We celebrate our 500th episode with messages from our listeners and contributors, some Airplane Geeks facts and trivia, an AusDesk report, and a big announcement. In the news, we look at an emergency airworthiness directive for certain CFM engines, and a proposed mandatory retirement age for charter pilots.
A Southwest Airlines B737 experienced an uncontained failure in one of its CFM56-7B engines that resulted in the death of one passenger. The engine manufacturer, CFM International, issued a service bulletin for ultrasonic testing of the fan blades. This can be performed on-engine in about four hours. The FAA said the “emergency” order was based on a service bulletin. CFMI estimates 352 engines in the U.S. are affected and 681 engines worldwide.
A manager’s amendment in the FAA reauthorization bill would require a mandatory retirement age of 65 for certain Part 135 charter and Part 91K fractional pilots. In a letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster and ranking member Pete DeFazio, the AARP says they have “long opposed mandatory retirement; using an arbitrary age as a proxy for competence is wrong in any occupation, and it is wrong for pilots.”
Well Wishes and Messages for 500 Episodes
Our sincere thanks to all our listeners, past guests, and especially:
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.
Planes of Fame Air Museum P-51 Mustang
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.
We 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Although not specifically about commercial aircraft, it is a great story about the contribution woman have made to Pratt & Whitney.
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.
A U.S. company helps develop general aviation in China, Virgin Galactic gets closer to its first customer flight, Boeing reveals a hypersonic successor to the SR-71 Blackbird, Costa Rica’s civil aviation agency suspends a carrier, and the future of the A380 is questioned again.
We have an Across the Pond segment, a clip from GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce’s presentation at the Cirrus conference, interviews from CES 2018 about the Bell Helicopter autonomous air taxi, as well as additive manufacturing for aerospace applications, and the fifth installment from student pilot Nicki on her second solo.
Chino, California-based Threshold Aviation Group has partnered with Chinese company YXST Aviation Industry Development Co. LTD. to establish and operate training centers for Chinese pilots and mechanics, and to establish airparks and fixed base operations.
Threshold Aviation Group is based in Chino, California and is an aircraft maintenance, management, service, and support organization with more than 175,000 square feet of hangar and office space. Threshold is located at the Chino Airport (KCNO), adjacent to its 7,000-foot runway.
YXST Aviation Industry Development Co. LTD. “focuses on the full-value chain development，which integrates general aviation services, tourism, aviation education, aircraft sales and maintenance, development of aviation town, aviation medical service, aviation sport, aviation logistics, security service and extension service.”
Mark Dilullo, Threshold CEO and owner said, “This is a huge, literally huge opportunity for Threshold Aviation Group to expand its business with nearly limitless potential. The Chinese aviation market has the potential to eventually be the largest (general) aviation market in the world, and we are in on the ground floor of that providing critical services to help get it off the ground.” This summer, about 10 Chinese pilots and mechanics will come to Threshold for intensive training in general aviation skills
Virgin Galactic has completed another successful glide test flight of its VSS Unity plane over the Mojave Desert. VSS Unity, is the second SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane for Virgin Galactic. The first, VSS Enterprise, was destroyed in a crash in October 2014. Unity was taken up to an altitude of 50,000 feet by its from mothership VMS Eve before being released for the descent.
Nature Air has been suspended by Costa Rica’s civil aviation agency. A Nature Air Caravan crashed recently killing the two Costa Rican pilots and ten US citizens, including a family of five from New York. One of the pilots was the company’s director of training. Nature Air’s operations manager quit this week and its aerial security director has requested a leave of absence.
On an Airbus 2017 orders and deliveries webinar, COO-customers John Leahy said, “If we can’t work out a deal with Emirates, it is clear we will have to shut down the program.” The A380 program currently has a 95-aircraft backlog.
Airplane of the Week
David brings us Part 2 of the EC-121 Warning Star: more Willy Victor missions, the victories, and the challenges.
Across the Pond
Commander ‘Sharkey’ Ward DFC AFC RN Retired (Photo Copyright – The Daily Telegraph)
Pieter is back with an update on his 2017. He talks about the Falklands Air War and his journey to get the book on the Fairey Barracuda promoted and how it all started back here on the Airplane Geeks 7 years ago.
Aviation Xtended Episode 73 featuring the Fairey Barracuda and a book on the aircraft by Naval Air Historian, Matt Willis. Also, an interview with PO Anthony Johnson RN, a Telegraphist Air Gunner in the Barracuda who served at the end of WW2.
Photo Copyright – Charles E Brown (Aircraft P9667)
Brian Coleman attended CES 2018 in Las Vegas and recorded several interviews:
Bob Hastings, Bell Helicopter executive VP of communications and government affairs talks about the Bell Air Taxi.
Dana from FlashForge and Bill Steele from Polar3D, and their unique partnership with 3D printing and how engineers are getting trained and evaluated with Polar Cloud.
From aluminum to titanium to carbon fiber, Markforged offers a wide range of material capabilities. They can 3D print functional prototypes, lightweight tooling, or fully working replacement parts. Product VP John Rielly talks about their innovative 3D printing technologies.
Oscar Meza, vice president global sales from Shining 3D describes their unique position in the market with their wide-range of 3D digitizing and printing solutions including scanners, printers, material, design and manufacturing services for a complete end-to-end virtual and physical solution.
We listen to a clip of General Aviation Manufacturers Association president and CEO Pete Bunce’s presentation at the Cirrus CX 2018 conference. He talks about the Export Bank and infrastructure initiatives, including the consolidation of the 21 FAA Centers that manage air traffic control across the U.S. and the Pacific Ocean.
435 Airline Weekly’s Seth Kaplan on Commercial AviationThis episode, we talk about commercial aviation with Seth Kaplan, Managing Partner at Airline Weekly. In the news, we look at supersonic passenger jets, the third class medical reform rules, a 747 cargo jet crash, who is at fault for the Germanwings crash, the state of inflight WiFi, and Piper Archers that are headed for China.
Seth Kaplan, Managing Partner, Airline Weekly
Seth Kaplan is Managing Partner at Airline Weekly, a subscriber-supported publication that provides valuable information and analysis of the commercial aviation business. Airline Weekly is an independent company of journalists and airline industry professionals who are passionate about commercial passenger aviation.
Seth worked as a newspaper and television reporter, covering aviation, transportation, and other issues. He switched to the public sector and served in various executive roles with the Miami-Dade County government. Then in 2005 Seth combined his love of both aviation and journalism to become managing partner of Airline Weekly. Since then, he has become a globally recognized airline expert and is frequently asked by print and broadcast media to provide his perspectives. Seth speaks frequently at industry events, and has taught many airline economics courses to executives and staff at airlines around the world.
We look at the value and practicality of supersonic passenger jets. In November, 2016, Boom Technology showed a ⅓-scale prototype of their XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator called “Baby Boom.” According to their website, they have “A breakthrough aerodynamic design, state-of-the-art engine technology, and advanced composite materials [to] enable an ultra-fast airliner as efficient and affordable as business class in today’s subsonic wide-body airliners.” Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and others are also developing supersonic passenger jets.
FAA calls the new rule “BasicMed” and it becomes effective May 1, 2017. AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker says the rule is, “the best thing to happen to general aviation in decades.” AOPA plans to offer a free online medical course to let pilots comply with the BasicMed rules.
A Boeing 747 cargo jet flying from Hong Kong to Istanbul and trying to land in intermittent dense fog, crashed into a village near Kyrgyzstan’s main airport. Dozens of people on the ground were killed. (Addendum: Some of the news agencies claimed that the plane belonged to Turkish Airlines. Turkish Airlines informs us this is incorrect and the jet was actually from ACT Airlines.)
German prosecutors have determined that Andreas Lubitz is solely accountable for the Germanwings plane crash in March 2015. Lubitz concealed his illness from his employer and neither doctors, Lufthansa, Germanwings, or the German aviation authority could be held accountable.
According to a report by Routehappy, Internet availability on U.S. airlines was 83% in 2016, up from about 74% in 2015. Internet availability on foreign airlines was only 28%. However in many instances, connection speeds are too slow to support video streaming. Worldwide, only 7.2% of fliers would find Wi-Fi fast enough to stream videos or movies.
China Air Shuttle, the approved Piper Aircraft dealer for Archer airplanes in China, has ordered 50 Archers. They will distribute those aircraft to flight schools and general aviation companies in the region. Deliveries of 30 aircraft start in the second quarter of 2017, and continue with 20 more in the first half of 2018. The Archers will be manufactured and certificated at the Piper factory in Florida. After shipment to China, they will be assembled/reassembled by a China Air Shuttle affiliate company.
George tells his story about visiting a general aviation airport, and why you should too.
We talk with an Airbus captain and former military pilot. In the news, a charter flight runs out of fuel and crashes, first delivery of the Bombardier CS300, an airline pilot suffers a heart attack, managing massive amounts of aviation data, charging for overhead bins, an autopilot system for general aviation, and a big pay raise for Delta pilots. Also, flying the Diamond DA42NG, and remembering December 7, 1941 and the 75th anniversary of that day.
airBaltic CS300. Photo courtesy Bombardier.
Captain Nick Anderson
Captain Nick Anderson always wanted to be an airline pilot. He joined the Air Cadets at age 13, went solo in a glider at 17, gained a flying scholarship at age 18 and earned a Private Pilot’s Licence. Capt. Nick joined the RAF at age 21 and trained on the Chipmunk, Jet Provost, Folland Gnat, and Hawker Hunter. He then streamed to fighters and posted to No 43 (F) Sqn, The Fighting Cocks, flying the F4 Phantom FG1.
During a 19 year career, Capt. Nick moved from the Phantom to the Hawk T1 trainer as an A1 fast jet Qualified Flying Instructor, then back to the Phantom to become a Qualified Weapons Instructor. He then moved to Australia on an exchange tour flying the F/A 18 for the No 77 Sqn RAAF, and finally back to the UK to fly the Panavia F3 Tornado Air Defence Variant.
After obtaining his Air Transport Pilot’s Licence and leaving the military, Capt. Nick joined an airline, flying the Airbus A340-300, Airbus A340-600, and the Airbus A330-300 on long haul flights.
LaMia charter flight 2933 from Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia to Medellín in Colombia crashed November 28, 2016, killing 71 of the 68 passengers and 9 crew. Apparently, the Avro RJ-85 did not have sufficient fuel for the route flown.
The captain of a KLM flight about to leave Glasgow for Amsterdam suffered a heart attack as the plane taxied to the runway. The crew and a passenger resuscitated the pilot. He was listed in stable condition at the hospital.
The Configuration Data Exchange connects aviation companies and provides a “data pipeline” for operations, maintenance, and configuration data. The two-way asset data flow can support airlines, MROs, lessors, OEMs, and parts brokers. In #PaxEx Podcast #41, industry consultant Michael Denis explains why operators need to know how to process the data and make it meaningful.
The STC Group is leading a project to certify the Trio Pro Pilot autopilot system in Cessna 172 and 182 aircraft. This is a “two-axis system with full navigation capabilities, envelope protection, return-to-level and 180 degree turn features for unintended IMC encounters.”
Eighty two percent of the pilots voting have ratified a new four-year contract, retroactive to the beginning of 2016. Delta’s 13,000 pilots get an immediate 18% pay raise, and a cumulative 30% percent by Jan. 1, 2019.
The Ohio State University’s Center for Aviation Studies, a student pilot killed under mysterious circumstances, new wings for F-15C/Ds, new airline regulations, Bombardier layoffs, seat assignments by passenger size, hot props, airshow and air race reports, and a paint job that fails as a conspiracy theory.
Martin Rottler, M.S., CFI, is a Lecturer and the Industry Relations Coordinator for the Ohio State University’s Center for Aviation Studies in Columbus, OH.
Martin explains the degree programs offered for students seeking professional pilot, management, operations, airport planning, or airport management careers. We discuss the passion for aviation that students have today, the cost of education and flight training, the pilot shortage, and accumulating hours with activities such as giving flight instruction, flying 135 cargo, and skydiving operations. Martin talks about efforts to increase student diversity, as well as pilot cadet programs in conjunction with airlines. These offer several benefits to students, including tuition reimbursement, airline company introductions, ground school, and social events.
As a lecturer, Martin is primarily responsible for teaching several courses a semester and advising students. As the Center’s Industry Relations Coordinator, Martin is the primary point of contact for the program’s industry partners across all facets of the aviation industry, including airlines, business aviation, and airports.
Martin brings a variety of aviation experiences to his teaching, having worked in Corporate Flight Operations for Cirrus Aircraft in Duluth, MN and in Flight Operations Quality Assurance at Korean Air in Seoul, South Korea. He currently holds a Commercial Pilot certificate, an Instrument Rating and is a Certified Flight Instructor.
Student pilot Feras M. Freitekh, a Jordanian national, was killed and his instructor, Arian Prevalla injured when their twin-engine Piper PA-34 crashed on Main Street, in East Hartford, Connecticut. The crash site is directly across the street from Pratt & Whitney. Reportedly, Freitekh was arguing with his instructor before the flight.
In 2005, an airplane crashed after an engine failure, killing the pilot. His spouse sued the engine manufacturer, claiming a carburetor design defect. In 2014, a U.S. District Court found that there was no design defect in the carburetor because the engine was certified and approved by the FAA. A U.S. Court of Appeals reversed the decision in April 2016, ruling that FAA certification of the engine did not mean there was no design defect, and the FAA does not preempt state law standards of care as far as aviation products liability goes.
Federal complaints against Hawaiian Airlines claimed the airline practice of assigning seats only at the terminal discriminated against Samoans. The complaint has been denied and Hawaiian will continue the policy on flights between Honolulu and American Samoa.
The Airplane of the Week
This week, the conspiracy theorists came out to play. VFC-12 debuted a new camouflage scheme, based on the SU-34 Fullbacks seen in action over Syria. Photos of the new camo appeared first on Facebook, on a page that is dedicated to Adversary and Aggressor aircraft. The photos were then somehow hijacked into a story about the U.S. planning a “false flag” operation in Syria.
Photo by David Vanderhoof.
Ted attended the Red Bull Air Race in Indianapolis and sent us a great audio report.
Race plane, airliner, and helicopter at the Red Bull air race. Can you spot all three? Photo by Ted.
Max Flight was a guest on the FS In Focus podcast with host Nicolas Jackson. The show aired live on Sky Blue Radio on October 15th, 2016. The episode starts with Capt. Nick from the Airline Pilot Guy podcast, then Max comes in at 1:03:00 talking jet engine technology. Tracy Shiffman from VATSIM’s Worldflight charity group starts at 1:42:00.
Brian has been traveling quite a bit lately, including to Singapore and Hong Kong. He did manage to see the last flight of the Cathay 747.
Huntington Beach Airshow
Back in California, Brian caught the Huntington Beach Airshow and recorded an interview with Staff Sgt Danny Wolfram of the United States Air Force. He was entertained by the “Screamin Sasquatch,” a biplane with a jet engine.
We talk with an experienced travel writer about the air travel experience, frequent flyer programs (should they be regulated?), and an idea to centrally lock overhead bins. Also, regulating commercial balloon operators, the future of the A-10 (yet again), GA and biz jet sales, and a massive FAA hiring plan for Air Traffic Controllers. We learn who really did fly first, and why an AMT career might be worth a second look.
Kyle Stewart is a travel editor for Upgrd.com, a freelance travel writer, and he writes the Trip Sherpa blog. Upgrd.com is a resource website for frequent fliers featuring tricks of the trade and how to enjoy a first class experience on a coach budget.
Kyle tells us how frequent flyer programs and the travel experience have changed to what they are today. We also learn about airline mileage runs and status runs, what’s in Kyle’s “travel goodie bag,” and why the most important travel decision is to pay for the services that are most important to you.
Kyle flies several hundred thousand miles every year and has visited more than 50 countries on every continent except Antarctica. He has contributed to articles for Time, USA Today, Reuters, CNBC, MSN, Yahoo!, Huffington Post and many other media outlets.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s has released an investigative report on airline loyalty programs. The report concluded that the government has the authority to regulate frequent-flier programs and asked for disclosure rules. The Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings at DOT wants to learn more about problems with frequent flyer programs, and has a complaint form to collect data: DOT Air Travel Complaint – Comment Form.
When an emergency evacuation occurs on an airliner, passengers are instructed to immediately exit the airplane and leave all carry on luggage behind. Of course, that’s not what happens. A fire safety expert from London’s Greenwich University has called for a central locking system controlled by the flight deck.
The NTSB is investigating a hot air balloon accident in where the balloon struck power lines, exploded, and all 16 aboard were killed. Should commercial balloon pilots be more strongly regulated in the U.S.?
The U.S. Air Force will begin working on its next five-year budget plan, and part of the plan will include a strategy for a close air support aircraft. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said options they’ll be looking at options for replacing or augmenting the A-10 Warthog. See also, The US Air Force has an absurd plan for replacing the A-10 Warthog.
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reports that in the first half of 2016, shipments for general aviation aircraft, turboprops, and business jets were down 4.5 percent over 2015. Billings were down 11 percent.
More like the pilot(s) of the week, this time. After the 2016 Rio Olympic Opening Ceremonies, David was once again thrust into the argument of who flew first. It wasn’t Alberto Santos-Dumont for sure, but he does deserve to be a Hero of Brazil. Listen to David prove it.
We look at the Logbook Podcast with aviation stories told by those who lived them, Uzbekistan Airways weighing passengers, a patent for variable seat pitch, IndiGo firms up a big A320neo order, the fatality rate in GA, a Delta flight pummeled by hail, Emirates launching a 17 hour, 35 minute flight, and an interesting aircraft of the week.
Lucas Weakley is an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student in the aerospace engineering program. Fascinated by flight from a young age, he’s a builder of model rockets and airplanes, and he hopes to one day design kit-built aircraft.
Lucas is also the creator of The Logbook Podcast, where pilots and enthusiasts tell their stories of aviation. He also produced a 23-episode tutorial series for Make Magazine titled Maker Hangarthat teaches you everything you need to know to build and fly three custom R/C aircraft.
We also take the opportunity to learn a little more about Embry-Riddle and the aerospace engineering program.
Uzbekistan Airways announced on its website that they would begin weighing passengers and carry-on baggage before boarding to ensure flight safety. The airline says, “After passing check-in on flight and prior to boarding into the aircraft, we will suggest you to pass the procedure of weighing with the special weighing machine placed in the departure gate zone. The weighing record will only contain the corresponding passenger category (i.e. male/ female/ children). As for the rest, the full confidentiality of results is guaranteed.”
B/E Aerospace has filed a patent application for airline seats that are adjustable for passenger height. Shorter passengers (like children) would get less legroom. Mary Kirby would get more. B/E Aerospace manufactures aircraft cabin interior products for both commercial aircraft and business jets: seating products, galley systems, oxygen, water and waste systems; de-icing, lighting.
According to the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the number of general aviation flight hours is at at all time low. But in 2014 the rate of fatal GA accidents was the highest it has been since 1998.
U.S.-China aviation talks hit stumbling block on airport access – The US and China have been negotiating over limits on flights between the United States and China. The U.S. is worried its airlines will be get less attractive time slots for take-off and landing than the Chinese airlines. So the US negotiators won’t move forward until China looks at a different slot allocation system.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.