Airbus Test and Evaluation Aircraft A350 on final approach - Copyright XTPMedia

EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2014 preview, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, and the Farnborough International Airshow.

Guest

Guest Jack Pelton is Chairman of the Board of the Experimental Aircraft Association (the EAA). He’s the retired chairman, president, and chief executive officer for Cessna Aircraft Company. Jack was Sr. Vice President of Engineering for Dornier Aircraft in Munich, and he started his career at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach CA. Also, he was a member of the board and past chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and served on the board of directors of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).

We talk about AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 – what’s new and what to expect, including the USAF Thunderbirds, static displays, air-features, the 100th anniversary of WW I aviation, forums and workshops. KidVenture, and the One Week Wonder build of a Zenith 705.

Jack gives us an update on the EAA focus topics: the 3rd class medical, 100LL fuel, ADS-B implementation costs,  and views on the shrinking pilot population.

You can find the EAA at EAA.org. on Twitter as @eaaupdate, Facebook, and Instagram.

News

The Downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17

We talk about airliner routes over areas of military conflict, counter-measures on civilian aircraft, and preserving the integrity of the crash site and allowing access by investigators.

The Farnborough Interational Airshow

Aircraft orders announced at the show, the A330neo is launched, and the B737 MAX 8.

David Vanderhoof’s Airplane of the Week

LM-2 At the NATIONAL AIR AND SPACE Museum on the MALL.  DMV Photo

On the 45th anniversary of Apollo 11, we talk about the Grumman craft that couldn’t move on Earth: the Lunar excursion module.

See Apollo 15 Ascent stage launch video and Lunar Lander Model photo (the Bug).

The Australia News Desk

Steve and Grant are joined by their friend Owen Zupp who has recently finished re-enacting the first airmail flight in Australia to help celebrate its centenary. He’s also recently launched a new website called The Pilot’s Blog, seen great traffic from his new book, and been in France with the new A350.

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

Rob talks about safety and General Aviation airplanes.

Across the Pond

Pieter brings us a report from the Farnborough International Airshow as he walks along the flightline taking in the aircraft on display. He also has the chance to talk to Managing Editor of The Aviation Historian to preview their latest edition, which has a Farnborough link.

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

Credit

Post photo: Airbus Test and Evaluation Aircraft A350 on final approach – Copyright XTPMedia.

Airplane of the Week photo: LM-2 at the National Air and Space Museum on the Mall.  DM Vanderhoof Photo.

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

Aviation Weather Center

Aviation weather training, airline fare disclosure, angle of attack indicators, Boeing market forecast, the pilot shortage, aviation scholarships, aero clubs, and funny cartoons.

Guest

Scott Dennstaedt specializes in aviation weather training for pilots. He’s a flight instructor, trained in meteorology, and he owns Chesapeake Aviation Training, headquartered in South Carolina. In addition to flight instruction, he operates the subscription-based website Aviation Weather Workshops, where you’ll find many aviation weather resources. Scott also delivers live workshops all over the country,

We discuss how weather is a challenge for many pilots, yet it affects all pilots, regardless of the aircraft type. Also, where the data used in aviation weather forecasts comes from, and if the current curriculum provides training that considers the new technologies that are available.

We discuss the questions, “Are pilots capable of properly interpreting the information that newer technology provide?” and “What data should meteorologists  be interpreting, and what data can pilots interpret on their own?”

Scott describes how satellite-delivered weather products, along with the coming ADS-B, represent a great leap forward for information in the cockpit and aviation safety.

Besides AvWxWorkshops.com, some other aviation weather resources were mentioned:

News

Airline passenger group calls on airlines to lose the asterisk

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) ordered the Full Fare Advertising Rule requiring airlines to advertise the full cost of a ticket, including all taxes and fees. Now the Transparent Airfares Act of 2014, if enacted, would let the airlines publish a base fare with an “asterisk,” and disclose the rest of the fare somewhere else.

FAA Angle of Attack Indicator Policy

Long used by the military to avoid stall/spin accidents, these safety devices are at long last inexpensive enough to install in GA aircraft. The FAA has clarified that they can be installed under the “minor alteration” rules, which reduces the paperwork and cost associated with installation.

Boeing predicts $5.2tn airplane market by 2044

Boeing’s annual 20-year forecast for new airplanes is out. The Current Market Outlook predicts a 4.2% increase over last year, to 36,770 planes. 70% are single-aisle.

Airport Directors Blame Pilot Shortage for Grounded Flights

Rule changes have impacted the availability of pilots at the regional level. What does this mean for the “pilot shortage”?

David Vanderhoof’s Airplane of the Week

Mirage F1JA in flight over Ecuador 1986

The Mirage F1. With the final flight over Paris for Bastille Day, France retired the F1CT. It seems fitting for that plane to be the topic of this week’s history segment.

The Australia News Desk

The boys are back and they’re trying to remember how to make an AusDesk. Fortunately they remember how to do it and can tell us about Air New Zealand’s new 787-9 arriving in Auckland. They also talk about Australia’s Defence Science Technology Organisation being commissioned to produce the F35 “Iron Bird” test unit.

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.

Mentioned

National Aeronautic Association Regional Aero Clubs. There are six of these around the United States. In the role of the nation’s aero club, NAA serves as a clearinghouse for regional or local aero clubs that are affiliated with NAA. Co-host Max Trescott is President of the Aero Club Of Northern California.

Chris Manno’s new book, Flight Crew Like You: Airline Cartoons from the Insider View.”  Chris is an airline captain and his cartoons have been popular worldwide in aviation trade publications as well as in crew training materials for United, American, British Airways and Lufthansa flight crews.

Aviation scholarship resources:

Others:

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

Delta B757 N698DL

New ATP written exam requirements going into effect, a Boeing 757 successor, NTSB investigation of the TWA Flight 800 accident, the AOPA Rusty Pilot program, and what you need to do to become a professional pilot.

Guest

Guest Kevin Garrison is a CFI, journalist, and author with many articles in prominent aviation publications. He’s flown the MD-88, DC-9, 727, 757, 767, and 777. He’s currently working on a series of inexpensive “CEO of the Cockpit” guidebooks about getting into the professional flying business. Kevin also provides services to medium-sized companies through Aerospace Media Partners.

Kevin’s website is Kevin Creates, and his new site called CEOoftheCockpit.com is under development. You can also find Kevin on Facebook.

News

ATP Written Prerequisites About to Change Drastically

Effective August 1, 2014, those who wish to take the ATP written exam must have completed an FAA-approved “airline transport pilot certification training program.”

Boeing Advancing on Successor to 757 Jet, Air Astana Says

The President of Air Astana, the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, says he talked to Boeing at the IATA annual meeting in Doha, saying that a new plane would be announced soon.

NTSB Will Not Reopen TWA Flight 800 Investigation

A group called “The TWA 800 Project” petitioned the NTSB to reconsider and modify the findings and determination of probable cause for the TWA Flight 800 accident.

An NTSB team of investigators not previously associated with the original investigation concluded that the NTSB’s earlier determination of probable cause was not wrong.

Two arguments theorizing a missile strike were advanced by the petitioners. The NTSB says:

“…the petitioners relied on a subset of previously available radar evidence organized around their alternative explanation of the crash. However, this analysis, upon review, was flawed.”

and

“…the petitioners introduced witness summaries obtained from the FBI that we treated as new evidence. But the witness summaries did not differ substantially from the evidence available during the NTSB’s original investigation.”

Read the NTSB’s Response to Petition for Reconsideration [PDF] for more details on this topic.

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week

David invokes the “It’s my segment and I’ll do what I want” clause in his contract, and talks about podcast sponsorship.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute

This week Rob talks about our tour of the NTSB training facility, and how that trip made him rethink how he reports accident stories himself.

Mentioned

AOPA Rusty Pilot program

AOPA says there are more than 500,000 lapsed pilots in the United States under the age of 75. The Rusty Pilot program seeks to get those pilots back in the cockpit. Rusty Pilot presentations and discussions around the country cover the use of newer technology, changes in the airspace system, new resources available to pilots, and much more.

Listener Feedback

Listener Micah sent us a recorded story he calls, “Fearless Flying.”

We comment on a listener email describing the writer’s frustration with getting into a professional flying career: the cost, the time, the low wages. Our panel offers a different way to think about this admittedly difficult path.

Credits

Listener Brian Coleman asked if there was some way he could “give back” to the Airplane Geeks podcast and help us out. So we made him Associate Producer and now Brian is busy booking guests for us. Thank you Brian!

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

Field

Aviation biofuel, the NTSB summary report on the Asiana flight 214 accident, the SAAB 105 trainer, an Air New Zealand and Etihad maintenance agreement, and aviation news from the UK.

Co-host Rob Mark will be away for a few months to focus on some other projects, and we welcome National CFI of the Year Max Trescott to help shoulder the co-hosting load.

Guest

Guest Steve Csonka is a long-time commercial aviation professional with airline and aviation OEM experience, and he’s the Executive Director of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), a public/private partnership.

We discuss the aviation industry motivations for moving to biofuel, some of the challenges, the importance of it being a “drop in fuel,” and supply chain implications. Also, how biofuel is being used today and what to expect in the future.

There are many issues to be resolved, because as Steve puts it, we’re standing up a new industrial sector.

Aviation News

Animation of Asiana Flight 214 accident sequence

NTSB Report on Asiana 214 Crash Investigation

On July 6, 2013, Asiana flight 214 crashed on approach at San Francisco International Airport. It struck the seawall at the end of the runway. Three of the 291 passengers died and 40 passengers, eight of the 12 flight attendants, and one of the four flight crewmembers received serious injuries. The rest received minor injuries or were not injured.

From Crash of Asiana Flight 214 Accident Report Summary from the NTSB:

“The NTSB determined that the flight crew mismanaged the initial approach and that the airplane was well above the desired glidepath as it neared the runway. In response to the excessive altitude, the captain selected an inappropriate autopilot mode and took other actions that, unbeknownst to him, resulted in the autothrottle no longer controlling airspeed.”

NTSB faults flight crew for fatal Asiana crash in San Francisco

NTSB Press Release

Asiana 214 Crew Errors Caused Accident, Rules NTSB

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week

Saab 105

The Saab 105 two place four seat trainer of the Swedish and Austrian air forces.

The Australia News Desk

The southern winter weather has taken its toll on Grant this week, so Steve flies the segment solo.  In the news, the constant doom and gloom surrounding aviation maintenance job losses was brightened slightly with the announcement by Air New Zealand and Etihad of an agreement to use each other’s line facilities in Melbourne and Los Angeles.  In a boost for Melbourne, Etihad’s local line maintenance facility will service Air New Zealand aircraft. In return, their aircraft will be serviced in LA at Air New Zealand’s facility.

In an era where QANTAS continues to claim that Australian aircraft maintenance is unviable, Etihad has shown that the opposite can be the case.  It also operates a line maintenance facility in Sydney.

Steve also catches up with 17 year old Alex Fisher as he continues his Flight of Solidarity around Australia in a Cessna 172, raising awareness of – and funds for – the Royal Flying Doctor Service.  This week we find Alex in Perth, Western Australia.

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.

Across the Pond

Virgin Atlantic

Pieter Johnson brings us some UK aviation, airline, and airport news this week, including the new Virgin 787-9 route confirmation, the ups and downs for British Airways, and what it costs to fly on a private Boeing 767 around with world with Captain’s Choice. He opens with a refreshing approach to general aviation with the Civil Aviation Authority consulting on its new policy framework and how it plans to reduce bureaucracy and help improve the sector in the UK. Wow!

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

MiG-29SE Fulcrum of the Bangladesh Air Force

We talk about about the USA Today general aviation safety report, airline social media strategy, the youngest person to circumnavigate Australia solo, something new in the search for MH 370, the airline market in Scandinavia, and carbon airplane brakes.

Guest

Bernie Leighton travels around the world in search of aircraft to learn about, experience, and photograph. He’s been obsessed with Russian aviation in particular since he was very young. Bernie writes his stories for AirlineReporter.com.

Bernie will go anywhere to fly on anything. He spent four years in Australia learning about how to run an airline, while putting his learning into practice by mileage running around the world. You can usually find Bernie in his natural habitat: an airport.

We talk with Bernie about some of the interesting planes he’s found and even flown on, how he selects his destinations, and photography (his collection is on Flickr). We also learn about Russian ekranoplan ground effect aircraft and where you can get your own small passenger ekranoplan, the  Aquaglide  from the Russian Arctic Trade and Transport Company. They have a video library of photographs.

Bernie has flown in a Genex AN-26 in Belarus in Eastern Europe, landing with a cargo door stuck open. He characterizes flying in Russia like this: the Russian aviation  culture is operational practicality with a respect for safety, versus Western devotion to safety at the expense of operations.

The week’s aviation news

Safety last: Lies and coverups mask roots of small-plane carnage

In the past five decades, almost 45,000 people have been killed in private planes and helicopters. Investigations have said pilots caused or at least contributed to 86% of those accidents.USA Today says their investigation shows that many accidents are caused by defective parts and dangerous designs, and manufacturers have covered up problems and lied to regulators.

Airlines: Is a Customer Service Mindset at Odds with a Social Media Culture?

Marisa Garcia writes about the airline passenger experience in her Flight Chic blog. In this post, she blogs about a discussion of airline social media strategy at the SITA IT Summit in Brussels. American Airlines has built a large, very responsive social media culture that involves many employees at many levels. JetBlue Airways seems to favor more of a traditional, face-to-face customer support strategy.

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week

Cessna Skymaster

The Cessna 336/337 O-2A  Skymaster. Cessna’s push-me-pull-me went from Air Taxi to director of air strikes in South East Asia. The aircraft’s chainsaw buzz brings back fond memories to both Rob and David.

The Australia News Desk

This week the boys are chatting with Alex Fisher, a 17 year old who’s currently flying solo around Australia to raise funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service and become the youngest person to circumnavigate Australia solo by aircraft in the process.

Find more information at his Flight of Solidarity website and follow him on Twitter at @fltofsolidarity.

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

Rob tells us about the deleted files from the MH 370 pilot’s flight simulator.

Across the Pond

This week Pieter returns to talk to Marisa Garcia about the airline market in Scandinavia. They discuss key airline and airport developments and focus on Norway. Marisa can be found at FlightChic.com.

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

Mentioned

It’s a Boat… It’s a Plane… It’s BOTH

Bernie Leighton’s article and photographs in AirlineReporter.com. Read all of Bernie’s Airline Reporter articles.

Airline Pilot Guy

Captain Jeff’s excellent aviation podcast. In the listener feedback segment, Jeff gives us a good lesson on carbon brakes on airliners.

Heavens Above

This site for astronomy enthusiasts will let you find Iridium Flares, as well as lots of other information.

Pentagon IDs 17 of 52 killed in 1952 Alaskan plane crash

The remains of 17 people onboard the C-124 Globemaster which crashed in 1952 will be returned to their families.

FAA and UAS

This is a good post on why the FAA needs to get Unmanned Aerial System regulations right.

Jodi in a Top Cub

Jodi in a Top Cub

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 www.brotherloverocks.com.

David, Rob, Max, and Benet

Recorded at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum during the 10th annual Become a Pilot Family Day and Aviation Display.

This annual event at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, located in Chantilly, Virginia offers not only the Museum’s amazing exhibits, but also about 50 vintage, recreational, and home-built aircraft flown in for one day only. This year, United brought in a Boeing 777 that was open for a tour.

Our visit this year was sponsored by Iridium Communications Inc.

National Transportation Safety Board training center tour

TWA 800

The day before the event at the NASM, the NTSB was kind enough to provide us special access to their training center in Ashburn, Virginia. This marvelous facility is used to train NTSB accident investigators, as well as investigators from other agencies and organizations.

We were given a briefing on the TWA Flight 800 accident investigation, and then toured the aircraft reconstruction, which is used for training with permission of the victim’s families. The depth of the investigation (which took over four years) is amazing and the examining the physical evidence first hand is an experience we will not forget.

None of us came away with any faith in the conspiracy theories that continue to swirl around the accident. All the analysis points to an internal explosion of the fuel vapor in the center tank.

General (ret) John R. “Jack” Dailey

A retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general and pilot, he’s been the director of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum since 2000. We talk with the General about his expectations for the event and stimulating STEM. Also, about the future of the Museum with more people visiting online. The NASM is digitizing their database and is planning for free online accessibility. The Museum also plans to bring in more of the aircraft they have.

Capt. Robert Randazzo

1941 ex-Pan American World Airways DC-3 (NC33611)

Robert Randazzo flew-in the 1945 ex-Pan American World Airways DC-3 (NC33611) he has restored in full Pan Am livery and named the “Tabatha May.” We also talk a bit about Randazzio’s past experience racing a T-6 at Reno.

Matt Desch

Iridium Go!

Matt Desch is the CEO of Iridium Communications, the world’s largest satellite system. Their new Iridium Go! product is the first satellite WiFi voice and data hotspot that works anywhere on the planet at any altitude. Interestingly, Iridium offers an API so developers can create apps for the device.

Matt is also on the Board of AOPA, and we talk about the organization’s mission, the value of being a member, current aviation issues, and the Rusty Pilots program. New AOPA President Mark Baker has initiated a series of regional fly-ins across the U.S., with very good results. On the topic of the cost to be a private pilot, we chat about renovating older airplanes as an affordable option.

Iridium was kind enough to sponsor the Airplane Geeks at the event.

Bill Barry

Bill Barry is Chief Historian with the NASA History Program Office, and we talk about what interests an historian at the NASM and the relationship between NASA and the NASM. The predecessor organization of NASA, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), will have been founded 100 ago next year, and we talk about the many significant contributions they made.

Follow the History Program Office on Twitter at @NASAHistory and visit them on Facebook.

Edgar “E.T.” Tello

Seabee

A current B757/767 Captain with United, Tello flew in the B777 on display. But he also owns a Republic Seabee and Rob talks with him about that aircraft. The Seabee was envisioned as a sport plane for pilots returning after the Second World War.

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

Become a Pilot Day 2014, NASM

We’d like to thank the staff and crew at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center for their hard work to make this event a success, and for facilitating the content we bring to you. We’d also like to thank the NTSB for giving us access to their training center, and for their strong dedication to making aviation safer for all of us.

Air Atlanta 727

We talk with Ace Abbott about flying the F-4 Phantom, Learjet, and B727. Also, tracking airliners, the Gulfstream IV crash, pilots in the back being called to duty. We talk about the Ford Tri-motor, FAA pressure for commercial UAS operations, aviation in the Middle East, and news from down under.

Guest Ace Abbott Morris entered the U.S. Air Force after graduating from college and became an F-4 Phantom pilot based in the Far East.  After the Air Force, Ace became a Learjet corporate and charter pilot, and during the last 22 years of his career, he flew Boeing 727s, accumulating 11,000 hours in the captain’s chair with several different airlines.

Ace blogs at The Rogue Aviator, tweets at @aceabbott, and hosts book presentations with aviation organizations throughout the country. His second book, Dead Tired: Pilot Fatigue – Aviation’s Insidious Killer, looks at the implications of pilot fatigue.

We talk about flying the 727, with occasional #2 engine compressor stalls and the #3 engine coming off the plane from blue ice strikes. Also, flying the F-4 Phantom in Korea, and the future of remotely piloted aircraft, probably first with cargo airplanes.

On the high performance Learjet, Ace encountered a variety of celebrity passengers, as well as in the 727.  He comments on what airline pilots say about flying these days, and the contributions made by ALPA for pilots and for aviation safety.

The week’s aviation news

Airlines want tracking technology to prevent another MH370

Like most all of us, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) doesn’t want to see a repeat of MH370. So IATA has created a taskforce that includes airlines, pilots, flight safety organizations, and flight tracking and navigation service providers. This tracking task force (not a data streaming task force) should report their recommendations in September, 2014.

NTSB: Plane never took off from ground, black box data shows

We get an update on the Gulfstream G-4 accident, and learn that the plane was traveling at 165 knots on the runway, and the black boxes point to brake pressure and thrust reversers before the crash.

Local USAF pilot helps in airline emergency

Any pilot in the back of the plane has daydreamed about what they would do if the assistance of another pilot was needed. Capt. Mark Gongol (who normally flies a B-1B Lancer) had the opportunity to actually live out that scenario on a commercial B737 flight.

The Aircraft of the Week

Tri-Motor at MDQ 2

Jamie Dodson tells us about the Tri-motor.

The Australia Desk

Grant’s sulking because Max forgot his name last week and it takes all Steve’s producer skills (and a few beers) to get him back into the groove. Once that’s achieved, it’s on with the show.

CASA acknowledges that the new Wellcamp airport near Toowoomba is likely to have airspace issues once it’s up and running.

Meanwhile, Sydney’s second airport at Badgerys Creek will take up to a year just to get through discussions and negotiations.

The recently released Aviation Safety Regulation Review is recommending some major changes in CASA’s approach to industry

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

At the risk of droning on, Rob has something to say about industry pressure on the FAA to allow commercial use of unmanned aerial systems.

Across the Pond

Qatar Airways

Pieter Johnson continues his discussion with Oussama Salah this week, focussing on the Middle East and recent developments including Apartment Suites on aircraft through to the new Doha Hub.

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

Mentioned

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 www.brotherloverocks.com.

Bombardier CS100

We talk with Ron Rapp about being a contract pilot, General Aviation user fees, the market for a supersonic business jet, GA intercepts by the Feds, a GTF engine failure, Airbus A320neo EIS, and an FAA Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aerial Systems.

Guest Ron Rapp blogs at House of Rapp. He’s also a professional charter pilot with over 7000 hours. He’s flown flown more than 60 aircraft types, including tailwheel aircraft, aerobatics, formation flying, gliders, seaplanes, turboprops, biz jets, warbirds, experimentals, radials, and more.

Ron has volunteered with Angel Flight, he’s written messages in the air as a SkyTyper, he’s crop-dusted with ex-military King Airs, and flown across oceans in a Gulfstream IV. Ron writes for AOPA’s Opinion Leaders blog, and his work has appeared in Sport Aviation, Sport Aerobatics, Airscape, and others.

The week’s aviation news

After Private Pilots Complain, Customs Rethinks Intercept Policy

Armed U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have been approaching GA airplanes to detain and question pilots.  NPR reports that the CBP has told them this is going to change so that law-abiding pilots are not needlessly detained for warrantless searches.

C-Series Flight Testing Halted After GTF Engine Failure

The GTF engine on Bombardier CSeries test aircraft FTV1 experienced an engine failure during stationary maintenance testing. Reportedly, the failure damaged the engine nacelle and fuselage. No apparent damage to the wing Bombardier has suspended flight testing, ground testing continues, and the engine has gone to Pratt & Whitney for disassembly.

See also,  New Bombardier Jet Suffers Major Engine Failure, Bombardier Confirms Engine-Related Incident on CSeries FTV1 Aircraft, Airbus says A320neo jet schedule unaffected by Bombardier engine problem, and  Bombardier Sees No Impact to CSeries Schedule From Engine Fault.

Airbus CEO: A320 intro must be flawless

A few days prior to the CSeries incident, at the annual shareholders meeting in Amsterdam, Airbus CEO Tom Enders said the A320neo introduction need to be perfect so the company can meet its profitability and cash flow targets.

FAA to Establish UAS Center of Excellence

The FAA wants to create a Center of Excellence to support their research program for Unmanned Aircraft Systems. The FAA intends that the COE study detect-and-avoid technology, control and communications, compatibility with air traffic control operations, and training and certification of UAS pilots and crewmembers.

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week

David tells us about the VCS-7, the US Navy Spitfires that flew over the Beaches of Normandy 70 years ago this week. And he brings up one of his biggest pet peeves.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute

Rob talks about veterans and aviation.

Across the Pond

Air Algerie Boeing 737-8D6 Copyright Konstantin von Wedelstaedt

Air Algerie Boeing 737-8D6 Copyright Konstantin von Wedelstaedt

As a result of listener feedback, this week Pieter asks Oussama Salah to give us an update on the state of the airlines in North Africa. Is the tide turning and the airline business improving? Or, is it too early to see any “airline shoots of spring.”

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

Mentioned

Ryan's modelling station

Ryan’s modelling station

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 www.brotherloverocks.com.

F-35 Lightning II

We celebrate our 300th episode with Bill Sweetman, Senior International Defense Editor at Aviation Week & Space Technology.

We talk about black programs, the Aurora, and the mysterious aircraft photographed in the skies over Texas. Also, F-35 program strategy and how adversaries respond to the long program length and a strategy that relies on one aircraft. We discuss developing programs in the black compared to in the white, and harvesting existing technology versus developing new technology.

We consider the F-22 program and if the line should have been kept open, and the cost to maintain stealth coatings. Bill describes his original recommendation on what to do with the A-10 fleet, and answers the question, “Is there a role for manned reconnaissance aircraft?”

The week’s aviation news:

ICAO makes global flight tracking a priority in MH370 aftermath
and
ICAO Delivers Agreement Between States, Industry Groups on Global Airline Flight Tracking Capability

The International Civil Aviation Organization is a UN-sponsored organization created in 1944 under the Chicago Convention. Working with industry, ICAO develops Standards and Recommended Practices which are used by the member States as they develop their own national civil aviation regulations. Recently, ICAO held a Special Meeting on Global Flight Tracking of Aircraft and the member states agreed to make the tracking of airline flights a near-term priority.

Brooksville to be hub for new saucer-shaped aircraft

Corporate Jet Solutions entered into a joint-venture agreement with Aerobat Aviation, with hopes of launching the Geobat FS-7, kind of a flying saucer. They hope to have saucers ready for the 2014 Airventure Oshkosh.

SoCal sonic boom: Calling card of the top-secret Aurora spy plane?

Southern California residents were shaken lately by what some thought was an earthquake. But the US Navy confirms it was a sonic boom by an aircraft 50 miles off the coast. But one witness says he knows sonic booms and this was no sonic boom. Is it the Aurora?

Mystery Aircraft Over Texas

Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works is developing the SR-72 spy plane. Is this what has been spotted in the sky?

Become a Pilot, Family Day and Aviation Display

Join Max, Rob, David, and a whole community of Avgeeks June 14, 2014, at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, located in Chantilly, Virginia. The annual Become a Pilot day features aircraft and activities for the whole family.

In this week’s Australia Desk:

In amongst all the congratulations for episode 300, the boys take us back to Qantas as, after all, it’s been a couple of months since they last talked about them!

From lay-offs to “weekend departure charges,” there’s much to say as Qantas celebrates 60 years of flying across the Pacific.

Then, for a change of pace, it seems the Australian Government are considering buying the F35B as well as the 72 F35As they’ve already committed to?

Finally, we round out by chatting about Hobart’s runway being upgraded to handle A330’s & 777’s.

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.

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

With Pieter recently crossing a major milestone in life, his reminiscing seems to be overwhelming. And with the recent passing of the VC10, L1011 and DC10 into living memory it is a little further back that he looks for solace and he finds it in the project  “Ode to Concorde” which aims to be a visual celebration of the aircraft that’s imprinted in our minds for its exquisite aesthetics and iconic status in aviation history. Pieter talks to Director Chris Purcell about the project and how the aviation industry and you can step in to help create this film.

Find Ode to Concorde on Twitter and Facebook, and support them on Indiegogo. Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

Mentioned:

  • AvTunes – Sky High Songs That Fly

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

Viking Twin Otter UV-18C

We talk Loungebuddy CEO Tyler Dikman about access to airport lounges, airline baggage and other ancillary fees,  and therapy and service animals on the airplane.

Tyler tells us about the benefits of airport lounges, which are used by only about 6% of the traveling public. Airports are often not relaxing or conducive to work, and lounges are an alternative that is more available than some people think. Many are available to anyone for a one time fee, which might be an inexpensive upgrade for road warriors.

The lounges range from basic to luxurious, and each has their own access requirements, rules, and amenities. Loungebuddy provides a global directory of airport lounges (currently 425 airports), how to get into them, how many guests you can bring, if they are free or charge for entry, and what you’ll find in those lounges.

We also talk about social interaction in airport lounges and the business case for airport lounges. Most are carrier-operated, but sometimes third parties manage the lounge, like Plaza Premium Lounge and Serviceair (now Swissport).

Tyler gives us his thoughts on the airport lounge with the best food, best WiFi, and most unusual amenity.

The week’s aviation news:

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week:

The deHavilland, now Viking, DHC-6 Twin Otter. David got talking about Twin Otters with Ken Breeden, one of the US Army Golden Knights C-31 pilots for his flight.  Ken is also the Contract Project Officer for the team and that led to the discussion of the newest aircraft the UV-18C Twin Otters.

Videos:

In this week’s Australia Desk:

The boys are back and recovered from working at Wings Over Illawarra airshow last week and they’re reporting on the Australian Federal Government’s recent approval to purchase an additional 58 F35s, taking our total confirmed purchase to 72 aircraft.

Meanwhile, a brand new Cirrus SR22 had an engine failure over the Blue Mountains and the pilot deployed the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) to land in the front yard of a house. The landing caused a bit of a media sensation and also led to Grant being quoted in a newspaper article and interviewed on radio 2UE.

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.

Mentioned:

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 www.brotherloverocks.com.

Seaborne Airlines : Coming Off the trailer…

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