Wings Over New Zealand is having another of our popular Forum Meets, this time at the Air Force Museum of New Zealand, situated at Wigram, in Christchurch on Saturday 30th of June 2018. There will be guest speakers, a chance to mix with fellow aviation fans and special guest Bryan Cox, the legendary WWII Corsair pilot, instructor, author and still flying at 93 years old. This event is NZ$10.00 at the door, but you need to let me know if you’re coming so you will be on the list.
Then the next day on Sunday 1st of July, thanks to a Givealittle Fundraising effort, Bryan Cox will fly in the de Havilland DH82a Tiger Moth NZ1443 that he flew in during his training 75 years ago. This will be happening at Rangitata Island Aerodrome in South Canterbury – about an hour south of Christchurch. All will be welcome to come along, there’s a lot of other things to see there in the Brodie family’s historic aircraft collection at the famous airfield. See the WONZ Forum for more at http://rnzaf.proboards.com
Igor Sikorsky III joins us and talks about the history of his grandfather, aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky. Our airplane of the week is the Sikorsky VS-300. We also look at Boeing’s belief that the industry has put its cyclic business nature in the past, new fees proposed for air travelers, and the International Trade Commission report denying Boeing’s claim against Bombardier.
Igor Sikorsky’s plane in front of the Bradford Camps lodge.
Igor Sikorsky III gassing up at Munsungan Lake.
Igor Sikorsky III is the grandson of aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky and he conducts the annual “Sikorsky Weekend” at The Bradford Camps in the North Maine woods. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the history of Igor’s grandfather with family memorabilia, stories, and videos.
Igor gives us a few slices of the Sikorsky history, including how his grandfather was inspired at age 12 by a dream he had of flying over an ocean. We talk about the early days in Russia when the family entrusted their savings to him and then his time in Paris. That was the hub of early aviation where designers and other dreamers congregated to try and build flying machines. We learn about Sikorsky’s emigration from Russia to the U.S. where other Russian immigrants worked with him, sometimes without pay, to develop early aircraft.
Igor is a pilot himself and owns a Skyhawk on floats, which he uses regularly to ferry visitors to his camp and to fishing spots in Maine. We talk about the unique aspects of flying in the North Maine woods, and how having an airplane is critical to the life Igor and his wife Karen lead.
The proposed 2019 Federal budget released on February 12, 2018, increases Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) fees, which could potentially cost consumers up to an additional $3 billion. Industry trade group Airlines for America (A4A) urged Congress to reject all TSA and CBP fee increases and instead return the billions of dollars now collected by the TSA and CBP and used for non-aviation related purposes.
Our guest is the president of Helicopter Association International. In the news, we look at the role of helicopters as well as local airports in times of emergencies, medical reform around the globe, Boeing 787 Dreamliner woes, and how Aurora Flight Sciences can make any rotary-wing aircraft fly autonomously. We also have the return of the history segment.
Matthew Zuccaro, president of Helicopter Association International. HAI Photo.
Matt Zuccaro is president of Helicopter Association International. HAI provides support and services to its members and to the international helicopter community. They have their headquarters Alexandria, Virginia, and HAI members fly more than 5,000 helicopters some 2.3 million hours each year.
Matt has been in the helicopter industry for 50 years and president of HAI since 2005. He held several executive levels and operations management positions with commercial, corporate, air tour, scheduled airline, and public service helicopter operations in the northeastern United States. During his tenure with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, he served in operations management positions at Kennedy International Airport and the Port Authority’s public and private heliports.
Matt received his initial helicopter flight training as a U.S. Army aviator and served with the 7/17 Air Cavalry unit in Vietnam. He was subsequently assigned as a flight instructor at the Army Flight School at Fort Rucker, Alabama.
Matt holds Airline Transport Pilot and Instrument Flight Instructor certificates for both airplanes and helicopters. He is a recipient of HAI’s 10,000-Hour Helicopter Pilot Safety award, as well as many other industry awards for his efforts and commitment to the helicopter industry.
The City of Santa Monica plans to shorten the single runway at SMO to restrict airport usage to small airplanes. When the airport closes in 10 years, there won’t be anywhere to base firefighting helicopters and other vital equipment.
Medical reform in the shape of BasicMed came to the U.S. in 2017, and now Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) announced “Basic Class 2” medical for piston aircraft with up to five non-paying passengers, during daytime visual flight rules. AOPA and AOPA Australia together urged CASA to undertake reforms similar to BasicMed.
Devastating fires are again plaguing California and response teams include a variety of aircraft, including helicopters. The Weather Network published a dramatic video shot from a helicopter as it navigated through heavy smoke over a residential area.
A United Airlines Boeing 787 experienced a lithium-ion battery failure on approach to Charles de Gaulle Airport on November 13. United Flight 915 was at the end of a seven-hour flight from Washington’s Dulles Airport when pilots received a warning that the main battery was overheating.
Airlines are grounding Boeing 787s for urgent maintenance as one of the engines on Air New Zealand Boeing 787 flight NZ99 failed in-flight this week. The photos of failed engine show damage to turbine blades, suggesting a part broke off and traveled through the engine.
A system developed by Aurora Flight Sciences can be installed on any rotary-wing aircraft and enable it to fly autonomously. Dennis Baker, AACUS [Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System] program officer said this “gives revolutionary capability to our fleet and force. It can be used as a pilot aid in degraded visual environments, or allow fully autonomous flights in contested environments, keeping our pilots out of harm’s way.”
The Airplane of the Week
Our aviation historian David Vanderhoof tells us about the Douglas X-3 Stiletto. Just because an aircraft looks fast doesn’t mean it is. The X-3 is a lesson that disappointment does not necessarily mean failure.
If you use TSA Pre-check, you’ll notice a change when you go through the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The TSA started testing a new technology for pre-check travelers that only requires a photo ID. The Credential Authentication Technology is expected to verify the authenticity of a passenger photo ID and validate information from the ID against TSA’s Secure Flight vetting system.
Interviews from Heli-Expo 2017, a Boeing 797 might be in our future, a hybrid/electric powered vertical takeoff airplane is taking shape, companies attend the 2017 International Women in Aviation Conference looking to hire, some post-merger developments for Alaska and Virgin America, and a flight instructor who really was not. Also, a report on EAA at SXSW, and another memorable flight from a listener.
An MI-24 was displayed at the 2017 Heli-Expo. Courtesy Cold War Air Museum.
Helicopter Association International says over 17,000 people attended Heli-Expo 2017 in Dallas, Texas, with 731 exhibiting businesses and organizations, and 62 aircraft on display. Our Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large “Launchpad” Marzari attended the event and recorded a number of interviews.
Charles Schneider, CEO of MyGoFlight. This company offers iPad flight apps and accessories, and introduced a HUD concept product.
Emmanuel Davidson, President of AOPA France, talks about bringing medical certification reform to Europe for light planes, and the role of IAOPA, the International Council of Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations.
Bill Thompson from Embry-Riddle was at the show to support their graduates.
John Batey from the Cold War Air Museum (CWAM) brought one of their Mi-24 helicopter gunships. The museum is located on Lancaster Airport, 20 minutes south of Dallas.
Giovanni Mazzoni, AW609 program manager, describes the twin-engined tiltrotor VTOL aircraft with a configuration similar to the Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey, and aimed at the civil aviation market.
And then Launchpad ran into an aviation journalist named Rob Mark.
There has been talk of a so-called “B757 replacement.” Something between the single-aisle 737 and the widebody 787. It’s been called the MOM airplane (Middle of the Market) and the NMA (either New Mid-sized Airplane or New Market Airplane). Now Steven Udvar-Hazy, chairman of Air Lease Corporation, says, “Call it a 797. That’s what it’s going to be.”
XTI Aircraft Company is teaming up with Bye Aerospace to develop a hybrid/electric powered prototype of their TriFan vertical takeoff airplane. XTI says that because of cost and weight reductions, the first TriFan prototype will be a full-size rather than the 65% scale version that had been planned.
The 2017 International Women in Aviation Conference was held March 2-4, 2017 and Dr. Peggy Chabrian, president and co-founder of WAI noted that, “Major airlines have been coming to WAI for the past four years and hiring WAI members in significant numbers, but this year the companies accepting résumés seem to be more diverse.
Since its merger with Alaska, Virgin America has added a number of new destinations from San Francisco. It looks like a strategy shift with Virgin America now adding mid-sized markets (as Alaska was successful doing) instead of the large-market approach that characterized Virgin America.
A 25 year old man represented himself to North Weald Airfield (EGSX) in Essex, England as a pilot and flight instructor. Suspicious work colleagues investigated and found he was not. After the man plead guilty to several counts, he was sentenced to an eight-month jail sentence suspended for 14 months, 140 hours of unpaid work, and costs.
Listener John tells us about his most memorable flight.
Visit AvGeekFests.com for a calendar of aviation events where AvGeeks can meet up and participate in aviation events.
Episode 186 of The UAV Digest features the AOPA Senior Director for UAS Programs Kat Swain talking about why AOPA is welcoming drone pilots to the organization.
Finding employment through aviation job boards, a new airline seating idea, KLM caters to avgeeks, bribing your way to airline upgrades, and challenges to flying on the airlines.
Tim Kirkwood has been a flight attendant for 38 years. He’s President of the aviation jobs board AviaNation.com, an online aviation employment board and recruitment site with aviation jobs in all job categories, worldwide.
We’re also joined by aviation journalist Jason Rabinowitz. Jason is also Data Research Manager for Routehappy, the product differentiation platform for air travel. Follow Jason on Twitter at @AirlineFlyer.
We’ve seen a number of patents in the last few months from Airbus. Some a little wacky. This patent application shows an airplane that looks like the designs we’ve seen from Boeing for a blended wing body. But the seating arrangement is in the round.
On a recent trip from Los Angeles to Chicago, the writer of the article decided to try for his own upgrades. At every opportunity, he discreetly offered cash to airline employees, Transportation Security Administration employees and fellow passengers in exchange for a better seat or faster service.
JetBlue announced they will reduce leg room on some flights and they plan to introduce baggage fees. We’ve seen incidents involving seat reclining disagreements that resulted in flight diversions. What’s going on here?
David Vanderhoof’s History Segment
In the spirit of Thanksgiving, David tells us Martin’s Story.
The Australia News Desk
Aside from helping explain where “Jabiru” comes from, the boys also give an update on CASA’s “Jabiru Consultation Draft,” discuss JetGo’s decision to not fly Sydney to Roma (before it even starts), and enjoy the fact that Brisbane West Wellcamp airport in Toowoomba has gone from bare dirt to accepting its first commercial airline operation in less time than Brisbane Airport took to negotiate who’d pay for their third runway.
Across the Pond
Pieter talks further with Oussama Salah about Qatar Executive and their business jets, as well as Saudia Airlines. See Oussama’s posts on his Oussamas Take Blog.
Listener Evan Schoo tells us a little story about his one and only helicopter trial instructional flight. He also sends the link to a video from the flight.
Guest Robin Petgrave has over 10,000 hours of flight experience, and is Chief Pilot and President of Celebrity Helicopters, providing helicopter tours, charters, flight training, helicopter ferrying, and entertainment industry production work.
Robin is also the Founder of Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum, which mentors young, economically deprived future aviators. T.A.M. offers hands-on involvement with static displays, aircraft simulators, and youth programs that use aviation and Robin’s success to show kids that they have unlimited potential to do whatever they love to do.
Through an after-school outreach program, students earn credit for real flight lessons by performing community service.
This week Pieter goes back to visit Ron Smith, co author of ‘Two Up‘ to look at Ron’s amazing flying history and his extremely comprehensive aviation collection of photo’s and books. With over 760 hours flying time in 36 different aircraft type (650 hours are in tail wheel aircraft), we hear about his flying experiences, owning aircraft and re building his beloved Tipsy Trainer.
Dean Mcbride – Fighting to save our Heritage at Panshanger
In this week’s Across the Pond segment:
Having solo’d from Panshanger in a Piper Tomahawk 13 years ago, the airfield has a very special place in Pieter’s heart, but it has a much richer heritage. He talks to Dean Mcbride about ‘Holwell Hyde’ and its role as a decoy airfield during the Second World War and how he is desperately trying to gain recognition for the role of the airfield as it faces the inevitable threat from development and encroachment from housing. Maybe this is not youir airfield but it could be soon.
Two U.S. Navy North American RA-5C Vigilantes, David’s Aircraft of the Week
We welcome Lynda Meeks and Jodi Brommer to the podcast. Lynda is Executive Director of Girls With Wings, Inc. and has been our guest in the past. Jodi is an avid listener and former US Navy Seabee. She also served as a convoy 240B gunner in Iraq, with 143 missions. Taking advantage of the GI Bill, Jodi is continuing her education and helicopter training.
Since both Lynda and Jodi have flown them, we talk about flying helicopters. Jodi is now training in the Bell 206, having gotten her private in the R-22, and instrument rating in the R-44. Lynda is moving to Hong Kong to become an Airbus simulator instructor for an airline. Girls with Wings continues on, in fact they are in their Spring scholarship session for flight training right now.
We talk about the non-profit Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide and the Women of Aviation Week with events planned for March 4, 2013, which you can follow at Twitter hashtag #woaw2013. The iWOAW is an independent consortium of businesses and organizations that seeks to foster diversity and thus growth in the air and space industry.
Pieter relates the initial findings from the Red Wings Tupolev Tu-204 crash while attempting to land at Moscow Vnukovo on December 29, 2012. Then he asks Rob for his thoughts on why this happened. It’s a story about landing gear compression, reverse thrusters that could not be deployed, and brakes that couldn’t stop the aircraft.
Recorded live at the Qantas Maintenance Base at Melbourne Airport (on the back of the PCDU Mobile) after our tour of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner (ZA003). Qantas announces the closure of Melbourne heavy maintenance operations with nearly 500 jobs lost, Qantas also announces that they will split into separate domestic & international divisions, GippsAero have the first flight of their new GA10 Airvan, Grant has an interesting theory on Qantas Group B787 usage as the first 15 airframes are all going to Jetstar.
On Across The Pond this week Pieter talks to Richard Cooke a PPL (H) license holder. He has held a JAR PPL(H) since 2010 on the R22 and is also rated on the R44.With time in the seat of a S300 and B206 as well, Richard tells us about his flying experience. With a father who was a QHI flying the Lynx in the Army Air Corps, it was not a surprise that Richard became very passionate about helicopters too. Listen in to what’s involved in becoming a helicopter pilot.
Our guest this episode is Joe Bellino, a retired Air Traffic Controller. He was with the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO) and after the 1981 Controllers strike he became the local union rep for the new National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA). Joe was a regional union VP from 1986 to 1990, and also the Executive VP of NATCA from 1991 to 1994.
We talk about NextGen ATC, controller fatigue, types of people who make good controllers and how to test them (or not) for native ability, aircraft separation, and other air traffic control topics.
In this week’s Australia Desk report: Air Australia goes bankrupt only three months after re-branding from Strategic, leaving 4,000 passengers stranded and 96,000 ticket holders wondering if they’ll get any refund. We’re joined by senior aviation journalist Ben Sandilands as we discuss the events and what led up to them. The news provided a perfect diversion for Qantas CEO Allan Joyce, as he delivered very poor profit figures and announced 500 job cuts during the week.