Tag Archives: China

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.

20160926_065904_600

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.

411 Making Airlines Remarkable

Airline branding and marketing strategies, Farnborough International Airshow 2016 coverage, an MH370 update, Southwest Airlines revenue and a system glitch, a large Chinese amphibian, a few world records, and news from Maine.

Guest

Shashank Nigam, CEO, SimpliFlying

Shashank Nigam, CEO, SimpliFlying

Shashank Nigam is the CEO of SimpliFlying, a large aviation marketing strategy firm. We talk with Shashank about airline branding strategies and how they need to be different from those of typical consumer goods. He tells us about the changes implemented by some of his airline clients to better serve the new connected traveler, how airlines should manage crisis, and the value of empowered employees.

A sought-after consultant and speaker on aviation marketing, Shashank started SimpliFlying in 2009 as a blog on airline marketing. Since then, he and his team have built SimpliFlying into a global leader in airline consulting, having worked with more than 70 airlines and airports over the past seven years. Their latest projects include the Bombardier CSeries launch, and a re-design of the customer service strategy for Cebu Pacific. Shashank has a book coming out about airline marketing called SOAR. The book shares how some of the most innovative airline brands delight customers and inspire employees.

Farnborough International Airshow 2016

Brian, Micah, and the Trent

Brian, Micah, and the Trent

We kick off our coverage of the Farnborough Airshow with two interviews by Brian and Micah. First, we hear from Capt. Jeff and Dr. Steff from the Airline Pilot Guy show. They discuss their efforts to put together the live recording and meetup at Farnborough. Then Brian and Micah have an interesting conversation with Airbus A350 XWB marketing director Mike Bausor about the A350. We’ll bring you many additional interviews in future episodes.

The guys also had an opportunity to speak with Rolls Royce about the Trent Ultra in development. The Ultra will be a geared turbofan with all-carbon fiber fan blades. Perhaps most interesting, the fan blades will have adjustable pitch and be fully reversible, eliminating the need for thrust reversers. The engine in development after the Ultra features electrically driven fans powered by constant speed turbines that drive a generator.

Post Podcast- Entire Crew

Seated from left to right: Captain Nick, Captain Jeff, Dr. Steph. Standing: Markus Völter (Omega Tau), Micah, Carlos Stebbins (Plane Talking UK), Pilot Pip (Plane Safety Podcast) , Captain Al Evans (PTUK guest host and contributor), Brian. Photo by Daniel Hannington,

F35 on static display.

The F-35 on static display.

News

MH370 Pilot Flew a Suicide Route on His Home Simulator Closely Matching Final Flight

This publication “obtained a confidential document from the Malaysian police investigation into the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that shows that the plane’s captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, conducted a simulated flight deep into the remote southern Indian Ocean less than a month before the plane vanished under uncannily similar circumstances.”

Southwest Sees Revenue Reversal As Terror Fears Hit Delta, United

Southwest’s second quarter earnings per share were up 15.5% to 1.19, slightly under estimate.  Revenue was up 5% to $5.38 billion, and traffic growth was 6%, while capacity was up 4.8%. See also Southwest Airlines: “Things Are Getting Better” An Update and an Apology on Systemwide Outages and Delta Air Lines Will Slow Growth to Ensure Business Travelers Pay Higher Fares.

China introduces Boeing 737-sized seaplane

The state-owned Aviation Industry Corporation of China just introduced the AG600, the biggest amphibian of any modern military.

Fedor Konyukhov breaks world hot air balloon record

64-year old Russian balloonist Fedor Konyukhov flew around the world solo in eleven days.

The Last Flight of the Round-the-World Solar Flight

Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg have realized their dream of achieving the first ever Round-The-World Solar Flight! From the Solar Impulse website: “Beyond this historic milestone, the two Swiss pioneers will continue to urge the global implementation of energy efficient solutions through the creation of the International Committee for Clean Technologies and leverage the expertise and technology gained over the years in Solar Impulse by launching new innovative projects, such as the development of solar powered drones. Join the movement with #futureisclean.”

Mentioned

Video Captures Apparent Spin Accident

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Wins Best Air Show – The results from the USA Today 10 Best U.S. Airshows voting.

Boeing’s Centennial Projection Spectacular – A highly recommended video.

This plane could cross the Atlantic in 3.5 hours. Why did it fail?

Credit

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

 

408 AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 Preview

Jack Pelton, Chairman of the Board of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), tells us about what’s been called the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration. In the news, we talk about a call for more ramp checks at airports, Airbus plans to offer real-time transmission of flight data, the Chinese ARJ regional jet makes its first commercial flight, and the U.S. State Department schedules talks about Gulf carriers and government subsidies.

Marquee Bearhawk homebuilt. Photo courtesy EAA.

Marquee Bearhawk homebuilt. Photo courtesy EAA.

Guest

Jack Pelton is Chairman of the Board of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). He tells us about some of the things you can expect at AirVenture 2016 at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 25-31, 2016. We talk about the 100 Years of Boeing, the JetBlue “BluesMobile” Airbus, Memories of WWI, Aircraft of Desert Storm, the Snowbirds, the evening airshows, and many other exciting events planned for the week-long event.

Jack also explains the new Founder’s Innovation Prize, presented by Airbus Group and leveraging the creativity of the EAA community toward solving challenges facing the general aviation community. The top finishers will receive a cash grant toward developing their product and prominent exposure at AirVenture.

We learn about the OSHALERT service for event attendees and how to sign up for those text alerts. Jack also gives us an update on some EAA advocacy activities, such as medical reform and FAA reauthorization.

Jack is the retired chairman, president, and chief executive officer for Cessna Aircraft Company.  Jack was Sr. Vice President of Engineering for Dornier Aircraft in Munich, and he started his career at Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach CA. Also, he was a member of the board and past chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and served on the board of directors of the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).

News

Senator Charles Schumer Calls for More Ramp Checks in New York

According to Charles Schumer, the U.S. Senator from New York, since 2006 the number of annual ramp inspections at major NY airports fell from over 2,800 to only 748. Schumer wants the FAA to increase the number of ramp inspections at airports across New York and the country, including the small airports that have been involved in the recent small plane crashes on Long Island.

Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband-Safety selected as a cockpit safety communications solution by Airbus

Airbus plans to offer the SwiftBroadband-Safety (SB-S) service to allow transmission of flight data in real time. Offered on future A320 and A330 jets starting 2018, the Inmarsat technology is much faster than current transmission speeds.

First made-in-China jetliner makes debut commercial flight

The Chinese COMAC ARJ21-700 regional jet made its first commercial flight. Chengdu Airlines flew the jet with 70 passengers from Chengdu to Shanghai in a two hour flight. The ARJ21 program launched in March 2002, with first delivery initially scheduled for 2007. The ARJ21 has the same cabin cross-section, nose, and tail as the MD-80, and uses General Electric CF-34 turbofans and Rockwell Collins avionics.

United, Delta, JetBlue Jockey For Edge In Gulf Airline Spat

The U.S. State Department is getting involved in the claims of Gulf carrier unfair advantage as they seek to expand in the United States. They have invited Alaska, JetBlue, Hawaiian Holdings, and others to meet and potentially discuss the matter. Next month, the State Department meets with the UAE and Qatar for “informal, technical discussions.”

Revised Total for Mideast Airline Subsidies Is $50 Billion, Lobbying Group Says

The Partnership for Open and Fair Skies says forensic investigators have found a financial statement in Singapore for Qatar Airways that shows than the government of Qatar provided the airline with close to $7 billion in 2014.

The Partnership is the lobbying group composed of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, ALPA, the Allied Pilots Association, the Airline Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the Communications Workers of America and the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association.

Book Review

EAA OSHKOSH, The Best AirVenture PhotographyDavid reviews EAA OSHKOSH, The Best AirVenture Photography, which is available through EAA and major booksellers.

This book showcases the many types of aircraft that have appeared for AirVenture, from classic fabric-covered covered biplanes to brawny warbirds to homebuilts and jetliners.

Mentined

Sully – Official Trailer [HD]

Livermore Reads Together Survey, which includes Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West by Craig S. Harwood (guest in Episode 349) and Gary B. Foge. The survey is open through July 18, 2016.

World War II Hero Dr. Roscoe C. Brown Dies at 94

Flew West – Robert “Punchy” Powell  11/21/1920 – 6/22/2016 by John Mollison.

Without Precedent: Commando, Fighter Pilot and the true story of Australia’s first Purple Heart by Owen Zupp.

Kevin Prior’s photographs from the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s Innovations in Flight Day 2016.

Landing gear by Kevin Prior

Landing gear by Kevin Prior

Man Calls 911 Thinking He Was in Plane Crash, But ‘It Was All Just a Dream’

Spitfire exposed, by Roland

Spitfire exposed, by Roland

Credit

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

 

405 The Airport Master Planning Process

We continue our discussion of airport topics and look at the airport master planning process. We also talk a lot about the TSA and airport security, as well as psychological testing for airline pilots, a military export control conviction, and a personal experience in a full motion flight simulator.

Guest

Jenny_Watts

Jenny Watts, Airport Planner, Armstrong Consultants, Inc.

Jenny Watts is an Airport Planner with Armstrong Consultants, Inc., a professional consulting engineering firm specializing exclusively in airports. She describes the master plans that airports create, how they are used, and who uses them. Jenny also tells us about the Dark Sky initiative and how airports are making adjustments to reduce their contribution to light pollution. She published the white paper titled, Share the Sky – Good Neighbor Tips for Airports Near Dark Sky Communities and Beyond. [PDF]

Jenny has more than eight years of experience with aviation planning, corporate aviation operations, airport administration, and aviation education. Jenny has worked at large commercial service and general aviation airports in the Phoenix-Metro area, and directly contributed to operations, community relations, planning, and business development.

Jenny spent two years at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide as an advisor and adjunct faculty member. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Management Technology Arizona State University, and her Master of Aeronautical Science degree with an emphasis in Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle. She has been affiliated with the Arizona Airports Association for over fifteen years, and Jenny is also a freelance contributing writer for the Arizona Aviation Journal.

News

California Resident Convicted of Conspiring to Illegally Export Fighter Jet Engines and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to China

Wenxia “Wency” Man of San Diego, has been convicted by a federal jury in the Southern District of Florida of “conspiring to export and cause the export of fighter jet engines, an unmanned aerial vehicle… and related technical data to the People’s Republic of China, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act.

Man conspired to illegally acquire and export to China defense articles including:

  • Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines used in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
  • Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines used in the F-22 Raptor fighter jet
  • General Electric F110-GE-132 engines for the F-16 fighter jet
  • the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper/Predator B Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
  • technical data for each of these defense articles.

Man faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 19, 2016.

FAA rules out requiring psychological testing for airline pilots

Administrator Michael Huerta says the FAA will not require psychological testing for airline pilots because he says they only indicate the pilot’s mental health at a point in time. The tests don’t indicate what a pilot may do later.

Airport security:

Explosion at Shanghai Airport Injures at Least Five People

A man tossed a homemade explosive device at the check-in counters at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, then cut his throat with a knife.

Man shot by police at Dallas airport faces assault charges, remains hospitalized

A man outside the Dallas Love Field terminal allegedly “hit his ex-girlfriend and battered her car with a traffic cone and large landscaping rocks.” A police officer arrived with gun drawn and the man approached with rocks in his hands saying, “You’re going to have to shoot.”

Dubai airport shut Saturday for over an hour; 22 flights diverted: executive

Dubai International Airport was closed due to “unauthorized drone activity.” In the UAE, drones are prohibited within 5 km of airports, helipads, landing areas, or manned aircraft.

Warsaw Airport Suspends Landings Briefly Due to Drones

Warsaw’s international airport was shut down for 30 minutes due to two unauthorized drones flying in the area. Poland forbids drones flights within a 20-kilometer (12-mile) radius from airports.

Mentioned

One-third of the world cannot see the Milky Way — why that matters

Plane Talking UK Podcast

What to Eat at 30 North American Airports, Summer 2016

Know Before You Fly – An education campaign founded by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to educate prospective users about the safe and responsible operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

DHS Comparison Chart – This chart outlines the Trusted Traveler programs offered by the Department of Homeland Security.

Patrick Smith’s Ask The Pilot post TSA’s Summer Meltdown

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 385 Even More Intellectually Stimulating Than Useful

James Fallows talks with us about aviation in China. Also, the NTSB Most Wanted List, A-10 retirement put on hold, the C-130 keeps on flying, a flight attendant meltdown, a new study about lasers pointed at pilots, and more on-demand flying.

James Fallows and his Cirrus SR22

James Fallows and his Cirrus SR22

Guest

James Fallows is an American writer and journalist. He has been a national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly for many years, and his work has appeared in Slate, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker and The American Prospect, among others. He is a former editor of U.S. News & World Report, and as President Jimmy Carter’s chief speechwriter for two years, he was the youngest person ever to hold that job.

Jim has been a visiting professor at a number of universities in the U.S. and China. He is the author of ten books, including National Defense, for which he received the 1983 National Book Award, and China Airborne, which examines China’s plan to rival America as the world’s leading aerospace power. Jim is an instrument-rated pilot and owner of a Cirrus SR22.

In our conversation, Jim describes how China Airborne tells the larger story of China through the aviation lens. We talk about building the airport infrastructure and how that’s being funded, and issues for General Aviation in China, such as the shortage of airports, military control of the airspace, and training for controllers. Jim gives us his thoughts on the Comac C919 program and the state of business aviation in China.

Learn more about Jim’s work at JamesFallows.com and AmericanFutures.org. Mentioned were China: Fragile Superpower by Susan L. Shirk and How to Not Fly an Airplane by Shirley Phillips.

An "original Chinese design" at the Zhuhai airport.

An “original Chinese design” at the Zhuhai airport. By James Fallows.

Refueling at Changsha airport.

Refueling at Changsha airport.

James Fallows and wife Deb on their current see-America trip

James Fallows and wife Deb on their current see-America trip

News

The Next Big Aviation Safety Issues

Each year, the National Transportation Safety Board publishes its Most Wanted List. The NTSB covers all modes of transportation, but several aviation-related items made the list:

  • Prevent Loss of Control in Flight in General Aviation
  • Reduce Fatigue-Related Accidents
  • Disconnect from Deadly Distractions
  • Require Medical Fitness for Duty
  • Expand Use of Recorders to Enhance Transportation Safety

US Air Force shelves Warthog plane retirement amid ISIS fight

For years, the U.S. Air Force has wanted to retire the A-10 Warthog ground attack airplane. That’s been met with congressional criticism, as well as cries from many A-10 enthusiasts. According to sources, the USAF will postpone mothballing the plane in its 2017 budget request to Congress in February.

See also, This GAU-8/A Avenger 30 mm gun firing test footage is pretty impressive in The Aviationist.

A-10 by Paul Filmer

A-10 by Paul Filmer

New Pentagon Contract Signals Lockheed Martin’s C-130 Airlifter Is Headed For 100 Years of Service

The C-130 might become the first military aircraft to see continuous service for 100 years. The first Hercules was delivered to the U.S. Air Force 60 years ago in 1956.

Did American Airlines handle erratic flight attendant correctly?

A 67-year old flight attendant who has been employed by American Airlines for more than 45 years, faces federal charges for some reportedly serious behaviour on a November flight between Charlotte and Frankfurt. These include “claims that she slapped co-workers, punched air marshals, even attempted to open the door of her jetliner as it taxied for takeoff in Germany.”

‘No Lasting Damage’ From Laser Attacks

A new study by researchers at the University of Calgary suggests that pilots struck by lasers do not suffer permanent eye damage. Momentary blindness or blurry vision, yes. Permanent damage, no. Dr. Michael Fielden, assistant clinical professor for the Cumming School of Medicine said, “Once their eyes settle down, they’re worried if there’s any permanent damage that could affect their ability to fly in the future. Fortunately we haven’t found any permanent damage.”

Airbus to Join Forces With Uber for On-Demand Helicopter Service, CEO Says

Personal transportation company Uber is expanding beyond vehicles to other modes of transportation. You can now order up on-demand rickshaws in India and boats in Turkey. Now Uber and Airbus Group are planning to launch a pilot program at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah using Airbus H125 and H130 helicopters.

The Airplane of the Week

You would never guess David’s favorite aircraft…

1911 Coolbaugh Curtiss Pusher replica. Photo by David Vanderhoof.

1911 Coolbaugh Curtiss Pusher replica. Photo by David Vanderhoof.

Listener Recording

Christopher Sims tells the story of how he commenced as an Avgeek.

Mentioned

Bradford Camps, the Igor Sikorsky Weekend Seminar.

Fulton surface-to-air recovery system

Porter Ranch stench could endanger aircraft: Federal Aviation Administration bans low-level flights over gas leak area

Provincial Aerospace

Pratt & Whitney B747SP by Paul Filmer.

Pratt & Whitney B747SP by Paul Filmer.

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 362 The Doctor is in… Talking About Medical Issues

Doctor (and pilot) Stephanie Plummer on inflight medical emergencies, hypoxia, 3rd class medical reform, and more. News on MH370, cosmic rays and passenger safety, an emergency Allegiant Airlines landing, and hackers hit United Airlines. Also, the NASA UTM Drone conference, the CH-46 Retirement Ceremony at the National Air & Space Museum, an Australia Desk, and plane spotting the 427th Special Operations Squadron.

Guest

Dr. Stephanie Plummer

Dr. Stephanie Plummer

Dr. Stephanie Plummer is a frequent co-host on the Airline Pilot Guy podcast. She’s an instrument-rated commercial pilot who flies primarily for personal enjoyment. As a physician, Dr. Steph answers the occasional listener question regarding in-flight or aviation-related medical topics.

We talk about the frequency of inflight medical emergencies, medical supplies on airlines, and what you do if you are a doctor on a flight and the call for help goes out. Also, we cover the three classes of aviation medicals in the US, and the role of aviation medical examiners, and 3rd class medical reform for private pilots.

Dr. Steph gives us a good tutorial on the forms and effects of hypoxia, time of useful consciousness, and effective performance time. She tells us about hypoxic hypoxia, hypemic hypoxia, carbon monoxide poisoning, stagnant hypoxia, and histotoxic hypoxia.

In her day job, Dr Plummer is a physician practicing in the Charlotte, NC area.  She has a degree in Osteopathic Medicine (DO) from what was formerly The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, now part of Rowan University, School of Osteopathic Medicine.  She completed a traditional rotating internship through the Crozer-Keystone Healthcare System in the Philadelphia area and then did her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. Dr Plummer then went on to a fellowship program for interventional spine and now she works with a predominantly Orthopedic Spine group as one of their non-surgical providers.

Aviation Medical Resources

FAA AC 121-33B Emergency Medical Equipment (PDF)

FAA AC 121-34B Emergency Medical Equipment Training (PDF)

Outcomes of Medical Emergencies on Commercial Airline Flights from The New England Journal of Medicine.

What medical conditions does the FAA consider disqualifying? from FAA Pilot Medical Certification Questions and Answers.

A Guide for Prospective FAA Aviation Medical Examiners from FAA Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) Training.

Aviation Physiology (PDF), common medical considerations affecting pilots in flight. A booklet from FAA.

News

MH370: Reunion debris discovery lifts hopes for missing flight clues

Boeing 777 Wing Flaperon (Part_No._657_BB)Last week, a piece of a Boeing 777 called a “flaperon” was found washed up on Reunion Island, in the western Indian Ocean. If it proves to be from MH370, which is likely, it may provide clues about the missing jetliner.

Long-haul air passengers at risk from cosmic rays, government fears

The earth’s atmosphere provides some degree of protection against cosmic rays. The higher you go, the less atmosphere you have above you blocking this high-energy radiation. We’ve seen studies in the past that suggest pilots are vulnerable to long term effects. Now solar radiation in the form of magnetically charged particles is of concern. Public Health England (PHE) has established The Cosmic Radiation Advisory Group, which includes experts from British Airways, the Cabinet Office, the Department of Health, the Met Office, and some universities.

Allegiant Air pilot pleads with tower to make emergency landing

An Allegiant Airlines pilot with a fuel emergency wanted to land at Fargo’s Hector International Airport. The airport was closed because the Blue Angels were practicing for an air show, and an exchange between the pilot and the tower ensued.

Hackers with ties to China said to breach United Airlines

A group of China-backed hackers has been linked to a May or June attack on United Airlines. This is supposedly the same group that breached the US Office of Personnel Management and health insurer Anthem Inc. The hackers may had had access to passenger lists and information about United’s mergers and acquisitions strategy. But they don’t know for sure.

Airplane of the Week

CH-46 Retirement Ceremony Arrival

Photos courtesy David W. Aungst

David attended the CH-46 Sea Knight “Phrog” retirement ceremony at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.  David interviews:

  • Corporal Greg Hamper, HMX-1 MV-22 Crew Chief.
  • Major P.B. Benning, HMX-1 MV-22 and former CH-46E pilot.
  • Lt. Colonel Dominic DeFazio, Commanding Officer HMM-774 and pilot of BuNo 153369, the retiring CH-46E.

IMG_5094

Be sure to see the article Phrog Farewell by museum specialist Roger Connor, and the fly-in video CH-46 Retirement Ceremony Aug 1, 2015.

Gen. J.R. “Jack” Dailey, USMC (Ret.)

Gen. J.R. “Jack” Dailey, USMC (Ret.)

DM Vanderhoof

Special thanks to Nick Partridge and Sarah Banks of the National Air & Space Museum.

The Australia News Desk

HATS 135 factory acceptance No.1. (Airbus Helicopters)

HATS 135 factory acceptance No.1. (Airbus Helicopters)

It’s a week of firsts for the Australian Defence Force as the boys give progress on still more new or updated airframes coming down under:

Meanwhile, Qantas long-haul pilots have approved a new wage deal.

But it’s terrible news for the Australian helicopter charter industry as Bronwyn Bishop resigns (Satire).

Mentioned

The UAV Digest Episode 106, UAS Traffic Management

Observations from the NASA Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Traffic Management Convention, including the Amazon Prime Air proposal for drone traffic management.

The LogBook

A podcast by Embry Riddle Aeronautical University student Lucas Weakley with aviation stories told in the first person.

427th Special Operations Squadron

You didn’t see this:

SOCOM CN235

SOCOM CN235

Brian’s United 737-8 window seat…

Brian's United 737-8 window seat

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 357 Einar Enevoldson and the Perlan Project

 

Perlan Project

Perlan Project aims to soar to 90,000 feet in a glider, a sightseeing crash in Alaska, United buys into Azul Brazilian Airlines, China building airport infrastructure, news media companies start drone testing, OneGo to offer flights for a fixed monthly fee, and Solar Impulse leaves Japan.

Guest

Einar Enevoldson is a lifelong glider pilot and a former NASA test pilot.

In 1992, Einar first envisioned the Perlan Project when a LIDAR image was shown of a stratospheric mountain wave at 75,000 feet above Northern Scandinavia. Einar believed that these mountain waves could be used to fly a sailplane to great heights.

The Perlan Project is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit aeronautical exploration and atmospheric science research organization that utilizes sailplanes (gliders) designed to fly at extremely high altitudes.

Einar and Steve Fossett proved their concept when they set a world altitude record for gliders of 50,671 feet on August 30, 2006. They flew the Perlan I, a modified DG505M, in stratospheric mountain waves generated by the Polar Vortex over el Calafate, Argentina.

In July 2014, Airbus Group became the partner and title sponsor of Airbus Perlan Mission II.

Sometime in 2015/16 the Airbus Perlan Mission II intends to set new altitude records by flying a purpose-built pressurized high-altitude glider higher than any other manned wing borne aircraft has ever flown in sustained flight using stratospheric mountain waves and the polar vortex. Perlan Project intends to use the Airbus Perlan Mission II to expand their educational programmes by creating more partnerships and forming an international education committee.

YF-12A

YF-12A

Einar’s military service includes test pilot on the Hunter, Lightning, and Javelin British fighter aircraft from 1966 to 1967. Following that, Einar was a NASA research pilot at the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, California. Among the many planes he flew for NASA were the YF-12A (Interceptor version of the SR-71), the oblique wing AD-1, the Controlled Deep Stall Sailplane, and the X-24B Lifting Body. He was twice awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.

X-24B

X-24B

News

Eight Holland America Guests Die in Alaska “Flightseeing” Accident

Eight passengers and the pilot died when their “flightseeing” DeHavilland DHC-3T Turbine Otter crashed into a rock face about 20 from Ketchikan, Alaska. The floatplane was providing a tour for passengers from Holland America Line’s MS Westerdam cruise ship. The wreckage is on a 60 degree slope at the base of a mountainside cliff.

Azul by Paul Flimer

Azul by Paul Flimer

United Airlines to pay $100 mln for Azul stake, for foothold in Brazil

Azul Brazilian Airlines is the third largest airline in Brazil, and was founded in 2008 by Brazilian-born David Neeleman, who also founded JetBlue Airways. Neeleman is Azul’s chief executive. United would gain access to Brazilian cities. Azul gets investment money where they have been unable to offer an initial public offering due to Brazil’s poor economy.

China’s aviation boom drives airport building frenzy

More than 60 inland airports in China are expanding, and another 30 new regional airports are  being built. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), says more than $80 billion will be invested in aviation projects this year alone. Driving this are business travel and outbound tourism.

News Coalition Launches Hands-On Drone Testing Program with Virginia Tech

Fifteen news media companies launched research testing of sUAS for news gathering in partnership with Virginia Tech, one of the six FAA UAS test sites. Flight tests will include a series of scenarios to simulate news gathering with small UAVs.

OneGo Will Offer Unlimited West Coast Flights For $1,500 A Month

Startup OneGo wants to offer this service to small and medium businesses where team members have to do a lot of travel. In exchange for the fixed monthly fee, travelers will get unlimited economy class direct flights on major airlines like American, Delta, United and Virgin America, as well as Gogo WiFi membership, and enrollment in TSA Pre for faster security screenings.

Solar Impulse Crossing The Pacific

Solar Impulse 2 finally launched from Nagoya, Japan, en route to Hawaii. The flight is expected to take five days.

The Australia News Desk

Grant’s holding together with cold and flu medicine long enough to get an AusDesk recorded with Steve covering:

Mentioned

  • Flight Threats – An iOS app designed as a situational awareness improvement tool for pilots.

Patrick Wiggins 50th anniversary jump

Courtesy of Skydive Utah: NASA Ambassador Patrick Wiggins, 66, is no stranger to the sky with about 760 jumps under his belt as he logs another while stepping out of a Skydive Utah plane near Tooele. On Friday the education assistant at the University of Utah donned his original 1965 “antique parachute” and gear to mark the 50th anniversary of his first jump while joining friends at Skydive Utah, at the Tooele Valley Airport in Erda.

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 342 Arsenal of Democracy Flyover

Arsenal of Democracy Flyover

A massive Washington DC warbird flyover to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day, United Airlines customer service, the GA alphabet organizations talk current issues, an FAA forecast for GA, China looks to build airport infrastructure, and ADS-B prices drop.

Guest

Peter Bunce is President and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), an international trade association that represents over 85 manufacturers of general aviation airplanes, rotorcraft, engines, avionics, components and related services such as repair station operators, aviation training facilities, and others.

Peter Bunce

Pete is also a member of the Arsenal of Democracy Executive Committee that is planning to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, (VE Day) with a massive Washington DC warbird flyover on May 8, 2015.

Pete has been President and CEO of GAMA since April 2005. He and the GAMA staff travel all over the world engaging regulators, policymakers, and elected officials to promote general aviation and advance the interests of GAMA’s international membership.

An active pilot with more than 6,000 hours, Pete has flown military fighter and training aircraft (F-15s and A-10s) as well as civil piston, turboprop and business jet aircraft. He holds an FAA airline transport certificate and seaplane rating and serves on the board of directors of the Recreational Aviation Foundation, Veterans Airlift Command, America’s Warrior Partnership, and the Air Care Alliance. Pete also serves as co-chair of the NextGen Institute and is a member of both the FAA’s NextGen Advisory Committee and MITRE Corporation’s Aviation Advisory Committee.

News

Another Big United Customer Service Failure

Ill passengers and the airline’s response made this United flight rather unpleasant for some.

JetBlue, Southwest top-rated carriers for customer experience

JetBlue and Southwest Airlines deliver the best customer experience in the U.S. airline industry, according to the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings, an annual ranking of companies based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

General Aviation Groups Air Concerns at HeliExpo

Leaders from seven GA associations met as a panel during Heli-Expo 2015. Participating were:

  • Matt Zuccaro, President of Helicopter Association International
  • Melissa Rudinger, senior vice president, government affairs, AOPA
  • Jack Pelton, CEO, Experimental Aircraft Association;
  • Peter Bunce, President, General Aviation Manufacturers Association;
  • Greg Principato, president, National Association of State Aviation Officials;
  • Thomas Hendricks, president and CEO National Air Transportation Association; and
  • Ed Bolen, president, National Business Aviation Association.

They talked about rotorcraft certification, privacy protection under ADS-B, and fuel taxes not being used for runway improvements.

FAA Forecast Fact Sheet–Fiscal Years 2015-2035

The GA fleet is forecast to grow by only 0.4% per year. The fixed-wing turbine aircraft fleet is projected to grow at 2.2% per year, and rotorcraft growth is 2.5%, but these are offset by 0.6% decline per year in fixed-wing piston aircraft.

China mulls building general aviation airports in 2,800 counties

China has some 2,800 counties, but currently only 78 currently are served by general aviation aircraft. If they all had a GA airport, 280 billion yuan ($44.7 billion) of economic value would be generated.

ADS-B Prices beginning to Drop

FreeFlight Announces Low-Cost ADS-B Out System

Good news for aircraft owners, all of whom must install ADS-B Out by Jan 1, 2020.

Mentioned

  • DESIGN, BUILD, TEST Trailer – A documentary film that will follow a community of experimental test pilots in the Mojave Desert as they race to prepare themselves and their planes for the Mojave Experimental Fly-In.

Bonus

A380 over Max Trescotts Car

An A380 flys over Max Trescott’s car. Can you guess which car belongs to “Max West”?

Credit

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