Bombardier sells off major portions of its commercial aviation business, FAA issues an Emergency Airworthiness Directive for Boeing 737, an American Airlines executive flys United, an update on United’s Polaris business class, Japanese pilots and alcohol consumption, and some visitors allowed to the gate at Sea-Tac. Also, a talk with a Challenger Class Red Bull air race pilot and crosswind landings with the B-52.
FAA says this Boeing 737 MAX emergency AD “was prompted by analysis performed by the manufacturer showing that if an erroneously high single angle of attack (AOA) sensor input is received by the flight control system, there is a potential for repeated nose-down trim commands of the horizontal stabilizer. This condition, if not addressed, could cause the flight crew to have difficulty controlling the airplane, and lead to excessive nose-down attitude, significant altitude loss, and possible impact with terrain.”
The Japanese transport minister says they’ll create an expert panel to look at drinking rules for aviation staff. There have been a number of recent alcohol-related problems involving Japanese airline pilots.
Launchpad Marzari Interviewed Patrick Davidson, Red Bull Challenger 77. The Challenger Cup was conceived to help the next generation of pilots develop the skills needed for potential advancement to the Master Class.
Launchpad also spoke with LTC Roy “Street” Lohse, Instructor pilot, 307th Bomb Wing, Barksdale AFB about how the B-52 can land in a crab. or sideways in a crosswind.
Teachers from across the country came to AOPA’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) conference, hosted and sponsored by UPS in Louisville, Kentucky. The event featured two keynotes, two panel discussions, and 15 breakout sessions.
Appareo Systems is the maker of Stratus transponders for ADS-B systems. United Airlines announces its goal to cut greenhouse emissions by 50%, Airbus is investing in synthetic spider silk for composite aerostructures, the fatal crash of a Cessna 335, flight attendants on bad behavior by emotional support animals. Also, a conversation about passing the Cirrus SF50 checkride.
Kelly Keller flying in Alaska.
Kelly Keller is the Central US Territory Manager for Appareo Systems, maker of the Stratus line of transponders for ADS-B systems.
Stratus ADS-B In.
Kelly tells us about ADS-B In and ADS-B Out and explains what each does. From the Appareo website: “ADS-B is the technology being implemented by the FAA to provide surveillance and improved situational awareness to both pilots and air traffic controllers. The FAA mandate states that all aircraft operating in current Mode-C airspace must be ADS-B Out equipped by 2020. For the pilot, the two primary benefits come in the form of ADS-B In weather and traffic information.”
We explore the “hockey puck” and the “ghosting” effects and come to understand the implications if your airplane is ADS-B In equipped but not ADS-B Out equipped. Kelly also discusses the demand for installation and certification services and the increasing labor rates.
Kelly is a third generation pilot. Her grandfather was a WWII B-17 bomber pilot who flew two tours in the European theater, and her father was a Vietnam veteran, an airline pilot, an A&P/IA, and an avid advocate for general aviation. Kelly has been a private pilot since 2010, with ASEL and ASES class ratings. She’s currently finishing up her instrument rating.
Kelly’s family in front of the Staggerwing at Oshkosh.
United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz says, “…United Airlines became the first U.S. airline to make a public commitment to reduce our own greenhouse gas emissions – 50 percent by the year 2050.” This will be accomplished through engine and airframe technology developments, and the use of biofuels. United made an aviation fuel purchase agreement with Fulcrum BioEnergy, and the airline celebrated their commitment with the longest transatlantic biofuel flight to date, from San Francisco to Zurich. See also: Major air carriers plan to use more biofuels.
Airbus partnered with AMSilk to develop a prototype composite material composed of Biosteel fiber and resin. AMSilk is a German company that produces Biosteel in the lab which is designed to mimic spider silk in terms of flexibility and strength. Biosteel is created through a “closed-loop, bacterial fermentation process.” They hope to debut the composite in 2019.
A Cessna 335 recently crashed on approach to Florida’s Palm Beach County Park/Lantana Airport. The twin-engine airplane hit the ground a mile from the airport, killing the pilot and his wife. The man did not hold a valid pilot certificate. In fact, his certificate had been revoked in 1997 “for making fraudulent or intentionally false statements on his application for a medical certificate.” See also, Crash Pilot Had Certificate Revoked.
We look at UPS Airlines, including the fleet, the pilots, the technology, and the processes employed. Also, the Perlan 2 altitude record flight, GA accident rates, an F-35C incident, and pizza for 159 American Airlines passengers. We celebrate the 97th birthday of a WASP, look at the Immortal Red Baron air show act and a new Old Guys and Their Airplanes video. We also have a promo code for tickets to the 2018 Audi Stuart Air Show.
UPS Airlines 747-8F. Courtesy UPS.
Jim Mayer is public relations manager for UPS Airlines. He’s based at the airline’s headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky.
Jim Mayer, UPS Airlines Public Relations Manager.
We talk about the UPS Airlines fleet makeup: the “brown tails” (including the new 747-8F freighters) and the small feeder aircraft vendors. Jim explains the daily cycle at the Worldport® global air hub in Louisville, Kentucky. This is the world’s largest automated package sorting hub, where they experience airplane landings every 70 seconds over about a three hour period each night.
Jim tells us about cockpit technology projects, the hot spare aircraft that stand ready, and the UPS Flight Path program with Ameriflight to help keep new pilots in the pipeline.
UPS is the official logistics provider for Expo 2020 Dubai and we talk about the daily nonstop flight from the Worldport hub to Dubai, UAE. Made possible with the Boeing 747-8F freighter, this route improves time-in-transit from North and South America to Middle East destinations by one business day.
Of course, over the years UPS Airlines has encountered some unique shipments, and Jim tells us about a few of them, as well as recent humanitarian flights to Puerto Rico.
Jim joined UPS in 2003 following a career as an Emmy-award-winning broadcast reporter. As PR manager at UPS Airlines, Jim manages media relations and external communications for one of the world’s largest airlines. He has traveled extensively around the world, helping to tell the UPS story, including coverage of major facility expansions in China and Europe; and unique charter moves such as whale sharks and humanitarian aid flights.
Jim is a Chicago-area native and has a B.A. in Telecommunications from Indiana University in Bloomington.
The Airbus Perlan Mission II pressurized glider has been out riding atmospheric pressure waves, and it’s reached more than 76,000 feet. That’s believed to be the record for subsonic human flight in a winged aircraft. This meant the flight crossed the Armstrong Line, the altitude above which a human’s blood will boil without some kind of protection.
The AOPA Air Safety Institute’s Joseph T. Nall Report [PDF] says that the general aviation overall and fatal accident rates are at a 10-year low. Fatal crashes decreased to 0.84 per 100,000 hours. Accidents with pilot-related causes make up 74 percent of non-commercial, fixed-wing accidents. Accidents related to mechanical and maintenance issues made up about 16 percent of the overall total.
American Airlines Flight 2354 from Los Angeles to Dallas/Fort-Worth experienced extreme thunderstorms and was diverted to Wichita Falls, Texas. The next flight to DFW was the following day. Captain Jeff Raines responded by ordering 40 pizzas from the local Papa John’s store, and even hand carried the pizzas from the delivery car to the waiting passengers.
November 2-4, 2018 in Stuart, Florida you can experience the Treasure Coast’s largest annual event with breathtaking performances including by the United States Marine Corp Harrier, the Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration Team, the Phillips 66 Aerostars, and others. Of course, there will be many static displays like The Movie Memphis Belle, the C-17 Globemaster III, and the OV1 Mohawk.
At the Stuart Air Show, you can also take advantage of rides offered with special guests, including a Cobra Attack Helicopter and a T-6 Texan. Plan your Audi Stuart Air Show experience now at stuartairshow.com.
Also, starting September 17th, Airplane Geeks has teamed up with the Stuart Air Show for a week of aviation trivia. Each day September 17 – 23rd at 6 pm on their Facebook page, they will be posting an aviation-related trivia question. The person with the most correct answers (and who answers the fastest) will win 4 tickets to their VIP event on November 2nd! That is a $600 value! Learn more about the Stuart Air Show at stuartairshow.com and on Facebook.
We are thrilled to be able to bring our listeners a special ticket offer to the Stuart Air Show. Use promo code “geekspodcast” at checkout to enjoy a special $10 ticket offer through October 31, 2018.
Immortal Red Baron
At the Blue Bonnet Air Show at the Burnet, Texas Municipal Airport, Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari interviewed Stefan Trischuk of the “Immortal Red Baron” air show. This was a different act as it was a staged dogfight with another airshow performer.
Immortal Red Baron
Also at the Blue Bonnet show, Launchpad met Mrs. Jane Doyle, celebrating her 97th birthday. Jane is one of the last WASP.
Artist John Mollison has released another “Old Guys and Their Airplanes” video featuring 2nd Lt. James Kunkle who flew P-38s with the 9th Air Force over Europe during WWII. Jim was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his combat action on Sept. 16, 1944. In this video, Jim describes a terrific dogfight that he experienced in 1944 where he took on 20 or so German fighter planes. OGTA #12 – Split Second – The Jim Kunkle Story.
Listener Hendrik sent in a picture from his wedding to his lovely wife Marielle. If you remember a few weeks back, on their way to Hawaii for their honeymoon, they got a tour of Los Angeles from Brian during their LAX layover. Featured in the picture is a Beluga, Marielle’s favorite plane, carrying some precious cargo: their wedding rings.
Our guest documents aircraft crash sites and helps next of kin find closure. In the news, we look at Boeing’s Aviall unit helping Antonov, a statement by aviation groups concerning GA fees charged by FBO’s, Delta’s test of a new dining experience for some international coach travelers, and an update on fan blade inspections following the fatal uncontained engine failure on Southwest. We also reminisce a bit about our past experiences with model rockets.
Pat Macha, founder of the Project Remembrance Team.
Pat Macha began documenting aircraft crash sites in the mountains and deserts of California in 1963. Twenty-five years ago Pat founded the all-volunteer Project Remembrance Team that is dedicated to facilitating the requests of next of kin who wish to learn more about the loss of loved ones in aircraft accidents. The Project Remembrance Team has assisted more than one-hundred-fifty next of kin to fulfill their wishes for accident reports, maps, photographs and crash site visitations. More than two dozen memorial markers have been placed at or near aircraft crash sites. All with the permission of the property owners.
All missions are completed with respect and admiration for those who have come forth to honor the memory of those whom they have lost. Losses suffered by first responders and members of armed forces receive an appropriate extra measure of attention.
The Project Remembrance Team includes retired military service members, pilots, rangers, educators, firefighters, law enforcement officers, professional scuba divers, and business people. Pat has authored six books on crash sites in California, and he is a well-received speaker on aviation accident history and aircraft archaeology.
At the Farnborough International Airshow, Boeing and Antonov signed a deal where Boeing’s Aviall unit would supply components to Antonov. This will allow Antonov to resume production. Antonov chief Oleksandr Donets said Aviall will support Antonov to build AN-1X8 planes and will have exclusive rights to help service the planes.
AOPA reported in Coalition Calls for Action on Airport Access that “16 general aviation groups issued a joint statement calling on the FAA to take action against ‘egregious, hidden fees and denial of affordable access to airport ramps.’” Among the groups signing the statement was Women in Aviation International, but now WAI has rescinded their support. WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian said, “As a pilot myself, I am sympathetic to the financial challenges inherent in flying, but we also recognize that FBOs provide services crucial to our flying as well as extending comforts which enhance general aviation operations.”
Delta Air Lines is testing an “enhanced meal and beverage service” for international economy class passengers on flights between Portland, Oregon, and Tokyo. The dinner service includes cocktails and sparkling water, appetizers, choice of three-course dinner, and Haagen-Dazs ice cream for dessert. The meal is served in courses, on white dishes.
Following the April fatal uncontained engine failure of a CFM International engine on a Southwest flight, GE spokesman Rick Kennedy said about 150,000 blades have been inspected. A small number of fan blades with cracks have been found and Southwest CEO Mike Van de Ven said “maybe four or five” cracked fan blades have been found at other carriers.
Brian attended the launching of some model rockets as part of the after-school program sponsored by the Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum based in Compton, CA. In addition to successfully launching some rockets built by students Sarah and Jonathan, Brian let them launch two of his 3D printed rockets. One rocket failed to deploy the parachute, as the 3D printed plastic melted from the engine heat. The other rocket properly deployed the parachute but experienced an internal structural failure that resulted in the rocket coming to earth in two pieces. Both launches were considered a success as all parts were recovered and the students will learn from the failure analysis and design better rockets in the future.
CAN YOU THINK OF A BETTER WAY TO SPEND A BEAUTIFUL SPRING SATURDAY THAN WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS CHECKING OUT THE COOLEST MOTORCYCLES, CARS, AND AIRCRAFT?
Fun for gearheads of all ages, the third annual AOPA Wings ‘n Wheels takes place at the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association headquarters, just steps from the Frederick Municipal Airport. There will be plenty of food, exhibitors, vendors, and entertainment.
All-day workshops will cover a range of topics such as flying in extremes, owner-performed maintenance, IFR refresher, and companion flying. (Pre-registration required; tuition fees apply: $105/member; $155/non-member; $75/spouse).
If you’ve been out of the cockpit for a while, get back up to speed by attending the Rusty Pilots seminar. (Free/member; $69/non-member.)
The Senior Vice President, Aviation Strategy and Programs for AOPA describes the You Can Fly program and the Air Safety Institute. Also, we look at the increased student enrollment in flight-training programs, adhesively bonded splice joints as an aircraft assembly method, the White House nominee for the NTSB, and Ryanair’s strategy for pilot retention.
AOPA Senior Vice President, Aviation Strategy and Programs Katie Pribyl with Buck.
Katie Pribyl is Senior Vice President, Aviation Strategy and Programs for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). Katie is responsible for the organization’s You Can Fly program and the Air Safety Institute.
The You Can Fly program includes initiatives to get lapsed pilots back in the air, providing more affordable access to aviation through flying clubs, best practices in flight training, and It introduces high school students to aviation. Be sure to look into the AOPA High School Aviation STEM Symposium November 6-7, 2017.
The AOPA Air Safety Institute (ASI) produces free programs to help pilots fly safer. These include online courses, live seminars, and videos. ASI recently started publishing the There I Was… podcast.
Katie is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and she flew the Canadair Regional Jet with Atlantic Coast Airlines/Independence Air. She served as the director of communications for GAMA (the General Aviation Manufacturers Association) and Katie is a CFI and rated seaplane pilot. She is a member of Ladies Love Taildraggers and loves flying her 1956 Cessna 180 Skywagon in her home state of Montana.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s flight-training program is planning for the largest incoming freshman class in 15 years. Contributing factors include demand for more commercial airline pilots, an increase in a starting salary, and quicker return on investment with an Embry-Riddle degree.
The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Northrop Grumman partnered to test a new aircraft assembly method where adhesively bonded splice joints replace the legacy method where large components and subassemblies are joined with bolts.
The White House announced that Bruce Landsberg will be nominated to a five-year term on the National Transportation Safety Board beginning Jan. 1, 2018, as well as to a two-year term as vice chairman. Bruce led the AOPA Foundation and Air Safety Institute (ASI) as executive director and then president for 22 years. He’s currently a senior safety advisor for AOPA and the ASI, he also has served as the industry co-chair of the FAA’s runway safety program.
Brian got together with some of our listeners during his trip to South Africa, and recorded some of the conversations.
JetBlue announced that it was capping ticket prices after the devastating hurricane in Florida.
The Cod Father restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa.
Evan picking up the PA-22.
#PaxEx Podcast #50 Flyers Rights makes the case for seat size standards with guest Kendall Creighton, director of communications for consumer advocacy group Flyers Rights on aircraft seat spacing, the Daily Beast article, their recent judicial victory, and ATC privatization.
Guest Mark Baker is the President and CEO of AOPA, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. In the news, wake turbulence from an A380 flips a Challenger 604, two flight attendants sue American Airlines for failure to enforce company policy, an engine on a Saab 340 loses its propeller in flight. Also, an interview from the National Air & Space Museum Restoration Hangar, and an idea for a circular runway.
Mark Baker, president and CEO, AOPA.
Mark Baker is President and CEO of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He is also chairman of AOPA’s Political Action Committee, chief executive officer for the AOPA Foundation, president of the International Council of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Associations representing pilots in 72 countries, and publisher of AOPA Pilot, the world’s largest aviation publication.
We talk about air traffic control privatization, user fees, BasicMed, and other areas of aviation advocacy by AOPA. Mark tells us about the effectiveness of AOPA regional fly-ins, and touches on aviation safety and Congressional general aviation caucuses.
Mark is a longtime general aviation pilot and has been flying for 35 years with over 7,500 hours. He holds certificates for commercial pilot with single- and multi-engine land and seaplane ratings, rotorcraft rating, and type ratings in the Cessna Citation 500 and 525s
President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget would privatize air traffic control operations by creating an “independent, non-governmental organization.” Who would control the new corporate entity, and how it will be funded?
An Emirates Airbus A380-800 was at FL350 over the Arabian Sea when a Challenger 604 business jet passed 1000 feet underneath in opposite direction. The A380 continued to Sydney uneventfully. The Challenger didn’t fare so well in the wake turbulence from the A380.
Two flight attendants claiming sexual and gender harassment on social media have filed federal lawsuits against American Airlines for failed to enforce its policies governing employee use of social media.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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 John tells us about his most memorable flight.
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.
We talk about being a second officer with an expat from a major Asian airline. In the news, families of MH-370 victims take the search into their own hands, a new flight approach pattern is under study, a WASP T-6 trainer and a film, a looming strike at Chicago O’Hare, and a Suzy story.
Andy Bard is a second officer at a major Asian airline, and he currently flies the Airbus 330 and A350. Originally from Northern Europe, Andy now considers himself a lifetime expat, and for the past 15 years he has worked all over the world in sales and office jobs before giving it all up to pursue a career as an airline pilot.
Andy explains the role and responsibilities of the second officer, also known as a cruise pilot or cruise relief pilot. He tells us about the training provided by the airline and how the class was composed of both locals and expats. Some had flight experience, and others had very little.
We talk about the implications of heavy demand for pilots in a region that has relatively little general aviation activity. Andy also gives us some insight into the life of an expat pilot, as well as his impressions of flying the A350.
Before being hired by the airline, Andy had around 300 hours, with a FAA CPL with instrument and multi ratings. He also has as “frozen” EASA ATPL. To date, Andy has about 1,000 total hours, and he explains how the loggable hours for license purposes derived from second officer time are significantly lower.
Six pieces of wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-370 have been found on the coast of Madagascar. The Voice 370 family association says “there has been no systematic, organized search by any responsible party. This leaves the (next-of-kin) no other choice except to take it upon ourselves to do something to find answers and closure.” Four Malaysians, two Chinese, and a French next-of-kin are planning a self-financed trip to Madagascar in December.
The University of North Dakota and the AOPA Air Safety Institute are studying the use of a continuous turning approach or “circular pattern” as an alternative to the traditional “box” or rectangular traffic pattern. The idea came out of a recent loss-of-control panel where it was thought that changing the landing pattern might improve safety and reduce loss-of-control accidents.
The NTSB said “better training on how to eliminate distraction, avoid stalls, and manage weather issues will put pilots back in control and give them better command of their outcomes.” The GA accident rate per 100,000 flight hours dropped from 8.45 in 1994 to 4.66 in 2015, and the fatal accident rate dropped from 1.73 to 0.89 during the same period, according to the AOPA Air Safety Institute.
This is not a news story per se, but it does contain some interesting aspects about being a notable airline pilot, including a story about past Airplane Geeks podcast guest Patrick Smith, publisher of the Ask the Pilot website, and author of the NY Times bestselling book “Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel.”
The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) started a Kickstarter program to fund the acquisition and restoration of one of the actual AT-6 aircraft used for Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) flight training. This aircraft will be featured in a new film, Rise Above: WASP, narrated by actress Sigourney Weaver.
Some of the airport janitors, baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, and wheelchair attendants are paid minimum wage, which is $8.25 an hour in Illinois. They want to be paid $15 an hour and so they plan to strike. But after the very busy Thanksgiving holiday.
Airplane of the Week
David brings us another Suzy story, this one called Suzy and the Turkey Shoot. Suzy also appeared in Episode 279Christmas, Episode 286Valentine’s Day, and Episode 412Stars.