Tag Archives: safety

626 Aviation Safety Culture

The Director of Flight Operations for Quantum Spatial talks about International Standards for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) certification and building a safety culture. Also, Boeing 737 MAX order deferrals, best practices for small flight department maintenance, masks and Covid-19, fighter jets in the Middle East, the next-generation U.S. fighter, and high tech plane floats.

Guest

Josey Billington

Josey Billington, Director of Flight Operations for Quantum Spatial

Josey Billington is the Director of Flight Operations for Quantum Spatial, an NV5 company. Quantum Spatial became the first full-service geospatial company to achieve International Standards for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) certification. This designation was developed by the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and verifies that the company’s flight operations division has adopted the best practices necessary to reach the highest levels of safety, security, and professionalism in its airborne data acquisition activities.

Josey explains the motivations behind the IS-BAO certification and how it is an ongoing piece of an organization’s safety culture. He also shares some thoughts on flying as a survey pilot.

Josey is a former U.S. Marine and airline pilot and holds an airline transport pilot (ATP) certificate, as well as a certified flight instructor (CFI, CFI, MEI) certificates from the FAA. In December of 2019, Josey obtained the coveted Certified Aviation Manager (CAM) certificate from the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA).

Aviation News

Boeing’s 737 Max Gets Double Dose of Bad News

Not unexpectedly, airlines are deferring 737 MAX orders as the demand has dropped off a cliff. American has deferred delivery of 18 MAX jets from 2021 and 2022 to 2023 and 2024. Southwest is talking to Boeing about deferrals.

New Resource Outlines Best Practices for Small Flight Department Maintenance

The NBAA (National Business Aviation Association) has a new resource available for its members called, “Best Practices for Small Flight Department Maintenance.” The members-only resource is titled Best Practices for Small Flight Department Maintenance and it offers practical guidance on maximizing personnel resources while ensuring airworthiness.

In continuing Covid-19 news:

After UAE Deal, Israel Asks U.S. for F-22 Stealth Jets to Preserve Military Edge

The story of who wants what fighter jet in the Middle East.

Clues Reveal Who’s Likely Building the Air Force’s Secret New Fighter Jet

The next generation of U.S. fighter jet may be flying already.

Maine company goes high tech to make sleek plane floats

Maine-based Clamar Floats uses molded composites to create custom floats.

Listener Poll

Results from listener poll 623: “What is your favorite aircraft and why?”

  • mine, because it’s mine, Others maybe bigger, faster, more economical, practical, sexyer but this one is mine.
  • Hawker tempest 
  • CH-53 Sea Stallion because of its heavy lift capabilities. 
  • 747-8i, specifically with Lufthansa’s livery. it just looks right…
  • E-2 Hawkeye! All the brains of an E-6 but operates off of a carrier. Plus it’s got one of the most interesting tail configurations of any aircraft. Normally I’d say the CV-22, but we all know that’s really a confused helo. 
  • Boeing 747 – because it’s the queen of the skies. So beautiful. Only ever flew once, NRT-SEA back in 2013.
  • X-Wing – Took down Death Star
  • Turbine powered Grumman Albatross with VIP interior (it’s like a luxury yacht that can fly around the world using paved runways or approved waterways. Heaven! 🙂 ) 
  • DHC-2 Beaver. It’s without a doubt one of the most versatile aircraft ever made. Floats, amphib, wheels, skis. It’s got it all.
  • F-15E. – It’s the best. 
  • sr-71 Blackbird. Why? Just look at it. It has to be one of the coolest looking aircraft ever.
  • Cirrus SR22, because it is so much fun to fly on long distances as well as short trips for breakfast.
  • Any aircraft I get to fly.
  • “Boeing 747-400
  • As a teenager I did my first longhaul flight from FRA to BKK on a Thai Airways 744. I was with a group of students and teachers going for a high school exchange to Melbourne, Australia. Obviously I was super excited and I still vividly remember the moment that the 744 taxied to our gate while I was standing right at the window. It was very impressive and I’ve always loved the Jumbo’s quirky design with the big “head”. Over all those years my favorite aircraft never changed to any other model and I doubt that will ever change.
  • B-17 Flying Fortress, the plane that made Boeing what it once was but it is no longer.
  • DC-3
  • PBY
  • ATR72, flew like an old farm truck, but always would get you there. Great memories, short landings, Caribbean flying. It was the best.
  • The one I’m either flying or riding in at that moment, but my fantasy plane is, of course, the F4U Corsair
  • Boeing 757. Such a well balanced machine. Strikes the perfect balance between performance and looks. And a ton of fun to fly on.
  • F-4 sleek fast and cool n two engines . 
  • Hey airplane geeks my favorite airplane is the A10 warthog because I would like to fly it. I am only 14 and hope to get my glider  license . Keep up the good work
  • TBM-900 for its versatility.
  • Which ever one I’m looking at.
  • Curtiss P-40 Warhawk or Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
  • B1 Lancer “Bone”; it has everything.  Looks, speed, and phenomenal capability.  Take a listen to the Fighter Pilot Podcast episode on it and you’ll be sold. (066 B-1 Lancer)
  • Boeing 707 – it was my first flight in an airplane and started my lifelong passion for aviation
  • The DH Mosquito. The first multi role aircraft ever, no other aircraft did more roles than the Mosquito until the Tornado jet entered service. Also what is cooler than 2 Merlin engines?
  • SIAI Marchetti SF-260. Designed by the legendary Italian designer, Stelio Frati, the SF-260 is quite simply one of the sexiest lightplanes ever designed. Painted red, it looks like it is doing 200 mph just sitting on the ramp.
  • Cessna 177RG.   Love the extra room, better view and extra speed over the rest of the small Cessna’s…   V-Tail a close second
  • SR71. Amazing in every way
  • F-14 – it was huge, fast, agile, powerful, launched off a carrier, sexy, and carried some of the greatest hi-vis paint schemes of all time. 
  • My 11 year old “designed” an aircraft when he was 9, and has been coming up with different Lego constructs, concept drawings, and other models of it over the last 2 years.  Clearly has to be at the top of my list for obvious reasons!
  • Cirrus Vision SF50 because Max Trescott told me to say so or else…
  • Fighter: ME-262, Non-fighter: Connie
  • C130, worked on it
  • 748
  • P51 Mustang. It represents everything I like. History, speed, awesome looks. It’s on the bucket list to fly someday!
  • DC3 or de havilland vampire
  • DC3 – because as a child, there was one at the local McDonalds. I never got to have my birthday in it, but I was hooked!
  • Dehavilland Vampire. Because who doesn’t love the twin boom??
  • Supermarine Spitfire. Its contribution to WW2,  its beautiful look with those elliptical wings, and that oh so sweet sound of that Merlin engine.
  • L-188 Electra because it’s beautiful 

This episode’s listener poll: What is the longest flight you have ever been on?

Made My Day

Our Main(e) Man Micah tells the story about how an Airplane Geeks listener made his day.

Mentioned

How the Aurora Borealis Nearly Started World War III

Video: The U-2 Spy Plane That Got Lost in an Aurora and Almost Started WW3

Meet Jessica Traynor: Air Canada’s youngest female captain

Video: Cessna 441 Conquest II Takeoff

 

585 Wings Over New Zealand, Australia, and Britain

Preservation of World War II aviation history with Dave Homewood. In the news, we look at labor contract negotiations at US airlines, the latest on the 737 MAX crisis, the safest airlines to fly in 2020, the Punctuality League 2020 results, a great story from United Airlines, and why the A-10 Warthog can’t be stopped.

Guest

Dave Homewood on his ride. Photo by Stu Russell.

Dave Homewood goes for a ride. Photo by Stu Russell.

Dave Homewood is a New Zealander who grew up in an aviation-loving home. He joined the Royal New Zealand Air Force in 1989 and served as a Safety Equipment Technician in the Safety And Surface trade till 1993. Along the way, Dave developed a huge interest in WWII air force history.

Living in Cambridge, he began researching the people from his town who’d served in the Air Force in WWII. That massive Wings Over Cambridge project continues today, along with the Wings Over New Zealand Aviation Forum that has become a hub for the New Zealand aviation community.

Dave created a podcast called the Wings Over New Zealand Show, or WONZ, and even hosted a live version of the show for several years. Taking the show on the road to Australia with James Kightly to visit museums, aircraft collections, restoration shops, and an airshow, Wings Over Australia was born containing interviews with interesting Aussie aviation personalities.

Dave interviews wartime Spitfie pilot Jim Robinson.  Photo by Peter Wheeler.

Dave interviews wartime Spitfire pilot Jim Robinson. Photo by Peter Wheeler.

This year, Dave plans to create a similar sub-series, Wings Over Britain, traveling to England to visit museums, airfields, aircraft collections, airshows and memorials and interview people involved in aviation there and particularly in the preservation of both warbirds and the memories of the people they represent.

Dave says he “will weave into the series the stories of the thousands of New Zealanders who traveled halfway around the world to fly and fight in the defense of Britain and the liberation of Europe in WWII. Particularly of note will be marking the 80th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain, and also the Battle of France. During both battles, New Zealanders made up the largest number of non-UK pilots and aircrew to take part. I’ll also cover Kiwis taking the fight to Europe, including D-Day, and also Kiwis in the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm, and probably a few stories of Kiwis who also flew and fought in WWI.”

Dave is the editor of Sport Flying magazine and does freelance writing as well as research for other writers, and for warbird aircraft owners tracing the history of their airplanes, and for families seeking info on their ancestors who flew or served in the RNZAF. He also interviews veterans for his Courage And Valour: New Zealanders in the Italian Campaign podcast.

Aviation News

US airlines are set for a 10th year of profits. More than 120,000 employees want a raise

After ten consecutive years of profitability for airlines, organized labor is looking to share in the good fortune and also advance some quality-of-life benefits. Labor agreements with over 120,000 unionized airline employees are scheduled for this year.

737 crisis leaves Boeing badly behind in race with Airbus

2019 was a “disastrous year” for Boeing and 2020 will be “precarious.” Boeing has new leadership, the company is hemorrhaging financial resources, engineering resources are focused on the 737 MAX, and Boeing has lost strategic advantage to Airbus. Boeing faces a damaged reputation with airlines, regulators, pilots, and the flying public.

Revealed: The safest airlines to fly in 2020

Airlineratings.com announced the Top Twenty Safest Airlines for 2020: Qantas, Air New Zealand, EVA Air, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Alaska Airlines, Cathay Pacific Airways, Virgin Australia, Hawaiian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic Airlines, TAP Portugal, SAS, Royal Jordanian, Swiss, Finnair, Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, and KLM.

The site also announced the Top Ten Safest Low-Cost Airlines for 2020, in alphabetical order: Air Arabia, Flybe, Frontier, HK Express, IndiGo, Jetblue, Volaris, Vueling, Westjet, and Wizz.

United’s Fantasy Flight Makes Holiday Wishes Come True

For many years, United Airlines has taken children in need on a “Fantasy Flight to the North Pole.” This season, flights originated from 16 cities around the world.

Delta Air Lines is the Most Punctual Mega Airline in the U.S. for the Third-Straight Year, According to OAG’s Punctuality League 2020

OAG announced the results of its Punctuality League 2020, and Delta ranked number 1 for U.S. airlines in the Mega Airline category for a third consecutive year with an OTP of 83.56%. The U.S. remains a world leader for punctuality, finishing with four of the top 10 most punctual Mega Airlines and six of the top 10 Mega Airports globally.

Why It Seems Like Nothing Can Stop the A-10 Warthog

The U.S Air Force has given up trying to retire the A-10 and will instead upgrade the aircraft.

Mentioned

John Mollison from Old Guys and Their Airplanes has a new film titled The Mettle Behind the Merit – The Steve Pisanos Story. Produced with the Distinguished Flying Cross Society, it is about an immigrant who came to live the American Dream and ended up an ace and WWII war hero. An Educator’s Kit is available to bring the story into the classroom.

Important Charter Guidance for Pilots and Passengers – The FAA says this posting will be removed on January 19, 2020.

Contact Ground, Point Niner – OpenAirplane.com and FlyOtto.com have shut down.

582 Airline Safety

We discuss airline safety in light of the newly revised EU Air Safety List and claims by Horizon Air of a lax pilot safety culture. Also, free admission at EAA Airventure Oshkosh for youth 18 and under, layoffs coming to Textron, space-based ADS-B, and a load stability system for helicopters.

Aviation News

Aviation Safety: Commission adopts new EU Air Safety List

The EU Air Safety List details the countries and specific airlines that do not meet the airline safety standards of ICAO (the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization). Entities on the list are banned from operating in the European Union or have operational restrictions within the EU. Banned from EU skies are 115 airlines, 109 of them in 15 states due to a lack of safety oversight by the aviation authorities in those states. For more on airline safety see:

Horizon Air warns about lax safety culture among its pilots

Horizon Air’s vice president of flight operations stated that the airline suffers under a lax safety culture among the airline’s pilots, writing in an email, “If we sit back and do nothing, we will have an accident. Nothing good can come of the trajectory we are currently on.”

EAA to Give Free Admission to Youth at AirVenture

Young people ages 18 and under will be admitted free to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh as a way to introduce more youth to the possibilities in the world of flight. The 68th annual Experimental Aircraft Association fly-in convention will be July 20-26, 2020 at Wittman Regional Airport. The Boeing Company is financially supporting this effort for the next two years to encourage more aviation-minded families and their children to attend the annual event that brings more than 10,000 aircraft from around the world to Oshkosh.

Textron filing gives more insight into forthcoming layoffs

Textron Aviation announced upcoming layoffs under a restructuring plan and didn’t provide details on the size of the workforce reduction. But a Securities and Exchange Commission filing indicates that about 875 positions will be eliminated. The plan will “improve overall operating efficiency through headcount reductions, facility consolidations, and other actions.”

Northern Virginia-based surveillance firm picks up airplane signals to save time and fuel over Atlantic

Aireon provides a global air traffic surveillance system using Iridium’s satellite network for space-based ADS-B. Reducing the separation requirements for flights crossing the Atlantic gives pilots more freedom to adjust routes and altitude for efficiency.

After His Search-And-Rescue Instructor Died On A Mountain, Caleb Carr, 25, Cofounded A Company To Help Stabilize Helicopter Baskets

When he was just 15 and training as a volunteer search-and-rescuer in Oregon, Caleb Carr’s instructor collapsed of an apparent heart attack. Due to high winds, the rescue helicopter could not put the swaying rescue basket through the dense tree cover and the instructor died on the mountain. Carr and Derek Sikora went on to found Vita Inclinata (Latin for “life by motion”) to provide autonomous helicopter load stability systems.

Mentioned

Airlines Confidential Podcast, hosted by Ben Baldanza (the former CEO of Spirit Airlines) and Seth Kaplan (transportation analyst for NPR’s Here & Now, former publisher of Airline Weekly.)

Rare 1954 Aerocar may fly off the auction block at Scottsdale

Flying Through Corona Arch!!!

579 NBAA-BACE 2019

Observations from the 2019 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE). In the news, strange ideas to make airlines greener, a fleet of commuter planes to avoid road traffic, Southwest B737 maintenance records, therapy animals in the airport, Hawaiian Airlines 90th anniversary, and the Boeing 777X business jet.

Gulfstream G700_500

Gulfstream G700

2019 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE)

Rob Mark attended NBAA-BACE held Event October 22 – 24, 2019 at the Las Vegas Convention Center and at Henderson Executive Airport. Rob offers some impressions of the event and talks about some of the new aircraft like the Gulfstream G700 and the Pilatus PC-12 NGX. He’s also pretty excited about the Vū Systems passive millimeter-wave sensor.

23rd annual Bombardier Safety Standdown 2019

Rob also attended the Bombardier Safety Standdown held November 12 to 14, 2019 at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel, in Fort Worth, Texas. The event attracted a wide variety of participants, some 550 strong, all of whom are deeply interested in aviation safety.

Aviation News

Airline CEO Wants To Ban Business Class

Several airline executives have recently offered some strange ideas: Hungarian LCC Wizz Air CEO Jozsef Varadi is calling for airlines to stop offering business class on flights less than five hours, calling it “an inefficient and archaic model.” Lufthansa Group CEO Carsten Spohr has declared that “flights for less than 10EUR shouldn’t exist.”

FLOAT Plans January Launch For SoCal Short-Distance Commuter Service

FLOAT Shuttle Inc. (Fly Over All Traffic) offers southern California commuter flights operated by Southern Airways Express, LLC. from GA airports. For a fixed monthly fee, commuters beat ground transportation with 15-30 minute flights from almost 40 airports.

Greenland airport becomes latest victim of climate change

The permafrost at Greenland’s Kangerlussuaq Airport is melting, causing the runway to crack. They say civilian flights will end within five years and so a new airport is being constructed.

Turbulence ahead for Southwest Airlines?

From 2014, Southwest Airlines purchased 88 Boeing 737 planes from more than a dozen foreign airlines. Southwest had the planes inspected and they were found compliant per FAA delegated authority. However, the FAA found some records discrepancies in May 2018 and gave Southwest 2 two years to bring the maintenance documentation into compliance. As of October 29, 2019, only 39 of the planes had been inspected.

Meet adorable therapy pig LiLou who’s helping out stressed airport passengers

San Francisco International Airport is using a “Wag Brigade” to help passengers with travel anxieties. LiLou the therapy pig sports a pilot’s cap and painted toenails. She says hello by raising a hoof, poses for selfies, and manages to entertain departing passengers with her toy piano. The Wag Brigade program also includes a number of dogs.

Video: Therapy Pig // 60 Second Docs

Hawaiian Airlines celebrates its 90th anniversary with a flight back in time

The first Hawaiian Airlines flight took place on Nov. 11, 1929, from Honolulu to Hilo. To celebrate its 90th anniversary, Hawaiian Airlines recreated that flight, flying on the same day, route and time as they did 90 years ago.

Boeing’s New Private Jet Is World’s Largest and Most Luxurious

The Boeing Business Jet isn’t just one jet – it’s a series of airliner variants for the private and corporate jet market that includes the 747-8 VIP, 737 MAX VIP,  787 VIP, and 777X VIP. The 777X VIP has a 3,256 sq. ft. cabin with a base price of $474 million. Expect to spend an additional $90–$175 million to outfit the plane.

Mentioned

AvgeekFests.com aviation events calendar.

Thursday Thunder – What I Really Want To Fly from Sticks, Stories, and Scotch.

Aircraft nose job assessed in Hertz chamber

Airline Timetable Images

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.

450 A Worldwide LGBT Aviation Community

Airline pilot Kathy Dulson tells us about the National Gay Pilots Association, and we discuss the recent flurry of airline public relations disasters. Also, an all-female UPS crew, the Blue Angels touch in the air, some airlines are dropping the “two persons in the cockpit” rule, and runway safety problems at Santa Monica.

Guest

Kathy Dulson

Kathy Dulson

Kathy Dulson is a Boeing 757/767 pilot for a major legacy airline based in Los Angeles. She has been involved in aviation for 29 years with four different airlines, starting in customer service and airline operations before pursuing her dream of flight. Kathy has been an airline pilot since 2002 flying the Saab 340, Canadair Regional Jet, Airbus 320, and now Boeing 757/767.

Kathy is also on the Board of Directors of the National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA), a non-profit organization that promotes advocacy and outreach, pilot careers, aviation safety, and social and professional networking. She is also a member of Women in Aviation International, the Ninety-Nines, and ISA+21.

Our conversation includes a discussion of the advocacy the NGPA provides on behalf of LGBT members of the airline community. We look at the sponsorship provided by airlines and the scholarships offered, as well as the local chapters with flight schools and universities, membership in NGPA, and the role of allies.

Find the NGPA on Twitter and Facebook.

Aviation News

Are Airline CEOs Finally Getting The Message A Big Change Is Needed?

The writer attributes incidents like the violent removal of a United passenger to a procedure-based industry that prevents a culture where frontline employees are empowered to make situational decisions.

That airline customer relations issues are prevalent in the news is evidenced by this list of stories that came up on the first page of a Google News search for the word “airline.”

Delta Airlines Pilot Hits Passenger At Atlanta Airport, Returns To Work

A pilot for Delta Airlines was caught on video hitting a passenger at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport. The passenger was brawling with another woman at the time.

Is It Time for Airlines to Stop Overselling Flights?

George Hobica says overselling makes air travel look bad, and “It’s time for the airlines to stop this or for the DOT or Congress to do it for them.”

First all-female crew to fly UPS plane at Thunder

Thunder Over Louisville is an annual airshow and fireworks display that kicks off the Kentucky Derby Festival. UPS was an event sponsor and a UPS 757 was part of the airshow. What makes this unique is that this was the first UPS crew flying in Thunder Over Louisville comprised of all women – flight and ground crew.

Blue Angels jets swap paint in close call over Pensacola

Two United States Navy Blue Angels airplanes touched during a flyover with the Air Force Thunderbirds near Pensacola Beach, Florida.

German airlines drop safety rule prompted by Germanwings crash

After the 2015 Germanwings crash where the pilot flew the plane into the ground, a “two person in the cockpit” rule was widely discussed. A rule change was advocated by the European Aviation Safety Agency, but last year EASA changed the requirement and allowed individual airlines make their own determination. The German aviation association BDL has announced that effective June 1, 2017, airlines will return to their original cockpit safety procedures.

Safety Problems Identified in Shortened Runway Plan at Santa Monica

Plans to shorten Santa Monica’s Runway 03/21 per the city’s January agreement with the FAA may create a number of potential safety issues.

Mentioned

A First Look Inside The New Private VIP Terminal At Los Angeles International Airport

The International Society of Women Airline Pilots

Wings Over Pittsburgh Air Show, May 13-14, 2017. Bags/Prohibited Items List.

Airline Pilot Guy Episode 269

Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display

Larry Page-backed Kitty Hawk shows off its flying electric ‘car,’ available later this year

Video: Introducing the Kitty Hawk Flyer

Lilium shows maiden flight of world’s first working prototype of an electric VTOL jet

Video: The Lilium Jet – The world’s first all-electric VTOL jet

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 401 Aviation Accidents as Emergent Properties of Complex Systems

We explore aviation accidents as emergent properties of complex systems, and discuss: the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association complaints about pilot wages, a survey on frequent flier rewards programs, an NPRM that would change FAR Part 61, third class medical reform in yet more legislation, and a two seat Robinson R44. David has an onfire history segment and Rob talks TSA.

Guest

Captain Shem Malmquist has a broad aviation experience ranging from teaching aerobatics and instructing in a wide variety of both general aviation and transport aircraft, to academic research and safety investigation.

Captain Shem Malmquist, FRAeS

Captain Shem Malmquist, FRAeS

We talk with Shem about improvements that have made air travel safer, and the gaps we now face for identifying problems that might arise in the future. Shem explains how aviation accidents currently present themselves as interactions of complex components. Resilience engineering is an example of a different approach to how we look at complex accidents. We discuss flight simulators, mitigating lithium battery risk, and autonomous vehicles, including both manned and unmanned aircraft.

Shem worked as an instructor and evaluator on several transport aircraft and has served as flight crew on the Embraer EMB-110, Shorts 360, B-727, DC-8, B-747 and MD-11. He continues to work a full flight schedule, mostly international long haul flights.

Shem has been part of the Air Line Pilot Association’s (ALPA) National Charting and Instrument Procedures Committee (CHIPS), and he was selected by his airline to be the chairman of both the airline’s Safety Committee and the Aircraft Design and Operations Committee.

As Flight Duty Officer, he led several initiatives, including a volcanic ash avoidance plan, air security procedures, and a number of regulatory compliance issues. Shem completed NTSB’s accident investigation training and acted as Party Coordinator for an MD-11 accident in Newark, New jersey, and he was on the “go-team” for an MD-11 accident in Narita Japan.

Last year, Shem was a keynote speaker at FAA’s InfoShare and has presented at several International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI) events. He has also authored numerous articles on various issues involving flight safety and operations covering a broad range of topics from technical to human factors.

Shem earned a Masters (MSc) degree in Human Factors in Aeronautics through the Florida Institute of Technology, and a Bachelors of Science (BSc) from Embry-Riddle University. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a full member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI), and a member of AIAA, IEEE, and SAE where he also serves on three committees: Flight Deck Handling Quality Standards for Transport Aircraft, Aerospace Behavior Engineering Technology, and Lithium Battery Packaging Performance.

Related Resources:

David Woods, Professor, Integrated Systems Engineering, The Ohio State University. Complexity in Human, Natural and Engineered Systems.

Sidney Dekker, professor at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, author on human factors and safety: Field Guide to Understanding Human Error.

Air Transport Safety Articles A collection of articles written by Shem Malmquist FRAeS.

Airline Safety and Accident Investigation Community on Facebook.

Driverless Cars and the Myths of Autonomy by David A. Mindell, MIT Professor of engineering and the history of technology, author of Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy.

News

Southwest Pilots Sue City of Chicago Over Billboard Advertising

SWAPA billboard

SWAPA billboard

The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) wanted to make a point about pilot wages on a billboard at Chicago Midway International Airport. City Hall told them they could not post their message, so the union filed suit against the city of Chicago, claiming an unconstitutional restriction on their First Amendment rights and asking for a temporary restraining order to allow the pilots to display the ad. As a result, a Judge orders Chicago to allow Southwest pilots billboard at Midway.

The Best and Worst Frequent-Flier Rewards Programs for 2016

Switchfly-Reward-Infographic-2016The Switchfly Reward Seat Availability Survey conducted by consulting firm IdeaWorks found that for the third year in a row, free seats open for booking increased. “Overall, I think the consumer is being better served than the year before,” says Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorks.

Switchfly CEO Daniel Farrar said, “This survey reflects the fact that airlines can’t afford to take their customers for granted. 21st century consumers are savvy and plugged-in. They know when their loyalty programs are offering them a real value and when they are not delivering; and they don’t have time for loyalty programs that aren’t delivering, especially in such a competitive space. Increasingly, consumers expect a personalized booking, travel and reward experience. Every time a customer interacts with the brand – online, offline or mobile – the user experience must be on-point. Airlines must make this happen and ensure that zero customers have a bad experience anywhere along the booking or redemption path.”

See Southwest and airberlin Top Reward Rankings but Turkish Airlines and Air China Rise High [Ideaworks press release, PDF]

Proposed Part 61 changes would benefit GA

The FAA has published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would change FAR Part 61 which governs the certification of pilots, flight instructors, and ground instructors. AOPA is supportive of the proposed changes, which include “increased use of aviation training devices (ATDs) for maintaining instrument currency, the option to use new technically advanced aircraft instead of older complex or turbine aircraft for single-engine commercial pilot training, and giving credit for hours accumulated during sport pilot training toward earning a recreational or private pilot certificate.”

Defense Bill Includes Medical Reform Language

Third class medical reform from the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 keeps getting into legislation: As standalone legislation in the Senate, again as part of the Senate’s FAA reauthorization bill, and now by the Senate Armed Services Committee in the National Defense Authorization Act.

FAA Approves Two-Place R44

The FAA has certified Robinson’s two-place R44 Cadet The Cadet is essentially an R44 Raven, but with the rear seats removed for more cargo space. Maximum gross weight is reduced to 2200 pounds, engine power is derated to 210 hp takeoff and 185 hp continuous.

The Aircraft of the Week

Aviation Historian David Venderhoof comments on The F-35 Stealth Fighter’s Dirty Little Secret Is Now Out in the Open.

On the Mark

Rob is talking about why he likes something the TSA did … well, sort of.

Mentioned

Breastfeeding pilots file discrimination charges

Tell Frontier Airlines: Sexism Won’t Fly – ACLU petition.

Breastfeeding pilots’ claims against airline seen as advance

Pilots And ACLU Sue Airline Over Breast Milk Pumping At Work

and

Air Data System Failure Involving Airbus A320-243 A6-EYJ [PDF] from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 400 That’s a Lot of Episodes

John Croft

John Croft in the NASA Langley simulator

John Croft, Senior Editor at Aviation Week & Space Technology joins us for our 400th episode. We discuss Safety Management Systems (SMS), the IATA 2015 Safety Report, challenges for a safety culture that embraces self-reporting, and flight simulator changes that include models for high-altitude, high-angle of attack regimes.

In the news, we discuss airline profits and complaints (both up), an aircraft leasing company IPO, thoughts on a B-52 engine upgrade, a female aviation pioneer, sonic booms, and PSA Airlines’ pilot hiring strategy.

John CroftGuest

John Croft is Senior Editor Avionics & Safety, Aviation Week & Space Technology. He’s a part-owner of a 1978 Piper Archer II, a certified flight instructor, instrument instructor, multi-engine rated commercial pilot, and former NASA engineer. He specialized in avionics and control systems for Earth-orbiting satellites, including the Extreme Ultraviolet Explorer and Rossi X-Ray Timing Explorer.

After leaving NASA in 2000, John earned a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Maryland and went on to work for several aerospace publications, including Flight International as Americas Editor before joining Aviation Week in 2012.

News

Airlines report record profits even as customer complaints soar

In 2015, fuel prices came down 35%, baggage fees amounted to $3.8 billion, and reservation change fees were $3 billion. At the same time, average fares were down 3.8%, yet U.S. passenger airlines enjoyed $25.6 billion in profits in 2015 vs. $7.5 billion in 2014. But formal complaints grew 30%.

Top aircraft leasing firm’s IPO to raise $1.5b

Many airlines lease the airplanes they operate, from companies like ILFC, AerCap, GCAS, and BOC Aviation. Singapore-based BOC Aviation Ltd, is owned by the Bank of China, and they are looking at a possible IPO which could raise as much as $1.5 billion.

P&W still pushing upgrade of B-52’s original TF33 engine

Boeing B-52 bombers are powered by Pratt & Whitney TF33 engines, 1950’s engine technology. They are loud, smoky, and burn a lot of fuel. There has been talk in the past of replacing each pair of TF33’s with a single new-technology engine, but such a re-engining would be very expensive. Instead, P&W military engines president Bennett Croswell is proposing a TF33 upgrade package that would lower the cost of maintenance.

Colorado Native Honored For Flying Through Glass Ceiling

Emily Hanrahan Warner became the first female airline pilot in the United States, and she’s now been inducted in the Irish American Hall of Fame. On April 10, 1973, Warner became the first woman hired by an American carrier and in 1976, she became America’s first female airline captain.

Honeywell, NASA Test Sonic Boom Technology

Under NASA’s Commercial Supersonic Technology (CST) project, Honeywell was awarded a contract in 2015 to overcome supersonic boom issues. Honeywell has developed a predictive display that tell pilots when a sonic boom is developing.

Seeking 500 pilots a year, PSA Airlines sweetens the pot

PSA AIrlines Inc. needs to hire 500 new pilots per year. To attract more pilots they will offer a $20,000 retention bonus to active first officers and a $250 monthly allowance for pilots to offset the cost of commuting hotel expenses.

Mentioned

IATA 2015 Safety Report [PDF]

Pilot Error Movie Trailer – A fictional drama film is inspired by the true story of Air France 447.

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 392 Aviation Safety with Todd Curtis

Dr. Todd Curtis, founder of AirSafe.com, talks about about MH370 on the second anniversary of its loss, laser and drone threats to aviation safety, an aviation maintenance competition, and improving the quality of media reporting of aviation accidents. In the news, we discuss supersonic planes, all-woman commercial flights, the longest flights, and air service to Cuba.

Guest

Dr. Todd Curtis

Dr. Todd Curtis

Todd Curtis is an aviation safety analyst, author, and publisher. He founded AirSafe.com in 1996 to provide the public with useful information about airline safety, fear of flying, plane crashes, TSA security, and other issues of concern to the traveling public.

While an airline safety engineer at Boeing, Todd was directly involved in many plane crash investigations, including TWA flight 800, and he was part of the engineering development team for the 777.

In addition to writing several books on aviation safety and security, Todd has also written the book Parenting and the Internet. He’s been a frequent on-air aviation expert on CNN, CBS, NBC, ABC, MSNBC, Fox News, CBC, BBC, Discovery Channel, NPR, and many other major news media outlets around the world.

See:

Visit AirSafe.com for airline safety and security information, as well as information about fear of flying, flying with cash, child travel, the airline complaint process, baggage tips, and much more. Follow @airsafe on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

News

QueSST X-plane concept, courtesy Lockheed Martin

QueSST X-plane concept, courtesy Lockheed Martin

NASA selects Lockheed Martin to design supersonic X-plane

Under the preliminary design phase of the quiet supersonic technology (QueSST) program, Lockheed Martin will lead a team to design a half-scale supersonic X-plane that uses boom-suppression technology. NASA administrator Charles Bolden said, “Now we’re continuing that supersonic X-plane legacy with this preliminary design award for a quieter supersonic jet with an aim toward passenger flight.”

NASA plans to start building the supersonic X-plane in 2019, with first flight scheduled in 2020. The acoustic survey would begin in 2021 in southern California and continue for several years. The Lockheed Martin team includes subcontractors GE Aviation and Tri Models Inc.

World’s longest all-women operated flight is ready for take off

In celebration of International Women’s Day, Air India set the record for the longest all-women operated and supported flight, which flew non-stop on March 6 from New Delhi to San Francisco. The cabin crew, cockpit crew, check-in staff, and customer care staff were all women

Air India will operate 20 all-women domestic flights on March 8

Air India said it would fly 20 all-women domestic flights March 8 to commemorate International Women’s Day. Every year, International Women’s Day is celebrated by Air India with all-women crews on selected international and domestic sectors.

Boeing 777 Flies Seven of the World’s 10 Longest Airline Routes

The longest flight in the world is the 8,819 mile flight between Dubai and Auckland, New Zealand. Emirates inaugurated the route with an A380, but switched to the 777-200LR the next day. Of the ten longest flights in the world, the B777 is used on seven of them, and the A380 flies the other three.

Starting June 1, 2016, United will begin the 8,446-mile San Francisco-Singapore service with a 787-9, making it the third-longest flight in the world, and the longest scheduled flight by any U.S. carrier.

These Are All the Proposed Flights From America to Cuba

The U.S. and Cuba have agreed to permit 110 daily flights between the two countries: twenty daily flights to Havana, and ten daily flights to nine other international airports. The deadline for airlines to submit applications to the Department of Transportation for proposed flight routes has expired, and eight airlines applied.

Listener Recording

My Favorite Airplane – Yet Again, by Micah, our Main(e) Man.

Mentioned

Airplane Geeks Podcast Archive

Aviation Geek Fest Seattle 2016

Bjorn’s Corner: Engine architectures

Leading Edge Photography

Why did the half-plane, half-helicopter not work?

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 370 NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System

The NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System, the European Aviation Safety Agency takes issue with pilot license renewal practices in Germany, medical requirements under the Pilot’s Bill of Rights, ICAO creates a site for aircraft tracking, the consequences for air traffic controllers who make mistakes, and the first woman cleared to fly the F-35A Lightning II.

Guest

Linda Connell

Linda Connell

Guest Linda Connell is Director of the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System and a Research Psychologist for NASA Ames Research Center. The ASRS collects and acts on voluntarily submitted aviation safety incident/situation reports from pilots, controllers, and others.

Linda has been working at NASA Ames Research Center since 1981, and has participated in a number of studies with domestic and international research teams exploring human factor issues in aviation environments.

A Registered Nurse and member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, Linda continues to evaluate proactive aviation safety information on a variety of topics, including pilot/controller voice communication, emergency medical helicopter operations, aviation maintenance, cabin safety, and technology applications in aviation environments.

We talk with Linda about the formation of the ASRS, the process to collect safety data in a way that guarantees immunity, the analysis of the data and how subcontractors are utilized, and the 10 day window. We also discuss the alerts process and how to submit reports.

News

EU Challenging Germany’s Air Safety Authorities Post Germanwings Crash

The European Aviation Safety Agency says license renewal practices for pilots in Germany favor privacy over safety. Noting that Germany has addressed some of the concerns, the EU says others remain.  If Germany does not comply with the Commission’s demands, it could be taken to court.

Pilot’s Bill Of Rights Changes; One-Time Medicals For Some

The Pilot’s Bill of Rights introduced earlier this year by Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla. was designed to waive the third-class medical for private pilots flying light aircraft. Now the bill has changed to include:

  • An online aeromedical course every two years.
  • Logbook entries that certify the pilot has seen their personal doctors at least once every four years (and received any needed treatment for medical conditions).
  • A one-time medical for new pilots and pilots who haven’t had a medical in the last 10 years.

ICAO starts aircraft tracking information web page

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has created a Global Tracking Initiatives web page to serve as “a repository of documents related to aircraft tracking.” The page presents a timeline of events and documents. Adoption of a 15-minute aircraft tracking Standard is expected at the end of 2015.

Air traffic controllers making major errors remain on job, including at IAH

KPRC-TV in Houston, Texas reports that “air traffic controllers who have made major errors have been allowed to stay on the job, without loss of rank or pay.”  This has occurred at George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, and at other airports. KPRC reporter Joel Eisenbaum asked, “So you can make an error that causes a plane to crash and you’re not losing your job?”

The FAA response was, “The FAA has learned through experience that a non-punitive safety culture encourages employees to share information and engage in frank and open discussions about situations that they might otherwise be reluctant to bring to a supervisor’s attention. In cases involving willful neglect or dereliction of duties by an employee, the agency does not hesitate to take the appropriate measures as defined under agency policies and collective bargaining agreements.”

Textron Aviation customer Wheels Up completes capital raise

The New York-based private aviation membership company Wheels Up has an order for 105 Beechcraft King Air 350i’s, and has raised $115 million in capital for business expansion.

Boeing’s new tanker achieves first flight

Boeing flew the KC-46A Paine Field in Everett, Washington for a four hour first flight. The KC-46A is based on the Boeing 767 commercial airliner.

Other Segments

Lieutenant Colonel Christine “Grinder” Mau

Lieutenant Colonel Christine “Grinder” Mau

  • David attended the Joint Base Andrews’ open house on September 19th 2015, where he interviewed Lieutenant Colonel Christine “Grinder” Mau, Deputy Commander for the Operations Group of the 33rd Fighter Wing. Col. Mau was the first woman cleared to fly the F-35A Lightning II, and one of only 52 women fighter pilots in the USAF. She talks about what it’s like to fly the F-35A, and believing in your dreams.
F-35A and R2D2

F-35A and R2D2

  • Micah gives us some thoughts on the late Alan Purwin.
  • Brian talks with listener Hendrik in Hamburg, Germany.

Mentioned

Listener Photo

Michael sends this photo from his Cirrus SR22T looking over Los Angeles on airway V186 from the Paradise VOR to Van Nuys VOR, September 17, 2015. The light in the top right of the picture is a 777 going into LAX.

Cirrus SR22T looking over Los Angeles

Credit

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