Tag Archives: China

571 Aviation Reporter

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

Guest

Tom Risen, aviation reporter.

Tom Risen

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

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

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

References:

Aviation News

China Starts Attack On Boeing And Airbus

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

150,000 Stranded By Thomas Cook Collapse

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

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

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

Chuck Yeager Sues Airbus Over ‘Trademark’

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

Buying a Plane, Part 5

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

Mentioned

Collings Foundation Wings of Freedom Tour.

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

567 Dream Planes

We look at the new DOT Safety Oversight and Certification Advisory Committee, the planned British Airways pilot strike, a compressor stall on a Delta Air Lines Boeing B757, a snake in the airport, and the Chinese stealth bomber. We speak with the chairman of the North 40 flight line operations for AirVenture, and we review the New York International Air Show. Launchpad Marzari brings us Part 2 of his adventure buying an airplane, we announce the winner of the GE Aviation: 100 Years of Reimagining Flight book giveaway, and we hear from some listeners about their dream plane rides.

Guest

Carol Garceau is the chairman of the North 40 flight line operations for AirVenture. We learn about how they safely and efficiently get planes in and out of a massive area with camping,  parking, and transiting of people, displays, and show operations. To volunteer for North 40 (or South 40) flight line operations for the next AirVenture, start by visiting the EAA website.

Aviation News

U.S. transport chief names aviation safety advisory panel

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao Announces Appointees to Safety Oversight and Certification Advisory Committee

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 established a DOT Safety Oversight and Certification Advisory Committee (SOCAC) to provide advice to the Secretary of Transportation on issues related to FAA safety oversight and certification programs. That advice covers the aircraft and flight standards certification processes, oversight of safety management systems, risk-based oversight efforts, and utilization of delegation and designation authorities. U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has now announced the 22 members of the SOCAC.

This airline’s pilots are planning to strike for the first time ever in September

British Airways and BALPA, the British Airline Pilots Association, have been unable to reach an agreement over pay. BALPA said 93 percent of its members voted in favor of a strike, scheduled for September 9, 10, and 27, 2019.

British Airways strike: Passengers angry at airline ‘silence’

British Airways notified customers of flight cancellations in anticipation of the strike, but apparently, some customers with tickets on other days were also told their flights were canceled. Some customers say they have spent hours trying to get in touch with BA customer service without success.

Delta Air Lines Boeing B757 Diverts To Portland Following Compressor Stall

Delta Airlines flight DL-122, a Boeing 757-200 flying from Boston to Edinburgh, experienced a compressor stall climbing through about FL270. The plane diverted to the Portland (Maine) Jetport.

Newark Airport traveler abandons snake at TSA checkpoint

A 15-inch ring-necked snake was found on the floor at a Newark Airport security checkpoint. A youngster spotted the harmless snake in Terminal C and a TSA officer trapped it with a checkpoint bin.

China’s Very Own B-2 Stealth Bomber? Meet the H-20 Stealth Bomber.

China’s new strategic bomber is a flying wing design with power believed to come from four non-afterburning WS-10A Taihang turbofans. While not yet publicly shown, the Chinese media has reported it will be shown in 2019.

Air Show Report

The New York International Air Show at New York Stewart Int’l Airport featured the F-35 Lightning II Demonstration Team, the Royal Air Force Red Arrows, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the GEICO Skytypers, the West Point Parachute Team, and others. The RAF A400M was on static display. See Max Flight’s event photo album for a collection of images.

Red Arrows at the New York International Air Show. Photo by Max Flight

F-35 demo team

F-35 demo team at the New York International Air Show. Photo by Max Flight.

Book Giveaway

We announce the winner of the drawing for a copy of GE Aviation: 100 Years of Reimagining Flight.

Report

Launchpad Marzari brings us Part 2 of his series about buying an airplane.

Listener Dream Plane Rides

We asked listeners to tell us the aircraft they have never flown on, but would most like to:

  • Ted picks the F4U Corsair or PBY Catalina.
  • Glen chose the DeHaviland Mosquito and the Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer.
  • Martin would love to fly the Hawk flown by the RAF Red Arrows.

Meetups

Dr. Steph & Micah

Dr. Steph and Micah.

Micah and Fred Samson.

Micah and Fred Samson.

Mentioned

The Most Notorious Weapon Ever Produced? – There are no simple answers for fixing the F-35 program, as tempting as it is to look for a single root cause for its problems.

563 Circumnavigating the Globe in a Pilatus

Our guests tell us about circumnavigating the globe three times in a Pilatus PC-12: eastbound, westbound, and polar. In the news, Allegiant is testing a new service offering more seat pitch, the fuel dump from a Norwegian flight ruins a runway, more 737 MAX fallout, an English Channel attempt on a hoverboard, the Senate confirms a controversial nominee to be the new FAA administrator, Congress considers the PLANE Act with positive implications for GA, and China is growing the number of carrier pilots.

The Pilatus at Sangster International Airport, Jamaica.

The Pilatus at Sangster International Airport, Jamaica.

Guests

Josh and Jack with the Pilatus PC-12.

Joshua Marvil and Jack Long are recipients of the eastbound and polar circumnavigation diplomas awarded by the International Aeronautic Federation (FAI) and the National Aeronautic Association (NAA). Their westbound circumnavigation was completed in January 2019 and the diploma is forthcoming. All flights were on a Pilatus PC-12 and Jack and Josh have landed in more than 40 different countries and all seven continents.

On the 2015 eastbound trip, Josh and Jack were joined by pilots Jerry Seckler and Giuseppe Caltabiano at various points along the way. For the 2016-2017 polar circumnavigation, Giuseppe was along most of the way and Jerry joined the flight in Punta Arenas, Chile to fly the Antarctic segment. For the 2018-2019 westbound trip, the only pilots were Josh and Jack. Their wives Becky and Carolyn were along for almost all of these trips in their entirety except for some of the polar legs.

Josh is a Director (and former Chair) for LightHawk and a Trustee of the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Josh and his wife Becky have flown the Cirrus SR22 all around the U.S. and the Bahamas.

Jack is an entrepreneur by profession and a pilot by passion. He started two software businesses and one transportation business. In 2003, he became part of the founding faculty of the Acton School of Business where he teaches entrepreneurship. Jack soloed in a Piper Cherokee 140 in 1977 and moved-up the aviation food chain to a Mooney 201, a Cirrus SR-22, and now the Pilatus PC-12.

Circumnavigating the Globe Westbound.

Circumnavigating the Globe Westbound.

See Josh’s blog Marvils Around the World. Jack has a blog for each circumnavigation: Round the World Flight 2015, Polar Round the World Flight 2016-2017, and Round the World 3.0.

For a register of pilots who have flown around the world in light aircraft, see Earthrounders.com.

Video: Saint Helena Landing in N575PC

Aviation News

Allegiant goes Extra with increased legroom option

Allegiant Extra seating will get you priority boarding, an extra 6 inches of seat pitch, designated bin space, and a complimentary drink on the plane. Allegiant does this without changing the overall seat count: an additional row is added in the rear section and there is less Legroom+ option. Allegiant is testing Extra on flights to and from Los Angeles. At the end of the 2019-2020 winter season, the company will make a decision as to the future of the program.

WOW Air’s American Buyer Reveals (Bizarre?) Plans

It came out recently that some former WOW Air executives were planning to launch a new airline similar to WOW but not called WOW. Right after that, American investors purchased WOW Air’s assets. American businesswoman Michele Ballarin, one of the owners of USAerospace, is currently creating a new Icelandic company that looks to provide freight transport between Iceland and the US, with passenger operations to come.

Massive Norwegian Air fuel spill at Orlando airport gives rise to fear of runway damage

A Norwegian Air flight from Orlando to London operating with an Airbus from Hi-Fly of Portugal experienced hydraulic trouble and was forced to return to Orlando. For some reason, a large quantity of fuel was dumped on Orlando’s airport runway and taxiway and it appears that the asphalt will need to be replaced.

Southwest Airlines to Leave Newark Airport as Toll of Boeing’s 737 Max Grounding Grows

In its second-quarter earnings report, Southwest said it had lost an estimated $175 million in profit. The Airline said it would shut down its operations at Newark Liberty International Airport and consolidate its operations in the New York area at LaGuardia Airport.

For more on the Boeing 737 MAX, see:

Attempt to fly hoverboard across English Channel ends in failure

Franky Zapata made an attempt to cross the English Channel on a jet-powered hoverboard. While attempting to land on a refueling platform pitching in the waves in the middle of the Channel, Zapata fell into the water, just missing the platform. The Zapata Flyboard Air is powered by five small turbo engines, each producing up to 250 horsepower each.

The Senate has confirmed a controversial new FAA administrator, a former air force pilot and Delta executive

Former Delta Air Lines pilot and executive Steve Dickson has been confirmed by the Senate to lead the FAA. The opposition voiced claims that while at Delta, Dickson mistreated a pilot who raised safety concerns. See also Politics and Aviation in the Flight to Success blog.

PLANE Act takes flight in Congress

The bipartisan legislation Promoting the Launch of Aviation’s Next Era (PLANE) Act of 2019, S.2198, was introduced on July 23, 2019. The PLANE Act would benefit general aviation by empowering pilots, investing in airports, and ensuring opportunities for a sustainable, well-trained workforce. Boeing’s new Pilot and Technician Outlook predicts a need for more than 800,000 new pilots and 750,000 new aviation technicians in the next 20 years.

China’s recruiting a lot more flattop fighter pilots — another sign China has big plans for its aircraft carriers

The annual program to recruit pilots for the People’s Liberation Army resulted in 20% more recruits than last year. Enrollment in the carrier-based fighter pilot program increased 41%. China currently has one operational aircraft carrier, with a second carrier expected to enter service soon, and a third is under construction.

Mentioned

Episode 23: DEF Contamination | AIN’s Tales from the Flight Deck Podcast

Mistaking diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) additive for fuel system icing inhibitor PRIST on the flight line is a growing problem on ramps all over the world. This can be disastrous since DEF causes jet-A to crystallize and clog aircraft fuel filters and lines. In fact, DEF contamination of jet-A has already forced several business aircraft crews to perform engine-out landings in the U.S. and elsewhere.

AOPA Foundation You Can Fly Challenge

Contribute to the Challenge by August 31, 2019, and your donation’s impact will be doubled by the Ray Foundation’s dollar-for-dollar matching grant of up to $2 million.

Women in Aviation President Chabrian Announces Retirement

Women in Aviation President Dr. Peggy Chabrian announced at the WAI Connect Breakfast at Oshkosh that she would retire in April 2020. The transition period will allow for an executive search to determine her replacement.

Airventure Oshkosh 2019

Launchpad and Josiah

Launchpad and Josiah.

The Australians visit Andy & Ed's.

The Australians visit Andy & Ed’s.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

534 Flying the DC-8 for Emergency Relief

Guest George Kalbfleisch is the Deputy Director of DC-8 Flight Operations for the Samaritan’s Purse emergency relief organization. In the news, we discuss the Twin Mustang Prototype unexpected flight, the Chinese soft landing on the back side of the moon, commercial flights that get diverted due to rocket launches, the worsening controller shortage, and paying tips to Frontier cabin crew.

Samaritans Purse DC-8 for emergency relief.

Samaritans Purse DC-8.

Guest

George Kalbfleisch uses the DC-8 for emergency relief.

George Kalbfleisch

George Kalbfleisch is Deputy Director of DC-8 Flight Operations for Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization. Samaritan’s Purse delivers critical emergency relief supplies to people in need around the world. Examples include the Saipan typhoon victims, Bangladesh refugees, Iraq during the battle for Mosul, the Caribbean following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and Ecuador following a magnitude 7.8 earthquake.

George tells us about the configuration of the CFM56-powered DC-8-72, it’s range and payload capabilities, and the types of emergency relief missions it undertakes. We learn about the teams that fly and maintain the airplane, and how flight planning takes place, sometimes into devastated areas without electricity. George also treats us to a few of his most exciting and most unusual flights.

Prior to Samaritan’s Purse, George flew DC-8s with an international freight company for twenty years as captain, line check airman, sim instructor, check airman, and the aircrew program designee to issue type ratings for the airplane.

George earned his Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management at Oklahoma State University and received his pilot’s license in 1980. He is a certified airline transport pilot with type ratings in the A320, B-777, DC-8, and SA-227. George is an active General Aviation pilot who enjoys flying tail wheel and aerobatics in his spare time.

Cut away illustration. of Samaritan's Purse DC-8 used for emergency relief.

DC-8 cutaway illustration, showing the cargo and passenger compartments. Courtesy Samaritan’s Purse.

Aviation News

XP-82 Takes Accidental First Flight

Ray Fowler was conducting high-speed taxi tests of the XP-82 Twin Mustang Prototype. The plan was to lift the wheels for just a second, deploy the flaps, and roll out. Except it accelerated so fast that the plane couldn’t get back down in the remaining runway.  So up he went. See XP-82 Twin Mustang Restoration Project for more.

China’s Chang’e-4 lands on moon’s far side

China’s Chang’e-4 spacecraft made the first successful soft landing on the far side of the moon. The spacecraft combines a lander and a rover and utilizes a relay satellite Queqiao for communication. From China National Space Administration: China’s Chang’e-4 probe makes historic landing on moon’s far side.

Gridlock in the sky

The Feb 6, 2018 launch of the SpaceX Heavy Falcon closed the airspace over a 1,300-mile section the Atlantic for over three hours. Commercial flights had to fly significantly diverted routes, costing time and fuel. What happens when commercial space flight launches become frequent? ALPA says these closures “have led to extensive and expensive delays to commercial air traffic that are unsustainable.”

Government Shutdown Worsens a Controller Shortage

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association is not happy with the partial government shutdown because of its effect on members. But another consequence is the negative effect on training for new controllers. The FAA training academy in Oklahoma City is shut down, and classroom and simulator training at air traffic control facilities has stopped.

That’s a First: I Was Asked for a Tip From a Flight Attendant

PointsGuy.com writer JT Genter was on a Frontier Airlines flight. After ordering his beverage and providing his credit card, the flight attendant handed him a tablet which offered him the ability to select a tip.

Herb Kelleher, Aviation Pioneer and Southwest Airlines Founder, Dies at 87

Kelleher co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of Southwest Airlines had died at the age of 87. From Southwest: Farewell to Southwest’s Founder.

Mentioned

XP-82 Restoration Project

Eat at the Airport – Map of airports with eating establishments.

Tales from the Terminal 2019 Airport Challenge.

Arsenal of Democracy 75th World War II Victory Commemoration Flyover.

Ion Propulsion – The Plane With No Moving Parts from Real Engineering.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

515 Jon Ostrower’s The Air Current

Aviation journalist Jon Ostrower is now editor-in-chief of The Air Current. Jon shares his views on Farnborough, electric aircraft, the Embraer/Boeing and Bombardier/Airbus linkups, and a Boeing middle market jet. Also, union reaction to single pilot cargo planes, Rolls-Royce financial woes in light of Trent 1000 problems, and a general aviation exhibit coming to the National Air & Space Museum. We also announce the winner of the Pima Air Museum book giveaway.

Guest

Jon Ostrower, editor-in chief, The Air Current.

Jon Ostrower, editor-in-chief, The Air Current.

Jon Ostrower is a longtime professional aviation journalist. He was editor of FlightBlogger for Flightglobal, a staff reporter covering aerospace at The Wall Street Journal, and aviation editor at CNN. Jon has recently embarked on a new project as editor-in-chief of The Air Current, a subscription-based service providing in-depth industry analysis which “connects the dots” of current aviation news stories.

In our conversation, Jon gives his perspectives on this year’s Farnborough Air Show, the Embraer/Boeing and Bombardier/Airbus linkups, and a possible Boeing middle market “B797.” He ties these together with a possible rise in stature of the Chinese aviation industry. Jon also explains how he believes electric aircraft are poised to bring more change to aviation.

As a special offer for Airplane Geeks listeners, Jon is giving a discount on subscriptions to The Air Current. To take advantage of the discount, use the offer code “airplanegeeks” when you subscribe at subscribe.theaircurrent.com.

Aviation News

Airline pilots protest study on allowing cargo planes to have one pilot, remote help

Sec. 744 of H.R.4 – FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 says, “The FAA, in consultation with NASA and other relevant agencies, shall establish a research and development program in support of single-piloted cargo aircraft assisted with remote piloting and computer piloting.” A group of unions representing many commercial airlines doesn’t know who put that in the legislation, or why, and they are not happy.

In Stop Government Funding of Single-Piloted Commercial Aircraft, ALPA urges members to submit a “Call to Action to urge your Senators and Members of Congress to protect aviation safety and airline pilot careers.”

Rolls-Royce flies into loss on Trent engine trouble

This article quantifies some of the financial impacts on Rolls-Royce of their Trent 1000 engine problems. In the first half of 2018, Rolls suffered an after-tax loss of £962 million ($1.26 billion). In the first half of 2017, RR earned a net profit of £1.17 billion. Rolls-Royce took an extra £554-million exceptional charge linked to costs involved in fixing the Trent 1000, and the company estimates the total cost of Trent 1000 repairs between 2018 and 2022 to be upwards of £1.3 billion.

Rolls-Royce Offers Airlines Credits for 787 Groundings

Rolls-Royce Holdings “plans to offer airlines maintenance credits, limiting direct compensation for grounding Boeing Co. 787 planes in a bid to minimize the impact of unexpected wear issues on cash flow…”

Donations Energize NASM’s New GA Exhibit

The Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. is undertaking a seven-year upgrade project that will include a new “We All Fly” exhibit about the many forms of general aviation. To help finance the exhibit, the NASM has accepted a $10 million donation from the Thomas W. Haas Foundation. The exhibit will include an aerobatic biplane flown by Sean D. Tucker and is scheduled to open in 2021.

Pima Air & Space Museum Book Giveaway

Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari announces the winner of our PIMA Air & Space Museum guidebook giveaway. We again want to thank Scott Marchand for his generous gift to our listeners. An album of listener photographs is available at AirplaneGeeks.com/pimabook.

Mentioned

WeatherSpork –  An all-purpose weather planning app for aviators at all experience levels.   

A spork, but not a WeatherSpork.

A spork, but not a WeatherSpork. A KFC spork.

Police: Man tried to steal plane for concert

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

490 The Airbus A350

We talk with an Airbus A350 captain who has a long history flying commercial aircraft. In the news, we consider one-person flight crews, U.S. airlines looking to scale back consumer protection regulations, ADS-B vulnerabilities for military aircraft, and largest ever Piper order for training planes, plans for the Air Force bomber fleet, and Southwest runs out of glycol. We also have a conversation about ATIS with the Chief of the Air Traffic Control Division at Robert Gray Army Airfield.

Malaysia Airlines Airbus A350.

Malaysia Airlines A350. Photo by H Gousse, courtesy Airbus.

Guest

Airbus A350 Captain Bill Palmer.

Airbus A350 Captain Bill Palmer.

Bill Palmer is an A350 captain and an instructor pilot/check airman. He has been heavily involved in Airbus training since the early 1990’s, and Bill is the author of Understanding Air France 447 and other publications on Airbus flight control laws. Bill also holds a commercial glider rating and flies his Rolladen-Schneider LS-3 for fun in southern California.

Bill describes the transition to the A350 as like going from DOS to Windows. The aircraft shares some commonality with A380, and Bill describes fly-by-wire and the flight control laws. We also hear about other features of the A350, such as the paperless cockpit implementation and the availability airport runway, taxiway, and gate information to pilot. The plane will calculate landing distance and brake to the correct speed for the selected taxiway. Bill also describes the A350 runway overrun protection and the auto-flight system’s automatic TCAS and wind shear recovery.

Bill started flying at the age of 15, soloed on his 16th birthday and completed his private certificate at 17. He attended Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and holds a BS in Aeronautical Science. He earned his flight instructor certificate in 1978 and has been instructing almost non-stop since then while holding airplane, instrument, multi-engine, and ground instructor certificates. Besides light aircraft he has also taught on the 727, 757, A320, DC-10, and A330, and written manuals for the DC-10, A330, and B-787 fleets. He has also produced numerous training publications and videos for the various fleets as well.

Visit Bill’s webpage Understanding Air France 447 and his Trend Vector blog. His books Understanding Air France 447Airbus A330 Normal Law: Putting fly-by-wire into perspective, and Airbus Flight Control Laws: The Reconfiguration Laws are available on Amazon.com and at other retailers.

Aviation News

Boeing raises prospect of only one pilot in the cockpit of planes

At the Singapore Airshow, Boeing research and technology vice-president Charles Toups said, “We are studying [one pilot operations], and where you will first see that is probably in cargo transport, so the passenger question is off the table.” Also at the Singapore Air Show, ST Aerospace showed the concept for an unmanned freighter piloted by an artificially intelligent computer. ST Aero was optimistic about an unmanned freighter within the next five years.

Airlines seeking to snuff traveler rights?

In the Wall Street Journal, Scott McCartney reports that last October the U.S. Department of Transportation asked airlines to suggest changes or cuts to regulations. Airlines for America filed 222 pages of comments. United Airlines added 50 pages.

Vulnerable To Cyber Attacks, ADS-B May Expose F-22s To Web Based Tracking GAO Warns

A 45-page Government Accountability Office report titled Urgent Need for DOD and FAA to Address Risks and Improve Planning for Technology That Tracks Military Aircraft [PDF] says that neither the Department of Defense nor the FAA has taken significant steps to mitigate security risks associated with openly transmitting flight data from military aircraft.

Piper Receives Largest Trainer Order in Company History

Chinese Fanmei Aviation Technologies has ordered 152 training aircraft from Piper Aircraft. Fanmei is Piper’s dealer in China, and a subsidiary of Sichuan Fan-Mei Education Group Co., which provides aviation education in China. This is reported to be the largest single order for training airplanes in Piper’s history. The seven-year purchase agreement is valued at $74 million and includes 100 Archer TX single-engine trainers, 50 twin-engine Seminoles, one Seneca twin, and one Piper M350.

Air Force outlines future of bomber force

In its Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Request, the Air Force outlined plans for its bomber fleet, which include a plan to update the B-52 Stratofortress fleet, continue modifications to the B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit fleets, while continuing to acquire B-21 Raiders.

‘How does one airline run out of de-icer?’: Some gripes at Midway after Southwest’s cancellations

Southwest Airlines had to cancel more than 250 flights from Midway Airport after running out of de-icing fluid. One of the glycol tank pumps wasn’t working properly and some of the de-icing fluid could not be accessed.

Updated 6/10/2019: Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) has updated its informational guide webpage. See Chicago Midway International Airport (Guide).

Interview

Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari talks about ATIS (automatic terminal information service) with Mark N. Vick, Chief, Air Traffic Control Division, Directorate of Aviation Operations at Robert Gray Army Airfield, Fort Hood Texas, a military joint-use airport that operates alongside Killeen–Fort Hood Regional Airport.

Mentioned

Rolls-Royce UltraFan® – The Ultimate Jet Engine and Lego Ultrafan in the flesh! @RollsRoyce, a video on Twitter by Andrew Smyth‏.

Nine Aviation and Space Achievements Compete for the 2017 Collier Trophy [PDF] and GA Companies Among Those Vying for Collier Trophy.

Heavens Above

The 101-year-old woman who flew Spitfires in WW2

MH370: Malaysian military sidelines crash investigators as power play emerges on search team and MH370 conspiracy theory involves Seabed Constructor and chest from shipwreck.

Credit

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

486 Flying Fast, High, and Far Away

A U.S. company helps develop general aviation in China, Virgin Galactic gets closer to its first customer flight, Boeing reveals a hypersonic successor to the SR-71 Blackbird, Costa Rica’s civil aviation agency suspends a carrier, and the future of the A380 is questioned again.

We have an Across the Pond segment, a clip from GAMA President and CEO Pete Bunce’s presentation at the Cirrus conference, interviews from CES 2018 about the Bell Helicopter autonomous air taxi, as well as additive manufacturing for aerospace applications, and the fifth installment from student pilot Nicki on her second solo.

YXST

Aviation News

Chino aviation group wins contract to help Chinese develop general aviation industry

Chino, California-based Threshold Aviation Group has partnered with Chinese company YXST Aviation Industry Development Co. LTD. to establish and operate training centers for Chinese pilots and mechanics, and to establish airparks and fixed base operations.

Threshold Aviation Group is based in Chino, California and is an aircraft maintenance, management, service, and support organization with more than 175,000 square feet of hangar and office space. Threshold is located at the Chino Airport (KCNO), adjacent to its 7,000-foot runway.

YXST Aviation Industry Development Co. LTD. “focuses on the full-value chain development,which integrates general aviation services, tourism, aviation education, aircraft sales and maintenance, development of aviation town, aviation medical service, aviation sport, aviation logistics, security service and extension service.”

Mark Dilullo, Threshold CEO and owner said, “This is a huge, literally huge opportunity for Threshold Aviation Group to expand its business with nearly limitless potential. The Chinese aviation market has the potential to eventually be the largest (general) aviation market in the world, and we are in on the ground floor of that providing critical services to help get it off the ground.” This summer, about 10 Chinese pilots and mechanics will come to Threshold for intensive training in general aviation skills

In March 2017, Threshold held a trade show at its Chino Airport hangar as part of the “Inaugural U.S.-China General Aviation Business Conference,” sponsored by Threshold and the Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

YXST Aviation holds the exclusive right to develop six airports with the possibility of adding more.

Space tourism in MONTHS: Virgin Galactic completes groundbreaking test flight

Virgin Galactic has completed another successful glide test flight of its VSS Unity plane over the Mojave Desert. VSS Unity, is the second SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane for Virgin Galactic. The first, VSS Enterprise, was destroyed in a crash in October 2014. Unity was taken up to an altitude of 50,000 feet by its from mothership VMS Eve before being released for the descent.

“Son of Blackbird”: Boeing Reveals Hypersonic Concept That Could Replace SR-71

At a recent American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics SciTech forum, Boeing unveiled a reusable Mach 5-plus concept model. The Boeing design is seen as a hypersonic successor to the SR-71 Blackbird. Also, Boeing Unveils Hypersonic ‘Son-Of-Blackbird’ Contender.

Costa Rica Suspends Airline Amid Probe Into Fatal Crash

Nature Air has been suspended by Costa Rica’s civil aviation agency. A Nature Air Caravan crashed recently killing the two Costa Rican pilots and ten US citizens, including a family of five from New York. One of the pilots was the company’s director of training. Nature Air’s operations manager quit this week and its aerial security director has requested a leave of absence.  

Leahy confirms A380 future hinges on Emirates order

On an Airbus 2017 orders and deliveries webinar, COO-customers John Leahy said, “If we can’t work out a deal with Emirates, it is clear we will have to shut down the program.” The A380 program currently has a 95-aircraft backlog.

Airplane of the Week

David brings us Part 2 of the EC-121 Warning Star: more Willy Victor missions, the victories, and the challenges.

Across the Pond

Commander ‘Sharkey’ Ward DFC AFC RN Retired

Commander ‘Sharkey’ Ward DFC AFC RN Retired (Photo Copyright – The Daily Telegraph)

Pieter is back with an update on his 2017. He talks about the Falklands Air War and his journey to get the book on the Fairey Barracuda promoted and how it all started back here on the Airplane Geeks 7 years ago.

The Falklands Air War Series:

Aviation Xtended Episode 73 featuring the Fairey Barracuda and a book on the aircraft by Naval Air Historian, Matt Willis. Also, an interview with PO Anthony Johnson RN, a Telegraphist Air Gunner in the Barracuda who served at the end of WW2.

Photo Copyright - Charles E Brown (Aircraft P9667)

Photo Copyright – Charles E Brown (Aircraft P9667)

CES 2018

Brian Coleman attended CES 2018 in Las Vegas and recorded several interviews:

Bob Hastings, Bell Helicopter executive VP of communications and government affairs talks about the Bell Air Taxi.

BellAirTaxi at CES 2018

Dana from FlashForge and Bill Steele from Polar3D, and their unique partnership with 3D printing and how engineers are getting trained and evaluated with Polar Cloud.

From aluminum to titanium to carbon fiber, Markforged offers a wide range of material capabilities. They can 3D print functional prototypes, lightweight tooling, or fully working replacement parts. Product VP John Rielly talks about their innovative 3D printing technologies.

Markedforge at CES 2018

Oscar Meza, vice president global sales from Shining 3D describes their unique position in the market with their wide-range of 3D digitizing and printing solutions including scanners, printers, material, design and manufacturing services for a complete end-to-end virtual and physical solution.

Shining 3D at CES 2018

Also

We listen to a clip of General Aviation Manufacturers Association president and CEO Pete Bunce’s presentation at the Cirrus CX 2018 conference. He talks about the Export Bank and infrastructure initiatives, including the consolidation of the 21 FAA Centers that manage air traffic control across the U.S. and the Pacific Ocean.

Credit

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

427 How the Airplane Changed the World

We talk with the producer and director of a film about the ways aviation has transformed the world. Also, relationships between Middle Eastern and U.S. airlines, the outlook for business aircraft sales, Chinese radar advancements, a report of health problems with crew uniforms, and a compelling story by a Marine.

Twin Otter seaplane preparing to dock in the Maldives, from Living in the Age of Airplanes

Twin Otter seaplane preparing to dock in the Maldives, from Living in the Age of Airplanes

Guest

Brian J. Terwilliger is a licensed pilot captivated by flight since childhood. He is a filmmaker who produced and directed the National Geographic movie Living in the Age of Airplanes, narrated by Harrison Ford and featuring an original score by the late Academy Award® winning composer James Horner (Avatar, Titanic). The movie looks at the dramatic ways aviation has transformed the world, and was filmed in 18 countries, and across all 7 continents.

Following its premiere at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC, the film continued its successful run on giant screen, digital, IMAX® and museum cinemas worldwide in 2015/2016. It has now been released digitally and on DVD / Blu-ray, along with the release of the original soundtrack.

Brian’s first film, the 2005 feature One Six Right, focuses on the romance of flight as seen through a day in the life of the Van Nuys Airport, a local general aviation airport in a Los Angeles suburb.

News

Qatar Airways Hopes to Strengthen Relationship with American Airlines

The CAPA Centre for Aviation awarded Qatar Airways their Airline of the Year award. In a subsequent interview with Qatar CEO Akbar Al Baker, he talked about wanting to strengthen the airline’s strategic partnership with American Airlines.

Airline Coalition Urges Trump to Act

The Partnership for Open & Fair Skies issued a Statement from the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies on the Election of Donald Trump urging President-elect Donald Trump to stand up against state-owned Gulf airlines.

Cessna a bright spot in airplane delivery report

GAMA, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association, released a report indicating that 3rd quarter business jet and airplane shipments worldwide were 534 units, compared to 542 a year ago. Billings were $4.1 billion, versus $5.3 billion in 2015.

Teal Group: Slow Aircraft Sales May Be The New Normal

Teal Group’s Richard Aboulafia is “cautiously confident” that the business aviation won’t get worse, but we may be seeing the new normal.

China Claims Its New Anti-Stealth Radars Can Detect the F-22

For some time, China has been working to develop a Very High Frequency (VHF) active-phased array radar. This kind of system has a greater ability to detect stealth aircraft. At the Zhuhai Air Show, China showed the JY-27A 3-D long-range surveillance/guidance radar and the broader bandwidth JY-26 Skywatcher-U.

1300 American Airlines employees complain about hives, headaches from new uniforms, union says

American Airlines has new uniforms, and some flight attendants are complaining that they cause health problems. The cause isn’t known with certainty at this time.

Listener Recording

Favorite Aircraft – by a Marine, submitted by a listener and read by our Main(e) Man, Micah.

Mentioned

#PaxEx podcast 40 with Mary Kirby and Chris Kjelgaard.

666 The Devil’s Number – the Amazing Service of Col. Hank Snow [PDF] This story by John Mollison is available for free in honor of Veteran’s Day. It’s about one of the greatest combat pilots you may have never heard of, who flew 666 combat missions in three wars. John was a previous Airplane Geeks guest and produces Old Guys and Their Airplanes.

Fabulous Farnborough Airshow Photographs by Mary B. Lyons has been updated and is available in the U.S. at a special price.

Australian police probe fake air traffic calls forcing pilots to abort landings

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

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.

415 Airman Certification Standards

An FAA Designated Pilot Examiner talks about checkrides, the old Practical Test Standards (PTS) and the new Airman Certification Standards (ACS).  Also, government interest in airline IT system failures, pilot recruiting in China, the Boeing cabin of the future, the huge ATC applicant response, and Textron interest in Learjet.

Guest

Jason Blair is an active single and multi-engine instructor. He is a National Association of Flight Instructors Master Flight Instructor, and an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner for both part 61 and part 141 training providers. Jason was involved in the early stages of the FAA/industry efforts that developed the new Airman Certification Standards (ACS) that became effective June, 2016.

Jason Blair

Jason Blair

In this episode, Jason explains the differences between the Practical Test Standards and the new Airman Certification Standards, and when they apply. He offers advice for private, CFI, and ATP checkrides, and explains some of the common errors made by applicants. Jason tells us about the checks that Examiners make, the process they follow, and what the FAA is looking for. We also hear about the process for becoming an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner.

Jason was named the 2016 Michigan CFI of the Year by the FAA, and over 1000 pilot certificates have been issued in Jason’s role as Examiner. Jason writes for a number of aviation publications and he’s active in the general aviation industry.

Starting his flying experience at the age of 15, and soloing at 16, Jason received his private pilot’s certificate at 17. While he pursued both undergraduate and master’s degrees from Western Michigan University in non-aviation fields, he continued his aviation passion through flight training at local FBOs, obtaining his instrument, commercial, and instructor certificates.

Jason flies general aviation aircraft for much of his personal and business travel, and has served as the Executive Director of the National Association of Flight Instructors, and represented the flight training community on a variety of committees including the FAA’s Runway Safety Council, the General Aviation Joint Steering Committee, the TSA Aviation Safety Advisory Council, NATA’s Flight Training Committee, and others. Currently, Jason works for a variety of companies and associations focusing on flight training regulations, procedures, and safety as a writer and consultant.

News

U.S. senators quiz airlines on IT systems after Delta disruption

Senators Richard Blumenthal and Edward Markey sent letters of concern to a number of airlines in the wake of recent computer system failures at Southwest and Delta. They point out that with such a concentrated industry, any one outage can affect a large portion of commercial aviation, and inconvenience many travelers. The senators want to know how affected travelers will be accommodated, and what measures are being taken to ensure the security and reliability of airline IT systems.

China-based airlines are putting up lots of cash to recruit foreign pilots

Industry projections put the greatest airline growth in Asia. Boeing projects that the number of commercial planes in China will triple by 2034. Bloomberg says that means China will need to hire 100 pilots per week over that time period, and they are paying big salaries to get them: as much as five times more for new hires, and in some cases about 50 percent more than senior captains at Delta. See also Chinese Airlines Wave Wads of Cash to Lure Foreign Pilots.

Dim the lights, order lunch: Boeing develops smartphone app for jet cabin interior of the future

Boeing is looking at a future cabin experience that includes the ability for passengers to interact with the airplane from their smartphone. Commercial Airplanes’ Product Development engineers have created an airplane cabin technology demonstrator they call v-Cabin where concepts can be developed and tested. Passengers could control personal lighting, order food or drink items, interact with the IFE system, and even check lavatory availability, all over a wireless network.

As of Aug. 15, 2016, the FAA says 29,000 applicants have applied for the 1,400 positions

It comes as no surprise that the interest in open ATC positions is very high.

Cessna-maker Textron Inc would be interested in Bombardier Inc’s Learjet ‘at the right price’

Will Textron seek to add Learjet to its portfolio?

The Airplane of the Week

The OV-10 Bronco, Part 1. If your specs are drawn right, you get an aircraft that can successfully complete its mission. Sometimes that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what it can do. This episode we talk about development and combat and Medal of Honors. In Part 2, we’ll look at foreigners, civilians, and the return to combat.

Mentioned

David participated in the AirlineGeeks/American Airlines activities for National Aviation Day. His interviews and stories will be presented in episode 417 Bits and Pieces XV.

In episode 39 of Lucas Weakley’s The Logbook Podcast, Don “the pre-buy guy” Sebastion tells some more great stories.

B747-400 Global SuperTanker – A fascinating 3D tour of the Global SuperTanker by Matterport. See also What It Feels Like to Fly a Firefighting 747.

Credit

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