AirplaneGeeks 353 Passionate Aviators on TV

The Aviators

Anthony Nalli from The Aviators, a Sonex crash takes two lives, United spurns the A380, EPA to announce aviation emissions regulations, EasyJet using drones for aircraft inspections, and JetBlue does the right thing for autism.


Anthony Nalli is Executive Producer and Director of The Aviators, an independently produced television series with 5 seasons completed so far. Anthony is an instrument rated pilot and published writer with a passion for aviation. As the show’s “everyman” Anthony does things most weekend pilots can relate to.

Anthony first appeared as our guest on Episode 242.

We talk with Anthony about growth in viewership, some of the people featured in past episodes, and the new Air Boss program that provides an inside view of that very demanding job.

The Aviators airs on most PBS stations across the United States, it’s on in Canada on Travel+Escape, and on Discovery Channel in many countries. You can also find episodes on iTunes, Hulu, and Amazon. Visit The Aviators website, find them on IMDB, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.


Sonex aviation CEO, mechanic die in Oshkosh crash

Some sad news. Jeremy Monnett, the CEO of Sonex Aircraft, and Michael Clark, a Sonex assembly mechanic, were killed when their plane crashed near Wittman Regional Airport. Jeremy Monnett was 40 and Michael Clark was 20. Jeremy was our guest on Airplane Geeks Episode 65, in 2009. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

United Airlines does not see a fit for Airbus A380

United Continental Holdings has confirmed that they have been talking with Airbus about the A380, but the plane just doesn’t work for them. The A380 trip cost is more than using Boeing 787’s.

Commercial airlines industry mixed on imminent emission regulations

According to “unnamed” sources, the Environmental Protection Agency will soon announce carbon emission standards for commercial aviation. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta says, “This is something that we have been working with EPA on. It’s going to be a long-term process really to bring aviation into compliance with a lot of policy level initiatives taking place globally. What we want to make sure is that anything EPA does, they understand the technical ‎situation in the aviation industry and what is within the realm of possible.”

For more background, look into the ICAO Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection, which addresses Aircraft Engine Emissions.

EasyJet tests UAV with A320 inspection

UK company Blue Bear Systems is working with EasyJet to use the Remote Intelligent Survey Equipment for Radiation (RISER) quadrotor UAV for aircraft inspection. The RISER was originally designed for gamma radiation inspection. A two-laser infrared system keep the RISER 1m away from the aircraft it is inspecting. RISER has a number of sensors (electro-optical, light detection, and ranging) which can locate damage caused by lightning strikes. The Riser area of operation can be geofenced.

The Australia News Desk

It’s the Queen’s Birthday long weekend here in Australia and while the boys didn’t get any recognition from Her Majesty, some of their friends and guests of Plane Crazy Down Under did as Chris Sperou and Dave Jacka both get Order of Australia Medals and Dick Smith gets upgraded to Companion of the Order of Australia:

Meanwhile, Qantas is saying it can restore its investment grade credit rating AND get the new 787-9s it has on order.

The Air Traffic Controller union in Australia is less than enthused with CASA’s decision to allow non-ATC people provide Unicom services.



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

AirplaneGeeks 352 Jennifer Rodi, NTSB Air Safety Investigator

The A400M military airlifter on display at the 2014 ILA Berlin Air Show.

Conversation with an NTSB investigator, the A400M accident, pilots and controllers texting, US majors react to Middle East expansion, ceramic matrix material from GE, F-35B trials, Malaysia Airlines tries to recover.


Jennifer Rodi is a senior air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board in the Central Region. She served as the Survival Factors Group Chairman for the Lubbock, Texas Empire Airlines accident, the Witness Group Chairman for the Oklahoma City Cessna Citation accident, and has participated in other major investigations, public hearings, special investigation reports, and Board meetings conducted by the NTSB.

NTSB LogoWe talk with Jennifer about a variety of topics, including some of the investigations she’s worked, the role of Group Chairmen in investigations, and how the NTSB supports and learns from investigations in other countries. We discuss survival factors, Board independence and transparency, and primacy in investigations.

Jennifer Rodi currently holds a commercial pilot certificate with single, multiengine, and instrument ratings. She is a certified flight and ground instructor with single, multiengine, and instrument privileges for flight instruction, and advanced and instrument privileges for ground instruction.

Prior to her employment with the Safety Board, Jennifer was a flight instructor and she also worked as a photo-recon pilot and performed aerial surveys of oil and gas lines.

Jennifer has a Bachelor’s of Science in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a Master’s of Science in Aeronautical Science with specializations in Human Factors and Systems Safety, also from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, from Capella University.


Airbus A400M plane crash linked to software fault

Airbus Admits ‘Assembly Quality Problem’ After A400M Crash

In looking at the aircraft data logs after the Airbus A400M crash near Seville on May 9, Airbus engineers found some anomalies. The analysis of the flight recorders now shows there were no structural faults, but there was a “serious final assembly quality problem” according to Airbus group’s chief of strategy. The Europrop TP400 turboprop Electronic Control Units (ECU) were poorly installed at final assembly.

Pilots and air traffic controllers can finally stop talking and start texting

Texting from tower to cockpit could speed flights

For two years the FAA has been testing “Data Comm,” a piece of NextGen that lets pilots and ATC text each other. Data Comm rolls this summer, starting with Houston Hobby, Houston Intercontinental and Salt Lake City International airports. The system should be operating at more than 50 air traffic control towers by 2016.

Anti-ME airline claims by US majors grow louder, what if they win?

US airlines have fought expansion in the US by major Middle East carriers. Recently at the National Press Club in Washington, the CEOs of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Continental Holdings made a group appearance to voice their concerns about subsidies and competition.

‘Stubborn’ GE scientist pioneers breakthrough ‘dream material’

A GE researcher developed a ceramic matrix that is resistant to the very high temperatures in jet engines (20% higher than the exotic metal alloys now used), strong like metal, and very light. GE is using the material in the LEAP engine produced through CFM International.

Marine Corps F-35Bs depart USS Wasp after carrier tests

Six US Marine Corps F-35Bs conducted a one-and-a-half-week trial aboard the USS Wasp amphibious assault ship. The trial included 108 test sorties and an F135 engine delivery from a V-22 Osprey. The squadrons involved hope to pass a final operational readiness assessment over a two-week period in July.

Malaysia Airlines’ new CEO is off to a good start but doubts loom about the airline’s future

New Malaysia Airlines CEO Christoph Mueller has the job of salvaging the airline. Previously, he was Chief Executive of Belgian airline Sabena, he restructured Ireland’s Aer Lingus, and led a revamp at Lufthansa.

More on this topic:

Malaysia A380 Decision Deepens Airbus Worries

Malaysia Airlines Restructuring Fleet: Selling A380s

Troubled Malaysia Airlines to be completely revamped: new CEO

Things look grim and brutal for ‘new’ Malaysia Airlines

The Australia News Desk

Can a reduction in cabotage restrictions in the north end lead to sabotage of domestic operations? Everyone outside of the government seems to think so!

Matt Hall comes third in Rovinj after an exciting session on the weekend (audio supplied by the Red Bull Radio Service).

RAAF’s Wedgetail E-7A AEW&C aircraft attains Final Operational Capacity

The first of two new RAAF C17s has been sighted at Longbeach.


Passenger Choice Awards – Created by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), air-travelers from around the world are invited to rate their recent inflight experiences. The deadline is June 30, 2015.

Solar Impulse – Follow the solar powered around the world flight.

Cyber-Attack Warning: Could Hackers Bring Down a Plane?

FliteTest Podcast 074 Burt Rutan


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

AirplaneGeeks 351 Bits and Pieces XIV

Mary Kirby and the Runway Girl Network, flight sim, the USS Midway, the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour, Canowindra International Balloon Challenge, military aviation stories, Gareth Stringer and European air shows, the PBY, and the NTSB investigation of USAirways flight 1549.

Interview with Mary Kirby

Mary KirbyMax talks with Mary Kirby, founder of the Runway Girl Network aviation news service where journalists provide informed industry intelligence covering the airline passenger experience. Runway Girl Network also serves as a platform for highlighting the achievements of women in aviation, promotes equality, and celebrates culture, compassion and diversity across the industry.

Visit the Runway Girl Network, follow the #PaxEx hashtag on Twitter, and listen to Mary and Max on the #PaxEx Podcast.

Flight Simulation

Listener Nicolas tells is about the history of flight simulation on home computers and how you can get started with flight sim. As he says, “No sim can give you the true feeling of flight. But for a person like myself who doesn’t qualify for the medical and lacks the funds to take flight lessons, it is a great option. And for most of us, flight sim gives us the very unique opportunity to fly a jet. Something that only a lucky few can do in the real world.”

You can watch Nicnacjak live playing Microsoft Flight Simulator X on Twitch.

USS Midway

USS Midway

Brian Coleman visits the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, California and provides his report.

USS Midway


Canowindra International Balloon Challenge

Grant McHerron from the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast talks about the Canowindra InternationalCanowindra Balloon Balloon Challenge, including how balloons can be steered, the tasks used to challenge pilots, and how competitions are run.

Learn more about hot air balloon events and typical tasks at Ultramagic Balloons.

Military Aviation Reminisces

Rob Mark tells some stories from his military aviation past.

Across the Pond

Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron Mig-15

Norwegian Air Force Historical Squadron Mig-15

Pieter Johnson returns to talk with fellow Xtended co-host and Executive Editor of Global Aviation Resource Gareth Stringer about the latest articles on GAR, including the 75th Anniversary of The Battle of Britain and the summer airshows.

Pieter provided an addendum: A decision has been made and this is definitely the last year we will the Vulcan XH558 fly: Important announcement on the 2015 season.

29(R) Squadron Eurofighter Typhoon

29(R) Squadron Eurofighter Typhoon wears the No. 249 Squadron markings of the Hawker Hurricane flown by Wing Commander Eric James Brindley Nicolson VC DFC. Photo © Gary Parsons

My Favorite Airplane

PBY Micah and Tim

Listener Micah tells us about his favorite, the PBY.


Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour

Brian Coleman visits the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour and brings us his report.

NTSB investigation of USAirways flight 1549

Listener Carl Klaiber describes one interesting aspect of the NTSB investigation of USAirways flight 1549 – the “Miracle on the Hudson.”  It illustrates some of the sophisticated analysis techniques that are at the disposal of the NTSB in doing their investigations.


SMAC091-Nancy Spielberg producer of “Above And Beyond – The Untold True Story”

A great interview by Carl Valeri that adds additional perspective and complements our AirplaneGeeks 348, Flying Above and Beyond with Harold Livingston.

Aviation Careers Podcast 83

Aerospace Scholarships – There Is Money Out There For You! Aerospace Scholarships 2015 is available as an e-book.

Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display

#InFlight15 is the hashtag for this June 20, 2015 event. See you there!

Lightweight Membrane Can Significantly Reduce In-Flight Aircraft Noise

Iconic British War Planes video 


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


AirplaneGeeks 350 Burt Rutan Is At It Again

Filming Burt Rutan

Antenna Films documents Burt Rutan as he builds the SkiGull, FBI investigates alleged IFE hacker, United Airlines offers bug bounty program, autistic child removed from flight, passenger prevented from making emergency call, and crowdfunding a startup airline.


Scott B and Sandy Guthrie are the Executive Producers and Co-Creative Directors of Antenna Films, which is producing the documentary film Looking Up, Way Up! The Burt Rutan Story. They are following Burt as he designs and builds the SkiGull plane which he intends to fly around the world in a “Walter Mitty flight” that avoids airports. Scott and Sandy tell us about the SkiGull and the film, but also give us some insights into Burt Rutan, the man.

The team used Kickstarter to jumpstart the documentary since Burt is moving ahead quickly, but they intend to build a sustainable community around this project. Visit the documentary website at and the project Facebook page.

Scott and Sandy have been making films for more than 20 years and formed Antenna Films in 2000 to tell compelling stories. Their work has appeared on National Geographic, Discovery, A&E, Lifetime and Sundance TV. Antenna produced the award winning Virgin Galactic series following the development of the world’s first spaceline. Other credits include the first one-hour episode of Virgin Galactic: Will it Fly for National Geographic, and the Peabody Award and Cine Golden Eagle Award-winning specials Black Sky: The Race for Space and  Winning the X-Prize on Discovery.


FBI Investigating Claim Computer Expert Hacked Plane In-Flight

Computer security expert Chris Roberts has told investigators that he hacked into the IFE system through boxes under the seats 15 to 20 times. He says he even “caused one of the airplane engines to climb resulting in a lateral or sideways movement of the plane.”

Law enforcement is investigating and says the electronics box under the seat shows signs of tampering. But they also say “there is no credible information to suggest an airplane’s flight control system can be accessed or manipulated from its in-flight entertainment system.”

United Airlines bug bounty program

White hat hackers are invited to probe for bugs that affect United “websites, apps and/or online portals” in exchange for up to one million award miles.

An autistic girl’s entire family was kicked off a plane because she wanted a First Class meal

Woman Claims She and Daughter With Autism Were Kicked Off United Airlines Flight

A Range of Reactions to Airline’s Removal of Autistic Child

A United Airlines pilot diverted a Portland flight to Salt Lake City to remove a family with an autistic 15 year old daughter. The situation developed after the girl required a hot meal. Was she disruptive? Some say no.

Woman told she couldn’t call suicidal husband during flight

A woman on a Southwest Airlines flight received a text from her husband that read, “Karen, please forgive me for what I am about to do, I am going to kill myself.” The cabin crew would not allow the call. Upon arrival at the gate, the woman called the police, but it was too late.

Struggling start-up airline turns to crowdfunding for cash

Avatar Airlines claims it’s “poised to revolutionize the airline industry as ‘the ultra-low fare’ leader with no baggage fees (up to two) and fares as low as $19” on 581-seat Boeing 747-400 aircraft. Avatar has started a crowdfunding campaign.

The Australia News Desk

The boys are back with the sad news that the “Wings Over Illawarra” show had to be cancelled due to terrible weather.

Deciding to go with military stories, the Desk opens with the news that two RAAF KC30As made multiple boom contacts off the coast of Brisbane recently. Although no gas was passed (that’s going to happen soon) it verifies that the boom is finally all but working!

Next they report that SQNLDR Andrew “Jacko” Jackson has flown the first RAAF F35. He became the first Australian to fly an F35 last month but now he’s at Luke AFB and flying A35-001 (our first RAAF F35). Apparently the kangaroo painted on the side makes all the difference!

Matt Hall took 2nd place at the Chiba (Japan) leg of the Red Bull Air Race. He’s also looking for a major “name the team” sponsor.




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


AirplaneGeeks 349 John Montgomery and his Quest for Flight

John J. Montgomery readying to launch the The Evergreen glider from a track

The history of an early aviation pioneer, update on hidden city ticketing lawsuit, Jetblue starting flights to Havana, jet engine big data, a possible narrowbody future for Rolls Royce, Leap-1B begins flight testing, and the Airbus A400M crash.


Craig Harwood is a professional Engineering Geologist and as a hobby he enjoys researching and writing about history.

His book Quest for Flight draws out of obscurity and documents the fascinating backstories in the conquest of the skies. The work and influence of American aviation pioneer John J. Montgomery serves as a framework for understanding the western contributions in the quest for flight in America.

Montgomery was a scientific inventor in the late 1800’s who observed and tried to mimic bird flight. His research caused him to turn to soaring birds for inspiration and he demonstrated controlled flight with his manned gliders.

We talk about societal attitudes toward flying at the time, the different motivations of early pioneers, and the roles of women in early aviation. We also discuss how the stories of others were overshadowed by the Wrights, who actively worked to protect their position as the originators of manned flight.

John J. Montgomery aloft in The Evergreen

Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West is available from publisher The University of Oklahoma Press and You can contact Craig Harwood via email.

The 1946 movie Gallant Journey starred Glenn Ford as John J. Montgomery.


Judge throws out United Airlines lawsuit against 22-year-old

Orbitz and hidden-city ticketing site Skiplagged agree to settlement

A Chicago judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by United Airlines against a 22-year-old. Last November United Airlines and Orbitz filed a civil lawsuit in against Aktarer Zaman who created  That site helps people with the “hidden city ticketing” strategy for low cost airfare. United and Orbitz claimed that Skiplagged provided “unfair competition” and promoted “strictly prohibited” travel.

The suit was filed in the Northern District Court of Illinois, but the judge in Chicago has now ruled that court has no jurisdiction because Zaman didn’t live or do business in that city.

JetBlue will start a weekly flight from JFK to Havana every Friday, starting July 3

Travelers should make arrangements directly with Cuba Travel Services for these flights operated by JetBlue.

Big Data in Planes: New P&W GTF Engine Telemetry to Generate 10GB/S

The Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan jet engine has over 5000 sensors, creating 10 Gigabytes/second of data per engine, or 2.04 Terebits/second for a twin engine airplane. P&W estimates data streaming will reach 12 Petabytes each year and they have partnered with IBM to create the data center capacity.

Rolls Royce Sees United Technologies as Possible Jet Engine Partner

Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney and some other partners teamed up to form International Aero Engines in 1983 to produce the V2500 engine for the Airbus A320 family and McDonnell Douglas MD-90. In 2011, P&W bought out Rolls Royce, which effectively removed RR from the narrowbody market. Now the departing CEO of Rolls-Royce said P&W parent company United Technologies Corporation is an “obvious” potential partner.

Leap-1B For 737 MAX Begins Key Flight Tests

Competing with the P&W GTF on the A320 family is the CFM International Leap-1A. The Leap-1B is sole sourced for the B737 MAX. and the Leap-1C variant powers the Comac C919.

Airbus A400M military transporter crashes on test flight, killing four

An Airbus A400M military transport plane crashed outside Seville one mile from the airport, killing four test crew and injuring two others. The aircraft was on its maiden test flight before being delivered to Turkey.

Listener Recording

David Sudworth brings us his story of a perfect flying day in the UK.



John J. Montgomery readying to launch the “The Evergreen” glider from a track, likely near Evergreen CA — photo from the San Diego Air & Space Museum archive

John J. Montgomery aloft in “The Evergreen” — photo from the San Diego Air & Space Museum archive.

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


AirplaneGeeks 348 Flying Above and Beyond

Producer Nancy Spielberg and Harold Livingston

Flying for Israel in its War of Independence, a Rafale fighter jet sale to Qatar, female fighter pilots, the Turkish Airlines CEO opines on pilot marriage, and major sporting events bring out private jets.

Photo: Producer Nancy Spielberg and Harold Livingston


In 1948, a group of pilots smuggled surplus military airplanes out of the U.S., trained in Czechoslovakia, and flew for Israel in its War of Independence. Our guest Harold Livingston was one of those pilots. This story has been captured in the feature-length documentary film Above and Beyond, produced by Nancy Spielberg and directed by Roberta Grossman.

Harold Livingston enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force after graduating from high school in 1942. After three years with the Air Transport Command in the European theatre, he went on to work for Trans World Airlines.

In 1947, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine into two separate Arab and Jewish states. A former TWA colleague, Al Schwimmer, invited Harold to join an outfit being formed to fly munitions and aircraft to Jewish Palestine in support of the war that was to come. After returning from Israel in 1949, Harold served again in the U.S. Air Force as a civilian contractor in the Korean Air Lift.

Harold is also a writer. His first novel, “The Coasts of The Earth” (1954), received a Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship Award. He has written nine novels and his credits include  “Star Trek, The Motion Picture,” several other major films, and some one hundred television episodes including such shows as “Mission Impossible,” and “Dynasty.”

Above and Beyond is available on iTunes and You can also watch the documentary’s trailer.

Selected books by Harold Livingston


France and Qatar seal $7 billion Rafale fighter jet deal

Qatar is purchasing 24 Dassault Rafale fighter jets for 6.3-billion-euro ($7B US). This is the third sale this year of the fighter jets with 24 sold to Egypt and 36 to India.

Female Fighter Pilots Taking Off in the IAF

In 1995, pilot Alice Miller sought to take the Israeli Air Force pilot training exam, but was ejected on grounds of her gender. She petitioned the Israel High Court of Justice, which sided with her in 1996. Since then, 38 women completed the course and became pilots in the Israeli Air Force.

Turkish Airlines CEO to Pilots: Get Married to Avoid Crashes

Reportedly, the CEO of Turkish Airlines said that pilots should marry so that situations like what happened with the Germanwings crash in March can be avoided.

A crazy photo of private jets flooding the Las Vegas airport before the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight

Kentucky Derby Boosts Local FBOs

Recent sporting events bring out the private jets and other general aviation aircraft. Is the business slump over?

Listener Recording

Pilot Bill from Victoria provides his own “Aviation Minute” and talks about a recent event with the local airport authority, NavaCanada, and about a hundred aviators.


Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display, Saturday, June 20, 2015 at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, Virginia.

Airplane Geeks on Instagram

Are we seeing the end of the era for the ‘super-jumbo’?

Should flight attendants eat First Class food onboard their flight? by Jamie Larounis in The Forward Cabin

The Aviators

1960 Air Show Edwards AFB


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


AirplaneGeeks 347 Training Pilots to Fly Unmanned Aircraft

Vince Donahue, Founder and President of Vortex UAS

Training for UAS pilots, airport security screening expands for airport workers, the Navy looks at swarming UAVs, Delta Air Lines senior instructors to take upset prevention and recovery training, and airlines alerted to watch for hackers.


Vince Donahue is the Founder and President of Vortex UAS, which provides tailored solutions for businesses utilizing Unmanned Aircraft Systems (or UAS) including pilot training, consulting, and other UAS Services.

We talk with Vince about the current state of unmanned aerial vehicles used for commercial purposes, including the FAA NPRM for commercial use of small UAS. Vince comments on the concerns of airplane pilots, the need for drone pilot training, and the sense and avoid technology that is key to safe operation of drones in the national airspace.

Vortex UAS will be conducting a four hour introductory Training Course for unmanned aircraft pilots May 16th, 2015 at Chicago Executive Airport [KPWK].

Stakeholders should read and understand the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

Vince has been a professional pilot for over a decade and is presently the chief pilot of a corporate flight department. He has 4 type ratings in airline, charter, and corporate aviation and he is a Certified Flight Instructor. Vince serves as one of the founding members of the AUVSI Heartland Chapter encompassing the states of Illinois and Wisconsin.

He served as a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) aboard USS Midway and USS Independence in squadron VAW 115 and has 500 hours as NFO in 130 sorties, 70 of them in Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Vince received several personal decorations including the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V for meritorious service during combat in the Persian Gulf War as an Aircraft Control Officer on the E-2C Hawkeye.


Feds Heighten Scrutiny of TSA Screeners and Aviation Staff to Thwart Insider Threat

We previously talked about the story where guns were smuggled from Atlanta to New York aboard a Delta flight. The suspects in that case were staff at the airport. Now the TSA says they will implement increased electronic surveillance. And they are not fooling around.

Effective immediately, random screening of airline employees throughout the workday and biennial criminal history checks. TSA hopes to replace the periodic background checks with “real-time recurrent” FBI background checks for all aviation workers.

The recommendations come from a Department of Homeland Security Aviation Security Advisory Committee report. [PDF]

US Navy goes tubular with autonomous swarming UAV demonstrations

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has been demonstrating swarming UAVs under the  Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) program.

The LOCUST system launches a group of drones with tube launchers. It’s a compact system that can be used on ships, tactical vehicles, or aircraft. Once airborne, the drones share information and collaborate autonomously on both defensive and offensive missions.

Delta To Boost Loss-Of-Control Prevention With New Instructor Training

Delta Air Lines senior instructors are being sent to upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT) with ground, in-aircraft, and full-motion simulator instruction. The airline wants its pilots to better avoid or recover from loss-of-control (LOC) incidents.

Feds Warn Airlines to Look Out for Passengers Hacking Jets

Hackers Could Commandeer New Planes Through Passenger Wi-Fi

Concerns have escalated that airliners might be vulnerable to hacking. A US Government Accountability Office report says some new passenger jets (787, A350, A380) have Wi-Fi passenger networks that share the same network as the avionics systems of the planes.

The FBI and TSA have issued an alert to airlines advising them to watch for certain activity. The alert then describes the signs that flight crews should be looking for:

  • Suspicious activity involving travelers connecting unknown cables or wires to the IFE system or unusual parts of the airplane seat.
  • Any evidence of suspicious behavior following a flight, such as IFE systems that show evidence of tampering or the forced removal of covers to network connection ports.
  • Any evidence of suspicious behavior concerning aviation wireless signals, including social media messages with threatening references to Onboard Network Systems, ADS-B, ACARS, and Air Traffic Control networks.
  • Network logs from aircraft that indicate any suspicious activity, such as network scanning or intrusion attempts.

This issue was also discussed in Airline Pilot Guy Episode 164.

The Australia News Desk

The boys are back and only slightly embarrassed for thinking last week was the US public holiday. Ooops.

Meanwhile, the Australian government have publicly given CASA parameters for the changes they want to see made (basically: consider the economic and cost impact of safety regulations and implement the results of the Forsyth Review).

Surprisingly, Jetstar are signing on for another 10 years at Avalon Airport:

And RAAF SQNLDR Andrew “Jacko” Jackson becomes the first Australia pilot to qualify on the F35:

Finally, next weekend the boys will be at the Wings Over Illawarra airshow where they’ll be doing commentary and also working on the airshow DVD

The Aviation Minute

Rob Mark notes that fewer planes are being built, the number of pilots is down, and fewer students are learning to be pilots. Could airport managers be part of the solution?



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


AirplaneGeeks 346 Flying for the Airlines as an Expat


Taipei, B-757, L-R:  Michael Johnson, Captain John Baines, Captain Lucho Arias, Mr. Steve Weisberg

Paramount Aviation Resources Group facilitates flying as an Expat, ONE Aviation Corporation brings together the Eclipse 550 and the Kestrel K350, a bill is introduced to privatize air traffic control in the US, another Washington D.C. incursion, and dynamic pricing of airline tickets.


Michael Johnson is the founder, President and CEO, and a member of the board of directors for Paramount Aviation Resources Group. Paramount finds qualified crew members to fill vacancies, provides crew leasing services, flight services, and ferry services.

We talk about the demand for expat pilots in countries that don’t have the infrastructure found in the the US, including opportunities for both mainline and regional pilots.

We see that the greatest airline growth is taking place in Asia, and Michael helps us understand the qualities of candidate pilots that make them best suited for expat life. He talks about the three key elements of stability, quality of life, and pay.

Michael also gives us some advice about getting into a flying career: start early, fly throughout college, and follow your passion.

Michael began his aviation career as a flight instructor and then as a commuter airline pilot with Northwest Airlink before joining Trans World Airlines (TWA) in 1996. In 2001 TWA was acquired by American Airlines.

Michael’s flight experience includes the BA-3100, DC-9, MD-80, 757, 767 and 747 aircraft in international and domestic operations throughout Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East as well as North America.

Serving as the Chief Pilot in Honolulu, Hawaii overseeing DC-10 and B-747 crews for JALWays (a subsidiary of Japan Airlines), Michael’s responsibilities included crew support, contractual issues, new hire interviewing, and B-747 simulator evaluations.

Photo: Boeing 757 in Taipei, L-R: Michael Johnson, Captain John Baines, Captain Lucho Arias, Mr. Steve Weisberg

Find Paramount at, and follow them on Twitter at @ParamountARG and on Facebook. Reach Michael at +1 (540) 737-4600.


Eclipse and Kestrel Form ONE Aviation

Previous Airplane Geeks guest Alan Klapmeier (Episode 237, Feb 2013) is now the CEO of ONE Aviation Corporation, “formed to design, develop, and manufacture a family of aircraft, each of which will be a market leader in its category and class. ONE Aviation’s core products include the Eclipse 550 twin-engine light jet and the Kestrel K350 single-engine turboprop.” The Eclipse Jet is in production and the Kestrel K350 is currently under development.

GOP files bill to privatize air traffic control

Representative John Mica (R-Fla.) introduced a bill that would privatize some aspects of U.S. air traffic control. A new private corporation would oversee the air traffic control functions now  handled by the FAA.

As NextGen falls behind, Mica says, “We’ve tried reform and reorganization, and we’ve created positions like the Chief Operating Officer within the Air Traffic Organization, but unfortunately our ATC technology and working conditions for air traffic controllers continue to fall further behind the rest of the world.”

The bill would create an Employee Stock Ownership Corporation that would “allow stakeholders, including current air traffic controllers, airlines and users, to operate a new air traffic control system.”

“Gyrocopter” probably too small for radar to detect

A man was arrested after landing his gyrocopter at the U.S. Capitol as a protest. He was charged with operating an unregistered aircraft, and violating national airspace restrictions.

Dynamic Pricing: Which Customers Are Worth The Most? Amazon, Delta Airlines And Staples Weigh In

Consumers continue to make more and more of their purchases online. This gives businesses the opportunity to know a lot about their customers. That knowledge can be used for dynamic pricing – charging some customers more than others.

Orbitz used its customers’ demographics to charge some customers more for hotels. They found that MAC users were willing to pay up to 30 percent more for a hotel than Windows users.

Delta Airlines reportedly charged frequent flyers up to $300 more for a ticket than they charged an infrequent traveler. Why? People who travel often are probably business travelers.


Follow Max Trescott on Instagram as he pilots an upcoming Airplane Geeks presence on Instagram.

Photo collections from Paine Field by Ryan Hothersall:

China Sourthern Cargo-777-F1B-B-2041-13

China Sourthern Cargo 777

Burning Man:

Love’s In The Air: Newlyweds Draw Hearts In Sky

The Air Cam:

The Air Cam from Lockwood Aircraft Corp.

The Air Cam from Lockwood Aircraft Corp.

Peninsula Seniors Productions YouTube channel

National Museum of the US Air Force Podcasts


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

AirplaneGeeks 345 Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour

Future of Flight Gallery panorama Joe Kunzler

The Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour in Seattle, FAA systems security, airport perimeter breaches, a new airline quality study, and Airbus looks to provide A350 aftermarket services.


Sandy Ward is a 30+ year veteran of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry and is the Director of Sales and Marketing at the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour in Washington State.

We talk with Sandy about the variety of exhibits and educational opportunities offered to visitors of all ages, including what to expect on the Boeing Tour. We also discuss the Aviation Geekfest as well as the great aviation attractions that can be found in the area.

The Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour is operated and managed by the Future of Flight Foundation, an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, in partnership with The Boeing Company and Snohomish County.

Boeing Factory Doors in Sunrise Joe Kunzler

The Future of Flight Aviation Center is a must-see aviation destination and is located in Everett, Washington, just twenty minutes north of Seattle. The Boeing Tour is the only publicly available tour of a commercial jet assembly plant in North America.


FAA hit by cyberattack, finds no damage

A recent government audit warned the FAA that its air traffic control system is vulnerable to hacking. In February, an FAA administrative network was infected with a virus spread via email, but the FAA says no damage was done.

AP investigation details perimeter breaches at US airports

The Associated Press surveyed 31 airports and found 268 perimeter breaches since 2004. The surveyed airports handle three-quarters of U.S. commercial passenger traffic. San Francisco topped the list with 37, Philadelphia International had 25 and LAX with 24.

Wichita State, Embry-Riddle release results of airline quality study

The annual Airline Quality Rating report is a statistical study of major airline performance in the United States, conducted jointly by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Wichita State University. Three of the twelve U.S. airlines evaluated improved in 2014, one was unchanged, and eight airlines declined. These airlines posted the worst industry score since 2009.

Airbus Eyes Major Role In A350 Aftermarket Support; First Customer Imminent

Airbus wants to be a player in the aftermarket service sector of commercial aviation, and they are working on a 12-year deal with a European operator. The deal is believed to be an Airbus Flight Hour Services (FHS) agreement: operators pay a fee per flight hour for maintenance services. Airbus also offers a Total Support Package (TSP). Reportedly, Airbus are in talks with other potential service customers.

The Australia News Desk

PCDU team at Barossa 2015

PCDU team at Barossa 2015

Steve and Grant traveled to South Australia this week to provide commentary at the Barossa Airshow, located at Rowland Flat in the famous Barossa Valley wine region. They’re joined by their locally based reporter, Maikha Ly, who worked as ground crew for one of the many wonderful aircraft that were present for the airshow – in this case, an 87% scale replica WWI Nieuport bi-plane.

In the news, the Australian Government has announced the purchase of a further two C-17 Globemaster III aircraft for the RAAF which will increase the fleet size to eight. They will be based at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland in a deal said to be worth $A1billion, $A300million of which is earmarked for infrastructure upgrades at the already crowded facility.  Of the stock of so called “white tail” C-17s left in the Boeing inventory, there are rumours that the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) may be considering the purchase of up to two aircraft….unless Airbus can do them a deal on a couple of A400Ms instead, of course.

Listen at the end for a cameo appearance by Steve’s son, Chris, who was helping out as well


Other Seattle aviation attractions:

Air Canada A320 by Ryan Hothersall:

Air Canada A320 by Ryan Hothersall

Photos by Paul Filmer, straightening us out:

Caravelle by Paul Filmer

This is the Caravelle…

Caravelle by Paul Filmer

…and this is the Comet.

Listener Photo of the Week

A350 by Seth

A350 by Seth


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

AirplaneGeeks 344 It’s All About Rob

D8 double-bubble

An Air Canada crash, Allegiant pilots try to strike, aviation safety in Asia, an advanced jet engine design, the classified Long-Range Strike Bomber, and TSA profiling. And it’s not really all about Rob…


Air Canada flight involved in runway crash hit antenna array: TSB

An Air Canada A320 touched down 1,100 feet short of the runway at the Halifax Airport, hitting an antenna array which damaged the landing gear, and skidded on its belly.

Air Canada gives $5Gs to passengers from crash-landed Halifax flight

Air Canada provided the money “to cover immediate and interim expenses.” It does not cover any money that could be awarded in potential lawsuits.

Pilot Strike at Allegiant Halted by Court Order

Some 500 Allegiant Air pilots planned to strike the airline, but a federal judge granted the airline’s request and issued a restraining order against the labor action. The strike would have grounded Allegiant Air over the Easter and Passover holiday weekend.

Asia’s aviation industry confronts safety challenges after decade of turbocharged growth

Does fast regional growth outpace the regulatory infrastructure?

A Reversed, Tilted Future For Pratt’s Geared Turbofan?

Pratt & Whitney concept engine

Credit: Pratt & Whitney

We see new aircraft about to enter service offering huge reductions in fuel consumption, but that’s not stopping people from thinking farther into the future with unique design concepts.

The $80 billion Pentagon program that could slice up an aerospace business

Northrop Grumman and Boeing are competing for the Pentagon’s classified Long-Range Strike Bomber. It’ll probably be called the B-3 and its valued at as much as $80 billion.

TSA ‘Behavior Detection” Program Targeting Undocumented Immigrants, Not Terrorists

The Intercept says the SPOT program (Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques) catches illegal immigrants, not terrorists.

The Australia News Desk

Industry calls for rethink of new CASA charges

CASA are increasing their rates yet many of us think they should first improve their processes.

Air Mobility commander new deputy RAAF chief

Warren McDonald next RAAF deputy chief

We have a new RAAF DCAF (Deputy Commander Air Force).

Prince Harry touches down in Darwin

HRH Harry is ‘ere!

Steve and Grant will be doing airshow commentary at the Barossa Airshow near Adelaide on Sunday.

Listener Recording

In light of the coverage of the Germanwings crash, Micah gives us News Reporting & the Sport of Speculation or The Surge in Sensational Surrealism.

EVA Air Report

Hello Kitty swag from EVA

Brian provides his experience with the EVA Air PR department. His report was published in AirwaysNews as Inflight Review: EVA Air LAX-TPE-HKG-LAX in First Class, and you can also read his full version, Trip Report LAX – TPE – HKG – LAX [PDF].


Velocity SE

Velocity SE

Calculate air temperature based on altitude.

A video technical presentation by Mike Ciminera, an engineer from Northrop Grumman involved in designing the F-14.

This on demand film tells the amazing true story of Jewish American pilots who, in 1948, smuggled planes out of the U.S. and flew for Israel during its war for independence.

Listener Photo of the Week

Gliding with Glen

Glen Towler took this photo while gliding for the first time in 30 years. Glen is an Oshkosh veteran and hopes to get his certificate one day.


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