Tag Archives: Boeing

572 Pickle Fork Cracks

We discuss the erosion of manual piloting skills, pickle fork cracks in the B737NG, the EC review of Boeing’s interest in Embraer, a helicopter crash “close to home,” an “MCAS-like” system on the KC-46 tanker, tracking stealth fighters with passive radar, Delta’s proposed stake in LATAM, and Delta’s rules change for emotional support animals.

Aviation News

EAA Creating Hands-On Build-And-Fly R/C Model Building, Flying Program

EAA and the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) have unveiled a new “Young Eagles Build and Fly” program. This is designed to engage youth in hands-on building and flying of radio-control aircraft.

Unexpected cracking found on critical Boeing 737 Next Generation part

Some Boeing 737NGs are exhibiting pickle fork cracks. These are structures that connect the wing to the fuselage and transmit the load to the fuselage as the wings flex. The pickle forks are reportedly meant to last a lifetime so the cracking is of some concern.

You Can Fly Challenge tops its goal

More than $2.8 million was contributed by more than 5,000 individual donors to the 2019 AOPA You Can Fly Challenge. The 2019 challenge exceeded expectations and the Ray Foundation voted to increase its matching grant to $2.5 million. In total, more than $5.3 million in new funding was provided for You Can Fly.

FAA urges ICAO to address erosion of ‘manual’ piloting skills

Flightglobal reports that the FAA has concerns about pilots who cannot handle the aircraft when the automation fails. Some pilots have inadequate manual flying skills. The FAA believes ICAO standards and guidance need to evolve as automation continues to expand. Daily bulletins are available from ICAO’s 40th Assembly in Montreal September 24 through October 4, 2019.

Boeing, Embraer Deal Faces EU Scrutiny

The European Commission wants to look at Boeing’s plan to take a controlling interest of Embraer’s commercial business, despite previously approving Airbus’ purchase of the Bombardier CSeries.

Bowdoinham man severely injured in helicopter crash at Sanford airport

A Robinson R44 helicopter crashed at the Sanford, Maine airport. Pilot Jack White, 50, was transported to the hospital with “severe injuries.”

Boeing omitted safeguards on 737 MAX that were used on military jet

A system similar to MCAS is used on the KC-46 tankers, but for a different reason: to compensate for load changes. The tanker version, however, uses two AOA indicators instead of one on the 737 MAX.

USAF Reviewing Training After MAX 8 Crashes; KC-46 Uses Similar MCAS

The Air Force is watching to see if there are any implications for the KC-46.

Stealthy no more? A German radar vendor says it tracked the F-35 jet in 2018 — from a pony farm

German radar-maker Hensoldt claims to have tracked two F-35s for 150 kilometers following the 2018 Berlin Air Show in Germany in 2018. The TwInvis system passive radar system uses existing electromagnetic energy from radio and TV broadcast transmitters and evaluates their echoes when reflected by an object.

Delta is buying 20% of LATAM, Latin America’s largest airline

LATAM Airlines, formerly LAN Airlines S.A. and Lan Chile, is a OneWorld Alliance member. Delta Air Lines is planning to take a 20% stake in the airline for $1.9 billion says they’ll spend $350 million to expand the partnership. LATAM will be exiting the OneWorld alliance. No word if they will join SkyTeam led by Delta.

Delta lifts ban on emotional support animals on long flights, but pit bulls are still barred

Delta lifted its ban on emotional support animals on flights longer than eight hours. This puts them back in compliance with the Department of Transportation. However, Delta continues to ban pit bulls, even though breed bans are not allowed.

Mentioned

Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour

571 Aviation Reporter

Our guest is an aviation reporter who covers airlines, regulation, and electric flight. We talk about the Boeing 737 MAX, including the congressional investigations, changing the certification process, and regulatory agency harmony. We also discuss Canadian airline mergers and green aviation. In the news, we look at the Chinese development of their commercial aircraft industry, the collapse of Thomas Cook, the Belgian F-16 crash, and Chuck Yeager’s lawsuit against Airbus.

Guest

Tom Risen, aviation reporter.

Tom Risen

Tom Risen is an aviation reporter who covers the airlines, industry regulation, and electric flight at Cirium, a company which provides aviation industry data and analytics. Tom received a Master’s of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University and has been a journalist for some time. Follow him on Twitter at @TomRisen.

We dive into the Boeing 737 MAX situation and benefit from the fact that Tom has attended all the congressional hearings on this matter. Changes in the FAA safety certification process will unfold in the coming years, likely using stakeholder participation as was the case with NextGen.

Tom also comments on Canadian airline mergers and we discuss electric aviation. 

References:

Aviation News

China Starts Attack On Boeing And Airbus

China Eastern Airlines and China Western Airlines have placed orders with the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC) for the ARJ21-700 regional jet. COMAC also produces the C919 narrowbody in the B737/A320 size class, and the company hopes to develop the widebody CR929 through the CRAIC joint-venture with the Russian United Aircraft Corporation.

150,000 Stranded By Thomas Cook Collapse

Thomas Cook Airlines and parent Thomas Cook Group have filed for bankruptcy. Reportedly, 150,000 customers are stranded around the world. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) says it has “secured a fleet of aircraft from around the world” and launched a program to return affected UK customers home.

Pilot caught on high-voltage electricity line after fighter jet crashes in France

A Belgian F-16 on a training flight crashed while traveling to a naval airbase in France. Both pilots ejected. The parachute of one pilot became entangled in power lines and had to be rescued.

Chuck Yeager Sues Airbus Over ‘Trademark’

Ninety-six-year-old Chuck Yeager claims Airbus used his name and photo to promote a helicopter design but did not pay him for that.

Buying a Plane, Part 5

Reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari explains the process he followed to import the Focke-Wulf from Canada to the United States.

Mentioned

Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour.

35th Annual Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Wings Over Houston Airshow on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 19-20, at Ellington Airport.

560 Aircraft Valuation with VREF

We talk with the president of VREF about aircraft valuation. In the news, we look at a replacement for the Fat Albert C-130, an electric airplane being developed by Solar Impulse 2 pilot André Borschberg, EASA concerns with the 737 MAX, additive manufacturing in aerospace, and a supersonic flight challenge that is not about the boom. We also have interviews with a Boeing T-X experimental test pilot and a Major General with the Japanese Ministry of Defense on the C-2 transport aircraft.

Guest

Jason Zilberbrand, president of VREF.

Jason Zilberbrand, president of VREF.

Jason Zilberbrand is president & CTO of VREF Aircraft Value Reference and Appraisal Services. He is an aircraft appraiser, expert witness, broker, inventorying dealer, acquisition agent, aircraft owner and operator, contract negotiator, consultant, teacher, conference speaker, and an author.

VREF delivers aircraft and engine data through online subscription services and published quarterly digests. The company provides valuations, appraisals, and litigation consulting services to a worldwide client base of aviation professionals including, law firms, banks, financial institutions, leasing companies, manufacturers, aircraft owners, aircraft operators, and suppliers. VREF is the official Valuation Guide and Appraisal company for AOPA.

Jason says that VREF tracks about 6800 models and 440 makes. He explains how aircraft valuation is determined, who wants to see the appraisal and why. He touches on how experimental and low volume aircraft are handled, including warbirds. We take a look at the current “seller’s market” and also consider the implications of large numbers of turbine aircraft that are not ADS-B compliant.

VREF is launching a new-from-the-ground-up application that will provide scrap value. VREF is also switching to a tiered service model. Tier 1 will continue the traditional service while Tier 2 will add fair market value and inventory. Orderly liquidation and future residual values come with Tier 3.

Jason is watching the growth of electric aircraft, and the company is even bringing in a couple of drone appraisers. VREF is also adding cybersecurity capability to provide flight department assessments.

Jason spent 25 years in General Aviation working directly with aircraft owners and operators. He owned and operating his own aircraft as well. Jason knows the international aviation marketplace well and is considered an expert in aircraft valuations and aircraft transactions.

Founded in 1994, VREF is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa with offices in Chicago, Rockford, Los Angeles, Boise, Daytona Beach Florida, Austria, Switzerland, Australia, and Shanghai China.

Aviation News

Blue Angels to Receive Upgraded ‘Fat Albert’ from the UK

Blue Angels retire beloved Fat Albert after more than 30,000 flight hours

The Blue Angels C-130T support aircraft known as Fat Albert is scheduled to be replaced in 2020 with a C-130J purchased from the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence for $29.7million. A new C-130J would cost $50 million more.

An Aviation Pioneer Goes All In on Electric Planes

André Borschberg (our guest in Episode 361) and Bertrand Piccard flew around the world in the Solar Impulse 2. Now Borschberg has started a new company called H55 to build practical electric airplanes, starting with a two-seater that achieves a 90 minute flight time. The Bristell Energic flight trainer is a modified version of a BRM Aero airplane.

Boeing 737 Max’s Autopilot Has Problem, European Regulators Find

Reportedly, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has raised five issues with the 737 MAX:

Previously disclosed issues:

  • difficulty turning the manual trim wheel
  • AOA sensor unreliability
  • inadequate training procedures
  • a microprocessor software issue raised by the FAA

And now:

  • the autopilot failing to disengage in certain emergencies

These haven’t been made public and the sources are anonymous. It is not known if they are hard requirements for return to service, or discussion points.

The FAA, EASA, Canada, and Brazil have a tentative agreement that the return to service should be closely coordinated. Public trust.

Long before the Max disasters, Boeing had a history of failing to fix safety problems

The Washington Post reports that the FAA had been frustrated by the number of safety issues at Boeing and the company’s repeated failure to rectify the situation as agreed. That led to a 2015 settlement agreement that bundled all the problems with one $12 million fine and one corrective action plan for systemic issues. But the degree to which Boeing has lived up to the agreement is being questioned.

NASA Invests in 3D Printing for Aviation

Carnegie Mellon University’s Next Manufacturing Center and Manufacturing Futures Initiative (MFI) has been selected by NASA to lead a research team to examine new ways to build and power aircraft of the future. Metals additive manufacturing (AM) or 3D printing “has had a significant impact on aviation manufacturing for jet engine components, airframe structural elements, and other applications.” 

The project will explore new methods for using additive manufacturing to reduce costs and increase the speed of mass-producing aircraft without sacrificing quality, reliability, and safety. Process qualification is a challenge and a focus area.

Partners include Argonne National Laboratory, ANSYS, Lockheed Martin, Trumpf, Eaton, General Electric, Pratt & Whitney, Northrop Grumman, Metal Powder Works, Siemens, Materials Solutions and The Barnes Group.

Video: SLM®500 Metal Additive Manufacturing System

 

Supersonic flight meets another challenge besides noise reduction

Developers of supersonic airplanes have to deal with the sonic boom problem, but there is another issue looming: increased carbon footprint. Fuel burned per passenger is high with the speedy new designs. Boom Supersonic has addressed this by stating the company’s commitment to green aviation and an alternative fuel partnership with Prometheus Fuels.

Paris Air Show Interviews

Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari brings us his final two interviews from the Paris Air Show.

Matthew (Phat) Giese, Chief Pilot F15/F22 Programs and T-X Experimental Test Pilot talks about the Boeing T-X that will replace the T-38.

Boeing T-X

Boeing T-X, courtesy Boeing.

Masahito Goto, Ph.D., Major General, Deputy Director General, Japanese Ministry of Defense talks about the C-2 Transport Aircraft.

C-2

C-2, courtesy ATLA.

Shout Outs

David Hamilton, last living WWII Pathfinder pilot drops paratroopers out of C-47 on his 97th birthday.

97 year old (on July 20, 2019) Lt Col David Hamilton, enlisted on December 8, 1941.  Dave then trained as a C-47 pilot and then later as a Pathfinder pilot. Pathfinder aircrews were specially trained WWII aircrews who flew C-47s that had cutting edge navigational equipment. Prior to the major airborne operations in the European Theater of Operation, these aircrews were tasked with dropping in specially trained pathfinder paratroopers to set up radar equipment on the drop zones to which the other C-47s would navigate when carrying in the main force of the airborne troops.  Dave did this function during Operation Overlord at Normandy on D-Day, Operation Dragoon in Southern France, and Operation Market Garden in Holland. Dave also led in the aircraft for the supply drop to the 101st Airborne when they were surrounded at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. (Dave led in 27 planes and led out 9 on that mission.) Sadly, Dave is the last living Pathfinder pilot who flew all those missions.

Lt Col David Hamilton and Christine Negroni.

Lt Col David Hamilton and past guest Christine Negroni with the D-Day Squadron at Waterbury-Oxford Airport. Photo by Max Flight.

Dave just returned from England and France where he flew across the English Channel in a WWII veteran aircraft (C-53) as part of the D-Day Squadron formation of American C-47s and C-53s which flew across the channel on 5 June.  Dave was actually at the controls of the C-53 for part of that flight 75 years after he made his original D-Day flight. (Yes, the pathfinders did take off on 5 June 1944) When Dave was in England, he was honored in North Witham by folks who live near where the RAF base from which he flew the D-Day mission was located and was a guest at the ceremonies at the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach on June 6.  Dave was pretty much treated like a rock star everywhere he went in England and France!!

Dave and the 75th anniversary of D-Day are going to be honored again at this year’s 5 October Wings Out West Airshow in Dave’s home town of Prescott, Arizona where another  WWII D-Day veteran, the C-53 “D-Day Doll”, will be doing a drop of WWII type paratroopers to honor Dave and the 75th anniversary of D-Day.   Also, Dave is going to be inducted into the San Diego Air and Space Museum Hall of Fame in November and he has been invited by the CAF to be in one of the WWII aircraft that will overfly the Mall in Washington D.C. during the 75th celebration of VE day in May 2020.

D-Day Doll

D-Day Doll. Photo by Max Flight.

Dave is also going to be in the cockpit of a C-47 near Frederick Oklahoma dropping the Airborne Demonstration Team’s (ADT) WWII  style paratroopers on July 20, 2019, which happens to be Dave’s 97th birthday. The Frederick Oklahoma airfield is the home of Frederick Army Air Field (FAAF)  which still has a wonderful WWII era wooden hanger in which sit a couple of C-47s, various WWII vehicles. FAAF is the home of the ADT’s WWII style jump school, complete with all the paraphernalia such a jump school would need, such as parachute packing tables, training hangers, mess hall, classroom, barracks, etc.  When one walks into the FAAF hanger one steps back in time 75 years. ADT runs WWII style jump schools several times a year. July 20th will also be ADT’s “Open Hangar Day” for the graduation ceremony for the jumpers who have completed the 5 jumps required to graduate from their July Jump School.

Come on out to FAAF for a great story about the last living Pathfinder dropping paratroopers on his 97th birthday.

The last RED Bull Air race is this weekend 13-14 July, 2019

You can watch it on Red Bull TV, and we will be pulling for friends-of-the-podcast Micheal Goulian, Kirby Chambliss, and Patrich Davidson in the challenger class.

Mentioned

Opposing Bases Air Traffic Talk #80, Bay Area Flying With Max Trescott.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

558 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019 Preview

What to expect at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019. In the news, we discuss a woman trapped in an airliner, crosswind testing in Iceland, the Boeing 737 MAX grounding, and the Paris Air Show.

Guest

Dick Knapinski, EAA director of communications, and Karen Kryzaniak, EAA’s vice president of risk management and human resources, accept the inaugural Community Partnership Award from the City of Oshkosh in recognition of 50 consecutive years of EAA fly-in conventions in the city.

Dick Knapinski, EAA director of communications, and Karen Kryzaniak, EAA’s vice president of risk management and human resources, accept the inaugural Community Partnership Award from the City of Oshkosh in recognition of 50 consecutive years of EAA fly-in conventions in the city. Photo courtesy EAA.

Dick Knapinski is the director of communications for the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). In this preview of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Dick explains that the July 22-28, 2019 event represents the 50th consecutive year in Oshkosh, and describes how EAA AirVenture has changed over time as well as what to expect in 2019.

This year is also the 50th anniversary of the landing on the moon and Apollo 11 command module pilot Michael Collins will be a featured guest. Burt Rutan and many of his aircraft designs will also be at Osh, along with air force demo teams and other performers.

The drone cage returns with demonstrations and hands-on opportunities. Urban air mobility (UAM) is getting increased attention from prominent aviation companies and startups and AirVenture will offer opportunities to discuss and explore that topic.

Dick explains that people come to Oshkosh (and come back year after year) for their own personal reasons, but the week-long event offers it all. He also has some tips for first-timers, both those flying in and those arriving by other means of transportation.

Aviation News

A Travel Nightmare: Waking Up Cold And Alone In A Darkened Plane

What do you do if you wake up after a flight to find yourself in a dark airplane parked away from the terminal? And how did this come to happen?

Did Collapse Of WOW Air Lead To Reinstatement Of Iceland Cross Wind Tests?

Crosswind testing at Keflavik International Airport was banned following the 2013 Sukhoi SSJ100 crash. Boeing and Airbus have wanted to resume certification testing in Iceland and may once again have the opportunity.

Boeing may see layoffs if another production rate cut happens, aviation consultant says

Scott Hamilton from Leeham Company believes Boeing executives have finally gotten serious about the 737 MAX and the company will bounce back. But could lower production rates lead to layoffs?

Here’s who bought what at this year’s Paris Air Show

Airbus Vows to Challenge the Secret Boeing 737 Deal that Stunned the Paris Air Show

At the Paris Air Show, Airbus launched the A321XLR and Boeing announced a large 737 MAX order.

Mentioned

Eat at the Airport

#PaxEx Podcast 67: Deciphering the messaging from Airbus and Boeing in Paris

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

553 Museum of Flight

From the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington: the CEO of the museum, the curator for space history, and the director of collections. In the news, maybe one pilot for the Boeing NMA, airline deals in Canada, Michael O’Leary sees more European airline failures, a cryogenic hydrogen fuel cell, an app for getting bumped, United promotes women artists, U.S. fighters get special paint jobs, and an Air Force aggressor squadron with F-35A’s.

The Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Max Flight.

Max’s Pacific Northwest AvGeek Adventure 2019 (Part 1)

Max Flight and Isaac Alexander spent a week visiting Viking Air, British Columbia Aviation Museum, NavCanada Victoria Harbor Tower, Vancouver Flight Center, Canadian Museum of Flight, Historic Flight Foundation, Museum of Flight, and several other attractions.

This episode, we have interviews from the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. We spoke with Matt Hayes, the CEO and president; Geoff Nunn, exhibit developer/adjunct curator for space history; and Amy Heidrick, Director of Collections.

The Destination Moon, the Apollo 11 Mission exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the landing on the moon continues at the Museum of Flight through Sept 2, 2019.

Next episode, Max and Isaac review the entire trip.

The Apollo 11 capsule at the Museum of Flight.

The Apollo 11 capsule at the Museum of Flight. Photo by Max Flight.

The mighty F1 engine at the Museum of Flight.

The mighty F1 engine at the Museum of Flight. Photo by Max Flight.

Aviation News

Some airlines want Boeing’s new ’797′ to fly with just one pilot on board

Multinational investment bank and financial services company Jefferies asked airline and leasing company executives what they wanted in Boeing’s New Midsize Airplane (NMA). There seems to be interest in a single onboard pilot, with a second ground-based pilot serving multiple aircraft.

Big Transactions For Canadian Airlines

Toronto-based Onex has offered $31 a share for WestJet. The deal was approved by the Canadian airline’s board of directors. Onex owns Spirit Aerosystems, which manufactures fuselages and wings for Boeing in Wichita and Kansas City. Also, Air Canada is in talks to buy leisure-market carrier Air Transat for $520 million.

Ryanair boss says ‘wave’ of European airline failures to continue

Michael O’Leary says airline failures and sales would pick up in the second half of 2019. Increasing fuel costs and fare wars are contributing factors. See also Ryanair profits fall by almost 30 per cent and ‘I don’t need cash’ — but the Ryanair CEO wants Boeing to pay for 737 Max delivery delays.

NASA backs development of cryogenic hydrogen system to power all-electric aircraft

The University of Illinois Center for Cryogenic High-Efficiency Electrical Technologies for Aircraft (CHEETA) has a concept for a cryogenic hydrogen fuel cell system to power all-electric aircraft. The project is a consortium with Air Force Research Laboratory, Boeing Research and Technology, General Electric Global Research, Ohio State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Arkansas, the University of Dayton Research Institute, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

American Airlines App Instantly Compensates Bumped Passengers

American, Delta, and United already let you volunteer for the bump list through their apps. But now American is the first to award compensation through their app. You can also pick a replacement flight.

United Airlines Unveils Two Special Liveries

United says 51% of today’s artists are women, but not even 13% of the art on display in museums is by woman artists. So United created the “Her Art Here” contest for women artists. Two Boeing 757 aircraft will be painted with the designs of the winning artists.

Air Force F-16 Aggressor Jet Emerges In Highly Anticipated “Ghost” Paint Scheme

The F-16C of the 64th Aggressor Squadron based at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas rolled out the new paint scheme. The design came from a crowdsourced competition at the Facebook page of 57th Wing Commander Brigadier General Robert Novotny.

Time lapse video: The GHOST is here!. And not to be outdone: U.S. Navy First with Pixelated Aggressor Scheme On VFC-12 Hornet, And the Russians Are Loving It!

Air Force to reactivate aggressor squadron for F-35 training

The 65th Aggressor Squadron is being reactivated and they wanted improved training for fifth-generation fighter tactics development and close-air support. So nine early non-combat capable F-35A aircraft are moving from Eglin AFB, Florida, to the squadron.

Positive Airline Story of the Week

United Airlines and Audubon International Team Up to Save Owls in San Francisco

United Airlines is expanding the Raptor Relocation Network to SFO. United and Audubon International trap raptors that live near the airport (primarily barn owls), and resettle them at suitable golf course habitats.

Mentioned

D-Day Squadron

Daks Over Normandy

Credit & Thanks

Deepest thanks to Tom for the Air Canada flights, Bill for the tour of Victoria, and Isaac for creating the itinerary and driving Max to wonderful AvGeek destinations.

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

Zeke and his P-40.

Zeke and his P-40.

 

550 AOPA Foundation You Can Fly Challenge

AOPA Foundation vice president Jennifer Storm explains initiatives to create a stronger and safer pilot community, as well as the opportunity to double the impact of your donation to the You Can Fly Challenge. In the news, the Cirrus SF50 Vision fleet is grounded, CFMI Leap engines are seeing a coking issue, Boeing 787 Dreamliner production quality is questioned, the N9M flying wing has crashed killing the pilot, ADS-B reduces the accident rate, and power lines save a Cessna 172.

Guest

Jennifer Storm, Vice President of the AOPA Foundation.

Jennifer Storm, Vice President of the AOPA Foundation.

Jennifer Storm is vice president of the AOPA Foundation. She oversees all aspects of the Foundation, including donor stewardship, major and planned gifts, annual giving, corporate grants, and operations. Jennifer holds FAA Commercial Pilot and Flight Instructor Certificates, both with Instrument and Multi-Engine Ratings. As vice president of the AOPA Foundation, Jennifer is focused on funding programs that grow the pilot population, improve safety, and make flying more accessible and affordable.

Jennifer explains that the AOPA (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) membership organization is supported by member dues. The non-profit 501(c)(3) AOPA Foundation, on the other hand, is funded through donations which in turn support the AOPA Air Safety Institute and the You Can Fly program.

Four initiatives make up the You Can Fly program: the high school initiative that features an aviation STEM curriculum, the flight training initiative that’s designed to improve the flight training experience and reduce the student pilot dropout rate, the flying clubs initiative that creates new (and supports existing) clubs to help pilots stay engaged and help make flying more affordable, and the Rusty Pilots initiative that makes it easier for “lapsed” pilots to get flying again.

This year, the Ray Foundation challenged the AOPA Foundation to raise $2 million by August 31, 2019, to support the You Can Fly program, and they will match those donations dollar-for-dollar.

Donations to the AOPA Foundation You Can Fly Challenge can be made online. Be sure to use that link to take advantage of the matching grant opportunity. For those who’d prefer to send a check to the AOPA Foundation at 421 Aviation Way, Frederick, MD 21701, please write “You Can Fly” on the memo line to get the match.

Jennifer joined AOPA in 2004 after flight instructing at the University of North Dakota. She developed education programs for the Air Safety Institute and later lead the production team. She then went on to serve as the Director of the AOPA Airport Support Network, the national network of 2,000 volunteers who help AOPA promote, protect, and defend community airports. Jennifer then led AOPA’s public relations efforts and the flight training initiative, which was the precursor to the You Can Fly program.

In addition to her roles at AOPA, Jennifer served as Chief Operating Officer of Assessment Compliance Group and as Director of U.S. Network Engagement and Performance for United Way Worldwide. Jennifer has a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics (majors in Commercial Aviation and Flight Education) and a Master of Science in Education (major in Instructional Design and Technology) from the University of North Dakota.

Aviation News

FAA Grounds All Cirrus Vision Jets over Angle of Attack Issues

The FAA issued an emergency airworthiness directive (2019-08-51) that grounds the Cirrus SF50 Vision fleet due to an issue with the angle of attack indicators. Uncommanded pitch-down was experienced in three incidents. Cirrus and the manufacturer of the technical standard order AOA sensor have identified the probable root cause as an AOA sensor malfunction due to a quality escape in the assembly of the AOA sensor.

Airlines Asked To Check 737 MAX and A320neo Engines After Failure Risk Found

Higher than expected coking of the fuel nozzles has occurred on the CFM International Leap-1A and Leap-1B engines. The resulting uneven temperatures and hot spots can cause premature wear in the engine hot section. Increased borescope inspections are taking place.

Claims of Shoddy Production Draw Scrutiny to a Second Boeing Jet

The New York Times reports that their investigation of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner has revealed “shoddy production and weak oversight that have threatened to compromise safety.” They found “a culture that often valued production speed over quality. Facing long manufacturing delays, Boeing pushed its workforce to quickly turn out Dreamliners, at times ignoring issues raised by employees.”

At Least 1 Killed After Plane Crashes in Prison Yard of Facility in Norco: FAA

The Planes of Fame Northrop N9M flying wing crashed in Chino, California, shortly after takeoff. The pilot was killed.

Study shows accidents less likely with ADS-B In

A Regulus Group paper says they found a 53 percent reduction in accident rates for general aviation and air taxi accident aircraft equipped with ADS-B In. The likelihood of a fatal accident decreased by 89 percent.

A Crashing Small Plane Was Snagged by Power Lines, Stopping a Foot From Disaster

The Cessna 172 ran out of fuel trying to land in New York. It came down in a Long Island residential area but the occupants were mostly unharmed after the plane became entangled in power lines.

Mentioned

D-Day Squadron Announces Kick-Off for North Atlantic Crossing

The D-Day Squadron announced the starting point for the Squadron’s journey to Europe over the original “Blue Spruce” route to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Invasion of Normandy. Aircraft will depart from Waterbury-Oxford Airport in Oxford Connecticut on May 19th, 2019, but there will be a full week of activities to kick off this event, including a special Squadron flyover of the Statue of Liberty.

Equator P2 Xcursion

The P2 is a two-seat electric amphibious (seaplane) sport aircraft. Video: Equator Aircraft Norway.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

545 Boeing 737 MAX, Someone’s Got Some ‘Splaining to Do

Two guests this episode: An airline Captain who flies the Boeing 737-800 and the 737 MAX 8, and the International President of the Association of Flight Attendants. In the news, we look at the nominee to be the next FAA Administrator, private pilots providing services to disaster victims, and the decision to replace aging F-15’s with the F-15X.

Guest: Jeff Fellmeth

Jeff Fellmeth, Boeing 737 MAX 8 Captain.

Captain Jeff Fellmeth,

Jeff Fellmeth, Lt Col, USAF (Ret) is a Captain on the Boeing 737, both the -800 and the MAX 8.

He has over 16,000 hours of flight time, including more than 12,000 civilian hours. In addition to the 737, Jeff has time in the A300, the Boeing 767, 757, and 727, as well as the Saab 340 and the Seminole. In the Air Force, Jeff flew the F-16D, the F-15A through E, as well as the T-41, T-37, T-38, and OV-10A.

Jeff explains the 737 MAX training provided and how the airlines had no knowledge of the MCAS system. We talk about the pressure Boeing was under to counter the Airbus A320neo as well as the quality of mainstream press reporting on the recent two fatal crashes.

Jeff discusses some differences between flying the 737 NG and the 737 MAX, including the power, braking ability, and location of some cockpit controls. He notes that most emergency procedures are the same for both aircraft and that there is currently no separate emergency procedure on either the NG or the MAX for runaway trim. He and other pilots have been surprised to learn just how much trim the MCAS supplies on the MAX.

We learn about the limited pilot training on the 737 MAX and Jeff answers the question if he would fly the plane based on what he knows now. He also explains the actions required of the pilot in the case of runaway trim, and we talk about the previously optional AOA features that Boeing has announced will now be standard equipment.

In our conversation, we characterize recent events as the first time a fleet has been grounded due to social media. A contributing factor may have been the telephone game that the mainstream press seems to have played.

Jeff is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has type ratings in the B757/767, A300, MD-80, and B737.

[Conversation starts at 20:32]

Guest: Sara Nelson

Sara Nelson, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO.

Sara Nelson, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO.

Sara Nelson is the International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO. She took office on June 1, 2014, and she is currently serving her second four-year term.

Sara frequently refers to flight attendants as “aviation’s first responders.” She is passionate about AFA’s mission to achieve fair compensation, job security, and improved quality of life, as well as a safe, healthy and secure aircraft cabin for both passengers and crew. She believes flight attendants can play a pivotal role in strengthening the labor movement with more public contact than almost any other job and access to every corner of the earth.

Sara explains how the recent partial government shutdown in the U.S. was creating an increasingly unsafe situation, and why that led her to call for a general strike. We talk about a resurgence in the imperative for labor unions and the increasing positive view of unions from the public.

Sara tells us why aviation unions have remained strong, and how the different unions stay in communication with each other. We look at some of the successes achieved by the AFA, such as the 100,000 eyes in the skies program where flight attendants were trained to detect human trafficking. Also, a two-hour increase in minimum legal rest for flight attendants and other efforts to combat fatigue on the job.

We look at other important issues that the union is focused on, such as the need to revamp the 90-second evacuation tests and the outdated practice of allowing children to travel on passenger laps.

Sara became a United Airlines Flight Attendant in 1996 and has been a union activist since nearly the beginning of her flying career. She served as strike chair and lead communications for nearly 10 years at AFA’s United chapter.

[Conversation starts at 57:55]

Aviation News

Former Delta executive nominated to head FAA

The White House has nominated Steve Dickson to be the new FAA Administrator. If confirmed, Dickson would succeed interim administrator Dan Elwell, who has been acting administrator since the retirement of Michael Huerta. Dickson retired from Delta in October 2018 after a 27-year career, most recently senior vice president of global flight operations.

Private pilots are giving free flights to stranded residents of a flooded Nebraska town

CNN tells the story of a GA pilot named Adam Liston who was himself evacuated as a result of the flooding. When he and his wife Mandi returned, they knew they had to help others and he had been flying people in and out of Fremont, Nebraska, which was otherwise cut off.

Industrial base considerations played role in F-15X decision

F-15X aircraft were requested in the Air Force’s fiscal 2020 budget to replace aging F-15C/Ds. However, the Defense Department’s inspector general announced that acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is under investigation for allegations that he showed favoritism toward Boeing. Shanahan had been employed by Boeing for 30 years before becoming being Deputy Secretary of Defense in 2017. In his defence, Shanahan says that he had recused himself from all decisions involving Boeing.

Mentioned

The Evolution Of Boeing’s 737 Jetliner

Boeing didn’t want to re-engine the 737–but had design standing

The Shutdown Made Sara Nelson Into America’s Most Powerful Flight Attendant

Flight Attendant Leader: How Can Airline With ‘Misogynist’ CEO Offer a Diversity Award?

With Just 22 Words, This United Airlines Flight Attendant Brilliantly Explained What’s at Stake With the Boeing 737 MAX

Curiosity Stream – See the new four-part docu-series starting April 18, 2019 ,called SPEED looking at some of history’s greatest transportation breakthroughs.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

544 NBAA Regional Forum

Reports from NBAA’s Regional Forum in Houston, attacking the pilot and mechanic shortage, and NBAA’s top safety focus areas. Wo look at the Boeing 737 Max, AOA indicators, MCAS, and the certification process. Also, a Southwest Airlines labor agreement, more coin tosses for good luck, B-52 re-engining, famous aviation siblings, Red Bull air races, and the Boeing 747.

Aviation News

Flawed analysis, failed oversight: How Boeing and FAA certified the suspect 737 MAX flight control system

The original safety analysis that Boeing delivered to the FAA for MCAS understated the amount of horizontal stabilizer movement that the system ultimately provided.

Pilots offer insights on Boeing 737 crashes

A good explanation on how the system was meant to make the control forces feel the same as older 737s, and how either pilot can easily just turn the system off.

Airlines with buyers’ remorse may use Boeing 737 MAX ban to revise orders

Comments from analysts suggest that “airlines that over-ordered the latest version of Boeing’s 737 workhorse, the grounding could be a good excuse to delay or cancel purchases, saving cash on the balance sheet.”

See also, Letter from Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg to Airlines, Passengers and the Aviation Community.

Southwest Airlines’ new mechanics contract gives immediate 20 percent pay hike

After six years of negotiations, Southwest Airlines and the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association have an agreement in principle for a new five-year contract.

Air Force resumes KC-46 deliveries after Boeing changes inspections

After passing a foreign object debris inspection, Boeing has been giving the go-ahead to resume KC-46 tanker deliveries.

Lucky Air flight #8L9616 delayed because two passengers tossed coins to aircraft engine for good luck

It’s happened again. This time two women were observed tossing coins at the engine as they boarded the aircraft.

NBAA Regional Forum

Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari attended the 2019 NBAA Regional Forum March 14, 2019, in Houston Texas. He recorded these interviews:

Blain Stanley, Aircare International Emergency Procedures Instructor on fire training classes for aircraft crew.

NBAA Senior Manager of Flight Operations and Regulations Brain Koester on ADS-B in corporate aircraft.

Dave Brown, Sales Manager at Garmin, on jets and ADS-B.

Russell Otowchits, Regional Sales Manager with Gogo Business Aviation on inflight connectivity.

Raymond Goyco from Baker Aviation, the maker of fireproof bags for lithium-ion fires. Aircraft Specialties, Inc. is the sole U.S. stocking dealer for the HOT-STOP® ‘L’ Fire Containment Kit.

Also….

NBAA’s Bolen Asks Industry To Be Bizav Ambassadors

NBAA chief executive Ed Bolen says business aviation industry’s next big test is the pilot and maintenance technician shortage. Interest in business aviation careers needs to be generated among young people. Ed has some suggestions on how to accomplish that.

Prior to the Forum, the NBAA Safety Committee identified the 2019 NBAA Top Safety Focus Areas and provided many good supporting resources.

Mentioned

PaxEx Podcast: Max Flight and Mary Kirby on why no-MAX flight.

January/February 2019 Air Force Magazine: Re-Engining the B-52 and The Air Force Wants to Install New Engines on the B-52 Bomber.

Ross Macpherson Smith and Keith Macpherson Smith, the first pilots to fly from England to Australia, in 1919.

Video: Auckland from the Skies (1918) – Charles F. Newham – Auckland Museum Collection.

Qantas introduces twin sister pilots.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

543 Aviation Career Opportunities

Carl Valeri talks about aviation career opportunities, including the current employment outlook, some industry trends, and the wide availability of scholarships. We look at the Boeing acquisition of ForeFlight, the crash of an Ethiopian 737 MAX 8, FOD on new KC-46 tankers, a pilot who left his handgun on the plane, and a passenger with an RPG. We also talk about this year’s SUN ‘n FUN week-long fly-in and air show.

Guest

Carl Valeri, aviation careers expert

Carl Valeri

Carl Valeri is a flight instructor and airline pilot. He hosts the Aviation Careers Podcast and the Stuck Mic AvCast and you’ll find him on SUN ‘n FUN Radio. Carl also coaches the Polk State Flight Team.

Carl tells us about the current state of aviation employment opportunities, including the shortage of pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, managers, ground support personnel, office support, and many others. He also explains the current lack of instrument flying skills, building hours to meet the airline transport pilot requirement, airline pilot starting pay and first-year bonuses, as well as the trend of conditional hiring, the E-3 visa program, and the inclusion of rotor pilot hours in total time.

In addition to the podcasts, Carl provides career counseling as well as an extensive directory of scholarships that are available for people who want to get into an aviation career, or who want to advance their ratings.

As is the case every year, Carl will be managing SUN ‘n FUN Radio at the SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In and Expo April 2-7, 2019 in Lakeland, Florida.

Mystery Aircraft

Carl sent us a photo asking David to identify the aircraft. Can you?

Of course, David knew right away what this is. Answer below.

Aviation News

Boeing Acquires ForeFlight

Flight planning company ForeFlight joins Jeppesen in Boeing’s Digital Solutions and Analytics group, part of Boeing Global Services. ForeFlight products are used by individual pilots, professional flight crews, flight departments, and others. Boeing VP Ken Sain said, “This acquisition… expands Boeing’s rapidly growing, unparalleled digital services portfolio which will enable us to compete and win in the $2.8 trillion, 10-year services market.”

See also the Boeing press release, the new joint website, and from AOPA Live Boeing acquires ForeFlight – Interview with CEO Tyson Weihs.

Ethiopia, China, other countries ground Boeing aircraft after devastating crash

An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 bound for Nairobi, Kenya crashed six minutes after takeoff from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. All 157 people on board Flight ET-302 were killed. Many countries initially responded by grounding the 737 MAX fleet.

Reports: Air Force won’t accept more KC-46 tankers until they’re cleaned of debris

In response to Foreign Object Debris (FOD) found by the U.S. Air Force in Boeing’s delivered KC-46 tankers, the aircraft are no longer being accepted by the government.

Pilot left gun behind in the cockpit of a Delta plane

The handgun was found by an airline ground worker. Delta has not identified the pilot and won’t say what action it will take against the pilot.

TSA agents find rocket-propelled grenade launcher in luggage

The unassembled parts of the launcher and a replica grenade were found in a checked bag at Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The owner told officials he thought he could bring the non-functioning launcher in his checked bag. The items were confiscated.

Mentioned

Women Take Flight, at the New England Air Museum, Saturday, March 9, 2019.

SUN ‘n FUN, April 2 – 7, 2019, Lakeland, Florida.

Aviation News Talk Podcast #101: Emergency Landing: Controller Talks Down Student Pilot After Oil Covers Windshield

F-35 Demo Team, including 2019 schedule.

New York International Air Show, August 24-25, 2019 at New York Stewart Int’l Airport.

Bjorn Moerman Photography. Excellent aviation images.

Mystery Aircraft

David knew immediately this is the Bell P-63 King Cobra. He also sent along photos of a few museum examples:

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

542 Airline Seats

Airline seats from Layer Design that you control with an app, Boeing-Embraer deals, business jet deliveries, re-engining the B-52 fleet, regional jets and scope clauses, lithium-ion battery ban on commercial flights, another MH360 theory, F117 rumors, and flying with a fake license. Also, an airplane of the week, and two must-see videos.

"Move" prototype airline seats. Courtesy Layer Design.

“Move” prototype airline seats. Courtesy Layer Design.

Aviation News

Airbus economy seat prototype: Are these the future of airline cabins?

London-based Layer Design has developed the prototype “Move” airline seats for Airbus. These are intended to improve the experience of Economy Class short- to mid-haul flying. Sensors in the seat and measure seat tension, temperature, pressure, and movement. The Move app can be used to maintain optimal ergonomic comfort.

Boeing-Embraer Venture Gets Shareholders Approval

Embraer shareholders approved the deal to sell 80 percent of their commercial jet division to Boeing. They also voted to approve a separate JV for the KC-390. Regulatory approval is pending.

The Vision Jet Was the Most-Delivered Business Jet in 2018

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) says Cirrus delivered 63 SF50 Vision Jets, 22 in the fourth quarter. Bombardier delivered 60 Challenger 350 jets, the Cessna Citation Latitude had 57 deliveries, the Embraer Phenom 300E light jet saw 53 deliveries, while HondaJet and the Cessna Citation CJ3+ tied at 37 deliveries. Overall, business jet deliveries increased to 703 last year, up from 677 in 2017.

Rolls-Royce Indianapolis to compete for $1B U.S. Air Force contract, new jobs

In 2017, U.S. Air Force announced plans to replace the ancient Pratt & Whitney TF33 engines that currently power its B-52 bombers. Rolls-Royce wants to bid on the 650 re-engine contract with its F130 engine. The Air Force hasn’t yet issued an RFP

United Airlines Orders First Class Regional Jets – But They’re Not For You

This is a story about scope clauses, under configuring an airplane and sending a message to the labor union, according to writer Samuel Engel. United plans to seat 50 in the CRJ550, a new variant of the Bombardier CRJ-700 series aircraft that normally seats 70-76. The plan is 10 first-class seats, 20 economy-plus seats, and 20 economy-class seats.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces Major Rule to Strengthen Safety Provisions for Lithium Batteries Transported by Aircraft

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, in coordination with the FAA, issued an Interim Final Rule that prohibits the transport of lithium ion cells or batteries as cargo on passenger aircraft.  In addition, lithium ion cells and batteries must be shipped at not more than a 30 percent state of charge aboard cargo-only aircraft. For further information, see the Interim Final Rule as submitted to the Federal Register. You may submit comments to the Rule under Docket Number PHMSA‑2016‑0014 at Regulations.gov.

‘Desperate’ final 12 minutes of MH370 passengers and crew

March 8 marks the 5th anniversary of the loss of MH370. In his book The Hunt for MH370, Journalist Ean Higgins explores a theory that portrays the flight crew as valiantly trying to deal with a cockpit fire.

Let’s Talk About The Rumor That F117s Have Flown Missions In The Middle East Recently

F-117 Nighthawks have been spotted flying over Death Valley recently. One source claimed that F-117s were sent to the Middle East on a highly covert mission.

Senior SAA pilot fired for flying with fake licence for 20 years

A South African Airways pilot flew for 20 years on a forged airline transport pilot license. This came to light during an investigation into an over speed incident.

Video of the Week

FIRST LOOK – New USAF F-35 Full Aerobatic Demonstration!

A video of the new aerobatic demonstration routine flown by the US Air Force F-35A Lightning II Demonstration Team. Filmed opposite the crowd at the 2019 Heritage Flight Conference at Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona.

The Airplane of the Week

Nakajima B5N, Type 97 Bomber (the “Kate”) at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum, formerly known as Pacific Aviation Museum Pearl Harbor.

Nakajima B5N, Type 97 Bomber (the “Kate”) at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum.

Nakajima B5N, Type 97 Bomber (the “Kate”) at the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum.

The Zero.

The Zero.

Mentioned

Women Take Flight, at the New England Air Museum, Saturday, March 9, 2019.

SUN ‘n FUN, April 2 – 7, 2019, Lakeland, Florida.

USAF Female Fighter Pilots: March 8 recruitment campaign upcoming movie

 

Listener Jonathan behind the bar on the Emirates 380.