Tag Archives: FAA

515 Jon Ostrower’s The Air Current

Aviation journalist Jon Ostrower is now editor-in-chief of The Air Current. Jon shares his views on Farnborough, electric aircraft, the Embraer/Boeing and Bombardier/Airbus linkups, and a Boeing middle market jet. Also, union reaction to single pilot cargo planes, Rolls-Royce financial woes in light of Trent 1000 problems, and a general aviation exhibit coming to the National Air & Space Museum. We also announce the winner of the Pima Air Museum book giveaway.

Guest

Jon Ostrower, editor-in chief, The Air Current.

Jon Ostrower, editor-in-chief, The Air Current.

Jon Ostrower is a longtime professional aviation journalist. He was editor of FlightBlogger for Flightglobal, a staff reporter covering aerospace at The Wall Street Journal, and aviation editor at CNN. Jon has recently embarked on a new project as editor-in-chief of The Air Current, a subscription-based service providing in-depth industry analysis which “connects the dots” of current aviation news stories.

In our conversation, Jon gives his perspectives on this year’s Farnborough Air Show, the Embraer/Boeing and Bombardier/Airbus linkups, and a possible Boeing middle market “B797.” He ties these together with a possible rise in stature of the Chinese aviation industry. Jon also explains how he believes electric aircraft are poised to bring more change to aviation.

As a special offer for Airplane Geeks listeners, Jon is giving a discount on subscriptions to The Air Current. To take advantage of the discount, use the offer code “airplanegeeks” when you subscribe at subscribe.theaircurrent.com.

Aviation News

Airline pilots protest study on allowing cargo planes to have one pilot, remote help

Sec. 744 of H.R.4 – FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 says, “The FAA, in consultation with NASA and other relevant agencies, shall establish a research and development program in support of single-piloted cargo aircraft assisted with remote piloting and computer piloting.” A group of unions representing many commercial airlines doesn’t know who put that in the legislation, or why, and they are not happy.

In Stop Government Funding of Single-Piloted Commercial Aircraft, ALPA urges members to submit a “Call to Action to urge your Senators and Members of Congress to protect aviation safety and airline pilot careers.”

Rolls-Royce flies into loss on Trent engine trouble

This article quantifies some of the financial impacts on Rolls-Royce of their Trent 1000 engine problems. In the first half of 2018, Rolls suffered an after-tax loss of £962 million ($1.26 billion). In the first half of 2017, RR earned a net profit of £1.17 billion. Rolls-Royce took an extra £554-million exceptional charge linked to costs involved in fixing the Trent 1000, and the company estimates the total cost of Trent 1000 repairs between 2018 and 2022 to be upwards of £1.3 billion.

Rolls-Royce Offers Airlines Credits for 787 Groundings

Rolls-Royce Holdings “plans to offer airlines maintenance credits, limiting direct compensation for grounding Boeing Co. 787 planes in a bid to minimize the impact of unexpected wear issues on cash flow…”

Donations Energize NASM’s New GA Exhibit

The Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. is undertaking a seven-year upgrade project that will include a new “We All Fly” exhibit about the many forms of general aviation. To help finance the exhibit, the NASM has accepted a $10 million donation from the Thomas W. Haas Foundation. The exhibit will include an aerobatic biplane flown by Sean D. Tucker and is scheduled to open in 2021.

Pima Air & Space Museum Book Giveaway

Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari announces the winner of our PIMA Air & Space Museum guidebook giveaway. We again want to thank Scott Marchand for his generous gift to our listeners. An album of listener photographs is available at AirplaneGeeks.com/pimabook.

Mentioned

WeatherSpork –  An all-purpose weather planning app for aviators at all experience levels.   

A spork, but not a WeatherSpork.

A spork, but not a WeatherSpork. A KFC spork.

Police: Man tried to steal plane for concert

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

511 Aircraft Dispatcher

An aircraft dispatcher for a major airline tells us about the training and knowledge requirements of a dispatcher. Also, the FAA says they don’t need to regulate airline seat space, Delta goes only nine abreast on the 777-200ER, Boeing and Embraer sign an MOU, and JetBlue steps up to help a pet in distress. We have an interview with the executive director of the PIMA Air & Space Museum, and we talk about going supersonic, more airmail navigation arrows, and the Equator Aircraft P2 Xcursion first test flight.

Guest

Aircraft Dispatcher Mike

Dispatcher Mike

Mike Karrels is an aircraft dispatcher for a major airline based in the United States. He owns a share of a vintage 1963 Beechcraft Musketeer and hosts the Flying and Life podcast which covers the duties of a dispatcher and dives into the complex details of airline operations and flight planning. We last talked with Mike at the National Air & Space Museum in Episode 508 and here we expand the conversation about becoming an aircraft dispatcher.

Mike explains that dispatcher training requirements are defined in 14 CFR Part 65, Subpart C – Aircraft Dispatchers. Content and minimum hours are specified in 14 CFR 65.61 – Aircraft dispatcher certification courses: Content and minimum hours and 14 CFR Appendix A to Part 65, Aircraft Dispatcher Courses lists the knowledge topics. There are currently 57 Part 65 schools approved to teach: FAA-Approved 14 CFR Part 65 Aircraft Dispatcher Certification Courses [PDF]. We also look at the dispatcher practical exam, recurrent training, and the annual desk check.

We explore the differences between dispatching domestically and internationally, and between trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific where Mike tells us about the system of tracks system. He also explains how an awareness of the geopolitical situation is important to an aircraft dispatcher. We look at dispatcher trade associations and the union situation.

Mike graduated from Lewis University with an undergraduate degree in Aviation Flight Management and a few years later earned a Masters in Aviation and Transportation. He holds FAA certificates for Commercial Single engine land with an instrument rating, a Remote Pilot Certificate, and an Aircraft Dispatcher certificate.

Aircraft Dispatcher Mike's 1963 Beechcraft Musketeer at Sun 'n Fun.

Aircraft Dispatcher Mike’s 1963 Beechcraft Musketeer at Sun ‘n Fun.

Aviation News

FAA declines to regulate more legroom for airline passengers

In response to a rulemaking petition filed by FlyersRights, in March 2017 the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, DC ordered the FAA to take a second look at regulating seat size and passenger room. FlyersRights argued that shrinking seat room and increasing passenger size made airliners unsafe in evacuation situations. The FAA has now responded saying, “The FAA has no evidence that there is an immediate safety issue necessitating rulemaking at this time.”

Delta Just Made a Huge Announcement That Puts Other Airlines to Shame

Delta announced that their 777-200ER fleet refresh includes “9-abreast seating in Main Cabin versus the industry norm of 10 across.” Also in the refresh are seatback entertainment screens throughout with Delta Studio and thousands of hours of free content, and full-spectrum LED ambient lighting with customized lighting schemes depending on the phase of flight.

Boeing’s $4.75 billion Embraer deal leaves long to-do list

Boeing and Embraer signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a strategic partnership. In a joint press release, the companies say, “The non-binding agreement proposes the formation of a joint venture comprising the commercial aircraft and services business of Embraer that would strategically align with Boeing’s commercial development, production, marketing and lifecycle services operations. Under the terms of the agreement, Boeing will hold an 80 percent ownership stake in the joint venture and Embraer will own the remaining 20 percent stake.”

JetBlue Just Did Something Wonderful (Something Other Airlines Have Struggled With)

Both United and Delta have been in the news with horror stories about pets on planes. Now we see a good news story about a French Bulldog named Darcy on JetBlue.

Interview

The Pima Air & Space Museum opened in 1976 and is the third largest aviation museum in the world. The museum exhibits about 335 aircraft and 125,000 artifacts, attracts more than 170,000 visitors annually, and houses its own aircraft restoration shop. The museum also offers exclusive tours of the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Known as the “Boneyard,” it is the world’s largest military aircraft storage facility.

Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad spoke with Scott Marchand, Executive Director of the PIMA Air & Space Museum.

Pima Air & Space Museum

Pima Air & Space Museum

Mentioned

North Atlantic Tracks published by Shanwick Center and Gander Center.

PACOTS Flight Planning Guidance [PDF]

Airline Dispatchers Federation

International Federation Of Airline Dispatchers Association

Professional Airline Flight Control Association (PAFCA)

Equator Aircraft Norway achieved first fully balanced flight with the P2 Xcursion prototype aircraft: First Runway Test Flight.

Northern Utah Aircraft Navigation Arrows Circa Early 20th Century by Patrick Wiggins.

An interesting graphic from Two wings “is megl’ che one!” (1) Some notes about sound:

Pressure waves of air flowing off an airplane

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

503 D-Day Squadron and the C-47

A fleet of C-47 aircraft plan to fly over Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Also, the DOT plans to take a closer look at FAA oversight of airline maintenance practices, a panel of experts looks at the disappearance of MH 370, and passengers react to airline food service takeaways.

Placid Lassie will join up with other aircraft of the D-Day Squadron in June 2019 to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion. Courtesy D-Day Squadron.

Placid Lassie will join up with other aircraft of the D-Day Squadron in June 2019 to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion. Courtesy D-Day Squadron.

Guest

Moreno "Mo" Aguiari, Executive Director of D-Day Squadron.

Moreno “Mo” Aguiari, Executive Director of D-Day Squadron.

Moreno “Mo” Aguiari is the Executive Director of D-Day Squadron, an organization that plans to lead an American fleet of historic, restored C-47 World War II military aircraft in Daks Over Normandy in June 2019. That event includes a flyover of more than 30 international aircraft that will drop 250 paratroopers over the shores of Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day and honor the citizen soldiers of the War.

The D-Day Squadron is the part of the Tunison Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. The Squadron’s education program tells the story of the citizen soldier to audiences at air shows and events off the flight line to honor the brave Americans and ensure their memory and significance is appreciated for generations to come. The group’s efforts are funded through the generous tax-deductible contribution of their supporters.

Mo is a sales/marketing and business development professional who received a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Milan and an Aeronautical Technician diploma from the National Avio School, also in Milan, Italy. He moved to the United States in 1999 to become a commercial pilot and became a US citizen in 2008. In addition to being the Executive Director of the D-Day Squadron, Mo also runs Warbird Digest and Warbirds News, a successful vintage aviation publishing company focused on the warbird and classic aircraft community.

Aviation News

Watchdog probes FAA’s review of aircraft maintenance at American Airlines and Allegiant Air

In June 2017, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s inspector general’s office announced they would audit how the FAA reviews airline maintenance practices. Now, the DOT inspector general’s office plans to focus on FAA response to complaints received about American Airlines and Allegiant Air maintenance practices. The DOT memo says they want to find out whether the FAA “ensures that Allegiant and American Airlines implement effective corrective actions to address the root causes of maintenance problems.”

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 crash was deliberate, aviation experts suggest

60 Minutes Australia gathered an international group of aviation experts to talk about the disappearance of MH370. While not in complete agreement, many feel it was a deliberate criminal act by the pilot – a suicide/mass murder. See also What the 60 Minutes report into MH370 didn’t tell us.

MH370 – The Situation Room | 60 Minutes Australia

Why passengers are so angry about an airline’s decision to scrap tomato juice

Following Brian’s comments last week about airline takeaways, we have this story. United Airlines decided to drop Sprite Zero, Jim Beam, Courvoisier, and tomato juice from flights less than 4 hours. Customers reacted strongly on social media and United reversed the decision. For more on this, see United Airlines Just Made First Class Passengers Incredibly Angry. Now the Airline is Having Second Thoughts.

Listener Recording

Student pilot Nicki brings us installment #8 on learning to become a pilot.

Interview

Brian spoke with some members of the A-10 Demo Team at the Planes of Fame Airshow: Sr Airman Betty Chevalier (Team Public Affairs Representative). Tactical Sargent Dan Isaksen (Team Chief), and Capt. Cody Wilton (Team Pilot).

A-10 by Brian Coleman.

A-10 by Brian Coleman.

Mentioned

Boeing’s Been Granted A Patent For Turning The B-1B Into A Gunship Bristling With Cannons

Air Force special ops can’t afford the AC-130 gunship lasers

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

501 OAG Travel Tech Innovation Survey

A recent OAG survey looks at future travel tech innovation and disruption. Also, the uncontained engine failure on the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737, integrating the Bombardier CSeries into the Airbus organization, the FAA reauthorization bill, and the effect of rising fuel prices on airfares.

Guest

Mike Benjamin, OAG Chief Technology Officer

Mike Benjamin, OAG Chief Technology Officer

Mike Benjamin is Chief Technology Officer at OAG, a global provider of digital flight information for airlines, airports, government agencies, aircraft manufacturers, consultancies, and travel-related companies. OAG is in the business of data aggregation and distribution, with flight information used for real-time and analytical tools.

Mike tells us about the Travel Tech Innovation: Market Report where OAG surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. travelers to gain insight into which future advancements will resonate. We look at traveler interest in artificial intelligence applications, supersonic travel, booking process innovations, the use of autonomous vehicles, and biometrics at the airport to speed travelers along.

Mike has over 30 years of experience in aviation, travel, technology, and business development. After completing his education at MIT, he held several leadership positions during the first years in his career, and then took over leadership of FlightView, a US-based day-of-travel information and technology provider. Mike joined OAG via the FlightView acquisition in January 2015.

In his current role as Chief Technology Officer at OAG, Mike works with airlines, airports, and travel providers to utilize data-driven solutions to plan more profitable routes, improve customer satisfaction, and operate more efficiently.

Aviation News

The Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Uncontained Engine Failure

Emergency engine inspections lead to cancellations, scores of delays for travelers on Southwest Airlines

FAA Airworthiness Directive 2018-09-51 issued April 20, 2018.

How does a CFM56-7B work? – This animated video from CFM International shows how a jet engine works and gives you a good view of the fan.

Bjorn’s corner: Turbofan Engine Challenges, Part 2

CFM fan blades

CFM fan blades: composite with titanium leading edge, hollow wide-chord blade, solid titanium blade. Courtesy CFMI.

Airbus heads for dogfight with UTC over CSeries costs

Airbus may be looking for suppliers to lower their prices. How will Airbus brand the CSeries airplanes, and will it Integrate the Airbus and CSeries sales forces, or keep them separate?

Aircraft seat size in the spotlight as House passes FAA reauthorization

U.S. House approves bill to reauthorize federal aviation agency

The U.S. House of Representatives approved five-year H.R.4 – FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 by a 393-to-13 vote. The bill includes no ATC privatization. Also, airlines would not be able to involuntarily bump an already-boarded revenue passenger, large and medium-sized airports would be required to provide private rooms in every terminal for nursing mothers. Minimum dimensions for seat pitch, width, and length would be determined by the FAA within one year. A feasibility study of in-cabin wheelchair restraint systems would be conducted.

American Airlines CEO warns higher fares are coming

Fuel is the second largest expense for airlines (after labor). With fuel costs increasing in the U.S., higher airfares are a possibility.

Listener Recordings

Hillel congratulates Airplane Geeks on the 500th episode.

Mike Harris, the host of the Why We Fly podcast, tells us about his week at Sun ‘n Fun 2018.

Mentioned

Questionable Motives and Tactics Cast a Shadow on the 60 Minutes Allegiant Story

First all-electric trainer plane gets airworthiness certification from the FAA in the US

Flying Pipistrel’s Electric Airplane

The “Remora Boys” presentation to the NTSB Round Table

Remora Systems

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

493 The Flying Tigers and the Forgotten War

The Flying Tigers, the search for MH370 four years after its disappearance, a newly designated national aviation museum, flight training in the F-104 Starfighter, slow acceptance of ADS-B, and the selection of the new FAA administrator.

Flying Tiger Curtiss P-40C Courtesy San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive.

Curtiss P-40C Flying Tiger. Courtesy San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive.

Guest

Charlene Fontaine is the founder and executive director of the Flying Tigers 69th DRS Association, Inc. She is an advocate and speaker for veterans, youth, and trauma victims. Charlene speaks at air shows, conferences, schools, and reunions to inspire youth to learn history and to honor our elders and all those who serve our country.

Charlene Fontain, Flying Tigers 69th DRS Association.

Charlene Fontaine

Started in 2005, the nonprofit Flying Tigers 69th DRS Association carries forward the legacy and history of the Depot Repair Squadron as well as all Flying Tigers. We talk about the history of the Flying Tigers, including the clandestine formation of the American Volunteer Group (the “AVG”) – the 100 pilots and almost 300 ground crew who went off to war under a one-year contract. Charlene tells us about the formation of the 14th Air Force after the contract, and we learn about the iconic shark’s teeth and where we find them on other aircraft.

Charlene loves all things that fly, starting with kites and the gyroscope that was given to her at age four by her father. She flew in a plane at 15, and her college years were spent with open cockpit planes, helicopters, and hot air balloons. Charlene developed a deep desire to learn about her father’s adventures designing airplanes, repairing them, and being a crew chief during WWII.  

Flying Tigers DRSHaving consulted internationally for over 30 years, Charlene’s clients include a wide variety of corporate industries ranging from the military to medical, manufacturing, law enforcement, and non-profits. Working with CEO’s and senior management, Charlene developed projects, teams, and programs that align the organization with their customers’ needs and range from customer service, change management, conflict resolution, creativity, productivity, sales and total quality management.

Charlene has authored a number of books, and speaks at schools, military bases, civic organizations, and air shows sharing the history and stories of the Flying Tigers and CBI Veterans as well as representing them in China. She has film industry experience and “The Forgotten War: China, Burma, India” is currently in production. The Forgotten War: CBI Promo.

Visit the Flying Tigers 69th DRS Association website and find them on Facebook.

News

Malaysia says new search for flight MH370 to end mid-June

March 8, 2018, is the 4-year anniversary of the disappearance of MH370, carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in 2014. The search by Australia, China, and Malaysia ended in January 2017 at a cost of around US$160 million. In January 2018, Malaysia agreed to pay the U.S. firm Ocean Infinity up to US$70 million if it found the plane within 90 search days. The Seabed Constructor vessel started searching on Jan 23.

Triple WWII ace accepts national designation for Colorado Springs aviation museum

The Museum of World War II Aviation in Colorado Springs has been designated by Congress as a national aviation museum. Accepting the designation on behalf of the museum was 96 year old retired Air Force Col. Clarence “Bud” Anderson. Bud flew a P-51 Mustang in World War II, and his plane, “Old Crow,” was flown in as a surprise from the National Warbird Hall of Fame in OshKosh.

Other national aviation museums:

F-104 Flight Training Launches At Florida’s Kennedy Space Center

A new civilian training program for licensed pilots is offered by Starfighters Aerospace with a fleet of Mach 2+ Lockheed F-104 Starfighters at NASA’s Kennedy Shuttle Landing Facility. The training ranges from three to ten days, depending on the pilot, and is authorized by a Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) issued to Starfighters by the FAA.

FAA Blames Airlines for Lack of Wider ADS-B Use

FAA associate administrator for Aviation Safety Ali Bahrami testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure’s subcommittee on aviation. He told the subcommittee that the ADS-B system is fully operational, but its use is limited because the airlines don’t have the onboard equipment required.

Also testifying were representatives from the NTSB, NASA, ALPA, and the DOT’s Office of Inspector General. They talked about drone regulations, pilot shortages, and privatizing ATC. Bill Shuster (R-Pennsylvania), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, announced after the hearing that the provision to privatize ATC would be dropped from the reauthorization legislation, HR 2997.

In Pushing HIs Pilot for FAA Administrator, Trump Shows His Disregard for Safety

Writing in Forbes, past guest Christine Negroni writes that President Trump does his [private pilot Capt. John Dunkin] no service by putting him forward as a candidate to lead the Federal Aviation Administration. Find the process for appointing the FAA Administrator in Title 49 U.S. Code § 106 – Federal Aviation Administration.

Airline Story of the Week

United Airlines pilot hand-delivers woman’s lost engagement ring

Contributions

Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari has a little fun with the phonetic alphabet.

Listener Ron took a ride in a gyroplane for his birthday and created a short adventure report for us.

Mentioned

AIN’s The Human Factor: Tales From the Flight Deck podcast

We Can Do It! Women in Aviation and Space

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

487 Build an Airport then Take it Down

Our guest is the president and founder of Flying Eyes, a maker of eyewear for pilots and others, who also happens to be involved in setting up the airport each year at Burning Man, then taking it all down. In the news, we look at the impact of a U.S. Government shutdown on aviation, TSA formally ending the unloved Large Aircraft Security Program, the carrier with the most legroom, Boeing’s overtures to Embraer, the Emirates A380 order, and new support animal rules at Delta. Also, our Main(e) Man Micah looks back at Apollo 1 and how it shaped NASA.

Guest

Dean Siracusa

Dean Siracusa

Dean Siracusa is the president and founder of Flying Eyes, and an SEL/IFR rated pilot with more than 2,200 hours. Dean owned and flew a rare Meyers 200, and he operates the Meyers Aircraft Owners Association website.

Dean is involved in building Black Rock City Municipal Airport (88NV) each year for the annual Burning Man event in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. After the temporary metropolis dedicated to community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance is taken down, the airport is likewise removed and the desert returned to its natural state. Burning Man 2018 takes place August 26 – September 3.

In 2012, Dean designed, engineered, patented, and began manufacturing Flying Eyes eyewear. He realized the need for specialty sunglasses that are comfortable with helmets and aviation-style headsets. He also created Eyes That Fly, where you can locate eye doctors near you who are also pilots and thus understand the unique needs of pilots.

Flying Eyes eyewear

Flying Eyes eyewear

Dean is a bit of a serial entrepreneur and founded the Transtock, Inc. stock photo agency that specializes in transportation imagery. He also founded Siracusa Productions to create images and commercials primarily for the automotive industry, including manufacturers such as Toyota, Lexus, Volkswagen, Ford, Mercedes-Benz and many others.

Dean received a bachelor’s degree from the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. While a student, Dean worked at Road & Track Magazine, later becoming the magazine’s sole staff photographer traveling the world shooting prestigious brands.

The Impact of a Government Shutdown on Aviation

We look at the impact on aviation of a U.S. Government shutdown due to the lack of a funding bill. We find the government functions that keep operating and those that shut down:

Aviation News

A Decade Later, TSA Officially Drops LASP

In 2008, the TSA issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for the Large Aircraft Security Program (LASP). The proposed security program that would have required security threat assessments for aircraft weighing more than 12,500 pounds.

The Airline with the Most Legroom Is This Little-Known Carrier

The Mexican low-cost carrier Interjet provides 34 inches of seat pitch across all its planes. By contrast, the average economy seat pitch on American, Delta, and United is 30 to 31 inches.

Boeing Seeks Embraer Control, With Defense Safeguards

Exclusive: Boeing willing to preserve Brazil’s ‘golden share’ in Embraer deal

Competition Begins for Production Site of Boeing’s NMA

The Brazilian government does not want to see complete control of Embraer move out of the country, and especially wants to retain it’s “golden share,” which gives the government veto power over certain decisions. Reportedly, Boeing is looking at sourcing engineering work and possibly production in Brazil. For a history of past Boeing interest in Embraer by Dominic Gates, see Boeing’s bid to buy Embraer could see Brazilian engineers work on the 797

Airbus Has Won Its Game of A380 Chicken with Emirates

Last week we commented on a statement from COO John Leahy that if Airbus couldn’t work out a deal with Emirates, the company would have to shut down the A380 program. Well, Airbus and Emirates have done a deal for 20 firm and 16 option superjumbo jets valued at $16B at list price.

British Airways in Talks Over New A380 Order

“Informed sources” have told Bloomberg news that British Airways talking with Airbus about the purchase of new A380-800s to use for high-demand flights at London Heathrow.

Delta reins in emotional support animals with new guidelines

With everything from comfort turkeys and gliding possums known as sugar gliders, to snakes and spiders being used as emotional support animals, Delta is taking a stand with new rules that require additional documentation. Report by Mary Kirby at Runwaygirl Network.

The Fire, or Apollo 1 – The Predicted Disaster

Our Main(e) Man Micah takes a look back at “The Fire” in Apollo 1 and how it shaped NASA.

Apollo 1

Apollo 1

Mentioned

Photo by Max Trescott.

Photo by Max Trescott.

Brian and Carlos offer a short debrief following the celebration of the 200th episode of the Plane Talking UK podcast.

Over the Poles 2018

Anderson Aviation Services Inc.

Canadian Aviator

Sturm Friederike – Grandiose Pilotenleistung am Airport Düsseldorf bei bis zu 110 km/h Seitenwind

After leading electric car adoption, Norway now aims to lead electric flight

Credit

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

485 Women in Aviation International

Our guest is the president and founder of Women in Aviation International. In the news, we discuss the departure of the FAA Administrator, the Air Force tanker program, fighter jet intelligence gathering in Syria, woes at New York’s JFK International Airport, and remembering astronaut John Young.

Woman in Aviation Conference March 2016 reaching $10 million in scholarship awards in 20 years.

Women in Aviation Conference March 2016 reaching $10 million in scholarship awards in 20 years.

Guest

Dr. Peggy Chabrian is president and founder of Women in Aviation International, which represents more than 13,000 women and men from all segments of the aviation industry including general, corporate, commercial, and military aviation.

Dr. Peggy Chabrian, Woman in Aviation International.

Dr. Peggy Chabrian, Women in Aviation International.

Peggy tells us about current WAI objectives to promote women in aviation and the progress that has been made. We look at the current legislative action, such as the Promoting Women in the Aviation Workforce Act of 2017 in the House (H.R. 4673) and Senate (S.2244) and note the Women in Aerospace Education Act (H.R. 4254).

Peggy talks about the active Women in Aviation International chapters, the scholarships available, and the annual conferences. The 29th Annual International WAI Conference will be held March 22-24, 2018 in Reno, Nevada, and will include an award ceremony for inductees into the WAI Pioneer Hall of Fame.

We note that Women in Aviation International is not for women only and that the membership includes men and women of all ages.

Peggy is a long-time aviation enthusiast and professional aviation educator, a 2,200-hour commercial/instrument multi-engine pilot and flight instructor flying for over 30 years. Most recently she added helicopter and seaplane ratings to her flight qualifications.

Peggy held several top positions in aviation education including Academic Dean and Associate

Rob and David present WAI with a donation on behalk of the Airplane Geeks listeners 2011.

Rob and David present WAI with a donation on behalf of the Airplane Geeks listeners in 2011.

Vice President of Parks College; Dean of Academic Support for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Prescott, Arizona campus; Director of the Center of Excellence for the Aviation/Space Education at ERAU’s Daytona Beach, Florida campus; and, Chair of the aviation department at Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Peggy was the second woman to ever hold the position of dean of an engineering school in the United States.

She serves on several boards and is the past president and board member of the University Aviation Association. Peggy also served on the board of the Experimental Aircraft Association for 16 years. She is the publisher of Aviation for Women magazine, an international speaker, and an author.

Women in Aviation conference exhibition hall.

Women in Aviation conference exhibition hall.

Aviation News

NBAA Thanks FAA Administrator Huerta for Distinguished Public Service

Michael Huerta’s term as FAA Administrator has ended. The White House has offered no nominee to replace Huerta, who previously said he had no intention of staying on. The current FAA deputy administrator, Daniel Elwell, will become the acting head. Elwell was appointed as FAA’s deputy administrator in June. He is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and a former Air Force and airline pilot.

The Air Force expects the first delivery from its struggling tanker program this year — but major defects still aren’t fixed

The Boeing KC-46A Pegasus tanker is designed to replace the old KC-135, but several issues have dogged the program. The tanker’s boom can scrape the aircraft being serviced, and there may be difficulties with the camera system used by the boom operator. An issue with the KC-46’s high-frequency radio still concern’s the Air Force.

Russia gained a ‘treasure trove’ of intelligence on the US’s best fighter jets in Syria

Russia and the U.S. have top line fighters operating in Syria, which gives both countries an opportunity to observe the other’s aircraft and collect data.

Water leak floods JFK Airport baggage claim, forces evacuation

A broken water pipe feeding the sprinkler system at JFK International Airport Terminal 4 flooded a baggage claim area. Power was cut and part of the terminal had to be evacuated, stranding travelers without their luggage.

Why Did New York’s JFK Airport Struggle to Cope With Its Flight Backlog After the Bomb Cyclone?

The terminal flooding was preceded by a snowstorm that was worse than expected. The airport was closed and airlines scheduled flights based on the projected time to reopen. But that time was pushed out, causing diversions and turnbacks of many international flights. When flights to JFK resumed, airport capacity was exceeded.

Video: NASA Remembers Moonwalker, Shuttle Commander John Young

Astronaut John Young, who walked on the Moon during Apollo 16 and commanded the first space shuttle mission, passed away at the age of 87. He is the only person to go into space as part of the Gemini, Apollo, and space shuttle programs and was the first to fly into space six times – or seven times when counting his liftoff from the Moon during Apollo 16.

The Airplane of the Week

David brings us Part 1 of the EC-121 Warning Star.

Mentioned

The Fighter Pilot Podcast

To the PSA pilot who made my Christmas Eve

Credit

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

 

475 Aviation News of the Week

In the aviation news this week: An executive order allowing up to 1,000 air force pilots to be recalled, a proposed ban on laptops in checked luggage, aircraft working the California wildfires, Qantas wants an extra long range airplane, a Goodyear blimp, the CLEEN II program, and a Delta Airlines story.

Aviation News

Air Force could recall as many as 1,000 retired pilots to address serious shortage

The US military suffers a pilot shortage and needs about 1,500 more pilots. They’ve tried bonus and other incentive programs, but the gap remains. President Trump recently signed an executive order that allows the Air Force to recall as many as 1,000 retired pilots to active duty.

Nuclear Bombers Poised to Return to 24-Hour Alert After Trump Recalls Retired Pilots

There is talk that the U.S. Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed B-52 bombers back on 24-hour alert.

Laptops could be banned from checked bags on planes due to fire risk

The Dangerous Goods Panel of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is recommending that laptops be banned from checked luggage.

Military and Contract Air Assets (Including U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper Drones) Key in Fighting Largest Ever California Wildfires

Wildfires continued to cause major problems in California and airborne firefighting operations playing a key role. This might be the greatest combined military and contract air fire suppression operation in history.

Drone forces brief suspension of air operations battling Bear Fire in Santa Cruz Mountains

Once again drones flying near wildfires have forced firefighting operations to be halted.

Boeing and Airbus accept Qantas’s ultra-long-haul challenge

Qantas wants to fly non-stop from Sydney to London and New York. They’ve challenged Boeing and Airbus are to modify their aircraft to make 20-hour flights possible.

Goodyear Blimp Wingfoot Two Goes West: Tiremaker’s newest airship to fly over 10 states on journey to California home

The Goodyear Blimp Wingfoot Two is on a three-week, 2,600-mile cross-country trip from Akron, Ohio to California.

Fact Sheet – Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise II (CLEEN II Program)

The Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise (CLEEN) Program is the environmental effort that is part of the FAA’s Next Generation (NextGen) program. The Idea is to accelerate the development of new aircraft, new engine technologies, and advance the use of sustainable alternative jet fuels.

Airline Story of the Week

What Losing My First-Class Seat Taught Me About Delta Air Lines

Trip Report

Brian’s “big trip” reports conclude with his description of the flights home.

Mentioned

Limited leg space on commercial planes makes it harder to brace in flight emergencies: expert

Jan Davies is chair of the International Board for Research into Aircraft Crash Events (IBRACE) — a group of experts studying effective impact bracing positions. She told the SafeSkies aviation safety conference that limited leg space could have an impact on passenger safety in emergencies.

Happy Design Studio

Happy Design Studio collaborated with paint specialist Air Livery on a custom livery design for a BBJ customer. Press release [PDF]. Photo Gallery.

BBJ livery by Happy Design Studio and Air Livery. Photo courtesy Sebastien Ognier.

BBJ livery by Happy Design Studio and Air Livery. Photo courtesy Sebastien Ognier.

Pete’s discovered a Better Way to Fly with Air New Zealand

Pete the Kiwi finds out how to fly across the world and back. He’s voiced by actor Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, Hunt For The Wilderpeople), who makes a cameo appearance too. Pete the Kiwi is part of Air New Zealand’s “A Better Way To Fly” campaign.

NASA – Gulfstream III (G-III) Research Testbed Aircraft

California contrails over California by listener Sean.

Contrails over California by listener Sean.

NASA 502 flight path by listener Sean.

NASA 502 flight path by listener Sean.

Credit

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

470 Data Science and Predictive Analytics for Aviation

How aviation is being transformed by data science and predictive analytics. Also, safety implications of airline seat space, why the U.S. Air Force isn’t talking about a fatal plane crash, a recommendation to roll back the 1500 hour rule, and toes impact the passenger experience.

Guest

Andrew Kemmetmueller, VP Aviation at Uptake, a predictive analytics company.

Andrew Kemmetmueller, VP Aviation at Uptake, a predictive analytics company.

Andrew Kemmetmueller is Vice President, Aviation at Uptake, a predictive analytics company that forecasts problems before they happen so industrial companies can prevent costly equipment breakdowns, improve productivity, and ensure safety and security.

Andrew talks about the impact of big data, machine learning, and the Internet of Things on aviation. We look at data science and how predictive analytics can improve flying for everyone involved, from the pilot to the passenger, the mechanic to the air traffic controller.

We discuss how the ability to record large volumes of sensor data in aircraft is facilitated by cost-effective connectivity. Benefits accrue to OEMs, airlines, and customers through the passenger experience. Predictive maintenance keeps airline operations running smoothly, reduces delays, and improves operating efficiency.

Andrew was previously Managing Director and Principal at AvIntel Consulting; he was Vice President, Connected Aircraft Services, at Gogo, the CEO of Allegiant Systems Inc.; and Service Director at ARINC.

Find Uptake on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Aviation News

Coach-class seats are so tight that FAA dummies keep shattering seatback video screens with their heads during crash simulations

When we talk about shrinking seat space on airlines, we usually think about passenger comfort. But the conversation is shifting to safety. In Flying Coach Is So Cramped It Could Be a Death Trap, the Daily Beast says, “No coach class seat meets the Department of Transportation’s own standard for the space required to make a flight attendant’s seat safe in an emergency.” Also, “Neither Boeing nor the Federal Aviation Administration will disclose the evacuation test data for the newest (and most densely seated) versions of the most widely used jet, the Boeing 737.”

The activist group Flyers Rights has taken the FAA to court and a U.S. Court of Appeals said there was “a plausible life-and-death safety concern.” The court ordered the FAA to respond to a Flyers Rights petition asking for new rules to deal with seat space safety issues.

Mysterious Air Force Crash Reportedly Involved a Foreign Plane

The U.S. Air Force is refusing to identify the type of aircraft involved in a September 5 fatal crash at the Nevada Test and Training Range. The speculation is that a foreign aircraft was being flown.

Citing costs, panel advises rolling back post-3407 air safety measure

Colgan Air Flight 3407, operating as a Continental Connection codeshare flight, crashed into a house in Clarence Center, New York in 2009, killing 50 people. The NTSB report faulted the pilots for responding improperly to the stall warnings. This led to a regulatory change requiring commercial pilots to have 1,500 hours of flight experience. In a recent report, the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee said the 1,500 hour rule “imposes costs that exceed benefits.”

What. In. Gods. Name. #toegirl

This is not the #PaxEx you hope to have!

Mentioned

AvGeekOfficial

Cirrus Embark

Lift and Wings – Sixty Symbols

Trump’s Dire Air-Traffic Claim Contradicted by Government Report

Credit

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

463 Boom Supersonic

The founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic explains commercial supersonic air travel. In the news, we look at a push out of FAA reauthorization, a court ruling on airline seat size, a NASA supersonic demonstrator, a couple of aircraft carriers, and United Airlines.

Boom Supersonic

Boom Supersonic

Guest

Blake Scholl is founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic, the Denver startup seeking to build a commercially viable supersonic passenger aircraft.

We talk about the restrictions that have prevented supersonic flights over the United States, and how modern manufacturing methods allow supersonic airplanes to be built with much lower operating costs than was the case with the Concorde.

Blake describes how Boom aims to build a small supersonic airliner that is accessible and affordable, and not “a flying gas can with a billionaire in the front of it.” We look at the tradeoff between loudness and efficiency, as well as propulsion and airframe issues, and the objectives of the “Baby Boom” demonstrator. First flight of that ⅓ scale aircraft is targeted for late 2018.

Boom looks to have the full size 55-seat supersonic airplane in air at the end 2020, with first delivery to launch customer Virgin in late 2023. Blake tells us that Boom has 76 pre-orders across 5 airlines.

Prior to establishing Boom Supersonic, Blake held leadership roles at Amazon.com, and he was co-founder and CEO at Kima Labs, which was acquired by Groupon. Blake is an avid pilot and holds a BS in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.

Isaac Alexander at Boom Supersonic HQ June 2017, looking through the aircraft in virtual reality.

Isaac Alexander at Boom Supersonic HQ June 2017, looking through the aircraft in virtual reality.

Boom Supersonic engine model.

Boom Supersonic engine model.

Aviation News

House pushes back must-pass aviation bill to September

Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) says House action on the FAA reauthorization bill will be pushed back to September.

Citizens for Ontime Flights radio ad takes BizAv to task for paying nothing:

Court Rules the FAA Must Reconsider Regulating Airline Seat Size

The Flyers Rights passenger group asked FAA to write rules governing seat space. The FAA rejected the request, saying it was a comfort issue, not a safety issue. Now a three-judge federal appeals court in Washington has sided with Flyers Rights and it goes back to the FAA for a better response.

NASA Has a Way to Cut Your Flight Time in Half

A small-scale model of the NASA/Lockheed supersonic jet was tested in the wind tunnel in June. NASA will take bids in August to construct a 94 ft. demonstration model, and expects to spend $390 million to build and test the demo plane.

Aircraft carrier Ford successfully lands and launches its first flight

The USS Gerald R. Ford launched and recovered its first fixed-wing flight, an F/A-18F Superhornet from the Air Test and Evaluation Squad based at Patuxent River, Maryland. The carrier employs new technology, including the advanced arresting gear system (AAG) and an electromagnetic launch system, (EMALS).

Up close with a US super carrier and the pilots fresh from combat operations

The USS George HW Bush is participating with the Royal Navy in the Saxon Warrior exercise. Lt Cdr Michael Tremel of the Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-87 Golden Warriors shot down a Syrian Su-22 Fitter, the first US air-to-air kill since a USAF F-16 shot down a Serbian MiG-29 in 1999, during the Kosovo campaign.

United Airlines Reports Second-Quarter 2017 Performance

UAL reported second-quarter revenue of $10.0 billion, net income of $818 million, diluted earnings per share of $2.66, pre-tax earnings of $1.3 billion, and pre-tax margin of 12.7 percent.

Mentioned

ABCI (Aviation Business Consultants Inc.) is looking for great aviation freelance writers who can create press releases, articles, and blog posts for aviation industry clients.

Politico Morning Transportation

Aviation Geek Fest Seattle 2017 is Happening! – AirlineReporter

Tesla Model S is being used as chase car to launch spy planes on Royal Air Force base

Video: U-2 Spy Plane Vertical Take Offs at RAF Fairford

Three High School Students Awarded Founder’s Innovation Prize

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps. All Boom Supersonic photos courtesy Isaac Alexander.