cub and a Taylorcraft from the 670 foot grass strip on his parent’s farm. After finishing engineering school and a stint in the Air Force, he purchased a homebuilt 65 hp Stits Playboy, which he rebuilt with a 125 hp Lycoming engine, bubble canopy, Hoerner style wingtips, and an all new set of cantilever aluminum wings to replace the strut-braced wood and fabric originals. Renamed the RV-1, the Playboy flew like a new airplane.

Van flew the RV-1 from 1965 through 1968 but he felt something better was possible. He wanted an airplane that was able to fly in and out of any reasonable airstrip, with enough power and maneuverability to do good basic aerobatics, and cruise as fast as possible. He reluctantly sold the RV-1 and began design and construction of a completely original airplane.

The single-seat RV-3 flew for the first time in August 1971. Van quit his job at a forklift manufacturer and began supplying basic kits for the RV-3.

Over the next forty years, Van’s Aircraft became the acknowledged leader in the kit aircraft world.  New aircraft, from the RV-4 through the Light Sport RV-12 and now the “widebody” RV-14,  have been introduced and each has proven successful in the marketplace. For most of that time, Van was chief engineer, head designer, and CEO of the company.

For homebuilt resources, see the Van’s Aircraft homepage and Facebook page, the independent Van’s Air Force site, and the EAA homepage.

Guest Co-Host

Mark Newton in his RV-6

Mark Newton in his RV-6

Mark Newton is an Australian private pilot who started learning to fly in 1999, after a weather diversion as a passenger in a Grumman Traveller light aircraft wound-up as an unexpected overnight stay at a gliding field. Over the years Mark has flown 24 types of gliders, and he holds a glider instructor rating.

Gliders in Australia don’t require pilot licenses, so Mark didn’t start training for his PPL until 2008. He bought a well-built RV-6 in 2011, and enjoys using it for traveling to distant parts of the country, aerobatics, the odd “$100 hamburger,” and installing “RV-grins” on new aviators as part of their first taste of flight, including several who have gone on to gain pilot licenses of their own.


Boeing says will not make changes to Dreamliner stretch for Emirates

Emirates has said they will decide in 2016 if they will order almost 100 planes, either the Boeing 787-10 or the Airbus for A350-900. Emirates needs long-range planes that can operate in hot climates. Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president of marketing Randy Tinseth says, “The plan is not to change the aircraft, we really like what we have.”

Wanted: Astronauts. Got the right stuff?

NASA announced that by summer 2017 they will begin recruiting a new astronaut class of 8 to 14 people. This is an item that Yong-Lim Foo should pay attention to, our listener from Singapore. There are some basic requirements: You have to be between 62 and 75 inches tall and have a military, science, or technical background. You could end up on the International Space Station, traveling to the moon, or maybe even going to Mars. For more information, see

First Customer-Built SubSonex Personal Jet Flies

Redge Greenberg, of Durango, Colorado, received the first SubSonex kit (S/N JSX0003) in February and is now the first customer to build and fly the SubSonex Personal Jet. The SubSonex is sold as a Quick Build Kit only. Greenberg has 4,500-plus hours in numerous aircraft and says, “…I never got the chance to fly a jet. I first saw the prototype of the SubSonex at Oshkosh, and followed the development for over a year. When Sonex offered the jet as a kit, I was first in line. Like my RV8, the SubSonex is aerobatic, but the Sonex company also included a ballistic parachute for extra safety.”

Swiss-built business jet to compete against Cessna Citations

Pilatus Aircraft is entering the business jet market with its six-passenger PC-24, which had its first flight in May. Deliveries are expected to begin in 2017, the second half of that year for U.S. deliveries. This will compete with the Cessna Citation business jets.

No Evidence Farting Livestock Caused Emergency Landing, Airline Says

The Aviation Herald reported that a Singapore Airlines plane with 2,186 sheep onboard diverted to Bali after “exhaust gasses and manure produced by the sheep” caused the smoke detector to go off. The airline says there is no evidence the livestock were responsible.

The Australia News Desk

Across the Pond

Pieter visits the Science Museum in London to show what visitors can see from an aviation perspective in the center of London. He gives a quick review of the aviation, aerospace and space exhibits on display and talks about other potential aviation sites to visit in the capital and elsewhere in the UK. The Science Museum is free and has a couple of hours worth of aviation exhibits if you want to slowly browse. If you want to speed around you can do them in less than an hour. However, the reset of the Museum will attract some attention as well and worthy of a whole day if you can spare it. Pieter also suggests making contact with him, if you are visiting and he (and his network) will help point you in the direction of aviation sites to visit in both London as well as the rest of the UK.


Barrage balloon cuts power to Seattle and causes air raid scare on January 12, 1942

Benfica safety video with Emirates:

Do you know what this clock is? Can you explain the markings? Leave any information in the comments.


Flying 101 paint job:

flying 101 paint job

Garmin AOA indicator calibration, via listener Craig:


Photos by Neil from San Francisco Fleet Week:

nrphotography L-27

nrphotography L-29-2

nrphotography L-27-2


Photo of RV-14 copyright Van jones photos.

Photo of Van and RV-10 by Jim Koepnick.

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at


AirplaneGeeks 375 Sled Driver Brian Shul

SR-71 Courtesy Lockheed Martin

SR-71 Courtesy Lockheed Martin

Conversation with an SR-71 spy plane pilot, Northrop Grumman wins Long Range Strike Bomber contract, an aerostat breaks loose, Quebec steps in to shore up Bombardier, team forms to produce a “declaration on cyber security” for aviation, and China shows the first COMAC C919 airliner.


Brian Shul

Brian Shul

Brian Shul served as an Air Force fighter pilot from 1970-1990. Flying close air support during the Viet Nam Conflict, he was shot down near the Cambodian border. Unable to eject, he rode the plane into the jungle and was seriously burned during the ensuing fireball. Lucky to be alive, he spent a year in the hospital and was told his flying days were over.

Miraculously, after many surgeries and months of physical therapy, Brian returned to active flying duty.  He went on to fly the A-7D, he was in the first A-10 squadron, he taught at the Air Force’s TopGun school in the F-5B, and his flying career culminated by flying the SR-71 spy plane.  

Retiring from the Air Force in 1990, Brian SR-71 enginespursued his writing and photography by starting his own business with Gallery One. He was the first man to write a book about flying the SR-71, all illustrated with his own photography.  He did a second book, both of which are now the most popular SR-71 books worldwide.   Additionally, Brian is the only man in America to fly extensively with both the Air Force Thunderbirds and the Navy Blue Angels writing books about both of those teams.

Learn more about Brian and his books at Find his impressive photography at Gallery One Images.


Northrop Grumman wins Long Range Strike Bomber contract

The Pentagon awarded Northrop Grumman the contract to build the Long Range Strike Bomber  (LRS-B), over the proposals from Boeing and Lockheed Martin. The 80-100 plane fleet is scheduled to enter service in the 2020’s after more than $20 billion in development expenditures. According to Defense News, the component manufacturers have been competitively selected but not announced.

Northrop Grumman launched the Americas New Bomber website and is asking American citizens to sign a letter partitioning elected officials to support the new bomber.

How the Army’s $3 billion spy blimp went from boondoggle to laughingstock

The Joint Land Attack Cruise Missile Defense Elevated Netted Sensor System, (JLENS) is a pair of tethered balloons meant to detect threats to the U.S. such as missiles and manned or unmanned aircraft. According to Raytheon, JLENS “is a system of two aerostats, or tethered airships, that float 10,000 feet in the air. The helium filled aerostats, each nearly as long as a football field, carry powerful radars that can protect a territory roughly the size of Texas from airborne threats.”

Each of the airships is called an “orbit” and the one at Aberdeen Proving Ground north of Baltimore, Maryland broke loose. It was escorted by F-16’s until it came down in Pennsylvania. The 6,700 foot tether was reported to take out power lines causing outages for more than a few people.

Canadian Government Throws Bombardier a Lifeline

After CSeries and Learjet 85 program writedowns, Bombardier posted a $4.9 billion loss in the third quarter. The Learjet 85 program was canceled and the Quebec government will take a 49 percent stake in the CSeries program. Bombardier is a  major Quebec employer.

Airlines step up efforts to tackle cyber security risks

IATA’s 24th AVSEC World Conference was held October 26 – 28, 2015 in Dublin and addressed many cyber security risks. A team has been formed to produce a “declaration on cyber security” that would go to the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in September, 2016. ICAO member states could sign the declaration if they wish, but this doesn’t create mandatory standards.

Countries warned of dangers flying over Sinai

The United States, Germany and Britain all had overflight warnings in place for Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula,  where a Russian passenger plane went down killing all 224 people on board.

China Unveils First Major Homegrown Passenger Jet, Seen As Potential Competitor For Boeing And Airbus

COMAC (the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China) rolled out the first C919 airliner which will now undergo ground tests before making its maiden flight in 2016. It is expected to enter service in 2018 or 2019. COMAC said it has orders for 517 of the aircraft.

The Australia News Desk

OzRunways fundraiser

OzRunways fundraiser

Steve’s had a good time at the OzRunways fundraiser for Angel Flight with Matt Hall but now it’s back to work and producing the OzDesk.

CASA says it’ll listen to industry:

KC30A refuels E7A over the Middle East:

Tracey Curtis-Taylor is on her way to Sydney, Australia in a Boeing Stearman:

Across the Pond

Harrier Boys coverPieter reflects back on the iconic Harrier by reviewing the latest book on the subject. Published a few months ago by Grub Street Books, it is a collection of personal stories from RAF and Royal Navy pilots and crewmen. Robert Marston, a Harrier pilot himself, draws together accounts from those who worked with this aircraft. The excitement, camaraderie, and pride shine through in the personal stories of those whose lives were changed by their experience of this iconic aircraft.


Live from the Reno Air Races with SkyChick and Team DarkstarWith Vicky Benzing and L139 owner Dianna Stanger.

Quirky car designer converts light plane into a road-legal vehicle – which he drives his son to school inYou’ve got to love this fun, street-legal, vehicle built using the fuselage of a Cirrus SR22.

Favorite Airplane Paint Jobs

Listeners answered the call to suggest their favorite airline liveries…

From A.V., the Nokair 737’s:


From Jeffrey, the Short SC.7 Skyvan:

Peter De Jong

Peter De Jong

Alan Lebeda

Alan Lebeda

From Ian:

Westjet Mickey by Ian

Westjet Mickey by Ian


Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at


AirplaneGeeks 374 Air Show Performer and Air Racer Vicky Benzing


Vicky Benzing

We talk with Vicky Benzing, a pilot, skydiver, aerobatic performer, and air racer. In the news, we have earnings reports for Boeing and some of the airlines, an air show parachutist lands in the crowd, an angle-of-attack indicator video for GA aircraft, the effect of Syrian sand on Russian jets, and Boeing fears the loss of the ExIm Bank.


Vicky Benzing is an accomplished pilot, skydiver, aerobatic performer, and air racer.  She has more than 7000 hours of flight time and over 1200 parachute jumps in a flying career spanning over thirty years. Vicky currently holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating as well as a commercial rating in helicopters and seaplanes.

Vicky BenzingWe talk with Vicky about aerobatic performances at air shows, including training and preparation, the “chicken dance,” the maneuvers Vicky likes, and which ones the audience likes. Also, the difference between flying the Stearman and flying high performance jets, how competing in the Reno Air Races compares to flying aerobatics at air shows, and what the crowd interaction means to a performer like Vicky. Along the way, Vicky tells us about skydiving and that the United States Parachute Association is a good resource for finding jump zones and advice.

In 2005, Vicky began training with air show legend Wayne Handley. She entered in aerobatic competitions throughout the US, and won first place in the Intermediate category in both the Northwest and Southwest Regional Championships in 2006. Two years later, she placed in the top 10 finishers at the US National Aerobatic Championships in the Advanced category.  

Vicky Benzing performing

Vicky Benzing performing

In between flying aerobatic competitions, Vicky began performing in air shows and today she focuses her energies on her airshow flying.  Vicky holds a surface level waiver and a formation card, and has flown well over 100 air show performances at venues across the US, including performing at the airshow during EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh.

In 2010, Vicky began racing in the National Championship Air Races.  She was chosen “Rookie of the Year” twice by her fellow Sport and Jet Class racers, and made history in Reno this year as the “fastest woman” racer ever in the history of the Reno Air Races, flying Dianna Stanger’s one-of-a-kind L-139 jet on the race course at 469.831 mph. See Live from the Reno Air Races with SkyChick and Team Darkstar for a video interview with Vicky and Dianna.

L-139 at Reno Air Races

L-139 Courtesy Dark Star Racing

In addition to her aviation pursuits, Vicky holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry from UC Berkeley and has enjoyed a successful career in the Silicon Valley high tech industry.  Vicky is currently Vice President of the Sport Class Air Racing Association and is on the Board of Directors of the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, CA.

Vicky is sponsored by APECS Aerospace Corporation, an engineering consulting firm that specializes in providing support to aviation maintenance repair organizations.  Other sponsors are Oregon Aero, maker of seating systems and helmet and headset upgrades and ASL Camguard, creator of advanced engine oil supplements to reduce engine wear.


Faster production of jets pushes up Boeing’s profits

Boeing Co. third quarter earnings were up 25 percent to $1.7 billion, and the company raised its earnings outlook for the year. In the quarter, Boeing delivered 199 commercial jets versus 186 jets a year ago.

Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson said many wide-body jets coming off lease in the near future, will be available relatively cheaply, and will compete with new more fuel efficient jets.

American Airlines posts record profit but worries more about low-cost competitors like Spirit

Lower fuel spend helped jump net income 80 percent to $1.69 billion. Because 87 percent of American Airlines fliers fly only once a year and buy tickets based on price, next year American will offer cheap tickets with “less frills” on certain nonstop routes where it competes with discount carriers.

Alaska Air reports record profits from its busiest summer ever

The airline reported record quarterly profit of $274 million, and the busiest summer in the airline’s 83-year history.

Southwest Airlines reaps record $584M quarterly profit

With record net income of $584 million on revenue of $5.32 billion for the quarter, Southwest beat the same quarter last year which had net income of $324 million on revenue of $4.8 billion. The company put $228 million into its profit-sharing program.

Cheap fuel helped Delta set record profits

Delta’s operating margin grew to 21 percent and earnings per share were up 45 percent. Delta saved $1.1 billion in fuel costs year-over-year last quarter.

Allegiant Air profits leap 213 percent in 3rd quarter

Lower energy costs contributed to good financial performance and profitable growth of the network.

United, in turmoil, reports drop in revenue

United Continental saw lower sales for the quarter and missed its profit forecast.

Parachutist crashes into tent at Wings Over Houston Air Show

At the Wings Over Houston Airshow, a parachutist from a vintage Lockheed C-60 and using a WWII-era parachute landed in the crowd and took down a small tent. He suffered a broken limb. No spectators were injured.

FAA Video Provides Primer On AOA Displays

For those looking for an introduction to angle-of-attack indicators in GA aircraft, the FAA has a new video to get started. The 19-minute video includes an introduction to angle-of-attack indicators, their use and general advice on installation in airplanes – plus references to FAA documents for further research. It also has demonstrations of three AOA indicators in the market – Alpha Systems, Bendix King, and Safe Flight. The devices have gained increased attention in the last year as the FAA’s safety arm focused on studying loss-of-control accidents, which can be mitigated with AOA indicators, the agency said.

Harsh conditions are foiling Russian jets in Syria

Russia is finding it difficult to keep its military aircraft in the air in Syria. A significant percentage of its attack planes and transport aircraft are grounded.

​Boeing CEO: Losing Export-Import Bank “means loss of jobs”

Boeing is concerned that Congress will not reauthorize the ExIm Bank, which acts as the official export credit agency of the United States federal government.

The Australia News Desk

Airline boss promises ‘a tiger can change its stripes’

The boys are back and the comedy flows as they report on Tiger Airways apparently improving their customer experience and even getting a new call center. Steve is less than enthused!

Qantas to unveil Retro Roo II in November

He is, however, rather excited about the next Retro Roo colour scheme from Qantas. As we record an existing 737-800 is in the paintshop at Townsville getting one of the old Qantas paint schemes applied. We’re hoping for the V-Jet look.

Virgin to sell entire Fokker 50 fleet

Meanwhile, Grant gets to run his Big Motor Fokker vs Little Motor Fokker joke as Virgin are selling off all their Fokker 50s.

An Evening with Matt Hall

Finally, Steve’s going to be Em-Cee for the Angel Flight charity dinner at Bankstown in Sydney on Saturday, October 31, 2015. Get on down and support the cause if you’re in the area!

OzRunways with Matt Hall


AOPA Live This Week for October 22, 2015 has a really good special report from the Red Bull Air Races in Las Vegas. Matt Hall from Australia (and frequently heard on Plane Crazy Down Under) won the race. Second place finisher Paul Bonhomme from Great Britain won the championship.

These are the 15 coolest airline paint jobs in the skies What airline do you think has the coolest livery?

Reclining seat to blame? Southwest flight returns to LAX after ‘altercation’

Crammed-in jet passengers get uptight when the seat’s not upright

Inside the RAF – Britain’s Ultimate Pilots Episode 1 2015


Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at


AirplaneGeeks 373 Airplane Repossession

Airplane Repo

Airplane repossessions, European investigations of possible anticompetitive practices in commercial aviation, United Continental Holdings new CEO in the hospital, the launch customer for the ultra-long-range Airbus A350, the final US Airways flight, and airline growth into Latin America and the Caribbean.


Ken Cage is owner and president of International Recovery & Remarketing Group (IRG).  IRG specializes in services such as investigation, recovery, and remarketing of specialty assets, including aircraft and yachts. Their repossession agents are licensed, bonded, and insured by the State of Florida. Ken joined IRG in 2005, and has been involved in thousands of repossessions and investigations in all 50 states, as well as several foreign countries.

Ken describes the process that initiates an aircraft repossession, how the owner is located, the preparation work required, actually taking the airplane, and how it is sold to recover the note-holder’s investment.

We ask Ken where he finds the pilots to fly the planes away, what their role is, and how they contribute to a safe repo. Ken also describes how the Airplane Repo TV series came about, and how closely it matches the reality of Ken’s professional experiences.

Ken is a licensed repossession agent, private investigator, and yacht broker with over 20 years experience in the banking and collections industry. Ken has experience in skip tracing and investigation in the finance sector.

Ken has been a member of many organizations related to the investigation field including American Society of Industrial Security, the International Society of Healthcare Safety and Security, the National Association of Chiefs of Police, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA), National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA), and International Association of Marine Investigators (IAMI).

Follow Ken on Twitter at @KenCageRepo and on Facebook at Ken Cage Airplane Repo. See also the Discovery Channel webpage for the TV series Airplane Repo, and the Airplane Repo Fan Club on Facebook.

As an extra surprise, our Main(e) Man Micah joins us this episode as a guest co-host!


Europe Mulls Aircraft-Parts Competition Investigation Amid Airline Complaints

IATA and the European Commission are looking into possible anticompetitive practices in the marketplace for aircraft, engines, spare parts, and maintenance services. IATA says they are looking into the problem. The EC hasn’t launched a formal investigation, but is “closely monitoring competitive conditions as regards maintenance of engines and components of large commercial aircraft.” [Article WSJ paywall]

United CEO suffers heart attack, shares drop even lower

United Continental Holdings Inc’s new CEO Oscar Munoz has suffered a heart attack, just weeks after he took the job.

Singapore Air To Re-Start Non-Stop Singapore-US Flights With New A350 Variant


A350-900ULR Courtesy Airbus

Singapore Airlines has signed an agreement to be the launch customer for the new A350-900ULR, an ultra-long-range variant of the Airbus A350. This will let them resume non-stop flights between Singapore and the United States.

Singapore Airlines has 63 firm/20 option A350-900s on order. They will convert 7 firm and 4 options to the -900ULR, which will have a range of up to 8,700nm. The Airline also has 20 purchase options, four of which will be converted into firm A350-900 orders. This results in 67 firm A350s and 16 options.

Singapore Airlines operated non-stop flights between Singapore and both Los Angeles and New York with A340-500s until 2013, when the airplanes were retired.

Final US Airways Flight Completes Journey, Lands in Philly

An Airbus A321 became the last US Airways branded flight when it landed in Philadelphia. From now on they’re all American Airlines flights. The plane was designated as Flight 1939, named for the airline’s founding year.

U.S. airlines betting big on Latin America, Caribbean flights

Southwest, JetBlue, and Spirit are adding destinations to Latin America and the Caribbean. A strong U.S. dollar makes overseas travel attractive for Americans, and a growing Latin American middle class has more disposable income and looks to travel to the U.S.

The Airplane of the Week

David's desk

David’s desk

David continues his Journey to the Force awakened by discussing the Seinar Fleet Systems TIE Fighter and it’s derivations. It has almost as many variants as a C-130. Almost but not quite.

Across the Pond

RootshootPieter talks to Gary Wilson from Routeshoot, a smartphone and tablet app being utilised for aviation. It is designed to record video and tag GPS coordinates together so that the user can see where and when they were at a location, along with a video record. Pilots are using it for IFR purposes and commercial organisations such as utilities are using it to track their products and equipment filmed and coordinated using helicopters and UAS. Follow them at @RouteShoot.


Spicewood Airport 88R video.

The Deadly Cargo Inside MH370: How Exploding Batteries Explain the Mystery


Post photo: Ken Cage is the guy on the left. The big guy on the right is bounty hunter, MMA fighter, and champion power lifter Danny Thompson.

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at

AirplaneGeeks 372 Flying the Seabee

Seabee N713ET

Flying a seaplane, the “right” to airline seat space, stacked passenger seats, a KC-46A Pegasus milestone, an A330 faceplant, U.S. Customs and Border Protection drones in the National Airspace, and The Air League.


Ed and his planesEdgar “E.T.” Tello owns and flys a Seabee, and he is also a United Airlines Captain with experience in DC-8s, B-737, B-747, B-757, B-767, and B-777. He flew T-37s and T-38s at Williams AFB and went on to C-141s at Norton AFB, and T-41s (Cessna 172s) instructing Air Force Academy cadets in Colorado Springs. Currently, Ed and his family live in Long Island Airpark, at Lake Norman, North Carolina (NC26).

Ed tells us how he was impressed by seaplanes at an early age. Years later when he saw his dream at AirVenture Oshkosh, he bought it. Seaplanes offer a unique unique flying experience, with the ability to land on water and pull up to the dock or a boat. Ed brings his Seabee to Oshkosh, Sun ‘n Fun, seaplane splash-ins, and other events.

N713ET on the waterThe Seabee’s high wing at the rear of the cockpit affords great visibility, and the plane is unique in that it can be reversed, but it does have heavy maintenance requirements. Ed tells us about the Seaplane Pilots Association and advocating for the type. Some organizations think flying a seaplane into a lake is dangerous, and the Association takes on the task of making them aware that such flights are actually safer than a lot of other recreational activities taking place on the water.

Ed also tells us about life in a residential airpark, the freedoms it brings, and he offers some advice for people considering moving to an airpark. is a helpful resource.

The Beast at Home

The Beast at home. Does it get any better than this?


Airline space wars are shifting to the human rights front

This article by Chris Elliott asks the question, “Do you have the right to room on a plane?” As Chris points out, most people probably think the answer is “no, you don’t have a right.”

But as we know, seat space (width and legroom) have been shrinking as airlines look to increase profitability by increasing seat density. Now, the consumer groups Travelers United and FlyersRights want to see that change.

Travelers United has lobbied a government advisory committee to address the amount of space given to air travelers. FlyersRights wants minimum seat width and seat pitch regulations for commercial airlines.

Are stacked seats the new plan to pack in airline passengers?

Airbus has a patent application for an interior design where passengers are placed above in a sort of mezzanine. That would allow the upper and lower passengers to fully recline for sleep during flight. Is this a good idea or something crazy?

(Max joins Mary Kirby and John Walton in a discussion of this topic in #PaxEx Podcast Episode 28.)

Pegasus drogue, hose, boom systems deployed

KC-46A Pegasus November 462 Kilo Charlie reached a program milestone when it deployed its boom and wing mounted pods using a hose and drogue. The Boeing tanker will test the ability to successfully pass gas before meeting the requirement for 18 of the aircraft to be operational by August 2017.

Singapore Airlines jet ‘faceplants’ as landing gear retracts

A Singapore Airlines A330-300 undergoing a landing gear check at Changi Airport had its nose gear retract unexpectedly, dropping the airplane to the ground.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems

We play two clips from interview with John Murphy, Jr., Deputy Director, National Air Security Operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Air and Marine Operations (AMO). John talks about how CBP operates unmanned aircraft in the National Air Space, and where CBP gets UAV pilots.

The Australia News Desk

Grant is back on deck (and so is Nykolai) but he’s struggling to remember how to do the AusDesk. Not to worry, Steve helps him get back in the groove and the guys report on:

Across the Pond

The Air League

Pieter brings Scott Pendry onto the show to talk about The Air League, a charitable organisation partnering organisations across the sector to help people get into aviation and aerospace. The Air League particularly helps youngsters as well as those who can not normally access aviation to get involved. If you are in the UK and want to get into the sector, you really should be involved with The Air League. They help with scholarships and bursaries too, contributing to the £1m awarded in aviation scholarships over the past decade. Follow The Air League on Twitter and Instagram.


DUDE, WHERE’S YOUR GEAR?! FedEx MD-10-10F N559FE – gear-up on KORD approach into RWY 28 – Rob points out a video that suggests the pilots of a FedEx MD-10 forgot to lower the landing gear, until close to the last minute.

Charles F Blair Jr.Seaplane Terminal Dedication Ceremony [PDF] – August 27, 2013, St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands.

The flying fanatic who helped babies breathe – “Dr Forrest Bird died in August at the age of 96. He was still flying in his 90s and was the oldest helicopter pilot in the world – and he never stopped inventing.”

From listener Matthew:

Probe of 777 engine’s explosive failure pinpoints its origin

The ICON A5 – The Only Stall/Spin Resistant Production Airplane?

Watch an iPad Land an Airplane

Michigan teens building airplane from scratch

Austin to be first U.S. City to receive British Airways’ new 787-9 Dreamliner


Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at



AirplaneGeeks 371 Kevin Michaels

We talk with Kevin Michaels about United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz and his strategy to repair the airline’s image, radical ideas for air travel, and Southwest Airlines purchase of two gates for $120 million. Also, risks that the airliner order bubble could burst, Bombardier strategy, and the viability of the A380neo.


Dr. Kevin Michaels is Vice President – Aerospace & MRO Practice at ICF International. 

Kevin Michaels

Dr. Kevin Michaels

Kevin began his career as a project engineer with gas turbine OEM Williams International. Since then, Kevin has accumulated more than 25 years of aviation experience, including hundreds of consulting engagements for leading aviation and aerospace companies worldwide.

He is a globally recognized expert in the aerospace manufacturing and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) sectors. Kevin has significant expertise in business-to-business marketing, customer satisfaction, and strategic planning.

Kevin’s experience spans all major market segments, including air transport, business and general aviation, and military. He was director of Strategic Development with Rockwell Collins Government Systems, and principal with The Canaan Group.

Kevin has a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan; he also has an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

Our conversation covers a number of current topics, including:

  • The airline order “super cycle,” the risk that it is a bubble that could burst, and the effects of sinking fuel prices and low cost of capital.
  • The situation at Bombardier, including their balance sheet and strategic problems given the market and actions by Boeing and Airbus.
  • The viability of the A380neo and how the engine manufacturers might look at it,
  • Retirements from the fleet where the aircraft have more value entering the surplus parts market. This has a significant impact on the OEM new parts market.


United’s new CEO acknowledges airline’s failures
United Airlines’ CEO wants to hear from you [VIDEO]

Oscar Munoz appears to be taking a different approach to managing the public image of the airline came from the merger of United Airlines and Continental five years ago. In full page newspaper ads he said, “The journey hasn’t always been smooth” and “We are committed to re-earning your trust.” On the new website.Munoz says:

“Let’s be honest, the implementation of the United and Continental merger has been rocky for customers and employees. While it’s been improving recently, we still haven’t lived up to our promise or our potential.”

See also: Alaska Airlines CEO admits his own airline lost his bag

Inside the Dream Factory – watch amazing footage of a British Airways Dreamliner plane being built in USA

British Airways has taken delivery of its first 787-9 Dreamliner of the 22 planes it has ordered. The -9 is 20 feet longer than the base -8, has a higher maximum take-off weight (MTOW), can seat 280 in a three-class configuration, and has an 8,300 nautical mile range. BA also released a time-lapse video of the aircraft being assembled in Seattle.

Three Ideas That Could Change Air Travel Forever

The Teague design consultancy firm shared with Fast Company some radical concepts for an imaginary future airline called Poppi. Teague asked themselves, “If we started an airline from scratch, what would we do?” At the recent Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) conference their Poppi concept was presented:

  • Ban carry-on luggage.
  • Make middle seats feel exclusive.
  • Encourage Amazon Prime-style memberships.

Southwest Defends $120 Million Payment for 2 Airport Gates

Southwest Airlines paid United Airlines $120 million to sublease two gates at Dallas Love Field. Southwest had already controlled 16 of the 20 gates at Love Field. United and Virgin America controlled two each. Delta Air Lines argues the gates are owned by the city and airlines can’t sell them. All this is being heard by a federal judge.

David Cush, Virgin America

We found this piece after recording the episode. Virgin America CEO David Cush talks about the Love Field gates.

The Airplane of the Week

NASA Super Guppy N941NA

NASA Super Guppy N941NA

David attended the Joint Base Andrews’ open house on September 19th 2015. Last week we brought you David’s interview with Lieutenant Colonel Christine “Grinder” Mau, Deputy Commander for the Operations Group of the 33rd Fighter Wing. Col. Mau was the first woman cleared to fly the F-35A Lightning II, and one of only 52 women fighter pilots in the USAF.

This week we have the interview with David Elliot, the Flight Engineer and Program Manager for the NASA Super Guppy N941NA.  David talks about flying and the planning for missions. A unique aircraft with unique missions.

The Australia News Desk

ATC Ben on the ramp at Karratha, Western Australia

ATC Ben on the ramp at Karratha, Western Australia

Finally back after a bit of a break although Grant has subbed out due to family reasons, being ably replaced by ATC Ben.  Ben tells us about his recent slight change of job, and location, having moved from the world of en-route controller in Melbourne to tower controller in the remote Western Australian town of Karratha.  He tells about the aircraft movement this predominantly mining based town hosts each day, including scheduled airline services through to multiple helicopter flights going out to the oil and gas rigs off the coast.

In the news, the RAAF has used a KC-30A tanker to successfully conduct air to air refuelling sorties with a USAF F-35A in the skies over California recently.  Using the boom system, the Lighting II make 59 contacts, taking on 23,000lbs of fuel in total.  A busy day for all involved.

Ben then talks about his participation in the annual World Flight event, the Australian version of which raises funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.  Ben is a regular participant in this virtual around the world flight, using a fixed based 737 simulator in Hobart, Tasmania.  More details can be found at

Across the Pond

Astronaut Major Tim Peake

Astronaut Major Tim Peake

This week Pieter celebrates #WorldSpaceWeek with an update on the UK Space Agency’s first European Space Agency astronaut Major Tim Peake who will fly to the International Space Station on December 15th 2015. His mission title is Principia and he will be on the space station for up to 6 months. We also get an update on the latest Arianne 5 launch last week from French Guiana.


Make History Fly – Send B-29 “Doc” Through Flight Testing

You can also follow Doc’s Friends progress on their website, Facebook and Twitter.

World-first remote air traffic control system lands in Sweden

My Grandfather And The Plane That Changed Seattle


Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at


AirplaneGeeks 370 NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System

The NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System, the European Aviation Safety Agency takes issue with pilot license renewal practices in Germany, medical requirements under the Pilot’s Bill of Rights, ICAO creates a site for aircraft tracking, the consequences for air traffic controllers who make mistakes, and the first woman cleared to fly the F-35A Lightning II.


Linda Connell

Linda Connell

Guest Linda Connell is Director of the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System and a Research Psychologist for NASA Ames Research Center. The ASRS collects and acts on voluntarily submitted aviation safety incident/situation reports from pilots, controllers, and others.

Linda has been working at NASA Ames Research Center since 1981, and has participated in a number of studies with domestic and international research teams exploring human factor issues in aviation environments.

A Registered Nurse and member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Linda continues to evaluate proactive aviation safety information on a variety of topics, including pilot/controller voice communication, emergency medical helicopter operations, aviation maintenance, cabin safety, and technology applications in aviation environments.

We talk with Linda about the formation of the ASRS, the process to collect safety data in a way that guarantees immunity, the analysis of the data and how subcontractors are utilized, and the 10 day window. We also discuss the alerts process and how to submit reports.


EU Challenging Germany’s Air Safety Authorities Post Germanwings Crash

The European Aviation Safety Agency says license renewal practices for pilots in Germany favor privacy over safety. Noting that Germany has addressed some of the concerns, the EU says others remain.  If Germany does not comply with the Commission’s demands, it could be taken to court.

Pilot’s Bill Of Rights Changes; One-Time Medicals For Some

The Pilot’s Bill of Rights introduced earlier this year by Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. was designed to waive the third-class medical for private pilots flying light aircraft. Now the bill has changed to include:

  • An online aeromedical course every two years.
  • Logbook entries that certify the pilot has seen their personal doctors at least once every four years (and received any needed treatment for medical conditions).
  • A one-time medical for new pilots and pilots who haven’t had a medical in the last 10 years.

ICAO starts aircraft tracking information web page

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has created a Global Tracking Initiatives web page to serve as “a repository of documents related to aircraft tracking.” The page presents a timeline of events and documents. Adoption of a 15-minute aircraft tracking Standard is expected at the end of 2015.

Air traffic controllers making major errors remain on job, including at IAH

KPRC-TV in Houston, Texas reports that “air traffic controllers who have made major errors have been allowed to stay on the job, without loss of rank or pay.”  This has occurred at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, and at other airports. KPRC reporter Joel Eisenbaum asked, “So you can make an error that causes a plane to crash and you’re not losing your job?”

The FAA response was, “The FAA has learned through experience that a non-punitive safety culture encourages employees to share information and engage in frank and open discussions about situations that they might otherwise be reluctant to bring to a supervisor’s attention. In cases involving willful neglect or dereliction of duties by an employee, the agency does not hesitate to take the appropriate measures as defined under agency policies and collective bargaining agreements.”

Textron Aviation customer Wheels Up completes capital raise

The New York-based private aviation membership company Wheels Up has an order for 105 Beechcraft King Air 350i’s, and has raised $115 million in capital for business expansion.

Boeing’s new tanker achieves first flight

Boeing flew the KC-46A Paine Field in Everett, Washington for a four hour first flight. The KC-46A is based on the Boeing 767 commercial airliner.

Other Segments

Lieutenant Colonel Christine “Grinder” Mau

Lieutenant Colonel Christine “Grinder” Mau

  • David attended the Joint Base Andrews’ open house on September 19th 2015, where he interviewed Lieutenant Colonel Christine “Grinder” Mau, Deputy Commander for the Operations Group of the 33rd Fighter Wing. Col. Mau was the first woman cleared to fly the F-35A Lightning II, and one of only 52 women fighter pilots in the USAF. She talks about what it’s like to fly the F-35A, and believing in your dreams.
F-35A and R2D2

F-35A and R2D2

  • Micah gives us some thoughts on the late Alan Purwin.
  • Brian talks with listener Hendrik in Hamburg, Germany.


Listener Photo

Michael sends this photo from his Cirrus SR22T looking over Los Angeles on airway V186 from the Paradise VOR to Van Nuys VOR, September 17, 2015. The light in the top right of the picture is a 777 going into LAX.

Cirrus SR22T looking over Los Angeles


Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at

AirplaneGeeks 369 The National Aeronautic Association

Concorde by Paul Filmer

Concorde © Paul Filmer

Conversation with Jonathan Gaffney, President and CEO of the National Aeronautic Association. Also, returning a Concorde to flight, Airbus sets up shop in the U.S., San Diego International Airport launches a traveler program to benefit the environment.


Jonathan Gaffney is President and CEO, of the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), a position he has held since 2007. We talk about aviation awards, like the Robert J. Collier Trophy and the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy. We also learn about the aviation records that the NAA maintains.

Prior to arriving at NAA, Jonathan served for 12 years as the Vice President for Communications of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which operates Washington Dulles International and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airports.

Jonathan had a 22-year career as an Officer in the Navy Reserve, retiring with the rank of Commander. He completed tours of duty onboard the nuclear aircraft carrier USS NIMITZ, and was recalled to active duty during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He also worked in Washington as a senior staff member in the United States House of Representatives.

Jonathan and the staff of NAA have transformed one of the world’s oldest aeronautical organizations (founded in 1905) from near-insolvency into a vibrant, sustainable association dedicated to its original charter: “…the advancement of the art, sport and science of aviation in the United States.”


Group Plans To Fly Concorde By 2019

Club Concorde has a “Return To Flight” project that seeks to return one of the retired supersonic airliners to flight by 2019.  About $190 million has been committed by unidentified financial backers. Club Concorde says they are “a club for all things Concorde, run by ex-Captains, ex-charterers and people passionate about Concorde, working together to keep Concorde in people’s hearts and minds.”

Airbus Sharpens Challenge to Boeing With Factory in U.S.

Airbus has a plan for a $600 million plant in Mobile, Alabama for the A320, most of them destined for North American customers. Deliveries are due to start in early 2016 from the 53-acre facility, with the production rate increasing to four aircraft per month by early 2018.

Michel Merluzeau, vice president for aerospace strategy and business development with consultant Frost & Sullivan says, “It’s all about location. It’s about where you do business, and how that property is going to grow over time.”

San Diego International Airport Launches Sustainable Travel Program

The San Diego Airport Authority announced “The Good Traveler” pilot program. Travelers pay $1 for a Good Traveler tag or sticker with the proceeds going to three environmental projects: a forest restoration project, a wind farm, and a water restoration project. Each Good Traveler tag purchase offsets “the equivalent of the carbon footprint created by 500 miles of air travel or 200 miles of driving.”

Qatar 777 Takes Out Approach Lights on Takeoff From Miami

We’re not sure how this one got in here, and we didn’t talk about it. But here it is as, left as an exercise for you.

Airplane of the Week

Li-2 by Paul Filmer

Li-2 by Paul Filmer

David goes behind the Iron Curtain to talk about the DC-3skis The Soviet Built Li-2 NATO (CAB). Eventually over 4000 Li-2s were produced and it was as successful as it’s US Cousin, the DC-3/C-47.

Across the Pond

Pieter talks to the “ATP adopted pilot” Neil Bradon about his return to GA flying in Europe and then his role in the forthcoming 48 hour B737-800 Sim flight around Europe to raise critically needed funds for charity. The dates are 11th to 13th January 2016.

ATP for Ep 369 (ATP 188) cockpit

Follow @flight48hour on Twitter, and the Charity Flight Simulator 48 Hour Challenge on Facebook. Also see: Flight Deck Experience, the Christie NHS Foundation Trust, and North West Air Ambulance Charity.


Teen charged for carrying bomb-shaped alarm clock in carry-on

International Air Transport Passenger Association


Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at