441 Airlines, Destinations, and Strapping Yourself to the Perimeter Fence

This episode, we talk to aviation and travel-industry expert Chris Kjelgaard about new Lufthansa and Iberia A350-900s, low fares from Norwegian, airlines charging fees for services, and a worrisome EASA safety report. Also, Astronics’ missed aerospace sales guidance, and the most scenic airport landings.

Guest

Chris Kjelgaard, airlines and travel industry expert

Chris Kjelgaard

Chris Kjelgaard reports on airlines and the travel-industry with more than three decades of experience. He is the founder and editor of the air and destination travel news website AirlinesAndDestinations.com. Chris also serves as editor of various print and online magazine titles, and he has written for dozens of aviation trade and consumer magazines and websites. Chris has been interviewed many times by television, radio, print, and online media on aviation and travel topics. He is a contributing editor to Runway Girl Network.

Aviation News

Inside Lufthansa’s Brand New A350-900

A Look Inside Lufthansa’s First Airbus A350-900

Iberia CCO explains carrier’s long-haul IFEC decisions

Lufthansa unveiled its new A350-900 in Munich at the beginning of February at the Lufthansa Technik hangar. This was the first of ten aircraft that are to fly from Munich to Delhi and Boston. Iberia is set to take delivery of 16 A350-900s starting in the second quarter of 2018.

Norwegian Air to offer U.S.-Europe fares starting at $65 one way

Norwegian Air Shuttle was offering $65 one way flights to Europe from some smaller US airports in New York state, and also Providence, Rhode Island, and Hartford, Connecticut. Norwegian Air spokesman Anders Lindström said, “I pay for what I want, you pay for what you want. We don’t pay for what everybody else on the plane wants.” Only a limited number of one-way tickets were offered at $65, and a return flight costs more.

More airlines are charging for everything from carry-ons to soft drinks

Airlines continue to unbundle offerings, and charge fees to add them back in. A new report by research firm Hopper sheds some light on airline ticket pricing.

EASA safety report highlights worrying increase in serious incidents

2016 was the safest year ever measured by large commercial aircraft fatal accidents, but the 2017 Preliminary Safety Review published by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) shows an increase in the number of serious incidents involving aircraft operated by carriers from the 32 EASA member states.

John King Vows Battle with the FAA to Reinstate His Medical Certificate

When it comes to aviation education and training, John King (and his wife Martha) are about as well known as anybody. But on the basis of a seizure episode in early 2014, King was denied his third-class medical certificate in November 2015. Since then he has appealed the denial, but without success. He plans to take it to an an administrative law judge at the NTSB.

First-degree murder charge filed in possible hate crime shooting at Olathe’s Austins bar

This unfortunate event has a number of connections to aviation.

Mentioned

PZL Mielec Prepares M28 – A PZL Mielec M28 twin turboprop aircraft is undertaking a two-month, 13-city tour across seven Caribbean and Latin America countries to demonstrate the M28’s all-weather operational capabilities to potential new customers, including airlines, government agencies and military operators.

Turn your friends into podcast listeners

California Black Aviation Association – A non-profit organization of aviation professionals of various ethnic backgrounds with the passion for flying and promoting aviation awareness and education through community outreach.

California Redtails – Honoring the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, also known as the “Redtails,” by educating, inspiring and promoting general aviation.

Embry-Riddle’s Lift, Off the Page: A Panel Discussion on Aviation Cybersecurity

Listener Submissions

Launchpad Marzari brings us another language editorial.

Xavier provides some personal thoughts on aviation from the perspective of a black pilot.

Gerry gives us his story of a memorable flight when he rode in the flight deck of a Boeing 747-400.

Credit

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

 

440 Glass Cockpit Avionics

This episode, we talk to the president of Dynon Avionics, a company that designs, builds, and supports glass cockpit avionics for builders and pilots of small aircraft. In the news, we discuss a celebrity landing on a taxiway, the 2017 General Aviation Awards, a capacity cutback on commercial flights to Cuba, a town that took a man’s Cessna, and the union representation vote at Boeing’s South Carolina plant.

Robert Hamilton, president of glass cockpit avionics company Dynon

Robert Hamilton, president of glass cockpit avionics company Dynon Avionics

Guest

Robert Hamilton is the president of Dynon Avionics. The company was founded in 2000 and is a leader in glass cockpit avionics for light aircraft. Starting with inexpensive AOA indicators, Dynon expanded the line to affordable Electronic Flight Instrument Systems (EFIS) and a full range of glass cockpit avionics products for pilots.

Robert Hamilton in the Sportsman

Robert Hamilton in the Sportsman

Robert learned to fly as a teenager in the family J-3 Cub in the 1970s. More recently he owned a glass panel Diamond DA-40, and built a SkyView-equipped Glasair Sportsman. Last summer Robert earned his seaplane rating.

Robert began his career as a Flight Controls Engineer at Boeing working on the 747.  But to get more into the business side, he went to the Graduate Business School at Harvard then on to Fluke Corporation as a Senior Manager where he built their electrical power business and helped develop the unique Fluke brand.  But aviation called to Robert and he joined Dynon Avionics in 2008 as head of Marketing, and then became company President in 2012.

As a volunteer, Robert was the president of the Washington Pilots Association at Paine Field, and is a member of AOPA and EAA.

Dynon SkyView HDX glass cockpit avionics

Dynon SkyView HDX

Aviation News

Harrison Ford in Incident With Passenger Plane at California Airport

When a pilot lands on a taxiway instead of the runway, it might not get too much attention in the mainstream media. When Harrison Ford does that in his Husky, it makes the national news.

2017 National GA Award winners named

Each year, the General Aviation Awards program and the FAA recognize the contributions of aviation professionals to general aviation. Recipients of the 2017 National General Aviation Awards are:

  • Charles Gensler of Parker, Colorado — Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year
  • Brian Carpenter of Corning, California — Aviation Technician of the Year
  • Mark Ducorsky of Lakeland, Florida — FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year

The awards will be presented by the FAA during EAA AirVenture 2017 in Oshkosh,Wisconsin.

EAA, Dynon Expand STC Program For GA Aircraft

Some Beechcraft, Grumman, Maule, and Mooney models are now eligible for the STC allowing installation of Dynon electronic flight information systems. The EFIS-D10A and EFIS-D100 can be installed in models on the Approved Model List, which EAA says will continue to expand.

JetBlue Follows American Airlines and Cuts Capacity in Cuba

When scheduled commercial service to Cuba was announced, we were pretty excited, and so were the airlines. Large numbers of flights were allocated to the airlines and some people wondered if the Cuban infrastructure would be strained under the influx of visitors. But it’s not turning out that way.

Elderly pilot’s Cessna dismantled in his driveway and hauled away by Long Island town

A 69-year old pilot gave up his pilot’s license in 2015 for health reasons. He had his Cessna 152 moved to his driveway in Long Island, but neighbors and the town of Oceanside didn’t think too much of that. When the man was out of the country, the town had the plane removed from the driveway, after disassembling the wings.

Workers at Boeing’s South Carolina plant reject union

According to the NLRB, 74 percent of the 2,828 voting workers at Boeing’s South Carolina plant turned down representation by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM).

Mentioned

Flights Above the Pacific Northwest is a closed Facebook group, originally created with the intent of sharing pictures and videos of local flights around the Pacific Northwest. FATPNW has grown to become an active online community.

Pima Air & Space Museum

Tattoos in Flight

Hey Techies show – Max Trescott was their guest on Hey Techies 84 talking about learning to fly.

What is additive manufacturing? – Published on May 22, 2013 by GE Aviation.

Austria to sue Airbus over Eurofighter contract

Credit

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

439 Aviation Marketing

We look at specialty aviation marketing with Paula Williams from ABCI. In the news, we discuss President Trump’s meeting with airline and airport executives, and consider policies for ATC privatization, FAA leadership, airport infrastructure, and foreign carrier subsidies. Also, we look at 3D-printed turbine blades, a pilot melt-down, and Damian’s memorable flight, a creepy experience that saved his life.

Paula Williams, aviation marketing specialty firm Aviation Business Consulting Inc.

Paula Williams, Aviation Business Consulting Inc.

Guest

Paula Williams and her husband John formed aviation marketing specialty firm Aviation Business Consulting Inc. (ABCI) to bring the discipline and technology from the finance and education industries to the aviation industry. ABCI assists aviation companies that sell complex, technical, or high-ticket products or services by helping them communicate with aviation professionals in a clear compelling way through written content, images, and video.

Aviation News

U.S. Aviation Policies

The Trump administration has given us a lot to think about this past week. We touch on ATC privatization, NextGen ATC, the FAA leadership, airport infrastructure improvements, foreign carrier subsidies, and even the effect on aviation businesses of the President’s time spent in Florida:

Trump slams ‘out of whack’ FAA in meeting with airlines

Press Release – FAA Statement

U.S. Airports Were the Clear Winners in Trump Meeting, but What’s Next?

PBSO overtime at $1.5 million and growing as Trump set to return again

Responding to More Distortions of Air Traffic Control Reform

Survey Finds “No Reason to Privatize” ATC

Be sure to take the quick Airplane Geeks ATC Privatization Survey, which is open to both U.S. and non-U.S. listeners.

GE Rival Siemens, In ‘Breakthrough,’ Tests 3D-Printed Turbine Blades

Siemens says their Materials Solutions unit has successfully tested 3D-printed turbine engine blades made of a polycrystalline nickel superalloy. These were run above 1250 degrees Celsius.

Passengers Revolt At Ranting Captain

The captain for a United Airlines flight arrived out of uniform and proceeded to deliver a sharp monolog to the passengers, some of whom felt unsafe and left the airplane. The pilot also left the airplane and another flight crew arrived for the flight, which departed about two hours late.

Mentioned

GE Additive provides advanced machines and validated powders, as well as expert engineering services and production capabilities.

Sikorsky Seminar Weekend with Igor Sikorsky III at the Bradford Camps, July 7, 8, 9, 2017.

Gavilan College in Gilroy, California.

Engine failure on a Swiss Global Airlines Boeing 777-300:

Incident: Swiss B773 near Iqaluit on Feb 1st 2017, engine automatically shut down in flight

Boeing 777 carrying 300 passengers forced to make emergency landing on snow-covered runway

Crews work to replace engine on Swiss Air Boeing 777 stuck at Iqaluit airport

Stranded Swiss Airlines 777 Gets Replacement Engine Delivery in Canada

Engineers battle to fix Swiss plane stranded in icy northern Canada

Smithsonian Air & Space Museum – 360 spherical panoramas.

Retired Lt. Gen. Hal Moore, Ia Drang battle commander, dies at 94

Credit

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

 

438 Airline and Airport On-time Performance

Airline and airport on-time performance measurements from OAG. Also, an update on the impact on aviation of new U.S. policies, a look at notable aviators in honor of Black History Month, air cargo expansion for Amazon Prime Air, aviation news from Super Bowl LI, and Boeing workers in South Carolina prepare to vote on union representation.

Punctuality League 2016 presents airline and airport on-time performance statistics.

Punctuality League 2016 presents airline and airport on-time performance statistics.

Guest

OAG analyst John Grant

OAG analyst John Grant

OAG aviation analyst John Grant started his career with the airlines, and continued with aviation consultancy services. We discuss the OAG Punctuality Report 2016 published January 2017. This annual report of airline and airport on-time performance is also available as a very useful Interactive Dashboard. The web-based tool allows you to visualize on-time performance, arrival capacity, and arrival frequency data by airline and airport category and region.

John explains how the rapid pace of airline schedule change and the desire for very current information has driven the services that OAG provides. We consider the huge history of data that is available and used by many organizations. While the printed schedules book is still the tool of choice for some, digitization and the desire for immediacy makes other OAG data formats more valuable for many others.

UK-based OAG maintains a huge network of air travel data and provides schedules, analytics, web and mobile flight tracking, articles, and reports.

Aviation News

Trump to meet with airline CEOs on Thursday: White House

President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with airline chief executive officers Thursday February 9, 2017. This continues the President’s series of meetings with the business community.

Former top diplomats, tech giants blast immigration order as court showdown looms

The travel ban is working its way through the judiciary system, and at this time the end result is far from certain.

AOPA: Executive Order Won’t Delay BasicMed

AOPA has updated this story with the latest information that BasicMed is still on track for May 1, 2017.

AOPA Live This Week – February 2, 2017

Benét Wilson is celebrating Black History Month by honoring a different aviator of color every day of the month. Follow her on Twitter as @AvQueenBenet. The Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor hosted a Tuskegee Airmen Hangar Talk to pay tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen and the vital role they played during World War II. Click to see photos of the event.

Colonel Charles McGee, courtesy Pacific Aviation Museum.

Colonel Charles McGee, courtesy Pacific Aviation Museum.

Colonel McGee fought in WWII, Korea and Vietnam, and holds a record for one of the highest three-war total of fighter combat missions of any pilot in United States Air Force history. Colonel McGee began his military service as one of the Tuskegee Airmen in the 332nd Fighter Group.

His career in the U.S. Army Air Corps and U.S. Air Force spanned 30 years and three wars, where he flew 409 aerial combat missions. During his military career, Colonel McGee was awarded the Legion of Merit with Cluster, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, the Bronze Star and the Air Medal (25 times).

Also honored at the Hangar Talk was WWII Tuskegee Airman Philip Baham. Baham served as a crew chief for the 337th Composite Group at Tuskegee Army Air Field. He is a dedicated volunteer at Pacific Aviation Museum, sharing his story with visitors as a greeter in the lobby of Hangar 37.

Amazon picks Kentucky airport as site for air cargo hub

Amazon announced it is creating a new centralized air hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG) to support its growing fleet of Amazon Prime Air cargo planes. When the hub opens, Amazon expects to create more than 2,000 new jobs engaged in loading, unloading, and sorting packages. In 2016, Amazon entered into agreements with two carriers to lease 40 dedicated cargo airplanes.

The Super Bowl’s Private-Jet Problem

Textron Aviation, Bombardier prep for the big game

Turkish Airlines Makes Powerful Superbowl Statement: Widen Your World

We look at aviation stories from Super Bowl LI, including the large volume of private jets flying in and out for the event, the swarm of Intel drones that accompanied the halftime show, and the Turkish Airlines commercial aired during the game.

Diapers on display as Boeing campaigns against Machinists in S. Carolina vote

Boeing production workers in North Charleston, South Carolina are set to vote February 15, 2017 on union representation by the International Association of Machinists (IAM). The company website https://weareboeingsc.com/ is filled with material intended to influence workers not to vote for union representation by the IAM. The IAM counters with their own page: https://www.facebook.com/boeingworkers/.

The Aviation Minute

Rob Mark comments on the FAA decision to allow the closure of Santa Monica Airport.

Listener Recording

Ruben asks why regulators like the FAA create the rules, but are also the ones that police the rules.

Aircraft wheel thermal fuse plugs

Aircraft wheel thermal fuse plugs. Illustration courtesy AME Voice.

Aircraft wheel thermal fuse plugs. Illustration courtesy AME Voice.

Last episode, listener Sam described how he was on the ground at Dubai airport waiting for a flight to be pushed back, when he  heard a loud explosion followed by the sound of hissing air. We suspected the nose wheel tire fuse plug blew. Well, we did a little research on aircraft wheel fusible plugs.

From Airliners.net: “Fusible plugs offer protection from tire blowouts caused by thermal expansion that is generated in the tire under extra hard braking conditions. These fusible plugs are fitted in the tubeless wheel hubs by means of a fusible alloy that melts under excessive heat conditions and allows the plug to be blown out by the tire air pressure. This prevents excessive pressure buildup in the tire by allowing the air to leak away slowly.”

See Aircraft Wheel thermal fuse plugs on the AME Voice blog.

Mentioned

Season 1 of Plane Resurrection is now on Netflix. Each episode follows the transformation of a wreck to a restored airplane, and presents the history of the aircraft. The first season’s episodes cover the P-51 Mustang, Hurricane, Triplane, Stearman, T6 Harvard, and Percival Q6. Must watch!

Credit

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

437 Aviation News Roundtable

A roundtable discussion of current aviation news, issues, and topics from our listeners. They include: the effects of the U.S. immigration ban on airlines and airports, the impacts of new executive orders on regulations like 3rd class medical reform, the bad news for Santa Monica airport, American Airlines passes on in-seat screens, another airline is grounded by a computer problem, clarity on ADS-B for non-electric aircraft, a review ordered of the F-35C and the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet. Also, glass cockpit vs. round gages, the 2017 Aerospace Media Awards, a warm airline story from Alaska, exploding airline tires, and the Global Supertanker 747 in action.

Jodi Bromer, #AvGeek, EMS pilot.

Jodi Bromer, #AvGeek, EMS pilot.

Aviation News

How Trump’s abrupt immigration ban sowed confusion at airports, agencies

President Trump signed an executive order that fulfilled a campaign promise for new immigration policy. The order restricts immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, it shuts off refugee admission for 120 days, and bans admission of Syrian refugees until further notice. This caused a certain amount of confusion among airlines, airports, government agencies, and the public. Demonstrations against the change broke out at many airports.

Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

Among other provisions, this executive order requires that for every new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations must be identified for elimination. How this impacts an agency like FAA is uncertain.

Regulations on Hold – EAA Monitoring Impact on Medical Reform

The Trump administration has ordered that no new regulations be published in the Federal Register. Also, that regulations that have been issued, but not yet taken effect, are pushed out 60 days. What does that mean for third-class Medical Reform, and the recently finalized Part 23 small aircraft certification regulations?

FAA Agreement allows Santa Monica to close its Airport after 2028

The FAA agreed to allow the City of Santa Monica to close the Santa Monica Airport as early as 2028. The City is also allowed to shorten the runway to just 3500 feet, eliminating larger business jets. Jack Pelton, CEO/Chairman of the Experimental Aircraft Association stated, “We were surprised at the announcement of the settlement between the FAA and the city of Santa Monica regarding its airport. It is certainly a disappointing development, first concerning the immediate ability to shorten the runway, and the ultimate ability to close the airport in 2028. While we can only guess at the inside discussions to reach this settlement as to our knowledge, the airport’s stakeholders were not a part of it, the founding principles of FAA grant assurances are to maintain stability for an airport and its users as part of the national airspace system, above local political maneuvering.”

For American Airlines New Technology Means Fewer In-Seat Screens

American Airlines believes in-seat entertainment screens are a technology without a future. So rather than install screens in the seats of its Boeing 737Max airplanes, the airline will offer passengers free entertainment they can watch on their mobile phones, tablets, and laptop computers.

FAA Clarifies ADS-B Mandate For Non-Electrical Aircraft

The ADS-B Out rule takes effect January 1, 2020. If your airplane was originally certified without an electrical system, the rule doesn’t apply. But what if that same aircraft subsequently had batteries and an electrical starter installed?

Palm Beach County aviation head: Trump flight limits will hurt airport

POTUS vacations at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach. About 8 miles away is the Palm Beach County Park Airport, also called Lantana Airport. County commissioners are learning that they’ll have to abide by the wishes of the Secret Service, and they are worried about the financial impact of operating restrictions.

Delta’s U.S. Grounding Is Lifted After Latest Computer Glitch

Delta Air Lines experienced a computer problem that grounded U.S. domestic flights for 2 1/2-hours. About 170 flights were affected.

Mattis Orders Comparison Review of F-35C and Advanced Super Hornet

A Pentagon review of the capabilities and cost of two aircraft has been ordered by Defense Secretary James Mattis. He wants to compare the Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and an upgraded version of the Boeing F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet.

Reports: Trump Says He’s Cut $600 Million From F-35 Costs

President Donald Trump says that Lockheed has cut $600 million from the program cost for the F-35. This would be for the 90 planes of LRIP Lot 10 (Low-Rate Initial Production).

Pilots, Aviation & The Paradox of Progress

The paradox for aviators is that while automation makes flying easier for pilots, it is also “reducing the number of seats for them in the pointy end of airplanes.”

Listener Recording

Fabian, a 23 year old Aerospace Engineering & ATPL Student from Germany provides feedback on Micah’s piece last episode on the death of Gene Cernan.

Mentioned

Hidden Figures, the movie about Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson – three African-American women who worked at NASA at the beginning of the U.S. manned space program.

Email Debt Forgiveness Day

Air Facts Journal, the journal for personal air travel – by pilots, for pilots.

2017 Aerospace Media Awards. The closing date for nominations is Friday 24th March 2017.

Foster Brooks (Airline Pilot)

Routehappy’s 2017 WiFi Report

Air Methods

Delta flight makes unexpected landing in Cold Bay, FAA points to engine trouble. See also the picture album.

Il-76 in action fire fighting in Chile.

#SuperTanker en plena acción, registrado desde el aire. Qué notable. (#SuperTanker in full action, recorded from the air. How remarkable.)

Two aircraft are working with the 747 SuperTanker

Global SuperTanker Services, LLC

Credit

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

436 Flying Magazine’s Stephen Pope

We talk with Stephen Pope, the Editor-in-Chief of Flying magazine. In the news, we look at a United Airlines computer problem, tracking passengers moving through the airport, the search for MH 370 concludes, ADS-B capable satellites, the latest Mitsubishi MRJ delay, B-2 bombers fly a 30-hour mission, testing tiltrotors, a possible lead in the 1971 hijacking by D.B. Cooper, and a tribute to Gene Cernan.

Guest

Flying magazine's Editor in Chief Stephen Pope

Stephen Pope, Editor in Chief, Flying magazine

Stephen Pope is Editor-in-Chief of Flying magazine. We talk about Light Sport Aircraft, third class medical reform, and flying with the Garmin G1000 NXi. Steve also explains how Flying is changing its look, content, website, and e-news product to compete with digital aviation news outlets. We also get some good suggestions for those who might consider aviation journalism as a career choice, either full-time or freelance.

Steve is an award-winning aviation journalist and commercial pilot with multi-engine, instrument, and seaplane ratings. He has been writing for aviation magazines for more than 20 years on a wide range of flying topics.

Steve learned to fly at age 15 in a Piper Cub at Trinca Airport, a small grass strip in northern New Jersey. He worked as a line boy at the 60th Street Heliport in New York City and for First Aviation at Teterboro Airport. After soloing at 16, earning his private pilot’s license at 17, and gaining his instrument rating a year later, Steve enrolled at the University of Maryland as a journalism major, where he received his degree and completed an editorial internship with AOPA Pilot magazine.

After graduating, Stephen joined the editorial staff of Aviation International News, a business aviation trade magazine. During his 15 years with AIN he moved up the ranks to become Senior Editor directing avionics and technology coverage, Editor-in-Chief of Convention Publications and, in his last role with the company, Editor-in-Chief of Business Jet Traveler magazine. He joined the staff of Flying in 2010.

Steve has won seven Aerospace Journalist of the Year awards, including being named overall Aerospace Journalist of the Year in 2007. He has also won three NBAA Gold Wing Journalism Awards and has written for Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, and many other publications.

Aviation News

United Airlines resumes flights after temporary ground order

A computer problem with Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) temporarily grounded all domestic United Airlines mainline flights.

Cool or Creepy? Houston Airports now Tracking Phone Signals to Provide Checkpoint Data

Houston airports are now monitoring Bluetooth signals from travelers’ phones. This lets the airport track checkpoint wait times in real-time. In a news release, Houston airport spokesperson Bill Begley said, “The tracking is anonymous and uses a variety of filters to ensure both anonymity and accuracy, and then uses that data to provide an average time for travelers passing through the checkpoints.”

Search Ends For Malaysian Flight 370

In an MH370 Joint Communique, the Australian Government announced that the search for MH370 has been suspended. “The decision to suspend the underwater search has not been taken lightly nor without sadness,” the joint statement read. “We remain hopeful that new information will come to light and that at some point in the future the aircraft will be located.”

Aireon Launch Begins New Era for Satellite-Based Aircraft Surveillance

The recent successful SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch put the first 10 Iridium Next satellites into low-Earth orbit. Each satellite carries an ADS-B receiver to be part of Aireon’s global ADS-B-based aircraft-tracking system, operational by the second quarter of 2018.

Mitsubishi delays MRJ deliveries by two years

In its January 23 press release, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries announced “that MHI and Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation will adjust the first delivery of the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) from mid-2018 to mid-2020. The change is due to revisions of certain systems and electrical configurations on the aircraft to meet the latest requirements for certification.” See MRJ’s Latest Development Status and the Advancing the MRJ project PDF.

All we know about the U.S. B-2 bombers 30-hour round trip mission to pound Daesh in Libya

Two U.S. Air Force B-2 Spirit bombers flew a long-duration mission from the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base.

Unique Tiltrotor Test Rig To Begin Operational Runs At NASA Ames

NASA’s Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California is preparing for the first functional trial of a new Tiltrotor Test Rig.

New Lead on D.B. Cooper — May have Worked for Boeing!

New clues may point to the identity of the 1971 hijacker who disappeared with the ransom money, never to be found.

The Aviation Minute

Rob Mark takes a look at the Aireon launch and aircraft tracking.

Contributor Recording

Our Main(e) Man Micah brings us God Bless You Gene Cernan.

Credit

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

435 Airline Weekly’s Seth Kaplan on Commercial Aviation

435 Airline Weekly’s Seth Kaplan on Commercial AviationThis episode, we talk about commercial aviation with Seth Kaplan, Managing Partner at Airline Weekly. In the news, we look at supersonic passenger jets, the third class medical reform rules, a 747 cargo jet crash, who is at fault for the Germanwings crash, the state of inflight WiFi, and Piper Archers that are headed for China.

Guest

Seth Kaplan, commercial aviation expert

Seth Kaplan, Managing Partner, Airline Weekly

Seth Kaplan is Managing Partner at Airline Weekly, a subscriber-supported publication that provides valuable information and analysis of the commercial aviation business. Airline Weekly is an independent company of journalists and airline industry professionals who are passionate about commercial passenger aviation.

Seth worked as a newspaper and television reporter, covering aviation, transportation, and other issues. He switched to the public sector and served in various executive roles with the Miami-Dade County government. Then in 2005 Seth combined his love of both aviation and journalism to become managing partner of Airline Weekly. Since then, he has become a globally recognized airline expert and is frequently asked by print and broadcast media to provide his perspectives. Seth speaks frequently at industry events, and has taught many airline economics courses to executives and staff at airlines around the world.

Seth Kaplan and Jay Shabat authored the book, Glory Lost and Found: How Delta Climbed from Despair to Dominance in the Post-9/11 Era. Seth and Airline Weekly VP Jason Cottrell host the excellent Airline Weekly Lounge podcast.

Aviation News

Aviation in 2017: Supersonic jets and premium economy

We look at the value and practicality of supersonic passenger jets. In November, 2016, Boom Technology showed a ⅓-scale prototype of their XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator called “Baby Boom.” According to their website, they have “A breakthrough aerodynamic design, state-of-the-art engine technology, and advanced composite materials [to] enable an ultra-fast airliner as efficient and affordable as business class in today’s subsonic wide-body airliners.” Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and others are also developing supersonic passenger jets.

FAA Releases Third Class Medical Reform Final Rule

FAA calls the new rule “BasicMed” and it becomes effective May 1, 2017. AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker says the rule is, “the best thing to happen to general aviation in decades.” AOPA plans to offer a free online medical course to let pilots comply with the BasicMed rules.

Cargo Jet Crash Kills Dozens in Kyrgyzstan Village

A Boeing 747 cargo jet flying from Hong Kong to Istanbul and trying to land in intermittent dense fog, crashed into a village near Kyrgyzstan’s main airport. Dozens of people on the ground were killed. (Addendum: Some of the news agencies claimed that the plane belonged to Turkish Airlines. Turkish Airlines informs us this is incorrect and the jet was actually from ACT Airlines.)

German investigators find only pilot Lubitz at fault in Germanwings crash

German prosecutors have determined that Andreas Lubitz is solely accountable for the Germanwings plane crash in March 2015. Lubitz concealed his illness from his employer and neither doctors, Lufthansa, Germanwings, or the German aviation authority could be held accountable.

Chaos in the cockpit: A new view of the deadliest plane crash in Akron history

Inexperience, weather, and pilot confusion conspired against the chartered Hawker that never reached its destination.

Wi-Fi available on 83% of U.S. airline seats

According to a report by Routehappy, Internet availability on U.S. airlines was 83% in 2016, up from about 74% in 2015. Internet availability on foreign airlines was only 28%. However in many instances, connection speeds are too slow to support video streaming. Worldwide, only 7.2% of fliers would find Wi-Fi fast enough to stream videos or movies.

China Air Shuttle Orders 50 Archers

China Air Shuttle, the approved Piper Aircraft dealer for Archer airplanes in China, has ordered 50 Archers. They will distribute those aircraft to flight schools and general aviation companies in the region. Deliveries of 30 aircraft start in the second quarter of 2017, and continue with 20 more in the first half of 2018. The Archers will be manufactured and certificated at the Piper factory in Florida. After shipment to China, they will be assembled/reassembled by a China Air Shuttle affiliate company.

Listener Recording

George tells his story about visiting a general aviation airport, and why you should too.

Mentioned

Max Flight was the guest on the Podcast Engineering Show, session #39, talking serious audio recording topics.

DEF CON 17 Hacking Conference Presentation By Deviant Ollam – Packing and the Friendly Skies Why Transporting Your Firearms May Be the Best Way to Safeguard Your Tech When you Fly – Video and Slides [18:39, language]

#PaxEx Podcast: Tales from an airline ramp agent-come-reporterMax Flight and Mary Kirby talk with Paul Thompson, an aviation and travel journalist for Airways Magazine and Travel Pulse, and a 15-year airline industry veteran.

The Last Of The Hush-Hush Boys: Joseph Sorota, Who Helped Build The First U.S. Jet Engine, Dies At 96

The Last Of The Hush-Hush Boys Tells The Story Of The First American Jet Engine

Credit

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

434 Aviation Law

We discuss the topic of aviation law with an attorney and pilot. In the news, we look at airport security issues in the face of the recent shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport, the new generation of Cirrus aircraft, GECAS orders for Boeing 737 Max 8s, and a cargo handler who goes for an unexpected flight.

Guest

Attorney Raymond Paul Johnson, practicing aviation law

Raymond Paul Johnson

Raymond Paul Johnson is a California trial attorney, aerospace engineer, pilot, author, and combat veteran, having served as a United States Air Force fighter pilot. He has flown as command pilot and instructor on a variety of aircraft in both combat and peacetime environments, and today Ray maintains an FAA commercial pilot’s license. Ray’s law practice emphasizes product safety and liability, aviation law, engineering-legal disputes, and technology related matters.

Ray explains how he’s combined his interests in aviation and law as a specialty practice. His firm handles both civil and military cases across the U.S., especially where liability is contested.

We discuss the application of the Boyle v. United Technologies Corporation Supreme Court decision to military cases. That decision addressed the validity of state tort laws that hold independent military contractors liable for injuries caused by their design flaws.

Ray explains that in a civil suit, the NTSB finding of probable cause is generally not admissible, but the facts uncovered in an NTSB investigation may enter into the case. Thus, the court could reach a different determination of responsibility than that of the government investigation.

Ray describes several cases he’s worked, including representing the family of United States Air Force Pilot Sean Murphy in their nationally prominent lawsuit regarding defects in the ejection system of the F-15 fighter aircraft. He also represented test pilot Carl Lang in his X-31 case.

We also talk about the impacts on aviation law of emerging technology, such as commercial use of drones.

Ray has been a featured speaker at many national conventions, and he’s been interviewed regarding legal matters on CNN, NBC Nightly News, and other televised news programs. His practice is Raymond Paul Johnson, A Law Corporation.

Aviation News

Numerous red flags arose in months leading to Fort Lauderdale airport shooting
Travelers lose 25,000 items in Fort Lauderdale airport rampage

A man arriving at Fort Lauderdale airport allegedly retrieved a handgun and some ammunition from his checked bag, and began shooting travelers in the baggage claim area. Five people were killed, several others were wounded. On its Transporting Firearms and Ammunition webpage, TSA says:

“You may transport unloaded firearms in a locked hard-sided container as checked baggage only. Declare the firearm and/or ammunition to the airline when checking your bag at the ticket counter. The container must completely secure the firearm from being accessed. Locked cases that can be easily opened are not permitted.”

On its Special Items webpage, Delta Air Lines outlines its requirements for firearms. (Look for Shooting Equipment under Sports Equipment.)

Cirrus Launches New Generation of SR-Series Piston Singles

Cirrus Aircraft has introduced their 2017 model year airplanes, and the G6 SR-series piston singles have some added features. The Perspective+ avionics system is based on Garmin’s new G1000 NXi platform and Flying Magazine calls it “among the most important upgrades in the history of the SR series.” also new are animated weather graphics, a qwerty-style keyboard, and new Spectra LED wingtip lights as well as courtesy lights.

GECAS orders 75 additional 737 MAX 8s

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) has ordered 75 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, valued at $8.25 billion at list prices. This brings the GECAS orders to 170 Max 8s. Boeing’s order total for 737 MAX aircraft stands now 3,419. The first 737 MAX 8 delivery is scheduled to occur in May 2017 with launch operator Norwegian Air Shuttle.

FAA, airline investigating how worker got left in cargo hold from N.C. to Dulles

A United Baggage Handler Took an Unexpected Flight in a Cargo Hold

Cargo-loading companies have procedures designed to ensure that handlers are out of the plane before the doors are shut. Something went wrong and a G2 Secure Staff employee was an unplanned passenger in the hold of United Express flight 6060 from Charlotte, N.C. to Washington Dulles International Airport.

Living in the Age of Airplanes Giveaway

Brian J. Terwilliger (our guest in Episode #427) is a pilot and the filmmaker who produced and directed the National Geographic movie Living in the Age of Airplanes, narrated by Harrison Ford. Brian was kind enough to donate two copies of the film, which we gave away to two randomly selected Airplane Geeks listeners.

Mentioned

United Tweet, last 747 flight out of O’Hare

Bob King, Boeing. Laid off at age 87!

Air France Says Au Revoir To The 747 With This Stunning Flyby

Don “The Prebuy Guy” Sebastian is now mentoring an ex-Marine who is an A&P, a pilot, and attending Embry Riddle for advanced degrees. Don sent us a short recording about Angle of Attack (AOA).

Two Indonesian airline executives resign after footage shows pilot staggering to plane

Sunwing Airlines pilot found passed out drunk in cockpit before take-off, Canadian police say

Couple hospitalized after plane crash at Capitol Drive airport

Credit

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

 

433 Aviation News and Listener Feedback

"Black Maria" from the Black Flight by Errol Cavit

“Black Maria” from the Black Flight by Errol Cavit

We start the new year with some recordings send in by members of the Airplane Geeks community. These look back at 2016, and ahead to 2017. In the news, we discuss angle of attack indicators for Skyhawks, the pilot shortage in Alaska, miscommunications between ATC and a commercial flight, A380 delivery issues, when is an F-35 an F/A-18?, comfort animals at the airport and in the air, and DHS collecting social media accounts.

Aviation News

Cessna Adds Safe Flight AOA to New Skyhawks

An angle-of-attack (AOA) system from Safe Flight Instrument Corporation is standard on new Cessna 172S Skyhawk deliveries starting this month. Textron Aviation is offering the system as a $5,000 option on the 182T Skylane and Turbo Stationair HD T206H.

Alaska, Reliant on Air Transit, Faces Pilot Shortage. Are Drones an Answer?

The New York Times calls Alaska “the nation’s most aviation-dependent state…with six times as many pilots per capita as the rest of the nation.” But for a variety of reasons, there are not enough pilots to service the local demand for bush pilots.

As one response, the University of Alaska’s Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration, is testing unmanned aircraft in arctic conditions. Oil companies are using drones for pipeline inspection.

Oy: You Have To Hear This Audio Between ATC & EVA Air Pilots

Miscommunication between Air Traffic Control and an EVA Air 777 leaving Los Angeles for Taipei almost resulted in a crash into a mountain. The flight needed to turn to a heading of 090, but that could be accomplished by making the smaller turn to the right, or the longer away around to the left. It was a life or death choice.

Airbus postpones deliveries of 12 A380 planes to Emirates Airline

In November, Emirates said they were having some technical issues with the Rolls-Royce engines powering their A380 jets. It may not be related, but apparently Emirates, Rolls Royce, and Airbus have made a deal to postpone six deliveries from 2017 to 2018, and postpone another six deliveries from 2018 to 2019.

In a statement, Airbus said, “Airbus re-confirms the target to deliver around 12 A380s per year from 2018 as announced earlier in July 2016. Further fixed cost reduction initiatives will be accelerated so the impact on break-even in 2017 is minimal.”

Airbus A380 hopes take a hit in Iran deal

Iran placed a firm order for 100 Airbus aircraft, but the twelve A380s contemplated in the preliminary agreement were dropped.

Trump asks Boeing for F/A-18 pitch, citing ‘tremendous’ cost overruns of Lockheed Martin F-35

Donald Trump tweeted: “Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!” Trump told reporters, “We’re trying to get costs down, costs. Primarily the F-35. That program is very, very expensive.”

The ‘Super’ Plane That Could Replace the F-35 Stealth Fighter: Could the F/A-18 Super Hornet be a real alternative?

War is Boring tells us not to interpret Donald Trump exactly literally.

SFO’s therapy pig keeps travelers from going hog wild

Tutu-wearing LiLou is now the designated therapy pig at San Francisco International Airport. She joins SFO’s Wag Brigade program that uses trained dogs under escort in the terminals. The Cincinnati airport hired its own therapy pig

The U.S. Department of Transportation says the Advisory Committee on Accessible Air Transportation (ACCESS Advisory Committee) “was established to negotiate and develop a proposed rule concerning accommodations for air travelers with disabilities addressing in-flight communications, accessible lavatory on new single-aisle aircraft, and service animals.” The Committee says they have an agreement to improve the accessibility of lavatories to wheel chairs on single-aisle aircraft, but no consensus on service animals.

U.S. Border Security Now Asking Foreign Travelers for Social Media Accounts

Foreign travelers entering the U.S. on the visa waiver program are being asked by DHS to “voluntarily” provide their social media accounts. This is seen as a method to help identify potential threats and prevent terrorism.

Listener Recordings

We asked the Airplane Geeks community to send us brief recordings looking back at aviation in 2016, or ahead to 2017. We weren’t disappointed, and would like to thank the following for their contributions: NASA Historian Bill Barry, Ariel (an active member of our Slack team), Micah (Our Main(e) Man), Bill English (an NTSB investigator), Errol Cavit (another Slack team member who also has a knack for capturing images of beautiful airplanes), and Glen (a faithful listener from New Zealand).

Micah and Nick

Micah and Nick

Micah sending hug to Jen via Hillel

Micah sending hug to Jen via Hillel

2016 Listener Survey

366 members of the Airplane Geeks community were kind enough to give us some great feedback, and we discuss what we learned. Some of the 2017 Listener Survey Results are available for you to see.

Mentioned

What Happened This Year @NASA – December 15, 2016

Audio: Plane Talking Safety Tau Crazy Airline Pilot Geeks Spectacular Christmas Extravaganza Live

Featuring Carlos and Matt from Plane Talking UK, Pilot Pip and Capt Al, from Plane Safety, Capts Jeff, Nick and Dr. Steph from Airline Pilot Guy, Marcus from Omega Tau, Micah and Brian from the Airplane Geeks, and Steve and Grant from Plane Crazy Down Under …all on one totally bonkers Christmas podcast. Video.

Video: Sunderland Veterans rolling back the years

Photos: DH Mosquito T.III TV959

Photos: The Vintage Aviator Ltd Flying Weekend Dec 2016

Video: Watch #PaxEx Minute: What’s in store for #PaxEx in 2017

Credit

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

432 The Pilot Logbook

A private pilot tells us about pilot logbooks and the electronic logbook he developed.
In the news, FAA releases the final Part 23 rule for GA airworthiness standards, Diamond Aircraft has attracted the attention of the Chinese, Cessna puts an end to an LSA, a study of airline pilot depression, flight attendants learn self-defense, and Airbus thinks plug-and-play for cabin modules.

1980 Beech A36TC and Ken VeArd

1980 Beech A36TC and Ken VeArd

Guest

Ken VeArd is a private pilot with Instrument rating for SEL and MEL with over 750 hours. In 1997 when Ken was a student pilot, he thought there had to be a better way to log flights than using a stack of paper. He developed the Pilot Partner system which continues to define how an electronic pilot logbook can unlock the potential of the data stored inside.

Ken explains the purposes and requirements for pilot logbooks, the lack of explicit standards, and who uses logbook information. We consider paper versus electronic logbooks, and how to make a transition. Ken discusses data hosting in a way that protects customers, and the CFI dashboard, a set of free tools that allows flight instructors to electronically link to the logbooks of their students, benefiting the quality of the instruction received.

Reference

eLogbook Logistics: Considerations for Moving from Paper Log to Digital Login [PDF] by Susan Parson in FAA Safety Briefing May/June 2016. (Susan was our guest in Episode 397 Airman Certification Standards.)

Converting From Paper

Easy Way – Carry In Totals: Paper Logbook to Electronic: The Easy Way

Hybrid Way – Maintain electronic and paper: Get the benefits from an electronic logbook, but have paper to backup your flight records for CFIs, check rides, and airline interviews. Take pictures of your paper based endorsements and key signatures and attach them in Pilot Partner. Log electronically first, and catch up paper later.

Convert Completely – Burn the Paper: Best done when you have little flying history or have a lot of time on your hands.  Enter or import all of your flights and attach images of all of your CFI Endorsement and Training Endorsements (Signatures).  Move forward with logging electronically.

News

Press Release – FAA Issues Final Rule on Small Airplane Safety Certification Standards

FAA issued a new Part 23 rule that overhauls the airworthiness standards for small general aviation airplanes. The Agency believes this rule will reduce the time it takes to move safety enhancing technologies for small airplanes into the marketplace and will also reduce costs.

Diamond Aircraft Reportedly Sold To Chinese Interests

Chinese firm acquires global aircraft manufacturing giant

Reportedly, Chinese conglomerate Wanfeng Auto Holding Group has invested in at least a portion of Diamond Aircraft. Details are limited, but Diamond has had a manufacturing facility in China for some time. Wanfeng is based in Zhejiang and includes aircraft manufacturing, robotics and financial services in its business portfolio.

Cessna Scraps Unsold Skycatchers

Unable to make a commercial success of their 162-model Skycatcher light sport airplane program, Cessna has scrapped the remaining inventory of its airplanes.

Airplane pilot mental health and suicidal thoughts: a cross-sectional descriptive study via anonymous web-based survey

This study of commercial airline pilots was published in BioMed Central. 3485 pilots were surveyed, with about half of them completed the web-based survey conducted between April and December 2015. “This is the first study to describe airline pilot mental health–with a focus on depression and suicidal thoughts–outside of the information derived from aircraft accident investigations, regulated health examinations, or identifiable self-reports, which are records protected by civil aviation authorities and airline companies.”

See also, Airline pilots anonymously report suicidal thoughts, study finds.

Flight and fight: Attendants learn self-defense in the air

Since 2004, the Transportation Security Administration has offered a voluntary, no-charge Crew Member Self-Defense Training Program at 20 sites in the US. To date, over 11,000 crew members have participated. U.S. statistics indicate the number of “unruly” passengers has declined since 2004, while international incidents are increasing.

Airbus Wants Airlines to Radically Rethink the Passenger Experience

Airbus’ New Jet Concept Features Swappable Spas and Cafes

The Airbus “Transpose” concept uses swappable interior modules allowing aircraft to be quickly configured as needed. This idea is similar to that used by cargo planes. Airbus says they are building a prototype.

Mentioned

Oshkosh 2016 Day 0 Crazy Arrivals

The video was captured by this episode’s guest Ken VeArd at Airventure Oshkosh 2016, and dramatically shows the pace of aircraft arrivals at Osh. Ken used Mary Latimer’s radio for the sound. Mary created the nonprofit Girls in Flight Training (GIFT) Academy that gets women into the cockpit, and she was our guest in Episode 425 Getting Women into the Cockpit.

David saw Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on opening weekend and wrote his review at Rogue One: Star Wars got Better!

Rob Mark and his editor Scott Spangler just learned that Jetwhine was named number 23 out of the “Top 50 Aviation Blogs on the Planet,” thanks to Feedspot, the RSS folks.

Max Trescott saw one of the Mitsubishi MRJ flight test aircraft at San Jose:

Mitsubishi MRJ at San Jose by Max Trescott

Mitsubishi MRJ at San Jose by Max Trescott

Man creates a model A-10 warthog that “Brrrt’s” Nerf balls on strafing runs

Chatham Islands resident has WWII flying boat in backyard

Credit

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