Tag Archives: TSA

AirplaneGeeks 344 It’s All About Rob

D8 double-bubble

An Air Canada crash, Allegiant pilots try to strike, aviation safety in Asia, an advanced jet engine design, the classified Long-Range Strike Bomber, and TSA profiling. And it’s not really all about Rob…


Air Canada flight involved in runway crash hit antenna array: TSB

An Air Canada A320 touched down 1,100 feet short of the runway at the Halifax Airport, hitting an antenna array which damaged the landing gear, and skidded on its belly.

Air Canada gives $5Gs to passengers from crash-landed Halifax flight

Air Canada provided the money “to cover immediate and interim expenses.” It does not cover any money that could be awarded in potential lawsuits.

Pilot Strike at Allegiant Halted by Court Order

Some 500 Allegiant Air pilots planned to strike the airline, but a federal judge granted the airline’s request and issued a restraining order against the labor action. The strike would have grounded Allegiant Air over the Easter and Passover holiday weekend.

Asia’s aviation industry confronts safety challenges after decade of turbocharged growth

Does fast regional growth outpace the regulatory infrastructure?

A Reversed, Tilted Future For Pratt’s Geared Turbofan?

Pratt & Whitney concept engine

Credit: Pratt & Whitney

We see new aircraft about to enter service offering huge reductions in fuel consumption, but that’s not stopping people from thinking farther into the future with unique design concepts.

The $80 billion Pentagon program that could slice up an aerospace business

Northrop Grumman and Boeing are competing for the Pentagon’s classified Long-Range Strike Bomber. It’ll probably be called the B-3 and its valued at as much as $80 billion.

TSA ‘Behavior Detection” Program Targeting Undocumented Immigrants, Not Terrorists

The Intercept says the SPOT program (Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques) catches illegal immigrants, not terrorists.

The Australia News Desk

Industry calls for rethink of new CASA charges

CASA are increasing their rates yet many of us think they should first improve their processes.

Air Mobility commander new deputy RAAF chief

Warren McDonald next RAAF deputy chief

We have a new RAAF DCAF (Deputy Commander Air Force).

Prince Harry touches down in Darwin

HRH Harry is ‘ere!

Steve and Grant will be doing airshow commentary at the Barossa Airshow near Adelaide on Sunday.

Listener Recording

In light of the coverage of the Germanwings crash, Micah gives us News Reporting & the Sport of Speculation or The Surge in Sensational Surrealism.

EVA Air Report

Hello Kitty swag from EVA

Brian provides his experience with the EVA Air PR department. His report was published in AirwaysNews as Inflight Review: EVA Air LAX-TPE-HKG-LAX in First Class, and you can also read his full version, Trip Report LAX – TPE – HKG – LAX [PDF].


Velocity SE

Velocity SE

Calculate air temperature based on altitude.

A video technical presentation by Mike Ciminera, an engineer from Northrop Grumman involved in designing the F-14.

This on demand film tells the amazing true story of Jewish American pilots who, in 1948, smuggled planes out of the U.S. and flew for Israel during its war for independence.

Listener Photo of the Week

Gliding with Glen

Glen Towler took this photo while gliding for the first time in 30 years. Glen is an Oshkosh veteran and hopes to get his certificate one day.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

AirplaneGeeks 333 The Airport Experience, From Roadway to Runway

Washington Dulles International Airport

Managing airport customer service, new TSA security measures, guns on a plane, FAA NPRM rules, the NTSB 10 most wanted, new airline routes, and the inaugural Airplane Geeks Inflight Movie of the Month.


Dennis Hazell is Manager, Customer Service at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. Dennis supports the terminal and airfield operations, while focusing on the overall customer service experience at Washington Dulles International Airport.

Prior to joining the Airports Authority in June 2007, Dennis spent twenty-three years with American Airlines.  He began his career as a flight attendant, and accepted management positions in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Tulsa, Albany, Richmond, and Washington Dulles, where he spent the last ten years as the General Manager.

He has also been involved in several community activities including Big Brothers/Big Sisters, The United Way, and working with The George Washington University-Virginia Campus in focusing attention on STEM education.  He also serves as a Board Director for the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Follow Washington Dulles International Airport on Twitter and Instagram.


TSA Considering New Security Measures for Airport Workers

The Department of Homeland Security announced some additional security measures: enhanced screening for airline employees, some random security checks, and more patrols in secure areas by the TSA and law enforcement. The Aviation Security Advisory Committee has been asked to look into airport security.

TSA: Inspector had .22-caliber revolver in carry-on bag

An FAA Aviation Safety Inspector was passing through a security checkpoint at New York’s LaGuardia airport, after arriving from Atlanta, and a loaded firearm was discovered in his carry-on bag. He was arrested, saying it was his wife’s gun and he forgot he had it.

Instrument Sim Rule Rescinded

The FAA issued a final rule Dec. 3 that allowed up to 20 hours on an approved simulator for instrument training. Before that it was up to 10 hours. Now the FAA is withdrawing the rule.

New rules are established through the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) process. The FAA normally issues an NPRM, followed by a public comment period before the final rule is released. Here, the FAA issued the rule first, with the comment period after. But in that case, if anyone objects to the rule, it is rescinded. Two people objected.

NTSB 2015 Most Wanted List

The annual TSA Most Wanted List represents the Board’s 10 advocacy priorities. Some are directed at aviation, and some at other modes of transportation.

New Routes can lead to lower fares

Route expansions may not seem like exciting news, but they’re a bigger deal than you probably think. Why? Because they often spark competition between airlines and drive down fares on multiple carriers.

The Aviation Movie of the Month

This week, David starts the inaugural Airplane Geeks Inflight Movie of the Month: Always, the modern retelling of A Guy Named Joe. So what did David think? 4 out of 5 props.

4 props

The Australia News Desk

B767-338 VH-OGM

B767-338 VH-OGM departs Sydney for the final time on January 7th. Image by Damien Aiello.

Grant’s tired after completing his CASA panel interview process for aircraft maintenance management and Steve’s hungover after a few too many red wines with the “Infrequent Flyer” himself at the Members’ Reserve in the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Oh my!!!

Despite this, the boys still manage to report on:

  • More Qantas 767s flying to the Alice Springs boneyard (where a UT-Air Antonov 74-200 may wind up if it’s not careful!)

Aviation Museum Review

Brian Coleman visited the Aviation Hall of Fame and Museum of New Jersey in Teterboro, New Jersey and brings us his report.

Airplane Geeks on Ice

Juan Fernandez

Report 4 by Juan Fernandez from McMurdo Bay in Antarctica. See more at AirplaneGeeks.com/ice.

Listener Recording

Micah tells the story of “Undergraduate Air.”


  • The Igor Sikorsky Weekend Seminar at the Bradford Camps in the North Maine Woods with Igor Sikorsky III.


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



AirplaneGeeks 331 The Good, The Bad, and The TSA

TSA Pre Check

How the TSA treats a man marked as a terrorist, an inside job smuggling guns on an airline, airport security concerns, a former Korean Air executive arrested, United and Orbitz sue over the “hidden city” ticketing strategy, and an AirAsia QZ8501 update.


After being convicted of releasing animals from fur farms in 2005, Peter Young was labeled a “terrorist” by the TSA. Since then, flying has been quite interesting for Peter. 

You see, Peter was placed on the TSA’s Selectee List. This is not the same as the No Fly List. If you are on the Selectee List, you can fly on an airline, but you are subjected to “enhanced screening.”

Peter has since experienced all manner of “special treatment” from the TSA. He’s been refused entry onto planes, been tailed through airports, and told his Starbucks coffee might be a bomb.

In October 2014, Young launched The Jetsetting Terrorist blog, to document his often hilarious but never boring experiences with the TSA as he travels around the U.S. marked as a “terrorist.” Follow Peter on Twitter as @flyingterrorist.


4 large objects found in AirAsia wreckage and victims search

Sonar has picked up large objects, the flight was not certified to fly on that day, why ATC didn’t authorize an increase in altitude, and why pilots don’t turn back.

Arrest warrant for ex-Korean Air exec in nut rage

Heather Cho, the former VP of Korean Air’s in-flight service and the daughter of the Korean Air Chairman, has been arrested. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation investigation determined that Cho’s behavior violated the Aviation Safety and Security Act, which bans any behavior that disturbs airplane operation.

Gun Smuggling on Plane Reveals Security Oversight

In December, a former Delta employee was arrested in New York after allegedly carrying 16 firearms and ammunition in a backpack on a Delta Air Lines flight from Atlanta. This was after a month long investigation.

A Delta baggage handler with access to secure airport areas brought the firearms into the terminal and transferred them to the man, who had already gone through the regular airport security checks.

A Gift to the Jihadis: The Unseen Airport Security Threat

Airport security focuses on passengers, but baggage handlers and other airline employees with access to restricted areas could be bigger threats.

Millennials Worry Most That Airport Security Is Becoming Too Lax

More than 740,000 travelers are now enrolled in the TSA’s “Precheck” program, A survey by Harris Interactive shows that younger people are more worried about lax security than older travelers.

22-year-old raises $33,000 in fight with United Airlines

Aktarer Zaman, founder of the airfare advice site Skiplagged.com, is being sued by United and Orbitz for providing “unfair competition” and promoting “strictly prohibited” travel. Zaman’s website helps air travelers find “hidden city” tickets. Zaman is raising funds to pay for his legal fees at GoFundMe.

David Vanderhoof’s Airplane of the Week

Short Belfast

The Shorts Belfast, a four-engine turboprop freighter produced by Short Brothers.

Aviation Movie of the Month

Always, a 1989 film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, and John Goodman. The film introduced Brad Johnson and featured a cameo by Audrey Hepburn.

The Australia News Desk

The boys are back for 2015 and wondering what happened to last week? Something about holidays and memos, it would appear!

In this Desk, Steve and Grant cover the WA Police Air Wing being grounded due to pilots quitting, the last flights of Qantas 767s (well, sort of) and regional airline SkyTrans closing the doors but in the most controlled and well managed method we’ve ever seen!

Airplane Geeks on Ice

Juan Fernandez provides his second report from Antarctica, this time on the Pegasus crash. Visit AirplaneGeeks.com/ice for more information and some great photos.


Marin's Bushcaddy


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


AirplaneGeeks 328 ExpressJet Airlines Flight Operations

Brad Sheehan, Vice President – Flight Operations at ExpressJet Airlines

A regional airline’s flight operations center, NTSB report on 787 battery fire, a cracked Dreamliner window, outgoing TSA security chief John Pistole, why cheap fuel might not be a good thing, and airports that court avgeeks.


Brad Sheehan is Vice President of Flight Operations at ExpressJet Airlines. He’s responsible for the daily operations of more than 4,000 pilots and all Flight Operations functions.

We talk about the responsibilities of Flight Operations, managing “irregular operations” such as weather events, and accommodating passengers when there are disruptions. Brad describes the operations center job functions: mostly dispatchers, but also a team of managers, maintenance controllers, and schedulers.

The gap in the U.S. created by pilots retiring in next 10 – 15 years means majors will draw on the regionals for pilots. While many see the regionals as a stepping stone to the majors, a regional career could be attractive and Brad describes how that applied to him.

Brad has a degree in Aviation Management from Auburn University, and began his career at Atlantic Southeast Airlines in 1997 as a pilot based in Atlanta. In his 17 years with ExpressJet, he’s served as a line check airman, instructor pilot, project manager, and chief pilot. He served as the director of Corporate Safety, Security and Compliance from 2010 to 2013 where he was instrumental in launching numerous safety programs including their Safety Management System (SMS).

Headquartered in Atlanta, ExpressJet is the world’s largest regional airline with 9,000 aviation professionals, an average of 2,000 daily flights, and an all-jet fleet. ExpressJet operates as American Eagle, Delta Connection, and United Express to serve more than 190 airports in the U.S., Bahamas, Canada and Mexico.

If you’re looking for a career in aviation, ExpressJet is hiring pilots, mechanics, flight attendants, crew schedulers, and more. If you want to begin your career as a pilot but don’t have your ATP CTP yet, ExpressJet offers a free, in-house CTP course for new hire pilots.

Find ExpressJet on their Facebook page, and learn more about employment opportunities on their ExpressJet Airlines Pilot Recruiting Facebook page. Follow @ExpressJetPilot on Twitter and expressjetpilots on Instagram.


Temperature in 787 battery cells spikes in cold conditions: NTSB

The NTSB issued its final report on the January 7, 2013 incident where ground workers discovered smoke and flames coming from an auxiliary power unit lithium-ion battery in a Japan Airlines 787 that was parked at the gate at Boston Logan International Airport.

Previously, the NTSB said that one of the battery’s cells experienced an internal short circuit which caused thermal runaway in the cell. That then spread to the other cells and caused a full battery thermal runaway.

NTSB Press release: NTSB Recommends Process Improvements for Certifying Lithium-ion Batteries as it Concludes its Investigation of the 787 Boston Battery Fire Incident

“As a result of its findings, the NTSB is recommending that the FAA improve the guidance and training provided to industry and FAA certification engineers on safety assessments and methods of compliance for designs involving new technology.”

Man Punches And Cracks A Magical 787 Dreamliner Window

A man aboard a Thomson Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner punching one of the plane’s windows, causing it to crack and frightening the other passengers. He was arrested on arrival, pleaded guilty, and is awaiting sentencing in January.

Considering the Year in Airport Security, With the T.S.A. Chief

The New York Times’ Business Day section did an extensive interview with John Pistole, the outgoing administrator of the Transportation Security Administration. Among the topics discussed: the growth of TSA’s PreCheck program and possibly switching the program to private contractors.

Airlines: Another Reason to Worry About Cheap Fuel

Investors are looking too much at fuel costs and not enough at controllable expenses. But the airline industry outlook has been driven by capacity discipline, consolidation, and unbundling. Capacity discipline driven by high fuel prices. Also, airlines will not all benefit equally from lower fuel prices do to different hedging practices.

Airport Programs Help Cultivate Avgeek Population

Washington Dulles and Miami International airports are courting avgeeks with special programs and social media. The Discover Dulles program is a way for those who love aviation to connect and experience things that are typically off limits to the general public.

Under the Miami Watch security program, airplane spotters are the eyes on the perimeter of the airport, like a neighborhood crime watch. Spotters get good access to the airfield and the airport gets another layer of security.

David Vanderhoof’s History Segment

David proposes some changes to the weekly history segment, and asks the community for input.

Across the Pond

Pieter Johnson

Pieter reminisces over the past four years and the inspirational sources we all have for aviation. He also announces that he’s taking some time off from the Across the Pond segment. Learn about Anthony Kenneth Johnson (1925 – 2011) – Telegraphist Air Gunner (Royal Navy) at the Wartime Heritage Association.


The Romance of Aviation

Listener Shreenand send us this list illustrating that aviation may be different these days, but it still has a romance all its own:

That the romance is when you get to see day, dusk, and night, all at the same time, from your office window.

The romance is when you depart on a overcast, gloomy, dark day, break out on top and realise the sun really does exist.

The romance is when you fly during a meteor shower and see so many shooting stars, you run out of wishes.

The romance is when you check in at 37,000 feet, and whisper, “Honey I’m home.”

The romance is when you get to see a thunderstorm in HD. Only this time it’s close enough for you to touch.

The romance is when you fly from Moscow to Houston – fifty years ago you would’ve had to do it in a spy plane and fly high enough to be out of range of communist missiles. Or when you fly across the Atlantic without batting an eyelid, eighty years ago, they were handing out rewards for this sort of thing.

The romance is when you fly across countries and realise there are no real borders that divide us. Except, when you fly over the Line of Control between India and Pakistan. And you see it lit up like a major street for as far as the eye can see.

The romance is when you fly over Europe on a clear day. Within minutes you’ve seen the Alps, the Eiffel tower and the Big Ben.

The romance is when people tell you it’s a small world, and having seen the length of the Pacific, you beg to disagree.

The romance is when you ride along the tops of stratus and you can tell you are really shifting. Even magic carpets don’t ride this well.

The romance is when you speak to the same air traffic controller for the umpteenth time. You’ve never met him and probably never will, but you recognise him from his voice.

The romance is when you are number 10 for take-off on a gusty day. You get a ring-side view of your kind, doing their magic, earning a living.

The romance is when you are cleared for a visual approach, and from that point on, it’s no computers and no automatics. Just good old stick and rudder.

The romance is when you pop out of low cloud, and ahead of you lies three kilometres of velvet smooth tarmac, lit up like a Christmas tree.

The romance is when after a fourteen hour transcontinental flight, you look back at your office, and smile!

The romance is that no matter how prosaic you make it out to be, aeroplanes are still mankind’s greatest achievement.

The romance is very much alive and kicking ladies and gentlemen! But a window seat and an open heart, would help you see it.

Aviation Books for the Holidays

Ace Abbott says the best holiday gifts money can buy are books. If you have friends, neighbors, relatives, or airport and pilot colleagues who may be remotely interested in aviation, the following list of aviation books will pleasantly entertain these people. In honor of the “Twelve Days of Christmas” here is Ace Abbott’s list of 12 great aviation books.

  • Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach; non-pilots as well as aviation folks have enjoyed this classic for nearly 40 years; available anywhere books are sold.
  • Falling to Earth by Al Worden: A memoir of an astronaut who went from a small farm in Michigan to become the first man ever to venture to the back side of the moon as the Apollo 15 command module pilot. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1FJxW61.
  • Fighter Pilot (Robin Olds) with Christina Olds and Ed Rasimus: A must read for every current or ex-military person, particularly any pilot from the Vietnam War era. The story of an iconic fighter pilot who was a heroic and courageous leader. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vgIKaz
  • Rules of Engagement by Joe Weber: This book complements Fighter Pilot. It is Tom Clancy-like fiction, since it is laced with reality. The primary theme of a free-spirited Marine fighter pilot during the air war over Vietnam is complemented with a poignant love story; available at http://bit.ly/1CBtBFK.
  • The Rogue Aviator by Ace Abbott: A memoir of an adventuresome, maverick pilot who experienced a radical roller-coaster-like ride through a diversified aviation career; filled with entertaining and implausible aviation anecdotes; as well as an insider’s look at commercial aviation. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1tHUaid, or http://therogueaviator.com/.
  • Cruising Altitude: Tales of Crash Pads, Crew Drama, and Crazy Passengers at 35,000 Feet by Heather Poole:  As the title reveals, this book relates many radical anecdotes of craziness in the cabin, and provides insight into the multifaceted drama that can occur in the cabin of a passenger airplane. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1yep9sy.
  • Chuck Yeager– An Autobiography by Chuck Yeager; This story of the renowned test pilot will take you way beyond the speed of sound and into the world of swashbuckling fighter pilots and test pilots. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1vFuvfi.
  • Area 51 by Annie Jacobsen: This well researched book will provide revelations about the famed top-secret “black-area” in the Nevada desert. It will clear up some misconceptions about aliens while revealing insight into the depth of the level of energy and effort by the U.S. government into the development and use of spy planes, such as the SR 71 “Blackbird.” Amazon: http://amzn.to/1FJBDbQ.
  • The Darkest Mission by Rick Burton; This well-researched spy-vs-spy thriller was very well researched and contains troves of information derived from the real world of international espionage. The primary narrative revolves around a WW II B-17 crew that was shot down over enemy territory; an adrenalin-pumper from start to finish. Available at http://amzn.to/1pMIyi.
  • An Extraordinary Life-Gone To The Dogs by Lisa Weiss; A powerfully poignant non-fiction account of a Jewish B-24 pilot who was shot down over France and captured by the Germans. Protagonist Irwin Stovroff relates his experiences as a POW and provides unique insight into the nuanced relationships of POWs and their colleagues as well as their captors. Irwin’s yeoman humanitarian efforts toward American Veterans is the glorious outcome of his improbable survival. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1zdLuEZ.
  • Squawk 7700 by Peter Buffington; This auto biography relates the trials and tribulations of life as a commuter/regional air carrier pilot who reveals his very unpalatable training experience as a co-pilot for American Eagle Airlines. This book functions as an expose’ of the underpaid and overworked commuter pilots in the U.S. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1w0DzgV.
  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand; This WW II aviation bestseller is a story of survival, resilience, and redemption. It is available wherever books are sold. Amazon: http://amzn.to/1wjWRx.


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


AirplaneGeeks 310 – Max, Max, and David

Pilatus PC-12

Boeing’s ab initio pilot program, the airline industry sues the TSA over security fees, the Pilatus PC-12, an interview with AOPA President Mark Baker, and listener feedback.

The News

Boeing Announces Ab Initio Pilot Program … except it doesn’t work in the U.S.

Boeing announced a new airline pilot training program where graduates will be qualified to go directly into the right seat of airliners. But not in the U.S. which now requires more flight hours.

The first part of the program (from Boeing subsidiary Jeppeson) includes 12-18 months of flight training, giving an Airline Transport Pilot license. The second part of the program includes two months of training at a Boeing facility with a full-motion jet simulator, giving a Boeing type rating.

Airline Industry Takes Gloves Off, Sues TSA Over Security Fee Hike

The Transportation Security Administration increased the security fee that airline passengers pay. Previously, the fee was $2.50 per flight (“enplanement”) with a $10 maximum. As of July 21, 2014, there is a flat fee of $5.60 per one-way trip, with no limit on the number of enplanements. Except, a layover of more than 4 hours is another “trip” and subject to another $5.60.

U.S. airline trade group Airlines for America (A4A) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), filed a petition over the fee increase in federal court.

Regional Airline Buzz Job

Making a low pass flyover of your home during a commercial flight is not looked upon favorably.

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week

The Pilatus PC-12.

Mark Baker Interview

Rob Mark talked to AOPA President Mark Baker at Oshkosh about his personal history, how he started in flying, and how he came to AOPA. Baker talks about injecting some fun into AOPA and the regional fly-ins, where participation has exceeded expectations. They also talk about the Rusty Pilots program to encourage lapsed pilots and the fantastic results achieved so far, and ideas for bringing in new pilots, including Reimagined Airplanes.

The Australia News Desk

Steve and Grant are in Sydney to shoot video for Airbus as the A350 XWB makes its first visit to Australia so where else should they record the OzDesk than beside the bizjet ramp?

TigerAir may be growing a little too quickly once again as they have had a couple of recent safety related incidents.

Growth is good for Brumby Aircraft, an Australian light sport manufacturer who have just signed a manufacturing deal with China’s Aviation Industry Corporation (AVIC).



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 274 – Aviation Journalist Christine Negroni

B-58 Hustler

Guest Christine Negroni is author of the book “Deadly Departure” about the crash of TWA 800 (Now available as an eBook.) Her reporting appears in The New York Times and she has worked as a network television correspondent for CBS News and CNN. She blogs at “Flying Lessons” and you can follow her on Twitter as @cnegroni.

We talk about how the TWA 800 accident helped Christine become interested and involved in aviation, the quality of aviation journalism these days, her report of the 1952 crash of a BOAC Hermes in Africa and how some of the original reporting was not completely accurate.

Christine also has some thoughts about the recent television documentary “TWA Flight 800,” which puts forth a missile conspiracy theory. Christine has spoken with the Co-Producer and others involved in the documentary.

The Week’s Aviation News:

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week: The Convair B-58 Hustler. (Photo above)


In This Week’s Australia Desk:

With Grant back on deck this week, we start by talking all things 787 with the news that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority has cleared Jetstar to add it’s first such aircraft to their AOC, allowing them to begin passenger flights starting very shortly.

Air New Zealand has a number of 787-9 aircraft on order for their fleet and announced this week that the Auckland to Perth will be the initial route to see service.  We’re tipping their cabin will be a tad less squashy in a 302 seat configuration, compared with the 335 on offer from Jetstar.

Qantas announces March 2014 as the closure date for their 747 maintenance facility at Avalon Airport in Victoria, with the loss of over 300 jobs.  As reported last week, unions were desperately trying to come up with ways to save the facility, but Qantas seemed determined to close it and is proceeding accordingly.  With the continuing draw down of their 747-400 fleet from 34 airframes to a projected ten by next year, Qantas says they don’t have the workload to justify keeping the base open.  They’ve offered to re-deploy as many jobs as possible to facilities in Brisbane and possibly Melbourne, but its feared that 747 maintenance work for the remaining fleet will go overseas.

In defence news, the Royal Australian Air Force has started EA-18 Growler training in earnest with the first crews heading to the US for transition work with the US Navy.  The RAAF is acquiring 12 airframes of this type, which are due to begin service within three years.

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. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.

ATV 4 Albert Einstein from the ISS

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

This week Pieter brings us some news stories that caught his eye, including the passenger growth numbers in Europe, the Europeans Space Agencies space craft ATV4 Albert Einstein and the successful first flight of the e-Go.


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 223 – Nils Haupt from Lufthansa


Lufthansa A340 by David M. Vanderhoof

Guest Nils Haupt is Director and Head of Corporate Communications for The Americas, Lufthansa German Airlines. We talk about the airlines and associated companies that fall under the Lufthansa airline group, their cargo operations and how Lufthansa is dealing with the severe night flight ban in Frankfurt. Also how Lufthansa operating in a high cost country means they have to deliver quality. We touch on competition with low cost carriers, the Germanwings strategy, and cooperation with United and Air Canada. Nils comments on their 747-8 experience, the cost of fuel, the schedule for interior upgrades, and much more.

We also talk about some of the recent aviation labor activity, big news on the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, bizjet engine advances, and the attempted Predator shoot down by Iranian jets.

The week’s aviation news:

David’s Aircraft of the Week is the Sukhoi Su-25 “Frogfoot.”

In this week’s Australia Desk report:

There is a disturbance in the Force as the Qantas pilots union agrees with management on an issue. In this case, Qantas is refusing to pay the operators of Brisbane International Airport up front for the construction of a new runway. In other news, Qantas announces further maintenance job cuts – nearly 500 more to go from Avalon and Sydney, and some aerial fire suppression operations go a little wrong in New South Wales after a helicopter fills its bucket from a sewerage treatment pond and deposits the contents on 29 firefighters. Yuk!

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. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

Pieter gets an update from Diego López-Salazar from Aeropodcast.com. First his recent delayed trip to China, then we cover Spain and of course his pet topic Ryanair! Find Diego on Twitter as @dlopezsalazar.

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on his blog Alpha Tango Papa, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.


Moab's Delicate Arch from 6500 by Jodi
Moab’s Delicate Arch from 6500 by Jodi

Listener Jodi working on her Commercial in the Bell 206
Listener Jodi working on her Commercial in the Bell 206

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 216 – Airport 24/7: Miami

Dornier Do 27

Guest Chris Sloan is Executive Producer of the television series Airport 24/7: Miami, premiering October 2 on the Travel Channel. Chris is also the founder of the Airchive.com website which contains a wealth of aviation memorabilia and items of historical significance, and lots of interesting things for aviation enthusiasts.

We talk with Chris about Airport 24/7: Miami, which provides a fascinating inside view of the daily activities at Miami International Airport. It’s not a documentary and it’s not contrived reality. It’s about the stories, adventures, and difficult situations that people who work in a major airport find themselves dealing with every day.

Follow Chris on Twitter as @airchive.

David’s Aircraft of the Week: Dornier Do 27 (pictured above).

The week’s aviation news:

In this week’s Australia Desk report:

A quick update on our activities at AusFly 2012 including our first attempts at air show commentary. In the news, Virgin Australia pilots reject the company’s enterprise bargaining proposal, Virgin refers the Qantas/Emirates deal to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission, Qantas is closing it’s first class lounge in Singapore but is rumoured to be chasing Singapore Airlines for closer ties, a crocodile ascapes its cage on a Qantas flight from Brisbane to Melbourne…no, seriously!….and more Airbus tanker concerns as a refuelling boom falls from a test aircraft in flight.

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. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

This week’s Across The Pond segment welcomes back Tim Gresty for the first of several discussions on the airline sector. This week Pieter talks to Tim about the emerging trend of low cost carriers adding prices and making service additions, crossing the boundary from lower cost into full service. Is this going to be the end of low cost flights or is it just another way for the LC airlines to make more money? Tim will join us next time to talk about airline superhubs. Tim Gresty can be found at www.cognitio.co.uk.


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 198 – Kip Hawley on the TSA

Kip Hawley

Guest Kip Hawley was Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) from July 2005 to January 2009. He’s also just written the book, “Permanent Emergency: Inside the TSA and the Fight for the Future of American Security” available through his website (KipHawley.com), Amazon.com, and many bookstores.

We talk with Kip about how he came to be the TSA Administrator, the risk that business aviation presents, and the Large Aircraft Security Program. Kip explains why the full TSA “body search” shouldn’t be necessary and he gives us some interesting details about the plot that led to the ban on liquids over 3 ounces. We consider calls to privatize the TSA, and discuss managing security and managing risk, the public perception of “the threat” and just how large it really is, security theater, the cost of technology, behavioral profiling, the effects of TSA security on the travelling public and thus on the commercial aviation industry, the history of Blogger Bob from The TSA Blog, and even a little peek inside the Bush oval office.

Kip observes that the risk in counter-terrorism is nonlinear, whereas in aviation safety it is linear. We have to be looking for nonlinear risk but a lot of the risk models used came out of the FAA safety regime and don’t apply well to security.

The week’s aviation news:

In this week’s Australia Desk report:

Alligator Airways loses court bid to overturn CASA grounding, Army temporarily grounds Tiger Armed Recon Helicopters, Lockheed Martin ready to begin training RAAF pilots, Sydney Airport CEO claims the airport has plenty of spare space for expansion, Airservices Australia CEO steps down unexpectedly, China Southern to establish the “Canton Route” from Australia to the UK, Air Pacific announces a re-branding to Fiji Airways.

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.

In this week’s Across the Pond segment:

Pieter Johnson asks our adopted Spanish correspondent Diego Lopez-Salazar from Aeropodcast.com to give us some feedback on his recent trip to Mexico. He gives us a summary of the airline structure there and the key carrifull service, low cost models.

Find Pieter Johnson on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on his blog Alpha Tango Papa, and also on Facebook at XTPMedia.

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