Tag Archives: F-35

437 Aviation News Roundtable

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.

Jodi Bromer, #AvGeek, EMS pilot.

Jodi Bromer, #AvGeek, EMS pilot.

Aviation News

How Trump’s abrupt immigration ban sowed confusion at airports, agencies

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.

Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs

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.

Regulations on Hold – EAA Monitoring Impact on Medical Reform

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?

FAA Agreement allows Santa Monica to close its Airport after 2028

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.”

For American Airlines New Technology Means Fewer In-Seat Screens

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.

FAA Clarifies ADS-B Mandate For Non-Electrical Aircraft

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?

Palm Beach County aviation head: Trump flight limits will hurt airport

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.

Delta’s U.S. Grounding Is Lifted After Latest Computer Glitch

Delta Air Lines experienced a computer problem that grounded U.S. domestic flights for 2 1/2-hours. About 170 flights were affected.

Mattis Orders Comparison Review of F-35C and Advanced Super Hornet

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.

Reports: Trump Says He’s Cut $600 Million From F-35 Costs

President Donald Trump says that Lockheed has cut $600 million from the program cost for the F-35. This would be for the 90 planes of LRIP Lot 10 (Low-Rate Initial Production).

Pilots, Aviation & The Paradox of Progress

The paradox for aviators is that while automation makes flying easier for pilots, it is also “reducing the number of seats for them in the pointy end of airplanes.”

Listener Recording

Fabian, a 23 year old Aerospace Engineering & ATPL Student from Germany provides feedback on Micah’s piece last episode on the death of Gene Cernan.

Mentioned

Hidden Figures, the movie about Katherine G. Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson – three African-American women who worked at NASA at the beginning of the U.S. manned space program.

Email Debt Forgiveness Day

Air Facts Journal, the journal for personal air travel – by pilots, for pilots.

2017 Aerospace Media Awards. The closing date for nominations is Friday 24th March 2017.

Foster Brooks (Airline Pilot)

Routehappy’s 2017 WiFi Report

Air Methods

Delta flight makes unexpected landing in Cold Bay, FAA points to engine trouble. See also the picture album.

Il-76 in action fire fighting in Chile.

#SuperTanker en plena acción, registrado desde el aire. Qué notable. (#SuperTanker in full action, recorded from the air. How remarkable.)

Two aircraft are working with the 747 SuperTanker

Global SuperTanker Services, LLC

Credit

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

433 Aviation News and Listener Feedback

"Black Maria" from the Black Flight by Errol Cavit

“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.

Aviation News

Cessna Adds Safe Flight AOA to New Skyhawks

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.

Alaska, Reliant on Air Transit, Faces Pilot Shortage. Are Drones an Answer?

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.

As one response, the University of Alaska’s Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration, is testing unmanned aircraft in arctic conditions. Oil companies are using drones for pipeline inspection.

Oy: You Have To Hear This Audio Between ATC & EVA Air 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.

Airbus postpones deliveries of 12 A380 planes to Emirates Airline

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.”

Airbus A380 hopes take a hit in Iran deal

Iran placed a firm order for 100 Airbus aircraft, but the twelve A380s contemplated in the preliminary agreement were dropped.

Trump asks Boeing for F/A-18 pitch, citing ‘tremendous’ cost overruns of Lockheed Martin F-35

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.”

The ‘Super’ Plane That Could Replace the F-35 Stealth Fighter: Could the F/A-18 Super Hornet be a real alternative?

War is Boring tells us not to interpret Donald Trump exactly literally.

SFO’s therapy pig keeps travelers from going hog wild

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.

U.S. Border Security Now Asking Foreign Travelers for Social Media Accounts

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.

Listener Recordings

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 and Nick

Micah sending hug to Jen via Hillel

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.

Mentioned

What Happened This Year @NASA – December 15, 2016

Audio: Plane Talking Safety Tau Crazy Airline Pilot Geeks Spectacular Christmas Extravaganza Live

Featuring Carlos and Matt from Plane Talking UK, Pilot Pip and Capt Al, from Plane Safety, Capts Jeff, Nick and Dr. Steph from Airline Pilot Guy, Marcus from Omega Tau, Micah and Brian from the Airplane Geeks, and Steve and Grant from Plane Crazy Down Under …all on one totally bonkers Christmas podcast. Video.

Video: Sunderland Veterans rolling back the years

Photos: DH Mosquito T.III TV959

Photos: The Vintage Aviator Ltd Flying Weekend Dec 2016

Video: Watch #PaxEx Minute: What’s in store for #PaxEx in 2017

Credit

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

410 Ask Patrick Smith, He’s a Pilot

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.”

Guest

Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith is an active airline pilot, air travel blogger and author.  He is curator of the Ask the Pilot website, and author of the NY Times bestselling book Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel.”

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 andCockpit Confidential cover 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.

News from Farnborough 2016

Airbus to cut A380 production rate in 2018

Boeing modifies one MAX model and is seriously studying two more new airplanes

Boeing Strikes Out at the Farnborough Airshow

Five ‘wow’ moments at the world’s ‘greatest’ airshow

First F-35 Flight At Farnborough Airshow by AIRBOYD

Other News

Medical Reform Becomes Law

EAA Reaches Its Goal! Third-Class Medical Reform Now Law!

It wasn’t easy, but B-29 Doc takes to Wichita skies

Airplane of the Week

Part II of the Mirage III: The Exports. David discusses the Mirage IIIE and its export successes. Listen to Part I  on Episode 402.

RAAF Mirage III

Mirage III E from the Royal Australian Air Force. TSGT Curt Eddings.

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 370 NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System

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

Linda Connell

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.

News

EU Challenging Germany’s Air Safety Authorities Post Germanwings Crash

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.

Pilot’s Bill Of Rights Changes; One-Time Medicals For Some

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.

ICAO starts aircraft tracking information web page

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has created a Global Tracking Initiatives web 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.

Air traffic controllers making major errors remain on job, including at IAH

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.”

Textron Aviation customer Wheels Up completes capital raise

The New York-based private aviation membership company Wheels Up has an order for 105 Beechcraft King Air 350i’s, and has raised $115 million in capital for business expansion.

Boeing’s new tanker achieves first flight

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.

Other Segments

Lieutenant Colonel Christine “Grinder” Mau

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

F-35A and R2D2

  • Micah gives us some thoughts on the late Alan Purwin.
  • Brian talks with listener Hendrik in Hamburg, Germany.

Mentioned

Listener Photo

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.

Cirrus SR22T looking over Los Angeles

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 366 Getting Your Air Transport Pilot Certificate

XTI Aircraft Company TriFan 600

XTI Aircraft Company TriFan 600

Strategies for getting your ATP certificate, a new VTOL aircraft offers an equity stake via crowdfunding, F-35 operational testing and a close-air support match up with the A-10, Skytrax rates the world’s airlines, inflight WiFi prices going up, and a retired Google executive receives an award from the Aero Club of Northern California.

Guest

Don Sebastian is President of Aviation Consulting Services Incorporated. He was our guest on Episode 336, back in February of this year, when we talked about the airplane pre-buy process. Don has a variety of aviation experiences and no shortage of opinions, so we asked him back, this time to talk about getting an Air Transport Pilot rating.

We talk with Don about different strategies to obtain an ATP rating. The cost today is not like it was in the “old days,” and prospective flight training students are different than the generations of the past, but Don believes there are ways it can be done without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Don Sebastion

Don Sebastian

Don has a number of certificates from the FAA. They include Air Transport Pilot certificates for single engine and multiengine aircraft, a commercial certificate for helicopters, and a Private certificate for gliders. He’s also a flight instructor for airplanes, holds two ground instructor certificates, and has an A and P mechanics certificate for airframe and powerplants. He also has a parachute Jumpmaster license from the Parachute Club of America, which has since been renamed the United States Parachute Association.

Don has performed over 2,000 pre-buys and flight tests. He was a member of the 82nd Airborne Division, testifies as an expert witness, and has eight lecture tours under his belt. Outside of aviation, Don contributes his energy to a variety of community and charitable activities.

Don produced the document Getting the ATP Rating which contains biographical information and great photographs,  as well as advice and links to online resources for those considering an Air Transport Pilot career. These are some of those resources:

News

XTI Aircraft Company offers stakes in the TriFan 600 VTOL business plane

A group of experienced aviation professionals has formed XTI Aircraft Company to develop a six-seat aircraft called the TriFan 600. It’s powered by two turboshaft engines that drive three ducted fans. The VTOL aircraft can hover and transition to horizontal flight by rotating the wing-mounted fans horizontal to vertical.

XTI Aircraft is using crowdfunding to raise a portion of the total investment required. This is now possible because new Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) rules allow startups to “test the waters” before a stock offering.

Update in XTI Aircraft Company Earns SEC Qualification, January 21, 2016:

XTI Aircraft Company (XTI) today launched a formal stock offering and is accepting investments to support development of the revolutionary new TriFan 600 aircraft. This 30-day opportunity to invest is not only open to those who have expressed interest in investing in the company, but to all investors around the globe. Shares in XTI may be purchased at www.startengine.com/startup/xti.

Note: Airplane Geeks makes no investment recommendation with respect to XTI Aircraft. We are only providing this information to inform our audience. Carefully consider your own situation before making any investment decisions.

A-4 Skyhawks support F-35 operational testing

Partner countries buying the F-35 each have their own operational tests. The Royal Netherlands Air Force test of the F-35A includes A-4 Skyhawks, F-16s, and a KDC-10 aerial tanker.

The F-35 vs. the A-10 Warthog, head-to-head in close-air support. It’s on.

The A-10 Thunderbolt II is to be retired due to budget constraints, with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter taking over the close-air support mission. Some think this is a fine idea, and others don’t. The two aircraft will participate in comparison evaluations starting in 2018.

The world’s worst airlines to fly with

The Skytrax World Airline Star Ratings classify airlines “by the quality of their front-line product and staff service standards.”  Topping the list as the world’s worst airline is North Korea’s Koryo Air.

In-Flight Wi-Fi Prices Jump as Demand Surges

Inflight connectivity provider Gogo has increased prices for WiFi significantly in the past few years. Gogo says increased demand is causing some congestion, but also that demand-based pricing is normal in business.

Retired Google VP Alan Eustace, holder of world free fall record, awarded Crystal Eagle award by the Aero Club of Northern California

Alan Eustace’s 135,908-foot leap broke the world record for highest free-fall parachute jump, and the Aero Club of Northern California is presenting him with an award.

The Shoreham air display crash

Listener John Eckersley sends us an update on the Hawker Hunter crash.

The Airplane of the Week

KC-130 BOB

Photo by David Vanderhoof

After getting trolled on Twitter, David presents the KC-130 Marine Battleherc: a history of Fat Albert, BOB, and Look Ma No Hook.

The Australia News Desk

Grant is back and the boys are gobsmacked by Alan Joyce’s $12 million salary. They’re pretty sure their morals would get corrupted for that amount of money!

Still with Qantas, they’ve painted A380 VH-OQH to support the Wallabies rugby union team (Grant tries to explain what that means):

Getting into the computer games, the RAAF C130J sim at Richmond was used to take part in the global event Virtual Flag 2015:

Keeping to the Hercules theme, a Coulson C130 tanker arrives at RAAF Richmond for NSW’s fire season:

Mentioned

Meet Lou Briasco, 33 Years At The Castro’s Michael Bruno Luggage Shop

Photo: Sari Staver/Hoodline

Photo: Sari Staver/Hoodline

Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase

Grimes Field Urbana Municipal Airport

Worst Place to Be a Pilot (2014)

Worst Place To Be a Pilot Season 1 Episode 4

Civil Aviation Authority – Standard Passenger and Baggage Weights [PDF]

Lady Dragged Off United Airlines Flight for Refusing to Put Dog in Pet Carrier

August 1985: The worst month for air disasters

Listener Photos

Listener Ted Corgan tells us he “recently saw and toured one of the exact airplanes that was featured in Air & Space Magazine. Aluminum Overcast, the EAA’s B-17 in Eileen Bjorkman’s article entitled “Learning to Fly the Fortress,” was flown to Lunken Airport in Cincinnati, OH, for its Aviation Days event in early June of 2015.”

Also, “I took the exciting opportunity to walk—or perhaps more accurately, climb—through the historic aircraft. The experience further heightened my respect for those who have served our country with it and those who keep it airworthy today, and also deepened my appreciation for the engineering marvel that is the B-17.”

Ted Corgan, Air & Space mag, and Aluminum Overcast

Ted Corgan, nephew Zach, Air & Space mag, and Aluminum Overcast

B-17 Aluminum Overcast left engines view

B-17 Aluminum Overcast left engines view

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 363 A Chat with David and Max

Two F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters

The F-35B goes operational, sparks in the cabin on United Airlines flight, AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 facts and figures, the spat between (and among) US and Middle East airlines, and airline fees in the spotlight.

News

Marine Corps declared F-35B operational

After a five-day Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI) in July, the U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning II aircraft reached initial operational capability. The Yuma, Arizona-based Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) is now operational with the F-35B variant.

United Airlines flight makes emergency return to London

A United Airlines 777 flying Los Angeles declared an emergency and returned to London Heathrow Airport after sparks were seen coming out of first class seats and passengers reported smelling smoke.

United Airlines flight diverted to Indy after dropping 10,000 feet

United flight 5919 enroute to Chicago from Charlotte was rerouted to Indianapolis after it dropped 10,000 feet. The cause for the loss of altitude is unknown at this time.

AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 Facts and Figures

This year’s event saw an attendance of approximately 550,000, more than 10,000 aircraft, 2,668 show planes, 976 vintage airplanes, 350 warbirds, 130 ultralights and light-sport aircraft, 101 seaplanes, 30 rotorcraft, and 50 aerobatic aircraft. There were over 800 commercial exhibitors, 1,048 forums and workshops attended by more than 75,000 people.

New group further divides airline association’s membership

Delta, United, and American have gone on the offensive alleging that the Qatar and United Arab Emirates state-owned airlines are subsidized in violation of the Open Skies agreements. Now, JetBlue Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, FedEx, and Atlas Air Worldwide have formed a coalition with a different viewpoint.

Hawaiian CEO Mark Dunkerley says, “The Big 3 do not speak for all, or even most, U.S. airlines. Our coalition believes that the United States should honor its Open Skies commitments, which opens markets for U.S. carriers, promotes competition on international and domestic routes, and facilitates U.S. exports.”

To learn more about the issues involved here, see:

Sen. Nelson: Airlines collected $38 billion in fees

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson from Florida wondered why the cost to fly is going up when the cost of fuel has gone down and airline profits are up, so he commissioned a study. Nelson learned that in 2014, airlines collected $38B in fees. The report found a lack of relationship between the price a fee and the cost to provide the service, and that fees are not proportional to ticket price.

The US Airlines Industry: Sky High Prices Drive Soaring Profits

An infographic that shows the US airline industry contributes nearly $1.5 trillion in economic activity in the US alone and generates over 11 million jobs. Airfare has been steadily increasing in price since 1995, however, when you account for inflation, the actual value of the tickets has decreased.

The Australia News Desk

Virgin Australia to use their subsidiary TigerAir on flights to Bali as well as completely pulling out of flights to Phuket.

Virgin are also converting 17 of their 737-800 orders into 737 MAX 8 orders (and delaying them – saving more money) which will give them a total of 40 orders … eventually.

Moody’s upgrades Qantas’ credit rating

Alliance Aviation Services sending its fleet of Fokkers up to Slovakia for heavy maintenance ‘cos it’s cheaper to fly all the way from Australia to Europe than maintain a heavy maintenance facility in Australia.

Across the Pond

Pieter talks to FlightChic Marisa Garcia about Baggage Tracking from Emirates, the KLM App and Apple Watch interface, and why Ryanair are no longer basing aircraft in Denmark.

Mentioned

S2F Firecats and an OV-10 Bronco

S2F Firecats and an OV-10 Bronco

Does the F-35 really suck in air combat?

Dambusters pilot Les Munro dies in New Zealand aged 96

Delta Private Jets – Not Your Ordinary Medallion Upgrade

Dispute with JetBlue over dog carrier leaves travelers from Florida grounded in Portland

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 352 Jennifer Rodi, NTSB Air Safety Investigator

The A400M military airlifter on display at the 2014 ILA Berlin Air Show.

Conversation with an NTSB investigator, the A400M accident, pilots and controllers texting, US majors react to Middle East expansion, ceramic matrix material from GE, F-35B trials, Malaysia Airlines tries to recover.

Guest

Jennifer Rodi is a senior air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board in the Central Region. She served as the Survival Factors Group Chairman for the Lubbock, Texas Empire Airlines accident, the Witness Group Chairman for the Oklahoma City Cessna Citation accident, and has participated in other major investigations, public hearings, special investigation reports, and Board meetings conducted by the NTSB.

NTSB LogoWe talk with Jennifer about a variety of topics, including some of the investigations she’s worked, the role of Group Chairmen in investigations, and how the NTSB supports and learns from investigations in other countries. We discuss survival factors, Board independence and transparency, and primacy in investigations.

Jennifer Rodi currently holds a commercial pilot certificate with single, multiengine, and instrument ratings. She is a certified flight and ground instructor with single, multiengine, and instrument privileges for flight instruction, and advanced and instrument privileges for ground instruction.

Prior to her employment with the Safety Board, Jennifer was a flight instructor and she also worked as a photo-recon pilot and performed aerial surveys of oil and gas lines.

Jennifer has a Bachelor’s of Science in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a Master’s of Science in Aeronautical Science with specializations in Human Factors and Systems Safety, also from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, from Capella University.

News

Airbus A400M plane crash linked to software fault

Airbus Admits ‘Assembly Quality Problem’ After A400M Crash

In looking at the aircraft data logs after the Airbus A400M crash near Seville on May 9, Airbus engineers found some anomalies. The analysis of the flight recorders now shows there were no structural faults, but there was a “serious final assembly quality problem” according to Airbus group’s chief of strategy. The Europrop TP400 turboprop Electronic Control Units (ECU) were poorly installed at final assembly.

Pilots and air traffic controllers can finally stop talking and start texting

Texting from tower to cockpit could speed flights

For two years the FAA has been testing “Data Comm,” a piece of NextGen that lets pilots and ATC text each other. Data Comm rolls this summer, starting with Houston Hobby, Houston Intercontinental and Salt Lake City International airports. The system should be operating at more than 50 air traffic control towers by 2016.

Anti-ME airline claims by US majors grow louder, what if they win?

US airlines have fought expansion in the US by major Middle East carriers. Recently at the National Press Club in Washington, the CEOs of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Continental Holdings made a group appearance to voice their concerns about subsidies and competition.

‘Stubborn’ GE scientist pioneers breakthrough ‘dream material’

A GE researcher developed a ceramic matrix that is resistant to the very high temperatures in jet engines (20% higher than the exotic metal alloys now used), strong like metal, and very light. GE is using the material in the LEAP engine produced through CFM International.

Marine Corps F-35Bs depart USS Wasp after carrier tests

Six US Marine Corps F-35Bs conducted a one-and-a-half-week trial aboard the USS Wasp amphibious assault ship. The trial included 108 test sorties and an F135 engine delivery from a V-22 Osprey. The squadrons involved hope to pass a final operational readiness assessment over a two-week period in July.

Malaysia Airlines’ new CEO is off to a good start but doubts loom about the airline’s future

New Malaysia Airlines CEO Christoph Mueller has the job of salvaging the airline. Previously, he was Chief Executive of Belgian airline Sabena, he restructured Ireland’s Aer Lingus, and led a revamp at Lufthansa.

More on this topic:

Malaysia A380 Decision Deepens Airbus Worries

Malaysia Airlines Restructuring Fleet: Selling A380s

Troubled Malaysia Airlines to be completely revamped: new CEO

Things look grim and brutal for ‘new’ Malaysia Airlines

The Australia News Desk

Can a reduction in cabotage restrictions in the north end lead to sabotage of domestic operations? Everyone outside of the government seems to think so!

Matt Hall comes third in Rovinj after an exciting session on the weekend (audio supplied by the Red Bull Radio Service).

RAAF’s Wedgetail E-7A AEW&C aircraft attains Final Operational Capacity

The first of two new RAAF C17s has been sighted at Longbeach.

Mentioned

Passenger Choice Awards – Created by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), air-travelers from around the world are invited to rate their recent inflight experiences. The deadline is June 30, 2015.

Solar Impulse – Follow the solar powered around the world flight.

Cyber-Attack Warning: Could Hackers Bring Down a Plane?

FliteTest Podcast 074 Burt Rutan

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 324 The California Science Center

A-12 Blackbird at the California Science Center

Malaysia Airlines woes, F-35C conducting at-sea testing, what to do about thin airline seats, American flight attendants reject contract proposal, and Southwest Airlines Captain grabs the controls.

Guest

Our guest this episode is Dr. Kenneth Phillips, the Aerospace Science Curator of the California Science Center.  The Center aims to stimulate curiosity and inspire science learning in everyone through memorable experiences.

Phase III of the Science Center’s 25-year Master Plan features the Space Shuttle Endeavour and the Samuel Oschin Air and Space Center; the SKETCH Foundation Air and Space Gallery; the Roy A. Anderson A-12 Blackbird Exhibit and Garden; and development of the Creative World permanent gallery.

We talk with Ken about the Center’s mission, how the exhibits flow from one to another and tell a story, the role of a museum curator, and the different skill sets of the supporting staff. Admission to the California Science Center is free.

Ken has served as Curator for Aerospace Science since 1990 and develops the California Science Center Foundation’s programs and exhibits on aeronautics and space exploration. As Curator, he is responsible for creating the vision that shapes these programs and leading the team in the process that includes concept and storyboard development; multiple phases of design; prototype development and testing; artifact acquisition; audiovisual production; exhibit fabrication and research on visitor learning.

You can find the California Science Center on Facebook and Twitter.

News

MH370 Maybe Declared Officially Lost By December 2014, Says MAS Director

Maybe they will, maybe they won’t, but in any event, Malaysia Airlines seems headed for privatization.

F-35C

F-35C Initial At-Sea Testing Progressing Aboard USS Nimitz and F-35C Completes First Arrested Landing aboard Aircraft Carrier

The carrier variant of the F-35 is making progress in testing on the USS Nimitz.

New thinner ‘park bench’ airline seats, and what you can do about them

George Hobica (creator of airfarewatchdog.com) offers five possible solutions.

American flight attendants reject new contract

AA Flight Attendants say no to a new contract, by just 16 votes. Next, the issue goes to arbitration where the final agreement will be less attractive to the FAs.

Southwest Airlines Captain Broke Safety Rules Before 2013 New York Accident

The Southwest pilot in the LGA crash pulled the throttles back over the co-pilot’s hand, and lost her job.

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week

David takes a moment to pay tribute to all Veterans.

The Australia News Desk

Grant’s birthday has aligned with Qantas releasing a retro livery that dates back to when he was born. He and Steve think it looks great!

Meanwhile, Grant’s been off flying hot air balloons and passing his biennial flight review while Jonesy’s flying his “new” Cessna home and Steve’s started a new job with the railway. It’s all “GO” at the AusDesk!

Listener Recording

Harriet and Micah

Micah tells the story of Harriet’s Helicopter Pilot.

Mentioned

SeatGuru – Everything you need to know about the seats on your next flight.

PT6Nation – All about the Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprop.

Flying Legends Air Show 2014 – A video trailer.

Air Tindi De Havilland Canada DHC-7-103 Dash 7 photographs from Ryan HothersallC-GCEV, C-GCPY, C-GCEV, C-GCEV, C-GUAT.

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 316 – NASA’s Aeronautics Research

Altair with Infrared Imaging Sensor

NASA’s aeronautical research activities, Boeing and Airbus production rates, an NTSB report on pilots and drugs, and an update on the F-35 engine fire.

Guest

Maj. Gen. Charles Frank Bolden, Jr., (USMC-Ret.) has been the NASA Administrator since July, 2009. During Charlie’s 34-year career with the Marine Corps, he served 14 years in NASA’s Astronaut Office and traveled to orbit four times aboard the space shuttle.

Charlie flew more than 100 combat missions in North and South Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. He has a lengthy and distinguished career serving his country, including receiving the Defense Superior Service Medal and the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in May 2006.

We talk about the role of government in general and NASA in particular when it comes to taking the development risks that industry cannot. Charlie tells us about NASA’s development of software tools for the FAA, including NextGen air traffic management tools.

We also discuss the allocation of funding between aeronautics and space, NASA activities in aircraft propulsion such as increasing efficiency of existing systems, recent biofuel tests, and projects with the Boeing eco-Demonstrator airplanes.

Charlie believes that supersonic transports can be in our future and tells us about NASA activity to address the sonic boom problem.

NASA is actively involved with the FAA and the six UAS test sites as autonomous flight technologies are developed. NASA focuses on sense and avoid and is looking at sUAS air traffic control.

We get an update on the commercialization of space flight, climate change and greenhouse warming, and space technology management.

Visit the NASA web page for a wealth of information, follow them on Twitter, and read NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden’s Blog.

The News

Boeing, Airbus seriously studying speeding factories

Boeing and Airbus are looking at boosting the production rates for the 737 and A320 families of airplanes. Orders have poured in and the airframers have years of backlog. Will the supply chain be able to sustain higher rates?

NTSB Study on Drug Use in Aviation Shows Upward Trend in Use of Potentially Impairing Medications; First Step in Understanding Drug Use and Accident Risk

The NTSB looked at more than 6,600 toxicology tests performed on pilots killed in aviation accidents from 1990 through 2012, 96% of which were GA. NTSB Acting Chairman Christopher A. Hart said, “I think that the key take-away from this study for every pilot is to think twice about the medications you’re taking and how they might affect your flying. Many over-the-counter and prescription drugs have the potential to impair performance, so pilots must be vigilant to ensure that their abilities are in no way compromised before taking to the skies.”

See also, NTSB releases study on medication, drug use: AOPA cautions findings are incomplete and inconclusive.

F-35 Fire: In Search Of A Solution

At Eglin AFB on June 23, 2014, F-35 AF-27 experienced a significant engine fire, grounding the fleet. It appears that engine flex caused a “hard rub” of the fan stage stator against the rotor. The friction caused heating, which led to micro-cracks in some blades. Then in normal operation, the cracks grew and the blades eventually failed. Pratt & Whitney is redesigning some components, but the root cause for the engine flex has not yet been identified.

David Vanderhoof’s Airplane of the Week

Douglas C-74 Globemaster

The Douglas C-74 Globemaster.

With all the recent humanitarian news, the Boeing C-17A is getting a lot of attention. It’s often referred to as a Globemaster, but it’s time to set the record straight and talk about the real Globemaster – the Douglas C-74 and its son the C-124 Globemaster II, making the C-17A the Globemaster III.

Across the Pond

Finnair

Pieter Johnson has news of the UK Airports Commission decision to reject London Mayor Boris Johnson’s idea for an Estuary Airport (affectionately known as “Boris Island”). He also looks at Ryanair’s Boeing 737Max order, and some new services from both Finnair and Qatar Airways.

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

Shout Out

In Episode 134 of the Airline Pilot Guy podcast, Capt. Jeff offers a very good discussion of hypoxia, with ATC recordings from the TBM-900 that crashed off Jamaica, and other examples.

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 300 – Military Aviation with Bill Sweetman

F-35 Lightning II

We celebrate our 300th episode with Bill Sweetman, Senior International Defense Editor at Aviation Week & Space Technology.

We talk about black programs, the Aurora, and the mysterious aircraft photographed in the skies over Texas. Also, F-35 program strategy and how adversaries respond to the long program length and a strategy that relies on one aircraft. We discuss developing programs in the black compared to in the white, and harvesting existing technology versus developing new technology.

We consider the F-22 program and if the line should have been kept open, and the cost to maintain stealth coatings. Bill describes his original recommendation on what to do with the A-10 fleet, and answers the question, “Is there a role for manned reconnaissance aircraft?”

The week’s aviation news:

ICAO makes global flight tracking a priority in MH370 aftermath
and
ICAO Delivers Agreement Between States, Industry Groups on Global Airline Flight Tracking Capability

The International Civil Aviation Organization is a UN-sponsored organization created in 1944 under the Chicago Convention. Working with industry, ICAO develops Standards and Recommended Practices which are used by the member States as they develop their own national civil aviation regulations. Recently, ICAO held a Special Meeting on Global Flight Tracking of Aircraft and the member states agreed to make the tracking of airline flights a near-term priority.

Brooksville to be hub for new saucer-shaped aircraft

Corporate Jet Solutions entered into a joint-venture agreement with Aerobat Aviation, with hopes of launching the Geobat FS-7, kind of a flying saucer. They hope to have saucers ready for the 2014 Airventure Oshkosh.

SoCal sonic boom: Calling card of the top-secret Aurora spy plane?

Southern California residents were shaken lately by what some thought was an earthquake. But the US Navy confirms it was a sonic boom by an aircraft 50 miles off the coast. But one witness says he knows sonic booms and this was no sonic boom. Is it the Aurora?

Mystery Aircraft Over Texas

Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works is developing the SR-72 spy plane. Is this what has been spotted in the sky?

Become a Pilot, Family Day and Aviation Display

Join Max, Rob, David, and a whole community of Avgeeks June 14, 2014, at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, located in Chantilly, Virginia. The annual Become a Pilot day features aircraft and activities for the whole family.

In this week’s Australia Desk:

In amongst all the congratulations for episode 300, the boys take us back to Qantas as, after all, it’s been a couple of months since they last talked about them!

From lay-offs to “weekend departure charges,” there’s much to say as Qantas celebrates 60 years of flying across the Pacific.

Then, for a change of pace, it seems the Australian Government are considering buying the F35B as well as the 72 F35As they’ve already committed to?

Finally, we round out by chatting about Hobart’s runway being upgraded to handle A330’s & 777’s.

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

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

With Pieter recently crossing a major milestone in life, his reminiscing seems to be overwhelming. And with the recent passing of the VC10, L1011 and DC10 into living memory it is a little further back that he looks for solace and he finds it in the project  “Ode to Concorde” which aims to be a visual celebration of the aircraft that’s imprinted in our minds for its exquisite aesthetics and iconic status in aviation history. Pieter talks to Director Chris Purcell about the project and how the aviation industry and you can step in to help create this film.

Find Ode to Concorde on Twitter and Facebook, and support them on Indiegogo. Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

Mentioned:

  • AvTunes – Sky High Songs That Fly

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