The upcoming Innovations in Flight Family Day and Aviation Display at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, a trip report from an aviation tour of the Pacific Northwest, Micah’s update of his piece on flight simulators, observations from the D-Day Squadron gathering in Connecticut, Launchpad Marzari’s personal connection to the Normandy invasion, and the smoke oil used by airshow performers.
This is a Bits & Pieces episode with recorded segments from the hosts and contributors. The segments that make up this episode:
Innovations in Flight
Max and Micah talk about the Innovations in Flight Family Day and Aviation Display at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum coming up June 15, 2019. The museum is located next to Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia, just west of Washington, D.C.
The Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission exhibit is open through September 2, 2019, at the Museum of Flight. Be sure to listen to the Flight Deck Podcast, produced by the museum.
Music of Modern Flight – Redux
Our Main(e) Man Micah refreshes his piece on flight simulation that we played in Episode 277.
This year is the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the invasion of Normandy. Commemoration activities are planned in Europe, including Daks over Normandy, where C-47’s and other aircraft will recreate paratrooper drops. The North American contingent of these WW airplanes is called the D-Day Squadron. Many of those aircraft assembled at the Waterbury-Oxford Airport in Connecticut before beginning their journey to Europe. Max Flight attended and was fortunate enough to take a press ride in Placid Lassie, a beautiful C-47 that was originally delivered to the U.S. Army Air Forces in 1943. See Max’s photo album of the event.
Interviews from the 2019 Planes of Fame Air Show and also with Commemorative Air Force support crew. In the news, we look at the AOA Disagree alert on the 737 Max, military pilot training with virtual reality, Airbus A380s being parted out, and the pilot of the fatal Planes of Fame Northrop N9MB Flying Wing crash has been identified.
The 2019 Planes of Fame Air Show at Chino Airport was dedicated to the memory of David Vopat, the Planes of Fame Air Museum pilot who was tragically killed in the crash of a Northrop Flying Wing.
The show featured over 50 historic aircraft, including the P-47 Thunderbolt, P-38 Lightning and P-51 Mustangs. Performances included: USAF F-16 Viper Demo and Heritage Flight; WWII Airborne Demo Team Paratroopers; the world’s fastest piston engine aircraft P-51 Mustang Voodoo; Pacific, European, Korean and Vietnam Flight Displays; Gregory ‘Wired’ Colyer T-33 Aerobatics; Eric Tucker Piper Cub demo; and Rob Harrison the Tumbling Bear.
Brian Coleman recorded the following interviews, with start times indicated in brackets.
Longtime listener Matt Haines works the ramp at the show. [29:01]
We now have reports about the failure to detect erroneous AOA readings on 737 Max aircraft. The AOA safety alert was designed to indicate faulty data, but it is only activated if optional equipment is installed. This was not what Boeing originally intended.
In their press release, Boeing Statement on AOA Disagree Alert,Boeing says “Neither the angle of attack indicator nor the AOA Disagree alert are necessary for the safe operation of the airplane. They provide supplemental information only, and have never been considered safety features on commercial jet transport airplanes.” And, “The Boeing design requirements for the 737 MAX included the AOA Disagree alert as a standard, standalone feature…” But “In 2017… engineers at Boeing identified that the 737 MAX display system software did not correctly meet the AOA Disagree alert requirements. The software delivered to Boeing linked the AOA Disagree alert to the AOA indicator, which is an optional feature on the MAX and the NG. Accordingly, the software activated the AOA Disagree alert only if an airline opted for the AOA indicator.”
The U.S. Air Force employs virtual reality for training, but they are looking at expanding the use of the technology. The Air Education and Training Command (AETC) is developing a business case in the hope that the technology will train pilots faster and with a better result.
It’s only been 12 years since entry into service, but two ex-Singapore Airlines A380s are being dismantled for scrap. They were leased for 10 years and returned to the lessor, who couldn’t find any buyers for the aircraft.
Commemorative Air Force
Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari spoke with two CAF air show support crew:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
A fleet of C-47 aircraft plan to fly over Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Also, the DOT plans to take a closer look at FAA oversight of airline maintenance practices, a panel of experts looks at the disappearance of MH 370, and passengers react to airline food service takeaways.
Placid Lassie will join up with other aircraft of the D-Day Squadron in June 2019 to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion. Courtesy D-Day Squadron.
Moreno “Mo” Aguiari, Executive Director of D-Day Squadron.
Moreno “Mo” Aguiari is the Executive Director of D-Day Squadron, an organization that plans to lead an American fleet of historic, restored C-47 World War II military aircraft inDaks Over Normandy in June 2019. That event includes a flyover of more than 30 international aircraft that will drop 250 paratroopers over the shores of Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day and honor the citizen soldiers of the War.
The D-Day Squadron is the part of the Tunison Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The Squadron’s education program tells the story of the citizen soldier to audiences at air shows and events off the flight line to honor the brave Americans and ensure their memory and significance is appreciated for generations to come. The group’s efforts are funded through the generous tax-deductible contribution of their supporters.
Mo is a sales/marketing and business development professional who received a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Milan and an Aeronautical Technician diploma from the National Avio School, also in Milan, Italy. He moved to the United States in 1999 to become a commercial pilot and became a US citizen in 2008. In addition to being the Executive Director of the D-Day Squadron, Mo also runs Warbird Digest and Warbirds News, a successful vintage aviation publishing company focused on the warbird and classic aircraft community.
In June 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general’s office announced they would audit how the FAA reviews airline maintenance practices. Now, the DOT inspector general’s office plans to focus on FAA response to complaints received about American Airlines and Allegiant Air maintenance practices. The DOT memo says they want to find out whether the FAA “ensures that Allegiant and American Airlines implement effective corrective actions to address the root causes of maintenance problems.”
60 Minutes Australia gathered an international group of aviation experts to talk about the disappearance of MH370. While not in complete agreement, many feel it was a deliberate criminal act by the pilot – a suicide/mass murder. See also What the 60 Minutes report into MH370 didn’t tell us.
Student pilot Nicki brings us installment #8 on learning to become a pilot.
Brian spoke with some members of the A-10 Demo Team at the Planes of Fame Airshow: Sr Airman Betty Chevalier (Team Public Affairs Representative). Tactical Sargent Dan Isaksen (Team Chief), and Capt. Cody Wilton (Team Pilot).
Guest Stephen Trimble, author of The DEW Line on FlightGlobal joins in as we talk AirVenture Oshkosh 2010 and also military aviation. A sleep-deprived Dan brings us a bit of airline news to round out the GA, military, and commercial aviation conversation.
That’s Rob Mark and Dan Webb at Oshkosh in the photo, by the way.