AirplaneGeeks 341 Youthful and Enthusiastic Airline Geeks

Solar Impulse 2 over Abi Dhabi

A young aviator makes his mark online, the Internet of Things creeps into aviation, Spirit Airlines plans to expand, a secret airport security check, and the Solar Impulse 2 starts an around the world journey.


Daniel Morley is a college student studying Human Factors in Aviation at Nova Southeastern University, and he’s training to become a commercial pilot. Daniel is also the Social Media Manager at Airline Geeks. He helps manage social media, pushes articles, interacts with readers, and occasionally writes articles.

Follow Daniel at @MorleyThePilot on Twitter and visit his Facebook page.


The Internet of Things, coming soon to an airline near you

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept where physical things in our lives have sensors and computational power, but they are also interconnected and share information. This article looks at some of the ways that IoT might impact the airline industry.

Growing Spirit Airlines to hire 1,500 workers in 2015

Spirit Airlines calls itself an Ultra Low Cost Carrier, and they plan to bring on new aircraft and flights in 2015. To do that they need more people – 1,500 more people in 2015, 500 of them flight attendants.

TSA Secretly Interrogates International Travelers, Miami Activist Says

Jonathan Corbett was questioned at Heathrow by an American Airlines security contractor, who asked why he was traveling and for how long. Corbett was told that if he didn’t answer the questions, he couldn’t board his flight home. In later communication with the airline, he learned that this is program is directed by the DHS/TSA, but the details are SSI, Sensitive Security Information.

Corbett’s blog is TSA Out of Our Pants! and details and documentation are in the post Corbett Sues TSA Over International Security Interview Program.

Solar-power plane airborne on historic round-the-world trip

The Solar Impulse 2 aims to be the first aircraft to fly around the world on solar power. It launched from Abu Dhabi on March 9, 2015 and is planned to take over 5 months to accomplish the planned 25 flight days.

The Australia News Desk

Grant’s back from the Canberra Balloon Spectacular in time for the Melbourne Grand Prix, but it seems Red Bull aren’t happy with how that’s going. Hey, maybe they’ll put money into more aviation events? At least the Qantas 747 handling display was pretty awesome.

Meanwhile, Qantas were the subject of the latest Facebook scam: Thousands fooled by fake Qantas first-class giveaway on Facebook, More than 100,000 people fooled by free Qantas flight scam, Not like! Thousands duped by fake Qantas Facebook offer.

Australia and New Zealand are sending relief flights to Vanuatu after the island was hit hard by Tropical Cyclone Pam.

Listener Recording

Educator Joël Vojenis from Lapalisse (LFHX) France tells us about taking his students on a parabolic flight.


747-400 at HARS

  • – Dedicated to the men and women of the United States Air Force that served within the Titan II system.


Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at

AirplaneGeeks 340 Designing Aircraft Propellers

E-2C+ Hawkeye

Conversation with an aircraft propeller designer, the ongoing search for MH370, LaGuardia Airport: Delta skids off the runway and the “perimeter rule” may become history, and NASA has plans for NP2000 propellers,


Anthony Falzone is the developer of the open source, public domain aircraft propeller design software named PROP_DESIGN.

We talk with Anthony about basic propeller design parameters and the mathematics involved. He tells us why propellers (which are really rotating wings) have different numbers of blades, and he explains propeller pitch, including variable pitch props.

PROP_DESIGN can be used to design aircraft propellers, but it also works for similar products such as propfans, open rotors, unducted fans, and geared turbofans. With the software, you can find the optimum geometry for any given operating condition, analyze takeoff condition, design swept blades, and much more.

Anthony is retired now, but he worked in the aerospace industry for over twelve years, holding positions at Hamilton Standard, Pratt & Whitney, McCauley Propeller Systems, and Atlantic Inertial Systems. He also did contract work for the Air Force Compressor Aero Research Lab, and designed the propeller for the General Atomics Predator B and Altair unmanned aerial vehicles.


Investigators find no unusual signs among MH370 pilots and cabin crew

On the March 8 anniversary of the disappearance of flight MH370, the Malaysian Ministry of Transport made available the MH370 Safety Investigation website, which provides links to the Interim Statement and Factual Information on the investigation of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.

Search for MH370 could end soon

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss has said the country’s search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 “cannot go on forever.” The current phase of the search is scheduled to end in May.

NTSB issues 2nd report about Delta accident at LaGuardia

The Delta Air Lines Inc. plane that skidded off a runway at LaGuardia Airport last week injured 23 passengers and damaged about 940 feet of the airport’s perimeter fence.

Flights Between New York LaGuardia And The West Coast May Not Be A Fairy Tale

You can fly from New York’s JFK airport to California, and you can fly from Newark Liberty airport to California, but under the “perimeter rule,” in most cases you can’t fly from LaGuardia to a destination more than 1,500 miles away. Except on Saturday or to Denver.

The perimeter rule was established in 1984 to combat overcrowding at LaGuardia, but the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is considering lifting the rule.

NASA selects UTC Aerospace Systems NP2000 Propellers and Electronic Propeller Control Systems for a P-3 aircraft

The NP 2000 propellers are large, 8-bladed propellers used on the Northrop Grumman E-2C Hawkeye (a tactical airborne early warning aircraft), the Grumman C-2A Greyhound (twin turboprop cargo plane used for aircraft carriers), and on C-130 Air National Guard aircraft.

NASA uses their P-3 for scientific investigations and as a technology test bed for new airborne and satellite instrumentation.

The Australia News Desk

Pilatus PC-24

Steve is solo this week as Grant returns from hot air balloon operations interstate. This week we present an interview with Andre Zimmerman from Pilatus Aircraft about the development of their new PC-24 business jet, recorded at the 2015 Australian International Airshow.


MH370 conspiracy theories and why we believe them – Rob Mark contributes to this video report.

Explore every yard of where planes go to die in amazing resolution: Bing unveils interactive map of biggest aircraft graveyard in the world – The map shows 2,600-acres of Arizona desert where several generations of military aircraft are stored. It lets you zoom in and look at the planes using an aerial view of the site.

Les Chevaliers du Ciel HD Promo – (Sky Fighters) with all actual footage.

New Hampshire lake is only ice runway in lower 48 states.

Mayday Machine – Talks about the NASA Ames Research Center, Intelligent Systems Division testing their Emergency Landing Planner software, and other automation issues.

Pilot Error – Trailer for the independent film.


Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at


AirplaneGeeks 339 Flying the B-52 in Two Wars

Boeing B-52D Stratofortress

Conversation with an aviation consultant, flying the B-52 in two different wars, special airline service for special customers, holding pilots accountable for safety, and reaching a Bombardier CSeries milestone.


Ken Curry is President/Owner of KC Aviation Consultants in Loveland, Colorado. We talk with Ken about being an aviation consultant, the current state of the FBO business, and flying the B-52 in the Vietnam and Cold Wars. Ken’s heavily damaged Boeing B-52D Stratofortress resides at the National Museum of the USAF in Dayton.

Established in 2001, KC Aviation provides consulting services to aviation businesses and venture capital firms.  They also assist private jet aircraft owners and buyers with corporate aircraft acquisitions, sales, and charter services.

Ken was formerly the President and COO of Jet Source, Inc. in Carlsbad, California where he was responsible for two fixed base operations with over 100 employees.

Prior to that he was Vice President and General Manager of Petersen Aviation for over 7 years, providing aviation fuel, terminal services, and commercial jet charter and aircraft management services in Van Nuys, California.

Before that, Ken was with British Aerospace, Inc. where his last position was Vice President of Marketing & Sales at Arkansas Aerospace, Inc. in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Ken served in the United States Air Force as a B-52 Pilot and Aircraft Commander.  He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and flew 157 missions in Southeast Asia, 27 of those missions over North Vietnam.


Did United Put a Whole Route in the Sky for One Very Important Passenger?

An investigation is underway to determine if the airline had improper “contacts or motives” when it provided the then Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey with his own weekly flights to South Carolina.

United Airlines Officials Highlight ‘Near-Misses’ in Safety Message to Pilots

United pilots received a safety bulletin after four incidents where flight crew errors were called “major safety events and near-misses.” The bulletin came from United’s senior vice president of flight operations, and vice president of corporate safety. Some feel the message doesn’t speak kindly of pilot professionalism.

At United Airlines, Does Making Money Trump Safety?

After the story came out about the United safety alert to pilots, Rob received some information that might call into question the motives of the airline.

Canada’s Bombardier Launches its Biggest Jetliner Yet

CS300 Maiden Flight

The Bombardier CS300 made a five hour maiden test flight from Montreal’s Mirabel airport on February 27, 2015. In its Press Release, Bombardier says the “aircraft and its systems performed as expected.” The plane reached an altitude of 41,000 feet (12,500 metres) and a speed of 255 knots (470 km/h).

The Australia News Desk

Avalon Airshow is over and the boys are recovering from the heat, the long distance walking and the aero-awesomeness. For this segment, they chatted with Flying Officer “Guns” about the lessons learned when the RAAF took some C130Js to Exercise Red Flag at the start of this year.

Listener Recording

Helmet and Goggles

Micah tells us the story of “Lew’s Flight of Fancy.”



Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at


AirplaneGeeks 338 The Most Important Mainstreet in any Town

Frontier at Knoxville

The Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority, air service to Cuba, Gulf carriers and U.S. airlines trade barbs, Emirates and the Boeing 787-8, the pilot shortage, and drone regulations.


Trevis Gardner is an Accredited Airport Executive (AAE) and Vice President of Operations with the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority, which operates McGhee Tyson Airport outside Knoxville Tennessee and Knoxville Downtown Island Airport. They are currently developing Oak Ridge Airport, a corporate aviation airport to support the Oak Ridge National Lab and National Security Complex.

Trevis is a native of East Tennessee and a graduate of Tusculum College and various military and community Leadership Programs. He’s worked with Knoxville Airport since 1991 in various roles, including Engineering Technician and Operations Manager.

Trevis served over 24 years with the USAF/Tenn Air National Guard as both a senior NCO and Commissioned Officer in a variety of capacities. He is Chairman of the Communications Committee for the Southeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives.


JetBlue to Increase Charter Service to Cuba

JetBlue Airways plans to increase its existing charter service to Cuba with an A320 aircraft, and wants to offer regular service when it becomes allowable.

Companies offering charter services to Cuba include ABC Charters, Xael Charters, Airline Brokers Co., C&T Charters, Cuba Travel Services, and Gulfstream Air Charter. To learn more about air travel from the U.S. to Cuba, see Travel to Cuba Q&A.

Emirates Airline rejects Delta apology over chief’s 9/11 comment

American, United and Delta claim that since 2004, Gulf carriers received more than $40 billion in government subsidies, which is unfair. They are asking the U.S. Government to renegotiate or kill treaties that have allowed Qatar and the United Arab Emirates airlines to increase flights to the U.S.

Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson responded to claims that U.S. bankruptcy protection amount to government assistance, making a reference to 9/11 that was not appreciated by Gulf carriers.

A Huge Boeing 747 Order? Unlikely but Possible

Will there be an Emirates order for 100 747-8’s? Unnamed sources say someone (not Boeing) is pitching the 747 to Emirates Airlines.

The Coming U.S. Pilot Shortage Is Real and Podcast: Is The Pilot Shortage For Real?

Contributing factors include the age 65 retirement rule in the U.S., fewer military pilots available to draw on, low (but improving) regional pilot salaries, the majors drawing on regionals for pilots, and fewer students entering aviation colleges looking for a commercial pilot career.

CNBC: Andrea James on the FAA’s new proposed drone regulations

Rob Mark and Andrea James (VP and Senior Research Analyst, Dougherty & Co.) talk about the proposed regulations for commercial use of small UAS.

The Inflight Movie of the Month

David Vanderhoof is back briefly to give his review of Flight of the Intruder . The movie stars Danny Glover, Willem daFoe, and Brad Johnson. More importantly it stars the Grumman A-6 Intruder. If you want plot read the book. If you want to see the preeminent Naval Strike aircraft of the 60-90s, then watch this movie.  Two out of Five Props.

2 props

The Australia News Desk

It’s almost time for the Avalon Airshow and the boys are getting excited about some of the new items that will be on display, including an Airbus A400M and an RQ-4 Global Hawk that has made its first landing at a civilian airport.

The date has been set for VH-OJA to make its final flight to the HARS museum at Wollongong: March 8th.

Air New Zealand confirms they won’t be doing a “retrojet” livery on their next 787-9 despite rumours saying that they would.

Matt Hall comes 2nd in the first heat of the Red Bull Air Race, being kept from first place by less than a second! Clearly the new winglets are doing something good on the track!

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute

Rob talks about frequent flyer programs, free flights, and ticket prices.


Northwest Montana by Morgan

Listener Morgan shared this photo taken while flying in Northwest Montana. The flight was out of Missoula (KMSO) north to Polson (8S1) and back in a rented 172K.

Flying Solo: Having one pilot in the cockpit might be scarier than having none

Safest Seat on a Plane: PM Investigates How to Survive a Crash

As this (intentional) 727 crash shows, you can survive

Killer Brace Position

Deep Freeze Cooling Down


Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at


AirplaneGeeks 337 Sky Jinks in the Jet Age

Convair 880

A replacement for the T-38 jet trainer, FAA releases proposed regulations for small UAS, the world’s largest airport terminal is planned for China, changes to airline rewards programs, great aviation stories, and discussions about pilot reliance on automation and the Delta refinery.


Steve Taylor is a graduate of The Citadel with a degree in civil engineering. He served six years as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force with service in Vietnam flying a C-130. Following a long flying career, he retired as an international airline captain. Along the way, Steve has flown the J-3 Cub, T-37, CV-880, DC-9, B-727, B-767, and L-1011. Steve’s autobiography, Wheels Up: Sky Jinks in the Jet Age, tells great true-life stories.

Steve has been a solo ocean sailor and holds a U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license. He has owned and operated a commercial construction company and is a Coastal Master Naturalist.


Northrop surprises with new design for U.S. Air Force trainer

The U.S. Air Force wants to replace the T-38 Talon with a new two-seat jet trainer. The T-X program anticipates at least 350 planes and Northrop Grumman has a prototype that they plan to fly this year. Its a clean sheet design.

FAA Releases Details of Proposed Rule 107 for Small Drones

The FAA announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for commercial use of small drones weighing less than 55 pounds. These unmanned aircraft must be operated within visual line of sight, under 500 feet AGL, and during daytime hours only. Operators would be required to pass an aeronautical knowledge test and obtain an unmanned aircraft operator certificate with a small UAS rating. Public comments can be made online at the website referencing Docket FAA-2015-0150.

Max and David provide an initial reaction to the NPRM in Episode 81 of The UAV Digest.

Zaha Hadid unveils plans for “world’s largest” airport terminal

Zaha Hadid Architects has unveiled plans for its Beijing New Airport Terminal Building, which it says will be the world’s largest. Reportedly, the 7.5 Million Square Foot facility is to be completed in 2018.

Southwest the latest airline to scale back rewards program

Effective April 17, Southwest rewards points will depend on the destination, time, day of travel, demand, and some other factors. Other airlines are making changes too: Delta Air Lines switched from miles traveled to dollars spent. United Airlines plans to switch to a similar plan.

Airplane of the Week

Jamie Dodson tells us about the Cessna 172.


Listener Mike’s homebuilt Sonex in Stow, Massachusetts:

Sonex in Deep Snow

Sonex in snow

C27J Spartan

C27J Spartan by James


Convair 880 Rollout Day image by San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive via Wikimedia Commons.

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at


AirplaneGeeks 336 Airplane Pre-Buy

Beechcraft King Air F90 and Don Sebastion

The airplane pre-buy process, an update on some recent aviation accidents, the safest seats on an airplane, ICAO  proposes an aircraft tracking standard, FAA Amends ADS-B Rule for General Aviation, building the Boeing 777x wing, and some aviation technology.


Don Sebastian is President of Aviation Consulting Services Incorporated and has performed over 2,000 pre-buys and flight tests. He was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, and holds a CFII and helicopter commercial and instrument ratings. Don testifies as an expert witness and has eight lecture tours under his belt. Outside of aviation, Don contributes his energy to a variety of community and charitable activities.

We talk with Don about the airplane pre-buy process: making a squawk list for the buyer, conducting flight tests, log book reviews, and maintenance record reviews.


To speak with Don about your airplane purchase, call:

+1 (910) 315-0099.


Preliminary Report on the Cirrus SR-22 Ditching near Hawaii

The NTSB released a preliminary report on the January 25, 2015 recovery parachute deployment over the waters near Maui, Hawaii. The pilot was unable to transfer fuel from the aft auxiliary fuel tank.

Surviving a Plane Crash: Does Where You Sit Make a Difference?

A University Of Greenwich, London study examined over 100 seating charts from plane crashes. People sitting close to the emergency exit rows were much more likely to survive.

ICAO Safety Conference Proposes New Aircraft Tracking Standard

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is recommending a performance-based tracking standard using existing and planned technologies and procedures. Aircraft flying in remote areas that do not have air traffic radar surveillance would report their position every 15 minutes. This can be achieved through onboard Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Contract (ADS-C), or Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B), and other connectivity solutions.

Industry Group Opposes ICAO’s New Aircraft Tracking Standard for Business Jets

The International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) says the ICAO tracking standard should exempt aircraft with 19 passenger seats or less.

FAA Amends ADS-B Rule

The FAA has corrected the May 2010 final rule on ADS-B requirements for general aviation. The rule required that ADS-B equipment must meet the requirements of certain TSOs. Now the FAA says the equipment must “meet the performance requirements” in those TSOs.

Boeing’s 777X Wing Plant Sprouts Steel

Orginally, the composite wing for the 777X was to be manufactured in Japan. Boeing decided to keep the technology in Washington State and is building a 1.3M square foot plant at a cost of $1B to build and equip.

Formula One technology to be used in jet engines

UK industry and government project funding includes using McLaren’s Formula 1 gearbox expertise future jet engines, and landing gear using electric motors to taxi without burning fuel.

Full scale mach 5.5 cruising Sabre engine on track for 2019

Reaction Engines says they’ll have a static demonstration of the SABRE engine by 2019. The engine uses proprietary pre-coolers and starts in air-breathing mode up to Mach 5.5. It then transitions to rocket engine mode.up to Mach 25 using stored liquid oxygen.

Airplane of the Week

Avro Canada C-102 Jetliner

Avro Canada C102 Jetliner by Jamie Dodson. The jetliner that never was.

The Australia News Desk

Qantas’ first 747-400 VH-OJA is being donated to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) at Wollongong where the arrival is likely to be rather spectacular.

Virgin Australia are closing off their New Zealand based Pacific Blue operations.

The outback’s version of The Onion newspaper has run an amusingly false story of a pilot who tried to land on top of Ayres Rock (aka Uluru).

The Aviation Minute

Rob Mark talks about pilot wages.

Airplane Geeks on Ice

Report 7 by Juan Fernandez from McMurdo Bay brings to a close the Airplane Geeks on Ice series about aviation in Antarctica. Be sure to visit Juan’s Photo Gallery for some great photographs and videos.



Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at

AirplaneGeeks 335 Flying in Luxury

Lufthansa 737-500 photo copyright Jurgen

Converting airliners to private/corporate jets, a ballistic recovery parachute deployment, American Airlines pilots approve their contract, the Bombardier Learjet 85 is on hold, and the B747-8 is chosen for Air Force One.


Kent Scott is CEO and Founder of Trident 737 ER, LLC, which is in the business of modifying the Boeing 737 into private/corporate jets. He’s had a lifelong career in aviation that includes serving as President and COO of Emery Worldwide Airlines, Senior Flight Training Captain at American International Airlines (Kalitta), and VP-Flight Operations at Polar Air Cargo. Kent was also a 727 and DC-8 captain at Evergreen International Airlines, and Captain at Trans World Airlines, where he was elected head of the 4,000-member TWA Pilot union.


Video Shows Plane Using Parachute to Ditch into Ocean Near Maui

A Cirrus SR-22 on a ferry flight to Australia with a low fuel indication deployed the recovery parachute over the ocean near Hawaii. A National Guard C-130 captured video of the event.

Pilots Union Approves Contract With Airline

Nearly 95 percent of the eligible American Airlines pilots voted, with about 66 percent of them approving a new contract. They’ll receive an immediate 23% pay increase, and a 3% annual increase for the next five years.

Bombardier Learjet 85: Window of Opportunity Slams Shut

The Learjet 85 is “on hold” due to “weakness of the market.” Bombardier President and CEO Pierre Beaudoin says, “We will focus our resources on our two other clean-sheet aircraft programs under development, CSeries and Global 7000/8000.” A number of manufacturing cost cutting strategies have run into difficulties.

Limited Impact for Boeing in Air Force One Win

Under the Presidential Airlift Recapitalization program, the Boeing 747-8 has been selected as the next-generation Air Force One.

Airplane of the Week

Douglas F4D-1 Skyray

David Vanderhoof tells us the history of the Douglas F4D-1 Skyray.

The Australia News Desk

Bens new Cessna 172

With Grant stuck half way between Melbourne and Sydney with car troubles and lack of connectivity, Ben Jones steps in to join Steve instead this week.

Ben recently purchased a Cessna 172 on the east coast of Australia and flew it nearly 2,000nm back to his home base in Perth, Western Australia.  In this segment he talks about the buying experience, pre-purchase inspections and the 5 day trek back to Perth, dealing with the odd weather complication and instrument hiccup.

Airplane Geeks on Ice


In his 6th report, Juan Fernandez from McMurdo Bay in Antarctica tells us about rotorcraft at the continent at the bottom or the world.


The newly launched NATS blog includes an interactive 360 panorama view from inside Heathrow Tower in London, a view very rarely seen by members of the public.


Lufthansa 737-500 photo copyright Jurgen.

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at



AirplaneGeeks 334 The NACA Centennial

NACA hangar

A symposium celebrating the formation of NACA 100 years ago, an AirAsia Flight 8501 update, slimline seats and passenger comfort, how to deboard quickly, and a Mars rover equipped with a drone.


Dr. Bill Barry is NASA’s sixth Chief Historian. Prior to his appointment in September 2010, Bill served as the NASA European Representative at the United States Embassy in Paris and at NASA Headquarters as a Senior International Programs Specialist and leader of the Russia Team in the Office of External Relations.

Bill is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, he also holds a Masters Degree from Stanford University and a Doctorate from Oxford University. He’s a pilot who holds a commercial, instrument ticket for multi-engine land and glider and is (oddly enough) currently working on his single engine rating.

Bill is one of the organizers of The NACA Centenary: A Symposium on 100 Years of Aerospace Research and Development to be held at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.  on March 3-4, 2015.

Congress established the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) on March 3, 1915. In 1958, NACA was transitioned and become NASA.

Find the NASA History Program Office at, and lots of great photos on Flickr.


AirAsia Flight 8501 update:

Divers have retrieved some bodies from a section of fuselage that sits about 100 feet down in the Java Sea. Efforts to raise the fuselage have failed. Reports attribute the difficulty to deflating lifting balloons, snapped ropes around the fuselage, and even breakup of the fuselage.

United just built 14 new planes using your extra legroom

United Airlines plans to grow capacity by 1.5% to 2.5% across its entire fleet, through a combination of new planes and new seats on old planes. The new seats are slimline seats. Installation on 300 aircraft gives United the equivalent capacity of 14 additional aircraft. Thinner seats mean you can fit more in with the same seat pitch. Or even more rows with slightly less seat pitch.

The way we get off airplanes makes absolutely no sense

Airlines try different boarding strategies. Sometimes to minimize total boarding time. Sometimes to support a passenger differentiation strategy. But what about at the other end of the trip? The 2014 study “Structured deplaning via simulation and optimization” showed that deboarding by aisle rather than row could cut time by up to 35%.

NASA planning Mars Helicopter to assist future rovers

These days two things are red hot: Mars rovers and drones. The rovers are accomplishing great science and sending us amazing photographs. Drones seem to be showing up everywhere, and are also creating fantastic images. So what if you had a Mars rover that came with its own drone?

The Australia News Desk

Steve and Grant

It’s Australia Day and the boys are taking a few minutes out from a BBQ to record a quick OzDesk with mentions of special Australia Day items, including:

  • The Royal Australian Navy had their new Landing Helicopter Dock HMAS Canberra on Sydney Harbour while Qantas flew an A380 over the harbour.
  • Meanwhile, in the USA, SQNLDR .Andrew “Jacko” Jackson starts his F35 training on Australia Day.
  • Finally, Steve gives some information about Positive Train Control after Max asked for his input last week.

Airplane Geeks on Ice

Report 5 by Juan Fernandez from McMurdo Bay in Antarctica. More at

Listener Recording

Tony Morley on the 1993 Royal International Air Tattoo.


Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at


AirplaneGeeks 333 The Airport Experience, From Roadway to Runway

Washington Dulles International Airport

Managing airport customer service, new TSA security measures, guns on a plane, FAA NPRM rules, the NTSB 10 most wanted, new airline routes, and the inaugural Airplane Geeks Inflight Movie of the Month.


Dennis Hazell is Manager, Customer Service at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Dennis supports the terminal and airfield operations, while focusing on the overall customer service experience at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Prior to joining the Airports Authority in June 2007, Dennis spent twenty-three years with American Airlines.  He began his career as a flight attendant, and accepted management positions in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Tulsa, Albany, Richmond, and Washington Dulles, where he spent the last ten years as the General Manager.

He has also been involved in several community activities including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, The United Way, and working with The George Washington University-Virginia Campus in focusing attention on STEM education.  He also serves as a Board Director for the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Follow Washington Dulles International Airport on Twitter and Instagram.


TSA Considering New Security Measures for Airport Workers

The Department of Homeland Security announced some additional security measures: enhanced screening for airline employees, some random security checks, and more patrols in secure areas by the TSA and law enforcement. The Aviation Security Advisory Committee has been asked to look into airport security.

TSA: Inspector had .22-caliber revolver in carry-on bag

An FAA Aviation Safety Inspector was passing through a security checkpoint at New York’s LaGuardia airport, after arriving from Atlanta, and a loaded firearm was discovered in his carry-on bag. He was arrested, saying it was his wife’s gun and he forgot he had it.

Instrument Sim Rule Rescinded

The FAA issued a final rule Dec. 3 that allowed up to 20 hours on an approved simulator for instrument training. Before that it was up to 10 hours. Now the FAA is withdrawing the rule.

New rules are established through the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) process. The FAA normally issues an NPRM, followed by a public comment period before the final rule is released. Here, the FAA issued the rule first, with the comment period after. But in that case, if anyone objects to the rule, it is rescinded. Two people objected.

NTSB 2015 Most Wanted List

The annual TSA Most Wanted List represents the Board’s 10 advocacy priorities. Some are directed at aviation, and some at other modes of transportation.

New Routes can lead to lower fares

Route expansions may not seem like exciting news, but they’re a bigger deal than you probably think. Why? Because they often spark competition between airlines and drive down fares on multiple carriers.

The Aviation Movie of the Month

This week, David starts the inaugural Airplane Geeks Inflight Movie of the Month: Always, the modern retelling of A Guy Named Joe. So what did David think? 4 out of 5 props.

4 props

The Australia News Desk

B767-338 VH-OGM

B767-338 VH-OGM departs Sydney for the final time on January 7th. Image by Damien Aiello.

Grant’s tired after completing his CASA panel interview process for aircraft maintenance management and Steve’s hungover after a few too many red wines with the “Infrequent Flyer” himself at the Members’ Reserve in the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Oh my!!!

Despite this, the boys still manage to report on:

  • More Qantas 767s flying to the Alice Springs boneyard (where a UT-Air Antonov 74-200 may wind up if it’s not careful!)

Aviation Museum Review

Brian Coleman visited the Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of New Jersey in Teterboro, New Jersey and brings us his report.

Airplane Geeks on Ice

Juan Fernandez

Report 4 by Juan Fernandez from McMurdo Bay in Antarctica. See more at

Listener Recording

Micah tells the story of “Undergraduate Air.”


  • The Igor Sikorsky Weekend Seminar at the Bradford Camps in the North Maine Woods with Igor Sikorsky III.


Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at



AirplaneGeeks 332 Inflight Entertainment with Spafax

Spafax at APEX

Creating content for airlines, a Chinese naval fighter emerges, strong airline passenger demand, record Boeing and Airbus deliveries, United flight attendants file OSHA complaint, the world’s safest airlines, and on-time performance at airports.


Al St. Germain is Senior Vice President, USA for Spafax, one of the leading inflight entertainment providers in the world.  Spafax provides content for over 30 different airlines, overseeing licensing, programming, fulfillment and technical services.  In addition to that role, Al serves as publisher of APEX Experience, the official media platform for the Airline Passenger Experience Association, one of the industry’s leading trade groups.

Prior to Spafax, Al worked at both Delta and United in roles ranging from brand management to product development.  At United, he worked particularly closely with the Onboard Services Group.

Al started his career at noted branding firm Landor Associates, where he managed design projects ranging from airline liveries to airport counters to snack bags, all for Delta Air Lines.  Al was also part of the original team that came up with Delta Song.

APEX Experience

Visit and follow them on Twitter at @Spafax. Al tweets at @alstg. Find the APEX Experience blog at and on Twitter at @theAPEXassoc.

Mentioned in the Conversation


First photo of the fully operative Chinese rivals to the US Navy F-18

The Chinese naval fighter Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark is operational. This carrier jet is believed to be based on the Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-33.

IATA: Healthy Passenger Demand in November – Domestic Markets Driving Growth

IATA released the latest air passenger numbers, and they look good. RPK (revenue passenger kilometers) is up 6.0% over November 2013. November capacity up 5.4% and load factor up to 76.7%. All this is mostly driven by growth in domestic markets, particularly in China and India.

Boeing reports record orders, deliveries to airlines in 2014

Boeing and Airbus both set records for airplane deliveries in 2014. Boeing delivered 723 commercial airplanes, a company record. Airbus is reported to have broken their record also, but the official statement isn’t out. In 2014, Boeing booked 1,432 orders worth $232.7B at list price. Boeing’s commercial order book shows 5,789 airplanes at year-end, a company high.

Fired United Airlines flight attendants say they were spooked by this message 

In July 2014, someone drew in the oil film on one of the engines of a United flight scheduled from San Francisco to Hong Kong. Thirteen flight attendants saw that as a threat, refused to fly, and were subsequently fired for insubordination.

Now they want to be rehired and filed a whistleblower complaint with OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, under the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century, which protects employees from retaliation for opposing violation of air-safety or air-security standards.

World’s Safest Airlines for 2015

Safety and product rating review website Airline has announced its top ten safest airlines, and also its top ten safest low cost airlines.

OAG Punctuality League 2014: On-time performance results for airlines and airports

Aviation Intelligence company OAG announced their on time performance ratings in their Punctuality League 2014 report.

The Australia News Desk

Captain Jack Curtis. Photo from Aero Australia Magazine.

Captain Jack Curtis. Photo from Aero Australia Magazine.

The boys received the sad news of the passing of Captain Jack Curtis, an icon in the aviation scene down under, particularly in relation to DC-3s. In this week’s segment, they give us an interview Grant recorded with Jack in November 2013. He was a great pilot and a top bloke. Blue skies, Jack!

Airplane Geeks on Ice

Report 3 by Juan Fernandez from McMurdo Bay in Antarctica. Listener Vic was inspired to send us the link to a video of a DC-3 rescue in Antarctica.

Visit for more information and great photos.


Skytrans Dash8-102-VH-QQF-5 by ryanhothersall

Skytrans Dash8-102-VH-QQF-5 by ryanhothersall

787 nose stand


Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at