Tag Archives: TWA 800

AirplaneGeeks 306 – Make a Plan and Become a Pilot

Delta B757 N698DL

New ATP written exam requirements going into effect, a Boeing 757 successor, NTSB investigation of the TWA Flight 800 accident, the AOPA Rusty Pilot program, and what you need to do to become a professional pilot.

Guest

Guest Kevin Garrison is a CFI, journalist, and author with many articles in prominent aviation publications. He’s flown the MD-88, DC-9, 727, 757, 767, and 777. He’s currently working on a series of inexpensive “CEO of the Cockpit” guidebooks about getting into the professional flying business. Kevin also provides services to medium-sized companies through Aerospace Media Partners.

Kevin’s website is Kevin Creates, and his new site called CEOoftheCockpit.com is under development. You can also find Kevin on Facebook.

News

ATP Written Prerequisites About to Change Drastically

Effective August 1, 2014, those who wish to take the ATP written exam must have completed an FAA-approved “airline transport pilot certification training program.”

Boeing Advancing on Successor to 757 Jet, Air Astana Says

The President of Air Astana, the flag carrier of Kazakhstan, says he talked to Boeing at the IATA annual meeting in Doha, saying that a new plane would be announced soon.

NTSB Will Not Reopen TWA Flight 800 Investigation

A group called “The TWA 800 Project” petitioned the NTSB to reconsider and modify the findings and determination of probable cause for the TWA Flight 800 accident.

An NTSB team of investigators not previously associated with the original investigation concluded that the NTSB’s earlier determination of probable cause was not wrong.

Two arguments theorizing a missile strike were advanced by the petitioners. The NTSB says:

“…the petitioners relied on a subset of previously available radar evidence organized around their alternative explanation of the crash. However, this analysis, upon review, was flawed.”

and

“…the petitioners introduced witness summaries obtained from the FBI that we treated as new evidence. But the witness summaries did not differ substantially from the evidence available during the NTSB’s original investigation.”

Read the NTSB’s Response to Petition for Reconsideration [PDF] for more details on this topic.

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week

David invokes the “It’s my segment and I’ll do what I want” clause in his contract, and talks about podcast sponsorship.

Rob Mark’s Aviation Minute

This week Rob talks about our tour of the NTSB training facility, and how that trip made him rethink how he reports accident stories himself.

Mentioned

AOPA Rusty Pilot program

AOPA says there are more than 500,000 lapsed pilots in the United States under the age of 75. The Rusty Pilot program seeks to get those pilots back in the cockpit. Rusty Pilot presentations and discussions around the country cover the use of newer technology, changes in the airspace system, new resources available to pilots, and much more.

Listener Feedback

Listener Micah sent us a recorded story he calls, “Fearless Flying.”

We comment on a listener email describing the writer’s frustration with getting into a professional flying career: the cost, the time, the low wages. Our panel offers a different way to think about this admittedly difficult path.

Credits

Listener Brian Coleman asked if there was some way he could “give back” to the Airplane Geeks podcast and help us out. So we made him Associate Producer and now Brian is busy booking guests for us. Thank you Brian!

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 303 – Become a Pilot Day 2014

David, Rob, Max, and Benet

Recorded at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum during the 10th annual Become a Pilot Family Day and Aviation Display.

This annual event at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, located in Chantilly, Virginia offers not only the Museum’s amazing exhibits, but also about 50 vintage, recreational, and home-built aircraft flown in for one day only. This year, United brought in a Boeing 777 that was open for a tour.

Our visit this year was sponsored by Iridium Communications Inc.

National Transportation Safety Board training center tour

TWA 800

The day before the event at the NASM, the NTSB was kind enough to provide us special access to their training center in Ashburn, Virginia. This marvelous facility is used to train NTSB accident investigators, as well as investigators from other agencies and organizations.

We were given a briefing on the TWA Flight 800 accident investigation, and then toured the aircraft reconstruction, which is used for training with permission of the victim’s families. The depth of the investigation (which took over four years) is amazing and the examining the physical evidence first hand is an experience we will not forget.

None of us came away with any faith in the conspiracy theories that continue to swirl around the accident. All the analysis points to an internal explosion of the fuel vapor in the center tank.

General (ret) John R. “Jack” Dailey

A retired U.S. Marine Corps four-star general and pilot, he’s been the director of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum since 2000. We talk with the General about his expectations for the event and stimulating STEM. Also, about the future of the Museum with more people visiting online. The NASM is digitizing their database and is planning for free online accessibility. The Museum also plans to bring in more of the aircraft they have.

Capt. Robert Randazzo

1941 ex-Pan American World Airways DC-3 (NC33611)

Robert Randazzo flew-in the 1945 ex-Pan American World Airways DC-3 (NC33611) he has restored in full Pan Am livery and named the “Tabatha May.” We also talk a bit about Randazzio’s past experience racing a T-6 at Reno.

Matt Desch

Iridium Go!

Matt Desch is the CEO of Iridium Communications, the world’s largest satellite system. Their new Iridium Go! product is the first satellite WiFi voice and data hotspot that works anywhere on the planet at any altitude. Interestingly, Iridium offers an API so developers can create apps for the device.

Matt is also on the Board of AOPA, and we talk about the organization’s mission, the value of being a member, current aviation issues, and the Rusty Pilots program. New AOPA President Mark Baker has initiated a series of regional fly-ins across the U.S., with very good results. On the topic of the cost to be a private pilot, we chat about renovating older airplanes as an affordable option.

Iridium was kind enough to sponsor the Airplane Geeks at the event.

Bill Barry

Bill Barry is Chief Historian with the NASA History Program Office, and we talk about what interests an historian at the NASM and the relationship between NASA and the NASM. The predecessor organization of NASA, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), will have been founded 100 ago next year, and we talk about the many significant contributions they made.

Follow the History Program Office on Twitter at @NASAHistory and visit them on Facebook.

Edgar “E.T.” Tello

Seabee

A current B757/767 Captain with United, Tello flew in the B777 on display. But he also owns a Republic Seabee and Rob talks with him about that aircraft. The Seabee was envisioned as a sport plane for pilots returning after the Second World War.

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

Become a Pilot Day 2014, NASM

We’d like to thank the staff and crew at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center for their hard work to make this event a success, and for facilitating the content we bring to you. We’d also like to thank the NTSB for giving us access to their training center, and for their strong dedication to making aviation safer for all of us.

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)

Jetstar

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.

Mentioned:

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 254 – Simple Flight

A350XWB First Flight

At Simple Flight, Al and Marc produce a aviation radio show that goes live Sunday nights from 8:00pm to 10:00pm Central Time (U.S.) You can also listen to the audio archive anytime, or subscribe as a podcast in iTunes. Since the Simple Flight show is live, Al and Marc get a lot of listener interaction in real time.

The website offers other content for pilots, including an aviation blog, aviation photography, flight instruction. We talk about the live show, the next great flying club – delivering new pilots to aviation, and even Rod Rakic’s new Open Airplane project.

Find the guys and the site on Twitter as: @Al_H2Oloo (clever, eh?), @mepner, and @SimpleFlightNet.

The week’s aviation news:

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week is Sue’s Bird, the Piper PA-24 Comanche.

Embraer KC-390

In this week’s Australia Desk:

Winter weather has been causing trouble in for flights Australia’s south east this week, especially with fog causing many diversions. Mid week, two B737s, one Qantas & one Virgin Australia, diverted to the rural city of Mildura in Victoria; an airport normally accustomed to regional turboprop aircraft, and one that lacks an ILS. As the fog began to envelop Mildura as well, the Virgin 737, after two missed approaches, declared a fuel emergency and landed in what has been described as below minima for the airport. This has lead to an ATSB investigation which is due to report by March 2014.

Virgin Australia flight makes emergency landing in Victoria

Low fuel diversion involving Boeing 737-8FE, VH-YIR, Mildura Airport, Victoria on 18 June 2013

RAAF KC-30A tankers now operational and recently participated in Exercise Aces North, the culmination of the Fighter Combat Instructor course, in the skies over the Northern Territory.

KC-30As participate in Aces North

GippsAero rolls out GA8 Airvan number 200

Australia’s entrant in the Airbus Fly Your Ideas contest, from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, places second overall. A great result!

Melbourne’s RMIT comes second in Airbus Fly Your Ideas global competition

Grant talks about his balloon flying over the weekend with PCDU team member, Kathy Mexted

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.

Mentioned:

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