Tag Archives: humanitarian

534 Flying the DC-8 for Emergency Relief

Guest George Kalbfleisch is the Deputy Director of DC-8 Flight Operations for the Samaritan’s Purse emergency relief organization. In the news, we discuss the Twin Mustang Prototype unexpected flight, the Chinese soft landing on the back side of the moon, commercial flights that get diverted due to rocket launches, the worsening controller shortage, and paying tips to Frontier cabin crew.

Samaritans Purse DC-8 for emergency relief.

Samaritans Purse DC-8.

Guest

George Kalbfleisch uses the DC-8 for emergency relief.

George Kalbfleisch

George Kalbfleisch is Deputy Director of DC-8 Flight Operations for Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization. Samaritan’s Purse delivers critical emergency relief supplies to people in need around the world. Examples include the Saipan typhoon victims, Bangladesh refugees, Iraq during the battle for Mosul, the Caribbean following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and Ecuador following a magnitude 7.8 earthquake.

George tells us about the configuration of the CFM56-powered DC-8-72, it’s range and payload capabilities, and the types of emergency relief missions it undertakes. We learn about the teams that fly and maintain the airplane, and how flight planning takes place, sometimes into devastated areas without electricity. George also treats us to a few of his most exciting and most unusual flights.

Prior to Samaritan’s Purse, George flew DC-8s with an international freight company for twenty years as captain, line check airman, sim instructor, check airman, and the aircrew program designee to issue type ratings for the airplane.

George earned his Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management at Oklahoma State University and received his pilot’s license in 1980. He is a certified airline transport pilot with type ratings in the A320, B-777, DC-8, and SA-227. George is an active General Aviation pilot who enjoys flying tail wheel and aerobatics in his spare time.

Cut away illustration. of Samaritan's Purse DC-8 used for emergency relief.

DC-8 cutaway illustration, showing the cargo and passenger compartments. Courtesy Samaritan’s Purse.

Aviation News

XP-82 Takes Accidental First Flight

Ray Fowler was conducting high-speed taxi tests of the XP-82 Twin Mustang Prototype. The plan was to lift the wheels for just a second, deploy the flaps, and roll out. Except it accelerated so fast that the plane couldn’t get back down in the remaining runway.  So up he went. See XP-82 Twin Mustang Restoration Project for more.

China’s Chang’e-4 lands on moon’s far side

China’s Chang’e-4 spacecraft made the first successful soft landing on the far side of the moon. The spacecraft combines a lander and a rover and utilizes a relay satellite Queqiao for communication. From China National Space Administration: China’s Chang’e-4 probe makes historic landing on moon’s far side.

Gridlock in the sky

The Feb 6, 2018 launch of the SpaceX Heavy Falcon closed the airspace over a 1,300-mile section the Atlantic for over three hours. Commercial flights had to fly significantly diverted routes, costing time and fuel. What happens when commercial space flight launches become frequent? ALPA says these closures “have led to extensive and expensive delays to commercial air traffic that are unsustainable.”

Government Shutdown Worsens a Controller Shortage

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association is not happy with the partial government shutdown because of its effect on members. But another consequence is the negative effect on training for new controllers. The FAA training academy in Oklahoma City is shut down, and classroom and simulator training at air traffic control facilities has stopped.

That’s a First: I Was Asked for a Tip From a Flight Attendant

PointsGuy.com writer JT Genter was on a Frontier Airlines flight. After ordering his beverage and providing his credit card, the flight attendant handed him a tablet which offered him the ability to select a tip.

Herb Kelleher, Aviation Pioneer and Southwest Airlines Founder, Dies at 87

Kelleher co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of Southwest Airlines had died at the age of 87. From Southwest: Farewell to Southwest’s Founder.

Mentioned

XP-82 Restoration Project

Eat at the Airport – Map of airports with eating establishments.

Tales from the Terminal 2019 Airport Challenge.

Arsenal of Democracy 75th World War II Victory Commemoration Flyover.

Ion Propulsion – The Plane With No Moving Parts from Real Engineering.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

469 Hurricane Disaster Relief

General aviation and hurricane disaster relief, flight simulation, the need for more mandatory pilot training, United Technologies purchase of Rockwell Collins, and geared turbofan engines.

GA providing hurricane disaster relief., courtesy Nicholas Rizzo.

GA providing hurricane disaster relief., courtesy Nicholas Rizzo.

Guest

Nicholas Rizzo is a Flight Training Technology Designer at Redbird Flight Simulations, Inc. Recently, Nicholas has been flying supplies into the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Harvey: Rockport, Orange, Houston, and Beaumont Texas. Nicholas tells us about general aviation providing hurricane disaster relief.

As a youngster, Nicholas was fascinated by planes and he turned to home flight simulation flying X-Plane. In fact, he’s Chief Captain at X-Plane Junkies. Last year, he decided to become a real flying junky and he has logged 250 hours since last September obtaining his private pilot’s license and Instrument rating. Nicholas plans to pursue his Commercial, CFI, and CFII over the next few months.

Nicholas tells us a little about Redbird, including Guided Independent Flight Training (GIFT) for private pilots. This simulator-based maneuvers training supplement is designed to help pilots achieve their goals faster and for less money.

GA and Hurricane Disaster Relief

Pilots Rush to Aid Storm Victims (AOPA)

AOPA Preps for Hurricane Irma Relief Efforts

Hurricane Harvey Deluges Texas, Closed Airfields: GA Pilots Needed for Relief Efforts

Organizations mentioned in articles and/or active in the relief effort: AeroBridge, Operation Airdrop, Cajun Air Force, Angel Flight SouthCentral, Air Charity Networks, NOAA Aircraft, Remote Area Medical, Texas Wing of the Civil Air Patrol.

Aviation News

AIN Blog: Could Mandatory Training Lower the Accident Rate?

The author believes, “The FAA’s attitude about mandatory training for larger and more complex airplanes is surprisingly lackadaisical.” We discuss our viewpoints.

United Technologies to Buy Rockwell Collins

United Technologies chairman and CEO Greg Hayes confirmed his company will purchase Rockwell Collins for $30 billion. The new company is to be called Collins Aerospace Systems. Rockwell shareholders get $140 per share in cash ($93.33) and UTC stock ($46.67). Current Rockwell Collins chairman Kelly Ortberg is to become CEO, and UTC Aerospace Systems’ president David Gitlin is to become president and COO.

New record: aerospace gearbox reaches 70,000 horsepower

Rolls-Royce confirmed that their Power Gearbox for the next-generation UltraFan engine has reached 70,000 horsepower on a test rig. Their goal is a gearbox capable of 100,000 horsepower. The Ultrafan is expected in 2025.

Mentioned

Whirly Girls

Flyers for Fairness

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 343 Germanwings Flight 9525

Germanwings A320

Implications of the Germanwings Flight 9525 crash: two in the cockpit, pilot mental fitness, release of information, and media speculation. Also, a great conversation with a pilot and doctor who flies medical staff and supplies into rural Mexico.

Guest

Dr. Michael Budincich is a Doctor of Chiropractic and he is passionate about flying and about aiding those who are less fortunate. “Dr. Bud” combines these by flying doctors and medical supplies into rural clinics in the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico.

For many years, Dr. Bud has been a member of the “Flying Samaritans,” bringing free chiropractic care to disadvantaged people in Mexico. He is also a member of several “flying doctor” groups such as LIGA (Flying Doctors of Mercy). He works with Missions of Baja as a missionary pilot, translator, and chiropractor. Dr. Bud has treated thousands of impoverished Mexican nationals and flown much needed medications, clothing and supplies to the clinics of Baja.

We talk with Dr. Bud about how he came to be involved with the Flying Samaritans and serving clinics in Mexico. We hear about the challenges of flying doctors and supplies into unimproved strips in Baja, as well as the roles for pilots, doctors, associated professions, translators, and even administrators. Dr. Bud formed Manos Con Alas Ministries, his own non-profit to bring volunteer doctors to Mexico, and flew humanitarian missions in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake.

Airstrip at Bahia de Los Angeles, or Bay of LA

Airstrip at Bahia de Los Angeles, or Bay of LA

Dr. Bud is a founding member of the Academy of Forensic and Industrial Chiropractic Consultants (FAFICC) and has held elected offices within the local, county and state chapters of the California Chiropractic Association for many years. Dr. Bud is also a state appointed “Qualified Medical Examiner” and a past examiner for the California State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, the state’s licensing body. His website is DrBud.com.

News

The investigation into the causes for the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 is still underway, and the media is delivering a great deal of speculative information. Nevertheless, there are some related topics that we discuss in a general way:

  • Release of information while the investigation is underway
  • Ensuring the mental fitness of airline pilots
  • A “two in the cockpit” rule
  • Cockpit video
  • “Crash proofing” technology

See these articles for more opinion and information:

The Australia News Desk

Grant’s back from an exhausting week working on hot air balloons while Steve’s feeling relaxed. Lucky him!

Mentioned

Bonus

Lionheart on Final to Moontown

Lionheart on final to Moontown (3M5) by Jamie Dodson. Taken March 28th, 2015 at Moontown Alabama, 7 Miles east of Huntsville.

Credit

Germanwings A320 photo courtesy Alec Wilson from Khon Kaen, Thailand.

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