AirplaneGeeks 293 – An Aerospace Engineer

Hillel's Cherokee

Guest Hillel Glazer joins in our conversation about the effects of Malaysia Airlines MH370: The media frenzy, crowd-sourcing the search, public access to information and how that affects the search and investigation, remote ground control of airliners, and the MH 370 investigation from the perspective of ICAO.

Hillel also helps us understand what it means to be an aerospace engineer: the scope of activity, specialization, and if this a good time for that career. Also, the role of long, global supply chains in aircraft manufacturing, and why we see so many delays in new airplane introductions.

Hillel is an active listener and contributor to the Airplane Geeks Podcast. He’s been an aerospace engineer, a management consultant, an operations director, and a business owner.

His 26-year career includes an internship at NASA, NAVAIR, then after a few Internet bubble bounces he started his current company in 2001 to provide operational performance consulting to software and IT companies and the aerospace/defense industry.

Hillel is an instrument rated pilot, and owns a Piper Cherokee. Find him on Twitter as @Hi11e1.

The week’s aviation news:

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week: From Failure to Success, Part 1 of 3: The Lockheed L-188 Electra.

In this week’s Australia Desk:

Grant is unavailable this week so Steve is joined by award winning aviation journalist Andrew McLaughlin from Communications Intelligence, an independent aviation and defence consultancy.

With the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 continuing into its fourth week, we discuss the prominent role being played by the venerable Lockheed P3 Orion in the operation.  Orions from Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and Japan have been operating tirelessly as the search continues.

We also discuss the pending transition of the RAAF away from the Orion to the P8 Poseidon over the next few years, as well as an update on the progress of Australia’s first two F35 aircraft, pondering among other things the notion that the Royal Australian Navy’s new ski ramp equipped landing helicopter docks (better known in some circles as “Harrier Carriers”) might be suited to F35-B STOVAL operations some day.

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.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute: This week we look at the MH 370 investigation from the perspective of ICAO.

The Hornet Moth that Ron Smith flew on his epic flight for the Dawn To Dusk Trophy © Ron Smith

The Hornet Moth that Ron Smith flew on his epic flight for the Dawn To Dusk Trophy © Ron Smith

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

This week Pieter talks to Ron Smith who with his twin brother Jim authored the book Two Up.” Ron and Jim are both pilots and aeronautical engineers and have been aviation enthusiasts since their schooldays.

The book is a fascinating look at the aerospace industry by two brothers who have lived and worked in it for over 50 years. A series of 23 illustrated anecdotes describe experiences that would today be difficult to repeat, such as picking mushrooms in the middle of Heathrow. Pieter finds out what the Dawn to Dusk trophy is and how Ron won it.

“Two Up” is available from

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

sunwing by Ian Kershaw

sunwing by Ian Kershaw


Listen to the NBAA Flight Plan podcast from the National Business Aviation Association.

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

3 thoughts on “AirplaneGeeks 293 – An Aerospace Engineer

  1. Charlie Branch

    Great show! Have you read the article picked up by Wired magazine (I believe the author is Glenn Crossfield.) written by an airline captain? He postulates that being hot, heavy and with underinflated tyre(s) may have resulted in a fire in the landing gear. Without deploying cabin oxygen, using the smoke hoods, the crew climbed to 45,000 feet in an attempt to starve a fire of oxygen, and made a 90 degree turn toward an airport with a 13,000 foot runway and no terrain obstructions to be concerned with on approach. That last course, direct to Laukawili airport, was likely on autopilot/FMS, and with the crew and passengers asphyxiated by the lack of oxygen; the airplane continued on course until the fuel was exhausted. Remember the “Lady Be Good” B-24 that was found in the Libyan desert in the late 1950s?
    Ian Kershaw’s images (link in program notes) includes a photo of the DC-3 “Lidia” repaired in Antarctica (link in program notes) in the back of the hangar at home base.
    Thanks from the “tour group leader” for the Cordova, Alaska DC-3 Adventure Flight excursion weekend to McCarthy in August 2008 for mention of a classic and robust airplane. (There will be one hopping rides at Felts Field in Spokane during the AOPA Regional Event August 16, 2014.)

  2. Aleks Kowalski

    Hi Huey, Duey and Louey

    I first posted the info about Flarm to yourself a month ago or so. The presentation that I attended was directed more towards GA aircraft than gliders and was certainly pitched to us with the future intention of having a mini-TCAS equivalent in Glass G airspace and subsuquent interaction with Commercial Aircraft by having an ADS-B output.

    Secondly, regarding Single-Pilot operations as you mentioned in the podcast last week. The EU is currently funding a 30million (so being taken quite seriously) project on this called ACROSS (Advanced Cockpit for the Reduction of Stress).
    Given the participants I think this may all happen a lot sooner than we think.

    Look forward to the next podcast.

  3. Pingback: APG 114 - Stowaway teen survives flight in wheel well, bees on a plane, contract piloting - AIRLINE PILOT GUY | AIRLINE PILOT GUY

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