Tag Archives: Southwest

534 Flying the DC-8 for Emergency Relief

Guest George Kalbfleisch is the Deputy Director of DC-8 Flight Operations for the Samaritan’s Purse emergency relief organization. In the news, we discuss the Twin Mustang Prototype unexpected flight, the Chinese soft landing on the back side of the moon, commercial flights that get diverted due to rocket launches, the worsening controller shortage, and paying tips to Frontier cabin crew.

Samaritans Purse DC-8 for emergency relief.

Samaritans Purse DC-8.

Guest

George Kalbfleisch uses the DC-8 for emergency relief.

George Kalbfleisch

George Kalbfleisch is Deputy Director of DC-8 Flight Operations for Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization. Samaritan’s Purse delivers critical emergency relief supplies to people in need around the world. Examples include the Saipan typhoon victims, Bangladesh refugees, Iraq during the battle for Mosul, the Caribbean following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, and Ecuador following a magnitude 7.8 earthquake.

George tells us about the configuration of the CFM56-powered DC-8-72, it’s range and payload capabilities, and the types of emergency relief missions it undertakes. We learn about the teams that fly and maintain the airplane, and how flight planning takes place, sometimes into devastated areas without electricity. George also treats us to a few of his most exciting and most unusual flights.

Prior to Samaritan’s Purse, George flew DC-8s with an international freight company for twenty years as captain, line check airman, sim instructor, check airman, and the aircrew program designee to issue type ratings for the airplane.

George earned his Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management at Oklahoma State University and received his pilot’s license in 1980. He is a certified airline transport pilot with type ratings in the A320, B-777, DC-8, and SA-227. George is an active General Aviation pilot who enjoys flying tail wheel and aerobatics in his spare time.

Cut away illustration. of Samaritan's Purse DC-8 used for emergency relief.

DC-8 cutaway illustration, showing the cargo and passenger compartments. Courtesy Samaritan’s Purse.

Aviation News

XP-82 Takes Accidental First Flight

Ray Fowler was conducting high-speed taxi tests of the XP-82 Twin Mustang Prototype. The plan was to lift the wheels for just a second, deploy the flaps, and roll out. Except it accelerated so fast that the plane couldn’t get back down in the remaining runway.  So up he went. See XP-82 Twin Mustang Restoration Project for more.

China’s Chang’e-4 lands on moon’s far side

China’s Chang’e-4 spacecraft made the first successful soft landing on the far side of the moon. The spacecraft combines a lander and a rover and utilizes a relay satellite Queqiao for communication. From China National Space Administration: China’s Chang’e-4 probe makes historic landing on moon’s far side.

Gridlock in the sky

The Feb 6, 2018 launch of the SpaceX Heavy Falcon closed the airspace over a 1,300-mile section the Atlantic for over three hours. Commercial flights had to fly significantly diverted routes, costing time and fuel. What happens when commercial space flight launches become frequent? ALPA says these closures “have led to extensive and expensive delays to commercial air traffic that are unsustainable.”

Government Shutdown Worsens a Controller Shortage

The National Air Traffic Controllers Association is not happy with the partial government shutdown because of its effect on members. But another consequence is the negative effect on training for new controllers. The FAA training academy in Oklahoma City is shut down, and classroom and simulator training at air traffic control facilities has stopped.

That’s a First: I Was Asked for a Tip From a Flight Attendant

PointsGuy.com writer JT Genter was on a Frontier Airlines flight. After ordering his beverage and providing his credit card, the flight attendant handed him a tablet which offered him the ability to select a tip.

Herb Kelleher, Aviation Pioneer and Southwest Airlines Founder, Dies at 87

Kelleher co-founder and Chairman Emeritus of Southwest Airlines had died at the age of 87. From Southwest: Farewell to Southwest’s Founder.

Mentioned

XP-82 Restoration Project

Eat at the Airport – Map of airports with eating establishments.

Tales from the Terminal 2019 Airport Challenge.

Arsenal of Democracy 75th World War II Victory Commemoration Flyover.

Ion Propulsion – The Plane With No Moving Parts from Real Engineering.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

532 A Jet City Star

Guest Isaac Alexander gives us a taste of aviation action in the Pacific Northwest. In the news: updates on the Boeing/Embraer deal, more WOW Air woes, Virgin Galactic test flight, MRJ engine final assembly in Japan, the Northrop Grumman Firebird MALE, an airline turnback to deliver a heart, and a pet fish. Plus David’s holiday story, Voyager spacecraft, and first flight comments.

Isaac Alexander, Jet City Star, in the Spruce Goose.

Isaac Alexander, Jet City Star, in the Hughes H-4 Hercules (the Spruce Goose) at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville Oregon.

Guest

Aviation geek Isaac Alexander is a freelance aviation writer who blogs, tweets, and posts as Jet City Star from the Pacific Northwest. In the past, Isaac was on the committee for the weekend-long Aviation Geek Fest held annually in the Greater Seattle area.

Isaac tells us about the aviation scene in the Pacific Northwest, including some of the aerospace companies based there, the senior roles held by women in area organizations, new scheduled service, must-visit museums and other attractions, recent aviation events, and some events coming up in 2019.

Follow Isaac on Twitter at @jetcitystar and see these sites to learn more:

Aviation News

Brazil court overturns injunction against Boeing-Embraer deal

Last week we reported that four congressmen with Brazil’s left-wing Workers Party won an injunction in Brazilian federal court preventing the Embraer/Boeing deal from going forward. Now a Brazilian federal appeals court has overturned the injunction.

Embraer and Boeing Approved the Terms of Strategic Aerospace Partnership, Seek Brazilian Government Approval

Both companies have come to an agreement: “The approved terms define the joint venture comprising the commercial aircraft and services operations of Embraer, in which Boeing will hold an 80 percent ownership stake and Embraer will hold the remaining 20 percent. The transaction remains subject to approval by the Government of Brazil, after which Embraer and Boeing intend to execute definitive transaction documents. The closing of the transaction will then be subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.”

Embraer Welcomes Brazil’s Filing of its First Written Submission Challenging Canada’s Subsidies to Bombardier

The dispute settlement panel at the World Trade Organization is examining subsidies received by Bombardier from the Governments of Canada and Quebec. The Brazilian Government (and Embraer) say the 19 subsidies violate Canada’s WTO obligations. More details about Brazil’s First Written Submission are available in the DS522 — FACT SHEET [PDF].

Enjoy your Holiday Laser-light Display-Responsibly

Each holiday season for the past several years, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has received reports from pilots who said they were distracted or temporarily blinded by residential laser-light displays.

Flying with WOW Air? You might need to rebook as airline sells off planes, lays off employees

Budget carrier WOW Air is taking measures to keep the company in business. They announced a cut back in the number of airplanes from 20 to 11, they plan to sell four Airbus A321s, and reportedly the airline laid off 111 employees.

Virgin Galactic gets set for SpaceShipTwo flights that aim for space — but how high?

Virgin Galactic has been flight-testing its VSS Unity rocket plane, carried by SpaceShipTwo.

Mitsubishi completes first assembly of GTF PW1200G engine for MRJ jet

The Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) is exclusively powered by the Pratt & Whitney PW1200G engine. In Komaki, Japan, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Aero Engines (MHIAEL) has completed their first final assembly of the engine for the MRJ flight test program. Pratt & Whitney’s Mirabel Aerospace Center in Canada will also assemble and test the engine.

MHI completes capital bail-out of MRJ

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) bailed out/restructured debt by Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation (MAC).

Video from Farnborough 2018: MRJ’s delays are over, says Mitsubishi

More flying footage: The Elegant ANA Mitsubishi Regional Jet MRJ Flying at Farnborough UK

Northrop Grumman Plans To Upend Aerial Surveillance Market With Their Optionally Manned Firebird

Northrop Grumman is developing a Medium Altitude, Long Endurance (MALE) unmanned aircraft called the Firebird. It’s being developed for aerial surveillance missions and its history goes back to Northrop Grumman subsidiary Scaled Composites that built an optionally manned demonstrator which first flew in 2010.

We now know where Seattle’s airborne heart was headed after Southwest flight was turned around

Someone forgot to unload a human heart from a Southwest Airlines in Seattle. During a subsequent flight of that plane, the error was discovered and the plane was forced to return to Seattle.

Student heartbroken, humiliated after being forced to give up pet fish prior to Southwest flight

“Cassie,” the student’s beloved pet betta fish, was refused boarding on a Southwest flight, despite being allowable according to the TSA website, and previous travel on the airline.

Holiday Story

David Vanderhoof tells us a Christmas story filled with historical figures.

Mentioned

Drone shatters passenger jet’s nosecone & radar during landing (PHOTOS) and the Tweet with photos.

JPL Voyager Mission Status page.  

The Flight Claims of Gustave Whitehead

Instagram photo of DC-3 by @mikeymcbryan.

Daks Over Normandy

D-Day Squadron

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

 

520 UPS Airlines

We look at UPS Airlines, including the fleet, the pilots, the technology, and the processes employed. Also, the Perlan 2 altitude record flight, GA accident rates, an F-35C incident, and pizza for 159 American Airlines passengers. We celebrate the 97th birthday of a WASP, look at the Immortal Red Baron air show act and a new Old Guys and Their Airplanes video. We also have a promo code for tickets to the 2018 Audi Stuart Air Show.

UPS Airlines 747-8F

UPS Airlines 747-8F. Courtesy UPS.

Guest

Jim Mayer is public relations manager for UPS Airlines. He’s based at the airline’s headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jim Mayer, UPS Airlines Public Relations Manager.

Jim Mayer, UPS Airlines Public Relations Manager.

We talk about the UPS Airlines fleet makeup: the “brown tails” (including the new 747-8F freighters) and the small feeder aircraft vendors. Jim explains the daily cycle at the Worldport® global air hub in Louisville, Kentucky. This is the world’s largest automated package sorting hub, where they experience airplane landings every 70 seconds over about a three hour period each night.

Jim tells us about cockpit technology projects, the hot spare aircraft that stand ready, and the UPS Flight Path program with Ameriflight to help keep new pilots in the pipeline.

UPS is the official logistics provider for Expo 2020 Dubai and we talk about the daily nonstop flight from the Worldport hub to Dubai, UAE. Made possible with the Boeing 747-8F freighter, this route improves time-in-transit from North and South America to Middle East destinations by one business day.

Of course, over the years UPS Airlines has encountered some unique shipments, and Jim tells us about a few of them, as well as recent humanitarian flights to Puerto Rico.

Jim joined UPS in 2003 following a career as an Emmy-award-winning broadcast reporter. As PR manager at UPS Airlines, Jim manages media relations and external communications for one of the world’s largest airlines. He has traveled extensively around the world, helping to tell the UPS story, including coverage of major facility expansions in China and Europe; and unique charter moves such as whale sharks and humanitarian aid flights.

Jim is a Chicago-area native and has a B.A. in Telecommunications from Indiana University in Bloomington.

Follow UPS Airlines on Twitter at @UPSAirlines, and find them on Facebook and Instagram. Also, see the latest news at the UPS Pressroom, where you’ll also find UPS Air Operations Facts

UPS Airlines Worldport global hub.

UPS Airlines Worldport global hub. Courtesy UPS.

Pushing the tank onto UPS Airlines. Courtesy UPS.

Pushing the tank onto UPS Airlines. Courtesy UPS.

Aviation News

Experimental Perlan 2 aircraft breaks high-altitude human flight record

The Airbus Perlan Mission II pressurized glider has been out riding atmospheric pressure waves, and it’s reached more than 76,000 feet. That’s believed to be the record for subsonic human flight in a winged aircraft. This meant the flight crossed the Armstrong Line, the altitude above which a human’s blood will boil without some kind of protection.

AOPA Nall Report: Accident Rates Drop Again

The AOPA Air Safety Institute’s Joseph T. Nall Report [PDF] says that the general aviation overall and fatal accident rates are at a 10-year low. Fatal crashes decreased to 0.84 per 100,000 hours. Accidents with pilot-related causes make up 74 percent of non-commercial, fixed-wing accidents. Accidents related to mechanical and maintenance issues made up about 16 percent of the overall total.

F-35C, Super Hornet Damaged During At-Sea Aerial Refueling

An F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter flying from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was damaged during an aerial refueling exercise. The engine ingested debris from an aerial refueling basket.

American Airlines pilot buys Papa John’s Pizza for 159 passengers after flight is diverted

American Airlines Flight 2354 from Los Angeles to Dallas/Fort-Worth experienced extreme thunderstorms and was diverted to Wichita Falls, Texas. The next flight to DFW was the following day. Captain Jeff Raines responded by ordering 40 pizzas from the local Papa John’s store, and even hand carried the pizzas from the delivery car to the waiting passengers.

Audi Stuart Air Show

November 2-4, 2018 in Stuart, Florida you can experience the Treasure Coast’s largest annual event with breathtaking performances including by the United States Marine Corp Harrier, the Air Combat Command F-16 Viper Demonstration Team, the Phillips 66 Aerostars, and others. Of course, there will be many static displays like The Movie Memphis Belle, the C-17 Globemaster III, and the OV1 Mohawk. 

At the Stuart Air Show, you can also take advantage of rides offered with special guests, including a Cobra Attack Helicopter and a T-6 Texan. Plan your Audi Stuart Air Show experience now at stuartairshow.com.

Also, starting September 17th, Airplane Geeks has teamed up with the Stuart Air Show for a week of aviation trivia.  Each day September 17 – 23rd at 6 pm on their Facebook page, they will be posting an aviation-related trivia question.  The person with the most correct answers (and who answers the fastest) will win 4 tickets to their VIP event on November 2nd! That is a $600 value!  Learn more about the Stuart Air Show at stuartairshow.com and on Facebook.

We are thrilled to be able to bring our listeners a special ticket offer to the Stuart Air Show. Use promo code “geekspodcast” at checkout to enjoy a special $10 ticket offer through October 31, 2018.

Immortal Red Baron

At the Blue Bonnet Air Show at the Burnet, Texas Municipal Airport, Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari interviewed Stefan Trischuk of the “Immortal Red Baron” air show. This was a different act as it was a staged dogfight with another airshow performer.

Immortal Red Baron

Jane Doyle

Also at the Blue Bonnet show, Launchpad met Mrs. Jane Doyle, celebrating her 97th birthday. Jane is one of the last WASP.

Mentioned

Artist John Mollison has released another “Old Guys and Their Airplanes” video featuring 2nd Lt. James Kunkle who flew P-38s with the 9th Air Force over Europe during WWII. Jim was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his combat action on Sept. 16, 1944.  In this video, Jim describes a terrific dogfight that he experienced in 1944 where he took on 20 or so German fighter planes. OGTA #12 – Split Second – The Jim Kunkle Story.

Listener Hendrik sent in a picture from his wedding to his lovely wife Marielle.  If you remember a few weeks back, on their way to Hawaii for their honeymoon, they got a tour of Los Angeles from Brian during their LAX layover.  Featured in the picture is a Beluga, Marielle’s favorite plane, carrying some precious cargo: their wedding rings.

Whirly-Girls opens their 2019 scholarship season.

This photographer captured total solar eclipse from a commercial airplane at 39,000 feet

Above and Beyond

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

And special thanks to co-host Max Trescott for constructing Knoxville Studio B, just for this episode:

Now that’s how you do it in a hotel room!

 

517 Back at the Airport

Social and technology changes at airports, including ridesharing, facial recognition, and carry-on screening. Also, the recent AAviation Day with American Airlines, working the de-icing pad, airport outreach, and stairs trucks. In the news, Norwegian wet leases an A380 and Southwest issues a policy for trained service animals.

Guest

Jennifer Adams, airport enthusiast, employee, and blogger.

Jennifer Adams

Jennifer Adams combines her experience in accounting with her passion for aviation by working in the accounting and finance department of a mid-sized midwestern airport. When she’s not paying the bills and sending invoices to airlines, you can find her helping out on the de-ice pad, plane spotting, and getting unreasonably excited about stairs trucks.

Jennifer reports on her experience at the AAviation Day event with American Airlines and Airline Geeks at PHL. The annual event takes place at a number of airports in conjunction with National Aviation Day, held August 19 each year to celebrate the history and development of aviation.

Jennifer gives us insights into the impact at airports of social and technology changes, such as the rise in the use of ridesharing services and changing airport security methods. We look at some statistics that characterize the growth in airport passengers and the cargo business and hear about some of the factors that facilitated the change. Jennifer describes examples of good airport outreach, and her experience training to manage the de-icing pad.

And of course any conversation with Jennifer is incomplete without talking about stairs trucks, and we don’t disappoint.

Jennifer blogs about her aviation adventures at Tales From the Terminal. Follow her on Twitter at @Jen_Niffer.

Aviation News

Facial scan technology makes debut in airports

Orlando International Airport is using facial recognition technology for all arriving and departing international travelers. The program comes from a partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and SITA, a private cyber security company. Passengers stand on a yellow footprint and a camera takes an image which is then matched against the CBP passport photo database. The system offers security and processing speed advantages.

A new scanner could speed up airport security

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is testing a new x-ray machine for carry-on bags. If the tests are successful, removing liquids and electronics from bags may become unnecessary. The promise is that explosives could be detected inside the bags. Fifteen airports are testing the device.

There’s curbside chaos at DFW Airport — thanks in part to the surge of Uber and Lyft

With limited curbside space at Dallas-Fort Worth Airport arrivals, the increased popularity of ridesharing services, and the length of time some people park outside arrivals, a significant traffic problem is created. DFW is responding with some changes.

Norwegian to deploy Hi Fly’s A380 as 787 cover

Norwegian is negatively impacted by the Trent 1000 engine problem on their Boeing 787s. In response, the airline has been leasing an A380 from Hi Fly to cover their evening London-New York service.

Southwest Airlines is formally allowing miniature horses on its planes as service animals

On their Customers with Disabilities page, Southwest Airlines says, “Effective for travel beginning September 17, 2018, Southwest is making changes to our existing policies for accommodating Customers with disabilities who seek to travel with a fully trained service animal in the cabin. Customers with disabilities seeking to travel with a trained service animal must still provide credible verbal assurance that the animal is a trained service animal.”

Mentioned

Stinar SPS-3518 Passenger Stair Truck, 96-228″ – on offer from Aero Specialties.

Airport Vehicle Racing – Top Gear – BBC

Plane Narrowly Misses Collision with Van

Asking the right questions after a q400 is stolen, in The Air Current by Jon Ostrower.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

514 Aircraft Crash Sites

Our guest documents aircraft crash sites and helps next of kin find closure. In the news, we look at Boeing’s Aviall unit helping Antonov, a statement by aviation groups concerning GA fees charged by FBO’s, Delta’s test of a new dining experience for some international coach travelers, and an update on fan blade inspections following the fatal uncontained engine failure on Southwest. We also reminisce a bit about our past experiences with model rockets.

Guest

Pat Macha documents aircraft crash sites.

Pat Macha, founder of the Project Remembrance Team.

Pat Macha began documenting aircraft crash sites in the mountains and deserts of California in 1963. Twenty-five years ago Pat founded the all-volunteer Project Remembrance Team that is dedicated to facilitating the requests of next of kin who wish to learn more about the loss of loved ones in aircraft accidents. The Project Remembrance Team has assisted more than one-hundred-fifty next of kin to fulfill their wishes for accident reports, maps, photographs and crash site visitations. More than two dozen memorial markers have been placed at or near aircraft crash sites. All with the permission of the property owners.

All missions are completed with respect and admiration for those who have come forth to honor the memory of those whom they have lost. Losses suffered by first responders and members of armed forces receive an appropriate extra measure of attention.

The Project Remembrance Team includes retired military service members, pilots, rangers, educators, firefighters, law enforcement officers, professional scuba divers, and business people. Pat has authored six books on crash sites in California, and he is a well-received speaker on aviation accident history and aircraft archaeology.

To learn more about aircraft crash sites, visit AircraftWrecks.com.

Calspan Douglas B-26 crash site engine impeller.

Calspan Douglas B-26 crash site engine impeller.

Lockheed P-38 aircraft crash site.

Lockheed P-38 aircraft crash site.

Aviation News

Boeing steps in to help the manufacturer of the world’s biggest plane

At the Farnborough International Airshow, Boeing and Antonov signed a deal where Boeing’s Aviall unit would supply components to Antonov. This will allow Antonov to resume production. Antonov chief Oleksandr Donets said Aviall will support Antonov to build AN-1X8 planes and will have exclusive rights to help service the planes.

Women in Aviation Withdraws Support for Recent AOPA Letter on Airport Access

AOPA reported in Coalition Calls for Action on Airport Access that “16 general aviation groups issued a joint statement calling on the FAA to take action against ‘egregious, hidden fees and denial of affordable access to airport ramps.’” Among the groups signing the statement was Women in Aviation International, but now WAI has rescinded their support. WAI President Dr. Peggy Chabrian said, “As a pilot myself, I am sympathetic to the financial challenges inherent in flying, but we also recognize that FBOs provide services crucial to our flying as well as extending comforts which enhance general aviation operations.”

Also note: Plans Underway for WAI Girls in Aviation Day 2018. The worldwide outreach scheduled for October 13, 2018. A growing list of Girls in Aviation Day events around the world can be found at https://www.wai.org/events/girls-aviation-day-2018.

Delta Air Lines Just Made a Truly Stunning Announcement About Economy Travel. (But Will Other Airlines Just Copy Them?)

Delta Air Lines testing (majorly) enhanced international economy meals

Delta Air Lines is testing an “enhanced meal and beverage service” for international economy class passengers on flights between Portland, Oregon, and Tokyo. The dinner service includes cocktails and sparkling water, appetizers, choice of three-course dinner, and Haagen-Dazs ice cream for dessert. The meal is served in courses, on white dishes.

World’s Best Economy Class Airlines 2018

Thai Airways tops the list, followed by Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates, ANA All Nippon Airways, and fifteen others.

Southwest: Other carriers finding cracked engine fan blades

Following the April fatal uncontained engine failure of a CFM International engine on a Southwest flight, GE spokesman Rick Kennedy said about 150,000 blades have been inspected. A small number of fan blades with cracks have been found and Southwest CEO Mike Van de Ven said “maybe four or five” cracked fan blades have been found at other carriers.

Airventure 2018

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2018 Facts and Figures

Airplane Geeks at AirVenture.

AvGeeks at AirVenture.

Max Trescott recording at Oshkosh.

Max Trescott recording at Oshkosh.

Mentioned

B52 Crash Site in Maine, and The Wreck Chaser

United Airlines donates flights to reunite families separated at border

Mary Ellis, RAF Pilot, Dies At 101

Mary Ellis flying onboard a 2 Seat Spitfire and today (02.02.17) is her 100th Birthday

Brian attended the launching of some model rockets as part of the after-school program sponsored by the Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum based in Compton, CA. In addition to successfully launching some rockets built by students Sarah and Jonathan, Brian let them launch two of his 3D printed rockets.  One rocket failed to deploy the parachute, as the 3D printed plastic melted from the engine heat. The other rocket properly deployed the parachute but experienced an internal structural failure that resulted in the rocket coming to earth in two pieces.   Both launches were considered a success as all parts were recovered and the students will learn from the failure analysis and design better rockets in the future.

United CEO Refused to Sit Coach for an Interview About How Shitty Coach Seats Are Today

The UK’s first disabled air display team gets ready for takeoff

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

506 Erika Armstrong in the Cockpit

Our guest is Erika Armstrong, an experienced pilot, author, speaker, instructional design director for aircrew training, and a university aviation professor. In the news, JetSuite is the launch customer for Zunum hybrid-electric planes, a fatal electric airplane accident, onboard pet monitoring technology, airline flight 1’s, a Geico Skytyper is lost, Southwest Airline’s financial outlook, and kidnapping charges at a flight school.

Guest

Erika Armstrong

Erika Armstrong

Erika Armstrong was an international corporate and airline pilot, and she’s currently the Director of Instructional Design at Advanced Aircrew Academy. She’s also an aviation professor at Metropolitan State University in Denver, specializing in aircraft systems and propulsion.

We talk with Erika about what it takes to be a pilot and what it does not, the “pilot personality,” training for a flying career, and some of her experiences during her 30 years in aviation.

Erika holds an ATP with 6,000 hours, primarily as captain in a Boeing 727-200 and Cessna Citation 500 series aircraft. She has international flight experience in a Gulfstream and performed the FAA proving runs for a Falcon 20 Part 135 certification. Erika flew for the Red Cross and spent 12 years in the charter and business aviation sector as a pilot, dispatcher, and maintenance/avionics coordinator. She also flew 24/7 air ambulance in the Midwest.

Erika has seen many changes in aviation, but she finds that the single common thread holding all the generations together is the spirit of aviation. It’s her goal to help reignite that passion in the up and coming generations and to help change the perspective of aviation, for both men and women. Be sure to read her article Pilot Evolution: Begin at the End for some insightful advice.

You can find Erika’s professional pilot columns in national aviation magazines and she is the author of “A Chick in the Cockpit: My Life Up in the Air.” She has a new book to be released called “Zen and the Art of Being a Pilot.”

Aviation News

JetSuite to Launch Hybrid-to-Electric Planes by 2022

JetSuite is to be the launch customer for Zunum hybrid-electric planes. The private charter jet company plans to acquire up to 100 of the 6 to 12 passenger aircraft in the early 2020’s for short flights. In the Zunum aircraft, JetSuite looks to 80% lower emissions, reduced noise, a 7700-mile range, and a maximum cruise speed of 340 miles per hour.

Matt Knapp, the founder of Zunum Aero, and our guest in Airplane Geeks episode #453 says, “We remain on track for flight testing in 2019 and continue to grow our technical leadership across power electronics, electric motors, propulsors and aircraft. If you or someone you know are interested in joining our team, please visit our Careers page.”

Two Dead In Siemens-Powered eFusion Crash

Two pilots were killed in a crash involving the Siemens-powered Magnus eFusion electric aircraft in Hungary. Initial reports from witnesses describe the plane maneuvering at low altitude, catching fire, then crashing in a near vertical dive.

New tech allows pet owners to monitor animals during flights

The Unisys Corporation Digi-Pet system lets owners monitor their pet while they are in the cargo hold of an aircraft. Sensors attached to the pet’s kennel or carry case transmit data such as temperature, oxygen levels, vibration, and light. Pet owners are alerted if any problems arise. The system offers live video streaming, photos and voice exchange via a smartphone or tablet app.

Flight 1 – The most prestigious airline flight number

Airlines sometimes designate “Flight 1” for a special purpose. This list and infographic collects presents all the airline Flight 1s.

For pilot killed in crash, flying was a journey with his father

Sadly, Executive Officer/Wing Pilot Ken Johansen, age 52, died when his GEICO Skytypers plane went down shortly after takeoff from Republic Airport in Farmingdale, New York. There were no injuries on the ground. David has flown with the Skytypers several times and reported his experiences on this podcast.

Southwest Airlines preps for revenue drop after fatal accident, scales back growth

Bookings at Southwest Airlines have declined after the fatal engine failure in April. The airline expects second quarter revenue per seat mile to drop 3 percent and additionally, Southwest is lowering growth plans for 2018 due to increased fuel prices.

Two Redding flight school employees arrested, accused of kidnapping student

Attorney: Chinese flight student had been expelled; kidnap charges disputed

The IASCO Flight Training general manager and his assistant have been arrested on suspicion of kidnapping. They are charged with kidnapping one of their students, allegedly to take the student on a plane and send him to China. A defence attorney says the two were only taking the student to the airport because he flunked his classes and his visa had expired.

Airline Story of the Week

Via @nt_planespotter, we see Hailey’s #Journeyto30 takes off. Hailey Dawson is an 8-year-old with Poland syndrome. She was born missing three fingers on her right hand and she wears a prosthetic hand made with a 3D printer. The youngster wants to throw out the first pitch at every Major League Baseball park. All 30 MLB teams invited her to be their guest of honor, and United Airlines offered to fly her to each of her stadium visits. Follow #Journeyto30 on Twitter for the latest news and photos.

Video of the Week

Tim Trott (the Drone Professor) sent in the AvWeb article Video Captures Damage-Free Road Landing. “A young pilot who some sources say is a student ducked power lines, dodged cars, buildings and pedestrians and put her Cessna 172 down without a scratch on a busy Huntington Beach, California, street.”

Video: Light plane makes emergency landing on Huntington Beach [street]

Mentioned

David comments on the new book by Tim Trott, Out of the Blue: The Life and Legend of Kirby ‘Sky King’ Grant. In the book, Tim answers the questions: Do you remember the Sky King TV show? Do you know who flew the plane in the shows? Was Kirby Grant a “real” pilot? How many different “Songbird” planes were there? What happened to the “missing episodes”? What did Kirby Grant do after the TV series ended? Did you know that Kirby Grant was a singer?

Listener Andrew is a pilot with Alaska Airlines and has flown the new B737-700 cargo jet we talked about in a previous episode. He sent along a couple of photos:

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

502 Electric and Solar Aircraft from Bye Aerospace

Bye Aerospace founder George Bye tells us about his electric and solar aircraft projects, including the electric Sun Flyer training aircraft, the StratoAirNet, the Silent Falcon UAV, the TriFan 600, the Mars SOLESA, and the Starlight UAV. In the news, we look at the WC-130H crash in Georgia, breaking airplane windows, and companies developing supersonic transports. Also, an installment from student pilot Nicki, the history of Soviet airliners from Will, Tom Larkin’s mini-jet, the Mercury 13 documentary, the centennial of U.S. airmail service, and lip syncing while flying.

Bye Aerospace Sun Flyer Electric Aircraft

The Sun Flyer electric aircraft prototype. Courtesy Bye Aerospace.

Guest

George Bye is the founder and CEO of Bye Aerospace, which focuses on electric and solar aircraft projects, such as:

  • Sun Flyer electric training aircraft.
  • StratoAirNet family of solar-electric UAVs for medium and high altitude missions.
  • Silent Falcon UAV using stored electric power and thin film solar photovoltaics.
  • TriFan 600 hybrid-electric VTOL business aircraft in partnership with XTI Aircraft Company.
  • Mars SOLESA, a solar electric survey aircraft for Mars.
  • Starlight lighter than air solar electric UAV under a U.S. Navy contract.

George is an ATP rated pilot with over 4,000 flying hours. He was a USAF instructor pilot in the Northrop T-38 Talon at Sheppard AFB (ENJJPT), a C-141B Aircraft Commander, and he is a Desert Storm veteran.

Find Bye Aerospace on the web at ByeAerospace.com, on Facebook, and on Twitter at @ByeAerospaceInc. George has a personal webpage at GeorgeBye.com and he’s also on Facebook.

Sun Flyer’s First Flight Test Highlights- April 10, 2018

Test pilot, John Penney took the Bye Aerospace all-electric Sun Flyer proof of concept aircraft on its first test flight April 10, 2018, at Centennial Airport in Englewood, Colorado.

Aviation News

Fallen Air Guardsmen honored in Puerto Rico following deadly crash in Savannah

The Puerto Rico Air National Guard unit lost nine airmen in the crash of a WC-130H Hercules cargo plane in Georgia, just after takeoff. The plane was on its final flight, to an air base in Arizona. A short video from the private memorial ceremony honoring the fallen crew was released.

Third flight in three weeks diverted because of damaged window

A JetBlue flight from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Tampa, Florida, was diverted to Fort Lauderdale after damage to the plane’s windscreen. A Southwest Airlines flight from Chicago to Newark, New Jersey, made an unplanned landing after a window cracked. A Southwest B737 experienced an uncontained engine failure which threw debris into a passenger window.

Aviation companies are plotting the return of supersonic flight — and they think their jets will be better than the Concorde

Several companies are working on supersonic aircraft:

  • Boom Supersonic is developing the 55-seat, XB-1 with delivery planned for 2023.
  • Spike Aerospace is developing the 18-seat S-512 jet, delivery in 2023.
  • Aerion Supersonic is working on the 12-seat AS2 jet for 2025 delivery.
  • Lockheed-Martin under NASA contract is planning a low boom experimental aircraft for late 2021.

Listener Recordings

Student pilot Nicki brings us installment #8 on learning to become a pilot.

Young listener Will presents his project on the history of Soviet airliners.

Interview

Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari speaks with Tom Larkin from Mini-Jet Airshows.

Mini-Jet Airshows

Mini-Jet Airshows

Mentioned

#PaxEx Podcast 57, Airline content trends and new lav concepts revealed

Mercury 13 documentary on Netflix.

Emirates Is Parking an Airplane a Day Because It Doesn’t Have Enough Pilots

Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum and the College Park Aviation Museum.

The May 1, 2018 issue of the FlyerTalk email newsletter.

What Happens When You Mix Flying and Lip Sync? (Temper Traps – Sweet Disposition)

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

501 OAG Travel Tech Innovation Survey

A recent OAG survey looks at future travel tech innovation and disruption. Also, the uncontained engine failure on the Southwest Airlines Boeing 737, integrating the Bombardier CSeries into the Airbus organization, the FAA reauthorization bill, and the effect of rising fuel prices on airfares.

Guest

Mike Benjamin, OAG Chief Technology Officer

Mike Benjamin, OAG Chief Technology Officer

Mike Benjamin is Chief Technology Officer at OAG, a global provider of digital flight information for airlines, airports, government agencies, aircraft manufacturers, consultancies, and travel-related companies. OAG is in the business of data aggregation and distribution, with flight information used for real-time and analytical tools.

Mike tells us about the Travel Tech Innovation: Market Report where OAG surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. travelers to gain insight into which future advancements will resonate. We look at traveler interest in artificial intelligence applications, supersonic travel, booking process innovations, the use of autonomous vehicles, and biometrics at the airport to speed travelers along.

Mike has over 30 years of experience in aviation, travel, technology, and business development. After completing his education at MIT, he held several leadership positions during the first years in his career, and then took over leadership of FlightView, a US-based day-of-travel information and technology provider. Mike joined OAG via the FlightView acquisition in January 2015.

In his current role as Chief Technology Officer at OAG, Mike works with airlines, airports, and travel providers to utilize data-driven solutions to plan more profitable routes, improve customer satisfaction, and operate more efficiently.

Aviation News

The Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 Uncontained Engine Failure

Emergency engine inspections lead to cancellations, scores of delays for travelers on Southwest Airlines

FAA Airworthiness Directive 2018-09-51 issued April 20, 2018.

How does a CFM56-7B work? – This animated video from CFM International shows how a jet engine works and gives you a good view of the fan.

Bjorn’s corner: Turbofan Engine Challenges, Part 2

CFM fan blades

CFM fan blades: composite with titanium leading edge, hollow wide-chord blade, solid titanium blade. Courtesy CFMI.

Airbus heads for dogfight with UTC over CSeries costs

Airbus may be looking for suppliers to lower their prices. How will Airbus brand the CSeries airplanes, and will it Integrate the Airbus and CSeries sales forces, or keep them separate?

Aircraft seat size in the spotlight as House passes FAA reauthorization

U.S. House approves bill to reauthorize federal aviation agency

The U.S. House of Representatives approved five-year H.R.4 – FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 by a 393-to-13 vote. The bill includes no ATC privatization. Also, airlines would not be able to involuntarily bump an already-boarded revenue passenger, large and medium-sized airports would be required to provide private rooms in every terminal for nursing mothers. Minimum dimensions for seat pitch, width, and length would be determined by the FAA within one year. A feasibility study of in-cabin wheelchair restraint systems would be conducted.

American Airlines CEO warns higher fares are coming

Fuel is the second largest expense for airlines (after labor). With fuel costs increasing in the U.S., higher airfares are a possibility.

Listener Recordings

Hillel congratulates Airplane Geeks on the 500th episode.

Mike Harris, the host of the Why We Fly podcast, tells us about his week at Sun ‘n Fun 2018.

Mentioned

Questionable Motives and Tactics Cast a Shadow on the 60 Minutes Allegiant Story

First all-electric trainer plane gets airworthiness certification from the FAA in the US

Flying Pipistrel’s Electric Airplane

The “Remora Boys” presentation to the NTSB Round Table

Remora Systems

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

500 Five Hundred Episodes!

We celebrate our 500th episode with messages from our listeners and contributors, some Airplane Geeks facts and trivia, an AusDesk report, and a big announcement. In the news, we look at an emergency airworthiness directive for certain CFM engines, and a proposed mandatory retirement age for charter pilots.

Aviation News

FAA orders ’emergency’ engine inspections after deadly explosion during Southwest flight

A Southwest Airlines B737 experienced an uncontained failure in one of its CFM56-7B engines that resulted in the death of one passenger. The engine manufacturer, CFM International, issued a service bulletin for ultrasonic testing of the fan blades. This can be performed on-engine in about four hours. The FAA said the “emergency” order was based on a service bulletin. CFMI estimates 352 engines in the U.S. are affected and 681 engines worldwide.

See also:

The FOX News Rundown Podcast for 4/20/2018.

The Pilot Who Saved That Southwest Flight Is A Badass

Video: Turbine engine blade fail test

AARP Opposes Age 65 Retirement Age for Charter Pilots

A manager’s amendment in the FAA reauthorization bill would require a mandatory retirement age of 65 for certain Part 135 charter and Part 91K fractional pilots. In a letter to House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster and ranking member Pete DeFazio, the AARP says they have “long opposed mandatory retirement; using an arbitrary age as a proxy for competence is wrong in any occupation, and it is wrong for pilots.”

Well Wishes and Messages for 500 Episodes

Our sincere thanks to all our listeners, past guests, and especially:

Five Airplane Geeks “Tips”

  1. Our first 6 episodes.
  2. The Airplane Geeks archive.
  3. Subscribe by Email.
  4. The AvGeekFests aviation calendar.
  5. The Airplane Geeks Slack Team.

Credit

CREDIT

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

496 Electric Aircraft and New Technologies

We talk about electric aircraft, automation, and new technologies in aviation with the Vice President of Global Innovation and Policy for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Also, airport access for general aviation, a GAMA jobs rally, the Department of Defense receives more aircraft than they asked for, a proposal for increased air cargo security, and interviews from South by Southwest with an astronaut and with the EAA.

Guest

Greg Bowles talks about electric aircraft

Greg Bowles, VP of Global Innovation & Policy, GAMA

Greg Bowles is the Vice President of Global Innovation and Policy for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Greg is responsible for identifying key technology opportunities and developing critical paths to success which will evolve the global safety, efficiency, and success of aviation.

Greg is in a unique position to talk about electric aircraft technology, regulatory changes, and other new aviation developments that impact the industry, pilots, and the general population. We discuss the state of electric propulsion, battery energy density, hybrid aircraft, and the rapid emergence of eVTOL electric aircraft. Greg illustrates some of the new options that electric power allows, and explains how the interaction between the human pilot and the technology has licensing and training implications. Greg sees a future where simplified vehicles open up aviation to a broader audience.

Greg leads the GAMA Electric Propulsion and Innovation Committee (EPIC) which represents the world’s leading aviation mobility development companies along with traditional aviation manufacturers as this community strives to enable new kinds of public transportation through the air. He also leads the worldwide design standards committee that is chartered to develop globally acceptable means of compliance for general aviation aircraft.

Greg has been an advisor to several long-standing ICAO panels and he’s the industry co-chair on the FAA’s Part 23 Reorganization ARC which has developed the rewrite of FAA part 23 regulations to assure they will address aircraft of the next twenty years.

Pipistrel Alpha Electro electric aircraft.

Alpha Electro 2-seat electric trainer. Courtesy Pipistrel.

Before he joined GAMA, Greg worked as a certification engineer at Keystone (now Sikorsky) Helicopter, and he was a design engineer at Cessna Aircraft Company (now Textron Aviation).

Greg holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Webster University. He is an active instrument-rated general aviation pilot.

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

Aviation News

Maintaining Airport Access for General Aviation

In the U.S., most airports have Fixed Base Operators (FBOs) which provide many services to general aviation, including fuel and parking. Changes in the FBO customer base may have implications for general aviation.

GAMA To Stage Next Rally at Garmin’s Olathe Facility

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) is planning a jobs rally on in Olathe, Kansas, April 6, 2018, at the Garmin International Warehouse and Distribution Center. The event will feature government and industry leaders who will discuss the economic contributions of aviation, investment in products, the future workforce, and the promotion of STEM.

Congress appropriates a 28% increase in funding for new aircraft

The U.S. Government spending bill signed by the president on March 23, 2018, included 143 aircraft above what was requested by the Department of Defence. These include Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighters, F/A-18 Super Hornets, KC-46A tankers, and Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft. We look at the reasons for this and the implications.

H.R. 4176: Air Cargo Security Improvement Act of 2017

The Act passed the House by voice vote and goes to the Senate. If enacted, the TSA Administrator would establish an air cargo security division which would conduct a feasibility study on expanding the use of computed tomography (CT) technology for screening air cargo transported on passenger aircraft, followed by a 2-year pilot program.

Airline Story of the Week

Southwest Airlines Had a Brilliant Reaction When a Passenger’s Wi-Fi Wouldn’t Work

Interviews

At South by Southwest in Austin Texas, Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari spoke with astronaut Dr. John Danny Olivas and Andy Ovans from EAA headquarters.

Listener Recording

Student pilot Nicki provides an update on her flight training and tells us about a recent episode with her flight instructor.

Mentioned

ASTM F44 General Aviation Aircraft

At Long Last, Flat Earth Rocketeer Finally Manages to Blast Himself Into Sky at God Knows What Speed

Australia-UK: First non-stop flight arrives in London from Perth

Qantas has set a new record for non-stop flight as QF9 has landed at Heathrow International Airport

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.