Tag Archives: seat pitch

470 Data Science and Predictive Analytics for Aviation

How aviation is being transformed by data science and predictive analytics. Also, safety implications of airline seat space, why the U.S. Air Force isn’t talking about a fatal plane crash, a recommendation to roll back the 1500 hour rule, and toes impact the passenger experience.


Andrew Kemmetmueller, VP Aviation at Uptake, a predictive analytics company.

Andrew Kemmetmueller, VP Aviation at Uptake, a predictive analytics company.

Andrew Kemmetmueller is Vice President, Aviation at Uptake, a predictive analytics company that forecasts problems before they happen so industrial companies can prevent costly equipment breakdowns, improve productivity, and ensure safety and security.

Andrew talks about the impact of big data, machine learning, and the Internet of Things on aviation. We look at data science and how predictive analytics can improve flying for everyone involved, from the pilot to the passenger, the mechanic to the air traffic controller.

We discuss how the ability to record large volumes of sensor data in aircraft is facilitated by cost-effective connectivity. Benefits accrue to OEMs, airlines, and customers through the passenger experience. Predictive maintenance keeps airline operations running smoothly, reduces delays, and improves operating efficiency.

Andrew was previously Managing Director and Principal at AvIntel Consulting; he was Vice President, Connected Aircraft Services, at Gogo, the CEO of Allegiant Systems Inc.; and Service Director at ARINC.

Find Uptake on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Aviation News

Coach-class seats are so tight that FAA dummies keep shattering seatback video screens with their heads during crash simulations

When we talk about shrinking seat space on airlines, we usually think about passenger comfort. But the conversation is shifting to safety. In Flying Coach Is So Cramped It Could Be a Death Trap, the Daily Beast says, “No coach class seat meets the Department of Transportation’s own standard for the space required to make a flight attendant’s seat safe in an emergency.” Also, “Neither Boeing nor the Federal Aviation Administration will disclose the evacuation test data for the newest (and most densely seated) versions of the most widely used jet, the Boeing 737.”

The activist group Flyers Rights has taken the FAA to court and a U.S. Court of Appeals said there was “a plausible life-and-death safety concern.” The court ordered the FAA to respond to a Flyers Rights petition asking for new rules to deal with seat space safety issues.

Mysterious Air Force Crash Reportedly Involved a Foreign Plane

The U.S. Air Force is refusing to identify the type of aircraft involved in a September 5 fatal crash at the Nevada Test and Training Range. The speculation is that a foreign aircraft was being flown.

Citing costs, panel advises rolling back post-3407 air safety measure

Colgan Air Flight 3407, operating as a Continental Connection codeshare flight, crashed into a house in Clarence Center, New York in 2009, killing 50 people. The NTSB report faulted the pilots for responding improperly to the stall warnings. This led to a regulatory change requiring commercial pilots to have 1,500 hours of flight experience. In a recent report, the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee said the 1,500 hour rule “imposes costs that exceed benefits.”

What. In. Gods. Name. #toegirl

This is not the #PaxEx you hope to have!



Cirrus Embark

Lift and Wings – Sixty Symbols

Trump’s Dire Air-Traffic Claim Contradicted by Government Report


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

AirplaneGeeks 364 Aviation Stories

Uzbekistan by Paul Filmer

We look at the Logbook Podcast with aviation stories told by those who lived them, Uzbekistan Airways weighing passengers, a patent for variable seat pitch, IndiGo firms up a big A320neo order, the fatality rate in GA, a Delta flight pummeled by hail, Emirates launching a 17 hour, 35 minute flight, and an interesting aircraft of the week.


Lucas Weakley

Lucas Weakley

Lucas Weakley is an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student in the aerospace engineering program. Fascinated by flight from a young age, he’s a builder of model rockets and airplanes, and he hopes to one day design kit-built aircraft.

Lucas is also the creator of The Logbook Podcast, where pilots and enthusiasts tell their stories of aviation. He also produced a 23-episode tutorial series for Make Magazine titled Maker Hangar that teaches you everything you need to know to build and fly three custom R/C aircraft.

We also take the opportunity to learn a little more about Embry-Riddle and the aerospace engineering program.

Learn more at Lucas Weakley’s Blog, see his videos on his YouTube channel, and follow Lucas on Twitter at @L_Weakley.

Varga Kachina

Varga Kachina


Airline To Weigh Passengers Before Boarding, Travel Hits New Low

Uzbekistan Airways announced on its website that they would begin weighing passengers and carry-on baggage before boarding to ensure flight safety. The airline says, “After passing check-in on flight and prior to boarding into the aircraft, we will suggest you to pass the procedure of weighing with the special weighing machine placed in the departure gate zone. The weighing record will only contain the corresponding passenger category (i.e. male/ female/ children). As for the rest, the full confidentiality of results is guaranteed.”

This idea could solve the worst thing about air travel

B/E Aerospace has filed a patent application for airline seats that are adjustable for passenger height. Shorter passengers (like children) would get less legroom. Mary Kirby would get more. B/E Aerospace manufactures aircraft cabin interior products for both commercial aircraft and business jets: seating products, galley systems, oxygen, water and waste systems; de-icing, lighting.

Airbus says it takes ‘historical’ aircraft order

IndiGo firmed up a 2014 commitment by placing an order for 250 Airbus A320 new engine option jets. IndiGo has now ordered a total of 530 A320 family aircraft.

US general aviation reports highest fatal accident rate since 1998

According to the US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the number of general aviation flight hours is at at all time low. But in 2014 the rate of fatal GA accidents was the highest it has been since 1998.

Delta Pilots Make Blind Emergency Landing

Baseball-sized hail pummeled the airplane, shattered the nose cone and windshield. The pilots were able to land the jet safely.

Emirates Flight To Panama Will Be World’s Longest Non-Stop Route

Emirates announced its plans to launch services to Panama City, beginning 1st February, 2016, with a 17 hour 35 minute flight time.

The Airplane of the Week

The Incom T-65. (It’s David’s segment and he can do what he wants!)


Short final for runway 10 at St Barths in the Caribbean

Short final for runway 10 at St Barths in the Caribbean

Landing at St Barthelemy Airport (SBH-TFFH) | PrivateFly – Video of a DHC-6-300 Twin Otter landing at St Barts.

Crazy Cockpit Landing at St. Barths – Landing runway 10 at St. Barthelemy aboard a Winair DHC-6 Twin Otter.

The Aviation Historian – The modern journal of classic aeroplanes and the history of flying.

American Airlines’ New First Class Pet Cabins – From the Fly and Dine blog in Boarding Area by Jason Kessler.

U.S.-China aviation talks hit stumbling block on airport access – The US and China have been negotiating over limits on flights between the United States and China. The U.S. is worried its airlines will be get less attractive time slots for take-off and landing than the Chinese airlines. So the US negotiators won’t move forward until China looks at a different slot allocation system.

Men In Black Safety Defenders #AirNZSafetyVideo – It’s got international rugby stars, members of the All Blacks, even Rip Torn from MIB 1 and 2, and Frank the pug!


Uzbekistan Airways photo (c) and courtesy Paul Filmer.

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


AirplaneGeeks 320 The Passenger Experience

Weeks and Howard's S-43_400

The passenger experience: social media, in-flight connectivity, wearable technology, seat pitch.


Aviation journalist Mary Kirby is founder and editor of the Runway Girl Network, a B2B2C source for intelligence about the passenger experience. The Network covers the industry from nose to tail, in the air, and on the ground. Be sure to follow the #PaxEx hashtag.


Tweeting While Flying, Part II: Another Passenger Booted From Flight After Tweeting

A JetBlue passenger tweeted that the pilot was or might have been intoxicated. Another passenger in turn Tweeted about this but was denied re-boarding after the pilot was cleared.

Airline passengers are increasingly using social media to make comments about the airline or the flight. Just what does it take for a passenger to be considered “disruptive”? Airlines need a protocol for how a they respond to the new level of social media activity and scrutiny.

“I Have Ebola”: Passenger Causes Scare on Flight That Departed From Philly

On a flight from PHL to the Dominican Republic, a 54-year-old man had reportedly said “I have Ebola, you are all screwed.” The plane was met by a team in full hazmat suits at the destination.

Screenings have been stepped up at JFK for passengers arriving from high risk countries.

Passengers can make bad jokes or inappropriate comments that can affect flight safety. What should the consequences be?

Airline Passengers Ready for Wearable Tech

A recent SITA survey shows technology improves the passenger experience. Almost 77% of surveyed passengers said they would be comfortable with the use of wearable tech to help them on their journey.

Airlines who seek to differentiate themselves on service are looking at wearables like Google Glass.

We also examine in-flight connectivity, who the providers are, and opportunities in an environment where penetration outside the US is only estimated to be 6%

The Gogo Text & Talk product lets you use your mobile phone in flight, and is rolling out to business aviation.

Could major US airline create an “economy minus” cabin?

A US legacy airline is shopping around the idea that it’s planning to create a dedicated “economy minus” cabin. This could be a trial balloon, but maybe not.

Low Cost Carriers (LCC) and Ultra Low Cost Carriers (ULCC) are putting a lot of pressure on the US majors. Who will go below the 28” seat pitch?

Aircraft of the Week

Jamie Dodson tells us about the Sikorsky S-43 Amphibian.

The Australia News Desk

Grant has been flying a balloon again, and he’s taken Evan Schoo and Albert up with him. They take a moment from the flight to record an intro, then Grant slots in these news items:

  • Changes have started at CASA but the official response to the Aviation Safety Regulatory Review (aka, The Forsyth Report) haven’t come out yet. That response is due by the end of 2014.
  • The Qantas Founders Museum have purchased a Lockheed Super Constellation to join the aircraft on display at Longreach in outback Queensland.

The Aviation Minute

Rob looks at how personal electronic devices impair the pre-flight safety briefing.

Across the Pond

Pieter visits Tim Robinson at the Royal Aeronautical Society’s London HQ, 4 Hamilton Place. Hallowed ground for any aviation and aerospace geek.


617 Squadron and the Dams Raid

Seaplane in Tasmania 3 Sir John Falls

Wright Brothers National Memorial

National Historical Park, Ohio

Carillon Historical Park

Hawthorn Hill

Henry Ford Museum’s Greenfield Village


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

AirplaneGeeks 315 – Flying for Law Enforcement

Patrice Billings in MD500E

Patrolling the skies September 11, passengers fighting over reclining seats, pilot hypoxia, a Dubai aviation mega-hub, airplane weather radar, and the new Southwest livery.


Guest Patrice Billings was the first female police officer to become a helicopter pilot for a U.S. law enforcement agency. She was flying air patrol for the the St Louis County Police Department on September 11, 2001. Patrice was a member of the SWAT Team for 10 years and was even nominated for TV’s America’s Most Wanted Heroes Award.

Now Patrice is a speaker and consultant, and brings her experience and wisdom to others by sharing stories of survival, of overcoming obstacles, and of re-inventing oneself.

We talk about flying air patrols in an MD-500E helicopter in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Patrice relates the strangeness of a quiet airspace and the stress of not knowing if attacks were planned for additional targets. Patrice tells us her thoughts on being a woman pilot in law enforcement, and on flying the helicopter. She’s also writing a fiction novel based on her life experiences.

Follow Patrice on Twitter as @mooncopter or visit her website at www.patricebillings.com. Inquiries concerning motivational speaking engagements can be directed to her publicist Brenda Fraser at +1 (314) 704-4412 or www.BrendaFraser.com.

The News

Airlines’ reclining seats trigger passenger disputes

Recently, three U.S. commercial flights have had to make diverted landings after passengers got into fights over the ability to recline their seats. Frustrated with limited seat space, air travelers are turning to devices like the Knee DefenderTM that prohibit the seat in front from reclining. Some airlines, like Spirit and Allegiant, have seats that don’t recline. At Mary Kirby’s RunwayGirlNetwork, they have talked about new “butt-to-knee” and “eyeball to seat-back” measurements that better reflect the space provided to passengers.

TBM owner’s group chair crashes after becoming unresponsive
WOC-Based Boat Witnessed Weekend Plane Crash; Fishermen Watched As F-16 Jets Shadowed Aircraft Until It Crashed

Two general aviation accidents point to pilot hypoxia. We talk about what this is and what pilots should do.

Dubai Building Meg-hub in the Desert

Dubai plans to invest $32bn to create an aviation mega-hub and the home of Emirates Airline.

New airplane radar offers bigger picture on bad weather

Honeywell is manufacturing a new onboard 3-D weather radar system called IntuVue® 3-D Weather Radar. On their web page Honeywell says,

Weather-related delays & cancellations cost the U.S. economy $18B in 2007. Turbulence-related incidents cost airlines on average $150K/incident. Total cost to the industry exceeds $100M/year. Business jet operators experience approximately 180,000 flights that are delayed due to weather, costing an estimated $340M.”

The B787 uses the Rockwell Collins product: MultiScan ThreatTrackTM.

David Vanderhoof’s Airplane of the Week

Southwest livery

Southwest debuted their new livery for its 737s and David expresses his opinion. He isn’t faint of heart about what he thinks of the new scheme.

The Australia News Desk

Grant’s been at the Moorabbin Air Museum for the 75th anniversary of Wirraway A20-10, the oldest surviving Wirraway in the world. The Wirraway was based on the NA-16 (which became the T6 Texan) and was made in Australia by the Commonwealth Aircraft Company.

In other news, the RAAF sends two E7A Wedgetail AEW&C aircraft to Red Flag in Alaska, and the Army’s Tiger ARH simulators get a major graphics upgrade.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at@stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

Across the Pond

Sea Fury T20

Lt Cdr Chris Götke pictured with Captain Eric ‘Winkle’ Brown CBE DSC AFC Royal Navy (95) the Royal Navy’s most decorated and distinguished Naval Test Pilot, in front of Sea Fury T20 just before he took off to fly to the Air Day at RNAS Culdrose

Pieter Johnson continues his reports on historic aircraft with the sad news of the recent crash landing of the Royal Navy Historic Flight’s Hawker Sea Fury T.20 last month. Having saved the aircraft from almost total write off with a textbook landing Lt Commander Chris Gotke (‘Goaty’) walked away safe and well. We now need this aircraft back where it belongs….In the air.

See the Sea Fury Appeal at the Fly Navy Heritage Trust website.

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.


The NACA Centenary: 100 Years of Aerospace Research and Development

NASA is co-hosting a history symposium (along with the Air & Space Museum) March 3-4, 2015 to mark the centennial of the creation of the NACA [National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics]. They are looking for people to write/present papers on some aspect of NACA/NASA history. The deadline for proposals is Sept 15.

Google Is Building Self-Flying Planes

Google has been working a secret drone project called Project Wing. They are testing deliveries by drone in Australia with vertical takeoff, fixed wing aircraft. The article has a good video.

A-10 Replacement?

Here’s a great video from one of the A-10 designers, Peirre Sprey. He goes into great detail on the design requirements that went into the Warthog.  Mr Sprey explains why there is no aircraft on deck to replace the A-10.  The present view of having the F-35, F-16, or F-15E pick up the A-10s close support mission is a pipe dream.

The Moth Podcast, Michael Massimino: A View of the Earth, released August 26, 2014

Astronaut Michael Massimino tells his story of dreams and persistence in getting and living a career.

International Auster Club

A club dedicated to Auster and Beagle owners and pilots.

Altitude Group LLC

First run of the V8 engine powering their new P85 kit aircraft. The P85 is a derivation of Altitude Group’s Radial Rocket airframe, with changes to accommodate a V8 firewall forward powerplant package utilizing the LS series of V8 engines.

Retired Airline Captain Christopher Brown Sets Out on Solo Flight from Montreal to Vancouver to Commemorate 75th Anniversary of First Canadian Transcontinental Flight

On September 16, 2014, retired airline Captain Christopher Brown will set out on Arcadia Mission 2014, a solo flight mission from Montreal to Vancouver, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the first Canadian intercontinental flight. Aboard Arcadia, a restored 1961 Beechcraft Bonanza, Chris will make stops in Ottawa, North Bay, Kapuskasing, Regina, Winnipeg and Lethbridge.

More Time to Comment on FAA Hangar-Use Policy

The Federal Aviation Administration will allow an additional 30 days to comment on its proposed hangar-use policy under an extension granted Tuesday following multiple requests from the GA community.


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

Episode 188 – The Mach 1.4 UAV

3 Eurofighter Typhoons by Paul Thompson

Guest Ryan P. Starkey, Ph.D. has been working with University of Colorado students to develop a Mach 1.4 UAV. Propulsion for this very efficient aircraft comes from a 20 pound turbojet that features an afterburner and thrust vectoring nozzle. We talk about the design of the vehicle, possible commercial and military applications, and the timeline for first flight.

Ryan is Assistant Professor and a McAnally Faculty Fellow, as well as Director of the Busemann Advanced Concepts Lab at the University of Colorado Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences. You can also learn more about this project at Starkey Aerospace Corporation.

The week’s aviation news:

This week’s Australia Desk report was recorded live at the Tyabb Airshow, 70km southeast of Melbourne. Air Australia owes creditors $A90million but had less than $A500,000 in funds when it went bankrupt, Qantas fails in its bit to have to Federal Government change the Qantas Sale Act (1992), Virgin Australia restructures into domestic & international companies, tour operator, Jetset, has an incredible profit increase thanks to the high value of the Aussie dollar, ATC Ben makes a cameo appearance, Grant is horrified that Steve left light beer in his fridge!

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

This week on Across The Pond, Pieter Johnson talks to John Greenway from the Manchester Airport Group about Manchester Airport’s growth and success at becoming the first Aerocity. Manchester has an innovative style to accommodating its customers, has a great Twitter feed and is performing well in a demanding market. Hear how the Airpark (the place for aviation spotters and enthusiasts) homes some of the nations most prized assets, including a Concorde.

You can find the Manchester Airport Group at www.manchesterairport.co.uk and on Twitter as @manairport. See also the Airport City website at airportcity.co.uk. Pieter can be found on Twitter as @Nascothornet or XTP Media’s Facebook Page.

Mentioned in the episode:

Links from listeners:

Opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.

Post photo by Paul Thompson: Three Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft based at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire UK. He liked the picture as they flew towards him at around 500 feet and then went and had a little play ( vertically to about 20000 feet) as it were.

Episode 182 – Alan Epstein and the Geared Turbofan Engine

PW1000G Engine

Guest Alan Epstein is Pratt & Whitney’s Vice President of Technology & Environment. We talk about the PurePower family of geared turbofan (GTF) jet engines: how long the technology has been around, what the GTF is trying to achieve, propulsive and thermal efficiency, biofuel, technology push versus pull, and more. Alan even has his own “grill the geeks” question!

The week’s aviation news:

David’s Aircraft of the Week is the Sikorsky S-61L.

In this week’s Australia Desk report: More A380 cracking issues for Qantas to keep an eye on, Australian Army grounds Blackhawk fleet as a precautionary measure, China Southern establishes the “Canton Route” – Sydney to London, Air Asia X announces extra services to Sydney, Virgin Australia add A330s to the Melbourne – Sydney route.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

This week on Across the Pond, Pieter talks to Paul Fowler from Enstone Flying Club, about the Club and the airfield. Set in Oxfordshire, a stunningly beautiful part of the UK, Paul tells us about the history of the airfield and its residents and what its like to fly in this part of the world. Enstone Airfield has some great residents and has a fabulous community relationship, many others could learn from.

You can find Enstone on Facebook and YouTube and you can find Paul Fowler on Twitter and LinkedIn. Pieter can be found on Twitter as @Nascothornet or XTP Media’s Facebook Page.

Mentioned in the episode:

Follow the @AirplaneGeeks on Twitter and on Facebook, send us email at thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com, or leave a message on our listener line: (361) GEEKS01.

Opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.