We talk with Ron Rapp about being a contract pilot, General Aviation user fees, the market for a supersonic business jet, GA intercepts by the Feds, a GTF engine failure, Airbus A320neo EIS, and an FAA Center of Excellence for Unmanned Aerial Systems.
Guest Ron Rapp blogs at House of Rapp. He’s also a professional charter pilot with over 7000 hours. He’s flown flown more than 60 aircraft types, including tailwheel aircraft, aerobatics, formation flying, gliders, seaplanes, turboprops, biz jets, warbirds, experimentals, radials, and more.
Ron has volunteered with Angel Flight, he’s written messages in the air as a SkyTyper, he’s crop-dusted with ex-military King Airs, and flown across oceans in a Gulfstream IV. Ron writes for AOPA’s Opinion Leaders blog, and his work has appeared in Sport Aviation, Sport Aerobatics, Airscape, and others.
The week’s aviation news
Armed U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have been approaching GA airplanes to detain and question pilots. NPR reports that the CBP has told them this is going to change so that law-abiding pilots are not needlessly detained for warrantless searches.
The GTF engine on Bombardier CSeries test aircraft FTV1 experienced an engine failure during stationary maintenance testing. Reportedly, the failure damaged the engine nacelle and fuselage. No apparent damage to the wing Bombardier has suspended flight testing, ground testing continues, and the engine has gone to Pratt & Whitney for disassembly.
See also, New Bombardier Jet Suffers Major Engine Failure, Bombardier Confirms Engine-Related Incident on CSeries FTV1 Aircraft, Airbus says A320neo jet schedule unaffected by Bombardier engine problem, and Bombardier Sees No Impact to CSeries Schedule From Engine Fault.
A few days prior to the CSeries incident, at the annual shareholders meeting in Amsterdam, Airbus CEO Tom Enders said the A320neo introduction need to be perfect so the company can meet its profitability and cash flow targets.
The FAA wants to create a Center of Excellence to support their research program for Unmanned Aircraft Systems. The FAA intends that the COE study detect-and-avoid technology, control and communications, compatibility with air traffic control operations, and training and certification of UAS pilots and crewmembers.
David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week
David tells us about the VCS-7, the US Navy Spitfires that flew over the Beaches of Normandy 70 years ago this week. And he brings up one of his biggest pet peeves.
Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute
Rob talks about veterans and aviation.
Across the Pond
Air Algerie Boeing 737-8D6 Copyright Konstantin von Wedelstaedt
As a result of listener feedback, this week Pieter asks Oussama Salah to give us an update on the state of the airlines in North Africa. Is the tide turning and the airline business improving? Or, is it too early to see any “airline shoots of spring.”
- Interjet MMMX 05R ILS (belly cam video).
Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at www.brotherloverocks.com.