Tag Archives: TSA

510 U.S. Airmail 100th Anniversary

The Head Curator of the History Department at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum tells us about the early history of airmail service in the U.S., which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

In the news, Goodyear has a new airship, Facebook cancelled its Aquila project, Boeing has reportedly asked engine makers to bid for the 797, Boeing unveiled a hypersonic airliner concept, a stealth tanker model was spotted, the TSA wants to look at your snacks, a third Heathrow runway gets closer to reality, NASA demonstrates a quieter airplane, and the Air Force reduces pilot training time. Also, finding airmail airway beacons, a conversation with Air Evac Lifeteam at the Circuit of the Americas, and student pilot Nicki talks about her new flight instructor.

Curtiss Jenny carrying airmail to Philadelphia from Washington, DC. Courtesy National Postal Museum.

Curtiss Jenny carrying airmail to Philadelphia from Washington, DC. Courtesy National Postal Museum.

Guest

Nancy Pope is the Head Curator of the History Department at the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum. 2018 is the 100th anniversary of airmail service in the U.S. and Nancy tells us about the early history of airmail, including the pilots, the aircraft, and the initial difficulties getting the service operating properly. She talks about some of the airplanes and artifacts at the museum as well as the Postmen of the Skies: Celebrating 100 Years of Airmail Service exhibition that is open through May 27, 2019.

USPS airmail commemorative stamp

USPS airmail commemorative stamp

Earlier this year, the first of two commemorative stamps was released. See: U.S. Postal Service Commemorates Air Mail with Stamp. You can purchase the blue airmail stamp at the post office, or at the USPS online store. The second (red) stamp will be released Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, at 11 a.m. at College Park Aviation Museum (1985 Corporal Frank Scott Drive, College Park, MD 20740). “Red Letter” day at the museum will be an exciting event to attend if you are in the area. See Red Letter Day: U.S. Postal Service Continues 100th Anniversary Commemoration. Followers of the U.S. Postal Service’s Facebook page can view the ceremony live at facebook.com/USPS.

Nancy has worked with the items that are now in that collection since 1984. She curated the opening exhibits for the Museum in 1993 and more than a dozen at the museum since then. She has written about many elements of postal history, including the Pony Express, Rural Free Delivery, Parcel Post Service, the Postal Service during 9/11, as well as the later anthrax attacks and airmail.

Nancy’s most recent exhibits are “Systems at Work,” which examines mail processing from Colonial America to the present, and “Postmen of the Skies,” a celebration of 100 years of airmail service in America.

The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum is located at 2 Massachusetts Ave., N.E. in Washington, DC. Admission is always free.

Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum.

Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum.

Pegboard for tracking the location of airmail pilots and planes:

Max Miller’s log book. Courtesy National Postal Museum.

Courtesy National Postal Museum.

The logbook was recovered from Max Miller’s fatal crash on September 1, 1920. The Junkers-Larsen JL6 caught fire in midair. Max Miller and his mechanic Gustav Reirson died in the fire and subsequent crash. Miller was Praeger and Lipsner’s favorite pilot and his death hit both men hard. Though slightly damaged by the fire, the handwritten entries remain clear. Airmail pilots used logs to record details about their flights and, on occasion, landing field conditions. Miller wrote his name on the front of this book, adding the name of his service, the “U.S. Aerial Mail,” and a notation of his home address in Woodland Hills Park in Cleveland, Ohio.

Max Miller’s logbook. Courtesy National Postal Museum.

Eddie Gardner’s face mask is a nice leather piece that Nancy unofficially refers to as the “Hannibal Lecter mask.”

Airmail pilot Eddie Gardner's facemask.

Eddie Gardner’s facemask. Courtesy National Postal Museum.

The Post Office’s airmail flag. You will recognize the globe/wings that became the ubiquitous symbol of airmail.

Postal Service airmail flag.

Postal Service airmail flag. Courtesy National Postal Museum.

Our Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari located some of the airways beacon sites in Texas that guided early airmail pilots. He sent in a report about what he found. See Map of Airway Beacons and Arrows Across America to find these sites near you.

Launchpad Marzari and friend.

Aviation News

Goodyear’s new Wingfoot Three takes to the skies

Goodyear’s newest semi-rigid airship is the Wingfoot Three. Built by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH, the blimp still has to undergo flight tests before formal handover to Goodyear.

Goodyear’s U.S. fleet consists of three semi-rigid airships: the Wingfoot One (N1A), based in Pompano Beach, Florida; Wingfoot Two (N2A), based in Carson, California; and Wingfoot Three (N3A), based in Suffield, Ohio. Compared to Goodyear’s old model, the GZ-20, the Zeppelin NT model is longer, a little narrower, faster, and seats more passengers.

Video: Goodyear’s Wingfoot Three flies for first time

Facebook’s quest for fleet of solar-powered Internet drones grounded forever

Facebook has canceled the Aquila project – a solar-powered “atmospheric satellite” that would beam Internet connectivity to areas that had none.

Boeing reportedly tells engine makers to make bids for a new 797 plane

Boeing wants to build a new mid-sized airliner to be flying by 2025 – a middle-of-the-market jet. Call it a Boeing 797, or a New Middle Market Airplane, or the NMA. Reports say the engine manufacturers were asked to respond to a Boeing RFP by June 27, 2018. Boeing wants 25 percent less fuel burn per pound of thrust than the engines used on Boeing’s 757 planes. The big three engine manufacturers are named: CFM International, (the General Electric – Safran joint venture), Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce. See also, This is Boeing’s NMA by Jon Ostrower.

Boeing unveils hypersonic 4,000mph airliner capable of New York to London in Two Hours

Boeing unveils rendering of hypersonic jet that would fly from US to Japan in 3 hours

Under this concept, the aircraft would fly at Mach 5, three times faster than Concorde, and cruise at 95,000 feet. It would be smaller than a 737, with both commercial and military applications.

New Stealth Tanker Model Is Touted By Air Force Research Lab At Aviation Conference

At the recent AIAA conference, Aviation Week’s Guy Norris noticed a model of an “Advanced Aerial Refueling” aircraft in the Air Force Research Lab’s area. The Air Force may be looking for a more survivable aerial tanker.

It started with your shoes, then your water. Now the TSA wants your snacks.

Passengers are being asked at security checkpoints by the TSA to remove their snacks and other food items from their carry-ons and place them in plastic bins for separate screening. This is a TSA recommendation to screening supervisors, not a strict policy. Some food looks similar to explosives which results in a secondary inspection. The intent here is to prevent that additional inspection.

Heathrow gets go-ahead to become world’s biggest airport

They’ve been talking about a third runway at Heathrow for years. It’s a contentious issue but now a parliamentary vote has passed that would allow construction of a third runway. Under the proposal, passenger capacity at Heathrow could jump from nearly 80 million passengers per year to 110 million by 2030.

NASA: Tests Show ‘Significant’ Aircraft Noise Reduction

NASA flight tests in a Gulfstream III research aircraft flying at 350 feet demonstrated a “significant reduction” in the noise generated by aircraft operating near airports. The jet had porous landing-gear fairings, an Adaptive Compliant Trailing Edge wing flap, and chevrons near the leading edge of the landing-gear cavity with a net to modify the airflow.

Air Force cuts pilot training by 5 weeks

This represents about a 10% reduction in training time.

Interview

Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari talks with John P. Jones and John Linardose from the Air Evac Lifeteam which provides air ambulance service at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA) outside Austin, Texas.

Courtesy Air Evac Lifeteam.

Listener Recording

Listener Nicki continues her pilot training series with installment 13 about her new flight instructor.

Mentioned

Vote for your favorite American air show!

David was again asked to provide a list of the 20 best airshows for USA Today.

Hiller Aviation Museum Open Cockpit Day

The Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, California will be holding an Open Cockpit Day on July 11, 2018. While this fabulous museum is relatively unknown to the general public, it has a fabulous collection of more than fifty aircraft and numerous interesting artifacts and displays.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

498 Sun ‘n Fun Radio

Dave Shallbetter talks about the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-in and Expo and Sun ‘n Fun Radio. Also, we note that Cirrus Aircraft will be receiving the 2017 Robert J. Collier Trophy for their Vision Jet, the recent noncombat-related air crashes that have resulted in the loss of US service members, and a proposal to use cargo hold space for a new passenger class. We have a positive story about the TSA, a new director of the National Air and Space Museum, some great listener feedback on the helicopter crash into the river in New York, as well as on the need to change the United Airlines company culture.

Guest

Dave Shallbetter,  Chairman of Sun ‘n Fun Radio.

Dave Shallbetter, Chairman of Sun ‘n Fun Radio.

Dave Shallbetter is Chairman of Sun ‘n Fun Radio and a long time volunteer at the annual Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-in and Expo.  This year’s event is April 10 to 15, 2018.

Sun ’n Fun’s mission is to preserve and enhance the future of flight through world-class events, inspiring and educating people of all ages. Sun ‘n Fun Radio broadcasts locally on 1510 AM and audio streams worldwide from LiveATC.net.

Sun ‘n Fun was created in 1974 by a small group of aviation enthusiasts and has grown into the second largest event of its kind in the world. The six-day event is held on 2,200 acres at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, Florida and offers jet teams, aerospace-related exhibits; educational forums, aircraft static displays, professional gatherings of aviation and economic development groups; daily and evening airshows, youth activities, a veterans plaza, and women in aviation arena. Many performers mingle on the grounds with vendors and students.

To learn more, visit the Sun ‘n Fun website and follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Also, visit the Sun ‘n Fun Radio website and follow them on Twitter, on Facebook, and listen 24/7 365 on LiveATC.net/snf.

Aviation News

Cirrus Aircraft Vision Jet to be Awarded the 2017 Collier Trophy

The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) has announced that Cirrus Aircraft will be receiving the 2017 Robert J. Collier Trophy for “… designing, certifying, and entering-into-service the Vision Jet – the world’s first single-engine general aviation personal jet aircraft with a whole airframe parachute system.”

After 5 Deaths In 2 Days, US Military Aviation Is In A Full-Blown Crisis

2 soldiers killed in helicopter crash identified: US Army

With 16 service members killed in air crashes, top lawmaker says ‘readiness of the military is at a crisis point’

A number of US service members have been killed recently in noncombat-related air crashes. Are there common threads?

Qantas reveals plans for new ‘cargo class’ where passengers can stretch their legs and exercise during super long-haul flights – and says the airline will fly direct to London from Sydney by 2022

Cargo class: Qantas CEO reveals ‘out there’ options for super long haul flights

In a leaked audio recording, CEO, Alan Joyce said that under “Project Sunrise,” Qantas would like to offer direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne to London. But he also described using the cargo hold space for berths like you’d see on a train or spaces for walking around.

Trip Report

Max Trescott makes a  cross-country flight in a Cirrus.

Positive Aviation Story

Mom praises TSA at Indianapolis airport in viral post: ‘She treated him like a person with feelings’

Mentioned

PaxEx Podcast #56 with Mary Kirby and guest Marisa Garcia, founder of the aviation news site Flight Chic.

Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX)

Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association

Ellen Stofan, Former NASA Chief Scientist, to Head National Air and Space Museum

Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Celebrates Royal Air Force Anniversary With “The Great British Fly-In”

TSA Passenger Support – TSA Cares

FlyNYON knew of safety concerns before fatal doors-off flight

Shark US – Shark Tip 2 – Low Cost ANR

Word of the day: snarge.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

491 Igor Sikorsky III

Igor Sikorsky III joins us and talks about the history of his grandfather, aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky. Our airplane of the week is the Sikorsky VS-300. We also look at Boeing’s belief that the industry has put its cyclic business nature in the past, new fees proposed for air travelers, and the International Trade Commission report denying Boeing’s claim against Bombardier.

Igor Sikorsky's plane in front of the Bradford Camps lodge.

Igor Sikorsky’s plane in front of the Bradford Camps lodge.

Guest

Igor Sikorsky III gassing up at Munsungan Lake.

Igor Sikorsky III gassing up at Munsungan Lake.

Igor Sikorsky III is the grandson of aviation pioneer Igor Sikorsky and he conducts the annual “Sikorsky Weekend” at The Bradford Camps in the North Maine woods. It’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the history of Igor’s grandfather with family memorabilia, stories, and videos.

Igor gives us a few slices of the Sikorsky history, including how his grandfather was inspired at age 12 by a dream he had of flying over an ocean. We talk about the early days in Russia when the family entrusted their savings to him and then his time in Paris. That was the hub of early aviation where designers and other dreamers congregated to try and build flying machines. We learn about Sikorsky’s emigration from Russia to the U.S. where other Russian immigrants worked with him, sometimes without pay, to develop early aircraft.

Igor is a pilot himself and owns a Skyhawk on floats, which he uses regularly to ferry visitors to his camp and to fishing spots in Maine. We talk about the unique aspects of flying in the North Maine woods, and how having an airplane is critical to the life Igor and his wife Karen lead.

Igor tells us how he thinks his grandfather would have felt about the 2015 sale of Sikorsky Aircraft by United Technologies Corporation. We also learn about the Russian Imperial Stout that Two Roads Brewing Company produces each year to honor Sikorsky and Stratford, Connecticut.

Learn more about the annual Sikorsky Weekend at The Bradford Camps website, and be sure to visit the Igor I. Sikorsky Historical Archives.

Igor Sikorsky III plane at Munsungan Lake, Maine.

Does it get any better than this?

News

Boeing CEO: Aerospace now viewed as an industry with ‘long-term sustained growth’

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg says the industry has gone “from being a high-cycle business in the past” to now becoming “a long-term sustained growth business.”

New Aviation Fees Could Cost Travelers $3 Billion

The proposed 2019 Federal budget released on February 12, 2018, increases Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) fees, which could potentially cost consumers up to an additional $3 billion. Industry trade group Airlines for America (A4A) urged Congress to reject all TSA and CBP fee increases and instead return the billions of dollars now collected by the TSA and CBP and used for non-aviation related purposes.

U.S. ITC details why it rejected CSeries duties, says Boeing not hurt

The International Trade Commission published their 194-page ruling that rejected Boeing’s claim against Bombardier, saying “Boeing lost no sales or revenues.”

The Airplane of the Week

David tells us the history of the Vought Sikorsky VS-300 (Sikorsky S-42), the first practical helicopter in the United States and the model for most helicopters that were to come.

The Sikorsky VS-300. Credit: unknown (Smithsonian Institution)

The Sikorsky VS-300. Credit: unknown (Smithsonian Institution)

Mentioned

New England Air Museum

Xtended Episode 79

The Fighter Pilot Podcast

Imperial notifies Transport Canada of potential aviation fuel quality issue

Accident: Spirit A20N near Fort Lauderdale on Jan 28th 2018, fumes on board, crew feeling increasingly incapacitated

Air Force Special OPS plane carrying US Commandos makes “surprise” landing in Libya

Leaping elk crashes low-flying research helicopter in Utah

North Korea Military Parade 2018: Best Moments – Parada Militar na Coreia do Norte 2018

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

482 Helicopter Association International

Our guest is the president of Helicopter Association International. In the news, we look at the role of helicopters as well as local airports in times of emergencies, medical reform around the globe, Boeing 787 Dreamliner woes, and how Aurora Flight Sciences can make any rotary-wing aircraft fly autonomously. We also have the return of the history segment.

Guest

Matthew Zuccaro, president of Helicopter Association International.

Matthew Zuccaro, president of Helicopter Association International. HAI Photo.

Matt Zuccaro is president of Helicopter Association International. HAI provides support and services to its members and to the international helicopter community. They have their headquarters Alexandria, Virginia, and HAI members fly more than 5,000 helicopters some 2.3 million hours each year.

Matt has been in the helicopter industry for 50 years and president of HAI since 2005. He held several executive levels and operations management positions with commercial, corporate, air tour, scheduled airline, and public service helicopter operations in the northeastern United States. During his tenure with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, he served in operations management positions at Kennedy International Airport and the Port Authority’s public and private heliports.

Matt received his initial helicopter flight training as a U.S. Army aviator and served with the 7/17 Air Cavalry unit in Vietnam.  He was subsequently assigned as a flight instructor at the Army Flight School at Fort Rucker, Alabama.

Matt holds Airline Transport Pilot and Instrument Flight Instructor certificates for both airplanes and helicopters. He is a recipient of HAI’s 10,000-Hour Helicopter Pilot Safety award, as well as many other industry awards for his efforts and commitment to the helicopter industry.

Find Helicopter Association International at rotor.org and on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Also, follow Heli-Expo on Twitter and use the hashtag #HAI_EXPO18.

Aviation News

LA Fires Prove Importance of Santa Monica Airport

The City of Santa Monica plans to shorten the single runway at SMO to restrict airport usage to small airplanes. When the airport closes in 10 years, there won’t be anywhere to base firefighting helicopters and other vital equipment.

Medical Reform Going Global

Medical reform in the shape of BasicMed came to the U.S. in 2017, and now Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) announced “Basic Class 2” medical for piston aircraft with up to five non-paying passengers, during daytime visual flight rules. AOPA and AOPA Australia together urged CASA to undertake reforms similar to BasicMed.

LA Helicopter Crews Navigate Through Smoke to Save Homes From Skirball Fire

Devastating fires are again plaguing California and response teams include a variety of aircraft, including helicopters. The Weather Network published a dramatic video shot from a helicopter as it navigated through heavy smoke over a residential area.

Boeing Dreamliner’s Lithium-Ion Battery Fails On United Flight To Paris

A United Airlines Boeing 787 experienced a lithium-ion battery failure on approach to Charles de Gaulle Airport on November 13. United Flight 915 was at the end of a seven-hour flight from Washington’s Dulles Airport when pilots received a warning that the main battery was overheating.

Airlines are grounding 787s for urgent maintenance

Airlines are grounding Boeing 787s for urgent maintenance as one of the engines on Air New Zealand Boeing 787 flight NZ99 failed in-flight this week. The photos of failed engine show damage to turbine blades, suggesting a part broke off and traveled through the engine.

Aurora Makes Any Helicopter Autonomous

A system developed by Aurora Flight Sciences can be installed on any rotary-wing aircraft and enable it to fly autonomously. Dennis Baker, AACUS [Autonomous Aerial Cargo Utility System] program officer said this “gives revolutionary capability to our fleet and force. It can be used as a pilot aid in degraded visual environments, or allow fully autonomous flights in contested environments, keeping our pilots out of harm’s way.”

The Airplane of the Week

Our aviation historian David Vanderhoof tells us about the Douglas X-3 Stiletto. Just because an aircraft looks fast doesn’t mean it is. The X-3 is a lesson that disappointment does not necessarily mean failure.

X-3 Stiletto by David Vanderhoof.

X-3 Stiletto by David Vanderhoof.

Commercial Aviation Story of the Week

TSA Pre-check travelers will only need ID at Austin airport

If you use TSA Pre-check, you’ll notice a change when you go through the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The TSA started testing a new technology for pre-check travelers that only requires a photo ID. The Credential Authentication Technology is expected to verify the authenticity of a passenger photo ID and validate information from the ID against TSA’s Secure Flight vetting system.

Mentioned

City in the Sky on PBS

This Woman Has Been an American Airlines Flight Attendant for 60 Years

The Waldron’s Dilemma Educator’s Kit – the educator’s companion to the award-winning film, South Dakota Warrior.

Credit

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

419 Regional Airlines Raise Pilot Pay

Pay for regional pilots, prospects for the A380, Auto-GCAS saving F-16 pilot’s lives, travel security, large airports and GA airplanes, a rebate for ADS-B, and flying the Eclipse 550.

News

American Airlines raises pay for regional pilots

American Airlines Group subsidiary Envoy Air announced they are raising their starting pay for new hires 47% to $37.90 per hour. AA subsidiary PSA Airlines is increasing starting pay 56% to $38.50 per hour. This is in addition to opportunities for bonuses. First-year pilots can make about $58,000.

Singapore Airlines Won’t Extend Lease on First Airbus A380 Jet

Singapore Airlines operates 19 A380 jets. The first five of them were obtained on a 10-year lease deal. Now Singapore has announced they will not be renewing the lease for the first A380, which expires in October, 2017. The WSJ notes that it “isn’t a fateful blow for the program” but “it is another symbolic hit for the double-deck aircraft.”

Auto-GCAS Saves Unconscious F-16 Pilot—Declassified USAF Footage

An international F-16 student pilot experienced G-induced loss of consciousness, and his aircraft went into a steep supersonic dive with full afterburner. The Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto-GCAS) kicked in and executed a recovery maneuver, saving the pilot. This was the fourth confirmed “save” of an aircraft by the system.

This Muslim Woman Says The TSA Stopped Her At Least 10 Different Times In One Round Trip

25 year-old Zainab Merchant from Gainesville, Florida was traveling with her husband and 6-month-old baby to a wedding in Vancouver, Canada. Over the course of the trip, she and her family experienced many security checks, rechecks, missed flights, they were held overnight, the at times the family was separated.

Pilot Sues SF Airport Over General Aviation

For the last three years, Robert Reinheimer’s Cessna 182 has been the only piston airplane tied down or home-based at San Francisco International Airport. Reinheimer claims the airport is trying to force him out.

ADS-B Rebate Reservation System to go Live

The FAA is offering a rebate reservation system for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) systems. Aircraft owners will be able to apply online for a $500 rebate toward the cost of installing ADS-B Out equipment in their aircraft. A total of 20,000 rebates will be available through the program.

Mentioned

Rob tells us about his flight in the Eclipse 550, and compares it to the original model. He also attended the EAA chapter 932 meeting at Galt Airport, in Greenwood, Illinois, and the AOPA regional Fly-In at Battle Creek, Michigan.

Max West posted his first Facebook Live video from the traffic pattern.

Max East visited the South Dakota Air & Space Museum at Ellsworth AFB, home to B1-B Lancers.

Design a Boeing Dreamliner! Hainan Airlines is hosting a Design Your Own Livery contest in which you can design a paint scheme on a 787 airplane through a custom built web based tool. Whoever wins the contest could get their design painted on a real Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane, and also get a free business class trip to China.

Listener at Large Launchpad Marzari sent a recording examining the question, “if you fly a drone, are you a pilot or an operator?” To go along with that, he sent a link to Brain Surgeon – That Mitchell & Webb Look , Series 3 – BBC Two.

John Mollison, producer of Old Guys and Their Airplanes sent a nice little animation he made with his new Apple Pencil. It’s a study for an upcoming quick-short featuring an RAF pilot.

Spitfire from 41 Squadron nails a Doodlebug

Navy: Pilot Error Primary Cause of Fatal Blue Angels Crash

A member of the Blue Angels flight demonstration team killed during practice in Tennessee lost control of his fighter jet because it was traveling too fast and then failed to recover because it was too low for the maneuver he was performing, a Navy investigation shows.

China to spend $1 trillion on 6,810 new aircraft

Chinese airlines will spend more than $1 trillion on new aircraft over the next two decades as they seek to meet booming demand for air travel, according to a new forecast by Boeing. Randy Tinseth, a marketing executive at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said that he expects passenger traffic in China to grow by 6.4% a year over the next 20 years.

Gigantic RC Crash SAAB Gripen XXXL 1:2 Scale Model Turbine Jet Fatal End Total Destroyed

Computer Engineering Student Donates Five Million Air Miles to Student Organizations

Ryan Pickren, a senior computer engineering major in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the Georgia Institute of Technology, is donating five million United Airlines miles to Georgia Tech student organizations that participate in charity work.

Credit

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

 

410 Ask Patrick Smith, He’s a Pilot

An airline pilot and world traveler talks about the theater of air travel, airport security, cockpit automation, and the aesthetics of airliners. In the news, we discuss Farnborough 2016, Airbus, Boeing, and the F-35B. Also, the FAA authorization extension, third class medical reform, and the Boeing B-29 Superfortress known as “Doc.”

Guest

Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith is an active airline pilot, air travel blogger and author.  He is curator of the Ask the Pilot website, and author of the NY Times bestselling book Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel.”

Patrick has appeared on hundreds of radio and television outlets, including PBS, Discovery Channel, CNN, the BBC, and National Public Radio.  His work is regularly cited in print publications worldwide and he was voted one of the “25 Best Bloggers of 2013” by TIME magazine.

Patrick took his first flying lesson at age fourteen. His first job with an airline came in 1990, when he was hired as a copilot on 15-passenger turboprops earning $850 a month. He has since flown cargo andCockpit Confidential cover passenger jets on both domestic and intercontinental routes.  He has flown the 767, 757, 737, MD-80 and DC-8, plus five different turboprops, including the Dash-8 and ATR.  

Patrick’s self-published punk rock fanzines and poetry journals of the 1980s and 1990s are considered among the more peculiar works of literature ever produced by an airline pilot. He also travels extensively in his spare time, and has visited more than eighty countries.

News from Farnborough 2016

Airbus to cut A380 production rate in 2018

Boeing modifies one MAX model and is seriously studying two more new airplanes

Boeing Strikes Out at the Farnborough Airshow

Five ‘wow’ moments at the world’s ‘greatest’ airshow

First F-35 Flight At Farnborough Airshow by AIRBOYD

Other News

Medical Reform Becomes Law

EAA Reaches Its Goal! Third-Class Medical Reform Now Law!

It wasn’t easy, but B-29 Doc takes to Wichita skies

Airplane of the Week

Part II of the Mirage III: The Exports. David discusses the Mirage IIIE and its export successes. Listen to Part I  on Episode 402.

RAAF Mirage III

Mirage III E from the Royal Australian Air Force. TSGT Curt Eddings.

Credit

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

405 The Airport Master Planning Process

We continue our discussion of airport topics and look at the airport master planning process. We also talk a lot about the TSA and airport security, as well as psychological testing for airline pilots, a military export control conviction, and a personal experience in a full motion flight simulator.

Guest

Jenny_Watts

Jenny Watts, Airport Planner, Armstrong Consultants, Inc.

Jenny Watts is an Airport Planner with Armstrong Consultants, Inc., a professional consulting engineering firm specializing exclusively in airports. She describes the master plans that airports create, how they are used, and who uses them. Jenny also tells us about the Dark Sky initiative and how airports are making adjustments to reduce their contribution to light pollution. She published the white paper titled, Share the Sky – Good Neighbor Tips for Airports Near Dark Sky Communities and Beyond. [PDF]

Jenny has more than eight years of experience with aviation planning, corporate aviation operations, airport administration, and aviation education. Jenny has worked at large commercial service and general aviation airports in the Phoenix-Metro area, and directly contributed to operations, community relations, planning, and business development.

Jenny spent two years at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide as an advisor and adjunct faculty member. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Management Technology Arizona State University, and her Master of Aeronautical Science degree with an emphasis in Aviation Management from Embry-Riddle. She has been affiliated with the Arizona Airports Association for over fifteen years, and Jenny is also a freelance contributing writer for the Arizona Aviation Journal.

News

California Resident Convicted of Conspiring to Illegally Export Fighter Jet Engines and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle to China

Wenxia “Wency” Man of San Diego, has been convicted by a federal jury in the Southern District of Florida of “conspiring to export and cause the export of fighter jet engines, an unmanned aerial vehicle… and related technical data to the People’s Republic of China, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act.

Man conspired to illegally acquire and export to China defense articles including:

  • Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines used in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
  • Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines used in the F-22 Raptor fighter jet
  • General Electric F110-GE-132 engines for the F-16 fighter jet
  • the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper/Predator B Unmanned Aerial Vehicle
  • technical data for each of these defense articles.

Man faces a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.  Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 19, 2016.

FAA rules out requiring psychological testing for airline pilots

Administrator Michael Huerta says the FAA will not require psychological testing for airline pilots because he says they only indicate the pilot’s mental health at a point in time. The tests don’t indicate what a pilot may do later.

Airport security:

Explosion at Shanghai Airport Injures at Least Five People

A man tossed a homemade explosive device at the check-in counters at Shanghai Pudong International Airport, then cut his throat with a knife.

Man shot by police at Dallas airport faces assault charges, remains hospitalized

A man outside the Dallas Love Field terminal allegedly “hit his ex-girlfriend and battered her car with a traffic cone and large landscaping rocks.” A police officer arrived with gun drawn and the man approached with rocks in his hands saying, “You’re going to have to shoot.”

Dubai airport shut Saturday for over an hour; 22 flights diverted: executive

Dubai International Airport was closed due to “unauthorized drone activity.” In the UAE, drones are prohibited within 5 km of airports, helipads, landing areas, or manned aircraft.

Warsaw Airport Suspends Landings Briefly Due to Drones

Warsaw’s international airport was shut down for 30 minutes due to two unauthorized drones flying in the area. Poland forbids drones flights within a 20-kilometer (12-mile) radius from airports.

Mentioned

One-third of the world cannot see the Milky Way — why that matters

Plane Talking UK Podcast

What to Eat at 30 North American Airports, Summer 2016

Know Before You Fly – An education campaign founded by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) in partnership with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to educate prospective users about the safe and responsible operation of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

DHS Comparison Chart – This chart outlines the Trusted Traveler programs offered by the Department of Homeland Security.

Patrick Smith’s Ask The Pilot post TSA’s Summer Meltdown

Credit

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

 

403 Bits & Pieces XVI

This is a Bits & Pieces episode, where we ask the co-hosts and other contributors to provide pre-recorded segments, then we stitch them together and it’s Bits & Pieces.

NASA Interviews

Dr. Richard Wahls and David Vanderhoof

Dr. Richard Wahls and David Vanderhoof

David Vanderhoof spent a day at NASA Langley Research Center (LRC) which is adjacent to Joint Base Langley Eustis, and he recorded several interviews. NASA LRC is leading the charge the revitalize focus on the first “A” in NASA: Aeronautics.

The first interview is with Dr. Richard Wahls, the Advanced Air Vehicles Program Strategic Technical Advisor. David and Dr. Wahls talk about the new X- Plane Program and how it is focusing on environmental issues to make commerical, GA, and military aviation “greener.”

Peter Coen

Peter Coen

The second interview is with Peter Coen, the Commercial Supersonic Technology Project Manager. They talk about “shaping the boom” by changing the shape of the aircraft. While not eliminating the boom, it does reduce its impact on the ground.

David also recorded two other interviews at NASA Langley. He spoke with Dr. Allen about the Autonomy Incubator, and that interview can be found at The UAV Digest.com #145. David also talked with Frank Jones about sense and avoid technology and sUAS package delivery. Find that conversation at The UAV Digest.com #149 which will be released a few days after this episode. You can follow NASA Langley on Twitter at @NASA_Langley. Thanks to Kathy Barnstoff and Bill Baley for arranging the interviews.

Airport Security Lines

Brian Coleman talks about long TSA lines.

On the Mark

Rob Mark has another On the Mark segment titled Don’t Let Congress Cut the NTSB’s TV Time.

Listener Recording

Gary tells us his story of buying his own Piper PA-38 Tomahawk.

Our Maine(e) Man Micah

By popular request, Micah brings us a timely update to his piece, News Reporting and the Sport of Speculation or The Surge in Sensational Surrealism. Plus a little bonus piece from Micah called Lighter Than Nomenclature.

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 401 Aviation Accidents as Emergent Properties of Complex Systems

We explore aviation accidents as emergent properties of complex systems, and discuss: the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association complaints about pilot wages, a survey on frequent flier rewards programs, an NPRM that would change FAR Part 61, third class medical reform in yet more legislation, and a two seat Robinson R44. David has an onfire history segment and Rob talks TSA.

Guest

Captain Shem Malmquist has a broad aviation experience ranging from teaching aerobatics and instructing in a wide variety of both general aviation and transport aircraft, to academic research and safety investigation.

Captain Shem Malmquist, FRAeS

Captain Shem Malmquist, FRAeS

We talk with Shem about improvements that have made air travel safer, and the gaps we now face for identifying problems that might arise in the future. Shem explains how aviation accidents currently present themselves as interactions of complex components. Resilience engineering is an example of a different approach to how we look at complex accidents. We discuss flight simulators, mitigating lithium battery risk, and autonomous vehicles, including both manned and unmanned aircraft.

Shem worked as an instructor and evaluator on several transport aircraft and has served as flight crew on the Embraer EMB-110, Shorts 360, B-727, DC-8, B-747 and MD-11. He continues to work a full flight schedule, mostly international long haul flights.

Shem has been part of the Air Line Pilot Association’s (ALPA) National Charting and Instrument Procedures Committee (CHIPS), and he was selected by his airline to be the chairman of both the airline’s Safety Committee and the Aircraft Design and Operations Committee.

As Flight Duty Officer, he led several initiatives, including a volcanic ash avoidance plan, air security procedures, and a number of regulatory compliance issues. Shem completed NTSB’s accident investigation training and acted as Party Coordinator for an MD-11 accident in Newark, New jersey, and he was on the “go-team” for an MD-11 accident in Narita Japan.

Last year, Shem was a keynote speaker at FAA’s InfoShare and has presented at several International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI) events. He has also authored numerous articles on various issues involving flight safety and operations covering a broad range of topics from technical to human factors.

Shem earned a Masters (MSc) degree in Human Factors in Aeronautics through the Florida Institute of Technology, and a Bachelors of Science (BSc) from Embry-Riddle University. He is an elected Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a full member of the International Society of Air Safety Investigators (ISASI), and a member of AIAA, IEEE, and SAE where he also serves on three committees: Flight Deck Handling Quality Standards for Transport Aircraft, Aerospace Behavior Engineering Technology, and Lithium Battery Packaging Performance.

Related Resources:

David Woods, Professor, Integrated Systems Engineering, The Ohio State University. Complexity in Human, Natural and Engineered Systems.

Sidney Dekker, professor at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia, author on human factors and safety: Field Guide to Understanding Human Error.

Air Transport Safety Articles A collection of articles written by Shem Malmquist FRAeS.

Airline Safety and Accident Investigation Community on Facebook.

Driverless Cars and the Myths of Autonomy by David A. Mindell, MIT Professor of engineering and the history of technology, author of Our Robots, Ourselves: Robotics and the Myths of Autonomy.

News

Southwest Pilots Sue City of Chicago Over Billboard Advertising

SWAPA billboard

SWAPA billboard

The Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association (SWAPA) wanted to make a point about pilot wages on a billboard at Chicago Midway International Airport. City Hall told them they could not post their message, so the union filed suit against the city of Chicago, claiming an unconstitutional restriction on their First Amendment rights and asking for a temporary restraining order to allow the pilots to display the ad. As a result, a Judge orders Chicago to allow Southwest pilots billboard at Midway.

The Best and Worst Frequent-Flier Rewards Programs for 2016

Switchfly-Reward-Infographic-2016The Switchfly Reward Seat Availability Survey conducted by consulting firm IdeaWorks found that for the third year in a row, free seats open for booking increased. “Overall, I think the consumer is being better served than the year before,” says Jay Sorensen, president of IdeaWorks.

Switchfly CEO Daniel Farrar said, “This survey reflects the fact that airlines can’t afford to take their customers for granted. 21st century consumers are savvy and plugged-in. They know when their loyalty programs are offering them a real value and when they are not delivering; and they don’t have time for loyalty programs that aren’t delivering, especially in such a competitive space. Increasingly, consumers expect a personalized booking, travel and reward experience. Every time a customer interacts with the brand – online, offline or mobile – the user experience must be on-point. Airlines must make this happen and ensure that zero customers have a bad experience anywhere along the booking or redemption path.”

See Southwest and airberlin Top Reward Rankings but Turkish Airlines and Air China Rise High [Ideaworks press release, PDF]

Proposed Part 61 changes would benefit GA

The FAA has published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would change FAR Part 61 which governs the certification of pilots, flight instructors, and ground instructors. AOPA is supportive of the proposed changes, which include “increased use of aviation training devices (ATDs) for maintaining instrument currency, the option to use new technically advanced aircraft instead of older complex or turbine aircraft for single-engine commercial pilot training, and giving credit for hours accumulated during sport pilot training toward earning a recreational or private pilot certificate.”

Defense Bill Includes Medical Reform Language

Third class medical reform from the Pilot’s Bill of Rights 2 keeps getting into legislation: As standalone legislation in the Senate, again as part of the Senate’s FAA reauthorization bill, and now by the Senate Armed Services Committee in the National Defense Authorization Act.

FAA Approves Two-Place R44

The FAA has certified Robinson’s two-place R44 Cadet The Cadet is essentially an R44 Raven, but with the rear seats removed for more cargo space. Maximum gross weight is reduced to 2200 pounds, engine power is derated to 210 hp takeoff and 185 hp continuous.

The Aircraft of the Week

Aviation Historian David Venderhoof comments on The F-35 Stealth Fighter’s Dirty Little Secret Is Now Out in the Open.

On the Mark

Rob is talking about why he likes something the TSA did … well, sort of.

Mentioned

Breastfeeding pilots file discrimination charges

Tell Frontier Airlines: Sexism Won’t Fly – ACLU petition.

Breastfeeding pilots’ claims against airline seen as advance

Pilots And ACLU Sue Airline Over Breast Milk Pumping At Work

and

Air Data System Failure Involving Airbus A320-243 A6-EYJ [PDF] from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

Credit

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

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…

News

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].

Mentioned

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.

Credit

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