Tag Archives: NTSB

524 Electric Airplane Propulsion

The CEO of magniX talks about electric airplane propulsion. Also, FAA reauthorization, an initial NTSB report, why bad airline service is profitable, a possible increase in the LSA weight limit, and Air Force contracts for helicopters and the T-38 replacement.

Guest

Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX. maker of electric airplane motors.

Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX.

Roei Ganzarski is the CEO of magniX, a company developing high-power-density electric motors for aircraft propulsion.

magniX sees itself as a propulsion company, developing electric motors for existing and future airframes. Roei describes how the electric airplane (or hybrid-electric) offers the prospect of connecting communities through lower costs to fly. In addition to reduced fuel and maintenance costs, electric airplanes benefit from lower emissions.

Roei describes some of the challenges faced, including battery energy density, lifespan, and replacement cost.

The magniX 350SHP electrfic airplane motor.

The magniX 350SHP electric airplane motor.

magniX is currently testing a 350 hp motor, while the 375 hp and 750 hp production motors are in final design. Flight tests are planned for the second half of 2019, with certification and start of commercial operation in 2022. Beyond that, magniX looks to develop one-megawatt and superconductor motors for very high output per kilogram.

Prior to joining magniX, Roei was CEO of BoldIQ, a global provider of dynamic real-time scheduling optimization software. Under Roei’s leadership, BoldIQ grew from a seed software startup to a profitable multi-million dollar SaaS company.

Follow @magniX on Twitter and find them on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Before BoldIQ, Roei was Chief Customer Officer for Boeing’s Flight Services division where he led all worldwide customer and market-facing organizations. Other experiences prior to Boeing include private investment banking, corporate finance, advertising, and the military.

Roei is a graduate of Wharton’s Advanced Management Program. He earned an MBA from the University of Washington, and a BA in Economics from The University of Haifa. Roei sits on the board of the Washington Technology Industry Association.

See: MagniX Hits Milestone for All-Electric Aircraft Motors.

Aviation News

President Trump Just Signed a Law That Radically Changes Life for Airline Passengers, Flight Attendants, and Airlines (Almost Nobody Even Noticed)

Greenville plane crash: Initial NTSB report shows braking switch was inoperative

This Is The Real Reason Bad Airline Service is Profitable

LSA Weight Limit Increasing To 3600 Pounds

Boeing Wins Air Force Chopper Deal [paywall]

Boeing Wins Contest to Build Air Force Trainer Jets [paywall]

Mentioned

Zunum Partners With France’s Safran For Hybrid-To-Electric Airplane

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

523 Fly Girls

The author of New York Times Bestseller Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History helps us look at the true story of pioneering women aviators. Also, Air Canada’s near disaster last year, the FAA approves an ultralight VTOL, FAA reauthorization, an F-35B crash, and an American Airlines podcast. Plus, more from Dorkfest 2018, and a visit with the Collings Foundation.

Fly Girls at East St. Louis.

Fly Girls in East St. Louis.

Guest

Keith O’Brien is the author of Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History. This is the true story of women fliers of the 1920s and ‘30s who were willing to risk everything, even their lives, to do the thing they loved. Despite many defeats, these women fought to change the world, shatter the glass ceiling, and battle injustice.

Keith is a former reporter for the Boston Globe and a frequent contributor to National Public Radio. His work has appeared on shows such as All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and This American Life. He has also written for the New York Times Magazine, Politico, and Slate. Follow Keith on Twitter at @keithob.

Santa Monica

Santa Monica

Amelia, Ruth, and Louise.

Amelia Earhart, Ruth Nichols, and Louise Thaden.

Aviation News

NTSB faults Air Canada pilots for last year’s near disaster

NTSB Report on Air Canada 759 Taxiway Incident at SFO: Pilot Error

FAA Approves Ultralight VTOL

With Extension in Hand, Senate To Vote on Full FAA Bill

F-35 crashes for the first time in the jet’s 17-year history, pilot ejects safely

F-35B Crashes, Pilot Ejects

American Airlines using podcasts to reach staff—and the public

Interviews

Brian from Dorkfest 2018:

Main(e) Man Micah talks with the Collings Foundation:

  • Gene Norman, Crew Chief
  • Jamie Mitchell, Flight Coordinator
  • Jonathan Henley, P-51 Pilot
Jonathan Henley and Micah

Micah and Jonathan Henley

Gene Norman, Jaimie Mitchell, Micah, Jonathan Henley

Gene Norman, Jaimie Mitchell, Micah, Jonathan Henley

Mentioned

Audi Stuart Air Show, November 2-4, 2018 in Stuart, Florida.

International Women’s Air & Space Museum

NASA: 60 Years in 60 Seconds

NASA: 60 Years and Counting

United Airlines is under fire after a flight attendant reportedly told a mother her baby wasn’t allowed to cry for more than 5 minutes

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

497 Designing an Airplane

The Chief Engineer at Vashon Aircraft talks about designing an airplane. Also, Bombardier and Embraer and the market for small commercial jets, the corporate culture of Boeing, the future of the A-10 Thunderbolt, and a preliminary report from the NTSB on the fatal helicopter crash into the river.

Vashon Aircraft Chief Engineer Ken Krueger talks about designing an airplane.

The Vashon Ranger R7 flying near Mt Baker. Courtesy Vashon Aircraft.

Guest

new Ken Krueger, Chief Engineer at Vashon Aircraft.

Ken Krueger is Chief Engineer at Vashon Aircraft and principal designer of the Ranger R7 2-place aircraft.

We talk with Ken about designing an airplane. He tells us about the things that push you to design a new airplane, design objectives, and engineering reality. Ken describes the manufacturability of airplane designs and how to keep costs down through manufacturing automation, vertical integration, and the company culture. Ken explains how materials and construction affect repairability, and talks to us about engine selection, the considerations for good flying ability, and even the contribution of workforce diversity.

Ken played a tiny part in the development of large airplanes such as C-17, B-2, and F-22. He played a greater role in the design of small airplanes such as the RV-7, RV-8, RV-9, RV-10, RV-12, RV-14, and the Ranger. Along the way, he has built, owned, and maintained several airplanes, including an RV-4, an RV-6, and a single seat aircraft of his own design. This combination of education and experience gives Ken a unique perspective on successfully designing and manufacturing light aircraft in today’s world.

Ken grew up in an aviation family and his passion for aviation sparked early. He earned his pilot’s license while still a teenager and graduated a few years later from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering. Ken and his wife, Susan, live in Washington State and they currently own an RV-4 and a Cessna 150.

Visit the Vashon Aircraft website, and follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Also, check out the article by Pia Bergqvist in Flying Magazine, What It’s Like to Fly the Vashon Ranger R7: The Jeep of the light-sport aircraft category makes a surprise entrance.

 

Aviation News

Boeing, Airbus Gird for New Duel in Niche Market for Small Jets

Airbus has aligned with Bombardier on the CSeries. Boeing is courting Embraer. Bombardier and Embraer have new fuel-efficient jets in the 100 – 150 seat range and orders for the smaller jets may be out there from Air France-KLM, United Continental Holdings, and JetBlue Airways.

How to Fix United Airlines’ Culture Problem

United Airlines treatment of their customers has been well documented in the press. With almost alarming frequency. Does United suffer from a corporate culture problem? If so, what can be done?

The Air Force has the money it needs for the A-10 Thunderbolt — but may soon get a new partner to help keep it in the air

What needs to happen for the A-10 to have a future, and who would have a role in keeping it flying?

NTSB Releases Preliminary Report on NY Helicopter Accident

The NTSB preliminary report contains no analysis or probable cause but describes the sequence of events is described, subject to change as the investigation proceeds.

Listener Recording

Student pilot Nicki provides an update on her flight training and tells us about her solo and experiences with a GPS.

Mentioned

After decade of restoration in Auburn, iconic ’50s airliner returning to Germany

Lufthansa L-1649 Starliner – A commercial from Lufthansa circa 1960 for a flight from Hamburg to New York on the L-1649A Starliner. In German with subtitles.

Cora VTOL: Autonomous Electric Sky Taxi from Zephyr Airworks/Kitty Hawk

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

480 General Aviation Trip Booking with Flightbridge

We talk with the founder and CEO of FlightBridge, which provides booking and reservation technology for services related to General Aviation trips. In the news, we look at pilotless airliners, the purchase of roadable airplane maker Terrafugia, the preliminary report from the NTSB on the recent Icon A5 crash, general aviation safety trends, the outlook for the A380, and Fort Worth delivers last F-16 fighter.

Guest

FlightBridge founder and CEO Dudley King.

FlightBridge founder and CEO Dudley King.

Dudley King is the founder and CEO of FlightBridge Inc. He’s a “repeat entrepreneur” with a historical focus on technology services and consulting.

FlightBridge is a booking and reservation tool for services related to General Aviation trips. As Dudley says “There’s more to a trip than flying a plane and passengers from point A to point B. Rental Cars or limos, catering, crew accommodation, and FBO services are just some of the logistics that must be coordinated and run smoothly for a successful trip.”  

FlightBridge supports these efforts with an online booking and operations management tool that is completely tailored to private aviation. FlightBridge was developed with input and feedback from flight department staff, crew members, FBOs, and service providers.

Before founding FlightBridge, Dudley spent over 20 years in custom software development for customers that included several fortune 500 companies and leaders in the aviation industry.

Aviation News

Airbus Looking Forward to a Pilotless Future

Airbus Chief Technology Officer Paul Eremenko says the company wants to develop autonomous aircraft and technologies that will allow a single pilot to operate commercial jetliners: “We’re pursuing single-pilot operation as a potential option and a lot of the technologies needed to make that happen has also put us on the path towards unpiloted operation.”

Terrafugia Sale May Accelerate Flying Car’s Arrival

Chinese firm Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has acquired Terrafugia. Founder Carl Dietrich moves to chief technology officer and the Transition market entry is planned for 2019, followed by a 4-seater VTOL craft in 2023. See the press release: Zhejiang Geely Holding Group completes acquisition of Terrafugia, Inc.

National Transportation Safety Board Aviation Accident Preliminary Report

The NTSB released a preliminary report on the fatal Icon A5 crash of November 7, 2017. The report details data received from the Icon’s onboard “digital data module that recorded basic GPS, engine, and flight parameters. The airplane was also equipped with a Rockwell Collins engine control unit that recorded engine parameters.” The data seems to confirm eyewitness accounts that the pilot was flying as low as 11 feet above the water.

NTSB: GA Safety Best In 50 Years

The NTSB reports that in 2016, the general aviation accident rate dropped below 1 fatal accident per 100,000 flight hours. It’s the first time the rate has been that low in 50 years. Most aviation fatalities (almost 94%) occurred in general aviation accidents. Other forms of transport, like cars, trains, and boats, all showed increases. See the NTSB press release: Highway Deaths Lead National Increase in Transportation Fatalities.

Does Lack Of A Deal In Dubai Mean The End For A380 Jumbo Jet?

Leading up to the Dubai Air Show, the speculation was that Emirates would order between 36 and 38 A380s, but that didn’t happen. Analyst Richard Aboulafia noted that at least 30 aircraft are needed “for annual recurring breakeven.” Sir Tim Clark said Emirates won’t order any more until Airbus assures the airline that it will keep production open for 10 to 15 years.

How the F-16 fighter jet put Fort Worth on the aerospace map

F-16 production is moving out of Fort Worth. Lockheed needs the room at the plant for the ramp-up of the F-35.

Mentioned

#PaxEx Podcast 52: Bending Bluetooth to become an onboard network

Max and Mary Kirby talk with Ron Chapman, president of ASI Group, which provides low-cost in-flight connectivity solutions to the business aviation market, and is now working in the commercial airline space.

Zahorsky Aviation: Worldflight 2017

Karl-Heinz Zahorsky and Karl Karbach chronicle their journey around the world with a Piper Malibu. Web page in German and English: Logbook entries, photographs, route maps.

Etihad Airways A380 Flyover at the 2017 Abu Dhabi GP

Airbus A380 and the Al Fursan Aerobatic Display Team performing a low flyover of the 2017 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi GP.

Boeing 747 jumbo jet: Pilot farewells the iconic plane. Mark Vanhoenacker is also the author of Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot.

Credit

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

471 Aviation Strategy and Programs at AOPA

The Senior Vice President, Aviation Strategy and Programs for AOPA describes the You Can Fly program and the Air Safety Institute. Also, we look at the increased student enrollment in flight-training programs, adhesively bonded splice joints as an aircraft assembly method, the White House nominee for the NTSB, and Ryanair’s strategy for pilot retention.

AOPA Senior Vice President, Aviation Strategy and Programs Katie Pribyl with Buck.

AOPA Senior Vice President, Aviation Strategy and Programs Katie Pribyl with Buck.

Guest

Katie Pribyl is Senior Vice President, Aviation Strategy and Programs for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). Katie is responsible for the organization’s You Can Fly program and the Air Safety Institute.

The You Can Fly program includes initiatives to get lapsed pilots back in the air, providing more affordable access to aviation through flying clubs, best practices in flight training, and It introduces high school students to aviation. Be sure to look into the AOPA High School Aviation STEM Symposium November 6-7, 2017.

The AOPA Air Safety Institute (ASI) produces free programs to help pilots fly safer. These include online courses, live seminars, and videos. ASI recently started publishing the There I Was… podcast.

Katie is a graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and she flew the Canadair Regional Jet with Atlantic Coast Airlines/Independence Air. She served as the director of communications for GAMA (the General Aviation Manufacturers Association) and Katie is a CFI and rated seaplane pilot. She is a member of Ladies Love Taildraggers and loves flying her 1956 Cessna 180 Skywagon in her home state of Montana.

Katie was featured in the January 2017 issue of AOPA Pilot in A Daughter’s Homecoming: A Ranch Airstrip FulFills a Cowgirl’s Dream. Follow Katie on Twitter and Facebook.

Aviation News

Embry-Riddle Sees Rising Number of Students in Nation’s Largest Collegiate Flight Training Program

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s flight-training program is planning for the largest incoming freshman class in 15 years. Contributing factors include demand for more commercial airline pilots, an increase in a starting salary, and quicker return on investment with an Embry-Riddle degree.

Advanced joint technology viable method for aircraft assembly

The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and Northrop Grumman partnered to test a new aircraft assembly method where adhesively bonded splice joints replace the legacy method where large components and subassemblies are joined with bolts.

White House To Nominate AOPA’s Landsberg to NTSB

The White House announced that Bruce Landsberg will be nominated to a five-year term on the National Transportation Safety Board beginning Jan. 1, 2018, as well as to a two-year term as vice chairman. Bruce led the AOPA Foundation and Air Safety Institute (ASI) as executive director and then president for 22 years. He’s currently a senior safety advisor for AOPA and the ASI, he also has served as the industry co-chair of the FAA’s runway safety program.

Trip Report

Brian got together with some of our listeners during his trip to South Africa, and recorded some of the conversations.

Airline Story of the Week

This Airline’s Response to Hurricane Irma Is a Masterclass in Compassionate Pricing

JetBlue announced that it was capping ticket prices after the devastating hurricane in Florida.

Mentioned

The Cod Father restaurant in Cape Town, South Africa.

Evan picking up the PA-22.

Evan picking up the PA-22.

#PaxEx Podcast #50 Flyers Rights makes the case for seat size standards with guest Kendall Creighton, director of communications for consumer advocacy group Flyers Rights on aircraft seat spacing, the Daily Beast article, their recent judicial victory, and ATC privatization.

Bag fees driving up cost of lower airfares for many U.S. flyers

Video: Aterrizando en Quito (Landing in Quito)

Video: Despegando de guayaquil Ecuador (Taking off from Guayaquil Ecuador)

Credit

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

 

453 The Zunum Aero Electric Airplane

Our guest is a founder of electric airplane company Zunum Aero, and he has a strong vision for the future. In the news: an update on the fatal Icon A5 crash, the disruptive nature of electric and autonomous vehicles, and the Airbus Fly Your Ideas contest. Also, some observations from the Wings Over Pittsburgh air show, the Aerospace Media Dinner and Awards, and advice to listeners about a flying career.

Image courtesy Zunum Aero

Image courtesy Zunum Aero

Guest

Matt Knapp, founder at Zunum AeroMatt Knapp is a Founder of Zunum Aero, a company that seeks to democratize access to high-speed travel through hybrid-electric regional airplanes.

Matt describes the vision of Zunum Aero, and tells us about the team and advisory board that has been assembled. He notes that the jet engine shaped aviation, and now electric power is poised to shape aviation again, initially in the regional sector.

We discuss the current state of battery technology and how Zunum is dealing with the moving target of available energy sources. Matt explains how the airplanes being developed are optimized for low costs over regional distances. We talk about the range-optimized powertrain, the battery charging strategy, and the long lead time challenges of technology development and meeting regulatory requirements.

Matt started his passion for aviation by building model rockets and airplanes at age 5. He received a pilot’s license at 17, and went on to earn his BS and MS in Aerospace Engineering at MIT. Before founding Zunum Aero, Matt was Lead Designer for the Javelin high-performance jet, and Lead Aerodynamicist for Pioneer Rocketplane’s spacecraft. Matt has consulted for major aircraft OEMs, NASA and DARPA. He’s also a certified flight instructor.

Aviation News

NTSB Releases Preliminary Icon Accident Report

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) preliminary report on the fatal Icon A5 crash centers around the account of a witness in a boat on the same lake. The witness observed the airplane flying about 30 to 50 feet above the water, heard the engine “rev up,” and saw the airplane drift to the right before it left the field of view. Subsequently, the witness heard the sound of impact.

Disruptive Tech: Electric Airplanes Could Destroy The Automotive Industry

The San Francisco-based research group and think tank RethinkX says, “We are on the cusp of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruption of transportation in history. By 2030, within 10 years of regulatory approval of Autonomous Vehicles, 95 percent of U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric vehicles owned by fleets, not individuals, in a new business model we call “transport-as-a-service” (TaaS)”

For more, download the RethinkX report.

Winner of Airbus’ ‘Fly Your Ideas’ Competition Solves Under Seat Crunch

The University of Hong Kong took home the prize in the Airbus Fly Your Ideas contest. Their idea is to create a storage space under the seat in front of you by dropping the area down under the cabin floor into the top of the cargo compartment. This year’s competition set a new record with nearly 5,500 students from around the world taking part.

Mentioned

The Aerospace Media Dinner and Awards, are to be presented in Paris on 18th June, 2017. The awards “…have been created to honour individuals and publishers who have made a significant contribution to aerospace publishing.” Shortlisted finalists include:

Qantas chief Alan Joyce gets pie in face at Perth business breakfast, via listener Dave in Adelaide.

Credit

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

449 Aviation Cybersecurity

An aviation cybersecurity expert explains the topic, the NTSB reports about the failure to share weather-related information with pilots, United Airlines ties executive compensation to customer satisfaction, Airbus and SITA introduce a new cybersecurity service, and oxygen generation troubles for a military jet trainer.

Guest

Aviation cybersecurity expert Dr. Remzi Seker.

Dr. Remzi Seker

Dr. Remzi Seker is Professor of Computer Science and Ph.D. Program Coordinator, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Master’s Program Coordinator, Cybersecurity Engineering at the Embry-Riddle College of Engineering. He’s also Director of the Cybersecurity and Assured Systems Engineering (CyBASE) Center, and Program Coordinator, MS Cybersecurity Engineering.

Remzi has expertise in cybersecurity and privacy in computer networks as well as integrated systems, embedded system security, cyber security in aviation and aerospace systems, cybersecurity in automobiles, and also digital forensics.

We look at protecting old systems, developing new secure systems, evaluating the exposure to threats, and isolating the flight control systems from the IFE and internet connectivity systems. Remzi explains the importance of aviation and cybersecurity professionals sharing common terminology, and the role of social engineering in aviation cybersecurity. Remzi also explains the aviation cybersecurity programs at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

Remzi’s noteworthy achievements include serving as a member of the RTCA Special Committee (SC) 216 that developed two standards:

  • Airworthiness Cybersecurity issues in development and production of aircrafts (DO-326A)
  • Information Security Guidance for Continuing Airworthiness (DO-355 / ED 204 in Europe) for airline operators.

He served as a Department of Homeland Security Software Assurance (SwA) Forum Working Group Member, and a Subject Matter Expert for the Information Assurance Technology Analysis Center. Remzi also served on the reference computer science curriculum board formed by ACM and the IEEE Computer Society, was the lead person for Operating Systems Knowledge Area, and was a member of the subcommittee that designed the first Information Assurance (Cybersecurity) Knowledge Area.

Remzi was Associate Editor for the Computers and Electrical Engineering Journal, program Co-Chair for IEEE’s 16th International Symposium on High Assurance Systems Engineering, and General Co-Chair, of the First International Workshop on Service Assurance in System Wide Information Management (SASWIM 2017).

Remzi participated on the panel at Embry-Riddle’s Lift, Off the Page: A Panel Discussion on Aviation Cybersecurity.

Aviation News

NTSB Calls for Changes to Pirep Creation and Dissemination Education Efforts

The NTSB has found that failure by ATC to share weather-related information with pilots is a weakness in the system. The NTSB recently released a Special Investigation Report: Improving Pilot Weather Report Submission and Dissemination to Benefit Safety in the National Airspace System.

United Airlines to tie executive pay to customer satisfaction

A US Securities and Exchange Commission filing states, “United’s management and the board take recent events extremely seriously and are in the process of developing targeted compensation program design adjustments to ensure that employees’ incentive opportunities for 2017 are directly and meaningfully tied to progress in improving the customer experience.”

Airbus and SITA Join Forces to provide Advanced Cybersecurity Services for Air Transport Industry

Airbus CyberSecurity and SITA have launched Security Operations Center Services to “provide airlines, airports and other air transport industry stakeholders with information about unusual cyber activity that may impact their businesses.” The Center Service is the first of a new portfolio of cybersecurity products and services being developed by SITA to help airlines and airports identify, detect, and react to aviation cybersecurity threats.

Two new European initiatives aim to improve aviation cybersecurity

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has signed a memorandum of cooperation with the European Union’s Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-EU) to establish a European Centre for Cyber Security in Aviation (ECCSA).

Temporary Fix Identified for T-45C Trainer Oxygen System Failures; Students Still Can’t Land On Carriers Until Permanent Solution Found

New Problems Hit T-45; Navy Tightens Flight Limits

The T-45C Goshawk trainer has encountered failures with the On Board Oxygen Generator System (OBOGS), leading to an operational pause to determine the cause.

Listener Recordings

Trevor’s memorable flight, and Hillel’s good news about the 2017 Innovations in Flight event.

Mentioned

AvGeekFests.com calendar of aviation events.

Predicting When Commercial Airliners Will Be Torn Down

Credit

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

428 The Life of a Second Officer

We talk about being a second officer with an expat from a major Asian airline. In the news, families of MH-370 victims take the search into their own hands, a new flight approach pattern is under study, a WASP T-6 trainer and a film, a looming strike at Chicago O’Hare, and a Suzy story.

Guest

Andy Bard is a second officer at a major Asian airline, and he currently flies the Airbus 330 and A350. Originally from Northern Europe, Andy now considers himself a lifetime expat, and for the past 15 years he has worked all over the world in sales and office jobs before giving it all up to pursue a career as an airline pilot.

Andy explains the role and responsibilities of the second officer, also known as a cruise pilot or cruise relief pilot. He tells us about the training provided by the airline and how the class was composed of both locals and expats. Some had flight experience, and others had very little.

We talk about the implications of heavy demand for pilots in a region that has relatively little general aviation activity. Andy also gives us some insight into the life of an expat pilot, as well as his impressions of flying the A350.

Before being hired by the airline, Andy had around 300 hours, with a FAA CPL with instrument and multi ratings.  He also has as “frozen” EASA ATPL. To date, Andy has about 1,000 total hours, and he explains how the loggable hours for license purposes derived from second officer time are significantly lower.

News

MH-370: Families of those onboard missing aircraft to mount a debris-hunting trip to Madagascar

Six pieces of wreckage from Malaysia Airlines Flight MH-370 have been found on the coast of Madagascar. The Voice 370 family association says “there has been no systematic, organized search by any responsible party. This leaves the (next-of-kin) no other choice except to take it upon ourselves to do something to find answers and closure.” Four Malaysians, two Chinese, and a French next-of-kin are planning a self-financed trip to Madagascar in December.

AOPA Air Safety Institute, UND Study Stabilized Approach

The University of North Dakota and the AOPA Air Safety Institute are studying the use of a continuous turning approach or “circular pattern” as an alternative to the traditional “box” or rectangular traffic pattern. The idea came out of a recent loss-of-control panel where it was thought that changing the landing pattern might improve safety and reduce loss-of-control accidents.

GA loss of control on NTSB ‘Most Wanted’ list for third year

The NTSB said “better training on how to eliminate distraction, avoid stalls, and manage weather issues will put pilots back in control and give them better command of their outcomes.” The GA accident rate per 100,000 flight hours dropped from 8.45 in 1994 to 4.66 in 2015, and the fatal accident rate dropped from 1.73 to 0.89 during the same period, according to the AOPA Air Safety Institute.

The ups and downs of being an airline pilot

This is not a news story per se, but it does contain some interesting aspects about being a notable airline pilot, including a story about past Airplane Geeks podcast guest Patrick Smith, publisher of the Ask the Pilot website, and author of the NY Times bestselling book “Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel.”

CAF Wants to Restore WASP T-6 Trainer & Fund Film

The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) started a Kickstarter program to fund the acquisition and restoration of one of the actual AT-6 aircraft used for Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) flight training. This aircraft will be featured in a new film, Rise Above: WASP, narrated by actress Sigourney Weaver.

Hundreds of workers at Chicago O’Hare International Airport plan to strike on Tuesday, November 29

Some of the airport janitors, baggage handlers, cabin cleaners, and wheelchair attendants are paid minimum wage, which is $8.25 an hour in Illinois. They want to be paid $15 an hour and so they plan to strike. But after the very busy Thanksgiving holiday.

Airplane of the Week

David brings us another Suzy story, this one called Suzy and the Turkey Shoot. Suzy also appeared in Episode 279 Christmas, Episode 286 Valentine’s Day, and Episode 412 Stars.

Mentioned

Q&A: Benét Wilson, aviation journalist

The Order of the A-4 Tail Hook

Project 236 RAZORBAK by BOHinventing

Photos by Ian Allen from Ardmore

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Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 385 Even More Intellectually Stimulating Than Useful

James Fallows talks with us about aviation in China. Also, the NTSB Most Wanted List, A-10 retirement put on hold, the C-130 keeps on flying, a flight attendant meltdown, a new study about lasers pointed at pilots, and more on-demand flying.

James Fallows and his Cirrus SR22

James Fallows and his Cirrus SR22

Guest

James Fallows is an American writer and journalist. He has been a national correspondent for The Atlantic Monthly for many years, and his work has appeared in Slate, The New York Times Magazine, The New York Review of Books, The New Yorker and The American Prospect, among others. He is a former editor of U.S. News & World Report, and as President Jimmy Carter’s chief speechwriter for two years, he was the youngest person ever to hold that job.

Jim has been a visiting professor at a number of universities in the U.S. and China. He is the author of ten books, including National Defense, for which he received the 1983 National Book Award, and China Airborne, which examines China’s plan to rival America as the world’s leading aerospace power. Jim is an instrument-rated pilot and owner of a Cirrus SR22.

In our conversation, Jim describes how China Airborne tells the larger story of China through the aviation lens. We talk about building the airport infrastructure and how that’s being funded, and issues for General Aviation in China, such as the shortage of airports, military control of the airspace, and training for controllers. Jim gives us his thoughts on the Comac C919 program and the state of business aviation in China.

Learn more about Jim’s work at JamesFallows.com and AmericanFutures.org. Mentioned were China: Fragile Superpower by Susan L. Shirk and How to Not Fly an Airplane by Shirley Phillips.

An "original Chinese design" at the Zhuhai airport.

An “original Chinese design” at the Zhuhai airport. By James Fallows.

Refueling at Changsha airport.

Refueling at Changsha airport.

James Fallows and wife Deb on their current see-America trip

James Fallows and wife Deb on their current see-America trip

News

The Next Big Aviation Safety Issues

Each year, the National Transportation Safety Board publishes its Most Wanted List. The NTSB covers all modes of transportation, but several aviation-related items made the list:

  • Prevent Loss of Control in Flight in General Aviation
  • Reduce Fatigue-Related Accidents
  • Disconnect from Deadly Distractions
  • Require Medical Fitness for Duty
  • Expand Use of Recorders to Enhance Transportation Safety

US Air Force shelves Warthog plane retirement amid ISIS fight

For years, the U.S. Air Force has wanted to retire the A-10 Warthog ground attack airplane. That’s been met with congressional criticism, as well as cries from many A-10 enthusiasts. According to sources, the USAF will postpone mothballing the plane in its 2017 budget request to Congress in February.

See also, This GAU-8/A Avenger 30 mm gun firing test footage is pretty impressive in The Aviationist.

A-10 by Paul Filmer

A-10 by Paul Filmer

New Pentagon Contract Signals Lockheed Martin’s C-130 Airlifter Is Headed For 100 Years of Service

The C-130 might become the first military aircraft to see continuous service for 100 years. The first Hercules was delivered to the U.S. Air Force 60 years ago in 1956.

Did American Airlines handle erratic flight attendant correctly?

A 67-year old flight attendant who has been employed by American Airlines for more than 45 years, faces federal charges for some reportedly serious behaviour on a November flight between Charlotte and Frankfurt. These include “claims that she slapped co-workers, punched air marshals, even attempted to open the door of her jetliner as it taxied for takeoff in Germany.”

‘No Lasting Damage’ From Laser Attacks

A new study by researchers at the University of Calgary suggests that pilots struck by lasers do not suffer permanent eye damage. Momentary blindness or blurry vision, yes. Permanent damage, no. Dr. Michael Fielden, assistant clinical professor for the Cumming School of Medicine said, “Once their eyes settle down, they’re worried if there’s any permanent damage that could affect their ability to fly in the future. Fortunately we haven’t found any permanent damage.”

Airbus to Join Forces With Uber for On-Demand Helicopter Service, CEO Says

Personal transportation company Uber is expanding beyond vehicles to other modes of transportation. You can now order up on-demand rickshaws in India and boats in Turkey. Now Uber and Airbus Group are planning to launch a pilot program at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah using Airbus H125 and H130 helicopters.

The Airplane of the Week

You would never guess David’s favorite aircraft…

1911 Coolbaugh Curtiss Pusher replica. Photo by David Vanderhoof.

1911 Coolbaugh Curtiss Pusher replica. Photo by David Vanderhoof.

Listener Recording

Christopher Sims tells the story of how he commenced as an Avgeek.

Mentioned

Bradford Camps, the Igor Sikorsky Weekend Seminar.

Fulton surface-to-air recovery system

Porter Ranch stench could endanger aircraft: Federal Aviation Administration bans low-level flights over gas leak area

Provincial Aerospace

Pratt & Whitney B747SP by Paul Filmer.

Pratt & Whitney B747SP by Paul Filmer.

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 352 Jennifer Rodi, NTSB Air Safety Investigator

The A400M military airlifter on display at the 2014 ILA Berlin Air Show.

Conversation with an NTSB investigator, the A400M accident, pilots and controllers texting, US majors react to Middle East expansion, ceramic matrix material from GE, F-35B trials, Malaysia Airlines tries to recover.

Guest

Jennifer Rodi is a senior air safety investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board in the Central Region. She served as the Survival Factors Group Chairman for the Lubbock, Texas Empire Airlines accident, the Witness Group Chairman for the Oklahoma City Cessna Citation accident, and has participated in other major investigations, public hearings, special investigation reports, and Board meetings conducted by the NTSB.

NTSB LogoWe talk with Jennifer about a variety of topics, including some of the investigations she’s worked, the role of Group Chairmen in investigations, and how the NTSB supports and learns from investigations in other countries. We discuss survival factors, Board independence and transparency, and primacy in investigations.

Jennifer Rodi currently holds a commercial pilot certificate with single, multiengine, and instrument ratings. She is a certified flight and ground instructor with single, multiengine, and instrument privileges for flight instruction, and advanced and instrument privileges for ground instruction.

Prior to her employment with the Safety Board, Jennifer was a flight instructor and she also worked as a photo-recon pilot and performed aerial surveys of oil and gas lines.

Jennifer has a Bachelor’s of Science in Professional Aeronautics from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, a Master’s of Science in Aeronautical Science with specializations in Human Factors and Systems Safety, also from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Industrial and Organizational Psychology, from Capella University.

News

Airbus A400M plane crash linked to software fault

Airbus Admits ‘Assembly Quality Problem’ After A400M Crash

In looking at the aircraft data logs after the Airbus A400M crash near Seville on May 9, Airbus engineers found some anomalies. The analysis of the flight recorders now shows there were no structural faults, but there was a “serious final assembly quality problem” according to Airbus group’s chief of strategy. The Europrop TP400 turboprop Electronic Control Units (ECU) were poorly installed at final assembly.

Pilots and air traffic controllers can finally stop talking and start texting

Texting from tower to cockpit could speed flights

For two years the FAA has been testing “Data Comm,” a piece of NextGen that lets pilots and ATC text each other. Data Comm rolls this summer, starting with Houston Hobby, Houston Intercontinental and Salt Lake City International airports. The system should be operating at more than 50 air traffic control towers by 2016.

Anti-ME airline claims by US majors grow louder, what if they win?

US airlines have fought expansion in the US by major Middle East carriers. Recently at the National Press Club in Washington, the CEOs of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Continental Holdings made a group appearance to voice their concerns about subsidies and competition.

‘Stubborn’ GE scientist pioneers breakthrough ‘dream material’

A GE researcher developed a ceramic matrix that is resistant to the very high temperatures in jet engines (20% higher than the exotic metal alloys now used), strong like metal, and very light. GE is using the material in the LEAP engine produced through CFM International.

Marine Corps F-35Bs depart USS Wasp after carrier tests

Six US Marine Corps F-35Bs conducted a one-and-a-half-week trial aboard the USS Wasp amphibious assault ship. The trial included 108 test sorties and an F135 engine delivery from a V-22 Osprey. The squadrons involved hope to pass a final operational readiness assessment over a two-week period in July.

Malaysia Airlines’ new CEO is off to a good start but doubts loom about the airline’s future

New Malaysia Airlines CEO Christoph Mueller has the job of salvaging the airline. Previously, he was Chief Executive of Belgian airline Sabena, he restructured Ireland’s Aer Lingus, and led a revamp at Lufthansa.

More on this topic:

Malaysia A380 Decision Deepens Airbus Worries

Malaysia Airlines Restructuring Fleet: Selling A380s

Troubled Malaysia Airlines to be completely revamped: new CEO

Things look grim and brutal for ‘new’ Malaysia Airlines

The Australia News Desk

Can a reduction in cabotage restrictions in the north end lead to sabotage of domestic operations? Everyone outside of the government seems to think so!

Matt Hall comes third in Rovinj after an exciting session on the weekend (audio supplied by the Red Bull Radio Service).

RAAF’s Wedgetail E-7A AEW&C aircraft attains Final Operational Capacity

The first of two new RAAF C17s has been sighted at Longbeach.

Mentioned

Passenger Choice Awards – Created by the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX), air-travelers from around the world are invited to rate their recent inflight experiences. The deadline is June 30, 2015.

Solar Impulse – Follow the solar powered around the world flight.

Cyber-Attack Warning: Could Hackers Bring Down a Plane?

FliteTest Podcast 074 Burt Rutan

Credit

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