Tag Archives: ATC

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.


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.


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.


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


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

AirplaneGeeks 368 Membership Flights with Surf Air

Surf Air Pilatus PC-12/47E

Surf Air Pilatus PC-12/47E

We talk with CEO Jeff Potter about the Surf Air all-you-can-fly private membership air travel club. Also, an uncontained engine failure on a BA flight, low airline fares, management changes at United, American Airlines used the wrong plane, and remotely manned towers may be on the way.


Jeff Potter is the Chief Executive Officer of Surf Air, an all-you-can-fly private membership club for business and leisure travelers. Surf Air uses Pilatus PC-12 aircraft on scheduled routes, currently from airports in California. However, the company looks to expand and provide service in other regions, even internationally.

Jeff S Potter

Jeff S Potter

Jeff has luxury product experience as Chief Executive Officer of Exclusive Resorts. He also has an aviation background and worked his way up from airplane cleaner to President and Chief Executive Officer of Frontier Airlines, as well as being a member of their Board of Directors. Jeff was also the CEO of Vanguard Airlines for a short period.

Jeff explains how the Surf Air fixed monthly fee makes the private aviation experience affordable. He characterizes it as a disruptive model that competes with commercial carriers.

Follow Surf Air on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.


BA jet engine failure uncontained, pieces hit runway: investigators

NTSB Issues Update on the British Airways Engine Fire at Las Vegas

The NTSB reports that the engine fire on takeoff at McCarran International Airport (LAS) by British Airways flight 2276, a Boeing 777 with GE90-85B engines, was an uncontained engine failure.

$100 Airline Ticket Deals, as Carriers Increase Profits

JetBlue Airways can fly you from JFK to Chicago for $74. A holiday promotion at Delta can cost as little as $78. American Airlines has a $97 fare from Columbus to Washington Reagan. Is there an airline fare war? Jeff helps understand what’s going on.

Why Dump Smisek? United Wasn’t First Airline to Fly a Pol’s Route

United CEO Smisek and two other executives resigned as a federal investigation is underway about the propriety of United creating a route between Newark Airport and Columbia, S.C, near where then chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey David Samson had his weekend home.

American Airlines accidentally used the wrong plane to fly to Hawaii

An American Airlines A321 left LA for Hawaii, but it didn’t have the requisite ETOPS certification. American discovered the problem enroute and notified the FAA, but the plane continued to it’s destination.

Air traffic controllers for some airports are now miles away, watching the planes on camera

Ornskoldsvik Airport in northern Sweden has an unmanned tower. The controllers are 90 miles away at another airport watching by camera. The idea is being tested elsewhere, even at one airport in the United States.

The Aircraft of the Week

Guppy by NASA

David goes fishing this week for a History Segment.  He hopes to catch one of these in the wild at Joint Base Andrews for a whale of a tale.  This episode we talk about The Aero Spacelines Guppies, and the lure of the aircraft that put a man on the moon.

Guppy by NASA

Guppy photos courtesy NASA

The Aviation Minute

Rob Mark talks about customer service at United Airlines.


The Bristol Hercules engine startup courtesy Ian.

Listener Photos

Lamont sends this photo taken in a practice area West / slightly Northwest of San Jose, California. The photo shows the marine layer being held back by the Santa Cruz Mountain Range in the early afternoon.

Marine layer

Marine layer

Jodi Brommer sends this shot of the smallest 777. She was hanging out on the approach path of San Francisco, 2.5 miles off the touchdown markers.

The smallest 777 by Jodi Brommer

The smallest 777 by Jodi Brommer


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


AirplaneGeeks 360 Different Sides of Aviation

Conversation with a retired charter pilot and freight dog, UTC agrees to sell Sikorsky to Lockheed Martin, Solar Impulse 2 grounded, a SkyWest high altitude “slow speed event,” new NASA astronauts, Piper woes, fault found with an air traffic controller, and United pays out in bug bounty program.


Kimber C. Turner

Kimber C. Turner

Kimber C. Turner is both a retired airline pilot with over 18,000 hours of flight time, and a former radio talk show host. Now he is out of the sky and off of the air. In his retirement, Captain Turner does some voiceover work, and an occasional guest spot on the radio.  He also writes a book now and then.

Kimber was a Captain on the Airbus A-300 for the last ten years of his career and a Captain on the Boeing 727 before that.  He has written three books so far.

The first is “Crooked Creek Farm” which is a humor book about a city family moving to the farm.

The other two books are aviation-related. Freight Dog: The Dark Side of Aviation is an exposé and memoir that covers Kimber’s path to an airline career at DHL, and the company’s missteps and eventual downfall.  Kimber flew for DHL for over 24 years.

In Learjets and Layovers: The Bright Side of Aviation, Kimber shares tales of adventurous travel and layovers in exotic locals and encounters with celebrities during his charter and airline days.

Find Kimber at kimbercturner.com, and on Amazon.com.


United Technologies Announces Agreement To Sell Sikorsky Aircraft

United Technologies plans to sell Sikorsky to Lockheed Martin for $9 billion in cash. Sikorsky will become part of Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training division, and not a separate entity.

United Technologies is the parent corporation of aerospace companies Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky, Hamilton Sundstrand, and Goodrich, and building and industrial systems companies Otis, Carrier, and Kidde.

Solar Impulse 2 to stay grounded in Hawaii until next April at earliest

The flight across the Pacific was considered to be the riskiest part of the Solar Impulse 2’s journey around the world. And they successfully completed the leg to Hawaii. But there was a problem with the batteries: They overheated on the first day of the trip from Japan to Hawaii. Lacking any means to cool them down, the batteries are ruined. The Solar Impulse 2 will stay in Hawaii until repairs can be made.

After Plane Stalls Mid-Flight, FAA Slaps SkyWest with Altitude and Speed Restrictions

The FAA says last April, a SkyWest plane experienced a stall en route from Denver to Oklahoma City. The plane rapidly descended from 39,000 feet to 27,000 feet, then landed without incident at Oklahoma City.

In a statement to ABC News, SkyWest said, “Months ago, one SkyWest CRJ aircraft experienced an isolated slow speed event, which is when an aircraft reaches less than optimal speeds. The aircraft’s slow speed alert systems functioned perfectly, and the crew responded appropriately with a 4,000-foot descent. No stall occurred.”

NASA picks 4 astronauts to fly 1st commercial space missions in couple years; all test pilots

NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden named four test pilots who will fly on capsules built by private companies SpaceX and Boeing. The commercial crew astronauts are:

  • Air Force Col. Robert Behnken, who was head of the astronaut office;
  • Air Force Col. Eric Boe, part of shuttle Discovery’s last crew;
  • retired Marine Col. Douglas Hurley, pilot of the final shuttle crew; and
  • Navy Capt. Sunita Williams, who has been to the International Space Station twice.

Piper To Lay Off Up To 150 Workers

Sales are sluggish and Piper plans to cut its workforce of 750 employees by 15 to 20 percent.

Newark air traffic controller blamed for near collision, but was it really his fault?

An ExpressJet Embraer waited 15 seconds before starting his takeoff roll, which allowed a United Airlines jet to fly closer to the runway intersection at Newark Liberty International Airport where the near collision occurred. The NTSB says fault lies solely on the Newark air traffic controller.

United Airlines Pays a Man a Million Miles for Reporting Bug

Jordan Wiens, owner of the security firm Vector 35, found a remote-code execution flaw in United’s website and won a million miles in the United bug bounty program.

Aircraft of the Week

David tells the story of FRED, which has a familiar ring to it.. Due to cost overruns, some wanted the program cancelled. After several expensive fixes, Congress didn’t want to let the Air Force retire the aircraft.

The Australia News Desk

Well, Grant finally made it away for his vacation….but not to Bali as originally planned.  Instead, he and his lovely wife flew halfway across the Pacific to Fiji.  Now, of course, you’d think he’d be living it up on the beach and all, but Grant still managed to find his way to a local airport from where he filed a quick report for us.

1948 Cessna 195

1948 Cessna 195

Otter Departing

Otter Departing

DragonFly Luxury Yacht

DragonFly Luxury Yacht

Look Left Look Right Look Up

Look Left Look Right Look Up

Across the Pond

French Navy Rafale - Air Day 2015 Copyright XTPMedia

French Navy Rafale – Air Day 2015 Copyright XTPMedia

Pieter reports in from Air Day 2015 where he gets to see the new Mk1 Swordfish in the air as well as the Seafire from the Royal Navy Historic Flight. The show is lit up with lots of great aviation noise, notably from the Avro Vulcan XH558 “The Spirit of Great Britain” making her last season of displays and the RNHF Sea Vixrn. But Pieter’s report leaves us with the sound of the French Navy Rafale doing its solo display after displaying with two Super Etendards.

RNHF Sea Vixen - Air Day 2015 Copyright XTPMedia

RNHF Sea Vixen – Air Day 2015 Copyright XTPMedia


  • Max was Adam Knight’s guest on Episode 16 of the Go Flying Australia Podcast, talking about UAV’s.

Listener Photos

Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display

Photos from the June 20, 2015 event at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum by Kevin:





Aerial Firefighting in California

David sent in this dramatic photo:



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

AirplaneGeeks 356 A Forum for Professional Pilots

Gulfstream G450

Conversation with ProPilotWorld.com founder Mark Matzuka, a close call at Midway, privatization of air traffic control, and observations on the Paris Air Show.


Mark Matzuka is Founder and President of ProPilotWorld.com, an online forum for pilots. As Mark looked at other pilot forums, he found they sometimes lacked accountability and didn’t have the level of professionalism he was after. Anybody could join those forums and offer advice and comments, but sometimes it wasn’t clear if these people were qualified, or even who they really were.

Mark responded by creating ProPilotWorld.com, a paid membership site that he calls, “The Premier Information Exchange and Networking Resource for Professional Pilots.” Registered members are vetted. Because the site is funded through membership fees, the forum does not rely on advertisers. Over 100 forums and subforums provide plenty of opportunities for the over 14,500 member pilots to exchange information and network. An associate membership is available for qualified professionals who are not pilots.

Mark has been flying for 27 years, 22 in business aviation with more than 13,000 flight hours, 10,000 of those in jets. He started his flying career in Chicago where he spent 20 years working as a flight instructor, charter and corporate pilot, and eventually became chief pilot. He now lives in Southern California as the chief pilot and aviation manager on a Gulfstream G450.


NTSB expected to investigate close call at Midway

A Southwest Airlines plane and a Delta Air Lines plane with similar sounding flight numbers simultaneously initiated takeoff rolls on intersecting runways.

Shuster Meets With NATA Members Over ATC Reform

Congressman proposes privatizing air traffic control

U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chairman Bill Shuster plans to introduce a bill to create an independent ATC corporation funded by user fees.

Boeing leads firm orders, but Airbus beats in total numbers

Paris Airshow racks up $107 billion in Airbus and Boeing total orders and commitments, 421 aircraft for Airbus, 331 aircraft for Boeing.


G450 post photo courtesy Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation. Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at brotherloverocks.com.

AirplaneGeeks 346 Flying for the Airlines as an Expat


Taipei, B-757, L-R:  Michael Johnson, Captain John Baines, Captain Lucho Arias, Mr. Steve Weisberg

Paramount Aviation Resources Group facilitates flying as an Expat, ONE Aviation Corporation brings together the Eclipse 550 and the Kestrel K350, a bill is introduced to privatize air traffic control in the US, another Washington D.C. incursion, and dynamic pricing of airline tickets.


Michael Johnson is the founder, President and CEO, and a member of the board of directors for Paramount Aviation Resources Group. Paramount finds qualified crew members to fill vacancies, provides crew leasing services, flight services, and ferry services.

We talk about the demand for expat pilots in countries that don’t have the infrastructure found in the the US, including opportunities for both mainline and regional pilots.

We see that the greatest airline growth is taking place in Asia, and Michael helps us understand the qualities of candidate pilots that make them best suited for expat life. He talks about the three key elements of stability, quality of life, and pay.

Michael also gives us some advice about getting into a flying career: start early, fly throughout college, and follow your passion.

Michael began his aviation career as a flight instructor and then as a commuter airline pilot with Northwest Airlink before joining Trans World Airlines (TWA) in 1996. In 2001 TWA was acquired by American Airlines.

Michael’s flight experience includes the BA-3100, DC-9, MD-80, 757, 767 and 747 aircraft in international and domestic operations throughout Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East as well as North America.

Serving as the Chief Pilot in Honolulu, Hawaii overseeing DC-10 and B-747 crews for JALWays (a subsidiary of Japan Airlines), Michael’s responsibilities included crew support, contractual issues, new hire interviewing, and B-747 simulator evaluations.

Photo: Boeing 757 in Taipei, L-R: Michael Johnson, Captain John Baines, Captain Lucho Arias, Mr. Steve Weisberg

Find Paramount at www.paramountarg.com, and follow them on Twitter at @ParamountARG and on Facebook. Reach Michael at +1 (540) 737-4600.


Eclipse and Kestrel Form ONE Aviation

Previous Airplane Geeks guest Alan Klapmeier (Episode 237, Feb 2013) is now the CEO of ONE Aviation Corporation, “formed to design, develop, and manufacture a family of aircraft, each of which will be a market leader in its category and class. ONE Aviation’s core products include the Eclipse 550 twin-engine light jet and the Kestrel K350 single-engine turboprop.” The Eclipse Jet is in production and the Kestrel K350 is currently under development.

GOP files bill to privatize air traffic control

Representative John Mica (R-Fla.) introduced a bill that would privatize some aspects of U.S. air traffic control. A new private corporation would oversee the air traffic control functions now  handled by the FAA.

As NextGen falls behind, Mica says, “We’ve tried reform and reorganization, and we’ve created positions like the Chief Operating Officer within the Air Traffic Organization, but unfortunately our ATC technology and working conditions for air traffic controllers continue to fall further behind the rest of the world.”

The bill would create an Employee Stock Ownership Corporation that would “allow stakeholders, including current air traffic controllers, airlines and users, to operate a new air traffic control system.”

“Gyrocopter” probably too small for radar to detect

A man was arrested after landing his gyrocopter at the U.S. Capitol as a protest. He was charged with operating an unregistered aircraft, and violating national airspace restrictions.

Dynamic Pricing: Which Customers Are Worth The Most? Amazon, Delta Airlines And Staples Weigh In

Consumers continue to make more and more of their purchases online. This gives businesses the opportunity to know a lot about their customers. That knowledge can be used for dynamic pricing – charging some customers more than others.

Orbitz used its customers’ demographics to charge some customers more for hotels. They found that MAC users were willing to pay up to 30 percent more for a hotel than Windows users.

Delta Airlines reportedly charged frequent flyers up to $300 more for a ticket than they charged an infrequent traveler. Why? People who travel often are probably business travelers.


Follow Max Trescott on Instagram as he pilots an upcoming Airplane Geeks presence on Instagram.

Photo collections from Paine Field by Ryan Hothersall:

China Sourthern Cargo-777-F1B-B-2041-13

China Sourthern Cargo 777

Burning Man:

Love’s In The Air: Newlyweds Draw Hearts In Sky

The Air Cam:

The Air Cam from Lockwood Aircraft Corp.

The Air Cam from Lockwood Aircraft Corp.

Peninsula Seniors Productions YouTube channel

National Museum of the US Air Force Podcasts


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

AirplaneGeeks 319 Aircraft Salvage


Aircraft salvage, the Chicago ATC Center fire, airline cyber threats, effects of aviation product liability, and a new Sikorsky fast attack helicopter.


Rachel Payne talks about how aircraft salvage company FAST Aviation locates airplanes, gets them back flying, or parts them out to support general aviation aircraft owners. We also discuss Hangar Swap, the new marketplace for aviators.

1952 R model Beechcraft Bonanza

1952 R model Beechcraft Bonanza

Follow @FASTAviationFL and @HangarSwap on Twitter, and find FASTaviation and HangarSwap on Facebook.


Chicago Bizav Traffic Moving Following ATC Center Fire

An update on the recent air traffic control center fire, which is still at ATC Zero.

Boeing urges airlines to be vigilant of cyber security threats

At the Aircraft Commerce magazine’s recent Aircraft e-Enablement conference in London, John Craig, Boeing’s chief engineer of cabin and network solutions, gave the industry a warning: don’t ignore cyber security. There are lots of opportunities for hackers.

Liability: The Price We Pay

Product liability costs can contribute significantly to high prices. This article explores some of the ways insurance and litigation costs impact the industry.

Sikorsky S-97 Raider

S-97 Raider High-Speed Attack Helicopter Debuts

Sikorsky Aircraft unveiled the a prototype S-97 Raider high-speed attack helicopter. This features a coaxial rotor and a rear-mounted propeller, giving it a top speed of 253 miles per hour – almost twice what you’d get from current attack helicopters.

Jerrie Mock, first woman to fly solo around the world, dies at 88

Geraldine “Jerrie” Fredritz Mock flew solo around the world in 1964. The flight took 29 days, and covered almost 22,860 miles.

Addison Airport just went live with the first at a GA EMAS in Texas. A 5-minute time-lapsed video shows the entire 6 week project.

David’s Report

David describes his trip to the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

The Australia News Desk

Grant’s flying solo and talks about the Martin Jetpack company going for an IPO, and then covers some problems with CASA’s recent introduction of Part 61 licenses.

After that it’s on to the military and he wonders how the RAAF will fit their two new C17s into the available space at RAAF Base Amberley, not to mention the new C27Js which will eventually be based there as well. Anyone got a shoe horn?

Grant wraps it all up with the news that the RAAF’s first two F35s have flown and are going through their acceptance flight tests before heading to Luke AFB next year for use with RAAF pilot training.

Across the Pond

Pieter Johnson talks to Managing Editor of The Aviation Historian, Mick Oakey about the latest edition. You will learn why flying a supersonic jet, literally makes your teeth fall out!


Worldflight group website and the Cockpitbuilders Worldflight Team USA, “flying” full scale flight simulators to take part in a round-the-world flight for charity. Each team raises money for a different charity in their local country through their own individual websites.

The Grumman G-21A Goose and the De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver Mk1, by Ryan Hothersall.

As listener Patrick was taking off from Salt Lake International, he looked down and saw a strange aircraft sitting on the ramp.  A closer look showed that the line folks had arranged baggage carts into the full scale shape of an airplane:

Baggage carts


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


Episode 318 Listener Survey Results

Oceana Airshow Geico Flight / Honor Flight

Results from our listener survey, the B787 battery issue, Air Traffic Control Center vulnerability, historic aircraft, flying a float plane, and air-to-air photography.


Boeing, FAA Don’t Understand 787 Battery Shortcomings, Japanese Say

After the Boeing 787 experienced Lithium Ion battery problems, Boeing made some changes designed to reduce the chances of thermal runaway, and to better manage the situation should it occur. But the root cause for the problem was never determined. By Christine Negroni in her Flying Lessons blog.

Illinois man accused of torching air traffic center was being transferred to Hawaii

A disgruntled FAA contractor posted a suicide note on Facebook, brought a can of gasoline into the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center, and set the place on fire, affecting more than 2,000 flights. The man was found by paramedics as he attempted to end his life with a knife.

Allen vs Jackson to restore or recreate the battle for collections

Paul Allen (co-Founder of Microsoft) and Peter Jackson of (Lord Of The Rings Fame) are both amassing huge warbird collections.  They are being painstakingly restored by Allen and  completely recreated from scratch by Jackson using original plans.  The article questions if flying these on of a kind aircraft is worth the risk.  Also does creating a “Clone” of an original demean the original and cloud the historical significance.

Flying a Seaplane

Rob’s been learning to fly a float plane.

David’s Report

Geico Skytypers Blue Angels

The Geico Skytypers were invited by the Blue Angels to do a formation flight, and they wanted to David to take some air-to-air photographs. David relates that adventure.

David in Texan

At the Naval Air Station Oceana Air Show, David spoke with Kenneth Hess, the Public Affairs Officer for the Chief of Naval Operations, Energy and Environmental Readiness Division. They discussed biofuels and goals of the Navy to reduce energy consumption. Ken mentions the free Energy Warrior app, which lets you discover what the Navy is doing to lead change and increase combat capability. You also learn facts about U.S. oil dependence, and what America’s Navy is doing about it.

Also at Oceana, David spoke with air show and event announcer Ric Peterson about what it takes to be an announcer.

The Australia News Desk

WONZ DH.83 Fox Moth

In one of the shortest AusDesks of all time, Grant chats briefly with Errol Cavit and Zac Yates after the recent Wings Over New Zealand Forum meet-up at Ardmore Airport near Auckland.

WONZ Two Seat Spitfire

In addition to Grant scoring a flight in a de Havilland DH.83 Fox Moth, there were plenty of amazing aircraft (including a 2-seat Spitfire) and excellent presentations during the day (plus some beer at the end).

Across the Pond

Ascender © Bristol Spaceplanes

Ascender © Bristol Spaceplanes

Pieter looks at the UK Government Review of commercial spaceplane certification and operations: Technical Report [PDF], as well as the recent news on MOM, MAVEN and Rosetta.


Airbus helps develop first supersonic biz jet

Rand Peck Aviation Photography

AIR14 – The pilots’ view

Plane Spotting: U.N. Brings Rare Jets to NYC

Melanoma Incidence Is Much Higher for Flight Crews


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

AirplaneGeeks 317 – The Navion


The single engine Navion airplane, air traffic controller hiring guidelines, Air France pilot’s strike, robots flying airplanes, Delta Air Line’s refinery, and NextGen.


Chris Gardner is founder and CEO of Sierra Hotel Aero, holder of the type certificate for the single engine Navion airplane.

Chris has a commercial aviation background, as well as extensive experience with North American Aviation aircraft including rebuilding and modification for racing of the P-51 Mustang, the T- 28, and Navion aircraft.

We review a little of the history of the Navion and how it was originally envisioned by North American Aviation to attract the interest of pilots returning from World War II.

With Sierra Hotel Aero now owning the type certificate, there are opportunities to modernize and upgrade the airplane. Chris is working on an STC for larger engine for the airplane.

Sierra Hotel Aero provides rebuild and modification services, including installation of the BRS Aerospace ballistic recovery parachutes in Cessna 172’s and 182’s.

For more on the Navion, see Navion X and the American Navion Society. Find Navion Aircraft on Facebook.


Two Illinois lawmakers seek to dump new FAA controller hiring rules

For years, when it came to recruiting new air traffic controllers the FAA favored graduates from FAA-accredited college aviation programs and also military veterans with aviation experience. The general public came last. But the FAA changed that not too long ago and started to favor inexperienced applicants. Some think this negatively impacts safety, and have introduced the Safe Towers Act.

French govt ups pressure to end Air France pilots strike

Air France pilots are worried that a a new Air France-KLM initiative to increase the size of its LC carrier Transavia will suck jobs away jobs.

Tiny Humanoid Robot Learning to Fly Real Airplanes

At the 2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Chicago, the PIBOT from Korean maker Robotis was demonstrated. It operated simulated aircraft controls autonomously.

Benet Wilson Named New Co-Editor-in-Chief at Airways News

Aviation Queen Benet Wilson is set to join Airways News, the strategic alliance between Airchive.com and Airways Magazine.


Union leader Robert E. Poli led the 1981 air traffic controllers’ strike, which prompted President Ronald Reagan to dismiss 11,500 controllers. Poli died September 15 at his home in Meridian, Idaho. He was 78.

Airplane of the Week

Grumman OA-12 Duck USAF

Jamie Dodson presents the history of the Grumman J2F Duck. Be sure to visit Jamie’s website at NickGrantAdventures.com and have a look at his historical fiction novels.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute

Rob gives us a list of great aviation writers you should read.

The Australia News Desk

Grant and Steve join live from Steve’s studio, and talk about RAAF fighter pilots being deployed in an active combat area, the Women’s World Hot Air Balloon Championship, and the Great Tiger Moth Air Race in 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.


How Delta Bought A Refinery And Wound Up Saving Its Rivals A Ton Of Cash


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

Episode 245 – Time and Navigation at the Smithsonian

Time and Navigation

David Vanderhoof was invited to be a social media participant for the opening of the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s new exhibit, Time and Navigation: The untold story of getting from here to there. He brings us recordings and interviews from the event.

The full selection of audio recordings, (with play times):

How did the aviators "shoot" the sun and stars?

The Winnie Mae, the airplane Wiley Post flew in his record-breaking flights around the world in 1931 and 1933

Time and Navigation: The Untold Story of Getting from Here to There, Fact Sheet:

Opening April 12, 2013, National Mall building, Gallery 213

Presented in collaboration with the National Museum of American History

Sections: Navigating at Sea; Navigating in the Air; Navigating in Space; Inventing Satellite Navigation; and Navigation for Everyone.

Sponsored by: Northrop Grumman Corporation, Exelis Inc., Honeywell, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, U.S. Department of Transportation, Magellan, National Coordination Office for Space-Based Positioning, Navigation & Timing, Rockwell Collins and the Institute of Navigation.

“Time and Navigation” explores how revolutions in timekeeping over three centuries have influenced how people find their way. Through artifacts dating from centuries ago to today, the exhibition traces how timekeeping and navigational technologies evolved to help navigators find their way in different modes of travel, in different eras and different environments. Methods are traced through the decades to show that of all the issues facing navigation, one challenge stands out: The need to determine accurate time.

Twelve Things People Might Not Know about Time and Navigation

1. Although it was possible to navigate at sea before 1700, very precise positions could not be determined without accurate time and reliable clocks.

2. The earliest sea-going marine chronometer made in the United States was produced by Bostonian William Cranch Bond during the War of 1812.

3. Calculating position only by monitoring time, speed and direction is called Dead Reckoning. Measuring movement using only internal sensors is known as Inertial Navigation. Observing the sun, moon, or stars at precise times to determine position is known as Celestial Navigation. Radio Navigation systems use radio signals to maintain a course or fix a position.

4. The first several Soviet and American spacecraft sent to the moon missed it completely and crashed on the moon or were lost in space. Subsequent missions achieved their objectives as better techniques for guidance and navigation were developed.

5. When the first men went to the moon (Apollo 8), they used a sextant to help them navigate.

6. A spacecraft travelling across the solar system navigates by means of precisely timed radio signals sent back and forth to Earth. Navigators on Earth track its location and speed and transmit course adjustments. These techniques allow navigators to guide a probe to a planetary rendezvous or a pinpoint landing.

7. Space shuttles used onboard star trackers to locate their position in space with high accuracy. Once the shuttle reached orbit, the tracker automatically locked onto a star to orient the spacecraft.

8. The fundamental unit of time, the second, was defined in the past by the rotation of the Earth. Since 1967, the second has been defined by the signature frequency of a form of the element cesium.

9. A navigator on a ship at sea 100 years ago needed to know the time to the second. GPS satellite navigation works by measuring time to billionths of a second.

10. Albert Einstein’s understanding of space and time and relativity contributed to global navigation. Because GPS satellites experience lower gravity and move at high speeds, their clocks operate at a different rate than clocks on Earth. Since all the clocks in the system must be synchronized, a net correction of 38 millionths of a second per day must be added to the satellite clock’s time.

11. Increasingly reliable clocks and improved navigation methods have allowed navigators to calculate spacecraft positions with greater accuracy. By 2012 missions could be tracked with 100,000 times the accuracy possible in the early 1960s.

12. Atomic clocks in GPS satellites keep time to within three nanoseconds—three-billionths of a second.

The week’s aviation news:

In this week’s Australia Desk:

Grant is back on deck this week as we discuss the release of the new Qantas uniforms, revealed this week to much fanfare. Eight former Royal Australian Navy Kaman SH-2G Super Sea Sprite helicopters, which never saw service after the programme was scrapped two years ago, have been purchased by the New Zealand Government for their Navy at a cost of $A200million ($NZ244million – $US210million). And keeping in the recent theme of aviation lobby groups wading into the upcoming federal election early, the Australian Airports Association is asking the government to consider backing a fund to assist struggling remote area airstrips to the tune of $20million.


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 what’s been happening in the Benelux countries and France with Frenchez Pietersz from Aviation Platform. New low cost carriers, KLM baggage fees and the threat of european hub domination from Schipol all get discussed.

Follow Aviation Platform on Twitter as @AviPlatform on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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.

Episode 243 – Talking with Igor Sikorsky III

Igor and his Skyhawk

We talk with the grandson of aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky about his grandfather and the annual Sikorsky Weekend that Igor holds at his sporting camp in the North Maine Woods. Igor flies a Skyhawk float plane to ferry visitors to his camp and to fishing spots in Maine.

You’ll hear stories about his grandfather – how he viewed life and those around him, his visions for the helicopter, and his interests in religion and astronomy, among others. Igor holds a great collection of historical records and memorabilia from the life of his grandfather, and he brings that out for Sikorsky Weekend. Other Sikorsky memorabilia can be found at:

Igor Sikorsky

The week’s aviation news:

The Aircraft of the Week:

David continues his series on the Skyhawk with the international versions.

In this week’s Australia Desk:

Recorded on the banks of the Yarra River in Melbourne near Princess Bridge (sheltering from the rain). We speak to Doug Worrall, an airline pilot and iPad/Android app developer, about his new game, LEO – Low Earth Orbit, available in iTunes and Google Play. Doug explains his motivation to create a challenging game that makes the user think and consider the laws of physics. The impetus for the game was his son’s school not offering physics as a subject any more, due to lack of interest.

In the news:

  • The Australian Government, after gifting 4 ex-RAAF C130-H aircraft to Indonesia, announce the sale of five additional airframes to that country.
  • Air Samoa announces a Pay For What You Weight scheme for air fares…Steve is horrified!
  • A routine go-around by a Qantas aircraft at Sydney during the week is cause for an appalling, ill-informed article on ABC News during the week. Doug explains the realities of a go-around and why they’re reasonably routine and very safe practice.

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 travel to Italy to talk to Federico Bossi, Air Traffic Controller in the Milan Tower. He shares his experiences as well as telling us about his passion for flight simulation. Federico is @AeroFede on Twitter.

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.