478 United Says Goodbye to the Boeing 747

Benét Wilson flew on the last United Airlines flight of the Boeing 747 and talks about the experience. Also, a fatal crash of the Icon A5 seaplane, Air New Zealand tracking technology for cargo flights, the DHS hacks a Boeing 757, and a rare Boeing C-97G Stratofreighter flies again.

Guest

United CEO Oscar Munoz and Benet Wilson at the Boeing 747 farewell flight.

United CEO Oscar Munoz and Benét Wilson at the Boeing 747 farewell flight.

Benét Wilson is an aviation journalist, travel blogger and content writer. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Aviation Queen LLC, an aviation/travel writing, multimedia, and consulting business. Benét contributes to many aviation and travel publications and has worked for various aviation trade publications including AirwaysNews.com, AOPA Pilot magazine, The Weekly of Business Aviation, Aviation Daily, Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, and Commuter/Regional Airline News.

Prior to becoming a trade journalist, Benet spent five years in senior corporate communications positions at Delta Air Lines, Mesa Air Group, Rolls-Royce North America, and the Regional Airline Association.

Find Benét on Twitter, Facebook, and at TripSavvy and her Aviation Queen website.

United’s Last Boeing 747 Flight

Benét Wilson was lucky enough to get on the last United Airlines flight of the Boeing 747. Flight UA747 departed from San Francisco and flew Honolulu with customers, employees, and distinguished guests onboard. Benét tells us about the passengers on that flight and what the experience meant to her.

Farewell, Your Majesty: United Airlines Flies the 747, the “Queen of the Skies,” One Last Time

United and its passengers pull out all the stops for Boeing 747 farewell

Also, Delta’s Boeing 747 farewell tour could include Seattle stop

Winner of the best 1970s outfit at the last United flight of the Boeing 747

Winner of the best 1970s outfit contest.

Diane and father, the first 747 pilot for United. At the last United flight of the Boeing 747.

Diane and father, the first 747 pilot for United.

Henry Harteveldt on the last United flight of the Boeing 747.

Henry Harteveldt on the last United flight of the Boeing 747.

The Boeing 747 gets a lei on arrival in Hawaii.

The Boeing 747 gets a lei on arrival in Hawaii.

Benét and Hawaii Governor David Ige.

Benét and Hawaii Governor David Ige.

Aviation News

Roy Halladay crash: ICON CEO set new low-altitude guidelines three weeks before tragedy

Roy Halladay Crash Video Shows What Happened But Not Why

Retired major league baseball pitcher Roy Halladay was killed in the crash of his Icon A5 in the Gulf of Mexico. Boaters say the plane flying aggressively and capture the final moments of the plane on video. A few weeks previously, Icon issued low-altitude flying guidelines in an email to customers.

Air New Zealand using Bluetooth tracking technology on cargo flights

Air New Zealand deploys Bluetooth technology to better track cargo shipments

Air New Zealand is currently installing more than 5,500 Bluetooth® tags on its cargo containers, pallets, and unit load devices. (Press release: New tracking technology for Air New Zealand Cargo). More than 100 readers are being installed at 29 airports worldwide. This will provide real-time cargo tracking information.

Boeing 757 Testing Shows Airplanes Vulnerable to Hacking, DHS Says

Boeing 757 Airplanes are Vulnerable to Remote Hacking

Dr. Robert ‘Rob’ Hickey is a program manager in the Cyber Security Division (CSD) of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency. At the 2017 CyberSat Security in Aerospace Conference held November 7-8, 2017 at Tysons Corner, Virginia, he announced that in 2016 a team of government, industry, and academic officials remotely hacked a Boeing 757 on the ground at the airport in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Details of the hack are classified.

EXODUS: Getting Boeing C-97G ‘Angel of Deliverance’ Out of New York!

Boeing C-97G Stratofreighter 52-2718 landed at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York in May 2002. Restoration to flight worthiness took 15 years and the plane was flown to the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania and will be there for the 2018 “World War II Weekend” event.

Trip Report

Brian tells us the good, the bad, and the ugly about his flight to Singapore and back for a meeting that was canceled.

Listener Recording

Airell talks about long flights, especially a 33-hour flight!

Mentioned

AOPA Live This Week changed their RSS feed. You’ll need to resubscribe to the new feed.

The Plane & Pilot North American P-51 Mustang Gallery is stunning.

Don’t forget the 10% discount code for iFly GPS products.

Black Hawks and Osprey Aircraft Create “Kopp-Etchells Effect” During Low Light Exercise and The Kopp-Etchells Effect Explained.

747 from deadly 1996 TWA Flight 800 sits largely reassembled in Ashburn warehouse.

Credit

United Airlines Boeing 747 last flight photographs courtesy Benét Wilson, the Aviation Queen.

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

477 Air Navigation with iFly GPS

We talk with Adventure Pilot’s Brian Rutherford about aircraft route planning, air navigation, and iFly GPS. Also, Ryanair flight cancellations and pilot pay, a Bombardier CSeries order, and headway made for NextGen.

Guest

Adventure Pilot’s Brian Rutherford and the iFly GPS air navigation solution.

Adventure Pilot’s Brian Rutherford and the iFly GPS air navigation solution.

Brian Rutherford is sales and marketing manager for Adventure Pilot, makers of iFly GPS air navigation solutions. Brian describes the current air navigation landscape, the role of GPS and ADS-B, and how they work together. We look at the iFly GPS offerings and features.

iFly GPS is a multi-platform air navigation solution for iOS, Android, Windows, and dedicated systems that provides support for ADS-B traffic and weather. iFly GPS moving map navigation includes advanced features like geo-referenced hi-def VFR and IFR charts, de-cluttered vector mode, AutoTaxi+, RealView, and the comprehensive Active Alert System.

Brian holds a private pilot’s certificate and comes from the world of online retail, working at an Amazon subsidy called Woot.com as a buyer. He was a Sr. Brand Manager for a licensed apparel company called BioWorld. Brian also served on the board of EAA Chapter 1246, one of the largest chapters with 100+ dues-paying members.

Find Adventure Pilot on Instagram and Facebook, and be sure to listen for the special 10% discount code available to Airplane Geeks listeners!

Aviation News

Pilots’ pay rise set to cost Ryanair £88m a year

Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary has had to offer pilots a pay raise to get them to keep flying. This after “a rostering debacle” when the airline changed its holiday year. See also Ryanair cancels flights after ‘messing up’ pilot holidays and Ryanair may face legal action over flight cancellations.

Bombardier gets new CSeries jet order, but deliveries cut too

Engine delays from Pratt & Whitney will reduce 2017 CSeries deliveries to 20-22 from the 30 aircraft planned. Bombardier Chief Executive Alain Bellemare told analysts “This is a short-term issue that Pratt is actively addressing.” Meanwhile, Bombardier negotiated a letter of intent for 31 firm and 30 option CSeries orders from an unnamed European customer. The airframer says the order is not related to news that Airbus plans to take a majority stake in the program.

NextGen Progressing: Airlines Fail to Equip

AOPA describes NextGen progress contained in the U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General report: FAA Has Made Progress Implementing NextGen Priorities, but Additional Actions Are Needed To Improve Risk Management. AOPA says the NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC) has four priorities: multiple runway options, performance-based navigation, surface operations, and data communications (or DataComm):

Multiple runway options allow the FAA to reduce the separation between aircraft because of improved wake categorization standards. The FAA has implemented this capability at some busy U.S. airports including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Performance-based navigation lets aircraft fly more directly from departure to arrival using satellite signals. Initial operational capability is three months ahead of schedule in the Northern California Metroplex. Between September 2014 and April 2015, the FAA conducted a phased implementation of 44 routes covering the greater San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento.

Surface operations have improved. The FAA has implemented the System Wide Information Management (SWIM) Surface Visualization Tool (SVT) ahead of schedule at five terminal radar approach control facilities. The system allows tracon controllers to better monitor congestion and plan for changes on airport runways and taxiways, especially during inclement weather.

Data comm has been implemented at towers across the nation, approximately two and a half years ahead of schedule.

AOPA says, “Despite the achievements being made with NextGen technology and modernization, the airlines and their front groups remain critical of the current airspace system and are calling to overhaul it entirely.”

The OIG report states, “FAA is making significant progress in implementing the four NAC priorities. However, the Agency lacks a comprehensive process for effectively identifying or assessing risks, which could hinder its ability to fully implement its priorities. For example, while FAA took some steps to identify risks, it did not fully engage or include all stakeholders or effectively evaluate the severity of the identified risks to ensure its implementation milestones were realistic. In addition, FAA is not proactively mitigating risks to keep the NAC priorities on track. In particular, FAA and industry will need to mitigate several complex risks for capabilities expected for implementation and benefits delivery in the 2019–2020 timeframe, such as resolving issues with DataComm technology installed in aircraft. However, the Agency has not developed a detailed mitigation plan to address identified risks, involved industry in its decision-making process, or transparently reported its progress in this area.”

Mentioned

Stratux – A Raspberry Pi-based homebuilt ADS-B In receiver. Also available in the iFlyGPS store. For more information, see Live Weather and Traffic for Less Than $120 from EAA.

H.R. 4188: To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 621 Kansas Avenue in Atchison, Kansas, as the “Amelia Earhart Post Office Building.”

OGTA #11 – South Dakota Warrior: the John Waldron Story

John Mollison tells us that “Old Guys and Their Airplanes” (OGTA) released the award-winning documentary film South Dakota Warrior. The film explores the character behind World War Two’s Battle of Midway hero, LtCDR John C. Waldron.

Waldron established himself in history by leading his torpedo bomber squadron (VT-8) in what appeared to be a futile attack against the Japanese carrier fleet during the opening moments of the crucial battle on June 4, 1942. The story causes the viewer to examine the qualities and responsibilities of leadership. Waldron, along with 28 other men of his squadron, was killed during the battle. He valued his Native American (Lakota) heritage and made reference to this fact as a personal inspiration.

Sky Spotters – an entertaining comic from XKCD.

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

476 Synergy Aircraft

The founder and CEO of Synergy Aircraft describes the unique personal airplane he is developing. In the news, we look at airliner nose strikes, new security measures at airports worldwide, the credibility of United Airlines top management, the A330neo maiden flight, and the passing of aviation journalist Ben Sandilands.

Synergy Aircraft

Guest

John McGinnis is founder and CEO of Synergy Aircraft LLC, a seed-stage company developing a quiet, roomy, fuel-efficient aircraft using advanced aeronautical and manufacturing technologies.

John describes the process he employed in designing and developing the Synergy. Where some projects start with a favored design that then gets developed, John looked first at best practice principles that led to the design. These principles include biplane theory, laminar flow, and active drag reduction. They had been explored historically, and John assembled them in one design using advanced analytical tools.

The resulting  “Double Boxtail™” wing-becomes-tail configuration is aerodynamically efficient, fast and quiet, and features a spacious cabin. Synergy has been testing scale models and John reports good results.

John is the founder of MC Squared Design USA (a service bureau providing 3-D design, CNC machining, 3-D printing, and composite fabrication) and MV Aero, a provider of state-of-the-art Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation. John is a Senior Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and an EAA contributor.

The Synergy Aircraft prototype.

The Synergy Aircraft prototype.

Synergy Aircraft CFD analysis of conventional airplane.

Synergy Aircraft CFD analysis of conventional airplane.

Synergy Aircraft CFD analysis of the double boxtail design.

Synergy Aircraft CFD analysis of the double boxtail design.

News

Mystery surrounds plane’s squashed nose

A Delta Airlines flight experienced some kind of event that significantly damaged the aircraft’s nose. In UPDATE: Delta addresses Thunder plane damage en route to Chicago, the airline said, “Delta flight 8935, operating from Minneapolis to Chicago-Midway as a charter flight for the Oklahoma City Thunder, likely encountered a bird while on descent into Chicago. The aircraft, a Boeing 757-200, landed safely without incident; customers have since deplaned and maintenance teams are evaluating.”

For some past nose strike events, see:

We talked with Marcy Heacker from the Smithsonian Institution, Feather Identification Lab in episodes 253 and 202.

If You Want to Fly to America, Get Ready to Be Interrogated

What You Need To Know About New Airport Security Rules

In March 2017 DHS banned personal electronic devices larger than phones on direct flights to the U.S. from 10 airports. That restriction is now loosened, but additional DHS security measures are in place that affects 235,000 passengers on 2,000 flights daily to the U.S. on 180 airlines from 280 airports in 105 countries.

Column: Can United Airlines brain trust survive another tough journey?

Some financial analysts question the ability of United’s top management to pilot the company through the challenges ahead.

Airbus jet designed to win back sales from Boeing takes maiden flight

The Airbus A330neo made its successful maiden flight with a new engine and improved aerodynamics. The 1,400-hour flying test program will proceed with 3 prototypes and the first production aircraft.

Aviation journalist Ben Sandilands dies after battle with cancer

Ben Sandilands covered aviation for decades and was the editor of the Plane Talking blog on Crikey. His last post was Malaysia will focus renewed MH370 search where Australia refused to look. RIP Ben.

Airline Story of the Week

Our Main(e) man Micah provides an editorial piece he calls “Rave On.”

Mentioned

Airline Weekly Lounge podcast.

#PaxEx Podcast 51: Safety first as allergic passengers endure challenges.

San Gabriel Valley Airport Air Fair and Open House.

Mitchell PBJ

Mitchell PBJ

Air Show: Paris 1989

Ultra High Bypass Jet Engine Propfan Technology | Aviation Videos | AeroSpaceNews.com

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

475 Aviation News of the Week

In the aviation news this week: An executive order allowing up to 1,000 air force pilots to be recalled, a proposed ban on laptops in checked luggage, aircraft working the California wildfires, Qantas wants an extra long range airplane, a Goodyear blimp, the CLEEN II program, and a Delta Airlines story.

Aviation News

Air Force could recall as many as 1,000 retired pilots to address serious shortage

The US military suffers a pilot shortage and needs about 1,500 more pilots. They’ve tried bonus and other incentive programs, but the gap remains. President Trump recently signed an executive order that allows the Air Force to recall as many as 1,000 retired pilots to active duty.

Nuclear Bombers Poised to Return to 24-Hour Alert After Trump Recalls Retired Pilots

There is talk that the U.S. Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed B-52 bombers back on 24-hour alert.

Laptops could be banned from checked bags on planes due to fire risk

The Dangerous Goods Panel of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is recommending that laptops be banned from checked luggage.

Military and Contract Air Assets (Including U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper Drones) Key in Fighting Largest Ever California Wildfires

Wildfires continued to cause major problems in California and airborne firefighting operations playing a key role. This might be the greatest combined military and contract air fire suppression operation in history.

Drone forces brief suspension of air operations battling Bear Fire in Santa Cruz Mountains

Once again drones flying near wildfires have forced firefighting operations to be halted.

Boeing and Airbus accept Qantas’s ultra-long-haul challenge

Qantas wants to fly non-stop from Sydney to London and New York. They’ve challenged Boeing and Airbus are to modify their aircraft to make 20-hour flights possible.

Goodyear Blimp Wingfoot Two Goes West: Tiremaker’s newest airship to fly over 10 states on journey to California home

The Goodyear Blimp Wingfoot Two is on a three-week, 2,600-mile cross-country trip from Akron, Ohio to California.

Fact Sheet – Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise II (CLEEN II Program)

The Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise (CLEEN) Program is the environmental effort that is part of the FAA’s Next Generation (NextGen) program. The Idea is to accelerate the development of new aircraft, new engine technologies, and advance the use of sustainable alternative jet fuels.

Airline Story of the Week

What Losing My First-Class Seat Taught Me About Delta Air Lines

Trip Report

Brian’s “big trip” reports conclude with his description of the flights home.

Mentioned

Limited leg space on commercial planes makes it harder to brace in flight emergencies: expert

Jan Davies is chair of the International Board for Research into Aircraft Crash Events (IBRACE) — a group of experts studying effective impact bracing positions. She told the SafeSkies aviation safety conference that limited leg space could have an impact on passenger safety in emergencies.

Happy Design Studio

Happy Design Studio collaborated with paint specialist Air Livery on a custom livery design for a BBJ customer. Press release [PDF]. Photo Gallery.

BBJ livery by Happy Design Studio and Air Livery. Photo courtesy Sebastien Ognier.

BBJ livery by Happy Design Studio and Air Livery. Photo courtesy Sebastien Ognier.

Pete’s discovered a Better Way to Fly with Air New Zealand

Pete the Kiwi finds out how to fly across the world and back. He’s voiced by actor Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, Hunt For The Wilderpeople), who makes a cameo appearance too. Pete the Kiwi is part of Air New Zealand’s “A Better Way To Fly” campaign.

NASA – Gulfstream III (G-III) Research Testbed Aircraft

California contrails over California by listener Sean.

Contrails over California by listener Sean.

NASA 502 flight path by listener Sean.

NASA 502 flight path by listener Sean.

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps. Cornell Alma Mater courtesy Cornell Alumni Association.

474 The 2017 NBAA-BACE Convention

The National Business Aviation Association’s 2017 Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE). Also, Airbus takes a majority position in the CSeries program, the Global Supertanker is firefighting in California, the Scaled Composites experimental Model 401 first flight, and trouble for Kestrel in Wisconsin and Maine.

Guest

Arthur Rosen is a retired Judge, AOPA-ASN (Airport Support Network) for Scottsdale Airport (SDL), and Chairman Emeritus of the Scottsdale Aviation Commission. He served on the Super Bowl Committee for Aviation, he’s past President of the Arizona Soaring Association, and an aviation expert for ABC TV-Phoenix. Arthur blogs at My Opinion: Thoughts and Comments on General Aviation. Follow him on Twitter at @judgearr.

 NBAA-BACE Convention

Arthur, Rob, and Brian all attended NBAA-BACE held Oct. 10–12 in Las Vegas, and we explore their impressions of the event. Brian recorded some of the speakers, and the following are condensed versions:

Opening Remarks from the Keynote: Ed Bolen and Clark County City Commissioner Lawrence Weekly:


Congresswoman Dina Titus, Representative for Nevada’s 1st congressional district:


Michael Huerta – FAA Administrator:


Robert Sumwalt – NTSB Chairman:


Capt Jim Lovell – Retired test pilot and astronaut:


Rob and Brian at NBAA EBACE 2017.

Rob and Brian at NBAA BACE 2017.

Aviation News

Delta Vows Not to Pay U.S. Duties on Bombardier’s C Series

Despite the tariffs recommended by the U.S. Commerce Department, Delta Air Lines says they will not pay import duties on the 75 CSeries aircraft it ordered from Bombardier. Delta CEO Ed Bastian said, “I can’t tell you how this is going to eventually work out. There may be a delay in us taking the aircraft, as we work through the issues with Bombardier, who is being a great partner in this.”

Airbus to buy majority stake in Bombardier CSeries program

Airbus Group is buying a majority stake in Bombardier’s CSeries program. The CSeries headquarters will remain in the Montreal area but a second assembly line for the 100- to 150-seat plane will be set up at Airbus’ facility in Alabama.

Cal File Calls for “The Largest Tool”

The Global SuperTanker is fighting wildfires in California.

Bombardier’s Global 7000 Debuts in Vegas

The fourth of Bombardier’s Global 7000 test aircraft debuted in Las Vegas the NBAA-BACE
Called “The Architect” it is the “largest purpose-built business jet in the industry.”

Scaled Composites Completes First Flight of Secretive Experimental

Scaled Composites conducted the first flight of the experimental Model 401 proof-of-concept airplane. The airplane (N401XP) was designed for a “proprietary customer” and is the first of two commissioned.

Wisconsin suing Kestrel Aircraft over loan debt, stalled financing

Kestrel Aircraft Company evicted from Brunswick Landing

In 2012, the state of Wisconsin gave Kestrel $4 million in state loans and more in tax incentives to build a plant that was to employ 665 people. Kestrel didn’t build the plant and is in default on their loan payments. Meanwhile, Kestrel has been evicted from its facility in Maine for failure to meet its financial obligations.

Airline Story of the Month

Letter: A positive airline experience

One passenger’s Southwest Airlines experience after giving up her seat.

Aviation Story

Our Main(e) man Micah tells a story about seeing the Blue Angels prior to the The Great State of Maine Air Show.

Our Main(e) Man Micah

Our Main(e) Man Micah

Trip Report

Brian’s “big trip” continues with conversations at the Hamburg meetup with listeners Hendrik, Jan, and Christof talking about their flying experiences.

Then Brian talks with listeners Tilman and Matt about GA flying in Europe during the meetup in Berlin.

Tilman, Brian and Matt

Tilman, Brian and Matt

Mentioned

Video: Unbelievable Airbus A380 Hard Crosswind Landing during a storm at Düsseldorf

Video: A fond farewell to the Boeing 747

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

473 Equator Aircraft P2 Xcursion

The CEO of Equator Aircraft talks about the P2 Xcursion high-performance hybrid amphibious aircraft. In the news, debris from the Air France engine failure is found in Greenland, American Airlines is apparently destined to be profitable forever, and Boeing plans to acquire Aurora Flight Sciences.

Equator Aircraft P2 Xcursion

The P2 Xcursion. Photo courtesy Equator Aircraft.

Guest

Tomas Brødreskift is the CEO Equator Aircraft, which is developing the P2 Xcursion, a high-performance hybrid amphibious aircraft.

Tomas decided to develop a float wing amphibious aircraft at design school. After that, he knew he had to find a way to continue, and so without money or any grasp of the complexity involved, Tomas started building and designing the aircraft, learning as he progressed.

Equator Aircraft logoMost of the design was based on things he saw in other planes, and he added a few of his own ideas. As for building the aircraft, Thomas was lucky to have his father join in, along with many other volunteers, and it has ended up being a volunteer / open source project. The project has now accumulated over 30,000 work hours and 7 years from the first concept.

Tomas became interested in aviation at a very early age, growing up in the 80’s watching VHS tapes of Burt Rutan. Tomas’ father built and flew a Long EZ and at the age of 7 Tomas started to build his own aircraft. He started flying gliders and took his PPL in 2002. Tomas interned at Airbus in Germany for a short while where he realized big companies were not the right fit for him. Luckily he met an awesome retired aircraft designer, G. Poeschel, and got totally inspired by his mind and his aircraft.

News

Debris recovered in Greenland from Air France plane forced to land in Labrador

Some engine pieces from the Air France plane have been recovered in Greenland and are being sent to investigators at France’s BEA.

Airlines Won’t Ever Lose Money Again? Boasts By American’s CEO Dismiss History

At the recent American Airlines annual meeting with Wall Street analysts at company headquarters, chairman and CEO Doug Parker said, “I don’t think we’re ever going to lose money again. We have an industry that’s going to be profitable in good and bad times.” It wasn’t clear if Parker was talking about American Airlines, the entire airline industry.

Boeing to Acquire Aurora Flight Sciences to Advance Autonomous Technology Capabilities

Boeing announced that it plans to acquire Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, which develops and manufactures advanced aerospace platforms, specializing in autonomous systems technologies and robotic aircraft. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

United Airlines tweeted Yankees-Indians scores to a fan with bad in-flight Wi-Fi

United Airlines turned around a negative situation.

Airline Story of the Week

Operation Care-Lift: Spirit, Lufthansa Technik Team Up for Puerto Rico Relief Flights: A First Person Account Onboard

Flying badly needed supplied into Puerto Rico. See the Operation Puerto Rico Care-Lift GoFundMe page and United Airlines stepping up to help relief effort in Puerto Rico.

Trip Report

Francois and Brian at Thaba Tholo.

Francois and Brian at Thaba Tholo. Note the wildlife in the background.

Brian was hosted by listener Francois at his game farm, Thaba Tholo. They talk about what it’s like to operate an airstrip in the South African bush, and the special aircraft that have visited the strip.

Then, listener Eoin talks with Brian in Hamburg, Germany about being a flight attendant at “Harp Jet” and his promotions in the growing airline.

Mentioned

Red Stewart Airfield

Canada Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner near Hyderabad on Sep 19th 2017, ATC tries to divert aircraft despite several Mayday calls following two diversions

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

472 The Martin Aircraft Jetpack

The chief test pilot for Martin Aircraft Company tells us about the Martin Jetpack. Also, the major engine failure of Air France Flight 66, the Emirates A380 that descended below the glideslope on approach, dumping and subsidization claims against Bombardier, a Boeing 737 near miss, and the Airbus Laminar Flow Wing Demonstrator.

Guest

Prospero “Paco” Uybarreta is head of Aircrew & Testing, and the chief test pilot for Martin Aircraft Company Ltd. The Martin Jetpack is an optionally piloted hovering air vehicle currently being developed and tested in New Zealand.

Paco explains the recent interest in personal VTOL air vehicles and describes the use cases. He also tells us about how the Martin Jetpack is more of a small vehicle platform than a backpack-style jetpack. We look at how the regulatory agencies treat vehicles like this, safety considerations, and why the Jetpack operates in both manned and unmanned modes.

Paco has been an experimental test pilot for the U.S. Air Force, Bombardier Aerospace, and Scaled Composites. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School and has over 4,400 total pilot hours in 44 different aircraft types with 1,000 instructor pilot hours, 600 flight test hours, and 460 combat hours.

He holds FAA ATPL, Transport Canada ATPL, FAA CFII, and CAA CPL and Cat 1 Test Pilot certificates, with multiple type ratings in Boeing, Bombardier, Beechcraft, and Mitsubishi jet aircraft, and an AV-L39C Experimental Authorization. Paco was the 2015 recipient of the prestigious Iven C. Kincheloe Award for outstanding flight test accomplishments with Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

Paco has been signed off by the New Zealand CAA as a Category 1 test pilot for the Martin Jetpack, which means he is able to conduct manned flight tests of the Martin Jetpack now that it has been awarded experimental aircraft status. He is also approved to train a team of pilots to act as test pilots for the new prototype aircraft. To that end, Paco has designed a test pilot course based on CAA requirements. This includes six hours of academic learning and ten hours of Jetpack simulator training in techniques and maneuvers along with actual flight training.

Learn more about the Martin Jetpack at the Martin Aircraft website, and follow the company on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn.

Aviation News

Air France A380 Makes Emergency Landing After Engine Blows Apart

Air France flight 66 flying from Paris to Los Angeles with 497 PAX experienced a major engine failure at 37,000 feet. The plane diverted to Goose Bay airport in Canada without incident. Photographs published by the passengers show the fan, fan case, and the forward portion of the nacelle missing from the Engine Alliance GP7200. See: Air France Press release: Information About Flight AF066 Paris Los Angeles on 30 September 2017 and Engine breaks up on Air France Airbus A380, forcing emergency landing in Canada.

Engine Alliance GP7200 engine.

Engine Alliance GP7200. Red oval shows the missing portion of the engine. Engine rendering courtesy Engine Alliance.

Engine Alliance (EA) is a 50-50 joint venture between GE and Pratt & Whitney. The Fan Module is built by Pratt & Whitney and the Low Pressure Compressor (LPC) is built by Safran Aero Boosters.

Serious Moscow A380 incident investigated

The Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) is investigating an Emirates Airbus A380 that “descended below the glideslope on approach” to Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport. Emirates flight EK131 descended to 400 feet at 14.8 kilometers from the runway, aborted the approach, made a second unsuccessful attempt to land, then finally landed safely.

Bombardier C Series faces stiff penalty in initial trade ruling

The U.S. Commerce Department is sympathetic to Boeing’s complaint that Bombardier is “dumping” CSeries passenger jets at below manufacturing cost. That was not unexpected. But what wasn’t expected is the preliminary decision to recommend a 220% tariff on Bombardier. See: US government recommends 220% import tariff on CSeries.

WTO to Probe Canadian Jet Subsidies in New Blow to Bombardier

Brazil asked the World Trade Organization to investigate Canada’s alleged use of more than $3 billion in government subsidies. Brazil claims the loans, equity infusions, grants, and tax credits offered to Bombardier harmed Embraer.

Airliner Reportedly Narrowly Avoids Hitting Glider

A United Airlines Flight 246 flying from Vancouver to Chicago reportedly had to take evasive action to avoid colliding with a glider. The pilot had to execute a climb 400 feet and banked the Boeing 737 hard to the right.

Airbus’s ‘Blade’ Laminar Flow Wing Demonstrator Takes Flight

BLADE is an acronym for Breakthrough Laminar Aircraft Demonstrator in Europe, an EU-sponsored Clean Sky aeronautical research program. BLADE looks to achieve a 50 percent reduction in wing friction and up to 5 percent lower CO2 emissions. The Airbus A340 named Flight Lab made its first test flight in France with two transonic laminar outer wings and a flight-test-instrumentation station in the cabin. Airbus news release: European laminar flow research takes a new step with Airbus’ BLADE Flight Lab.

Airbus BLADE test aircraft.

Airbus BLADE test aircraft. Image courtesy Airbus.

Airline Story of the Week

Air India pilot becomes world’s youngest female commander of a Boeing 777

At age 30, Anny Divya became the youngest woman captain of a Boeing 777. See also: Air India’s all-female crew makes history with round-the-world flight.

Mentioned

Fog grounds planes at Huntington Beach air show practice

Listener Anurag created a Power BI dashboard from air crash data starting from 1908: Accidents and Fatalities Trends. He also posted the LinkedIn article Visualising a century of aircraft accidents with Power BI.

Listener Joe built a Vans RV-7A over a period of 4 ½ years and then this past summer flew it to all 48 contiguous states in the span of a two-week vacation. Nevada County couple builds plane and travels to each of the 48 contiguous states. See Joe’s 4-part series on his Rough and Ready Aerospace blog: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.

Elon Musk proposes city-to-city travel by rocket, right here on Earth

BFR | Earth to Earth

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

471 Aviation Strategy and Programs at AOPA

The Senior Vice President, Aviation Strategy and Programs for AOPA describes the You Can Fly program and the Air Safety Institute. Also, we look at the increased student enrollment in flight-training programs, adhesively bonded splice joints as an aircraft assembly method, the White House nominee for the NTSB, and Ryanair’s strategy for pilot retention.

AOPA Senior Vice President, Aviation Strategy and Programs Katie Pribyl with Buck.

AOPA Senior Vice President, Aviation Strategy and Programs Katie Pribyl with Buck.

Guest

Katie Pribyl is Senior Vice President, Aviation Strategy and Programs for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). Katie is responsible for the organization’s You Can Fly program and the Air Safety Institute.

The You Can Fly program includes initiatives to get lapsed pilots back in the air, providing more affordable access to aviation through flying clubs, best practices in flight training, and It introduces high school students to aviation. Be sure to look into the AOPA High School Aviation STEM Symposium November 6-7, 2017.

The AOPA Air Safety Institute (ASI) produces free programs to help pilots fly safer. These include online courses, live seminars, and videos. ASI recently started publishing the There I Was… podcast.

Katie is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and she flew the Canadair Regional Jet with Atlantic Coast Airlines/Independence Air. She served as the director of communications for GAMA (the General Aviation Manufacturers Association) and Katie is a CFI and rated seaplane pilot. She is a member of Ladies Love Taildraggers and loves flying her 1956 Cessna 180 Skywagon in her home state of Montana.

Katie was featured in the January 2017 issue of AOPA Pilot in A Daughter’s Homecoming: A Ranch Airstrip FulFills a Cowgirl’s Dream. Follow Katie on Twitter and Facebook.

Aviation News

Embry-Riddle Sees Rising Number of Students in Nation’s Largest Collegiate Flight Training Program

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s flight-training program is planning for the largest incoming freshman class in 15 years. Contributing factors include demand for more commercial airline pilots, an increase in a starting salary, and quicker return on investment with an Embry-Riddle degree.

Advanced joint technology viable method for aircraft assembly

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Northrop Grumman partnered to test a new aircraft assembly method where adhesively bonded splice joints replace the legacy method where large components and subassemblies are joined with bolts.

White House To Nominate AOPA’s Landsberg to NTSB

The White House announced that Bruce Landsberg will be nominated to a five-year term on the National Transportation Safety Board beginning Jan. 1, 2018, as well as to a two-year term as vice chairman. Bruce led the AOPA Foundation and Air Safety Institute (ASI) as executive director and then president for 22 years. He’s currently a senior safety advisor for AOPA and the ASI, he also has served as the industry co-chair of the FAA’s runway safety program.

Trip Report

Brian got together with some of our listeners during his trip to South Africa, and recorded some of the conversations.

Airline Story of the Week

This Airline’s Response to Hurricane Irma Is a Masterclass in Compassionate Pricing

JetBlue announced that it was capping ticket prices after the devastating hurricane in Florida.

Mentioned

The Cod Father restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa.

Evan picking up the PA-22.

Evan picking up the PA-22.

#PaxEx Podcast #50 Flyers Rights makes the case for seat size standards with guest Kendall Creighton, director of communications for consumer advocacy group Flyers Rights on aircraft seat spacing, the Daily Beast article, their recent judicial victory, and ATC privatization.

Bag fees driving up cost of lower airfares for many U.S. flyers

Video: Aterrizando en Quito (Landing in Quito)

Video: Despegando de guayaquil Ecuador (Taking off from Guayaquil Ecuador)

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

470 Data Science and Predictive Analytics for Aviation

How aviation is being transformed by data science and predictive analytics. Also, safety implications of airline seat space, why the U.S. Air Force isn’t talking about a fatal plane crash, a recommendation to roll back the 1500 hour rule, and toes impact the passenger experience.

Guest

Andrew Kemmetmueller, VP Aviation at Uptake, a predictive analytics company.

Andrew Kemmetmueller, VP Aviation at Uptake, a predictive analytics company.

Andrew Kemmetmueller is Vice President, Aviation at Uptake, a predictive analytics company that forecasts problems before they happen so industrial companies can prevent costly equipment breakdowns, improve productivity, and ensure safety and security.

Andrew talks about the impact of big data, machine learning, and the Internet of Things on aviation. We look at data science and how predictive analytics can improve flying for everyone involved, from the pilot to the passenger, the mechanic to the air traffic controller.

We discuss how the ability to record large volumes of sensor data in aircraft is facilitated by cost-effective connectivity. Benefits accrue to OEMs, airlines, and customers through the passenger experience. Predictive maintenance keeps airline operations running smoothly, reduces delays, and improves operating efficiency.

Andrew was previously Managing Director and Principal at AvIntel Consulting; he was Vice President, Connected Aircraft Services, at Gogo, the CEO of Allegiant Systems Inc.; and Service Director at ARINC.

Find Uptake on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Aviation News

Coach-class seats are so tight that FAA dummies keep shattering seatback video screens with their heads during crash simulations

When we talk about shrinking seat space on airlines, we usually think about passenger comfort. But the conversation is shifting to safety. In Flying Coach Is So Cramped It Could Be a Death Trap, the Daily Beast says, “No coach class seat meets the Department of Transportation’s own standard for the space required to make a flight attendant’s seat safe in an emergency.” Also, “Neither Boeing nor the Federal Aviation Administration will disclose the evacuation test data for the newest (and most densely seated) versions of the most widely used jet, the Boeing 737.”

The activist group Flyers Rights has taken the FAA to court and a U.S. Court of Appeals said there was “a plausible life-and-death safety concern.” The court ordered the FAA to respond to a Flyers Rights petition asking for new rules to deal with seat space safety issues.

Mysterious Air Force Crash Reportedly Involved a Foreign Plane

The U.S. Air Force is refusing to identify the type of aircraft involved in a September 5 fatal crash at the Nevada Test and Training Range. The speculation is that a foreign aircraft was being flown.

Citing costs, panel advises rolling back post-3407 air safety measure

Colgan Air Flight 3407, operating as a Continental Connection codeshare flight, crashed into a house in Clarence Center, New York in 2009, killing 50 people. The NTSB report faulted the pilots for responding improperly to the stall warnings. This led to a regulatory change requiring commercial pilots to have 1,500 hours of flight experience. In a recent report, the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee said the 1,500 hour rule “imposes costs that exceed benefits.”

What. In. Gods. Name. #toegirl

This is not the #PaxEx you hope to have!

Mentioned

AvGeekOfficial

Cirrus Embark

Lift and Wings – Sixty Symbols

Trump’s Dire Air-Traffic Claim Contradicted by Government Report

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

469 Hurricane Disaster Relief

General aviation and hurricane disaster relief, flight simulation, the need for more mandatory pilot training, United Technologies purchase of Rockwell Collins, and geared turbofan engines.

GA providing hurricane disaster relief., courtesy Nicholas Rizzo.

GA providing hurricane disaster relief., courtesy Nicholas Rizzo.

Guest

Nicholas Rizzo is a Flight Training Technology Designer at Redbird Flight Simulations, Inc. Recently, Nicholas has been flying supplies into the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Harvey: Rockport, Orange, Houston, and Beaumont Texas. Nicholas tells us about general aviation providing hurricane disaster relief.

As a youngster, Nicholas was fascinated by planes and he turned to home flight simulation flying X-Plane. In fact, he’s Chief Captain at X-Plane Junkies. Last year, he decided to become a real flying junky and he has logged 250 hours since last September obtaining his private pilot’s license and Instrument rating. Nicholas plans to pursue his Commercial, CFI, and CFII over the next few months.

Nicholas tells us a little about Redbird, including Guided Independent Flight Training (GIFT) for private pilots. This simulator-based maneuvers training supplement is designed to help pilots achieve their goals faster and for less money.

GA and Hurricane Disaster Relief

Pilots Rush to Aid Storm Victims (AOPA)

AOPA Preps for Hurricane Irma Relief Efforts

Hurricane Harvey Deluges Texas, Closed Airfields: GA Pilots Needed for Relief Efforts

Organizations mentioned in articles and/or active in the relief effort: AeroBridge, Operation Airdrop, Cajun Air Force, Angel Flight SouthCentral, Air Charity Networks, NOAA Aircraft, Remote Area Medical, Texas Wing of the Civil Air Patrol.

Aviation News

AIN Blog: Could Mandatory Training Lower the Accident Rate?

The author believes, “The FAA’s attitude about mandatory training for larger and more complex airplanes is surprisingly lackadaisical.” We discuss our viewpoints.

United Technologies to Buy Rockwell Collins

United Technologies chairman and CEO Greg Hayes confirmed his company will purchase Rockwell Collins for $30 billion. The new company is to be called Collins Aerospace Systems. Rockwell shareholders get $140 per share in cash ($93.33) and UTC stock ($46.67). Current Rockwell Collins chairman Kelly Ortberg is to become CEO, and UTC Aerospace Systems’ president David Gitlin is to become president and COO.

New record: aerospace gearbox reaches 70,000 horsepower

Rolls-Royce confirmed that their Power Gearbox for the next-generation UltraFan engine has reached 70,000 horsepower on a test rig. Their goal is a gearbox capable of 100,000 horsepower. The Ultrafan is expected in 2025.

Mentioned

Whirly Girls

Flyers for Fairness

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.