Category Archives: Episodes

482 Helicopter Association International

Our guest is the president of Helicopter Association International. In the news, we look at the role of helicopters as well as local airports in times of emergencies, medical reform around the globe, Boeing 787 Dreamliner woes, and how Aurora Flight Sciences can make any rotary-wing aircraft fly autonomously. We also have the return of the history segment.

Guest

Matthew Zuccaro, president of Helicopter Association International.

Matthew Zuccaro, president of Helicopter Association International. HAI Photo.

Matt Zuccaro is president of Helicopter Association International. HAI provides support and services to its members and to the international helicopter community. They have their headquarters Alexandria, Virginia, and HAI members fly more than 5,000 helicopters some 2.3 million hours each year.

Matt has been in the helicopter industry for 50 years and president of HAI since 2005. He held several executive levels and operations management positions with commercial, corporate, air tour, scheduled airline, and public service helicopter operations in the northeastern United States. During his tenure with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, he served in operations management positions at Kennedy International Airport and the Port Authority’s public and private heliports.

Matt received his initial helicopter flight training as a U.S. Army aviator and served with the 7/17 Air Cavalry unit in Vietnam.  He was subsequently assigned as a flight instructor at the Army Flight School at Fort Rucker, Alabama.

Matt holds Airline Transport Pilot and Instrument Flight Instructor certificates for both airplanes and helicopters. He is a recipient of HAI’s 10,000-Hour Helicopter Pilot Safety award, as well as many other industry awards for his efforts and commitment to the helicopter industry.

Find Helicopter Association International at rotor.org and on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Also, follow Heli-Expo on Twitter and use the hashtag #HAI_EXPO18.

Aviation News

LA Fires Prove Importance of Santa Monica Airport

The City of Santa Monica plans to shorten the single runway at SMO to restrict airport usage to small airplanes. When the airport closes in 10 years, there won’t be anywhere to base firefighting helicopters and other vital equipment.

Medical Reform Going Global

Medical reform in the shape of BasicMed came to the U.S. in 2017, and now Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) announced “Basic Class 2” medical for piston aircraft with up to five non-paying passengers, during daytime visual flight rules. AOPA and AOPA Australia together urged CASA to undertake reforms similar to BasicMed.

LA Helicopter Crews Navigate Through Smoke to Save Homes From Skirball Fire

Devastating fires are again plaguing California and response teams include a variety of aircraft, including helicopters. The Weather Network published a dramatic video shot from a helicopter as it navigated through heavy smoke over a residential area.

Boeing Dreamliner’s Lithium-Ion Battery Fails On United Flight To Paris

A United Airlines Boeing 787 experienced a lithium-ion battery failure on approach to Charles de Gaulle Airport on November 13. United Flight 915 was at the end of a seven-hour flight from Washington’s Dulles Airport when pilots received a warning that the main battery was overheating.

Airlines are grounding 787s for urgent maintenance

Airlines are grounding Boeing 787s for urgent maintenance as one of the engines on Air New Zealand Boeing 787 flight NZ99 failed in-flight this week. The photos of failed engine show damage to turbine blades, suggesting a part broke off and traveled through the engine.

Aurora Makes Any Helicopter Autonomous

A system developed by Aurora Flight Sciences can be installed on any rotary-wing aircraft and enable it to fly autonomously. Dennis Baker, AACUS [Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System] program officer said this “gives revolutionary capability to our fleet and force. It can be used as a pilot aid in degraded visual environments, or allow fully autonomous flights in contested environments, keeping our pilots out of harm’s way.”

The Airplane of the Week

Our aviation historian David Vanderhoof tells us about the Douglas X-3 Stiletto. Just because an aircraft looks fast doesn’t mean it is. The X-3 is a lesson that disappointment does not necessarily mean failure.

X-3 Stiletto by David Vanderhoof.

X-3 Stiletto by David Vanderhoof.

Commercial Aviation Story of the Week

TSA Pre-check travelers will only need ID at Austin airport

If you use TSA Pre-check, you’ll notice a change when you go through the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The TSA started testing a new technology for pre-check travelers that only requires a photo ID. The Credential Authentication Technology is expected to verify the authenticity of a passenger photo ID and validate information from the ID against TSA’s Secure Flight vetting system.

Mentioned

City in the Sky on PBS

This Woman Has Been an American Airlines Flight Attendant for 60 Years

The Waldron’s Dilemma Educator’s Kit – the educator’s companion to the award-winning film, South Dakota Warrior.

Credit

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

481 Meet the Airplane Geeks

The Airplane Geeks hosts interview each other to give you a closer look at the guys who create this podcast. Also, the Commemorative Air Force “12 Planes of Christmas,” the first Boeing KC-46 will miss its delivery goal, transmitting pre-departure air traffic control clearances to pilots’ mobile devices, a Van’s Aircraft milestone, the best U.S. airlines, the Boeing 717, and a Virgin Atlantic IFE solution for the visually impaired.

Aviation News

The 12 Planes of Christmas

Each year the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) hosts the “12 Planes of Christmas” online giving campaign. Designed to support the aircraft of the CAF, this event highlights the efforts of the organization and its volunteer members who restore and preserve its fleet of over 170 World War II aircraft.

Boeing will miss 2017 delivery goal for first KC-46

Boeing will miss its goal to deliver the first KC-46 tanker to the Air Force by the end of 2017.

App Could Deliver IFR Clearances to Mobile Devices

AOPA is encouraging the FAA to promptly field test technology being developed to electronically transmit pre-departure air traffic control clearances to pilots’ mobile devices.

Van’s Aircraft reaches 10,000 flying kitplanes

Van’s Aircraft has officially broken the 10,000 flying aircraft mark.

Best U.S. Airlines ’17: Alaska Airlines Owns the Skies

Each year, the Airfarewatchdog team searches for the best domestic airline.

How the Boeing jet no one wanted became the plane airlines scour the planet for

Boeing delivered the last two 717-200 jetliners in 2006, and it is currently operated primarily by Delta, Hawaiian, Qantas, and Spanish Volotea. Yet airlines are scouring the planet looking for available Boeing 717s.

Airline Story of the Week

Virgin Atlantic to roll out portable IFE solution for visually impaired passengers

Virgin Atlantic is rolling out an accessible in-flight entertainment (IFE) solution that has been developed especially for passengers with visual impairment.

Credit

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

480 General Aviation Trip Booking with Flightbridge

We talk with the founder and CEO of FlightBridge, which provides booking and reservation technology for services related to General Aviation trips. In the news, we look at pilotless airliners, the purchase of roadable airplane maker Terrafugia, the preliminary report from the NTSB on the recent Icon A5 crash, general aviation safety trends, the outlook for the A380, and Fort Worth delivers last F-16 fighter.

Guest

FlightBridge founder and CEO Dudley King.

FlightBridge founder and CEO Dudley King.

Dudley King is the founder and CEO of FlightBridge Inc. He’s a “repeat entrepreneur” with a historical focus on technology services and consulting.

FlightBridge is a booking and reservation tool for services related to General Aviation trips. As Dudley says “There’s more to a trip than flying a plane and passengers from point A to point B. Rental Cars or limos, catering, crew accommodation, and FBO services are just some of the logistics that must be coordinated and run smoothly for a successful trip.”  

FlightBridge supports these efforts with an online booking and operations management tool that is completely tailored to private aviation. FlightBridge was developed with input and feedback from flight department staff, crew members, FBOs, and service providers.

Before founding FlightBridge, Dudley spent over 20 years in custom software development for customers that included several fortune 500 companies and leaders in the aviation industry.

Aviation News

Airbus Looking Forward to a Pilotless Future

Airbus Chief Technology Officer Paul Eremenko says the company wants to develop autonomous aircraft and technologies that will allow a single pilot to operate commercial jetliners: “We’re pursuing single-pilot operation as a potential option and a lot of the technologies needed to make that happen has also put us on the path towards unpiloted operation.”

Terrafugia Sale May Accelerate Flying Car’s Arrival

Chinese firm Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has acquired Terrafugia. Founder Carl Dietrich moves to chief technology officer and the Transition market entry is planned for 2019, followed by a 4-seater VTOL craft in 2023. See the press release: Zhejiang Geely Holding Group completes acquisition of Terrafugia, Inc.

National Transportation Safety Board Aviation Accident Preliminary Report

The NTSB released a preliminary report on the fatal Icon A5 crash of November 7, 2017. The report details data received from the Icon’s onboard “digital data module that recorded basic GPS, engine, and flight parameters. The airplane was also equipped with a Rockwell Collins engine control unit that recorded engine parameters.” The data seems to confirm eyewitness accounts that the pilot was flying as low as 11 feet above the water.

NTSB: GA Safety Best In 50 Years

The NTSB reports that in 2016, the general aviation accident rate dropped below 1 fatal accident per 100,000 flight hours. It’s the first time the rate has been that low in 50 years. Most aviation fatalities (almost 94%) occurred in general aviation accidents. Other forms of transport, like cars, trains, and boats, all showed increases. See the NTSB press release: Highway Deaths Lead National Increase in Transportation Fatalities.

Does Lack Of A Deal In Dubai Mean The End For A380 Jumbo Jet?

Leading up to the Dubai Air Show, the speculation was that Emirates would order between 36 and 38 A380s, but that didn’t happen. Analyst Richard Aboulafia noted that at least 30 aircraft are needed “for annual recurring breakeven.” Sir Tim Clark said Emirates won’t order any more until Airbus assures the airline that it will keep production open for 10 to 15 years.

How the F-16 fighter jet put Fort Worth on the aerospace map

F-16 production is moving out of Fort Worth. Lockheed needs the room at the plant for the ramp-up of the F-35.

Mentioned

#PaxEx Podcast 52: Bending Bluetooth to become an onboard network

Max and Mary Kirby talk with Ron Chapman, president of ASI Group, which provides low-cost in-flight connectivity solutions to the business aviation market, and is now working in the commercial airline space.

Zahorsky Aviation: Worldflight 2017

Karl-Heinz Zahorsky and Karl Karbach chronicle their journey around the world with a Piper Malibu. Web page in German and English: Logbook entries, photographs, route maps.

Etihad Airways A380 Flyover at the 2017 Abu Dhabi GP

Airbus A380 and the Al Fursan Aerobatic Display Team performing a low flyover of the 2017 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi GP.

Boeing 747 jumbo jet: Pilot farewells the iconic plane. Mark Vanhoenacker is also the author of Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot.

Credit

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

479 Flight Tracking with FlightAware

FlightAware founder and CEO Daniel Baker talks about flight tracking technology. In the news, we look at the Dubai Airshow, aviation cybersecurity, the proposed Women in Aerospace Education Act, the GE Additive 3D metal printer, and a report from the Senate Republican Policy Committee on ATC privatization.

Guest

Daniel Baker is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of FlightAware, the flight tracking data company that provides over 10,000 aircraft operators and service companies as well as over 12,000,000 passengers with global flight tracking solutions.

Flight tracking company Flightaware founder and CEO Daniel Baker.

Flightaware founder and CEO Daniel Baker.

Daniel was one of the principal developers of the FlightAware technology, and he now works directly with partners and customers in both industry (e.g., airline, cargo, business aviation) and government (e.g., air traffic management).

FlightAware uses data from air traffic control systems in over 55 countries, from FlightAware’s network of ADS-B ground stations in over 150 countries, from Aireon space-based global ADS-B, and from the major providers such as ARINC, SITA, Satcom Direct, Garmin, Honeywell GDC, and UVdatalink.

Daniel explains how FlightAware’s proprietary machine learning and rules engine called Hyperfeed takes data from multiple sources and fuses it together to create the best possible flight tracking information. About 10,000 messages per second are analyzed with over a thousand rules. Hyperfeed employs predictive analysis that looks at patterns in the flight tracking data.

Some 13-14,000 ADS-B ground stations send data over the Internet to FlightAware. Complete FlightFeeder stations can be purchased, or you can build your own PiAware flight tracking station.

We talk about satellite-based ADS-B through Aireon low-earth orbit satellites equipped with ADS-B receivers. These will provide flight tracking data for areas not covered by other means. Daniel also describes FlightAware TV, a custom, real-time FlightAware HDTV map for the office, hangar, or FBO.

Daniel knows tech and has been in the Internet services business for over two decades. He is a regular speaker at aviation and technology conferences and serves as a member of the Board of Directors at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Air and Space Museum. He also holds an FAA Commercial Pilot certificate.

Find the company at FlightAware.com, on Twitter and Facebook.

Aviation News

Dubai Air Show

Boeing vs Airbus: $77 billion in deals in under 2 hours
Airbus Seals $50 Billion Jet Deal to Outdo Boeing in Dubai
Boeing signs off on a $1.3 billion deal at Dubai Airshow
Day 1 At The Dubai Airshow: Boeing Steals The Show
Dubai Airshow: Building a new supersonic airliner
EgyptAir Orders Bombardier C Series Aircraft in Dubai

FlyDubai ordered 175 Boeing 737 Max planes with options for another 50. Boeing said it was the biggest order ever from the Middle East for single-aisle passenger planes. Altogether, the 225 firm and option aircraft have a total value of $27 billion at list prices, and include more than 50 Max 10s, with the rest Max 8s and 9s.

Airbus sold 430 A320neo family jetliners to Indigo Partners. The planes will go to four Indigo companies: Frontier Airlines, Volaris, Wizz Air Holdings Plc, and JetSmart. That deal was valued at roughly $50 billion at list prices.

Boeing also booked an order for forty 787 planes, worth $15 billion at list prices, with Dubai’s Emirates airline on Sunday. In a deal valued at $1.9 billion, Azerbaijan Airlines ordered five Boeing 787-8 aircraft and committed to two freighters. In addition, Azerbaijan Airlines became the launch customer for Boeing’s 787 Landing Gear Exchange Program.

Bombardier signed a letter of intent with EgyptAir for 12 firm CSeries CS300 aircraft with options for 12.

Cybersecurity Report Fears ‘Dismissive’ Approach

The Washington think-tank Atlantic Council released the report Aviation Cybersecurity: Finding Lift, Minimizing Drag which describes an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) assessment on cybersecurity threats to ADS-B is “dismissive.” The study indicates that the aviation industry will likely experience cybersecurity challenges similar to other industries that have embraced the “digital revolution.” Previously, aviation systems were relatively secure due to the bespoke nature of their design, isolation from other systems, and little in the way of communication protocols. But air traffic management is no longer isolated, and ground services and supply chains are becoming fully integrated into an interconnected digital world.

Connecticut’s Esty sponsors women in aerospace bill

H.R. 4254: Women in Aerospace Education Act has been introduced in Congress “to amend the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002 to strengthen the aerospace workforce pipeline by the promotion of Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program and National Aeronautics and Space Administration internship and fellowship opportunities to women.”

GE’s huge 3D metal printer makes aircraft parts

The GE Additive business unit of GE has a 3D metal printer capable of making aircraft parts as large as one meter in diameter. A metal powder is fused with a 1-kilowatt laser in thin layers to “print” the part. Since the machine is scalable, it should be capable of even larger parts.

Senate Republican Policy Committee Confirms ATC Privatization is Still Alive

A report from the Senate Republican Policy Committee titled NextGen Delayed, Just Like Your Plane says:

  • Air traffic control currently relies on outdated ground radar systems that cause delays throughout the aviation system.
  • The FAA is transitioning to NextGen technology, which has several components designed to allow safer and more efficient airspace management, including a switch to GPS.
  • Deployment of many NextGen components has been delayed and is expected to cost $2.6 billion more than planned.

The report says that “an ATC spinoff would very likely trigger constitutional challenges. A Congressional Research Service report [PDF] questioned whether courts might determine that a non-governmental ATC corporation would be unconstitutional under the non-delegation doctrine, Due Process Clause, or Appointments Clause. Although memoranda commissioned by proponents of a spinoff discount these concerns, the move to corporatize the ATC functions would almost definitely be challenged in court.”

Airline Story of the Week

Man who suffered brain aneurysm leaving him unable to walk takes to the skies as he makes a recovery

British Airways helps a man recovering from a brain injury to rejoin the world of commercial flight.

Mentioned

Retired Korean War Medal of Honor recipient passes away

More than 800 family, friends, and active duty and retired service members gathered in Concord, Mass., Nov. 16, 2017, to pay their final respects to retired Capt. Thomas J. Hudner Jr., who earned the Medal of Honor during the Korean War.Hudner passed away Nov. 13, at his home in Concord. He was 93.

Video: Thomas Hudner, Medal of Honor, Korean War

Credit

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

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.