Tag Archives: Delta Air Lines

AirplaneGeeks 374 Air Show Performer and Air Racer Vicky Benzing


Vicky Benzing

We talk with Vicky Benzing, a pilot, skydiver, aerobatic performer, and air racer. In the news, we have earnings reports for Boeing and some of the airlines, an air show parachutist lands in the crowd, an angle-of-attack indicator video for GA aircraft, the effect of Syrian sand on Russian jets, and Boeing fears the loss of the ExIm Bank.


Vicky Benzing is an accomplished pilot, skydiver, aerobatic performer, and air racer.  She has more than 7000 hours of flight time and over 1200 parachute jumps in a flying career spanning over thirty years. Vicky currently holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating as well as a commercial rating in helicopters and seaplanes.

Vicky BenzingWe talk with Vicky about aerobatic performances at air shows, including training and preparation, the “chicken dance,” the maneuvers Vicky likes, and which ones the audience likes. Also, the difference between flying the Stearman and flying high performance jets, how competing in the Reno Air Races compares to flying aerobatics at air shows, and what the crowd interaction means to a performer like Vicky. Along the way, Vicky tells us about skydiving and that the United States Parachute Association is a good resource for finding jump zones and advice.

In 2005, Vicky began training with air show legend Wayne Handley. She entered in aerobatic competitions throughout the US, and won first place in the Intermediate category in both the Northwest and Southwest Regional Championships in 2006. Two years later, she placed in the top 10 finishers at the US National Aerobatic Championships in the Advanced category.  

Vicky Benzing performing

Vicky Benzing performing

In between flying aerobatic competitions, Vicky began performing in air shows and today she focuses her energies on her airshow flying.  Vicky holds a surface level waiver and a formation card, and has flown well over 100 air show performances at venues across the US, including performing at the airshow during EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh.

In 2010, Vicky began racing in the National Championship Air Races.  She was chosen “Rookie of the Year” twice by her fellow Sport and Jet Class racers, and made history in Reno this year as the “fastest woman” racer ever in the history of the Reno Air Races, flying Dianna Stanger’s one-of-a-kind L-139 jet on the race course at 469.831 mph. See Live from the Reno Air Races with SkyChick and Team Darkstar for a video interview with Vicky and Dianna.

L-139 at Reno Air Races

L-139 Courtesy Dark Star Racing

In addition to her aviation pursuits, Vicky holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry from UC Berkeley and has enjoyed a successful career in the Silicon Valley high tech industry.  Vicky is currently Vice President of the Sport Class Air Racing Association and is on the Board of Directors of the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, CA.

Vicky is sponsored by APECS Aerospace Corporation, an engineering consulting firm that specializes in providing support to aviation maintenance repair organizations.  Other sponsors are Oregon Aero, maker of seating systems and helmet and headset upgrades and ASL Camguard, creator of advanced engine oil supplements to reduce engine wear.


Faster production of jets pushes up Boeing’s profits

Boeing Co. third quarter earnings were up 25 percent to $1.7 billion, and the company raised its earnings outlook for the year. In the quarter, Boeing delivered 199 commercial jets versus 186 jets a year ago.

Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson said many wide-body jets coming off lease in the near future, will be available relatively cheaply, and will compete with new more fuel efficient jets.

American Airlines posts record profit but worries more about low-cost competitors like Spirit

Lower fuel spend helped jump net income 80 percent to $1.69 billion. Because 87 percent of American Airlines fliers fly only once a year and buy tickets based on price, next year American will offer cheap tickets with “less frills” on certain nonstop routes where it competes with discount carriers.

Alaska Air reports record profits from its busiest summer ever

The airline reported record quarterly profit of $274 million, and the busiest summer in the airline’s 83-year history.

Southwest Airlines reaps record $584M quarterly profit

With record net income of $584 million on revenue of $5.32 billion for the quarter, Southwest beat the same quarter last year which had net income of $324 million on revenue of $4.8 billion. The company put $228 million into its profit-sharing program.

Cheap fuel helped Delta set record profits

Delta’s operating margin grew to 21 percent and earnings per share were up 45 percent. Delta saved $1.1 billion in fuel costs year-over-year last quarter.

Allegiant Air profits leap 213 percent in 3rd quarter

Lower energy costs contributed to good financial performance and profitable growth of the network.

United, in turmoil, reports drop in revenue

United Continental saw lower sales for the quarter and missed its profit forecast.

Parachutist crashes into tent at Wings Over Houston Air Show

At the Wings Over Houston Airshow, a parachutist from a vintage Lockheed C-60 and using a WWII-era parachute landed in the crowd and took down a small tent. He suffered a broken limb. No spectators were injured.

FAA Video Provides Primer On AOA Displays

For those looking for an introduction to angle-of-attack indicators in GA aircraft, the FAA has a new video to get started. The 19-minute video includes an introduction to angle-of-attack indicators, their use and general advice on installation in airplanes – plus references to FAA documents for further research. It also has demonstrations of three AOA indicators in the market – Alpha Systems, Bendix King, and Safe Flight. The devices have gained increased attention in the last year as the FAA’s safety arm focused on studying loss-of-control accidents, which can be mitigated with AOA indicators, the agency said.

Harsh conditions are foiling Russian jets in Syria

Russia is finding it difficult to keep its military aircraft in the air in Syria. A significant percentage of its attack planes and transport aircraft are grounded.

​Boeing CEO: Losing Export-Import Bank “means loss of jobs”

Boeing is concerned that Congress will not reauthorize the ExIm Bank, which acts as the official export credit agency of the United States federal government.

The Australia News Desk

Airline boss promises ‘a tiger can change its stripes’

The boys are back and the comedy flows as they report on Tiger Airways apparently improving their customer experience and even getting a new call center. Steve is less than enthused!

Qantas to unveil Retro Roo II in November

He is, however, rather excited about the next Retro Roo colour scheme from Qantas. As we record an existing 737-800 is in the paintshop at Townsville getting one of the old Qantas paint schemes applied. We’re hoping for the V-Jet look.

Virgin to sell entire Fokker 50 fleet

Meanwhile, Grant gets to run his Big Motor Fokker vs Little Motor Fokker joke as Virgin are selling off all their Fokker 50s.

An Evening with Matt Hall

Finally, Steve’s going to be Em-Cee for the Angel Flight charity dinner at Bankstown in Sydney on Saturday, October 31, 2015. Get on down and support the cause if you’re in the area!

OzRunways with Matt Hall


AOPA Live This Week for October 22, 2015 has a really good special report from the Red Bull Air Races in Las Vegas. Matt Hall from Australia (and frequently heard on Plane Crazy Down Under) won the race. Second place finisher Paul Bonhomme from Great Britain won the championship.

These are the 15 coolest airline paint jobs in the skies What airline do you think has the coolest livery?

Reclining seat to blame? Southwest flight returns to LAX after ‘altercation’

Crammed-in jet passengers get uptight when the seat’s not upright

Inside the RAF – Britain’s Ultimate Pilots Episode 1 2015


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


AirplaneGeeks 364 Aviation Stories

Uzbekistan by Paul Filmer

We look at the Logbook Podcast with aviation stories told by those who lived them, Uzbekistan Airways weighing passengers, a patent for variable seat pitch, IndiGo firms up a big A320neo order, the fatality rate in GA, a Delta flight pummeled by hail, Emirates launching a 17 hour, 35 minute flight, and an interesting aircraft of the week.


Lucas Weakley

Lucas Weakley

Lucas Weakley is an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student in the aerospace engineering program. Fascinated by flight from a young age, he’s a builder of model rockets and airplanes, and he hopes to one day design kit-built aircraft.

Lucas is also the creator of The Logbook Podcast, where pilots and enthusiasts tell their stories of aviation. He also produced a 23-episode tutorial series for Make Magazine titled Maker Hangar that teaches you everything you need to know to build and fly three custom R/C aircraft.

We also take the opportunity to learn a little more about Embry-Riddle and the aerospace engineering program.

Learn more at Lucas Weakley’s Blog, see his videos on his YouTube channel, and follow Lucas on Twitter at @L_Weakley.

Varga Kachina

Varga Kachina


Airline To Weigh Passengers Before Boarding, Travel Hits New Low

Uzbekistan Airways announced on its website that they would begin weighing passengers and carry-on baggage before boarding to ensure flight safety. The airline says, “After passing check-in on flight and prior to boarding into the aircraft, we will suggest you to pass the procedure of weighing with the special weighing machine placed in the departure gate zone. The weighing record will only contain the corresponding passenger category (i.e. male/ female/ children). As for the rest, the full confidentiality of results is guaranteed.”

This idea could solve the worst thing about air travel

B/E Aerospace has filed a patent application for airline seats that are adjustable for passenger height. Shorter passengers (like children) would get less legroom. Mary Kirby would get more. B/E Aerospace manufactures aircraft cabin interior products for both commercial aircraft and business jets: seating products, galley systems, oxygen, water and waste systems; de-icing, lighting.

Airbus says it takes ‘historical’ aircraft order

IndiGo firmed up a 2014 commitment by placing an order for 250 Airbus A320 new engine option jets. IndiGo has now ordered a total of 530 A320 family aircraft.

US general aviation reports highest fatal accident rate since 1998

According to the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the number of general aviation flight hours is at at all time low. But in 2014 the rate of fatal GA accidents was the highest it has been since 1998.

Delta Pilots Make Blind Emergency Landing

Baseball-sized hail pummeled the airplane, shattered the nose cone and windshield. The pilots were able to land the jet safely.

Emirates Flight To Panama Will Be World’s Longest Non-Stop Route

Emirates announced its plans to launch services to Panama City, beginning 1st February, 2016, with a 17 hour 35 minute flight time.

The Airplane of the Week

The Incom T-65. (It’s David’s segment and he can do what he wants!)


Short final for runway 10 at St Barths in the Caribbean

Short final for runway 10 at St Barths in the Caribbean

Landing at St Barthelemy Airport (SBH-TFFH) | PrivateFly – Video of a DHC-6-300 Twin Otter landing at St Barts.

Crazy Cockpit Landing at St. Barths – Landing runway 10 at St. Barthelemy aboard a Winair DHC-6 Twin Otter.

The Aviation Historian – The modern journal of classic aeroplanes and the history of flying.

American Airlines’ New First Class Pet Cabins – From the Fly and Dine blog in Boarding Area by Jason Kessler.

U.S.-China aviation talks hit stumbling block on airport access – The US and China have been negotiating over limits on flights between the United States and China. The U.S. is worried its airlines will be get less attractive time slots for take-off and landing than the Chinese airlines. So the US negotiators won’t move forward until China looks at a different slot allocation system.

Men In Black Safety Defenders #AirNZSafetyVideo – It’s got international rugby stars, members of the All Blacks, even Rip Torn from MIB 1 and 2, and Frank the pug!


Uzbekistan Airways photo (c) and courtesy Paul Filmer.

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


AirplaneGeeks 347 Training Pilots to Fly Unmanned Aircraft

Vince Donahue, Founder and President of Vortex UAS

Training for UAS pilots, airport security screening expands for airport workers, the Navy looks at swarming UAVs, Delta Air Lines senior instructors to take upset prevention and recovery training, and airlines alerted to watch for hackers.


Vince Donahue is the Founder and President of Vortex UAS, which provides tailored solutions for businesses utilizing Unmanned Aircraft Systems (or UAS) including pilot training, consulting, and other UAS Services.

We talk with Vince about the current state of unmanned aerial vehicles used for commercial purposes, including the FAA NPRM for commercial use of small UAS. Vince comments on the concerns of airplane pilots, the need for drone pilot training, and the sense and avoid technology that is key to safe operation of drones in the national airspace.

Vortex UAS will be conducting a four hour introductory Training Course for unmanned aircraft pilots May 16th, 2015 at Chicago Executive Airport [KPWK].

Stakeholders should read and understand the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for the Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems.

Vince has been a professional pilot for over a decade and is presently the chief pilot of a corporate flight department. He has 4 type ratings in airline, charter, and corporate aviation and he is a Certified Flight Instructor. Vince serves as one of the founding members of the AUVSI Heartland Chapter encompassing the states of Illinois and Wisconsin.

He served as a Naval Flight Officer (NFO) aboard USS Midway and USS Independence in squadron VAW 115 and has 500 hours as NFO in 130 sorties, 70 of them in Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm. Vince received several personal decorations including the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V for meritorious service during combat in the Persian Gulf War as an Aircraft Control Officer on the E-2C Hawkeye.


Feds Heighten Scrutiny of TSA Screeners and Aviation Staff to Thwart Insider Threat

We previously talked about the story where guns were smuggled from Atlanta to New York aboard a Delta flight. The suspects in that case were staff at the airport. Now the TSA says they will implement increased electronic surveillance. And they are not fooling around.

Effective immediately, random screening of airline employees throughout the workday and biennial criminal history checks. TSA hopes to replace the periodic background checks with “real-time recurrent” FBI background checks for all aviation workers.

The recommendations come from a Department of Homeland Security Aviation Security Advisory Committee report. [PDF]

US Navy goes tubular with autonomous swarming UAV demonstrations

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) has been demonstrating swarming UAVs under the  Low-Cost UAV Swarming Technology (LOCUST) program.

The LOCUST system launches a group of drones with tube launchers. It’s a compact system that can be used on ships, tactical vehicles, or aircraft. Once airborne, the drones share information and collaborate autonomously on both defensive and offensive missions.

Delta To Boost Loss-Of-Control Prevention With New Instructor Training

Delta Air Lines senior instructors are being sent to upset prevention and recovery training (UPRT) with ground, in-aircraft, and full-motion simulator instruction. The airline wants its pilots to better avoid or recover from loss-of-control (LOC) incidents.

Feds Warn Airlines to Look Out for Passengers Hacking Jets

Hackers Could Commandeer New Planes Through Passenger Wi-Fi

Concerns have escalated that airliners might be vulnerable to hacking. A US Government Accountability Office report says some new passenger jets (787, A350, A380) have Wi-Fi passenger networks that share the same network as the avionics systems of the planes.

The FBI and TSA have issued an alert to airlines advising them to watch for certain activity. The alert then describes the signs that flight crews should be looking for:

  • Suspicious activity involving travelers connecting unknown cables or wires to the IFE system or unusual parts of the airplane seat.
  • Any evidence of suspicious behavior following a flight, such as IFE systems that show evidence of tampering or the forced removal of covers to network connection ports.
  • Any evidence of suspicious behavior concerning aviation wireless signals, including social media messages with threatening references to Onboard Network Systems, ADS-B, ACARS, and Air Traffic Control networks.
  • Network logs from aircraft that indicate any suspicious activity, such as network scanning or intrusion attempts.

This issue was also discussed in Airline Pilot Guy Episode 164.

The Australia News Desk

The boys are back and only slightly embarrassed for thinking last week was the US public holiday. Ooops.

Meanwhile, the Australian government have publicly given CASA parameters for the changes they want to see made (basically: consider the economic and cost impact of safety regulations and implement the results of the Forsyth Review).

Surprisingly, Jetstar are signing on for another 10 years at Avalon Airport:

And RAAF SQNLDR Andrew “Jacko” Jackson becomes the first Australia pilot to qualify on the F35:

Finally, next weekend the boys will be at the Wings Over Illawarra airshow where they’ll be doing commentary and also working on the airshow DVD

The Aviation Minute

Rob Mark notes that fewer planes are being built, the number of pilots is down, and fewer students are learning to be pilots. Could airport managers be part of the solution?



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


AirplaneGeeks 338 The Most Important Mainstreet in any Town

Frontier at Knoxville

The Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority, air service to Cuba, Gulf carriers and U.S. airlines trade barbs, Emirates and the Boeing 787-8, the pilot shortage, and drone regulations.


Trevis Gardner is an Accredited Airport Executive (AAE) and Vice President of Operations with the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority, which operates McGhee Tyson Airport outside Knoxville Tennessee and Knoxville Downtown Island Airport. They are currently developing Oak Ridge Airport, a corporate aviation airport to support the Oak Ridge National Lab and National Security Complex.

Trevis is a native of East Tennessee and a graduate of Tusculum College and various military and community Leadership Programs. He’s worked with Knoxville Airport since 1991 in various roles, including Engineering Technician and Operations Manager.

Trevis served over 24 years with the USAF/Tenn Air National Guard as both a senior NCO and Commissioned Officer in a variety of capacities. He is Chairman of the Communications Committee for the Southeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives.


JetBlue to Increase Charter Service to Cuba

JetBlue Airways plans to increase its existing charter service to Cuba with an A320 aircraft, and wants to offer regular service when it becomes allowable.

Companies offering charter services to Cuba include ABC Charters, Xael Charters, Airline Brokers Co., C&T Charters, Cuba Travel Services, and Gulfstream Air Charter. To learn more about air travel from the U.S. to Cuba, see Travel to Cuba Q&A.

Emirates Airline rejects Delta apology over chief’s 9/11 comment

American, United and Delta claim that since 2004, Gulf carriers received more than $40 billion in government subsidies, which is unfair. They are asking the U.S. Government to renegotiate or kill treaties that have allowed Qatar and the United Arab Emirates airlines to increase flights to the U.S.

Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson responded to claims that U.S. bankruptcy protection amount to government assistance, making a reference to 9/11 that was not appreciated by Gulf carriers.

A Huge Boeing 747 Order? Unlikely but Possible

Will there be an Emirates order for 100 747-8’s? Unnamed sources say someone (not Boeing) is pitching the 747 to Emirates Airlines.

The Coming U.S. Pilot Shortage Is Real and Podcast: Is The Pilot Shortage For Real?

Contributing factors include the age 65 retirement rule in the U.S., fewer military pilots available to draw on, low (but improving) regional pilot salaries, the majors drawing on regionals for pilots, and fewer students entering aviation colleges looking for a commercial pilot career.

CNBC: Andrea James on the FAA’s new proposed drone regulations

Rob Mark and Andrea James (VP and Senior Research Analyst, Dougherty & Co.) talk about the proposed regulations for commercial use of small UAS.

The Inflight Movie of the Month

David Vanderhoof is back briefly to give his review of Flight of the Intruder . The movie stars Danny Glover, Willem daFoe, and Brad Johnson. More importantly it stars the Grumman A-6 Intruder. If you want plot read the book. If you want to see the preeminent Naval Strike aircraft of the 60-90s, then watch this movie.  Two out of Five Props.

2 props

The Australia News Desk

It’s almost time for the Avalon Airshow and the boys are getting excited about some of the new items that will be on display, including an Airbus A400M and an RQ-4 Global Hawk that has made its first landing at a civilian airport.

The date has been set for VH-OJA to make its final flight to the HARS museum at Wollongong: March 8th.

Air New Zealand confirms they won’t be doing a “retrojet” livery on their next 787-9 despite rumours saying that they would.

Matt Hall comes 2nd in the first heat of the Red Bull Air Race, being kept from first place by less than a second! Clearly the new winglets are doing something good on the track!

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute

Rob talks about frequent flyer programs, free flights, and ticket prices.


Northwest Montana by Morgan

Listener Morgan shared this photo taken while flying in Northwest Montana. The flight was out of Missoula (KMSO) north to Polson (8S1) and back in a rented 172K.

Flying Solo: Having one pilot in the cockpit might be scarier than having none

Safest Seat on a Plane: PM Investigates How to Survive a Crash

As this (intentional) 727 crash shows, you can survive

Killer Brace Position

Deep Freeze Cooling Down


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


AirplaneGeeks 329 Air Taxi

Linear Air

An air taxi operation, cabin branding at Delta, Phenom 100 crash initial findings, IATA recommendations for airline tracking, Airbus A380 orders, and A350 first delivery in the news.


William Herp is CEO and Co-Founder of Linear Air. Bill holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, is single-pilot type-rated in the Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet, and is Director of Operations of Linear Air’s Eclipse charter management company, as well as CEO of Linear Air’s air taxi digital marketplace.

We talk about the air taxi business, how it operates today, and where it is headed. Bill likes to operate at the “intersection of technology and aviation” and he applies that approach at Linear Air.

Bill explains the economics of air taxi and how it represents good value for many travelers. We consider pilot qualifications, applicable regulations, the pricing model, and how large numbers of today’s technically advanced small airplanes can play a role in the future of air taxi.

Linear Air has been creating the technical connections that let people find them through online booking services. They expect to expand their reach by bringing in additional operators, and also focus on creating more awareness among potential customers through promotional events in 2015.

Linear Air staff

Bill has a background in consumer marketing and has used this experience to guide Linear Air’s strategy in the air taxi marketplace. He co-founded e-Dialog, a 500 person online marketing company now owned by eBay, with clients including Dell, British Airways, Avis, and CheapTickets.  Bill is a member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization and serves on the board of directors of Junior Achievement of Eastern Massachusetts, the non-profit educating young people in financial literacy, entrepreneurship and workforce readiness.  Bill graduated from the University of Notre Dame and Harvard Business School.


Delta’s New Seating Arrangement Somehow Makes Coach Even Worse

Delta’s Big Branding Exercise Reflects Changes That Have Already Been Made, Not New Ones

Delta has a plan: segment the cabin into three economy sections and two premium cabins. These would be distinguished by price and service. Delta looks to bring branding into the cabin starting March 1, 2015.

NTSB Releases Preliminary Information on Phenom Crash

A Phenom 100 crashed in Maryland on December 8, killing 3 on board and 3 in a house struck by the aircraft. NTSB member Robert Sumwalt reported on the initial findings from the flight data recorder: both the landing gear and flaps were down, “automated stall warnings began about 20 seconds before the end of the flight” and continued to the end of the recording at impact.

IATA submits aircraft tracking recommendations to ICAO

Airlines Push Back at Plane-Tracking Proposals From IATA

The International Air Transport Association’s Aircraft Tracking Task Force submitted its report to ICAO.  The report will be considered in ICAO’s development of a Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System, or GADSS.

Airbus Faces Investment Conundrum as A380 Orders Vanish

Airbus hasn’t been finding new buyers for the A380. They now have a choice: invest a lot of additional money, or just let it go.

Qatar Airways Refusal Of First Airbus A350: Looks Bad But No Cause For Concern, Expert Says

Airbus A350 launch customer Qatar Airways has delayed delivery of the first aircraft due to “a couple of minor issues.”

Flight Attendant Says Korean Air Exec Made Him Kneel After Nut Mishap

The Daughter of Korean Air’s chairman ordered a flight attendant off the plane when she didn’t like the way the nuts were served. She had the plane return to the gate. The daughter is also an executive in charge of cabin service. Or at least she was at the time.

David Vanderhoof’s History Segment

David’s gives us his annual Holiday message.

The Australia News Desk

Qantas is in the news with reports of a shake-up in some senior positions. It’s time to re-visit the PelAir crash of 2009 as the ATSB is re-opening the case following a scathing review of the original report by the Transport Safety Board of Canada. Steve and Grant take a moment to thank Pieter for his efforts with Across the Pond and, sadly, announce the loss of our friend Charlie Willwerth from the FlightTime Radio Show in Florida.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute

On the issue of pilots taking photographs from the cockpit.

WWII Flying Tigers Photo Exhibit Review

Brian Coleman gives us his review



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



AirplaneGeeks 317 – The Navion


The single engine Navion airplane, air traffic controller hiring guidelines, Air France pilot’s strike, robots flying airplanes, Delta Air Line’s refinery, and NextGen.


Chris Gardner is founder and CEO of Sierra Hotel Aero, holder of the type certificate for the single engine Navion airplane.

Chris has a commercial aviation background, as well as extensive experience with North American Aviation aircraft including rebuilding and modification for racing of the P-51 Mustang, the T- 28, and Navion aircraft.

We review a little of the history of the Navion and how it was originally envisioned by North American Aviation to attract the interest of pilots returning from World War II.

With Sierra Hotel Aero now owning the type certificate, there are opportunities to modernize and upgrade the airplane. Chris is working on an STC for larger engine for the airplane.

Sierra Hotel Aero provides rebuild and modification services, including installation of the BRS Aerospace ballistic recovery parachutes in Cessna 172’s and 182’s.

For more on the Navion, see Navion X and the American Navion Society. Find Navion Aircraft on Facebook.


Two Illinois lawmakers seek to dump new FAA controller hiring rules

For years, when it came to recruiting new air traffic controllers the FAA favored graduates from FAA-accredited college aviation programs and also military veterans with aviation experience. The general public came last. But the FAA changed that not too long ago and started to favor inexperienced applicants. Some think this negatively impacts safety, and have introduced the Safe Towers Act.

French govt ups pressure to end Air France pilots strike

Air France pilots are worried that a a new Air France-KLM initiative to increase the size of its LC carrier Transavia will suck jobs away jobs.

Tiny Humanoid Robot Learning to Fly Real Airplanes

At the 2014 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Chicago, the PIBOT from Korean maker Robotis was demonstrated. It operated simulated aircraft controls autonomously.

Benet Wilson Named New Co-Editor-in-Chief at Airways News

Aviation Queen Benet Wilson is set to join Airways News, the strategic alliance between Airchive.com and Airways Magazine.


Union leader Robert E. Poli led the 1981 air traffic controllers’ strike, which prompted President Ronald Reagan to dismiss 11,500 controllers. Poli died September 15 at his home in Meridian, Idaho. He was 78.

Airplane of the Week

Grumman OA-12 Duck USAF

Jamie Dodson presents the history of the Grumman J2F Duck. Be sure to visit Jamie’s website at NickGrantAdventures.com and have a look at his historical fiction novels.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute

Rob gives us a list of great aviation writers you should read.

The Australia News Desk

Grant and Steve join live from Steve’s studio, and talk about RAAF fighter pilots being deployed in an active combat area, the Women’s World Hot Air Balloon Championship, and the Great Tiger Moth Air Race in Australia.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @PCDU. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.


How Delta Bought A Refinery And Wound Up Saving Its Rivals A Ton Of Cash


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

AirplaneGeeks 297 – MayCay Beeler

Diva Flight

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

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

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

The week’s aviation news:


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

In this week’s Australia Desk:

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

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

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

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


Photo Courtesy of KLM

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

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

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


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

Russian Tupolev Tu-95MS

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

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

AirplaneGeeks 295 – Air Travel as a Jigsaw Puzzle

DH 89A Dragon Rapide in Royal Flight colours, Wanaka 2010 by Errol Cavit

Steven Frischling (“Fish”) builds jigsaw puzzles that divine the state of air travel, and he might be unique in his methodology. Fish also follows aviation security pretty closely.

We talk with him about what he sees in the air travel industry, including which airline is the best when it comes to social interaction and demonstrating a commitment to customer service. And of course, you can’t talk with Fish without getting his comments on airport security.

Fish blogs at Flying With Fish and you can follow him on Twitter as @FlyingWithFish. He also runs Travelers’ Night In, a travel chat on Twitter every Thursday At 3:30pm EST. Follow the #TNI hash tag.

The week’s aviation news:

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week: From Failure to Success, Part 3, The Many Countries of the P-3.

In this week’s Australia Desk:

Staying closer to home this week, the boys lead off with a story about Hainan Airlines’ parent company HNA Group signing an MOU with Avalon Airport owners LinFox to spend 18 months expanding Avalon in readiness for a Melbourne-China route.

Victoria’s premier promises to build a rail link from Melbourne CBD to the airport. Must be an election coming up, eh?

Air Marshall Mark Binskin is promoted to Chief of Defence Force and Grant recently recorded an interview with him.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute: This week Rob talks about SATAS – the synthetic air traffic advisory system to prevent midair collisions at non-towered airports.

BA 777 by XTP Media

BA 777 by XTP Media

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

Pieter goes back to the spot 40 years ago at London Heathrow Airport, where he watched the planes come in wave after wave as a young boy. He still wonders at the awesome nature of aircraft flight and ponders the question how something as big as a Boeing 777 can vanish.

Pieter also has a suggestion for a great museum to visit – the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (@FASTmuseum), followed by a visit across the road to the National Aerospace Library, both of which are free and you will see aircraft, aerospace items and memorabilia seen no where else in the world.

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


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

Post photo: DH 89A Dragon Rapide in Royal Flight colours, Wanaka 2010, courtesy Errol Cavit.

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

AirplaneGeeks 292 – Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

PZL104 Wilga

David and Max talk about the FAA/EAA agreement for Airventure, a unique Delta perk, and nano particle technology applied to jet engines.

The Australia Desk covers increased air traffic activity due to the search for MH370, and a Tiger Moth AD. In the Across the Pond segment, we learn about aviation in Scandinavia.

As always, the listener mail adds great topics, including more on the Flarm system, learning to fly first in a glider, a call for the fanciest/prettiest airport compass rose, cockpit voice recorder run time, the future of the A-10, nose-wheel cameras as IFE, and aviation book recommendations.

The week’s aviation news:

The Aircraft of the Week: the PZL104 Wilga by Jamie Dodson(Photo above.)

In this week’s Australia Desk:

Grant is away this week so Steve is joined by PCDU’s Western Australia correspondent Ben Jones from Perth, WA, which has seen an increase in air traffic recently as aircraft from several nations stage from RAAF Base Pearce in the search for missing flight MH370.  The RAAF AP-3C Orions are being joined by an RNZAF P3-K2 Orion, Chinese Il76s, and various civilian aircraft in the search, some 2,500 off the Western Australian coast.

Australian vintage Tiger Moth aircraft are now subject to an airworthiness directive from CASA concerning lateral tie rods, following recent crash where a wing was found to have failed during an aerobatic maneuver.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

This week Pieter introduces a new guest contributor Marisa Garcia from Denmark to talk about aviation in Scandinavia. Working in the aerospace sector for over 20 years, Marisa now focuses her business on leading edge aviation journalism. In this inaugural segment, they discuss Marisa’s background in aircraft interior design and her website Flight Chic, along with the major Danish airlines, airports and their relative health in today’s marketplace.

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

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

KDTA airport compass rose

KDTA airport compass rose

Patrick’s challange: Email us a photo of an airport compass rose, and we’ll pick the best ones.

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

Episode 204 – Flying Skycatchers


Guests Edward Honey and Benjamin Alimena are two of the Discover Flying Interns for Cessna in a program to take the 162 Skycatcher to various aviation fly-ins and events, ending with AirVenture in OshKosh. Cessna is handing the keys of these brand-new light sport aircraft to college students (and recent graduates) and trusting them to fly all over the country to promote the airplane.

Chris Manno from the JetHead blog is our guest co-host. Be sure to check out his JetHead Live podcast.

The week’s aviation news:

In this week’s Australia Desk report:

Grant is on the cell phone this week from far north west Victoria, 600km from Melbourne, and Max’s favourite Australian, Anthony Simmons also joins us. In the news, on the one year anniversary of their grounding, Tiger Airways opens its new Sydney base, announces 150 new jobs and re-commences Sydney – Gold Coast flights, Qantas check in systems affected by world wide Amadeus System malfunction, Air Pacific announces an operating profit of $A9million for the year. Just for fun, we also nominate our favourite Americans.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

This week on Across The Pond, Pieter along with Gareth visit the Royal Navy Air Day at RNAS Yeovilton in Somerset, UK. Apart from reminiscing about the Fairy Swordfish Pieter talks to Gareth about his chariot for arriving, speaks about some of the static exhibits demonstrating the air power in the Falklands conflict and see’s a Condor fly past.

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on his blog Alpha Tango Papa, and on Facebook at XTPMedia. You can also find Pieter and Gareth at the Aviation Xtended podcast, and on Twitter at @AviationXtended.

Mentioned this episode:

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

This episode is dedicated to the memory of our friend Harriet.