Tag Archives: Alaska Airlines

701 Aviation Weather

How aviation weather intelligence affects airlines and airports, the FAA wants radio altimeters replaced, Easyjet has a solution to fly with less crew, Spirit Airlines says no to JetBlue, an electric airplane first, jail time for some unruly passengers, and Virgin Atlantic flight training requirements.

Guest

Scott Gilmore, Tomorrow.io aviation weather information

Scott Gilmore is the Global Vice President and GM of Aviation at Tomorrow.io, a company that provides an aviation weather and climate security platform. Scott has over 40 years in the aviation industry, including 27 as a pilot. He drives Tomorrow.io’s aviation go-to-market offerings, including sales activity, revenue management, and the product roadmap.

Scott explains the sources and uses of aviation weather data, and how weather intelligence results in fewer turnbacks, more payload, and better fuel load. He also tells us about the impact on airport ground staffing and de-icing planning.

Tomorrow.io is deploying its own constellation of LEO weather satellites equipped with radar and microwave sounders. This will provide global coverage with a significantly improved refresh rate. Scott describes the goal of being able to machine generate a custom “TAF” (Terminal Aerodrome Forecast) for any selected location.

It’s with noting that the non-profit TomorrowNow.org is committed to helping vulnerable populations adapt to the climate changes that are happening now.

Prior to Tomorrow.io, Scott served as the Head of Flight Deck Solutions with The Weather Company, an IBM Business; Senior Manager of Strategic Partnerships at the International Air Transport Association (IATA); and Director Of Business Development Airline Industry Solutions, and Head Of Application Development Aircraft Mission Kit / Electronic Flight Bag at Unisys. Scott was a Senior Strategic Airlift Manager C-5, C-17, and Tanker Operations with the United States Air Force. He’s an FAA Rated Flight Engineer with over 21,000 hours in the flight deck, an Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic, and a member of the American Association of Airport Executives.

Aviation News

FAA wants U.S. airlines to retrofit, replace radio altimeters

The FAA wants to establish “an achievable timeframe to retrofit/replace radar altimeters in the U.S. fleet” due to possible interference from C-Band 5G wireless service. So they are meeting with telecom and airline industry officials where they can hear “options and commit to actions necessary to meet these objectives.”

EasyJet to take out seats so it can fly with fewer crew

Staff shortages are affecting commercial flight schedules globally and EasyJet has a solution to reduce its cabin crew from four to three legally: Take out the back row of seats in its A319 fleet. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulates the number of cabin crew based on seats, not passengers on board.

Nigerian airlines are threatening to ground domestic flights amid soaring jet fuel prices

Nine Nigerian airlines issued a statement saying that the cost of imported jet fuel had increased nearly fourfold as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and that they are threatening to stop domestic flights. Airline operating costs have increased from about 40% to nearly 95%

Frustrated Alaska Airlines Pilots to Vote on Strike

Alaska Airlines pilots have been without a contract for some three years. Pilots started voting on May 9 on whether to strike. Balloting will end on May 25. The Air Line Pilots Association is seeking higher pay and better scheduling for its pilots.

Spirit Airlines rejects JetBlue’s buyout bid, citing approval concerns

The Spirit Airlines board rejected the $3.6 billion takeover bid by JetBlue Airways. They say Spirit will continue to pursue a merger with Frontier Airlines.

The Board determined that the JetBlue proposal involves an unacceptable level of closing risk that would be assumed by Spirit stockholders. We believe that our pending merger with Frontier will start an exciting new chapter for Spirit.

Mac Gardner, Spirit Airlines board chairman.

U.S. Aviation First: Private Pilot Certificate Earned Using an Electric Airplane

In a U.S. first, a student pilot has earned a private pilot certificate with an electric aircraft. Shane Fisher flew his check ride in a two-seat Pipistrel Velis Electro, the world’s first and still only electric-powered airplane to receive a type certificate. Certificated by EASA in 2020, it operates in the U.S. as a light sport experimental aircraft. Fisher’s cross-country was accomplished in a Pipistrel Virus SW, which has a similar airframe but is powered by a Rotax 912 engine. 

Unruly Passenger Who Managed to Open Plane Door Inflight is Sentenced to Just One Year in Jail

A disruptive and violent passenger who opened the aircraft door on a United Express flight just before landing could have received 20-years imprisonment and a $200,000 fine. But instead, he was sentenced to one year behind bars for interfering with a flight crew. Kameron C. Stone, 30, of Fairfax, Virginia was also ordered to pay a $7,500 fine and undergo three years of supervised release. He can also look forward to a fine from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Man Who Assaulted Flight Attendants Gets 60 Days in Jail

Witnesses Describe the Scene When Man Exited Moving Plane at O’Hare, Slid Down Wing

A person opened the emergency exit door of United flight 2874 at O’Hare International Airport as the plane was moving on the runway. The passenger then walked out onto the wing and slid down onto the airfield. 

Our ground crew stopped the individual outside of the aircraft, and the person is now with law enforcement.

United Airlines statement.

Virgin Atlantic Flight Aborted After Pilot Found To Be ‘Untrained’

This was a Virgin Atlantic internal training protocol compliance violation, not a regulatory violation. The first officer had not completed his final assessment, and the captain was not yet qualified as a check airman. The plane returned and the first officer was replaced.

Australia News Desk

This week’s segment covers the big announcement by QANTAS of the purchase of 12 A350-1000s, along with a ton of other variants which will gradually replace, and effectively phase out, Boeing aircraft over the next five years.  We also take a look at QANTAS purchasing regional operator Alliance Airlines, the upcoming RAAF Amberley Air Tattoo, the Pacific Air Show scheduled for Queensland in 2023, and the World Championship Air Race round for Australia which was recently announced.  We also may have had a little fun at Rob’s expense….

What passengers can expect on Qantas’ longest commercial flight in the world

Introducing the Airbus A350-1000

Pacific Airshow comes to Gold Coast in 2023

Pacific Airshow

Qantas has reached an agreement to fully acquire Australian-based operator, Alliance Aviation Services

QANTAS to acquire Alliance Aviation to Better Support Resources Segment

Air race 2022: Lake Macquarie locks in $8 million drawcard for November

Ipswich Amberley Air Tattoo

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, Max Trescott

640 Australian Women Pilots

Amazing true stories of Australian woman pilots, predicting the air travel recovery, airline response to shifting demand, flying across the Atlantic on the jetstream, roles for USAF tankers, preventing cabin crew from disappearing, and an Alaska Airlines sweepstakes for lovers.

Guest

Kathy Mexted, author of Australian Women Pilots.
Kathy Mexted, author of Australian Women Pilots.

Kathy Mexted is a writer, photographer, and editor of AirSport Magazine from Sport Aircraft Association Australia, a general aviation organization. She’s written for several publications and her recently published book is titled Australian Woman Pilots, Amazing True Stories of Women in the Air.

Australian Women Pilots

Kathy’s book tells the stories of ten Australian women pilots, and we look at three in particular. Gaby Kennard flew around the world in a Saratoga, mostly following Amelia Earhart’s route. In a ferrying operation, Lyn Gray had to ditch a Seminole 500 miles off Hawaii, requiring a U.S. Coastguard operation. Patricia Toole flew cargo and passenger flights in rugged and dangerous New Guinea. Meeting Patricia just before her death motivated Kathy to tell the inspiring stories of these women pilots.

Aviation News

Air travel recovery likely pushed back to 2022

The optimism that the Covid vaccine would quickly turn everything around for the travel industry may have been premature. We see the slow pace of vaccinations, which may not prevent you from transmitting the virus to others, mutations popping up, closed borders, and no consensus on so-called “vaccine passports.” The International Air Transport Association that in a worst-case scenario, passenger traffic may only improve by 13 percent this year.

Airlines Are Ditching Business Hubs and Rerouting Flights to Florida

Leisure travel is showing signs of life, but business travel is not. Since convenience is important to leisure travelers, airlines are responding with more direct routes.

Fly like the wind: Pilots are about to cross the Atlantic in a whole new way

More than 1,300 flights used to occur daily over the North Atlantic. Radar cannot cover the entire distance, so to maintain safe separation, the organized track structure (OTS) was created. Safe, but not the most efficient. However, Reading University researchers found that over the course of a typical winter, a 2.7% saving on carbon emission per passenger could be obtained if aircraft flew routes that took advantage of the wind. 

Air Force Hunts for Ways to Use Not-Quite-Ready Tankers

The behind-schedule Boeing KC-46 tankers are still in testing because of the improvements needed for its refueling system. In addition, two problems exist with the plane’s auxiliary power unit. The Air Mobility Command is “exploring limited operational capability for the KC-46.”

Airline to confiscate cabin crew’s passports after second flight attendant goes missing during layover

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA)  said it will confiscate cabin crew passports during layovers. Twice now flight attendants have gone missing for the return leg of a round-trip.

Alaska Airlines offers pandemic’s locked-down lovers a chance at free flights

This offer expired, but Alaska Airlines held a contest where 100 couples won roundtrip tickets. The “Booking for Love Sweepstakes” requested stories from couples who had “a long-distance love that began during the lock down or was separated by stay-at-home orders.”

AirVenture Oshkosh 2021 Update

Planning for the 2021 event continues, but with Covid-19 protocols in place. Get the latest information at the EAA page for Oshkosh 2021 Covid updates

FAA Creates Gateways for new Presidential TFR

AOPA has been working with the FAA and other agencies since October to gather information about how future presidential TFRs might impact general aviation operations, part of a yearslong effort spanning many administrations to mitigate the economic damage and inconvenience that these restrictions can cause.

Mentioned

DARPA Disc Rotor Helicopter and other projects

Video: DARPA/Boeing DiscRotor

A Curator Special: The Impossible Case of MH370, a special episode of the podcast Monocle 24: The Curator from Monocle.

Hampton Roads Helicopters, a full-service aviation company for both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft based at Hampton Roads Executive Airport (PVG).

611 Aviation News

Boeing 737 MAX certification flight tests, Airbus job eliminations, updated airline COVID-19 health safety protocol requirements, Aeromexico bankruptcy, NBAA convention cancellation, concept of operations for Urban Air Mobility, possible Ryanair 737 MAX buy, Austrian Airlines to operate rail service, 2018 uncontained engine failure report, geared turbofan engine replacements, and yellow warning cards at Alaska Airlines.

Aviation News

What’s Trending in Aerospace – July 5, 2020

Boeing and FAA complete certification flight testing for the 737 MAX. A review of the data gathered from flight testing will be performed and a new Airworthiness Directive for 737 MAX operators will be published allowing a return to service. Also, Airbus plans to eliminate up to 15,000 jobs by the Summer of 2021. EASA has updated airline COVID-19 health safety protocol requirements including mandated aircraft cleaning and disinfecting. Aeromexico has filed for bankruptcy. NBAA canceled the Oct. 6-8, 2020 Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition in Orlando, Florida. FAA has released Concept of Operations V1.0 for Urban Air Mobility.

Distressed Is Best As Ryanair Plans New 737 MAX Order With Boeing Amid Coronavirus Downturn

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary believes it’s a buyer’s market for the 737 MAX. “We’re in active negotiations now with Boeing for a MAX 10 order,” he said. Any deal is expected to close after the 737 MAX returns to service. Ryanair says they operate “a fleet of over 450 Boeing 737-800 series aircraft, with orders of up to 210 new Boeing 737 aircraft. This includes 135 new Boeing 737 MAX 200s, and options for 75 more MAX 200s, which will enable Ryanair to grow its fleet to 585 by 2024… The average age of the Ryanair fleet is approximately 6.5 years, and is set to get younger with the latest aircraft order.”

Struggling Austrian Airlines swaps planes for trains

Under the recent €600 million ($680m) government aid package for Australian Airlines, the airline must reduce domestic emissions by 50% by 2050. It must also end flights where there is a direct train connection to the airport that takes “considerably less than three hours.” To help meet these requirements, Austrian will discontinue its flight between Vienna and Salzburg and instead operate rail service.

Pratt & Whitney Training Cited in 2018 United Jet Engine Failure

In 2018, a United Airlines 777-200 with PW4077 engines flying from San Francisco to Honolulu experienced an uncontained engine failure when a fan blade broke loose. The National Transportation Safety Board’s final report points to a training issue and says two previous blade inspections revealed weakened material in the titanium blade. But the inspector interpreted the indications as to the way the blade was painted. The NTSB said P&W didn’t create specific training for inspectors or certify how they performed the work.

Pratt & Whitney  to replace  old,  faulty engines before deadline

A320neo airplanes powered by older geared turbofan engines have been problematic for Indian airlines IndiGo and GoAir. Pratt is replacing those engines against an August 31, 2020 deadline, and says it will complete the job before that date.

Alaska Airlines threatens unmasked fliers with yellow cards

In July 2020 Alaska Airlines flight attendants will use yellow warning cards with passengers who fail to comply with the airline’s in-flight face mask policy. Under the new system, any passenger who “repeatedly refuses” to keep a mask on will be handed a yellow card by a flight attendant. “With that warning … the guest’s travel with us will be reviewed and could be suspended for a period,” Alaska said.

Mentioned

Van Sant Airport

Photo by David Vanderhoof

Photo by David Vanderhoof

Takeoff and landing competition a boost for pilots and a small airfield in Dover-Foxcroft

Chapter 141 EAA Facebook page

Career Spotlight: A Noble Calling. Teach for a living. Article about Max Trescott in Flight Training Magazine.

NASA’s Lunar Loo Challenge

Shuttleworth

Wings Over Wairarapa Air Festival 2021

599 One Less Than 600

An aviation and space reporter helps us understand the current state of the aviation industry and where it might lead. We also bring you an inside look at how an article for an aviation magazine is produced.

Guest

Tom Risen is a Space and Aviation Reporter based in Washington, DC. He’s been covering the latest news and writing analysis about how airlines and aerospace manufacturers are adapting to the quarantine measures to slow the spread of Coronavirus.

Tom is co-authoring a book about government oversight, he is the web editor and reporter for Future Flight News, and Tom was formerly technology and business reporter at U.S. News & World Report, and a staff reporter for Aerospace America.

Aviation News

Boeing to restart limited local work on jets

Boeing says they’ll recall about 2,500 employees out of the 30,000 employees impacted by the shutdown. The recalled workers will support defense programs like the Navy’s P-8 and the Air Force KC-46 tanker, and also maintenance operations for 737 MAX jets stored at Moses Lake. Employees will be provided with personal protective equipment and enforce social distancing measures.

Airbus cuts production by a third as airlines struggle

In response to airlines suspending orders, Airbus cut its production. The company said it delivered 122 planes in the first quarter, with 60 remaining undelivered. 55 were delivered in February, 36 in March.

The ancient computers in the Boeing 737 Max are holding up a fix

Boeing 737 MAX jets have two independent flight controlled computers: the Collins Aerospace FCC-730 series computers, first built in 1996. These use single-core, 16-bit processors. They have limited compute power, but they are reliable.

Treasury Department says larger airlines need to compensate taxpayers for coronavirus aid as talks drag on

More than 230 applications from air carriers for payroll grants have been received by the Treasury Department. United, Delta, JetBlue, Spirit and others have applied for the aid. The Treasury Department said that it would not require applicants seeking $100 million or less to provide compensation. Officials have said the compensation could include stock warrants and or other financial instruments.

This will lead to airline bankruptcies’ — flight attendant union furious with Treasury bailout offers

Sara Nelson, president of the Association of Flight Attendants union and our guest in Episode 545 said, “This will lead to airline bankruptcies. The Treasury Department is destabilizing the industry, not helping save it.” The Treasury Department decided to make 30% of each cash grant offer a low-interest loan payable to the federal government. Nelson says Congress earmarked the money to immediately pay airline workers. If it’s turned into a loan, the airlines may choose not to take it.

Nearly 13,500 American Airlines pilots and flight attendants agree to voluntary leave or early retirement

The voluntary leave or retirement would occur in April or May, 2020. The Association of Professional Flight Attendants said about 7,960 members signed up for voluntary leave or early retirement out of 25,300 total. About 7,200 flight attendants signed up for three-, six- or 12-month leaves and about 760 will take early retirement.

TSA screens fewer than 100K travelers for 2 days in a row, hits ‘record low’ as coronavirus outbreak continues

This is about 96 percent lower than the same time last year. Then TSA screened more than 2 million passengers each day.

FedEx Puts Parked Jets Back in Service to Meet Asia Cargo Surge

FedEx plans to add 150 flights over the next month to ferry masks, protective suits and other health-care supplies to the U.S. from Asia.

Air Canada Removes Seating From 777s To Increase Cargo Capacity

Air Canada is pulling the 422 seats out of three of their 777-300ER aircraft so they can use the planes for cargo.

Alaska Airlines’ Creative New “Tag” Flights

Government aid under the CARES Act requires US airlines to avoid involuntarily furloughs or employee layoffs, and continuing service to all existing markets. Alaska Airlines is creating tag flights. For example, instead of flying from Seattle to Dallas and from Seattle to Houston, Alaska will fly from Seattle to Dallas to Houston.

The Impact of Coronavirus on Airport Planning and Design

HOK says they don’t foresee the need to make significant physical changes to terminals in response to COVID-19 because passenger terminals have been designed to be open and flexible. Thermal scanners and handheld thermometers for traveler screening are easily accommodated. But airports might look at “more comprehensive passenger wellness screening solutions.” We may also see “additional medical clinics within airports for use by passengers as well as airport and airline employees.”

This Man Owns The World’s Most Advanced Private Air Force After Buying 46 F/A-18 Hornets

The remaining Royal Australian Air Force legacy Hornets are coming back to the US to become civilian aggressors. The surplus RAAF F/A-18 Hornets are to be used in a contractor adversary air support role.

Positive Airline Stories

United Airlines Partners with Governor Newsom to Fly Medical Volunteers to California to Fight COVID-19

United Airlines has partnered with California Governor Newsom to provide free, round-trip flights for medical volunteers traveling to California to help in the frontline fight against the COVID-19 crisis. If you are interested in volunteering or learning more about the program, visit California Health Corps.

Alaska Airlines to host a job fair for Ravn employees, outlines plans in response to RavnAir’s suspension of service

RavnAir Group was a regional airline serving small Alaskan communities. They’ve ceased all operations but Alaska Airlines says they will maintain service to its destinations, start some summer seasonal service sooner, work to develop service to communities in the Aleutian Islands, and Cold Bay.

American Airlines Raises $2 Million for American Red Cross COVID‑19 Relief Efforts

The carrier and its customers raised more than $1 million for the American Red Cross in the first 24 hours of the campaign.

Interview

Flying MagazineA few months ago, Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari tagged along with Rob Mark, senior editor at Flying Magazine, as Rob was writing an article about the Texas Aircraft Colt LSA for the magazine. We get a “behind the scenes” look at what is involved in producing an article for an aviation magazine. That piece became the cover story for the May 2020 issue.

Mentioned

Planes of Fame Airshow T-shirts

RenegadeAV8R Radio Show

Stay at home air show

Short Final: Hostile Target

Rafale Ride Leads To Inadvertent Ejection By Overstressed Passenger

583 Flight Planning with SkyVector

We talk about flight planning with the founder and CEO of SkyVector. In the news, we look at transferring funding for light attack planes to the U.S. Special Operations Command, the Aircraft Noise Reduction Act, Boeing’s Board of Directors’ decision to pause 737 MAX production, and Alaska Airlines ugly holiday sweater promotion. We also have the Australia News Desk from the boys down under.

Guest

David Graves, founder and CEO of the SkyVector flight planning system.

David Graves, founder and CEO of the SkyVector flight planning system.

David Graves is the founder and CEO of SkyVector, which provides worldwide aeronautical charts, online mapping, and related flight planning products and services. The company combines its aeronautical mapping capability with weather and data overlays, airport information, FBO listings, and more.

In 2003, David was working as a programmer for a Seattle startup. He took an introductory flight with a small flight school at Boeing Field and his first solo came after 4 months and 20 hours. He earned his private pilot’s license about a year later.

SkyVector.com flight planning went on-line in the fall of 2006 and by the end of 2009, it was experiencing over 100,000 unique users a month.  In 2010, David quit his job to work on SkyVector full-time. The World VFR and World IFR charts went live in 2012. Flight Plan filing went live in 2015, and at the end of the decade, SkyVector is being visited by over 550,000 unique users per month.

David explains some of the discriminators of flight planning services, the SkyVector user interface, and interaction with other flight planning products. We discuss data sources and improvements in accuracy and learn about the Multi-Radar Multi-Sensor (MRMS) project which utilizes an automated system that integrates data from multiple radars and other sources to generate seamless, high spatio-temporal resolution mosaics. (Be sure to see the Operational Product Viewer.)

We touch on the SkyVector map layer with unmanned aircraft Notams (or “Drotams”), compare the new electronic flight planning tools with the “old” paper and pencil methods, and look at future flight planning developments.

Aviation News

Congress may have given the Air Force an exit door for the light attack aircraft program

Congress wants the Air Force to consider transferring some funding allocated for light attack planes to U.S. Special Operations Command.

Congressman Neguse introduces Aircraft Noise Reduction Act

U.S. Congressman Joe Neguse representing the 2nd District of Colorado has introduced legislation that would give local general aviation airports the power to set noise restrictions. Currently, airports must get approval from the FAA if they want to establish curfews or other noise-based restrictions on flight operations. See also, Congressman Neguse Introduces Legislation to Expand Local Control of Airports in Northern Colorado

Boeing will halt 737 production in January, following two fatal MAX crashes

At the Boeing Board of Directors meeting on December 16, 2019, a decision was made to pause 737 MAX commercial production in January 2020. Boeing will not lay off any employees during the production halt. See also, Halt or Curb 737 Max Production? Boeing Faces Difficult Decision.

Ugly sweater time! Alaska Airlines to give priority boarding to people in holiday gear

December 20, 2019, is National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. It’s celebrated on the third Friday of December each year. Sometimes it’s called National Ugly Holiday Sweater Day, or simply National Ugly Sweater Day. In any event, Alaska Airlines has a promotion and passengers wearing a holiday sweater on December 20 will be allowed to board early.

Australia News Desk

Steve Visscher and Grant McHerron bring us a news report from the Australia Desk.

Mentioned

From Jon Ostrower’s The Air Current: Pilot procedure confusion adds new complication to Boeing 737 Max return

‘World’s first’ fully-electric commercial flight takes off

Uber Air & NASA Launch Airspace Simulation To Enable eVTOL Future

Video: Uber Air

Top Gun: Maverick trailers

Voice of NBAA Podcasts Pete Combs Heads West

541 Airline Cabins

We look at the airline cabin environment, cameras in seatback IFE systems, Alaska Airlines and Sisters of the Skies working for more industry diversity, bringing a gun on a plane, the Amazon Prime Air B767 crash, a new drone marking requirement, and the winners of the Chicken Wings comics giveaway.

Guest

Jennifer Coutts Clay, author of Jetliner Cabins detailing airline cabins

Jennifer Coutts Clay, author of Jetliner Cabins

Jennifer Coutts Clay is the principal of J. Clay Consulting, a consultancy based on over four decades of pioneering work in the airline industry. Jennifer is also the author of Jetliner Cabins: Evolution and Innovation which examines the history, evolution, and development of airline cabin interiors in great detail.

In our conversation, Jennifer explains airline considerations for seller-furnished or buyer-furnished equipment. We explore “trickle down product upgrades” from first class to business to coach, and what that means for the future of first class. Jennifer also explains how corporate travel departments have indirectly affected cabin design and fare structures, and the importance of minor miscellaneous items (MMI) to the passenger experience. We also discuss slimline seats, green cabin design, and future trends. Jennifer also gives us her perspective on the impacts of the Boeing 747 and the Concorde, both iconic aircraft.

At British Airways, Jennifer was the first woman to serve as Head of Operations and Sales for the Western US. After serving as the General Manager of Product Design and Development at Pan American World Airways for three years in the late 1980s, Jennifer became a consultant and now provides technical advice and marketing support to the aviation industry, with a focus on airline interior and corporate branding programs.

Jennifer has been featured, interviewed, and published by dozens of news media outlets, including The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes.com, Conde Nast Traveler, and CNN.com. She is a founding sponsor of the Crystal Cabin Awards, a founding member of the Pan American Historical Foundation Museum, and she serves on the Concorde Advisory Committee at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City.

Jetliner Cabins: Evolution and Innovation is available as an eBook from Amazon, the Apple App Store, and Google Play.

Jennifer Coutts Clay and the Concorde.

Jennifer Coutts Clay and the Concorde.

Aviation News

Airline seats now equipped with cameras — aimed at passengers

Seat-back entertainment systems on some American, United, and Singapore Airlines planes have cameras. All three airlines have said those cameras are part of the IFE systems from suppliers such as Panasonic and Thales. The airlines say the cameras are not activated and they have no plans to do so.

Alaska Airlines promises to bring more Black women pilots into the fold

The travel industry is dominated by white males, and Alaska Airlines has committed to hiring more African American female pilots. The airline has teamed up with the nonprofit Sisters of the Skies organization to sign a pledge promising to hire more Black woman pilots to its ranks.

According to Sisters of the Skies, “Currently, there are less than 150 black women pilots in the United States holding Airline Transport Pilot, Commercial, Military, and or Certified Flight Instructor Licenses.”

Man’s gun reportedly stolen from SFO baggage carousel

The man was traveling on a United flight with a properly checked gun. But the flight was delayed and the gun flew on a different plane. Apparently, when it did arrive, it sat on the baggage carousel for some time and was then stolen.

For information about flying with a firearm, see 9 Must Do Tips for Flying with a Gun on Gun Goals, a site dedicated to gun enthusiasts.

Amazon Prime Air 767 Crashes in Texas

An Amazon Prime Air B767-300 operated by Atlas Air crashed in Trinity Bay near Anahuac, Texas. The plane was flying from Miami to Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. All three on board were lost.

FAA imposed this big change Saturday for drone pilots

Effective immediately, drone operators must display their aircraft registration number on the outside of the drone. Previously, the number could be located inside a component, like in the battery case.

Mentioned

Chicken Wings Comics – We announce the two winners of the book giveaway. Thanks to all who entered, and to Michael and Stefan Strasser at Chicken Wings for donating and autographing the books.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

504 Honeywell Chief Test Pilot

Our guest is the chief test pilot for Honeywell Aerospace. In the news, we look at 737-700 freighters, folding wingtips for the 777X, and an online general aviation community from the European Aviation Safety Agency.

The B757 flight test aircraft. Courtesy Honeywell Aerospace.

The B757 flight test aircraft. Courtesy Honeywell Aerospace.

Guest

Joe Duval, chief test pilot for Honeywell Aerospace.

Joe Duval, the chief test pilot for Honeywell Aerospace.

Joe Duval is the chief test pilot and site leader for Honeywell Aerospace Flight Test Operations at Sky Harbor in Phoenix, Arizona.

Honeywell Aerospace produces a wide variety of components and systems for general and business aviation, commercial aviation, and military aircraft, as well as for space applications. That includes avionics, engine controls, APUs, and propulsion engines, including those from the legacy companies Garrett and Lycoming.

As chief test pilot, Joe is responsible for all flight test engineering efforts, development and strategy, and maintaining technical and programmatic excellence across a team of engineers, technicians, mechanics, and pilots. He pilots Honeywell’s Boeing 757 and Convair 580 aircraft and participates in flight tests on other aircraft in Honeywell’s fleet.

Before joining Honeywell, Joe served as a research and test pilot with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Lincoln Laboratory Flight Facility. He designed and flew flight test profiles for emerging technology in government and commercial applications.

Joe also served in the United States Air Force as a pilot on the C-130 and B-707 (VIP) aircraft. He eventually became the chief pilot for the flight department responsible for the transportation of the general officer and staff of Special Operations Command. He also served as the chief of safety for the same department and is trained as an accident investigator.

Joe has over 7,000 hours flying time as a pilot and flight engineer in multiple aircraft and holds FAA type ratings in eight aircraft. He has a Bachelor’s of Science from Oregon State University in software engineering. He is Honeywell’s corporate point of contact for the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. Joe also attended the National Test Pilot School in Mojave, CA and is a graduate of the Southern California Safety Institute’s Flight Safety Officer Course.

Honeywell Aerospace B757 flight test aircraft., showing the pylon for mounting test en gines.

Honeywell Aerospace B757 flight test aircraft., showing the pylon for mounting test engines.

Aviation News

Alaska Airlines’ new 737-700 Freighters Provide “Lifeline” for Many Alaska Communities

Alaska Airlines cargo fleet of high-cycle 737-400 aircraft are being replaced with 737-700 Next-Gen aircraft to converted to freighters.

Boeing’s folding wingtips get the FAA green light

The FAA has accepted Boeing’s concept for folding wings on the 777X in order to allow the aircraft to operate at existing airports. FAA approved comes in the form of Special Conditions:

[Docket No. FAA-2017-0636; Special Conditions No. 25-726-SC], Special Conditions: The Boeing Company Model 777-8 and 777-9 Airplanes; Folding Wingtips [PDF]

Video: Boeing 777X folding wingtips

EASA Launches General Aviation Community Webpage

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) created a webpage for general aviation operators. They say, “This platform is for GA enthusiast to meet and share their passion.  Keep yourself updated and share the latest news and events.” Anyone can join by registering on the EASA General Aviation page.

Listener Recording

Student pilot Nicki brings us installment #10 on learning to become a pilot.

Interview

Brian spoke with Breeze Anderson from Helistream about their helicopter services. HeliStream offers many leisure and professional services, including scenic tours and sunset dinner rides. HeliStream also offers aerial photography, charters, and utility services.

Mentioned

Aviation Week’s Check 6 podcast, The Wild Ride at Uber’s Elevate Summit.

New England Air Museum

Cirrus Pilot Proficiency Program

Hangar 24 Craft Brewing

From Jamie Dodson, author of the award-winning Nick Grant Adventures Series, and Hunting the Wind: Pan American World Airways’ Epic Flying Boat Era, 1929–1946, available for pre-order.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

443 Heli-Expo 2017

Interviews from Heli-Expo 2017, a Boeing 797 might be in our future, a hybrid/electric powered vertical takeoff airplane is taking shape, companies attend the 2017 International Women in Aviation Conference looking to hire, some post-merger developments for Alaska and Virgin America, and a flight instructor who really was not. Also, a report on EAA at SXSW, and another memorable flight from a listener.

An MI-24 was displayed at the 2017 Heli-Expo. Courtesy Cold War Air Museum.

An MI-24 was displayed at the 2017 Heli-Expo. Courtesy Cold War Air Museum.

Heli-Expo 2017

Helicopter Association International says over 17,000 people attended Heli-Expo 2017 in Dallas, Texas, with 731 exhibiting businesses and organizations, and 62 aircraft on display. Our Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large “Launchpad” Marzari attended the event and recorded a number of interviews.

Mat Noble, U.S. Customs and Border Protection. CBP is looking to hire pilots. Apply at USAJOBS.gov and search for agency 1881. See also CBP Frontline Careers.

Charles Schneider, CEO of MyGoFlight. This company offers iPad flight apps and accessories, and introduced a HUD concept product.

Emmanuel Davidson, President of AOPA France, talks about bringing medical certification reform to Europe for light planes, and the role of IAOPA, the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations.

Bill Thompson from Embry-Riddle was at the show to support their graduates.

John Batey from the Cold War Air Museum (CWAM) brought one of their Mi-24 helicopter gunships. The museum is located on Lancaster Airport, 20 minutes south of Dallas.

Giovanni Mazzoni, AW609 program manager, describes the twin-engined tiltrotor VTOL aircraft with a configuration similar to the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, and aimed at the civil aviation market.

And then Launchpad ran into an aviation journalist named Rob Mark.

Aviation News

Boeing’s talking with airlines about a ‘797,’ and they like what they hear

There has been talk of a so-called “B757 replacement.” Something between the single-aisle 737 and the widebody 787. It’s been called the MOM airplane (Middle of the Market) and the NMA (either New Mid-sized Airplane or New Market Airplane). Now Steven Udvar-Hazy, chairman of Air Lease Corporation, says, “Call it a 797. That’s what it’s going to be.”

Companies form alliance for hybrid aircraft

XTI Aircraft Company is teaming up with Bye Aerospace to develop a hybrid/electric powered prototype of their TriFan vertical takeoff airplane. XTI says that because of cost and weight reductions, the first TriFan prototype will be a full-size rather than the 65% scale version that had been planned.

Women in Aviation 2017: We’re Hiring

The 2017 International Women in Aviation Conference was held March 2-4, 2017 and Dr. Peggy Chabrian, president and co-founder of WAI noted that, “Major airlines have been coming to WAI for the past four years and hiring WAI members in significant numbers, but this year the companies accepting résumés seem to be more diverse.

If You Thought the Alaska/Virgin America Merger Was Anti-Competitive, Take a Look at San Francisco

Since its merger with Alaska, Virgin America has added a number of new destinations from San Francisco. It looks like a strategy shift with Virgin America now adding mid-sized markets (as Alaska was successful doing) instead of the large-market approach that characterized Virgin America.

Fake flying instructor convicted

A 25 year old man represented himself to North Weald Airfield (EGSX) in Essex, England as a pilot and flight instructor. Suspicious work colleagues investigated and found he was not. After the man plead guilty to several counts, he was sentenced to an eight-month jail sentence suspended for 14 months, 140 hours of unpaid work, and costs.

Listener Recording

Listener John tells us about his most memorable flight.

Mentioned

Visit AvGeekFests.com for a calendar of aviation events where AvGeeks can meet up and participate in aviation events.

Episode 186 of The UAV Digest features the AOPA Senior Director for UAS Programs Kat Swain talking about why AOPA is welcoming drone pilots to the organization.

After Heli-Expo, Launchpad Marzari travelled to SXSW, visited the EAA Spirit of Aviation Mobile Experience, and spoke with Trisha Rothermel. This mobile unit is sponsored by NATCA and is touring throughout the United States in 2017. See Catch the Spirit of Aviation During EAA’s Mobile Unit National Tour.

Applications now being accepted for AOPA scholarships

Titan Missile Museum

96-year-old WWII pilot takes flight again in Tampa

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 396 The Emirates Employment Model

Emirates A380 by Paul Flimer

Conversation with the recruitment manager for Emirates about opportunities at the airline. Also, possible layoffs (or retirements) at Boeing, Air France service returning to Iran, new student pilot rules from the FAA, a buyer for Virgin America, and dogs – can they really fly?

Guest

Andrew Longley is Head of Recruitment – Flight Operations (Pilots) at Emirates. The airline operates to over 140 destinations with an all-widebody fleet of Boeing and Airbus aircraft. Emirates is the world’s largest operator of 777 and A380 aircraft.

Andrew Longley

Andrew Longley

Andy describes how the Emirates employment model is different than that of many other airlines. We take a look at the need to attract pilots and cabin crew from an international pool of candidates with strong leadership potential and good CRM skills. We also talk about pilot certification requirements, the Dubai lifestyle and airline accommodation of employee families, salaries, housing, medical insurance, and other career opportunities at Emirates.

Andy started his career in 2006 in the Royal New Zealand Navy as a Military Psychologist where he was responsible for the selection and assessment of specialist trades including helicopter pilots, special forces, and Navy divers. He also served as a UN peacekeeper for a year where he worked and lived in Syria and Lebanon monitoring the peace between the various at-war countries.

After Andy’s military time commitment ended in 2013, he worked as a consultant in the telecommunications and business fields including a year working at IBM.

But Andy saw a unique opportunity with Emirates and he moved to Dubai as a senior psychologist.  He became involved in Emirates pilot assessment and was responsible for profiling and assessing pilot candidates. He moved into pilot recruitment and leads the effort to find enough safe and capable pilots to fly a quickly growing fleet of wide-body aircraft.

Learn more at the Emirates Group Careers webpage. Pilots can look for the closed LinkedIn group “Future Pilots of Emirates Airlines.” Andy will be presenting and exhibiting at the FAPA Job Fair April 26, 2016 and the OBAP Spring Career Fair April 27, 2016, both in Las Vegas.

News

How The U.S. Government Helped Kill 4,000 Jobs This Week At Boeing

Boeing says that at least 4,000 (or 5%) of it’s workforce needs to be cut, and maybe as much as 10% (or 8,000 jobs). CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) Ray Conner points to pricing pressure from Airbus with their A320 family and its effect on the 737.

Loren Thompson describes some other factors where the U.S. government shares blame:

  • Illegal European launch aid subsidies.
  • The Ex-Im Bank cannot make new deals until the Senate acts to confirm a necessary quorum of board members.
  • Low tanker price will drain funds from Boeing that could have been used to compete with Airbus.

Forget About Airbus Pricing Pressure At Boeing; Bigger Danger Is 15,000 Early Retirements

Aerospace analyst Scott Hamilton of Leeham Co. says early retirements by factory-floor workers could be a bigger impact than layoffs on the 737 and 787 production ramp up starting next year. The IAM (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers) told told Hamilton that between 7,000 and 9,000 workers are eligible for early retirement in November, and they expect 3-5,000 might actually retire. However, Dennis Muilenburg, the CEO of The Boeing Co.says that “booking rates have held up well.” Cost cutting is offensive rather than defensive.

Air France cabin crew defy airline chiefs order to wear headscarves in Iran

Air France is scheduled to resume service between Paris and Tehran on April 17. By law, Iranian women are required to cover their hair. Some female cabin crew members say they won’t fly to Iran if they are ordered by the airline to wear headscarves after they disembark. Reportedly, an Air France memo to staff said female employees would be required to “wear trousers during the flight with a loose fitting jacket and a scarf covering their hair on leave the plane.”

New Student Pilot Rules Take Effect Today

In the past, many student pilots have celebrated their 16th birthday with their solo flight on that day. Now the FAA says it cannot start processing the student pilot certificate application until all requirements are met, including age.

Jason Blair posted a good resource on his website: Step by Step Process for Issuance of Student Pilot Certificates Using Updated FAA Student Pilot Certificate Procedures.

Alaska Air clinches Virgin America deal for $2.6B

Alaska Air Group plans to Virgin America in a deal valued at about $2.6 billion. If it goes through, Alaska Airlines would become the fifth-largest U.S. airline, behind  American, Delta, United, and Southwest.

Abandoned Dog Learns To Fly A Plane, Becomes World’s Cutest Co-Pilot

Maybe. Maybe not.

Listener Recording

Our Main(e) man Micah tells us about his second visit to the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s Stephen Udvar-Hazy Center in June 2015 for the Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display. Join us at the 2016 June 18 in Chantilly, Virginia, adjacent to Dulles International Airport. See also Scott Spangler’s visit report Udvar-Hazy: Surprises & Friends Restored on Jetwhine.com.

Mentioned

Top 10 Aviation Museums to Visit in the U.S.

US Chamber of Commerce’s 15th Annual Aviation Summit

Listener Photo

Ryan Hothersall's model Mil Mi-8 in Mongolian markings

Ryan Hothersall’s model Mil Mi-8 in Mongolian markings

Credit

Post photo courtesy Paul Filmer, Skippyscage Photography.

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 393 Aviators Achieving Success

Thomas P. Curran, the author of Millionaire Legacy, tells us about the success strategies of Sean D. Tucker, Captain Julie Clark, and Captain “Sully” Sullenberger. We also discuss ab initio pilot training from JetBlue, watching a solar eclipse from an airplane, a bill to curb airline fees, stricter oversight of pilot mental health, and high altitude drone flying.

Guest

Thomas P. Curran

Thomas P. Curran

Thomas P. Curran is a certified trainer and uses advanced strategies to coach his students to attain their dreams and goals. Tom has developed training curriculums and performance evaluations, and assists his clients with developing strategic marketing plans. As a speaker and seminar leader, he helps individuals prioritize their goals and dreams while developing a clearly defined plan for success. Tom is also a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).

Millionaire Legacy book cover

 

Tom’s book, Millionaire Legacy, focuses on the eight success strategies self-made millionaires use to acquire wealth, peace, and contentment. Top leading business, motivational, and other leaders are examined in the book, including  Sean D. Tucker, Captain Julie Clark, and Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. The book describes how these three highly regarded aviators overcame adversity and challenges to reach successful outcomes.

  • Sean D. Tucker overcame a deep fear of flying but persisted until he became a respected aerobatic pilot.
  • Captain Julie Clark fought many obstacles throughout her life and became the first and only female pilot with Golden West Airlines, a captain with Northwest Airlines, and an accomplished aerobatic pilot.  
  • Captain Sully Sullenberger, lost both engines after a bird strike, and instead of allowing himself to become paralyzed by fear, he safely landed the US Airways plane in the Hudson River.

News

JetBlue Wants to Train You to Become a Pilot

In Episode #379, we discussed the proposal by JetBlue to hire potential commercial pilots and provide them with ab initio training. JetBlue announced they are now taking applications for 24 Gateway Select program slots. The cost is expected to be about $125,000, but some tuition costs can be defrayed by working on the side as an instructor for CAE, the flight simulator manufacturer that has partnered with JetBlue to offer the training. The first six recruits will start training in late summer.

Astronomers freak out watching solar eclipse from Alaska Airlines flight

Alaska Airlines delayed Flight 870 from Anchorage to Honolulu allowing the plane’s path to intersect a total solar eclipse. A group of “eclipse chasers” onboard the flight witnessed the approaching shadow, Baily’s beads, the sun’s corona and prominences, and the diamond ring. The video captures their excitement.

Alaska Airlines Solar Eclipse Flight #870

“The Great American Eclipse” will occur on Aug. 21, 2017, and cut a diagonal path from Oregon to South Carolina. Learn more at Eclipse2017.org.

Airline Fees Are Out of Hand, a Bill From Senators Says

Fed up with the proliferation of airline fees, federal legislators have introduced the Forbidding Airlines from Imposing Ridiculous Fees Act, the “FAIR Fees Act.” Senator Edward J. Markey, Democrat from Massachusetts said, “Airlines should not be allowed to overcharge captive passengers just because they need to change their flight or have to check a couple of bags.” Markey and Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat from Connecticut, authored the bill.

Germanwings Crash Inquiry Urges Stricter Oversight of Pilots’ Mental Health

Airline Plan Suggests No Pilot Privacy

On March 24, 2015, pilot Andreas Lubitz flew a Germanwings Airbus A320 into the ground killing all 150 people on board. After the Captain left for a break, Lubitz locked the cockpit door and set the plane to an altitude of 100 feet, which was below the altitude of the terrain it was approaching. The French air-safety agency BEA has proposed rules for situations when pilots suffer from medical conditions that might pose a public risk.

FAA Reauthorization bill passes the House

The House voted to extend the Federal Aviation Administration’s operating authority through mid-July while Congress works on a longer aviation policy bill. The bill was approved by voice vote and Senate action is still required. The FAA’s current operating authority is due to expire on March 31, 2016.

This Idiot Flew his Drone to 11,000 feet in the Netherlands

Someone in the Netherlands flew their DJI Phantom to 11,000 feet, in an apparent attempt to break a world record.

Airplane of the Week

Atlas Cheetah E 826 by Alan Wilson

Atlas Cheetah E 826 by Alan Wilson

This week David schools Rob on the Atlas Cheetah, the favorite airplane of one of our listeners. The Cheetah grew out of the embargos of the 70’s and 80’s in both Israel and South Africa.

Mentioned

American Vintage Planes Take On ISIS — Why Have Throwbacks Been Brought Back From Retirement To Bombard Terrorist Group? [Video]

Credit

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