Dan Pimentel tells us about the #Oshbash social media meetup coming up at Airventure Oshkosh 2017. We also look into freelance writing for aviation publications and the Airplanista Aviation Blog. In the news, we talk about support for supersonic civil air travel in the FAA reauthorization bills before Congress, ATC privatization, United Airlines in the press again, and Turkey’s first female professional acrobatics pilot.
We also explore freelance writing for aviation publications, look at the process, and learn some tips for success. Along the way, we discuss ATC privatization, rivets and clecos, preserving EAA history, the importance of collegiate aviation programs, and how airshow performers physically and mentally prepare for the task.
Since 1973, there has been a ban on supersonic travel in the U.S. over land. However, both FAA reauthorization bills in Congress direct the FAA to revisit that restriction and determine if changes need to be made. An amendment to the House bill directs the FAA to “consider the needs of the aerospace industry and other stakeholders when creating policies, regulations, and standards that enable the safe commercial deployment of civil supersonic aircraft technology and the safe and efficient operation of civil supersonic aircraft.”
A middle school teacher traveling from Hawaii to a teacher’s conference in Boston purchased a ticket for herself, and one for her two-year-old 25-pound son. Waiting onboard the Houston to Boston leg, she was told another passenger had a valid boarding pass for the son’s seat. Rather than make a scene, the boy flew on her lap for the 3 ½ hour flight. According to a United spokesman, the boy’s boarding pass scan had been unsuccessful and he wasn’t logged in to the system. His seat was released to a standby passenger.
26-year-old Semin Öztürk is Turkey’s first female professional aerobatics pilot. She flew to great acclaim at a recent air show organized by the International Sportive Aviation Center and featuring 25 acrobatic pilots from Turkey. She began flying when she was 12 years old and her father was also an aerobatics pilot.
We talk with Vicky Benzing, a pilot, skydiver, aerobatic performer, and air racer. In the news, we have earnings reports for Boeing and some of the airlines, an air show parachutist lands in the crowd, an angle-of-attack indicator video for GA aircraft, the effect of Syrian sand on Russian jets, and Boeing fears the loss of the ExIm Bank.
Vicky Benzing is an accomplished pilot, skydiver, aerobatic performer, and air racer. She has more than 7000 hours of flight time and over 1200 parachute jumps in a flying career spanning over thirty years. Vicky currently holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating as well as a commercial rating in helicopters and seaplanes.
We talk with Vicky about aerobatic performances at air shows, including training and preparation, the “chicken dance,” the maneuvers Vicky likes, and which ones the audience likes. Also, the difference between flying the Stearman and flying high performance jets, how competing in the Reno Air Races compares to flying aerobatics at air shows, and what the crowd interaction means to a performer like Vicky. Along the way, Vicky tells us about skydiving and that the United States Parachute Association is a good resource for finding jump zones and advice.
In 2005, Vicky began training with air show legend Wayne Handley. She entered in aerobatic competitions throughout the US, and won first place in the Intermediate category in both the Northwest and Southwest Regional Championships in 2006. Two years later, she placed in the top 10 finishers at the US National Aerobatic Championships in the Advanced category.
Vicky Benzing performing
In between flying aerobatic competitions, Vicky began performing in air shows and today she focuses her energies on her airshow flying. Vicky holds a surface level waiver and a formation card, and has flown well over 100 air show performances at venues across the US, including performing at the airshow during EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh.
In 2010, Vicky began racing in the National Championship Air Races. She was chosen “Rookie of the Year” twice by her fellow Sport and Jet Class racers, and made history in Reno this year as the “fastest woman” racer ever in the history of the Reno Air Races, flying Dianna Stanger’s one-of-a-kind L-139 jet on the race course at 469.831 mph. See Live from the Reno Air Races with SkyChick and Team Darkstar for a video interview with Vicky and Dianna.
L-139 Courtesy Dark Star Racing
In addition to her aviation pursuits, Vicky holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry from UC Berkeley and has enjoyed a successful career in the Silicon Valley high tech industry. Vicky is currently Vice President of the Sport Class Air Racing Association and is on the Board of Directors of the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, CA.
Vicky is sponsored by APECS Aerospace Corporation, an engineering consulting firm that specializes in providing support to aviation maintenance repair organizations. Other sponsors are Oregon Aero, maker of seating systems and helmet and headset upgrades and ASL Camguard, creator of advanced engine oil supplements to reduce engine wear.
Boeing Co. third quarter earnings were up 25 percent to $1.7 billion, and the company raised its earnings outlook for the year. In the quarter, Boeing delivered 199 commercial jets versus 186 jets a year ago.
Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson said many wide-body jets coming off lease in the near future, will be available relatively cheaply, and will compete with new more fuel efficient jets.
Lower fuel spend helped jump net income 80 percent to $1.69 billion. Because 87 percent of American Airlines fliers fly only once a year and buy tickets based on price, next year American will offer cheap tickets with “less frills” on certain nonstop routes where it competes with discount carriers.
With record net income of $584 million on revenue of $5.32 billion for the quarter, Southwest beat the same quarter last year which had net income of $324 million on revenue of $4.8 billion. The company put $228 million into its profit-sharing program.
At the Wings Over Houston Airshow, a parachutist from a vintage Lockheed C-60 and using a WWII-era parachute landed in the crowd and took down a small tent. He suffered a broken limb. No spectators were injured.
For those looking for an introduction to angle-of-attack indicators in GA aircraft, the FAA has a new video to get started. The 19-minute video includes an introduction to angle-of-attack indicators, their use and general advice on installation in airplanes – plus references to FAA documents for further research. It also has demonstrations of three AOA indicators in the market – Alpha Systems, Bendix King, and Safe Flight. The devices have gained increased attention in the last year as the FAA’s safety arm focused on studying loss-of-control accidents, which can be mitigated with AOA indicators, the agency said.
He is, however, rather excited about the next Retro Roo colour scheme from Qantas. As we record an existing 737-800 is in the paintshop at Townsville getting one of the old Qantas paint schemes applied. We’re hoping for the V-Jet look.
Finally, Steve’s going to be Em-Cee for the Angel Flight charity dinner at Bankstown in Sydney on Saturday, October 31, 2015. Get on down and support the cause if you’re in the area!
AOPA Live This Week for October 22, 2015 has a really good special report from the Red Bull Air Races in Las Vegas. Matt Hall from Australia (and frequently heard on Plane Crazy Down Under) won the race. Second place finisher Paul Bonhomme from Great Britain won the championship.
Steve Tupper, aka Stephen Force, produces the Airspeed podcast and is the man behind the Acrocamp aerobatics documentary. He’s is an aviation lawyer, a private pilot, and serves as a Civil Air Patrol Major and search-and-rescue pilot.
Steve tells us about the Civil Air Patrol and it’s missions: airforce assigned inland search and rescue with a fleet of 550 single engine piston aircraft, aerospace education, and the cadet program. We talk about Acrocamp, which brought together a diverse group of pilots to learn aerobatic aircraft. Also, the Acrocamp documentary movie, and what aerobatics does to pilots.
David’s Aircraft of the Week is the Antonov AN-12 NATO “CUB,” the C-130 of the East.
In this week’s Australia Desk report:
Grant is off this week, so Steve is flying – or podcasting – solo. A China Southern student pilot makes an emergency landing at Mangalore, 75 miles north of Melbourne, after the starboard wheel fell off his Piper Warrior in flight. After a bringing the aircraft to a stop, the pilot walked away un-harmed. Virgin Australia spent the week switching over to its new Sabre booking system, and was mostly praised for its handling of a very challenging process. Their domestic airline code has also changed from DJ to VA. In defence news, the Chief of Air Force, Air Marshall Geoff Brown announces the re-activation of 35SQN, better known as “Wallaby Airlines”, as preparations for the introduction of the C-27J Spartan continue.”
Our Mini Series continues from Southampton Airport this week.Continuing our look behind the scenes we go back to talk to Dan Townsend about some innovative solar powered LED lighting being used for aircraft movements signalling and upgrades to the lighting on the aircraft stands.
Guest Mary Kirby is is Editor-in-Chief of the Airline Passenger Experience magazine and the APEX media platform. We talk about the current state of inflight internet connectivity, what passengers expect aboard the flight, the GoGo IPO, and why we’re going to see more announcements. Also, pressure on interior suppliers as a result of the huge numbers of narrow body orders going on the books, and how that’s delaying aircraft deliveries. We touch on airline alliance interior commonality, and the outlook for embedded IFE.
David’s Aircraft of the Week is the Cessna A-37 Dragonfly, also known as the Super Tweet.
In this week’s Australia Desk report: 12th A380 arrives for Qantas, more A380s coming to Melbourne as Emirates signals their intentions, cracks appearing in some A380s including one QF aircraft, 150 Qantas pilots now working for Gulf based airlines during their down time, tragic balloon crash in New Zealand kills 11 people.
Greg Morris is Chief Pilot at Gauntlet Warbirds, a warbird, aerobatic, and tailwheel training center with headquarters at Aurora Airport, just west of downtown Chicago. They are on the web at http://www.gauntletwarbirds.com/.
He has been flying for fifteen years, and instructing in warbirds and aerobatic aircraft for the past ten. He holds a current low level aerobatic waiver in the L-39 and T-6 and is a FAST rated formation pilot.
Greg has flown the FM-2 Wildcat, Extra 300, Su-29, Pitts S-2B and S-2C, Lazer Z-200, Cap-10B, Great Lakes, T-34, T-6, T-28, Ju-52, and is rated in the L-29 Delfin and L-39 Albatros.
A graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in aerospace engineering, Greg was designated a Master CFI-Aerobatic by the National Association of Flight Instructors and the IAC in September 2005. Greg has been published in the International Aerobatic Club’s Sport Aerobatics magazine and Warbirds of America’s Warbirds magazine writing about maneuver technique, how to get started flying warbirds and safety and risk management. He is a regular presenter at Oshkosh.
In this week’s Australia Desk report: Steve gets his instructor rating…for trains, doubts raised over new Qantas Asian airline, PCDU code share activated!….David gets serious with the light saber, RAAF KC-30A aerial refuelling trials begin, a little air to air refuelling history lesson, Army MRH90 helicopter contract comes under scrutiny. Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.
This week on his Across the Pond segment, Pieter Johnson highlights the change in European Air Law which will make pilots work longer hours and he gives thanks for their so far excellent flying safety record. He also says thanks for a few other things too! Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet.
The Grill the Geeks questions this week are both great and goofy, and both Dan and David have Grill the Listeners questions.