Tag Archives: Airport security

476 Synergy Aircraft

The founder and CEO of Synergy Aircraft describes the unique personal airplane he is developing. In the news, we look at airliner nose strikes, new security measures at airports worldwide, the credibility of United Airlines top management, the A330neo maiden flight, and the passing of aviation journalist Ben Sandilands.

Synergy Aircraft

Guest

John McGinnis is founder and CEO of Synergy Aircraft LLC, a seed-stage company developing a quiet, roomy, fuel-efficient aircraft using advanced aeronautical and manufacturing technologies.

John describes the process he employed in designing and developing the Synergy. Where some projects start with a favored design that then gets developed, John looked first at best practice principles that led to the design. These principles include biplane theory, laminar flow, and active drag reduction. They had been explored historically, and John assembled them in one design using advanced analytical tools.

The resulting  “Double Boxtail™” wing-becomes-tail configuration is aerodynamically efficient, fast and quiet, and features a spacious cabin. Synergy has been testing scale models and John reports good results.

John is the founder of MC Squared Design USA (a service bureau providing 3-D design, CNC machining, 3-D printing, and composite fabrication) and MV Aero, a provider of state-of-the-art Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation. John is a Senior Member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and an EAA contributor.

The Synergy Aircraft prototype.

The Synergy Aircraft prototype.

Synergy Aircraft CFD analysis of conventional airplane.

Synergy Aircraft CFD analysis of conventional airplane.

Synergy Aircraft CFD analysis of the double boxtail design.

Synergy Aircraft CFD analysis of the double boxtail design.

News

Mystery surrounds plane’s squashed nose

A Delta Airlines flight experienced some kind of event that significantly damaged the aircraft’s nose. In UPDATE: Delta addresses Thunder plane damage en route to Chicago, the airline said, “Delta flight 8935, operating from Minneapolis to Chicago-Midway as a charter flight for the Oklahoma City Thunder, likely encountered a bird while on descent into Chicago. The aircraft, a Boeing 757-200, landed safely without incident; customers have since deplaned and maintenance teams are evaluating.”

For some past nose strike events, see:

We talked with Marcy Heacker from the Smithsonian Institution, Feather Identification Lab in episodes 253 and 202.

If You Want to Fly to America, Get Ready to Be Interrogated

What You Need To Know About New Airport Security Rules

In March 2017 DHS banned personal electronic devices larger than phones on direct flights to the U.S. from 10 airports. That restriction is now loosened, but additional DHS security measures are in place that affects 235,000 passengers on 2,000 flights daily to the U.S. on 180 airlines from 280 airports in 105 countries.

Column: Can United Airlines brain trust survive another tough journey?

Some financial analysts question the ability of United’s top management to pilot the company through the challenges ahead.

Airbus jet designed to win back sales from Boeing takes maiden flight

The Airbus A330neo made its successful maiden flight with a new engine and improved aerodynamics. The 1,400-hour flying test program will proceed with 3 prototypes and the first production aircraft.

Aviation journalist Ben Sandilands dies after battle with cancer

Ben Sandilands covered aviation for decades and was the editor of the Plane Talking blog on Crikey. His last post was Malaysia will focus renewed MH370 search where Australia refused to look. RIP Ben.

Airline Story of the Week

Our Main(e) man Micah provides an editorial piece he calls “Rave On.”

Mentioned

Airline Weekly Lounge podcast.

#PaxEx Podcast 51: Safety first as allergic passengers endure challenges.

San Gabriel Valley Airport Air Fair and Open House.

Mitchell PBJ

Mitchell PBJ

Air Show: Paris 1989

Ultra High Bypass Jet Engine Propfan Technology | Aviation Videos | AeroSpaceNews.com

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

461 Aircraft Laser Strikes

The founder and CEO of Metamaterial Technologies explains the effects on pilots of aircraft laser strikes, and the new technology that protects pilots. In the news, we look at a future where airlines pay you to fly, biometric facial-recognition technology at the airport, how climate change may impact aviation, a very close call at SFO, and odors in the cabin.

Metamaterial Technologies Inc. demonstrates the metaAIR™ film that provides protection from laser strikes. (Photo courtesy Metamaterial Technologies Inc.

Metamaterial Technologies Inc. demonstrates the metaAIR™ film that provides pilots with protection from laser strikes. (Photo courtesy Metamaterial Technologies Inc.)

Guest

George Palikaras is an entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of Metamaterial Technologies Inc. MTI is a smart materials and photonics company working on some difficult problems that involve light, including the threat to pilots of laser strikes.

We explore the danger to pilots of laser strikes, such as temporary flash blindness, glare and disruption, and distraction. George explains the metaAIR™ metamaterial thin film that can be applied to cockpit windows and provide protection from laser strikes. metaAIR has been tested with Airbus and has the additional benefit of providing UV protection in daylight.

The sales strategy for metaAIR is being worked out with Satair Group. (Satair provides an integrated portfolio of material management services.) MTI is also developing very thin solar cells that could have aviation applications.

George was a post-doctoral researcher at Queen Mary University in London working on wearable and implantable sensors projects. He founded Medical Wireless Sensing Ltd. (MediWise), a research and development medtech company based in London. In 2014, George received the Frost & Sullivan Global Aerospace Product Leadership Award for Lamda Guard metaAIR.

Video: metaAIR™ – Laser Eye Protection

Press release: Metamaterial Technologies Inc. Partners with Airbus to Co-develop and Commercialize metaAIR™, a Laser Protection Solution

Aviation News

Airline CEO predicts a future where ‘we will pay you to fly’

When asked about how low airline fares can go, WOW Air founder and CEO Skúli Mogensen told Business Insider, “I can see a day when we pay you to fly.” Ticket prices continue to tumble while airlines generate significant revenue from fees for services and partnerships with hotels, car rental agencies, restaurants, and other travel industry players. Where do the trends end?

Chicago O’Hare Joins in Deployment of Biometric Exit Technology

Biometric facial-recognition technology was piloted last year at Atlanta International Airport, and it’s been deployed at Washington Dulles and George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Now US Customs and Border Protection is bringing facial recognition biometric exit technology to Chicago O’Hare International Airport for select flights.

Press release: CBP Deploys Biometric Exit Technology to Chicago O’Hare International Airport

Climate Change’s Revenge on the Aviation Industry

Researchers from Columbia University and Virginia’s Logistics Management Institute modeled how aircraft departures will be affected by hotter days driven by climate change. They say airlines will have to reduce weight, meaning people, cargo, or fuel.

See Why Phoenix’s Airplanes Can’t Take Off in Extreme Heat.

The Bombardier CRJ airliners have a maximum operating temperature of 118 degrees, while planes from Airbus and Boeing can take off at up to about 126 degrees.

’11 seconds to impact’: Expert calculates how close SFO near-miss was to disaster

Officials: Air Canada plane flew for a quarter-mile over taxiway before anyone noticed

NTSB: Air Canada close-call at SFO was even worse than first reported

An Air Canada Airbus A320 almost landed on an active taxiway, executing a go-around in the last few seconds.

‘Passed gas’ forces passengers off plane at Raleigh airport

The International Business Times reported that a sick man “broke wind so violently it caused nausea and headaches among his fellow passengers.” An airport employee reported that, “The resulting smell was so noxious that fellow passengers became ill and were rushed off the flight.”

Update: Did ‘passing gas’ cause illness on Raleigh flight? Airline says no

The initial press reports were not quite accurate.

Mentioned

Podcast 048: Designing IFEC from the ground up to shape #PaxEx

Long-time aviation industry veteran Jon Norris is the senior director, corporate sales & marketing for Panasonic Avionics. He describes the Panasonic NEXT in-flight entertainment and connectivity system.

David has a new camera and spent time at the Air Victory Museum and the Naval Air Station Wildwood Aviation Museum trying it out. Here are some examples:

Dorkfest September 23, 2017 at LAX. Watch airplanes. Talk airplanes. Eat food. No tickets, no reservations, no scheduled activities. Find this event and others at http://AvGeekFests.com.

A-4K Kiwi Red Plugged In Barrel Roll Formation ‘Swan’

RNZAF A-4 Skyhawk Team Tricks

Foreign ownership: a new ident for Canadian airlines

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

434 Aviation Law

We discuss the topic of aviation law with an attorney and pilot. In the news, we look at airport security issues in the face of the recent shooting at the Fort Lauderdale airport, the new generation of Cirrus aircraft, GECAS orders for Boeing 737 Max 8s, and a cargo handler who goes for an unexpected flight.

Guest

Attorney Raymond Paul Johnson, practicing aviation law

Raymond Paul Johnson

Raymond Paul Johnson is a California trial attorney, aerospace engineer, pilot, author, and combat veteran, having served as a United States Air Force fighter pilot. He has flown as command pilot and instructor on a variety of aircraft in both combat and peacetime environments, and today Ray maintains an FAA commercial pilot’s license. Ray’s law practice emphasizes product safety and liability, aviation law, engineering-legal disputes, and technology related matters.

Ray explains how he’s combined his interests in aviation and law as a specialty practice. His firm handles both civil and military cases across the U.S., especially where liability is contested.

We discuss the application of the Boyle v. United Technologies Corporation Supreme Court decision to military cases. That decision addressed the validity of state tort laws that hold independent military contractors liable for injuries caused by their design flaws.

Ray explains that in a civil suit, the NTSB finding of probable cause is generally not admissible, but the facts uncovered in an NTSB investigation may enter into the case. Thus, the court could reach a different determination of responsibility than that of the government investigation.

Ray describes several cases he’s worked, including representing the family of United States Air Force Pilot Sean Murphy in their nationally prominent lawsuit regarding defects in the ejection system of the F-15 fighter aircraft. He also represented test pilot Carl Lang in his X-31 case.

We also talk about the impacts on aviation law of emerging technology, such as commercial use of drones.

Ray has been a featured speaker at many national conventions, and he’s been interviewed regarding legal matters on CNN, NBC Nightly News, and other televised news programs. His practice is Raymond Paul Johnson, A Law Corporation.

Aviation News

Numerous red flags arose in months leading to Fort Lauderdale airport shooting
Travelers lose 25,000 items in Fort Lauderdale airport rampage

A man arriving at Fort Lauderdale airport allegedly retrieved a handgun and some ammunition from his checked bag, and began shooting travelers in the baggage claim area. Five people were killed, several others were wounded. On its Transporting Firearms and Ammunition webpage, TSA says:

“You may transport unloaded firearms in a locked hard-sided container as checked baggage only. Declare the firearm and/or ammunition to the airline when checking your bag at the ticket counter. The container must completely secure the firearm from being accessed. Locked cases that can be easily opened are not permitted.”

On its Special Items webpage, Delta Air Lines outlines its requirements for firearms. (Look for Shooting Equipment under Sports Equipment.)

Cirrus Launches New Generation of SR-Series Piston Singles

Cirrus Aircraft has introduced their 2017 model year airplanes, and the G6 SR-series piston singles have some added features. The Perspective+ avionics system is based on Garmin’s new G1000 NXi platform and Flying Magazine calls it “among the most important upgrades in the history of the SR series.” also new are animated weather graphics, a qwerty-style keyboard, and new Spectra LED wingtip lights as well as courtesy lights.

GECAS orders 75 additional 737 MAX 8s

GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) has ordered 75 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, valued at $8.25 billion at list prices. This brings the GECAS orders to 170 Max 8s. Boeing’s order total for 737 MAX aircraft stands now 3,419. The first 737 MAX 8 delivery is scheduled to occur in May 2017 with launch operator Norwegian Air Shuttle.

FAA, airline investigating how worker got left in cargo hold from N.C. to Dulles

A United Baggage Handler Took an Unexpected Flight in a Cargo Hold

Cargo-loading companies have procedures designed to ensure that handlers are out of the plane before the doors are shut. Something went wrong and a G2 Secure Staff employee was an unplanned passenger in the hold of United Express flight 6060 from Charlotte, N.C. to Washington Dulles International Airport.

Living in the Age of Airplanes Giveaway

Brian J. Terwilliger (our guest in Episode #427) is a pilot and the filmmaker who produced and directed the National Geographic movie Living in the Age of Airplanes, narrated by Harrison Ford. Brian was kind enough to donate two copies of the film, which we gave away to two randomly selected Airplane Geeks listeners.

Mentioned

United Tweet, last 747 flight out of O’Hare

Bob King, Boeing. Laid off at age 87!

Air France Says Au Revoir To The 747 With This Stunning Flyby

Don “The Prebuy Guy” Sebastian is now mentoring an ex-Marine who is an A&P, a pilot, and attending Embry Riddle for advanced degrees. Don sent us a short recording about Angle of Attack (AOA).

Two Indonesian airline executives resign after footage shows pilot staggering to plane

Sunwing Airlines pilot found passed out drunk in cockpit before take-off, Canadian police say

Couple hospitalized after plane crash at Capitol Drive airport

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

405 The Airport Master Planning Process

We continue our discussion of airport topics and look at the airport master planning process. We also talk a lot about the TSA and airport security, as well as psychological testing for airline pilots, a military export control conviction, and a personal experience in a full motion flight simulator.

Guest

Jenny_Watts

Jenny Watts, Airport Planner, Armstrong Consultants, Inc.

Jenny Watts is an Airport Planner with Armstrong Consultants, Inc., a professional consulting engineering firm specializing exclusively in airports. She describes the master plans that airports create, how they are used, and who uses them. Jenny also tells us about the Dark Sky initiative and how airports are making adjustments to reduce their contribution to light pollution. She published the white paper titled, Share the Sky – Good Neighbor Tips for Airports Near Dark Sky Communities and Beyond. [PDF]

Jenny has more than eight years of experience with aviation planning, corporate aviation operations, airport administration, and aviation education. Jenny has worked at large commercial service and general aviation airports in the Phoenix-Metro area, and directly contributed to operations, community relations, planning, and business development.

Jenny spent two years at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide as an advisor and adjunct faculty member. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Management Technology Arizona State University, and her Master of Aeronautical Science degree with an emphasis in Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle. She has been affiliated with the Arizona Airports Association for over fifteen years, and Jenny is also a freelance contributing writer for the Arizona Aviation Journal.

News

California Resident Convicted of Conspiring to Illegally Export Fighter Jet Engines and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to China

Wenxia “Wency” Man of San Diego, has been convicted by a federal jury in the Southern District of Florida of “conspiring to export and cause the export of fighter jet engines, an unmanned aerial vehicle… and related technical data to the People’s Republic of China, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act.

Man conspired to illegally acquire and export to China defense articles including:

  • Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines used in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
  • Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines used in the F-22 Raptor fighter jet
  • General Electric F110-GE-132 engines for the F-16 fighter jet
  • the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper/Predator B Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
  • technical data for each of these defense articles.

Man faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 19, 2016.

FAA rules out requiring psychological testing for airline pilots

Administrator Michael Huerta says the FAA will not require psychological testing for airline pilots because he says they only indicate the pilot’s mental health at a point in time. The tests don’t indicate what a pilot may do later.

Airport security:

Explosion at Shanghai Airport Injures at Least Five People

A man tossed a homemade explosive device at the check-in counters at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, then cut his throat with a knife.

Man shot by police at Dallas airport faces assault charges, remains hospitalized

A man outside the Dallas Love Field terminal allegedly “hit his ex-girlfriend and battered her car with a traffic cone and large landscaping rocks.” A police officer arrived with gun drawn and the man approached with rocks in his hands saying, “You’re going to have to shoot.”

Dubai airport shut Saturday for over an hour; 22 flights diverted: executive

Dubai International Airport was closed due to “unauthorized drone activity.” In the UAE, drones are prohibited within 5 km of airports, helipads, landing areas, or manned aircraft.

Warsaw Airport Suspends Landings Briefly Due to Drones

Warsaw’s international airport was shut down for 30 minutes due to two unauthorized drones flying in the area. Poland forbids drones flights within a 20-kilometer (12-mile) radius from airports.

Mentioned

One-third of the world cannot see the Milky Way — why that matters

Plane Talking UK Podcast

What to Eat at 30 North American Airports, Summer 2016

Know Before You Fly – An education campaign founded by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to educate prospective users about the safe and responsible operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

DHS Comparison Chart – This chart outlines the Trusted Traveler programs offered by the Department of Homeland Security.

Patrick Smith’s Ask The Pilot post TSA’s Summer Meltdown

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

AirplaneGeeks 395 Trish Beckman Loves to Fly Fast

 

Trish Beckman in the F/A-18

We talk with the first American woman to qualify as a crewmember in both the F/A-18 and the F-15E, now working for Boeing. We also discuss airline and airport implications of a terrorist attack, record US airline traffic, the Coast Guard centennial, and F-35B deployment to Japan.

Guest

Patricia L. “Trish” Beckman is a Navy Officer, a Flight Navigator, an Aircraft Dispatcher and an Aeronautical Engineer. Trish is one of the women described in the book Trailblazers: The Women of the Boeing Company that we talked about with author Betsy Case in Episode 382.

Trish tells us about testing military and commercial aircraft prior to delivery, the history of women in military aviation, and the role she and others played that led to the repeal of the combat exclusion laws. With an extensive aviation background, Trish doesn’t disappoint as she tells us stories from her career, including a Kuwait F-18 experience that highlights different cultural views of women, specifically pilots, and how she and others responded. (Shhh, don’t tell anyone…)

Trish enlisted in the US Navy at age 18 and over the course of 28 years she learned to operate and maintain flight simulators, completed flight training as a Naval Flight Officer, graduating from US Naval Test Pilot School, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Aerospace Engineering and a Master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering.  

As a Naval Flight Officer, Trish flew in 67 types of military aircraft, with primary qualifications in the EC-130Q, F/A-18D, E-6A, S-3A/B, and F-15E.  She was the first American woman to qualify as a crewmember in the F/A-18 (F/A-18D, 1990, Weapon Systems Officer) and the first woman to qualify as a crewmember in the F-15 (F-15E, 1992, Weapons Systems Officer).

F/A-18 by David Vanderhoof

F/A-18 by David Vanderhoof

In 1991, Trish and other women military aviators helped educate the US Senate on career restrictions caused by the 1948 “Aviation Combat Exclusion” laws, which directly led to the repeal of those laws. Since 1993 when President Clinton changed the policy regarding assignment of women to combat missions, women now fly all military aircraft in almost every military mission.

Since June 2013, Trish supports military aircraft flight test at Boeing Test & Evaluation at Edwards Air Force Base and China Lake, both in California.  For the previous 12 years, she flew as a Systems Operator (similar to flight engineer) for production and engineering test flights of the Boeing 737, and as a Flight Test Navigator for ferry flights and engineering test flights for most Boeing aircraft (737, 747, 757, 767, 777, 787).  She has logged over 6000 flight hours in 73 aircraft types.

Trish is a founding board member of Women in Aviation International (WAI) and a past president of Women Military Aviators, Inc. (WMA).  She also mentors and supports women aviators worldwide, through such organizations as Canadian Women in Aviation (CWIA), Aviation and Women in Europe (AWE), the Russian Club of Women Aviators (Aviatrissa), Southern African Women in Aviation (SAWIA), and Women Aviators in Africa (WAFRIC).

Trish works to inspire and motivate young people to pursue careers in math, science, and aviation.  She is a mentor for the Raisbeck Aviation High School in Seattle, a workshop presenter for Sally Ride Science Festivals around the country, and a mentor for several aerospace museums nationwide which encourage young people to navigate a path to success in the world of aviation.

News

Crisis communications lessons from Brussels attacks – what can airlines learn?

SimpliFlying Senior Consultant Marco Serusi takes a look at the Brussels Airport attack on March 21, 2016 and thinks the way the Airport and Brussels Airlines handed the crisis is a good model for other airlines and airports. He also provides some lessons for the next crisis.

The Israeli model: What airport safety looks like, and what it costs travelers

Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport may be the world’s safest airport. It features the use of five layers of security that starts just after you leave the highway, as well as racial profiling techniques.

Pinni Schiff, a former security chief for Israel’s Airport Authority, said “You can’t have 100 percent protection of privacy and human rights and not have terror attacks. You can’t have both. It doesn’t go together. Europe has to improve on this.”

US airline traffic sets all-time record in 2015

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) released the 2015 U.S.-Based Airline Traffic Data report. The BTS says. “U.S. airlines and foreign airlines serving the United States carried an all-time high of 895.5 million systemwide (domestic and international) scheduled service passengers in 2015, 5.0 percent more than the previous record high of 853.1 million reached in 2014.”

American Airlines carried more total system passengers in 2015 than any other U.S. airline. British Airways carried the most passengers on international flights to and from the U.S. of any foreign airline. Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International had the most total system passengers board planes in 2015, and more passengers boarded international flights at New York John F. Kennedy.

Coast Guard Welcomes Yellow-Painted Throwback Rescue Helicopter to Northeast Skies

Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod received a MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter with the historic chrome yellow paint scheme used by Coast Guard and Navy helicopters in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In celebration of the Coast Guard’s 100th aviation anniversary on April 1, 2016, sixteen aircraft in total are getting historic paint jobs to represent different eras of Coast Guard aviation, including Jayhawk and Dolphin helicopters and the HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane.

10 F-35Bs to be deployed to Japan in January 2017

The U.S. Marine Corps plans to deploy the F-35B to MCAS Iwakuni in January 2017, replacing the F/A-18.

The Airplane of the Week

F-15 by David Vanderhoof

F-15 by David Vanderhoof

In honour of our guest, David looks at the F-15E. The Strike Eagle grew out the aircraft that was designed from the outset as “not a pound for air to ground.” The Strike Eagle is now flown by the US and its allies in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Listener Recording

Launchpad Marzari comments on the Spartan Executive and wonders why the cost of a comparable new aircraft has doubled, if not tripled, taking inflation into account.

Mentioned

India all set to become the world’s third largest aviation market by 2020, says new study

India is predicted to become the world’s third largest commercial aviation market by 2020, after the US and China.

Airshow Schedules

Photo

Piper tri-Pacer model

The Piper tri-Pacer model built by Jeff’s father and grandfather, now “flying” in his daughter’s room.

Credit

Opening music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

AirplaneGeeks 347 Training Pilots to Fly Unmanned Aircraft

Vince Donahue, Founder and President of Vortex UAS

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

Guest

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

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

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

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

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

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

News

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

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

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

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

US Navy goes tubular with autonomous swarming UAV demonstrations

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

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

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

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

Feds Warn Airlines to Look Out for Passengers Hacking Jets

Hackers Could Commandeer New Planes Through Passenger Wi-Fi

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

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

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

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

The Australia News Desk

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

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

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

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

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

The Aviation Minute

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

Mentioned

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 345 Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour

Future of Flight Gallery panorama Joe Kunzler

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

Guest

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

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

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

Boeing Factory Doors in Sunrise Joe Kunzler

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

News

FAA hit by cyberattack, finds no damage

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

AP investigation details perimeter breaches at US airports

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

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

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

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

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

The Australia News Desk

PCDU team at Barossa 2015

PCDU team at Barossa 2015

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

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

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

Mentioned

Other Seattle aviation attractions:

Air Canada A320 by Ryan Hothersall:

Air Canada A320 by Ryan Hothersall

Photos by Paul Filmer, straightening us out:

Caravelle by Paul Filmer

This is the Caravelle…

Caravelle by Paul Filmer

…and this is the Comet.

Listener Photo of the Week

A350 by Seth

A350 by Seth

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 333 The Airport Experience, From Roadway to Runway

Washington Dulles International Airport

Managing airport customer service, new TSA security measures, guns on a plane, FAA NPRM rules, the NTSB 10 most wanted, new airline routes, and the inaugural Airplane Geeks Inflight Movie of the Month.

Guest

Dennis Hazell is Manager, Customer Service at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Dennis supports the terminal and airfield operations, while focusing on the overall customer service experience at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Prior to joining the Airports Authority in June 2007, Dennis spent twenty-three years with American Airlines.  He began his career as a flight attendant, and accepted management positions in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Tulsa, Albany, Richmond, and Washington Dulles, where he spent the last ten years as the General Manager.

He has also been involved in several community activities including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, The United Way, and working with The George Washington University-Virginia Campus in focusing attention on STEM education.  He also serves as a Board Director for the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Follow Washington Dulles International Airport on Twitter and Instagram.

News

TSA Considering New Security Measures for Airport Workers

The Department of Homeland Security announced some additional security measures: enhanced screening for airline employees, some random security checks, and more patrols in secure areas by the TSA and law enforcement. The Aviation Security Advisory Committee has been asked to look into airport security.

TSA: Inspector had .22-caliber revolver in carry-on bag

An FAA Aviation Safety Inspector was passing through a security checkpoint at New York’s LaGuardia airport, after arriving from Atlanta, and a loaded firearm was discovered in his carry-on bag. He was arrested, saying it was his wife’s gun and he forgot he had it.

Instrument Sim Rule Rescinded

The FAA issued a final rule Dec. 3 that allowed up to 20 hours on an approved simulator for instrument training. Before that it was up to 10 hours. Now the FAA is withdrawing the rule.

New rules are established through the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) process. The FAA normally issues an NPRM, followed by a public comment period before the final rule is released. Here, the FAA issued the rule first, with the comment period after. But in that case, if anyone objects to the rule, it is rescinded. Two people objected.

NTSB 2015 Most Wanted List

The annual TSA Most Wanted List represents the Board’s 10 advocacy priorities. Some are directed at aviation, and some at other modes of transportation.

New Routes can lead to lower fares

Route expansions may not seem like exciting news, but they’re a bigger deal than you probably think. Why? Because they often spark competition between airlines and drive down fares on multiple carriers.

The Aviation Movie of the Month

This week, David starts the inaugural Airplane Geeks Inflight Movie of the Month: Always, the modern retelling of A Guy Named Joe. So what did David think? 4 out of 5 props.

4 props

The Australia News Desk

B767-338 VH-OGM

B767-338 VH-OGM departs Sydney for the final time on January 7th. Image by Damien Aiello.

Grant’s tired after completing his CASA panel interview process for aircraft maintenance management and Steve’s hungover after a few too many red wines with the “Infrequent Flyer” himself at the Members’ Reserve in the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Oh my!!!

Despite this, the boys still manage to report on:

  • More Qantas 767s flying to the Alice Springs boneyard (where a UT-Air Antonov 74-200 may wind up if it’s not careful!)

Aviation Museum Review

Brian Coleman visited the Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of New Jersey in Teterboro, New Jersey and brings us his report.

Airplane Geeks on Ice

Juan Fernandez

Report 4 by Juan Fernandez from McMurdo Bay in Antarctica. See more at AirplaneGeeks.com/ice.

Listener Recording

Micah tells the story of “Undergraduate Air.”

Mentioned

  • The Igor Sikorsky Weekend Seminar at the Bradford Camps in the North Maine Woods with Igor Sikorsky III.

Credit

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

 

 

AirplaneGeeks 331 The Good, The Bad, and The TSA

TSA Pre Check

How the TSA treats a man marked as a terrorist, an inside job smuggling guns on an airline, airport security concerns, a former Korean Air executive arrested, United and Orbitz sue over the “hidden city” ticketing strategy, and an AirAsia QZ8501 update.

Guest

After being convicted of releasing animals from fur farms in 2005, Peter Young was labeled a “terrorist” by the TSA. Since then, flying has been quite interesting for Peter. 

You see, Peter was placed on the TSA’s Selectee List. This is not the same as the No Fly List. If you are on the Selectee List, you can fly on an airline, but you are subjected to “enhanced screening.”

Peter has since experienced all manner of “special treatment” from the TSA. He’s been refused entry onto planes, been tailed through airports, and told his Starbucks coffee might be a bomb.

In October 2014, Young launched The Jetsetting Terrorist blog, to document his often hilarious but never boring experiences with the TSA as he travels around the U.S. marked as a “terrorist.” Follow Peter on Twitter as @flyingterrorist.

News

4 large objects found in AirAsia wreckage and victims search

Sonar has picked up large objects, the flight was not certified to fly on that day, why ATC didn’t authorize an increase in altitude, and why pilots don’t turn back.

Arrest warrant for ex-Korean Air exec in nut rage

Heather Cho, the former VP of Korean Air’s in-flight service and the daughter of the Korean Air Chairman, has been arrested. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation investigation determined that Cho’s behavior violated the Aviation Safety and Security Act, which bans any behavior that disturbs airplane operation.

Gun Smuggling on Plane Reveals Security Oversight

In December, a former Delta employee was arrested in New York after allegedly carrying 16 firearms and ammunition in a backpack on a Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta. This was after a month long investigation.

A Delta baggage handler with access to secure airport areas brought the firearms into the terminal and transferred them to the man, who had already gone through the regular airport security checks.

A Gift to the Jihadis: The Unseen Airport Security Threat

Airport security focuses on passengers, but baggage handlers and other airline employees with access to restricted areas could be bigger threats.

Millennials Worry Most That Airport Security Is Becoming Too Lax

More than 740,000 travelers are now enrolled in the TSA’s “Precheck” program, A survey by Harris Interactive shows that younger people are more worried about lax security than older travelers.

22-year-old raises $33,000 in fight with United Airlines

Aktarer Zaman, founder of the airfare advice site Skiplagged.com, is being sued by United and Orbitz for providing “unfair competition” and promoting “strictly prohibited” travel. Zaman’s website helps air travelers find “hidden city” tickets. Zaman is raising funds to pay for his legal fees at GoFundMe.

David Vanderhoof’s Airplane of the Week

Short Belfast

The Shorts Belfast, a four-engine turboprop freighter produced by Short Brothers.

Aviation Movie of the Month

Always, a 1989 film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, and John Goodman. The film introduced Brad Johnson and featured a cameo by Audrey Hepburn.

The Australia News Desk

The boys are back for 2015 and wondering what happened to last week? Something about holidays and memos, it would appear!

In this Desk, Steve and Grant cover the WA Police Air Wing being grounded due to pilots quitting, the last flights of Qantas 767s (well, sort of) and regional airline SkyTrans closing the doors but in the most controlled and well managed method we’ve ever seen!

Airplane Geeks on Ice

Juan Fernandez provides his second report from Antarctica, this time on the Pegasus crash. Visit AirplaneGeeks.com/ice for more information and some great photos.

Mentioned

Marin's Bushcaddy

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 274 – Aviation Journalist Christine Negroni

B-58 Hustler

Guest Christine Negroni is author of the book “Deadly Departure” about the crash of TWA 800 (Now available as an eBook.) Her reporting appears in The New York Times and she has worked as a network television correspondent for CBS News and CNN. She blogs at “Flying Lessons” and you can follow her on Twitter as @cnegroni.

We talk about how the TWA 800 accident helped Christine become interested and involved in aviation, the quality of aviation journalism these days, her report of the 1952 crash of a BOAC Hermes in Africa and how some of the original reporting was not completely accurate.

Christine also has some thoughts about the recent television documentary “TWA Flight 800,” which puts forth a missile conspiracy theory. Christine has spoken with the Co-Producer and others involved in the documentary.

The Week’s Aviation News:

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week: The Convair B-58 Hustler. (Photo above)

Jetstar

In This Week’s Australia Desk:

With Grant back on deck this week, we start by talking all things 787 with the news that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority has cleared Jetstar to add it’s first such aircraft to their AOC, allowing them to begin passenger flights starting very shortly.

Air New Zealand has a number of 787-9 aircraft on order for their fleet and announced this week that the Auckland to Perth will be the initial route to see service.  We’re tipping their cabin will be a tad less squashy in a 302 seat configuration, compared with the 335 on offer from Jetstar.

Qantas announces March 2014 as the closure date for their 747 maintenance facility at Avalon Airport in Victoria, with the loss of over 300 jobs.  As reported last week, unions were desperately trying to come up with ways to save the facility, but Qantas seemed determined to close it and is proceeding accordingly.  With the continuing draw down of their 747-400 fleet from 34 airframes to a projected ten by next year, Qantas says they don’t have the workload to justify keeping the base open.  They’ve offered to re-deploy as many jobs as possible to facilities in Brisbane and possibly Melbourne, but its feared that 747 maintenance work for the remaining fleet will go overseas.

In defence news, the Royal Australian Air Force has started EA-18 Growler training in earnest with the first crews heading to the US for transition work with the US Navy.  The RAAF is acquiring 12 airframes of this type, which are due to begin service within three years.

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. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.

ATV 4 Albert Einstein from the ISS

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

This week Pieter brings us some news stories that caught his eye, including the passenger growth numbers in Europe, the Europeans Space Agencies space craft ATV4 Albert Einstein and the successful first flight of the e-Go.

Mentioned:

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