B-58 Hustler

Guest Christine Negroni is author of the book “Deadly Departure” about the crash of TWA 800 (Now available as an eBook.) Her reporting appears in The New York Times and she has worked as a network television correspondent for CBS News and CNN. She blogs at “Flying Lessons” and you can follow her on Twitter as @cnegroni.

We talk about how the TWA 800 accident helped Christine become interested and involved in aviation, the quality of aviation journalism these days, her report of the 1952 crash of a BOAC Hermes in Africa and how some of the original reporting was not completely accurate.

Christine also has some thoughts about the recent television documentary “TWA Flight 800,” which puts forth a missile conspiracy theory. Christine has spoken with the Co-Producer and others involved in the documentary.

The Week’s Aviation News:

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week: The Convair B-58 Hustler. (Photo above)

Jetstar

In This Week’s Australia Desk:

With Grant back on deck this week, we start by talking all things 787 with the news that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority has cleared Jetstar to add it’s first such aircraft to their AOC, allowing them to begin passenger flights starting very shortly.

Air New Zealand has a number of 787-9 aircraft on order for their fleet and announced this week that the Auckland to Perth will be the initial route to see service.  We’re tipping their cabin will be a tad less squashy in a 302 seat configuration, compared with the 335 on offer from Jetstar.

Qantas announces March 2014 as the closure date for their 747 maintenance facility at Avalon Airport in Victoria, with the loss of over 300 jobs.  As reported last week, unions were desperately trying to come up with ways to save the facility, but Qantas seemed determined to close it and is proceeding accordingly.  With the continuing draw down of their 747-400 fleet from 34 airframes to a projected ten by next year, Qantas says they don’t have the workload to justify keeping the base open.  They’ve offered to re-deploy as many jobs as possible to facilities in Brisbane and possibly Melbourne, but its feared that 747 maintenance work for the remaining fleet will go overseas.

In defence news, the Royal Australian Air Force has started EA-18 Growler training in earnest with the first crews heading to the US for transition work with the US Navy.  The RAAF is acquiring 12 airframes of this type, which are due to begin service within three years.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.

ATV 4 Albert Einstein from the ISS

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

This week Pieter brings us some news stories that caught his eye, including the passenger growth numbers in Europe, the Europeans Space Agencies space craft ATV4 Albert Einstein and the successful first flight of the e-Go.

Mentioned:

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

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