Tag Archives: FAA

702 Aviation Smorgasbord

The pilot shortage, flying Icelandic Air, air mobility initiative, Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Boeing E-7 Wedgetail, funding travel, airborne nuclear command and control aircraft, Aviation and Aerospace Media Awards, and aviation careers. Also, eVTOL certification, BA pilots, the 1,500-hour rule, an all-electric seaglider, and locked out of the cockpit.

Glen Towler

Glen Towler, 2017.
Glen Towler, 2017.

The aviation community recently lost an avid enthusiast. Micah delivers a touching eulogy while Hillel explains how Glen deeply loved EAA and AirVenture and would save up money all year to make the journey from New Zealand to Oshkosh every summer.

Glen was well known at “Camp Bacon” and throughout the aviation community through his avid participation in many online aviation forums and podcasts to which he frequently submitted short recordings.

Funds are being collected to buy Glen a brick at the Brown Arch where each year Glen arranged a group photo of all his online friends. Donations will also be used to have Glen’s name and obit inscribed on the EAA Museum Memorial Wall. Any excess funds will be given to EAA. Please donate whatever you feel in your heart to remember Glen in his favorite place: Remembering Glen at OSH.

Glen Towler in the simulator at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019
Glen Towler in the simulator at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019.
Group photo: Glen, center kneeling, 2019.
Glen, center kneeling, 2019.

Aviation Topics from Listeners

Opinions Differ On Pilot Shortage

The Air Line Pilots Association created a webpage: More Than Enough Pilots to Meet U.S. Airline Demand – Debunking the Pilot Shortage Myth where they say, 

“Over the past eight years, the United States has produced more than enough certificated pilots to meet airline hiring demands and compensate for retirements, even as new and more rigorous pilot training standards were enacted to enhance safety. In fact, there are currently about 1.5 certificated pilots relative to demand, according to Federal Aviation Administration and Bureau of Labor Statistics data. So, although we don’t have a pilot shortage, we do have a shortage of airline executives willing to stand by their business decisions to cut air service and be upfront about their intentions to skirt safety rules and hire inexperienced workers for less pay.”

Keflavík Airport

Questions about the Icelandic Air connections at KEF.

Electric Air Transport Of The Future: Air Mobility Initiative

The Air Mobility Initiative (AMI) is being created with a series of research projects looking at making electric air mobility within and between cities a reality. Projects are centered around three main areas: electric aircraft, air traffic management services, and vertiports.

Tesla software update

From Patrick Wiggens: What the Tesla now sees and what the human eye sees. (Look closely!)

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

Tips for visitors include volunteering to crew, getting up pre-dawn, and taking the tram up Sandia Peak.

Lawmakers press Air Force on speeding up purchase of Boeing E-7 Wedgetail

The Air Force wants to get Boeing’s E-7 Wedgetail operational, but the prototype might not fly until fiscal 2027.

Boeing E-7 Wedgetail By 대한민국 국군 Republic of Korea Armed Forces - 공중조기경보통제기, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=36991666
Boeing E-7 Wedgetail, courtesy Republic of Korea Armed Forces.

The Journey is the Reward

How Brian funds his dream of achieving lifetime 1K status with United Airlines.

USAF’s Next Airborne Nuclear Command-And-Control Aircraft, Needs Four Engines

The U.S. Air Force wants its next airborne nuclear command and control aircraft to have four engines, and will likely choose used aircraft.

U.S. Air Force E-4B, courtesy Wikipedia.
U.S. Air Force E-4B, courtesy Wikipedia.

Aviation Xtended

The Aerospace Media Awards were created to honor journalists and publishers who have made a significant contribution to aerospace journalism and publishing. Pieter Johnson’s Aviation Xtended podcast is a finalist in the Best Digital Submission category.

High-flyers: five careers in aviation that don’t require a pilot’s license

Five careers in aviation that don’t require a pilot’s license, from Artemis Aerospace.

Aircraft maintenance mechanic, courtesy Artemis Aerospace
Aircraft maintenance mechanic, courtesy Artemis Aerospace.

Aviation News

FAA changes course on eVTOL certification

The companies (and investors) of winged eVTOL aircraft assumed they would be certified under the FAA’s small airplane certification rules. Now, and unexpectedly, the FAA says it plans to type-certify the eVTOLS as powered-lift aircraft under its “special class” process in 14 CFR 21.17(b), not 14 CFR Part 23.

British Airways hit by pilot rise up over pay cuts

British Airways pilots are unhappy with the airline’s plan to cut their pay. Under a 2020 deal, pilots accepted pay cuts in exchange for reducing redundancy from 1,255 pilots to 270.

Republic Seeks 1500-Hour Rule Exemption

Republic Airways wants the FAA to drop the current 1500-hour mandate for right seat pilots to 750 hours, under the supervision of a trained and experienced captain.

“The Republic R-ATP Program is designed to make airline pilot career opportunities more accessible for qualified individuals from underrepresented groups who meet the selection criteria but may not have the financial means or academic support to pursue an aviation career path.” the airline said to the FAA.

Airline Pilot Retirement Age Could Be Raised To 67

Allegedly, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham from South Carolina is working on a bill that would reduce the commercial airline pilot retirement age raised to 67 from 65.

Southwest Airlines admits to an insulting problem that’ll drive everyone crazy

Southwest Airlines needs 10,000 more employees, including 1,200 more pilots. The Wall Street Journal reported that between 15% and 20% of the new hires never turn up. It’s called ghosting and it’s occurring broadly.

Hawaiian Airlines is building an all-electric seaglider that holds 100 passengers

Regent announced that Hawaiian Airlines has agreed to strategically invest in the company to support the initial design of its next-generation 100-person capacity all-electric seaglider known as the Monarch. With this investment, Hawaiian Airlines becomes Regent’s first U.S.-based design partner for the Monarch, which is slated for entry into commercial service by 2028.

Regent seaglider

Hilarious: Delta Air Lines Pilot Crawls Through Window Of Boeing 737

Watch what happens when the pilots are locked out of the cockpit.

Mentioned

Women in Aviation International (WAI) honors the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) in May by visiting their graves and leaving an appropriate decoration in the form of flowers or other remembrances. The database of WASP gravesites includes Google maps showing their locations. #HonorTheWASP

Sky River Helicopters – Providing helicopter tours, charters, and flight school.

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, Max Trescott, with contribution by our Main(e) Man Micah.

701 Aviation Weather

How aviation weather intelligence affects airlines and airports, the FAA wants radio altimeters replaced, Easyjet has a solution to fly with less crew, Spirit Airlines says no to JetBlue, an electric airplane first, jail time for some unruly passengers, and Virgin Atlantic flight training requirements.

Guest

Scott Gilmore, Tomorrow.io aviation weather information

Scott Gilmore is the Global Vice President and GM of Aviation at Tomorrow.io, a company that provides an aviation weather and climate security platform. Scott has over 40 years in the aviation industry, including 27 as a pilot. He drives Tomorrow.io’s aviation go-to-market offerings, including sales activity, revenue management, and the product roadmap.

Scott explains the sources and uses of aviation weather data, and how weather intelligence results in fewer turnbacks, more payload, and better fuel load. He also tells us about the impact on airport ground staffing and de-icing planning.

Tomorrow.io is deploying its own constellation of LEO weather satellites equipped with radar and microwave sounders. This will provide global coverage with a significantly improved refresh rate. Scott describes the goal of being able to machine generate a custom “TAF” (Terminal Aerodrome Forecast) for any selected location.

It’s with noting that the non-profit TomorrowNow.org is committed to helping vulnerable populations adapt to the climate changes that are happening now.

Prior to Tomorrow.io, Scott served as the Head of Flight Deck Solutions with The Weather Company, an IBM Business; Senior Manager of Strategic Partnerships at the International Air Transport Association (IATA); and Director Of Business Development Airline Industry Solutions, and Head Of Application Development Aircraft Mission Kit / Electronic Flight Bag at Unisys. Scott was a Senior Strategic Airlift Manager C-5, C-17, and Tanker Operations with the United States Air Force. He’s an FAA Rated Flight Engineer with over 21,000 hours in the flight deck, an Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic, and a member of the American Association of Airport Executives.

Aviation News

FAA wants U.S. airlines to retrofit, replace radio altimeters

The FAA wants to establish “an achievable timeframe to retrofit/replace radar altimeters in the U.S. fleet” due to possible interference from C-Band 5G wireless service. So they are meeting with telecom and airline industry officials where they can hear “options and commit to actions necessary to meet these objectives.”

EasyJet to take out seats so it can fly with fewer crew

Staff shortages are affecting commercial flight schedules globally and EasyJet has a solution to reduce its cabin crew from four to three legally: Take out the back row of seats in its A319 fleet. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulates the number of cabin crew based on seats, not passengers on board.

Nigerian airlines are threatening to ground domestic flights amid soaring jet fuel prices

Nine Nigerian airlines issued a statement saying that the cost of imported jet fuel had increased nearly fourfold as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and that they are threatening to stop domestic flights. Airline operating costs have increased from about 40% to nearly 95%

Frustrated Alaska Airlines Pilots to Vote on Strike

Alaska Airlines pilots have been without a contract for some three years. Pilots started voting on May 9 on whether to strike. Balloting will end on May 25. The Air Line Pilots Association is seeking higher pay and better scheduling for its pilots.

Spirit Airlines rejects JetBlue’s buyout bid, citing approval concerns

The Spirit Airlines board rejected the $3.6 billion takeover bid by JetBlue Airways. They say Spirit will continue to pursue a merger with Frontier Airlines.

The Board determined that the JetBlue proposal involves an unacceptable level of closing risk that would be assumed by Spirit stockholders. We believe that our pending merger with Frontier will start an exciting new chapter for Spirit.

Mac Gardner, Spirit Airlines board chairman.

U.S. Aviation First: Private Pilot Certificate Earned Using an Electric Airplane

In a U.S. first, a student pilot has earned a private pilot certificate with an electric aircraft. Shane Fisher flew his check ride in a two-seat Pipistrel Velis Electro, the world’s first and still only electric-powered airplane to receive a type certificate. Certificated by EASA in 2020, it operates in the U.S. as a light sport experimental aircraft. Fisher’s cross-country was accomplished in a Pipistrel Virus SW, which has a similar airframe but is powered by a Rotax 912 engine. 

Unruly Passenger Who Managed to Open Plane Door Inflight is Sentenced to Just One Year in Jail

A disruptive and violent passenger who opened the aircraft door on a United Express flight just before landing could have received 20-years imprisonment and a $200,000 fine. But instead, he was sentenced to one year behind bars for interfering with a flight crew. Kameron C. Stone, 30, of Fairfax, Virginia was also ordered to pay a $7,500 fine and undergo three years of supervised release. He can also look forward to a fine from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Man Who Assaulted Flight Attendants Gets 60 Days in Jail

Witnesses Describe the Scene When Man Exited Moving Plane at O’Hare, Slid Down Wing

A person opened the emergency exit door of United flight 2874 at O’Hare International Airport as the plane was moving on the runway. The passenger then walked out onto the wing and slid down onto the airfield. 

Our ground crew stopped the individual outside of the aircraft, and the person is now with law enforcement.

United Airlines statement.

Virgin Atlantic Flight Aborted After Pilot Found To Be ‘Untrained’

This was a Virgin Atlantic internal training protocol compliance violation, not a regulatory violation. The first officer had not completed his final assessment, and the captain was not yet qualified as a check airman. The plane returned and the first officer was replaced.

Australia News Desk

This week’s segment covers the big announcement by QANTAS of the purchase of 12 A350-1000s, along with a ton of other variants which will gradually replace, and effectively phase out, Boeing aircraft over the next five years.  We also take a look at QANTAS purchasing regional operator Alliance Airlines, the upcoming RAAF Amberley Air Tattoo, the Pacific Air Show scheduled for Queensland in 2023, and the World Championship Air Race round for Australia which was recently announced.  We also may have had a little fun at Rob’s expense….

What passengers can expect on Qantas’ longest commercial flight in the world

Introducing the Airbus A350-1000

Pacific Airshow comes to Gold Coast in 2023

Pacific Airshow

Qantas has reached an agreement to fully acquire Australian-based operator, Alliance Aviation Services

QANTAS to acquire Alliance Aviation to Better Support Resources Segment

Air race 2022: Lake Macquarie locks in $8 million drawcard for November

Ipswich Amberley Air Tattoo

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, Max Trescott

699 Apple AirTag for Tracking Luggage

Using the Apple AirTag to track your checked baggage (and maybe a podcast host?), airlines drop flyers from no-fly lists, Bombardier headquarters in Wichita, aircraft leased to Russia, Cirrus fuel flow issues, a plane-swap stunt, the Tecnam 2-seat trainer, and air ambulance costs.

Aviation News

This man is trolling his airline with PowerPoint presentations to find his missing bag

This is the story of a couple who used an Apple AirTag to find and track their lost checked bags.

These airlines are letting passengers banned for mask violations back on planes

After a federal judge ruled that the CDC exceeded its authority to mandate masks for travel, airlines began to drop their mask requirement. But some airlines are also dropping the no-fly status for some passengers who refused to comply with the previous mask mandate.

Bombardier Designates Wichita Its U.S. Headquarters

The company says Bombardier Defense will bring 200 jobs to the area and also announced details about a partnership with the U.S. Air Force to modify business jets in Kansas as part of a potential $465 million order. Bombardier Defense offers versions of the Challenger 650 and Global 6500 and 7500.

Courtesy Bombardier Defense

Air Lease Claims $802.4 Million Write Off After 27 Leased Jets Stuck In Russia

Air Lease Corporation is writing off aircraft leased to Russia and is pursuing insurance claims to cover their loss. After the economic sanctions, leases for the planes were terminated but the planes remain in Russia. According to a report by Fitch Ratings, “insurers and reinsurers could face claims as high as $10 billion in a worst-case scenario due to the grounding of planes in Russia.”

Loss of Engine Power Due to Excessive Fuel Flow in Cirrus SR22T Aircraft

Following previous investigations of SR22T accidents, the NTSB is asking Cirrus Aircraft and the FAA to take action on some safety recommendations. In these accidents, engine power was lost when excessive fuel was introduced to the engine during takeoff climb.

The FAA revoked the pilot certificate of Trevor Jacob, a former Olympic snowboard competitor turned YouTuber, who posted a viral video of himself parachuting out of a 1940 Taylorcraft that he claimed had malfunctioned.

The man who claimed the engine failed on his 1940 Taylorcraft then jumped out and filmed the subsequent crash has received a letter from the FAA. His act of operating the aircraft in a “careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another” has cost him his license.

FAA Investigating Failed Plane Swap

Red Bull and Hulu organized a stunt where two pilots jumped out of their respective Cessna 182s with the intent of maneuvering to the other’s plane and regaining control. The FAA denied approval for this plane swap, which was carried out and streamed anyway. One of the planes ended up crashing.

FAA apologizes for no advance warning before parachute jump, Capitol evacuation

The Army Golden Knights parachute team conducted a pre-game demonstration at the Nationals Park baseball stadium in Washington D.C., but the FAA failed to notify the U.S. Capitol Police. When the team plane approached, Capitol Police evacuated the Capitol and some nearby buildings.

Tecnam Unveils P-Mentor Certified Two-Seat Trainer

The Tecnam Aircraft P-Mentor is a new two-seat piston aircraft designed for student training. International deliveries are expected to begin in the next four months. 

P-Mentor, courtesy Tecnam Aircraft.

Facing rising costs, LifeFlight sets up in-house air operations

A non-profit Maine-based emergency air ambulance service outsourced its aviation operations. That service ultimately ended up being owned by a large venture capital firm and costs increase dramatically. So LifeFlight brought its aviation operations back in-house.

Mentioned

New England Air Museum

The Journey is the Reward

AirVenture Oshkosh 2022 to Celebrate Young Eagles 30th Anniversary

Someone just crashed into a Vision Jet!!!

Tesla Model Y Operator Appears To “Summon” Car Straight Into a Parked Jet

The Wheel Bearings Podcast

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Max Trescott, Rob Mark, and our Main(e) Man Micah.

698 Airline Travel Challenges

Airline travel this summer faces challenges with crew shortages and fatigue. Also, the mask mandate, 100th Bombardier Global 7500 Biz Jet delivered, boarding the airplane without a jet bridge, a rare airline amenity, giving up the seat you paid for, some turbofan failures after storage, when passengers are told their flight would be ditching, and therapy animals at airports.

Aviation News

Airlines are slashing flights due to staffing shortage: ‘The summer will be chaos’

Crew shortages are affecting airlines around the world. Travel demand is up, but staff availability is down. The summer travel outlook looks chaotic.

Pilot union sues American Airlines to block pilot training program

The Allied Pilots Association (APA) filed a suit to “prevent the airline from eliminating the longstanding practice of using experienced Check Airmen during a critical stage of the pilot training program.” The volunteer program encourages pilots to take simulator training sessions on their days off. 

In the press release, Allied Pilots Association Sues American Airlines Over Railway Labor Act Violations, APA President Capt. Eric Ferguson says, 

Having failed to plan properly for the recovery in air travel demand, American Airlines management now finds itself having to deal with the consequences of being the only major airline to have furloughed pilots during the pandemic and its decision to forgo training opportunities at that time… Management continues to fall behind and is scrambling to increase the volume of the pilot training funnel. Consequently, they are now soliciting all pilots to volunteer to replace our specially trained Check Airmen as ‘seat fillers’ during a critical training evaluation stage under terms and conditions that remain largely unknown to APA.

APA President Capt. Eric Ferguson

Fatigue is starting to put safety at risk, pilots say

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA), says “Fatigue, both acute and cumulative, has become Southwest Airlines’ number-one safety threat.” Southwest plans to hire 8,000 new employees this year, forty percent of those flight crew.

Florida judge voids US mask mandate for planes, other travel

A federal judge says the mask mandate exceeds the authority of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and also that the CDC failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rulemaking procedures.

Bombardier Delivers 100th Global 7500; Milestone Jet Goes to VistaJet – AIN

Bombardier celebrated its 100th Global 7500 delivery with its largest customer, VistaJet, which has taken 10 of the aircraft manufacturer’s flagship business jets so far. The delivery ceremony took place at Bombardier’s Montreal Laurent Beaudoin Completion Centre, where the company outfits the aircraft after they’re flown from its Toronto assembly plant. This is where customers oversee the interior finishing of their Global 7500, familiarize themselves with them, and take delivery. VistaJet is a Part 295 air charter broker.

Frontier Airlines wants to ditch jet bridges in Denver and board by stairs

Starting in 2024, Frontier Airlines plans to use airstairs and switchback ramps to board and deplane its fleet of Airbus aircraft through the front and rear aircraft doors. Frontier’s CEO, Barry Biffle: “A dedicated ground boarding facility will benefit customers by cutting in half the time for boarding and deplaning through the use of both the front and rear aircraft doors. That, in turn, will reduce our time on the ground between flights by nearly half and nearly double our number of aircraft operations per gate.”

This Airline Has Offered One Rare Amenity Since 1952 — and It’s Still the Coolest Thing in the Skies

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines offers unique Delftware porcelain amenities that have become collector’s items.

When do you give up an airline seat that you’ve paid for?

Sometimes you don’t want to swap seats with another passenger, but sometimes it’s the right thing to do.

FAA warns of in-flight turbofan failures following long-term storage

The Federal Aviation Administration issued an airworthiness directive (AD) warning of CF34 failures for engines taken out of storage. “Engines installed on airplanes parked outdoors for 250 or more days are at risk of excessive corrosion build-up,” it says. The AD cites several in-flight CF34 troubles.

Airline Passengers Accidentally Told Plane Was Going to Make an Emergency Landing in the Sea

Passengers aboard an Aer Lingus flight from Zurich to Dublin listened to an automated emergency announcement stating, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is an emergency. Please prepare for a ditched landing.” Flight attendants didn’t react and a passenger went into the galley to get more information. After that, an announcement from the flight crew confirmed there was no emergency.

Easter Bunny Story: Scared of flying? SFO’s new giant rabbit is here to help

Alex the Great, a 28-pound Flemish Giant rabbit, has joined the San Francisco International Airport Wag Brigade to help calm nervous travelers. The brigade is composed of mostly dogs but includes LiLou, the “World’s 1st Airport Therapy Pig.” 

37 U.S. Airports Have Therapy Dog Programs. Does Yours?

San Jose International Airport (SJC) in California was the first airport to bring in therapy dogs shortly after 9/11. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) was the second airport to introduce therapy dogs.

The Journey is the Reward

Brian T. Coleman and Main(e) Man Micah discuss a letter they received from a United Airlines Captain.

Mentioned

The Air Current – Exclusive news and insight on the business and technology of flying.

The YB-52 prototype, the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, takes its first flight on April 15, 1952

A Look Back At All The B-52 Variants As The Iconic Bomber Hits 70

Airliners International 2022 Chicago – Buy, swap, sell airline memorabilia. June 23-25, 2022.

37 U.S. Airports Have Therapy Dog Programs. Does Yours?

Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood | Official Trailer | Netflix

Airlines Confidential Podcast – Hosted by Ben Baldanza, former CEO of Spirit Airlines, and Chris Chiames, a 30+ year airline/travel industry veteran.

Thunder Over Dover, May 21-22, 2022.

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, Max Trescott, and Rob Mark.

692 ADSBexchange

Our guest is the president and founder of ADSBexchange, a flight data aggregation co-op. In the news, some lawmakers want civil action against Boeing over the 737 MAX, Nexflix releases a 737 MAX documentary, United Aviate Academy will use Cirrus aircraft for training, a GA electric/gas hybrid takes flight, technology export from Icon Aircraft is probed, the FAA Administrator announces he’ll leave the post early, and an autonomous Blackhawk helicopter.

Guest

ADSBexchange president and founder Dan Streufert.
Dan Streufert

Dan Streufert founded ADSBexchange in 2016 as a “hobby project.” Since then, it has grown to encompass 7500+ volunteer-run ADS-B receivers throughout the world, ingesting 500,000 – 900,000 ADS-B messages per second. Although ADSBexchange has grown from its initial small beginning, it remains focused on the aviation enthusiast. The service has none of the “paywalls” associated with some other flight tracking services and does not filter its traffic display.

Dan explains that ADSB signals are broadcast unencrypted over the air and anyone can receive them. ADSBexchange was mainly developed for hobbyists and others who want to know what’s flying, but commercial customers and some NGOs benefit from the information as well.

Some interests don’t want ADSB transmissions to be used to track their flights. They may be legitimate commercial companies that want to mask their activity for competitive reasons, governments, those engaged in criminal operations, or even military flights. Dan describes two FAA programs that seek to mitigate at least some of the privacy concerns:

With Limiting Aircraft Data Displayed (LADD), aircraft owners or designated representatives may request limiting aircraft data displayed (formally referred to as blocking) or unblocking of flight tracking data. Flight tracking services that draw the data from FAA agree to block the information.

More recently, the FAA initiated the Privacy ICAO Aircraft (PIA) program to improve the privacy of eligible aircraft by enabling aircraft owners to request an alternate, temporary ICAO aircraft address, which will not be assigned to the owner in the Civil Aviation Registry (CAR).

Both an “Airplane Geek” and a “Tech Geek” at heart, Dan is a commercially-rated, multi-engine pilot with instrument rating and currently flys a 1967 Piper Comanche 260B out of Falcon Field in Mesa, Arizona. Prior to devoting his full-time attention to ADSBexchange, Dan spent 12 years leading the IT department at Viant Medical, a $1 billion global medical manufacturing firm.

Aviation News

Lawmakers Demand Fresh Investigation into FAA Decision Not to Penalize Boeing for MAX Failures

The U.S. House Transportation chair and the aviation subcommittee chair want civil action taken against Boeing, and even individual employees for the 737 MAX crashes. Rep. DeFazio, D-Ore., and Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Everett sent a letter to DOT Inspector General Eric Soskin saying, “We respectfully request that you review FAA’s refusal to exercise proper oversight over Boeing’s apparent misconduct.”

Downfall: The Case Against Boeing

Netflix premiered the documentary film that details the 18-month investigation by House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Peter DeFazio into the causes of the Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashes, which resulted in the deaths of 346 people.

Cirrus Aircraft Equips United Aviate Academy with a Fleet of TRAC SR20 for Ab-Initio Pilot Training

Cirrus Aircraft announced that the United Aviate Academy (UAA) has purchased a fleet of twenty-five TRAC SR20 aircraft for its program. The Academy is part of United’s pilot career development program offering pilots the most direct path to a United flight deck. They have option and purchase rights to fifty more TRAC SR20 aircraft.

First general aviation aircraft with hybrid power plant has been successfully flown

Rolls-Royce, Tecnam, and BRP-Rotax announced the December 2021 flight of the first general aviation aircraft powered by a parallel hybrid propulsion system. The modified Tecnam P2010 H3PS was powered by a 104 kW Rotax 915 IS internal combustion engine and a 30 kW Rolls-Royce electric power system for a total power output of 134 kW in a parallel hybrid configuration. H3PS stands for “High Power High Scalability Aircraft Hybrid Powertrain.”

Video: Tecnam P2010 H3PS Hybrid first flight

Chinese Stake in Icon Probed by Gov’t Panel

The Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI and a U.S. government panel are looking into accusations of illegal technology transfer to China. Shanghai Pudong Science & Technology Investment Co. holds a nearly 47% stake in Icon Aircraft and is Icon’s largest shareholder. Some Icon shareholders raised a red flag to the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment alleging that Shanghai Pudong sent its technology to China with the potential for military applications.

U.S. FAA administrator says he was not pressured to step down

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson announced he is leaving the FAA effective March 31, 2022. Dickson is a pilot and former Delta Air Lines executive appointed by President Donald Trump in 2019. He cited family reasons for his decision.

A Black Hawk helicopter flew for the first time without pilots

With the flick of a switch, the DARPA S-70 Blackhawk helicopter goes from piloted to unpiloted. In this first flight, the S-70 autonomously completed a pre-flight checklist, started its engines, spun up its rotors, and took off with no crew on board. The ALIAS system (Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System) on-board sensors provided real-time obstacle data as the helicopter navigated through a simulated cityscape.

Video: First Uninhabited Black Hawk Flight

Israeli News Desk

Piper AZTEC PA23-250F

Eyal Shay describes the emergency landing of a Piper AZTEC PA23-250F registration 4X-CCM. The airplane took off from Haifa airport (LLHA) with an instructor and student pilot. When they came back to the pattern, the right main gear failed to open. After some unsuccessful attempts to solve the problem, or to retract the landing gear, the plane was rerouted to Ben-Gurion airport (LLBG). The pilot made a perfect landing, managing to cutoff the right engine and bring the two-blade propeller to horizontal position when at short final. The plane successfully kept near the center line and just veered from the runway direction at his final stop. The pilot and passenger were unharmed.

Eyal and Hillel meet in Israel.
Eyal and Hillel

Mentioned

The Journey is the Reward

The Great Aero Recovery, a webinar with Richard Aboulafia from the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Registration.

The brains that launched GPS

Savvy Maintenance – Cold starts are a culprit in engine damage

Utah’s Gail Halvorsen, the ‘Berlin Candy Bomber,’ dies at 101

Gail Halvorsen, the Utah farm boy who became a hero in post-World War II Europe for fastening candy to handkerchiefs and dropping them from his U.S. Air Force cargo plane to the children of West Berlin, earning him the nickname the “Berlin Candy Bomber,” has died. He was 101.

Bagley Cartoon: Candy Bomber

American Helicopter Museum

Airplane Geeks listeners can enjoy a one-year individual membership at a 50% discount. For $25.00 (normally $50.00) you get:

  • Unlimited admission to the Museum for one year, including the March 4 event, “The Helicopter and the Presidency.”
  • Two One-Day Guest Passes.
  • Admission to FamilyFest and SantaFest.
  • Invitations to Member Receptions.
  • 10% discount on gift shop purchases.

The offer is good through May 31, 2022, at this link.

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, Max Trescott, and Rob Mark.  With contributions from Brian Coleman and Eyal Shay.

690 Charlie Bolden

Our guest is Charlie Bolden, former NASA administrator, astronaut, and naval aviator. In the news, the first production Falcon 6X arrives at the completion center, Air Force accidents decline, FAA proposes changes to autopilot training, Frontier and Spirit propose a merger, and Delta wants a federal no-fly list for unruly passengers.

Guest

Charlie Bolden photo
Charlie Bolden

Charles (Charlie) F. Bolden Jr., was Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration from 2009 to 2017. He’s a former astronaut who flew on four Shuttle missions, and a retired United States Marine Corps Major General. He is the Founder and CEO Emeritus of the Charles F. Bolden Group.

In our open and wide-ranging conversation with Charlie, he talks about the factors that have led to the prominence of commercial space companies. We look at how Congress reacted to the shift and why the commercial industry changed NASA for the better. These “New Space” companies often use an iterative development process that is very different from the regimented process used, for example, with the James Webb Space Telescope.

We touch on the role of NASA and the need for the Administrator to navigate the politics of Washington. We also consider whether the NTSB or FAA should investigate space accidents.

Charlie explains how returning to the Moon and going on to Mars raised concerns that funding would shift to human space flight at the expense of science missions. He also describes initial skepticism that the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter was a good idea. Charlie has some interesting thoughts on the notion of “colonizing” Mars and if that planet is really an alternative to Earth.

Along the way, we look at spherical aberration on the Hubble telescope (and its twin), what the Boeing CST-100 Starliner and the Sierra Nevada Dream Chaser bring, and of course SpaceX. Charlie describes an overwhelmingly emotional moment on his first Shuttle flight and how astronauts used ham radio to talk to their families from the Orbiter.

Charlie also provides some insight into the criteria used to select who would receive the four Space Shuttle orbiters after that program ended.

Among a number of other activities, STEM education is a focus of the Charles F. Bolden Group. Charlie talks about the SERVIR-West Africa project, a joint initiative by the US agency for International Development (USAID) and NASA.

Aviation News

First Falcon 6X Arrives at Dassault’s Little Rock Completion Center

The first production Falcon 6X extra widebody twin arrived at Dassault Aviation’s 1.25 million square foot completion center in Little Rock, Arkansas. Serial number five was ferried from Dassault’s production facility in France. The Pratt & Whitney Canada PW812D-powered Falcon 6X is expected to enter into service later in 2022.

Deadly aircraft accidents declined in 2021, Air Force says

The Air Force reported 63 severe mishaps in fiscal 2021, compared to 71 the prior year. “Class A” incidents dropped to 21 from 30 in 2020. The 5-year average is about 27 Class A mishaps.  The manned aircraft rate fell to 0.94 accidents per 100,000 flying hours, the lowest since 2014. At the same time, the rate for unmanned aircraft accidents jumped to 1.96 unmanned aircraft accidents per 100,000 flying hours, which is the highest since 2017.

Retired Boeing 747 Bought for $1.30 Begins New Life As Party Plane

This retired British Airways Boeing 747 can be rented from Cotswold Airport in the south of England. Purchased for just £1 ($1.30), almost £500,000 ($671,000) has been invested in the plane, which costs $1,300 an hour to rent, or $16,000 for 24-hours.

FAA proposes changes in autopilot training

The FAA wants pilots to avoid overreliance on the autopilot and make sure they focus on flight path management. So the FAA issued draft guidance and recommended practices. The FAAs action comes in response to NTSB recommendations after the July 2013 accident where Asiana Airlines Flight 214 struck a seawall at SFO, killing three passengers. Also prompting the draft guidance are requirements specified by Congress after the two fatal Boeing 737 MAX accidents.

Frontier to buy Spirit Airlines in $2.9 billion low-cost carriers deal

The two carriers are proposing a merger where Frontier Airlines would hold 51.5 percent and Spirit would hold 48.5 percent. A name for the combined airline hasn’t been offered, nor has the CEO or location of headquarters identified.

Delta Air Lines CEO Edward Bastian asked the U.S. Attorney General to set up a nationwide no-fly list for unruly passengers. The ACLU and others are critical, citing problems with the TSA’s current terrorist list.

Mentioned

Inside Marine One
On March 4, 2022, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, the American Helicopter Museum is offering members a sneak preview of the new Inside Marine One exhibit. A conversation will feature USMC Colonel Ray “Frenchy” L’Heureux (former Marine One pilot and author of Inside Marine One: Four U.S. Presidents, One Proud Marine, and the World’s Most Amazing Helicopter) and Roger D. Connor, Ph.D. (Curator of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Aeronautics Department). You can still participate in the discussion via Zoom (6:30-7:30) if you can’t join in person. Register by March 3, 2022.

The American Helicopter Museum's graphic for their Inside Marine One exhibit.
Inside Marine One

You Can Now Learn to Fly at Owls Head Airport

Penobscot Island Air has started a new flight school at the Knox County Regional Airport in Owls Head, Maine. PIA provides mail, freight delivery, and even medevac services. The CFIs are Penobscot Island Air pilots and in the first three weeks, seven students enrolled.

The airport is shared by the Owls Head Transportation Museum which conducts many events throughout the year, including the annual Wings and Wheels Spectacular Airshow, to be held August 6, 2022, 10:00-3:00.

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, and Max Trescott.

688 A Pilot Wife

The producer of the Pilot Wife Podcast explains navigating life in an aviation family, and the CEO of Northern Pacific Airways talks about the new airline. In the news, an Emirates 777 close call, FAA clears low-visibility landings at 5G airports, FlyersRights sues FAA over seat standards, American Airlines and The Points Guy sue each other, American reduces service, lost money at the airport, a mystery coating on stealth fighters, and a listener report on the aircraft assisting Tonga after the eruption.

Guest

Jackie Ulmer produces the Pilot Wife Podcast which helps aviation families navigate life. She’s been married to an airline pilot for over three decades, so she has more than a little experience living with a commercial pilot.

Pilot Wife Podcast explores the challenges faced by the spouse of a pilot, including understanding airline employee scheduling, living with the realities of a 27/7 business, and how to manage holidays and important life events that often have to come second. Add to that managing the children and overcoming loneliness.

In 2021, others in her online network encouraged Jackie to mentor pilot wives. As a life coach and a business coach, she had the requisite skills, and as the long-time spouse of a pilot she had the life experience. The idea of a podcast came to her and she dove into it, going live in December 2021.

The Pilot Wife Podcast features a variety of guests that offer valuable perspectives for spouses of pilots. In our conversation with Jackie, we learn about some of the issues and how to manage them. She provides the free Pilot Wife Checklist – 7 Keys to To a Fabulous Pilot Wife Life as a useful resource.

On the Pilot Wife Podcast website, you’ll find the Checklist, Jackie’s blog, and of course the podcast episodes. In addition, she co-runs the Aviation Fitness Facebook group which looks at fitness from a mind-body-spirit perspective. The group is for anyone in aviation, including spouses and partners. Her business site Peak Performance Habits is where you’ll find all of that plus coaching and recipes.

Aviation News

Emirates 777 close call in Dubai returns spotlight to automation over-reliance

Last December, an Emirates Boeing 777-300ER came within 175 feet of the ground in a neighborhood near Dubai International Airport. Emirates says only that the incident is under investigation. Some evidence suggests that an incorrect setting was made in the airplane’s autopilot during the pre-flight.

Majority of US fleets cleared for ‘low-visibility landings’ at airports with 5G: FAA

Last week, the FAA said that almost two-thirds of U.S. commercial fleets have been cleared “to perform low-visibility landings at airports” where 5G wireless service has been deployed. Among the aircraft models that have been cleared by the FAA are Airbus A300, A310, A319, A320, A330, A340, A350, and A380 models and Boeing 717, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, and MD-10/-11 models.

FAA Warns 787s Especially Susceptible To 5G

Missing from the above list is the Boeing 787. The FAA issued an AD for the Boeing 787 saying that 5G interference with its radar altimeter could affect other systems. These “could prevent engine and braking systems from transitioning to landing mode, which could prevent an aircraft from stopping on the runway” under certain circumstances. 

FlyersRights sues FA for failure to establish minimum seat standards mandated by Congress more than three years ago

The FAA had a statutory deadline more than two years ago to issue minimum airline seat size standards. So far, the FAA hasn’t even started the rulemaking process. So FlyersRights.org has filed a court petition that seeks to order the FAA to issue the standards. FlyersRights claims to be the largest airline passenger non-profit organization with over 60,000 members.

AA and The Points Guy are suing Each Other

American Airlines has been taking action against websites that use AAdvantage member data, such as tracking frequent flier program balances. One way these sites get the member data is through a process called “screen scraping” where members provide their login credentials to the site, which then logs in as the customer and reads the data off the screen. American says this method violates their terms of service and additionally that The Points Guy has been using airline trademarks and copyrighted material.

American Flight Attendants Want Service Reductions

The Association of Professional Flight Attendants (APFA), representing American Airlines’ flight attendants, wants a temporary reduction of onboard service levels and customer touchpoints. This is intended to “maintain the highest level of flight attendant and passenger safety.” As of January 26, 2022, American will be making a number of service reductions.

Man Loses €33,600 at Dubai International Airport But Is Reunited With His Money On His Return Flight

A passenger traveling from Germany to Thailand via Dubai International Airport found at his destination that he’d lost a small bag containing €33,600 (approx US$38,000) in bank notes. Fearing the worst, the man thought his money was gone for good. But he was to learn that the bag and its contents were found and ultimately reunited with him.

F-35 And F-117 Spotted Flying With Mysterious Mirror-Like Skin

The U.S. Air Force has been testing some kind of coating on stealthy aircraft. It looks metallic, but depending on the viewing angle it looks either shiny or matte. Seen before on the F-22 and the Scaled Composites Model 401, it’s been spotted now on the F-35C and the F-117 Nighthawk.

Aviation after the Tonga disaster

A report from listener Errol Cavit looks at the impact on commercial aviation and the aircraft involved in relief operations in Tonga.

Northern Pacific Airways

Brian Coleman talked with Northern Pacific Airways CEO Rob McKinney at the hangar event where the airline revealed its livery on its first Boeing 757-200. The new long-haul airline plans to serve cities in the states of New York, Florida, California, Texas, and Nevada, with direct flights to cities in Japan and Korea through Anchorage over the Northern route. Operations are planned to start in 2022.

Northern Pacific Airways B757.

Northern Pacific Airways

Update March 6, 2022: Our guest in Episode 694 (published March 9, 2022) is Edmond Huot. His team designed the Northern Pacific livery and you might want to give that fascinating interview a listen. Also, a video of the livery reveal is now available:

Video: Northern Pacific Airways Reveal

Mentioned

Somatogravic Illusion

Innovations in Flight Outdoor Aviation Display is scheduled for Saturday, June 18, 2022, at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Free tickets are required, parking is $15, and registration will launch soon.

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Rob Mark, David Vanderhoof, and Max Trescott. With contributions from Brian Coleman and Errol Cavit.

687 Airline Customer Service

An airline customer service story and a conversation with Brett Snyder, the Cranky Flier. In the news, the EPA is preparing a leaded aviation fuel proposal, a next-generation lav, restraints for infant safety inflight, Ryanair’s Learjets, the West Coast ground stop, lasers on aircraft, a TFR bust that involved an F-15C.

Brian Coleman and our Main(e) Man Micah discuss Brian’s airline customer service experience. He purchased a Premium Plus ticket, but the flight he took didn’t offer that class and the airline didn’t want to refund him the difference in the ticket price.

Separately, Brian had the opportunity to speak with Brett Snyder, the Cranky Flier, and get us caught up with all things Cranky.

Aviation News

EPA to Evaluate Whether Lead Emissions from Piston-Engine Aircraft Endanger Human Health and Welfare

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan says, “EPA has been investigating the air quality impact of lead emissions from piston-engine aircraft near airports for years, and now we’re going to apply that information to determine whether this pollution endangers human health and welfare.” The EPA plans to issue a proposal for public review and comment in 2022. After evaluating comments on the proposal, the Agency plans to issue a final finding in 2023.

More information can be found at Petitions and EPA Response Memorandums related to Lead Emissions from Aircraft.

Boeing selects Collins Aerospace as next-generation lavatory supplier for the 737

There is a “next-generation” of lavatories for the 737 family of aircraft, and it’s coming from Raytheon Technologies’ Collins Aerospace. The new lavatory is customizable and modular. A touchless faucet comes standard, with other touchless amenities optional. A “centralized computing system to optimize the passenger experience, improve airline operability and help pave the way for future technology integration.” The lav is expected to be available on new 737 airplanes beginning in 2025.

Avelo looks to boost infant safety with Baby B’air

Unrestrained babies in flight is a serious safety issue and hazard and the NTSB has called for action for years. Avelo is now petitioning the Federal Aviation Administration for permission to use the Baby B’Air Flight Vest to restrain infants inflight.

The Story Of Ryanair’s 3 Learjets

Ryanair has a huge 737 fleet, about 450 in service along with 39 A320 aircraft operated by Lauda Europe. But they also lease three Learjet 45s to transport maintenance crew and parts.

What Caused The FAA To Issue A Brief Ground Stop On Monday?

The FAA issued a ground stop for all U.S. West Coast Flights that lasted 15 minutes. This was at the same time that North Korea was testing a long-range ballistic missile.

FAA statement on West Coast ground stop for some airports

FedEx Express Seeking Permission to Install Missile Downing Lasers to Some of its Aircraft

The FAA has received a proposal from FedEx Express to install a missile defense system on some of its aircraft.  When detected, heat-seeking missiles would be intercepted by infrared lasers to throw them off course.

Passengers Behaving Badly

2021 was the worst year on record for unruly airplane passengers in the US, FAA data confirms

Miami-Bound Passenger Storms Cockpit in Honduras, Causing Flight Delay

Three Long Island Women Indicted for Assaulting a Delta Airlines Security Officer at JFK Airport

Mentioned

Same model, different scales at the American Helicopter Museum:

David’s photos from a TFR bust and an F-15C orbiting the airfield.

Aviation News Talk 216: Learjet Crash update, PIREPS made simple with Virga App + GA News.

James GoPro Aviation YouTube Channel.

Wizz Air urges EU to keep ‘use it or lose it’ airport slot rule

Airlines square off with the EU and one another over ‘ghost flight’ controversy

US expected to be short 12,000 pilots by next year

Delta Drops Degree Requirement For Pilots

NASA may need more astronauts for space station, moon missions, report says

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Rob Mark, David Vanderhoof, Max Trescott

683 Boeing 737 MAX

We speak with the author of Flying Blind: The 737 MAX Tragedy and the Fall of Boeing. In the news, 5G concerns from aviation organizations, a new Boeing 787 production chief is named, a bill in Congress to limit airline fees, Air Force aircraft retirements, Finland selects the F-35, and no more astronaut wings for space tourists.

Guest

Peter Robison is an investigative journalist for Bloomberg and Bloomberg Businessweek, and the author of Flying Blind: The 737 MAX Tragedy and the Fall of Boeing

Peter Robison

We look back on the events surrounding the two 737 MAX crashes, including how Boeing responded to the first crash and then the second, and the broad cultural issues at Boeing that affected the quality of the work. Peter describes past Boeing leadership strategies and some of the changes the company has made in areas such as sourcing, location, and the engineering workforce. We also consider the relationship between the FAA and Boeing and how that contributed to the issues with the 737 MAX.

Flying Blind book cover.

In the end, it comes down to the question: “Would we fly on a Boeing 737 MAX?” Listen for our answers.

Peter is a recipient of the Gerald Loeb Award, the Malcolm Forbes Award, and four “Best in Business” awards from the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, with an honors degree in history from Stanford University, he lives in Seattle, Washington, with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @petermrobison.

Aviation News

5G now means some flights won’t be able to land when pilots can’t see the runway

Verizon and AT&T plan to rollout C-band “5G” cellular ratio coverage. The FAA has concerns this might affect radio altimeters. The FCC and the carriers see no issues, but the carriers moved their December implementation date to January and more recently said they’d reduce the power output for six months at certain towers near airports. The Aerospace Industries Association (and a large group of alphabet aviation organizations) sent a letter to the FCC suggesting that AT&T and Verizon’s proposed power limits don’t go far enough for safety.

Now the FAA has said, “Landings during periods of low visibility could be limited due to concerns that the 5G signal could interfere with the accuracy of an airplane’s radio altimeter, without other mitigations in place.” See also, Aviation Coalition Says Industry Should Expect Significant Delays When 5G is Rolled Out and FreeFlight’s Terrain Series radar altimeters with RF circuitry to mitigate spurious 5G interference.

Boeing Names New Jet-Production Chief as 787’s Woes Slow Rebound

Elizabeth Lund has been named the vice-president and general manager of airplane programs for commercial jetliners. With an engineering background and a 30-year career at Boeing, Ms. Lund brings experience with the 767, 747, and 777 programs.

Markey Aims To Ban ‘Ridiculous’ Airline Fees With Bill

With Holiday Travel Season in Full Swing, Senators Markey and Blumenthal, Reps. Cohen and García Reintroduce Legislation to Stop Sky-High Airline Fees

Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09), and Congressman Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04) reintroduced the Forbidding Airlines from Imposing Ridiculous (FAIR) Fees Act. If enacted, the legislation would prohibit airlines from charging fees (including bag, seating, cancellation, and change fees) that are not reasonable and proportional to the costs of the services actually provided.

Airlines should not be able to bilk passengers just because they need to check a couple of bags, or charge an extra fee so parents can sit with their kids. It should not cost more to cancel or change an airline reservation than the original cost of the ticket, period. ..we must finally end this price gouging and return fairness to the skies.

Senator Edward J. Markey

The bill would also direct the Department of Transportation to review any other fees imposed by airlines, as well as ensure that children can sit together with their family members on flights at no additional charge.

Congress approves retirement of 160+ Air Force planes – with one notable exception

The US Air Force is asking Congress to retire 42 A-10 Warthogs, but Congress is refusing. The fiscal 2022 National Defense Authorization Act would keep the A-10 but retire seven F-16C/Ds, 48 F-15C/D Eagles, four E-8 JSTARS ground surveillance aircraft, 20 RQ-4 Global Hawk Block 30 drones, 18 KC-135s and 14 KC-10s, and three C-130Hs. This would free up resources to modernize the fleet.

Finland Selects the F-35 Lightning II as Its Next Fighter

Finland Chooses F-35 As Its Next Fighter

Finland will reportedly purchase 64 F-35A fighters, as well as a weapons package, sustainment, and training. The deal is valued at €8.4 billion ($9.5 billion). Flightglobal reports “€4 billion for the aircraft, €755 million for weapons, and €3 billion for equipment, spares, and training over the 2025-2030 period. A further €777 million is allocated for infrastructure improvements.” competing for the win were the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Dassault Aviation Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon, and the Saab Gripen E.

FAA: No more commercial astronaut wings

The FAA will no longer award commercial astronaut wings because so many people are now riding into space. Space tourists who fly 50 miles up on an FAA-sanctioned launch will be put on an FAA commercial spaceflight list. NASA astronauts will continue to receive wings.

Recently Spotted Elf

David Vanderhoof, elf.

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, Max Trescott, Rob Mark, and our Main(e) Man Micah.

678 Aviation Espionage

An aviation espionage conviction, a crew assault by the pilot, a 5G rollout delay, tests to protect airports from drones, more unleaded fuel approvals, a faked inflight emergency, aviation benefits from the infrastructure package, and a Southwest Airlines trip report.

Aviation News

Jury convicts Chinese national in aviation espionage case

The Chinese national was convicted of trying to steal trade secrets from a number of U.S. aviation and aerospace companies, including GE Aviation. Yanjun Xu was a deputy division director at the Chinese Ministry of State Security and he sought aircraft engine composite fan technology. He recruited aviation company experts and paid them stipends for travel to China, supposedly to deliver university presentations.

A Southwest pilot and flight attendant fought over masks. One was cited for alleged assault.

After an altercation at a San Jose hotel bar, the pilot was cited for alleged assault and battery, apparently over a mask dispute. The crew was staying the night at the hotel. Sgt. Christian Camarillo from the San Jose Police Department said, “The event involved a disagreement over mask-wearing or masks.” More details were not provided, but the pilot was placed on leave.

Verizon And AT&T Agree To Delay 5G Rollout Over FAA Concerns On Airplane Interference

In the last episode, we talked about the FAA’s belief there is some possibility of radar altimeter interference when the new 5G spectrum comes online. The FAA issued a warning to pilots and airlines while the FCC doesn’t share the same concern. However, responding to a request from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Verizon and AT&T will push out the new 5G spectrum one month, to January 5, 2022.

EXCLUSIVE: FAA begins first-ever drone tests to protect airports

The FAA has been quietly testing technology that detects and tracks malicious drones at airports. Last week, six drone detection tests were conducted at three locations at the Atlantic City International Airport in New Jersey. The tests will expand to four additional commercial airports. The FAA UAS Sightings Report shows that these sightings are up sharply, about 100 per month.

FAA Approves 600 Engines For GAMI Unleaded Fuel

General Aviation Modifications, Inc. (GAMI) G100UL high octane unleaded avgas is now approved by the FAA for an additional 611 piston aircraft engines. That’s about 70 percent of the existing engines in service.

Airport Closed After Passengers Mount Audacious Bid to Get into Spain By Faking Illness and Causing Emergency Diversion

A flight operated by Air Arabia departed Casablanca, Morrocco for Istanbul. Into the flight, a passenger faked a diabetic coma, resulting in a diversion to Palma de Mallorca. With the arrival of an ambulance at the aircraft, some passengers jumped out and ran across the tarmac. The airport went on lockdown and inbound flights were diverted. Five passengers were arrested but several escaped.

Infrastructure Bill Draws Praise for Aviation Support

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed the House and provides $25 billion in new funding for airports and air traffic control equipment. Non-primary and general aviation will see $500 million each year over a five-year period.

Trip Report

Brian Coleman speaks to our Main(e) Man Micah about a recent trip on Southwest Airlines.

Good Beer Blimp gondola
Good Beer Blimp

Mentioned

Max Trescott’s Pilots without Pants video


Purchase the Pilots without Pants calendar.

Bonanza Society boosts ruddervator replacement design prize