Join us in celebrating the rich military and aviation history in San Antonio, Texas. This year’s theme is, Your History, Our Legacy: commemorating the U.S. Air Force’s 70th anniversary, Air Education Training Command’s 75th anniversary, Kelly Field’s 100th anniversary and San Antonio’s 300th anniversary.
The gates will open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.
During the rehearsal day Nov. 3, Gold Star families and Wounded Warrior families will have air show access. DoD cardholders are also invited to the rehearsal Nov. 3.
Jeanette Remak and Joe Ventolo Jr. from Phoenix Aviation Research tell the story behind the Lockheed A-12 Blackbird at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan. In the news, we look at FAA reauthorization bills and the battle shaping up in Congress, this year’s Paris Air Show, the Catalina Flying Boats’ DC-3 aircraft, the youngest pilot in Australia, and an Israeli court ruling on reseating women in the airplane.
Janet Remak and Joe Ventolo Jr. with the A-12 on the Intrepid.
Jeannette Remak is the owner of Phoenix Aviation Research. She’s a military aviation historian, a writer, author, artist, and photographic engineer. Her books include XB-70 Valkyrie: The Ride to Valhalla and A-12 Blackbird: Declassified.
In the mid-1990s, Jeannette worked as the volunteer Aircraft Historian for the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in Manhattan. She performed research for maintenance and restoration, and worked on the aircraft under her control at the museum, including many U.S. Naval and U.S. Air Force aircraft on loan. Jeannette restored sheet metal, she controlled airframe titanium corrosion, and she appropriated parts and specialized equipment for work on A-12 aircraft.
Working with the US Navy’s Curator office, Jeannette is responsible for the rescue of the Sikorsky RH-53D that is the lone survivor of the failed United States hostage rescue mission in Iran. The CH-53D is now restored and on display at the JFK/ US Navy Seal Training School in North Carolina.
Jeannette has a degree in Commercial Photographic Engineering and obtained her Master’s Degree in Aviation Science in 2000. Jeannette also has a degree in Commercial Photography from the NY Institute of Photography.
Joseph A. Ventolo, Jr. is the former curator of the National Museum of the US Air Force. His career started in November 1959 when Joe joined the 269th Combat Communications Squadron of the Ohio Air National Guard. In 1965, he received a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant as a communications officer. He left the Ohio Air National Guard in 1966 and transferred to the Air Force Reserve where he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and remained in the Air Force Reserve until 1970.
In 1962, Joe joined the staff of the U.S. Air Force Motion Picture Film Archives at Wright-Patterson AFB as a Motion Picture Archivist. In 1979, he transferred to the U.S. Air Force Museum’s Research Division as the Museum’s Historian. Two years later he became a Curator of Aeronautics. Joe has co-authored articles that appeared in such periodicals as Air Enthusiast, WW I Aero, and Friends Bulletin. In 1993 he was appointed Curator of the U.S. Air Force Museum and named Curator of the United States Air Force. He remained in that position until his retirement in 1995.
Joe is currently a co-owner/consultant with Phoenix Aviation Research. He has co-authored articles in the Atlantic Flyer, and written three aviation books, all with Jeannette Remak.
Their first book, XB-70 Valkyrie: The Ride to Valhalla was published in December 1998. Their second book, A-12 Blackbird: Declassified, was published in December 2000. And a third book, The Archangel and the OXCART: The Lockheed A-12 Blackbirds and the Dawn of Mach III Reconnaissance was published in 2008.
Boeing said it has 240 orders and commitments. Some orders are conversions from earlier orders for other MAX models. The MAX 10 is a stretch of the MAX 9 that seats up to 230 passengers and is designed to compete with the Airbus A321neo.
Airbus launched a new open aviation data platform called Skywise to support digital transformation of the industry. The Skywise aviation data platform was developed in collaboration with Palantir Technologies. See the video: Airbus launches new open aviation data platform, Skywise.
Test pilot Billie Flynn told Aviation Week, “After 10 years since first flight, with our first opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities and the maneuverability of the F-35, we are going to crush years of misinformation about what this aircraft is capable of doing,”
Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa. introduced a proposed FAA reauthorization bill in the House. The Bill prohibits passengers from being removed from a flight after they’ve boarded, privatizes ATC, and requires airlines to post resources for stranded passengers online when the airline is disrupted by a computer outage. It also calls for the faster development of a traffic management system for small drones, faster approval process for commercial drone operators, and a new certification system for small-drone commercial operators.
Five things to watch for at the 2017 International Paris Air Show. Also, a ruling that allows the Commerce Department to proceed with its investigation of claims by Boeing that Bombardier is engaging in unfair pricing, the European Union proposes rules for complaints of alleged discriminatory practices, a temporarily grounding of F-35 fighters, certification of the Diesel Cessna Skyhawk JT-A, and the Director General’s Report to the IATA Annual General Meeting.
Paris Air Show Preview
Anand Parameswaran, Sr. Vice President – Aerospace & Defence, at Cyient authored What to watch out for at the 2017 International Paris Air Show. The report details five areas that warrant our attention:
The OEM migration from manufacturer to service provider
The impact of global politics on the defense industry
Building the future aircraft with additive manufacturing
Automating the A&D lifecycle
The rise of the East and Chinese influence in aerospace
Cyient is a global leader in engineering design services, design-led manufacturing, networks and operations, data transformation and analytics.
Anand Parameswaran heads up global Aerospace and Defence at Cyient and leverages Cyient’s capability across product design, manufacturing, and aftermarket solutions. He works around the world with OEMs and tier 1 suppliers.
The U.S. International Trade Commission has ruled that the Commerce Department can proceed with its investigation of claims by Boeing that Bombardier is selling jets in the U.S. at below fair price. Boeing says the CSeries planes benefit from illegal government subsidies. Canada warned it could cancel a planned $2 billion purchase of 18 Boeing military jets over the dispute.
News Release 17-087, June 9, 2017: “The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is threatened with material injury by reason of imports of 100- to 150-seat large civil aircraft from Canada that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.”
“As a result of the Commission’s affirmative determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue to conduct its antidumping and countervailing duty investigations on imports of this product from Canada, with its preliminary countervailing duty determination due on or about July 21, 2017, and its antidumping duty determination due on or about October 4, 2017.”
Air France KLM and Lufthansa have been complaining that Gulf carriers receive illegal government subsidies. Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad all deny the charge. Now the European Union has proposed rules to allow EU governments and airlines to submit complaints of alleged discriminatory practices to the European Commission.
The U.S. Air Force temporarily grounded F-35 fighters at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona because of five incidents where pilots reported hypoxia symptoms. In each case, the airplane’s backup oxygen system worked as designed and the pilot was able to land the plane safely.
The Director General’s Report on the Global Air Transport Industry was delivered at the IATA Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit in Cancun, Mexico.
Overall the air transport industry is generating profits above its cost of capital. In 2017 the global airline industry is expected to generate a $31.4 billion profit on $743 billion in revenues.
Protectionism is replacing globalization, and that’s a threat to the industry.
Flying remains the safest form of long distance travel. IATA is concerned about states not fully investigating air accidents.
The landmark Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) was agreed to at the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) 39th Assembly. Seventy states representing at least 80% of anticipated future growth have indicated their voluntary participation in the scheme. The U.S. pulling out of Paris Agreement is cause for concern.
Alternatives must be found to the electronics ban on large portable electronic devices.
IATA is concerned about a looming infrastructure crisis is looming. Existing infrastructure is inadequate and development plans are not ambitious enough.
IATA urged governments to be cautious when privatizing infrastructure assets.
Brian asks, “How do aviation writers come up with aviation topics?”
U.S. Air Force F-35A “AF-78” tail number 13-5072 from the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill AFB, Utah performed a low show aerial demonstration practice for the 2017 Paris Air Show, near Fort Worth, Texas. Aviation photographer Caulun Belcher of Texas shot the video of the F-35A rehearsal.
We have a collection of aviation topics this episode: A flight in a Robinson R-44, a look at residential airparks, the General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS, imaging instruments for aviation maintenance, US Air Force F-35A avionics and a walk around the aircraft, the Commemorative Air Force, honoring the Women Airforce Service Pilots, and using a portable ADS-B receiver.
Bits & Pieces
As long-time listeners know, when our recording day falls on a major U.S. holiday, we forgo our usual format and instead bring you a collection of pre-recorded segments from the co-hosts, and from our listeners and contributors. That’s the case this episode.
The segments that make up this episode [with start times]:
Our Main(e) man Micah talks with helicopter pilot and Airplane Geeks listener Ernie Eaton at the Hampton Airfield Cafe after their flight in Ernie’s Robinson R44. [2:27]
Ernie Eaton’s Robinson R-44.
Ernie Eaton and our Main(e) Man Micah.
Bill Armstrong, developer and partner at Big South Fork Airpark, explains what it is like to live in a residential airpark community, and what to consider when you are looking for that lifestyle. [13:14]
Residential airpark living. Photo courtesy Big South Fork Airpark.
Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari speaks with Captain Richards, Company Commander, F company 227 Aviation Battalion, and Sergeant Elbert about the General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS. [24:27]
General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS. Photo courtesy General Atomics.
Max recorded a call with Liam Hanna, a product specialist with Olympus Europe in Germany. Olympus Europe provides test, measurement, and imaging instruments for the aviation industry. Liam explains the different types of borescopes, how they are used and inspector training requirements, technology advancements that have been made, and dealing with a shortage of inspectors using live inspections and remote experts. Be sure to see the Olympus Application Photo Gallery for a great selection of videoscope and borescope images and videos. Max’s favorite is the High Pressure Turbine Movie, where the laser-drilled cooling holes are clearly visible. [38:12]
At the Chino Air Show, Brian talked with listener Matt Haines about the 60th Anniversary of the Planes of Fame Airshow [1:04:23]; with Staff Sgt Alexandra Dougherty, an avionics specialist for the US Air Force F-35A [1:06:30]; and with Colonel Eddie Bentley of the Commemorative Air Force in front of the beautifully restored C-53. The Commemorative Air Force operates the world’s largest collection of Flying WWII Airplanes. [1:11:47]
Launchpad Marzari spoke with Allison Hoyt about the Commemorative Air Force’s Rise Above: WASP program. The CAF Rise Above program provides young people with real-world examples of how courage, self-confidence, and perseverance can allow them to triumph over the adversity they face in their own lives. The WASP program looks to encourage young women to become involved in aviation. [1:15:15]
Using a portable ADS-B receiver, often connected to an iPad, is a low-cost way for pilots to display nearby traffic. However, the displays can be misleading, as they often don’t show the most important traffic, which is the traffic closest to the plane with the portable ADS-B receiver. Max Trescott talked about the limitations of these devices in a recent episode of his Aviation News Talk podcast, and we have that segment for you here. [1:19:42]
Our Main(e) man introduces an interview with F-35 pilot Captain Roar conducted by Brian, Carlos, and Micah at Wings Over Pittsburgh 2017. In the interview, they discuss the transition from the F-15E Strike Eagle and low military flying in the UK. Capt. Roar mentions the Mach Loop we talked about a few episodes ago and describes the 3 different F-35 versions. We also hear about high G flight. Following that, Capt. Roar takes Brian, Carlos, and Micah on a walk around the F-35. [1:30:31]
The F-35A at the 2017 Wings Over Pittsburgh Airshow. Photo by Carlos Stebbings, Plane Talking UK Podcast.
Carlos and Matt from the Plane Talking UK Podcast pulled together a video presenting many of the faces at the Wings Over Pittsburgh air show. Have a look and see how many (sunburned) people you recognize from Airplane Geeks, the Airline Pilot Guy Show, the Plane Talking UK Podcast, as well as friends of the podcasts.
This episode, we bring you interviews from the 2017 Wings Over Pittsburgh air show, hosted by the 911th Airlift Wing. We talked with some of the performers, with others from with static displays, with the 911th Airlift Wing, and with a few AvGeeks for good measure.
USAF Thunderbirds at Wings Over Pittsburgh 2017. Photo (c) @dronemama.
Wings Over Pittsburgh 2017
The Wings Over Pittsburgh air show held May 13 and 14, 2017 was a huge success. The show was hosted by the 911th Airlift Wing at the Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station. During the event, we recorded a number of interviews for this episode. Next week when we’re all together again, we’ll tell you more about the event.
Also attending were Capt. Jeff and the crew from the Airline Pilot Guy Show, as well as the guys from the Plane Talking UK Podcast. We also had a pretty strong contingent of aviation podcast listeners – some we’ve met before, and others we enjoyed meeting for the first time.
Opening ceremony. [0:03:13]
Carlos, Brian, Micah, Captain Al, and Matt spoke with Captain Tim about the iconic Douglas C-54 Spirit of Freedom, used in the Berlin airlift. [0:08:41]
David talks with Lieutenant Jacob “Bacon” Riggs with the F-18F Super Hornet VFA-122 Flying Eagles. [0:25:12]
Max speaks with Colonel Jeffrey A. Van Dooltingh, Commander of the 911th Airlift Wing, Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Coraopolis, PA. [0:31;29]
Carlos from the Plane Talking UK podcast and Brian interviewed Captain Randy Ball and talked about his MiG-17. See the Randy W. Ball Facebook fan page. [0:36:20]
Max spoke briefly with F-35 pilot Matt Gardner. Brian and Micah have a longer conversation at the F-35 static display, which we’ll bring you in an upcoming episode. [0:47:25]
The air show mainly featured military aircraft but there were a few commercial aircraft on static display, including a Republic Embraer E-175. Micah and Brian interviewed First Officer Mike Schrader. [0:51:51]
David talks with Lt CDr Andy Patterson about the P-8A Poseidon on static display. [1:02:34]
Max spoke with Airshow Director Major Charlie Baker. [1:09:58]
Some AvGeeks tell us their favorite airplane from the show. [1:20:52]
…and as a bonus:
Audio of the F-22 demonstration flight. [1:27:38]
Airline Pilot Guy Show episode 271 was recorded live Friday evening at the hotel, and all three podcasts recorded a live show Saturday evening. Look for those videos on the Airline Pilot Guy YouTube channel, or you can watch them right here:
Carl Stebbings, the host of the Plane Talking UK podcast, helps us discuss the Chinese Comac C919 first flight, an F-35B assembled in Italy, a UK airline trade group manifesto, a vintage de Havilland Vampire literally tears up a runway, Boeing accuses Bombardier of dumping the CSeries in the U.S., a report on the May 2016 crash of EgyptAir MS804, and the first fatal crash of the Icon A-5 amphibious LSA.
Carl Stebbings, Plane Talking UK Podcast
Carlos (Carl) Stebbings is the host of the Plane Talking UK Podcast. He joins in our conversation of recent aviation news, and he also tells us about some of his memorable flights including a Tupolev Tu-134 and riding in the jump seat of a B757. Carl’s favorite remains the L-1011 Tristar, but he also talks about the DC-10.
The Plane Talking UK Podcast started in 2013 as an audio show, but it’s now a live program with a chat room and PTUK YouTube channel. We hear how Carl got started with podcasting and about the exciting plans for his 200th episode.
Like many AvGeeks, Carl’s love of aviation started at a young age as he was able to do a lot of traveling. He has flown on more aircraft types than most people can mention and Carl is an avid plane spotter, as well as a private pilot in training.
Carl the owner of a mobile disco business and when he isn’t spinning CDs or podcasting, he works for the largest book printer in England. In addition, his very understanding, long-suffering wife, Gemma, has grown to accept that most holidays will involve losing her husband at the airport while he goes off plane spotting!
The Chinese Comac C919 airliner made its first public flight May 5, 2017. The C919 is a single-aisle twin in the same class as the Boeing 737 MAX and the Airbus A320neo, and powered by the CFM56 LEAP-1C.
David Cenciotti writes in The Aviationist that “the first F-35B, the Short Take-Off Vertical Landing variant of the the F-35 Lightning II, destined to the Italian Navy, rolled out of the Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility at Cameri, in northwestern Italy.” This is the first F-35B assembled internationally. First flight is planned for late August, with delivery to the Italian MoD in November 2017.
Airlines UK, the industry association that represents UK-registered carriers, published a manifesto of policy actions for the next Parliament. The association believes these would result in stronger, more competitive UK airlines.
Boeing says Bombardier is selling CSeries jets in the U.S. at “absurdly low” prices and as a result, the company has suffered an injury to its business. Boeing wants the Commerce Department to impose duties on Bombardier.
Reportedly, French air accident investigation agency BEA found no trace of explosives on the bodies of the victims of the crash of EgyptAir MS804 which disappeared over the Mediterranean in May 2016. The A320’s Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), indicated smoke in an avionics bay under the flight deck and in a lavatory.
A roundtable discussion of current aviation news, issues, and topics from our listeners. They include: the effects of the U.S. immigration ban on airlines and airports, the impacts of new executive orders on regulations like 3rd class medical reform, the bad news for Santa Monica airport, American Airlines passes on in-seat screens, another airline is grounded by a computer problem, clarity on ADS-B for non-electric aircraft, a review ordered of the F-35C and the F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet. Also, glass cockpit vs. round gages, the 2017 Aerospace Media Awards, a warm airline story from Alaska, exploding airline tires, and the Global Supertanker 747 in action.
President Trump signed an executive order that fulfilled a campaign promise for new immigration policy. The order restricts immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries, it shuts off refugee admission for 120 days, and bans admission of Syrian refugees until further notice. This caused a certain amount of confusion among airlines, airports, government agencies, and the public. Demonstrations against the change broke out at many airports.
Among other provisions, this executive order requires that for every new regulation issued, at least two prior regulations must be identified for elimination. How this impacts an agency like FAA is uncertain.
The Trump administration has ordered that no new regulations be published in the Federal Register. Also, that regulations that have been issued, but not yet taken effect, are pushed out 60 days. What does that mean for third-class Medical Reform, and the recently finalized Part 23 small aircraft certification regulations?
The FAA agreed to allow the City of Santa Monica to close the Santa Monica Airport as early as 2028. The City is also allowed to shorten the runway to just 3500 feet, eliminating larger business jets. Jack Pelton, CEO/Chairman of the Experimental Aircraft Association stated, “We were surprised at the announcement of the settlement between the FAA and the city of Santa Monica regarding its airport. It is certainly a disappointing development, first concerning the immediate ability to shorten the runway, and the ultimate ability to close the airport in 2028. While we can only guess at the inside discussions to reach this settlement as to our knowledge, the airport’s stakeholders were not a part of it, the founding principles of FAA grant assurances are to maintain stability for an airport and its users as part of the national airspace system, above local political maneuvering.”
American Airlines believes in-seat entertainment screens are a technology without a future. So rather than install screens in the seats of its Boeing 737Max airplanes, the airline will offer passengers free entertainment they can watch on their mobile phones, tablets, and laptop computers.
The ADS-B Out rule takes effect January 1, 2020. If your airplane was originally certified without an electrical system, the rule doesn’t apply. But what if that same aircraft subsequently had batteries and an electrical starter installed?
POTUS vacations at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach. About 8 miles away is the Palm Beach County Park Airport, also called Lantana Airport. County commissioners are learning that they’ll have to abide by the wishes of the Secret Service, and they are worried about the financial impact of operating restrictions.
A Pentagon review of the capabilities and cost of two aircraft has been ordered by Defense Secretary James Mattis. He wants to compare the Lockheed Martin F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter and an upgraded version of the Boeing F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet.
“Black Maria” from the Black Flight by Errol Cavit
We start the new year with some recordings send in by members of the Airplane Geeks community. These look back at 2016, and ahead to 2017. In the news, we discuss angle of attack indicators for Skyhawks, the pilot shortage in Alaska, miscommunications between ATC and a commercial flight, A380 delivery issues, when is an F-35 an F/A-18?, comfort animals at the airport and in the air, and DHS collecting social media accounts.
An angle-of-attack (AOA) system from Safe Flight Instrument Corporation is standard on new Cessna 172S Skyhawk deliveries starting this month. Textron Aviation is offering the system as a $5,000 option on the 182T Skylane and Turbo Stationair HD T206H.
The New York Times calls Alaska “the nation’s most aviation-dependent state…with six times as many pilots per capita as the rest of the nation.” But for a variety of reasons, there are not enough pilots to service the local demand for bush pilots.
Miscommunication between Air Traffic Control and an EVA Air 777 leaving Los Angeles for Taipei almost resulted in a crash into a mountain. The flight needed to turn to a heading of 090, but that could be accomplished by making the smaller turn to the right, or the longer away around to the left. It was a life or death choice.
In November, Emirates said they were having some technical issues with the Rolls-Royce engines powering their A380 jets. It may not be related, but apparently Emirates, Rolls Royce, and Airbus have made a deal to postpone six deliveries from 2017 to 2018, and postpone another six deliveries from 2018 to 2019.
In a statement, Airbus said, “Airbus re-confirms the target to deliver around 12 A380s per year from 2018 as announced earlier in July 2016. Further fixed cost reduction initiatives will be accelerated so the impact on break-even in 2017 is minimal.”
Donald Trump tweeted: “Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!” Trump told reporters, “We’re trying to get costs down, costs. Primarily the F-35. That program is very, very expensive.”
Tutu-wearing LiLou is now the designated therapy pig at San Francisco International Airport. She joins SFO’s Wag Brigade program that uses trained dogs under escort in the terminals. The Cincinnati airport hired its own therapy pig
The U.S. Department of Transportation says the Advisory Committee on Accessible Air Transportation (ACCESS Advisory Committee) “was established to negotiate and develop a proposed rule concerning accommodations for air travelers with disabilities addressing in-flight communications, accessible lavatory on new single-aisle aircraft, and service animals.” The Committee says they have an agreement to improve the accessibility of lavatories to wheel chairs on single-aisle aircraft, but no consensus on service animals.
Foreign travelers entering the U.S. on the visa waiver program are being asked by DHS to “voluntarily” provide their social media accounts. This is seen as a method to help identify potential threats and prevent terrorism.
We asked the Airplane Geeks community to send us brief recordings looking back at aviation in 2016, or ahead to 2017. We weren’t disappointed, and would like to thank the following for their contributions: NASA Historian Bill Barry, Ariel (an active member of our Slack team), Micah (Our Main(e) Man), Bill English (an NTSB investigator), Errol Cavit (another Slack team member who also has a knack for capturing images of beautiful airplanes), and Glen (a faithful listener from New Zealand).
Micah and Nick
Micah sending hug to Jen via Hillel
2016 Listener Survey
366 members of the Airplane Geeks community were kind enough to give us some great feedback, and we discuss what we learned. Some of the 2017 Listener Survey Results are available for you to see.
An airline pilot and world traveler talks about the theater of air travel, airport security, cockpit automation, and the aesthetics of airliners. In the news, we discuss Farnborough 2016, Airbus, Boeing, and the F-35B. Also, the FAA authorization extension, third class medical reform, and the Boeing B-29 Superfortress known as “Doc.”
Patrick has appeared on hundreds of radio and television outlets, including PBS, Discovery Channel, CNN, the BBC, and National Public Radio. His work is regularly cited in print publications worldwide and he was voted one of the “25 Best Bloggers of 2013” by TIME magazine.
Patrick took his first flying lesson at age fourteen. His first job with an airline came in 1990, when he was hired as a copilot on 15-passenger turboprops earning $850 a month. He has since flown cargo and passenger jets on both domestic and intercontinental routes. He has flown the 767, 757, 737, MD-80 and DC-8, plus five different turboprops, including the Dash-8 and ATR.
Patrick’s self-published punk rock fanzines and poetry journals of the 1980s and 1990s are considered among the more peculiar works of literature ever produced by an airline pilot. He also travels extensively in his spare time, and has visited more than eighty countries.
The NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System, the European Aviation Safety Agency takes issue with pilot license renewal practices in Germany, medical requirements under the Pilot’s Bill of Rights, ICAO creates a site for aircraft tracking, the consequences for air traffic controllers who make mistakes, and the first woman cleared to fly the F-35A Lightning II.
Guest Linda Connell is Director of the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System and a Research Psychologist for NASA Ames Research Center. The ASRS collects and acts on voluntarily submitted aviation safety incident/situation reports from pilots, controllers, and others.
Linda has been working at NASA Ames Research Center since 1981, and has participated in a number of studies with domestic and international research teams exploring human factor issues in aviation environments.
A Registered Nurse and member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Linda continues to evaluate proactive aviation safety information on a variety of topics, including pilot/controller voice communication, emergency medical helicopter operations, aviation maintenance, cabin safety, and technology applications in aviation environments.
We talk with Linda about the formation of the ASRS, the process to collect safety data in a way that guarantees immunity, the analysis of the data and how subcontractors are utilized, and the 10 day window. We also discuss the alerts process and how to submit reports.
The European Aviation Safety Agency says license renewal practices for pilots in Germany favor privacy over safety. Noting that Germany has addressed some of the concerns, the EU says others remain. If Germany does not comply with the Commission’s demands, it could be taken to court.
The Pilot’s Bill of Rights introduced earlier this year by Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. was designed to waive the third-class medical for private pilots flying light aircraft. Now the bill has changed to include:
An online aeromedical course every two years.
Logbook entries that certify the pilot has seen their personal doctors at least once every four years (and received any needed treatment for medical conditions).
A one-time medical for new pilots and pilots who haven’t had a medical in the last 10 years.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has created a Global Tracking Initiativesweb page to serve as “a repository of documents related to aircraft tracking.” The page presents a timeline of events and documents. Adoption of a 15-minute aircraft tracking Standard is expected at the end of 2015.
KPRC-TV in Houston, Texas reports that “air traffic controllers who have made major errors have been allowed to stay on the job, without loss of rank or pay.” This has occurred at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, and at other airports. KPRC reporter Joel Eisenbaum asked, “So you can make an error that causes a plane to crash and you’re not losing your job?”
The FAA response was, “The FAA has learned through experience that a non-punitive safety culture encourages employees to share information and engage in frank and open discussions about situations that they might otherwise be reluctant to bring to a supervisor’s attention. In cases involving willful neglect or dereliction of duties by an employee, the agency does not hesitate to take the appropriate measures as defined under agency policies and collective bargaining agreements.”
Boeing flew the KC-46A Paine Field in Everett, Washington for a four hour first flight. The KC-46A is based on the Boeing 767 commercial airliner.
Lieutenant Colonel Christine “Grinder” Mau
David attended the Joint Base Andrews’ open house on September 19th 2015, where he interviewed Lieutenant Colonel Christine “Grinder” Mau, Deputy Commander for the Operations Group of the 33rd Fighter Wing. Col. Mau was the first woman cleared to fly the F-35A Lightning II, and one of only 52 women fighter pilots in the USAF. She talks about what it’s like to fly the F-35A, and believing in your dreams.
F-35A and R2D2
Micah gives us some thoughts on the late Alan Purwin.
Brian talks with listener Hendrik in Hamburg, Germany.
Michael sends this photo from his Cirrus SR22T looking over Los Angeles on airway V186 from the Paradise VOR to Van Nuys VOR, September 17, 2015. The light in the top right of the picture is a 777 going into LAX.
Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at brotherloverocks.com.