Tag Archives: British Airways

AirplaneGeeks 381 Ballistic Recovery Parachutes

Ballistic Recovery Systems

A conversation about aircraft parachute systems with the founder of Ballistic Recovery Systems, HondaJet certification, the Cirrus Vision SF50, British Airways displeasure with Heathrow expansion plans, abandoned 747 freighters, and efficient but not accurate airport firefighters. Also, the Millennium Falcon, the Handley Page Herald turboprop, ATC job opportunities, and WATS tables.


Boris Popov

Boris Popov

Boris Popov is the founder of Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS). In 1975, Boris survived a 400-foot fall in a collapsed hang glider and the incident led Boris to develop a whole-aircraft parachute system. Ballistic Recovery Systems was founded in 1980 and their first parachute for the ultralight aircraft market was introduced in 1982. In 1983 the system had its first save of an aircraft and crew and since then has saved hundreds of lives

In 1998 the company collaborated with Cirrus Aircraft to develop the first recovery parachute system used on a type-certified aircraft, the Cirrus SR20. Since then, there have been 56 Saves of Cirrus Aircraft with 114 survivors, resulting in a fatal accident rate that’s half that of typical GA aircraft. The company also offers parachutes for the Cessna 172, Cessna 182, and about a dozen light sport aircraft, including the new Icon A5 seaplane.


Honda Aircraft receives type certification for HondaJet

HondaJet earns type certificate

Achieving type-certification brings Honda Aircraft close to customer delivery of the HondaJet. The small, jet-powered airplane features an over-the-wing engine mount, natural laminar flow, a composite fuselage, and a Garmin® G3000 next-generation all-glass avionics system. Power comes from two GE Honda Aero Engines HF120 powerplants.

Cirrus Teases Vision SF50 Performance Numbers

Cirrus Aircraft has released flight profile details of the Vision SF50 single-engine light jet. With a maximum ramp weight of 6,040 pounds, and a fuel load of 296 gallons/1,983 pounds, takeoff ground roll is 2,036 feet. At FL280, maximum cruise at 300 ktas burns 69 gph/462 pph, for a range of 1,000 nm. Fuel burn drops to 47 gph/315 pph and speed to 242 ktas at best-economy cruise, with range up to 1,200 nm.

Heathrow expansion: British Airways threatens to move out of UK

International Airlines Group (IAG) CEO Willie Walsh isn’t happy with plans for Heathrow’s expansion. That plan includes a new runway, a new terminal, an underground train link, and a very expensive (£800m) car park. Walsh says all this would double the £40 fee they pay now for a return trip.

Be an Astronaut: NASA Accepting Applications for Future Explorers

NASA is looking for astronauts and the astronaut candidate application website is now live and accepting submissions through Feb. 18, 2016.

Malaysia hunts owners of Boeing 747s abandoned at airport

In an effort to remove three abandoned Boeing 747 freighters from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Malaysia, airport officials posted a notice in several newspapers giving the owners 14 days to pay the parking fees and remove the planes. Otherwise, the airport would dispose of the planes. The freighters have now been claimed by Swift Air Cargo, a Malaysian company.

Fire fighters spray foam on wrong plane during engine emergency

An Air China Boeing 737 had an engine fire while taxiing at an airport in China. This was reported by pilots of another plane who observed the fire. The firefighters arrived and dutifully covered the plane in foam – the reporting plane, not the one with the fire.

The Airplane of the Week

Can you feel it? There has been an awakening, the Dark and the Light. David’s Journey to the Force Awakens ends this episode with the ship that has been in more movies than any other:  the YT-1300 Freighter called the Millennium Falcon. “She’s the fastest hunk of junk in the Galaxy” and has some really cool #AVGeek connections.

If you want to know more check out these links:

Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge Of The Sith Easter Egg – Millenium Falcon

5 Things You Might Not Know About the Millennium Falcon

From World War to Star Wars: The B-17 and The Ghost

Fate of the Jedi, “Millennium Falcon” SpecPlate and Crucible–class

From World War to Star Wars: The Millennium Falcon

Across the Pond

Handley Page Herald copyright DestinWorld Publishing

An early production model Handley Page Herald in BEA livery demonstrating a single engine fly past – Copyright DestinWorld Publishing

Matt Falcus returns to Across The Pond and discusses his latest book The Handley Page Herald about the two-engined turbo-prop aircraft that proved reliable and useful in service, but failed to capture the volume of orders expected. Airline service lead to a later life as a cargo and freight carrier until it finished service in 1999.

From the Timeline series, Matt is looking for new authors and contributors to grow the series of aircraft, airport and airlines books.

Aviation photographer Paul Filmer wrote in: “What a great British aircraft. In the late 80s early 90s I worked for Channel Express in Guernsey, Channel Islands and flew jumpseat in many flights from Guernsey to Bournemouth and return. We flew boxed cut flowers out and mail and express freight (FedEx, DHL etc) inbound. The cargo capacity was 5 tonnes and it was very popular with the loaders as the large cargo door was low to the ground. I loved my time flying on these pax aircraft turned freighters.”

Paul sent in a photograph of a Page Herald in service, and one of a hand carved model he had custom made recently:

Handley Page Herald by Paul Filmer

Handley Page Herald by Paul Filmer

Handley Page Herald model



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


AirplaneGeeks 379 WOW Air and the Dubai of the North

Skúli Mogensen, CEO, WOW air

Skúli Mogensen, CEO, WOW air

We talk with Skúli Mogensen, CEO of WOW air, the low cost carrier from Iceland. Also, Miami Rick from the Airline Pilot Guy show joins us and gives us his insights on flying the Boeing 777 Long Range Freighter. We talk about commercial pilot salaries, pilot training, the Convair F-106 Delta Dart, and flying the Falcon 7X at the Reno air races.


Skúli Mogensen

Skúli Mogensen is the CEO and majority owner of WOW air, an Icelandic low-cost airline. WOW air flies to Iceland from a number of European cities the whole year round, and they recently started flying to North America. The airline was founded in November 2011 and its inaugural flight was to Paris on May 31st 2012. WOW air is committed to providing the cheapest flights to and from Iceland, but doing so with a smile and providing a memorable service all the way.

Skúli is a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in high-tech, specifically the mobile communications sector. He cofounded multiple companies including Arctic Ventures, a VC firm in Stockholm that invested in high tech companies in Scandinavia, and Islandssimi, which merged with Vodafone Iceland and is today the second largest Telco in Iceland. He also cofounded Montreal–based OZ Communications, which specialized in consumer mobile messaging technology used by Verizon, Sprint, T-mobile and other mobile operators. Oz was sold in 2008 to Nokia.

Skúli  is chairman of CAOZ, Ltd., a 3D computer animation and digital design company located in Reykjavík. He sits on the boards of a number of tech companies in North America and Europe including MP Bank, Carbon Recycling International, and Redline Communication. In 2011, he was named Iceland’s Businessman of the Year.

WOW air operates four Airbus A320 aircraft for short haul flights between Europe and Iceland. For flights to North America, WOW air operates the Airbus A321.

Miami Rick

Miami Rick flies a Boeing 777 Long Range Freighter for a multinational airline holding company based in Santiago, Chile. He flies mainly between the Americas and Europe.

Rick tells us about the differences between the passenger version and the freight version of the Boeing 777, and why it’s important to him that he understands the aircraft’s systems. We talk about training, flying passengers compared to flying cargo, and even the challenges of flying livestock.

Miami Rick has been a “freightdog” for about the last 5 years. Before his career moving boxes, he flew for the passenger division of his airline flying the Boeing 767-300ER. Rick provided passenger service for 6 years on routes between North and South America and Europe.

Rick’s perspective and contributions to the Airline Pilot Guy show are primarily those of a long-haul, heavy aircraft pilot. However, he is also a simulator instructor on the B757/767, and feel like a pilot really learns his craft when he is able to teach it and explain it simply and clearly because of the constant study and preparation that this involves.

Miami Rick started his flying career from a purely civilian background, learning to fly in general aviation aircraft in South and Central Florida, and flew countless types of light aircraft delivering them throughout the US. If that wasn’t enough, Rick also instructs new private, instrument and commercial pilots.


United Offers Pilots 13% Raise in Bid to Find Labor Peace

United Continental Holdings is reportedly offering pilots a 13% raise in 2016, followed by 3% and then 2% in the following two years. This comes from unidentified sources who are familiar with the negotiations, but not authorized to speak about them.

JetBlue Shakes Up Pilot Hiring by Training Them From Scratch

U.S. airlines hire pilots with flight experience. JetBlue Airways has a different idea and proposed to the FAA that the airline hire potential commercial pilots and provide them with ab initio training. JetBlue wants to start with a trial program called Gateway 7 for 100-seat Embraer SA E190 jet pilots. If that works, the airline will look at extending the program to larger aircraft.

JetBlue plans to start accepting applications in the first quarter 2016, and begin training in mid-2016. Pilots who complete the program would start as first officers in 2020.  Gateway 7 will consider applicants with no prior training as well as those with flight experience, and prospective pilots would pay for their own training.

British Airways named the ‘dirtiest’ transatlantic operator with the airline burning over 50% more fuel than the most efficient carrier

Environmental think tank International Council on Clean Transportation says British Airways is the worst airline for fuel consumption and carbon emissions on transatlantic routes. Norwegian Air Shuttle was found to be the most fuel-efficient. BA burned 51% more fuel per passenger than Norwegian.

The Airplane of the Week

F-106 Delta Dart

This week David settles a Twitter argument about how ugly interceptors are. He talks about the sexiest interceptor of all time, the F-106A. Visit the F-106 Delta Dart site for the full “Cornfield Bomber” Pilotless Landing story.

The Australia News Desk

Steve is relaxing in Fiji but still takes a moment to chat with Grant and record some content for the OzDesk.

Virgin Australia were the most punctual airline in October but Steve’s aborted take off in one of their aircraft heading to Fiji won’t be helping them achieve the same result in November’s results.

Meanwhile, following on from our story last month about Alliance Airlines getting their Fokkers serviced in Austria, it seems that Lufthansa subsidiary Austrian Airlines are taking a 12% stake in Alliance in return for giving them Austrian’s old Fokkers.

Falcon 7X at Reno

In conjunction with P1 Magazine, Rob brings us an interview with Dassault Falcon 7X demonstration pilots.


Jamestown Airshow by Ryan Hothersall

Jamestown Airshow by Ryan Hothersall

Jamestown Airshow Flickr Album

The An-2 Colt Experience


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


AirplaneGeeks 371 Kevin Michaels

We talk with Kevin Michaels about United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz and his strategy to repair the airline’s image, radical ideas for air travel, and Southwest Airlines purchase of two gates for $120 million. Also, risks that the airliner order bubble could burst, Bombardier strategy, and the viability of the A380neo.


Dr. Kevin Michaels is Vice President – Aerospace & MRO Practice at ICF International. 

Kevin Michaels

Dr. Kevin Michaels

Kevin began his career as a project engineer with gas turbine OEM Williams International. Since then, Kevin has accumulated more than 25 years of aviation experience, including hundreds of consulting engagements for leading aviation and aerospace companies worldwide.

He is a globally recognized expert in the aerospace manufacturing and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) sectors. Kevin has significant expertise in business-to-business marketing, customer satisfaction, and strategic planning.

Kevin’s experience spans all major market segments, including air transport, business and general aviation, and military. He was director of Strategic Development with Rockwell Collins Government Systems, and principal with The Canaan Group.

Kevin has a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan; he also has an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

Our conversation covers a number of current topics, including:

  • The airline order “super cycle,” the risk that it is a bubble that could burst, and the effects of sinking fuel prices and low cost of capital.
  • The situation at Bombardier, including their balance sheet and strategic problems given the market and actions by Boeing and Airbus.
  • The viability of the A380neo and how the engine manufacturers might look at it,
  • Retirements from the fleet where the aircraft have more value entering the surplus parts market. This has a significant impact on the OEM new parts market.


United’s new CEO acknowledges airline’s failures
United Airlines’ CEO wants to hear from you [VIDEO]

Oscar Munoz appears to be taking a different approach to managing the public image of the airline came from the merger of United Airlines and Continental five years ago. In full page newspaper ads he said, “The journey hasn’t always been smooth” and “We are committed to re-earning your trust.” On the new UnitedAirtime.com website.Munoz says:

“Let’s be honest, the implementation of the United and Continental merger has been rocky for customers and employees. While it’s been improving recently, we still haven’t lived up to our promise or our potential.”

See also: Alaska Airlines CEO admits his own airline lost his bag

Inside the Dream Factory – watch amazing footage of a British Airways Dreamliner plane being built in USA

British Airways has taken delivery of its first 787-9 Dreamliner of the 22 planes it has ordered. The -9 is 20 feet longer than the base -8, has a higher maximum take-off weight (MTOW), can seat 280 in a three-class configuration, and has an 8,300 nautical mile range. BA also released a time-lapse video of the aircraft being assembled in Seattle.

Three Ideas That Could Change Air Travel Forever

The Teague design consultancy firm shared with Fast Company some radical concepts for an imaginary future airline called Poppi. Teague asked themselves, “If we started an airline from scratch, what would we do?” At the recent Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) conference their Poppi concept was presented:

  • Ban carry-on luggage.
  • Make middle seats feel exclusive.
  • Encourage Amazon Prime-style memberships.

Southwest Defends $120 Million Payment for 2 Airport Gates

Southwest Airlines paid United Airlines $120 million to sublease two gates at Dallas Love Field. Southwest had already controlled 16 of the 20 gates at Love Field. United and Virgin America controlled two each. Delta Air Lines argues the gates are owned by the city and airlines can’t sell them. All this is being heard by a federal judge.

David Cush, Virgin America

We found this piece after recording the episode. Virgin America CEO David Cush talks about the Love Field gates.

The Airplane of the Week

NASA Super Guppy N941NA

NASA Super Guppy N941NA

David attended the Joint Base Andrews’ open house on September 19th 2015. Last week we brought you David’s interview with Lieutenant Colonel Christine “Grinder” Mau, Deputy Commander for the Operations Group of the 33rd Fighter Wing. Col. Mau was the first woman cleared to fly the F-35A Lightning II, and one of only 52 women fighter pilots in the USAF.

This week we have the interview with David Elliot, the Flight Engineer and Program Manager for the NASA Super Guppy N941NA.  David talks about flying and the planning for missions. A unique aircraft with unique missions.

The Australia News Desk

ATC Ben on the ramp at Karratha, Western Australia

ATC Ben on the ramp at Karratha, Western Australia

Finally back after a bit of a break although Grant has subbed out due to family reasons, being ably replaced by ATC Ben.  Ben tells us about his recent slight change of job, and location, having moved from the world of en-route controller in Melbourne to tower controller in the remote Western Australian town of Karratha.  He tells about the aircraft movement this predominantly mining based town hosts each day, including scheduled airline services through to multiple helicopter flights going out to the oil and gas rigs off the coast.

In the news, the RAAF has used a KC-30A tanker to successfully conduct air to air refuelling sorties with a USAF F-35A in the skies over California recently.  Using the boom system, the Lighting II make 59 contacts, taking on 23,000lbs of fuel in total.  A busy day for all involved.

Ben then talks about his participation in the annual World Flight event, the Australian version of which raises funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.  Ben is a regular participant in this virtual around the world flight, using a fixed based 737 simulator in Hobart, Tasmania.  More details can be found at http://worldflight.com.au/.

Across the Pond

Astronaut Major Tim Peake

Astronaut Major Tim Peake

This week Pieter celebrates #WorldSpaceWeek with an update on the UK Space Agency’s first European Space Agency astronaut Major Tim Peake who will fly to the International Space Station on December 15th 2015. His mission title is Principia and he will be on the space station for up to 6 months. We also get an update on the latest Arianne 5 launch last week from French Guiana.


Make History Fly – Send B-29 “Doc” Through Flight Testing

You can also follow Doc’s Friends progress on their website, Facebook and Twitter.

World-first remote air traffic control system lands in Sweden

My Grandfather And The Plane That Changed Seattle


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


AirplaneGeeks 268 – Air Charter

Learjet 85

Learjet 85

Guest Matthew Purton is the Commercial Jet Sales Director for Air Charter Service (ACS), which provides charters for the freight, executive, and commercial segments of the market. We talk about how air charter works, industry consolidation, where the aircraft for charter come from, and how a charter broker provides value to charter customers.

We also look at what kinds of people make good charter brokers,  job opportunities in the aircraft charter industry (reach out to hr@aircharter.co.uk if you are interested), and the impact of large numbers of new, more efficient narrowbody aircraft entering service in the coming years.

The Week’s Aviation News:

F7U-1 CVB-41 1941

F7U-1 CVB-41 1941

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week: Vought F7U Cutlass

In this week’s Australia Desk:

It’s that time of the year again and Grant’s found Steve to be more animated than ever, especially as his team has won the AFL Grand Final. Confused? How do you think Grant feels having to talk football with Steve?

QantasLink’s 14th 717 is experiencing life after death having been resurrected from a desert graveyard.

TigerAir opens Sydney to Perth transcontinental flights (while Grant proposes a new value add service: pay extra to pre-register your complaint in the queue for faster processing.)

Meanwhile, Kathy Mexted has been making us all jealous by representing PCDU for a media flight on an MRH90 “Taipan” helicopter as part of the International Fleet Review being held in Sydney. Visit our Facebook page to see a few of her photos plus shots Grant took on HMS Daring, a guided missile destroyer from the UK.

Iberia Maintenance Shop

Iberia Maintenance Shop

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

Returning to the Madrid maintenance facility of Iberia this week, we talk to Diego Lopez-Salazar from AeroPodcast, who was lucky enough to get a tour of the facility, including the engine testing room. Diego then contemplates traveling with Iberia to Mexico on the very aircraft type (A340) he saw in pieces.


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 111 – Airline Revenue Management

F-15 by Paul Filmer

Guest Jesse Ziglar works for a large airline in revenue management. He was previously with DHL Express, and he interned with Delta Air Lines in schedule planning. Jesse got his private pilot license at Peter O. Knight Airport in Tampa, but went on to earn an under graduate degree in Aviation Management (With Flight) and his flight training ending with commercial, multi-engine, and instrument licenses. Jesse blogs at Airtransparency and has a few things to say about the need for more creativity in the airlines.

The week’s aviation news:


Follow the @AirplaneGeeks on Twitter and on Facebook, send us email at thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com, or leave a message on our listener line: (361) GEEKS01.

Opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.

F-15 photo by Paul Filmer. Find his aviation photography at http://skippyscage.com/.

Episode 78 – Rob’s Jelly Beans

Boeing 787 First Flight

In this very special episode, we learn the source for the noises Rob makes on the podcast, Grant McHerron and Steve Visscher from the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast come on for their Australia Desk Report and we don’t tell Rob it’s them live, and David Vanderhoof treats us to a little holiday cheer Airplane Geeks style. Dan rounds out a full cast and adds his own special charm.

Follow the @AirplaneGeeks on Twitter, send us email at thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com, or leave a message on our listener line: (361) GEEKS01.

This episode’s opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. Visit his site at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.

Episode 67 – Marketing with Paula

Mitsubishi Regional Jet

Guest Paula Williams from Aviation Business Consultants International Inc. (ABCI) joins Dan, Rob, and Max to talk about social media marketing in aviation. We also have aviation news from the week, Dan has an interview about new media with Kristie Van Auken from the Akron Canton airport, and we have the Airplane Geeks Australia Desk report.

The news:

See also:

Follow the @AirplaneGeeks on Twitter, send us email at thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com, or leave us voice mail at (812) 757-4252.

This episode’s opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. Visit his site at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.

Episode 28 – Good Riddance 2008

737 Crash in Denver

Max and Court welcome Will Hawkins, Rico Sharqawi, and David Allen from APilotsStory.com and Pilots Flight Pod Log Podcast.  We wrap up 2008, and discuss the breaking news out of Denver:

Data recorders found after Denver plane accident

ExcelAire Pilots Face Criminal Trial

British Airways, Qantas Talks Fail on Ownership Split

AOPA: TSA Plans To Step Up GA Scrutiny At Commercial Airports

TSA to listen to pilot concerns on proposed security program

Ten Worst Air Travel Stories of ’08

Max’s pick of the week is the Plane Spotter Radius Search.  Drag the little plane spotter guy to some location on the map (typically someplace near you) and it shows the planes within a 10 mile radius.

The Airplane Geeks are now on Twitter!  You can follow us @AirplaneGeeks.

Make sure to sign up for our new newsletter, “Airplane Geeks Week in Aviation.”
We’ll be bringing you these show notes, as well as some of the week’s news we didn’t have time to cover.
You can sign up at AirplaneGeeks.com.

Brother Love is responsible for this episode’s opening and closing
music, and you can visit his site at brotherloverocks.com.

If you have a question or a comment for the Airplane Geeks, you
can send it to thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com.

You can also leave us voice mail at (812) 757-4252. If you have
a question you’d like mentioned on the podcast, this is the best
way to go about it.

Episode 14 – Interview with the Airfare Watchdog

Max and Court are excited to bring you an interview with George Hobica of AirFareWatchDog.com.  George gives us some history about the site, as well as some great tips for finding the lowest fare.


The intro music is once again produced by Bruno Misonne.  Check out Bruno’s aviation music at http://www.brunomisonne.com.   Brother Love is responsible for the closing music, and you can visit his site at http://www.brotherloverocks.com.

If you have a question or a comment for the Airplane Geeks, you can send it to thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com.

You can also leave us voice mail at (812) 757-4252. If you have a question you’d like mentioned on the podcast, this is the best way to go about it.

Episode 11 – Seat Guru

This week, Max and Court welcome Matt Daimler from SeatGuru.com.  Matt brings us some insight into the history of his site, and gives us some hints on how to find the best seat on an airplane.  Of course, as always, there’s news, and Max and Court even bring back the word associations.

And don’t miss Dan Webb’s submission to Southwest for their Blog-o-Spondent competition.  Take the time to support a member of the aviation community and vote for Dan.

The intro music is once again produced by Bruno Misonne.  Check out Bruno’s aviation music at http://www.brunomisonne.com.   Brother Love is responsible for the closing music, and you can visit his site at http://www.brotherloverocks.com.

If you have a question or a comment for the Airplane Geeks, you can send it to thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com.

You can also leave us voice mail at (812) 757-4252. If you have a question you’d like mentioned on the podcast, this is the best way to go about it.