Tag Archives: Airbus

803 Innovations in Flight

Innovations in Flight at the National Air & Space Museum, FAA preparing to address the public charter loophole, titanium components manufactured with improper paperwork, Southwest 737 MAX experienced a “Dutch Roll,” Lockheed Martin team receives Collier Trophy, and business jet found after 53 years.

Innovations in Flight

The annual Innovations in Flight was held June 15, 2024, at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air & Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, adjacent to Dulles International Airport.

The outdoor fly-in features over 50 unique aircraft, flown in for one day only. Visitors explored the engineering and design innovations that have taken place during the last century of flight and talk with the pilots of vintage and modern aircraft on display.

Sign inviting kids to "be on a podcast."

Again this year, Hillel Glazer flew his 1972 Piper Cherokee 180 to Innovations in Flight. He describes how aircraft are selected to participate, the process of arriving and departing from Dulles Airport, and the taxiway through the woods that connects the two facilities.

Perhaps most notably, Hillel recorded conversations with some younger visitors, ages 7 to 13. In this episode, you can hear Johnny (Age 7), Alexandra (Age 8), Phoebe (Age 12), Luka (Age 12), and Jackson (Age 9). Jackson even has his own YouTube channel: Flight Pattern Talk with Jax.

Listener JD and Hillel at Innovations in Flight.
LIstener JD Gold (left) 777 Pilot for FedEx with Hillel (right).
Hillel's plane reflecting in the museum's architectural feature.
Reflections on the museum’s architectural feature above the side door.
Lined up behind a NOAA P-3 waiting to depart Dulles Airport.
Waiting in the conga line to depart behind the NOAA “P-3”

Aviation News

FAA Cracks Down On “Public Charter” Loophole, Bad News For JSX

The so-called “public charter loophole” allows charter companies to operate from private terminals without some of the requirements that larger carriers are subject to, such as TSA screening and pilots with more than 1,500 flight hours. The FAA says they are now going to address this situation by issuing an NPRM that would amend the definitions of “scheduled,” “on demand,” and “supplemental” operations.

Titanium in Boeing, Airbus jets lacks proper documentation, companies say

Spirit AeroSystems used titanium that had counterfeit documentation and which found its way into both Airbus and Boeing aircraft. U.S. and European safety regulators are investigating, while the companies involved say the titanium is not a safety issue, only the documentation is deficient.

US NTSB investigating ‘Dutch roll’ by Southwest Boeing 737 MAX

The Dutch roll occurred at 34,000 feet on a flight from Phoenix, Arizona to Oakland, California. The lateral asymmetric movements of the roll were named after a Dutch ice skating technique. Pilots regained control of the plane which proceeded without additional incident, however, Southwest found damage to structural components and the NTSB and FAA are investigating.

See: Yaw Dampers and video: What is a Dutch Roll?

The National Aeronautic Association Recognizes Lockheed Martin with Prestigious Collier Trophy

The 2023 Robert J. Collier Trophy was awarded by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) to Lockheed Martin for the team’s work on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx sample return mission which collected an asteroid sample in 2020 and returned it to Earth on Sept. 24, 2023. The OSIRIS-Rex team includes Lockheed Martin, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Johnson Space Center, the University of Arizona, and KinetX, among many others.

A jet disappeared in Vermont over 53 years ago. Experts believe they’ve found it in Lake Champlain

Air controllers lost contact with the Aero Commander Jet Commander 1121A ( N400CP) shortly after takeoff in 1971 over Lake Champlain in Vermont. It was only found after an underwater searcher located it recently at a depth of 200 feet. The NTSB will verify that this is the plane from 1971.

Small plane crash-lands in Androscoggin River in Topsham

The 1947 fixed-wing single-engine Aeronca 7AC Champion is fully submerged, after experiencing mechanical problems.

Mentioned

Mobile Helicopter Exhibit

The mobile helicopter exhibit.
“Stubby,” the helicopter exhibit.

MAC Air Group founder Al Caruso flies west at the age of 74

Video: FIGHTER JET DELAY? – F-35’s buzz over Phillies vs. Orioles game in Baltimore causing a short delay

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, Max Trescott, our Main(e) Man Micah, and Hillel Glazer.

799 Doomsday Planes

Korean Air 747s will become the new doomsday planes, the new ATC rest rules have been delayed by the FAA, Breeze flight attendants voted to join the union, a United jumpseat pilot has upset some Southwest pilots, the GA flyover in DC was a success, Boeing employees were found to have falsified 787 Dreamliner inspection records, Airbus hasn’t leveraged an advantage in light of Boeing’s woes, and airlines sue the DOT over a new rule requiring the disclosure of fees.

Aviation News

Former Korean Air 747s Slated To Become USAF Doomsday Planes

Korean Air has confirmed the sale of five of its 747-8s to Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC), which is building the new Survivable Airborne Operations Center (SAOC) aircraft, also referred to as “doomsday planes.” The USAF states: 

The E-4B “Nightwatch” serves as the National Airborne Operations Center and is a component of the National Military Command System for the President, the Secretary of Defense, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

In case of national emergency or destruction of ground command and control centers, the aircraft provides a highly survivable command, control, and communications center to direct U.S. forces, execute emergency war orders, and coordinate actions by civil authorities.

SNC acquired five Boeing 747-8s from Korean Air. The current E-4B aircraft are based on the 747-200. SNC specializes in aircraft modification and integration as well as space technologies.

FAA Delaying the Start of ATC Rest Rules

The new FAA ATC rest requirements require controllers to have at least 10 hours off between shifts and 12 hours off before a midnight shift. The rule was to have taken effect by mid-July. However, the FAA has delayed those requirements while it talks to the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) union. FAA Air Traffic Organization Chief Operating Officer Timothy Arel hopes to reach a joint rest period agreement for the 2025 schedule “or sooner where feasible.”

Flight attendants at this Utah airline just voted ‘overwhelmingly’ to unionize

More than 76% of the roughly 600 Breeze Airways flight attendants voted to join the Association of Flight Attendants. AFA international president Sara Nelson said “We are inspired by their solidarity and thrilled to welcome them to our AFA family. Our labor movement is growing. Everywhere.” See: Breeze Flight Attendants Vote Overwhelmingly to Join the Flight Attendant Union.

“Breeze Flight Attendants organized for a union and a contract due to ongoing issues with constantly-changing work rules, substandard pay for time on the job, inadequate hotel accommodations, insufficient work hours, and inconsistent and disrespectful treatment from management.”

American Airlines is Issuing ‘Poverty Verification Letters’ For New-Hire Flight Attendants Because Their Wages Are So Low

Nearly One in Ten Alaska Airlines Flight Attendants Have Experienced Homelessness in the Past Year and Over a Third Have Been Forced to Use a Food Bank

Poverty verification letters are being sent to some new-hire flight attendants based in expensive areas.

Airline Feud Escalates: United Pilots Barred From Southwest Airlines Jump Seats After Controversial Incident

This stems from an incident where a “relatively new” United pilot reported some “inadequacies” to the FAA after jumpseating on a Southwest flight.

AOPA’s General Aviation Flyover in DC

Video: LIVE DC Flyover – AOPA’s National Celebration of General Aviation

FAA is investigating Boeing for apparent missed inspections on 787 Dreamliner

Boeing voluntarily disclosed to the FAA that some B787 Dreamliner inspections may not have been performed, but were signed off as completed. The inspections are intended to verify adequate bonding and grounding at the wing-fuselage joint.

In a statement to NPR, the FAA said it’s also investigating “whether Boeing completed the inspections and whether company employees may have falsified aircraft records.” The agency also said Boeing is re-inspecting “all 787 airplanes still within the production system and must also create a plan to address the in-service fleet.”

Boeing told NPR it “promptly notified the FAA and this is not an immediate safety of flight issue”.

Commercial jet maker Airbus is staying humble even as Boeing flounders. There’s a reason for that

Airbus has over 8,600 orders in backlog and can’t build planes fast enough. There is not much ability of Airbus to take orders from Boeing. (Boeing’s commercial backlog is more than 5,660 planes.)

Major airlines sue Biden administration over fee disclosure rule

The airlines don’t like the new DOT rule requiring upfront disclosure of airline fees. Filing a lawsuit against the DOT are Airlines for America, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, and Alaska Airlines. A4A said the new rules would confuse consumers and that its “attempt to regulate private business operations in a thriving marketplace is beyond its authority.”

Mentioned

Leo J. Kohn Digitization Project and Fundraising – Press Release [PDF]. The digitization and preservation project page where donations are accepted is https://www.wahf.org/kohn/.

Boeing YB-29J, "Pacsuan Dreamboat" on the tarmac.
Leo J. Kohn Photography Collection, #957 – Boeing YB-29J, “Pacsuan Dreamboat”, 44-84061. New York, NY. Photo by Larkins.

Exciting #SpotLAX24 Updates

ANA Star Wars livery
SpotLAX is a must-attend event!

Got $200K & Want To Fly Electric? This Ultralight eVTOL Ships In July & Doesn’t Require A Pilot License

Pivotal Helix eVTOL

Pivotal Helix eVTOL rendering.
Pivotal Helix eVTOL

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Max Trescott, Rob Mark, and our Main(e) Man Micah.

795 Airline Industry Insights

Marisa Garcia offers airline industry insights. In the news, orders from Korean Air and Japan Air Lines, the Frontier financial incentive to retain new pilots, lower reward values for frequent flyer programs, landing a plane on the road, changing the name of an airport, and jet service for your dog.

Guest

Marisa Garcia headshot

Marisa Garcia is the founder, editor, and writer at FCMedia | FlightChic. She’s a freelance writer and senior contributor with Forbes.

FlightChic provides airline industry insights, analysis, and reviews, strongly focusing on the passenger experience. Marisa covers aircraft interiors, technical advancements, aviation safety and regulations, airline branding, and marketing strategies. Frequent flyers and aviation enthusiasts will find that Marisa’s writing provides valuable insights and perspectives on the evolving aviation landscape.

Marisa joins the conversation as we discuss recent JAL and Korean widebody orders. She offers her perspectives on the premium economy “sweet spot” for airlines and how onboard comfort has improved. Other topics include cabin crew training (especially safety training), the eroding value of airline frequent flyer programs, the criticality of aircraft interiors to safety, and how she became a “safety geek.” Marisa just published Why A B797 Revival Should Be Boeing’s New $50 Billion Plane in Forbes and has a lot to say about a Boeing “middle of the market” aircraft.

Marisa has worked directly designing and manufacturing aircraft interiors and safety equipment for many of the world’s leading airlines. She now applies that hands-on experience to reporting on product innovations, certification requirements, and new programs. The editorial aim of FlightChic is to highlight trends and make the industry easier to understand, both for professionals and everyday travelers.

See some recent articles by Marisa:

Aviation News

Korean Air Favors Airbus With Order For 33 New A350s

Korean Air announced an order for 33 A350 family aircraft: 27 A350-1000s and six A350-900s. The deal is valued at USD 13.7 billion. The A350-1000 can accommodate 350 to 410 passengers in a standard three-class configuration. The A350-900 variant is about 7 meters shorter than the A350-1000 and typically seats 300-350 passengers in a three-class layout.

Japan Airlines Will Introduce 42 New Planes from Airbus and Boeing. Accelerating International Network Growth With Advanced Fuel-Efficient Aircraft

JAL is acquiring 21 Airbus A350-900s, 11 A321neos, and 10 Boeing 787-9 planes. The A350s will be added to its international routes, augmenting its current A350 domestic operations. In January 2024, Japan Airlines debuted new cabins on their A350-1000 fleet of aircraft with enclosed suites.

Frontier Airlines Will Make New Hire Pilots Pay Nearly $60,000 If They Leave the Airline Within Two Years

As of May 1, 2024, the new Frontier Training Cost Repayment Agreement is designed to help the airline recoup the training cost for new pilots. Pilots who leave within two years will pay a prorated portion of the currently estimated $59,190 training cost.

Also, Frontier Airlines recently started a new out-and-back model business model where airplanes (and crew) return to their home base each night. Flight attendants don’t like the out-and-back model saying they earn less and spend more on hotel accommodation and commuting costs. The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) says that most of Frontier’s crew members don’t live close to their home base, and many commute more than 90 miles. The union wants Frontier to enter into contract negotiations over the issue.

Frequent Flyer Programs Deliver Lower Reward Value in the Era of Basic Economy Fares and Co-Branded Cards – Press Release

The IdeaWorksCompany Reward Seat Availability Survey answers the question, “How costly is points redemption for the most popular basic reward type offered by top US airlines?” The survey reviewed flight award programs from Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United. These programs were found to have declining value to flyers.

Plane lands near Poland Springs building after running low on gas

A Cessna running low on fuel made an emergency landing on a road in an industrial area.

Oakland officials vote to include ‘San Francisco’ in airport’s name

The Board of Commissioners for the Port of Oakland voted to change the name of Oakland International Airport to San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport. Oakland airport officials say travelers sometimes fly into San Francisco’s airport when their destination is closer to the Oakland airport. San Francisco has claimed a trademark violation and has threatened a lawsuit.

The world’s first doggy jet service will cost you $6K for a one-way ticket

BARK Air offers a “white paw” experience. The check-in process involves no crates or TSA checkpoints. Calming aids are provided in the cabin along with leashes, poop bags and a beverage. The first BARK Air flights take off on May 23, 2024.

Mentioned

LeVeL33 – Meetup April 19 or 20, 2024.

NASA Retires DC-8 Flying Lab

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Rob Mark, and our Main(e) Man Micah.

746 Live ATC Transmissions

Live and recorded ATC transmissions from LiveATC.net. In the news, the FAA Acting Administrator is stepping down, Airbus and Air France are cleared in the Air France Flight 447 accident, the FAA has some advice for terrain avoidance and warning systems, and ADs for Boeing 747-8s and B-17s.

Guest

Dave Pasco, founder and CEO of LiveATC.net.

Dave Pascoe is the founder and CEO of LiveATC.net, the world’s largest aviation radio voice data collection. Dave has had a life-long obsession with radio and technology, which led him to an MSEE degree and a career that spans RF technology to large-scale IT systems management.

Dave made a few minor detours along the way. One of those detours turned into LiveATC.net, which Dave started in late 2002. The service hosts live audio streams and archived voice data from over 3,000 channels of air traffic radio transmissions at over 1,400 airports and ATC control areas. Dave is also an active instrument-rated private pilot and avid ham radio operator.

Dave describes how the service is used by pilots, student pilots, CFIs, flight schools, aircraft operators, FBOs, the NTSB, and more. Volunteers capture the transmissions, often with a simple Raspberry Pi and a software defined radio. In addition, Dave often supports events such as EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Sun ‘N Fun, and the Air Race Classic.

Aviation News

FAA Acting Administrator Billy Nolen To Depart Agency

Nolen announced he’d be leaving the FAA to spend more time with his family. He became Acting Administrator in April 2022 when former FAA Administrator Steve Dickson stepped down before his term was finished.

Air France and Airbus cleared over fatal 2009 Rio-Paris crash

Air France Flight 447, an A330, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, 2009, killing all 228 people on board. A French court has determined that a causal link between any possible errors made and the crash could not be proved. “A probable causal link isn’t sufficient to characterize an offense,” the judge said in her statement. Families of the victims were shocked and angered by the finding.

FAA Issues Notice Warning Pilots Not To Silence TAWS Alerts

A terrain avoidance and warning system (TAWS) seeks to avoid controlled flight into terrain accidents. TAWS is the generic term for a ground proximity warning system (GPWS). According to the notice, “Alerts from TAWS can become a nuisance or a distraction to pilots when flying at altitudes below the alerting threshold of the system. This may result in the pilot’s decision to inhibit the system. Inhibiting warning systems and ignoring warnings, combined with deteriorating weather conditions leading to loss of visual surface reference and situational awareness, has been found to be the cause of some CFIT [controlled flight into terrain] accidents.”

FAA Proposes New Airworthiness Directive For Boeing 747-8 Aircraft

The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) concerning “cracks in stringers, common to the end fittings, forward and aft of the pressure bulkhead at station (STA) 2360 at multiple stringer locations” on 747-8i and 747–8F series aircraft. The proposed AD would require repetitive inspections of stringer sidewalls and certain stringer assemblies.

In its investigation, the FAA determined that during assembly, un-shimmed or incorrectly shimmed gaps larger than what is required caused “excessive and sustained internal tensile stresses and resulted in stress corrosion cracking in the stringers.”

See also: AD Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (AD NPRM) – FAA-2023-0657

Coming Airworthiness Directive Expected to Ground All Airworthy B-17s

The FAA is preparing to issue an AD that will likely ground all B-17 aircraft due to “wing spar issues.” The Yankee Air Museum has already grounded its Boeing B-17G (“Yankee Lady”) in anticipation of the AD. The upcoming AD may be a result of wing spar issues found in the EAA’s B-17 “Aluminum Overcast.” That plane has been grounded since April 2021.

GlobalAir.com says in Rumors fly of AD that will ground all B-17 aircraft that Hangar Thirteen is restoring a B-17 and posted on Facebook about the Yankee Lady. The post noted that wing spars are a common issue within the B-17 community, citing a 2001 AD from the FAA concerning cracking and corrosion of the wing spar chords, bolts and bolt holes of the spar chords and wing terminals, and a correction of any problems found during inspections.”

According to Aero Vintage, there are now only four operational B-17s left. While there may be 46 total complete airframes and 18 registered in the U.S., many are currently being restored or used as display pieces.

Australia News Desk

Aviation pioneer Max Hazelton sadly passed away shortly before his 96th birthday after quite the career. Max was the founder of Hazelton Airlines which became a subsidiary of Ansett Airlines and then merged with Kendell Airlines to become Regional Express (aka REX) after Ansett went under in September 2001.

Vale Max Hazelton

Speaking of REX, they’ve taken a financial stake in a local electric propulsion company.

Rex Takes Stake In New Technology Electric Aircraft

Meanwhile, Qantas’ bid to take over Alliance Airlines is blocked by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Qantas are not happy about it.

Qantas’ Purchase of Alliance Blocked

Finally, a former RAF Mustang arrives at the Hunter Fighter Collection in Scone where it was reassembled to static display in just three days.

Ex-RAF Museum P-51D Arrives in Australia

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Rob Mark, David Vanderhoof, and Max Trescott. Contributions by Grant McHerron and Steve Visscher.

743 Chinese Commercial Aviation

China reportedly flies an engine destined for the COMAC C919, the Airbus final assembly line in China delivers its first A321, a “Really Cool” airline is planned for Thailand, United and Archer plan eVTOL air taxi service in Chicago, still no permanent FAA Administrator, orders for the Osprey V-22 come to an end. Also, an Australia Desk report and interviews from the Point Mugu Air Show.

COMAC C919 on takeoff.
C919, courtesy COMAC.

Aviation News

As congress debates TikTok, China flies its own commercial jet engine

Jon Ostrower reports in The Air Current that there is footage on social media of what appears to be a test aircraft flying with the Aero Engine Corporation of China CJ-1000A engine. This is significant because that engine is planned to eventually replace the CFMI LEAP-1C engine currently used on the Chinese Comac C919, a single-aisle jet in the A320/B737 class.

Airbus Final Assembly Line in China delivers its first A321neo

Airbus has four A320 family final assembly lines: Hamburg, Germany; Toulouse, France; Mobile, Alabama; and Tianjin, China. The FAL in Tianjin was the first Airbus commercial aircraft assembly line outside Europe. Now Airbus has delivered the first A321neo aircraft assembled in Tianjin to China’s Juneyao Air. The aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney GTF engines.

“Really Cool Airlines,” A New Thai Airline Startup (Not A Joke?!)

The former CEO of Thai LCC Nok Air has been running a travel agency named “Really Really Cool.” Now Patee Sarasin wants to start a new airline named “Really Cool Airlines” with the tagline “We fly the future.” Their plan is to acquire four Airbus A350s by the end of 2023.

Promotional video: Really Cool Airlines – We Fly the Future

Graphic of Really Cool Airlines jet with countdown timer until "Ready for boarding."
Screen grab from Really Cool Airlines website.

United Airlines And Archer Announce First Commercial Electric Air Taxi Route In Chicago

United Airlines and Archer Aviation plan to launch the first air taxi route in Chicago, between O’Hare International Airport (ORD) and Vertiport Chicago. Archer’s eVTOL aircraft will be used as part of their urban air mobility (UAM) network buildout. The company is focused on airport to city center routes. Archer plans to deploy 6000 aircraft By 2030.

CNET Video: United Airlines First Air Taxi Revealed: Archer Midnight eVTOL

Biden’s pick to lead FAA withdraws name from consideration after GOP criticism

The FAA has been led by an acting Administrator since March 2022. The White House had nominated Phillip Washington, the CEO of Denver International Airport, but Republicans and some other key senators opposed Washington. They say he is not qualified because of limited aviation experience. The agency is being led by an acting administrator, Billy Nolen, a pilot who has held safety jobs at three airlines.

Military Quietly Stops Buying Ospreys as Aircraft Faces an Uncertain Future

The Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force fly the V-22 Osprey, but none plan to purchase more. Deliveries are scheduled through 2025.

An autonomous suitcase decides it doesn’t want to fly

@TansuYegen tweeted: “An autonomous suitcase decides it doesn’t want to fly. Imagine that you are already on the plane and you see your luggage flee down the runway.”

For See:

Point Mugu Air Show

The Point Mugu Air Show was held March 18, 19, 2023, at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC), Point Mugu. This years event celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Navy at Point Mugu, and featured dual-premiere demonstration teams: the Blue Angels, and the Thunderbirds.

Brian Coleman attended the air show and recorded interviews with

Australia News Desk

After a busy couple of weeks, the guys are back in the studio as Grant recovers from another weekend of air show commentary duties, this time at Benalla, 130 miles north of Melbourne.  We discuss the role these regional air shows play in terms of promoting the importance and fun of aviation in the community.

Army helicopter ditches in Jervis Bay during special forces training

The Army’s fleet of MRH-90 Taipan helicopters has been temporarily grounded following an incident this week. The crew of a Taipan conducting a special forces training exercise off Jervis Bay, 200km south of Sydney, had to ditch their aircraft after it appeared to lose power. Only minor injuries were sustained by some onboard, and the aircraft was successfully recovered.  An investigation is now underway.

Northrop Grumman Australia modernizes Brisbane facility

Northrop Grumman Australia’s newly-modernised Brisbane Maintenance and Modification Centre (BMMC) has been officially opened; a major facility for the sustainment of the Royal Australian Air Force’s (RAAF) aviation capability. Northrop Grumman invested $20 million in the BMMC project.

The facility conducts continuous through-life support to RAAF fleets including its six KC-30A Multi-Role Tanker Transport (MRTT) aircraft and 10 C-27J Spartan transport aircraft, and will provide jobs for around 100 people.

Highly Authentic Harvard Flies in New Zealand

And across the Ditch in New Zealand, Bevan Dewes’ immaculately restored, former Royal New Zealand Air Force Harvard Mk.IIa (NZ1044) landed at its new home in Masterton, New Zealand on March 19th, 2023 following a three-year rebuild effort with Twenty24 Ltd, at Wanaka. Registered as ZK-OTU, the aircraft made its first post-restoration flight from Wanaka on March 10th.

Be sure to check out the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast!

Flying with Children and Infants

Flying with Children from the FAA.

After the child is over 44 pounds he or she no longer needs a safety seat on an aircraft and can safely use a regular seatbelt. The AmSafe Child Aviation Restraint System (CARES) device is FAA-certified for children up to 40 inches tall and weighing between 22 and 44 pounds.

Traveling with children from United Airlines.

Car seats made after 1985 are FAA-approved and will have a certification sticker attached to them. These car seats can be used on your flight, but there are exceptions. Children in car seats should sit in a window seat with the car seat secured to the seat itself. Your child should be in their seat during takeoff, landing, and turbulence.

Traveling with children and infants from American Airlines.

Most safety seats that are approved for use in motor vehicles are acceptable for use in aircraft. The seat must have a solid back and seat, restraint straps installed to securely hold the child, and a label indicating approval for use on an aircraft.

Infant Air Travel from Delta.

When you travel with a child under 2 years old, you may choose to travel with the child on your lap (infant-in-arms) or travel with your child in an FAA-approved child safety seat. To use a FAA-approved safety seat, you must purchase a ticket for your child so they have a reserved seat.

Mentioned

Pilots around the state fly in for second annual Ski Plane Fly-In in Easton

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Rob Mark, David Vanderhoof, and our Main(e) Man Micah with contributions by Grant McHerron, and Steve Visscher.

736 Autonomous Aircraft

We talk about autonomous aircraft with an Xwing executive. In the news, Airbus and Qatar Airways settle their dispute over A350 paint problems, a personal eVTOL, the 2019 report that explains how Boeing lost its way, a close call with a B737 taking off and a B767 landing on the same runway, the F-22 Raptor gets its first kill, and a Boeing 737 has crashed fighting fires in Australia.

Xwing Caravan taking off.
Xwing Caravan

Guest

Earl Lawrence is the Chief Compliance and Quality Officer at Xwing, a Part 135 air carrier operating across the United States. The company is building an air transportation system of certified autonomous aircraft, starting with the express regional air cargo market. Xwing has demonstrated an autonomous gate-to-gate flight with a cargo aircraft. The plane was able to taxi, take off, land, and return to the gate entirely on its own.

Headshot of Earl Lawrence, Chief Compliance and Quality Officer at Xwing
Earl Lawrence

Earl explains that the Xwing vision for autonomous aircraft doesn’t mean moving the cockpit to the ground or eliminating the pilot. It means taking the pilot out of the airplane and into a control center. A single pilot could provide guidance to multiple flights from one console while handling ATC communication.

Doing this offers cost savings, greater aircraft utilization, and more stable and predictable hours for pilots. Earl tells us about the positive impact on pilot lifestyle and the opportunity for some disabled people to become pilots.

Earl points out that Xwing is using autonomous technologies, but for the most part following existing regulations. Autonomy is needed to bring the price of flying down and make it simpler and more accessible to people.

Earl brings more than three decades of experience in the aviation industry to Xwing. Most recently, Lawrence served as the Executive Director of Aircraft Certification at the FAA, leading an organization of over 1,400 people that oversee all types of certification, production approval, airworthiness certification, and continued airworthiness of the U.S. civil aircraft fleet – including commercial and general aviation activities. Before joining the FAA, Earl spent sixteen years at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), where his efforts contributed to the creation of the Sport Pilot and Light Sport Aircraft categories. Throughout his career, Earl has consistently led the charge in bringing cutting-edge aviation technology to market.

Aviation News

Airbus and Qatar Airways settle A350 dispute

In 2021, Qatar Airways complained to Airbus that some A350 fuselage paint was peeling and unsightly. Qatar grounded some 30 aircraft and asked Airbus for compensation. Airbus said it was only a cosmetic issue, which they would address. But Qatar refused to take new deliveries and Airbus canceled the A350 contract with Qatar. And then Airbus canceled an order for A321neo jets. Qatar filed a lawsuit in London.

Now both parties have made up and “reached an amicable and mutually agreeable settlement.” Terms were not made public.

Press release: Qatar Airways and Airbus reach amicable settlement in legal dispute

Startup Says It’s Personal eVTOL is the One for Supercar Customers

Israeli company AIR has spent four years developing and testing a sport eVTOL “that is easy to handle and can be used daily.” Their mission is to “create personal, intuitive flying vehicles at scale, for exciting and safe experiences.” The winged multicopter seats two. You can pre-order the AIR ONE with a $1,000 deposit. The base price is $150,000. They have 300 pre-orders.

Artist's rendering of an Air One in flight.
Air One in flight.

The Long-Forgotten Flight That Sent Boeing Off Course

That flight is the headquarters move from Seattle to Chicago. “A company once driven by engineers became driven by finance.”

Fedex B763 and Southwest B737 at Austin on Feb 4th 2023, loss of separation on runway resolved by go around

A FedEx 767-300 was on final for a CATIII ILS approach to Austin Texas runway 18L and was cleared to land. The tower let the crew know that a Boeing 737 would depart prior to their arrival. The 767 was cleared to land. Meantime, a Southwest Airlines 737-700 was holding short on runway 18L for departure and was cleared for takeoff from that runway. The tower let the Southwest pilots know that a Boeing 767 heavy was on a 3-mile final. About 30 seconds later the Tower asked if they were on the roll, and the crew confirmed they were. Shortly thereafter (25 seconds) someone says “Southwest abort, the Fedex was on the go (around)”.

F-22 Shoots Down Chinese Spy Balloon Off Carolinas With Missile (Updated)

The large balloon traversed much of the country, sometimes over sensitive military locations. As the balloon moved off the coast, F-22 fighters from the 1st Fighter Wing at Langley Air Force used a single AIM-9X Sidewinder air-to-air missile to bring it down.

Why stratospheric balloons are used in era of space-based intelligence

Balloons can hover closer to the ground and may be able to intercept communication or electronic signals that orbiting systems can’t. Balloons also offer more persistent, less predictable coverage over an area of interest.

A Boeing 737-300 Has Crashed Fighting Fires In Australia

Early reports indicated both pilots were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. The 737 was operated by Coulson Aviation to help firefighting efforts in the Fitzgerald River National Park. After dropping the load at around 700 feet, flight tracking data shows the plane reaching about 1,800 feet and then crashing.

Australia News Desk

While it hasn’t exactly been your stereotypical summer weather in Australia, we haven’t (yet) seen any snow – and certainly none in Sydney.  Snow, however, was exactly what greeted a Sydney-bound passenger this week as confusion with the airport code when booking saw him arrive in a rather chilly Sidney, Montana

G’day? Man Realizes Too Late He Bought a Ticket to Sidney — not Sydney

Meanwhile, the Qantas and Emirates codeshare agreement noted up ten years this week.  We look at what that has meant to Australian travelers.

10 years on, has the Qantas-Emirates partnership delivered?

Qantas is still in the sights of local media, however, with another turnback, this time for a QantasLink Dash 8 due to severe turbulence.  The event forced CEO Allan Joyce to go on the offensive, pointing out a few facts about turnbacks, comparing them not only to airlines overall but specifically the local QF rival, Virgin Australia

Qantas passenger and flight attendant rushed to hospital suffering head and neck injuries after sudden turbulence

Mentioned

Video: What it’s like to fly the Opener BlackFly eVTOL

AOPA Podcasts

The people who live inside airplanes

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Rob Mark, and Max Trescott. With contributions by Grant McHerron and Steve Vischer.

733 NOTAM Outage

The NOTAM outage and subsequent ground stop, why Amazon Air is selling cargo capacity, the runway incursion at JFK, the Airbus automated emergency diversion system, and an Australia News Desk report.

Aviation News

Here’s the latest on the NOTAM outage that caused flight delays and cancellations

On January 11, 2023, the Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system failed and the FAA issued a domestic ground stop, leading to thousands of delayed and canceled flights. A corrupt database file has been cited as the cause of the failure. NAV CANADA reported issues with their NOTAM system on the same day. At the time, they did not believe the Canadian outage was related to the FAA outage. See FAA’s NOTAM computer outage affected military flights.

Amazon Air to Sell Surplus Capacity Onboard its Jets Ahead of Predicted Market Slump

In 2023, the global air freight market is forecast to shrink by about 25%. Amazon Air has decided to sell excess air freight capacity on its fleet of 97 wet-leased planes.

The FAA is investigating a near-miss between two passenger planes at JFK airport

A Delta Air Lines 737-900 (Flight 1943) was on its takeoff roll when ATC noticed an American Airlines Boeing 777 (Flight 106) crossing the active runway. The Delta plane stopped about 1,000 feet before the crossing. The American 737 returned to the gate and passengers disembarked. Due to a crew resource issue, the flight resumed the next morning. Customers were given overnight accommodations.

Airbus tests pilot assist that can automatically divert flights

Airbus is testing a pilot assistance feature called DragonFly, which can automatically divert a flight in an emergency. The system can pick a flight path to the best airport and communicate with air traffic control and an airline’s operations center. Even if the pilots are incapacitated, DragonFly can land the aircraft safely.

Australia News Desk

This week we have a follow-up on the news about Bonza Airline’s air operators certificate, which was approved by the regulator the day last week’s episode went live. There’s some consternation among the travel agent sector over Bonza’s decision not to service Sydney at all, but as we talked about last week, they’re trying a different strategy.  Time will tell if it works or not.

Australia’s Bonza awarded AOC

On the tourism front, two of China’s three major carriers – Air China and China Southern – are boosting their schedule for flights to Australia, in a move that many hope will see the lucrative inbound Chinese tourist market ramping back up.

China Southern, Air China boosting flights to Australia

And a new network of satellites from Skykraft, sporting significant levels of Australian-made components, has been successfully deployed over the country, in a move that will eventually allow more accurate and reliable tracking of aircraft and WHF communications in some of the more remote areas of the continent.

Australia’s largest ever satellite constellation now active

Mentioned

Airline Pilot Study –  A questionnaire for pilots to learn about what aspects of innovation might make an airline more attractive to pilots when they decide which airline to apply to fly for.

Rob’s Newest jet:

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Rob Mark, and David Vanderhoof.

716 Air Navigation Services

We speak with four women working for air navigation services provider Air Navigation Solutions Ltd (ANSL). We also talk with the president of Hartzel Propeller.

Air Navigation Solutions Ltd. (ANSL)

Sophie Mills, Sharon Utting, Emma Hawksworth, and Vicky Bhogal-Hunt work for Air Navigation Solutions Ltd. ANSL is the air navigation services provider for Edinburgh and Gatwick airports. They also provide simulation training for Cambridge City Airport. We discuss their experiences as women in the aviation industry.

Air Navigation Services: Sophie Mills, Sharon Utting, Emma Hawksworth, Vicky Bhogal-Hunt.
From left to right – Sophie Mills, Sharon Utting, Emma Hawksworth, Vicky Bhogal-Hunt.

Mentioned in the conversation:

Hartzel Propeller

JJ Frigge is president of Hartzell Propeller. He’s responsible for all operating elements of the business including the development and execution of Hartzell Propeller’s strategy. 

JJ Frigge, president of Hartzell Propeller.
JJ Frigge

JJ began at Hartzell in 2011 as the company’s controller. In 2013 he took responsibility for the day-to-day business team as well as managing the company’s marketing and brand-building efforts. Prior to Hartzell Propeller, JJ spent 10 years as a finance manager at Proctor & Gamble. He is on the Communications Committee of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

A 2001 Cum Laude graduate of the University of Notre Dame, JJ serves his community as a member of the board of directors and past president of the United Way of Miami County. He is also a past president of the Miami County Humane Society.

Mentioned

Facts about Airbus

Top 10 Interesting Facts about Airbus

The Whirly-Girls scholarship program

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight and Hillel Glazer.

714 Airline Contact Centers

We learn about airline contact centers with an expert in that field, and we talk with a Hollywood pilot and aerial coordinator who is widely known for his work on Top Gun Maverick and other major blockbusters. In the news, Boeing and Airbus are both having narrowbody delivery problems, a new US aircraft carrier reaches a milestone, a new avionics market report has some good news, and the French BEA investigates pilots who didn’t follow procedure.

Airline Contact Centers

Justin Robins from contact center company UJET.
Justin Robins

Justin Robins has had a long career in customer experience and contact centers, working at companies like Network Solutions, Intercontinental Hotels, Grizzly Industrial, and Hershey Entertainment and Resorts. His expertise is in contact center quality assurance, training and development, and workforce optimization.

Justin is Senior Director, Corporate Communications & Evangelism at UJET. The company provides a cloud-based call center application that integrates with CRM (customer relationship management) solutions.

Justin discusses airline customer contact centers broadly, including value to the airlines, contact center metrics, and utilizing the data that accumulates. He also explains reactive versus proactive service and how channels have changed over time – beginning with 800 phone numbers, then email and web-based chat, social media, and now smartphone apps.

He explains the UJET approach where the contact center system is purpose-built for the airline CRM system. Justin sees a contact center future with increased automation, self-service, and proactive outbound service.

Justin has significant experience as a keynote speaker and business consultant and is frequently recognized as one of the top experts to follow in contact center and customer experience.

Hollywood Aerial Coordinator

Kevin Larosa
Kevin Larosa

Kevin Larosa (“K2”) is a sought-after pilot and Hollywood aerial coordinator who has worked on over 100 different motion picture and commercial productions. He’s Known for his work on major blockbusters like Top Gun Maverick, The Avengers, Iron Man, Transformers, and The Last Knight.

Kevin is licensed to fly a variety of aircraft ranging from helicopters and airplanes to Learjets and more. He’s an ATP-rated pilot trained and certified in a number of aircraft, holding type ratings in several Learjet models in addition to the C-130/ L-382 Hercules and the Sikorsky S-70/ UH-60. Kevin also holds an FAA Part 107 UAS rating for flying unmanned aircraft. He’s a member of the Screen Actors Guild and the Motion Picture Pilots Association.

Aviation News

Boeing’s Problems Mount (GE and Raytheon Take Note)

Boeing Is Removing Engines From Built 737 MAX Inventory Amid Supply Chain Problems

Is recovery at risk from a broken supply chain?

Supply chain problems are affecting both Boeing and Airbus narrowbody deliveries. Boeing is delivering 31 737 MAX jets per month compared to a pre-pandemic rate of 52 per month. Airbus is building 40 A320 family aircraft per month against a target of 75 per month by 2025. Engine suppliers are behind and Boeing plans to take engines off previously built 737 MAX aircraft and install them on newly produced airplanes. 

The nation’s newest aircraft carrier, the Enterprise, reaches a milestone

Newport News Shipbuilding just laid the keel for the USS Enterprise, a Ford-class aircraft carrier. At over 1,100 feet long and weighing some 100,000 tons, the ship is powered by two nuclear reactors and features an electromagnetic catapult. Completion is expected by 2028.

AEA Unveils Second-Quarter 2022 Avionics Market Report

The Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA) second-quarter avionics market report shows worldwide business and general aviation avionics sales up 11.7% from the first quarter, the eighth consecutive quarter of increasing sales. This is a 15.8% increase in total sales compared to the first six months of 2021, driven by a 35.6% increase in forward-fit sales compared to the same time frame one year ago.

Air France pilots suspended after brawling in cockpit

In June 2021, two pilots in the cockpit of an Airbus A320 became engaged in an altercation. The copilot would not comply with certain instructions and the captain grabbed him by the collar. There may have been a slap involved. A flight attendant broke up the fight. Air France has suspended the two pilots.

Crew of fuel-leak A330 did not shut down engine before suboptimal diversion

A French BEA investigation determined that the crew on a December 2020 Air France flight at cruise noticed the fuel level was 1.4 tons below what it should have been. The captain went on a rest break asking the first officer and relief pilot to monitor the fuel level. After about 20 minutes, the discrepancy on the A330-200 had increased to 2.1 tons. The captain was recalled and fuel leak procedures were implemented, with the exception of a required engine shutdown.  BEA says the captain’s decision to leave the engine running was not questioned.

Mentioned

Top 10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Boeing

Video: 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Boeing

Hosts this Episode

Your hosts: Max Flight and Max Trescott.

709 Aviation Training

Aviation training at the University of Maine Augusta, Boeing and Airbus orders at Farnborough, Delta TechOps LEAP-1B MRO, a fighter market forecast, an open fan engine demonstrator, dropping the KC-46 co-pilot, electronic bag tags from Alaska Airlines, airline pilots who decide to exit the plane, and rebalancing travel demand and airline capacity.

Aviation Training at the University of Maine Augusta

Aviation training at UMA - the Cirrus SR20.
UMA’s new Cirrus SR20 G6

UMaine at Augusta prepping a new generation of students for the airline industry

The University of Maine Agusta offers aviation training with a Bachelor of Science in Aviation program, through a public-private partnership with Maine Instrument Flight

On the occasion of UMA’s introduction of their new Cirrus SR20, our Main(e) Man Micah speaks with:

  • Lt John Warren, Maine Air Guard KC-135 Pilot and UMA Graduate
  • Maj. Gen. Douglas A. Farnham, Adjutant General, Maine
  • Amber Kochaver, a recent Program graduate
  • Dr. Joseph Szakas, Interim President UMA
  • Greg Jolda, Aviation Program Director
Dr. Szakas flying the VR Simulator with Greg Jolda
Dr. Szakas flying the VR Simulator with Greg Jolda
UMA SR20 Being Admired - Gen Farnum and Greg Jolda
UMA SR20 Being Admired – Gen Farnum and Greg Jolda

Note that UMA also offers a program for remote pilots flying small unmanned aircraft or drones. The 8-course UAS certificate program allows you to become a certified FAA remote pilot.

Aviation News

Longtime EAA President Tom Poberezny dies as AirVenture 2022 kicks off

Experimental Aircraft Association president Tom Poberezny has died at the age of 75. Tom was EAA president from 1989-2010 and succeeded his father, EAA founder Paul Poberezny. EAA CEO and Chairman of the Board Jack Pelton said, “It is not lost on us that Tom’s passing occurred on the opening day of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, the event he led into world prominence as its chairman beginning in the 1970s.”

Boeing Arrives with Max Order Boon from Delta, ANA

At the 2022 Farnborough Airshow, Delta Air Lines ordered 100 Boeing 737 Max 10 jets with options for 30 more. All Nippon Airways ordered twenty 737 Max 8s and two 777-8F cargo variants.

Boeing Smokes Airbus at Farnborough Airshow

Boeing received 172 firm orders at Farnborough while Airbus saw 85 orders. However, Airbus holds a much more significant backlog than Boeing and received a commitment for 292 jets from Chinese customers recently.

Delta TechOps to provide maintenance services for next-gen LEAP engines

Delta TechOps will become a provider of MRO services for CMFI LEAP-1B engines. Delta TechOps provides support for Delta’s fleet of aircraft and more than 150 other aviation and airline customers worldwide.

Forecast International: Fighter Aircraft Market Worth $260B over Next 10 Years

Forecast International released a new study, “The Market for Fighter Aircraft” ($2050). The company projects over 3,855 fighters built from 2022 through 2031. In 2022 dollars, that represents $281.4 billion.

Airbus and CFM International launch a flight test demonstrator for advanced open fan architecture

Airbus and CFM International are collaborating on an open fan (open rotor or unducted fan) engine architecture. The Flight Test Demonstrator is under CFM’s Revolutionary Innovation for Sustainable Engine (RISE) technology demonstration program. Testing is on an A380 with the engine replacing the usual #2 engine.

Air Force Considers Dropping KC-46 Co-Pilot on Some MIssions

The Air Force’s Air Mobility Command is thinking about reducing crew size on Boeing KC-46 Pegasus tankers during dangerous missions. The concern is that a conflict in the Indo-Pacific region could involve a Chinese anti-aircraft missile attack. Tankers are particularly vulnerable.  Reducing the number of airmen onboard a tanker would minimize casualties.

This airline is launching electronic bag tags to speed up airport check-in

Alaska Airlines is selectively rolling out electronic bag tags that can be activated up to 24 hours before a flight with the Alaska Airlines mobile app. At the airport, touching your phone to the tag will display flight information. No check-in is required. The program starts at San Jose International Airport in California.

Captain Walks Off Alaska Airlines Flight After Fighting With First Officer

It was a disagreement between the two after a 90-minute weather delay. Following an announcement by the pilot, the plane returned to the gate. Live and Let’s Fly claims “a credible source” said the captain was arguing with ramp agents and barking orders.

Captain, Crew Abandon Passengers In Burning Plane

Reportedly, after an explosion and smoke on a Vueling plane, the captain and most of the crew ran out of the plane leaving passengers to fend for themselves.

It could be up to 3 years before flight capacity and pilot supply are ‘back in sync,’ American Airlines CEO says

CEO Robert Isom told investors the surge in demand is outpacing staffing levels. Mainline route capacity should be sufficient in about a year. Regional routes could take two or three years.

Mentioned

American Helicopter Museum Voted Best Museum for Families

History of El Avion

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, Max Trescott, and Rob Mark.