485 Women in Aviation International

Our guest is the president and founder of Women in Aviation International. In the news, we discuss the departure of the FAA Administrator, the Air Force tanker program, fighter jet intelligence gathering in Syria, woes at New York’s JFK International Airport, and remembering astronaut John Young.

Woman in Aviation Conference March 2016 reaching $10 million in scholarship awards in 20 years.

Women in Aviation Conference March 2016 reaching $10 million in scholarship awards in 20 years.


Dr. Peggy Chabrian is president and founder of Women in Aviation International, which represents more than 13,000 women and men from all segments of the aviation industry including general, corporate, commercial, and military aviation.

Dr. Peggy Chabrian, Woman in Aviation International.

Dr. Peggy Chabrian, Women in Aviation International.

Peggy tells us about current WAI objectives to promote women in aviation and the progress that has been made. We look at the current legislative action, such as the Promoting Women in the Aviation Workforce Act of 2017 in the House (H.R. 4673) and Senate (S.2244) and note the Women in Aerospace Education Act (H.R. 4254).

Peggy talks about the active Women in Aviation International chapters, the scholarships available, and the annual conferences. The 29th Annual International WAI Conference will be held March 22-24, 2018 in Reno, Nevada, and will include an award ceremony for inductees into the WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame.

We note that Women in Aviation International is not for women only and that the membership includes men and women of all ages.

Peggy is a long-time aviation enthusiast and professional aviation educator, a 2,200-hour commercial/instrument multi-engine pilot and flight instructor flying for over 30 years. Most recently she added helicopter and seaplane ratings to her flight qualifications.

Peggy held several top positions in aviation education including Academic Dean and Associate

Rob and David present WAI with a donation on behalk of the Airplane Geeks listeners 2011.

Rob and David present WAI with a donation on behalf of the Airplane Geeks listeners in 2011.

Vice President of Parks College; Dean of Academic Support for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott, Arizona campus; Director of the Center of Excellence for the Aviation/Space Education at ERAU’s Daytona Beach, Florida campus; and, Chair of the aviation department at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Peggy was the second woman to ever hold the position of dean of an engineering school in the United States.

She serves on several boards and is the past president and board member of the University Aviation Association. Peggy also served on the board of the Experimental Aircraft Association for 16 years. She is the publisher of Aviation for Women magazine, an international speaker, and an author.

Women in Aviation conference exhibition hall.

Women in Aviation conference exhibition hall.

Aviation News

NBAA Thanks FAA Administrator Huerta for Distinguished Public Service

Michael Huerta’s term as FAA Administrator has ended. The White House has offered no nominee to replace Huerta, who previously said he had no intention of staying on. The current FAA deputy administrator, Daniel Elwell, will become the acting head. Elwell was appointed as FAA’s deputy administrator in June. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a former Air Force and airline pilot.

The Air Force expects the first delivery from its struggling tanker program this year — but major defects still aren’t fixed

The Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker is designed to replace the old KC-135, but several issues have dogged the program. The tanker’s boom can scrape the aircraft being serviced, and there may be difficulties with the camera system used by the boom operator. An issue with the KC-46’s high-frequency radio still concern’s the Air Force.

Russia gained a ‘treasure trove’ of intelligence on the US’s best fighter jets in Syria

Russia and the U.S. have top line fighters operating in Syria, which gives both countries an opportunity to observe the other’s aircraft and collect data.

Water leak floods JFK Airport baggage claim, forces evacuation

A broken water pipe feeding the sprinkler system at JFK International Airport Terminal 4 flooded a baggage claim area. Power was cut and part of the terminal had to be evacuated, stranding travelers without their luggage.

Why Did New York’s JFK Airport Struggle to Cope With Its Flight Backlog After the Bomb Cyclone?

The terminal flooding was preceded by a snowstorm that was worse than expected. The airport was closed and airlines scheduled flights based on the projected time to reopen. But that time was pushed out, causing diversions and turnbacks of many international flights. When flights to JFK resumed, airport capacity was exceeded.

Video: NASA Remembers Moonwalker, Shuttle Commander John Young

Astronaut John Young, who walked on the Moon during Apollo 16 and commanded the first space shuttle mission, passed away at the age of 87. He is the only person to go into space as part of the Gemini, Apollo, and space shuttle programs and was the first to fly into space six times – or seven times when counting his liftoff from the Moon during Apollo 16.

The Airplane of the Week

David brings us Part 1 of the EC-121 Warning Star.


The Fighter Pilot Podcast

To the PSA pilot who made my Christmas Eve


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


484 Bits & Pieces XX

This special Bits & Pieces episode offers a huge variety of segments from the co-hosts, our contributors, and our listeners. Here they are [with start times].


Yankee Air Museum [1:45]

David Vanderhoof met with Kevin Walsh, the Executive Director at the Yankee Air Museum, for a conversation and walkthrough. The museum is adjacent to the Willow Run Airport in Belleville, Michigan.

WV-1 Warning Star. Photo by David Vanderhoof.

WV-1 Warning Star. Photo by David Vanderhoof.

Bradford Camps [23:45]

Igor Sikorsky III and his wife Karen run The Bradford Camps in the North Maine woods. It’s a beautiful, peaceful location on Munsungun Lake in an area where you can fish, hunt, hike, boat, or just hang out and relax. Each year, Igor conducts his Sikorsky Seminar Weekend where he shares the history of his grandfather through photos, videos and even Sikorsky family speakers. You can immerse yourself in Igor’s Russian years in aviation, his large Pan Am flying boats, and of course his helicopters.

Sikorsky S-38 first designed and built in 1928.

Sikorsky S-38 first designed and built in 1928.

My Dream Machine: C-47 to DC-3 [25:20]

Our Maine(e) Man Micah tells us the story of his Dream Machine.

Micah with a DC-3 at the Smithsonian's National Air & Space Museum, Innovations in Flight Day 2016. Photo by Brian Coleman.

Micah with a DC-3 at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, Innovations in Flight Day 2016. Photo by Brian Coleman.

Student Pilot Nicki [39:40]

Nicki previously sent us three recordings describing her progress. Now we have the fourth installment, her first solo.

Student pilot Nicki.

Student pilot Nicki.

The Australia News Desk [47:05]

Longtime listeners remember the Australia Desk report with Steve Visscher and Grant McHerron from the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast. For this special Bits & Pieces episode, they’ve sent in a special AusDesk. Be sure to check out the new Australian Aviation podcast.

AIN’s The Human Factor [58:05]

Pete Combs introduces us to the new podcast from AIN called The Human Factor: Tales from the Flight Deck.

Mary Kirby on PaxEx in 2018 [59:55]

In #PaxEx Podcast Episode 53, Why Mitsubishi’s internal time clock is ticking, Mary Kirby, Max Flight, and Isaac Alexander talk about the Mitsubishi MRJ, aerospace accelerator startups, and #PaxEx conferences and exhibitions to be held around the world in 2018. In this clip, Mary describes the passenger experience topics likely to be important in 2018.

DeTect Inc. Bird and Drone Warning System [1:07:45]

Tim Trott, the Drone Professor, talked with Craig Rainey from DeTect Inc. about the new bird and drone warning system installed at the Northwest Beaches International Airport, KECP. DeTect specializes in advanced radar and other sensor technologies. They offer bird radar technologies for real-time aircraft bird strike avoidance, as well as wind energy bird mortality risk assessment and mitigation, and industrial bird control.

The Boeing 747-400 [1:16:00]

Listener Tom Rogers is an engineering Associate Director at Pratt & Whitney, with over 25 years in fan and compressor aero. He’s also an avid fan of the Airplane Geeks podcast. Tom wrote us and said, “It is sad to see the PW4000-powered B747-400 fleets being retired by Delta and United. I have had the pleasure of flying business trips on Delta’s NWA birds round trip to Narita from JFK and DTW (Detroit Metropolitan Airport), all upper deck, old seats 2×2 and the new herringbone lie flat. On my last flight home back in February, I was invited up for a photo opportunity in the left seat. Priceless! I’ve attached the picture for your enjoyment.”

Tom Rogers in the B747-400.

Tom Rogers in the B747-400.

Impressions of a Conversation with Michael Dorn [1:17:45]

Our Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari had the opportunity to speak with Michael Dorn, the actor who played the Klingon Worf in the Star Trek franchise. Dorn is a pilot and has owned a number of warbirds. Launchpad met him at a Star Trek convention. Of course he did. Where else are you going to meet a Klingon?

Remembering Bruce McCandless [1:21:05]

Astronaut Bruce McCandless passed on December 21, 2017. He was the first man to fly in space without a tether. Our Main(e) Man Micah looks back on the man and his accomplishments.

Bruce McCandless, EVA - STS-41. NASA photo.

Bruce McCandless, EVA – STS-41. NASA photo.

The Airplane Geeks Slack Team [1:26:30]

What it is, how it works, and why you might want to join.

AIN’s The Human Factor, Latest Episode [1:29:45]

Pete Combs tells us about the latest episode from AIN’s The Human Factor: Tales from the Flight Deck.

De Havilland Mosquito [1:31:45]

Listener Glen tells us about his airplane of the week, the De Havilland Mosquito.

Flying in Rwanda [1:36:50]

Listener Jim Herne recorded a short story about an incident that he was involved in while living in Rwanda in the late 1980s. He calls it “My Most Interesting Flying Experience.”

Crash in Rwanda.

Crash in Rwanda.

Rose Parade Flyover [1:44:50]

At the Rose Parade in Pasadena, Brian Coleman witnessed a flyover of two F-35A Lightning IIs and a B-2 Spirit honoring Air Force pilot Major Benjamin “Chex” Meier.

Major Meier flew combat missions over Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. Per his wishes upon his death in 2015, Major Meier donated his heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys to save the lives of others.

2018 Rose Parade flyover. Brian Coleman photo.

2018 Rose Parade flyover. Brian Coleman photo.

The B-2 came from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, and the two F-35A’s came from Edwards Air Force Base in California. The flyover was conducted by Major Meier’s Air Force squadron in the exact F-35A the Major flew on many of his missions.

Businesswire reports that “In a moving tribute, the F-35 on the left of the B-2 Stealth Bomber… will represent all donors who have given the gift of life, while the F-35 on the right will symbolize all who have received the gift of life.”

Special Flyover at 2018 Tournament of Roses Parade to Honor Air Force Hero and Organ Donor Who Continued to Save Lives Even After Death

Air Force Flyover of Rose Parade will Honor Organ Donors and Recipients

The Making of an Airplane Geeks Episode [1:46:15]

If you are curious about how we do it, here’s a peek behind the curtain.


Next week we’ll return to our usual format with aviation news from the past week, a great guest, some aviation history, your feedback, and much more.

Don’t forget to visit the aviation events calendar at AvGeekFests.com and load in some of the 2018 events in your area that would be of interest to other AvGeeks. And feel free to share the AvGeekFests.com link across your network.


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


483 Aircraft Brokerage and Acquisition Services

We talk about aircraft brokerage and acquisition of business aircraft with a vice president at Holstein Aviation. In the news, we look at the Delta Airlines order for A321neo aircraft, Boeing’s beef with Bombardier CSeries pricing, the NBAA statement on “Ethical Business Aviation Transactions,” Aerion Corporation gets help from Lockheed Martin and GE Aviation to develop a supersonic business jet, and the Atlanta airport power outage.

Holstein Aviation provides aircraft brokerage and acquisition services for business aircraft such as the Falcon 20.

Holstein Aviation provides aircraft brokerage and acquisition services for business aircraft such as the Falcon 20.


Steve Fushelberger is vice president at Holstein Aviation, a team of professional aircraft brokers and acquisition specialists with domestic and international experience. They are responsible for some 4,700 transactions valued at over 10 billion dollars, and have 66,000 combined flight hours, with light, medium and heavy jet type ratings from nearly all major aircraft manufacturers. Holstein Aviation is one of the top 10 business aircraft brokerage and acquisition firms worldwide by transaction volume.

Steve Fushelberger

Steve Fushelberger

Steve brings extensive experience in the aerospace and defense industries with a career that includes sales, marketing, public and media relations, communications, advertising, and branding. He served as Vice President of Marketing at Cessna Aircraft Company, and Vice President of Marketing Communications for the Avolar business aviation operations of United Airlines. Steve held positions with Rolls-Royce in the corporate / regional airline aircraft, helicopters, defense, and advanced development businesses, and at AgustaWestland (now branded Leonardo) as the North American manager of marketing services.

His industry service includes public relations, public affairs, market research and advisory committees for the National Business Aviation Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, and the Transportation Research Board, as well as on the Aerospace LEAN Manufacturing Communications Initiative, and support for the industry’s GAME Plan (General Aviation Marketing Expansion) during the late 1980s, and the Learning For Life Aviation Exploring Program.

Steve has a commercial pilot license with instrument, multi-engine, and seaplane ratings. He holds a Bachelor’s degree with a marketing concentration from Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, and he is a US Army and Indiana National Guard veteran.

Find Holstein Aviation at their website, on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Also available is a company blog, the Fall 2017 edition of Business Aircraft Market Perspective magazine, and their Market Briefings.

Aviation News

Delta Air Lines to place order for Airbus jets

Delta ordered 100 firm/100 option A321neo aircraft with deliveries set to begin in the first quarter of 2020. The airline chose the A321neo over the Boeing 737 Max 10. Delta wouldn’t say if their choice was affected by the Boeing claims that Bombardier unfairly priced CSeries jets sold to Delta. Reportedly, many of the Airbus jets will be built in Mobile, Alabama. Pratt & Whitney GTF engines were selected to power the aircraft.

Boeing-Bombardier spat puts U.S.-Canadian trade deals in spotlight

At the recent U.S. International Trade Commission hearings, Boeing argued why it believes it was injured by Bombardier’s sale of C-Series jets to Delta. Reuters called it “a contentious hearing of the ITC” with Boeing accusing Bombardier of harming its ability to sell 737s in the U.S. market. Bombardier argued Boeing’s large 737 order book demonstrates that there has been no adverse impact from its CSeries jet, and also that Boeing does not manufacture a jet that competes with the CSeries.

NBAA: New Resource Underscores Industry’s Emphasis on Ethics in Business Aviation Transactions

In December 2017, NBAA’s Board of Directors approved the Ethical Business Aviation Transactions statement that outlines best practices for ethical transactions between buyers and sellers of business aircraft products and services.

Lockheed Martin plans supersonic business jet

Lockheed Martin Corp. executed a memorandum of understanding with Aerion Corp. to develop the AS2 supersonic business jet. Lockheed will study the jet’s feasibility with Aerion over the next year and the two companies will build frameworks that guide engineering, certification, and production. Aerion hopes the GE Aviation-powered jet will be operating by 2025.

Video: Aerion Corporation Announces New Partnership

Dassault terminates Silvercrest contract; cancels Falcon 5X programme

Dassault Aviation chairman Eric Trappier says: “There is still a strong market need for a brand new, long-range aircraft with a very large cabin, so I have decided to launch a new Falcon project powered by Pratt & Whitney Canada engines, featuring the same cross-section as the 5X [and] a range of 5,500nm.” The 5X program has been hampered by development delays for the Safran Silvercrest engine.

Christmas Travel Week Kicks Off With Atlanta Airport Power Outage

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport lost power this past Sunday, disrupting the entire network and stranding thousands of passengers. Georgia Power believes the power outage may have been caused by a fire which led to extensive damage in an underground electrical facility.

The Airplane of the Week

It’s that time of the year and David does his yearly Christmas card. This year he goes back to December 1944. Horsham St Faith was an RAF base taken over by the USAAC in 1942. It was home to the 56th Fighter Group flying P-47s and then 458th (H) Bomber Squadron flying B-24Js. But besides the history, there’s always a little Magic.

Brian’s Commercial Aviation Segment

Observations from Capt. Rick Bell on United Airlines.


AIN’s Human Factor: Tales from the Flight Deck podcast.

Japan Airlines signals supersonic ambitions

Keep your eyes to the skies: Airbus tests A350-1000 from Mitchell International Airport


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


482 Helicopter Association International

Our guest is the president of Helicopter Association International. In the news, we look at the role of helicopters as well as local airports in times of emergencies, medical reform around the globe, Boeing 787 Dreamliner woes, and how Aurora Flight Sciences can make any rotary-wing aircraft fly autonomously. We also have the return of the history segment.


Matthew Zuccaro, president of Helicopter Association International.

Matthew Zuccaro, president of Helicopter Association International. HAI Photo.

Matt Zuccaro is president of Helicopter Association International. HAI provides support and services to its members and to the international helicopter community. They have their headquarters Alexandria, Virginia, and HAI members fly more than 5,000 helicopters some 2.3 million hours each year.

Matt has been in the helicopter industry for 50 years and president of HAI since 2005. He held several executive levels and operations management positions with commercial, corporate, air tour, scheduled airline, and public service helicopter operations in the northeastern United States. During his tenure with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, he served in operations management positions at Kennedy International Airport and the Port Authority’s public and private heliports.

Matt received his initial helicopter flight training as a U.S. Army aviator and served with the 7/17 Air Cavalry unit in Vietnam.  He was subsequently assigned as a flight instructor at the Army Flight School at Fort Rucker, Alabama.

Matt holds Airline Transport Pilot and Instrument Flight Instructor certificates for both airplanes and helicopters. He is a recipient of HAI’s 10,000-Hour Helicopter Pilot Safety award, as well as many other industry awards for his efforts and commitment to the helicopter industry.

Find Helicopter Association International at rotor.org and on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Also, follow Heli-Expo on Twitter and use the hashtag #HAI_EXPO18.

Aviation News

LA Fires Prove Importance of Santa Monica Airport

The City of Santa Monica plans to shorten the single runway at SMO to restrict airport usage to small airplanes. When the airport closes in 10 years, there won’t be anywhere to base firefighting helicopters and other vital equipment.

Medical Reform Going Global

Medical reform in the shape of BasicMed came to the U.S. in 2017, and now Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) announced “Basic Class 2” medical for piston aircraft with up to five non-paying passengers, during daytime visual flight rules. AOPA and AOPA Australia together urged CASA to undertake reforms similar to BasicMed.

LA Helicopter Crews Navigate Through Smoke to Save Homes From Skirball Fire

Devastating fires are again plaguing California and response teams include a variety of aircraft, including helicopters. The Weather Network published a dramatic video shot from a helicopter as it navigated through heavy smoke over a residential area.

Boeing Dreamliner’s Lithium-Ion Battery Fails On United Flight To Paris

A United Airlines Boeing 787 experienced a lithium-ion battery failure on approach to Charles de Gaulle Airport on November 13. United Flight 915 was at the end of a seven-hour flight from Washington’s Dulles Airport when pilots received a warning that the main battery was overheating.

Airlines are grounding 787s for urgent maintenance

Airlines are grounding Boeing 787s for urgent maintenance as one of the engines on Air New Zealand Boeing 787 flight NZ99 failed in-flight this week. The photos of failed engine show damage to turbine blades, suggesting a part broke off and traveled through the engine.

Aurora Makes Any Helicopter Autonomous

A system developed by Aurora Flight Sciences can be installed on any rotary-wing aircraft and enable it to fly autonomously. Dennis Baker, AACUS [Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System] program officer said this “gives revolutionary capability to our fleet and force. It can be used as a pilot aid in degraded visual environments, or allow fully autonomous flights in contested environments, keeping our pilots out of harm’s way.”

The Airplane of the Week

Our aviation historian David Vanderhoof tells us about the Douglas X-3 Stiletto. Just because an aircraft looks fast doesn’t mean it is. The X-3 is a lesson that disappointment does not necessarily mean failure.

X-3 Stiletto by David Vanderhoof.

X-3 Stiletto by David Vanderhoof.

Commercial Aviation Story of the Week

TSA Pre-check travelers will only need ID at Austin airport

If you use TSA Pre-check, you’ll notice a change when you go through the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The TSA started testing a new technology for pre-check travelers that only requires a photo ID. The Credential Authentication Technology is expected to verify the authenticity of a passenger photo ID and validate information from the ID against TSA’s Secure Flight vetting system.


City in the Sky on PBS

This Woman Has Been an American Airlines Flight Attendant for 60 Years

The Waldron’s Dilemma Educator’s Kit – the educator’s companion to the award-winning film, South Dakota Warrior.


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

481 Meet the Airplane Geeks

The Airplane Geeks hosts interview each other to give you a closer look at the guys who create this podcast. Also, the Commemorative Air Force “12 Planes of Christmas,” the first Boeing KC-46 will miss its delivery goal, transmitting pre-departure air traffic control clearances to pilots’ mobile devices, a Van’s Aircraft milestone, the best U.S. airlines, the Boeing 717, and a Virgin Atlantic IFE solution for the visually impaired.

Aviation News

The 12 Planes of Christmas

Each year the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) hosts the “12 Planes of Christmas” online giving campaign. Designed to support the aircraft of the CAF, this event highlights the efforts of the organization and its volunteer members who restore and preserve its fleet of over 170 World War II aircraft.

Boeing will miss 2017 delivery goal for first KC-46

Boeing will miss its goal to deliver the first KC-46 tanker to the Air Force by the end of 2017.

App Could Deliver IFR Clearances to Mobile Devices

AOPA is encouraging the FAA to promptly field test technology being developed to electronically transmit pre-departure air traffic control clearances to pilots’ mobile devices.

Van’s Aircraft reaches 10,000 flying kitplanes

Van’s Aircraft has officially broken the 10,000 flying aircraft mark.

Best U.S. Airlines ’17: Alaska Airlines Owns the Skies

Each year, the Airfarewatchdog team searches for the best domestic airline.

How the Boeing jet no one wanted became the plane airlines scour the planet for

Boeing delivered the last two 717-200 jetliners in 2006, and it is currently operated primarily by Delta, Hawaiian, Qantas, and Spanish Volotea. Yet airlines are scouring the planet looking for available Boeing 717s.

Airline Story of the Week

Virgin Atlantic to roll out portable IFE solution for visually impaired passengers

Virgin Atlantic is rolling out an accessible in-flight entertainment (IFE) solution that has been developed especially for passengers with visual impairment.


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

480 General Aviation Trip Booking with Flightbridge

We talk with the founder and CEO of FlightBridge, which provides booking and reservation technology for services related to General Aviation trips. In the news, we look at pilotless airliners, the purchase of roadable airplane maker Terrafugia, the preliminary report from the NTSB on the recent Icon A5 crash, general aviation safety trends, the outlook for the A380, and Fort Worth delivers last F-16 fighter.


FlightBridge founder and CEO Dudley King.

FlightBridge founder and CEO Dudley King.

Dudley King is the founder and CEO of FlightBridge Inc. He’s a “repeat entrepreneur” with a historical focus on technology services and consulting.

FlightBridge is a booking and reservation tool for services related to General Aviation trips. As Dudley says “There’s more to a trip than flying a plane and passengers from point A to point B. Rental Cars or limos, catering, crew accommodation, and FBO services are just some of the logistics that must be coordinated and run smoothly for a successful trip.”  

FlightBridge supports these efforts with an online booking and operations management tool that is completely tailored to private aviation. FlightBridge was developed with input and feedback from flight department staff, crew members, FBOs, and service providers.

Before founding FlightBridge, Dudley spent over 20 years in custom software development for customers that included several fortune 500 companies and leaders in the aviation industry.

Aviation News

Airbus Looking Forward to a Pilotless Future

Airbus Chief Technology Officer Paul Eremenko says the company wants to develop autonomous aircraft and technologies that will allow a single pilot to operate commercial jetliners: “We’re pursuing single-pilot operation as a potential option and a lot of the technologies needed to make that happen has also put us on the path towards unpiloted operation.”

Terrafugia Sale May Accelerate Flying Car’s Arrival

Chinese firm Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has acquired Terrafugia. Founder Carl Dietrich moves to chief technology officer and the Transition market entry is planned for 2019, followed by a 4-seater VTOL craft in 2023. See the press release: Zhejiang Geely Holding Group completes acquisition of Terrafugia, Inc.

National Transportation Safety Board Aviation Accident Preliminary Report

The NTSB released a preliminary report on the fatal Icon A5 crash of November 7, 2017. The report details data received from the Icon’s onboard “digital data module that recorded basic GPS, engine, and flight parameters. The airplane was also equipped with a Rockwell Collins engine control unit that recorded engine parameters.” The data seems to confirm eyewitness accounts that the pilot was flying as low as 11 feet above the water.

NTSB: GA Safety Best In 50 Years

The NTSB reports that in 2016, the general aviation accident rate dropped below 1 fatal accident per 100,000 flight hours. It’s the first time the rate has been that low in 50 years. Most aviation fatalities (almost 94%) occurred in general aviation accidents. Other forms of transport, like cars, trains, and boats, all showed increases. See the NTSB press release: Highway Deaths Lead National Increase in Transportation Fatalities.

Does Lack Of A Deal In Dubai Mean The End For A380 Jumbo Jet?

Leading up to the Dubai Air Show, the speculation was that Emirates would order between 36 and 38 A380s, but that didn’t happen. Analyst Richard Aboulafia noted that at least 30 aircraft are needed “for annual recurring breakeven.” Sir Tim Clark said Emirates won’t order any more until Airbus assures the airline that it will keep production open for 10 to 15 years.

How the F-16 fighter jet put Fort Worth on the aerospace map

F-16 production is moving out of Fort Worth. Lockheed needs the room at the plant for the ramp-up of the F-35.


#PaxEx Podcast 52: Bending Bluetooth to become an onboard network

Max and Mary Kirby talk with Ron Chapman, president of ASI Group, which provides low-cost in-flight connectivity solutions to the business aviation market, and is now working in the commercial airline space.

Zahorsky Aviation: Worldflight 2017

Karl-Heinz Zahorsky and Karl Karbach chronicle their journey around the world with a Piper Malibu. Web page in German and English: Logbook entries, photographs, route maps.

Etihad Airways A380 Flyover at the 2017 Abu Dhabi GP

Airbus A380 and the Al Fursan Aerobatic Display Team performing a low flyover of the 2017 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi GP.

Boeing 747 jumbo jet: Pilot farewells the iconic plane. Mark Vanhoenacker is also the author of Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot.


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

479 Flight Tracking with FlightAware

FlightAware founder and CEO Daniel Baker talks about flight tracking technology. In the news, we look at the Dubai Airshow, aviation cybersecurity, the proposed Women in Aerospace Education Act, the GE Additive 3D metal printer, and a report from the Senate Republican Policy Committee on ATC privatization.


Daniel Baker is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of FlightAware, the flight tracking data company that provides over 10,000 aircraft operators and service companies as well as over 12,000,000 passengers with global flight tracking solutions.

Flight tracking company Flightaware founder and CEO Daniel Baker.

Flightaware founder and CEO Daniel Baker.

Daniel was one of the principal developers of the FlightAware technology, and he now works directly with partners and customers in both industry (e.g., airline, cargo, business aviation) and government (e.g., air traffic management).

FlightAware uses data from air traffic control systems in over 55 countries, from FlightAware’s network of ADS-B ground stations in over 150 countries, from Aireon space-based global ADS-B, and from the major providers such as ARINC, SITA, Satcom Direct, Garmin, Honeywell GDC, and UVdatalink.

Daniel explains how FlightAware’s proprietary machine learning and rules engine called Hyperfeed takes data from multiple sources and fuses it together to create the best possible flight tracking information. About 10,000 messages per second are analyzed with over a thousand rules. Hyperfeed employs predictive analysis that looks at patterns in the flight tracking data.

Some 13-14,000 ADS-B ground stations send data over the Internet to FlightAware. Complete FlightFeeder stations can be purchased, or you can build your own PiAware flight tracking station.

We talk about satellite-based ADS-B through Aireon low-earth orbit satellites equipped with ADS-B receivers. These will provide flight tracking data for areas not covered by other means. Daniel also describes FlightAware TV, a custom, real-time FlightAware HDTV map for the office, hangar, or FBO.

Daniel knows tech and has been in the Internet services business for over two decades. He is a regular speaker at aviation and technology conferences and serves as a member of the Board of Directors at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Air and Space Museum. He also holds an FAA Commercial Pilot certificate.

Find the company at FlightAware.com, on Twitter and Facebook.

Aviation News

Dubai Air Show

Boeing vs Airbus: $77 billion in deals in under 2 hours
Airbus Seals $50 Billion Jet Deal to Outdo Boeing in Dubai
Boeing signs off on a $1.3 billion deal at Dubai Airshow
Day 1 At The Dubai Airshow: Boeing Steals The Show
Dubai Airshow: Building a new supersonic airliner
EgyptAir Orders Bombardier C Series Aircraft in Dubai

FlyDubai ordered 175 Boeing 737 Max planes with options for another 50. Boeing said it was the biggest order ever from the Middle East for single-aisle passenger planes. Altogether, the 225 firm and option aircraft have a total value of $27 billion at list prices, and include more than 50 Max 10s, with the rest Max 8s and 9s.

Airbus sold 430 A320neo family jetliners to Indigo Partners. The planes will go to four Indigo companies: Frontier Airlines, Volaris, Wizz Air Holdings Plc, and JetSmart. That deal was valued at roughly $50 billion at list prices.

Boeing also booked an order for forty 787 planes, worth $15 billion at list prices, with Dubai’s Emirates airline on Sunday. In a deal valued at $1.9 billion, Azerbaijan Airlines ordered five Boeing 787-8 aircraft and committed to two freighters. In addition, Azerbaijan Airlines became the launch customer for Boeing’s 787 Landing Gear Exchange Program.

Bombardier signed a letter of intent with EgyptAir for 12 firm CSeries CS300 aircraft with options for 12.

Cybersecurity Report Fears ‘Dismissive’ Approach

The Washington think-tank Atlantic Council released the report Aviation Cybersecurity: Finding Lift, Minimizing Drag which describes an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) assessment on cybersecurity threats to ADS-B is “dismissive.” The study indicates that the aviation industry will likely experience cybersecurity challenges similar to other industries that have embraced the “digital revolution.” Previously, aviation systems were relatively secure due to the bespoke nature of their design, isolation from other systems, and little in the way of communication protocols. But air traffic management is no longer isolated, and ground services and supply chains are becoming fully integrated into an interconnected digital world.

Connecticut’s Esty sponsors women in aerospace bill

H.R. 4254: Women in Aerospace Education Act has been introduced in Congress “to amend the National Science Foundation Authorization Act of 2002 to strengthen the aerospace workforce pipeline by the promotion of Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program and National Aeronautics and Space Administration internship and fellowship opportunities to women.”

GE’s huge 3D metal printer makes aircraft parts

The GE Additive business unit of GE has a 3D metal printer capable of making aircraft parts as large as one meter in diameter. A metal powder is fused with a 1-kilowatt laser in thin layers to “print” the part. Since the machine is scalable, it should be capable of even larger parts.

Senate Republican Policy Committee Confirms ATC Privatization is Still Alive

A report from the Senate Republican Policy Committee titled NextGen Delayed, Just Like Your Plane says:

  • Air traffic control currently relies on outdated ground radar systems that cause delays throughout the aviation system.
  • The FAA is transitioning to NextGen technology, which has several components designed to allow safer and more efficient airspace management, including a switch to GPS.
  • Deployment of many NextGen components has been delayed and is expected to cost $2.6 billion more than planned.

The report says that “an ATC spinoff would very likely trigger constitutional challenges. A Congressional Research Service report [PDF] questioned whether courts might determine that a non-governmental ATC corporation would be unconstitutional under the non-delegation doctrine, Due Process Clause, or Appointments Clause. Although memoranda commissioned by proponents of a spinoff discount these concerns, the move to corporatize the ATC functions would almost definitely be challenged in court.”

Airline Story of the Week

Man who suffered brain aneurysm leaving him unable to walk takes to the skies as he makes a recovery

British Airways helps a man recovering from a brain injury to rejoin the world of commercial flight.


Retired Korean War Medal of Honor recipient passes away

More than 800 family, friends, and active duty and retired service members gathered in Concord, Mass., Nov. 16, 2017, to pay their final respects to retired Capt. Thomas J. Hudner Jr., who earned the Medal of Honor during the Korean War.Hudner passed away Nov. 13, at his home in Concord. He was 93.

Video: Thomas Hudner, Medal of Honor, Korean War


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

478 United Says Goodbye to the Boeing 747

Benét Wilson flew on the last United Airlines flight of the Boeing 747 and talks about the experience. Also, a fatal crash of the Icon A5 seaplane, Air New Zealand tracking technology for cargo flights, the DHS hacks a Boeing 757, and a rare Boeing C-97G Stratofreighter flies again.


United CEO Oscar Munoz and Benet Wilson at the Boeing 747 farewell flight.

United CEO Oscar Munoz and Benét Wilson at the Boeing 747 farewell flight.

Benét Wilson is an aviation journalist, travel blogger and content writer. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Aviation Queen LLC, an aviation/travel writing, multimedia, and consulting business. Benét contributes to many aviation and travel publications and has worked for various aviation trade publications including AirwaysNews.com, AOPA Pilot magazine, The Weekly of Business Aviation, Aviation Daily, Aviation Week & Space Technology magazine, and Commuter/Regional Airline News.

Prior to becoming a trade journalist, Benet spent five years in senior corporate communications positions at Delta Air Lines, Mesa Air Group, Rolls-Royce North America, and the Regional Airline Association.

Find Benét on Twitter, Facebook, and at TripSavvy and her Aviation Queen website.

United’s Last Boeing 747 Flight

Benét Wilson was lucky enough to get on the last United Airlines flight of the Boeing 747. Flight UA747 departed from San Francisco and flew Honolulu with customers, employees, and distinguished guests onboard. Benét tells us about the passengers on that flight and what the experience meant to her.

Farewell, Your Majesty: United Airlines Flies the 747, the “Queen of the Skies,” One Last Time

United and its passengers pull out all the stops for Boeing 747 farewell

Also, Delta’s Boeing 747 farewell tour could include Seattle stop

Winner of the best 1970s outfit at the last United flight of the Boeing 747

Winner of the best 1970s outfit contest.

Diane and father, the first 747 pilot for United. At the last United flight of the Boeing 747.

Diane and father, the first 747 pilot for United.

Henry Harteveldt on the last United flight of the Boeing 747.

Henry Harteveldt on the last United flight of the Boeing 747.

The Boeing 747 gets a lei on arrival in Hawaii.

The Boeing 747 gets a lei on arrival in Hawaii.

Benét and Hawaii Governor David Ige.

Benét and Hawaii Governor David Ige.

Aviation News

Roy Halladay crash: ICON CEO set new low-altitude guidelines three weeks before tragedy

Roy Halladay Crash Video Shows What Happened But Not Why

Retired major league baseball pitcher Roy Halladay was killed in the crash of his Icon A5 in the Gulf of Mexico. Boaters say the plane flying aggressively and capture the final moments of the plane on video. A few weeks previously, Icon issued low-altitude flying guidelines in an email to customers.

Air New Zealand using Bluetooth tracking technology on cargo flights

Air New Zealand deploys Bluetooth technology to better track cargo shipments

Air New Zealand is currently installing more than 5,500 Bluetooth® tags on its cargo containers, pallets, and unit load devices. (Press release: New tracking technology for Air New Zealand Cargo). More than 100 readers are being installed at 29 airports worldwide. This will provide real-time cargo tracking information.

Boeing 757 Testing Shows Airplanes Vulnerable to Hacking, DHS Says

Boeing 757 Airplanes are Vulnerable to Remote Hacking

Dr. Robert ‘Rob’ Hickey is a program manager in the Cyber Security Division (CSD) of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency. At the 2017 CyberSat Security in Aerospace Conference held November 7-8, 2017 at Tysons Corner, Virginia, he announced that in 2016 a team of government, industry, and academic officials remotely hacked a Boeing 757 on the ground at the airport in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Details of the hack are classified.

EXODUS: Getting Boeing C-97G ‘Angel of Deliverance’ Out of New York!

Boeing C-97G Stratofreighter 52-2718 landed at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York in May 2002. Restoration to flight worthiness took 15 years and the plane was flown to the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum in Reading, Pennsylvania and will be there for the 2018 “World War II Weekend” event.

Trip Report

Brian tells us the good, the bad, and the ugly about his flight to Singapore and back for a meeting that was canceled.

Listener Recording

Airell talks about long flights, especially a 33-hour flight!


AOPA Live This Week changed their RSS feed. You’ll need to resubscribe to the new feed.

The Plane & Pilot North American P-51 Mustang Gallery is stunning.

Don’t forget the 10% discount code for iFly GPS products.

Black Hawks and Osprey Aircraft Create “Kopp-Etchells Effect” During Low Light Exercise and The Kopp-Etchells Effect Explained.

747 from deadly 1996 TWA Flight 800 sits largely reassembled in Ashburn warehouse.


United Airlines Boeing 747 last flight photographs courtesy Benét Wilson, the Aviation Queen.

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

477 Air Navigation with iFly GPS

We talk with Adventure Pilot’s Brian Rutherford about aircraft route planning, air navigation, and iFly GPS. Also, Ryanair flight cancellations and pilot pay, a Bombardier CSeries order, and headway made for NextGen.


Adventure Pilot’s Brian Rutherford and the iFly GPS air navigation solution.

Adventure Pilot’s Brian Rutherford and the iFly GPS air navigation solution.

Brian Rutherford is sales and marketing manager for Adventure Pilot, makers of iFly GPS air navigation solutions. Brian describes the current air navigation landscape, the role of GPS and ADS-B, and how they work together. We look at the iFly GPS offerings and features.

iFly GPS is a multi-platform air navigation solution for iOS, Android, Windows, and dedicated systems that provides support for ADS-B traffic and weather. iFly GPS moving map navigation includes advanced features like geo-referenced hi-def VFR and IFR charts, de-cluttered vector mode, AutoTaxi+, RealView, and the comprehensive Active Alert System.

Brian holds a private pilot’s certificate and comes from the world of online retail, working at an Amazon subsidy called Woot.com as a buyer. He was a Sr. Brand Manager for a licensed apparel company called BioWorld. Brian also served on the board of EAA Chapter 1246, one of the largest chapters with 100+ dues-paying members.

Find Adventure Pilot on Instagram and Facebook, and be sure to listen for the special 10% discount code available to Airplane Geeks listeners!

Aviation News

Pilots’ pay rise set to cost Ryanair £88m a year

Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary has had to offer pilots a pay raise to get them to keep flying. This after “a rostering debacle” when the airline changed its holiday year. See also Ryanair cancels flights after ‘messing up’ pilot holidays and Ryanair may face legal action over flight cancellations.

Bombardier gets new CSeries jet order, but deliveries cut too

Engine delays from Pratt & Whitney will reduce 2017 CSeries deliveries to 20-22 from the 30 aircraft planned. Bombardier Chief Executive Alain Bellemare told analysts “This is a short-term issue that Pratt is actively addressing.” Meanwhile, Bombardier negotiated a letter of intent for 31 firm and 30 option CSeries orders from an unnamed European customer. The airframer says the order is not related to news that Airbus plans to take a majority stake in the program.

NextGen Progressing: Airlines Fail to Equip

AOPA describes NextGen progress contained in the U.S. Department of Transportation Inspector General report: FAA Has Made Progress Implementing NextGen Priorities, but Additional Actions Are Needed To Improve Risk Management. AOPA says the NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC) has four priorities: multiple runway options, performance-based navigation, surface operations, and data communications (or DataComm):

Multiple runway options allow the FAA to reduce the separation between aircraft because of improved wake categorization standards. The FAA has implemented this capability at some busy U.S. airports including Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Performance-based navigation lets aircraft fly more directly from departure to arrival using satellite signals. Initial operational capability is three months ahead of schedule in the Northern California Metroplex. Between September 2014 and April 2015, the FAA conducted a phased implementation of 44 routes covering the greater San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento.

Surface operations have improved. The FAA has implemented the System Wide Information Management (SWIM) Surface Visualization Tool (SVT) ahead of schedule at five terminal radar approach control facilities. The system allows tracon controllers to better monitor congestion and plan for changes on airport runways and taxiways, especially during inclement weather.

Data comm has been implemented at towers across the nation, approximately two and a half years ahead of schedule.

AOPA says, “Despite the achievements being made with NextGen technology and modernization, the airlines and their front groups remain critical of the current airspace system and are calling to overhaul it entirely.”

The OIG report states, “FAA is making significant progress in implementing the four NAC priorities. However, the Agency lacks a comprehensive process for effectively identifying or assessing risks, which could hinder its ability to fully implement its priorities. For example, while FAA took some steps to identify risks, it did not fully engage or include all stakeholders or effectively evaluate the severity of the identified risks to ensure its implementation milestones were realistic. In addition, FAA is not proactively mitigating risks to keep the NAC priorities on track. In particular, FAA and industry will need to mitigate several complex risks for capabilities expected for implementation and benefits delivery in the 2019–2020 timeframe, such as resolving issues with DataComm technology installed in aircraft. However, the Agency has not developed a detailed mitigation plan to address identified risks, involved industry in its decision-making process, or transparently reported its progress in this area.”


Stratux – A Raspberry Pi-based homebuilt ADS-B In receiver. Also available in the iFlyGPS store. For more information, see Live Weather and Traffic for Less Than $120 from EAA.

H.R. 4188: To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 621 Kansas Avenue in Atchison, Kansas, as the “Amelia Earhart Post Office Building.”

OGTA #11 – South Dakota Warrior: the John Waldron Story

John Mollison tells us that “Old Guys and Their Airplanes” (OGTA) released the award-winning documentary film South Dakota Warrior. The film explores the character behind World War Two’s Battle of Midway hero, LtCDR John C. Waldron.

Waldron established himself in history by leading his torpedo bomber squadron (VT-8) in what appeared to be a futile attack against the Japanese carrier fleet during the opening moments of the crucial battle on June 4, 1942. The story causes the viewer to examine the qualities and responsibilities of leadership. Waldron, along with 28 other men of his squadron, was killed during the battle. He valued his Native American (Lakota) heritage and made reference to this fact as a personal inspiration.

Sky Spotters – an entertaining comic from XKCD.


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


476 Synergy Aircraft

The founder and CEO of Synergy Aircraft describes the unique personal airplane he is developing. In the news, we look at airliner nose strikes, new security measures at airports worldwide, the credibility of United Airlines top management, the A330neo maiden flight, and the passing of aviation journalist Ben Sandilands.

Synergy Aircraft


John McGinnis is founder and CEO of Synergy Aircraft LLC, a seed-stage company developing a quiet, roomy, fuel-efficient aircraft using advanced aeronautical and manufacturing technologies.

John describes the process he employed in designing and developing the Synergy. Where some projects start with a favored design that then gets developed, John looked first at best practice principles that led to the design. These principles include biplane theory, laminar flow, and active drag reduction. They had been explored historically, and John assembled them in one design using advanced analytical tools.

The resulting  “Double Boxtail™” wing-becomes-tail configuration is aerodynamically efficient, fast and quiet, and features a spacious cabin. Synergy has been testing scale models and John reports good results.

John is the founder of MC Squared Design USA (a service bureau providing 3-D design, CNC machining, 3-D printing, and composite fabrication) and MV Aero, a provider of state-of-the-art Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation. John is a Senior Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and an EAA contributor.

The Synergy Aircraft prototype.

The Synergy Aircraft prototype.

Synergy Aircraft CFD analysis of conventional airplane.

Synergy Aircraft CFD analysis of conventional airplane.

Synergy Aircraft CFD analysis of the double boxtail design.

Synergy Aircraft CFD analysis of the double boxtail design.


Mystery surrounds plane’s squashed nose

A Delta Airlines flight experienced some kind of event that significantly damaged the aircraft’s nose. In UPDATE: Delta addresses Thunder plane damage en route to Chicago, the airline said, “Delta flight 8935, operating from Minneapolis to Chicago-Midway as a charter flight for the Oklahoma City Thunder, likely encountered a bird while on descent into Chicago. The aircraft, a Boeing 757-200, landed safely without incident; customers have since deplaned and maintenance teams are evaluating.”

For some past nose strike events, see:

We talked with Marcy Heacker from the Smithsonian Institution, Feather Identification Lab in episodes 253 and 202.

If You Want to Fly to America, Get Ready to Be Interrogated

What You Need To Know About New Airport Security Rules

In March 2017 DHS banned personal electronic devices larger than phones on direct flights to the U.S. from 10 airports. That restriction is now loosened, but additional DHS security measures are in place that affects 235,000 passengers on 2,000 flights daily to the U.S. on 180 airlines from 280 airports in 105 countries.

Column: Can United Airlines brain trust survive another tough journey?

Some financial analysts question the ability of United’s top management to pilot the company through the challenges ahead.

Airbus jet designed to win back sales from Boeing takes maiden flight

The Airbus A330neo made its successful maiden flight with a new engine and improved aerodynamics. The 1,400-hour flying test program will proceed with 3 prototypes and the first production aircraft.

Aviation journalist Ben Sandilands dies after battle with cancer

Ben Sandilands covered aviation for decades and was the editor of the Plane Talking blog on Crikey. His last post was Malaysia will focus renewed MH370 search where Australia refused to look. RIP Ben.

Airline Story of the Week

Our Main(e) man Micah provides an editorial piece he calls “Rave On.”


Airline Weekly Lounge podcast.

#PaxEx Podcast 51: Safety first as allergic passengers endure challenges.

San Gabriel Valley Airport Air Fair and Open House.

Mitchell PBJ

Mitchell PBJ

Air Show: Paris 1989

Ultra High Bypass Jet Engine Propfan Technology | Aviation Videos | AeroSpaceNews.com


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