Tag Archives: electric

494 Flight Training Management

The owner and president of Flight Training Technologies talks about a flight training management application for use by flight instructors, students, and Part 61 flight schools. Also, recent developments in the search for Amelia Earhart, progress toward electric general aviation aircraft, how Air New Zealand is managing their customers in the face of an equipment change, the United Airlines bonus program fiasco, and some comments on the Airbus A350 vs. the Boeing 787.


Amy Labus-Olson, owner and president of flight training management system provider Flight Training Technologies, LLC.

Amy Labus-Olson, owner and president of Flight Training Technologies, LLC.

Amy Labus-Olson is the owner and president of Flight Training Technologies, LLC. which provides an online flight training management application for use by flight instructors, students, and Part 61 flight schools.

As a CFII (Certificated Flight Instructor – Instrument), Amy saw a need in the small business flight training industry for a paperless management system for maintaining students’ flight training records. As a college educator, she used digital solutions to effectively manage her students and wanted that same level of professionalism in management in the flight training environment. She created the Skynotes web app which provides users with a calendar/scheduler, flight and ground curriculum with lesson set up tool, a flight training logbook with IACRA tracking, CFI records logbook, FAR requirement and FAA endorsements checklist, a resource library, and free online ground school through Pilot Training System.

The goal of Skynotes is to keep students and instructors informed and engaged in their flight training program from start to certification, no matter how many instructors the student has throughout their training.

Amy holds a commercial certificate with multi-engine and instrument ratings along with a CFII and remote pilot certificate. Amy has taught for a variety of Part 61 and 141 flight schools and also as an independent CFI.

Learn more about Skynotes at the Flight Training Technologies website, on Facebook, LinkedIn, and on Twitter. Also, see the post in Airscape about Skynotes.

Aviation News

Bones discovered on a Pacific island belong to Amelia Earhart, a new forensic analysis claims

Human bones were found on the Pacific island of Nikumaroro in 1940 and there was speculation they belonged to Amelia Earhart. A 1941 forensic analysis concluded the bones were of a man, but speculation continued because the methods then were crude by today’s standards. Now, University of Tennessee professor Richard L. Jantz has employed a computer program used by forensic anthropologists called Fordisc to revisit the measurements originally taken of the bones. He concluded the measurements match what is known about Earhart’s physical dimensions.

Is Amelia Earhart Found?

This article by Robert Goyer presents is skeptical of the new “evidence.”

2040: A bill to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 621 Kansas Avenue in Atchison, Kansas, as the “Amelia Earhart Post Office Building”

This bill passed in the Senate on March 7, 2018, and goes to the House next for consideration.

Progress made toward electric GA

In the U.S., where LSAs were viewed as the likely entry point for electric, there is a problem. The regulatory language uses the word “reciprocating,” which excludes turbine engines, rocket-power, and electric motors. Nevertheless, Greg Bowles, GAMA’s Vice President for Global Innovation & Policy, expects to see certified electric aircraft in regular use within three to five years. Bowles is also chairman of ASTM Committee F44 on General Aviation Aircraft, which is defining performance standards that work with the 2016 regulation reform that took Part 23 from a prescriptive model to a performance-based model.


Flight Safety Foundation Calls for Sweeping Changes to Pilot Training

Air NZ engine fix another month away

Leaked Memo: Oscar Munoz Tells United Employees Quarterly Bonuses WILL Change


Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

453 The Zunum Aero Electric Airplane

Our guest is a founder of electric airplane company Zunum Aero, and he has a strong vision for the future. In the news: an update on the fatal Icon A5 crash, the disruptive nature of electric and autonomous vehicles, and the Airbus Fly Your Ideas contest. Also, some observations from the Wings Over Pittsburgh air show, the Aerospace Media Dinner and Awards, and advice to listeners about a flying career.

Image courtesy Zunum Aero

Image courtesy Zunum Aero


Matt Knapp, founder at Zunum AeroMatt Knapp is a Founder of Zunum Aero, a company that seeks to democratize access to high-speed travel through hybrid-electric regional airplanes.

Matt describes the vision of Zunum Aero, and tells us about the team and advisory board that has been assembled. He notes that the jet engine shaped aviation, and now electric power is poised to shape aviation again, initially in the regional sector.

We discuss the current state of battery technology and how Zunum is dealing with the moving target of available energy sources. Matt explains how the airplanes being developed are optimized for low costs over regional distances. We talk about the range-optimized powertrain, the battery charging strategy, and the long lead time challenges of technology development and meeting regulatory requirements.

Matt started his passion for aviation by building model rockets and airplanes at age 5. He received a pilot’s license at 17, and went on to earn his BS and MS in Aerospace Engineering at MIT. Before founding Zunum Aero, Matt was Lead Designer for the Javelin high-performance jet, and Lead Aerodynamicist for Pioneer Rocketplane’s spacecraft. Matt has consulted for major aircraft OEMs, NASA and DARPA. He’s also a certified flight instructor.

Aviation News

NTSB Releases Preliminary Icon Accident Report

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) preliminary report on the fatal Icon A5 crash centers around the account of a witness in a boat on the same lake. The witness observed the airplane flying about 30 to 50 feet above the water, heard the engine “rev up,” and saw the airplane drift to the right before it left the field of view. Subsequently, the witness heard the sound of impact.

Disruptive Tech: Electric Airplanes Could Destroy The Automotive Industry

The San Francisco-based research group and think tank RethinkX says, “We are on the cusp of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruption of transportation in history. By 2030, within 10 years of regulatory approval of Autonomous Vehicles, 95 percent of U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric vehicles owned by fleets, not individuals, in a new business model we call “transport-as-a-service” (TaaS)”

For more, download the RethinkX report.

Winner of Airbus’ ‘Fly Your Ideas’ Competition Solves Under Seat Crunch

The University of Hong Kong took home the prize in the Airbus Fly Your Ideas contest. Their idea is to create a storage space under the seat in front of you by dropping the area down under the cabin floor into the top of the cargo compartment. This year’s competition set a new record with nearly 5,500 students from around the world taking part.


The Aerospace Media Dinner and Awards, are to be presented in Paris on 18th June, 2017. The awards “…have been created to honour individuals and publishers who have made a significant contribution to aerospace publishing.” Shortlisted finalists include:

Qantas chief Alan Joyce gets pie in face at Perth business breakfast, via listener Dave in Adelaide.


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

AirplaneGeeks 397 Airman Certification Standards

We talk with the Special Technical Assistant for the FAA Flight Standards Service and editor of FAA Safety Briefing magazine. Also, electrically powered planes, an important Approved Model List STC, the FAA teams up with the auto industry, airlines restricting fare bargains, a play about United Flight 232, Solar Impulse 2 returns to mission mode, and Aviation Geek Fest Seattle 2016.


Susan Parson

Susan Parson

Susan Parson is Special Technical Assistant with the FAA Flight Standards Service, and editor of FAA Safety Briefing magazine. She serves as the lead FAA representative for the Airman Certification Standards (ACS) project to improve airman testing and training.

Susan has authored over 90 GA safety articles and several online training documents and courses, including Conducting an Effective Flight Review, Instrument Proficiency Check Guidance, and Best Practices for Mentoring in Flight Instruction.

Susan holds an ATP certificate, as well as ground and flight instructor certificates with instrument, single-engine, and multi-engine land ratings. She repeatedly earned Master Flight Instructor and Master Ground Instructor designations from NAFI and Master Instructors LLC.  

As an active GA pilot, Susan instructs on weekends for her Cessna 182 flying club and the Civil Air Patrol. Susan created a number of advanced avionics training courses and modules, for the Civil Air Patrol, and she is the primary author of CAP’s National Check Pilot Standardization Course.

Susan Parson in SP-C182Susan has a BA in international relations and French from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, an MA in Education (focused on e-Education and adult learning) from the University of Phoenix, and an Aviation Safety and Security Management certificate from the George Washington University’s Aviation Institute. Susan’s work experience includes serving in the United States Department of State’s diplomatic service.

Visit Susan’s personal webpage at www.avi8rix.aero and find her on Twitter as @avi8rix. The FAA Safety Briefing webpage is www.faa.gov/news/safety_briefing/.


Airbus, Siemens to work together on electrically-powered planes

Airbus Group CEO Tom Enders says, “We believe that by 2030 passenger aircraft below 100 seats could be propelled by hybrid propulsion systems and we are determined to explore this possibility together with world-class partners like Siemens.” Airbus signed a deal with Siemens to work on these hybrid electric propulsion systems.

Experimental Avionics For Certified Aircraft: EAA, Dynon Announce STC

At Sun ‘n Fun, the EAA and Dynon Avionics announced that they’ve developed an Approved Model List – Supplemental Type Certificate (AML-STC) that allows Dynon’s D10 EFIS to be installed in certified aircraft.

FAA and Auto Industry to Team Up on Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and FAA plan to hold an event April 22 with chief executives from the major automakers and aviation industry leaders. The goal is to look at how aviation industry collaboration practices could benefit automakers, particularly safety data sharing.

Three Big Airlines Just Trashed Your Cheap Fares

American Airlines Group Inc., Delta Air Lines Inc., and United Continental Holdings Inc. have taken action to restrict multi-destination fare bargains, mostly affecting business travelers. Previously, purchasing individual tickets for each leg could cost less than purchasing one multi-leg ticket.

Surviving crew of doomed United Flight 232 reunites for play

On July 19, 1989, United Airlines Flight 232, a DC-10, experienced a fan disk failure in the tail-mounted engine. The plane lost hydraulics and crashed in Sioux City, Iowa, killing 110 passengers and one flight attendant. 184 people survived.

Eight survivors from the 13-member crew reunited to watch the play “United Flight 232” by Vanessa Stalling. The play is based on the 2014 book Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival by Laurence Gonzales. The performance at The House Theatre of Chicago continues through May 1, 2016.

After a Long Delay, Solar Impulse 2 Is Ready to Finish Its Round-the-World Flight

On the 3rd of July 2015, Solar Impulse 2 landed in Hawaii after having broken the record for flying non-stop for 5 days and 5 nights from Japan. Due to battery damage from overheating, the round-the-world journey was paused for repairs. However, the Solar Impulse 2 is now back in mission mode. Follow the flight at www.solarimpulse.com. We spoke with Solar Impulse 2 pilot André Borschberg in Airplane Geeks Episode 361.

The Aircraft of the Week

F-16CJ by David Vanderhoof

F-16CJ by David Vanderhoof

The Episode 400 History Segment Listener Challenge

David will select one aircraft from those submitted by listeners to be the Aircraft of the Week for Episode 400. Here are his rules:

  1. If you have hounded me to do a specific aircraft in the past, you’re automatically disqualified, and you all know who you are. I want someone to be rewarded.
  2. NO it will not be the C-130 nor a tanker!
  3. Not following directions might void your entry.***
  4. Pick your airplane.
  5. Send an email to theGeeks@Airplanegeeks.com with the Subject: David, please do this plane!
  6. Give me the full name of the plane.
  7. In 20 words or less tell me why I should do it. Creativity will be rewarded. Emoji’s won’t.
  8. Give me your name.
  9. How long have you listened to the show?
  10. What photo is associated with this post? It’s an  F-16CJ.
  11. Should you pick one I have already done, I will give you a second chance. I promise!
  12. You have until April 30, 2016 to get your entry in.

*** All decisions by the Historian are final!

Aviation Geek Fest Seattle 2016


Max and Brian report on this year’s amazing Aviation Geek Fest where about 250 #AvGeeks assembled for a weekend of Boeing facility tours, time in the Future of Flight Aviation Center and the Museum of Flight, and other exciting activities. Find more event photos here.






"Silver Wasp" Boeing PT-17 Stearman by John Mollison

“Silver Wasp” Boeing PT-17 Stearman flown by Women Airforce Service Pilot Bernice “Bee” Haydu, by John Mollison


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


AirplaneGeeks 359 Jack Pelton Previews AirVenture Oshkosh 2015

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 by DeKevin Thornton

We talk with Jack Pelton, Chairman of the Board of the Experimental Aircraft Association about EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015.


Jack Pelton is Chairman of the Board of the Experimental Aircraft Association (the EAA). He’s 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 California. Jack 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).

We talk with Jack about EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015, taking place July 20-26, 2015. Besides the forums and educational sessions, #OSH15 visitors can expect to see daily air shows, a 45-year anniversary salute to the Apollo 13 mission, and events celebrating the 70th anniversary of the Curtis Pitts, the 75th anniversary of the Aircoupe, and major anniversaries of the beginning of World War II and the Battle of Britian. A B-52 landing at AirVenture is planned, two F-35s will be on display, and two F-22s will conduct a demonstration flight.

A row of Howard DGAs at Airventure Oshkosh 2014

A row of Howard DGAs at Airventure Oshkosh 2014

The New Goodyear Airship “Wingfoot One” will make an appearance, and Burt Rutan is scheduled to appear, arriving in a Beech Starship. A number of Viet Nam-era aircraft will be at Oshkosh, and so will an Airbus A350. WomenVenture takes place again, and Embry-Riddle hosts a sUAS challenge in the Aviation Gateway Park.

Ford Motor Company is once again supporting the Experimental Aircraft Association’s youth aviation programs by unveiling and donating for auction a one-of-a-kind Mustang.

Find the Experimental Aircraft Association and AirVenture Oshkosh information at eaa.org, follow them on Twitter at @EAA, and on Facebook and Instagram.

Also, be sure to catch the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Webcams and LiveATC.


Historic Spitfire soars in record-breaking London sales

Supermarine Spitfire P9347 sold for £3,106,500 ($4,784,010) at auction. American philanthropist and art collector Thomas Kaplan sold the Spitfire to benefit the RAF Benevolent Fund and several other charitable organizations. Kaplan also gifted a second Spitfire N3200 to the Imperial War Museum Duxford.

Boeing just patented a jet engine powered by lasers and nuclear explosions

The US Patent and Trademark Office has approved Boeing patent application 9,068,562, Laser-powered propulsion system. In one embodiment, an airplane engine uses lasers fired at radioactive material like deuterium or tritium to create a nuclear fusion reaction. The hydrogen or helium exhaust byproducts exit the rear of the engine and provide thrust. Coolant heated from the reaction drives a turbine and generator to produce electricity that powers the lasers.

Boeing Beats Airbus in June

The Motley Fool used the Boeing Orders & Deliveries Tool to examine June orders and found 161 planes ordered by customers. These were 131 single-aisle 737 commercial airliners, 24 Boeing 777s, five 787 Dreamliners, and one 747. Airbus reported 135 orders in the month.

Year to date, Boeing new plane orders are 221 single-aisle 737s, fifty 787s, forty-nine 777s, four 747s, and one 767. The total net after cancellations is 281 Boeing orders received through the first half of 2015. Airbus says they have booked 324 A320-family airplanes, 57 A330s, and one A350, for a total of 382 planes total.

Airbus’ all-electric E-Fan aircraft crosses the English Channel

First electric plane to cross the English Channel was Not Airbus!

On July 10, the electric Airbus E-Fan crossed the English Channel in a 36-minute flight. The E-Fan is a light twin-engine aircraft powered by lithium-ion batteries and electric motors. The night before the E-Fan crossing, an electrically powered Cri-Cri piloted by Hugues Duval made it’s own Channel crossing to become the first.

Originally, Pipistrel intended be first across the Channel in its Alpha Electro two-seat trainer. However, at the last minute electric motor maker Siemens banned Pipistrel from using the motor.

Calgary Lawn Chair Aviator Charged with “Mischief”

Twenty-six year-old Daniel Boria, attached 110 helium-filled balloons to a “$20 lawn chair” with the idea of skydiving from the chair into the middle of the Calgary Stampede. When he started drifting into the clouds, he bailed out, and ended up in jail. CBC News interviews the lawn chair pilot in Calgary balloon man calls adventure ‘sureal’.

United Airlines Pilot Flushes Live Bullets Down The Toilet: Here’s Why

Aerolineas Argentinas and the stripper who pulled the take off throttle

The Australia News Desk

Grant’s at home when he should be in Bali thanks to the ash cloud from Mt Raung. The boys talk briefly about flights resuming to Bali:

They also talk about the fun they had doing commentary at the Hunter Valley Airshow last weekend despite Grant losing his voice.


Listener Photos

Chinook by Jodi Bromer

Chinook by Jodi Bromer

Hon. Arthur Rosen (Ret.) flying mentally and physically challenged children and their parents for Challenge Air and Sky Kids Arizona:

Hon. Arthur Rosen (Ret.)

Hon. Arthur Rosen (Ret.)


Post photo by DeKevin Thornton.

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


Episode 170 – GE Aviation Looks to the Future

GEnx-1B engine for B787 Dreamliner

Dale Carlson, Executive for Advanced Engine Systems at GE Aviation is our guest. Dale is responsible for all government funded technology initiatives, and also for aligning technology as it matures with future propulsion system offerings for GE Aviation.

We talk about why this is an exciting time to be in the commercial engine and airframe business. What’s left in Brayton cycle engines (not much) and what we can do about that. Why pulse detonation is not a good solution. Dale talks about adaptive (or variable) cycle engines, the fuel burn improvements needed for new engine offerings, and why we’ll see integrated airframe and propulsion systems in the future, the blended wing aircraft being an example.

Distributed propulsion with large numbers of engines on the aircraft is a future possibility, as is all-electric propulsion. Of course, we can’t talk about fan diameter without covering thermal efficiency and propulsion efficiency. We talk a little about the future of the F136. That’s the engine GE is developing as an alternative to the Pratt & Whitney F135 that powers the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Finally, Dale offers some sound advice for people considering a career in aerospace.

The week’s aviation news:

David provides another powerful history lesson in his This Week in Aviation segment.

In this week’s Australia Desk Report: Qantas politics goes on and on and on….. RAAF takes delivery of the last four Super Hornets, Omega Tanker takes three ex RAAF 707 tankers, Department of Defence looks seriously at C27J Spartan to replace Caribous, RAAF looks at a disposal date for C130H.

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


Follow the @AirplaneGeeks on Twitter and on Facebook, send us email at thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com, or leave a message on our listener line: (361) GEEKS01.

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

In memory of Anthony Kenneth Johnson RN PO TAG.

Episode 168 – Lori from Flightglobal

Pipistrel Taurus Electro G2

Guest Lori Ranson is the America’s Air Transport Editor at Flightglobal. She knows commercial aviation and lately has been researching distribution. Follow Lori on Twitter as @RansonNote.

The week’s aviation news:

This week’s Australia Desk Report is all QF with Steve and Grant talking about the Qantas CEO receiving death threats, Qantas confirming a large Airbus order, and the damaged Qantas A380 returning to the skies.Find the boys down under at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

Steve and Grant recording the start of Desk 168

Recording the start of Desk 168 – Steve attempting to get Grant to stop talking about balloons.

This week on Across the Pond, Pieter talks to Neil Bradon, a Student Pilot, who is doing his initial flying training in Ireland. Neil has taken some time to get the first major stage in his flying training under his belt but we are going to track his progress with regular updates. Neil can be found on Twitter at @pilot_ngb and at www.getmyppl.blogspot.com. You can find Pieter on Twitter at @Nascothornet.

On this week’s Grill the Geeks segment, we seem to have come up with correct answers all around.


Follow the @AirplaneGeeks on Twitter and on Facebook, send us email at thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com, or leave a message on our listener line: (361) GEEKS01.

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

Episode 121 – Jason is Wired on Aviation

Jason Paur joins as guest. He’s a contributing writer for Wired.com where Jason posts to the Autopia blog. Find Jason on Twitter as @jasonpaur. We talk about the week’s aviation news and some of Jason’s recent articles, including Exclusive: We Fly An Electric Airplane and SpaceShipTwo First Glide Flight Details From The Pilot.

The week’s aviation news:


Also see Steve and Grant’s Australia Desk archive and their Flight Time Radio segments.

Follow the @AirplaneGeeks on Twitter and on Facebook, send us email at thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com, or leave a message on our listener line: (361) GEEKS01.

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

Episode 65 – Build Your Own

Guest Jeremy Monnett, the CEO of Sonex Aircraft, joins Rob and Max to talk about building your own airplane. Sonex is also developing other interesting kit planes, including jet and electric powered versions and we talk about those as well.

We have aviation news from the past week as well as the report from the Airplane Geeks Australia Desk. David Vanderhoof joins us for his This Week in Aviation history lesson and we have some listener mail.

Dan couldn’t make it for this episode (although we note he’s been spending time at the Plane Crazy Down Under Podcast), but he sneaks in with a recorded interview with Simon Talling Smith, Executive VP of the America’s for British Airways.

The news:

Also mentioned this episode:

Follow the @AirplaneGeeks on Twitter, send us email at thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com, or leave us voice mail at (812) 757-4252.

This episode’s opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. Visit his site at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.