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Beechcraft King Air F90 and Don Sebastion

The airplane pre-buy process, an update on some recent aviation accidents, the safest seats on an airplane, ICAO  proposes an aircraft tracking standard, FAA Amends ADS-B Rule for General Aviation, building the Boeing 777x wing, and some aviation technology.

Guest

Don Sebastian is President of Aviation Consulting Services Incorporated and has performed over 2,000 pre-buys and flight tests. He was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, and holds a CFII and helicopter commercial and instrument ratings. Don testifies as an expert witness and has eight lecture tours under his belt. Outside of aviation, Don contributes his energy to a variety of community and charitable activities.

We talk with Don about the airplane pre-buy process: making a squawk list for the buyer, conducting flight tests, log book reviews, and maintenance record reviews.

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To speak with Don about your airplane purchase, call:

+1 (910) 315-0099.

News

Preliminary Report on the Cirrus SR-22 Ditching near Hawaii

The NTSB released a preliminary report on the January 25, 2015 recovery parachute deployment over the waters near Maui, Hawaii. The pilot was unable to transfer fuel from the aft auxiliary fuel tank.

Surviving a Plane Crash: Does Where You Sit Make a Difference?

A University Of Greenwich, London study examined over 100 seating charts from plane crashes. People sitting close to the emergency exit rows were much more likely to survive.

ICAO Safety Conference Proposes New Aircraft Tracking Standard

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is recommending a performance-based tracking standard using existing and planned technologies and procedures. Aircraft flying in remote areas that do not have air traffic radar surveillance would report their position every 15 minutes. This can be achieved through onboard Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract (ADS-C), or Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), and other connectivity solutions.

Industry Group Opposes ICAO’s New Aircraft Tracking Standard for Business Jets

The International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) says the ICAO tracking standard should exempt aircraft with 19 passenger seats or less.

FAA Amends ADS-B Rule

The FAA has corrected the May 2010 final rule on ADS-B requirements for general aviation. The rule required that ADS-B equipment must meet the requirements of certain TSOs. Now the FAA says the equipment must “meet the performance requirements” in those TSOs.

Boeing’s 777X Wing Plant Sprouts Steel

Orginally, the composite wing for the 777X was to be manufactured in Japan. Boeing decided to keep the technology in Washington State and is building a 1.3M square foot plant at a cost of $1B to build and equip.

Formula One technology to be used in jet engines

UK industry and government project funding includes using McLaren’s Formula 1 gearbox expertise future jet engines, and landing gear using electric motors to taxi without burning fuel.

Full scale mach 5.5 cruising Sabre engine on track for 2019

Reaction Engines says they’ll have a static demonstration of the SABRE engine by 2019. The engine uses proprietary pre-coolers and starts in air-breathing mode up to Mach 5.5. It then transitions to rocket engine mode.up to Mach 25 using stored liquid oxygen.

Airplane of the Week

Avro Canada C-102 Jetliner

Avro Canada C102 Jetliner by Jamie Dodson. The jetliner that never was.

The Australia News Desk

Qantas’ first 747-400 VH-OJA is being donated to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) at Wollongong where the arrival is likely to be rather spectacular.

Virgin Australia are closing off their New Zealand based Pacific Blue operations.

The outback’s version of The Onion newspaper has run an amusingly false story of a pilot who tried to land on top of Ayres Rock (aka Uluru).

The Aviation Minute

Rob Mark talks about pilot wages.

Airplane Geeks on Ice

Report 7 by Juan Fernandez from McMurdo Bay brings to a close the Airplane Geeks on Ice series about aviation in Antarctica. Be sure to visit Juan’s Photo Gallery for some great photographs and videos.

Mentioned

Credit

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

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Lufthansa 737-500 photo copyright Jurgen

Converting airliners to private/corporate jets, a ballistic recovery parachute deployment, American Airlines pilots approve their contract, the Bombardier Learjet 85 is on hold, and the B747-8 is chosen for Air Force One.

Guest

Kent Scott is CEO and Founder of Trident 737 ER, LLC, which is in the business of modifying the Boeing 737 into private/corporate jets. He’s had a lifelong career in aviation that includes serving as President and COO of Emery Worldwide Airlines, Senior Flight Training Captain at American International Airlines (Kalitta), and VP-Flight Operations at Polar Air Cargo. Kent was also a 727 and DC-8 captain at Evergreen International Airlines, and Captain at Trans World Airlines, where he was elected head of the 4,000-member TWA Pilot union.

News

Video Shows Plane Using Parachute to Ditch into Ocean Near Maui

A Cirrus SR-22 on a ferry flight to Australia with a low fuel indication deployed the recovery parachute over the ocean near Hawaii. A National Guard C-130 captured video of the event.

Pilots Union Approves Contract With Airline

Nearly 95 percent of the eligible American Airlines pilots voted, with about 66 percent of them approving a new contract. They’ll receive an immediate 23% pay increase, and a 3% annual increase for the next five years.

Bombardier Learjet 85: Window of Opportunity Slams Shut

The Learjet 85 is “on hold” due to “weakness of the market.” Bombardier President and CEO Pierre Beaudoin says, “We will focus our resources on our two other clean-sheet aircraft programs under development, CSeries and Global 7000/8000.” A number of manufacturing cost cutting strategies have run into difficulties.

Limited Impact for Boeing in Air Force One Win

Under the Presidential Airlift Recapitalization program, the Boeing 747-8 has been selected as the next-generation Air Force One.

Airplane of the Week

Douglas F4D-1 Skyray

David Vanderhoof tells us the history of the Douglas F4D-1 Skyray.

The Australia News Desk

Bens new Cessna 172

With Grant stuck half way between Melbourne and Sydney with car troubles and lack of connectivity, Ben Jones steps in to join Steve instead this week.

Ben recently purchased a Cessna 172 on the east coast of Australia and flew it nearly 2,000nm back to his home base in Perth, Western Australia.  In this segment he talks about the buying experience, pre-purchase inspections and the 5 day trek back to Perth, dealing with the odd weather complication and instrument hiccup.

Airplane Geeks on Ice

Cassidy

In his 6th report, Juan Fernandez from McMurdo Bay in Antarctica tells us about rotorcraft at the continent at the bottom or the world.

Mentioned

The newly launched NATS blog includes an interactive 360 panorama view from inside Heathrow Tower in London, a view very rarely seen by members of the public.

Credit

Lufthansa 737-500 photo copyright Jurgen.

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

 

 

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NACA hangar

A symposium celebrating the formation of NACA 100 years ago, an AirAsia Flight 8501 update, slimline seats and passenger comfort, how to deboard quickly, and a Mars rover equipped with a drone.

Guest

Dr. Bill Barry is NASA’s sixth Chief Historian. Prior to his appointment in September 2010, Bill served as the NASA European Representative at the United States Embassy in Paris and at NASA Headquarters as a Senior International Programs Specialist and leader of the Russia Team in the Office of External Relations.

Bill is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, he also holds a Masters Degree from Stanford University and a Doctorate from Oxford University. He’s a pilot who holds a commercial, instrument ticket for multi-engine land and glider and is (oddly enough) currently working on his single engine rating.

Bill is one of the organizers of The NACA Centenary: A Symposium on 100 Years of Aerospace Research and Development to be held at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.  on March 3-4, 2015.

Congress established the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) on March 3, 1915. In 1958, NACA was transitioned and become NASA.

Find the NASA History Program Office at history.nasa.gov, and lots of great photos on Flickr.

News

AirAsia Flight 8501 update:

Divers have retrieved some bodies from a section of fuselage that sits about 100 feet down in the Java Sea. Efforts to raise the fuselage have failed. Reports attribute the difficulty to deflating lifting balloons, snapped ropes around the fuselage, and even breakup of the fuselage.

United just built 14 new planes using your extra legroom

United Airlines plans to grow capacity by 1.5% to 2.5% across its entire fleet, through a combination of new planes and new seats on old planes. The new seats are slimline seats. Installation on 300 aircraft gives United the equivalent capacity of 14 additional aircraft. Thinner seats mean you can fit more in with the same seat pitch. Or even more rows with slightly less seat pitch.

The way we get off airplanes makes absolutely no sense

Airlines try different boarding strategies. Sometimes to minimize total boarding time. Sometimes to support a passenger differentiation strategy. But what about at the other end of the trip? The 2014 study “Structured deplaning via simulation and optimization” showed that deboarding by aisle rather than row could cut time by up to 35%.

NASA planning Mars Helicopter to assist future rovers

These days two things are red hot: Mars rovers and drones. The rovers are accomplishing great science and sending us amazing photographs. Drones seem to be showing up everywhere, and are also creating fantastic images. So what if you had a Mars rover that came with its own drone?

The Australia News Desk

Steve and Grant

It’s Australia Day and the boys are taking a few minutes out from a BBQ to record a quick OzDesk with mentions of special Australia Day items, including:

  • The Royal Australian Navy had their new Landing Helicopter Dock HMAS Canberra on Sydney Harbour while Qantas flew an A380 over the harbour.
  • Meanwhile, in the USA, SQNLDR .Andrew “Jacko” Jackson starts his F35 training on Australia Day.
  • Finally, Steve gives some information about Positive Train Control after Max asked for his input last week.

Airplane Geeks on Ice

Report 5 by Juan Fernandez from McMurdo Bay in Antarctica. More at AirplaneGeeks.com.ice.

Listener Recording

Tony Morley on the 1993 Royal International Air Tattoo.

Credit

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

 

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Washington Dulles International Airport

Managing airport customer service, new TSA security measures, guns on a plane, FAA NPRM rules, the NTSB 10 most wanted, new airline routes, and the inaugural Airplane Geeks Inflight Movie of the Month.

Guest

Dennis Hazell is Manager, Customer Service at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Dennis supports the terminal and airfield operations, while focusing on the overall customer service experience at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Prior to joining the Airports Authority in June 2007, Dennis spent twenty-three years with American Airlines.  He began his career as a flight attendant, and accepted management positions in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Tulsa, Albany, Richmond, and Washington Dulles, where he spent the last ten years as the General Manager.

He has also been involved in several community activities including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, The United Way, and working with The George Washington University-Virginia Campus in focusing attention on STEM education.  He also serves as a Board Director for the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Follow Washington Dulles International Airport on Twitter and Instagram.

News

TSA Considering New Security Measures for Airport Workers

The Department of Homeland Security announced some additional security measures: enhanced screening for airline employees, some random security checks, and more patrols in secure areas by the TSA and law enforcement. The Aviation Security Advisory Committee has been asked to look into airport security.

TSA: Inspector had .22-caliber revolver in carry-on bag

An FAA Aviation Safety Inspector was passing through a security checkpoint at New York’s LaGuardia airport, after arriving from Atlanta, and a loaded firearm was discovered in his carry-on bag. He was arrested, saying it was his wife’s gun and he forgot he had it.

Instrument Sim Rule Rescinded

The FAA issued a final rule Dec. 3 that allowed up to 20 hours on an approved simulator for instrument training. Before that it was up to 10 hours. Now the FAA is withdrawing the rule.

New rules are established through the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) process. The FAA normally issues an NPRM, followed by a public comment period before the final rule is released. Here, the FAA issued the rule first, with the comment period after. But in that case, if anyone objects to the rule, it is rescinded. Two people objected.

NTSB 2015 Most Wanted List

The annual TSA Most Wanted List represents the Board’s 10 advocacy priorities. Some are directed at aviation, and some at other modes of transportation.

New Routes can lead to lower fares

Route expansions may not seem like exciting news, but they’re a bigger deal than you probably think. Why? Because they often spark competition between airlines and drive down fares on multiple carriers.

The Aviation Movie of the Month

This week, David starts the inaugural Airplane Geeks Inflight Movie of the Month: Always, the modern retelling of A Guy Named Joe. So what did David think? 4 out of 5 props.

4 props

The Australia News Desk

B767-338 VH-OGM

B767-338 VH-OGM departs Sydney for the final time on January 7th. Image by Damien Aiello.

Grant’s tired after completing his CASA panel interview process for aircraft maintenance management and Steve’s hungover after a few too many red wines with the “Infrequent Flyer” himself at the Members’ Reserve in the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Oh my!!!

Despite this, the boys still manage to report on:

  • More Qantas 767s flying to the Alice Springs boneyard (where a UT-Air Antonov 74-200 may wind up if it’s not careful!)

Aviation Museum Review

Brian Coleman visited the Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of New Jersey in Teterboro, New Jersey and brings us his report.

Airplane Geeks on Ice

Juan Fernandez

Report 4 by Juan Fernandez from McMurdo Bay in Antarctica. See more at AirplaneGeeks.com/ice.

Listener Recording

Micah tells the story of “Undergraduate Air.”

Mentioned

  • The Igor Sikorsky Weekend Seminar at the Bradford Camps in the North Maine Woods with Igor Sikorsky III.

Credit

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

 

 

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Spafax at APEX

Creating content for airlines, a Chinese naval fighter emerges, strong airline passenger demand, record Boeing and Airbus deliveries, United flight attendants file OSHA complaint, the world’s safest airlines, and on-time performance at airports.

Guest

Al St. Germain is Senior Vice President, USA for Spafax, one of the leading inflight entertainment providers in the world.  Spafax provides content for over 30 different airlines, overseeing licensing, programming, fulfillment and technical services.  In addition to that role, Al serves as publisher of APEX Experience, the official media platform for the Airline Passenger Experience Association, one of the industry’s leading trade groups.

Prior to Spafax, Al worked at both Delta and United in roles ranging from brand management to product development.  At United, he worked particularly closely with the Onboard Services Group.

Al started his career at noted branding firm Landor Associates, where he managed design projects ranging from airline liveries to airport counters to snack bags, all for Delta Air Lines.  Al was also part of the original team that came up with Delta Song.

APEX Experience

Visit Spafax.com and follow them on Twitter at @Spafax. Al tweets at @alstg. Find the APEX Experience blog at blog.apex.aero and on Twitter at @theAPEXassoc.

Mentioned in the Conversation

News

First photo of the fully operative Chinese rivals to the US Navy F-18

The Chinese naval fighter Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark is operational. This carrier jet is believed to be based on the Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-33.

IATA: Healthy Passenger Demand in November – Domestic Markets Driving Growth

IATA released the latest air passenger numbers, and they look good. RPK (revenue passenger kilometers) is up 6.0% over November 2013. November capacity up 5.4% and load factor up to 76.7%. All this is mostly driven by growth in domestic markets, particularly in China and India.

Boeing reports record orders, deliveries to airlines in 2014

Boeing and Airbus both set records for airplane deliveries in 2014. Boeing delivered 723 commercial airplanes, a company record. Airbus is reported to have broken their record also, but the official statement isn’t out. In 2014, Boeing booked 1,432 orders worth $232.7B at list price. Boeing’s commercial order book shows 5,789 airplanes at year-end, a company high.

Fired United Airlines flight attendants say they were spooked by this message 

In July 2014, someone drew in the oil film on one of the engines of a United flight scheduled from San Francisco to Hong Kong. Thirteen flight attendants saw that as a threat, refused to fly, and were subsequently fired for insubordination.

Now they want to be rehired and filed a whistleblower complaint with OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, under the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century, which protects employees from retaliation for opposing violation of air-safety or air-security standards.

World’s Safest Airlines for 2015

Safety and product rating review website Airline Ratings.com has announced its top ten safest airlines, and also its top ten safest low cost airlines.

OAG Punctuality League 2014: On-time performance results for airlines and airports

Aviation Intelligence company OAG announced their on time performance ratings in their Punctuality League 2014 report.

The Australia News Desk

Captain Jack Curtis. Photo from Aero Australia Magazine.

Captain Jack Curtis. Photo from Aero Australia Magazine.

The boys received the sad news of the passing of Captain Jack Curtis, an icon in the aviation scene down under, particularly in relation to DC-3s. In this week’s segment, they give us an interview Grant recorded with Jack in November 2013. He was a great pilot and a top bloke. Blue skies, Jack!

Airplane Geeks on Ice

Report 3 by Juan Fernandez from McMurdo Bay in Antarctica. Listener Vic was inspired to send us the link to a video of a DC-3 rescue in Antarctica.

Visit AirplaneGeeks.com/ice for more information and great photos.

Mentioned

Skytrans Dash8-102-VH-QQF-5 by ryanhothersall

Skytrans Dash8-102-VH-QQF-5 by ryanhothersall

787 nose stand

Credit

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

 

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TSA Pre Check

How the TSA treats a man marked as a terrorist, an inside job smuggling guns on an airline, airport security concerns, a former Korean Air executive arrested, United and Orbitz sue over the “hidden city” ticketing strategy, and an AirAsia QZ8501 update.

Guest

After being convicted of releasing animals from fur farms in 2005, Peter Young was labeled a “terrorist” by the TSA. Since then, flying has been quite interesting for Peter. 

You see, Peter was placed on the TSA’s Selectee List. This is not the same as the No Fly List. If you are on the Selectee List, you can fly on an airline, but you are subjected to “enhanced screening.”

Peter has since experienced all manner of “special treatment” from the TSA. He’s been refused entry onto planes, been tailed through airports, and told his Starbucks coffee might be a bomb.

In October 2014, Young launched The Jetsetting Terrorist blog, to document his often hilarious but never boring experiences with the TSA as he travels around the U.S. marked as a “terrorist.” Follow Peter on Twitter as @flyingterrorist.

News

4 large objects found in AirAsia wreckage and victims search

Sonar has picked up large objects, the flight was not certified to fly on that day, why ATC didn’t authorize an increase in altitude, and why pilots don’t turn back.

Arrest warrant for ex-Korean Air exec in nut rage

Heather Cho, the former VP of Korean Air’s in-flight service and the daughter of the Korean Air Chairman, has been arrested. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation investigation determined that Cho’s behavior violated the Aviation Safety and Security Act, which bans any behavior that disturbs airplane operation.

Gun Smuggling on Plane Reveals Security Oversight

In December, a former Delta employee was arrested in New York after allegedly carrying 16 firearms and ammunition in a backpack on a Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta. This was after a month long investigation.

A Delta baggage handler with access to secure airport areas brought the firearms into the terminal and transferred them to the man, who had already gone through the regular airport security checks.

A Gift to the Jihadis: The Unseen Airport Security Threat

Airport security focuses on passengers, but baggage handlers and other airline employees with access to restricted areas could be bigger threats.

Millennials Worry Most That Airport Security Is Becoming Too Lax

More than 740,000 travelers are now enrolled in the TSA’s “Precheck” program, A survey by Harris Interactive shows that younger people are more worried about lax security than older travelers.

22-year-old raises $33,000 in fight with United Airlines

Aktarer Zaman, founder of the airfare advice site Skiplagged.com, is being sued by United and Orbitz for providing “unfair competition” and promoting “strictly prohibited” travel. Zaman’s website helps air travelers find “hidden city” tickets. Zaman is raising funds to pay for his legal fees at GoFundMe.

David Vanderhoof’s Airplane of the Week

Short Belfast

The Shorts Belfast, a four-engine turboprop freighter produced by Short Brothers.

Aviation Movie of the Month

Always, a 1989 film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, and John Goodman. The film introduced Brad Johnson and featured a cameo by Audrey Hepburn.

The Australia News Desk

The boys are back for 2015 and wondering what happened to last week? Something about holidays and memos, it would appear!

In this Desk, Steve and Grant cover the WA Police Air Wing being grounded due to pilots quitting, the last flights of Qantas 767s (well, sort of) and regional airline SkyTrans closing the doors but in the most controlled and well managed method we’ve ever seen!

Airplane Geeks on Ice

Juan Fernandez provides his second report from Antarctica, this time on the Pegasus crash. Visit AirplaneGeeks.com/ice for more information and some great photos.

Mentioned

Marin's Bushcaddy

Credit

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

 

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Ace Abbott

Memoirs of a pilot, AirAsia Flight QZ8501, flying drones safely, falling oil prices and the cost of airline tickets, the Gulfstream G650ER, a look back at 2014 and a look ahead to 2015.

Guest

Ace Abbott was an F-4 Phantom pilot in the USAF, based in the Far East, and he flew the Learjet as a corporate and charter pilot. During the last 22 years of his career, Ace flew the Boeing 727 for several airlines, accumulating 11,000 hours in the captain’s chair.

Ace is retired now, he blogs, and he authored his memoir, The Rogue Aviator In the Back Alleys of Aviation. and Dead Tired: Aviation’s Insidious Killer which looks at pilot fatigue.

Ace was featured by two young aviation bloggers: Share Your Story: Ace Abbott, Author, F-4 Phantom and 727 Pilot by Swayne Martin and Ace Abbott – His Story by Jake Lewis.

Find Ace’s books, blog and more at The Rogue Aviator. Follow Ace on Twitter: @aceabbott.

News

Update on AirAsia 8501 Accident

AirAsia Flight 8501 was flying from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore with 162 souls onboard: 155 passengers, 2 pilots, and 5 crew. State-owned AirNav Indonesia provides air-navigation services and said the AirAsia plane took off at 5:32 a.m. local time. While cruising at 32,000 feet at 6:12 a.m., it contacted traffic control at Jakarta’s airport to say it was moving left from the flight path and rising to 38,000 feet to avoid a cloud. At 6:18 a.m. QZ8501 disappeared from radar.

UK Body Warns Drone Owners: Fly Safely, or You’ll Be Fined

The UK civil aviation authority reminds people that if you fly recklessly you can be fined as much as 5,000 pounds.

Know Before You Fly

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

Why Only Some Airline Tickets Are Falling With Lower Oil Prices

Oil prices have plummeted, and fuel is the big cost element for airlines. So does that mean that ticket prices will fall as well? Not necessarily. Different airline fuel hedging strategies play a role.

See also: Major US Airlines That Took Risky Bets On Oil Are Hurting From Falling Prices and Airfare Should Get Cheaper In 2015 Due To Plummeting Oil Prices, Experts Say.

Airlines We Lost in 2014

The Cranky Flier looks at the airlines that in 2014 went out of business, were bought, or retired.

The Newest Version Of The $66.5 Million G650 Can Fly Nonstop From New York To Hong Kong

The Gulfstream G650ER can carry an extra 4,000 pounds of fuel which increases range to 8,600 miles, enough to fly nonstop from New York to Hong Kong or Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia.

David Vanderhoof’s History Segment

This week Jamie Dodson tells us about the Convair B-36 “Peacemaker.”

B-36J AF Serial Number 52-2217 on display at the Strategic Air and Space Museum.

B-36J AF Serial Number 52-2217 on display at the Strategic Air and Space Museum.

B-36J AF Serial Number 52-2220 on display in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force

B-36J AF Serial Number 52-2220 on display in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force

B-36J AF Serial Number 52-2827 on display at the Pima Air & Space Museum.

B-36J AF Serial Number 52-2827 on display at the Pima Air & Space Museum.

Airplane Geeks on Ice

LC-130s and a Turbine DC-3 on skis at Williams Field (NZWD) McMurdo Antarctica

LC-130s and a Turbine DC-3 on skis at Williams Field (NZWD) McMurdo Antarctica

Juan Carlos Fernandez Diaz is part of a scientific crew flying in Antarctica. He created the website Listener Reports from an Airplane Geek from McMurdo Station Antarctica and sends us his first report on aviation from that continent.

Mentioned

Credit

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

 

Play

Linear Air

An air taxi operation, cabin branding at Delta, Phenom 100 crash initial findings, IATA recommendations for airline tracking, Airbus A380 orders, and A350 first delivery in the news.

Guest

William Herp is CEO and Co-Founder of Linear Air. Bill holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, is single-pilot type-rated in the Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet, and is Director of Operations of Linear Air’s Eclipse charter management company, as well as CEO of Linear Air’s air taxi digital marketplace.

We talk about the air taxi business, how it operates today, and where it is headed. Bill likes to operate at the “intersection of technology and aviation” and he applies that approach at Linear Air.

Bill explains the economics of air taxi and how it represents good value for many travelers. We consider pilot qualifications, applicable regulations, the pricing model, and how large numbers of today’s technically advanced small airplanes can play a role in the future of air taxi.

Linear Air has been creating the technical connections that let people find them through online booking services. They expect to expand their reach by bringing in additional operators, and also focus on creating more awareness among potential customers through promotional events in 2015.

Linear Air staff

Bill has a background in consumer marketing and has used this experience to guide Linear Air’s strategy in the air taxi marketplace. He co-founded e-Dialog, a 500 person online marketing company now owned by eBay, with clients including Dell, British Airways, Avis, and CheapTickets.  Bill is a member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization and serves on the board of directors of Junior Achievement of Eastern Massachusetts, the non-profit educating young people in financial literacy, entrepreneurship and workforce readiness.  Bill graduated from the University of Notre Dame and Harvard Business School.

News

Delta’s New Seating Arrangement Somehow Makes Coach Even Worse

Delta’s Big Branding Exercise Reflects Changes That Have Already Been Made, Not New Ones

Delta has a plan: segment the cabin into three economy sections and two premium cabins. These would be distinguished by price and service. Delta looks to bring branding into the cabin starting March 1, 2015.

NTSB Releases Preliminary Information on Phenom Crash

A Phenom 100 crashed in Maryland on December 8, killing 3 on board and 3 in a house struck by the aircraft. NTSB member Robert Sumwalt reported on the initial findings from the flight data recorder: both the landing gear and flaps were down, “automated stall warnings began about 20 seconds before the end of the flight” and continued to the end of the recording at impact.

IATA submits aircraft tracking recommendations to ICAO

Airlines Push Back at Plane-Tracking Proposals From IATA

The International Air Transport Association’s Aircraft Tracking Task Force submitted its report to ICAO.  The report will be considered in ICAO’s development of a Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System, or GADSS.

Airbus Faces Investment Conundrum as A380 Orders Vanish

Airbus hasn’t been finding new buyers for the A380. They now have a choice: invest a lot of additional money, or just let it go.

Qatar Airways Refusal Of First Airbus A350: Looks Bad But No Cause For Concern, Expert Says

Airbus A350 launch customer Qatar Airways has delayed delivery of the first aircraft due to “a couple of minor issues.”

Flight Attendant Says Korean Air Exec Made Him Kneel After Nut Mishap

The Daughter of Korean Air’s chairman ordered a flight attendant off the plane when she didn’t like the way the nuts were served. She had the plane return to the gate. The daughter is also an executive in charge of cabin service. Or at least she was at the time.

David Vanderhoof’s History Segment

David’s gives us his annual Holiday message.

The Australia News Desk

Qantas is in the news with reports of a shake-up in some senior positions. It’s time to re-visit the PelAir crash of 2009 as the ATSB is re-opening the case following a scathing review of the original report by the Transport Safety Board of Canada. Steve and Grant take a moment to thank Pieter for his efforts with Across the Pond and, sadly, announce the loss of our friend Charlie Willwerth from the FlightTime Radio Show in Florida.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute

On the issue of pilots taking photographs from the cockpit.

WWII Flying Tigers Photo Exhibit Review

Brian Coleman gives us his review

Mentioned

Credit

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

 

 

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Brad Sheehan, Vice President – Flight Operations at ExpressJet Airlines

A regional airline’s flight operations center, NTSB report on 787 battery fire, a cracked Dreamliner window, outgoing TSA security chief John Pistole, why cheap fuel might not be a good thing, and airports that court avgeeks.

Guest

Brad Sheehan is Vice President of Flight Operations at ExpressJet Airlines. He’s responsible for the daily operations of more than 4,000 pilots and all Flight Operations functions.

We talk about the responsibilities of Flight Operations, managing “irregular operations” such as weather events, and accommodating passengers when there are disruptions. Brad describes the operations center job functions: mostly dispatchers, but also a team of managers, maintenance controllers, and schedulers.

The gap in the U.S. created by pilots retiring in next 10 – 15 years means majors will draw on the regionals for pilots. While many see the regionals as a stepping stone to the majors, a regional career could be attractive and Brad describes how that applied to him.

Brad has a degree in Aviation Management from Auburn University, and began his career at Atlantic Southeast Airlines in 1997 as a pilot based in Atlanta. In his 17 years with ExpressJet, he’s served as a line check airman, instructor pilot, project manager, and chief pilot. He served as the director of Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance from 2010 to 2013 where he was instrumental in launching numerous safety programs including their Safety Management System (SMS).

Headquartered in Atlanta, ExpressJet is the world’s largest regional airline with 9,000 aviation professionals, an average of 2,000 daily flights, and an all-jet fleet. ExpressJet operates as American Eagle, Delta Connection, and United Express to serve more than 190 airports in the U.S., Bahamas, Canada and Mexico.

If you’re looking for a career in aviation, ExpressJet is hiring pilots, mechanics, flight attendants, crew schedulers, and more. If you want to begin your career as a pilot but don’t have your ATP CTP yet, ExpressJet offers a free, in-house CTP course for new hire pilots.

Find ExpressJet on their Facebook page, and learn more about employment opportunities on their ExpressJet Airlines Pilot Recruiting Facebook page. Follow @ExpressJetPilot on Twitter and expressjetpilots on Instagram.

News

Temperature in 787 battery cells spikes in cold conditions: NTSB

The NTSB issued its final report on the January 7, 2013 incident where ground workers discovered smoke and flames coming from an auxiliary power unit lithium-ion battery in a Japan Airlines 787 that was parked at the gate at Boston Logan International Airport.

Previously, the NTSB said that one of the battery’s cells experienced an internal short circuit which caused thermal runaway in the cell. That then spread to the other cells and caused a full battery thermal runaway.

NTSB Press release: NTSB Recommends Process Improvements for Certifying Lithium-ion Batteries as it Concludes its Investigation of the 787 Boston Battery Fire Incident

“As a result of its findings, the NTSB is recommending that the FAA improve the guidance and training provided to industry and FAA certification engineers on safety assessments and methods of compliance for designs involving new technology.”

Man Punches And Cracks A Magical 787 Dreamliner Window

A man aboard a Thomson Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner punching one of the plane’s windows, causing it to crack and frightening the other passengers. He was arrested on arrival, pleaded guilty, and is awaiting sentencing in January.

Considering the Year in Airport Security, With the T.S.A. Chief

The New York Times’ Business Day section did an extensive interview with John Pistole, the outgoing administrator of the Transportation Security Administration. Among the topics discussed: the growth of TSA’s PreCheck program and possibly switching the program to private contractors.

Airlines: Another Reason to Worry About Cheap Fuel

Investors are looking too much at fuel costs and not enough at controllable expenses. But the airline industry outlook has been driven by capacity discipline, consolidation, and unbundling. Capacity discipline driven by high fuel prices. Also, airlines will not all benefit equally from lower fuel prices do to different hedging practices.

Airport Programs Help Cultivate Avgeek Population

Washington Dulles and Miami International airports are courting avgeeks with special programs and social media. The Discover Dulles program is a way for those who love aviation to connect and experience things that are typically off limits to the general public.

Under the Miami Watch security program, airplane spotters are the eyes on the perimeter of the airport, like a neighborhood crime watch. Spotters get good access to the airfield and the airport gets another layer of security.

David Vanderhoof’s History Segment

David proposes some changes to the weekly history segment, and asks the community for input.

Across the Pond

Pieter Johnson

Pieter reminisces over the past four years and the inspirational sources we all have for aviation. He also announces that he’s taking some time off from the Across the Pond segment. Learn about Anthony Kenneth Johnson (1925 – 2011) – Telegraphist Air Gunner (Royal Navy) at the Wartime Heritage Association.

Mentioned

The Romance of Aviation

Listener Shreenand send us this list illustrating that aviation may be different these days, but it still has a romance all its own:

That the romance is when you get to see day, dusk, and night, all at the same time, from your office window.

The romance is when you depart on a overcast, gloomy, dark day, break out on top and realise the sun really does exist.

The romance is when you fly during a meteor shower and see so many shooting stars, you run out of wishes.

The romance is when you check in at 37,000 feet, and whisper, “Honey I’m home.”

The romance is when you get to see a thunderstorm in HD. Only this time it’s close enough for you to touch.

The romance is when you fly from Moscow to Houston – fifty years ago you would’ve had to do it in a spy plane and fly high enough to be out of range of communist missiles. Or when you fly across the Atlantic without batting an eyelid, eighty years ago, they were handing out rewards for this sort of thing.

The romance is when you fly across countries and realise there are no real borders that divide us. Except, when you fly over the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. And you see it lit up like a major street for as far as the eye can see.

The romance is when you fly over Europe on a clear day. Within minutes you’ve seen the Alps, the Eiffel tower and the Big Ben.

The romance is when people tell you it’s a small world, and having seen the length of the Pacific, you beg to disagree.

The romance is when you ride along the tops of stratus and you can tell you are really shifting. Even magic carpets don’t ride this well.

The romance is when you speak to the same air traffic controller for the umpteenth time. You’ve never met him and probably never will, but you recognise him from his voice.

The romance is when you are number 10 for take-off on a gusty day. You get a ring-side view of your kind, doing their magic, earning a living.

The romance is when you are cleared for a visual approach, and from that point on, it’s no computers and no automatics. Just good old stick and rudder.

The romance is when you pop out of low cloud, and ahead of you lies three kilometres of velvet smooth tarmac, lit up like a Christmas tree.

The romance is when after a fourteen hour transcontinental flight, you look back at your office, and smile!

The romance is that no matter how prosaic you make it out to be, aeroplanes are still mankind’s greatest achievement.

The romance is very much alive and kicking ladies and gentlemen! But a window seat and an open heart, would help you see it.

Aviation Books for the Holidays

Ace Abbott says the best holiday gifts money can buy are books. If you have friends, neighbors, relatives, or airport and pilot colleagues who may be remotely interested in aviation, the following list of aviation books will pleasantly entertain these people. In honor of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” here is Ace Abbott’s list of 12 great aviation books.

  • Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach; non-pilots as well as aviation folks have enjoyed this classic for nearly 40 years; available anywhere books are sold.
  • Falling to Earth by Al Worden: A memoir of an astronaut who went from a small farm in Michigan to become the first man ever to venture to the back side of the moon as the Apollo 15 command module pilot. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1FJxW61.
  • Fighter Pilot (Robin Olds) with Christina Olds and Ed Rasimus: A must read for every current or ex-military person, particularly any pilot from the Vietnam War era. The story of an iconic fighter pilot who was a heroic and courageous leader. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vgIKaz
  • Rules of Engagement by Joe Weber: This book complements Fighter Pilot. It is Tom Clancy-like fiction, since it is laced with reality. The primary theme of a free-spirited Marine fighter pilot during the air war over Vietnam is complemented with a poignant love story; available at http://bit.ly/1CBtBFK.
  • The Rogue Aviator by Ace Abbott: A memoir of an adventuresome, maverick pilot who experienced a radical roller-coaster-like ride through a diversified aviation career; filled with entertaining and implausible aviation anecdotes; as well as an insider’s look at commercial aviation. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1tHUaid, or http://therogueaviator.com/.
  • Cruising Altitude: Tales of Crash Pads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet by Heather Poole:  As the title reveals, this book relates many radical anecdotes of craziness in the cabin, and provides insight into the multifaceted drama that can occur in the cabin of a passenger airplane. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1yep9sy.
  • Chuck Yeager- An Autobiography by Chuck Yeager; This story of the renowned test pilot will take you way beyond the speed of sound and into the world of swashbuckling fighter pilots and test pilots. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vFuvfi.
  • Area 51 by Annie Jacobsen: This well researched book will provide revelations about the famed top-secret “black-area” in the Nevada desert. It will clear up some misconceptions about aliens while revealing insight into the depth of the level of energy and effort by the U.S. government into the development and use of spy planes, such as the SR 71 “Blackbird.” Amazon: http://amzn.to/1FJBDbQ.
  • The Darkest Mission by Rick Burton; This well-researched spy-vs-spy thriller was very well researched and contains troves of information derived from the real world of international espionage. The primary narrative revolves around a WW II B-17 crew that was shot down over enemy territory; an adrenalin-pumper from start to finish. Available at http://amzn.to/1pMIyi.
  • An Extraordinary Life-Gone To The Dogs by Lisa Weiss; A powerfully poignant non-fiction account of a Jewish B-24 pilot who was shot down over France and captured by the Germans. Protagonist Irwin Stovroff relates his experiences as a POW and provides unique insight into the nuanced relationships of POWs and their colleagues as well as their captors. Irwin’s yeoman humanitarian efforts toward American Veterans is the glorious outcome of his improbable survival. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1zdLuEZ.
  • Squawk 7700 by Peter Buffington; This auto biography relates the trials and tribulations of life as a commuter/regional air carrier pilot who reveals his very unpalatable training experience as a co-pilot for American Eagle Airlines. This book functions as an expose’ of the underpaid and overworked commuter pilots in the U.S. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1w0DzgV.
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand; This WW II aviation bestseller is a story of survival, resilience, and redemption. It is available wherever books are sold. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1wjWRx.

Credit

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

 

Play

Turbo The Flying Dog

Dogs and other animals that fly, an update on unmanned aerial vehicles, charitable aviation organizations that provide transportation to those in need, the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Wirraway, and flying GA in the US and Europe.

Guest

Victoria Zajko is a pilot and she works in the aviation insurance business, supporting general, corporate, and business aviation needs. She is a Co-Host on the Stuck Mic AvCast, blogs at The Pixie Pilot, and is Coauthor of the new Turbo the Flying Dog book series.

Turbo flies everywhere with her, and the dog has a Facebook page and is on Twitter. Victoria thought the adventures of Turbo would make a good children’s book that focused on family and overcoming fears. Now we have Turbo the Flying Dog, the first book in a series.

We talk about crowdfunding the book, hurdles to publishing, and the positive role of social media and the aviation community.

News

FAA on drones: Security always a concern

In this CNN video, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta talks about security threats from commercial drones, especially to planes.

CNBC on Drones

A discussion between Jetwhine Publisher Rob Mark and Duke University professor Missy Cummings about whether or not drones pose a safety problem to passenger carrying aircraft.

Senators don’t like where the FAA’s headed on drones

U.S. lawmakers want the FAA to speed up the integration of drones into the national airspace.

Huerta Says UAS Rules Stress Certification, Pilot Standards

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told CNN’s State of the Union that the NPRM planned for this month on sUAS will focus on aircraft certification and “qualifications” of pilots.

Endangered Sea Turtles Need GA Transport

Migratory turtles spend the summer in the waters off New England, then swim south in winter. But this year, wind and water temperatures have stranded more than 400 of them along beaches on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

According to Leslie Weinstein, a board member for the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research at the University of Florida, they need transportation to aquariums. Weinstein is working an aviation rescue effort with the Air National Guard, but also with volunteer groups like Pilots N Paws to solicit help from general aviation pilots.

Wrigley heiress charters private jet to fly Marine’s dogs home

This 2013 article describes a Marine serving in Afghanistan who rescued two Anatolian Shepherd mixes, Dusty and Wyatt. He was able to get the dogs to the U.S with the assistance of an animal rescue organization when his tour of duty ended.

Later, the Marine was transferred across the country and the airlines were unable to provide transportation. Wrigley gum heiress Helen A. Rosburg stepped in and chartered a private jet. Rosburg is the founder of animal rescue organization, On the Wings of Angels Rescue.

Op-Ed: Media and industry sneering at service animals must stop

By Contributing Editor John Walton on the RunwayGirl Network.

NATA And Its Members Raise More Than $30,000 For Our Nation’s Veterans

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) announced the donation of more than $30,000 to veterans’ organizations raised through the 2014 NATA Flag Pins for Veterans Project. Earlier this year, NATA and its members developed the project to expand our support of our Nation’s veterans. Donations from this year’s project will support the Veterans Airlift Command and the Medal of Honor Foundation.

SMAC083 – Live From The National Business Aviation Association Convention 2014

Carl Valeri talks to the volunteer Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) which transports post-9/11 veterans for medical and other compassionate reasons outside the airline system. Carl also spoke with a veteran and passenger of Veterans Airlift Command.

The Australia News Desk

Wirraway A20-10 by @canvaswings

Wirraway A20-10 by @canvaswings

Back in September, the Australian National Aviation Museum at Moorabbin in Victoria, celebrated the 75th anniversary of the first flight of their CAC (Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation) Wirraway.

The museum’s Wirraway (A20-10) was built in 1939 and saw service as a trainer for the RAAF for nearly two decades.  We sent Anthony “The Infrequent Flyer” Simmons (Max’s favourite Australian) out to chat with Ewan McArthur and James Kightly about the significance of this particular aircraft

Across the Pond

Neil Bradon

Pieter talks with Neil Bradon, once a student pilot on the show back in 2011 and now a well respected GA pilot in both Europe and the USA. Neil has returned from living and working in the USA to Ireland where he explains the differences in the GA sector and offers some advice based upon his experiences. Neil blogs at getmyppl.blogspot.com.

Mentioned

Some  charitable aviation organizations:

Pilots and Paws

Angel Flight

Angel Flight Australia

Air Care Alliance

Volunteer Pilots Association

Corporate Angel Network

Hope Air

Find Max’s list at airplanegeeks.com/charity.

Aviation Geekfest 2015 – February 21st and 22nd, 2015 in Seattle.

SkyFunder – Crowdfunding just for aviation purposes.

ZZ331 Royal Air Force Airbus KC2 Voyager (A330-243MRRT), CPH Departure [HD]

Royal Air Force Airbus KC2 Voyager

Royal Air Force Airbus KC2 Voyager

Credit

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