Tag Archives: 737MAX

572 Pickle Fork Cracks

We discuss the erosion of manual piloting skills, pickle fork cracks in the B737NG, the EC review of Boeing’s interest in Embraer, a helicopter crash “close to home,” an “MCAS-like” system on the KC-46 tanker, tracking stealth fighters with passive radar, Delta’s proposed stake in LATAM, and Delta’s rules change for emotional support animals.

Aviation News

EAA Creating Hands-On Build-And-Fly R/C Model Building, Flying Program

EAA and the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) have unveiled a new “Young Eagles Build and Fly” program. This is designed to engage youth in hands-on building and flying of radio-control aircraft.

Unexpected cracking found on critical Boeing 737 Next Generation part

Some Boeing 737NGs are exhibiting pickle fork cracks. These are structures that connect the wing to the fuselage and transmit the load to the fuselage as the wings flex. The pickle forks are reportedly meant to last a lifetime so the cracking is of some concern.

You Can Fly Challenge tops its goal

More than $2.8 million was contributed by more than 5,000 individual donors to the 2019 AOPA You Can Fly Challenge. The 2019 challenge exceeded expectations and the Ray Foundation voted to increase its matching grant to $2.5 million. In total, more than $5.3 million in new funding was provided for You Can Fly.

FAA urges ICAO to address erosion of ‘manual’ piloting skills

Flightglobal reports that the FAA has concerns about pilots who cannot handle the aircraft when the automation fails. Some pilots have inadequate manual flying skills. The FAA believes ICAO standards and guidance need to evolve as automation continues to expand. Daily bulletins are available from ICAO’s 40th Assembly in Montreal September 24 through October 4, 2019.

Boeing, Embraer Deal Faces EU Scrutiny

The European Commission wants to look at Boeing’s plan to take a controlling interest of Embraer’s commercial business, despite previously approving Airbus’ purchase of the Bombardier CSeries.

Bowdoinham man severely injured in helicopter crash at Sanford airport

A Robinson R44 helicopter crashed at the Sanford, Maine airport. Pilot Jack White, 50, was transported to the hospital with “severe injuries.”

Boeing omitted safeguards on 737 MAX that were used on military jet

A system similar to MCAS is used on the KC-46 tankers, but for a different reason: to compensate for load changes. The tanker version, however, uses two AOA indicators instead of one on the 737 MAX.

USAF Reviewing Training After MAX 8 Crashes; KC-46 Uses Similar MCAS

The Air Force is watching to see if there are any implications for the KC-46.

Stealthy no more? A German radar vendor says it tracked the F-35 jet in 2018 — from a pony farm

German radar-maker Hensoldt claims to have tracked two F-35s for 150 kilometers following the 2018 Berlin Air Show in Germany in 2018. The TwInvis system passive radar system uses existing electromagnetic energy from radio and TV broadcast transmitters and evaluates their echoes when reflected by an object.

Delta is buying 20% of LATAM, Latin America’s largest airline

LATAM Airlines, formerly LAN Airlines S.A. and Lan Chile, is a OneWorld Alliance member. Delta Air Lines is planning to take a 20% stake in the airline for $1.9 billion says they’ll spend $350 million to expand the partnership. LATAM will be exiting the OneWorld alliance. No word if they will join SkyTeam led by Delta.

Delta lifts ban on emotional support animals on long flights, but pit bulls are still barred

Delta lifted its ban on emotional support animals on flights longer than eight hours. This puts them back in compliance with the Department of Transportation. However, Delta continues to ban pit bulls, even though breed bans are not allowed.

Mentioned

Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour

571 Aviation Reporter

Our guest is an aviation reporter who covers airlines, regulation, and electric flight. We talk about the Boeing 737 MAX, including the congressional investigations, changing the certification process, and regulatory agency harmony. We also discuss Canadian airline mergers and green aviation. In the news, we look at the Chinese development of their commercial aircraft industry, the collapse of Thomas Cook, the Belgian F-16 crash, and Chuck Yeager’s lawsuit against Airbus.

Guest

Tom Risen, aviation reporter.

Tom Risen

Tom Risen is an aviation reporter who covers the airlines, industry regulation, and electric flight at Cirium, a company which provides aviation industry data and analytics. Tom received a Master’s of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University and has been a journalist for some time. Follow him on Twitter at @TomRisen.

We dive into the Boeing 737 MAX situation and benefit from the fact that Tom has attended all the congressional hearings on this matter. Changes in the FAA safety certification process will unfold in the coming years, likely using stakeholder participation as was the case with NextGen.

Tom also comments on Canadian airline mergers and we discuss electric aviation. 

References:

Aviation News

China Starts Attack On Boeing And Airbus

China Eastern Airlines and China Western Airlines have placed orders with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) for the ARJ21-700 regional jet. COMAC also produces the C919 narrowbody in the B737/A320 size class, and the company hopes to develop the widebody CR929 through the CRAIC joint-venture with the Russian United Aircraft Corporation.

150,000 Stranded By Thomas Cook Collapse

Thomas Cook Airlines and parent Thomas Cook Group have filed for bankruptcy. Reportedly, 150,000 customers are stranded around the world. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) says it has “secured a fleet of aircraft from around the world” and launched a program to return affected UK customers home.

Pilot caught on high-voltage electricity line after fighter jet crashes in France

A Belgian F-16 on a training flight crashed while traveling to a naval airbase in France. Both pilots ejected. The parachute of one pilot became entangled in power lines and had to be rescued.

Chuck Yeager Sues Airbus Over ‘Trademark’

Ninety-six-year-old Chuck Yeager claims Airbus used his name and photo to promote a helicopter design but did not pay him for that.

Buying a Plane, Part 5

Reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari explains the process he followed to import the Focke-Wulf from Canada to the United States.

Mentioned

Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour.

35th Annual Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Wings Over Houston Airshow on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 19-20, at Ellington Airport.

570 Flying in the B-2 Stealth Bomber

Our guest is the only person ever granted access to film the B-2 stealth bomber from the cockpit in flight. He’s producing a television series examining the United States military’s global nuclear mission in the 21st century. In the news, we discuss the protest with drones at Heathrow, the UAE General Civil Aviation Authority views on the 737 MAX, a Boeing 707 struggling to get to Australia, and an A330 flight diversion due to spilled coffee. Plus, more interviews from Cranky Flier’s Dorkfest and SpotLAX2019, and part 4 of Launchpad Marzari’s quest to buy an airplane.

Guest

Jeff Bolton, first to film inside the B-2 Stealth Bomber.

Jeff Bolton

Jeff Bolton tells the stories of the men, women, and families of the United States military. For more than 20 years he has been embedded in military commands, combat theatres, and natural disaster zones around the world.

This past July, Jeff became the first person ever to film a B-2 stealth bomber cockpit tour narrated by the pilot in-flight. He also filmed a B-2 aerial refueling from the bomber’s cockpit. More recently, Jeff has taken a camera inside the B-52.

Jeff is developing and producing a television series in partnership with Defense News that examines the United States military’s global nuclear mission in the 21st century titled GUARDIANS: A Mission For Peace. His previous projects include the documentary film America’s Marine Aviators.

Jeff’s website is JeffBolton.org and you can learn more at Educational Media Enterprises which produces documentary educational programming. He also volunteers at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, a non-profit educational organization which restores, operates, maintains and displays historically significant vintage aircraft.

Full Reveal Video inside the B2 Stealth Bomber

B2 Cockpit Tour & Aerial Refueling

JeffBolton.org B-52 Experience

Aviation News

Heathrow climate change drone protest arrests rise to 19

UK climate activists made a plan to protest near Heathrow Airport by flying drones inside the airport’s 5km no-fly zone. Their expectation was that the airport protocol would require halting flights. The group called Heathrow Pause said they’d use toy drones, fly them 6 feet high, outside of flight paths, and early in the morning when no flights were scheduled. Authorities responded with some unspecified technology that prevented the drones from flying.

See also: London’s Heathrow Airport appears to have worked out how to jam drone signals to stop climate-change protesters from shutting down its airspace

UAE regulator not optimistic on Boeing 737 MAX return this year

The United Arab Emirates’ General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) joins EASA in saying they too will conduct their own assessment of the 737 Max before allowing it to return to service.

High-flyer Travolta to jet into Australia but pricey gift grounded

Since 1998, John Travolta has owned a former Qantas Boeing 707. Travolta is attempting to gift the plane to the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society in Albion Park, but repairs necessary to make it flightworthy may cost $2 million.

Plane carrying 326 passengers diverted after pilot spills coffee

An Airbus A330-243 operated by Condor as flight DE2116 from Frankfurt to Cancún last February had to divert after the commanding pilot spilled some coffee onto the audio control panel (ACP). The panel started smoking, there was an electrical burning smell, and one of the buttons on the co-pilot’s ACP began to melt. The flight was diverted to Shannon airport and jettisoned fuel. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch interim report [PDF] describes operator safety actions, including ensuring that cup lids are provided for flights on all routes.

Reports

Buying a Plane, Part 4

Reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari tells us more about the Focke-Wulf he’s purchasing.

Focke-Wulf FWP-149D

Cranky Flier’s Dorkfest and SpotLAX2019, Part 2

Brian Colemen spoke with Ben Granucci from NYCAviation, Poppy (age 3), KC-10 pilot Doug and Bob, Tracy from the UK, Ian Petchenik from Flightradar24, Nick from JetTip, Pilot Mike, and Ross.

Mentioned

Eat at the Airport.com

American Helicopter Museum – 1220 American Boulevard, West Chester, Pennsylvania.

AvTalk Episode 66: Our Super Avgeek Week – Covers Cranky Flier’s Dorkfest and SpotLAX2019, the Super80 send-off, and more.

564 One Hundred Years of GE Aviation

The former media relations manager at GE Aviation tells us about the 100-year history of a company that contributed so much to aviation. In the news, we look at the path forward for electric planes, hidden city ticketing, Boeing’s plans to employ a second flight computer on the 737 MAX, an employment cutback at ICON Aircraft, and a successful English Channel crossing on a flyboard.

Guest

Rick Kennedy

Rick Kennedy

Rick Kennedy retired after a 30-year career managing media relations at GE Aviation and he authored the book GE Aviation: 100 Years of Reimagining Flight. This insightful and well-researched book takes the reader through the fascinating history of GE Aviation and it’s contributions to flight. Rick describes the people, the technology, the engines, and the aircraft as well as the decisions made along the way that affected the industry. Profits from the sale of the book go to charity.

In our conversation with Rick, we touch on some of the GE aviation history and major milestones such as the high bypass turbofan and the airflow efficiency made possible through the use of ceramic matrix composite (CMC) turbine parts. Also, MRO strategies of the engine OEMs, military jet engines using GE’s variable cycle approach, electric aviation, the creation of CFMI, and the response to Pratt & Whitney’s geared turbofan engine.

Rick explains how the Boeing 737 MAX issues will affect all future aircraft. He points out that while all the technological advances we are witnessing today are exciting, our culture will expect the new technology to be as safe and reliable as what we experience now. That’s a very difficult challenge for the industry.

Video: 100 Years of Reimagining Flight

See also:

Aviation News

What’s the path forward for electric planes?

We’re seeing many companies developing (and even delivering) electric and hybrid-electric airplanes. But what are the hurdles and what is the path to widespread acceptance and use? It isn’t just all about new technology.

United Airlines Staff Told To Report Hidden City Ticketing

Hidden city ticketing is the technique of purchasing an airline ticket that makes a stop, getting off the plane, and the flight then continues on to the final destination. A traveler can save money when the long flight is priced lower than the shorter flight. Airlines are not too fond of the practice.

Boeing’s latest 737 Max fix would employ second flight computer

The Seattle Times is reporting that Boeing plans to use a second redundant flight computer to address the issue found by the FAA in simulations that could result in the plane’s nose pitching down. Just one computer was used in the past because Boeing was able to prove statistically that its system was reliable. In the new configuration, both computers would be used and pilots would receive a warning if the computers disagreed on altitude, airspeed, and the angle of attack. See Newly stringent FAA tests spur a fundamental software redesign of Boeing’s 737 MAX flight controls.

ICON Slashes Workforce

Icon has delivered about 100 two-seat A5 sport airplanes so far, but it is having difficulty converting some 1,800 deposits to sales. After a number of price increases, the retail price is up to $389,000. Icon president Thomas Wieners said, “We now have a very good understanding of costs. And while the Icon A5 is a truly exceptional plane, the necessary higher price lowers demand considerably and requires us to adjust the organization size as a result.”

Franky Zapata: Flyboarding Frenchman crosses English Channel

Zapata flew his flyboard across the English Channel, covering 22 miles in 22 minutes, reaching speeds of up to 170km/h (106mph) during the flight. He refueled by switching to another backpack during the crossing, this time from a larger boat and platform.

Mentioned

Two Hurt in Weekend ICON A5 Accident

Whirly-Girls Open 2020 Scholarship Season

The Whirly-Girls Scholarship Fund, Inc. is proud to announce the opening of the 2020 scholarship season.  Deserving female aviators can apply for over $180,000 of helicopter flight training and educational scholarships.  These scholarships advance the helicopter industry by strengthening the talent pool and increasing diversity. Applications are due September 1, 2019.

B-17 and F-18

Old meets new, by Patrick Wiggins.

Naval Aviation Fly

Come join us on Saturday, August 3rd for our Naval Aviation Fly Day with featured aircraft that
include the TBM Avenger and F8F Bearcat. Also, enjoy a midday panel presentation with three
WWll Navy Veteran Fighter Pilots who will share their experiences and answer questions. Flying
activities include scenic member flights in aircraft from the golden age of aviation. Become a
member and experience a flight yourself! Get up close and personal with our collection of fully
restored vintage aircraft and enjoy a day of excitement. BBQ lunch will be available for
purchase.
For more information or to book your flight, call 425-348-3200 or email
visitorservices@historicflight.org

561 Vintage Aviation

A longtime AvGeek plans to present photographs and tell the stories of vintage aviation. Also, an electric airplane company goes under, the FAA publishes new ADS-B pre-flight policy, the massive GE9X engine gets Guinness Book of World Records recognition, commercial aviation is in the crosshairs of environmentalists, the latest on “DB” Cooper, and a hotel room with a full flight simulator.

Martt Clupper and his restored 1959 Super Cub.

Martt Clupper and the restored 1959 Super Cub.

Guest

Martt Clupper is planning to create the Vintage Aviation print magazine to show the photographs and tell the stories of early aviation. Martt has a Kickstarter Campaign to create the premier issue of the magazine that will showcase historical photographs and provide in-depth storytelling of vintage aviation, focusing on the period from the early 1900s until 1960. He is also producing episodes of Vintage Aviation Podcast.

Vintage Aviation on Facebook

Vintage Aviation: Flight-History Print Magazine Kickstarter Campaign

Vintage Aviation Podcast

Vintage Aviation Magazine

News

Bothell-based electric-airplane startup Zunum runs out of cash

Zunum Aero benefited from Boeing and JetBlue investments as it sought to develop hybrid electric airplanes. But Zunum has run out of cash and the company has laid off employees and reportedly vacated its facilities. Zunum Aero founder Matt Knapp was our guest in Episode 453 The Zunum Aero Electric Airplane.

FAA Publishes New 2020 ADS-B Pre-Flight Policy

Published in the Federal Register, Statement of Policy on Performance Requirements for Operators of Aircraft That are Equipped With Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS–B) Out [PDF]:

Under the circumstances identified in this policy, the FAA is providing assurance to operators that it will not consider degradation in Global Positioning System performance due to conditions outside the operator’s control that results in an operation falling below ADS–B rule requirements to constitute non-compliance provided the operator has exercised appropriate due diligence prior to conducting an operation.

GE9X Sets World Record as Most Powerful Jet Engine

The GE9X has been officially declared by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most powerful jet engine at 134,300 pounds of thrust. The engine, which will power the Boeing 777X, produced this thrust during an engineering test in November 2017. GE announced the record this month as part of their 100-year celebration.

Video: The sound of innovation – GE9X Engine

Europe’s ‘flight shame’ movement doesn’t stand a chance in the U.S.

Environmentalism continues to grow and commercial air travel is a target. France has announced an “eco-tax” and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is urging travelers to consider flying less, especially over short distances. In Europe, rail is a viable alternative, but not so much in the US.

DB Cooper Dead?

The mystery identity of “DB” Cooper has stymied law enforcement since he parachuted out the back of a Northwest Orient 727 in 1971 with $200,000 in cash. Some speculated that Robert Rackstraw was “DB” Cooper. Cold case expert Thomas Colbert wrote that the evidence pointed to Rackstraw. Now Rackstraw family members say the man has just died of natural causes at age 75.

‘New’ name for Ryanair 737 Max is not actually new

After spotting the 737-8200 designation on the side of a Ryanair 737-8 MAX, some wondered if Boeing was rebranding the MAX. If fact, the 737-8200 designation has existed for years.

Japanese hotel installs Boeing 737 flight simulator in ‘Superior Cockpit Room’

The Haneda Excel Hotel Tokyu has a new “Superior Cockpit Room” that includes a Boeing 747-800 flight simulator.

Haneda Excel Hotel Tokyo.

Courtesy Haneda Excel Hotel Tokyo.

Mentioned

Pod-A-Palooza 2019

National Warplane Museum and Geneseo Airshow

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

555 Marzari Goes Skydiving

Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari goes skydiving! Our Main(e) Man Micah talks with Bunk and Diana Chase about the Spurwink Farm Pancake Breakfast & Fly-In. A proud papa talks with a new Civil Air Patrol cadet, and more on cryogenic hydrogen fuel cells for electric airplanes. In the news, an eVTOL with a claimed 400-mile range, the CBS interview with Boeing’s CEO, a report on assumptions made during 737 MAX design and certification, and a rather strange story about trapping flight attendants in the plane.

Aviation News

Skai hydrogen-powered eVTOL air taxi boasts enormous 400-mile range

Alaka’i Technologies is an electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) air taxi company in the news. The Massachusetts-based company says their Skai aircraft will hold five passengers, including a pilot for up to four hours of flight time with a 400-mile range.

Video: Alaka’i Skai – Hydrogen powered VTOL air taxi

Red Bull cancels air race series after 2019 season

Launchpad Marzari provides the sad news.

What Boeing’s CEO said on CBS This Morning

In a CBS interview, Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg apologized for the crashes. “Boeing and the FAA continue efforts to implement a software fix that corrects the fatal flaws in the 737 MAX’s new MCAS technology (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System)…”

Boeing Built Deadly Assumptions Into 737 Max, Blind to a Late Design Change

The New York Times describes a scenario where the MCAS was originally designed with multiple sensor inputs for a specific scenario but later enlarged the scope and dropped some of those inputs. The changes weren’t fully understood and “test pilots, engineers, and regulators were left in the dark…”

Delta Tried To ‘Trap’ Its Own Flight Attendants On A Plane, Messages Show

A Delta’s operations control center employee told the Delta gate agent to keep the door shut while some maintenance was performed. “Do not open door,” the message read. “flt attendants out of time and none available.” Delta says it was a breakdown of company protocol.

Launchpad visits Skydive Spaceland

Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari visited Skydive Spaceland and he tells us about his skydiving experience. Tandem instructor Andrew Lee talks about the qualifications for becoming a jump instructor.

Video: Launchpad skydive

More to come next episode.

Spurwink Farm Pancake Breakfast & Fly-In Preview

Bunk and Diana Chase live a true airplane geek life. In the summer they live next to the Limington-Harmon Airport in Limington, Maine. In the winter they move to Lakeland, Florida where Bunk volunteers at the Central Florida Aerospace Academy and Diana works with SUN ‘n FUN media. Bunk and Diana are also part of the original group to start the Spurwink Farm Pancake Breakfast & Fly-In.

Bunk’s personal hangar in Maine opens right on the AirNav 63B’s runway 11/29. In it, he has two Pitts Specials, one of which (N6W) was built by Curtis Pitts himself for Mary Gaffaney, one of the world’s greatest aerobatic pilots. Also in that hangar is perhaps the most beautiful Piper Cub ever seen.

Bunk and Diana invited our Main(e) man Micah to their home to talk a bit about this year’s Fly-In which will take place on July 14, 2019.

Bunk &and his Pits N6W.

Bunk’s Cub.

Mentioned

Sticks, Stories, and Scotch

A mystery…

A mystery plane.

A mystery plane.

Report: Airlines Installing Uncomfortable Bumps In Seatbacks Because It Pleases Them

Air New Zealand spends billions buying new fleet of Boeing Dreamliner long-haul jets

Video: Driving the Hydrogen-Powered 2018 Honda Clarity Fuel Cell

 

549 Civil Air Patrol

A conversation about the Civil Air Patrol, noncommissioned officers in aviation, and the V-22 Osprey. Also, the last Doolittle Raider passes, the race to recover a Japanese F-35A, Special Operations Command (SOCOM) and light attack aircraft, the Stratolaunch first flight, the AOA sensor on Ethiopian 302, an airliner hits a sign, a positive airline story of the week, reduced seat recline, and an order for 60 all-electric airplanes.

Guest

Armando Carrion

Armando Carrion

Armando Carrion just retired after a 21-year career in the Air Force, most recently as enlisted aircrew on the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey. He specialized in flying light tactical fixed wing, and special missions. Armando has volunteered with the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) for 25 years and commanded two different squadrons.

In our conversation about the Civil Air Patrol, we learn that CAP program cadets come from all walks of life since they are not organized around a particular school or community. Established in 1941, CAP has over 60,000 members, including pilots, aircrew, and emergency responders. Besides service to the community, CAP offers pilots the opportunity to fly different aircraft types and build hours.

Armando also explains the importance of enlisted aircrew to the Air Force and the variety of positions that are available. Recently, the demand has grown for enlisted pilots to operate remotely piloted aircraft.

We also get some insights into the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor, and what lies ahead for Armando in civilian aviation.

Armando has crewed 26 different aircraft ranging from heavy cargo and airlift airframes to small general aviation aircraft employed in unique roles. He has volunteered for over 25 years serving as a search and rescue, disaster relief, and counter-drug mission pilot. Armando currently holds an FAA Commercial Certificate with Instrument and multiple ratings and endorsements. He’s a Reno Air Race team member and co-hosts the Plane Talking UK podcast.

Resources

The V-22 Osprey at Sun 'n Fun 2019. Photo by Max Flight.

The V-22 Osprey at Sun ‘n Fun 2019. Photo by Max Flight.

The V-22 Osprey image David wanted us to use. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force.

The V-22 Osprey image David wanted us to use. Photo courtesy U.S. Air Force.

Must see video: V22 Osprey folding up

Aviation News

Richard Cole, last WWII Doolittle Raider, dies in Texas

The last of the Doolittle Raiders, Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole, has died at age 103. The Doolittle Raiders flew a daring attack on Japan during World War II, less than five months after Pearl Harbor. Cole was Jimmy Doolittle’s co-pilot, who passed in 1993. The Raiders launched their assault April 18, 1942, flying B-25 bombers from the USS Hornet.

Race to find Japan’s F-35 stealth jet that crashed into sea before China or Russia can steal top secret tech

Here’s Everything We Know About The Ongoing Search For Japan’s Crashed F-35

A Japanese F-35A fighter was lost about eighty miles east of the coast of Japan. The aircraft was the first F-35 assembled in Japan by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

SOCOM Commander: Special Ops Needs Light Attack Aircraft

Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Army Gen. Richard Clarke said at a hearing of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities hearing, “Light attack aircraft is a need for our SOCOM, and I think it’s a need for our nation.”

Stratolaunch, the world’s largest airplane and built to launch rockets, takes first flight

Stratolaunch Systems Corporation successfully completed the first flight of the Stratolaunch, the world’s largest all-composite aircraft. The Stratolaunch flew for 2.5 hours, achieved a maximum speed of 189 miles per hour, and reached altitudes up to 17,000 feet.

Stratolaunch first flight. Photo courtesy Stratolaunch Systems Corporation.

Stratolaunch first flight. Photo courtesy Stratolaunch Systems Corporation.

Ethiopian Crash Data Analysis Points To Vane Detachment

Some evidence is suggesting the angle of attack indicator may have broken off the plane during or shortly after takeoff. By Guy Norris in Aviation Daily, behind the paywall.

American Airlines flight loses chunk of wing after hitting sign

American Airlines flight 300 from JFK bound for Los Angeles returned to the airport after apparently hitting a sign on takeoff.

Cessna 172 Runs Out of Fuel, Crashes in Valley Stream Long Island, NY

The Cessna came down in a residential neighborhood and got entangled in the power lines. There were no injuries.

Positive Airline Story of the Week

Baby blows kisses, bonds with flight attendant on Southwest flight

Mentioned

8 Lessons Pilots can Learn from the Boeing 737 MAX Crashes and the MCAS

Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display – Saturday, June 15, 2019, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm, at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

Delta enters the seat recline wars

Video: SpaceX nails triple booster landing – BBC News

Norway aviation firm orders 60 all-electric airplanes, drops operation costs 80%

Video: RAF Hunter Pilot Goes Rogue over London 1968

Video: The Physics of How a Plane Flies

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

 

 

 

528 Red Bull Air Race

We look at the Boeing Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System or MCAS for the 737 MAX, the Lockheed Martin X-59 Quiet Supersonic Technology aircraft, an Aurora Flight Sciences high-altitude pseudo-satellite, Japan Airlines pilots and drinking, and the TSA’s Automated Security Lanes. Also, Launchpad Marzari reports on the Red Bull Air Race World Championship Finale in Fort Worth, Texas.

Aviation News

FAA Probes Potential 737 MAX Design Flaw

The FAA is focusing on the automated stabilizer trim system that Boeing added to the 737 MAX aircraft. It’s called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System or MCAS. Boeing may be required to design a fix for the system. Meanwhile, a Florida-based law firm has filed a lawsuit against Boeing claiming the system was an unsafe design and contributed to the Lion Air crash.

Lockheed Martin starts production of its experimental supersonic plane

Earlier this year, NASA awarded Lockheed a contract worth nearly $250 million to develop a supersonic airplane that doesn’t create a loud sonic boom. The X-59 Quiet Supersonic Technology aircraft is designed for a 55,000-foot cruise at about 940 miles per hour. NASA will flight-test the experimental QueSST aircraft by the end of 2021.

The Boeing Odysseus is a Solar Aircraft Capable of Staying in the Air Indefinitely

The Odysseus high-altitude pseudo-satellite from Boeing unit Aurora Flight Sciences has a 243-foot wingspan. Flight testing in Puerto Rico is to begin in April 2019.

How Japan Airlines Plans to Solve Its Drunk Pilot Problem

The JAL co-pilot arrested at London’s Heathrow airport for being drunk took an in-house breathalyzer test but cheated. The breathalyzer used by JAL didn’t have a tube and it wasn’t noticed that the pilot was not blowing into the device.

US airport security is slowly getting just a bit better

Traditional airport security checkpoints in the U.S. process passengers serially. But now a different TSA checkpoint design is rolling out to additional airports. They are called “Automated Security Lanes” and passengers are processed in parallel.

Video: Travel Tips: Automated Screening Lanes

Red Bull Air Race

Launchpad Marzari attended the Red Bull Air Race World Championship Finale in Fort Worth, Texas.

Launchpad asked a great question during the live press conference, then interviewed racer Mike Goulian who took third place overall for the season.

Red Bull Media Center, Austin, Texas.

Mentioned

PurpleAir.com  – An air quality monitoring network built on a new generation of “Internet of Things” sensors.

The Mobile Passport app speeds you through U.S. Customs and Border Protection at three cruise ports and 26 airports.

YouTube Aviation Channels

More listener-submitted YouTube channels:

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

495 Heritage Flights

The president of Planes of Fame tells us about the museum, restoring warbirds and historic aircraft, and flying heritage flights. Also, we look at the world’s largest jet engine, restraints on open-door helicopter flights, United Airlines and dogs, facial scanning at airports, the Boeing 737 Max 7 first flight, hacking the aviation industry, and GPS vulnerabilities.

P-51 Mustang, always a crowd-pleaser for heritage flights

Planes of Fame Air Museum P-51 Mustang

Guest

Steve Hinton is president of Planes of Fame Air Museum, which opened in 1957 and now has a collection of over 150 aircraft, more than 50 of which are flyable. The mission of the museum is to preserve aviation history, inspire interest in aviation, educate the public, and honor aviation pioneers and veterans. The Museum spans the history of manned flight from the Chanute Hang Glider of 1896 to the Space Age of Apollo, with locations in Chino, California and Valle-Grand Canyon, Arizona.

Planes of Fame Airshow 2018We talk with Steve about the Museum and the annual Planes of Fame Airshow, in 2018 to be held May 5-6 at Chino Airport in California with about 45 flying warbirds.

Steve explains how the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation pairs modern aircraft with fighter aircraft from the WWII, Korea, and Vietnam eras for dramatic heritage flights around the world. This year he flew a P-51 Mustang leading two A-10s and an F-16 in the heritage flight over the Super Bowl LII opening ceremony.

Steve held a world speed record from 1979 to 1989 and won six Unlimited-class air races, including two national championships. He won four consecutive Unlimited races in one year and remains the only pilot ever to do so. He retired from racing in 1990 and was honored in 2016 with the Crystal Eagle Award from the Aero Club of Northern California.

Steve also owns Fighter Rebuilders, a military aircraft restoration company. He was our guest on Episode 386 in January 2016.

Learn more at the Planes of Fame Air Museum website, follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Aviation News

GE starts flight trials for world’s largest jet engine

On March 13, from Victorville, California, GE’s new GE9X engine flew more than four hours mounted to the company’s 747 testbed aircraft. The 100,000-pound thrust-class engine has a 134-inch fan and is intended for the Boeing 777X, scheduled for EIS in 2020.

Video: GE9X engine soars

Chopper flights with open doors, tight restraints grounded

Open-door helicopter flights are popular with tourists and photographers, but recently one of these flights went down in a river, killing all 5 passengers on board. It appears that they were unable to escape from the harnesses that held them in the chopper. The family of one victim has filed a lawsuit and the FAA issued a temporary nationwide ban on open-door flights unless they are equipped with restraint systems that open with one action.

United Airlines Chartered a Private Jet to Send Irgo the Dog Home

Bad press seems to dog United Airlines frequently these days. But they went above and beyond after mistakenly shipping a German Shepherd Dog to Japan. They returned the pooch via a privately chartered jet.

Facial Scanning Now Arriving At U.S. Airports

Customs and Border Protection is testing biometric scanning at some U.S. international airports at boarding points. Cameras at the gate send passenger photographs to CBP where they are checked against photos on file and to make sure that person is booked on the manifest. Some critics point to possible bias and privacy protection issues.

Boeing Says New 737 MAX 7 Aircraft Completes Successful First Flight

The smallest member of the family, the Boeing 737 MAX 7, flew on March 17, 2018, for 3 hours and 5 minutes. The flight test program now begins with certification and delivery expected in 2019. The airplane has a maximum capacity of 172 passengers and a range of 3,850 nautical miles.

Russian Hackers Attacked U.S. Aviation as Part of Breaches

Bloomberg reports that hackers were attempted to penetrate the U.S. civilian aviation industry early in 2017. Details aren’t provided, but Jeff Troy, executive director of the Aviation Information Sharing and Analysis Center (A-ISAC), said the attack had limited impact. Also that the industry has taken steps to prevent a repeat of the intrusion. US-CERT has issued a detailed report.

Keeping NextGen on the air

A task group co-chaired by AOPA looked at GPS interference when certain military activities are conducted. GPS signals are fragile, says AOPA and the FAA needs to ensure that alternate navigation aids and capabilities are available. The March 2018 report contains 25 recommendations:  Operational Impacts of Intentional GPS Interference: A Report of the Tactical Operations Committee in Response to Tasking from the Federal Aviation Administration [PDF].

Airline Story of the Week

Pratt & Whitney showcases the role of women in powering flight

Although not specifically about commercial aircraft, it is a great story about the contribution woman have made to Pratt & Whitney.

Interview

Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari speaks with Ken VeArd from Pilot Partner about getting paper out of the cockpit. Ken was kind enough to offer a discount code for Airplane Geeks listeners. The interview begins at about 1:28 into the episode.

Mentioned

The Sticks, Stories, Scotch blog by listener Aaron.

Fingertrouble showed us a photo of this Short SC.7 Skyvan operated by Pink-Skyvan in Europe for skydiving activities:

Short SC.7 Skyvan

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.