Tag Archives: FAA

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.

Guest

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/.

News

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

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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.

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Mentioned

"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

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 396 The Emirates Employment Model

Emirates A380 by Paul Flimer

Conversation with the recruitment manager for Emirates about opportunities at the airline. Also, possible layoffs (or retirements) at Boeing, Air France service returning to Iran, new student pilot rules from the FAA, a buyer for Virgin America, and dogs – can they really fly?

Guest

Andrew Longley is Head of Recruitment – Flight Operations (Pilots) at Emirates. The airline operates to over 140 destinations with an all-widebody fleet of Boeing and Airbus aircraft. Emirates is the world’s largest operator of 777 and A380 aircraft.

Andrew Longley

Andrew Longley

Andy describes how the Emirates employment model is different than that of many other airlines. We take a look at the need to attract pilots and cabin crew from an international pool of candidates with strong leadership potential and good CRM skills. We also talk about pilot certification requirements, the Dubai lifestyle and airline accommodation of employee families, salaries, housing, medical insurance, and other career opportunities at Emirates.

Andy started his career in 2006 in the Royal New Zealand Navy as a Military Psychologist where he was responsible for the selection and assessment of specialist trades including helicopter pilots, special forces, and Navy divers. He also served as a UN peacekeeper for a year where he worked and lived in Syria and Lebanon monitoring the peace between the various at-war countries.

After Andy’s military time commitment ended in 2013, he worked as a consultant in the telecommunications and business fields including a year working at IBM.

But Andy saw a unique opportunity with Emirates and he moved to Dubai as a senior psychologist.  He became involved in Emirates pilot assessment and was responsible for profiling and assessing pilot candidates. He moved into pilot recruitment and leads the effort to find enough safe and capable pilots to fly a quickly growing fleet of wide-body aircraft.

Learn more at the Emirates Group Careers webpage. Pilots can look for the closed LinkedIn group “Future Pilots of Emirates Airlines.” Andy will be presenting and exhibiting at the FAPA Job Fair April 26, 2016 and the OBAP Spring Career Fair April 27, 2016, both in Las Vegas.

News

How The U.S. Government Helped Kill 4,000 Jobs This Week At Boeing

Boeing says that at least 4,000 (or 5%) of it’s workforce needs to be cut, and maybe as much as 10% (or 8,000 jobs). CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) Ray Conner points to pricing pressure from Airbus with their A320 family and its effect on the 737.

Loren Thompson describes some other factors where the U.S. government shares blame:

  • Illegal European launch aid subsidies.
  • The Ex-Im Bank cannot make new deals until the Senate acts to confirm a necessary quorum of board members.
  • Low tanker price will drain funds from Boeing that could have been used to compete with Airbus.

Forget About Airbus Pricing Pressure At Boeing; Bigger Danger Is 15,000 Early Retirements

Aerospace analyst Scott Hamilton of Leeham Co. says early retirements by factory-floor workers could be a bigger impact than layoffs on the 737 and 787 production ramp up starting next year. The IAM (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers) told told Hamilton that between 7,000 and 9,000 workers are eligible for early retirement in November, and they expect 3-5,000 might actually retire. However, Dennis Muilenburg, the CEO of The Boeing Co.says that “booking rates have held up well.” Cost cutting is offensive rather than defensive.

Air France cabin crew defy airline chiefs order to wear headscarves in Iran

Air France is scheduled to resume service between Paris and Tehran on April 17. By law, Iranian women are required to cover their hair. Some female cabin crew members say they won’t fly to Iran if they are ordered by the airline to wear headscarves after they disembark. Reportedly, an Air France memo to staff said female employees would be required to “wear trousers during the flight with a loose fitting jacket and a scarf covering their hair on leave the plane.”

New Student Pilot Rules Take Effect Today

In the past, many student pilots have celebrated their 16th birthday with their solo flight on that day. Now the FAA says it cannot start processing the student pilot certificate application until all requirements are met, including age.

Jason Blair posted a good resource on his website: Step by Step Process for Issuance of Student Pilot Certificates Using Updated FAA Student Pilot Certificate Procedures.

Alaska Air clinches Virgin America deal for $2.6B

Alaska Air Group plans to Virgin America in a deal valued at about $2.6 billion. If it goes through, Alaska Airlines would become the fifth-largest U.S. airline, behind  American, Delta, United, and Southwest.

Abandoned Dog Learns To Fly A Plane, Becomes World’s Cutest Co-Pilot

Maybe. Maybe not.

Listener Recording

Our Main(e) man Micah tells us about his second visit to the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s Stephen Udvar-Hazy Center in June 2015 for the Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display. Join us at the 2016 June 18 in Chantilly, Virginia, adjacent to Dulles International Airport. See also Scott Spangler’s visit report Udvar-Hazy: Surprises & Friends Restored on Jetwhine.com.

Mentioned

Top 10 Aviation Museums to Visit in the U.S.

US Chamber of Commerce’s 15th Annual Aviation Summit

Listener Photo

Ryan Hothersall's model Mil Mi-8 in Mongolian markings

Ryan Hothersall’s model Mil Mi-8 in Mongolian markings

Credit

Post photo courtesy Paul Filmer, Skippyscage Photography.

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 393 Aviators Achieving Success

Thomas P. Curran, the author of Millionaire Legacy, tells us about the success strategies of Sean D. Tucker, Captain Julie Clark, and Captain “Sully” Sullenberger. We also discuss ab initio pilot training from JetBlue, watching a solar eclipse from an airplane, a bill to curb airline fees, stricter oversight of pilot mental health, and high altitude drone flying.

Guest

Thomas P. Curran

Thomas P. Curran

Thomas P. Curran is a certified trainer and uses advanced strategies to coach his students to attain their dreams and goals. Tom has developed training curriculums and performance evaluations, and assists his clients with developing strategic marketing plans. As a speaker and seminar leader, he helps individuals prioritize their goals and dreams while developing a clearly defined plan for success. Tom is also a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA).

Millionaire Legacy book cover

 

Tom’s book, Millionaire Legacy, focuses on the eight success strategies self-made millionaires use to acquire wealth, peace, and contentment. Top leading business, motivational, and other leaders are examined in the book, including  Sean D. Tucker, Captain Julie Clark, and Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger. The book describes how these three highly regarded aviators overcame adversity and challenges to reach successful outcomes.

  • Sean D. Tucker overcame a deep fear of flying but persisted until he became a respected aerobatic pilot.
  • Captain Julie Clark fought many obstacles throughout her life and became the first and only female pilot with Golden West Airlines, a captain with Northwest Airlines, and an accomplished aerobatic pilot.  
  • Captain Sully Sullenberger, lost both engines after a bird strike, and instead of allowing himself to become paralyzed by fear, he safely landed the US Airways plane in the Hudson River.

News

JetBlue Wants to Train You to Become a Pilot

In Episode #379, we discussed the proposal by JetBlue to hire potential commercial pilots and provide them with ab initio training. JetBlue announced they are now taking applications for 24 Gateway Select program slots. The cost is expected to be about $125,000, but some tuition costs can be defrayed by working on the side as an instructor for CAE, the flight simulator manufacturer that has partnered with JetBlue to offer the training. The first six recruits will start training in late summer.

Astronomers freak out watching solar eclipse from Alaska Airlines flight

Alaska Airlines delayed Flight 870 from Anchorage to Honolulu allowing the plane’s path to intersect a total solar eclipse. A group of “eclipse chasers” onboard the flight witnessed the approaching shadow, Baily’s beads, the sun’s corona and prominences, and the diamond ring. The video captures their excitement.

Alaska Airlines Solar Eclipse Flight #870

“The Great American Eclipse” will occur on Aug. 21, 2017, and cut a diagonal path from Oregon to South Carolina. Learn more at Eclipse2017.org.

Airline Fees Are Out of Hand, a Bill From Senators Says

Fed up with the proliferation of airline fees, federal legislators have introduced the Forbidding Airlines from Imposing Ridiculous Fees Act, the “FAIR Fees Act.” Senator Edward J. Markey, Democrat from Massachusetts said, “Airlines should not be allowed to overcharge captive passengers just because they need to change their flight or have to check a couple of bags.” Markey and Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat from Connecticut, authored the bill.

Germanwings Crash Inquiry Urges Stricter Oversight of Pilots’ Mental Health

Airline Plan Suggests No Pilot Privacy

On March 24, 2015, pilot Andreas Lubitz flew a Germanwings Airbus A320 into the ground killing all 150 people on board. After the Captain left for a break, Lubitz locked the cockpit door and set the plane to an altitude of 100 feet, which was below the altitude of the terrain it was approaching. The French air-safety agency BEA has proposed rules for situations when pilots suffer from medical conditions that might pose a public risk.

FAA Reauthorization bill passes the House

The House voted to extend the Federal Aviation Administration’s operating authority through mid-July while Congress works on a longer aviation policy bill. The bill was approved by voice vote and Senate action is still required. The FAA’s current operating authority is due to expire on March 31, 2016.

This Idiot Flew his Drone to 11,000 feet in the Netherlands

Someone in the Netherlands flew their DJI Phantom to 11,000 feet, in an apparent attempt to break a world record.

Airplane of the Week

Atlas Cheetah E 826 by Alan Wilson

Atlas Cheetah E 826 by Alan Wilson

This week David schools Rob on the Atlas Cheetah, the favorite airplane of one of our listeners. The Cheetah grew out of the embargos of the 70’s and 80’s in both Israel and South Africa.

Mentioned

American Vintage Planes Take On ISIS — Why Have Throwbacks Been Brought Back From Retirement To Bombard Terrorist Group? [Video]

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 391 Jack Pelton, EAA Chairman of the Board

We talk with Jack Pelton, Chairman of the Board of the Experimental Aircraft Association about the status of the FAA re-authorization and ATC privatization. Also the Republic Airways bankruptcy, a WASP celebrates her 106th birthday, a first look at the Long Range Strike Bomber, and the history of the YF-12A.

Jack Pelton

Jack Pelton

Guest

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 has also worked at Dornier Aircraft in Munich, and Douglas Aircraft in Long Beach CA.

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).

Jack gives us the background of the FAA re-authorization bill and tells us about some of its problems: the lack of GA input, heavy board control by airlines, absence of congressional oversight, taxpayer-funded assets handed to a private organization, and lack of clarity on how privatized ATC would be paid for.

You can take action at govt.eaa.org.

News

Republican leaders sideline a bill putting air traffic control in private hands

House leadership to shelve FAA overhaul

The House Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act is being put aside for now in favor of a continuing resolution to fund the FAA beyond March 31, when funding runs out. The chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa. said that he is working on the extension bill, but also seeking support for the privatization of air traffic control.

What’s next? Aftermath of ATC Privatization Battle

“After [the] announcement by leadership in the House of Representatives that ATC privatization is dead, EAA continues to focus on moving forward with the elements of the bill that are important to general aviation, including reforms in aeromedical and aircraft certification as well as hangar-use policy, that were included in the original House FAA reauthorization bill.”

Republic Airways CEO Says Bankruptcy Filing Will Take Airline To New Heights

Regional flier for United Airlines files for bankruptcy protection

Why Republic Airways filed for bankruptcy even though it’s profitable

Regional carrier Republic Airways has filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code. Factors include: labor disputes, pilot shortages, loss of revenue and poor earnings. Flight operations will continue and employees will still get paid

A happy birthday for the woman who can fly

Doris Lockness was one of the 1,074 women who were accepted to join the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots that ferried aircraft for the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II. Doris just celebrated her 106th birthday. After the war, Doris worked as a flight instructor, a sightseeing pilot, and she performed in air shows in a Vultee-Stinson warbird called “Swamp Angel.”

Air Force reveals first image of B-21 Long Range Strike Bomber

Bomber 21? Why Not Build a Better B-52?

B-21 artist renderingAir Force Secretary Deborah Lee James unveiled the artist rendering Friday based on the initial design concept. James said, “The B-21 has been designed from the beginning based on a set of requirements that allows the use of existing and mature technology.”

Airplane of the Week

Only every four years can we talk about aviation history from the 29th of February. In 1964, Lyndon Johnson bought the YF-12 from the world of the black and into the light, doing so only to protect the black.  The YF-12A was an extremely successful interceptor and went on to be a great test aircraft for NASA.

YF-12

On the Mark

How Airports Can Help Revitalize the Aviation Industry.

Mentioned

Bring Right Footed to Your Community

“Right Footed” is an award winning documentary film about Jessica Cox, the first woman without arms to fly an airplane. The film is now available for screenings in movie theaters and in group settings. To bring the film to your community visit www.RightFootedMovie.com and click on “Host a Screening.”

AOPA Foundation Auction winner of one of Greg’s fine art prints

The First Air Force One


This Rotor’s POV Video Shows How Helicopters Don’t Fly, But Beat The Air Into Submission

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 390 Lightspeed ANR Headsets

We learn all about Active Noise Reduction headsets with the founder and CEO of Lightspeed Aviation. In the news: Bombardier job cuts and a CS300 order, the NASA aeronautics budget request, United 747 retirements, and the FAA reauthorization bill stalls. We also have the winner of the John Mollison print.

Allan Schrader

Allan Schrader, founder and CEO, Lightspeed Aviation.

Guest

Allan Schrader is founder and CEO of Lightspeed Aviation, a leading producer of active noise reduction headsets for aviation. Lightspeed introduced their first product in 1996 at EAA AirVenture and continues to develop and offer innovative products.

Allan tells us how he started Lightspeed and the sound cancellation technologies involved. We learn about the labs dedicated to delivering quieting, comfort, and fidelity; the headset trade-in program; and the different acoustic signatures of GA airplanes, helicopters, and airliners. Allan also talks about the introduction of the wireless headset, and integrating headsets with cockpit information to enhance the cockpit experience.

Allan has a civil engineering degree and an MBA, and started his career at Tektronix  where he learned about product development and operations. Allan left Tektronix to launch a startup company producing wireless headsets, then after five years he and some of his Tektronix co-workers started Lightspeed Technologies to design and make Active Noise Reduction headsets.

News

Bombardier to Cut Workforce by 10%, Gets New CSeries Orders

Bombardier plans to cut about 7,000 jobs from its worldwide workforce of 71,000. Layoffs are expected in both Canada and Europe, split between the company’s plane and train operations. The better news is that Air Canada placed orders for 45 firm and 30 option CS300 airplanes.

Boom! NASA Wants to Bring Back Supersonic X-Planes

The $19B FY 2017 NASA budget request asks for $790M to be used for aeronautics research impacting the safety, capacity, and efficiency of the air transportation system; a major new experimental flight initiative to demonstrate and validate new technologies that dramatically reduce fuel consumption, emissions, and noise, and open new markets for U.S. industry; and research and development for revolutionary low carbon emission aircraft, including associated transportation systems, as part of a multiagency effort to enable a 21st century clean transportation system.

See:

United Airlines tells pilots it may retire all of its Boeing 747s by 2018

Aviation journalist Brian Sumers reports that almost a year ago, United indicated that its 747 fleet would be around for a while, with maybe a 2020 decision point based on aircraft maintenance requirements. Now however, pilots were told that 747 retirements may occur at a faster rate. If United does move to retire the 747 quickly, they say they will accelerate deliveries of new widebodies.

Reauthorization Bill Stalled In Committee

The FAA reauthorization bill which would privatize ATC will not be introduced to the full House as scheduled. Facing widespread opposition to the bill, Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster will instead try and consolidate support. Expect the bill to be amended before it re-emerges from Committee.

John Mollison Print Giveaway

Grandpas Untold StoryWe announce the winner of the John Mollison signed print showing the B-25 flown by Dick Cole and Doolittle, Bud Anderson’s P51B, Alden Rigby’s P51D, and Maury Magneson’s P47. John was our guest on Episode 388 where he told us about his “Old Guys and Their Airplanes” video documentaries.

We also play a moving recording called “Grandpa’s Untold Story” that describes how the picture of one man’s B-17 came to be on the wall of his grandson.

Airplane of the Week

Listener Glenn Towler tells us the history of the English Electric Lightning.

Mentioned

Airfare is finally getting cheaper

Why We Fly Podcast

Ryan Hothersall’s photos of the E4 when it visited Adelaide, South Australia in 2005.

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 388 Connecting to the Legacy with John Mollison

John Mollison tells us how his artwork and his interviews capture the human side of aviation history. In the news, we talk about the FAA reauthorization bill, and consider if United Airlines is getting better. Also, spraying airplanes to fight the Zika virus, the A-10 gets a reprieve, and Icelandair steps up their game with a Stopover Buddy.

John Mollison print_600

Guest

Artist and writer John Mollison has interviewed well over 100 highly decorated airman since 1999 including: Medal of Honor recipients Joe Foss and Leo Thorsness, Presidential candidate and Senator George McGovern, bestselling author Robert Mason, and Morris Jeppson, the Bomb-Electronics Officer aboard the Enola Gay, to name a few.

John Mollison

John Mollison

In his words, John “Interviews old guys and draws their airplanes.” He uses the process of capturing an exact, historically accurate rendering of a particular combat aircraft to learn more about the human side of history.

John interviews the pilots and aircrew of particular aircraft to to learn: What makes people go to war? What makes people cope with stress? How do people define success? And most importantly, what can be passed on to future generations so they can avoid the mistakes of the past?

His artwork and historical contributions, including his “Old Guys and Their Airplanes” documentaries can be viewed at: www.oldguysandtheirairplanes.com and www.johnmollison.com.

News

Details of long-awaited FAA reauthorization bill revealed

On Feb 3, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee announced bill H.R. 4441, the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act of 2016, the AIRR Act.

The AIRR Act proposes privatizing ATC via a federally chartered not-for-profit organization, third class medical reform, certification reform, and user fees for airlines and Part 135 charter operators.

Shuster Introduces Conservative Aviation Measure that will Remove Over 30,000 Employees out of Federal Government Control

In his press release, Shuster says, “The comprehensive reauthorization bill, which removes over 30,000 people from the federal government’s payroll, also streamlines the FAA’s aviation equipment and aircraft certification processes, provides additional consumer protections, addresses aviation safety issues, gives the FAA more tools for the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems, and provides for airport infrastructure improvements across the country.”

5 signs that United Airlines is finally getting better

CEO Oscar Munoz was upbeat and enthusiastic in the earnings call, 79% of the United pilots ratified a two-year contract extension, United operations are improving, United is building its San Francisco hub as the primary U.S. gateway to Asia, Boston-based PAR Capital Management increased its stake in the carrier to 8.9 million shares or 2.4% of the airline.

UK asks airlines to spray insecticide to fight Zika virus

The British government is asking all airlines that fly from areas affected by the Zika virus to spray their planes with insecticide before coming back to the U.K.

A-10 Survives The Budget Chopping Block

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the DOD is “…investing to maintain more of our 4th-generation fighter and attack jets than we previously planned — including the A-10, which has been devastating ISIL from the air. The budget defers the A-10’s final retirement until 2022, replacing it with F-35s on a squadron-by-squadron basis so we’ll always have enough aircraft for today’s conflicts.”

Want To Go Skiing With Icelandair’s CEO?

Icelandair and WOW Air are competing with low fares between the U.S. and Europe using Iceland as a waypoint. But now Icelandair is stepping up the game and testing an idea where passengers enjoy Iceland’s sights during a layover, before proceeding to their destination. Under this program, passengers can request an Icelandair Stopover Buddy to act as a kind of free tour guide.

Former Sikorsky president Jeff Pino killed in plane crash

Jeff Pino was president of Sikorsky aircraft from 2006 to 2012. Recently, he was the Vice Chairman of XTI Aircraft Company, developing the Trifan 600 VTOL for the commercial market. Pino and was killed February 5, 2016 in the crash of his P-51 Mustang in Arizona.

Mentioned

Why the sun is setting on the Boeing 747

Oregon Christmas Tree Harvest With Helicopter. Amazing Pilot!

Pratt and Whitney’s Moving Assembly Takes Jet Engines Back to the Future

Easyjet’s fuel saving aircraft produces water passengers can drink

Amazing [Ultra HD 4k] Malpensa Airport – Incredible plane spotting

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 384 Plane Spotting with Ben Granucci

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

Guest

Ben Granucci inside Fedex A300 at EWR's Airport Day

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

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

Some of Ben’s favorite photos:

Plane spotting at St Maarten

Plane spotting at St Maarten

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

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

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

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

A LAN Airlines A320 departs Santiago, Chile at sunset.

A LAN Airlines A320 departs Santiago, Chile at sunset.

News

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

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

See also:

It’s Official: Human-Carrying Drones Are Happening

EHang 184

EHang 184

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

B4UFLY Smartphone AppB4UFLY

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

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

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

FAA Wants GA Hand Flying Skills Checked

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

That time when we strapped an extra engine onto a jumbo

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

PW B747SP flying testbed

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

The Airplane of the Week

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

Northrop Tacit Blue

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

Across the Pond

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

ATP Finnair

Mentioned

Aviation centennials in 2016:

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

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

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

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

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 374 Air Show Performer and Air Racer Vicky Benzing

 

Vicky Benzing

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

Guest

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

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

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

Vicky Benzing performing

Vicky Benzing performing

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

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

L-139 at Reno Air Races

L-139 Courtesy Dark Star Racing

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

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

News

Faster production of jets pushes up Boeing’s profits

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

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

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

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

Alaska Air reports record profits from its busiest summer ever

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

Southwest Airlines reaps record $584M quarterly profit

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

Cheap fuel helped Delta set record profits

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

Allegiant Air profits leap 213 percent in 3rd quarter

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

United, in turmoil, reports drop in revenue

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

Parachutist crashes into tent at Wings Over Houston Air Show

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

FAA Video Provides Primer On AOA Displays

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

Harsh conditions are foiling Russian jets in Syria

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

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

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

The Australia News Desk

Airline boss promises ‘a tiger can change its stripes’

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

Qantas to unveil Retro Roo II in November

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

Virgin to sell entire Fokker 50 fleet

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

An Evening with Matt Hall

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

OzRunways with Matt Hall

Mentioned

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

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

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

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

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

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 347 Training Pilots to Fly Unmanned Aircraft

Vince Donahue, Founder and President of Vortex UAS

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

Guest

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

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

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

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

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

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

News

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

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

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

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

US Navy goes tubular with autonomous swarming UAV demonstrations

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

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

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

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

Feds Warn Airlines to Look Out for Passengers Hacking Jets

Hackers Could Commandeer New Planes Through Passenger Wi-Fi

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

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

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

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

The Australia News Desk

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

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

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

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

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

The Aviation Minute

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

Mentioned

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 345 Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour

Future of Flight Gallery panorama Joe Kunzler

The Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour in Seattle, FAA systems security, airport perimeter breaches, a new airline quality study, and Airbus looks to provide A350 aftermarket services.

Guest

Sandy Ward is a 30+ year veteran of the travel, tourism and hospitality industry and is the Director of Sales and Marketing at the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour in Washington State.

We talk with Sandy about the variety of exhibits and educational opportunities offered to visitors of all ages, including what to expect on the Boeing Tour. We also discuss the Aviation Geekfest as well as the great aviation attractions that can be found in the area.

The Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour is operated and managed by the Future of Flight Foundation, an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, in partnership with The Boeing Company and Snohomish County.

Boeing Factory Doors in Sunrise Joe Kunzler

The Future of Flight Aviation Center is a must-see aviation destination and is located in Everett, Washington, just twenty minutes north of Seattle. The Boeing Tour is the only publicly available tour of a commercial jet assembly plant in North America.

News

FAA hit by cyberattack, finds no damage

A recent government audit warned the FAA that its air traffic control system is vulnerable to hacking. In February, an FAA administrative network was infected with a virus spread via email, but the FAA says no damage was done.

AP investigation details perimeter breaches at US airports

The Associated Press surveyed 31 airports and found 268 perimeter breaches since 2004. The surveyed airports handle three-quarters of U.S. commercial passenger traffic. San Francisco topped the list with 37, Philadelphia International had 25 and LAX with 24.

Wichita State, Embry-Riddle release results of airline quality study

The annual Airline Quality Rating report is a statistical study of major airline performance in the United States, conducted jointly by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Wichita State University. Three of the twelve U.S. airlines evaluated improved in 2014, one was unchanged, and eight airlines declined. These airlines posted the worst industry score since 2009.

Airbus Eyes Major Role In A350 Aftermarket Support; First Customer Imminent

Airbus wants to be a player in the aftermarket service sector of commercial aviation, and they are working on a 12-year deal with a European operator. The deal is believed to be an Airbus Flight Hour Services (FHS) agreement: operators pay a fee per flight hour for maintenance services. Airbus also offers a Total Support Package (TSP). Reportedly, Airbus are in talks with other potential service customers.

The Australia News Desk

PCDU team at Barossa 2015

PCDU team at Barossa 2015

Steve and Grant traveled to South Australia this week to provide commentary at the Barossa Airshow, located at Rowland Flat in the famous Barossa Valley wine region. They’re joined by their locally based reporter, Maikha Ly, who worked as ground crew for one of the many wonderful aircraft that were present for the airshow – in this case, an 87% scale replica WWI Nieuport bi-plane.

In the news, the Australian Government has announced the purchase of a further two C-17 Globemaster III aircraft for the RAAF which will increase the fleet size to eight. They will be based at RAAF Base Amberley in Queensland in a deal said to be worth $A1billion, $A300million of which is earmarked for infrastructure upgrades at the already crowded facility.  Of the stock of so called “white tail” C-17s left in the Boeing inventory, there are rumours that the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) may be considering the purchase of up to two aircraft….unless Airbus can do them a deal on a couple of A400Ms instead, of course.

Listen at the end for a cameo appearance by Steve’s son, Chris, who was helping out as well

Mentioned

Other Seattle aviation attractions:

Air Canada A320 by Ryan Hothersall:

Air Canada A320 by Ryan Hothersall

Photos by Paul Filmer, straightening us out:

Caravelle by Paul Filmer

This is the Caravelle…

Caravelle by Paul Filmer

…and this is the Comet.

Listener Photo of the Week

A350 by Seth

A350 by Seth

Credit

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