Tag Archives: ATC

444 AOPA President Mark Baker

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.

Guest

Mark Baker, president and CEO, AOPA

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

Aviation News

The Wait for ATC Privatization is Over as White House Budget Emerges

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?

Enroute A380 wake flips Challenger 604 upside down

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.

American Airlines flight attendants sue, say they’ve been called sows, prostitutes and worse on Facebook

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.

Field Interview

David speaks with Christopher Moore at the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar about the preservation of the Martin B-26B-25-MA Marauder “Flak-Bait”. This medium bomber flew over 200 missions during World War II, the most for any American aircraft.

Christopher Moore (L) and David Vanderhoof at the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar

Christopher Moore (L) and David Vanderhoof at the Mary Baker Engen Restoration Hangar.

Listener Recording

Glen Towler tells us about two of his his most memorable flights.

Mentioned

AOPA Live This Week – The weekly news video podcast from AOPA.

The Boeing Company 2016 Annual Report [PDF] See page 125 if you are interested in picking up the last new C-17 Globemaster III. Credit to Launchpad Marzari for the sharp eye.

Passenger plane’s propeller shears off in mid-flight, forcing emergency landing at Sydney

Will circular runways ever take off? from the BBC. See also the Endless Runway project page.

Credit

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

 

439 Aviation Marketing

We look at specialty aviation marketing with Paula Williams from ABCI. In the news, we discuss President Trump’s meeting with airline and airport executives, and consider policies for ATC privatization, FAA leadership, airport infrastructure, and foreign carrier subsidies. Also, we look at 3D-printed turbine blades, a pilot melt-down, and Damian’s memorable flight, a creepy experience that saved his life.

Paula Williams, aviation marketing specialty firm Aviation Business Consulting Inc.

Paula Williams, Aviation Business Consulting Inc.

Guest

Paula Williams and her husband John formed aviation marketing specialty firm Aviation Business Consulting Inc. (ABCI) to bring the discipline and technology from the finance and education industries to the aviation industry. ABCI assists aviation companies that sell complex, technical, or high-ticket products or services by helping them communicate with aviation professionals in a clear compelling way through written content, images, and video.

Aviation News

U.S. Aviation Policies

The Trump administration has given us a lot to think about this past week. We touch on ATC privatization, NextGen ATC, the FAA leadership, airport infrastructure improvements, foreign carrier subsidies, and even the effect on aviation businesses of the President’s time spent in Florida:

Trump slams ‘out of whack’ FAA in meeting with airlines

Press Release – FAA Statement

U.S. Airports Were the Clear Winners in Trump Meeting, but What’s Next?

PBSO overtime at $1.5 million and growing as Trump set to return again

Responding to More Distortions of Air Traffic Control Reform

Survey Finds “No Reason to Privatize” ATC

Be sure to take the quick Airplane Geeks ATC Privatization Survey, which is open to both U.S. and non-U.S. listeners.

GE Rival Siemens, In ‘Breakthrough,’ Tests 3D-Printed Turbine Blades

Siemens says their Materials Solutions unit has successfully tested 3D-printed turbine engine blades made of a polycrystalline nickel superalloy. These were run above 1250 degrees Celsius.

Passengers Revolt At Ranting Captain

The captain for a United Airlines flight arrived out of uniform and proceeded to deliver a sharp monolog to the passengers, some of whom felt unsafe and left the airplane. The pilot also left the airplane and another flight crew arrived for the flight, which departed about two hours late.

Mentioned

GE Additive provides advanced machines and validated powders, as well as expert engineering services and production capabilities.

Sikorsky Seminar Weekend with Igor Sikorsky III at the Bradford Camps, July 7, 8, 9, 2017.

Gavilan College in Gilroy, California.

Engine failure on a Swiss Global Airlines Boeing 777-300:

Incident: Swiss B773 near Iqaluit on Feb 1st 2017, engine automatically shut down in flight

Boeing 777 carrying 300 passengers forced to make emergency landing on snow-covered runway

Crews work to replace engine on Swiss Air Boeing 777 stuck at Iqaluit airport

Stranded Swiss Airlines 777 Gets Replacement Engine Delivery in Canada

Engineers battle to fix Swiss plane stranded in icy northern Canada

Smithsonian Air & Space Museum – 360 spherical panoramas.

Retired Lt. Gen. Hal Moore, Ia Drang battle commander, dies at 94

Credit

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

 

433 Aviation News and Listener Feedback

"Black Maria" from the Black Flight by Errol Cavit

“Black Maria” from the Black Flight by Errol Cavit

We start the new year with some recordings send in by members of the Airplane Geeks community. These look back at 2016, and ahead to 2017. In the news, we discuss angle of attack indicators for Skyhawks, the pilot shortage in Alaska, miscommunications between ATC and a commercial flight, A380 delivery issues, when is an F-35 an F/A-18?, comfort animals at the airport and in the air, and DHS collecting social media accounts.

Aviation News

Cessna Adds Safe Flight AOA to New Skyhawks

An angle-of-attack (AOA) system from Safe Flight Instrument Corporation is standard on new Cessna 172S Skyhawk deliveries starting this month. Textron Aviation is offering the system as a $5,000 option on the 182T Skylane and Turbo Stationair HD T206H.

Alaska, Reliant on Air Transit, Faces Pilot Shortage. Are Drones an Answer?

The New York Times calls Alaska “the nation’s most aviation-dependent state…with six times as many pilots per capita as the rest of the nation.” But for a variety of reasons, there are not enough pilots to service the local demand for bush pilots.

As one response, the University of Alaska’s Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration, is testing unmanned aircraft in arctic conditions. Oil companies are using drones for pipeline inspection.

Oy: You Have To Hear This Audio Between ATC & EVA Air Pilots

Miscommunication between Air Traffic Control and an EVA Air 777 leaving Los Angeles for Taipei almost resulted in a crash into a mountain. The flight needed to turn to a heading of 090, but that could be accomplished by making the smaller turn to the right, or the longer away around to the left. It was a life or death choice.

Airbus postpones deliveries of 12 A380 planes to Emirates Airline

In November, Emirates said they were having some technical issues with the Rolls-Royce engines powering their A380 jets. It may not be related, but apparently Emirates, Rolls Royce, and Airbus have made a deal to postpone six deliveries from 2017 to 2018, and postpone another six deliveries from 2018 to 2019.

In a statement, Airbus said, “Airbus re-confirms the target to deliver around 12 A380s per year from 2018 as announced earlier in July 2016. Further fixed cost reduction initiatives will be accelerated so the impact on break-even in 2017 is minimal.”

Airbus A380 hopes take a hit in Iran deal

Iran placed a firm order for 100 Airbus aircraft, but the twelve A380s contemplated in the preliminary agreement were dropped.

Trump asks Boeing for F/A-18 pitch, citing ‘tremendous’ cost overruns of Lockheed Martin F-35

Donald Trump tweeted: “Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!” Trump told reporters, “We’re trying to get costs down, costs. Primarily the F-35. That program is very, very expensive.”

The ‘Super’ Plane That Could Replace the F-35 Stealth Fighter: Could the F/A-18 Super Hornet be a real alternative?

War is Boring tells us not to interpret Donald Trump exactly literally.

SFO’s therapy pig keeps travelers from going hog wild

Tutu-wearing LiLou is now the designated therapy pig at San Francisco International Airport. She joins SFO’s Wag Brigade program that uses trained dogs under escort in the terminals. The Cincinnati airport hired its own therapy pig

The U.S. Department of Transportation says the Advisory Committee on Accessible Air Transportation (ACCESS Advisory Committee) “was established to negotiate and develop a proposed rule concerning accommodations for air travelers with disabilities addressing in-flight communications, accessible lavatory on new single-aisle aircraft, and service animals.” The Committee says they have an agreement to improve the accessibility of lavatories to wheel chairs on single-aisle aircraft, but no consensus on service animals.

U.S. Border Security Now Asking Foreign Travelers for Social Media Accounts

Foreign travelers entering the U.S. on the visa waiver program are being asked by DHS to “voluntarily” provide their social media accounts. This is seen as a method to help identify potential threats and prevent terrorism.

Listener Recordings

We asked the Airplane Geeks community to send us brief recordings looking back at aviation in 2016, or ahead to 2017. We weren’t disappointed, and would like to thank the following for their contributions: NASA Historian Bill Barry, Ariel (an active member of our Slack team), Micah (Our Main(e) Man), Bill English (an NTSB investigator), Errol Cavit (another Slack team member who also has a knack for capturing images of beautiful airplanes), and Glen (a faithful listener from New Zealand).

Micah and Nick

Micah and Nick

Micah sending hug to Jen via Hillel

Micah sending hug to Jen via Hillel

2016 Listener Survey

366 members of the Airplane Geeks community were kind enough to give us some great feedback, and we discuss what we learned. Some of the 2017 Listener Survey Results are available for you to see.

Mentioned

What Happened This Year @NASA – December 15, 2016

Audio: Plane Talking Safety Tau Crazy Airline Pilot Geeks Spectacular Christmas Extravaganza Live

Featuring Carlos and Matt from Plane Talking UK, Pilot Pip and Capt Al, from Plane Safety, Capts Jeff, Nick and Dr. Steph from Airline Pilot Guy, Marcus from Omega Tau, Micah and Brian from the Airplane Geeks, and Steve and Grant from Plane Crazy Down Under …all on one totally bonkers Christmas podcast. Video.

Video: Sunderland Veterans rolling back the years

Photos: DH Mosquito T.III TV959

Photos: The Vintage Aviator Ltd Flying Weekend Dec 2016

Video: Watch #PaxEx Minute: What’s in store for #PaxEx in 2017

Credit

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

431 The Seattle Aerospace Scene

A Seattle Times aerospace reporter tells us about the Boeing 777X, the 787 Dreamliner, the Boeing manufacturing processes, and more. In the news, inflight WiFi phone calls, air traffic controllers behaving badly, an audit of privatized flight service, United Airlines helps young dance competitors, and a seaplane with an impressive paint job. We also have a listener report about the Canadian Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue Program.

Guest

Dominic GatesDominic Gates is the aerospace reporter for the Seattle Times. We discuss a variety of topics, including the recent Boeing 777 production rate cut due to softening demand and the production requirements for 777X flight test aircraft. We talk about the business decline of the 747 and the Air Force One replacement. Also, the requirement to restart 787 Dreamliner flight control modules and 787-10 final assembly in South Carolina. We look at globalization issues and Boeing’s strategy to rely on an extensive supply chain. Dominic also tells us about some of his memorable stories and scoops, as well as those that impacted labor.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Dominic taught high school calculus in Ireland and in Africa. He met his future wife and in 1992 moved to Seattle, where he switched careers to journalism. Dominic originally established himself as a journalist by freelancing, but eventually joined the Seattle Times as aerospace reporter in January 2003, his first newspaper job.

The Boeing beat is the highest-profile business beat at the Times and as the aerospace reporter, Dominic has broken many high-impact stories. His tenure at the Times coincides exactly with the story of the 787 Dreamliner. In 2003, just a month into the job, he broke the story in March that Boeing would hold a competition among the states for the final assembly location of its 7E7 airplane. On December 5 of that year, he revealed that Boeing’s 7E7 team was recommending Everett for final assembly. Ten days later, Boeing’s board made it official. Ever since, he has closely tracked the many twists and turns of the 787 story.

Dominic attends the European Air Shows each year and makes regular reporting trips to airplane leasing conferences, to Boeing plants around the U.S., including Charleston, and to Boeing suppliers, such as Spirit in Wichita. He has toured and written about the Airbus final assembly plants in Toulouse, the Airbus wing factory in Wales, and the Bombardier CSeries wing plant in Belfast.

Find Dominic on Twitter as @dominicgates, on Facebook, and at the Seattle Times.

News

Feds could allow Wi-Fi phone calls on airline flights

The Chicago Tribune reports that The U.S Department of Transportation announced it could see allowing WiFi phone calls if airlines tell customers about the policy when they buy their tickets. This is so customers who don’t want to sit next to others making calls could make other travel arrangements.

DOT Proposes Rule to Protect Airline Passengers From Being Unwillingly Exposed to Voice Calls on Aircraft

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said, “Consumers deserve to have clear and accurate information about whether an airline permits voice calls before they purchase a ticket and board the aircraft. Today’s proposal will ensure that air travelers are not unwillingly exposed to voice calls, as many of them are troubled over the idea of passengers talking on cell phones in flight.”

Members of the public can comment on the NPRM at www.regulations.gov, docket number DOT-OST-2014-0002. 60 days. Look for DOT-OST-2014-0002-1795.

Air traffic controllers take a nap and grab a snack while pilots’ calls go unanswered

The Boise Idaho Police Department says that after two helicopter pilots were unable to contact controllers, officers entered the Boise Airport air traffic control tower. One controller was sleeping and the other controller had left the tower and smelled of marijuana.

Privatizing Flight Service Saved Money, Faces New Challenges

The Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General has released the report titled, FAA Achieved Most of the Anticipated Cost Savings from Contracting Out Flight Service Stations, but Needs to Determine the Future Direction of the Program [PDF], finding that the FAA has saved or avoided costs of approximately $2.13 billion over a 13-year period, and has implemented effective controls. The Office did make three recommendations to the FAA to help develop its future approach to providing flight services.

How United Airlines stepped up big time to help stranded young tap dancers

United Airlines came to the assistance of a group of American dancers trying to reach a major tap dance competition in Germany. The group was stranded in Boston over the Thanksgiving holiday due to the Lufthansa pilot strike, and United arranged for flights to transport the dancers to Germany in time for the competition. See Results – IDO World Tap Dance Championships 2016 for the ultimate outcome.

Seattle’s ‘Wild Orca’ Seaplane Attracts Attention

Seattle’s Kenmore Air Harbor is raising awareness of the plight of caged whales with a beautiful paint job.

Listener Recording

Kevin talks about Airbus winning the Canadian Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue Program with their C-295. Competing with Airbus was the C-27J Spartan and the Embraer KC-390.

How did search-and-rescue mission to Igloolik go wrong?

That Others May Live: In The Air With Canada’s Search And Rescue Technicians

Mentioned

Aerospace Industries Association (AIA)

Would You Like To Fly? by Jennifer Adams in Jetwhine.com. Jennifer blogs at Tales From the Terminal.

Photos: Kish, Iran (OIBK) – International Iran Airshow, 17 November 2016 by Paul Filmer.

International Iran Airshow

Credit

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

 

 

415 Airman Certification Standards

An FAA Designated Pilot Examiner talks about checkrides, the old Practical Test Standards (PTS) and the new Airman Certification Standards (ACS).  Also, government interest in airline IT system failures, pilot recruiting in China, the Boeing cabin of the future, the huge ATC applicant response, and Textron interest in Learjet.

Guest

Jason Blair is an active single and multi-engine instructor. He is a National Association of Flight Instructors Master Flight Instructor, and an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner for both part 61 and part 141 training providers. Jason was involved in the early stages of the FAA/industry efforts that developed the new Airman Certification Standards (ACS) that became effective June, 2016.

Jason Blair

Jason Blair

In this episode, Jason explains the differences between the Practical Test Standards and the new Airman Certification Standards, and when they apply. He offers advice for private, CFI, and ATP checkrides, and explains some of the common errors made by applicants. Jason tells us about the checks that Examiners make, the process they follow, and what the FAA is looking for. We also hear about the process for becoming an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner.

Jason was named the 2016 Michigan CFI of the Year by the FAA, and over 1000 pilot certificates have been issued in Jason’s role as Examiner. Jason writes for a number of aviation publications and he’s active in the general aviation industry.

Starting his flying experience at the age of 15, and soloing at 16, Jason received his private pilot’s certificate at 17. While he pursued both undergraduate and master’s degrees from Western Michigan University in non-aviation fields, he continued his aviation passion through flight training at local FBOs, obtaining his instrument, commercial, and instructor certificates.

Jason flies general aviation aircraft for much of his personal and business travel, and has served as the Executive Director of the National Association of Flight Instructors, and represented the flight training community on a variety of committees including the FAA’s Runway Safety Council, the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee, the TSA Aviation Safety Advisory Council, NATA’s Flight Training Committee, and others. Currently, Jason works for a variety of companies and associations focusing on flight training regulations, procedures, and safety as a writer and consultant.

News

U.S. senators quiz airlines on IT systems after Delta disruption

Senators Richard Blumenthal and Edward Markey sent letters of concern to a number of airlines in the wake of recent computer system failures at Southwest and Delta. They point out that with such a concentrated industry, any one outage can affect a large portion of commercial aviation, and inconvenience many travelers. The senators want to know how affected travelers will be accommodated, and what measures are being taken to ensure the security and reliability of airline IT systems.

China-based airlines are putting up lots of cash to recruit foreign pilots

Industry projections put the greatest airline growth in Asia. Boeing projects that the number of commercial planes in China will triple by 2034. Bloomberg says that means China will need to hire 100 pilots per week over that time period, and they are paying big salaries to get them: as much as five times more for new hires, and in some cases about 50 percent more than senior captains at Delta. See also Chinese Airlines Wave Wads of Cash to Lure Foreign Pilots.

Dim the lights, order lunch: Boeing develops smartphone app for jet cabin interior of the future

Boeing is looking at a future cabin experience that includes the ability for passengers to interact with the airplane from their smartphone. Commercial Airplanes’ Product Development engineers have created an airplane cabin technology demonstrator they call v-Cabin where concepts can be developed and tested. Passengers could control personal lighting, order food or drink items, interact with the IFE system, and even check lavatory availability, all over a wireless network.

As of Aug. 15, 2016, the FAA says 29,000 applicants have applied for the 1,400 positions

It comes as no surprise that the interest in open ATC positions is very high.

Cessna-maker Textron Inc would be interested in Bombardier Inc’s Learjet ‘at the right price’

Will Textron seek to add Learjet to its portfolio?

The Airplane of the Week

The OV-10 Bronco, Part 1. If your specs are drawn right, you get an aircraft that can successfully complete its mission. Sometimes that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what it can do. This episode we talk about development and combat and Medal of Honors. In Part 2, we’ll look at foreigners, civilians, and the return to combat.

Mentioned

David participated in the AirlineGeeks/American Airlines activities for National Aviation Day. His interviews and stories will be presented in episode 417 Bits and Pieces XV.

In episode 39 of Lucas Weakley’s The Logbook Podcast, Don “the pre-buy guy” Sebastion tells some more great stories.

B747-400 Global SuperTanker – A fascinating 3D tour of the Global SuperTanker by Matterport. See also What It Feels Like to Fly a Firefighting 747.

Credit

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

413 Pay the Airline for What’s Important

We talk with an experienced travel writer about the air travel experience, frequent flyer programs (should they be regulated?), and an idea to centrally lock overhead bins. Also, regulating commercial balloon operators, the future of the A-10 (yet again), GA and biz jet sales, and a massive FAA hiring plan for Air Traffic Controllers. We learn who really did fly first, and why an AMT career might be worth a second look.

Guest

Kyle Stewart

Kyle Stewart

Kyle Stewart is a travel editor for Upgrd.com, a freelance travel writer, and he writes the Trip Sherpa blog. Upgrd.com is a resource website for frequent fliers featuring tricks of the trade and how to enjoy a first class experience on a coach budget.

Kyle tells us how frequent flyer programs and the travel experience have changed to what they are today. We also learn about airline mileage runs and status runs, what’s in Kyle’s “travel goodie bag,” and why the most important travel decision is to pay for the services that are most important to you.

Kyle flies several hundred thousand miles every year and has visited more than 50 countries on every continent except Antarctica. He has contributed to articles for Time, USA Today, Reuters, CNBC, MSN, Yahoo!, Huffington Post and many other media outlets.

News

Let’s Regulate Frequent Flier Programs. Here’s Why.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s has released an investigative report on airline loyalty programs. The report concluded that the government has the authority to regulate frequent-flier programs and asked for disclosure rules. The Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings at DOT wants to learn more about problems with frequent flyer programs, and has a complaint form to collect data: DOT Air Travel Complaint – Comment Form.

Should overhead lockers be centrally locked?

When an emergency evacuation occurs on an airliner, passengers are instructed to immediately exit the airplane and leave all carry on luggage behind. Of course, that’s not what happens. A fire safety expert from London’s Greenwich University has called for a central locking system controlled by the flight deck.

Tighter oversight of balloon operators urged after Texas crash

The NTSB is investigating a hot air balloon accident in where the balloon struck power lines, exploded, and all 16 aboard were killed. Should commercial balloon pilots be more strongly regulated in the U.S.?

Air Force To Make A-10 Replacement Recommendations as Early As Fall

The U.S. Air Force will begin working on its next five-year budget plan, and part of the plan will include a strategy for a close air support aircraft. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said options they’ll be looking at options for replacing or augmenting the A-10 Warthog. See also, The US Air Force has an absurd plan for replacing the A-10 Warthog.

GAMA: Airplane shipments, billings down across the board

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) reports that in the first half of 2016, shipments for general aviation aircraft, turboprops, and business jets were down 4.5 percent over 2015. Billings were down 11 percent.

FAA Set To Hire 1,400 Entry-Level Air Traffic Controllers. The Catch: Only One Week To Apply

The FAA expects more than 25,000 people to apply for 1,400 Air Traffic Control Specialist – Trainee positions, so the application period is only one week: August 8-15, 2016.

The Airplane of the Week

More like the pilot(s) of the week, this time. After the 2016 Rio Olympic Opening Ceremonies, David was once again thrust into the argument of who flew first. It wasn’t Alberto Santos-Dumont for sure, but he does deserve to be a Hero of Brazil. Listen to David prove it.

Some of the articles:

Mentioned in the segment:

On The Mark

The Realities of AMT TrainingHere’s why an AMT career is worth a second look.

Mentioned

The Flight Deal

Deal Ray

Express VPN

Milestones of Flight, Milestones in Life By David

43’rd Annual International SeaPlane Fly-in, Moosehead Lake, Maine, September 8th to the 11th, 2016.

Denver, Colorado to Jacksonville, Texas in a Cessna 150!

What a fire retardant drop looks like from right underneath

Help Wanted: Part-Time Pilots

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro F/A-18 flyby recorded by Ted at the 2016 Dayton Airshow.

AirplaneGeeks 399 Differentiating Air Travel Products

We talk with aviation journalist Jason Rabinowitz about the recent Delta media day, the Aircraft Interiors Expo, flying in a China Eastern 777, and the RouteHappy service. In the news, we discuss the Delta order for CS100 aircraft, Boeing’s desire to increase spare parts revenue, American Airlines earnings, ATC privatization, and what Boeing needs to do to make the 737 better.

Guest

Jason Rabinowitz

Jason Rabinowitz

Aviation journalist Jason Rabinowitz is a contributing writer for Mary Kirby’s Runwaygirl Network, a correspondent for AirlineReporter, a writer for Forbes, and the Data Research Manager for Routehappy, where he tracks the passenger experience.

We talk with Jason about the recent Delta media day and the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg held earlier this month. Jason also discusses airplane seat issues including seatback displays, embedded temperature controls, and how seat manufacturers are starting to respond to consumer needs. We look at inflight WiFi, and how Routehappy follows the passenger experience, spotting new trends and developments. Jason also tells us about his recent trip on a China Eastern 777-300ER.

News

Bombardier Scores Watershed Win With Delta CSeries Order

Delta has placed an order with Bombardier for 75 firm and 50 option CS100 aircraft, giving that program a much needed boost. Deliveries are to start Spring 2018 and Delta has conversion rights to the CS300. Bombardier President and CEO Alain Bellemare said, “The addition of Delta to our marquee CSeries customer list gives us tremendous momentum as we approach entry-into-service this summer.”

Bombardier: Our turnaround plan is gaining traction

CEO Bellemare also said “Our turnaround plan is gaining traction” and that Bombardier is finalizing the agreement with Air Canada for 45 firm CS300 orders and 30 options. Leeham News and Comment points out that these orders may have been won with deep discounts.

Boeing Boosts Push Into Plane-Parts Arena — WSJ

Boeing wants to grow the spares revenue stream, they’ve pulled back licensing agreements with suppliers, and they intend to sell direct to Boeing customers.

Come on, You Know You Want a Chair Made Out of a 737 Engine

Fallen Furniture takes objects that are not furniture and turns them into furniture. That includes the Cowling Chair that started life as a Boeing 737 engine cowling.

American Airlines earns $700 million, beats Street forecasts

Airline profits are healthy but average fares are falling, and that causes investors some concern.

Air traffic control plan faces tough fight ahead

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, intends to continue to push for air traffic control privatization.

What the Geeks are Doing

Embraer Legacy 450

Embraer Legacy 450

On Chicago’s WBEZ radio program Working Shift: Professional PilotRob Mark answered listener questions and gave insights into what it’s like to fly. Rob also had the distinct pleasure recently of flying the Embraer Legacy 450.

Max Trescott tells us about the recent Moffett Field safety event he attended.

C-17 by Brian Coleman

C-17 by Brian Coleman

Brian Coleman attended the Chino Planes of Fame Airshow and recorded an interview with two US Air Force Majors stationed at March Air Reserve Base. Majors Frantel and Condor discussed the military missions of the C-17 and its contributions to global humanitarian relief efforts. Be sure to listen for the story of the C-17s interesting use of in-flight thrust reversers. It’s a great way to get to the deck fast! (See Brian’s Chino report below.)

Also, Brian had his two beautiful John Mollison prints framed and they now proudly hang on his office wall.

John Mollison print

John Mollison print

Prints by John Mollison

Mentioned

Chino Planes of Fame Airshow Report

The Planes of Fame Air show in Chino, California, April 29 – May 1, 2016

If you are into vintage war birds, this is the place for you.  I don’t believe in one day that I’ve ever seen so many vintage aircraft in the air… plus there were a ton of static displays of beautiful restored aircraft.

The airshow started with a salute to Pearl Harbor / WWII aircraft with appearances by a Japanese Zero that just the day before came out of refurbishment, five P-40 Warhawks, a VAL, and other planes that few during the Japanese invasion were all airborne.  Several P-51 Mustangs were in the air along with a B-25 Mitchel, C-47, P-47 and P-38 lightning to name a few.  Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many Mustangs in one place, let alone in the air all at the same time.  It was great to hear people talk about which model was their favorite.

Joining the WWII flying exhibit was a B-25 Mitchel as well as a C-47, P-47, and a P-38 Lightning.

With the end of WWII, the show moved onto Korean and Vietnam ear aircraft.  In the air were the YAK 55 and YAK -18.  You would have also seen the Skyraider, L-19, and T-28.  Sadly, the Huey helicopter was not able to fly.  Nor was the Northrup Flying Wing… but I did get a great picture of me standing next to it for David.

In addition to the numerous planes Steve Hinton few that day, he was in command of the F-86 Sabre, while the T-33 Shooting Star Demonstration Team shared the airspace.

Taking a break from vintage aircraft, Sean D. Tucker did some amazing aerobatics with the Oracle Challenger III Biplane.

The Granley YAK Aerobatic Team was in the air with their UAKs.  And the Jelly Belly aircraft pulled off an amazing landing on top of a pickup truck as it sped down the runway.  There is nothing like watching a plane land on a moving piece of plywood mounted to a pickup truck!

In addition to these amazing feats of airmanship, there were also aerobatic shows put on by Dennis Sanders of Sea Fury Aerobatics and John Collver in control of an AT-6.

Then it was back to watching the warbirds.  They brought out the P-51 Mustangs, the P-40s, a Spitfire and B-25 flown by the Texas Flying Legends.

There was a Naval aircraft flyby that featured the F7F Tigercat, F8F Bearcat, the Hawker Sea Fury, TBM Avengers and my favorite, the F4U Corsairs.  Joining them was an F6F Hellcat and I’m sure there were others but I couldn’t take notes fast enough and watch the show!

Then, if that wasn’t enough, they brought out the loud gun, an F-16.  She ruled the sky for a while making tight turns, accelerating at incredible speeds with her afterburner in full blaze and she would also just about stand on her tail going what seemed like 20 knots.  It was amazing to see the F-16 blast around the Chino valley, I’m sure impressing neighbors for miles.

The show closed with a spectacular performance and fantastic tribute by the F-16 and three P-40 Warhawks flying side by side.  When they flew the missing man formation, it brought a tear to my eye.  I could only think about my dad who served in the Air Force, who gave me the opportunity and inspiration to love airplanes and afforded me the opportunity to appreciate such greatness that I had just witnessed by all of those who put on the airshow.

It really was an amazing day to see all of these aircraft in the air.  I have to thank the folks at Planes of Fame for providing me with the media pass.

I highly encourage anyone who is interested in vintage aircraft to support the Planes of Fame Museum and come out next year to see for yourself this great event.  I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

Brian T. Coleman
Associate Producer, Airplane Geeks

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro is the P-40 and F-16 recorded by Brian Coleman.

AirplaneGeeks 389 Women Airforce Service Pilots

The history of the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) and the controversy surrounding their burial at Arlington National Cemetery. Also, battle lines forming over privatization of air traffic control, Southwest pilots take a stand, Iran orders more airplanes, a high altitude long endurance pseudo-satellite, tanker news, the Knightwatch E-4B, and your favorite airplanes.

Sarah Byrn Rickman

Sarah Byrn Rickman

Guest

Sarah Rickman is the editor of WASP News, published by Texas Woman’s University (TWU), the home of the official WASP Archives. The Women Airforce Service Pilots flew for the U.S. Army in World War II. Since 2003, Sarah has been a WASP oral historian for TWU, recording many of these ladies’ stories on audiotape.

Sarah tells us about the history of the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS) and the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). We also discuss the current controversy about the burial of WASPs at Arlington National Cemetery, the United States military cemetery.

Sarah has authored five books about the WASP:

WASP of the Ferry Command coverTwo new books on the WASP will be published this spring: WASP of the Ferry Command: Women Pilots, Uncommon Deeds from the University of North Texas Press, and Finding Dorothy Scott: Letters of a WASP Pilot, from Texas Tech University Press.

Sarah received the Combs-Gates Award for 2009 presented by the National Aviation Hall of Fame in Dayton, Ohio. Her grant is to research and write the story of the WASP who flew for the Ferrying Division in World War II. In addition to her books on the WASPs, Sarah is the author of numerous magazine and journal articles about the WASP.

Sarah is a former reporter/columnist for The Detroit News and former editor of the Centerville-Bellbrook Times (Ohio). She earned her B.A. in English from Vanderbilt University and an M.A. in Creative Writing from Antioch University McGregor. She describes herself as a former journalist and former novelist who “found” herself when she met these amazing women who flew airplanes for the Army back when many women didn’t even drive cars.

ATC Privatization News

EAA Statement to House Committee Strongly Opposes ATC Privatization Plan

The U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee conducted a “markup” hearing February 11 on the Aviation Innovation, Reform and Reauthorization Act of 2016 (H.R. 4441). The bill was amended and the Committee voted to send the legislation to the full House for consideration.

The Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) voiced its opposition to privatizing ATC by submitting a statement in opposition to privatized ATC.

Jack J. Pelton, EAA’s CEO and chairman said, “ATC privatization is simply a bad idea on many levels; it will not solve the FAA’s funding dilemma and will create a substantial number of new problems and challenges that would cripple general aviation.”

House ATC Privatization Bill Advances; NBAA Continues Opposition

National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen said the association would remain undeterred in opposing the bill as it makes its way through the legislative process.

AOPA opposes user fees as reauthorization moves to full House

AOPA President Mark Baker said, “We’re profoundly disappointed that user fees are still part of this legislation.AOPA simply won’t accept user fees in any form on any segment of general aviation. And while there are some very positive provisions for GA in this proposal, user fees are a nonstarter for us.”

A4A President Calio: Reform ATC today for a better tomorrow

Nicholas Calio, the president and CEO of Airlines for America says separating ATC is “an international best practice that a growing consensus believes will create a more nimble, efficient, reliable and even safer system than the one we have today. Doing so will remove the kinks from an uneven and unpredictable funding apparatus while clearing the way for other improvements: more choices for customers, more direct flights, lower fuel consumption and reduced air emissions. So it’s puzzling why some would argue that everything is working just fine — an assertion that flies in the face of all that travelers have experienced over the past decade.”

Conservatives rally behind independent air traffic control plan

A group of 13 right-leaning groups sent a letter to Congress stating that moving ATC to a new nongovernmental organization is “an excellent foundation upon which to build a new model for an operation historically mired in old-style thinking and fiscal ineptitude. To us it is an axiomatic economic principle that user-funded, user-accountable entities are far more capable of delivering innovation and timely improvements in a cost-effective manner than government agencies.”

FAA Reauthorization 2016 – NATA

National Air Transportation Association (NATA) President & CEO Thomas L. Hendricks calls ATC privatization a “threat” to general aviation. More at the NATA Congressional Action Center.

Don’t Privatize Air Traffic Control

In an editorial piece, the New York Times characterizes privatizing air traffic control as a “solution in search of a problem” that “would do nothing to improve the present, federally operated system and indeed could make it worse.”

In Other News…

Southwest Airlines pilots picket for contract negotiations

350 members of the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association flew to Las Vegas on their day off to tell the public that they are upset. Why? because they don’t have a contract. Union president Jon Weaks said the pilots love Southwest and wouldn’t engage in travel disruptions. But they want to “give our company avenues so that we can trust them again.”

Iran Joins the ATR Club

Under the sanctions, Iran’s commercial aviation capability suffered greatly. That’s all changing now. Iran Air has signed a purchase agreement with ATR for 20 firm and 20 option ATR 72-600 turboprop aircraft. The deal is valued at €1 billion.

In January, Iran Air placed an order for 118 Airbus single-aisle and widebody aircraft: A320ceo and A320neo families, A330ceo and neo airplanes, A350-1000s and 12 A380s. (Three A380’s were also purchased by Japan’s ANA in January.)

How To Build A Plane That Never Needs To Land

Solar-powered, long duration drones and other aircraft are development by companies like Google and Facebook to provide Internet service using them as pseudo-satellites. Now the British military is purchasing two solar-powered “Zephyr” high-altitude, long-endurance (HALE) UAVs from Airbus. These autonomous unmanned systems would be used for long-term surveillance missions, and possibly to provide communication and ground support in remote areas.

The Zephyr, originally developed by UK firm QinetiQ, has a 23m wingspan and yet only weighs 55kg and cruises at 20km.

This Week in Tanker News

RAAF KC-30 completes first refuelling of a C-17

The first air-to-air refuelling from a Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) KC-30A Multi Role Tanker Transport.

Boeing’s KC-46 Successfully Refuels F/A-18

For the first time, a Boeing’s KC-46 tanker refueled a Navy F/A-18 using its hose and drogue system.

Unmanned CBARS Tanker Air Segment Draft RFP Expected Later This Year

Naval Air Systems Command plans to release a new draft request for proposal later this year for an unmanned aerial refueling tanker. According to sources, the final RFP for the Carrier Based Aerial Refueling System (CBARS) is due out in FY 2017, with contract award in FY 2018.

The Airplane of the Week

E-4B

David finishes out his discussion of Doomsday Planes with the converted 747-200Bs, otherwise known as the E-4B Nightwatch that serves as the National Airborne Operations Center (NAOC).

Guided Tour Inside the E-4B NAOC Doomsday Plane

Listener Favorite Airpanes

Rob gives us the results of the call for our listeners to tell us what their favorite airplane is and why. Like many others, Micah had trouble picking just one.

Mentioned

The Sound of Flaps

Bruno Misonne composes music that incorporates the sounds of aviation in very unique ways. His latest creation is “The Sound of Flaps.” Bruno tells us this was “the most challenging project ever created. Everyone who regularly takes the plane becomes aware of this characteristic sound of flaps extending or retracting, a sound that becomes very audible when you are sitting in the cabin above the wings! It has been challenging to find a way to mix that sound with music since at first glance it seems quite impossible to do in such way that the result is pleasant!

New certification standards for mechanics in the works

The Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee’s Airman Certification System working group (chaired by AOPA) has been tasked with developing new certification standards, handbooks, and test development guidance for aircraft mechanics.

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 387 Flight Training with Greg Brown

We talk with Master Flight Instructor Greg Brown about flight training and flight instructors, pilot training at American Airlines, the Boeing 737 MAX first flight, air traffic control privatization and user fees.

Greg Brown with artwork

Greg Brown with two of his photo art prints

Guest

Greg Brown writes the Flying Carpet column in AOPA Flight Training magazine. He also runs a Group on Facebook for student pilots called Greg Brown’s Student Pilot Pep Talk Group. Greg has been a licensed pilot since 1972 and a CFI since 1979. He was the 2000 National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year, winner of the 1999 NATA Excellence in Pilot Training Award, and the first-ever Master Flight Instructor.

Greg has authored five popular aviation books, including The Savvy Flight Instructor, The Turbine Pilot’s Flight Manual, Flying Carpet: The Soul of an Airplane, Job Hunting for Pilots, and You Can Fly! He has flown professionally in both scheduled and corporate aviation, and holds an ATP pilot certificate with Boeing 737 type rating, and Flight Instructor certificate with all fixed-wing aircraft ratings.

Along with his writing activities, Greg has been an avid photographer from childhood. Since earning his pilot’s license at age 19, he’s been shooting photos from aloft, some of which have illustrated his Flying Carpet column and book. Many are now available as fine art metal prints.

Learn more about Greg and his books at Greg Brown’s Flying Carpet, follow him on Facebook, and be sure see his Facebook Group, Greg Brown’s Student Pilot Prep Talk.

News

American Airlines launches pilot training and recruiting program at its regional carriers

The new pilot training and recruiting program will take place at regional subsidiaries Envoy Air, Piedmont Airlines, and PSA Airlines. This is intended to bring more pilots into the system, and eventually feed mainline operations. The program offers up to $16,000 in tuition reimbursement, and training in the Airline Transport Pilot Certification Training Program course at no charge.  American has created partnerships with more than 40 universities and flight schools.

American Airlines posts record profit for all of 2015

American Airlines reported lower revenue for the fourth quarter, but the drop in fuel prices more than compensated and resulted in record profits. They expect to save another $2 billion on fuel in 2016.

Boeing’s 737 MAX takes wing with new engines, high hopes

Boeing 737 MAX first flight

Boeing 737 MAX first flight. Courtesy Boeing.

Boeing conducted a successful first flight of the 737 MAX on January 29, 2016. This was an initial test flight conducted mostly at 15,000 feet and with speed limited to 250 knots. Takeoff was at 9:48 in the morning with the landing at 12:32. There are three more test aircraft to come, and Boeing plans flights six days a week through the summer.

Boeing wins contract to build new Air Force One presidential jets

Boeing was awarded a $25.8 million contract for preliminary work on Air Force One aircraft based on the 747-8. The total value of the two airplanes is believed to be $1.65 billion. The only other viable option was the A380.

Private Air Traffic Control Plan Hits Turbulence in Senate

Some in Congress want to put Air Traffic Control under a new non-governmental, non-profit organization, funded by with user fees. In his On the Mark video episode titled How the Airlines Could Soon Control the U.S. ATC System, Rob talks about this issue.

Opposition launched against privatizing air-traffic control

A coalition of consumer-advocacy groups created a petition addressed to Chairman Shuster, Ranking Member DeFazio, and the members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The petition asks, “Instead of privatizing air traffic control, we believe that Congress should create a pathway to allow the FAA to move forward with long-term capital planning without relinquishing Congressional oversight or allowing a new corporate monopoly run by the airlines to slash air traffic control jobs. The cost of privatization is simply too high. It is bad for workers, bad for passengers, and harmful to smaller and rural communities.”

See also the NBAA Advocacy page.

The Airplane of the Week

This week David doesn’t look at just one plane. Instead, he tells us the history of one mission flown by three airplanes over time.  All three were Boeing products, and with a 55-year anniversary this week, and Boeing’s 100th, it’s time to go through the Looking Glass.

Boeing EC-135C Looking Glass

Boeing EC-135C Looking Glass by Mike Freer – Touchdown-aviation.

U.S. Navy Boeing E-6B Mercury

U.S. Navy Boeing E-6B Mercury airborne command post. U.S. Navy photo.

Mentioned

The Logbook podcast – Don “The Pre-Buy Guy” Sebastian is the storyteller in Episode 26 of Lucas Weakley’s podcast.

The Age of Aerospace – This five-part series sponsored by Boeing explores the advancements in civilian, military and space technology around some of America’s greatest achievements. On Science Channel.

Links from listener Stuart on the topic of shining lasers at aircraft:

World’s Most Expensive Jet Somehow Gets Worse

Airport Observation Decks Around the World in George Hobica’s Airfare Watchdog.

Installation of the Incity tower spire by helicopter

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 370 NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System

The NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System, the European Aviation Safety Agency takes issue with pilot license renewal practices in Germany, medical requirements under the Pilot’s Bill of Rights, ICAO creates a site for aircraft tracking, the consequences for air traffic controllers who make mistakes, and the first woman cleared to fly the F-35A Lightning II.

Guest

Linda Connell

Linda Connell

Guest Linda Connell is Director of the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System and a Research Psychologist for NASA Ames Research Center. The ASRS collects and acts on voluntarily submitted aviation safety incident/situation reports from pilots, controllers, and others.

Linda has been working at NASA Ames Research Center since 1981, and has participated in a number of studies with domestic and international research teams exploring human factor issues in aviation environments.

A Registered Nurse and member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Linda continues to evaluate proactive aviation safety information on a variety of topics, including pilot/controller voice communication, emergency medical helicopter operations, aviation maintenance, cabin safety, and technology applications in aviation environments.

We talk with Linda about the formation of the ASRS, the process to collect safety data in a way that guarantees immunity, the analysis of the data and how subcontractors are utilized, and the 10 day window. We also discuss the alerts process and how to submit reports.

News

EU Challenging Germany’s Air Safety Authorities Post Germanwings Crash

The European Aviation Safety Agency says license renewal practices for pilots in Germany favor privacy over safety. Noting that Germany has addressed some of the concerns, the EU says others remain.  If Germany does not comply with the Commission’s demands, it could be taken to court.

Pilot’s Bill Of Rights Changes; One-Time Medicals For Some

The Pilot’s Bill of Rights introduced earlier this year by Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. was designed to waive the third-class medical for private pilots flying light aircraft. Now the bill has changed to include:

  • An online aeromedical course every two years.
  • Logbook entries that certify the pilot has seen their personal doctors at least once every four years (and received any needed treatment for medical conditions).
  • A one-time medical for new pilots and pilots who haven’t had a medical in the last 10 years.

ICAO starts aircraft tracking information web page

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has created a Global Tracking Initiatives web page to serve as “a repository of documents related to aircraft tracking.” The page presents a timeline of events and documents. Adoption of a 15-minute aircraft tracking Standard is expected at the end of 2015.

Air traffic controllers making major errors remain on job, including at IAH

KPRC-TV in Houston, Texas reports that “air traffic controllers who have made major errors have been allowed to stay on the job, without loss of rank or pay.”  This has occurred at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, and at other airports. KPRC reporter Joel Eisenbaum asked, “So you can make an error that causes a plane to crash and you’re not losing your job?”

The FAA response was, “The FAA has learned through experience that a non-punitive safety culture encourages employees to share information and engage in frank and open discussions about situations that they might otherwise be reluctant to bring to a supervisor’s attention. In cases involving willful neglect or dereliction of duties by an employee, the agency does not hesitate to take the appropriate measures as defined under agency policies and collective bargaining agreements.”

Textron Aviation customer Wheels Up completes capital raise

The New York-based private aviation membership company Wheels Up has an order for 105 Beechcraft King Air 350i’s, and has raised $115 million in capital for business expansion.

Boeing’s new tanker achieves first flight

Boeing flew the KC-46A Paine Field in Everett, Washington for a four hour first flight. The KC-46A is based on the Boeing 767 commercial airliner.

Other Segments

Lieutenant Colonel Christine “Grinder” Mau

Lieutenant Colonel Christine “Grinder” Mau

  • David attended the Joint Base Andrews’ open house on September 19th 2015, where he interviewed Lieutenant Colonel Christine “Grinder” Mau, Deputy Commander for the Operations Group of the 33rd Fighter Wing. Col. Mau was the first woman cleared to fly the F-35A Lightning II, and one of only 52 women fighter pilots in the USAF. She talks about what it’s like to fly the F-35A, and believing in your dreams.
F-35A and R2D2

F-35A and R2D2

  • Micah gives us some thoughts on the late Alan Purwin.
  • Brian talks with listener Hendrik in Hamburg, Germany.

Mentioned

Listener Photo

Michael sends this photo from his Cirrus SR22T looking over Los Angeles on airway V186 from the Paradise VOR to Van Nuys VOR, September 17, 2015. The light in the top right of the picture is a 777 going into LAX.

Cirrus SR22T looking over Los Angeles

Credit

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