We look at UPS Airlines, including the fleet, the pilots, the technology, and the processes employed. Also, the Perlan 2 altitude record flight, GA accident rates, an F-35C incident, and pizza for 159 American Airlines passengers. We celebrate the 97th birthday of a WASP, look at the Immortal Red Baron air show act and a new Old Guys and Their Airplanes video. We also have a promo code for tickets to the 2018 Audi Stuart Air Show.
Jim Mayer is public relations manager for UPS Airlines. He’s based at the airline’s headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky.
We talk about the UPS Airlines fleet makeup: the “brown tails” (including the new 747-8F freighters) and the small feeder aircraft vendors. Jim explains the daily cycle at the Worldport® global air hub in Louisville, Kentucky. This is the world’s largest automated package sorting hub, where they experience airplane landings every 70 seconds over about a three hour period each night.
Jim tells us about cockpit technology projects, the hot spare aircraft that stand ready, and the UPS Flight Path program with Ameriflight to help keep new pilots in the pipeline.
UPS is the official logistics provider for Expo 2020 Dubai and we talk about the daily nonstop flight from the Worldport hub to Dubai, UAE. Made possible with the Boeing 747-8F freighter, this route improves time-in-transit from North and South America to Middle East destinations by one business day.
Of course, over the years UPS Airlines has encountered some unique shipments, and Jim tells us about a few of them, as well as recent humanitarian flights to Puerto Rico.
Jim joined UPS in 2003 following a career as an Emmy-award-winning broadcast reporter. As PR manager at UPS Airlines, Jim manages media relations and external communications for one of the world’s largest airlines. He has traveled extensively around the world, helping to tell the UPS story, including coverage of major facility expansions in China and Europe; and unique charter moves such as whale sharks and humanitarian aid flights.
Jim is a Chicago-area native and has a B.A. in Telecommunications from Indiana University in Bloomington.
The Airbus Perlan Mission II pressurized glider has been out riding atmospheric pressure waves, and it’s reached more than 76,000 feet. That’s believed to be the record for subsonic human flight in a winged aircraft. This meant the flight crossed the Armstrong Line, the altitude above which a human’s blood will boil without some kind of protection.
The AOPA Air Safety Institute’s Joseph T. Nall Report [PDF] says that the general aviation overall and fatal accident rates are at a 10-year low. Fatal crashes decreased to 0.84 per 100,000 hours. Accidents with pilot-related causes make up 74 percent of non-commercial, fixed-wing accidents. Accidents related to mechanical and maintenance issues made up about 16 percent of the overall total.
An F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter flying from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was damaged during an aerial refueling exercise. The engine ingested debris from an aerial refueling basket.
American Airlines Flight 2354 from Los Angeles to Dallas/Fort-Worth experienced extreme thunderstorms and was diverted to Wichita Falls, Texas. The next flight to DFW was the following day. Captain Jeff Raines responded by ordering 40 pizzas from the local Papa John’s store, and even hand carried the pizzas from the delivery car to the waiting passengers.
November 2-4, 2018 in Stuart, Florida you can experience the Treasure Coast’s largest annual event with breathtaking performances including by the United States Marine Corp Harrier, the Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration Team, the Phillips 66 Aerostars, and others. Of course, there will be many static displays like The Movie Memphis Belle, the C-17 Globemaster III, and the OV1 Mohawk.
At the Stuart Air Show, you can also take advantage of rides offered with special guests, including a Cobra Attack Helicopter and a T-6 Texan. Plan your Audi Stuart Air Show experience now at stuartairshow.com.
Also, starting September 17th, Airplane Geeks has teamed up with the Stuart Air Show for a week of aviation trivia. Each day September 17 – 23rd at 6 pm on their Facebook page, they will be posting an aviation-related trivia question. The person with the most correct answers (and who answers the fastest) will win 4 tickets to their VIP event on November 2nd! That is a $600 value! Learn more about the Stuart Air Show at stuartairshow.com and on Facebook.
We are thrilled to be able to bring our listeners a special ticket offer to the Stuart Air Show. Use promo code “geekspodcast” at checkout to enjoy a special $10 ticket offer through October 31, 2018.
Immortal Red Baron
At the Blue Bonnet Air Show at the Burnet, Texas Municipal Airport, Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari interviewed Stefan Trischuk of the “Immortal Red Baron” air show. This was a different act as it was a staged dogfight with another airshow performer.
Also at the Blue Bonnet show, Launchpad met Mrs. Jane Doyle, celebrating her 97th birthday. Jane is one of the last WASP.
Artist John Mollison has released another “Old Guys and Their Airplanes” video featuring 2nd Lt. James Kunkle who flew P-38s with the 9th Air Force over Europe during WWII. Jim was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his combat action on Sept. 16, 1944. In this video, Jim describes a terrific dogfight that he experienced in 1944 where he took on 20 or so German fighter planes. OGTA #12 – Split Second – The Jim Kunkle Story.
Listener Hendrik sent in a picture from his wedding to his lovely wife Marielle. If you remember a few weeks back, on their way to Hawaii for their honeymoon, they got a tour of Los Angeles from Brian during their LAX layover. Featured in the picture is a Beluga, Marielle’s favorite plane, carrying some precious cargo: their wedding rings.
Whirly-Girls opens their 2019 scholarship season.
Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.
And special thanks to co-host Max Trescott for constructing Knoxville Studio B, just for this episode: