Category Archives: Episodes

405 The Airport Master Planning Process

We continue our discussion of airport topics and look at the airport master planning process. We also talk a lot about the TSA and airport security, as well as psychological testing for airline pilots, a military export control conviction, and a personal experience in a full motion flight simulator.

Guest

Jenny_Watts

Jenny Watts, Airport Planner, Armstrong Consultants, Inc.

Jenny Watts is an Airport Planner with Armstrong Consultants, Inc., a professional consulting engineering firm specializing exclusively in airports. She describes the master plans that airports create, how they are used, and who uses them. Jenny also tells us about the Dark Sky initiative and how airports are making adjustments to reduce their contribution to light pollution. She published the white paper titled, Share the Sky – Good Neighbor Tips for Airports Near Dark Sky Communities and Beyond. [PDF]

Jenny has more than eight years of experience with aviation planning, corporate aviation operations, airport administration, and aviation education. Jenny has worked at large commercial service and general aviation airports in the Phoenix-Metro area, and directly contributed to operations, community relations, planning, and business development.

Jenny spent two years at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide as an advisor and adjunct faculty member. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Management Technology Arizona State University, and her Master of Aeronautical Science degree with an emphasis in Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle. She has been affiliated with the Arizona Airports Association for over fifteen years, and Jenny is also a freelance contributing writer for the Arizona Aviation Journal.

News

California Resident Convicted of Conspiring to Illegally Export Fighter Jet Engines and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to China

Wenxia “Wency” Man of San Diego, has been convicted by a federal jury in the Southern District of Florida of “conspiring to export and cause the export of fighter jet engines, an unmanned aerial vehicle… and related technical data to the People’s Republic of China, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act.

Man conspired to illegally acquire and export to China defense articles including:

  • Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines used in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
  • Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines used in the F-22 Raptor fighter jet
  • General Electric F110-GE-132 engines for the F-16 fighter jet
  • the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper/Predator B Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
  • technical data for each of these defense articles.

Man faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 19, 2016.

FAA rules out requiring psychological testing for airline pilots

Administrator Michael Huerta says the FAA will not require psychological testing for airline pilots because he says they only indicate the pilot’s mental health at a point in time. The tests don’t indicate what a pilot may do later.

Airport security:

Explosion at Shanghai Airport Injures at Least Five People

A man tossed a homemade explosive device at the check-in counters at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, then cut his throat with a knife.

Man shot by police at Dallas airport faces assault charges, remains hospitalized

A man outside the Dallas Love Field terminal allegedly “hit his ex-girlfriend and battered her car with a traffic cone and large landscaping rocks.” A police officer arrived with gun drawn and the man approached with rocks in his hands saying, “You’re going to have to shoot.”

Dubai airport shut Saturday for over an hour; 22 flights diverted: executive

Dubai International Airport was closed due to “unauthorized drone activity.” In the UAE, drones are prohibited within 5 km of airports, helipads, landing areas, or manned aircraft.

Warsaw Airport Suspends Landings Briefly Due to Drones

Warsaw’s international airport was shut down for 30 minutes due to two unauthorized drones flying in the area. Poland forbids drones flights within a 20-kilometer (12-mile) radius from airports.

Mentioned

One-third of the world cannot see the Milky Way — why that matters

Plane Talking UK Podcast

What to Eat at 30 North American Airports, Summer 2016

Know Before You Fly – An education campaign founded by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to educate prospective users about the safe and responsible operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

DHS Comparison Chart – This chart outlines the Trusted Traveler programs offered by the Department of Homeland Security.

Patrick Smith’s Ask The Pilot post TSA’s Summer Meltdown

Credit

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

 

404 Inside the Airport Office

A look airport operations from the back office, rebates for ADS-B installations, bigger A380’s, airlines fighting over Open Skies, the history of the missing man formation, and a Delta trip report.

Guest

Jennifer Adams

Jennifer Adams

Jennifer Adams works for the accounting department of a medium-sized airport in the midwest and she gives us a peek at some of the activities in the “back office.” Jen tells us about the sources of revenue for the airport, such as landing fees, rent, and long-term parking. She also gives us a look at some of the airport’s costs, which range from navaid maintenance and de-icing chemicals, to toilet paper and vet bills for the dogs. Jen also explains the many statistics that must be recorded, such as landings, aircraft weights, passengers enplaned and deplaned, cargo, and mail.

A passionate avgeek, when Jennifer isn’t buried in spreadsheets or calculating landing fees, she spends her break time plane spotting and talking about aviation with anyone who will listen.  In her blog “Tales from the Terminal,” she shares stories about her adventures in aviation, her love of the airport, and her not-so-secret desire to own a stairs truck.

News

FAA ADS-B Rebate: Limited Time, Limited Number

The FAA says they will offer rebates to aircraft owners who install ADS-B Out systems, but there are some limits to the program. The $500 rebate will only be available to the first 20,000 owners of single-engine piston aircraft who apply, and just for a one year period.

Airbus reveals plan for even more passengers on A380 aircraft

There is a new plan to increase the A380 seating to eleven in a row, up from the current ten. This would add 60 more seats to the super jumbo. Meantime, Emirates president Tim Cook has conceded that a re-engined “A380neo” looks unlikely.

The nastiest feud in the airline business has reached soap-opera-worthy levels

Qatar Airways, Emirates, Etihad, and Delta Air Lines do not see eye-to-eye when it comes to international agreements. Delta believes the Middle Eastern carriers benefit from subsidies that are a violation of U.S. Open Skies agreements. The conversation amped up with the Qatar Airways inaugural flight to Atlanta. Reportedly, Qatar had been told that a gate would not be available for their A380 and it was occupied by a Delta jet. Qatar flew in anyway, and the deplaning passengers had to be bussed to the terminal from a remote parking location.

The Aircraft of the Week

David talks about the recent Blue Angels and Thunderbirds accidents, and how they have been reported, but he also provides a somber history of the Missing Man formation, which was flown in honor of Blue Angel #6 Capt Jeff Kuss, USMC.

‘Potential dangers’ spark concerns for Blue Angel flyover

Snowbirds Nine Ship Missing Man

Gofundme to support Capt Kuss’ Family

Trip Report

Brian sent in a Delta trip report, and tells us why Basic Economy might not be right for the frequent flyer.

Delta: Compare Seat Options

Delta: The Basics on Basic Economy

Delta: Reservations and Ticketing FAQs

Mentioned

SpringBank Snowbirds

Helicopter Takeoff

Textron Aviation reveals superior SETP performance and cabin details

GE Aviation launches new turboprop engine

Credit

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

 

403 Bits & Pieces XVI

This is a Bits & Pieces episode, where we ask the co-hosts and other contributors to provide pre-recorded segments, then we stitch them together and it’s Bits & Pieces.

NASA Interviews

Dr. Richard Wahls and David Vanderhoof

Dr. Richard Wahls and David Vanderhoof

David Vanderhoof spent a day at NASA Langley Research Center (LRC) which is adjacent to Joint Base Langley Eustis, and he recorded several interviews. NASA LRC is leading the charge the revitalize focus on the first “A” in NASA: Aeronautics.

The first interview is with Dr. Richard Wahls, the Advanced Air Vehicles Program Strategic Technical Advisor. David and Dr. Wahls talk about the new X- Plane Program and how it is focusing on environmental issues to make commerical, GA, and military aviation “greener.”

Peter Coen

Peter Coen

The second interview is with Peter Coen, the Commercial Supersonic Technology Project Manager. They talk about “shaping the boom” by changing the shape of the aircraft. While not eliminating the boom, it does reduce its impact on the ground.

David also recorded two other interviews at NASA Langley. He spoke with Dr. Allen about the Autonomy Incubator, and that interview can be found at The UAV Digest.com #145. David also talked with Frank Jones about sense and avoid technology and sUAS package delivery. Find that conversation at The UAV Digest.com #149 which will be released a few days after this episode. You can follow NASA Langley on Twitter at @NASA_Langley. Thanks to Kathy Barnstoff and Bill Baley for arranging the interviews.

Airport Security Lines

Brian Coleman talks about long TSA lines.

On the Mark

Rob Mark has another On the Mark segment titled Don’t Let Congress Cut the NTSB’s TV Time.

Listener Recording

Gary tells us his story of buying his own Piper PA-38 Tomahawk.

Our Maine(e) Man Micah

By popular request, Micah brings us a timely update to his piece, News Reporting and the Sport of Speculation or The Surge in Sensational Surrealism. Plus a little bonus piece from Micah called Lighter Than Nomenclature.

Credit

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

402 A Young Airline Geek

We talk with a teenage aviation enthusiast who created an aviation news site and has organized a major avgeek event with American Airlines for National Aviation Day. In the news, we discuss narrowbody production ramp ups, a B-29 receives an airworthiness certificate, the CSeries, and EgyptAir Flight 804.

Guest

Ryan Ewing

Ryan Ewing

Ryan Ewing is the teenage founder and president of AirlineGeeks.com, a news site where a team of young journalists create the content. Most of them hope to work in the aviation industry as professionals when they grow older.

Ryan is quite knowledgeable about the airline industry for someone his age, and he’s been working with American Airlines to create AAviation Day 2016 on National Aviation Day, Friday, August 19th, 2016. On that day, American will open certain facilities to #AvGeeks who have registered for unique tours and events. The facilities include PHL, DCA, MIA, CLT, LGA, DFW, American’s HQ and Integrated Operations Center in Fort Worth, the Tulsa Maintenance Base, ORD, LAX, LHR, and Envoy’s HQ in Irving, Texas.

Ryan EwingWe first met Ryan in 2013 at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center during the 9th annual Become a Pilot Family Day and Aviation Display. That the event that is now called the Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display. Ryan will have a table at this year’s Innovations in Flight Day June 18, 2016. He plans to focus on encouraging young people to develop interests in aviation.

Visit AirlineGeeks.com, and follow the team at @AirlineGeeks and on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Ryan tweets at @flyinghighryan.

AAviation Day 2016

News

Boeing shows off new 777X wing center

Boeing has spent $1B to create a 1.2-million-square-foot 777X center in Everett, Washington to manufacture wing components for that airplane. The 110-foot composite wing includes an 11-foot folding wingtip, which will be built by Boeing in St. Louis and sent to Everett for assembly. Power for the 777X comes from the advanced GE9X engine which has the largest fan that GE has built.

Behind The Scenes Of P&W’s Production Plan

Pratt & Whitney must nearly triple its output of engines to meet demand for the GTF and engines for the F-35 and the KC-46 tanker. To meet the production ramp-up, P&W has invested $1B and created a 600,000 square foot facility in Manchester NH, operated by United Parcel Service (UPS), that will receive parts from suppliers, kit them, and deliver them to manufacturing and assembly plants around the world.

FAA Deems B-29 Doc Airworthy, First Flight Imminent

The FAA has issued a Special Airworthiness Certificate to the B-29 known as Doc, which has been undergoing restoration Wichita since May 23, 2000. Next, the restoration team will request access to a runway at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita for test flight operations. See, Photo Gallery: Doc’s Airworthiness Celebration.

Bombardier cuts Republic CSeries order from production schedule

In 2010, Republic Airways placed 40 firm orders and 40 options for the CS300, with deliveries initially scheduled to start in 2015. Bombardier has kept the order in the backlog, but removed it from their production schedule. Frontier filed for bankruptcy protection in February.

Aircraft of the Week

David begins giving the histories of aircraft requested by listeners in Episode 400. The first topic will be done in two segments for Michael and Tony. In part one, David talks about the development of the Mirage III. Next week he’ll cover the variants and conflicts fought with the the Dassault jet.

Davids Mirage IIIB

David’s 1/48th Scale Mirage IIIB from Heller with Aeromaster Decals

Mirage IIIB 286 was from 245 Squadron  “Negev”  and is the Highest Kill Mirage IIIB with 4.5.

Report on Shuttle External Tank “ET”

Brian watches the Shuttle Tank pass by

Brian watches the Shuttle Tank pass by

Brian reports on the movement of the Shuttle External Tank (“ET”) through the streets of LA on it’s way to the California Science Center, which describes how it:

“carried propellants—liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen—that flowed into the Space Shuttle Main Engines (SSMEs), where they combined and ignited to produce almost one and a half million pounds of thrust to help push the space shuttle to orbit. The external tank also served as the structural support for the whole shuttle stack, with attachment points for the orbiter and booster rockets.”

ET-94 is the last flight-qualified external tank in existence and was donated to the Science Center by NASA.  The California Science Center’s Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center will be the only place in the world that people will be able to go to see a complete shuttle stack—orbiter, external tank, and solid rocket boosters—with all real flight hardware in launch configuration.

Mentioned

Video: John Waldron Memorial, from John Mollison.

Advanced Flight Systems

Aircraft photos, and more photos from Ryan Hothersall.

The Airplane Geeks episode archive kindly provided by Willem.

Air National Guard Units Interested In V-22 Osprey via Tom.

Credit

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

 

 

AirplaneGeeks 401 Aviation Accidents as Emergent Properties of Complex Systems

We explore aviation accidents as emergent properties of complex systems, and discuss: the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association complaints about pilot wages, a survey on frequent flier rewards programs, an NPRM that would change FAR Part 61, third class medical reform in yet more legislation, and a two seat Robinson R44. David has an onfire history segment and Rob talks TSA.

Guest

Captain Shem Malmquist has a broad aviation experience ranging from teaching aerobatics and instructing in a wide variety of both general aviation and transport aircraft, to academic research and safety investigation.

Captain Shem Malmquist, FRAeS

Captain Shem Malmquist, FRAeS

We talk with Shem about improvements that have made air travel safer, and the gaps we now face for identifying problems that might arise in the future. Shem explains how aviation accidents currently present themselves as interactions of complex components. Resilience engineering is an example of a different approach to how we look at complex accidents. We discuss flight simulators, mitigating lithium battery risk, and autonomous vehicles, including both manned and unmanned aircraft.

Shem worked as an instructor and evaluator on several transport aircraft and has served as flight crew on the Embraer EMB-110, Shorts 360, B-727, DC-8, B-747 and MD-11. He continues to work a full flight schedule, mostly international long haul flights.

Shem has been part of the Air Line Pilot Association’s (ALPA) National Charting and Instrument Procedures Committee (CHIPS), and he was selected by his airline to be the chairman of both the airline’s Safety Committee and the Aircraft Design and Operations Committee.

As Flight Duty Officer, he led several initiatives, including a volcanic ash avoidance plan, air security procedures, and a number of regulatory compliance issues. Shem completed NTSB’s accident investigation training and acted as Party Coordinator for an MD-11 accident in Newark, New jersey, and he was on the “go-team” for an MD-11 accident in Narita Japan.

Last year, Shem was a keynote speaker at FAA’s InfoShare and has presented at several International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI) events. He has also authored numerous articles on various issues involving flight safety and operations covering a broad range of topics from technical to human factors.

Shem earned a Masters (MSc) degree in Human Factors in Aeronautics through the Florida Institute of Technology, and a Bachelors of Science (BSc) from Embry-Riddle University. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a full member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI), and a member of AIAA, IEEE, and SAE where he also serves on three committees: Flight Deck Handling Quality Standards for Transport Aircraft, Aerospace Behavior Engineering Technology, and Lithium Battery Packaging Performance.

Related Resources:

David Woods, Professor, Integrated Systems Engineering, The Ohio State University. Complexity in Human, Natural and Engineered Systems.

Sidney Dekker, professor at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, author on human factors and safety: Field Guide to Understanding Human Error.

Air Transport Safety Articles A collection of articles written by Shem Malmquist FRAeS.

Airline Safety and Accident Investigation Community on Facebook.

Driverless Cars and the Myths of Autonomy by David A. Mindell, MIT Professor of engineering and the history of technology, author of Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy.

News

Southwest Pilots Sue City of Chicago Over Billboard Advertising

SWAPA billboard

SWAPA billboard

The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) wanted to make a point about pilot wages on a billboard at Chicago Midway International Airport. City Hall told them they could not post their message, so the union filed suit against the city of Chicago, claiming an unconstitutional restriction on their First Amendment rights and asking for a temporary restraining order to allow the pilots to display the ad. As a result, a Judge orders Chicago to allow Southwest pilots billboard at Midway.

The Best and Worst Frequent-Flier Rewards Programs for 2016

Switchfly-Reward-Infographic-2016The Switchfly Reward Seat Availability Survey conducted by consulting firm IdeaWorks found that for the third year in a row, free seats open for booking increased. “Overall, I think the consumer is being better served than the year before,” says Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorks.

Switchfly CEO Daniel Farrar said, “This survey reflects the fact that airlines can’t afford to take their customers for granted. 21st century consumers are savvy and plugged-in. They know when their loyalty programs are offering them a real value and when they are not delivering; and they don’t have time for loyalty programs that aren’t delivering, especially in such a competitive space. Increasingly, consumers expect a personalized booking, travel and reward experience. Every time a customer interacts with the brand – online, offline or mobile – the user experience must be on-point. Airlines must make this happen and ensure that zero customers have a bad experience anywhere along the booking or redemption path.”

See Southwest and airberlin Top Reward Rankings but Turkish Airlines and Air China Rise High [Ideaworks press release, PDF]

Proposed Part 61 changes would benefit GA

The FAA has published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would change FAR Part 61 which governs the certification of pilots, flight instructors, and ground instructors. AOPA is supportive of the proposed changes, which include “increased use of aviation training devices (ATDs) for maintaining instrument currency, the option to use new technically advanced aircraft instead of older complex or turbine aircraft for single-engine commercial pilot training, and giving credit for hours accumulated during sport pilot training toward earning a recreational or private pilot certificate.”

Defense Bill Includes Medical Reform Language

Third class medical reform from the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 keeps getting into legislation: As standalone legislation in the Senate, again as part of the Senate’s FAA reauthorization bill, and now by the Senate Armed Services Committee in the National Defense Authorization Act.

FAA Approves Two-Place R44

The FAA has certified Robinson’s two-place R44 Cadet The Cadet is essentially an R44 Raven, but with the rear seats removed for more cargo space. Maximum gross weight is reduced to 2200 pounds, engine power is derated to 210 hp takeoff and 185 hp continuous.

The Aircraft of the Week

Aviation Historian David Venderhoof comments on The F-35 Stealth Fighter’s Dirty Little Secret Is Now Out in the Open.

On the Mark

Rob is talking about why he likes something the TSA did … well, sort of.

Mentioned

Breastfeeding pilots file discrimination charges

Tell Frontier Airlines: Sexism Won’t Fly – ACLU petition.

Breastfeeding pilots’ claims against airline seen as advance

Pilots And ACLU Sue Airline Over Breast Milk Pumping At Work

and

Air Data System Failure Involving Airbus A320-243 A6-EYJ [PDF] from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 400 That’s a Lot of Episodes

John Croft

John Croft in the NASA Langley simulator

John Croft, Senior Editor at Aviation Week & Space Technology joins us for our 400th episode. We discuss Safety Management Systems (SMS), the IATA 2015 Safety Report, challenges for a safety culture that embraces self-reporting, and flight simulator changes that include models for high-altitude, high-angle of attack regimes.

In the news, we discuss airline profits and complaints (both up), an aircraft leasing company IPO, thoughts on a B-52 engine upgrade, a female aviation pioneer, sonic booms, and PSA Airlines’ pilot hiring strategy.

John CroftGuest

John Croft is Senior Editor Avionics & Safety, Aviation Week & Space Technology. He’s a part-owner of a 1978 Piper Archer II, a certified flight instructor, instrument instructor, multi-engine rated commercial pilot, and former NASA engineer. He specialized in avionics and control systems for Earth-orbiting satellites, including the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer and Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer.

After leaving NASA in 2000, John earned a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland and went on to work for several aerospace publications, including Flight International as Americas Editor before joining Aviation Week in 2012.

News

Airlines report record profits even as customer complaints soar

In 2015, fuel prices came down 35%, baggage fees amounted to $3.8 billion, and reservation change fees were $3 billion. At the same time, average fares were down 3.8%, yet U.S. passenger airlines enjoyed $25.6 billion in profits in 2015 vs. $7.5 billion in 2014. But formal complaints grew 30%.

Top aircraft leasing firm’s IPO to raise $1.5b

Many airlines lease the airplanes they operate, from companies like ILFC, AerCap, GCAS, and BOC Aviation. Singapore-based BOC Aviation Ltd, is owned by the Bank of China, and they are looking at a possible IPO which could raise as much as $1.5 billion.

P&W still pushing upgrade of B-52’s original TF33 engine

Boeing B-52 bombers are powered by Pratt & Whitney TF33 engines, 1950’s engine technology. They are loud, smoky, and burn a lot of fuel. There has been talk in the past of replacing each pair of TF33’s with a single new-technology engine, but such a re-engining would be very expensive. Instead, P&W military engines president Bennett Croswell is proposing a TF33 upgrade package that would lower the cost of maintenance.

Colorado Native Honored For Flying Through Glass Ceiling

Emily Hanrahan Warner became the first female airline pilot in the United States, and she’s now been inducted in the Irish American Hall of Fame. On April 10, 1973, Warner became the first woman hired by an American carrier and in 1976, she became America’s first female airline captain.

Honeywell, NASA Test Sonic Boom Technology

Under NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology (CST) project, Honeywell was awarded a contract in 2015 to overcome supersonic boom issues. Honeywell has developed a predictive display that tell pilots when a sonic boom is developing.

Seeking 500 pilots a year, PSA Airlines sweetens the pot

PSA AIrlines Inc. needs to hire 500 new pilots per year. To attract more pilots they will offer a $20,000 retention bonus to active first officers and a $250 monthly allowance for pilots to offset the cost of commuting hotel expenses.

Mentioned

IATA 2015 Safety Report [PDF]

Pilot Error Movie Trailer – A fictional drama film is inspired by the true story of Air France 447.

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 399 Differentiating Air Travel Products

We talk with aviation journalist Jason Rabinowitz about the recent Delta media day, the Aircraft Interiors Expo, flying in a China Eastern 777, and the RouteHappy service. In the news, we discuss the Delta order for CS100 aircraft, Boeing’s desire to increase spare parts revenue, American Airlines earnings, ATC privatization, and what Boeing needs to do to make the 737 better.

Guest

Jason Rabinowitz

Jason Rabinowitz

Aviation journalist Jason Rabinowitz is a contributing writer for Mary Kirby’s Runwaygirl Network, a correspondent for AirlineReporter, a writer for Forbes, and the Data Research Manager for Routehappy, where he tracks the passenger experience.

We talk with Jason about the recent Delta media day and the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg held earlier this month. Jason also discusses airplane seat issues including seatback displays, embedded temperature controls, and how seat manufacturers are starting to respond to consumer needs. We look at inflight WiFi, and how Routehappy follows the passenger experience, spotting new trends and developments. Jason also tells us about his recent trip on a China Eastern 777-300ER.

News

Bombardier Scores Watershed Win With Delta CSeries Order

Delta has placed an order with Bombardier for 75 firm and 50 option CS100 aircraft, giving that program a much needed boost. Deliveries are to start Spring 2018 and Delta has conversion rights to the CS300. Bombardier President and CEO Alain Bellemare said, “The addition of Delta to our marquee CSeries customer list gives us tremendous momentum as we approach entry-into-service this summer.”

Bombardier: Our turnaround plan is gaining traction

CEO Bellemare also said “Our turnaround plan is gaining traction” and that Bombardier is finalizing the agreement with Air Canada for 45 firm CS300 orders and 30 options. Leeham News and Comment points out that these orders may have been won with deep discounts.

Boeing Boosts Push Into Plane-Parts Arena — WSJ

Boeing wants to grow the spares revenue stream, they’ve pulled back licensing agreements with suppliers, and they intend to sell direct to Boeing customers.

Come on, You Know You Want a Chair Made Out of a 737 Engine

Fallen Furniture takes objects that are not furniture and turns them into furniture. That includes the Cowling Chair that started life as a Boeing 737 engine cowling.

American Airlines earns $700 million, beats Street forecasts

Airline profits are healthy but average fares are falling, and that causes investors some concern.

Air traffic control plan faces tough fight ahead

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, intends to continue to push for air traffic control privatization.

What the Geeks are Doing

Embraer Legacy 450

Embraer Legacy 450

On Chicago’s WBEZ radio program Working Shift: Professional PilotRob Mark answered listener questions and gave insights into what it’s like to fly. Rob also had the distinct pleasure recently of flying the Embraer Legacy 450.

Max Trescott tells us about the recent Moffett Field safety event he attended.

C-17 by Brian Coleman

C-17 by Brian Coleman

Brian Coleman attended the Chino Planes of Fame Airshow and recorded an interview with two US Air Force Majors stationed at March Air Reserve Base. Majors Frantel and Condor discussed the military missions of the C-17 and its contributions to global humanitarian relief efforts. Be sure to listen for the story of the C-17s interesting use of in-flight thrust reversers. It’s a great way to get to the deck fast! (See Brian’s Chino report below.)

Also, Brian had his two beautiful John Mollison prints framed and they now proudly hang on his office wall.

John Mollison print

John Mollison print

Prints by John Mollison

Mentioned

Chino Planes of Fame Airshow Report

The Planes of Fame Air show in Chino, California, April 29 – May 1, 2016

If you are into vintage war birds, this is the place for you.  I don’t believe in one day that I’ve ever seen so many vintage aircraft in the air… plus there were a ton of static displays of beautiful restored aircraft.

The airshow started with a salute to Pearl Harbor / WWII aircraft with appearances by a Japanese Zero that just the day before came out of refurbishment, five P-40 Warhawks, a VAL, and other planes that few during the Japanese invasion were all airborne.  Several P-51 Mustangs were in the air along with a B-25 Mitchel, C-47, P-47 and P-38 lightning to name a few.  Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Mustangs in one place, let alone in the air all at the same time.  It was great to hear people talk about which model was their favorite.

Joining the WWII flying exhibit was a B-25 Mitchel as well as a C-47, P-47, and a P-38 Lightning.

With the end of WWII, the show moved onto Korean and Vietnam ear aircraft.  In the air were the YAK 55 and YAK -18.  You would have also seen the Skyraider, L-19, and T-28.  Sadly, the Huey helicopter was not able to fly.  Nor was the Northrup Flying Wing… but I did get a great picture of me standing next to it for David.

In addition to the numerous planes Steve Hinton few that day, he was in command of the F-86 Sabre, while the T-33 Shooting Star Demonstration Team shared the airspace.

Taking a break from vintage aircraft, Sean D. Tucker did some amazing aerobatics with the Oracle Challenger III Biplane.

The Granley YAK Aerobatic Team was in the air with their UAKs.  And the Jelly Belly aircraft pulled off an amazing landing on top of a pickup truck as it sped down the runway.  There is nothing like watching a plane land on a moving piece of plywood mounted to a pickup truck!

In addition to these amazing feats of airmanship, there were also aerobatic shows put on by Dennis Sanders of Sea Fury Aerobatics and John Collver in control of an AT-6.

Then it was back to watching the warbirds.  They brought out the P-51 Mustangs, the P-40s, a Spitfire and B-25 flown by the Texas Flying Legends.

There was a Naval aircraft flyby that featured the F7F Tigercat, F8F Bearcat, the Hawker Sea Fury, TBM Avengers and my favorite, the F4U Corsairs.  Joining them was an F6F Hellcat and I’m sure there were others but I couldn’t take notes fast enough and watch the show!

Then, if that wasn’t enough, they brought out the loud gun, an F-16.  She ruled the sky for a while making tight turns, accelerating at incredible speeds with her afterburner in full blaze and she would also just about stand on her tail going what seemed like 20 knots.  It was amazing to see the F-16 blast around the Chino valley, I’m sure impressing neighbors for miles.

The show closed with a spectacular performance and fantastic tribute by the F-16 and three P-40 Warhawks flying side by side.  When they flew the missing man formation, it brought a tear to my eye.  I could only think about my dad who served in the Air Force, who gave me the opportunity and inspiration to love airplanes and afforded me the opportunity to appreciate such greatness that I had just witnessed by all of those who put on the airshow.

It really was an amazing day to see all of these aircraft in the air.  I have to thank the folks at Planes of Fame for providing me with the media pass.

I highly encourage anyone who is interested in vintage aircraft to support the Planes of Fame Museum and come out next year to see for yourself this great event.  I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Brian T. Coleman
Associate Producer, Airplane Geeks

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro is the P-40 and F-16 recorded by Brian Coleman.

AirplaneGeeks 398 Scott Hamilton, Leeham News and Comment

Solar Impulse 2 Landing April 2016

We talk with Scott Hamilton, the editor of Leeham News and Comment, about Solar Impulse 2, Bombardier and the CSeries, Boeing and the 737 MAX as well as a 787 engine AD, and Airbus and A321 assembly in Alabama.

Guest

Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton

Scott Hamilton is the editor of Leeham News and Comment, which provides analysis along with the news, and the story behind the headline. Scott is known in the industry for his straight-shooting, call-it-like-it-is take on news and events. He is frequently called on by broadcast and print media to offer expert analysis about the issues of the day. Scott is also a regular speaker at aviation conferences and corporate events.

Before creating Leeham News and Comment, Scott co-founded of Linkraven Ltd. in 1989. Linkraven published the internationally-distributed Commercial Aviation Report and Commercial Aviation Value Report, and organized conferences in Asia, Europe and the Americas under the Commercial Aviation Events banner.

Scott was named Best Aerospace Journalist of the Year in 2009 in the Regional Airline Category. From 2010-2013 he was a member of the Board of Directors of the Pacific Northwest Aerospace Alliance.

Learn more at the Leeham News and Comment website, follow them on Twitter at @leehamnews, and check out Leeham News on Facebook.

News

Solar Impulse 2 lands in California after Pacific flight

After laying over in Hawaii for almost 10 months for repairs, the Solar Impulse 2 piloted by Bertrand Piccard landed in Mountain View, California just before midnight. The flight lasted just over 62 hours. Max Trescott witnessed the landing and gives us his impressions. He and Frank Sweeney posted some photos.

Note: In Airplane Geeks Episode 361, we spoke with pilot André Borschberg after he flew Solar Impulse 2 from Japan to Hawaii.

Can Bombardier extend CS300 to a CS500?

Can Bombardier extend CS300 to a CS500? Part 2

The CS300 was designed as the base model, with the CS100 being a shrink. Some wonder if there could be a stretch version, a “CS500,” that could seat more passengers and that is better sized for airline needs.

Delta May Be About to Order a Boatload of New Planes

Delta may be about to announce aircraft orders. Perhaps another order for (192-seat Airbus) A321s, and an order for 75 small narrowbodies from either built Bombardier or Embraer. Delta has been complimentary of the CSeries, but they have also made it clear that the price must be right.

Boeing Considering New 737 Model To Fend Off Bombardier Jet

The smallest B737 MAX, the -7 version with 126 seats in two class configuration, only has 60 firm orders. (30 from Southwest, 25 from Westjet, 5 from Canada Jetlines) Reportedly, Boeing is looking at a 150-seat model internally called the 737 MAX 7X.

First US-built American A321 completes maiden flight

First Alabama made jet liner to be delivered to owner today

The Airbus assembly plant in Mobile, Alabama continues to reach milestones with the A321 destined for American Airlines making its first flight. Airbus also delivered its first made in America A321 to JetBlue.

FAA orders ‘urgent’ engine fixes for Boeing 787 Dreamliners

In January 2016, a GEnx-1B engine was shut down in flight after the engine experienced excessive vibration. Ice came off a fan blade and caused an imbalance of the fan. That led to “substantial damage” after the fan blade tips started rubbing on the fan case. The FAA issued an Airworthiness Directive [PDF] requiring repairs or one older engine on the plane. The older model is less susceptible to icing than the newer Performance Improvement Program (PIP) 2 engine.

Two air traffic control officers charged for Taiwan’s worst crash in decade

On July 23, 2014, TransAsia Airways Flight 222, an ATR 72-500, crashed into buildings during approach in bad weather at Magong Airport in Taiwan. Forty-eight on board died, including the two pilots, and 10 survived. Two air traffic controllers and the two pilots have been deemed negligent.

FedEx Worker Falls Asleep In Plane’s Cargo Compartment, Wakes Up in Lubbock, TX

Probably not a career-enhancing move.

The Aircraft of the Week

David travels to Langley and interviews two F-35 pilots.

Listener Recording

Kirby Chambliss performs at the Red Bull Air Race Demo

Kirby Chambliss performs at the Red Bull Air Race Demo at the Sun-N-Fun event in Lakeland, Florida, USA on 10 April 2016.

Launchpad Marzari brings us an interview with Richie, head of the RedBull Air Gaters. Also see Pictures of the day: Red Bull Air Race demo wows SUN ‘n FUN crowds.

Mentioned

Kenmore Air

Kenmore Air

Kenmore Air – Providing scenic flight tours in Seattle with a de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver and a DHC-3 Otter.

The Puget Sound Business Journal is seeking a full time aerospace reporter

US airlines are freaking out about a company you’ve never heard of

The Derelict Aircraft Museum

General Aviation Aircraft Design by Snorri Gudmundsson.

Throwback Thursday: The History of Delta

Credit

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

 

 

AirplaneGeeks 397 Airman Certification Standards

We talk with the Special Technical Assistant for the FAA Flight Standards Service and editor of FAA Safety Briefing magazine. Also, electrically powered planes, an important Approved Model List STC, the FAA teams up with the auto industry, airlines restricting fare bargains, a play about United Flight 232, Solar Impulse 2 returns to mission mode, and Aviation Geek Fest Seattle 2016.

Guest

Susan Parson

Susan Parson

Susan Parson is Special Technical Assistant with the FAA Flight Standards Service, and editor of FAA Safety Briefing magazine. She serves as the lead FAA representative for the Airman Certification Standards (ACS) project to improve airman testing and training.

Susan has authored over 90 GA safety articles and several online training documents and courses, including Conducting an Effective Flight Review, Instrument Proficiency Check Guidance, and Best Practices for Mentoring in Flight Instruction.

Susan holds an ATP certificate, as well as ground and flight instructor certificates with instrument, single-engine, and multi-engine land ratings. She repeatedly earned Master Flight Instructor and Master Ground Instructor designations from NAFI and Master Instructors LLC.  

As an active GA pilot, Susan instructs on weekends for her Cessna 182 flying club and the Civil Air Patrol. Susan created a number of advanced avionics training courses and modules, for the Civil Air Patrol, and she is the primary author of CAP’s National Check Pilot Standardization Course.

Susan Parson in SP-C182Susan has a BA in international relations and French from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MA in Education (focused on e-Education and adult learning) from the University of Phoenix, and an Aviation Safety and Security Management certificate from the George Washington University’s Aviation Institute. Susan’s work experience includes serving in the United States Department of State’s diplomatic service.

Visit Susan’s personal webpage at www.avi8rix.aero and find her on Twitter as @avi8rix. The FAA Safety Briefing webpage is www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing/.

News

Airbus, Siemens to work together on electrically-powered planes

Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders says, “We believe that by 2030 passenger aircraft below 100 seats could be propelled by hybrid propulsion systems and we are determined to explore this possibility together with world-class partners like Siemens.” Airbus signed a deal with Siemens to work on these hybrid electric propulsion systems.

Experimental Avionics For Certified Aircraft: EAA, Dynon Announce STC

At Sun ‘n Fun, the EAA and Dynon Avionics announced that they’ve developed an Approved Model List – Supplemental Type Certificate (AML-STC) that allows Dynon’s D10 EFIS to be installed in certified aircraft.

FAA and Auto Industry to Team Up on Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and FAA plan to hold an event April 22 with chief executives from the major automakers and aviation industry leaders. The goal is to look at how aviation industry collaboration practices could benefit automakers, particularly safety data sharing.

Three Big Airlines Just Trashed Your Cheap Fares

American Airlines Group Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., and United Continental Holdings Inc. have taken action to restrict multi-destination fare bargains, mostly affecting business travelers. Previously, purchasing individual tickets for each leg could cost less than purchasing one multi-leg ticket.

Surviving crew of doomed United Flight 232 reunites for play

On July 19, 1989, United Airlines Flight 232, a DC-10, experienced a fan disk failure in the tail-mounted engine. The plane lost hydraulics and crashed in Sioux City, Iowa, killing 110 passengers and one flight attendant. 184 people survived.

Eight survivors from the 13-member crew reunited to watch the play “United Flight 232” by Vanessa Stalling. The play is based on the 2014 book Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival by Laurence Gonzales. The performance at The House Theatre of Chicago continues through May 1, 2016.

After a Long Delay, Solar Impulse 2 Is Ready to Finish Its Round-the-World Flight

On the 3rd of July 2015, Solar Impulse 2 landed in Hawaii after having broken the record for flying non-stop for 5 days and 5 nights from Japan. Due to battery damage from overheating, the round-the-world journey was paused for repairs. However, the Solar Impulse 2 is now back in mission mode. Follow the flight at www.solarimpulse.com. We spoke with Solar Impulse 2 pilot André Borschberg in Airplane Geeks Episode 361.

The Aircraft of the Week

F-16CJ by David Vanderhoof

F-16CJ by David Vanderhoof

The Episode 400 History Segment Listener Challenge

David will select one aircraft from those submitted by listeners to be the Aircraft of the Week for Episode 400. Here are his rules:

  1. If you have hounded me to do a specific aircraft in the past, you’re automatically disqualified, and you all know who you are. I want someone to be rewarded.
  2. NO it will not be the C-130 nor a tanker!
  3. Not following directions might void your entry.***
  4. Pick your airplane.
  5. Send an email to theGeeks@Airplanegeeks.com with the Subject: David, please do this plane!
  6. Give me the full name of the plane.
  7. In 20 words or less tell me why I should do it. Creativity will be rewarded. Emoji’s won’t.
  8. Give me your name.
  9. How long have you listened to the show?
  10. What photo is associated with this post? It’s an  F-16CJ.
  11. Should you pick one I have already done, I will give you a second chance. I promise!
  12. You have until April 30, 2016 to get your entry in.

*** All decisions by the Historian are final!

Aviation Geek Fest Seattle 2016

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Max and Brian report on this year’s amazing Aviation Geek Fest where about 250 #AvGeeks assembled for a weekend of Boeing facility tours, time in the Future of Flight Aviation Center and the Museum of Flight, and other exciting activities. Find more event photos here.

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Mentioned

"Silver Wasp" Boeing PT-17 Stearman by John Mollison

“Silver Wasp” Boeing PT-17 Stearman flown by Women Airforce Service Pilot Bernice “Bee” Haydu, by John Mollison

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 396 The Emirates Employment Model

Emirates A380 by Paul Flimer

Conversation with the recruitment manager for Emirates about opportunities at the airline. Also, possible layoffs (or retirements) at Boeing, Air France service returning to Iran, new student pilot rules from the FAA, a buyer for Virgin America, and dogs – can they really fly?

Guest

Andrew Longley is Head of Recruitment – Flight Operations (Pilots) at Emirates. The airline operates to over 140 destinations with an all-widebody fleet of Boeing and Airbus aircraft. Emirates is the world’s largest operator of 777 and A380 aircraft.

Andrew Longley

Andrew Longley

Andy describes how the Emirates employment model is different than that of many other airlines. We take a look at the need to attract pilots and cabin crew from an international pool of candidates with strong leadership potential and good CRM skills. We also talk about pilot certification requirements, the Dubai lifestyle and airline accommodation of employee families, salaries, housing, medical insurance, and other career opportunities at Emirates.

Andy started his career in 2006 in the Royal New Zealand Navy as a Military Psychologist where he was responsible for the selection and assessment of specialist trades including helicopter pilots, special forces, and Navy divers. He also served as a UN peacekeeper for a year where he worked and lived in Syria and Lebanon monitoring the peace between the various at-war countries.

After Andy’s military time commitment ended in 2013, he worked as a consultant in the telecommunications and business fields including a year working at IBM.

But Andy saw a unique opportunity with Emirates and he moved to Dubai as a senior psychologist.  He became involved in Emirates pilot assessment and was responsible for profiling and assessing pilot candidates. He moved into pilot recruitment and leads the effort to find enough safe and capable pilots to fly a quickly growing fleet of wide-body aircraft.

Learn more at the Emirates Group Careers webpage. Pilots can look for the closed LinkedIn group “Future Pilots of Emirates Airlines.” Andy will be presenting and exhibiting at the FAPA Job Fair April 26, 2016 and the OBAP Spring Career Fair April 27, 2016, both in Las Vegas.

News

How The U.S. Government Helped Kill 4,000 Jobs This Week At Boeing

Boeing says that at least 4,000 (or 5%) of it’s workforce needs to be cut, and maybe as much as 10% (or 8,000 jobs). CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) Ray Conner points to pricing pressure from Airbus with their A320 family and its effect on the 737.

Loren Thompson describes some other factors where the U.S. government shares blame:

  • Illegal European launch aid subsidies.
  • The Ex-Im Bank cannot make new deals until the Senate acts to confirm a necessary quorum of board members.
  • Low tanker price will drain funds from Boeing that could have been used to compete with Airbus.

Forget About Airbus Pricing Pressure At Boeing; Bigger Danger Is 15,000 Early Retirements

Aerospace analyst Scott Hamilton of Leeham Co. says early retirements by factory-floor workers could be a bigger impact than layoffs on the 737 and 787 production ramp up starting next year. The IAM (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers) told told Hamilton that between 7,000 and 9,000 workers are eligible for early retirement in November, and they expect 3-5,000 might actually retire. However, Dennis Muilenburg, the CEO of The Boeing Co.says that “booking rates have held up well.” Cost cutting is offensive rather than defensive.

Air France cabin crew defy airline chiefs order to wear headscarves in Iran

Air France is scheduled to resume service between Paris and Tehran on April 17. By law, Iranian women are required to cover their hair. Some female cabin crew members say they won’t fly to Iran if they are ordered by the airline to wear headscarves after they disembark. Reportedly, an Air France memo to staff said female employees would be required to “wear trousers during the flight with a loose fitting jacket and a scarf covering their hair on leave the plane.”

New Student Pilot Rules Take Effect Today

In the past, many student pilots have celebrated their 16th birthday with their solo flight on that day. Now the FAA says it cannot start processing the student pilot certificate application until all requirements are met, including age.

Jason Blair posted a good resource on his website: Step by Step Process for Issuance of Student Pilot Certificates Using Updated FAA Student Pilot Certificate Procedures.

Alaska Air clinches Virgin America deal for $2.6B

Alaska Air Group plans to Virgin America in a deal valued at about $2.6 billion. If it goes through, Alaska Airlines would become the fifth-largest U.S. airline, behind  American, Delta, United, and Southwest.

Abandoned Dog Learns To Fly A Plane, Becomes World’s Cutest Co-Pilot

Maybe. Maybe not.

Listener Recording

Our Main(e) man Micah tells us about his second visit to the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s Stephen Udvar-Hazy Center in June 2015 for the Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display. Join us at the 2016 June 18 in Chantilly, Virginia, adjacent to Dulles International Airport. See also Scott Spangler’s visit report Udvar-Hazy: Surprises & Friends Restored on Jetwhine.com.

Mentioned

Top 10 Aviation Museums to Visit in the U.S.

US Chamber of Commerce’s 15th Annual Aviation Summit

Listener Photo

Ryan Hothersall's model Mil Mi-8 in Mongolian markings

Ryan Hothersall’s model Mil Mi-8 in Mongolian markings

Credit

Post photo courtesy Paul Filmer, Skippyscage Photography.

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