AirplaneGeeks 350 Burt Rutan Is At It Again

Filming Burt Rutan

Antenna Films documents Burt Rutan as he builds the SkiGull, FBI investigates alleged IFE hacker, United Airlines offers bug bounty program, autistic child removed from flight, passenger prevented from making emergency call, and crowdfunding a startup airline.


Scott B and Sandy Guthrie are the Executive Producers and Co-Creative Directors of Antenna Films, which is producing the documentary film Looking Up, Way Up! The Burt Rutan Story. They are following Burt as he designs and builds the SkiGull plane which he intends to fly around the world in a “Walter Mitty flight” that avoids airports. Scott and Sandy tell us about the SkiGull and the film, but also give us some insights into Burt Rutan, the man.

The team used Kickstarter to jumpstart the documentary since Burt is moving ahead quickly, but they intend to build a sustainable community around this project. Visit the documentary website at and the project Facebook page.

Scott and Sandy have been making films for more than 20 years and formed Antenna Films in 2000 to tell compelling stories. Their work has appeared on National Geographic, Discovery, A&E, Lifetime and Sundance TV. Antenna produced the award winning Virgin Galactic series following the development of the world’s first spaceline. Other credits include the first one-hour episode of Virgin Galactic: Will it Fly for National Geographic, and the Peabody Award and Cine Golden Eagle Award-winning specials Black Sky: The Race for Space and  Winning the X-Prize on Discovery.


FBI Investigating Claim Computer Expert Hacked Plane In-Flight

Computer security expert Chris Roberts has told investigators that he hacked into the IFE system through boxes under the seats 15 to 20 times. He says he even “caused one of the airplane engines to climb resulting in a lateral or sideways movement of the plane.”

Law enforcement is investigating and says the electronics box under the seat shows signs of tampering. But they also say “there is no credible information to suggest an airplane’s flight control system can be accessed or manipulated from its in-flight entertainment system.”

United Airlines bug bounty program

White hat hackers are invited to probe for bugs that affect United “websites, apps and/or online portals” in exchange for up to one million award miles.

An autistic girl’s entire family was kicked off a plane because she wanted a First Class meal

Woman Claims She and Daughter With Autism Were Kicked Off United Airlines Flight

A Range of Reactions to Airline’s Removal of Autistic Child

A United Airlines pilot diverted a Portland flight to Salt Lake City to remove a family with an autistic 15 year old daughter. The situation developed after the girl required a hot meal. Was she disruptive? Some say no.

Woman told she couldn’t call suicidal husband during flight

A woman on a Southwest Airlines flight received a text from her husband that read, “Karen, please forgive me for what I am about to do, I am going to kill myself.” The cabin crew would not allow the call. Upon arrival at the gate, the woman called the police, but it was too late.

Struggling start-up airline turns to crowdfunding for cash

Avatar Airlines claims it’s “poised to revolutionize the airline industry as ‘the ultra-low fare’ leader with no baggage fees (up to two) and fares as low as $19” on 581-seat Boeing 747-400 aircraft. Avatar has started a crowdfunding campaign.

The Australia News Desk

The boys are back with the sad news that the “Wings Over Illawarra” show had to be cancelled due to terrible weather.

Deciding to go with military stories, the Desk opens with the news that two RAAF KC30As made multiple boom contacts off the coast of Brisbane recently. Although no gas was passed (that’s going to happen soon) it verifies that the boom is finally all but working!

Next they report that SQNLDR Andrew “Jacko” Jackson has flown the first RAAF F35. He became the first Australian to fly an F35 last month but now he’s at Luke AFB and flying A35-001 (our first RAAF F35). Apparently the kangaroo painted on the side makes all the difference!

Matt Hall took 2nd place at the Chiba (Japan) leg of the Red Bull Air Race. He’s also looking for a major “name the team” sponsor.




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


5 thoughts on “AirplaneGeeks 350 Burt Rutan Is At It Again

  1. Humberto

    You have mentioned a youtube vídeo of a formation flight. Can you post the link? Thank you.

  2. Pingback: Rutan Ski-gull - Page 7

  3. Charlie Branch

    Burt Rutan spoke by phone for forty minutes on the webcast at FliteTest dot com, which was followed by a couple minutes of the guys asking questions. Burt has also been helping to launch RutanRC dot com, which is developing RC models of Burt’s designs with a kickstarter campaign.

    After Oshkosh, check out burtrutan dot com, cdaairport dot org, and cameronaircraft dot com for Skigull project information. Nothing is to be released until after the Oshkosh unveiling.

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