435 Airline Weekly’s Seth Kaplan on Commercial AviationThis episode, we talk about commercial aviation with Seth Kaplan, Managing Partner at Airline Weekly. In the news, we look at supersonic passenger jets, the third class medical reform rules, a 747 cargo jet crash, who is at fault for the Germanwings crash, the state of inflight WiFi, and Piper Archers that are headed for China.
Seth Kaplan is Managing Partner at Airline Weekly, a subscriber-supported publication that provides valuable information and analysis of the commercial aviation business. Airline Weekly is an independent company of journalists and airline industry professionals who are passionate about commercial passenger aviation.
Seth worked as a newspaper and television reporter, covering aviation, transportation, and other issues. He switched to the public sector and served in various executive roles with the Miami-Dade County government. Then in 2005 Seth combined his love of both aviation and journalism to become managing partner of Airline Weekly. Since then, he has become a globally recognized airline expert and is frequently asked by print and broadcast media to provide his perspectives. Seth speaks frequently at industry events, and has taught many airline economics courses to executives and staff at airlines around the world.
Seth Kaplan and Jay Shabat authored the book, Glory Lost and Found: How Delta Climbed from Despair to Dominance in the Post-9/11 Era. Seth and Airline Weekly VP Jason Cottrell host the excellent Airline Weekly Lounge podcast.
We look at the value and practicality of supersonic passenger jets. In November, 2016, Boom Technology showed a ⅓-scale prototype of their XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator called “Baby Boom.” According to their website, they have “A breakthrough aerodynamic design, state-of-the-art engine technology, and advanced composite materials [to] enable an ultra-fast airliner as efficient and affordable as business class in today’s subsonic wide-body airliners.” Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and others are also developing supersonic passenger jets.
FAA calls the new rule “BasicMed” and it becomes effective May 1, 2017. AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker says the rule is, “the best thing to happen to general aviation in decades.” AOPA plans to offer a free online medical course to let pilots comply with the BasicMed rules.
A Boeing 747 cargo jet flying from Hong Kong to Istanbul and trying to land in intermittent dense fog, crashed into a village near Kyrgyzstan’s main airport. Dozens of people on the ground were killed. (Addendum: Some of the news agencies claimed that the plane belonged to Turkish Airlines. Turkish Airlines informs us this is incorrect and the jet was actually from ACT Airlines.)
German prosecutors have determined that Andreas Lubitz is solely accountable for the Germanwings plane crash in March 2015. Lubitz concealed his illness from his employer and neither doctors, Lufthansa, Germanwings, or the German aviation authority could be held accountable.
Inexperience, weather, and pilot confusion conspired against the chartered Hawker that never reached its destination.
According to a report by Routehappy, Internet availability on U.S. airlines was 83% in 2016, up from about 74% in 2015. Internet availability on foreign airlines was only 28%. However in many instances, connection speeds are too slow to support video streaming. Worldwide, only 7.2% of fliers would find Wi-Fi fast enough to stream videos or movies.
China Air Shuttle, the approved Piper Aircraft dealer for Archer airplanes in China, has ordered 50 Archers. They will distribute those aircraft to flight schools and general aviation companies in the region. Deliveries of 30 aircraft start in the second quarter of 2017, and continue with 20 more in the first half of 2018. The Archers will be manufactured and certificated at the Piper factory in Florida. After shipment to China, they will be assembled/reassembled by a China Air Shuttle affiliate company.
George tells his story about visiting a general aviation airport, and why you should too.
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