AirplaneGeeks 363 A Chat with David and Max

Two F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters

The F-35B goes operational, sparks in the cabin on United Airlines flight, AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 facts and figures, the spat between (and among) US and Middle East airlines, and airline fees in the spotlight.


Marine Corps declared F-35B operational

After a five-day Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI) in July, the U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning II aircraft reached initial operational capability. The Yuma, Arizona-based Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) is now operational with the F-35B variant.

United Airlines flight makes emergency return to London

A United Airlines 777 flying Los Angeles declared an emergency and returned to London Heathrow Airport after sparks were seen coming out of first class seats and passengers reported smelling smoke.

United Airlines flight diverted to Indy after dropping 10,000 feet

United flight 5919 enroute to Chicago from Charlotte was rerouted to Indianapolis after it dropped 10,000 feet. The cause for the loss of altitude is unknown at this time.

AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 Facts and Figures

This year’s event saw an attendance of approximately 550,000, more than 10,000 aircraft, 2,668 show planes, 976 vintage airplanes, 350 warbirds, 130 ultralights and light-sport aircraft, 101 seaplanes, 30 rotorcraft, and 50 aerobatic aircraft. There were over 800 commercial exhibitors, 1,048 forums and workshops attended by more than 75,000 people.

New group further divides airline association’s membership

Delta, United, and American have gone on the offensive alleging that the Qatar and United Arab Emirates state-owned airlines are subsidized in violation of the Open Skies agreements. Now, JetBlue Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, FedEx, and Atlas Air Worldwide have formed a coalition with a different viewpoint.

Hawaiian CEO Mark Dunkerley says, “The Big 3 do not speak for all, or even most, U.S. airlines. Our coalition believes that the United States should honor its Open Skies commitments, which opens markets for U.S. carriers, promotes competition on international and domestic routes, and facilitates U.S. exports.”

To learn more about the issues involved here, see:

Sen. Nelson: Airlines collected $38 billion in fees

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson from Florida wondered why the cost to fly is going up when the cost of fuel has gone down and airline profits are up, so he commissioned a study. Nelson learned that in 2014, airlines collected $38B in fees. The report found a lack of relationship between the price a fee and the cost to provide the service, and that fees are not proportional to ticket price.

The US Airlines Industry: Sky High Prices Drive Soaring Profits

An infographic that shows the US airline industry contributes nearly $1.5 trillion in economic activity in the US alone and generates over 11 million jobs. Airfare has been steadily increasing in price since 1995, however, when you account for inflation, the actual value of the tickets has decreased.

The Australia News Desk

Virgin Australia to use their subsidiary TigerAir on flights to Bali as well as completely pulling out of flights to Phuket.

Virgin are also converting 17 of their 737-800 orders into 737 MAX 8 orders (and delaying them – saving more money) which will give them a total of 40 orders … eventually.

Moody’s upgrades Qantas’ credit rating

Alliance Aviation Services sending its fleet of Fokkers up to Slovakia for heavy maintenance ‘cos it’s cheaper to fly all the way from Australia to Europe than maintain a heavy maintenance facility in Australia.

Across the Pond

Pieter talks to FlightChic Marisa Garcia about Baggage Tracking from Emirates, the KLM App and Apple Watch interface, and why Ryanair are no longer basing aircraft in Denmark.


S2F Firecats and an OV-10 Bronco

S2F Firecats and an OV-10 Bronco

Does the F-35 really suck in air combat?

Dambusters pilot Les Munro dies in New Zealand aged 96

Delta Private Jets – Not Your Ordinary Medallion Upgrade

Dispute with JetBlue over dog carrier leaves travelers from Florida grounded in Portland


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

AirplaneGeeks 362 The Doctor is in… Talking About Medical Issues

Doctor (and pilot) Stephanie Plummer on inflight medical emergencies, hypoxia, 3rd class medical reform, and more. News on MH370, cosmic rays and passenger safety, an emergency Allegiant Airlines landing, and hackers hit United Airlines. Also, the NASA UTM Drone conference, the CH-46 Retirement Ceremony at the National Air & Space Museum, an Australia Desk, and plane spotting the 427th Special Operations Squadron.


Dr. Stephanie Plummer

Dr. Stephanie Plummer

Dr. Stephanie Plummer is a frequent co-host on the Airline Pilot Guy podcast. She’s an instrument-rated commercial pilot who flies primarily for personal enjoyment. As a physician, Dr. Steph answers the occasional listener question regarding in-flight or aviation-related medical topics.

We talk about the frequency of inflight medical emergencies, medical supplies on airlines, and what you do if you are a doctor on a flight and the call for help goes out. Also, we cover the three classes of aviation medicals in the US, and the role of aviation medical examiners, and 3rd class medical reform for private pilots.

Dr. Steph gives us a good tutorial on the forms and effects of hypoxia, time of useful consciousness, and effective performance time. She tells us about hypoxic hypoxia, hypemic hypoxia, carbon monoxide poisoning, stagnant hypoxia, and histotoxic hypoxia.

In her day job, Dr Plummer is a physician practicing in the Charlotte, NC area.  She has a degree in Osteopathic Medicine (DO) from what was formerly The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, now part of Rowan University, School of Osteopathic Medicine.  She completed a traditional rotating internship through the Crozer-Keystone Healthcare System in the Philadelphia area and then did her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. Dr Plummer then went on to a fellowship program for interventional spine and now she works with a predominantly Orthopedic Spine group as one of their non-surgical providers.

Aviation Medical Resources

FAA AC 121-33B Emergency Medical Equipment (PDF)

FAA AC 121-34B Emergency Medical Equipment Training (PDF)

Outcomes of Medical Emergencies on Commercial Airline Flights from The New England Journal of Medicine.

What medical conditions does the FAA consider disqualifying? from FAA Pilot Medical Certification Questions and Answers.

A Guide for Prospective FAA Aviation Medical Examiners from FAA Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) Training.

Aviation Physiology (PDF), common medical considerations affecting pilots in flight. A booklet from FAA.


MH370: Reunion debris discovery lifts hopes for missing flight clues

Boeing 777 Wing Flaperon (Part_No._657_BB)Last week, a piece of a Boeing 777 called a “flaperon” was found washed up on Reunion Island, in the western Indian Ocean. If it proves to be from MH370, which is likely, it may provide clues about the missing jetliner.

Long-haul air passengers at risk from cosmic rays, government fears

The earth’s atmosphere provides some degree of protection against cosmic rays. The higher you go, the less atmosphere you have above you blocking this high-energy radiation. We’ve seen studies in the past that suggest pilots are vulnerable to long term effects. Now solar radiation in the form of magnetically charged particles is of concern. Public Health England (PHE) has established The Cosmic Radiation Advisory Group, which includes experts from British Airways, the Cabinet Office, the Department of Health, the Met Office, and some universities.

Allegiant Air pilot pleads with tower to make emergency landing

An Allegiant Airlines pilot with a fuel emergency wanted to land at Fargo’s Hector International Airport. The airport was closed because the Blue Angels were practicing for an air show, and an exchange between the pilot and the tower ensued.

Hackers with ties to China said to breach United Airlines

A group of China-backed hackers has been linked to a May or June attack on United Airlines. This is supposedly the same group that breached the US Office of Personnel Management and health insurer Anthem Inc. The hackers may had had access to passenger lists and information about United’s mergers and acquisitions strategy. But they don’t know for sure.

Airplane of the Week

CH-46 Retirement Ceremony Arrival

Photos courtesy David W. Aungst

David attended the CH-46 Sea Knight “Phrog” retirement ceremony at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.  David interviews:

  • Corporal Greg Hamper, HMX-1 MV-22 Crew Chief.
  • Major P.B. Benning, HMX-1 MV-22 and former CH-46E pilot.
  • Lt. Colonel Dominic DeFazio, Commanding Officer HMM-774 and pilot of BuNo 153369, the retiring CH-46E.


Be sure to see the article Phrog Farewell by museum specialist Roger Connor, and the fly-in video CH-46 Retirement Ceremony Aug 1, 2015.

Gen. J.R. “Jack” Dailey, USMC (Ret.)

Gen. J.R. “Jack” Dailey, USMC (Ret.)

DM Vanderhoof

Special thanks to Nick Partridge and Sarah Banks of the National Air & Space Museum.

The Australia News Desk

HATS 135 factory acceptance No.1. (Airbus Helicopters)

HATS 135 factory acceptance No.1. (Airbus Helicopters)

It’s a week of firsts for the Australian Defence Force as the boys give progress on still more new or updated airframes coming down under:

Meanwhile, Qantas long-haul pilots have approved a new wage deal.

But it’s terrible news for the Australian helicopter charter industry as Bronwyn Bishop resigns (Satire).


The UAV Digest Episode 106, UAS Traffic Management

Observations from the NASA Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Traffic Management Convention, including the Amazon Prime Air proposal for drone traffic management.

The LogBook

A podcast by Embry Riddle Aeronautical University student Lucas Weakley with aviation stories told in the first person.

427th Special Operations Squadron

You didn’t see this:



Brian’s United 737-8 window seat…

Brian's United 737-8 window seat


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

AirplaneGeeks 361 A Solar Impulse Pilot, a Cirrus Pilot, and an Oshkosh Debrief

Solar Impulse 2 Hawaii

We interview Solar Impulse 2 pilot André Borschberg, and Rob gives us an AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 debrief. We also talk with Rick Beach, the Safety Chair of the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association.

Guest André Borschberg

The Solar Impulse 2 is attempting to become the first solar powered aircraft to fly around the world. This is a privately financed effort led by Swiss engineer and businessman André Borschberg and Swiss psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard. They are also the pilots for the Solar Impulse, but since the plane has only one seat, they’ve been alternating legs on this around the world trip. In this episode we talk with André Borschberg, who flew the most recent leg from Japan to Hawaii over a period of five days, setting a new world record for solo flight.

Andre_Borschberg_HawaiiThe Solar Impulse 1 first flew in 2009, and was designed to fly for up to 36 hours. In July 2010, it became the first solar plane to fly for more than 24 hours, including nearly 9 hours of night flight. In 2013, it flew a multi-stop flight across the entire United States.

The Solar Impulse 2 carries over 17,000 solar cells which can generate 66 kW of power during peak sunlight. It’s 73 feet long, has a wingspan of 236 feet, and weighs just 5,100 pounds.

The aircraft carries 1400 pounds of Lithium-ion batteries that drive four 17.4 horsepower electric motors, each swinging a 13-foot long propeller. Maximum speed is 77 knots, though typically the plane flies at 33 knots at night to save power when the aircraft is running off just battery power.

During the daytime, when maximum power is available, the batteries are charged to 100% of capacity and the aircraft climbs to about 29,000 feet. At night, the aircraft is allowed to slowly drift down to about 6,000 feet, to minimize the drain on the batteries. Even so, the batteries typically discharge to about 15% to 20% of total capacity before the sun comes up and the cycle is repeated.

Solar Impulse 2

The real limit to how far the Solar Impulse can fly is the pilot. On multi-day flights, the pilots take 20 minute naps that only about 2 ½ hours during a 24-hour period. Yoga and other exercises are used to maintain alertness.

Guest Rick Beach

Rick is Aviation Safety Chair of the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association. He wanted to understand how pilot behavior needed to change to fully take advantage of the innovative safety features on the Cirrus and other aircraft. Rick wanted to know why pilots were crashing and he found that it was because of the way pilots were making risk assessments.


Rick has a life-long interest in aviation, but didn’t start pilot training until 2001 when he bought a Cirrus SR22 based on its safety and technology features, as well as the strong pilots and owners community. Rick now has over 3500 hours in the Cirrus.

Cirrus, of course, has an airframe parachute system and Rick began studying Cirrus accidents to uncover reasons why pilots did not use the system. He even coined the phrase “Pull Early, Pull Often!” to encourage pilots to use the system before the situation turned dire.

Rick chaired the Cirrus Pilot Proficiency Program, encouraged Cirrus Aircraft to focus on telling the story of successful parachute saves, and has participated in three NTSB investigations contributing operational knowledge of Cirrus pilot procedures and especially training.

Now Rick is working on a concept for the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) University to expand their safety activities, funded in part by a charitable COPA Safety and Education Foundation.

AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

Rob attended AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 and was an instructor at the EAA Pilot Proficiency Center. He gives us his observations from the event.

Society of Aviation and Flight Educators – SAFE is a member-oriented organization of aviation educators fostering professionalism and excellence in aviation.

NASA-Pioneered Automatic Ground-Collision Avoidance System Operational

Third Class Medical Reform heated up during Oshkosh week:

Drones got a lot of attention with Jack Pelton underscoring their importance. Embry-Riddle was there to talk about their drone degree and a drone cage was set up for demonstrations. Ghost Drone and other Chinese manufacturers exhibited their products.

The Australia News Desk

The boys are back in the studio and Grant’s trying VERY hard not to explode over the news that Qantas is doing very well thanks to Alan Joyce. It’s not that they haven’t turned the corner and improved their stock price, it’s more that they’ve done it despite Joyce’s previous management disasters.

Meanwhile, Qantas’ competitor Virgin Australia got the gong for most punctual domestic carrier in June. Nice to see as they’ve been out of the running for a while.

And if you missed last week’s full Australia News Desk report….and trust us, you did…you can find it over here: Episode 360: Grant Made it to Fiji.


Lou Lenart

Lou Lenart

Lou Lenart is one of the men featured in “Above and Beyond,” Nancy Spielberg’s documentary film about Jewish pilots from the U.S. who established Israel’s air defenses. Lenart died from congestive heart failure at age 94. In AirplaneGeeks 348 we talked with Harold Livingston, who also appears in the Spielberg documentary.


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


AirplaneGeeks 360 Different Sides of Aviation

Conversation with a retired charter pilot and freight dog, UTC agrees to sell Sikorsky to Lockheed Martin, Solar Impulse 2 grounded, a SkyWest high altitude “slow speed event,” new NASA astronauts, Piper woes, fault found with an air traffic controller, and United pays out in bug bounty program.


Kimber C. Turner

Kimber C. Turner

Kimber C. Turner is both a retired airline pilot with over 18,000 hours of flight time, and a former radio talk show host. Now he is out of the sky and off of the air. In his retirement, Captain Turner does some voiceover work, and an occasional guest spot on the radio.  He also writes a book now and then.

Kimber was a Captain on the Airbus A-300 for the last ten years of his career and a Captain on the Boeing 727 before that.  He has written three books so far.

The first is “Crooked Creek Farm” which is a humor book about a city family moving to the farm.

The other two books are aviation-related. Freight Dog: The Dark Side of Aviation is an exposé and memoir that covers Kimber’s path to an airline career at DHL, and the company’s missteps and eventual downfall.  Kimber flew for DHL for over 24 years.

In Learjets and Layovers: The Bright Side of Aviation, Kimber shares tales of adventurous travel and layovers in exotic locals and encounters with celebrities during his charter and airline days.

Find Kimber at, and on


United Technologies Announces Agreement To Sell Sikorsky Aircraft

United Technologies plans to sell Sikorsky to Lockheed Martin for $9 billion in cash. Sikorsky will become part of Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training division, and not a separate entity.

United Technologies is the parent corporation of aerospace companies Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky, Hamilton Sundstrand, and Goodrich, and building and industrial systems companies Otis, Carrier, and Kidde.

Solar Impulse 2 to stay grounded in Hawaii until next April at earliest

The flight across the Pacific was considered to be the riskiest part of the Solar Impulse 2’s journey around the world. And they successfully completed the leg to Hawaii. But there was a problem with the batteries: They overheated on the first day of the trip from Japan to Hawaii. Lacking any means to cool them down, the batteries are ruined. The Solar Impulse 2 will stay in Hawaii until repairs can be made.

After Plane Stalls Mid-Flight, FAA Slaps SkyWest with Altitude and Speed Restrictions

The FAA says last April, a SkyWest plane experienced a stall en route from Denver to Oklahoma City. The plane rapidly descended from 39,000 feet to 27,000 feet, then landed without incident at Oklahoma City.

In a statement to ABC News, SkyWest said, “Months ago, one SkyWest CRJ aircraft experienced an isolated slow speed event, which is when an aircraft reaches less than optimal speeds. The aircraft’s slow speed alert systems functioned perfectly, and the crew responded appropriately with a 4,000-foot descent. No stall occurred.”

NASA picks 4 astronauts to fly 1st commercial space missions in couple years; all test pilots

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden named four test pilots who will fly on capsules built by private companies SpaceX and Boeing. The commercial crew astronauts are:

  • Air Force Col. Robert Behnken, who was head of the astronaut office;
  • Air Force Col. Eric Boe, part of shuttle Discovery’s last crew;
  • retired Marine Col. Douglas Hurley, pilot of the final shuttle crew; and
  • Navy Capt. Sunita Williams, who has been to the International Space Station twice.

Piper To Lay Off Up To 150 Workers

Sales are sluggish and Piper plans to cut its workforce of 750 employees by 15 to 20 percent.

Newark air traffic controller blamed for near collision, but was it really his fault?

An ExpressJet Embraer waited 15 seconds before starting his takeoff roll, which allowed a United Airlines jet to fly closer to the runway intersection at Newark Liberty International Airport where the near collision occurred. The NTSB says fault lies solely on the Newark air traffic controller.

United Airlines Pays a Man a Million Miles for Reporting Bug

Jordan Wiens, owner of the security firm Vector 35, found a remote-code execution flaw in United’s website and won a million miles in the United bug bounty program.

Aircraft of the Week

David tells the story of FRED, which has a familiar ring to it.. Due to cost overruns, some wanted the program cancelled. After several expensive fixes, Congress didn’t want to let the Air Force retire the aircraft.

The Australia News Desk

Well, Grant finally made it away for his vacation….but not to Bali as originally planned.  Instead, he and his lovely wife flew halfway across the Pacific to Fiji.  Now, of course, you’d think he’d be living it up on the beach and all, but Grant still managed to find his way to a local airport from where he filed a quick report for us.

1948 Cessna 195

1948 Cessna 195

Otter Departing

Otter Departing

DragonFly Luxury Yacht

DragonFly Luxury Yacht

Look Left Look Right Look Up

Look Left Look Right Look Up

Across the Pond

French Navy Rafale - Air Day 2015 Copyright XTPMedia

French Navy Rafale – Air Day 2015 Copyright XTPMedia

Pieter reports in from Air Day 2015 where he gets to see the new Mk1 Swordfish in the air as well as the Seafire from the Royal Navy Historic Flight. The show is lit up with lots of great aviation noise, notably from the Avro Vulcan XH558 “The Spirit of Great Britain” making her last season of displays and the RNHF Sea Vixrn. But Pieter’s report leaves us with the sound of the French Navy Rafale doing its solo display after displaying with two Super Etendards.

RNHF Sea Vixen - Air Day 2015 Copyright XTPMedia

RNHF Sea Vixen – Air Day 2015 Copyright XTPMedia


  • Max was Adam Knight’s guest on Episode 16 of the Go Flying Australia Podcast, talking about UAV’s.

Listener Photos

Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display

Photos from the June 20, 2015 event at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum by Kevin:





Aerial Firefighting in California

David sent in this dramatic photo:



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

AirplaneGeeks 359 Jack Pelton Previews AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 by DeKevin Thornton

We talk with Jack Pelton, Chairman of the Board of the Experimental Aircraft Association about EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015.


Jack Pelton is Chairman of the Board of the Experimental Aircraft Association (the EAA). He’s 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 California. Jack 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).

We talk with Jack about EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015, taking place July 20-26, 2015. Besides the forums and educational sessions, #OSH15 visitors can expect to see daily air shows, a 45-year anniversary salute to the Apollo 13 mission, and events celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Curtis Pitts, the 75th anniversary of the Aircoupe, and major anniversaries of the beginning of World War II and the Battle of Britian. A B-52 landing at AirVenture is planned, two F-35s will be on display, and two F-22s will conduct a demonstration flight.

A row of Howard DGAs at Airventure Oshkosh 2014

A row of Howard DGAs at Airventure Oshkosh 2014

The New Goodyear Airship “Wingfoot One” will make an appearance, and Burt Rutan is scheduled to appear, arriving in a Beech Starship. A number of Viet Nam-era aircraft will be at Oshkosh, and so will an Airbus A350. WomenVenture takes place again, and Embry-Riddle hosts a sUAS challenge in the Aviation Gateway Park.

Ford Motor Company is once again supporting the Experimental Aircraft Association’s youth aviation programs by unveiling and donating for auction a one-of-a-kind Mustang.

Find the Experimental Aircraft Association and AirVenture Oshkosh information at, follow them on Twitter at @EAA, and on Facebook and Instagram.

Also, be sure to catch the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Webcams and LiveATC.


Historic Spitfire soars in record-breaking London sales

Supermarine Spitfire P9347 sold for £3,106,500 ($4,784,010) at auction. American philanthropist and art collector Thomas Kaplan sold the Spitfire to benefit the RAF Benevolent Fund and several other charitable organizations. Kaplan also gifted a second Spitfire N3200 to the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

Boeing just patented a jet engine powered by lasers and nuclear explosions

The US Patent and Trademark Office has approved Boeing patent application 9,068,562, Laser-powered propulsion system. In one embodiment, an airplane engine uses lasers fired at radioactive material like deuterium or tritium to create a nuclear fusion reaction. The hydrogen or helium exhaust byproducts exit the rear of the engine and provide thrust. Coolant heated from the reaction drives a turbine and generator to produce electricity that powers the lasers.

Boeing Beats Airbus in June

The Motley Fool used the Boeing Orders & Deliveries Tool to examine June orders and found 161 planes ordered by customers. These were 131 single-aisle 737 commercial airliners, 24 Boeing 777s, five 787 Dreamliners, and one 747. Airbus reported 135 orders in the month.

Year to date, Boeing new plane orders are 221 single-aisle 737s, fifty 787s, forty-nine 777s, four 747s, and one 767. The total net after cancellations is 281 Boeing orders received through the first half of 2015. Airbus says they have booked 324 A320-family airplanes, 57 A330s, and one A350, for a total of 382 planes total.

Airbus’ all-electric E-Fan aircraft crosses the English Channel

First electric plane to cross the English Channel was Not Airbus!

On July 10, the electric Airbus E-Fan crossed the English Channel in a 36-minute flight. The E-Fan is a light twin-engine aircraft powered by lithium-ion batteries and electric motors. The night before the E-Fan crossing, an electrically powered Cri-Cri piloted by Hugues Duval made it’s own Channel crossing to become the first.

Originally, Pipistrel intended be first across the Channel in its Alpha Electro two-seat trainer. However, at the last minute electric motor maker Siemens banned Pipistrel from using the motor.

Calgary Lawn Chair Aviator Charged with “Mischief”

Twenty-six year-old Daniel Boria, attached 110 helium-filled balloons to a “$20 lawn chair” with the idea of skydiving from the chair into the middle of the Calgary Stampede. When he started drifting into the clouds, he bailed out, and ended up in jail. CBC News interviews the lawn chair pilot in Calgary balloon man calls adventure ‘sureal’.

United Airlines Pilot Flushes Live Bullets Down The Toilet: Here’s Why

Aerolineas Argentinas and the stripper who pulled the take off throttle

The Australia News Desk

Grant’s at home when he should be in Bali thanks to the ash cloud from Mt Raung. The boys talk briefly about flights resuming to Bali:

They also talk about the fun they had doing commentary at the Hunter Valley Airshow last weekend despite Grant losing his voice.


Listener Photos

Chinook by Jodi Bromer

Chinook by Jodi Bromer

Hon. Arthur Rosen (Ret.) flying mentally and physically challenged children and their parents for Challenge Air and Sky Kids Arizona:

Hon. Arthur Rosen (Ret.)

Hon. Arthur Rosen (Ret.)


Post photo by DeKevin Thornton.

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


AirplaneGeeks 358 Just an Episode

Hawker Hind

DOJ investigating airlines for collusion, United plans biofuel flights, future jet engine tech from Rolls-Royce, Solar Impulse makes it to Hawaii, a report from the Shuttleworth Collection air show, looking back on McNerney and ahead to AirVenture Oshkosh.


Justice Dept. investigating potential airline price collusion

Government faces burden in proving airline collusion

The United States Justice Department is investigating a number of airlines to determine if they illegally colluded to keep airfares high. The Justice Department confirmed the investigation, but would not name the airlines. However, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and United Airlines each said they were being investigated.

United Airlines to test biofuel on L.A. to San Francisco route

This Airline Just Invested Millions Into Turning Garbage Into Jet Fuel

This summer, United plans to use biofuel on a regular scheduled route. The biofuel will be “generated from farm waste and oils derived [from] animal fats.” Four to five flights per day will use a 30 percent biofuel mix.

United Airlines has invested $30 million in California-based biofuel company Fulcrum BioEnergy. The strategic partnership includes an agreement that contemplates the joint development of up to five projects located near United’s hubs. These projects expect to produce as much as 180 million gallons of biofuel per year, with United agreeing to buy up to half that amount.

Rolls-Royce Details Advance And UltraFan Test Plan

Rolls-Royce UltraFan

UltraFan courtesy Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce previously made public its strategic plan for developing new jet engines. Now we have more details.

First, the “Advance” engine with a bypass ratio of more than 11:1, a pressure ratio more than 60:1, fuel-burn at least 20% better than the current Trent 700, a composite-titanium fan, and a composite fan casing. EIS around 2020.

Second, the “UltraFan” engine with 25% better fuel-burn than the Trent 700, a gear-driven variable-pitch fan, a 15:1 bypass ratio, and overall pressure ratio of 70:1. EIS around 2025.

Changes for the Advance include reallocating the work contributed by the various compressors and turbines. By lightening the load on the HP spool, RR achieves better efficiency and commonality with the UltraFan core.

With the geared UltraFan, the low pressure turbine is gone and the engine is more like the 2-spool engines P&W and GE produce. Other technologies to be introduced include cooled cooling air (compressor bleed air through a heat exchanger) and blings or bladed rings, an advancement from blisks, or bladed disks.

Ever-Bigger Engines Challenge Conventional Airliner Designs

As fan engine diameter continues to increase, mounting under the wing becomes less practical. Clean sheet airplane designs are gravitating to engines on top of wings, or engines embedded (or partially embedded) in the tail.

Solar Impulse lands in Hawaii, sets record for longest solar-powered flight

The Solar Impulse finally left Japan on June 28 and landed in Hawaii on July 3.

Listener recording

Bristol Boxkite

Bristol Boxkite

Roland attended a rather special airshow at the Shuttleworth Collection museum in Bedfordshire, England. He brings us his impressions, and some great photographs.


Spitfire 944

The producer’s great uncle recorded 90 minutes of personal footage during WW II that he mailed home from the war. The footage was transferred to digital media, then the producer had the thought to find the pilot of a Spitfire that crashed on film. He found the pilot, who had never seen the footage.

What does it take to restore a World War Two Spitfire?

A rare Mark 1 Spitfire shot down during World War Two was restored and will be sold at Christie’s July 9, 2015. 22,500 Spitfires were originally built, just 56 are still airworthy, and most of these are later versions of the aircraft. There are only four Mark 1s still flying.

New Lavi trainer better prepares IAF cadets for Hezbollah, Iran

What do you do when the wheel from a jet lands on your roof?

Crash Test Assesses Plane Emergency Locator Transmitters

Old F-16 vs. next-generation F-35: Guess who wins?

Why The “F-35 v F-16″ Article Is Garbage

McNerney lifted Boeing above turbulence


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


AirplaneGeeks 357 Einar Enevoldson and the Perlan Project


Perlan Project

Perlan Project aims to soar to 90,000 feet in a glider, a sightseeing crash in Alaska, United buys into Azul Brazilian Airlines, China building airport infrastructure, news media companies start drone testing, OneGo to offer flights for a fixed monthly fee, and Solar Impulse leaves Japan.


Einar Enevoldson is a lifelong glider pilot and a former NASA test pilot.

In 1992, Einar first envisioned the Perlan Project when a LIDAR image was shown of a stratospheric mountain wave at 75,000 feet above Northern Scandinavia. Einar believed that these mountain waves could be used to fly a sailplane to great heights.

The Perlan Project is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit aeronautical exploration and atmospheric science research organization that utilizes sailplanes (gliders) designed to fly at extremely high altitudes.

Einar and Steve Fossett proved their concept when they set a world altitude record for gliders of 50,671 feet on August 30, 2006. They flew the Perlan I, a modified DG505M, in stratospheric mountain waves generated by the Polar Vortex over el Calafate, Argentina.

In July 2014, Airbus Group became the partner and title sponsor of Airbus Perlan Mission II.

Sometime in 2015/16 the Airbus Perlan Mission II intends to set new altitude records by flying a purpose-built pressurized high-altitude glider higher than any other manned wing borne aircraft has ever flown in sustained flight using stratospheric mountain waves and the polar vortex. Perlan Project intends to use the Airbus Perlan Mission II to expand their educational programmes by creating more partnerships and forming an international education committee.



Einar’s military service includes test pilot on the Hunter, Lightning, and Javelin British fighter aircraft from 1966 to 1967. Following that, Einar was a NASA research pilot at the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, California. Among the many planes he flew for NASA were the YF-12A (Interceptor version of the SR-71), the oblique wing AD-1, the Controlled Deep Stall Sailplane, and the X-24B Lifting Body. He was twice awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.




Eight Holland America Guests Die in Alaska “Flightseeing” Accident

Eight passengers and the pilot died when their “flightseeing” DeHavilland DHC-3T Turbine Otter crashed into a rock face about 20 from Ketchikan, Alaska. The floatplane was providing a tour for passengers from Holland America Line’s MS Westerdam cruise ship. The wreckage is on a 60 degree slope at the base of a mountainside cliff.

Azul by Paul Flimer

Azul by Paul Flimer

United Airlines to pay $100 mln for Azul stake, for foothold in Brazil

Azul Brazilian Airlines is the third largest airline in Brazil, and was founded in 2008 by Brazilian-born David Neeleman, who also founded JetBlue Airways. Neeleman is Azul’s chief executive. United would gain access to Brazilian cities. Azul gets investment money where they have been unable to offer an initial public offering due to Brazil’s poor economy.

China’s aviation boom drives airport building frenzy

More than 60 inland airports in China are expanding, and another 30 new regional airports are  being built. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), says more than $80 billion will be invested in aviation projects this year alone. Driving this are business travel and outbound tourism.

News Coalition Launches Hands-On Drone Testing Program with Virginia Tech

Fifteen news media companies launched research testing of sUAS for news gathering in partnership with Virginia Tech, one of the six FAA UAS test sites. Flight tests will include a series of scenarios to simulate news gathering with small UAVs.

OneGo Will Offer Unlimited West Coast Flights For $1,500 A Month

Startup OneGo wants to offer this service to small and medium businesses where team members have to do a lot of travel. In exchange for the fixed monthly fee, travelers will get unlimited economy class direct flights on major airlines like American, Delta, United and Virgin America, as well as Gogo WiFi membership, and enrollment in TSA Pre for faster security screenings.

Solar Impulse Crossing The Pacific

Solar Impulse 2 finally launched from Nagoya, Japan, en route to Hawaii. The flight is expected to take five days.

The Australia News Desk

Grant’s holding together with cold and flu medicine long enough to get an AusDesk recorded with Steve covering:


  • Flight Threats – An iOS app designed as a situational awareness improvement tool for pilots.

Patrick Wiggins 50th anniversary jump

Courtesy of Skydive Utah: NASA Ambassador Patrick Wiggins, 66, is no stranger to the sky with about 760 jumps under his belt as he logs another while stepping out of a Skydive Utah plane near Tooele. On Friday the education assistant at the University of Utah donned his original 1965 “antique parachute” and gear to mark the 50th anniversary of his first jump while joining friends at Skydive Utah, at the Tooele Valley Airport in Erda.


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


AirplaneGeeks 356 A Forum for Professional Pilots

Gulfstream G450

Conversation with founder Mark Matzuka, a close call at Midway, privatization of air traffic control, and observations on the Paris Air Show.


Mark Matzuka is Founder and President of, an online forum for pilots. As Mark looked at other pilot forums, he found they sometimes lacked accountability and didn’t have the level of professionalism he was after. Anybody could join those forums and offer advice and comments, but sometimes it wasn’t clear if these people were qualified, or even who they really were.

Mark responded by creating, a paid membership site that he calls, “The Premier Information Exchange and Networking Resource for Professional Pilots.” Registered members are vetted. Because the site is funded through membership fees, the forum does not rely on advertisers. Over 100 forums and subforums provide plenty of opportunities for the over 14,500 member pilots to exchange information and network. An associate membership is available for qualified professionals who are not pilots.

Mark has been flying for 27 years, 22 in business aviation with more than 13,000 flight hours, 10,000 of those in jets. He started his flying career in Chicago where he spent 20 years working as a flight instructor, charter and corporate pilot, and eventually became chief pilot. He now lives in Southern California as the chief pilot and aviation manager on a Gulfstream G450.


NTSB expected to investigate close call at Midway

A Southwest Airlines plane and a Delta Air Lines plane with similar sounding flight numbers simultaneously initiated takeoff rolls on intersecting runways.

Shuster Meets With NATA Members Over ATC Reform

Congressman proposes privatizing air traffic control

U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Bill Shuster plans to introduce a bill to create an independent ATC corporation funded by user fees.

Boeing leads firm orders, but Airbus beats in total numbers

Paris Airshow racks up $107 billion in Airbus and Boeing total orders and commitments, 421 aircraft for Airbus, 331 aircraft for Boeing.


G450 post photo courtesy Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation. Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at

AirplaneGeeks 355 Innovations in Flight Family Day 2015

NASM Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display

Interviews from the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display.

Micah, Brian, Max, and David

Airplane Geeks Micah, Brian, Max, and David set up recording gear in front of the Junkers Ju-52 3M trimotor, and spent the day interviewing interesting Avgeeks.


Elizabeth Borja

Elizabeth Borja

Elizabeth is Reference Coordinator for the National Air & Space Museum Archives. She tells us about the huge quantity of historic data is available in the Archives, and how it is used.

Hungarian baseball team

Hungarian baseball team

Peter Duro

A baseball team from Hungary attended the Innovations in Flight event, and stopped by to visit the Airplane Geeks.

Roger Connor

Roger Connor is Curator for Vertical Flight at the National Air & Space Museum and he tells us about some of the exciting new exhibits that are coming. August 1, 2015, a CH56 in Viet Nam configuration will fly in to join the displays. This public event will include an Osprey and both will be available for walkthrough.

In the Fall, the Sikorsky X-2 prototype will arrive, and an HH-52 joins the Museum next April.

Hillel Glazer

Aerospace engineer and faithful listener Hillel Glazer stopped by with some of his children. Hillel attended the recent AOPA homecoming fly-in and tells us about that, as well as a recent flight in instrument conditions that was a “learning experience.” Son Jacob takes the mic as well.

Dave Klain Mitsubishi MU-2B-60

Dave Klain

Dave Klain and daughter Lauren flew his Mitsubishi MU-2B-60 twin turboprop in for the event. Dave listens to Airplane Geeks and also flies wounded warriors for Veteran’s Airlift Command.

Gen. J.R. “Jack” Dailey, USMC (Ret.)

Jack Dailey is the John and Adrienne Mars Director of the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum. He oversees the operation of both National Air and Space Museum locations — the Museum in Washington, DC and the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.


Additional interviews with Roger Connor on unmanned aircraft, and Princess Aliyah Pandolfi on the Kashmir World Foundation will appear in future episodes of The UAV Digest.


Thanks to all our friends who joined us for dinner after the Innovations in Flight event: John Leech, Rick Engber, Hillel Glazer (and Jacob, Alexander, and Sarah), Stephanie Plummer, Miami Rick, Capt. Jeff, Fred Samson, Ken Coburn and Greg Garretson from GoEngineer, Peter and Mai, as well as our “roadies” Lisa Leard and Michelle Vanderhoof.

Fun for kids


Columbia at NASM


United 767 at NASM


Post photos by @DroneMama and @MaxFlight.
Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at

AirplaneGeeks 354 Controlling the Airport Conversation

Chino Airport

Chino Airport Community Ambassador Bob Velker, an alternative to radar, smaller airline carry-on bags, an update on the A400M crash, shooting wildlife from a plane, and two airlines make a top 10 list that you don’t want to be on.


Bob Velker is Business Liaison & Community Outreach Manager, Chino Airport (CNO), County of San Bernardino – Department of Airports.

We talk with Bob about his role as the “community ambassador” for Chino Airport, one of the country’s largest general aviation airports and located in the County of San Bernardino, close to Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties in Southern California.

His primary task is to dispel the notion that Chino Airport is a “gated community filled with rich boys and their toys.” More precisely, that Chino is a small business park with runways, made up of dozens of businesses, employing hundreds of people, and pouring millions of dollars into the local economy.

Bob tells us how he builds synergy for all the airport stakeholders: the developers, the community, the Planes of Fame Air Museum, area businesses, and the airport itself. He creates education and awareness programs that engage the community with the airport and help them see the important role the airport plays in the local economy.

Chino Airshow

We also talk about the Planes of Fame Airshow and the notion of an “aerotropolis,” where an airport is in the center of a city which then grows around it, connecting workers, suppliers, executives, and goods to the global marketplace. Bob gives us a great example of how an airport can work with drone flyers for their mutual benefit.

Bob has been in-and-around Chino Airport for 18 years. He’s also a pilot, a businessman, a strategic planner, and a management consultant, plus, he says, a recovering engineer.

Reporting directly to the county’s Director of Airports, Bob’s role also requires a close working relationship with local governments, elected officials, chambers of commerce, community service organizations, local school districts and colleges, pilot’s groups, and high-profile businesses in and around the airport.

Bob is responsible for creating and maintaining the airport’s social media platform. Their website is, and you can find them on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The History of Chino Airport (formerly Cal Aero Field) is a video worth watching.


Television signals a possible alternative to radar

NATS, in conjunction with Thales ATM UK and Roke Manor, have been testing a system that uses standard TV signals to detect and direct aircraft.

Get ready for smaller airline carry-on bags

At its annual meeting, IATA (The International Air Transport Association) proposed the Cabin OK program to try and standardize the size of cabin bags allowed by airlines.

On its webpage, IATA says, “…the current variety of policies among airlines can lead to frustration for passengers. Bags that do not correspond to the allowance are regularly checked in at the gate, which adds inconvenience for the traveller, slows down the boarding process, increases airline costs and occasionally delays flights.”

The bag size proposed by IATA is a little smaller than the standard size used by most U.S. carriers, including Delta, United, American, and Southwest.

Vital engine software files accidentally wiped, linked to fatal A400M plane crash

On May 9, an Airbus A400M crashed near Spain’s Seville Airport. Four of six crew members were killed. A BBC source says investigators believe that when software was installed, the torque calibration parameters had accidentally been deleted, causing the ECU’s to fail to operate properly.

Ranchers mourn wildlife employees killed in plane crash

The pilot and a gunner were killed while attempting to shoot a coyote in northeastern New Mexico as part of the Wildlife Services program under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

According to the USDA, Wildlife Services resolves “wildlife conflicts to allow people and wildlife to coexist.” The Predator Defense organization takes a dim view of the USDA methodology, but nonetheless the Wildlife Services use of aerial gunning has led to a number of accidents and deaths.

10 Companies That Act Like They Hate Their Customers

The list of major corporations with terrible customer service includes cable companies, telecommunications companies, banks, insurance companies, and (no surprise) two U.S. airlines.

The Australia News Desk

In order to prevent a Rob Mark moment on the Oz Desk, Grant has to pass Steve’s Breathalyzer test before he can join in reporting on:

  • Qantas and American teaming up on the SYD-LAX route allowing Qantas to redeploy some 747-400s to the SYD-SFO route
  • Alan Joyce joins the chorus of howls against the government’s proposed northern cabotage reductions.

The Aviation Minute

Rob Mark has been watching the growth of commercial and hobby drone use, and provides his thoughts on some of the technology being employed.



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