Tag Archives: drone

409 Vet Air: Flying Veterans in Need of Medical Care

Providing veterans with air transportation to and from healthcare facilities, an around-the-world record attempt, Air Force to use enlisted airmen as RPA pilots, FAA encourages GA aircraft owners to voluntarily install safety equipment, a cable break during a carrier landing, and growing military aircraft in chemical vats. Plus, a report on the new Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum.

Guest

Karen and Jesus Pereira

Karen and Vet Air’s Jesus Pereira

Jesus Pereira founded Vet Air in 2015 as a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity that uses volunteer pilots and GA airplanes to provide veterans with air transportation to and from healthcare facilities, as well as flights for compassionate reasons.

Having joined the Massachusetts Army National Guard in February 1996, Jesus attended basic training at Fort Jackson South Carolina, and received his Advanced Individual Training at Fort Lee Virginia as a Petroleum Supply Specialist. He is currently serving with HHC 126th BSB with the grade of E-7, Sergeant First Class. He has one deployment to Kuwait in 2010 where he served with the Army Aviation Task Force.

Jesus with therapy dogs Gizmo and Bella

Jesus with therapy dogs Gizmo and Bella

Jesus is currently a Veteran Service Officer for the Town of Longmeadow in Massachusetts. His primary function is to provide Veterans with MGL Chapter 115 benefits and assistance with federal VA benefits. Jesus holds a private pilot certificate with complex, high performance, and tailwheel endorsements.

Learn more at VetAir.org, and on the VetAir Facebook page.

News

Teen pilot Lachlan Smart on track for world record

Eighteen year old Lachlan Smart wants to become the youngest person to fly solo around the world in a single-engine aircraft, and he plans to make 24 stops in his Cirrus SR22 doing it. Follow his journey at Wings Around the World.

Air Force plans 100 enlisted drone pilots by 2020

The Air Force expects to graduate the first class of enlisted airmen in 2017 for remotely piloted aircraft, specifically unarmed RQ-4 Global Hawks used for high-altitude reconnaissance missions. The graduates would become the first Air Force enlisted pilots since World War II.

FAA Policy Helps Modernize GA Airplanes and Helicopters

FAA Policy No: PS-AIR-21.8-1602 [PDF] “encourages general aviation aircraft owners to voluntarily install safety equipment on airplanes and helicopters that is not required by the agency’s regulations.”

Navy: Human error to blame for March cable break aboard USS Eisenhower flight deck

An arresting cable broke when an E2-C Hawkeye attempted to make a carrier landing, injuring eight sailors. The video shows the dramatic recovery by the pilot of the Hawkeye.

Cable snaps on USS Eisenhower during landing

BAE Systems wants to grow military aircraft in chemical vats

BAE Systems and the University of Glasgow are working on a manufacturing method that utilizes a “Chemputer” at the molecular level to assemble objects. Originally developed for pharmaceuticals, this might allow the construction of small UAVs or components for large manned aircraft.

Growing UAVs Through Chemistry

Resources:

Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall

Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall

Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall

David attended the opening of the new Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. We hear opening remarks from Dr. Bob van der Linden, Chairman of the Aeronautics Department, and Dr. Margaret Weitekamp, a curator in the Space History Department.

We then hear David’s interview with Bob van der Linden, who describes some of the changes made, the visitor experience, and the special photo op with the Spirit of St. Louis and the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM).

NASM app logoNext, David talks with Vicki Portway and Sarah Banks from the social media team about how the museum is reaching out and transforming itself through the “experience loop.” We also hear about the new GO FLIGHT: National Air and Space Museum app for iOS and Android. The app lets you connect to the museum from wherever you are.

Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall

Mentioned

Routehappy job page.

Credit

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

407 California Aeronautical University

We talk with the president of California Aeronautical University, which provides degree-level programs focused on students who want to become professional pilots. We also discuss airlines and jet fuel prices, the new FAA rules for commercial use of small unmanned aircraft systems, Flight 804 flight recorders, and the impacts of Brexit on aviation.

California Aeronautical University

Guest

Matthew A. Johnston is president of the California Aeronautical University. The University offers associate and bachelor degree level programs that are focused on students earning their degree to become a professional pilot.  CalAero features a 22-acre purpose-built aviation campus located on the Bakersfield Meadows Field airport, and has Part 141 private, instrument, commercial, CFI, and CFII approvals.

Founded a year ago, California Aeronautical University is positioned between the big name aeronautical institutions and the small, local FBOs that provide training. Matt describes how CalAero differentiates itself from from other options that students have, and how the University attracts students. We learn about the aircraft in the fleet, the instrumentation chosen, the new facility, finding (and creating) flight instructors, and the demographic of the students.

Matt has over 20 years of experience serving in education.  He began working for Santa Barbara Business College, a career technical college, and held the positions of Admissions Associate, Faculty Member, Dean, Campus Director, Director of Operations, and Vice President.

California Aeronautical UniversityMatt’s involvement in the community, educational associations and other organizations includes maintaining active memberships with several national idea exchange groups, real estate associations, and volunteering with several community and youth benefiting organizations. He is currently active on the boards of the California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools which supports educational institutions in California and serves as the Vice President of the Wings over Camarillo Association which is the organization that coordinates an annual airshow attracting over 12,000 spectators and participants.   He also participates in several other aviation related associations including University Aviation Association, Regional Airline Association, AOPA, and EAA with the Young Eagles program.

Find California Aeronautical University on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

News

Big U.S. Airlines Realize They Missed a Shot at Cheapest Jet Fuel Prices in 12 Years

Jet fuel prices are up as much as 80 percent since January, and major jet fuel consumers didn’t lock in low prices early in the year.

DOT and FAA Finalize Rules for Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems

The rule that finalizes the February 2015 NPRM, Operation and Certification of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems is out and will add a new part 107 to Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR). The rule applies to operating and certification requirements for sUAS to operate for non-hobby and non-recreational purposes. David and Max provide an overview of the rule. See The UAV Digest Episode 151 for a more expansive summary of the rule.

See also, the Integrated Airman Certification and Rating Application (IACRA) page. IACRA is the web-based certification/rating application that guides you through the FAA’s airman application process. Remote Pilot certificates for small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) will be coming to IACRA in late August 2016.

Flight 804: Egypt fails to pull data from damaged recorders

Egypt has been unable to pull anything useful from the recorders, and is sending both the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder to the BEA in France. The BEA will “carry out repair and removal of salt accumulations” then return the black boxes back to Cairo for data analysis at the labs of the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Brexit impact on aviation and aerospace

Brexit would harm UK’s £56bn aerospace and defence industry

When polled prior to the vote, only two percent of the 900 members polled from industry trade association ADS backed Britain leaving the European Union.

Airline stocks dip in wake of Brexit decision

American Airlines shares went down 6.5%, Delta down 3.7%, United down 4.7% Southwest down 1.6%, and JetBlue’s stock price fell 2%.

Aviation weighs challenges of post-Brexit environment

British Airways parent company International Airlines Group (IAG) faces currency pressures and questions about the viability of the financial industry in London. IATA expressed disappointment with the vote, and questions arise about the need to now re-negotiate air treaties.

IATA on Brexit: 3-5% Reduction in Passengers, Fate of EU/US Open Skies Agreements TBD

Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO said, “There were 117 million air passenger journeys between the UK and the EU in 2015. Air links facilitate business, support jobs and build prosperity. It is critical that whatever form the new UK-EU relationship takes, it must continue to ensure the common interests of safe, secure, efficient and sustainable air connectivity.”

Mentioned

USA Today’s 10 Best Airshows

Award-Nominated NBAA Video Anchors NBAA’s Single-Pilot Safety Resources

Plane Talking UK Podcast

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 384 Plane Spotting with Ben Granucci

NYCAviation.com editor Ben Granucci on plane spotting, CEO change at Spirit Airlines, drone news from the 2016 CES, a new FAA app, the Airbus A350, hand flying the airplane, five-engine airplanes, and the odd-looking Northrop Tacit Blue.

Guest

Ben Granucci inside Fedex A300 at EWR's Airport Day

Ben Granucci inside Fedex A300 at EWR’s Airport Day. Photo by Maggie Bradley.

Ben Granucci is the Standards Editor for NYCAviation.com, a New York City-based, globally focused aviation news, commentary, and enthusiast website. He is an avid aviation photographer and a lifelong avgeek. In addition to his work with NYCAviation, Ben also occasionally writes for AirlineReporter.com. Follow him on Twitter at @blgranucci and visit his Facebook page.

Some of Ben’s favorite photos:

Plane spotting at St Maarten

Plane spotting at St Maarten

A Tarom A310 carrying the Hungarian delegation taxis to depart while a Cathay Pacific 777-300ER lifts off in the background during UN Week 2015.

A Tarom A310 carrying the Hungarian delegation taxis to depart while a Cathay Pacific 777-300ER lifts off in the background during UN Week 2015.

An F-22 Raptor and P-51 Mustang perform the Heritage Flight during day 2 of the first ever New York Air Show.

An F-22 Raptor and P-51 Mustang perform the Heritage Flight during day 2 of the first ever New York Air Show.

A LAN Airlines A320 departs Santiago, Chile at sunset.

A LAN Airlines A320 departs Santiago, Chile at sunset.

News

Behind The Sudden Departure of Spirit Airline’s Wildly Unconventional CEO

The Spirit Airlines board announced that board member Robert Fornaro would replace Ben Baldanza as the CEO of the ultra low-cost airline. Fornaro was the AirTran CEO who managed the sale to Southwest  2011. While Spirit remains profitable, it is less so than before, and stock prices have tumbled. Could there be a merger in Spirit’s future?

See also:

It’s Official: Human-Carrying Drones Are Happening

EHang 184

EHang 184

China-based EHang announced its EHang 184 autonomous electric drone at CES, and says it should be in production in a year. The aircraft carries a single passenger, is limited to a 23 minute flight, and is expected to have a price of $200,000-$300,000.

B4UFLY Smartphone AppB4UFLY

At CES, FAA Administrator Huerta announced the public release of the B4UFLY app for iOS, and the beta of a version for the Android operating system. The FAA says, “B4UFLY tells users about current or upcoming requirements and restrictions in areas of the National Airspace System (NAS) where they may want to operate their unmanned aircraft system (UAS).”

FAA fails to ensure pilots’ manual flying skills: government report

The U.S. Transportation Department Office of the Inspector General released a report saying the FAA is not ensuring that airline pilots maintain the skills they need to take control from automated systems during an unexpected event.

FAA Wants GA Hand Flying Skills Checked

The FAA has issued a new advisory circular for flight instructors that promotes hand flying skills during flight reviews and proficiency checks. The AC says, “The FAA reminds CFIs conducting flight reviews and IPCs to ensure that a pilot under evaluation is proficient with the automated system and knows what to do if it fails.”

That time when we strapped an extra engine onto a jumbo

Qantas ferried a Rolls Royce engine from Sydney to Johannesburg so it could be used on another B747. See the video: Qantas’ Five-Engined Boeing 747-400 Ferry Flight Takes Off From Perth. Some years ago, Aviation Week covered Pratt & Whitney’s 747SP flying testbed with a “fifth engine” GTF.

PW B747SP flying testbed

P&W B747SP flying testbed with the PW1200G. Source: Pratt & Whitney.

The Airplane of the Week

David tells us about the ugliest airplane ever, the Northrop Tacit Blue.

Northrop Tacit Blue

Northrop Tacit Blue, courtesy National Museum of the US Air Force

Across the Pond

Pieter talks to FlightChic Marisa Garcia about the A350, Finnair, RyanAir and the sad new unfolding of an accident in Sweden.

ATP Finnair

Mentioned

Aviation centennials in 2016:

The 3 Plane Crashes You’ve Never Heard Of: Aviation’s Sacrificial Lambs by Phil Derner Jr. in NYCAviation.

Jack Dunn Stories – Stories from a long time aviator, captured in video.

Tracey Curtis-Taylor finishes UK to Australia biplane flight – Tracey Curtis-Taylor flew her 1942 Boeing Stearman Spirit of Artemis from Farnborough to Sydney, retracing pioneer Amy Johnson’s 1930 flight.

NASA Research Could Save Commercial Airlines Billions in New Era of Aviation

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 365 How to Run an Airshow

River Days

Conversation with an airshow air boss, U.S. airlines in the crosshairs of consumer advocates and government agencies, ALPA’s concerns about UAVs, and the importance of an airport’s name.

Guest

Steve Tupper was air boss at the GM Detroit River Days Airshow on the Detroit River 20-21 June 2015. Steve tells us a little about the about what it took to pull off a full airshow in the very challenging box that is the Detroit River.

We also get an update on Steve’s Acrocamp movie and also A Pilots Story from Will Hawkins and Rico Sharqawi. Steve tells us a CFI episode is coming out, and he’s going to get type-rated in the world’s only 2-place jet glider at Desert Aerospace in Moriarty, New Mexico. Oh, and Steve has already started planning for next year’s airshow!

See the Detroit Tuskegee Airmen Glider Club on a Mission article written by Benét Wilson for AOPA.

Steve Tupper

Steve Tupper

Steve Tupper is the well-known producer and host of the Airspeed podcast, with more than 200 episodes over the last 10 years. He’s covered everything from motion sickness to the Shuttle Carrier Aircraft to flight experiences in aircraft like the T-38 Talon and the F-16D Fighting Falcon with the USAF Thunderbirds.

Steve is also a commercial pilot and flight instructor with private, commercial, or instructor privileges in gliders, single- and multi-engine land airplanes, and single-engine seaplanes.  He holds an instrument rating in airplanes and is type-rated (second-in-command) in the DC-3/C-47.

Steve is a lieutenant colonel in the Civil Air Patrol and he serves as the Michigan Wing’s judge advocate, in addition to being a search-and-rescue pilot and disaster-relief pilot.

News

Airline Fares Just Plummeted — or Did They?

Airline Cartel on the Loose?

If Airlines Are Reporting Record Profits They Must Be Colluding, Right? Probably Not, And Here’s Why

Consumer advocates and government agencies are after the airlines. The US Department of Justice is investigating United, Southwest, American, and Delta airlines for “possible unlawful coordination” and allegedly colluding. Some believe airline mergers, falling oil prices, falling airfares, massive revenue from fees, and big profits are contributors or indicators that consumers are being hurt.

ALPA: Airline pilots ‘very concerned’ about UAVs

Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) president Tim Canoll noted, “pilot reports of unmanned aircraft have increased dramatically over the past year, from a total of 238 sightings in all of 2014 to more than 650 by Aug. 9 of this year.”

With respect to small UAVs operated below the airspace used by commercial aircraft, ALPA advocates: educating operators; using “geo-fencing” to keep small UAVs from operating within 5 mi. of airports;UAV registration at point of sale so owners can be identified after an incident; and “more formalized” enforcement.

For larger UAVs sharing the airspace with airliners, APLA would like to see FAA regulations and oversight the same as for airliners: operator licensing and collision avoidance technology.

The Local Airport, by Any Other Name

Sometimes the name of the airport can help or hinder public awareness of the facility, particularly for smaller, regional airports. Some airports are responding by changing their name.

Airplane of the Week

"Rich Field Jenny" by George Johnson, Aviation Section, US Army Signal Corps

“Rich Field Jenny” by George Johnson, Aviation Section, US Army Signal Corps

The Curtiss JN-4 or Jenny, which was suggested by our listener Jodi.

The Australia News Desk

Steve is solo this week as we cover the huge turnaround in the Qantas full year profit – $575 million profit after a $2.8 billion loss the year before.  We present an edited interview with CEO Alan Joyce, speaking with Ross Greenwood on Sydney radio station 2GB about why he thinks such a turnaround has been possible.  For the full version of that interview, see:

Ross Greenwood- QANTAS CEO Alan Joyce

Qantas confirms an order for eight 787-9s in Red Tail livery:

Qantas orders Dreamliners, announces shareholder return and posts return to profitability

Australia’s Matt Hall returned to the podium in the Red Bull Air Race recently, this time coming second to Britain’s Paul Bonhomme at Ascot in the UK.  We play some audio from the post race press conference:

RBAR Ascot: Hall returns to podium at Royal Ascot

Across the Pond

Pieter reflects on the sad events last week at the RAFA Airshow at Shoreham.

Shoreham crash pilot ‘is an expert’

Civil Aviation Authority announces series of immediate restrictions and changes to UK civil air displays

Mentioned

Sioux Gateway Airport gifts

Sioux Gateway Airport

International Council of Air Shows

Sioux Gateway Airport (SUX) gifts

A Finite Fraternity: Combat Fighter Ace by Scott Spangler in Jetwhine.

DXB A380 takeoff from seat 2F – Watching an A380 takeoff on 12R from DXB on the skycam from seat 2F.

Richie McCaw’s other passion – gliding and Richie McCaw in Wikipedia.

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 354 Controlling the Airport Conversation

Chino Airport

Chino Airport Community Ambassador Bob Velker, an alternative to radar, smaller airline carry-on bags, an update on the A400M crash, shooting wildlife from a plane, and two airlines make a top 10 list that you don’t want to be on.

Guest

Bob Velker is Business Liaison & Community Outreach Manager, Chino Airport (CNO), County of San Bernardino – Department of Airports.

We talk with Bob about his role as the “community ambassador” for Chino Airport, one of the country’s largest general aviation airports and located in the County of San Bernardino, close to Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties in Southern California.

His primary task is to dispel the notion that Chino Airport is a “gated community filled with rich boys and their toys.” More precisely, that Chino is a small business park with runways, made up of dozens of businesses, employing hundreds of people, and pouring millions of dollars into the local economy.

Bob tells us how he builds synergy for all the airport stakeholders: the developers, the community, the Planes of Fame Air Museum, area businesses, and the airport itself. He creates education and awareness programs that engage the community with the airport and help them see the important role the airport plays in the local economy.

Chino Airshow

We also talk about the Planes of Fame Airshow and the notion of an “aerotropolis,” where an airport is in the center of a city which then grows around it, connecting workers, suppliers, executives, and goods to the global marketplace. Bob gives us a great example of how an airport can work with drone flyers for their mutual benefit.

Bob has been in-and-around Chino Airport for 18 years. He’s also a pilot, a businessman, a strategic planner, and a management consultant, plus, he says, a recovering engineer.

Reporting directly to the county’s Director of Airports, Bob’s role also requires a close working relationship with local governments, elected officials, chambers of commerce, community service organizations, local school districts and colleges, pilot’s groups, and high-profile businesses in and around the airport.

Bob is responsible for creating and maintaining the airport’s social media platform. Their website is ChinoAirport.org, and you can find them on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The History of Chino Airport (formerly Cal Aero Field) is a video worth watching.

News

Television signals a possible alternative to radar

NATS, in conjunction with Thales ATM UK and Roke Manor, have been testing a system that uses standard TV signals to detect and direct aircraft.

Get ready for smaller airline carry-on bags

At its annual meeting, IATA (The International Air Transport Association) proposed the Cabin OK program to try and standardize the size of cabin bags allowed by airlines.

On its webpage, IATA says, “…the current variety of policies among airlines can lead to frustration for passengers. Bags that do not correspond to the allowance are regularly checked in at the gate, which adds inconvenience for the traveller, slows down the boarding process, increases airline costs and occasionally delays flights.”

The bag size proposed by IATA is a little smaller than the standard size used by most U.S. carriers, including Delta, United, American, and Southwest.

Vital engine software files accidentally wiped, linked to fatal A400M plane crash

On May 9, an Airbus A400M crashed near Spain’s Seville Airport. Four of six crew members were killed. A BBC source says investigators believe that when software was installed, the torque calibration parameters had accidentally been deleted, causing the ECU’s to fail to operate properly.

Ranchers mourn wildlife employees killed in plane crash

The pilot and a gunner were killed while attempting to shoot a coyote in northeastern New Mexico as part of the Wildlife Services program under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

According to the USDA, Wildlife Services resolves “wildlife conflicts to allow people and wildlife to coexist.” The Predator Defense organization takes a dim view of the USDA methodology, but nonetheless the Wildlife Services use of aerial gunning has led to a number of accidents and deaths.

10 Companies That Act Like They Hate Their Customers

The list of major corporations with terrible customer service includes cable companies, telecommunications companies, banks, insurance companies, and (no surprise) two U.S. airlines.

The Australia News Desk

In order to prevent a Rob Mark moment on the Oz Desk, Grant has to pass Steve’s Breathalyzer test before he can join in reporting on:

  • Qantas and American teaming up on the SYD-LAX route allowing Qantas to redeploy some 747-400s to the SYD-SFO route
  • Alan Joyce joins the chorus of howls against the government’s proposed northern cabotage reductions.

The Aviation Minute

Rob Mark has been watching the growth of commercial and hobby drone use, and provides his thoughts on some of the technology being employed.

Mentioned

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 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.

Guest

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.

News

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?

Mentioned

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 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.

Guest

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.

News

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.

Mentioned

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

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 337 Sky Jinks in the Jet Age

Convair 880

A replacement for the T-38 jet trainer, FAA releases proposed regulations for small UAS, the world’s largest airport terminal is planned for China, changes to airline rewards programs, great aviation stories, and discussions about pilot reliance on automation and the Delta refinery.

Guest

Steve Taylor is a graduate of The Citadel with a degree in civil engineering. He served six years as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force with service in Vietnam flying a C-130. Following a long flying career, he retired as an international airline captain. Along the way, Steve has flown the J-3 Cub, T-37, CV-880, DC-9, B-727, B-767, and L-1011. Steve’s autobiography, Wheels Up: Sky Jinks in the Jet Age, tells great true-life stories.

Steve has been a solo ocean sailor and holds a U.S. Coast Guard captain’s license. He has owned and operated a commercial construction company and is a Coastal Master Naturalist.

News

Northrop surprises with new design for U.S. Air Force trainer

The U.S. Air Force wants to replace the T-38 Talon with a new two-seat jet trainer. The T-X program anticipates at least 350 planes and Northrop Grumman has a prototype that they plan to fly this year. Its a clean sheet design.

FAA Releases Details of Proposed Rule 107 for Small Drones

The FAA announced a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for commercial use of small drones weighing less than 55 pounds. These unmanned aircraft must be operated within visual line of sight, under 500 feet AGL, and during daytime hours only. Operators would be required to pass an aeronautical knowledge test and obtain an unmanned aircraft operator certificate with a small UAS rating. Public comments can be made online at the Regulations.gov website referencing Docket FAA-2015-0150.

Max and David provide an initial reaction to the NPRM in Episode 81 of The UAV Digest.

Zaha Hadid unveils plans for “world’s largest” airport terminal

Zaha Hadid Architects has unveiled plans for its Beijing New Airport Terminal Building, which it says will be the world’s largest. Reportedly, the 7.5 Million Square Foot facility is to be completed in 2018.

Southwest the latest airline to scale back rewards program

Effective April 17, Southwest rewards points will depend on the destination, time, day of travel, demand, and some other factors. Other airlines are making changes too: Delta Air Lines switched from miles traveled to dollars spent. United Airlines plans to switch to a similar plan.

Airplane of the Week

Jamie Dodson tells us about the Cessna 172.

Mentioned

Listener Mike’s homebuilt Sonex in Stow, Massachusetts:

Sonex in Deep Snow

Sonex in snow

C27J Spartan

C27J Spartan by James

Credit

Convair 880 Rollout Day image by San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive via Wikimedia Commons.

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 330 The Rogue Aviator

Ace Abbott

Memoirs of a pilot, AirAsia Flight QZ8501, flying drones safely, falling oil prices and the cost of airline tickets, the Gulfstream G650ER, a look back at 2014 and a look ahead to 2015.

Guest

Ace Abbott was an F-4 Phantom pilot in the USAF, based in the Far East, and he flew the Learjet as a corporate and charter pilot. During the last 22 years of his career, Ace flew the Boeing 727 for several airlines, accumulating 11,000 hours in the captain’s chair.

Ace is retired now, he blogs, and he authored his memoir, The Rogue Aviator In the Back Alleys of Aviation. and Dead Tired: Aviation’s Insidious Killer which looks at pilot fatigue.

Ace was featured by two young aviation bloggers: Share Your Story: Ace Abbott, Author, F-4 Phantom and 727 Pilot by Swayne Martin and Ace Abbott – His Story by Jake Lewis.

Find Ace’s books, blog and more at The Rogue Aviator. Follow Ace on Twitter: @aceabbott.

News

Update on AirAsia 8501 Accident

AirAsia Flight 8501 was flying from Surabaya, Indonesia, to Singapore with 162 souls onboard: 155 passengers, 2 pilots, and 5 crew. State-owned AirNav Indonesia provides air-navigation services and said the AirAsia plane took off at 5:32 a.m. local time. While cruising at 32,000 feet at 6:12 a.m., it contacted traffic control at Jakarta’s airport to say it was moving left from the flight path and rising to 38,000 feet to avoid a cloud. At 6:18 a.m. QZ8501 disappeared from radar.

UK Body Warns Drone Owners: Fly Safely, or You’ll Be Fined

The UK civil aviation authority reminds people that if you fly recklessly you can be fined as much as 5,000 pounds.

Know Before You Fly

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

Why Only Some Airline Tickets Are Falling With Lower Oil Prices

Oil prices have plummeted, and fuel is the big cost element for airlines. So does that mean that ticket prices will fall as well? Not necessarily. Different airline fuel hedging strategies play a role.

See also: Major US Airlines That Took Risky Bets On Oil Are Hurting From Falling Prices and Airfare Should Get Cheaper In 2015 Due To Plummeting Oil Prices, Experts Say.

Airlines We Lost in 2014

The Cranky Flier looks at the airlines that in 2014 went out of business, were bought, or retired.

The Newest Version Of The $66.5 Million G650 Can Fly Nonstop From New York To Hong Kong

The Gulfstream G650ER can carry an extra 4,000 pounds of fuel which increases range to 8,600 miles, enough to fly nonstop from New York to Hong Kong or Los Angeles to Melbourne, Australia.

David Vanderhoof’s History Segment

This week Jamie Dodson tells us about the Convair B-36 “Peacemaker.”

B-36J AF Serial Number 52-2217 on display at the Strategic Air and Space Museum.

B-36J AF Serial Number 52-2217 on display at the Strategic Air and Space Museum.

B-36J AF Serial Number 52-2220 on display in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force

B-36J AF Serial Number 52-2220 on display in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force

B-36J AF Serial Number 52-2827 on display at the Pima Air & Space Museum.

B-36J AF Serial Number 52-2827 on display at the Pima Air & Space Museum.

Airplane Geeks on Ice

LC-130s and a Turbine DC-3 on skis at Williams Field (NZWD) McMurdo Antarctica

LC-130s and a Turbine DC-3 on skis at Williams Field (NZWD) McMurdo Antarctica

Juan Carlos Fernandez Diaz is part of a scientific crew flying in Antarctica. He created the website Listener Reports from an Airplane Geek from McMurdo Station Antarctica and sends us his first report on aviation from that continent.

Mentioned

Credit

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