409 Vet Air: Flying Veterans in Need of Medical Care

Providing veterans with air transportation to and from healthcare facilities, an around-the-world record attempt, Air Force to use enlisted airmen as RPA pilots, FAA encourages GA aircraft owners to voluntarily install safety equipment, a cable break during a carrier landing, and growing military aircraft in chemical vats. Plus, a report on the new Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

Guest

Karen and Jesus Pereira

Karen and Vet Air’s Jesus Pereira

Jesus Pereira founded Vet Air in 2015 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity that uses volunteer pilots and GA airplanes to provide veterans with air transportation to and from healthcare facilities, as well as flights for compassionate reasons.

Having joined the Massachusetts Army National Guard in February 1996, Jesus attended basic training at Fort Jackson South Carolina, and received his Advanced Individual Training at Fort Lee Virginia as a Petroleum Supply Specialist. He is currently serving with HHC 126th BSB with the grade of E-7, Sergeant First Class. He has one deployment to Kuwait in 2010 where he served with the Army Aviation Task Force.

Jesus with therapy dogs Gizmo and Bella

Jesus with therapy dogs Gizmo and Bella

Jesus is currently a Veteran Service Officer for the Town of Longmeadow in Massachusetts. His primary function is to provide Veterans with MGL Chapter 115 benefits and assistance with federal VA benefits. Jesus holds a private pilot certificate with complex, high performance, and tailwheel endorsements.

Learn more at VetAir.org, and on the VetAir Facebook page.

News

Teen pilot Lachlan Smart on track for world record

Eighteen year old Lachlan Smart wants to become the youngest person to fly solo around the world in a single-engine aircraft, and he plans to make 24 stops in his Cirrus SR22 doing it. Follow his journey at Wings Around the World.

Air Force plans 100 enlisted drone pilots by 2020

The Air Force expects to graduate the first class of enlisted airmen in 2017 for remotely piloted aircraft, specifically unarmed RQ-4 Global Hawks used for high-altitude reconnaissance missions. The graduates would become the first Air Force enlisted pilots since World War II.

FAA Policy Helps Modernize GA Airplanes and Helicopters

FAA Policy No: PS-AIR-21.8-1602 [PDF] “encourages general aviation aircraft owners to voluntarily install safety equipment on airplanes and helicopters that is not required by the agency’s regulations.”

Navy: Human error to blame for March cable break aboard USS Eisenhower flight deck

An arresting cable broke when an E2-C Hawkeye attempted to make a carrier landing, injuring eight sailors. The video shows the dramatic recovery by the pilot of the Hawkeye.

Cable snaps on USS Eisenhower during landing

BAE Systems wants to grow military aircraft in chemical vats

BAE Systems and the University of Glasgow are working on a manufacturing method that utilizes a “Chemputer” at the molecular level to assemble objects. Originally developed for pharmaceuticals, this might allow the construction of small UAVs or components for large manned aircraft.

Growing UAVs Through Chemistry

Resources:

Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall

Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall

Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall

David attended the opening of the new Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. We hear opening remarks from Dr. Bob van der Linden, Chairman of the Aeronautics Department, and Dr. Margaret Weitekamp, a curator in the Space History Department.

We then hear David’s interview with Bob van der Linden, who describes some of the changes made, the visitor experience, and the special photo op with the Spirit of St. Louis and the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM).

NASM app logoNext, David talks with Vicki Portway and Sarah Banks from the social media team about how the museum is reaching out and transforming itself through the “experience loop.” We also hear about the new GO FLIGHT: National Air and Space Museum app for iOS and Android. The app lets you connect to the museum from wherever you are.

Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall

Mentioned

Routehappy job page.

Credit

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

408 AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 Preview

Jack Pelton, Chairman of the Board of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), tells us about what’s been called the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration. In the news, we talk about a call for more ramp checks at airports, Airbus plans to offer real-time transmission of flight data, the Chinese ARJ regional jet makes its first commercial flight, and the U.S. State Department schedules talks about Gulf carriers and government subsidies.

Marquee Bearhawk homebuilt. Photo courtesy EAA.

Marquee Bearhawk homebuilt. Photo courtesy EAA.

Guest

Jack Pelton is Chairman of the Board of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). He tells us about some of the things you can expect at AirVenture 2016 at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 25-31, 2016. We talk about the 100 Years of Boeing, the JetBlue “BluesMobile” Airbus, Memories of WWI, Aircraft of Desert Storm, the Snowbirds, the evening airshows, and many other exciting events planned for the week-long event.

Jack also explains the new Founder’s Innovation Prize, presented by Airbus Group and leveraging the creativity of the EAA community toward solving challenges facing the general aviation community. The top finishers will receive a cash grant toward developing their product and prominent exposure at AirVenture.

We learn about the OSHALERT service for event attendees and how to sign up for those text alerts. Jack also gives us an update on some EAA advocacy activities, such as medical reform and FAA reauthorization.

Jack is the retired chairman, president, and chief executive officer for Cessna Aircraft Company.  Jack was Sr. Vice President of Engineering for Dornier Aircraft in Munich, and he started his career at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach CA. Also, he was a member of the board and past chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and served on the board of directors of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).

News

Senator Charles Schumer Calls for More Ramp Checks in New York

According to Charles Schumer, the U.S. Senator from New York, since 2006 the number of annual ramp inspections at major NY airports fell from over 2,800 to only 748. Schumer wants the FAA to increase the number of ramp inspections at airports across New York and the country, including the small airports that have been involved in the recent small plane crashes on Long Island.

Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband-Safety selected as a cockpit safety communications solution by Airbus

Airbus plans to offer the SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) service to allow transmission of flight data in real time. Offered on future A320 and A330 jets starting 2018, the Inmarsat technology is much faster than current transmission speeds.

First made-in-China jetliner makes debut commercial flight

The Chinese COMAC ARJ21-700 regional jet made its first commercial flight. Chengdu Airlines flew the jet with 70 passengers from Chengdu to Shanghai in a two hour flight. The ARJ21 program launched in March 2002, with first delivery initially scheduled for 2007. The ARJ21 has the same cabin cross-section, nose, and tail as the MD-80, and uses General Electric CF-34 turbofans and Rockwell Collins avionics.

United, Delta, JetBlue Jockey For Edge In Gulf Airline Spat

The U.S. State Department is getting involved in the claims of Gulf carrier unfair advantage as they seek to expand in the United States. They have invited Alaska, JetBlue, Hawaiian Holdings, and others to meet and potentially discuss the matter. Next month, the State Department meets with the UAE and Qatar for “informal, technical discussions.”

Revised Total for Mideast Airline Subsidies Is $50 Billion, Lobbying Group Says

The Partnership for Open and Fair Skies says forensic investigators have found a financial statement in Singapore for Qatar Airways that shows than the government of Qatar provided the airline with close to $7 billion in 2014.

The Partnership is the lobbying group composed of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, ALPA, the Allied Pilots Association, the Airline Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the Communications Workers of America and the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association.

Book Review

EAA OSHKOSH, The Best AirVenture PhotographyDavid reviews EAA OSHKOSH, The Best AirVenture Photography, which is available through EAA and major booksellers.

This book showcases the many types of aircraft that have appeared for AirVenture, from classic fabric-covered covered biplanes to brawny warbirds to homebuilts and jetliners.

Mentined

Sully – Official Trailer [HD]

Livermore Reads Together Survey, which includes Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West by Craig S. Harwood (guest in Episode 349) and Gary B. Foge. The survey is open through July 18, 2016.

World War II Hero Dr. Roscoe C. Brown Dies at 94

Flew West – Robert “Punchy” Powell  11/21/1920 – 6/22/2016 by John Mollison.

Without Precedent: Commando, Fighter Pilot and the true story of Australia’s first Purple Heart by Owen Zupp.

Kevin Prior’s photographs from the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s Innovations in Flight Day 2016.

Landing gear by Kevin Prior

Landing gear by Kevin Prior

Man Calls 911 Thinking He Was in Plane Crash, But ‘It Was All Just a Dream’

Spitfire exposed, by Roland

Spitfire exposed, by Roland

Credit

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

 

407 California Aeronautical University

We talk with the president of California Aeronautical University, which provides degree-level programs focused on students who want to become professional pilots. We also discuss airlines and jet fuel prices, the new FAA rules for commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems, Flight 804 flight recorders, and the impacts of Brexit on aviation.

California Aeronautical University

Guest

Matthew A. Johnston is president of the California Aeronautical University. The University offers associate and bachelor degree level programs that are focused on students earning their degree to become a professional pilot.  CalAero features a 22-acre purpose-built aviation campus located on the Bakersfield Meadows Field airport, and has Part 141 private, instrument, commercial, CFI, and CFII approvals.

Founded a year ago, California Aeronautical University is positioned between the big name aeronautical institutions and the small, local FBOs that provide training. Matt describes how CalAero differentiates itself from from other options that students have, and how the University attracts students. We learn about the aircraft in the fleet, the instrumentation chosen, the new facility, finding (and creating) flight instructors, and the demographic of the students.

Matt has over 20 years of experience serving in education.  He began working for Santa Barbara Business College, a career technical college, and held the positions of Admissions Associate, Faculty Member, Dean, Campus Director, Director of Operations, and Vice President.

California Aeronautical UniversityMatt’s involvement in the community, educational associations and other organizations includes maintaining active memberships with several national idea exchange groups, real estate associations, and volunteering with several community and youth benefiting organizations. He is currently active on the boards of the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools which supports educational institutions in California and serves as the Vice President of the Wings over Camarillo Association which is the organization that coordinates an annual airshow attracting over 12,000 spectators and participants.   He also participates in several other aviation related associations including University Aviation Association, Regional Airline Association, AOPA, and EAA with the Young Eagles program.

Find California Aeronautical University on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

News

Big U.S. Airlines Realize They Missed a Shot at Cheapest Jet Fuel Prices in 12 Years

Jet fuel prices are up as much as 80 percent since January, and major jet fuel consumers didn’t lock in low prices early in the year.

DOT and FAA Finalize Rules for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

The rule that finalizes the February 2015 NPRM, Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems is out and will add a new part 107 to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR). The rule applies to operating and certification requirements for sUAS to operate for non-hobby and non-recreational purposes. David and Max provide an overview of the rule. See The UAV Digest Episode 151 for a more expansive summary of the rule.

See also, the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) page. IACRA is the web-based certification/rating application that guides you through the FAA’s airman application process. Remote Pilot certificates for small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) will be coming to IACRA in late August 2016.

Flight 804: Egypt fails to pull data from damaged recorders

Egypt has been unable to pull anything useful from the recorders, and is sending both the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder to the BEA in France. The BEA will “carry out repair and removal of salt accumulations” then return the black boxes back to Cairo for data analysis at the labs of the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Brexit impact on aviation and aerospace

Brexit would harm UK’s £56bn aerospace and defence industry

When polled prior to the vote, only two percent of the 900 members polled from industry trade association ADS backed Britain leaving the European Union.

Airline stocks dip in wake of Brexit decision

American Airlines shares went down 6.5%, Delta down 3.7%, United down 4.7% Southwest down 1.6%, and JetBlue’s stock price fell 2%.

Aviation weighs challenges of post-Brexit environment

British Airways parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) faces currency pressures and questions about the viability of the financial industry in London. IATA expressed disappointment with the vote, and questions arise about the need to now re-negotiate air treaties.

IATA on Brexit: 3-5% Reduction in Passengers, Fate of EU/US Open Skies Agreements TBD

Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO said, “There were 117 million air passenger journeys between the UK and the EU in 2015. Air links facilitate business, support jobs and build prosperity. It is critical that whatever form the new UK-EU relationship takes, it must continue to ensure the common interests of safe, secure, efficient and sustainable air connectivity.”

Mentioned

USA Today’s 10 Best Airshows

Award-Nominated NBAA Video Anchors NBAA’s Single-Pilot Safety Resources

Plane Talking UK Podcast

Credit

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

406 Innovations in Flight 2016

The Airplane Geeks attended the Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.

Airplane Geeks Innovations in Flight 2016

The Airplane Geeks: Micah, Brian, Max, Benet, David

Interviews

Commander Brian McGlaughin, USCG

Commander Brian McGlaughin

Commander Brian McGlaughin

The United States Coast Guard is celebrating 100 years of aviation in 2016, and we hear about the mission of Coast Guard, flying in Alaska, the Sikorsky HH-52 Seaguard that was inducted into the National Air & Space Museum, the new C-130J, and of course, the 100th celebration activities.

Steve Lott, The Boeing Company

Steve Lott

Steve Lott

Steve is the Director of Communications for Boeing, based in Washington D.C. He talks about Boeing’s 100th year anniversary and explains that July 15, 2016 is Founders Day, when Bill Boeing had his first flight. Boeing employs a number of full time historians, and maintains a very large historical archive, including many photographs.

Steve tells us about the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall renovation at the NASM downtown on the Mall, and reminds us about the excellent The Age of Aerospace series. This documentary explores the last 100 years of aviation history and is presented by Boeing and Discovery Communications.

Captain Caitlin Diffley, USAF

Captain Caitlin Diffley

Captain Caitlin Diffley

Captain Diffley is the Regional Director for the United States Air Force Academy Admissions Office for the Northeast. She describes opportunities at the Academy and the many concentrations offered. Learn more about the application process at AcademyAdmissions.com.

Max Flight

During a brief lull in the interviews, David and Benet decide to “interview” Max and hear about his visit outside the Museum to see the aircraft and automobiles on display. Max also describes his experience at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania.

Steve Maloney

Steve Maloney

Steve Maloney

Steve is a contemporary artist from California who transformed a boneyard U.S. Army Huey helicopter into a mixed-media sculpture. The helicopter served as an air ambulance during the Vietnam War, and Take Me Home Huey is now touring the U.S. to honor Vietnam vets and facilitate conversation about their service.

Watch the trailer of the documentary film about the role Hueys played during conflicts as told by pilots, mechanics and helicopter crew members.

Bill Barry, NASA

NASA Chief Historian Bill Barry (seated, far left) and some airplane geeks

NASA Chief Historian Bill Barry (seated, far left) and some airplane geeks

NASA Chief Historian Bill Barry tells us about some of the other anniversaries in 2016, including the first Viking lander on Mars 40 years ago, the 10th anniversary of the first COTS (commercial off the shelf technology) contact for launch services delivering material to the Space Station, the 100th anniversary of Langley, and even the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. Bill talks about naming the Space Shuttle Enterprise rather than Constitution, the aeronautics programs at NASA, and public interest in NASA activities. Be sure to visit the NASA History webpage.

Photos

Take Me Home Huey

Take Me Home Huey

DSCF9051_600

Micah and Brian

Micah and Brian

Credit

Airplane Geeks would like to thank the National Air & Space Museum for inviting us back to the Innovations in Flight event. This is a must-attend, bring your family event held the Saturday before Father’s Day in June.

Photo credits: @ProfVanderhoof, @dronemama, @maxflight

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

405 The Airport Master Planning Process

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

Guest

Jenny_Watts

Jenny Watts, Airport Planner, Armstrong Consultants, Inc.

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

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

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

News

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

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

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

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

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

FAA rules out requiring psychological testing for airline pilots

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

Airport security:

Explosion at Shanghai Airport Injures at Least Five People

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

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

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

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

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

Warsaw Airport Suspends Landings Briefly Due to Drones

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

Mentioned

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

Plane Talking UK Podcast

What to Eat at 30 North American Airports, Summer 2016

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

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

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

Credit

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

 

404 Inside the Airport Office

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

Guest

Jennifer Adams

Jennifer Adams

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

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

News

FAA ADS-B Rebate: Limited Time, Limited Number

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

Airbus reveals plan for even more passengers on A380 aircraft

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

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

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

The Aircraft of the Week

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

‘Potential dangers’ spark concerns for Blue Angel flyover

Snowbirds Nine Ship Missing Man

Gofundme to support Capt Kuss’ Family

Trip Report

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

Delta: Compare Seat Options

Delta: The Basics on Basic Economy

Delta: Reservations and Ticketing FAQs

Mentioned

SpringBank Snowbirds

Helicopter Takeoff

Textron Aviation reveals superior SETP performance and cabin details

GE Aviation launches new turboprop engine

Credit

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

 

403 Bits & Pieces XVI

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

NASA Interviews

Dr. Richard Wahls and David Vanderhoof

Dr. Richard Wahls and David Vanderhoof

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

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

Peter Coen

Peter Coen

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

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

Airport Security Lines

Brian Coleman talks about long TSA lines.

On the Mark

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

Listener Recording

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

Our Maine(e) Man Micah

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

Credit

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

402 A Young Airline Geek

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

Guest

Ryan Ewing

Ryan Ewing

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

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

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

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

AAviation Day 2016

News

Boeing shows off new 777X wing center

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

Behind The Scenes Of P&W’s Production Plan

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

FAA Deems B-29 Doc Airworthy, First Flight Imminent

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

Bombardier cuts Republic CSeries order from production schedule

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

Aircraft of the Week

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

Davids Mirage IIIB

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

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

Report on Shuttle External Tank “ET”

Brian watches the Shuttle Tank pass by

Brian watches the Shuttle Tank pass by

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

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

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

Mentioned

Video: John Waldron Memorial, from John Mollison.

Advanced Flight Systems

Aircraft photos, and more photos from Ryan Hothersall.

The Airplane Geeks episode archive kindly provided by Willem.

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

Credit

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

 

 

AirplaneGeeks 401 Aviation Accidents as Emergent Properties of Complex Systems

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

Guest

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

Captain Shem Malmquist, FRAeS

Captain Shem Malmquist, FRAeS

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Resources:

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

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

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

Airline Safety and Accident Investigation Community on Facebook.

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

News

Southwest Pilots Sue City of Chicago Over Billboard Advertising

SWAPA billboard

SWAPA billboard

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

The Best and Worst Frequent-Flier Rewards Programs for 2016

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

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

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

Proposed Part 61 changes would benefit GA

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

Defense Bill Includes Medical Reform Language

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

FAA Approves Two-Place R44

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

The Aircraft of the Week

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

On the Mark

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

Mentioned

Breastfeeding pilots file discrimination charges

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

Breastfeeding pilots’ claims against airline seen as advance

Pilots And ACLU Sue Airline Over Breast Milk Pumping At Work

and

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

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 400 That’s a Lot of Episodes

John Croft

John Croft in the NASA Langley simulator

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

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

John CroftGuest

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

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

News

Airlines report record profits even as customer complaints soar

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

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

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

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

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

Colorado Native Honored For Flying Through Glass Ceiling

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

Honeywell, NASA Test Sonic Boom Technology

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

Seeking 500 pilots a year, PSA Airlines sweetens the pot

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

Mentioned

IATA 2015 Safety Report [PDF]

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

Credit

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