Tag Archives: IATA

773 North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco

We look at the North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco with a former combat aircraft pilot. In the news, Van’s Aircraft is experiencing financial issues, the U.S. Government is getting involved in the Schiphol airport move to reduce flights, and a Federal Flight Deck Officer allegedly threatens to shoot another pilot.

Guest

Tim Plaehn in the F-16 cockpit 1985.
Tim Plaehn in 1985

Tim Plaehn is a former combat aircraft pilot who attended the Air Force Academy, graduating in 1979. Tim attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Williams AFB and his first assignment ran from 1980 to 1984, flying the North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco. He spent one year at Osan AB in South Korea, and two years as an OV-10 instructor at Patrick AFB. Tim received his F-16 training at Luke AFB in 1985 and served as a frontline F-16 pilot at Nellis AFB through 1987 when he separated from the Air Force.

Tim describes the very interesting OV-10 aircraft, and its design, armament, and acrobatic qualities. We hear some stories about his experiences training pilots to fly the OV-10 including several student-induced spins.

NASA OV-10 in flight.
NASA OV-10

After major maintenance was performed on an Air Force aircraft, a follow-up flight called a functional check flight (FCF) would be required. A squadron would have two pilots qualified to fly FCFs. Tim was fortunate to be an FCF pilot for both the OV-10 and the F-16.

Since his Air Force career, Tim has spent most of his working life in the investment world. For the past 10 years, he’s been the researcher and writer of newsletters focusing on the stock market. He also writes about his experiences at landflyordie.substack.com.

Video: Brilliant OV-10 Bronco Display – Abingdon 2023

Museums with the North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco on display:

The Bronco Is Back! A Fleet Of OV-10s Will Help Train Air Force Forward Air Controllers

The OV-10 Squadron is an organization that received seven OV-10D Broncos at Chino Airport in Southern California (KCNO).

Blue Air Training Acquires Seven OV-10 Broncos

Aviation News

Van’s Aircraft reports cash crunch, prompts concern

In a video posted on YouTube, Dick VanGrunsven, founder and CEO of kit plane maker Van’s Aircraft, said, “Van’s is facing serious cash flow issues that must be addressed for ongoing operation.” Van also stated, “We are confident we can work through the situation, but some changes are required. Candidly, since early September, Van’s has only been able to continue operating through loans of operating capital made by my wife and me.”

Video: Van’s Aircraft Business Announcement from Dick VanGrunsven

Van was our guest in Airplane Geeks Episode 376.

United States Retaliates Against Netherlands Flight Cap

In previous episodes, we talked about Amsterdam Schiphol reducing the number of flights in 2024 by about 10%, and how newcomer JetBlue asked the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to take some action to protect its interests. The DOT now says the Netherlands is violating the United States and European Union Air Transport Agreement. As a consequence,

The Department orders KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, NV; Martinair Holland NV; and TUI Airlines Nederland, BV to file with the Department, within seven days of the service date of this order, any and all of their existing schedules for air transportation services, including codeshare, common branding, and extra sections, between any point or points in the United States and any point or points not in the United States.

US DOT

The claimed violation falls under the balanced approach philosophy. According to the IATA factsheet The Balanced Approach to aircraft noise management:

The Balanced Approach requires that all available options be evaluated to identify the most cost-effective measure or combination of measures to mitigate a specific noise problem.

Each new generation of aircraft is quieter than the previous one and the noise footprint surrounding airports has reduced, but increased flight operations have counteracted some of these benefits. These factors are driving some local authorities to impose noise operating restrictions at airports, either in terms of annual movement reductions, aircraft type bans, or night operations bans.

Most of these restrictions are being implemented without ICAO’s Balanced Approach, which requires that the noise concerns of local residents be balanced with protecting the huge social and economic benefits of the airport’s connectivity for the whole country. 

IATA and its member airlines fully support the implementation of the Balanced Approach when it comes to noise management.

IATA

The Balanced Approach principle was adopted in 2001. It is included in Annex 16, Volume I of the ICAO Chicago Convention. It is enshrined in the EU regulation 598/2014, and it is also stipulated in the USA-EU Air Transport Agreement.

Pilot accused of threatening to shoot captain who tried to divert flight for a medical emergency, officials say

A commercial first officer has been indicted by a Utah grand jury for an August 2022 incident when he allegedly threatened to shoot the captain if the flight was diverted for a passenger medical event. The pilot had been charged with interference with a flight crew. The first officer “told the Captain they would be shot multiple times” after a disagreement regarding a possible flight diversion for a passenger medical event, the Office of Inspector General said.

The pilot was authorized to carry a gun on board the plane under to the Transportation Security Administration’s Federal Flight Deck Officer program. Such officers are “deputized as a federal law enforcement officer and issued a TSA-approved firearm and federal flight deck officer credentials,” according to the TSA.

Mentioned

Marshall Blythe stunning airplane models on Flickr.

Shocker: Math proves boarding planes is actually really efficient

Hosts this Episode

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

769 Transonic Truss-braced Wing

A transonic truss-braced wing aircraft gets an X-Plane designation, some categories of air travel capacity have returned to pre-pandemic levels, detecting germs on airliners, and the Collings Foundation reaches a settlement.

Aviation News

Next Generation Experimental Aircraft Becomes NASA’s Newest X-Plane

The transonic truss-braced wing experimental aircraft has received the designator X-66A. This will be developed under the NASA Sustainable Flight Demonstrator (SFD) project and produced under a partnership between NASA and the Boeing Company. Recently, Boeing flew an MD-90 airplane from Victorville, California, to its facility in Palmdale, California, where the X-66A conversion will take place. The plane’s wings will be replaced with longer and thinner wings stabilized by diagonal struts.

Transonic Truss-braced Wing concept
Transonic Truss-braced Wing. NASA concept.

See the Wikipedia List of X-planes to learn more about past X-planes.

Air travel is back to pre-pandemic levels with new turbulence ahead

Based on data from aviation analytics firm Cirium, capacity (measured by scheduled available seat kilometers) has returned to pre-pandemic levels. However, IATA says industry profits will be more than 40% below 2019 levels. Airline analyst Helane Becker at TD Cowen says, “Industry revenues are back to 2019 levels but costs are over 2019 levels by about 18 or 19%.”

Just how germy are airplanes? We put one to the test.

Using a microbial detection test from Charm Sciences, the author swabbed 10 high-touch points on a recent flight. Nine tests failed. The worst spots were the lavatory sink handle and a tray table. The test that came back with zero contaminants might surprise you. Or maybe not.

Collings Foundation Reaches Settlement With Nine-0-Nine Crash Victims

The Collings Foundation has settled the remaining legal claims involving eight of the 10 passengers who were aboard the Nine-0-Nine B-17 when it crashed at Bradley International Airport in Connecticut on Oct. 2, 2019. Terms of the settlement will not be made public. In its final report, the NTSB found pilot error, lax maintenance practices,  and a dysfunctional safety management system had contributed to the crash. We interviewed pilot Mac McCauley under the wing of that plane one week prior to the crash in AirplaneGeeks.com/573.

Mentioned

FAPA.aero (Future and Active Pilot Advisors) offers “objective and independent advice for aspiring pilots of all levels.”

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight and Rob Mark.

594 Coronavirus Impact on Airlines

The Coronavirus is heavily impacting the airlines, the entire travel industry, and global economies in general. Airlines are cutting back on flights, looking at hiring freezes and unpaid leave, flying empty planes to avoid losing valuable airport slots, and reassigning widebodies to fly narrowbody routes. We also look at hiring at Boeing, a congressional committee preliminary report on the 737 MAX, aviation event cancellations, the first A220 assembled at the Mobile, Alabama plant, the gigantic market forecast for air taxis, and a petition to drop gender-exclusive words from FAA and ICAO publications.

Coronavirus News

The Coronavirus (or COVID-19) continues to take its toll on airlines and the aviation industry in general. We discuss some of the effects of the virus and the actions being taken.

United trims schedules up to 20%, imposes hiring freeze amid coronavirus fears

Delta’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) website

Lufthansa Considers Grounding Entire Airbus A380 Fleet

Airlines are burning thousands of gallons of fuel flying empty ‘ghost’ planes so they can keep their flight slots during the coronavirus outbreak

IATA requests suspension of slot rules due to COVID-19

#PaxEx Podcast: Coronavirus and MAX grounding level one-two punch

Emirates Offers Leave to Staff as Virus Saps Demand for Travel

Southwest Airlines Has More Bad Coronavirus News for Travel Stocks

The (rare) travel upside to coronavirus? You might have a swankier plane on your spring flight

Trump seeks to stamp out airline bailout talk

Airlines, travel and cruise industries hurt by coronavirus could get tax relief from White House

In Other Aviation News…

Boeing Goes on Hiring Spree in High-Stakes Gamble on 737 Max

When Boeing halted 737 MAX production and redeployed workers, people wondered what all those mechanics would do. We now see that some were deployed to study and improve production processes. In addition, Boeing is looking ahead to the time when deliveries of the jet can resume, and they are staffing up to handle the task.

Boeing : Congressional Report Says MAX Crashes Stemmed From Boeing’s Design Failures and Lax FAA Oversight

After five public hearings over the last year into the design and certification of the 737 MAX, Democrats on the House Transportation Committee have released preliminary findings. The report notes Boeing’s engineering mistakes, a “culture of concealment,” and insufficient federal safety oversight.

Aero Friedrichshafen postponed over coronavirus concerns

AERO Friedrichshafen Postpones Due To Coronavirus Concerns; Sun ’n Fun Weighs In, Too

AERO Friedrichshafen is the big GA show for Europe but the event scheduled for April 1-4, 2020 has been postponed. The Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg is also postponed. As of now, Sun N’ Fun will take place as planned.

Airbus Receives No New Orders In February 2020

Airbus received 274 orders in January, but none in February, Boeing received no new orders in January. 

Airbus rolls out first A220 assembled in Mobile

The first A220 assembled at the Airbus Mobile, Alabama plant rolled off the line. The A220-300 jet is due to be delivered to Delta Air Lines by September. Jets for both Delta and JetBlue Airways will be assembled in Mobile.

The flying taxi market is ready for takeoff, changing the travel experience forever

Flying cars, electric air taxis, urban air mobility, call it what you like, but it’s not going away anytime soon. Companies investing in this idea include Airbus, Boeing, Bell, Toyota, Uber, and  Hyundai. A Morgan Stanley Research study published in January says “…autonomous urban aircraft may no longer be the stuff of comic books. Accelerating tech advances and investment could create a $1.5 trillion market by 2040.” Another study by Frost & Sullivan, sees a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of about 46% over the next 20 years with more than 430,000 units in operation by then.

Petition: Help Eliminate Gender-Exclusive Words that Keep Women out of Aviation

There are over 40,000 references to Airman or Airmen on the FAA’s website. ICAO’s website lists close to 2,000 airmen references. This petition asks the FAA and ICAO to remove gender-exclusive words from all their publications, on- and off-line. The petition is sponsored by the Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW) – a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Montreal, Canada.

Mentioned

Flight Safety Detectives, Episode 14: Lion Air Accident Report Analysis.

456 What to Watch For at the Paris Air Show

Five things to watch for at the 2017 International Paris Air Show. Also, a ruling that allows the Commerce Department to proceed with its investigation of claims by Boeing that Bombardier is engaging in unfair pricing, the European Union proposes rules for complaints of alleged discriminatory practices, a temporarily grounding of F-35 fighters, certification of the Diesel Cessna Skyhawk JT-A, and the Director General’s Report to the IATA Annual General Meeting.

Paris Air Show Preview

Anand Parameswaran, Sr. Vice President – Aerospace & Defence, at Cyient authored What to watch out for at the 2017 International Paris Air Show. The report details five areas that warrant our attention:

  • The OEM migration from manufacturer to service provider
  • The impact of global politics on the defense industry
  • Building the future aircraft with additive manufacturing
  • Automating the A&D lifecycle
  • The rise of the East and Chinese influence in aerospace

Cyient is a global leader in engineering design services, design-led manufacturing, networks and operations, data transformation and analytics.

Anand Parameswaran heads up global Aerospace and Defence at Cyient and leverages Cyient’s capability across product design, manufacturing, and aftermarket solutions. He works around the world with OEMs and tier 1 suppliers.

Aviation News

US allowed to investigate prices of Canada’s Bombardier jets

The U.S. International Trade Commission has ruled that the Commerce Department can proceed with its investigation of claims by Boeing that Bombardier is selling jets in the U.S. at below fair price. Boeing says the CSeries planes benefit from illegal government subsidies. Canada warned it could cancel a planned $2 billion purchase of 18 Boeing military jets over the dispute.

USITC Votes to Continue Investigations on 100- to 150-Seat Large Civil Aircraft from Canada

News Release 17-087, June 9, 2017: “The United States International Trade Commission (USITC) today determined that there is a reasonable indication that a U.S. industry is threatened with material injury by reason of imports of 100- to 150-seat large civil aircraft from Canada that are allegedly subsidized and sold in the United States at less than fair value.”

“As a result of the Commission’s affirmative determinations, the U.S. Department of Commerce will continue to conduct its antidumping and countervailing duty investigations on imports of this product from Canada, with its preliminary countervailing duty determination due on or about July 21, 2017, and its antidumping duty determination due on or about October 4, 2017.”

EU to tackle unfair airline competition with new rules

Air France KLM and Lufthansa have been complaining that Gulf carriers receive illegal government subsidies. Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad all deny the charge. Now the European Union has proposed rules to allow EU governments and airlines to submit complaints of alleged discriminatory practices to the European Commission.

F-35 flights halted at 1 base after hypoxia-like incidents

The U.S. Air Force temporarily grounded F-35 fighters at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona because of five incidents where pilots reported hypoxia symptoms. In each case, the airplane’s backup oxygen system worked as designed and the pilot was able to land the plane safely.

Diesel Cessna Skyhawk JT-A Awarded FAA Certification

The FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certified the Cessna Turbo Skyhawk JT-A with next-generation Garmin G1000 NXi avionics.

IATA AGM: Defending the Business of Freedom

The Director General’s Report on the Global Air Transport Industry was delivered at the IATA Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit in Cancun, Mexico.

  • Overall the air transport industry is generating profits above its cost of capital. In 2017 the global airline industry is expected to generate a $31.4 billion profit on $743 billion in revenues.
  • Protectionism is replacing globalization, and that’s a threat to the industry.
  • Flying remains the safest form of long distance travel. IATA is concerned about states not fully investigating air accidents.
  • The landmark Carbon Offset and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) was agreed to at the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO) 39th Assembly. Seventy states representing at least 80% of anticipated future growth have indicated their voluntary participation in the scheme. The U.S. pulling out of Paris Agreement is cause for concern.
  • Alternatives must be found to the electronics ban on large portable electronic devices.
  • IATA is concerned about a looming infrastructure crisis is looming. Existing infrastructure is inadequate and development plans are not ambitious enough.
  • IATA urged governments to be cautious when privatizing infrastructure assets.

 

Listener Recording

Brian asks, “How do aviation writers come up with aviation topics?”

Mentioned

F-35A Filmed Rehearsing Its New Flight Demonstration Routine In Preparation For Paris Air Show 2017

U.S. Air Force F-35A “AF-78” tail number 13-5072 from the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill AFB, Utah performed a low show aerial demonstration practice for the 2017 Paris Air Show, near Fort Worth, Texas. Aviation photographer Caulun Belcher of Texas shot the video of the F-35A rehearsal.

Paying a Price for 8 Days of Flying in America

Reporter Sarah Lyall spent a week crisscrossing the U.S. in Economy class. She provides a day-by-day account of her trip.

Plane Resurrection

Great show, available on Netflix, watch it if you can. They are also on Twitter and Facebook.

Have you ever wondered what a jet sounds like if you were just floating at altitude without an engine?

A high altitude weather balloon experiences a close flyby from a Delta Airbus A319.

On YouTube: RAW AUDIO | EXTREMELY close Airbus A319 flyby captured by GoPro on a High Altitude Weather Balloon

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 373 Airplane Repossession

Airplane Repo

Airplane repossessions, European investigations of possible anticompetitive practices in commercial aviation, United Continental Holdings new CEO in the hospital, the launch customer for the ultra-long-range Airbus A350, the final US Airways flight, and airline growth into Latin America and the Caribbean.

Guest

Ken Cage is owner and president of International Recovery & Remarketing Group (IRG).  IRG specializes in services such as investigation, recovery, and remarketing of specialty assets, including aircraft and yachts. Their repossession agents are licensed, bonded, and insured by the State of Florida. Ken joined IRG in 2005, and has been involved in thousands of repossessions and investigations in all 50 states, as well as several foreign countries.

Ken describes the process that initiates an aircraft repossession, how the owner is located, the preparation work required, actually taking the airplane, and how it is sold to recover the note-holder’s investment.

We ask Ken where he finds the pilots to fly the planes away, what their role is, and how they contribute to a safe repo. Ken also describes how the Airplane Repo TV series came about, and how closely it matches the reality of Ken’s professional experiences.

Ken is a licensed repossession agent, private investigator, and yacht broker with over 20 years experience in the banking and collections industry. Ken has experience in skip tracing and investigation in the finance sector.

Ken has been a member of many organizations related to the investigation field including American Society of Industrial Security, the International Society of Healthcare Safety and Security, the National Association of Chiefs of Police, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA), National Aircraft Finance Association (NAFA), and International Association of Marine Investigators (IAMI).

Follow Ken on Twitter at @KenCageRepo and on Facebook at Ken Cage Airplane Repo. See also the Discovery Channel webpage for the TV series Airplane Repo, and the Airplane Repo Fan Club on Facebook.

As an extra surprise, our Main(e) Man Micah joins us this episode as a guest co-host!

News

Europe Mulls Aircraft-Parts Competition Investigation Amid Airline Complaints

IATA and the European Commission are looking into possible anticompetitive practices in the marketplace for aircraft, engines, spare parts, and maintenance services. IATA says they are looking into the problem. The EC hasn’t launched a formal investigation, but is “closely monitoring competitive conditions as regards maintenance of engines and components of large commercial aircraft.” [Article WSJ paywall]

United CEO suffers heart attack, shares drop even lower

United Continental Holdings Inc’s new CEO Oscar Munoz has suffered a heart attack, just weeks after he took the job.

Singapore Air To Re-Start Non-Stop Singapore-US Flights With New A350 Variant

A350-900ULR

A350-900ULR Courtesy Airbus

Singapore Airlines has signed an agreement to be the launch customer for the new A350-900ULR, an ultra-long-range variant of the Airbus A350. This will let them resume non-stop flights between Singapore and the United States.

Singapore Airlines has 63 firm/20 option A350-900s on order. They will convert 7 firm and 4 options to the -900ULR, which will have a range of up to 8,700nm. The Airline also has 20 purchase options, four of which will be converted into firm A350-900 orders. This results in 67 firm A350s and 16 options.

Singapore Airlines operated non-stop flights between Singapore and both Los Angeles and New York with A340-500s until 2013, when the airplanes were retired.

Final US Airways Flight Completes Journey, Lands in Philly

An Airbus A321 became the last US Airways branded flight when it landed in Philadelphia. From now on they’re all American Airlines flights. The plane was designated as Flight 1939, named for the airline’s founding year.

U.S. airlines betting big on Latin America, Caribbean flights

Southwest, JetBlue, and Spirit are adding destinations to Latin America and the Caribbean. A strong U.S. dollar makes overseas travel attractive for Americans, and a growing Latin American middle class has more disposable income and looks to travel to the U.S.

The Airplane of the Week

David's desk

David’s desk

David continues his Journey to the Force awakened by discussing the Seinar Fleet Systems TIE Fighter and it’s derivations. It has almost as many variants as a C-130. Almost but not quite.

Across the Pond

RootshootPieter talks to Gary Wilson from Routeshoot, a smartphone and tablet app being utilised for aviation. It is designed to record video and tag GPS coordinates together so that the user can see where and when they were at a location, along with a video record. Pilots are using it for IFR purposes and commercial organisations such as utilities are using it to track their products and equipment filmed and coordinated using helicopters and UAS. Follow them at @RouteShoot.

Mentioned

Spicewood Airport 88R video.

The Deadly Cargo Inside MH370: How Exploding Batteries Explain the Mystery

Credit

Post photo: Ken Cage is the guy on the left. The big guy on the right is bounty hunter, MMA fighter, and champion power lifter Danny Thompson.

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

AirplaneGeeks 354 Controlling the Airport Conversation

Chino Airport

Chino Airport Community Ambassador Bob Velker, an alternative to radar, smaller airline carry-on bags, an update on the A400M crash, shooting wildlife from a plane, and two airlines make a top 10 list that you don’t want to be on.

Guest

Bob Velker is Business Liaison & Community Outreach Manager, Chino Airport (CNO), County of San Bernardino – Department of Airports.

We talk with Bob about his role as the “community ambassador” for Chino Airport, one of the country’s largest general aviation airports and located in the County of San Bernardino, close to Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties in Southern California.

His primary task is to dispel the notion that Chino Airport is a “gated community filled with rich boys and their toys.” More precisely, that Chino is a small business park with runways, made up of dozens of businesses, employing hundreds of people, and pouring millions of dollars into the local economy.

Bob tells us how he builds synergy for all the airport stakeholders: the developers, the community, the Planes of Fame Air Museum, area businesses, and the airport itself. He creates education and awareness programs that engage the community with the airport and help them see the important role the airport plays in the local economy.

Chino Airshow

We also talk about the Planes of Fame Airshow and the notion of an “aerotropolis,” where an airport is in the center of a city which then grows around it, connecting workers, suppliers, executives, and goods to the global marketplace. Bob gives us a great example of how an airport can work with drone flyers for their mutual benefit.

Bob has been in-and-around Chino Airport for 18 years. He’s also a pilot, a businessman, a strategic planner, and a management consultant, plus, he says, a recovering engineer.

Reporting directly to the county’s Director of Airports, Bob’s role also requires a close working relationship with local governments, elected officials, chambers of commerce, community service organizations, local school districts and colleges, pilot’s groups, and high-profile businesses in and around the airport.

Bob is responsible for creating and maintaining the airport’s social media platform. Their website is ChinoAirport.org, and you can find them on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The History of Chino Airport (formerly Cal Aero Field) is a video worth watching.

News

Television signals a possible alternative to radar

NATS, in conjunction with Thales ATM UK and Roke Manor, have been testing a system that uses standard TV signals to detect and direct aircraft.

Get ready for smaller airline carry-on bags

At its annual meeting, IATA (The International Air Transport Association) proposed the Cabin OK program to try and standardize the size of cabin bags allowed by airlines.

On its webpage, IATA says, “…the current variety of policies among airlines can lead to frustration for passengers. Bags that do not correspond to the allowance are regularly checked in at the gate, which adds inconvenience for the traveller, slows down the boarding process, increases airline costs and occasionally delays flights.”

The bag size proposed by IATA is a little smaller than the standard size used by most U.S. carriers, including Delta, United, American, and Southwest.

Vital engine software files accidentally wiped, linked to fatal A400M plane crash

On May 9, an Airbus A400M crashed near Spain’s Seville Airport. Four of six crew members were killed. A BBC source says investigators believe that when software was installed, the torque calibration parameters had accidentally been deleted, causing the ECU’s to fail to operate properly.

Ranchers mourn wildlife employees killed in plane crash

The pilot and a gunner were killed while attempting to shoot a coyote in northeastern New Mexico as part of the Wildlife Services program under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

According to the USDA, Wildlife Services resolves “wildlife conflicts to allow people and wildlife to coexist.” The Predator Defense organization takes a dim view of the USDA methodology, but nonetheless the Wildlife Services use of aerial gunning has led to a number of accidents and deaths.

10 Companies That Act Like They Hate Their Customers

The list of major corporations with terrible customer service includes cable companies, telecommunications companies, banks, insurance companies, and (no surprise) two U.S. airlines.

The Australia News Desk

In order to prevent a Rob Mark moment on the Oz Desk, Grant has to pass Steve’s Breathalyzer test before he can join in reporting on:

  • Qantas and American teaming up on the SYD-LAX route allowing Qantas to redeploy some 747-400s to the SYD-SFO route
  • Alan Joyce joins the chorus of howls against the government’s proposed northern cabotage reductions.

The Aviation Minute

Rob Mark has been watching the growth of commercial and hobby drone use, and provides his thoughts on some of the technology being employed.

Mentioned

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 332 Inflight Entertainment with Spafax

Spafax at APEX

Creating content for airlines, a Chinese naval fighter emerges, strong airline passenger demand, record Boeing and Airbus deliveries, United flight attendants file OSHA complaint, the world’s safest airlines, and on-time performance at airports.

Guest

Al St. Germain is Senior Vice President, USA for Spafax, one of the leading inflight entertainment providers in the world.  Spafax provides content for over 30 different airlines, overseeing licensing, programming, fulfillment and technical services.  In addition to that role, Al serves as publisher of APEX Experience, the official media platform for the Airline Passenger Experience Association, one of the industry’s leading trade groups.

Prior to Spafax, Al worked at both Delta and United in roles ranging from brand management to product development.  At United, he worked particularly closely with the Onboard Services Group.

Al started his career at noted branding firm Landor Associates, where he managed design projects ranging from airline liveries to airport counters to snack bags, all for Delta Air Lines.  Al was also part of the original team that came up with Delta Song.

APEX Experience

Visit Spafax.com and follow them on Twitter at @Spafax. Al tweets at @alstg. Find the APEX Experience blog at blog.apex.aero and on Twitter at @theAPEXassoc.

Mentioned in the Conversation

News

First photo of the fully operative Chinese rivals to the US Navy F-18

The Chinese naval fighter Shenyang J-15 Flying Shark is operational. This carrier jet is believed to be based on the Soviet-designed Sukhoi Su-33.

IATA: Healthy Passenger Demand in November – Domestic Markets Driving Growth

IATA released the latest air passenger numbers, and they look good. RPK (revenue passenger kilometers) is up 6.0% over November 2013. November capacity up 5.4% and load factor up to 76.7%. All this is mostly driven by growth in domestic markets, particularly in China and India.

Boeing reports record orders, deliveries to airlines in 2014

Boeing and Airbus both set records for airplane deliveries in 2014. Boeing delivered 723 commercial airplanes, a company record. Airbus is reported to have broken their record also, but the official statement isn’t out. In 2014, Boeing booked 1,432 orders worth $232.7B at list price. Boeing’s commercial order book shows 5,789 airplanes at year-end, a company high.

Fired United Airlines flight attendants say they were spooked by this message 

In July 2014, someone drew in the oil film on one of the engines of a United flight scheduled from San Francisco to Hong Kong. Thirteen flight attendants saw that as a threat, refused to fly, and were subsequently fired for insubordination.

Now they want to be rehired and filed a whistleblower complaint with OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, under the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century, which protects employees from retaliation for opposing violation of air-safety or air-security standards.

World’s Safest Airlines for 2015

Safety and product rating review website Airline Ratings.com has announced its top ten safest airlines, and also its top ten safest low cost airlines.

OAG Punctuality League 2014: On-time performance results for airlines and airports

Aviation Intelligence company OAG announced their on time performance ratings in their Punctuality League 2014 report.

The Australia News Desk

Captain Jack Curtis. Photo from Aero Australia Magazine.

Captain Jack Curtis. Photo from Aero Australia Magazine.

The boys received the sad news of the passing of Captain Jack Curtis, an icon in the aviation scene down under, particularly in relation to DC-3s. In this week’s segment, they give us an interview Grant recorded with Jack in November 2013. He was a great pilot and a top bloke. Blue skies, Jack!

Airplane Geeks on Ice

Report 3 by Juan Fernandez from McMurdo Bay in Antarctica. Listener Vic was inspired to send us the link to a video of a DC-3 rescue in Antarctica.

Visit AirplaneGeeks.com/ice for more information and great photos.

Mentioned

Skytrans Dash8-102-VH-QQF-5 by ryanhothersall

Skytrans Dash8-102-VH-QQF-5 by ryanhothersall

787 nose stand

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 329 Air Taxi

Linear Air

An air taxi operation, cabin branding at Delta, Phenom 100 crash initial findings, IATA recommendations for airline tracking, Airbus A380 orders, and A350 first delivery in the news.

Guest

William Herp is CEO and Co-Founder of Linear Air. Bill holds an Airline Transport Pilot certificate, is single-pilot type-rated in the Eclipse 500 Very Light Jet, and is Director of Operations of Linear Air’s Eclipse charter management company, as well as CEO of Linear Air’s air taxi digital marketplace.

We talk about the air taxi business, how it operates today, and where it is headed. Bill likes to operate at the “intersection of technology and aviation” and he applies that approach at Linear Air.

Bill explains the economics of air taxi and how it represents good value for many travelers. We consider pilot qualifications, applicable regulations, the pricing model, and how large numbers of today’s technically advanced small airplanes can play a role in the future of air taxi.

Linear Air has been creating the technical connections that let people find them through online booking services. They expect to expand their reach by bringing in additional operators, and also focus on creating more awareness among potential customers through promotional events in 2015.

Linear Air staff

Bill has a background in consumer marketing and has used this experience to guide Linear Air’s strategy in the air taxi marketplace. He co-founded e-Dialog, a 500 person online marketing company now owned by eBay, with clients including Dell, British Airways, Avis, and CheapTickets.  Bill is a member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization and serves on the board of directors of Junior Achievement of Eastern Massachusetts, the non-profit educating young people in financial literacy, entrepreneurship and workforce readiness.  Bill graduated from the University of Notre Dame and Harvard Business School.

News

Delta’s New Seating Arrangement Somehow Makes Coach Even Worse

Delta’s Big Branding Exercise Reflects Changes That Have Already Been Made, Not New Ones

Delta has a plan: segment the cabin into three economy sections and two premium cabins. These would be distinguished by price and service. Delta looks to bring branding into the cabin starting March 1, 2015.

NTSB Releases Preliminary Information on Phenom Crash

A Phenom 100 crashed in Maryland on December 8, killing 3 on board and 3 in a house struck by the aircraft. NTSB member Robert Sumwalt reported on the initial findings from the flight data recorder: both the landing gear and flaps were down, “automated stall warnings began about 20 seconds before the end of the flight” and continued to the end of the recording at impact.

IATA submits aircraft tracking recommendations to ICAO

Airlines Push Back at Plane-Tracking Proposals From IATA

The International Air Transport Association’s Aircraft Tracking Task Force submitted its report to ICAO.  The report will be considered in ICAO’s development of a Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System, or GADSS.

Airbus Faces Investment Conundrum as A380 Orders Vanish

Airbus hasn’t been finding new buyers for the A380. They now have a choice: invest a lot of additional money, or just let it go.

Qatar Airways Refusal Of First Airbus A350: Looks Bad But No Cause For Concern, Expert Says

Airbus A350 launch customer Qatar Airways has delayed delivery of the first aircraft due to “a couple of minor issues.”

Flight Attendant Says Korean Air Exec Made Him Kneel After Nut Mishap

The Daughter of Korean Air’s chairman ordered a flight attendant off the plane when she didn’t like the way the nuts were served. She had the plane return to the gate. The daughter is also an executive in charge of cabin service. Or at least she was at the time.

David Vanderhoof’s History Segment

David’s gives us his annual Holiday message.

The Australia News Desk

Qantas is in the news with reports of a shake-up in some senior positions. It’s time to re-visit the PelAir crash of 2009 as the ATSB is re-opening the case following a scathing review of the original report by the Transport Safety Board of Canada. Steve and Grant take a moment to thank Pieter for his efforts with Across the Pond and, sadly, announce the loss of our friend Charlie Willwerth from the FlightTime Radio Show in Florida.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute

On the issue of pilots taking photographs from the cockpit.

WWII Flying Tigers Photo Exhibit Review

Brian Coleman gives us his review

Mentioned

Credit

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

 

 

AirplaneGeeks 310 – Max, Max, and David

Pilatus PC-12

Boeing’s ab initio pilot program, the airline industry sues the TSA over security fees, the Pilatus PC-12, an interview with AOPA President Mark Baker, and listener feedback.

The News

Boeing Announces Ab Initio Pilot Program … except it doesn’t work in the U.S.

Boeing announced a new airline pilot training program where graduates will be qualified to go directly into the right seat of airliners. But not in the U.S. which now requires more flight hours.

The first part of the program (from Boeing subsidiary Jeppeson) includes 12-18 months of flight training, giving an Airline Transport Pilot license. The second part of the program includes two months of training at a Boeing facility with a full-motion jet simulator, giving a Boeing type rating.

Airline Industry Takes Gloves Off, Sues TSA Over Security Fee Hike

The Transportation Security Administration increased the security fee that airline passengers pay. Previously, the fee was $2.50 per flight (“enplanement”) with a $10 maximum. As of July 21, 2014, there is a flat fee of $5.60 per one-way trip, with no limit on the number of enplanements. Except, a layover of more than 4 hours is another “trip” and subject to another $5.60.

U.S. airline trade group Airlines for America (A4A) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), filed a petition over the fee increase in federal court.

Regional Airline Buzz Job

Making a low pass flyover of your home during a commercial flight is not looked upon favorably.

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week

The Pilatus PC-12.

Mark Baker Interview

Rob Mark talked to AOPA President Mark Baker at Oshkosh about his personal history, how he started in flying, and how he came to AOPA. Baker talks about injecting some fun into AOPA and the regional fly-ins, where participation has exceeded expectations. They also talk about the Rusty Pilots program to encourage lapsed pilots and the fantastic results achieved so far, and ideas for bringing in new pilots, including Reimagined Airplanes.

The Australia News Desk

Steve and Grant are in Sydney to shoot video for Airbus as the A350 XWB makes its first visit to Australia so where else should they record the OzDesk than beside the bizjet ramp?

TigerAir may be growing a little too quickly once again as they have had a couple of recent safety related incidents.

Growth is good for Brumby Aircraft, an Australian light sport manufacturer who have just signed a manufacturing deal with China’s Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC).

Mentioned

Credit

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