517 Back at the Airport

Social and technology changes at airports, including ridesharing, facial recognition, and carry-on screening. Also, the recent AAviation Day with American Airlines, working the de-icing pad, airport outreach, and stairs trucks. In the news, Norwegian wet leases an A380 and Southwest issues a policy for trained service animals.

Guest

Jennifer Adams, airport enthusiast, employee, and blogger.

Jennifer Adams

Jennifer Adams combines her experience in accounting with her passion for aviation by working in the accounting and finance department of a mid-sized midwestern airport. When she’s not paying the bills and sending invoices to airlines, you can find her helping out on the de-ice pad, plane spotting, and getting unreasonably excited about stairs trucks.

Jennifer reports on her experience at the AAviation Day event with American Airlines and Airline Geeks at PHL. The annual event takes place at a number of airports in conjunction with National Aviation Day, held August 19 each year to celebrate the history and development of aviation.

Jennifer gives us insights into the impact at airports of social and technology changes, such as the rise in the use of ridesharing services and changing airport security methods. We look at some statistics that characterize the growth in airport passengers and the cargo business and hear about some of the factors that facilitated the change. Jennifer describes examples of good airport outreach, and her experience training to manage the de-icing pad.

And of course any conversation with Jennifer is incomplete without talking about stairs trucks, and we don’t disappoint.

Jennifer blogs about her aviation adventures at Tales From the Terminal. Follow her on Twitter at @Jen_Niffer.

Aviation News

Facial scan technology makes debut in airports

Orlando International Airport is using facial recognition technology for all arriving and departing international travelers. The program comes from a partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and SITA, a private cyber security company. Passengers stand on a yellow footprint and a camera takes an image which is then matched against the CBP passport photo database. The system offers security and processing speed advantages.

A new scanner could speed up airport security

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is testing a new x-ray machine for carry-on bags. If the tests are successful, removing liquids and electronics from bags may become unnecessary. The promise is that explosives could be detected inside the bags. Fifteen airports are testing the device.

There’s curbside chaos at DFW Airport — thanks in part to the surge of Uber and Lyft

With limited curbside space at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport arrivals, the increased popularity of ridesharing services, and the length of time some people park outside arrivals, a significant traffic problem is created. DFW is responding with some changes.

Norwegian to deploy Hi Fly’s A380 as 787 cover

Norwegian is negatively impacted by the Trent 1000 engine problem on their Boeing 787s. In response, the airline has been leasing an A380 from Hi Fly to cover their evening London-New York service.

Southwest Airlines is formally allowing miniature horses on its planes as service animals

On their Customers with Disabilities page, Southwest Airlines says, “Effective for travel beginning September 17, 2018, Southwest is making changes to our existing policies for accommodating Customers with disabilities who seek to travel with a fully trained service animal in the cabin. Customers with disabilities seeking to travel with a trained service animal must still provide credible verbal assurance that the animal is a trained service animal.”

Mentioned

Stinar SPS-3518 Passenger Stair Truck, 96-228″ – on offer from Aero Specialties.

Airport Vehicle Racing – Top Gear – BBC

Plane Narrowly Misses Collision with Van

Asking the right questions after a q400 is stolen, in The Air Current by Jon Ostrower.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

516 University Aviation Program

The aviation program at the University of Maine at Augusta, the stolen and crashed Horizon Air turboprop plane, the proposed British jet fighter, the effect of elevated carbon monoxide levels in the flight deck, the percentage of women pilots, a lawsuit over lavatory access, the fatal Ju 52 crash, and a pancake breakfast and fly-in.

Guest

Greg Jolda, university aviation program

Greg Jolda, aviation program coordinator at the University of Maine at Augusta.

Greg Jolda is the aviation program coordinator at the University of Maine at Augusta, as well as a lecturer in computer information systems.

Greg was a United States Air Force pilot and retired as Lieutenant Colonel and Command Pilot with over 3000 hours in four operational aircraft, including over 1000 hours as an instructor pilot. He served as Fighter Pilot, T-33; Instructor Pilot, T-37; Group Chief, Systems Avionics Group, Wright Aeronautical Labs, Wright Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio; Aircraft Commander C-130 and Air Operations Officer, Yokota Air Base, Tokyo, Japan; Instructor Pilot and Flight Commander, T-38, Chief, Wing Academics, Reese Air Force Base, Lubbock, Texas; Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.

Greg earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston and an MS in Electrical Engineering, from the Air Force Institute of Technology, Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton.

He is also a Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot (CSIP).

News

Sea-Tac officials, airlines to meet Monday to discuss security protocols after turboprop heist

Seattle-Tacoma plane thief ‘had full airport credentials’

A Horizon Air Bombardier Q400 turboprop was stolen by an airline employee at Seattle’s SeaTac International airport and made an unauthorized takeoff. Horizon is a subsidiary of Alaska Air Group. During a 75-minute flight, the plane made some aerobatic maneuvers, was chased by two Air National Guard F-15Cs, and crashed on Ketron Island in Puget Sound.

See:

And:

Todd Curtis interviewed by BBC 5 Live Radio about the crash of Horizon Air Q400

Meet the UK’s New, Very British Fighter Jet

A full-scale model of the UK’s new Tempest fighter jet was displayed at Farnborough this year. It’s being called a 6th generation fighter with two engines and twin vertical stabilizers, not unlike the F-22. The UK’s Ministry of Defense plans on spending $2.6 billion to develop the plane through 2025. Then a decision will be made to proceed with a 2035 rollout.

Stale Cockpit Air May Be Dulling Your Airline Pilot’s Performance

A new Harvard University study published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology has found that carbon dioxide concentrations in the cockpit can affect pilot performance. Current regulations don’t address fresh air in airline flight decks and the impact of carbon dioxide on safety. The article is Airplane pilot flight performance on 21 maneuvers in a flight simulator under varying carbon dioxide concentrations.

Women airline pilots: a tiny percentage, and only growing slowly

CAPA, the Centre for Aviation, says, “Data for the US and the UK indicate that just over 4% of airline pilots are women.”

  • 7.0% of all US FAA pilot airline pilot certificates are held by women, while 4.4% of US airline pilots and 4.3% of UK airline pilots are women.
  • Women pilots’ share is growing but by less than 1ppt over a decade.
  • Among global airlines surveyed by the International Society of Women Airline Pilots, the US big three have the highest number of women pilots.
  • IndiGo has the highest percentage of women pilots, with 13.9%.

The ICAO Global Aviation Gender Summit was held August 8-10, 2018 in Cape Town.

Suing the Airlines for Better Bathroom Access

The 1986 Air Carrier Access Act prohibits discrimination based on disability in air travel. New twin-aisle planes are required to have a wheelchair accessible lavatory. Single-aisle planes have no such requirement. The Paralyzed Veterans of America organization has filed a lawsuit against the United States Department of Transportation.

From the press release: Paralyzed Veterans of America Sues Department of Transportation For Unlawful Delay of Rule Intended to Make Airline Restrooms Accessible for Travelers With Disabilities:

“…on behalf of Paralyzed Veterans of America, Democracy Forward challenged the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for its unjustified and unlawful delay in issuing rules intended to make airplane restrooms accessible for travelers with disabilities.”

Ju 52 Crash in Switzerland

Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari presents his findings on the fatal crash.

Ju 52 at AirVenture Oshkosh 2012. Photo by David Vanderhoof.

Ju 52 at AirVenture Oshkosh 2012. Photo by David Vanderhoof.

Spurwink Farm Pancake Breakfast and Fly-In (Part 1)

Airplane Geeks contributor-at-large Micah brings us two interviews from the event: Shawn Moody and Ed Thompson.

Micah with Shawn Moody, Bunk Chase, and a Carbon Cub.

Micah with Shawn Moody, Bunk Chase, and a Carbon Cub.

Micah and Van's RV-12 on Spurwink Farm.

Micah and Van’s RV-12 on Spurwink Farm.

Mentioned

Aviation Week’s Check 6 podcast (Darpa’s Space Shakeup) with Fred Kennedy, the director of DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office.

Air Warriors and Mighty Planes on the Smithsonian Channel.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

515 Jon Ostrower’s The Air Current

Aviation journalist Jon Ostrower is now editor-in-chief of The Air Current. Jon shares his views on Farnborough, electric aircraft, the Embraer/Boeing and Bombardier/Airbus linkups, and a Boeing middle market jet. Also, union reaction to single pilot cargo planes, Rolls-Royce financial woes in light of Trent 1000 problems, and a general aviation exhibit coming to the National Air & Space Museum. We also announce the winner of the Pima Air Museum book giveaway.

Guest

Jon Ostrower, editor-in chief, The Air Current.

Jon Ostrower, editor-in-chief, The Air Current.

Jon Ostrower is a longtime professional aviation journalist. He was editor of FlightBlogger for Flightglobal, a staff reporter covering aerospace at The Wall Street Journal, and aviation editor at CNN. Jon has recently embarked on a new project as editor-in-chief of The Air Current, a subscription-based service providing in-depth industry analysis which “connects the dots” of current aviation news stories.

In our conversation, Jon gives his perspectives on this year’s Farnborough Air Show, the Embraer/Boeing and Bombardier/Airbus linkups, and a possible Boeing middle market “B797.” He ties these together with a possible rise in stature of the Chinese aviation industry. Jon also explains how he believes electric aircraft are poised to bring more change to aviation.

As a special offer for Airplane Geeks listeners, Jon is giving a discount on subscriptions to The Air Current. To take advantage of the discount, use the offer code “airplanegeeks” when you subscribe at subscribe.theaircurrent.com.

Aviation News

Airline pilots protest study on allowing cargo planes to have one pilot, remote help

Sec. 744 of H.R.4 – FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 says, “The FAA, in consultation with NASA and other relevant agencies, shall establish a research and development program in support of single-piloted cargo aircraft assisted with remote piloting and computer piloting.” A group of unions representing many commercial airlines doesn’t know who put that in the legislation, or why, and they are not happy.

In Stop Government Funding of Single-Piloted Commercial Aircraft, ALPA urges members to submit a “Call to Action to urge your Senators and Members of Congress to protect aviation safety and airline pilot careers.”

Rolls-Royce flies into loss on Trent engine trouble

This article quantifies some of the financial impacts on Rolls-Royce of their Trent 1000 engine problems. In the first half of 2018, Rolls suffered an after-tax loss of £962 million ($1.26 billion). In the first half of 2017, RR earned a net profit of £1.17 billion. Rolls-Royce took an extra £554-million exceptional charge linked to costs involved in fixing the Trent 1000, and the company estimates the total cost of Trent 1000 repairs between 2018 and 2022 to be upwards of £1.3 billion.

Rolls-Royce Offers Airlines Credits for 787 Groundings

Rolls-Royce Holdings “plans to offer airlines maintenance credits, limiting direct compensation for grounding Boeing Co. 787 planes in a bid to minimize the impact of unexpected wear issues on cash flow…”

Donations Energize NASM’s New GA Exhibit

The Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. is undertaking a seven-year upgrade project that will include a new “We All Fly” exhibit about the many forms of general aviation. To help finance the exhibit, the NASM has accepted a $10 million donation from the Thomas W. Haas Foundation. The exhibit will include an aerobatic biplane flown by Sean D. Tucker and is scheduled to open in 2021.

Pima Air & Space Museum Book Giveaway

Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari announces the winner of our PIMA Air & Space Museum guidebook giveaway. We again want to thank Scott Marchand for his generous gift to our listeners. An album of listener photographs is available at AirplaneGeeks.com/pimabook.

Mentioned

WeatherSpork –  An all-purpose weather planning app for aviators at all experience levels.   

A spork, but not a WeatherSpork.

A spork, but not a WeatherSpork. A KFC spork.

Police: Man tried to steal plane for concert

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

514 Aircraft Crash Sites

Our guest documents aircraft crash sites and helps next of kin find closure. In the news, we look at Boeing’s Aviall unit helping Antonov, a statement by aviation groups concerning GA fees charged by FBO’s, Delta’s test of a new dining experience for some international coach travelers, and an update on fan blade inspections following the fatal uncontained engine failure on Southwest. We also reminisce a bit about our past experiences with model rockets.

Guest

Pat Macha documents aircraft crash sites.

Pat Macha, founder of the Project Remembrance Team.

Pat Macha began documenting aircraft crash sites in the mountains and deserts of California in 1963. Twenty-five years ago Pat founded the all-volunteer Project Remembrance Team that is dedicated to facilitating the requests of next of kin who wish to learn more about the loss of loved ones in aircraft accidents. The Project Remembrance Team has assisted more than one-hundred-fifty next of kin to fulfill their wishes for accident reports, maps, photographs and crash site visitations. More than two dozen memorial markers have been placed at or near aircraft crash sites. All with the permission of the property owners.

All missions are completed with respect and admiration for those who have come forth to honor the memory of those whom they have lost. Losses suffered by first responders and members of armed forces receive an appropriate extra measure of attention.

The Project Remembrance Team includes retired military service members, pilots, rangers, educators, firefighters, law enforcement officers, professional scuba divers, and business people. Pat has authored six books on crash sites in California, and he is a well-received speaker on aviation accident history and aircraft archaeology.

To learn more about aircraft crash sites, visit AircraftWrecks.com.

Calspan Douglas B-26 crash site engine impeller.

Calspan Douglas B-26 crash site engine impeller.

Lockheed P-38 aircraft crash site.

Lockheed P-38 aircraft crash site.

Aviation News

Boeing steps in to help the manufacturer of the world’s biggest plane

At the Farnborough International Airshow, Boeing and Antonov signed a deal where Boeing’s Aviall unit would supply components to Antonov. This will allow Antonov to resume production. Antonov chief Oleksandr Donets said Aviall will support Antonov to build AN-1X8 planes and will have exclusive rights to help service the planes.

Women in Aviation Withdraws Support for Recent AOPA Letter on Airport Access

AOPA reported in Coalition Calls for Action on Airport Access that “16 general aviation groups issued a joint statement calling on the FAA to take action against ‘egregious, hidden fees and denial of affordable access to airport ramps.’” Among the groups signing the statement was Women in Aviation International, but now WAI has rescinded their support. WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian said, “As a pilot myself, I am sympathetic to the financial challenges inherent in flying, but we also recognize that FBOs provide services crucial to our flying as well as extending comforts which enhance general aviation operations.”

Also note: Plans Underway for WAI Girls in Aviation Day 2018. The worldwide outreach scheduled for October 13, 2018. A growing list of Girls in Aviation Day events around the world can be found at https://www.wai.org/events/girls-aviation-day-2018.

Delta Air Lines Just Made a Truly Stunning Announcement About Economy Travel. (But Will Other Airlines Just Copy Them?)

Delta Air Lines testing (majorly) enhanced international economy meals

Delta Air Lines is testing an “enhanced meal and beverage service” for international economy class passengers on flights between Portland, Oregon, and Tokyo. The dinner service includes cocktails and sparkling water, appetizers, choice of three-course dinner, and Haagen-Dazs ice cream for dessert. The meal is served in courses, on white dishes.

World’s Best Economy Class Airlines 2018

Thai Airways tops the list, followed by Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates, ANA All Nippon Airways, and fifteen others.

Southwest: Other carriers finding cracked engine fan blades

Following the April fatal uncontained engine failure of a CFM International engine on a Southwest flight, GE spokesman Rick Kennedy said about 150,000 blades have been inspected. A small number of fan blades with cracks have been found and Southwest CEO Mike Van de Ven said “maybe four or five” cracked fan blades have been found at other carriers.

Airventure 2018

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 Facts and Figures

Airplane Geeks at AirVenture.

AvGeeks at AirVenture.

Max Trescott recording at Oshkosh.

Max Trescott recording at Oshkosh.

Mentioned

B52 Crash Site in Maine, and The Wreck Chaser

United Airlines donates flights to reunite families separated at border

Mary Ellis, RAF Pilot, Dies At 101

Mary Ellis flying onboard a 2 Seat Spitfire and today (02.02.17) is her 100th Birthday

Brian attended the launching of some model rockets as part of the after-school program sponsored by the Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum based in Compton, CA. In addition to successfully launching some rockets built by students Sarah and Jonathan, Brian let them launch two of his 3D printed rockets.  One rocket failed to deploy the parachute, as the 3D printed plastic melted from the engine heat. The other rocket properly deployed the parachute but experienced an internal structural failure that resulted in the rocket coming to earth in two pieces.   Both launches were considered a success as all parts were recovered and the students will learn from the failure analysis and design better rockets in the future.

United CEO Refused to Sit Coach for an Interview About How Shitty Coach Seats Are Today

The UK’s first disabled air display team gets ready for takeoff

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

513 Farnborough Airshow 2018

This episode we take a look at some of the stories to come out of the 2018 Farnborough Airshow including the orders, the Boeing NMA, the Airbus A220, a startup airline, and engines powering new aircraft. In the news, we look at the Ryanair strikes, the top ten airlines, United flight attendants preparing to pitch the airline’s credit card, and the Airbus A321LR and XLR. We also have an interview with the director of the Portland International Jetport, and an important announcement.

Farnborough Airshow

The Farnborough Airshow was 16-22 July 2018. We talked about some of the stories from that week:

CFM to compete for NMA even if required thrust rises

Even if Boeing’s power requirement for the New Mid-market Airplane’s engines goes over 50,000 lb-thrust each, CFM International still plans to participate in the competition. CFMI is the joint venture between GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines (formerly known as Snecma).

Airbus, Boeing gain more than 960 aircraft orders at Farnborough

Airbus and Boeing announcing firm net orders and commitments for more than 960 aircraft, valued at $160 billion at list prices. This compares to sales of 917 aircraft announced at the Paris Air Show in 2017.

Airbus says Pratt & Whitney catching up on engine delays

Airbus has had up to 100 A320neo jets sitting on the ground waiting for engines, mainly from Pratt & Whitney.

United order for 70-seat E175s raises questions

United plans to take the 25 of the E175 SC variant in 2019, replacing Bombardier CRJ700s at a regional operator. The SC variant is configured with 70 seats instead of the US standard of 76 seats. United’s scope clause with its pilots limits it to 255 large regional jets with 70-76 seats, including 102 70-seaters and 153 76-seaters. The United chapter of the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) responded, “This aircraft is designed to hold over 80 seats and will be flown to outsourced express carriers in the 70-seat configuration. Revenue plummets and costs skyrocket. Bringing this flying back to mainline United Airlines will lower costs, increase revenue, and allow United to once again control its product.”

A220 gains ETOPS certification

Pratt & Whitney’s PW1500G geared turbofan has been granted extended twin-engined operations (ETOPS) of up to three hours. A total of 38 A220s are in service at Swiss, Air Baltic, and Korean Air. Another 424 are on order, including the 60 ordered by JetBlue Airways earlier this month.

Pratt engines to power planes for startup airline

Airbus Chief Commercial Officer Eric Schulz announced that Pratt & Whitney will supply at least 120 geared turbofan engines to power the 60 Airbus A220-300 aircraft for David Neeleman’s new airline. Airbus signed a memorandum of understanding at the Farnborough International Airshow with a group of “experienced investors” who plan to start the new U.S. airline.

GoFly Personal Air Taxi Competition Racks Up Support

GoFly was launched in September 2017 as a contest to create a personal aircraft that can fly a human 20 miles safely without recharging or refueling and using VTOL or near-VTOL capability. Pratt & Whitney is sponsoring the $100,000 Disruptor Award for the most innovative team in the competition. Over the next two years, teams will compete to win $2,000,000 in prizes. At the Farnborough Airshow, GoFly announced the 10 Winners of the GoFly Challenge: Phase 1.

Video: GoFly Prize: Celebrating the Phase I Winners

The LM-100J Wows a Global Audience at Farnborough Airshow

The Lockheed Martin LM-100J civil cargo plane performed a loop at the Farnborough Airshow.

Other Aviation News

Ryanair says biggest-ever strike to ground 600 flights next week

Labor issues continue at Ryanair with a strike by cabin crew scheduled for two days. Ryanair, published a list of cabin crew benefits on Twitter, while the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) convened a group called Cabin Crew United and released the Ryanair Cabin Crew Charter.

The World’s Best Airlines for 2018

The 2018 Skytrax World Airline Awards are out and Singapore Airlines tops the list, followed by Qatar Airways, ANA All Nippon Airways, Emirates, and EVA Air. U.S. carriers placed deep in the list. This year’s survey saw over twenty million entries.

United Becomes Latest Airline to Deploy Flight Crews to Pitch Credit Cards

Travel news website Skift reports that starting in September, United will join other airlines in pushing their branded credit card to passengers. Flight attendants will receive $100 for every customer they sign up. John Slater, the senior vice president of in-flight services said, “Some of our biggest competitors, including American, actively promote their cards through the Inflight division and have a sizable lead on the number of new customers their flight attendants generate by marketing the card on board. We need to answer this challenge just as we would any other competitive threat.”

For more background, see Study: Intro Bonus Offers for Travel Rewards Cards Nearly Triple in 10 Years by Benét J. Wilson.

An Airbus A321XLR Could Be a Game Changer for JetBlue

JetBlue has the option to convert some of its Airbus A321neo orders to the A320LR with a range of up to 4,000 nautical miles, but they must give Airbus 24 months notice. JetBlue is considering where they can make the greatest margins – on domestic flights with the A321neo or transatlantic flights with the LR neo variant. But a possible A321XLR with a 4,500-mile range may be on the way with a larger center fuel tank and increased maximum take-off weight.

Interview

Our Main(e) Man Micah spoke with Paul Bradbury, airport director at Portland International Jetport about a number of topics that impact the airport and the community.

See Federal grant will fund improvements to help jetport handle more passengers.

PWM Airport Director Paul Bradbury & Main(e) man Micah.

PWM Airport Director Paul Bradbury & Main(e) man Micah.

Mentioned

Brian Coleman attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Compton Airport for a new DC-3 food truck:

DC3 food truck

 

 

 

 

 

The Columbia from the Undone podcast, by Gimlet from January 23, 2017.

Craftplicator

The Wings Over New Zealand Show.

National Advanced Fire & Resource Institute (NAFRI).

Tankers Is a Job for a “True Airman” from Flying Magazine. For more aerial firefighting videos, see the Neptune Aviation Services Inc. YouTube channel.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

512 Aerial Firefighting

The COO of an aerial firefighting company tells us about the aircraft, the pilots, and flying the missions. In the news: early Farnborough orders, the rebranded CSeries (now the Airbus A220), a Rolls Royce Hybrid VTOL concept, and an engine OEM says, “not so fast.” Also, Pieter Johnson’s aviation weekend (rather amazing), listener Nicki takes Brian on a flight, Hangar Hotel, and information about AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 gatherings of aviation podcasters and listeners.

Aerial firefighting with the BAE 146-200 jet. Courtesy Neptune Aviation Services.

Aerial firefighting with the BAE 146-200 jet. Courtesy Neptune Aviation Services.

Guest

Dan Snyder is the chief operating officer of Neptune Aviation Services, an aerial firefighting company and the primary provider of large airtanker services to the United States Forest Service for more than 25 years.

Dan tells us about Neptune Aviation’s transition from the Lockheed P-2V Neptune to the BAE 146-200 jet for aerial firefighting. In making its selection to replace the aging aircraft, the company considered factors such as jet spool-up time and how to slow the aircraft. Another significant issue was the culture change going from radial to turbofan.

We look at how the fire retardant tanking system was designed and the approvals required. Dan describes the life of an air tanker pilot and what Neptune looks for in a pilot. We touch on safety issues, Forest Service contract models, and aerial firefighting safety – now and in the past.

Aerial Firefighting. Courtesy Neptune Aviation Services.

Aerial Firefighting. Photo courtesy Neptune Aviation Services.

Dan has been involved in both flight and maintenance related aviation for over 24 years. At Neptune Aviation Services, he manages all of Neptune’s day-to-day operations, including aerial firefighting operations. Prior to his current position, Dan spent time in Alaska flying and maintaining aircraft. He served as Director of Maintenance for several repair stations and operators and flew for various corporate operators. Dan also has experience as a Part 142 ground and simulator instructor, a part 135 check airman, and an FAA examiner in several corporate jet types. Dan continues to fly and flight instruct from time to time. He holds FAA ATP, CFI, CFII, A&P, and IA certificates.

In Alaska, Dan flew a de Havilland Buffalo. This video features the Buffalo, but that’s not Dan flying (we don’t think): CC-115 de Havilland DHC-5 Buffalo STOL Takeoff.

Aviation News

Airbus Takes The Lead At Farnborough With 186 Order Commitments, Advantage In Asia

The Farnborough International Airshow kicked off this week, launching the annual “contest” for orders. The forecasts point to the most aviation growth in the Asia-Pacific region. Airbus placed orders for 186 planes compared to 175 for Boeing. The A320neo picked up 159 orders and options and the 737 MAX received 145. Additionally, Airbus had orders for 27 A350 aircraft while Boeing reported that United Airlines had previously put in an undisclosed order for four 787-9 planes.

Airbus wins JetBlue order for its newly rebranded A220

The same day that Airbus unveiled the A220 name for the jet formerly known as the Bombardier CSeries, JetBlue announced it would buy 60 of the A220-300 jets. These are to replace JetBlue’s 60 Embraer E190 aircraft and are powered by Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan (GTF) PW1500G engines. These A220s will be assembled at Airbus’ Mobile, Alabama, facility.

Rolls Royce Reveals Hybrid VTOL

At Farnborough, Rolls-Royce showed a hybrid VTOL concept that could carry four or five passengers at speeds up to 217 knots with a range of up to 435 nm. The design should be flying by the “early 2020s.” The concept vehicle uses a gas-turbine to generate the electricity that powers six electric propulsors. A battery provides energy storage.

Engine Maker to Boeing-Airbus: Not So Fast on 737, A320 Ramp

CFM International has signaled Boeing and Airbus to be careful about increasing their production rates. With record backlogs of B737 and A320 family aircraft, the airframers are motivated to increase the rates but CFMI wants to catch up before committing to a higher production rate.

Across the Pond

Pieter Johnson tells us about his aviation experiences over a weekend – one memorable, one hopefully not to be repeated.

Recorded Segments

Brian Coleman goes flying with listener Nicki.

Brian Coleman and Nicki.

Brian Coleman and Nicki.

Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari talks with Kelly Criddle, senior marketing manager for Hangar Hotel. Mentioned is Fredericksburg Brewing Co.

Photo courtesy Hangar Hotel

Photo courtesy Hangar Hotel

Mike Harris from the Why We Fly podcast provided a run-down of some podcast / social media events happening at Oshkosh this year.

Nick Herring provides some very nice feedback and introduces us to V1: The Podcast.

Mentioned

Aircraft in Pretoria crash was a 1954 Convair 340, recently acquired by a Dutch museum

Two Qantas pilots in South African Convair 340 plane crash

Wonderboom plane crash: It was a ‘thank you’ flight

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

511 Aircraft Dispatcher

An aircraft dispatcher for a major airline tells us about the training and knowledge requirements of a dispatcher. Also, the FAA says they don’t need to regulate airline seat space, Delta goes only nine abreast on the 777-200ER, Boeing and Embraer sign an MOU, and JetBlue steps up to help a pet in distress. We have an interview with the executive director of the PIMA Air & Space Museum, and we talk about going supersonic, more airmail navigation arrows, and the Equator Aircraft P2 Xcursion first test flight.

Guest

Aircraft Dispatcher Mike

Dispatcher Mike

Mike Karrels is an aircraft dispatcher for a major airline based in the United States. He owns a share of a vintage 1963 Beechcraft Musketeer and hosts the Flying and Life podcast which covers the duties of a dispatcher and dives into the complex details of airline operations and flight planning. We last talked with Mike at the National Air & Space Museum in Episode 508 and here we expand the conversation about becoming an aircraft dispatcher.

Mike explains that dispatcher training requirements are defined in 14 CFR Part 65, Subpart C – Aircraft Dispatchers. Content and minimum hours are specified in 14 CFR 65.61 – Aircraft dispatcher certification courses: Content and minimum hours and 14 CFR Appendix A to Part 65, Aircraft Dispatcher Courses lists the knowledge topics. There are currently 57 Part 65 schools approved to teach: FAA-Approved 14 CFR Part 65 Aircraft Dispatcher Certification Courses [PDF]. We also look at the dispatcher practical exam, recurrent training, and the annual desk check.

We explore the differences between dispatching domestically and internationally, and between trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific where Mike tells us about the system of tracks system. He also explains how an awareness of the geopolitical situation is important to an aircraft dispatcher. We look at dispatcher trade associations and the union situation.

Mike graduated from Lewis University with an undergraduate degree in Aviation Flight Management and a few years later earned a Masters in Aviation and Transportation. He holds FAA certificates for Commercial Single engine land with an instrument rating, a Remote Pilot Certificate, and an Aircraft Dispatcher certificate.

Aircraft Dispatcher Mike's 1963 Beechcraft Musketeer at Sun 'n Fun.

Aircraft Dispatcher Mike’s 1963 Beechcraft Musketeer at Sun ‘n Fun.

Aviation News

FAA declines to regulate more legroom for airline passengers

In response to a rulemaking petition filed by FlyersRights, in March 2017 the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, DC ordered the FAA to take a second look at regulating seat size and passenger room. FlyersRights argued that shrinking seat room and increasing passenger size made airliners unsafe in evacuation situations. The FAA has now responded saying, “The FAA has no evidence that there is an immediate safety issue necessitating rulemaking at this time.”

Delta Just Made a Huge Announcement That Puts Other Airlines to Shame

Delta announced that their 777-200ER fleet refresh includes “9-abreast seating in Main Cabin versus the industry norm of 10 across.” Also in the refresh are seatback entertainment screens throughout with Delta Studio and thousands of hours of free content, and full-spectrum LED ambient lighting with customized lighting schemes depending on the phase of flight.

Boeing’s $4.75 billion Embraer deal leaves long to-do list

Boeing and Embraer signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a strategic partnership. In a joint press release, the companies say, “The non-binding agreement proposes the formation of a joint venture comprising the commercial aircraft and services business of Embraer that would strategically align with Boeing’s commercial development, production, marketing and lifecycle services operations. Under the terms of the agreement, Boeing will hold an 80 percent ownership stake in the joint venture and Embraer will own the remaining 20 percent stake.”

JetBlue Just Did Something Wonderful (Something Other Airlines Have Struggled With)

Both United and Delta have been in the news with horror stories about pets on planes. Now we see a good news story about a French Bulldog named Darcy on JetBlue.

Interview

The Pima Air & Space Museum opened in 1976 and is the third largest aviation museum in the world. The museum exhibits about 335 aircraft and 125,000 artifacts, attracts more than 170,000 visitors annually, and houses its own aircraft restoration shop. The museum also offers exclusive tours of the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Known as the “Boneyard,” it is the world’s largest military aircraft storage facility.

Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad spoke with Scott Marchand, Executive Director of the PIMA Air & Space Museum.

Pima Air & Space Museum

Pima Air & Space Museum

Mentioned

North Atlantic Tracks published by Shanwick Center and Gander Center.

PACOTS Flight Planning Guidance [PDF]

Airline Dispatchers Federation

International Federation Of Airline Dispatchers Association

Professional Airline Flight Control Association (PAFCA)

Equator Aircraft Norway achieved first fully balanced flight with the P2 Xcursion prototype aircraft: First Runway Test Flight.

Northern Utah Aircraft Navigation Arrows Circa Early 20th Century by Patrick Wiggins.

An interesting graphic from Two wings “is megl’ che one!” (1) Some notes about sound:

Pressure waves of air flowing off an airplane

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

510 U.S. Airmail 100th Anniversary

The Head Curator of the History Department at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum tells us about the early history of airmail service in the U.S., which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

In the news, Goodyear has a new airship, Facebook cancelled its Aquila project, Boeing has reportedly asked engine makers to bid for the 797, Boeing unveiled a hypersonic airliner concept, a stealth tanker model was spotted, the TSA wants to look at your snacks, a third Heathrow runway gets closer to reality, NASA demonstrates a quieter airplane, and the Air Force reduces pilot training time. Also, finding airmail airway beacons, a conversation with Air Evac Lifeteam at the Circuit of the Americas, and student pilot Nicki talks about her new flight instructor.

Curtiss Jenny carrying airmail to Philadelphia from Washington, DC. Courtesy National Postal Museum.

Curtiss Jenny carrying airmail to Philadelphia from Washington, DC. Courtesy National Postal Museum.

Guest

Nancy Pope is the Head Curator of the History Department at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. 2018 is the 100th anniversary of airmail service in the U.S. and Nancy tells us about the early history of airmail, including the pilots, the aircraft, and the initial difficulties getting the service operating properly. She talks about some of the airplanes and artifacts at the museum as well as the Postmen of the Skies: Celebrating 100 Years of Airmail Service exhibition that is open through May 27, 2019.

USPS airmail commemorative stamp

USPS airmail commemorative stamp

Earlier this year, the first of two commemorative stamps was released. See: U.S. Postal Service Commemorates Air Mail with Stamp. You can purchase the blue airmail stamp at the post office, or at the USPS online store. The second (red) stamp will be released Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, at 11 a.m. at College Park Aviation Museum (1985 Corporal Frank Scott Drive, College Park, MD 20740). “Red Letter” day at the museum will be an exciting event to attend if you are in the area. See Red Letter Day: U.S. Postal Service Continues 100th Anniversary Commemoration. Followers of the U.S. Postal Service’s Facebook page can view the ceremony live at facebook.com/USPS.

Nancy has worked with the items that are now in that collection since 1984. She curated the opening exhibits for the Museum in 1993 and more than a dozen at the museum since then. She has written about many elements of postal history, including the Pony Express, Rural Free Delivery, Parcel Post Service, the Postal Service during 9/11, as well as the later anthrax attacks and airmail.

Nancy’s most recent exhibits are “Systems at Work,” which examines mail processing from Colonial America to the present, and “Postmen of the Skies,” a celebration of 100 years of airmail service in America.

The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E. in Washington, DC. Admission is always free.

Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum.

Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum.

Pegboard for tracking the location of airmail pilots and planes:

Max Miller’s log book. Courtesy National Postal Museum.

Courtesy National Postal Museum.

The logbook was recovered from Max Miller’s fatal crash on September 1, 1920. The Junkers-Larsen JL6 caught fire in midair. Max Miller and his mechanic Gustav Reirson died in the fire and subsequent crash. Miller was Praeger and Lipsner’s favorite pilot and his death hit both men hard. Though slightly damaged by the fire, the handwritten entries remain clear. Airmail pilots used logs to record details about their flights and, on occasion, landing field conditions. Miller wrote his name on the front of this book, adding the name of his service, the “U.S. Aerial Mail,” and a notation of his home address in Woodland Hills Park in Cleveland, Ohio.

Max Miller’s logbook. Courtesy National Postal Museum.

Eddie Gardner’s face mask is a nice leather piece that Nancy unofficially refers to as the “Hannibal Lecter mask.”

Airmail pilot Eddie Gardner's facemask.

Eddie Gardner’s facemask. Courtesy National Postal Museum.

The Post Office’s airmail flag. You will recognize the globe/wings that became the ubiquitous symbol of airmail.

Postal Service airmail flag.

Postal Service airmail flag. Courtesy National Postal Museum.

Our Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari located some of the airways beacon sites in Texas that guided early airmail pilots. He sent in a report about what he found. See Map of Airway Beacons and Arrows Across America to find these sites near you.

Launchpad Marzari and friend.

Aviation News

Goodyear’s new Wingfoot Three takes to the skies

Goodyear’s newest semi-rigid airship is the Wingfoot Three. Built by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH, the blimp still has to undergo flight tests before formal handover to Goodyear.

Goodyear’s U.S. fleet consists of three semi-rigid airships: the Wingfoot One (N1A), based in Pompano Beach, Florida; Wingfoot Two (N2A), based in Carson, California; and Wingfoot Three (N3A), based in Suffield, Ohio. Compared to Goodyear’s old model, the GZ-20, the Zeppelin NT model is longer, a little narrower, faster, and seats more passengers.

Video: Goodyear’s Wingfoot Three flies for first time

Facebook’s quest for fleet of solar-powered Internet drones grounded forever

Facebook has canceled the Aquila project – a solar-powered “atmospheric satellite” that would beam Internet connectivity to areas that had none.

Boeing reportedly tells engine makers to make bids for a new 797 plane

Boeing wants to build a new mid-sized airliner to be flying by 2025 – a middle-of-the-market jet. Call it a Boeing 797, or a New Middle Market Airplane, or the NMA. Reports say the engine manufacturers were asked to respond to a Boeing RFP by June 27, 2018. Boeing wants 25 percent less fuel burn per pound of thrust than the engines used on Boeing’s 757 planes. The big three engine manufacturers are named: CFM International, (the General Electric – Safran joint venture), Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce. See also, This is Boeing’s NMA by Jon Ostrower.

Boeing unveils hypersonic 4,000mph airliner capable of New York to London in Two Hours

Boeing unveils rendering of hypersonic jet that would fly from US to Japan in 3 hours

Under this concept, the aircraft would fly at Mach 5, three times faster than Concorde, and cruise at 95,000 feet. It would be smaller than a 737, with both commercial and military applications.

New Stealth Tanker Model Is Touted By Air Force Research Lab At Aviation Conference

At the recent AIAA conference, Aviation Week’s Guy Norris noticed a model of an “Advanced Aerial Refueling” aircraft in the Air Force Research Lab’s area. The Air Force may be looking for a more survivable aerial tanker.

It started with your shoes, then your water. Now the TSA wants your snacks.

Passengers are being asked at security checkpoints by the TSA to remove their snacks and other food items from their carry-ons and place them in plastic bins for separate screening. This is a TSA recommendation to screening supervisors, not a strict policy. Some food looks similar to explosives which results in a secondary inspection. The intent here is to prevent that additional inspection.

Heathrow gets go-ahead to become world’s biggest airport

They’ve been talking about a third runway at Heathrow for years. It’s a contentious issue but now a parliamentary vote has passed that would allow construction of a third runway. Under the proposal, passenger capacity at Heathrow could jump from nearly 80 million passengers per year to 110 million by 2030.

NASA: Tests Show ‘Significant’ Aircraft Noise Reduction

NASA flight tests in a Gulfstream III research aircraft flying at 350 feet demonstrated a “significant reduction” in the noise generated by aircraft operating near airports. The jet had porous landing-gear fairings, an Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge wing flap, and chevrons near the leading edge of the landing-gear cavity with a net to modify the airflow.

Air Force cuts pilot training by 5 weeks

This represents about a 10% reduction in training time.

Interview

Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari talks with John P. Jones and John Linardose from the Air Evac Lifeteam which provides air ambulance service at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) outside Austin, Texas.

Courtesy Air Evac Lifeteam.

Listener Recording

Listener Nicki continues her pilot training series with installment 13 about her new flight instructor.

Mentioned

Vote for your favorite American air show!

David was again asked to provide a list of the 20 best airshows for USA Today.

Hiller Aviation Museum Open Cockpit Day

The Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, California will be holding an Open Cockpit Day on July 11, 2018. While this fabulous museum is relatively unknown to the general public, it has a fabulous collection of more than fifty aircraft and numerous interesting artifacts and displays.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

509 New Distribution Capability for Airlines

We discuss New Distribution Capability (NDC) in the airline industry with Henry Harteveldt, as well as travel booking trends, the airport experience, airline computer systems, and challenges for new airline entrants. Also, a career pathway program with United Airlines, the return of ATC privatization, a new airline takes form and Rolls-Royce compressor problems.

Guest

Henry H. Harteveldt explains New Distribution Capability

Henry H. Harteveldt

Henry H. Harteveldt is president of Atmosphere Research Group and a well-known analyst and advisor to the travel industry. Henry spent more than 15 years in marketing, planning, distribution, and strategy roles at companies such as TWA, Continental Airlines, the Fairmont Hotel Management Company, and GetThere. He was head of Forrester Research’s global travel research practice and launched Atmosphere Research in September 2011.

Henry explains the concept of New Distribution Capability (NDC) where airfares become products and the airlines become retailers. We also talk about airline computer systems, travel booking trends, challenges for new airline entrants, the airport experience, and more.

Atmosphere Research provides trustworthy research and perspective on the global travel industry. Atmosphere’s research helps clients understand emerging trends and opportunities in areas such as brand strategy, distribution, product development and retailing, customer experience, loyalty marketing, and digital commerce and technologies. Atmosphere’s clients include airlines, lodging firms, cruise lines, car rental agencies, travel agencies, GDSs, financial services firms, and technology companies.

Henry is regularly quoted in the media such as The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Reuters, and appears on CBS, CNBC, Bloomberg, and CNN. He actively shares his industry perspectives on Twitter.

Aviation News

University of North Dakota Announces Career Pathway Program with United Airlines

The new University of North Dakota Career Pathway Program (CPP) with United Airlines solves two problems: the UND need for flight instructors and United Airlines (and its regional partners) need for first officer candidates. Once a UND student is accepted into the CPP, they have conditional employment with United as long as the airline is hiring pilots.

ATC Privatization Comes Around Again

Latest ATC spinoff proposal meets continued and heavy opposition

The White House just released a plan for a sweeping government reorganization: Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century: Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations [PDF]. Included in the proposal are provisions to privatize air traffic control services.

Six general aviation associations issued a statement saying, “We are disappointed that the Administration continues to reintroduce a failed proposal. Instead, it should put its weight behind FAA legislation pending in Congress that will advance the aviation industry, including general aviation, which contributes $219 billion to the U.S. economy and creates over one million jobs in the U.S.”

JetBlue Could Make It Hard for the JetBlue Founder’s New Airline to Succeed

David Neeleman founded JetBlue Airways Morris Air, WestJet, and Azul Brazilian Airlines. Now he’s raising $100 million to start another airline, provisionally named Moxy Airways. The strategy is for an airline similar to JetBlue, but one that uses secondary airports instead of the major U.S. hubs.

Rolls-Royce, preparing to cut thousands of jobs, says engine problem has spread

The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 package C engine powering Boeing 787 Dreamliners has experienced intermediate-pressure compressor problems. These have forced groundings for inspections. Now the company says some package B engines are also affected, particularly high life engines. Also, as part of a restructuring program, Rolls-Royce will cut thousands of jobs.

Interview

Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari talks with Jim Daniel about Angel Flight South Central which helps people in need of free air transportation for medical and humanitarian purposes.

Listener Recording

Nicki continues her pilot training series with this installment on roadblocks of flight training.

Video of the Week

From Mick: Thomas Sopwith Documentary 1984

Mentioned

Major Tech Players – Including Amazon, Google and Facebook – Loom Large Over the Future of Travel Booking

The Future of Travel Booking and Payments report from OAG.

Air Hollywood Inc. –  Providing “realistic, film-friendly airport and aircraft standing sets and props to the motion picture production industry.”

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

 

508 Innovations In Flight 2018

Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display

Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display

Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display

June 16, 2018

This is an annual event by the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia. Innovations in Flight is sponsored by United Airlines.

Airplane Geeks again participated in the event and we recorded interviews at our display inside the museum. Here they are, with start times:

Interviews

[09:25] Adam Klein, a research pilot for NASA at Johnson Space Center trains astronauts and flies the NT-38 NASA test aircraft. After studying permafrost in Alaska, Adam had the opportunity to fly through the eclipse on the way back to California.

NT-38 NASA test aircraft

NT-38 NASA test aircraft

[26:17] Katharine volunteers with the Society of Women Engineers. She tells us about the organization, how it is reaching young women, and how the messaging has changed to be current with the times.

[34:10] J.B. Hollyer pilots the Grumman HU-16C Albatross “Pegasus.” He’s president of Seaplane Crossings.org a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that teaches the history of seaplane aviation and is working to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the first airplane crossing of the Atlantic, achieved in May 1919 by NC-4. Also see the Flying Boat website, a documentary film about human aspiration told through the history, romance, and adventure of flying boats.

Grumman HU-16C Albatross “Pegasus”

Grumman HU-16C Albatross “Pegasus”

[46:00] Young Jack is a seasoned air traveler who was attending the event.

[50:28] Capt. Andy Schwartzman flies the A320 for United and tells us about his career path and flying side stick and yoke.

[65:21] Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Corey and Cadet Tech Sergeant Smith describes the Civil Air Patrol and the Cadet program which develops leadership skills and provides character enrichment. We talk about the classes and activities, the ranks and the progression.

[1:07:07] Brian has an Airline Story of the Week based on his United flight into Dulles.

[1:12:15] Listener Tanya Weiman flew from New York for the day and talks to us about aviation podcasts and the community they create.

[1:18:02] Eric Galler is producer/director of the Science of Flight from The Great Courses. This features 24 lectures by Smithsonian curators in a four DVD set. It was produced in cooperation with The Great Courses and the Smithsonian.

[1:27:36] Captain Rick Bell tells us about transitioning from the C-130 to the C-17, and how the C-17 is different to fly.

[1:36:24] A380 pilot Bjorn tells us what it is like to fly the A380 compared to other Airbus airplanes. Also, flying GA in Europe, the outlook for the A380, and an opinion on future unmanned airliners.

[1:45:03] Dispatcher Mike flew his 1963 Beechcraft Musketeer in from Atlanta with Capt. Jeff for the event. Mike describes the job of a dispatcher, if that makes you a better pilot, and if being a pilot make you a better dispatcher.

[2:02:33] Listener Andrew just starting his career in aviation and is moving to Wichita for his new job. We talk about what Airplane Geeks is all about and what it means.

[2:12:37] Capt. Jeff Nielsen from the Airline Pilot Guy Show talks about his military flying career and being an instructor pilot in the T-37 jet trainer. He also has some thoughts on piloting commercial aircraft.

[2:29:56] Wrap-up

[2:28:05] Post-event dinner

Credit

All photos by David Vanderhoof. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.