A perspective on the pilot shortage from an Army aviator in Afghanistan and his thoughts on flying in combat, bringing a biz jet to the Reno Air Races, aviation humor from the M&R Joke Hour, and an interview with the COO of uAvionix on ADS-B equipment for manned and unmanned aircraft.
The Thunderbirds, an F-22, and actual people. Photo by David Vanderhoof.
Bits & Pieces
Segments in this episode [with start times]:
Longtime listener Austin tells us a little about the pilot shortage from the perspective of an Army aviator in Afghanistan. He also gives us his thoughts on flying in combat. [1:39]
Rob Mark talks to Dassault Falcon 7X test pilots at the Reno Air Races to find out why they brought a bizjet to an air race. [9:03]
At Oshkosh, Tim Trott, “The Drone Professor,” interviewed Ryan Braun, the COO of uAvionix Corporation. uAvionix offers a very interesting line of transponders, ADS-B receivers, and transceivers for GA and unmanned aircraft. Tim and Ryan Braun talk about the outlook for ADS-B use with sUAS and general aviation. [23:00]
We talk with the three high school students who won the EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize competition for 2017. In the news, we look at the decline in short haul traffic in the US, how the US Air Force is responding to the flight crew shortage, using airport data to improve efficiency, the grounding of the MRJ test fleet, and AOPA taking action against egregious FBO charges.
Justin Zhou, Thomas Baron, and Max Lord
Thomas Baron, Max Lord, and Justin Zhou won the 2017 EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize with their “Remora System” which takes sensor inputs and displays airspeed and angle of attack on a head-mounted display. All three are seniors at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Northern Virginia.
The students explain their system which places the sensors in a pod under the airplane and transmits data which is displayed in a Vufine high definition wearable display. We talk about how the project started, and how it came to be entered in the EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize competition.
The EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize was presented by Airbus and leveraged the creativity of the EAA community to solve specific challenges facing general aviation. The competition was featured at AirVenture Oshkosh where five finalists presented their ideas.
Courtney Miller discusses three theories why U.S. short-haul traffic under 500 miles has declined by almost 30% since 2000 while the total U.S. domestic market has grown almost 30% since then. Courtney is Director, Lessor Sales at Bombardier Aerospace.
Copenhagen Optimization is using mathematical models and data to help airports optimize their activities. Waiting time was reduced by more than 50% at Geneva Airport in Switzerland, passenger throughput increased by 10% at Dublin Airport, and peak in check-in counter demand was decreased by 5.5% at Stockholm Arlanda.
Mitsubishi has four U.S.-based MRJ flight-test airplanes. The left engine on FTA-2 experienced an uncommanded shutdown and the plane was diverted to Portland International Airport where it landed “without incident.” The engine has been removed and sent to Pratt & Whitney for inspection.
After pilots started reporting that some fixed base operators are charging excessive fees, AOPA analyzed the data and found some “exceptionally egregious,” fees: fuel more than $6 a gallon or fees for minimal or no services over $100. AOPA and seven affected pilots have “filed FAA Part 13 complaints over egregious FBO pricing practices at Illinois’s Waukegan National Airport, North Carolina’s Asheville Regional Airport, and Florida’s Key West International Airport, on behalf of its membership.”
Airline Story of the Week
Virgin Atlantic helps a family of four enjoy a memorable flight from London Gatwick to Orlando, especially for the two daughters aged 10 and 12.
David tells us about Thunder Over Dover, the 2017 Dover AFB Open House. All photos by copyright by David Vanderhoof:
The OLC website lets sailplane, paraglider, and hang glider pilots from all over the world upload their flight tracks. It’s competitive and there are several categories of competitions and most are based on distance. See Help… How things work in OLC? And All Flights of Jim Payne which shows Jim Payne’s flights from the Perlan 2 project.
This episode, we have a number of interviews recorded at the 2017 International Paris Air Show by our reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari. We hear about the Antonov AN-132, Gore-Tex applications in aviation, an anti-drone gun, additive manufacturing with metals, and a really fascinating and detailed look at ejection seats. Launchpad also met up with Airplane Geeks listener Pauline.
In the news, we look at more evidence of the pilot shortage, FAA reauthorization bills in the U.S. Congress, ATC privatization, and security measures for commercial aviation.
Main features of the Antonov AN-130, presented at the Paris Air Show. Courtesy Antonov Company.
Regional airline Horizon Air is experiencing a severe shortage of Q400 turboprop pilots. They’ve recently canceled 318 flights, and more are planned. Managers are being used to fly the planes, pilots are being offered double pay, and hiring bonuses of up to $20,000 are available for Q400 pilots.
The Transportation Security Administration verified that the Department of Homeland Security measures have been implemented at Etihad Airways, so that airline is now exempt from the U.S. electronic device ban on flights from Abu Dhabi to the United States. The suggestion of a laptop ban on all international flights to the U.S. has been pulled back.
“Black Maria” from the Black Flight by Errol Cavit
We start the new year with some recordings send in by members of the Airplane Geeks community. These look back at 2016, and ahead to 2017. In the news, we discuss angle of attack indicators for Skyhawks, the pilot shortage in Alaska, miscommunications between ATC and a commercial flight, A380 delivery issues, when is an F-35 an F/A-18?, comfort animals at the airport and in the air, and DHS collecting social media accounts.
An angle-of-attack (AOA) system from Safe Flight Instrument Corporation is standard on new Cessna 172S Skyhawk deliveries starting this month. Textron Aviation is offering the system as a $5,000 option on the 182T Skylane and Turbo Stationair HD T206H.
The New York Times calls Alaska “the nation’s most aviation-dependent state…with six times as many pilots per capita as the rest of the nation.” But for a variety of reasons, there are not enough pilots to service the local demand for bush pilots.
Miscommunication between Air Traffic Control and an EVA Air 777 leaving Los Angeles for Taipei almost resulted in a crash into a mountain. The flight needed to turn to a heading of 090, but that could be accomplished by making the smaller turn to the right, or the longer away around to the left. It was a life or death choice.
In November, Emirates said they were having some technical issues with the Rolls-Royce engines powering their A380 jets. It may not be related, but apparently Emirates, Rolls Royce, and Airbus have made a deal to postpone six deliveries from 2017 to 2018, and postpone another six deliveries from 2018 to 2019.
In a statement, Airbus said, “Airbus re-confirms the target to deliver around 12 A380s per year from 2018 as announced earlier in July 2016. Further fixed cost reduction initiatives will be accelerated so the impact on break-even in 2017 is minimal.”
Donald Trump tweeted: “Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!” Trump told reporters, “We’re trying to get costs down, costs. Primarily the F-35. That program is very, very expensive.”
Tutu-wearing LiLou is now the designated therapy pig at San Francisco International Airport. She joins SFO’s Wag Brigade program that uses trained dogs under escort in the terminals. The Cincinnati airport hired its own therapy pig
The U.S. Department of Transportation says the Advisory Committee on Accessible Air Transportation (ACCESS Advisory Committee) “was established to negotiate and develop a proposed rule concerning accommodations for air travelers with disabilities addressing in-flight communications, accessible lavatory on new single-aisle aircraft, and service animals.” The Committee says they have an agreement to improve the accessibility of lavatories to wheel chairs on single-aisle aircraft, but no consensus on service animals.
Foreign travelers entering the U.S. on the visa waiver program are being asked by DHS to “voluntarily” provide their social media accounts. This is seen as a method to help identify potential threats and prevent terrorism.
We asked the Airplane Geeks community to send us brief recordings looking back at aviation in 2016, or ahead to 2017. We weren’t disappointed, and would like to thank the following for their contributions: NASA Historian Bill Barry, Ariel (an active member of our Slack team), Micah (Our Main(e) Man), Bill English (an NTSB investigator), Errol Cavit (another Slack team member who also has a knack for capturing images of beautiful airplanes), and Glen (a faithful listener from New Zealand).
Micah and Nick
Micah sending hug to Jen via Hillel
2016 Listener Survey
366 members of the Airplane Geeks community were kind enough to give us some great feedback, and we discuss what we learned. Some of the 2017 Listener Survey Results are available for you to see.
American Airlines Group subsidiary Envoy Air announced they are raising their starting pay for new hires 47% to $37.90 per hour. AA subsidiary PSA Airlines is increasing starting pay 56% to $38.50 per hour. This is in addition to opportunities for bonuses. First-year pilots can make about $58,000.
Singapore Airlines operates 19 A380 jets. The first five of them were obtained on a 10-year lease deal. Now Singapore has announced they will not be renewing the lease for the first A380, which expires in October, 2017. The WSJ notes that it “isn’t a fateful blow for the program” but “it is another symbolic hit for the double-deck aircraft.”
An international F-16 student pilot experienced G-induced loss of consciousness, and his aircraft went into a steep supersonic dive with full afterburner. The Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto-GCAS) kicked in and executed a recovery maneuver, saving the pilot. This was the fourth confirmed “save” of an aircraft by the system.
25 year-old Zainab Merchant from Gainesville, Florida was traveling with her husband and 6-month-old baby to a wedding in Vancouver, Canada. Over the course of the trip, she and her family experienced many security checks, rechecks, missed flights, they were held overnight, the at times the family was separated.
For the last three years, Robert Reinheimer’s Cessna 182 has been the only piston airplane tied down or home-based at San Francisco International Airport. Reinheimer claims the airport is trying to force him out.
The FAA is offering a rebate reservation system for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) systems. Aircraft owners will be able to apply online for a $500 rebate toward the cost of installing ADS-B Out equipment in their aircraft. A total of 20,000 rebates will be available through the program.
Design a Boeing Dreamliner!Hainan Airlines is hosting a Design Your Own Livery contest in which you can design a paint scheme on a 787 airplane through a custom built web based tool. Whoever wins the contest could get their design painted on a real Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane, and also get a free business class trip to China.
A member of the Blue Angels flight demonstration team killed during practice in Tennessee lost control of his fighter jet because it was traveling too fast and then failed to recover because it was too low for the maneuver he was performing, a Navy investigation shows.
Chinese airlines will spend more than $1 trillion on new aircraft over the next two decades as they seek to meet booming demand for air travel, according to a new forecast by Boeing. Randy Tinseth, a marketing executive at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said that he expects passenger traffic in China to grow by 6.4% a year over the next 20 years.
Ryan Pickren, a senior computer engineering major in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the Georgia Institute of Technology, is donating five million United Airlines miles to Georgia Tech student organizations that participate in charity work.
More interviews from the Farnborough 2016 Airshow. We also discuss the future of widebody airliners, the U.S. Air Force pilot shortage, jetBlue air turbulence, an F-22 grounded by bees, an evacuation at a JFK terminal, a ride with the Geico Skytypers, and does the U.S. needs an airshow like Paris?
Farnborough International Airshow 2016
We bring you more interviews from the Farnborough 2016 Airshow. You’ll hear about the F/A-18, the F-16, the PBY, and the P8.
Carlos Stebbings (holding mic) of the Plane Talking UK Podcast along with Micah and Brian interviewing US Navy Aviator Lieutenant Jeff “Hoagy” Hanley about flying his F/A-18 Super Hornet. (Photo courtesy of Dan Harrington.)
Micah talking with Matt Smith of the Plane Talking UK Podcast about the F-16 Fighting Falcon and why it’s called a Viper. (Photo courtesy of Dan Harrington.)
PBY-5A Catalina Miss Pickup posing with (from left to right) Pilot Pip from the Plane Safety Podcast, Captain Al Evans from Flightfear Solutions, Carlos Stebbings and Matt Smith from the Plane Talking UK Podcast, Micah, Brian and Captain Rod, Miss Pickup’s pilot. (Photo courtesy of Dan Harrington.)
Lithograph of P-8A Poseidon 168754, autographed and presented to Brian and Micah in Farnborough by Patrol Squadron 30 ‘VP-30’ based at Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida.
Boeing has announced a cut in the 747 production rate, and in a regulatory filing stated the possibility that production of the 747 could end. At the same time, Airbus plans to cut the production rate of the A380. Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings chief executive Bill Flynn said there are three options for large widebody intercontinental cargo aircraft: the B747-800, the B747-400 and the B777. The 747 has load and loading advantages and Atlas Air looks forward to a long useful life.
The U.S. Air Force needs 700 more fighter pilots by the end of 2016, and the shortage could reach 1000 within a few years.. Airlines offering higher salaries, better benefits, and long term career opportunities entice pilots to leave the service.
A JetBlue A320 flying from Boston to Sacramento encountered rough turbulence, and was diverted to Rapid City, South Dakota. At least 22 passengers and two crew members were taken to a hospital for evaluation. Passengers reported flying out of their seats and even hitting the ceiling.
192nd Fighter Wing Aircraft Maintainers at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia discovered a swarm of honey bees attached to the exhaust nozzle of an F-22 Raptor engine.
Airplane of the Week
David went flying for the first time in 2 years. He had the privilege of flying with the Geico Skytypers in a three ship formation over the Atlantic City, New Jersey coastline. Thanks to Jim Record for being an awesome pilot, and to Brenda Little for the opportunity.
Geico Skytypers SNJ-2, the Navy’s version of the Texan T-6, a WWII training plane.
The Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority, air service to Cuba, Gulf carriers and U.S. airlines trade barbs, Emirates and the Boeing 787-8, the pilot shortage, and drone regulations.
Trevis Gardner is an Accredited Airport Executive (AAE) and Vice President of Operations with the Metropolitan Knoxville Airport Authority, which operates McGhee Tyson Airport outside Knoxville Tennessee and Knoxville Downtown Island Airport. They are currently developing Oak Ridge Airport, a corporate aviation airport to support the Oak Ridge National Lab and National Security Complex.
Trevis is a native of East Tennessee and a graduate of Tusculum College and various military and community Leadership Programs. He’s worked with Knoxville Airport since 1991 in various roles, including Engineering Technician and Operations Manager.
Trevis served over 24 years with the USAF/Tenn Air National Guard as both a senior NCO and Commissioned Officer in a variety of capacities. He is Chairman of the Communications Committee for the Southeast Chapter of the American Association of Airport Executives.
American, United and Delta claim that since 2004, Gulf carriers received more than $40 billion in government subsidies, which is unfair. They are asking the U.S. Government to renegotiate or kill treaties that have allowed Qatar and the United Arab Emirates airlines to increase flights to the U.S.
Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson responded to claims that U.S. bankruptcy protection amount to government assistance, making a reference to 9/11 that was not appreciated by Gulf carriers.
Contributing factors include the age 65 retirement rule in the U.S., fewer military pilots available to draw on, low (but improving) regional pilot salaries, the majors drawing on regionals for pilots, and fewer students entering aviation colleges looking for a commercial pilot career.
Rob Mark and Andrea James (VP and Senior Research Analyst, Dougherty & Co.) talk about the proposed regulations for commercial use of small UAS.
The Inflight Movie of the Month
David Vanderhoof is back briefly to give his review of Flight of the Intruder . The movie stars Danny Glover, Willem daFoe, and Brad Johnson. More importantly it stars the Grumman A-6 Intruder. If you want plot read the book. If you want to see the preeminent Naval Strike aircraft of the 60-90s, then watch this movie. Two out of Five Props.
The Australia News Desk
It’s almost time for the Avalon Airshow and the boys are getting excited about some of the new items that will be on display, including an Airbus A400M and an RQ-4 Global Hawk that has made its first landing at a civilian airport.
Aviation weather training, airline fare disclosure, angle of attack indicators, Boeing market forecast, the pilot shortage, aviation scholarships, aero clubs, and funny cartoons.
Scott Dennstaedt specializes in aviation weather training for pilots. He’s a flight instructor, trained in meteorology, and he owns Chesapeake Aviation Training, headquartered in South Carolina. In addition to flight instruction, he operates the subscription-based website Aviation Weather Workshops, where you’ll find many aviation weather resources. Scott also delivers live workshops all over the country,
We discuss how weather is a challenge for many pilots, yet it affects all pilots, regardless of the aircraft type. Also, where the data used in aviation weather forecasts comes from, and if the current curriculum provides training that considers the new technologies that are available.
We discuss the questions, “Are pilots capable of properly interpreting the information that newer technology provide?” and “What data should meteorologists be interpreting, and what data can pilots interpret on their own?”
Scott describes how satellite-delivered weather products, along with the coming ADS-B, represent a great leap forward for information in the cockpit and aviation safety.
In 2012, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) ordered the Full Fare Advertising Rule requiring airlines to advertise the full cost of a ticket, including all taxes and fees. Now the Transparent Airfares Act of 2014, if enacted, would let the airlines publish a base fare with an “asterisk,” and disclose the rest of the fare somewhere else.
Long used by the military to avoid stall/spin accidents, these safety devices are at long last inexpensive enough to install in GA aircraft. The FAA has clarified that they can be installed under the “minor alteration” rules, which reduces the paperwork and cost associated with installation.
Rule changes have impacted the availability of pilots at the regional level. What does this mean for the “pilot shortage”?
David Vanderhoof’s Airplane of the Week
The Mirage F1. With the final flight over Paris for Bastille Day, France retired the F1CT. It seems fitting for that plane to be the topic of this week’s history segment.
The Australia News Desk
The boys are back and they’re trying to remember how to make an AusDesk. Fortunately they remember how to do it and can tell us about Air New Zealand’s new 787-9 arriving in Auckland. They also talk about Australia’s Defence Science Technology Organisation being commissioned to produce the F35 “Iron Bird” test unit.
We talk with Victoria Neuville Zajko about Women of Aviation Week, March 3-9, 2014, where young women are introduced to flying and aviation through a number of events around the world. Victoria tells us how to contribute by creating and sponsoring events. As she’s in the aviation insurance business, Victoria also tells us about that industry segment.
This week Pieter brings us some news stories that caught his attention over the break including; Ryanair’s charm offensive – is it now paying off? the launch of the Gaia spacecraft, and the roll out of Airbus A350XWB MSN2.
Guest Max Trescott joins the conversation with us on Dubai Air Show orders and the Boeing 777X, the future of General Aviation and what pilots need to do now, the new FAA mandate for sleep apnea testing, FCC considering inflight cell phone use, and MU-2 stall training.
In the listener mail segment, we talk about difficult approaches, airport security, over-reliance on automation vs. hand flying the airplane, runway debris, flying in Russia, a highway landing, and more.
Max Trescott was the 2008 National CFI of the Year. For all his pilot training books, CDs, and iPhone GPS guides, visit G1000Book.com. Also see also his personal blog, Trends Aloft.
David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week: This week David gives thanks to our friends and listeners.
In this week’s Australia Desk:
Etihad A330 pilot declares Mayday!, Virgin Australia goes after Qantas who asks for employee support, Indonesia suspends some relations with Australia and departs planned exercises with noisy F-16’s, and RAAF C-17 training.
Su-22 used for ground attack in Poland. Taken during Zlot 2013 at Krzesiny Air Base Courtesy – Krzysztof Kuska
In this week’s Across the Pond segment:
We talk to Krzysztof Kuska, Editor in Chief at leading Polish aerospace website Infolotnicze about developments in the Polish military procurement for both helicopters and a lead in jet fighter / trainer. We also discuss the fragile state of Polish legacy carrier LOT as well as the threat of the new Berlin Airport on surrounding airports in Poland. See infolotnicze in English on Facebook and on Google+.