Tag Archives: Spirit Airlines

AirplaneGeeks 384 Plane Spotting with Ben Granucci

NYCAviation.com editor Ben Granucci on plane spotting, CEO change at Spirit Airlines, drone news from the 2016 CES, a new FAA app, the Airbus A350, hand flying the airplane, five-engine airplanes, and the odd-looking Northrop Tacit Blue.

Guest

Ben Granucci inside Fedex A300 at EWR's Airport Day

Ben Granucci inside Fedex A300 at EWR’s Airport Day. Photo by Maggie Bradley.

Ben Granucci is the Standards Editor for NYCAviation.com, a New York City-based, globally focused aviation news, commentary, and enthusiast website. He is an avid aviation photographer and a lifelong avgeek. In addition to his work with NYCAviation, Ben also occasionally writes for AirlineReporter.com. Follow him on Twitter at @blgranucci and visit his Facebook page.

Some of Ben’s favorite photos:

Plane spotting at St Maarten

Plane spotting at St Maarten

A Tarom A310 carrying the Hungarian delegation taxis to depart while a Cathay Pacific 777-300ER lifts off in the background during UN Week 2015.

A Tarom A310 carrying the Hungarian delegation taxis to depart while a Cathay Pacific 777-300ER lifts off in the background during UN Week 2015.

An F-22 Raptor and P-51 Mustang perform the Heritage Flight during day 2 of the first ever New York Air Show.

An F-22 Raptor and P-51 Mustang perform the Heritage Flight during day 2 of the first ever New York Air Show.

A LAN Airlines A320 departs Santiago, Chile at sunset.

A LAN Airlines A320 departs Santiago, Chile at sunset.

News

Behind The Sudden Departure of Spirit Airline’s Wildly Unconventional CEO

The Spirit Airlines board announced that board member Robert Fornaro would replace Ben Baldanza as the CEO of the ultra low-cost airline. Fornaro was the AirTran CEO who managed the sale to Southwest  2011. While Spirit remains profitable, it is less so than before, and stock prices have tumbled. Could there be a merger in Spirit’s future?

See also:

It’s Official: Human-Carrying Drones Are Happening

EHang 184

EHang 184

China-based EHang announced its EHang 184 autonomous electric drone at CES, and says it should be in production in a year. The aircraft carries a single passenger, is limited to a 23 minute flight, and is expected to have a price of $200,000-$300,000.

B4UFLY Smartphone AppB4UFLY

At CES, FAA Administrator Huerta announced the public release of the B4UFLY app for iOS, and the beta of a version for the Android operating system. The FAA says, “B4UFLY tells users about current or upcoming requirements and restrictions in areas of the National Airspace System (NAS) where they may want to operate their unmanned aircraft system (UAS).”

FAA fails to ensure pilots’ manual flying skills: government report

The U.S. Transportation Department Office of the Inspector General released a report saying the FAA is not ensuring that airline pilots maintain the skills they need to take control from automated systems during an unexpected event.

FAA Wants GA Hand Flying Skills Checked

The FAA has issued a new advisory circular for flight instructors that promotes hand flying skills during flight reviews and proficiency checks. The AC says, “The FAA reminds CFIs conducting flight reviews and IPCs to ensure that a pilot under evaluation is proficient with the automated system and knows what to do if it fails.”

That time when we strapped an extra engine onto a jumbo

Qantas ferried a Rolls Royce engine from Sydney to Johannesburg so it could be used on another B747. See the video: Qantas’ Five-Engined Boeing 747-400 Ferry Flight Takes Off From Perth. Some years ago, Aviation Week covered Pratt & Whitney’s 747SP flying testbed with a “fifth engine” GTF.

PW B747SP flying testbed

P&W B747SP flying testbed with the PW1200G. Source: Pratt & Whitney.

The Airplane of the Week

David tells us about the ugliest airplane ever, the Northrop Tacit Blue.

Northrop Tacit Blue

Northrop Tacit Blue, courtesy National Museum of the US Air Force

Across the Pond

Pieter talks to FlightChic Marisa Garcia about the A350, Finnair, RyanAir and the sad new unfolding of an accident in Sweden.

ATP Finnair

Mentioned

Aviation centennials in 2016:

The 3 Plane Crashes You’ve Never Heard Of: Aviation’s Sacrificial Lambs by Phil Derner Jr. in NYCAviation.

Jack Dunn Stories – Stories from a long time aviator, captured in video.

Tracey Curtis-Taylor finishes UK to Australia biplane flight – Tracey Curtis-Taylor flew her 1942 Boeing Stearman Spirit of Artemis from Farnborough to Sydney, retracing pioneer Amy Johnson’s 1930 flight.

NASA Research Could Save Commercial Airlines Billions in New Era of Aviation

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 377 Flight Simulation on the PC

Airbus A319 Czech Airlines OK-MEK

An enthusiast talks about PC flight simulation, Dubai Air Show 2015 debrief, flight training with the Cirrus Aircraft SR22 at Emirates, antitrust lawsuit blocks United’s plan to purchase slots, and bag fees increase at low cost carriers.

Guest

Guest Nicolas Jackson talks about PC-based flight simulators. We learn that you can create the flight simulation experience you want – from flying a GA airplane in the pattern around your local airfield, to a transcontinental commercial flight.

We talk about alternatives to Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX), such as Lockheed Martin’s Prepar3D® simulation software and X-Plane from Laminar Research. Nicolas recommends the Steam edition of FSX distributed by Dovetail Games for new simmers. He also tells us about VATSIM.net, an international online flying network, and broadcasting on Twitch.tv, a live streaming video platform and community for gamers.

Nicolas Jackson

Nicolas Jackson

Nicolas Jackson fell in love with aviation at the age of 10 when he got his first ride in a GA aircraft. Five minutes at the stick and he was hooked. Soon after that first flight, he bought Sierra Pro Pilot 99. He later switched to Microsoft Flight Simulator starting with FS98 and running all the way to FSX. He started flying on the international online flying network VATSIM with complex airliner add-ons in 2006, and hasn’t looked back since. Nicolas currently flies a variety of FSX aircraft and co-hosts the Unicom Podcast as part of The IFlySimX Team.   

 

Resources for flight simulation:

News

Boeing, Mostly Booked Until 2020, Comes Up Empty at Dubai Air Show

The Airbus A350 and A320 family, as well as the Boeing 787 and 737, are sold out to 2020 and beyond. Airlines and leasing companies have no incentive to purchase more airplanes.

OPINION: Dubai air show sees lack of commercial sales from Middle East

Bombardier unveils launch customer for CS300 airliner

airBaltic becomes the launch customer for the CSeries CS300 airliner when it takes delivery in the latter part of 2016. The Latvian flag carrier has orders for 13 firm and 7 options for the 160 passenger CS300.

Bombardier said it has 603 orders and commitments for the CS300 and CS100, 243 of which are firm orders. Also, Bombardier said it was nearing completion of the CS100 flight test program and was “on track” for certification of the airplane by Transport Canada this year. CSeries flight test vehicles took more than 1,000 flights during testing.

DUBAI: SuperJet confirms March delivery and winglets for CityJet

CityJet plans to take delivery of the 98-seat Sukhoi Superjet 100 in March 2016. The Irish regional airline is negotiating for 15 Superjets with 10 options.

DUBAI: Embraer details plan for E2 test fleet

Embraer plans to build six test aircraft as part of the E2 E-Jet re-engining program: four of the E190-E2 variant and two of the E195-E2. Both E195-E2s and three of the E190-E2s would be ready by end of 2016, with the fourth following in 2017. The Pratt & Whitney PW1900G will power the planes, and Dutch lessor AerCap will be the launch customer for the 97-seat E190-E2.

DUBAI: USAF secretary to redouble efforts on sluggish FMS process

US Air Force secretary Deborah Lee James says industry and regional partners voiced complaints that the approval process for US foreign military sales is slow.

Military spend outshines orders at Dubai Airshow

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Air Force bought two Saab Global 6000 long-range surveillance aircraft, and will upgrade two existing Saab 340 jets. Lebanon will purchase six Embraer Super Tucano aircraft for basic missions and training. Boeing says five customers are interested in its Maritime Surveillance Aircraft, a long-range spying plane. Lockheed Martin was awarded a $262.8 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to service Saudi Arabia’s F-15 sniper targeting system.

Emirates Airline Selects Cirrus Aircraft SR22 for Flight Training Academy Fleet

Emirates Flight Training Academy is going to use a fleet of twenty-two Cirrus SR22 aircraft for its flight training program.

U.S. Tries to Block United’s Acquiring More Slots at Newark

United Continental Holdings Inc. wants to buy 24 slots at Newark Liberty International Airport, from Delta Air Lines Inc. The U.S. Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit to block the sale.

Justice Department antitrust chief Bill Baer says, “Allowing United to acquire even more slots at Newark would fortify United’s monopoly position and weaken the ability of other airlines to compete. That would leave the 35 million air passengers who fly in and out of Newark every year holding the bag.”

Frontier, Spirit Airlines raise bag fees for holidays

Last year, ultra low cost carrier Spirit Airlines began increased bag fees for the holidays, and they are doing the same this year. Frontier Airlines is also increasing their bag fees, but not just for the holidays. Frontier says they’ll charge a higher fee during the college spring break season, and during the summer travel season, from June 9 through Aug. 16.

Senator blasts airlines for holiday bag-fee boost; Frontier chief strikes back

Sen. Bill Nelson of Florida, the ranking Democrat on the Senate’s transportation committee sent letters to major airline CEOs asking them not to raise bag fees. Nelson wrote, “These increased surcharges fly in the face of declining fuel costs and appear focused on increasing profitability on the backs of American families,”

Airplane of the Week

Dassault Rafale

Dassault Rafale

This week David looks at the tip of the spear for the Armee de L’Air, the Dassault Rafale.

Across the Pond

Vueling

Pieter welcomes back Diego López-Salazar from Aeropodcast to talk about his recent visit to Airbus and their Innovation Day presentations. They talk about some of the non-flying innovations Airbus is creating that may well find uses in other industries, such as Airbus Glasses, waste compactors, and paper cable ties. Pieter and Diego also get a short discussion in on the latest British Airways news, that IAG owned Vueling boss Alex Cruz is to become Chairman and Chief Executive of British Airways.

Follow the Spanish-language Aeropodcast on Twitter and Facebook.

Mentioned

Terrafugia founder Carl Dietrich appears in the movie Back in Time,” a documentary tribute to the Back to the Future movie series. The film is available on Netflix, Amazon, and iTunes, with tour dates running through November 24th. (The Terrafugia segment starts at 1:13:30 if you want to skip straight to it.)

Connie’s 60th Birthday Start Up

25 Things You Didn’t Know About Air Force One

New Routes Mean More Noise for Some Homes Near Airports

Credit

Post photo Airbus A319 Czech Airlines OK-MEK courtesy aerosoft.

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

AirplaneGeeks 341 Youthful and Enthusiastic Airline Geeks

Solar Impulse 2 over Abi Dhabi

A young aviator makes his mark online, the Internet of Things creeps into aviation, Spirit Airlines plans to expand, a secret airport security check, and the Solar Impulse 2 starts an around the world journey.

Guest

Daniel Morley is a college student studying Human Factors in Aviation at Nova Southeastern University, and he’s training to become a commercial pilot. Daniel is also the Social Media Manager at Airline Geeks. He helps manage social media, pushes articles, interacts with readers, and occasionally writes articles.

Follow Daniel at @MorleyThePilot on Twitter and visit his Facebook page.

News

The Internet of Things, coming soon to an airline near you

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the concept where physical things in our lives have sensors and computational power, but they are also interconnected and share information. This article looks at some of the ways that IoT might impact the airline industry.

Growing Spirit Airlines to hire 1,500 workers in 2015

Spirit Airlines calls itself an Ultra Low Cost Carrier, and they plan to bring on new aircraft and flights in 2015. To do that they need more people – 1,500 more people in 2015, 500 of them flight attendants.

TSA Secretly Interrogates International Travelers, Miami Activist Says

Jonathan Corbett was questioned at Heathrow by an American Airlines security contractor, who asked why he was traveling and for how long. Corbett was told that if he didn’t answer the questions, he couldn’t board his flight home. In later communication with the airline, he learned that this is program is directed by the DHS/TSA, but the details are SSI, Sensitive Security Information.

Corbett’s blog is TSA Out of Our Pants! and details and documentation are in the post Corbett Sues TSA Over International Security Interview Program.

Solar-power plane airborne on historic round-the-world trip

The Solar Impulse 2 aims to be the first aircraft to fly around the world on solar power. It launched from Abu Dhabi on March 9, 2015 and is planned to take over 5 months to accomplish the planned 25 flight days.

The Australia News Desk

Grant’s back from the Canberra Balloon Spectacular in time for the Melbourne Grand Prix, but it seems Red Bull aren’t happy with how that’s going. Hey, maybe they’ll put money into more aviation events? At least the Qantas 747 handling display was pretty awesome.

Meanwhile, Qantas were the subject of the latest Facebook scam: Thousands fooled by fake Qantas first-class giveaway on Facebook, More than 100,000 people fooled by free Qantas flight scam, Not like! Thousands duped by fake Qantas Facebook offer.

Australia and New Zealand are sending relief flights to Vanuatu after the island was hit hard by Tropical Cyclone Pam.

Listener Recording

Educator Joël Vojenis from Lapalisse (LFHX) France tells us about taking his students on a parabolic flight.

Mentioned

747-400 at HARS

  • Titan-II.com – Dedicated to the men and women of the United States Air Force that served within the Titan II system.

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 296 – Go Attend an Air Show

International Council of Air Shows

We talk with John Cudahy, President of the International Council of Air Shows.

The air show industry suffered last year under sequestration with the loss of the military demonstration teams. This year, however, many of the military performers are back, to the benefit of the military and the public. So now the focus is on contingency planning for any possible repeat of the loss of military performers.

We discuss the impact of rising fuel prices on the air show industry, how air show spectator satisfaction is measured, and the annual ICAS convention.

ICAS works to maintain safety at air shows, serves as an information resource on air show issues, provides for the training and continuing education needs of the members and air show professionals generally, and promotes the air show industry to the media, Corporate North America, and the general public.

The week’s aviation news:

Cirrus SR20

Cirrus SR20

In this week’s Australia Desk:

This week the guys are having some fun flying all over the countryside but still managed to bring in a quick report.

Steve and ATC Ben host the segment from the cockpit of a Cirrus SR20, VH-SJA, at 9000 feet and 162 knots on their way up to the annual NatFly event in Temora, New South Wales.  They chat briefly about the flight and the news this week that Avalon Airport in Victoria are trying to pitch themselves as “GA friendly” by offering “discounted” user fees.  And yes, they still charge a fortune to use that airport, along with Essendon, which they also operate.

Grant in his balloon

Grant in his balloon

Grant also drops in with a quick report from on board his hot air balloon at 1,500 feet, which he was flying at Leeton in New South Wales, not too far away from Temora.  Sounds like he was having way too much fun!

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.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute: This week Rob talks about his TSA pre-check experience.

Mentioned:

Listen to the NBAA Flight Plan podcast from the National Business Aviation Association.

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

AirplaneGeeks 295 – Air Travel as a Jigsaw Puzzle

DH 89A Dragon Rapide in Royal Flight colours, Wanaka 2010 by Errol Cavit

Steven Frischling (“Fish”) builds jigsaw puzzles that divine the state of air travel, and he might be unique in his methodology. Fish also follows aviation security pretty closely.

We talk with him about what he sees in the air travel industry, including which airline is the best when it comes to social interaction and demonstrating a commitment to customer service. And of course, you can’t talk with Fish without getting his comments on airport security.

Fish blogs at Flying With Fish and you can follow him on Twitter as @FlyingWithFish. He also runs Travelers’ Night In, a travel chat on Twitter every Thursday At 3:30pm EST. Follow the #TNI hash tag.

The week’s aviation news:

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week: From Failure to Success, Part 3, The Many Countries of the P-3.

In this week’s Australia Desk:

Staying closer to home this week, the boys lead off with a story about Hainan Airlines’ parent company HNA Group signing an MOU with Avalon Airport owners LinFox to spend 18 months expanding Avalon in readiness for a Melbourne-China route.

Victoria’s premier promises to build a rail link from Melbourne CBD to the airport. Must be an election coming up, eh?

Air Marshall Mark Binskin is promoted to Chief of Defence Force and Grant recently recorded an interview with him.

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.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute: This week Rob talks about SATAS – the synthetic air traffic advisory system to prevent midair collisions at non-towered airports.

BA 777 by XTP Media

BA 777 by XTP Media

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

Pieter goes back to the spot 40 years ago at London Heathrow Airport, where he watched the planes come in wave after wave as a young boy. He still wonders at the awesome nature of aircraft flight and ponders the question how something as big as a Boeing 777 can vanish.

Pieter also has a suggestion for a great museum to visit – the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (@FASTmuseum), followed by a visit across the road to the National Aerospace Library, both of which are free and you will see aircraft, aerospace items and memorabilia seen no where else in the world.

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

Mentioned:

Listen to the NBAA Flight Plan podcast from the National Business Aviation Association.

Post photo: DH 89A Dragon Rapide in Royal Flight colours, Wanaka 2010, courtesy Errol Cavit.

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

Episode 151 – The Cranky Flier

Virgin America photo by Ron McCormick taken from the SEA terminal.

Virgin America photo by Ron McCormick taken from the SEA terminal.

Brett Snyder, the Cranky Flier (and also the Cranky Concierge) returns to the show to talk aviation and travel. Brett writes CNN’s “Out of the Office” column for the business traveler, and you can follow him on Twitter as @crankyflier.

The week’s aviation news:

Steve Visscher and Grant McHerron provide their Australia Desk report. Be sure to listen to 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 Tim Robinson, Editor of Aerospace International, about the future of London’s Heathrow Airport. With the governments decision to cancel the third runway, will LHR survive in todays competitive market?

Mentions:

Be sure to see Max, Rob, Dan, and David at the Become a Pilot Family Day and Fly-In June 18, 2011, 10 a.m. – 3p.m., at the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center next to Dulles International Airport. The Geeks will be joining Milford and Charlie from FlightTime Radio, along with some other aviation podcasters as they broadcast their show live.

The Cranky Jackass Award

The Cranky Jackass Award

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/.

Episode 103 – Live ATC

Northrop Grumman T-38 Talon

Guest Dave Pascoe from LiveATC.net explains how he provides real-time Air Traffic Control feeds directly to your browser, mp3 player, and mobile device. LiveATC will be streaming ATC communications live from EAA Airventure at Oshkosh (in a joint partnership with EAA) – including both Tower frequencies and some other goodies. Look for Dave during the first few days of the show.

The week’s aviation news:

David returns with his This Week in Aviation history segment. Steve and Grant from the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast have another great Australia Desk report.

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/.

Episode 102 – Outlook for Professional Pilots

Cessna Skycatcher

Guest Louis Smith, a retired NWA DC-10 captain offers some unique insight into the market for professional pilots. The future looks bright, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy for pilots. Louis runs FLTops.com, a site offering information and advice for pilots looking to advance their professional careers.

The week’s aviation news:

David takes the week off, but will return next episode with This Week in Aviation.

Grant and Steve continue their journey back across the Pacific in the Australia Desk Report. This installment features the voices of Dan Morris and Michelle Lowrie, and the music is “Slice of Heaven” by Dave Dobbyn. Last episode included Anthony Simmons, the man behind the View From the Lounge segment you can hear on the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast.

Other mentions:

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/.

Episode 97 – Darryl Jenkins on Airlines

Boeing Phantom Ray

This week airline analyst Darryl Jenkins joins the guys to add his considerable industry knowledge to the conversation. Darryl is Managing Director at Aviation Consulting Group and author of the Handbook of Airline Economics. He’s worked for many of the world’s airlines, he’s consulted for the FAA, DOT, NTSB and other government agencies as well as many foreign countries. Among other places, you can find Darryl at The Airline Zone (http://www.theairlinezone.com/) which contains a series on the future of the airline industry.

David’s got a short interview with Sean D. Tucker, the Australia Desk sent an interview with Owen Zupp during his arould Australia flight, this time in person at the RAAF Museum at the RAAF Point Cook airbase, and we have This Week in Aviation.

See also the 1940 Air Terminal Museum Airplane site at http://www.1940airterminal.org/ for their fundraising raffle of a vintage 1958 Cessna 172.

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/.

Episode 94 – Jet Checking

EADS KC-45

Our guest this episode is Jonathan Heckman, founder and writer of the JetCheck.net blog. Jonathan attends Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University where he’s working to a Bachelor of Science degree in Aviation Business Administration. He’s also a student pilot, logging hours in a Diamond Eclipse.

The news:

David provides his This Week in Aviation history segment, and we have a great report from the Airplane Geeks Australia Desk.

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

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