Tag Archives: travel

698 Airline Travel Challenges

Airline travel this summer faces challenges with crew shortages and fatigue. Also, the mask mandate, 100th Bombardier Global 7500 Biz Jet delivered, boarding the airplane without a jet bridge, a rare airline amenity, giving up the seat you paid for, some turbofan failures after storage, when passengers are told their flight would be ditching, and therapy animals at airports.

Aviation News

Airlines are slashing flights due to staffing shortage: ‘The summer will be chaos’

Crew shortages are affecting airlines around the world. Travel demand is up, but staff availability is down. The summer travel outlook looks chaotic.

Pilot union sues American Airlines to block pilot training program

The Allied Pilots Association (APA) filed a suit to “prevent the airline from eliminating the longstanding practice of using experienced Check Airmen during a critical stage of the pilot training program.” The volunteer program encourages pilots to take simulator training sessions on their days off. 

In the press release, Allied Pilots Association Sues American Airlines Over Railway Labor Act Violations, APA President Capt. Eric Ferguson says, 

Having failed to plan properly for the recovery in air travel demand, American Airlines management now finds itself having to deal with the consequences of being the only major airline to have furloughed pilots during the pandemic and its decision to forgo training opportunities at that time… Management continues to fall behind and is scrambling to increase the volume of the pilot training funnel. Consequently, they are now soliciting all pilots to volunteer to replace our specially trained Check Airmen as ‘seat fillers’ during a critical training evaluation stage under terms and conditions that remain largely unknown to APA.

APA President Capt. Eric Ferguson

Fatigue is starting to put safety at risk, pilots say

The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association (SWAPA), says “Fatigue, both acute and cumulative, has become Southwest Airlines’ number-one safety threat.” Southwest plans to hire 8,000 new employees this year, forty percent of those flight crew.

Florida judge voids US mask mandate for planes, other travel

A federal judge says the mask mandate exceeds the authority of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and also that the CDC failed to justify its decision and did not follow proper rulemaking procedures.

Bombardier Delivers 100th Global 7500; Milestone Jet Goes to VistaJet – AIN

Bombardier celebrated its 100th Global 7500 delivery with its largest customer, VistaJet, which has taken 10 of the aircraft manufacturer’s flagship business jets so far. The delivery ceremony took place at Bombardier’s Montreal Laurent Beaudoin Completion Centre, where the company outfits the aircraft after they’re flown from its Toronto assembly plant. This is where customers oversee the interior finishing of their Global 7500, familiarize themselves with them, and take delivery. VistaJet is a Part 295 air charter broker.

Frontier Airlines wants to ditch jet bridges in Denver and board by stairs

Starting in 2024, Frontier Airlines plans to use airstairs and switchback ramps to board and deplane its fleet of Airbus aircraft through the front and rear aircraft doors. Frontier’s CEO, Barry Biffle: “A dedicated ground boarding facility will benefit customers by cutting in half the time for boarding and deplaning through the use of both the front and rear aircraft doors. That, in turn, will reduce our time on the ground between flights by nearly half and nearly double our number of aircraft operations per gate.”

This Airline Has Offered One Rare Amenity Since 1952 — and It’s Still the Coolest Thing in the Skies

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines offers unique Delftware porcelain amenities that have become collector’s items.

When do you give up an airline seat that you’ve paid for?

Sometimes you don’t want to swap seats with another passenger, but sometimes it’s the right thing to do.

FAA warns of in-flight turbofan failures following long-term storage

The Federal Aviation Administration issued an airworthiness directive (AD) warning of CF34 failures for engines taken out of storage. “Engines installed on airplanes parked outdoors for 250 or more days are at risk of excessive corrosion build-up,” it says. The AD cites several in-flight CF34 troubles.

Airline Passengers Accidentally Told Plane Was Going to Make an Emergency Landing in the Sea

Passengers aboard an Aer Lingus flight from Zurich to Dublin listened to an automated emergency announcement stating, “Ladies and gentlemen, this is an emergency. Please prepare for a ditched landing.” Flight attendants didn’t react and a passenger went into the galley to get more information. After that, an announcement from the flight crew confirmed there was no emergency.

Easter Bunny Story: Scared of flying? SFO’s new giant rabbit is here to help

Alex the Great, a 28-pound Flemish Giant rabbit, has joined the San Francisco International Airport Wag Brigade to help calm nervous travelers. The brigade is composed of mostly dogs but includes LiLou, the “World’s 1st Airport Therapy Pig.” 

37 U.S. Airports Have Therapy Dog Programs. Does Yours?

San Jose International Airport (SJC) in California was the first airport to bring in therapy dogs shortly after 9/11. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) was the second airport to introduce therapy dogs.

The Journey is the Reward

Brian T. Coleman and Main(e) Man Micah discuss a letter they received from a United Airlines Captain.

Mentioned

The Air Current – Exclusive news and insight on the business and technology of flying.

The YB-52 prototype, the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, takes its first flight on April 15, 1952

A Look Back At All The B-52 Variants As The Iconic Bomber Hits 70

Airliners International 2022 Chicago – Buy, swap, sell airline memorabilia. June 23-25, 2022.

37 U.S. Airports Have Therapy Dog Programs. Does Yours?

Apollo 10 1/2: A Space Age Childhood | Official Trailer | Netflix

Airlines Confidential Podcast – Hosted by Ben Baldanza, former CEO of Spirit Airlines, and Chris Chiames, a 30+ year airline/travel industry veteran.

Thunder Over Dover, May 21-22, 2022.

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, Max Trescott, and Rob Mark.

685 Aircraft Management

Our guest is the CEO of aircraft management company PC Aviators, an air race champion, author, speaker, and former aerodynamics professor. In the news, flight cancellations strand thousands of air travelers, Boeing 737 MAX flights are set to resume in Ethiopia and Indonesia, more 5G drama, and adaptive cycle engines for military applications.

Guest

Aircraft management company PC Aviators CEO Pete Zaccagnino.

Pete Zaccagnino is the CEO of PC Aviators, an aircraft management company. He’s also a four-time Air Racing Gold Champion in the Jet/Sport Class, an author, a speaker, a former aerodynamics professor, and an Embry-Riddle graduate. He has flown over 23,000 hours in more than 270 aircraft types and he’s flight-tested over 685 aircraft.

Pete explains how PC Aviators views the aircraft management business as a personal relationship with the customers. That means getting to know the clients and providing services and experiences they value. Sometimes that includes tours all over the world.

PC Aviators manages the acquisition process, helping the customer determine what type of aircraft best suits their mission, deciding between a new plane and one from the used market, and looking at tax considerations. They locate the plane and provide a number of services, including inspection, contract negotiation, where to close, and even color. Aircraft management services continue after the purchase to address staffing, pilots, and maintenance reporting.

Pete comments on industry shifts toward private aircraft transportation and the prices and availability of aircraft. He argues that the perception of aviation has changed in a way that is helping the industry segment grow.

With his extensive success at the Reno Air Races through High Performance Aircraft Racing, we can’t help but ask Pete about the classes of aircraft, the makeup of the team, and the interaction with the public at the event. The 2022 Air Races, officially the STIHL National Championship Air Races, will be held September 14-18 in Reno, Nevada.

Relevant book cover

We also touch on the books Pete has written in The Relevant Series. The first book in the series is Relevant: A Military Thriller Inspired by True Events and the recently released second book is The New Cold War: Defending Democracy From Russia’s Secret Tech Weapon.

Founded in 2008, Park City Aviators is an aircraft management company based in Park City, Utah with locations across the United States. The company is committed to creating a new standard in affordable and professional private jet management.

Pete earned his undergraduate degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He has restored five airplanes and built three others (including a Lancair Super Legacy). Pete has flown over 23,000 hours in more than 270 aircraft types and flight-tested over 685 aircraft.

A former professor of Aerodynamics, Meteorology, and History, Pete has given over 100 training seminars on a variety of topics and has been a guest speaker at aviation peer groups and universities worldwide, including EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

Pete’s fifteen years of racing at Reno have included four championships, including the 2019 Jet Gold Champion, 2015 Jet Gold Champion, 2013 Jet Gold Champion at 509 mph and the fastest qualifying lap at 529 mph, and 2007 Gold Champion in the Sport Class.

Aviation News

Holiday flight cancellations soar with Covid-19 disruptions and bad weather

Thousands of flights have been canceled during a very busy travel season. On January 1, 2022, FlightAware data showed more than 4,731 flights canceled globally. Thousands more cancellations followed on January 2. Looking at FlightAware data, CNN says airlines canceled more than 14,000 flights in the last 10 days. Bad weather and employees testing positive for Covid are credited with causing the disruptions.

Ethiopia to Resume Boeing 737 Max Flights Three Years after Deadly Crash

Boeing 737 Max: Indonesia lifts ban after 2018 Lion Air crash

Ethiopian Airlines Group says it will resume flying its four Boeing 737 MAX jets starting February 1, 2022. The airline’s Chief Executive Officer said: “We have taken enough time to monitor the design modification work. [With] more than 20 months of [a] rigorous recertification process… we have ensured that our pilots, engineers, aircraft technicians, cabin crew are confident on the safety of the fleet.” Indonesia’s transport ministry said the ban would be lifted effective immediately.

AT&T, Verizon CEOs reject U.S. request for 5G deployment delay

AT&T and Verizon responded negatively to the request by the Transportation Secretary and the FAA administrator to delay the January 5, 2022 5G deployment. The companies characterized the government proposal as “an irresponsible abdication of the operating control required to deploy world-class and globally competitive communications networks.”

F-35s Could Get New Engines As Soon As 2027

The U.S. Airforce is pursuing several “Future Initiatives,” including lifting wing bodies, medium scale propulsion for UAVs, the Megawatt Tactical Aircraft (MWTA) program, and even air wake surfing. This article looks specifically at the Adaptive Engine Transition Program (AETP). While jet engines have two airstreams (one through the core and a bypass airstream around the core), AETP engines are adaptive with three streams. That third stream can be dynamically modulated between the engine’s core and the bypass stream. This results in increased thrust in a combat environment and increased fuel efficiency during cruise. AETP prototypes are being developed by General Electric (XA100) and Pratt & Whitney (XA101).

Video: GE’s XA100 Adaptive Cycle Engine

New Year Wishes

Brian Coleman talks about giving and sharing.

Mentioned

Aviation News Talk #214 San Diego Learjet Crash – Interview with Rob Mark

Maine Instrument Flight sold to Idaho-based company

Late passenger runs onto airfield at Phoenix airport, attempts to stop plane

Video: I Crashed My Plane

Hosts this Episode

Hosts: Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, Max Trescott, and Rob Mark. Contributor: Brian Coleman.

AirplaneGeeks 311 – Travel Skills

TravelSkills founder Chris McGinnis

This Episode: A great new resource for business travelers, an FAA hangar policy change, the airliner manufacturing ramp-up, an MH370 update, the Griffon Lionheart, and some space news.

Guest

Chris McGinnis has had a long career in travel journalism, appearing on television and writing online. He recently created the Travel Skills blog, part of Boarding Area network, with news, information, tips, advice, and trip reports. Chris also co-hosts the #travelskills chat on Twitter with travel guru Johnny Jet every Friday morning at 9:00am Pacific Time (noon Eastern). There you’ll find topics discussed for an hour by people who are passionate about travel.

The News

New FAA Hangar Policy Draft: Much Confusion in GA Community

The FAA issued a draft policy that addresses the allowed uses for hangars at airports that receive federal grant funding. The policy as stated impacts airplane homebuilders.

GE Aviation invests $50M in 3-D printing plant

Alcoa Continues Aerospace Push With $1.1 Billion Pratt & Whitney Deal

Boeing, United Technologies Stockpile Titanium Parts

GE’s upgrade to their 300,000-square-foot Auburn, Alabama manufacturing plant is intended to let them mass produce fuel nozzles for the Leap-X engine. More broadly, we talk about the huge manufacturing ramp up required to satisfy the production requirements for new aircraft such as the A320neo family, 737 MAX, Comac C919, and Irkut MC-21.

Australia to announce next MH370 search

Malaysia Steps In to Save Its Reeling National Airline

Australia has selected Dutch company Fugro Survey to undertake the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The operation is expected to begin in September and last as long as a year. We also see that the Malaysian government plans to take full control of the company through a stock, buyback and restructure the airline’s operations.

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week

Lionheart

David is off this week, but Jamie Dodson from NickGrantAdventures.com steps in to tell us about the Griffon Lionheart, an American single-engined, six-seat biplane designed and produced in kit form for home building by Griffon Aerospace of Harvest, Alabama.

Across the Pond

Pieter is back reporting on the European Space Agency news that the Rosetta mission is now close to Comet 67P, ATV5 is close to docking with the ISS, the possibility that the UK will get its own Spaceport. Listen to Ep.27 – From rocket history to spaceplanes for more space content.

Listener Recording

Harriet and Micah

Harriet and Micah

Micah tells the story, “Favorite Flights I Never Flew.”

Mentioned

The 8 best beds on a Boeing 777

Chris McGinnis’ video tour of the crew rest area on Cathay Pacific’s new Boeing 777-300ER.

Boeing looking to expand presence in South Africa

Boeing Partners with South African Airways to Turn New Tobacco Plant into Jet Fuel

Activities include training, manufacturing, and biofuels. Boeing and South African Airways signed an agreement last year to establish a sustainable aviation biofuel supply chain in Southern Africa.

Photos from Paul Filmer

NCAR by Paul Filmer

NCAR by Paul Filmer

NCAR FRAPPE and NASA DISCOVER-AQ Operations in Colorado – July 2014

Aviation News – NCAR FRAPPE and NASA DISCOVER-AQ Operations in Colorado

Xtended Episode.29 – FIA 2014 (Live)

Pieter in the A350

Pieter in the A350

Recorded at the Farnborough International Airshow, Pieter and Tim talk to Jean Vincent Reymondon, Social Media Manager with the Media Relations Department of the Airbus Group. You’ll also hear interviews with several key suppliers.

Credit

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 133 – Traveling Smart with Kelli

North American XB-70, NASA picture

Kelli Jones is this week’s guest. She’s an aviation consultant, cabin safety expert, mediator, traveler, philanthropist, and a blogger at Traveling Smart. Previously, Kelli worked for a major US airline where she was a cabin equipment engineer and accident investigator, and she now works as a consultant for the FAA, the NTSB, airlines, and other aviation organizations through White Consulting & Mediation. Find Kelli on Twitter at @TravelingSmart.

We have aviation news from the past week, The Australia Desk Report by Steve and Grant from the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and Pieter Johnson speaks with Karlene Pettit in his Across the Pond segment.

The week’s aviation news:

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 68 – Cranky Yet Again

Spaceship One

Brett Snyder, The Cranky Flier himself, joins as this Episode’s guest to talk about his new venture, Cranky Concierge. This service provides a real, live airplane dork (his term!) who is available to support you when traveling by air. You can ask yourself why the airlines don’t provide this kind of service for their customers, but you can probably answer your own question!

Follow the @AirplaneGeeks on Twitter, send us email at thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com, or leave us voice mail at (361) GEEKS01 [thats (361) 433-5701].

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

Episode 64 – Experiential Journeys

South African Airways photo. http://www.flysaa.com/
Guest Jeffrey Ward, the Savvy Navigator, has been in the travel industry for over 20 years, about half of that with American Airlines. He now provides travelers with experiential journeys to places like South Africa, Argentina, and Costa Rica.

We have the week’s aviation news and our report from the Airplane Geeks Australia Desk. David Vanderhoof joins us for his This Week in Aviation history lesson, Dan Webb interviews Gary Kelly, the CEO of Southwest Airlines, and we have some listener mail.

The news:

Follow the @AirplaneGeeks on Twitter, send us email at thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com, or leave us voice mail at (812) 757-4252.

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