Tag Archives: Asiana

628 Cranky Flier

Brett Snyder, the Cranky Flier, returns as our guest. In the news, United changes its MileagePlus frequent flyer requirements, Costco is selling private jet program memberships, Korean Air and Asiana merge, the outlook for business aviation, Covid testing at the airport, and an “immunity passport” proposal.


Brett Snyder, Cranky Flier.

Brett Snyder is the president of Cranky Flier LLC. He’s passionate about airlines and has been since he was a child. Brett’s main activity is centered around the Cranky Flier blog and the Cranky Concierge air travel assistance service. He also produces the Cranky Talk podcast and the Cranky Daily which offers the day’s top five airline stories. The Cranky Network Weekly is the newest member of the Cranky family with expert analysis of strategic US airline network changes.

Aviation News

United Airlines lowering requirements for ‘premier’ frequent flyer program

For 2021, United Airlines reduces the requirements for MileagePlus premier status, and offers bonus points in some cases.

Korean Air to take over rival Asiana in $2.2bn buyout

Korean Air owner Hanjin Group announced it will acquire Asiana Airlines. This would make Korean Air one of the world’s largest airlines. Hanjin said the deal will “stabilize the Korean aviation industry, which is suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Costco selling $17.5K private jet membership that lasts 1 year

Multinational Costco is a retailer that operates membership-only warehouse clubs. They are offering a $17,499.99 one-year membership to a private jet charter company Wheels Up.

Virus Outbreak-Business Travel story

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, business travel represented 21% of the $8.9 trillion spent on global travel and tourism in 2019. Business travel revenue is down 85% at Delta Air Lines, but CEO Ed Bastian thinks a “new normal” for business travel might be 10% to 20% lower than in the past, and he believes it will come back faster than many people think.

United Airlines Becomes First Airline to Integrate State of Maine Testing on arrival into Travel Experience

Maine currently has some tough requirements for those who travel to that state. According to the government Covid-19 travel page, “It is mandated that all out-of-state travelers coming into Maine, as well as Maine residents returning to Maine, complete a 14-day quarantine upon arrival,” although this can be modified after passing a virus test. 

Lufthansa Predicts Immunity Passports In The Future

Future air travel restrictions could change with the availability of vaccines. Governments are already discussing the concept of an “immunity passport” for people who are vaccinated or otherwise immune. Meanwhile, airlines have been putting testing solutions in place for their customers.

Listener Poll

Airplane Geeks Listener Poll 628: Do you intend to fly to a vacation destination in 2021? Do you expect to fly for business in 2021?


Video: Worst Place To be a Pilot Season 1 Episode 1 HD from the UK mini-series Worst Place To Be A Pilot.

AirplaneGeeks 325 Conversation with an NTSB Board Member

NTSB animation of Asiana Flight 214

NTSB Board Member Robert Sumwalt, a penalty against Asiana Airlines, A350-900 type certification, the Fisher P-75 Eagle, Jabiru engines, UAV sense and avoid, Etihad growth into Europe, and aircraft at the G20 summit.


Robert Sumwalt, Board Member, National Transportation Safety Board.

We talk with Robert about the process for being nominated and confirmed as an NTSB Board member, and the roles played by Board members, including being the face to the public for accident investigations, and reviewing and approving investigation reports.

We also talk about the NTSB’s “Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements,” the Board’s function as a court of appeals, and how the Board reaches consensus.

Robert was sworn in as the 37th Member of the NTSB in 2006, and President George W. Bush designated him as Vice Chairman of the Board for a two-year term. Then in 2011, President Barack Obama reappointed Robert to an additional five year term.

Prior to joining the Board, Robert was a pilot for 32 years, including 24 years as an airline pilot with Piedmont Airlines and US Airways. After his airline career, he managed the flight department for a Fortune 500 company. Robert has over 14,000 flight hours and has type ratings in five aircraft.

Robert conducted aviation safety research as a consultant to NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System, and he has written extensively on aviation safety matters, having published over 90 articles and papers, as well as co-authoring a book on aircraft accidents.

He holds a Master of Aeronautical Science (with Distinction) from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, specializing in Aviation/Aerospace Safety Systems and Human Factors Aviation Systems.

Follow the NTSB on Twitter at @NTSB.


Asiana Airlines Suspends Service to San Francisco

As a penalty for last year’s crash landing at SFO, Asiana Airlines must cease flights from Incheon, South Korea, to San Francisco for 45 days. This comes from the South Korean government. Unless the airline appeals, the flight suspension must take place within six months.

Airbus A350-900 Receives FAA Type Certification

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) previously awarded type certification in September.

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week

Fisher P-75 Eagle

David explores the Eagle that was a turkey – the Fisher P-75 Eagle. The P-75 was an aircraft so bad it never got into production. However, it spared GM and Fisher Auto Body from producing B-29s, and put them into position after the war of being able to quickly get back into the auto business.

The Australia News Desk

Steve and Grant bring you the Australia Sports Desk report … ooops, hang on, that’s the Australia Aviation News Desk report – sorry about that.

CASA are all but grounding aircraft with Jabiru engines due to 40 engine failures in the past year (representing about 0.03% of all Jabiru movements)

The world’s longest serving commercial 747 pilot has been flying with Qantas since 1969 and will be commanding his final flight as we record. His son will be on board as his copilot

Spotters Mag (www.spottersmag.com) have launched an Australia/New Zealand variant of their online magazine.

Lots of aircraft in Brisbane for the G20 summit, including Air Force One which landed at RAAF Base Amberley bringing President Obama to the event (he ferried from Amberley to Brisbane in the Marine One helicopter).

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute

Rob asks the question, “how do we safely separate manned and unmanned aircraft?” Sense and avoid doesn’t yet exist for unmanned drones.

Across the Pond

Ethihad 777-300ER A6-ETC Copyright BRIYYZ

Ethihad 777-300ER A6-ETC Copyright BRIYYZ

Pieter revisits the Middle East with Oussama Salah talking exclusively about Etihad growth into Europe. Oussamas Take Blog.


UK’s NATS Releases A Cool ATC Video

UK’s NATS Releases A Cool ATC Video

G20 Brisbane: World leaders and their super planes


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


AirplaneGeeks 305 – Alternative Jet Fuel


Aviation biofuel, the NTSB summary report on the Asiana flight 214 accident, the SAAB 105 trainer, an Air New Zealand and Etihad maintenance agreement, and aviation news from the UK.

Co-host Rob Mark will be away for a few months to focus on some other projects, and we welcome National CFI of the Year Max Trescott to help shoulder the co-hosting load.


Guest Steve Csonka is a long-time commercial aviation professional with airline and aviation OEM experience, and he’s the Executive Director of the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative (CAAFI), a public/private partnership.

We discuss the aviation industry motivations for moving to biofuel, some of the challenges, the importance of it being a “drop in fuel,” and supply chain implications. Also, how biofuel is being used today and what to expect in the future.

There are many issues to be resolved, because as Steve puts it, we’re standing up a new industrial sector.

Aviation News

Animation of Asiana Flight 214 accident sequence

NTSB Report on Asiana 214 Crash Investigation

On July 6, 2013, Asiana flight 214 crashed on approach at San Francisco International Airport. It struck the seawall at the end of the runway. Three of the 291 passengers died and 40 passengers, eight of the 12 flight attendants, and one of the four flight crewmembers received serious injuries. The rest received minor injuries or were not injured.

From Crash of Asiana Flight 214 Accident Report Summary from the NTSB:

“The NTSB determined that the flight crew mismanaged the initial approach and that the airplane was well above the desired glidepath as it neared the runway. In response to the excessive altitude, the captain selected an inappropriate autopilot mode and took other actions that, unbeknownst to him, resulted in the autothrottle no longer controlling airspeed.”

NTSB faults flight crew for fatal Asiana crash in San Francisco

NTSB Press Release

Asiana 214 Crew Errors Caused Accident, Rules NTSB

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week

Saab 105

The Saab 105 two place four seat trainer of the Swedish and Austrian air forces.

The Australia News Desk

The southern winter weather has taken its toll on Grant this week, so Steve flies the segment solo.  In the news, the constant doom and gloom surrounding aviation maintenance job losses was brightened slightly with the announcement by Air New Zealand and Etihad of an agreement to use each other’s line facilities in Melbourne and Los Angeles.  In a boost for Melbourne, Etihad’s local line maintenance facility will service Air New Zealand aircraft. In return, their aircraft will be serviced in LA at Air New Zealand’s facility.

In an era where QANTAS continues to claim that Australian aircraft maintenance is unviable, Etihad has shown that the opposite can be the case.  It also operates a line maintenance facility in Sydney.

Steve also catches up with 17 year old Alex Fisher as he continues his Flight of Solidarity around Australia in a Cessna 172, raising awareness of – and funds for – the Royal Flying Doctor Service.  This week we find Alex in Perth, Western Australia.

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.

Across the Pond

Virgin Atlantic

Pieter Johnson brings us some UK aviation, airline, and airport news this week, including the new Virgin 787-9 route confirmation, the ups and downs for British Airways, and what it costs to fly on a private Boeing 767 around with world with Captain’s Choice. He opens with a refreshing approach to general aviation with the Civil Aviation Authority consulting on its new policy framework and how it plans to reduce bureaucracy and help improve the sector in the UK. Wow!

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

AirplaneGeeks 279 – NTSB Investigation of Asiana Flight 214

Asiana Flight 214

Bill English is Investigator in Charge with the Office of Aviation Safety at the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and he walks us through the NTSB investigation of the July 6, 2013 crash of Asiana Flight 214 at San Francisco International Airport, from the first call to the investigative hearing December 11, 2013.

Boarding the FAA airplane

Boarding the FAA airplane

We talk about the assembly of the team and go-bag preparation, gathering initial information, and transport to the site.

Bill continues with the on-site command post set up, securing the scene and harvesting perishable evidence.

Site access and support area

Site access and support area

A major role of the Investigator in Charge is organizing the other agencies, manufacturers, support organizations, and other parties involved such as the airport authority, FBI, and Red Cross.

Command post getting ready for an evening debrief

Command post getting ready for an evening debrief

Besides the key task of evidence gathering, the team must keep the public informed. That’s also an objective of the investigative hearing, which introduces factual information into the investigation and shows the public the progress being made.

Over the course of the next six months, all the information will be assembled into a final report containing analysis and conclusions, probable cause, and safety recommendations. At another public meeting, the draft report will be presented to the Board for their deliberation and adoption.


  • The NTSB is an independent Federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the U.S. and significant accidents in other modes of transportation-railroad, highway, marine and pipeline.
  • Asiana docket with documents associated with the investigation.

Bill has been with the NTSB since 1999, and has been the lead investigator on numerous major aviation accidents in the US and around the world including the Continental Airlines 1404 accident in Denver, the 737/Legacy midair collision in Brazil, UPS flight 6 B747 fire in Dubai, a US Navy contracted B707 tanker, and most recently the Asiana Boeing 777 in San Francisco.

Bill is also the NTSB’s resource for unmanned aircraft investigations and developed the civil unmanned aircraft accident investigations manual.  He worked for the FAA as an air traffic controller, quality assurance specialist, and in navigation procedure development.

He is a certified instrument flight instructor and commercial pilot in single and multi-engine airplanes, flew aerial observation, corporate, and electronics test aircraft and has extensive experience in flight inspection and advanced navigation technology.

Prior to joining the Board he was a contributing editor to IFR Magazine. Bill graduated from Embry-Riddle University in Aeronautical Science and his graduate work was in Geospatial Intelligence at Penn State.

History Segment:

This week, David Vanderhoof brings us a special Christmas story called, “Suzie the Christmas Cirrus!

In this week’s Australia Desk:

It’s not just Rob who reckons an AusDesk can be produced by just saying how Qantas and Jetstar are in trouble. Steve and Grant have had enough too and, even though lots of column inches are being generated this week about the group’s woes, they’re not going to spend time discussing the issues as they’re pretty much as they were last week.

Instead, they’re going to hassle David a tad about the “Classic” Hornets then talk about another airline in trouble: sadly, Brindabella Airlines has gone under.

To help smooth things over a bit with David, the boys chat about matters military:

After all that, it’s time to shut down the AusDesk studio and head for the beach ‘cos it’s Christmas in Australia and the sun is shining, the temperatures climbing and the holidays are about to commence. Wishing you a great Christmas and New Year where-ever you are and what-ever the temperatures!

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.

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:


We talk to Oussama Salah from Oussamas Take about airline developments following the Dubai Air show, as well as the latest news for aircraft orders in Libya. The follow up segment expanding on developments in the region, will follow in the next episode. Oussama Salah Google Plus, Oussama Salah Facebook.

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

From the Listener Mail:

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

Episode 257 – The Flight Safety Foundation

Turkish F-16

Guest Kevin Hiatt is the CEO and President of the Flight Safety Foundation, an independent, non-profit, international organization engaged in research, auditing, education, advocacy and publishing to improve aviation safety. The Foundation’s mission is to pursue the continuous improvement of global aviation safety and the prevention of accidents.

Before joining the Foundation, Kevin was the Vice President for Corporate Safety and Security at World Airways, and before that Kevin was with Delta Air Lines for 26 years in a variety of positions, including Chief Pilot at the Atlanta International Pilot Crew Base.

We talk about the Asiana Flight 214 accident, how airliners have become more safe and how they might be made even safer. We touch on the dependency on automation, video capture in the cockpit, recording radio transmissions at small airports, upcoming Foundation events, drones in the airspace, and more.

Also, Kevin tells us about the new Legal Advisory Committee and the Safety Protection Task Force, seeking to protect the data from an accident so it is used only to improve aviation safety, and not as evidence in criminal court.

See the Flight Safety Foundation on the Web, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

The week’s aviation news:

Royal Australian Navy - Image courtesy of Australian Aviation Magazine

In this week’s Australia Desk:

Several times each year, in cities all around the country, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) conducts open briefings for pilots and other interested parties which cover all the latest updates on rule changes, legislative changes, policies and so on. On the night of recording, Grant had just returned from one such briefing and brings us a report on what was covered. Of particular interest was the proposed changes to pilots licenses which, among many other things, will allow CASA to directly license “recreational” pilots with a license similar to the US sport pilot license. We discuss how this change might affect the current issuer of these licenses, the Recreational Aviation Association of Australia, which is in a poor state at present.

In other news, Qantas has announced that it is looking very carefully at the latest fire related issues affecting the 787 fleet, with delivery of its own Dreamliner airframes not far away.

Jetstar awaits probe into 787 Dreamliner fire at Heathrow

The Royal Australian Navy has formally commissioned the new fleet of of MHR-90 “Taipan” helicopters, and reactivating 808 Squadron in the process.

Navy commissions 808SQN and MRH 90 helicopter

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.

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

This week we look at the UK Airshow circuit after the loss of the US attendees through sequestration. It appears that the attending displays have stepped up to the challenge. Pieter discusses with Gareth Stringer, if the UK and Europe are being spoilt by the momentous displays being put on by the display pilots, an F16 Shootout and the RAF Typhoon burning up the skies. (We also wish we could bring David over as he would surely enjoy the spectacle).

Airshow Review – Scorcher! RAF Waddington International Airshow 2013

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.


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