We speak with a retired USAF General about the challenges involved in providing Ukraine with F-16s.
Brigadier General John “Dragon” Teichert (Ret) is recently retired from the U.S. Air Force. He was the Assistant Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force, International Affairs, and was responsible for worldwide international engagement on behalf of the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Space Force. He led the services’ $240 billion security cooperation portfolio.
Prior to that, John was the Senior Defense Official and Defense Attaché to Iraq. He has been an F-15E combat pilot, an F-22 test pilot, the commander of Joint Base Andrews, and the commander of Edwards Air Force Base. John has more than 2,000 hours in 38 different aircraft types.
The President of the United States has agreed to allow F-16 fighter jets to be provided to Ukraine. John explains what the F-16 could mean for Ukraine and how it could be used strategically and tactically. We then consider the complexities involved in making it happen: sourcing the F-16s, training pilots and support crew, facilities requirements, and logistics and maintenance support. Also how this ties the West to Ukraine long term.
John has written and spoken extensively on leadership, innovation, technology, national security, security cooperation, cross-cultural relationships, risk management, resilience, and international affairs. He holds engineering degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University, and is the founder and president of Capital Leadership LLC.
A ruling in the Northeast Alliance antitrust suit, American Airlines flight attendants troubled by the “ConnectMe” app, new service and routes from Breeze Airways, Republic Airways to fine pilots who leave early, Cessna Citation Ascend unveiled, and a YouTuber charged in the crash of his plane.
In a May 19, 2023 ruling, the judge in the Northeast Alliance antitrust suit determined that the Alliance “substantially diminishes competition in the domestic market for air travel.” The Department of Justice alleged that by codesharing and collaborating to run complementary route networks through New York and Boston, the Northeast Alliance would “eliminate significant competition between American and JetBlue that has led to lower fares and higher quality service for consumers traveling to and from those airports.” Unless the ruling is appealed, the Alliance must end within 30 days.
In the first months of 2020, executives at American Airlines and JetBlue negotiated and signed a first-of-its-kind alliance, in which the two carriers essentially agreed to operate as one airline for most of their flights in and out of New York City and Boston.
This case turns on what “competition” means. To the defendants, competition is enhanced if they join forces to unseat a powerful rival. The Sherman Act, however, has a different focus. Federal antitrust law is not concerned with making individual competitors larger or more powerful. It aims to preserve the free functioning of markets and foster participation by a diverse array of competitors. Those principles are generally undermined, rather than promoted, by agreements among horizontal competitors to dispense with competition and cooperate instead. That is precisely what happened here.
In May 2022, American Airlines announced they were partnering with Microsoft “to use technology to create better, more connected experiences for customers and American Airlines team members… American will use Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud platform for its airline applications and key workloads.”
Now the Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA) representing American Airlines flight attendants takes issue with the Airline’s “ConnectMe” app. The mandatory internal messaging app works within Microsoft Teams and allows flight attendants to communicate with gate agents, pilots, and engineers during pre-boarding and boarding.
The union says they didn’t have any input into the use of ConnectMe, interruptions through the app are a distraction, and there is a “constant barrage of texts [which] prioritizes another department’s objectives over safety which should be first and foremost.”
The fifth-generation Citation 560XL arrives in 2025 at a price of $16.7 million. Changes include a new and larger flight deck and cabin windows, Pratt & Whitney Canada PW545D engines, and interior improvements. The APU now is approved for unattended operation and the cockpit incorporates the latest version of the Garmin G5000 integrated flight deck, as well as Garmin’s 3D exocentric view airport diagrams on PFDs, including runway and taxiway signs, obstacle symbols, and building images.
It’s a felony charge for the YouTuber who deliberately abandoned his plane in 2021 and recorded the event while he parachuted out, in an effort to get views.
AeroXplorer (previously TheExplorerBlog) is an aviation photography and news source that provides industry news and an airframe photography database with more than 30,000 photos. They have a map showing many airports. Click on one and see spotting photos from that airport.
Brian Shul, our guest from Episode 375 (2015) died on May 20, 2023. He was an Air Force fighter pilot, flew A-7D, flew A-10, taught at the Air Force’s TopGun school in the F-5B, and became an SR-71 spy plane pilot.
We look at human trafficking, how airports play into the issue, and what one organization is doing at airports to address the problem.
Betty Ann Hagenau is the Founder and Executive Director of the Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition (BAATC) and Airport Initiative. BAATC has observed a “Move, Work, Sleep” pattern in human trafficking cases and the organization has created a targeted approach to disrupt the cycle at frontline industries: airports, apartments, and hotels. Airport Initiative is the training division of BAATC that brings human trafficking identification training to airport employees.
We look at the scope of the problem, who the victims of human trafficking are, and how airports (large and small) play an unwitting role in the transportation of victims. Betty Ann describes common trafficking myths and the BAATC training-based approach to disrupting human trafficking.
Betty Ann has focused her career on being an anti-trafficking thought leader, and she’s known for her collaborative work with over 100 anti-trafficking organizations and government agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area and around the world.
Betty Ann spent 18 months interviewing former human traffickers in San Quentin Prison to better understand their lucrative business practices and to inform the development of BAATC’s strategies and programs to train frontline employees in the airline and hospitality industries to effectively identify and report trafficking.
We discover mission aviation from JAARS. In the news, airlines add staff in anticipation of the coming summer travel boom, Congress looks at increased educational funding for flight training programs, compensating passengers for preventable delays, and DOT’s Airline Customer Service Dashboard.
Mission aviation is the use of aircraft to transport people, supplies, and medical care to remote areas that would otherwise be inaccessible. It is often used by missionaries to reach people who live in isolated communities and do not have access to other forms of transportation.
JAARS is a community of missionaries, volunteers, and a few employees who provide Scripture to people around the world in a language and form that they can clearly understand. They support Bible translation and language development partners globally and work with prayer and financial partners in the United States to help make a range of on-the-field solutions possible.
Brendan Palmer is a mechanical engineer who designs modifications and fabricates parts for special needs at JAARS. His wife Allie Palmer is an aircraft mechanic, working primarily in avionics. As a hobby, the couple is constructing a KR-2S home-built aircraft.
Based in Waxhaw, North Carolina, JAARS maintains training aircraft and performs heavy overhauls for overseas aircraft. Pilots receive preliminary training for conditions like short field landings and severe strip upslopes, then receive additional training overseas in the actual environment where they will be flying.
Aircraft are either received as a donation or purchased by JAARS and include Pilatus PC-6 Porter, Cessna 206, Helio Courier, Kodiak, and Robinson R66 aircraft. Current areas of operation include Indonesia, Cameroon, Papua New Guinea, and locations in South America.
JAARS hosts events, tours, and vision flights. See their website for more information and how to support the organization. Find JAARS on Facebook and Instagram.
A robust air travel season is predicted for Summer 2023 and airlines have been hiring workers in response. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the air transportation industry had around 534,400 employees in March, which is up 9.5% from 2022. It’s the largest pool of employees since April 2003. United Airlines hired more than 7,000 workers so far in 2023 and plans to hire 8,000 more this year.
Two bipartisan bills offer options for increased educational funding for flight training programs.
The Flight Education Access Act (H.R. 2874) would make federal student loans available to university and Part 141 flight schools, raise loan limits for flight students, and create a public/private partnership grant program to increase scholarship and outreach programs.
The Aviation Workforce Development Act (H.R. 1818) would extend 529 college savings plans to training at FAA-certified commercial pilot and aircraft maintenance technician schools.
The rulemaking process has started which would require airlines to compensate passengers in the case of preventable delays and cancelations. Meals would be covered along with hotel rooms and rebooking fees.
The Dashboard shows airline policies for family seating, controllable delays, and controllable cancelations.
Australia News Desk
Qantas has dominated this week’s airline news, as long-time, and often controversial CEO Alan Joyce announced his intention to step down in November, handing the reins to the company’s current Chief Financial Officer, Vanessa Hudson.
Hudson has been working at the airline in various roles over her 28-year career, and her appointment comes as no surprise, despite claims of a worldwide search for Joyce’s replacement, taking in around 40 potential candidates.
Alan Joyce began his airline career in 1988 at Aer Lingus, coming to Australia in 1996 for roles at Ansett before joining Qantas in 2000. He became the CEO of low-cost offshoot Jetstar in 2003 before being appointed Qantas CEO in 2008.
Meanwhile, Qantas is once again taking unions to court, this time over the question of A380 Second Officer vacancies, and whether they’re able to bypass the long-standing convention of pilot seniority to fill current gaps. Their proposal includes recruiting aircrew from outside the company. The Australian and International Pilots Association wants the seniority system retained, and the decision of the court may well have broader implications for Australian workers, should they be unsuccessful.
This episode focuses on the “Queen of the Skies,” the Boeing 747.
We look at the history of the Boeing 747, some facts and figures, our memories of the plane, the 747 in the news, and we discuss a few of the accidents and incidents. We also have some personal photos of the Boeing 747 taken by our listeners.
This week being episode 747, the boys decided to have a little fun and look at some Australian Boeing 747 milestones over the years. There are so many to cover, so these are just a snapshot. We highly recommend checking out http://aussieairliners.org/ as a superb reference on Jumbo’s and many, many other types in Australian service.
In the news this week, regional operator ReX have made the decision to cut schedules across their route network, citing the impact of global supply chain issues impacting their ability to service and operate their fleet, especially in terms of sourcing parts & spares for their SAAB 340’s.
The Australian Government’s Defence Strategic Review has been released, and we continue to pour over the details, with the Army appearing to cop the brunt of cutbacks and/or changes to equipment and posturing, while the impact, if any, on defence aviation operations remains to be seen. We’ll have more on this in future editions of this report, and on Plane Crazy Down Under and the Australian Defence Magazine podcast in coming weeks.
Live and recorded ATC transmissions from LiveATC.net. In the news, the FAA Acting Administrator is stepping down, Airbus and Air France are cleared in the Air France Flight 447 accident, the FAA has some advice for terrain avoidance and warning systems, and ADs for Boeing 747-8s and B-17s.
Dave Pascoe is the founder and CEO of LiveATC.net, the world’s largest aviation radio voice data collection. Dave has had a life-long obsession with radio and technology, which led him to an MSEE degree and a career that spans RF technology to large-scale IT systems management.
Dave made a few minor detours along the way. One of those detours turned into LiveATC.net, which Dave started in late 2002. The service hosts live audio streams and archived voice data from over 3,000 channels of air traffic radio transmissions at over 1,400 airports and ATC control areas. Dave is also an active instrument-rated private pilot and avid ham radio operator.
Nolen announced he’d be leaving the FAA to spend more time with his family. He became Acting Administrator in April 2022 when former FAA Administrator Steve Dickson stepped down before his term was finished.
Air France Flight 447, an A330, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, 2009, killing all 228 people on board. A French court has determined that a causal link between any possible errors made and the crash could not be proved. “A probable causal link isn’t sufficient to characterize an offense,” the judge said in her statement. Families of the victims were shocked and angered by the finding.
A terrain avoidance and warning system (TAWS) seeks to avoid controlled flight into terrain accidents. TAWS is the generic term for a ground proximity warning system (GPWS). According to the notice, “Alerts from TAWS can become a nuisance or a distraction to pilots when flying at altitudes below the alerting threshold of the system. This may result in the pilot’s decision to inhibit the system. Inhibiting warning systems and ignoring warnings, combined with deteriorating weather conditions leading to loss of visual surface reference and situational awareness, has been found to be the cause of some CFIT [controlled flight into terrain] accidents.”
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) concerning “cracks in stringers, common to the end fittings, forward and aft of the pressure bulkhead at station (STA) 2360 at multiple stringer locations” on 747-8i and 747–8F series aircraft. The proposed AD would require repetitive inspections of stringer sidewalls and certain stringer assemblies.
In its investigation, the FAA determined that during assembly, un-shimmed or incorrectly shimmed gaps larger than what is required caused “excessive and sustained internal tensile stresses and resulted in stress corrosion cracking in the stringers.”
The FAA is preparing to issue an AD that will likely ground all B-17 aircraft due to “wing spar issues.” The Yankee Air Museum has already grounded its Boeing B-17G (“Yankee Lady”) in anticipation of the AD. The upcoming AD may be a result of wing spar issues found in the EAA’s B-17 “Aluminum Overcast.” That plane has been grounded since April 2021.
GlobalAir.com says in Rumors fly of AD that will ground all B-17 aircraft that Hangar Thirteen is restoring a B-17 and posted on Facebook about the Yankee Lady. The post noted that wing spars are a common issue within the B-17 community, citing a 2001 AD from the FAA concerning cracking and corrosion of the wing spar chords, bolts and bolt holes of the spar chords and wing terminals, and a correction of any problems found during inspections.”
According to Aero Vintage, there are now only four operational B-17s left. While there may be 46 total complete airframes and 18 registered in the U.S., many are currently being restored or used as display pieces.
Australia News Desk
Aviation pioneer Max Hazelton sadly passed away shortly before his 96th birthday after quite the career. Max was the founder of Hazelton Airlines which became a subsidiary of Ansett Airlines and then merged with Kendell Airlines to become Regional Express (aka REX) after Ansett went under in September 2001.
Increased air turbulence from climate change, national aeronautics science and technology priorities, a sleeping Delta pilot is raided, international passengers skip immigration, prison time for shining a laser at an airplane, responsibility for aborting a takeoff, and flying with children.
Paul Williams, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Reading in England, says that there is evidence that wind shear above 15,000 feet is becoming more frequent. This can produce unpredictable “clear-air turbulence” where there are no clouds or bad weather. Williams believes that the jet stream is being impacted by rising temperature levels. The NTSB has said that air turbulence causes the most common types of accidents aboard aircraft. From 2009 to 2022, the NTSB recorded 163 “serious injuries” resulting from air turbulence. Flight crews incurred 80% of the injuries.
The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has released a National Aeronautics Science & Technology Priorities [PDF] document. It offers three strategic priorities: Achieving Sustainable Aviation, Transforming the National Airspace System, and Promoting Connectivity and Speed. Across all priorities, the U.S. Government’s efforts will be guided by seven principles: (1) Safety, (2) Environment, (3) Economic Competitiveness, (4) Innovation, (5) Security, (6) Workforce, and (7) Equity.
U.S. Army Special Operations Command and the FBI conducted “essential military training” at a Boston hotel. The plan was to enter a hotel room and interrogate a role player. Unfortunately, the team was “mistakenly sent” to the wrong room “based on inaccurate information.” There they woke a sleeping Delta Air Lines pilot, hand-cuffed him, placed him in the shower, and interrogated the “suspect” for 45 minutes.
Passengers deplaning a Norse Atlantic flight at JFK’s Terminal 7 were directed through a doorway leading to the terminal, not through the doorway to customs. After the error was discovered, passengers received an email from the airline saying they must return to New York JFK airport the next day at a specific time to be cleared by immigration.
After pleading guilty to aiming a laser at a Delta Air Lines jet in 2021, a federal judge sentenced the man to two years in prison. James Link, 43, of Rochester, Minnesota, lit up the cockpit with a blue laser three times. ATC then contacted a Minnesota State Patrol aircraft, which flew to the area. Link then flashed the State Patrol aircraft. The pilots spotted Link and worked with local police to apprehend him.
Australia News Desk
Accents?? What accents?? It may well be a matter of perspective of course, but following on from last week’s discussion of Aussie accents vs American accents, we take a quick look at some of the challenges that can sometimes pose, from an aviation standpoint.
In the news, Virgin Australia has resumed flights this week to the Pacific paradise of Vanuatu, following a three-year, covid driven break. As you’ll hear, the crew received a warm welcome upon arrival in Port Vila.
Virgin are also expecting the delivery of their first 737 MAX aircraft; something also delayed, and obviously not only by the covid years. The airline had originally placed their orders prior to the type’s well-publicised issues, and hence put those plans on hold pending a solution. At any rate, we expect to see the first MAX in VA colours here in June.
And being Easter, we see the yearly reportage of massive queues and delays at many of Australia’s larger airports, as people flock to get away on the last holiday break before the Australian winter sets in.
The Airlines Confidential podcast is hosted by Ben Baldanza, the former CEO Spirit Airlines, and Scott McCartney, the former WSJ columnist “The Middle Seat.” Episode 181, published on April 5, 2023, touches on lap babies at 7:07 into the program.
More states join the Justice Department antitrust lawsuit to block the JetBlue-Spirit Merger, a Delta flight aborts takeoff after another jet raises concerns, Shell cancels it’s plans for a SAF plant in Singapore, Delta uses its partnership with Lyft, and the FAA warns about summer travel disruptions. We also offer a little bit of aviation career advice and talk more about lap babies on airlines.
The Attorneys General of California, Maryland, New Jersey, and North Carolina joined the civil antitrust lawsuit filed by the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. Those states now join Massachusetts, New York, and the District of Columbia. The civil antitrust lawsuit seeks to block JetBlue’s proposed $3.8 billion acquisition of Spirit Airlines. The 42-page amended complaint says:
JetBlue’s proposed $3.8 billion acquisition of Spirit would eliminate the largest and fastest-growing ultra-low-cost carrier in the United States. Spirit’s ultra-low-cost business model has increased competition and brought low fares to hundreds of routes across the country, making it possible for more Americans—particularly the most cost conscious—to travel. JetBlue competes hard against Spirit, and views it as a serious competitive threat. But instead of continuing that competition, JetBlue now proposes an acquisition that Spirit describes as “a high cost, high-fare airline buying a low-cost, low-fare airline.”
If the acquisition is approved, JetBlue plans to abandon Spirit’s business model, remove seats from Spirit’s planes, and charge Spirit’s customers higher prices. JetBlue’s plan would eliminate the unique competition that Spirit provides—and about half of all ultra-low-cost airline seats in the industry—and leave tens of millions of travelers to face higher fares and fewer options.
The DOJ’s suit is scheduled to go to trial in a Massachusetts courtroom on October 16, 2023.
Delta flight DL-1482 was cleared for takeoff from New Orleans runway 11 when ATC canceled the clearance and the A321-200 (N342DN) screeched to a halt. The FAA says the Learjet did not cross the “hold short line,” but the controller canceled the takeoff clearance out of an abundance of caution. The Aviation Herald reports the crew rejected takeoff at high speed (about 125 knots over ground) and stopped about 1500 meters/4920 feet down the runway. The Tower explained another aircraft had crossed the hold short line of the runway.
Shell announced in 2021 that it was planning a biofuel project in Singapore to produce 550,000 tonnes of SAF per year for major Asian hubs like Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) and Singapore’s Changi Airport (SIN). Shell had planned to make their final investment decision by early 2023. Now the company says the market demand in that region will not support the investment.
Some Delta Air Lines passengers arriving in Detroit found that strong thunderstorms in the area prevented them from flying to nearby final destinations. Delta stepped in and rebooked some passengers on Lyft. Lyft has been a Delta partner for six years.
The New York airspace is so congested that the FAA has asked airlines to make operational changes. For the peak summer travel season, the FAA would like to see larger planes and fewer flights. Consumer demand is forecasted to be seven percent higher during the summer than last year. The FAA says if nothing changes, we can expect 45 percent more delays. Staffing at air traffic control centers averages 81 percent of what’s needed. Staffing at the New York Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) is only 54 percent of the need.
An Electrical Engineering student with an interest in aviation asked us about career opportunities, how to fund pilot instruction, and general advice. We provide our thoughts and strategies. Mentioned:
Australia’s newest airline, Bonza, continues with the rollout of its new route network with the opening this week of its base in Melbourne, Victoria. The opening comes as figures show they’ve sold over 100,000 seats since commencing operation two months ago. Will the strategy of offering budget fares for Melburnians to access the warmer weather of Queensland and points north be sustainable in the medium to long term? And will other airlines move to match their destinations and pricing? Business is business, after all. We’ll continue to watch with interest.
Qantas meantime have ventured into the sustainability stakes from another angle – biofuels. Partnering with Queensland-based biofuel manufacturer LanzaJet & JetZero Australia, the airline will aim to jointly fund the construction of a facility to produce sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)
The proposed facility will utilise LanzaJet’s alcohol-to-jet technology to produce up to 100 million litres of SAF per year. Construction is expected to start in 2024.
The Royal Australian Air Force has returned from a successful Exercise Cope North in Guam, testing new strategies for the use of its C-17J Spartan fleet. The platform continues to evolve for the RAAF, having been reclassified in 2021 from that of a battlefield airlifter to “Light Tactical Fixed Wing Airlifter”, with impressive results to date.
The Airport Design Challenge (ADC) is an interactive learning and collaboration opportunity for students in grades K-12.
Small teams of students work together to learn about their local airport and to complete development tasks in Minecraft Organized lesson plans covering topics from airport layout, pavement, lighting, structures, and innovative growth. Collaborative work between students, parents, and teachers performed in a virtual environment.
Airport Design Challenge enrollment opened on April 1, 2023.
China reportedly flies an engine destined for the COMAC C919, the Airbus final assembly line in China delivers its first A321, a “Really Cool” airline is planned for Thailand, United and Archer plan eVTOL air taxi service in Chicago, still no permanent FAA Administrator, orders for the Osprey V-22 come to an end. Also, an Australia Desk report and interviews from the Point Mugu Air Show.
Jon Ostrower reports in The Air Current that there is footage on social media of what appears to be a test aircraft flying with the Aero Engine Corporation of China CJ-1000A engine. This is significant because that engine is planned to eventually replace the CFMI LEAP-1C engine currently used on the Chinese Comac C919, a single-aisle jet in the A320/B737 class.
Airbus has four A320 family final assembly lines: Hamburg, Germany; Toulouse, France; Mobile, Alabama; and Tianjin, China. The FAL in Tianjin was the first Airbus commercial aircraft assembly line outside Europe. Now Airbus has delivered the first A321neo aircraft assembled in Tianjin to China’s Juneyao Air. The aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines.
The former CEO of Thai LCC Nok Air has been running a travel agency named “Really Really Cool.” Now Patee Sarasin wants to start a new airline named “Really Cool Airlines” with the tagline “We fly the future.” Their plan is to acquire four Airbus A350s by the end of 2023.
United Airlines and Archer Aviation plan to launch the first air taxi route in Chicago, between O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Vertiport Chicago. Archer’s eVTOL aircraft will be used as part of their urban air mobility (UAM) network buildout. The company is focused on airport to city center routes. Archer plans to deploy 6000 aircraft By 2030.
The FAA has been led by an acting Administrator since March 2022. The White House had nominated Phillip Washington, the CEO of Denver International Airport, but Republicans and some other key senators opposed Washington. They say he is not qualified because of limited aviation experience. The agency is being led by an acting administrator, Billy Nolen, a pilot who has held safety jobs at three airlines.
The Point Mugu Air Show was held March 18, 19, 2023, at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC), Point Mugu. This years event celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Navy at Point Mugu, and featured dual-premiere demonstration teams: the Blue Angels, and the Thunderbirds.
Brian Coleman attended the air show and recorded interviews with
Capt. Pap, a flight nurse with the Air National Guard.
After a busy couple of weeks, the guys are back in the studio as Grant recovers from another weekend of air show commentary duties, this time at Benalla, 130 miles north of Melbourne. We discuss the role these regional air shows play in terms of promoting the importance and fun of aviation in the community.
The Army’s fleet of MRH-90 Taipan helicopters has been temporarily grounded following an incident this week. The crew of a Taipan conducting a special forces training exercise off Jervis Bay, 200km south of Sydney, had to ditch their aircraft after it appeared to lose power. Only minor injuries were sustained by some onboard, and the aircraft was successfully recovered. An investigation is now underway.
Northrop Grumman Australia’s newly-modernised Brisbane Maintenance and Modification Centre (BMMC) has been officially opened; a major facility for the sustainment of the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) aviation capability. Northrop Grumman invested $20 million in the BMMC project.
The facility conducts continuous through-life support to RAAF fleets including its six KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft and 10 C-27J Spartan transport aircraft, and will provide jobs for around 100 people.
And across the Ditch in New Zealand, Bevan Dewes’ immaculately restored, former Royal New Zealand Air Force Harvard Mk.IIa (NZ1044) landed at its new home in Masterton, New Zealand on March 19th, 2023 following a three-year rebuild effort with Twenty24 Ltd, at Wanaka. Registered as ZK-OTU, the aircraft made its first post-restoration flight from Wanaka on March 10th.
After the child is over 44 pounds he or she no longer needs a safety seat on an aircraft and can safely use a regular seatbelt. The AmSafe Child Aviation Restraint System (CARES) device is FAA-certified for children up to 40 inches tall and weighing between 22 and 44 pounds.
Car seats made after 1985 are FAA-approved and will have a certification sticker attached to them. These car seats can be used on your flight, but there are exceptions. Children in car seats should sit in a window seat with the car seat secured to the seat itself. Your child should be in their seat during takeoff, landing, and turbulence.
Most safety seats that are approved for use in motor vehicles are acceptable for use in aircraft. The seat must have a solid back and seat, restraint straps installed to securely hold the child, and a label indicating approval for use on an aircraft.
When you travel with a child under 2 years old, you may choose to travel with the child on your lap (infant-in-arms) or travel with your child in an FAA-approved child safety seat. To use a FAA-approved safety seat, you must purchase a ticket for your child so they have a reserved seat.
The Condor Airlines Director of Sales for the Americas describes the airline’s plans for the North American market and explains what an airline sales director does. In the news, we look at what happened at the recent FAA Aviation Safety Summit sessions, the Russian fighter and the MQ-9 Reaper drone, longer recording time for CVRs, and a push to ban lap infants on commercial flights.
Mikko Turtiainen is the Director of Sales, The Americas for Condor Airlines. He’s responsible for leading sales, strategy, and growth in North America. Mikko is also in charge of continuing to build Condor’s brand awareness and sales from consumer and B2B channels in the U.S. and Canada. Previously, Mikko had a long career at Finnair, most recently as vice president of global sales, and he also served on Finnair’s commercial leadership team. He spent four years based in New York, heading Finnair, North America.
Condor Airlines is a well-known German leisure airline that operates a fleet of around fifty Boeing and Airbus aircraft. A number of new Airbus neo aircraft are coming to the fleet, including Condor’s brand-new, long-haul A330neo. The company is introducing its exclusive Prime Seat in Condor’s new business class.
Mikko tells us about Condor’s plans for the North American market and explains what an airline director of sales does. The airline is renewing its long-haul fleet and maintaining its identity as a top-tier leisure and charter operator for the German consumer. But Condor Airlines is repositioning its brand identity for the North Atlantic market with premium seats on the Airbus A330-900neo. Business class is a 1-2-1 configuration with lie-flat seats and 17-24 inch screens. Premium economy and economy seats are also available.
Mikko works closely with tour operators and other travel partners to create packages for leisure destinations. He’s building awareness with travel agencies, different associations, corporate clients, and others.
At the FAA’s Aviation Safety Summit in McLean, Virginia, more than 200 aviation industry safety leaders met to discuss ways to enhance flight safety. Four sessions were facilitated by a member of the industry and an FAA subject matter expert:
Pursue more efficient methods of sharing safety information in near real-time at all levels of the aviation industry, including frontline workers.
Pilots and flight attendants expressed concerns that they continue to feel stress in the workplace, including long work hours under adverse conditions. The group acknowledged that risk models should also incorporate human factors.
Air Traffic System
Re-examine runway incursion datato identify underlying factors that led to these incidents and identify remedies.
The FAA issued a call to the industry to help identify technologies that could augment the existing capabilities of surface surveillance equipment and deploy this technology to all airports with air traffic control services.
Airport and Ground Operations
A primary concern was workforce experience and attrition. Airport operators, airlines, workers, and the FAA discussed sharing the best practices of training programs among airport tenants and other stakeholders operating at airports. Airlines that operate regularly at specific airports said the industry could explore airfield familiarization training for employees.
Attendees discussed preliminary data from recent fatal accidents as part of their ongoing efforts to reduce the fatal accident rate in this sector. The group discussed ways to promote the sharing of General Aviation flight data in the ASIAS database to improve safety decision-making.
On March 22, the FAA will broadcast its annual From the Flight Deck Live virtual event for pilots. Topics will include preflight planning, wrong surface risk and human factors (runway safety), and airport signs, markings and lighting (airports). GA pilots who attend will earn WINGS continuing education credits.
The FAA told AIN “We are initiating rulemaking that will require cockpit voice recorders to capture 25 hours of information. We will also establish an Aviation Rulemaking Committee to explore how to make greater use of data gathered by the airplane and its systems, including expanded flight data monitoring. We welcome any tools or resources Congress wants to provide to help us do this expeditiously.”
NTSB chair Jennifer Homendy asked the FAA to accept seven recommendations from the Safety Board, including increasing the duration of CVR recordings from two to 25 hours: “The fact is Europe has mandated 25-hour CVRs on new aircraft for over a year. We should do the same. We’ve also recommended that we retrofit certain in-service aircraft with 25-hour CVRs. I don’t understand why it’s so controversial.”
The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) has repeated its call to ban lap infants. They hope this is included in the latest FAA Reauthorization Act. It failed to make the 2018 Reauthorization. The AFA-CWA represents the crew members at around 20 U.S. carriers, including United, Alaska, and Spirit. The FAA currently recommends that infants and children occupy their own seats, but there is no mandate.
Garmin says starting in 2024, repairs on early devices won’t be possible due to “multiple component availability limitations.” This applies to “WAAS and Non-WAAS GNC® 420, GNS 430, GNS 530, GPS 400, and GPS 500.” Garmin “encourage[s] GNS 430(W)/530(W) series owners to begin considering their transition strategy to newer generation products.” Database updates and technical support will remain available.
Two Spicejet pilots placed the cup on the controls. The pair have been taken off flight duty while the airline investigates. India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation also says it is investigating the incident.