Tag Archives: Norwegian

563 Circumnavigating the Globe in a Pilatus

Our guests tell us about circumnavigating the globe three times in a Pilatus PC-12: eastbound, westbound, and polar. In the news, Allegiant is testing a new service offering more seat pitch, the fuel dump from a Norwegian flight ruins a runway, more 737 MAX fallout, an English Channel attempt on a hoverboard, the Senate confirms a controversial nominee to be the new FAA administrator, Congress considers the PLANE Act with positive implications for GA, and China is growing the number of carrier pilots.

The Pilatus at Sangster International Airport, Jamaica.

The Pilatus at Sangster International Airport, Jamaica.

Guests

Josh and Jack with the Pilatus PC-12.

Joshua Marvil and Jack Long are recipients of the eastbound and polar circumnavigation diplomas awarded by the International Aeronautic Federation (FAI) and the National Aeronautic Association (NAA). Their westbound circumnavigation was completed in January 2019 and the diploma is forthcoming. All flights were on a Pilatus PC-12 and Jack and Josh have landed in more than 40 different countries and all seven continents.

On the 2015 eastbound trip, Josh and Jack were joined by pilots Jerry Seckler and Giuseppe Caltabiano at various points along the way. For the 2016-2017 polar circumnavigation, Giuseppe was along most of the way and Jerry joined the flight in Punta Arenas, Chile to fly the Antarctic segment. For the 2018-2019 westbound trip, the only pilots were Josh and Jack. Their wives Becky and Carolyn were along for almost all of these trips in their entirety except for some of the polar legs.

Josh is a Director (and former Chair) for LightHawk and a Trustee of the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Josh and his wife Becky have flown the Cirrus SR22 all around the U.S. and the Bahamas.

Jack is an entrepreneur by profession and a pilot by passion. He started two software businesses and one transportation business. In 2003, he became part of the founding faculty of the Acton School of Business where he teaches entrepreneurship. Jack soloed in a Piper Cherokee 140 in 1977 and moved-up the aviation food chain to a Mooney 201, a Cirrus SR-22, and now the Pilatus PC-12.

Circumnavigating the Globe Westbound.

Circumnavigating the Globe Westbound.

See Josh’s blog Marvils Around the World. Jack has a blog for each circumnavigation: Round the World Flight 2015, Polar Round the World Flight 2016-2017, and Round the World 3.0.

For a register of pilots who have flown around the world in light aircraft, see Earthrounders.com.

Video: Saint Helena Landing in N575PC

Aviation News

Allegiant goes Extra with increased legroom option

Allegiant Extra seating will get you priority boarding, an extra 6 inches of seat pitch, designated bin space, and a complimentary drink on the plane. Allegiant does this without changing the overall seat count: an additional row is added in the rear section and there is less Legroom+ option. Allegiant is testing Extra on flights to and from Los Angeles. At the end of the 2019-2020 winter season, the company will make a decision as to the future of the program.

WOW Air’s American Buyer Reveals (Bizarre?) Plans

It came out recently that some former WOW Air executives were planning to launch a new airline similar to WOW but not called WOW. Right after that, American investors purchased WOW Air’s assets. American businesswoman Michele Ballarin, one of the owners of USAerospace, is currently creating a new Icelandic company that looks to provide freight transport between Iceland and the US, with passenger operations to come.

Massive Norwegian Air fuel spill at Orlando airport gives rise to fear of runway damage

A Norwegian Air flight from Orlando to London operating with an Airbus from Hi-Fly of Portugal experienced hydraulic trouble and was forced to return to Orlando. For some reason, a large quantity of fuel was dumped on Orlando’s airport runway and taxiway and it appears that the asphalt will need to be replaced.

Southwest Airlines to Leave Newark Airport as Toll of Boeing’s 737 Max Grounding Grows

In its second-quarter earnings report, Southwest said it had lost an estimated $175 million in profit. The Airline said it would shut down its operations at Newark Liberty International Airport and consolidate its operations in the New York area at LaGuardia Airport.

For more on the Boeing 737 MAX, see:

Attempt to fly hoverboard across English Channel ends in failure

Franky Zapata made an attempt to cross the English Channel on a jet-powered hoverboard. While attempting to land on a refueling platform pitching in the waves in the middle of the Channel, Zapata fell into the water, just missing the platform. The Zapata Flyboard Air is powered by five small turbo engines, each producing up to 250 horsepower each.

The Senate has confirmed a controversial new FAA administrator, a former air force pilot and Delta executive

Former Delta Air Lines pilot and executive Steve Dickson has been confirmed by the Senate to lead the FAA. The opposition voiced claims that while at Delta, Dickson mistreated a pilot who raised safety concerns. See also Politics and Aviation in the Flight to Success blog.

PLANE Act takes flight in Congress

The bipartisan legislation Promoting the Launch of Aviation’s Next Era (PLANE) Act of 2019, S.2198, was introduced on July 23, 2019. The PLANE Act would benefit general aviation by empowering pilots, investing in airports, and ensuring opportunities for a sustainable, well-trained workforce. Boeing’s new Pilot and Technician Outlook predicts a need for more than 800,000 new pilots and 750,000 new aviation technicians in the next 20 years.

China’s recruiting a lot more flattop fighter pilots — another sign China has big plans for its aircraft carriers

The annual program to recruit pilots for the People’s Liberation Army resulted in 20% more recruits than last year. Enrollment in the carrier-based fighter pilot program increased 41%. China currently has one operational aircraft carrier, with a second carrier expected to enter service soon, and a third is under construction.

Mentioned

Episode 23: DEF Contamination | AIN’s Tales from the Flight Deck Podcast

Mistaking diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) additive for fuel system icing inhibitor PRIST on the flight line is a growing problem on ramps all over the world. This can be disastrous since DEF causes jet-A to crystallize and clog aircraft fuel filters and lines. In fact, DEF contamination of jet-A has already forced several business aircraft crews to perform engine-out landings in the U.S. and elsewhere.

AOPA Foundation You Can Fly Challenge

Contribute to the Challenge by August 31, 2019, and your donation’s impact will be doubled by the Ray Foundation’s dollar-for-dollar matching grant of up to $2 million.

Women in Aviation President Chabrian Announces Retirement

Women in Aviation President Dr. Peggy Chabrian announced at the WAI Connect Breakfast at Oshkosh that she would retire in April 2020. The transition period will allow for an executive search to determine her replacement.

Airventure Oshkosh 2019

Launchpad and Josiah

Launchpad and Josiah.

The Australians visit Andy & Ed's.

The Australians visit Andy & Ed’s.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

538 AI and the Aviation Industry

We look at how artificial intelligence is impacting commercial aviation and a consider a few of the areas that hold the greatest promise. In the news, a concept that would have pilot conversations monitored by an AI agent, how to get new airplanes signed off by the FAA during a furlough, Norwegian Air Shuttle’s share offering, and the loss of a remarkable female military aviator.

Guest

Mark Roboff, General Manager for Digital Transformation, Aerospace & Defense at DXC.

Mark Roboff, General Manager for Digital Transformation, Aerospace & Defense at DXC.

Mark Roboff is an IT executive with over 15 years experience in artificial intelligence and related fields. He’s been a true AvGeek since he was little, and Mark loves working in aviation – first as Global Solution Leader for Aerospace at IBM, then more recently as VP of Aviation at a prominent AI startup, and now as General Manager for Digital Transformation, Aerospace & Defense at DXC. Mark has worked with OEMs, Tier-1 suppliers, and numerous airlines on AI, advanced analytics, and IoT/sensors, with a focus on key application areas such as AI-driven maintenance and autonomous flight.

Mark tells us about the state of the aviation industry with respect to AI technology and AI applications. He characterizes maintenance and flight operations as the low hanging fruit. An AI-driven predictive maintenance capability would provide great value to the airlines.

We consider what is required to close the gap and bring these applications to the industry. The need for data to teach the AI engines is key, and Mark explains how the “terabyte of data per flight” that we hear about isn’t representative of the entire fleet. Many aircraft are simply not architected to provide that volume.

Mark also explains the circumstances where AI be useful. An interesting example is prognostic maintenance models for components like seats. Premium airline seats are complex, expensive, and don’t necessarily have sensors. A health management system where AI is trained from maintenance logs offers real potential.

We also look at AI and autonomous flight. Mark points out some differences between autonomous automobiles and autonomous aircraft and how their respective technological gaps are different. Social and regulatory issues remain a challenge.

Mark has worked closely with IATA as a strategic partner on AI-driven maintenance, helping to define the next generation of aircraft health management tooling and predictive maintenance solutions. He has given keynotes at the IATA Safety & Flight Ops Conference and the IATA Maintenance Cost Conference, and he has also spoken at AviationWeek’s MRO conferences across the globe. Mark gave the AI keynote at the SAE Aerospace Standards Summit this past October and is chairing a proposed SAE committee focused on Applied AI in Safety-Critical Systems.

See these resources:

Aviation News

Airlines Mull Real-Time Monitoring of Pilot Conversations

NIIT Technologies is recommending that airlines use AI to monitor pilot voices to predict whether a crew will be late on their way to the airport, to determine if a particular pilot is the right “fit” for the job, or to monitor pilot conversations and improving safety through flight operation quality assurance (FOQA) and real-time monitoring.

The company says, “Using our data technology, we can acquire the voice of the pilot while they are flying and use AI to differentiate between what is a normal and expected conversation or determine if there is increased stress in the pilot’s voice.”

Southwest Agreed to Pay FAA for Inspector’s Time During Government Shutdown

Southwest Airlines wanted to put three new jets into service. For that, they needed the sign off of an FAA safety inspector. The problem was, the safety inspectors were furloughed during the partial government shutdown. Southwest agreed to cover the cost of briefly recalling a furloughed inspector. Is this special treatment? The Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO (or PASS) feels they should have been notified.

Norwegian Air Shuttle’s Revolution Comes Unstuck

In an effort to keep the airline afloat, Norwegian is undertaking a 3 billion kroner ($353 million) rights offering. They just announced a 2.5 billion kroner yearly pretax loss and they have a 250 million euro ($286 million) bond maturing in December.

Rosemary Mariner, The First Female Military Air Commander, Dies At 65

She was the first woman to fly a tactical fighter jet in the US Navy, the first woman to land on an aircraft carrier, and the first woman to command a squadron. At age 65, Rosemary Mariner lost her 5-year battle with ovarian cancer. To honor her, a 4-plane “missing man” formation was flown by an all-women pilot and ground crew.

Mentioned

Sticks, Stories, and Scotch

Ace Combat 7

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

517 Back at the Airport

Social and technology changes at airports, including ridesharing, facial recognition, and carry-on screening. Also, the recent AAviation Day with American Airlines, working the de-icing pad, airport outreach, and stairs trucks. In the news, Norwegian wet leases an A380 and Southwest issues a policy for trained service animals.

Guest

Jennifer Adams, airport enthusiast, employee, and blogger.

Jennifer Adams

Jennifer Adams combines her experience in accounting with her passion for aviation by working in the accounting and finance department of a mid-sized midwestern airport. When she’s not paying the bills and sending invoices to airlines, you can find her helping out on the de-ice pad, plane spotting, and getting unreasonably excited about stairs trucks.

Jennifer reports on her experience at the AAviation Day event with American Airlines and Airline Geeks at PHL. The annual event takes place at a number of airports in conjunction with National Aviation Day, held August 19 each year to celebrate the history and development of aviation.

Jennifer gives us insights into the impact at airports of social and technology changes, such as the rise in the use of ridesharing services and changing airport security methods. We look at some statistics that characterize the growth in airport passengers and the cargo business and hear about some of the factors that facilitated the change. Jennifer describes examples of good airport outreach, and her experience training to manage the de-icing pad.

And of course any conversation with Jennifer is incomplete without talking about stairs trucks, and we don’t disappoint.

Jennifer blogs about her aviation adventures at Tales From the Terminal. Follow her on Twitter at @Jen_Niffer.

Aviation News

Facial scan technology makes debut in airports

Orlando International Airport is using facial recognition technology for all arriving and departing international travelers. The program comes from a partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and SITA, a private cyber security company. Passengers stand on a yellow footprint and a camera takes an image which is then matched against the CBP passport photo database. The system offers security and processing speed advantages.

A new scanner could speed up airport security

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is testing a new x-ray machine for carry-on bags. If the tests are successful, removing liquids and electronics from bags may become unnecessary. The promise is that explosives could be detected inside the bags. Fifteen airports are testing the device.

There’s curbside chaos at DFW Airport — thanks in part to the surge of Uber and Lyft

With limited curbside space at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport arrivals, the increased popularity of ridesharing services, and the length of time some people park outside arrivals, a significant traffic problem is created. DFW is responding with some changes.

Norwegian to deploy Hi Fly’s A380 as 787 cover

Norwegian is negatively impacted by the Trent 1000 engine problem on their Boeing 787s. In response, the airline has been leasing an A380 from Hi Fly to cover their evening London-New York service.

Southwest Airlines is formally allowing miniature horses on its planes as service animals

On their Customers with Disabilities page, Southwest Airlines says, “Effective for travel beginning September 17, 2018, Southwest is making changes to our existing policies for accommodating Customers with disabilities who seek to travel with a fully trained service animal in the cabin. Customers with disabilities seeking to travel with a trained service animal must still provide credible verbal assurance that the animal is a trained service animal.”

Mentioned

Stinar SPS-3518 Passenger Stair Truck, 96-228″ – on offer from Aero Specialties.

Airport Vehicle Racing – Top Gear – BBC

Plane Narrowly Misses Collision with Van

Asking the right questions after a q400 is stolen, in The Air Current by Jon Ostrower.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

441 Airlines, Destinations, and Strapping Yourself to the Perimeter Fence

This episode, we talk to aviation and travel-industry expert Chris Kjelgaard about new Lufthansa and Iberia A350-900s, low fares from Norwegian, airlines charging fees for services, and a worrisome EASA safety report. Also, Astronics’ missed aerospace sales guidance, and the most scenic airport landings.

Guest

Chris Kjelgaard, airlines and travel industry expert

Chris Kjelgaard

Chris Kjelgaard reports on airlines and the travel-industry with more than three decades of experience. He is the founder and editor of the air and destination travel news website AirlinesAndDestinations.com. Chris also serves as editor of various print and online magazine titles, and he has written for dozens of aviation trade and consumer magazines and websites. Chris has been interviewed many times by television, radio, print, and online media on aviation and travel topics. He is a contributing editor to Runway Girl Network.

Aviation News

Inside Lufthansa’s Brand New A350-900

A Look Inside Lufthansa’s First Airbus A350-900

Iberia CCO explains carrier’s long-haul IFEC decisions

Lufthansa unveiled its new A350-900 in Munich at the beginning of February at the Lufthansa Technik hangar. This was the first of ten aircraft that are to fly from Munich to Delhi and Boston. Iberia is set to take delivery of 16 A350-900s starting in the second quarter of 2018.

Norwegian Air to offer U.S.-Europe fares starting at $65 one way

Norwegian Air Shuttle was offering $65 one way flights to Europe from some smaller US airports in New York state, and also Providence, Rhode Island, and Hartford, Connecticut. Norwegian Air spokesman Anders Lindström said, “I pay for what I want, you pay for what you want. We don’t pay for what everybody else on the plane wants.” Only a limited number of one-way tickets were offered at $65, and a return flight costs more.

More airlines are charging for everything from carry-ons to soft drinks

Airlines continue to unbundle offerings, and charge fees to add them back in. A new report by research firm Hopper sheds some light on airline ticket pricing.

EASA safety report highlights worrying increase in serious incidents

2016 was the safest year ever measured by large commercial aircraft fatal accidents, but the 2017 Preliminary Safety Review published by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) shows an increase in the number of serious incidents involving aircraft operated by carriers from the 32 EASA member states.

John King Vows Battle with the FAA to Reinstate His Medical Certificate

When it comes to aviation education and training, John King (and his wife Martha) are about as well known as anybody. But on the basis of a seizure episode in early 2014, King was denied his third-class medical certificate in November 2015. Since then he has appealed the denial, but without success. He plans to take it to an an administrative law judge at the NTSB.

First-degree murder charge filed in possible hate crime shooting at Olathe’s Austins bar

This unfortunate event has a number of connections to aviation.

Mentioned

PZL Mielec Prepares M28 – A PZL Mielec M28 twin turboprop aircraft is undertaking a two-month, 13-city tour across seven Caribbean and Latin America countries to demonstrate the M28’s all-weather operational capabilities to potential new customers, including airlines, government agencies and military operators.

Turn your friends into podcast listeners

California Black Aviation Association – A non-profit organization of aviation professionals of various ethnic backgrounds with the passion for flying and promoting aviation awareness and education through community outreach.

California Redtails – Honoring the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, also known as the “Redtails,” by educating, inspiring and promoting general aviation.

Embry-Riddle’s Lift, Off the Page: A Panel Discussion on Aviation Cybersecurity

Listener Submissions

Launchpad Marzari brings us another language editorial.

Xavier provides some personal thoughts on aviation from the perspective of a black pilot.

Gerry gives us his story of a memorable flight when he rode in the flight deck of a Boeing 747-400.

Credit

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