Bombardier sells off major portions of its commercial aviation business, FAA issues an Emergency Airworthiness Directive for Boeing 737, an American Airlines executive flys United, an update on United’s Polaris business class, Japanese pilots and alcohol consumption, and some visitors allowed to the gate at Sea-Tac. Also, a talk with a Challenger Class Red Bull air race pilot and crosswind landings with the B-52.
FAA says this Boeing 737 MAX emergency AD “was prompted by analysis performed by the manufacturer showing that if an erroneously high single angle of attack (AOA) sensor input is received by the flight control system, there is a potential for repeated nose-down trim commands of the horizontal stabilizer. This condition, if not addressed, could cause the flight crew to have difficulty controlling the airplane, and lead to excessive nose-down attitude, significant altitude loss, and possible impact with terrain.”
The Japanese transport minister says they’ll create an expert panel to look at drinking rules for aviation staff. There have been a number of recent alcohol-related problems involving Japanese airline pilots.
Launchpad Marzari Interviewed Patrick Davidson, Red Bull Challenger 77. The Challenger Cup was conceived to help the next generation of pilots develop the skills needed for potential advancement to the Master Class.
Launchpad also spoke with LTC Roy “Street” Lohse, Instructor pilot, 307th Bomb Wing, Barksdale AFB about how the B-52 can land in a crab. or sideways in a crosswind.
Teachers from across the country came to AOPA’s science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) conference, hosted and sponsored by UPS in Louisville, Kentucky. The event featured two keynotes, two panel discussions, and 15 breakout sessions.
The CEO of magniX talks about electric airplane propulsion. Also, FAA reauthorization, an initial NTSB report, why bad airline service is profitable, a possible increase in the LSA weight limit, and Air Force contracts for helicopters and the T-38 replacement.
Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX.
Roei Ganzarski is the CEO of magniX, a company developing high-power-density electric motors for aircraft propulsion.
magniX sees itself as a propulsion company, developing electric motors for existing and future airframes. Roei describes how the electric airplane (or hybrid-electric) offers the prospect of connecting communities through lower costs to fly. In addition to reduced fuel and maintenance costs, electric airplanes benefit from lower emissions.
Roei describes some of the challenges faced, including battery energy density, lifespan, and replacement cost.
The magniX 350SHP electric airplane motor.
magniX is currently testing a 350 hp motor, while the 375 hp and 750 hp production motors are in final design. Flight tests are planned for the second half of 2019, with certification and start of commercial operation in 2022. Beyond that, magniX looks to develop one-megawatt and superconductor motors for very high output per kilogram.
Prior to joining magniX, Roei was CEO of BoldIQ, a global provider of dynamic real-time scheduling optimization software. Under Roei’s leadership, BoldIQ grew from a seed software startup to a profitable multi-million dollar SaaS company.
Before BoldIQ, Roei was Chief Customer Officer for Boeing’s Flight Services division where he led all worldwide customer and market-facing organizations. Other experiences prior to Boeing include private investment banking, corporate finance, advertising, and the military.
Roei is a graduate of Wharton’s Advanced Management Program. He earned an MBA from the University of Washington, and a BA in Economics from The University of Haifa. Roei sits on the board of the Washington Technology Industry Association.
The author of New York Times Bestseller Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History helps us look at the true story of pioneering women aviators. Also, Air Canada’s near disaster last year, the FAA approves an ultralight VTOL, FAA reauthorization, an F-35B crash, and an American Airlines podcast. Plus, more from Dorkfest 2018, and a visit with the Collings Foundation.
Keith is a former reporter for the Boston Globe and a frequent contributor to National Public Radio. His work has appeared on shows such as All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and This American Life. He has also written for the New York Times Magazine, Politico, and Slate. Follow Keith on Twitter at @keithob.
Dr. Patti Clark, a Program Chair at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide, describes the Aviation is Your Future course offered free online for youngsters aged 8-12. We also hear about sustainability in the aviation industry. In the news, we look at the latest FAA reauthorization bill, engine maintenance and new wings for the A-10, forgetting to pressurize the cabin, misspelling your airline name, falsifying FAA medical records, and beards and oxygen masks. We also learn about the XP-82 Twin Mustang, as have some interviews from this year’s Dorkfest, including one very special celebrity.
Dr. Patti Clark
Dr. Patti Clark is Program Chair, MS in Aviation and Aerospace Sustainability, at the College of Aeronautics, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide. She is also editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Aviation Management.
Patti is one of the instructors of the Aviation is Your Future course, a project of the Woman in Aviation International Chapter at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide. It is a self-paced Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) that celebrates Girls in Aviation Day which is October 13, 2018. The course targets children aged 8-12 and is intended to help attract more people into aviation. The modules are self-paced and should take the youngsters about 6 hours to work through.
Parents can register their children at any time and the course will be open from October 8 through 23, 2018.
Patti holds a Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics as well as a Master of Aeronautical Science (Management and Safety specializations) from the Embry-Riddle. She also holds Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration with a specialization in Aeronautical Science Management from Northcentral University in Prescott Valley, AZ.
Patti’s aviation career started with active military service in 1977 as an aircraft jet engine mechanic. She followed that career path through several USAF Reserve and Guard assignments. After leaving military service, she continued to work with the USAF as an aircraft and engine Air Force Engineering Technical Services (AFETS) specialist.
Patti went on to earn her graduate degree and ultimately her doctorate, worked on DoD environmental and safety projects, and held several director positions at Embry-Riddle.
Along the way, Patti was named the Executive Director and Airport Manager for the Valdosta Regional Airport in Valdosta, GA. In 2013, Patti accepted a full-time faculty position in the Embry-Riddle College of Aeronautics.
The Moody Air Force Base in Georgia has achieved a remarkable readiness level for the General Electric TF34 engines that power the A-10C Thunderbolt II. All TF34 engines in the fleet are repaired to serviceable status. The achievement is attributed to last year’s continuous process improvement event.
The flight crew on Jet Airways Flight 697 neglected to pressurize the cabin, which caused the passengers some distress. Passengers reportedly said that no oxygen was flowing from the masks that dropped down. The airline disputes the claim. The aircrew has been taken off active duty.
A Delta Air Lines pilot was indicted on charges that he falsified FAA medical records necessary to obtain his airman medical certificate. Three other airline pilots have been indicted for making false statements to the FAA in their medical certificates paperwork.
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.
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.
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.
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 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…”
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.
WeatherSpork – An all-purpose weather planning app for aviators at all experience levels.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.”
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.
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.
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.
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 inDaks 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.
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.”
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.
Student pilot Nicki brings us installment #8 on learning to become a pilot.
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 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.
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.
The Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Uncontained Engine Failure
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.
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.
Curtiss P-40C Flying Tiger. Courtesy San Diego Air and Space Museum Archive.
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.
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.
Having 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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
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:
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 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
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.
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.