Tag Archives: Book

422 A Look at The Crash Detectives

We talk about aviation accidents and look at a possible scenario for MH 370 with the author of a new book. Also, likely impacts of airline carbon offsets, building the giant An-225 in China, more fun with aircraft designations, and listener feedback.

Guest

The Crash DetectivesChristine Negroni is a journalist, published author, speaker, and broadcaster specializing in aviation and travel. Her new book, THE CRASH DETECTIVES: Investigating the World’s Most Mysterious Air Disasters, is a look at the disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370 in 2014, and other mysterious aviation accidents that have baffled the world.

Christine proposes a sequence of events aboard MH 370 that starts with aircraft decompression and pilot hypoxia, and ultimately leads to the aircraft flying on until it runs out of fuel. She supports the scenario with known facts and precedent from other accidents.

Christine Negroni

Christine Negroni

Christine has worked for many journalism organizations including, The New York Times, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Air & Space Magazine, Executive Travel Magazine, Parade, as well as a number of local newspapers and television stations.

She covered the TWA Flight 800 crash for CNN, and wrote the book, Deadly Departure. Christine was asked by the FAA to participate in the advisory committee formed to address problems surfaced the the investigations of TWA 800 and the fatal in-flight fire of Swissair Flight 111. After the 9/11 attacks, Christine joined aviation law firm Kreindler & Kreindler and qualified for membership in the International Society of Air Safety Investigators.

News

Airline Pollution Deal Hinges on Complex World of Carbon Offsets

The agreement for an international scheme for commercial aviation carbon credits we looked at previously was finalized in Montreal. On one level, the idea is simple: the cost of carbon credits incentivise the industry to develop lower-carbon fuels and technologies, while the money raised by the credits will fund environmental initiatives to help to tackle climate change. At issue is the quality and availability of the credits.

Is it all over for the age of cheap air travel?

What will be the impact of the carbon credits scheme on airlines?

China plans to resurrect The World’s Largest Plane by restarting Antonov AN-225 ‘Mriya’ production

China will reportedly sign a deal with Ukraine to re-start production of the giant AN-225 cargo aircraft. Ukraine will also “provide a complete transfer of technology for the turbofan engines to be license produced in China…”

Airplane of the Week

David provides more fun with military aircraft designations.

Listener Recording

Part 3 of Ric’s series on getting a type rating in the Lear 45.

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Mentioned

EAA Oshkosh 2016 post on AgTalk with great photographs.

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 393 Aviators Achieving Success

Thomas P. Curran, the author of Millionaire Legacy, tells us about the success strategies of Sean D. Tucker, Captain Julie Clark, and Captain “Sully” Sullenberger. We also discuss ab initio pilot training from JetBlue, watching a solar eclipse from an airplane, a bill to curb airline fees, stricter oversight of pilot mental health, and high altitude drone flying.

Guest

Thomas P. Curran

Thomas P. Curran

Thomas P. Curran is a certified trainer and uses advanced strategies to coach his students to attain their dreams and goals. Tom has developed training curriculums and performance evaluations, and assists his clients with developing strategic marketing plans. As a speaker and seminar leader, he helps individuals prioritize their goals and dreams while developing a clearly defined plan for success. Tom is also a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).

Millionaire Legacy book cover

 

Tom’s book, Millionaire Legacy, focuses on the eight success strategies self-made millionaires use to acquire wealth, peace, and contentment. Top leading business, motivational, and other leaders are examined in the book, including  Sean D. Tucker, Captain Julie Clark, and Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. The book describes how these three highly regarded aviators overcame adversity and challenges to reach successful outcomes.

  • Sean D. Tucker overcame a deep fear of flying but persisted until he became a respected aerobatic pilot.
  • Captain Julie Clark fought many obstacles throughout her life and became the first and only female pilot with Golden West Airlines, a captain with Northwest Airlines, and an accomplished aerobatic pilot.  
  • Captain Sully Sullenberger, lost both engines after a bird strike, and instead of allowing himself to become paralyzed by fear, he safely landed the US Airways plane in the Hudson River.

News

JetBlue Wants to Train You to Become a Pilot

In Episode #379, we discussed the proposal by JetBlue to hire potential commercial pilots and provide them with ab initio training. JetBlue announced they are now taking applications for 24 Gateway Select program slots. The cost is expected to be about $125,000, but some tuition costs can be defrayed by working on the side as an instructor for CAE, the flight simulator manufacturer that has partnered with JetBlue to offer the training. The first six recruits will start training in late summer.

Astronomers freak out watching solar eclipse from Alaska Airlines flight

Alaska Airlines delayed Flight 870 from Anchorage to Honolulu allowing the plane’s path to intersect a total solar eclipse. A group of “eclipse chasers” onboard the flight witnessed the approaching shadow, Baily’s beads, the sun’s corona and prominences, and the diamond ring. The video captures their excitement.

Alaska Airlines Solar Eclipse Flight #870

“The Great American Eclipse” will occur on Aug. 21, 2017, and cut a diagonal path from Oregon to South Carolina. Learn more at Eclipse2017.org.

Airline Fees Are Out of Hand, a Bill From Senators Says

Fed up with the proliferation of airline fees, federal legislators have introduced the Forbidding Airlines from Imposing Ridiculous Fees Act, the “FAIR Fees Act.” Senator Edward J. Markey, Democrat from Massachusetts said, “Airlines should not be allowed to overcharge captive passengers just because they need to change their flight or have to check a couple of bags.” Markey and Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat from Connecticut, authored the bill.

Germanwings Crash Inquiry Urges Stricter Oversight of Pilots’ Mental Health

Airline Plan Suggests No Pilot Privacy

On March 24, 2015, pilot Andreas Lubitz flew a Germanwings Airbus A320 into the ground killing all 150 people on board. After the Captain left for a break, Lubitz locked the cockpit door and set the plane to an altitude of 100 feet, which was below the altitude of the terrain it was approaching. The French air-safety agency BEA has proposed rules for situations when pilots suffer from medical conditions that might pose a public risk.

FAA Reauthorization bill passes the House

The House voted to extend the Federal Aviation Administration’s operating authority through mid-July while Congress works on a longer aviation policy bill. The bill was approved by voice vote and Senate action is still required. The FAA’s current operating authority is due to expire on March 31, 2016.

This Idiot Flew his Drone to 11,000 feet in the Netherlands

Someone in the Netherlands flew their DJI Phantom to 11,000 feet, in an apparent attempt to break a world record.

Airplane of the Week

Atlas Cheetah E 826 by Alan Wilson

Atlas Cheetah E 826 by Alan Wilson

This week David schools Rob on the Atlas Cheetah, the favorite airplane of one of our listeners. The Cheetah grew out of the embargos of the 70’s and 80’s in both Israel and South Africa.

Mentioned

American Vintage Planes Take On ISIS — Why Have Throwbacks Been Brought Back From Retirement To Bombard Terrorist Group? [Video]

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 382 The Women of the Boeing Company

We talk with the author of Trailblazers: The Women of the Boeing Company. Also, inductees into the 2016 International Pioneer Hall of Fame, Chinese airline orders, Aviation Week’s Person of the Year, commercial flights to Cuba, Kuwait Airways drops a route, Amazon.com may start it’s own airfreight operation, and online search for empty GA seats gets some bad news.

Guest

Trailblazers book coverBetsy Case is a writer and the award winning author of Trailblazers: The Women of the Boeing Company. She says the book “acknowledges the inspiring women who helped make the company the success it is today.”

Trailblazers describes with words and photographs many of the women who have made their mark throughout the long history of the Boeing Company.

Betsy was a marketing writer at Boeing for 18 years and is the author of several Boeing Store books, including In Plane View: A Pictorial Tour of Everett Factory about the Everett factory, and The Jumbo Jet: Changing the World of Flight. She also authored Houseboat: Reflections of North America’s Floating Homes, she owned an advertising agency in Seattle, and she worked as a radio copywriter for several years. Betsy was also a whitewater river guide.

Find Betsy’s books on Amazon.com or at the Boeing Store.

News

Military aviatrices honored

Women in Aviation International has announced the inductees into its 2016 International Pioneer Hall of Fame: the Air Force Undergraduate Pilot Training Program Class 77-08, Brenda E. Robinson, and Gen. Janet C. Wolfenbarger.

The ceremony will take place at the closing banquet of the 27th annual International Women in Aviation Conference, which will be held March 10-12, 2016, at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Boeing Gets $10 Bil Order, But Delta Buys Used 777

China Southern Airlines said it will buy thirty 737 Next Generation and fifty 737 MAX narrow body planes. Xiamen Airlines (a unit of China Southern) is buying thirty 737 MAX jets.

At a presentation to investors, Delta Air Lines Co.CEO Richard Anderson said he was wrong about being able to buy a used Boeing 777 passenger plane for $10 million. Delta tweeted Anderson saying, “It was actually $7.7M.”

Person Of The Year: Delta Air Lines’ Richard Anderson

Speaking of Richard Anderson, he is Aviation Week’s Person of the Year 2015. AviationWeek gives the award to “the person who—for better or worse—had the greatest impact on aviation or aerospace over the year.”

US-Cuba aviation deal allows 110 scheduled flights a day

The State department says that after talks with Cuban officials in Washington, U.S. airlines can negotiate with the Cuban government for 20 routes a day to Havana, and 10 to each of nine other Cuba airports, for a total of 110 round-trip flights. This won’t happen immediately as Cuba needs to address airport, tourist, and even telecommunications capacity.

Kuwait Airlines Accused of Anti-Semitism with Israeli Ban

Kuwait Airways dropped its route from JFK International Airport to London Heathrow. In 2013, Israeli citizen Eldad Gatt complained to the U.S. Department of Transportation that he could not fly on the airline because he did not have the option in the online booking system to select Israel as the country issuing his passport. Kuwait Airlines says that Kuwait law prohibits business with Israelis and so they cannot recognize Israeli passports.

Reports: Amazon is starting its own air cargo operation, wants to use 20 Boeing freighter jets

There has been some buzz about Amazon.com creating it’s own air freight operation. In November, Motherboard published A Secretive Air Cargo Operation Is Running in Ohio, and Signs Point to Amazon. The Seattle times published Amazon in talks to lease Boeing jets to launch its own air-cargo business. Now Cargo Facts reports in Amazon building its own overnight airfreight operation, sources say that “Amazon.com Inc. is creating a logistics operation that will include overnight air operations in the US domestic market, potentially including the acquisition of at least 20 freighter aircraft.”

Cargo Facts says Amazon has a market cap of $316 billion, an annual growth rate of 18%, and net sales of $100.6 billion in the previous 12 months.

FAA Grounds ‘Uber for Planes’

In 2014, startup company Flytenow created a platform where people looking for a flight could look online for private pilots who were offering a seat. In court, the FAA argued that this scheme violates the Federal Aviation Act of 1958 and other FAA regulations because pilots who are compensated for their services must hold a commercial license.

Flytenow argues that the pilots are not operating as a common carrier because they are not operating for profit – only sharing expenses – and expense sharing is common in the aviation community. The only thing Flytenow is doing is bringing the process online.

Now an appeals court has sided with the FAA, and “…decided that posting to Flytenow constituted a form of advertising and expense-splitting was a form of compensation, thus placing private pilots operating through Flytenow in league with commercial pilots and their corresponding regulations.”

Coming to LAX: 13 ‘comfort dogs’ for frazzled fliers

The United Airlines program called United Paws is offering “comfort dogs” to travelers at seven airport hubs.

The Airplane of the Week

A Shaky Thing: a Christmas Story!

The Australia News Desk

Once again it’s Qantas all the way but this time our friend Richard Muirden was on board the first Qantas flight to San Francisco since 2011.

CASA goes for awareness rather than registration for drones.

To wrap things up, we have sad news:  It’s taken some thinking and some angst but Steve and Grant have decided it’s time to pull back from the Australia Desk and take a break. While the regular weekly (or at least, mostly weekly) episodes are going on hold, they’ll no doubt be back here and there if super important news from down under needs to be mentioned.

For now it’s so long and thanks for all the laughs as the boys sign out and take a well earned break. It’s Summer, it’s Christmas so it’s time to fire up the barbie and go hang out at the beach. Thanks to everyone for all the fun and who knows, we may be back before you know it.

Across the Pond

Major Tim Peake to the International Space Station

Pieter talks to Amjad Zaidi about the amazing response in the UK to Major Tim Peake’s launch to the International Space Station last week. Follow @AmjadPZaidi on Twitter.

Guest Recording

Micah, our Main(e) man, asks “Will The Circus Be Unbroken?”

Mentioned

Warbirds Downunder 2015 DVD Promo – Ninety-three warbird, antique, and military aircraft attended Warbirds Downunder. Find copies at the Temora Aviation Museum.

AHRLAC first public maiden flight Advanced High Performance Reconnaissance light Aircraft Paramount

Looptworks Carry-On Collection – A collection of bags, laptop sleeves and other small leather goods made entirely with upcycled seat leather from Alaska Airlines planes.

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 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.

Guest

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.

News

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

Mentioned

  • 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:

Radial

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Aerial Firefighting in California

David sent in this dramatic photo:

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Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 328 ExpressJet Airlines Flight Operations

Brad Sheehan, Vice President – Flight Operations at ExpressJet Airlines

A regional airline’s flight operations center, NTSB report on 787 battery fire, a cracked Dreamliner window, outgoing TSA security chief John Pistole, why cheap fuel might not be a good thing, and airports that court avgeeks.

Guest

Brad Sheehan is Vice President of Flight Operations at ExpressJet Airlines. He’s responsible for the daily operations of more than 4,000 pilots and all Flight Operations functions.

We talk about the responsibilities of Flight Operations, managing “irregular operations” such as weather events, and accommodating passengers when there are disruptions. Brad describes the operations center job functions: mostly dispatchers, but also a team of managers, maintenance controllers, and schedulers.

The gap in the U.S. created by pilots retiring in next 10 – 15 years means majors will draw on the regionals for pilots. While many see the regionals as a stepping stone to the majors, a regional career could be attractive and Brad describes how that applied to him.

Brad has a degree in Aviation Management from Auburn University, and began his career at Atlantic Southeast Airlines in 1997 as a pilot based in Atlanta. In his 17 years with ExpressJet, he’s served as a line check airman, instructor pilot, project manager, and chief pilot. He served as the director of Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance from 2010 to 2013 where he was instrumental in launching numerous safety programs including their Safety Management System (SMS).

Headquartered in Atlanta, ExpressJet is the world’s largest regional airline with 9,000 aviation professionals, an average of 2,000 daily flights, and an all-jet fleet. ExpressJet operates as American Eagle, Delta Connection, and United Express to serve more than 190 airports in the U.S., Bahamas, Canada and Mexico.

If you’re looking for a career in aviation, ExpressJet is hiring pilots, mechanics, flight attendants, crew schedulers, and more. If you want to begin your career as a pilot but don’t have your ATP CTP yet, ExpressJet offers a free, in-house CTP course for new hire pilots.

Find ExpressJet on their Facebook page, and learn more about employment opportunities on their ExpressJet Airlines Pilot Recruiting Facebook page. Follow @ExpressJetPilot on Twitter and expressjetpilots on Instagram.

News

Temperature in 787 battery cells spikes in cold conditions: NTSB

The NTSB issued its final report on the January 7, 2013 incident where ground workers discovered smoke and flames coming from an auxiliary power unit lithium-ion battery in a Japan Airlines 787 that was parked at the gate at Boston Logan International Airport.

Previously, the NTSB said that one of the battery’s cells experienced an internal short circuit which caused thermal runaway in the cell. That then spread to the other cells and caused a full battery thermal runaway.

NTSB Press release: NTSB Recommends Process Improvements for Certifying Lithium-ion Batteries as it Concludes its Investigation of the 787 Boston Battery Fire Incident

“As a result of its findings, the NTSB is recommending that the FAA improve the guidance and training provided to industry and FAA certification engineers on safety assessments and methods of compliance for designs involving new technology.”

Man Punches And Cracks A Magical 787 Dreamliner Window

A man aboard a Thomson Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner punching one of the plane’s windows, causing it to crack and frightening the other passengers. He was arrested on arrival, pleaded guilty, and is awaiting sentencing in January.

Considering the Year in Airport Security, With the T.S.A. Chief

The New York Times’ Business Day section did an extensive interview with John Pistole, the outgoing administrator of the Transportation Security Administration. Among the topics discussed: the growth of TSA’s PreCheck program and possibly switching the program to private contractors.

Airlines: Another Reason to Worry About Cheap Fuel

Investors are looking too much at fuel costs and not enough at controllable expenses. But the airline industry outlook has been driven by capacity discipline, consolidation, and unbundling. Capacity discipline driven by high fuel prices. Also, airlines will not all benefit equally from lower fuel prices do to different hedging practices.

Airport Programs Help Cultivate Avgeek Population

Washington Dulles and Miami International airports are courting avgeeks with special programs and social media. The Discover Dulles program is a way for those who love aviation to connect and experience things that are typically off limits to the general public.

Under the Miami Watch security program, airplane spotters are the eyes on the perimeter of the airport, like a neighborhood crime watch. Spotters get good access to the airfield and the airport gets another layer of security.

David Vanderhoof’s History Segment

David proposes some changes to the weekly history segment, and asks the community for input.

Across the Pond

Pieter Johnson

Pieter reminisces over the past four years and the inspirational sources we all have for aviation. He also announces that he’s taking some time off from the Across the Pond segment. Learn about Anthony Kenneth Johnson (1925 – 2011) – Telegraphist Air Gunner (Royal Navy) at the Wartime Heritage Association.

Mentioned

The Romance of Aviation

Listener Shreenand send us this list illustrating that aviation may be different these days, but it still has a romance all its own:

That the romance is when you get to see day, dusk, and night, all at the same time, from your office window.

The romance is when you depart on a overcast, gloomy, dark day, break out on top and realise the sun really does exist.

The romance is when you fly during a meteor shower and see so many shooting stars, you run out of wishes.

The romance is when you check in at 37,000 feet, and whisper, “Honey I’m home.”

The romance is when you get to see a thunderstorm in HD. Only this time it’s close enough for you to touch.

The romance is when you fly from Moscow to Houston – fifty years ago you would’ve had to do it in a spy plane and fly high enough to be out of range of communist missiles. Or when you fly across the Atlantic without batting an eyelid, eighty years ago, they were handing out rewards for this sort of thing.

The romance is when you fly across countries and realise there are no real borders that divide us. Except, when you fly over the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. And you see it lit up like a major street for as far as the eye can see.

The romance is when you fly over Europe on a clear day. Within minutes you’ve seen the Alps, the Eiffel tower and the Big Ben.

The romance is when people tell you it’s a small world, and having seen the length of the Pacific, you beg to disagree.

The romance is when you ride along the tops of stratus and you can tell you are really shifting. Even magic carpets don’t ride this well.

The romance is when you speak to the same air traffic controller for the umpteenth time. You’ve never met him and probably never will, but you recognise him from his voice.

The romance is when you are number 10 for take-off on a gusty day. You get a ring-side view of your kind, doing their magic, earning a living.

The romance is when you are cleared for a visual approach, and from that point on, it’s no computers and no automatics. Just good old stick and rudder.

The romance is when you pop out of low cloud, and ahead of you lies three kilometres of velvet smooth tarmac, lit up like a Christmas tree.

The romance is when after a fourteen hour transcontinental flight, you look back at your office, and smile!

The romance is that no matter how prosaic you make it out to be, aeroplanes are still mankind’s greatest achievement.

The romance is very much alive and kicking ladies and gentlemen! But a window seat and an open heart, would help you see it.

Aviation Books for the Holidays

Ace Abbott says the best holiday gifts money can buy are books. If you have friends, neighbors, relatives, or airport and pilot colleagues who may be remotely interested in aviation, the following list of aviation books will pleasantly entertain these people. In honor of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” here is Ace Abbott’s list of 12 great aviation books.

  • Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach; non-pilots as well as aviation folks have enjoyed this classic for nearly 40 years; available anywhere books are sold.
  • Falling to Earth by Al Worden: A memoir of an astronaut who went from a small farm in Michigan to become the first man ever to venture to the back side of the moon as the Apollo 15 command module pilot. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1FJxW61.
  • Fighter Pilot (Robin Olds) with Christina Olds and Ed Rasimus: A must read for every current or ex-military person, particularly any pilot from the Vietnam War era. The story of an iconic fighter pilot who was a heroic and courageous leader. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vgIKaz
  • Rules of Engagement by Joe Weber: This book complements Fighter Pilot. It is Tom Clancy-like fiction, since it is laced with reality. The primary theme of a free-spirited Marine fighter pilot during the air war over Vietnam is complemented with a poignant love story; available at http://bit.ly/1CBtBFK.
  • The Rogue Aviator by Ace Abbott: A memoir of an adventuresome, maverick pilot who experienced a radical roller-coaster-like ride through a diversified aviation career; filled with entertaining and implausible aviation anecdotes; as well as an insider’s look at commercial aviation. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1tHUaid, or http://therogueaviator.com/.
  • Cruising Altitude: Tales of Crash Pads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet by Heather Poole:  As the title reveals, this book relates many radical anecdotes of craziness in the cabin, and provides insight into the multifaceted drama that can occur in the cabin of a passenger airplane. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1yep9sy.
  • Chuck Yeager– An Autobiography by Chuck Yeager; This story of the renowned test pilot will take you way beyond the speed of sound and into the world of swashbuckling fighter pilots and test pilots. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vFuvfi.
  • Area 51 by Annie Jacobsen: This well researched book will provide revelations about the famed top-secret “black-area” in the Nevada desert. It will clear up some misconceptions about aliens while revealing insight into the depth of the level of energy and effort by the U.S. government into the development and use of spy planes, such as the SR 71 “Blackbird.” Amazon: http://amzn.to/1FJBDbQ.
  • The Darkest Mission by Rick Burton; This well-researched spy-vs-spy thriller was very well researched and contains troves of information derived from the real world of international espionage. The primary narrative revolves around a WW II B-17 crew that was shot down over enemy territory; an adrenalin-pumper from start to finish. Available at http://amzn.to/1pMIyi.
  • An Extraordinary Life-Gone To The Dogs by Lisa Weiss; A powerfully poignant non-fiction account of a Jewish B-24 pilot who was shot down over France and captured by the Germans. Protagonist Irwin Stovroff relates his experiences as a POW and provides unique insight into the nuanced relationships of POWs and their colleagues as well as their captors. Irwin’s yeoman humanitarian efforts toward American Veterans is the glorious outcome of his improbable survival. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1zdLuEZ.
  • Squawk 7700 by Peter Buffington; This auto biography relates the trials and tribulations of life as a commuter/regional air carrier pilot who reveals his very unpalatable training experience as a co-pilot for American Eagle Airlines. This book functions as an expose’ of the underpaid and overworked commuter pilots in the U.S. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1w0DzgV.
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand; This WW II aviation bestseller is a story of survival, resilience, and redemption. It is available wherever books are sold. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1wjWRx.

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 327 Dogs and Drones

Turbo The Flying Dog

Dogs and other animals that fly, an update on unmanned aerial vehicles, charitable aviation organizations that provide transportation to those in need, the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation Wirraway, and flying GA in the US and Europe.

Guest

Victoria Zajko is a pilot and she works in the aviation insurance business, supporting general, corporate, and business aviation needs. She is a Co-Host on the Stuck Mic AvCast, blogs at The Pixie Pilot, and is Coauthor of the new Turbo the Flying Dog book series.

Turbo flies everywhere with her, and the dog has a Facebook page and is on Twitter. Victoria thought the adventures of Turbo would make a good children’s book that focused on family and overcoming fears. Now we have Turbo the Flying Dog, the first book in a series.

We talk about crowdfunding the book, hurdles to publishing, and the positive role of social media and the aviation community.

News

FAA on drones: Security always a concern

In this CNN video, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta talks about security threats from commercial drones, especially to planes.

CNBC on Drones

A discussion between Jetwhine Publisher Rob Mark and Duke University professor Missy Cummings about whether or not drones pose a safety problem to passenger carrying aircraft.

Senators don’t like where the FAA’s headed on drones

U.S. lawmakers want the FAA to speed up the integration of drones into the national airspace.

Huerta Says UAS Rules Stress Certification, Pilot Standards

FAA Administrator Michael Huerta told CNN’s State of the Union that the NPRM planned for this month on sUAS will focus on aircraft certification and “qualifications” of pilots.

Endangered Sea Turtles Need GA Transport

Migratory turtles spend the summer in the waters off New England, then swim south in winter. But this year, wind and water temperatures have stranded more than 400 of them along beaches on Cape Cod, Massachusetts.

According to Leslie Weinstein, a board member for the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research at the University of Florida, they need transportation to aquariums. Weinstein is working an aviation rescue effort with the Air National Guard, but also with volunteer groups like Pilots N Paws to solicit help from general aviation pilots.

Wrigley heiress charters private jet to fly Marine’s dogs home

This 2013 article describes a Marine serving in Afghanistan who rescued two Anatolian Shepherd mixes, Dusty and Wyatt. He was able to get the dogs to the U.S with the assistance of an animal rescue organization when his tour of duty ended.

Later, the Marine was transferred across the country and the airlines were unable to provide transportation. Wrigley gum heiress Helen A. Rosburg stepped in and chartered a private jet. Rosburg is the founder of animal rescue organization, On the Wings of Angels Rescue.

Op-Ed: Media and industry sneering at service animals must stop

By Contributing Editor John Walton on the RunwayGirl Network.

NATA And Its Members Raise More Than $30,000 For Our Nation’s Veterans

The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) announced the donation of more than $30,000 to veterans’ organizations raised through the 2014 NATA Flag Pins for Veterans Project. Earlier this year, NATA and its members developed the project to expand our support of our Nation’s veterans. Donations from this year’s project will support the Veterans Airlift Command and the Medal of Honor Foundation.

SMAC083 – Live From The National Business Aviation Association Convention 2014

Carl Valeri talks to the volunteer Veterans Airlift Command (VAC) which transports post-9/11 veterans for medical and other compassionate reasons outside the airline system. Carl also spoke with a veteran and passenger of Veterans Airlift Command.

The Australia News Desk

Wirraway A20-10 by @canvaswings

Wirraway A20-10 by @canvaswings

Back in September, the Australian National Aviation Museum at Moorabbin in Victoria, celebrated the 75th anniversary of the first flight of their CAC (Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation) Wirraway.

The museum’s Wirraway (A20-10) was built in 1939 and saw service as a trainer for the RAAF for nearly two decades.  We sent Anthony “The Infrequent Flyer” Simmons (Max’s favourite Australian) out to chat with Ewan McArthur and James Kightly about the significance of this particular aircraft

Across the Pond

Neil Bradon

Pieter talks with Neil Bradon, once a student pilot on the show back in 2011 and now a well respected GA pilot in both Europe and the USA. Neil has returned from living and working in the USA to Ireland where he explains the differences in the GA sector and offers some advice based upon his experiences. Neil blogs at getmyppl.blogspot.com.

Mentioned

Some  charitable aviation organizations:

Pilots and Paws

Angel Flight

Angel Flight Australia

Air Care Alliance

Volunteer Pilots Association

Corporate Angel Network

Hope Air

Find Max’s list at airplanegeeks.com/charity.

Aviation Geekfest 2015 – February 21st and 22nd, 2015 in Seattle.

SkyFunder – Crowdfunding just for aviation purposes.

ZZ331 Royal Air Force Airbus KC2 Voyager (A330-243MRRT), CPH Departure [HD]

Royal Air Force Airbus KC2 Voyager

Royal Air Force Airbus KC2 Voyager

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 302 – Ace Abbott is the Rogue Aviator

Air Atlanta 727

We talk with Ace Abbott about flying the F-4 Phantom, Learjet, and B727. Also, tracking airliners, the Gulfstream IV crash, pilots in the back being called to duty. We talk about the Ford Tri-motor, FAA pressure for commercial UAS operations, aviation in the Middle East, and news from down under.

Guest Ace Abbott Morris entered the U.S. Air Force after graduating from college and became an F-4 Phantom pilot based in the Far East.  After the Air Force, Ace became a Learjet corporate and charter pilot, and during the last 22 years of his career, he flew Boeing 727s, accumulating 11,000 hours in the captain’s chair with several different airlines.

Ace blogs at The Rogue Aviator, tweets at @aceabbott, and hosts book presentations with aviation organizations throughout the country. His second book, Dead Tired: Pilot Fatigue – Aviation’s Insidious Killer, looks at the implications of pilot fatigue.

We talk about flying the 727, with occasional #2 engine compressor stalls and the #3 engine coming off the plane from blue ice strikes. Also, flying the F-4 Phantom in Korea, and the future of remotely piloted aircraft, probably first with cargo airplanes.

On the high performance Learjet, Ace encountered a variety of celebrity passengers, as well as in the 727.  He comments on what airline pilots say about flying these days, and the contributions made by ALPA for pilots and for aviation safety.

The week’s aviation news

Airlines want tracking technology to prevent another MH370

Like most all of us, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) doesn’t want to see a repeat of MH370. So IATA has created a taskforce that includes airlines, pilots, flight safety organizations, and flight tracking and navigation service providers. This tracking task force (not a data streaming task force) should report their recommendations in September, 2014.

NTSB: Plane never took off from ground, black box data shows

We get an update on the Gulfstream G-4 accident, and learn that the plane was traveling at 165 knots on the runway, and the black boxes point to brake pressure and thrust reversers before the crash.

Local USAF pilot helps in airline emergency

Any pilot in the back of the plane has daydreamed about what they would do if the assistance of another pilot was needed. Capt. Mark Gongol (who normally flies a B-1B Lancer) had the opportunity to actually live out that scenario on a commercial B737 flight.

The Aircraft of the Week

Tri-Motor at MDQ 2

Jamie Dodson tells us about the Tri-motor.

The Australia Desk

Grant’s sulking because Max forgot his name last week and it takes all Steve’s producer skills (and a few beers) to get him back into the groove. Once that’s achieved, it’s on with the show.

CASA acknowledges that the new Wellcamp airport near Toowoomba is likely to have airspace issues once it’s up and running.

Meanwhile, Sydney’s second airport at Badgerys Creek will take up to a year just to get through discussions and negotiations.

The recently released Aviation Safety Regulation Review is recommending some major changes in CASA’s approach to industry

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.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute

At the risk of droning on, Rob has something to say about industry pressure on the FAA to allow commercial use of unmanned aerial systems.

Across the Pond

Qatar Airways

Pieter Johnson continues his discussion with Oussama Salah this week, focussing on the Middle East and recent developments including Apartment Suites on aircraft through to the new Doha Hub.

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

Mentioned

Listen to the NBAA Flight Plan podcast from the National Business Aviation Association.

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

AirplaneGeeks 297 – MayCay Beeler

Diva Flight

We talk with pilot and journalist MayCay Beeler about her book Buccaneer: The Provocative Odyssey of Jack Reed, Adventurer, Drug Smuggler and Pilot Extraordinaire. As the personal biographer for the late Jack Reed, she brings us some insights into this unique man. We also take a look at MayCay’s Diva Flight program, which puts women in the pilot’s seat at the controls to help them discover their inner strength.

Find MayCay on Twitter, Facebook, or her home page. You can purchase the book directly from publisher Strategic Media Books, or from Amazon.com (be sure to leave a review!), or from bookstores.

Photo above: MayCay (left) takes Tabitha (right) up in the TAA Flight Training Cessna 172 for her first flight, as Tabitha’s husband looks on from the rear.

The week’s aviation news:

EP-3

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week:  From Failure to Success, Part 4, The weird, the wacky, and the wonderful P-3 Orion variants.

In this week’s Australia Desk:

The boys are back in the studio and wishing they could be back flying again. Meanwhile, they missed out on a bit of important news from last week:

  • They also chat about the hijacking that wasn’t – a Virgin Australia 737 squarks 7500 on approach to Bali but it turns out it was a disoriented passenger banging on the cockpit door thinking it was the toilet. Ooops.

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.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute:  Rob talks about the College Training Institute (CTI) program to train new air traffic controllers.

KLM

Photo Courtesy of KLM

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

This week Pieter talks to Frenchez Pietersz from Aviation Platform about the KLM Air France Group. From investing in airlines in Brazil through to Code Sharing in Germany the KLM AF Group seems to be turning a corner.

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

Mentioned:

Russian Tupolev Tu-95MS (28 RED) at Engels Air Force Base, Russia, by Marina Lystseva

Russian Tupolev Tu-95MS

Listen to the NBAA Flight Plan podcast from the National Business Aviation Association.

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

AirplaneGeeks 270 – Understanding Air France 447

Air France A330-200 F-GZCP lands at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport by Pawel Kierzkowski.

Guest Bill Palmer is an A330 captain for a major international airline, and author of “Understanding Air France 447,” available in paperback and as an eBook.

Bill was a member the A330 development team introducing the airplane to his airline’s fleet, and was lead author and editor for the airline’s A330 systems manual. He’s also written many A330 training publications, served as an airplane and simulator instructor, check airman, and designated examiner.

Bill is an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University graduate, holds a BS in Aeronautical Science, and an ATP with type ratings in A320, A330, B757/767, B777, DC10, and commercial glider and flight engineer-turbojet ratings.

We talk about the facts of the Air France 447 accident, including the events in the cockpit, the difficulty locating the flight recorders, and the messages sent from the maintenance computer.

Bill describes “automation addiction,” a tired flight crew, and the “startle factor” at play here. We talk about high altitude stall training, practice with the flight director automation turned off, and of course lessons learned and changes that resulted from the investigation.

You can get Understanding Air France 447 in paperback or as an eBook through Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, the Apple bookstore, and at the book’s companion website: UnderstandingAF447.com. Bill’s personal blog is Trend Vector and you can follow him on Twitter as @wfpalmer.

Photo credit: Air France A330-200 F-GZCP lands at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport by Pawel Kierzkowski.

The Week’s Aviation News:

1957 Vickers Armstrong V745D Viscount

1957 Vickers Armstrong V745D “Viscount” Serial 233 N7471 of the Mid Atlantic Air Museum (www.MAAM.org)

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week: The Vickers Viscount, reported by listener Ray Williams.

Jetstar 787-8

Jetstar 787-8, VH-VKA, on short final for runway 34 at Melbourne on October 9th (Image by Steven Pam – www.smartshots.com.au )

In this week’s Australia Desk:

Steve and Grant were on hand at Melbourne International Airport for this report as Jetstar’s first Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, VH-VKA (c/n 36227), arrived at the end of her delivery flight from the USA.  Although not the first Dreamliner to operate commercially in Australia (that honour went to Air India), VKA is the first of type on the Australian civil aircraft register and the first of 14 being delivered to Jetstar over the next two years.  Qantas will also be taking delivery of 787-9 aircraft in coming years. 

The aircraft touched down smoothly on runway 34, despite very high winds, and was welcomed with a traditional water cannon salute before making its way to the Qantas Maintenance Centre for a more formal ceremony with Qantas and Jetstar management, local and federal politicians, and a large group of staff in attendance.

In this report, we speak to Jetstar Australia/New Zealand CEO David Hall about his vision for the this new aircraft type, and the process the airline went through to have it certified for Australian commercial use.

See also:

AGA-33

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

Pieter Johnson talks to Francois De Watteville, a design engineer who created the AGA-33 and presented it to the Paris Air Show. Francois is not an aircraft designer but turned his hand to aircraft design for the purposes of creating an airliner after travelling regularly across the Atlantic, that was efficient. Find out why and how you may be able to help prove the concept.

Mentioned:

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 229 – Bits and Pieces IX

Engine Alliance GP7200, center cut sketch

Engine Alliance GP7200, center cut sketch

This week we bring you a collection of segments:

Max has a conversation with Mary Ellen Jones, President of the Engine Alliance, a 50/50 joint venture of General Electric and Pratt & Whitney, a division of United Technologies Corp. EA produces the GP7200 engine for the Airbus A380. Max talks to Mary Ellen about the formation of EA and how two fierce competitors can come together in a joint venture. We look at who manufactures which parts of the engine, how they are integrated, and how the engine is maintained. We also touch on Mary Ellen’s involvement with the Connecticut Airport Authority, and how she is trying to improve the experience at Connecticut’s airports. [Starts 3:24]

Find Engine Alliance on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

First Operational F-35B Joint Strike Fighter First Operational F-35B Joint Strike Fighter

David, Rob, and Max had the opportunity to speak with Major Aric Liberman, an F-35B pilot with Marine Corps Air Station, Yuma, Arizona. We talk about the F-35, being part of the future, and engine performance. The Major compares the F-35B to previous generation tactical fighters like the F-18, and touches on the level of automation, and F-35 stick and throttle controls. [Starts 24:46]

See First F-35B Delivery to MCAS Yuma on YouTube, and Pratt & Whitney Congratulates U.S. Marine Corps for World’s First F-35B Lightning II Operational Squadron.

The segment from our commercial pilot and flight instructor teammate Rob Mark is about the realm of flight instruction. It’s actually about not learning to fly, to be more precise. In this piece, Rob tells us about how two different people influenced his life in aviation. One man nearly convinced him to stop flying forever, while the other saw a spark that convinced Rob not to give up on a dream. This is an Airplane Geek’s tale called … “The Day I Quit Flying.” [Starts 52:17]

In this week’s Australia Desk Report, Grant attempts to recover from his New Years celebrations as the boys present an abridged version of their interview with Mac “Serge” Tucker, a former RAAF F/A18 pilot and Fight Combat Instructor who has recently publish a book talking about his experiences. They cover the importance of USAF exchange postings for RAAF pilots, his concerns about the introduction of the F-35 into Australian service, and his thoughts on the increasing use of un-manned aerial vehicles. [Starts 1:07:40]

Mac’s book is called “Fighter Pilot – mis-adventures beyond the sound barrier with an Australian Top Gun.” The full interview is featured in episode 96 of Plane Crazy Down Under.

Farnborough Air Sciences TrustFarnborough Air Sciences Trust

In his Across the Pond segment, Pieter visits the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST). Described in the Sunday Times as one of the Top Ten Geeky Holiday Spots on the Planet, FAST is dedicated to maintaining the memory of all of the fabulous aviation and aerospace innovations and developments throughout Farnborough’s history. [Starts 1:21:35]

Listener Ian Kershaw provides a brief review of the book “Vulcan 607” by Rowland White. [Starts 1:45:29]

Amber Nolan Amber Nolan

Finally, Max interviews Amber Nolan, a travel writer who is trying to visit all 50 U.S. states by hitch hiking rides on General Aviation aircraft. [Starts 1:47:59] Support her adventure on Facebook, Twitter, or her website.

Copacabana picture from Webjet flightRio’s famous Copacabana beach (and Sugarloaf mountain) taken on departure from Santos Dumont by Dima from Dima’s Corner

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