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