Tag Archives: United Airlines

AirplaneGeeks 388 Connecting to the Legacy with John Mollison

John Mollison tells us how his artwork and his interviews capture the human side of aviation history. In the news, we talk about the FAA reauthorization bill, and consider if United Airlines is getting better. Also, spraying airplanes to fight the Zika virus, the A-10 gets a reprieve, and Icelandair steps up their game with a Stopover Buddy.

John Mollison print_600

Guest

Artist and writer John Mollison has interviewed well over 100 highly decorated airman since 1999 including: Medal of Honor recipients Joe Foss and Leo Thorsness, Presidential candidate and Senator George McGovern, bestselling author Robert Mason, and Morris Jeppson, the Bomb-Electronics Officer aboard the Enola Gay, to name a few.

John Mollison

John Mollison

In his words, John “Interviews old guys and draws their airplanes.” He uses the process of capturing an exact, historically accurate rendering of a particular combat aircraft to learn more about the human side of history.

John interviews the pilots and aircrew of particular aircraft to to learn: What makes people go to war? What makes people cope with stress? How do people define success? And most importantly, what can be passed on to future generations so they can avoid the mistakes of the past?

His artwork and historical contributions, including his “Old Guys and Their Airplanes” documentaries can be viewed at: www.oldguysandtheirairplanes.com and www.johnmollison.com.

News

Details of long-awaited FAA reauthorization bill revealed

On Feb 3, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee announced bill H.R. 4441, the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization Act of 2016, the AIRR Act.

The AIRR Act proposes privatizing ATC via a federally chartered not-for-profit organization, third class medical reform, certification reform, and user fees for airlines and Part 135 charter operators.

Shuster Introduces Conservative Aviation Measure that will Remove Over 30,000 Employees out of Federal Government Control

In his press release, Shuster says, “The comprehensive reauthorization bill, which removes over 30,000 people from the federal government’s payroll, also streamlines the FAA’s aviation equipment and aircraft certification processes, provides additional consumer protections, addresses aviation safety issues, gives the FAA more tools for the safe integration of unmanned aircraft systems, and provides for airport infrastructure improvements across the country.”

5 signs that United Airlines is finally getting better

CEO Oscar Munoz was upbeat and enthusiastic in the earnings call, 79% of the United pilots ratified a two-year contract extension, United operations are improving, United is building its San Francisco hub as the primary U.S. gateway to Asia, Boston-based PAR Capital Management increased its stake in the carrier to 8.9 million shares or 2.4% of the airline.

UK asks airlines to spray insecticide to fight Zika virus

The British government is asking all airlines that fly from areas affected by the Zika virus to spray their planes with insecticide before coming back to the U.K.

A-10 Survives The Budget Chopping Block

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said the DOD is “…investing to maintain more of our 4th-generation fighter and attack jets than we previously planned — including the A-10, which has been devastating ISIL from the air. The budget defers the A-10’s final retirement until 2022, replacing it with F-35s on a squadron-by-squadron basis so we’ll always have enough aircraft for today’s conflicts.”

Want To Go Skiing With Icelandair’s CEO?

Icelandair and WOW Air are competing with low fares between the U.S. and Europe using Iceland as a waypoint. But now Icelandair is stepping up the game and testing an idea where passengers enjoy Iceland’s sights during a layover, before proceeding to their destination. Under this program, passengers can request an Icelandair Stopover Buddy to act as a kind of free tour guide.

Former Sikorsky president Jeff Pino killed in plane crash

Jeff Pino was president of Sikorsky aircraft from 2006 to 2012. Recently, he was the Vice Chairman of XTI Aircraft Company, developing the Trifan 600 VTOL for the commercial market. Pino and was killed February 5, 2016 in the crash of his P-51 Mustang in Arizona.

Mentioned

Why the sun is setting on the Boeing 747

Oregon Christmas Tree Harvest With Helicopter. Amazing Pilot!

Pratt and Whitney’s Moving Assembly Takes Jet Engines Back to the Future

Easyjet’s fuel saving aircraft produces water passengers can drink

Amazing [Ultra HD 4k] Malpensa Airport – Incredible plane spotting

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 386 Steve Hinton and Planes of Fame

Guest Steve Hinton is a record holding air racer, president of Planes of Fame Air Museum, and owner of a military aircraft restoration company. In the news, United is replacing 50-seaters with larger aircraft, more bad behavior by airline crew members, military drone crashes, desert beetles and airplane frost, and airlines sucking away regional pilots. Also, the Boeing P-26 Peashooter, and the A-10. Again.

Northrop N9MB

Northrop N9MB. Courtesy Planes of Fame Air Museum

Guest

Steve Hinton is an American aviator who held a world speed record from 1979 to 1989 and won six Unlimited-class air races, including two national championships. He won four consecutive Unlimited races in one year, and remains the only pilot ever to do so. He retired from racing in 1990.

Steve Hinton

Steve Hinton

Steve is now president of Planes of Fame Air Museum with locations in Chino, California and Valle-Grand Canyon, Arizona, and owner of Fighter Rebuilders, a military aircraft restoration company.

On August 14, 1979, Steve set the piston-driven aircraft 3-kilometer world speed record at 499.018 mph in the highly-modified RB51 Red Baron at Tonopah, Nevada. At age 27, he was the youngest person ever to capture the speed record.

On September 16, 1979 while racing the RB-51 in Reno, Steve’s plane suffered catastrophic engine failure. He finished the race in second place, but crashed short of the runway. Although the plane’s fuel erupted in a fireball, the cockpit was thrown away from the fire and Steve survived with a broken back, leg, and ankle.

Steve became the chief test pilot for the Tsunami Racer in 1987. Some of his notable wins in air racing include:

  • 1978, Mojave, Red Baron
  • 1978, Reno (Unlimited National Champion), Red Baron
  • 1979, Miami, Red Baron
  • 1979, Mojave, Red Baron
  • 1985, Reno (Unlimited National Champion), Super Corsair
  • 1990, Sherman, Texas, Tsunami

Steve is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and charter member of the Motion Picture Pilots Association. He has worked on more than 60 films. In 2002 he received a nomination from the World Stunt Awards for the Taurus Award, Best Aerial Work in Pearl Harbor.

News

United buying 40 new 737-700s to upgrade fleet; misses Wall Street forecast

United intends to retire many of its 50-seat regional fleet by 2019 and replace them with larger aircraft. This is just the first buy. FlightGlobal reports United has 256 50-seat regional jets and had “considered the 110-set Bombardier CS100 and both the 90-seat Embraer 190 and 120-seat E190-E2 aircraft.”

Brian's United 737 seat sheet

Brian’s United 737 seat sheet

See alsoUnited, Southwest buy 73 Boeing jets in blow to Bombardier and United Chooses Boeing, doesn’t Eliminate CSeries.

Alaska Airlines Captain David Hans Arntson arrested for flying while drunk

The man faces Federal charges for allegedly flying two Alaska Airlines flights while under the influence of alcohol. Arntson was selected for drug and alcohol testing after he landed at John Wayne Airport.

SkyWest flight attendant charged with making bomb threats on two flights in North Dakota and Virginia

Former SkyWest flight attendant Justin Cox-Sever faces Federal charges for making bomb threats on several flights. In one case, he claimed he was being extorted, but he later recanted that claim.

America’s drone crisis revealed

A Washington Post investigation says that over 400 large U.S. military drones have crashed since 2001. In one incident, the pilot didn’t realize she had been flying the aircraft upside-down. In another, the pilot didn’t notice he had squeezed the wrong red button on his joystick, putting the plane into a spin.

How a Namib Desert beetle could help stop frost on airplanes

Scientists at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute think they have learned something about controlling frost from a beetle that lives in the desert. The Namib Desert beetle can collect water in the air through bumps on its shell which then directs water droplets into the beetle’s mouth. The scientists believe they can scale this up to work on large objects, like airplanes.

Seaport Airlines dunks San Diego

Seaport Airlines based in Portland, Ore., has been forced to drop some routes because of a pilot shortage. Seaport executive vice president Tim Sieber said, “A lot of regional airlines are undergoing this challenge right now, one we think will last a long time.” He said once Seaport pilots accumulate 1,500 hours of flight time, they typically leave for more lucrative jet-flying jobs on bigger airlines, and their vacancies are not being filled fast enough by newly-licensed pilots. “We’ve downsized the airline to one where we can focus on providing a reliable level of service with our smaller fleet,” Sieber said.

The Airplane of the Week

David tells us the history of the Boeing P-26A Peashooter.

Boeing P-26A Peashooter

Boeing P-26A Peashooter at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum, by David Vanderhoof

Listener Recordings

  • Christopher Sims talks about affordable air charter travel, and creating a secondary charter market.
  • Our “Main(e) Man” Micah brings us the last conversation on the A-10. Maybe.

Mentioned

  • Drone Magazine UK interviewed Max Flight for their January 2016 article (Issue#2) about drone podcasts. Find more about the magazine at their Facebook page.

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 383 Henry Harteveldt on Air Travel

A wide-ranging conversation about airlines with travel industry analyst and advisor Henry Harteveldt. Also, United bundles amenities, the Mitsubishi MRJ is delayed, Allegiant Air mis-cues, the viability of an Uber for the skies, the Westland Lysander, aviation maintenance technician training, the English Electric Lightning, a book review, and bird strikes.

Guest

Henry Harteveldt

Henry Harteveldt

Henry Harteveldt is a well-known analyst and advisor in the travel industry. He spent more than 15 years in marketing, planning, distribution, and strategy roles at companies such as TWA, Continental Airlines, the Trump Organization, the Fairmont Hotel Management Company and GetThere. He was head of Forrester Research’s global travel research practice, and launched Atmosphere Research in September 2011 serving the global travel industry.

We discuss airline strategies for bundling amenities and what an airline “loyalty” program really is these days. Henry touches on airline labor relations, he describes the things he looks for in 2016, what the airlines might do with their profits, and how they might respond to the next downturn.

Henry shares some good insight on the low cost model, how travel technology companies enhance what airlines can offer and how that changes the passenger experience. We discuss IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) standards, what that means for airline offerings and the total value presented to the consumer by the airline. (It’s more than just price.) Henry gives his opinion on the clash between US majors and Middle Eastern carriers, and why the US carriers have lost in Washington.

News

United offers amenity options bundled with Economy Plus

If you book and purchase your flight on United’s website, you can now take advantage of United Travel Options packages. These are bundles at a lower price than buying the amenities separately.

Japan’s Mitsubishi Delays Delivery Of Country’s First Passenger Jet After World War By A Year

The Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) has been delayed again. Launch customer ANA Holdings had been planning first delivery in 2017 Q2. Mitsubishi has conducted flight tests and they are not saying specifically what is causing them to push out deliveries. Statements from the company suggest they were just too optimistic in their test schedule.

Fourth Allegiant Air flight diverted in a week

It seems Allegiant Air can’t stay out of the news. Flight 760 made an emergency landing after reporting an engine problem. A flight to Bangor, Maine was diverted after passengers reported an abnormal smell. Another flight to landed in North Dakota with a deicing equipment problem. A flight to Youngstown, Ohio was diverted to Jacksonville, Florida. That turned out to be a faulty indicator light.

Pilot Sues Allegiant Air, Says He Was Fired For Evacuating Jet

Flight attendants reported smelling smoke just after takeoff and the captain returned to the airport. Emergency vehicles arrived, the captain called for an evacuation, but some unidentified voice over the radio instructed the captain to stay put. After some time and confusion, the captain evacuated the airplane.

Allegiant Air escapes punishment for emergency landing in Fargo

An Allegiant Air MD-80 attempted to land at Fargo airport, but it was closed for an airshow rehearsal. They landed after using some of their emergency reserve fuel. The union questioned Allegiant’s safety. Now the FAA issued a “letter of correction,” which carries no enforcement action.

AA Ground Crew Learns a Lesson About Towing an MD-80

This video shows a tug pulling the nose gear right off.

It’s Time for an Uber of the Skies

Chris Elliott asks, “Airbnb changed the hotel industry. Uber changed ground transportation. So why can’t the same change happen for air travel?” The US airline industry is now highly consolidated, and commercial flight sharing could introduce competition. For this to happen, the rules need to change. Is the entire concept viable?

The Airplane of the Week

Westland Lysander IIIa

The Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s Westland Lysander IIIa by David Vanderhoof

With the disappearance of Westland Helicopters to Finmeccanica, it was time to do a Westland aircraft. So David chose his favorite, the Lysander!  It’s designer also designed the EE Lightning, so he can also say he started the Lightning segment.

See also, Westland P.12 Wendover from diseno-art.comThe Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum’s Westland Lysander IIIa, and Westland Lysander Mk. IIIA at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum.

On the Mark with Rob Mark

Rob raises an issue about Aviation Maintenance Technician training.

Across the Pond

English Electric Lightning

English Electric Lightning XS420 copyright Richard Hall

After discussing the English Electric Lightning a few weeks ago, Pieter talks to Richard Hall. He owns XS420, a T5 model which serves as the Gate Guardian at the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust.

See also BAC (EE) Lightning T.5 – XS420, @XS420 on Twitter, and Aircraft & Airshow Photography By Richard Hall.

Book Review

Ian Kershaw reviews Sled Driver by author and SR-71 pilot Brian Shul, our guest on Episode 375.

Mentioned

Hainan Airlines 787

787 image courtesy Hainan Airlines

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 371 Kevin Michaels

We talk with Kevin Michaels about United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz and his strategy to repair the airline’s image, radical ideas for air travel, and Southwest Airlines purchase of two gates for $120 million. Also, risks that the airliner order bubble could burst, Bombardier strategy, and the viability of the A380neo.

Guest

Dr. Kevin Michaels is Vice President – Aerospace & MRO Practice at ICF International. 

Kevin Michaels

Dr. Kevin Michaels

Kevin began his career as a project engineer with gas turbine OEM Williams International. Since then, Kevin has accumulated more than 25 years of aviation experience, including hundreds of consulting engagements for leading aviation and aerospace companies worldwide.

He is a globally recognized expert in the aerospace manufacturing and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) sectors. Kevin has significant expertise in business-to-business marketing, customer satisfaction, and strategic planning.

Kevin’s experience spans all major market segments, including air transport, business and general aviation, and military. He was director of Strategic Development with Rockwell Collins Government Systems, and principal with The Canaan Group.

Kevin has a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan; he also has an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics.

Our conversation covers a number of current topics, including:

  • The airline order “super cycle,” the risk that it is a bubble that could burst, and the effects of sinking fuel prices and low cost of capital.
  • The situation at Bombardier, including their balance sheet and strategic problems given the market and actions by Boeing and Airbus.
  • The viability of the A380neo and how the engine manufacturers might look at it,
  • Retirements from the fleet where the aircraft have more value entering the surplus parts market. This has a significant impact on the OEM new parts market.

News

United’s new CEO acknowledges airline’s failures
United Airlines’ CEO wants to hear from you [VIDEO]

Oscar Munoz appears to be taking a different approach to managing the public image of the airline came from the merger of United Airlines and Continental five years ago. In full page newspaper ads he said, “The journey hasn’t always been smooth” and “We are committed to re-earning your trust.” On the new UnitedAirtime.com website.Munoz says:

“Let’s be honest, the implementation of the United and Continental merger has been rocky for customers and employees. While it’s been improving recently, we still haven’t lived up to our promise or our potential.”

See also: Alaska Airlines CEO admits his own airline lost his bag

Inside the Dream Factory – watch amazing footage of a British Airways Dreamliner plane being built in USA

British Airways has taken delivery of its first 787-9 Dreamliner of the 22 planes it has ordered. The -9 is 20 feet longer than the base -8, has a higher maximum take-off weight (MTOW), can seat 280 in a three-class configuration, and has an 8,300 nautical mile range. BA also released a time-lapse video of the aircraft being assembled in Seattle.

Three Ideas That Could Change Air Travel Forever

The Teague design consultancy firm shared with Fast Company some radical concepts for an imaginary future airline called Poppi. Teague asked themselves, “If we started an airline from scratch, what would we do?” At the recent Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) conference their Poppi concept was presented:

  • Ban carry-on luggage.
  • Make middle seats feel exclusive.
  • Encourage Amazon Prime-style memberships.

Southwest Defends $120 Million Payment for 2 Airport Gates

Southwest Airlines paid United Airlines $120 million to sublease two gates at Dallas Love Field. Southwest had already controlled 16 of the 20 gates at Love Field. United and Virgin America controlled two each. Delta Air Lines argues the gates are owned by the city and airlines can’t sell them. All this is being heard by a federal judge.

David Cush, Virgin America

We found this piece after recording the episode. Virgin America CEO David Cush talks about the Love Field gates.

The Airplane of the Week

NASA Super Guppy N941NA

NASA Super Guppy N941NA

David attended the Joint Base Andrews’ open house on September 19th 2015. Last week we brought you David’s interview with Lieutenant Colonel Christine “Grinder” Mau, Deputy Commander for the Operations Group of the 33rd Fighter Wing. Col. Mau was the first woman cleared to fly the F-35A Lightning II, and one of only 52 women fighter pilots in the USAF.

This week we have the interview with David Elliot, the Flight Engineer and Program Manager for the NASA Super Guppy N941NA.  David talks about flying and the planning for missions. A unique aircraft with unique missions.

The Australia News Desk

ATC Ben on the ramp at Karratha, Western Australia

ATC Ben on the ramp at Karratha, Western Australia

Finally back after a bit of a break although Grant has subbed out due to family reasons, being ably replaced by ATC Ben.  Ben tells us about his recent slight change of job, and location, having moved from the world of en-route controller in Melbourne to tower controller in the remote Western Australian town of Karratha.  He tells about the aircraft movement this predominantly mining based town hosts each day, including scheduled airline services through to multiple helicopter flights going out to the oil and gas rigs off the coast.

In the news, the RAAF has used a KC-30A tanker to successfully conduct air to air refuelling sorties with a USAF F-35A in the skies over California recently.  Using the boom system, the Lighting II make 59 contacts, taking on 23,000lbs of fuel in total.  A busy day for all involved.

Ben then talks about his participation in the annual World Flight event, the Australian version of which raises funds for the Royal Flying Doctor Service.  Ben is a regular participant in this virtual around the world flight, using a fixed based 737 simulator in Hobart, Tasmania.  More details can be found at http://worldflight.com.au/.

Across the Pond

Astronaut Major Tim Peake

Astronaut Major Tim Peake

This week Pieter celebrates #WorldSpaceWeek with an update on the UK Space Agency’s first European Space Agency astronaut Major Tim Peake who will fly to the International Space Station on December 15th 2015. His mission title is Principia and he will be on the space station for up to 6 months. We also get an update on the latest Arianne 5 launch last week from French Guiana.

Mentioned

Make History Fly – Send B-29 “Doc” Through Flight Testing

You can also follow Doc’s Friends progress on their website, Facebook and Twitter.

World-first remote air traffic control system lands in Sweden

My Grandfather And The Plane That Changed Seattle

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 368 Membership Flights with Surf Air

Surf Air Pilatus PC-12/47E

Surf Air Pilatus PC-12/47E

We talk with CEO Jeff Potter about the Surf Air all-you-can-fly private membership air travel club. Also, an uncontained engine failure on a BA flight, low airline fares, management changes at United, American Airlines used the wrong plane, and remotely manned towers may be on the way.

Guest

Jeff Potter is the Chief Executive Officer of Surf Air, an all-you-can-fly private membership club for business and leisure travelers. Surf Air uses Pilatus PC-12 aircraft on scheduled routes, currently from airports in California. However, the company looks to expand and provide service in other regions, even internationally.

Jeff S Potter

Jeff S Potter

Jeff has luxury product experience as Chief Executive Officer of Exclusive Resorts. He also has an aviation background and worked his way up from airplane cleaner to President and Chief Executive Officer of Frontier Airlines, as well as being a member of their Board of Directors. Jeff was also the CEO of Vanguard Airlines for a short period.

Jeff explains how the Surf Air fixed monthly fee makes the private aviation experience affordable. He characterizes it as a disruptive model that competes with commercial carriers.

Follow Surf Air on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

News

BA jet engine failure uncontained, pieces hit runway: investigators

NTSB Issues Update on the British Airways Engine Fire at Las Vegas

The NTSB reports that the engine fire on takeoff at McCarran International Airport (LAS) by British Airways flight 2276, a Boeing 777 with GE90-85B engines, was an uncontained engine failure.

$100 Airline Ticket Deals, as Carriers Increase Profits

JetBlue Airways can fly you from JFK to Chicago for $74. A holiday promotion at Delta can cost as little as $78. American Airlines has a $97 fare from Columbus to Washington Reagan. Is there an airline fare war? Jeff helps understand what’s going on.

Why Dump Smisek? United Wasn’t First Airline to Fly a Pol’s Route

United CEO Smisek and two other executives resigned as a federal investigation is underway about the propriety of United creating a route between Newark Airport and Columbia, S.C, near where then chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey David Samson had his weekend home.

American Airlines accidentally used the wrong plane to fly to Hawaii

An American Airlines A321 left LA for Hawaii, but it didn’t have the requisite ETOPS certification. American discovered the problem enroute and notified the FAA, but the plane continued to it’s destination.

Air traffic controllers for some airports are now miles away, watching the planes on camera

Ornskoldsvik Airport in northern Sweden has an unmanned tower. The controllers are 90 miles away at another airport watching by camera. The idea is being tested elsewhere, even at one airport in the United States.

The Aircraft of the Week

Guppy by NASA

David goes fishing this week for a History Segment.  He hopes to catch one of these in the wild at Joint Base Andrews for a whale of a tale.  This episode we talk about The Aero Spacelines Guppies, and the lure of the aircraft that put a man on the moon.

Guppy by NASA

Guppy photos courtesy NASA

The Aviation Minute

Rob Mark talks about customer service at United Airlines.

Mentioned

The Bristol Hercules engine startup courtesy Ian.

Listener Photos

Lamont sends this photo taken in a practice area West / slightly Northwest of San Jose, California. The photo shows the marine layer being held back by the Santa Cruz Mountain Range in the early afternoon.

Marine layer

Marine layer

Jodi Brommer sends this shot of the smallest 777. She was hanging out on the approach path of San Francisco, 2.5 miles off the touchdown markers.

The smallest 777 by Jodi Brommer

The smallest 777 by Jodi Brommer

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 363 A Chat with David and Max

Two F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters

The F-35B goes operational, sparks in the cabin on United Airlines flight, AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 facts and figures, the spat between (and among) US and Middle East airlines, and airline fees in the spotlight.

News

Marine Corps declared F-35B operational

After a five-day Operational Readiness Inspection (ORI) in July, the U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B Lightning II aircraft reached initial operational capability. The Yuma, Arizona-based Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121 (VMFA-121) is now operational with the F-35B variant.

United Airlines flight makes emergency return to London

A United Airlines 777 flying Los Angeles declared an emergency and returned to London Heathrow Airport after sparks were seen coming out of first class seats and passengers reported smelling smoke.

United Airlines flight diverted to Indy after dropping 10,000 feet

United flight 5919 enroute to Chicago from Charlotte was rerouted to Indianapolis after it dropped 10,000 feet. The cause for the loss of altitude is unknown at this time.

AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 Facts and Figures

This year’s event saw an attendance of approximately 550,000, more than 10,000 aircraft, 2,668 show planes, 976 vintage airplanes, 350 warbirds, 130 ultralights and light-sport aircraft, 101 seaplanes, 30 rotorcraft, and 50 aerobatic aircraft. There were over 800 commercial exhibitors, 1,048 forums and workshops attended by more than 75,000 people.

New group further divides airline association’s membership

Delta, United, and American have gone on the offensive alleging that the Qatar and United Arab Emirates state-owned airlines are subsidized in violation of the Open Skies agreements. Now, JetBlue Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, FedEx, and Atlas Air Worldwide have formed a coalition with a different viewpoint.

Hawaiian CEO Mark Dunkerley says, “The Big 3 do not speak for all, or even most, U.S. airlines. Our coalition believes that the United States should honor its Open Skies commitments, which opens markets for U.S. carriers, promotes competition on international and domestic routes, and facilitates U.S. exports.”

To learn more about the issues involved here, see:

Sen. Nelson: Airlines collected $38 billion in fees

U.S. Senator Bill Nelson from Florida wondered why the cost to fly is going up when the cost of fuel has gone down and airline profits are up, so he commissioned a study. Nelson learned that in 2014, airlines collected $38B in fees. The report found a lack of relationship between the price a fee and the cost to provide the service, and that fees are not proportional to ticket price.

The US Airlines Industry: Sky High Prices Drive Soaring Profits

An infographic that shows the US airline industry contributes nearly $1.5 trillion in economic activity in the US alone and generates over 11 million jobs. Airfare has been steadily increasing in price since 1995, however, when you account for inflation, the actual value of the tickets has decreased.

The Australia News Desk

Virgin Australia to use their subsidiary TigerAir on flights to Bali as well as completely pulling out of flights to Phuket.

Virgin are also converting 17 of their 737-800 orders into 737 MAX 8 orders (and delaying them – saving more money) which will give them a total of 40 orders … eventually.

Moody’s upgrades Qantas’ credit rating

Alliance Aviation Services sending its fleet of Fokkers up to Slovakia for heavy maintenance ‘cos it’s cheaper to fly all the way from Australia to Europe than maintain a heavy maintenance facility in Australia.

Across the Pond

Pieter talks to FlightChic Marisa Garcia about Baggage Tracking from Emirates, the KLM App and Apple Watch interface, and why Ryanair are no longer basing aircraft in Denmark.

Mentioned

S2F Firecats and an OV-10 Bronco

S2F Firecats and an OV-10 Bronco

Does the F-35 really suck in air combat?

Dambusters pilot Les Munro dies in New Zealand aged 96

Delta Private Jets – Not Your Ordinary Medallion Upgrade

Dispute with JetBlue over dog carrier leaves travelers from Florida grounded in Portland

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 362 The Doctor is in… Talking About Medical Issues

Doctor (and pilot) Stephanie Plummer on inflight medical emergencies, hypoxia, 3rd class medical reform, and more. News on MH370, cosmic rays and passenger safety, an emergency Allegiant Airlines landing, and hackers hit United Airlines. Also, the NASA UTM Drone conference, the CH-46 Retirement Ceremony at the National Air & Space Museum, an Australia Desk, and plane spotting the 427th Special Operations Squadron.

Guest

Dr. Stephanie Plummer

Dr. Stephanie Plummer

Dr. Stephanie Plummer is a frequent co-host on the Airline Pilot Guy podcast. She’s an instrument-rated commercial pilot who flies primarily for personal enjoyment. As a physician, Dr. Steph answers the occasional listener question regarding in-flight or aviation-related medical topics.

We talk about the frequency of inflight medical emergencies, medical supplies on airlines, and what you do if you are a doctor on a flight and the call for help goes out. Also, we cover the three classes of aviation medicals in the US, and the role of aviation medical examiners, and 3rd class medical reform for private pilots.

Dr. Steph gives us a good tutorial on the forms and effects of hypoxia, time of useful consciousness, and effective performance time. She tells us about hypoxic hypoxia, hypemic hypoxia, carbon monoxide poisoning, stagnant hypoxia, and histotoxic hypoxia.

In her day job, Dr Plummer is a physician practicing in the Charlotte, NC area.  She has a degree in Osteopathic Medicine (DO) from what was formerly The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, now part of Rowan University, School of Osteopathic Medicine.  She completed a traditional rotating internship through the Crozer-Keystone Healthcare System in the Philadelphia area and then did her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at East Carolina University in Greenville, NC. Dr Plummer then went on to a fellowship program for interventional spine and now she works with a predominantly Orthopedic Spine group as one of their non-surgical providers.

Aviation Medical Resources

FAA AC 121-33B Emergency Medical Equipment (PDF)

FAA AC 121-34B Emergency Medical Equipment Training (PDF)

Outcomes of Medical Emergencies on Commercial Airline Flights from The New England Journal of Medicine.

What medical conditions does the FAA consider disqualifying? from FAA Pilot Medical Certification Questions and Answers.

A Guide for Prospective FAA Aviation Medical Examiners from FAA Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) Training.

Aviation Physiology (PDF), common medical considerations affecting pilots in flight. A booklet from FAA.

News

MH370: Reunion debris discovery lifts hopes for missing flight clues

Boeing 777 Wing Flaperon (Part_No._657_BB)Last week, a piece of a Boeing 777 called a “flaperon” was found washed up on Reunion Island, in the western Indian Ocean. If it proves to be from MH370, which is likely, it may provide clues about the missing jetliner.

Long-haul air passengers at risk from cosmic rays, government fears

The earth’s atmosphere provides some degree of protection against cosmic rays. The higher you go, the less atmosphere you have above you blocking this high-energy radiation. We’ve seen studies in the past that suggest pilots are vulnerable to long term effects. Now solar radiation in the form of magnetically charged particles is of concern. Public Health England (PHE) has established The Cosmic Radiation Advisory Group, which includes experts from British Airways, the Cabinet Office, the Department of Health, the Met Office, and some universities.

Allegiant Air pilot pleads with tower to make emergency landing

An Allegiant Airlines pilot with a fuel emergency wanted to land at Fargo’s Hector International Airport. The airport was closed because the Blue Angels were practicing for an air show, and an exchange between the pilot and the tower ensued.

Hackers with ties to China said to breach United Airlines

A group of China-backed hackers has been linked to a May or June attack on United Airlines. This is supposedly the same group that breached the US Office of Personnel Management and health insurer Anthem Inc. The hackers may had had access to passenger lists and information about United’s mergers and acquisitions strategy. But they don’t know for sure.

Airplane of the Week

CH-46 Retirement Ceremony Arrival

Photos courtesy David W. Aungst

David attended the CH-46 Sea Knight “Phrog” retirement ceremony at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.  David interviews:

  • Corporal Greg Hamper, HMX-1 MV-22 Crew Chief.
  • Major P.B. Benning, HMX-1 MV-22 and former CH-46E pilot.
  • Lt. Colonel Dominic DeFazio, Commanding Officer HMM-774 and pilot of BuNo 153369, the retiring CH-46E.

IMG_5094

Be sure to see the article Phrog Farewell by museum specialist Roger Connor, and the fly-in video CH-46 Retirement Ceremony Aug 1, 2015.

Gen. J.R. “Jack” Dailey, USMC (Ret.)

Gen. J.R. “Jack” Dailey, USMC (Ret.)

DM Vanderhoof

Special thanks to Nick Partridge and Sarah Banks of the National Air & Space Museum.

The Australia News Desk

HATS 135 factory acceptance No.1. (Airbus Helicopters)

HATS 135 factory acceptance No.1. (Airbus Helicopters)

It’s a week of firsts for the Australian Defence Force as the boys give progress on still more new or updated airframes coming down under:

Meanwhile, Qantas long-haul pilots have approved a new wage deal.

But it’s terrible news for the Australian helicopter charter industry as Bronwyn Bishop resigns (Satire).

Mentioned

The UAV Digest Episode 106, UAS Traffic Management

Observations from the NASA Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Traffic Management Convention, including the Amazon Prime Air proposal for drone traffic management.

The LogBook

A podcast by Embry Riddle Aeronautical University student Lucas Weakley with aviation stories told in the first person.

427th Special Operations Squadron

You didn’t see this:

SOCOM CN235

SOCOM CN235

Brian’s United 737-8 window seat…

Brian's United 737-8 window seat

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 358 Just an Episode

Hawker Hind

DOJ investigating airlines for collusion, United plans biofuel flights, future jet engine tech from Rolls-Royce, Solar Impulse makes it to Hawaii, a report from the Shuttleworth Collection air show, looking back on McNerney and ahead to AirVenture Oshkosh.

News

Justice Dept. investigating potential airline price collusion

Government faces burden in proving airline collusion

The United States Justice Department is investigating a number of airlines to determine if they illegally colluded to keep airfares high. The Justice Department confirmed the investigation, but would not name the airlines. However, Delta Air Lines, Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, and United Airlines each said they were being investigated.

United Airlines to test biofuel on L.A. to San Francisco route

This Airline Just Invested Millions Into Turning Garbage Into Jet Fuel

This summer, United plans to use biofuel on a regular scheduled route. The biofuel will be “generated from farm waste and oils derived [from] animal fats.” Four to five flights per day will use a 30 percent biofuel mix.

United Airlines has invested $30 million in California-based biofuel company Fulcrum BioEnergy. The strategic partnership includes an agreement that contemplates the joint development of up to five projects located near United’s hubs. These projects expect to produce as much as 180 million gallons of biofuel per year, with United agreeing to buy up to half that amount.

Rolls-Royce Details Advance And UltraFan Test Plan

Rolls-Royce UltraFan

UltraFan courtesy Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce previously made public its strategic plan for developing new jet engines. Now we have more details.

First, the “Advance” engine with a bypass ratio of more than 11:1, a pressure ratio more than 60:1, fuel-burn at least 20% better than the current Trent 700, a composite-titanium fan, and a composite fan casing. EIS around 2020.

Second, the “UltraFan” engine with 25% better fuel-burn than the Trent 700, a gear-driven variable-pitch fan, a 15:1 bypass ratio, and overall pressure ratio of 70:1. EIS around 2025.

Changes for the Advance include reallocating the work contributed by the various compressors and turbines. By lightening the load on the HP spool, RR achieves better efficiency and commonality with the UltraFan core.

With the geared UltraFan, the low pressure turbine is gone and the engine is more like the 2-spool engines P&W and GE produce. Other technologies to be introduced include cooled cooling air (compressor bleed air through a heat exchanger) and blings or bladed rings, an advancement from blisks, or bladed disks.

Ever-Bigger Engines Challenge Conventional Airliner Designs

As fan engine diameter continues to increase, mounting under the wing becomes less practical. Clean sheet airplane designs are gravitating to engines on top of wings, or engines embedded (or partially embedded) in the tail.

Solar Impulse lands in Hawaii, sets record for longest solar-powered flight

The Solar Impulse finally left Japan on June 28 and landed in Hawaii on July 3.

Listener recording

Bristol Boxkite

Bristol Boxkite

Roland attended a rather special airshow at the Shuttleworth Collection museum in Bedfordshire, England. He brings us his impressions, and some great photographs.

Mentioned

Spitfire 944

The producer’s great uncle recorded 90 minutes of personal footage during WW II that he mailed home from the war. The footage was transferred to digital media, then the producer had the thought to find the pilot of a Spitfire that crashed on film. He found the pilot, who had never seen the footage.

What does it take to restore a World War Two Spitfire?

A rare Mark 1 Spitfire shot down during World War Two was restored and will be sold at Christie’s July 9, 2015. 22,500 Spitfires were originally built, just 56 are still airworthy, and most of these are later versions of the aircraft. There are only four Mark 1s still flying.

New Lavi trainer better prepares IAF cadets for Hezbollah, Iran

What do you do when the wheel from a jet lands on your roof?

Crash Test Assesses Plane Emergency Locator Transmitters

Old F-16 vs. next-generation F-35: Guess who wins?

Why The “F-35 v F-16″ Article Is Garbage

McNerney lifted Boeing above turbulence

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 357 Einar Enevoldson and the Perlan Project

 

Perlan Project

Perlan Project aims to soar to 90,000 feet in a glider, a sightseeing crash in Alaska, United buys into Azul Brazilian Airlines, China building airport infrastructure, news media companies start drone testing, OneGo to offer flights for a fixed monthly fee, and Solar Impulse leaves Japan.

Guest

Einar Enevoldson is a lifelong glider pilot and a former NASA test pilot.

In 1992, Einar first envisioned the Perlan Project when a LIDAR image was shown of a stratospheric mountain wave at 75,000 feet above Northern Scandinavia. Einar believed that these mountain waves could be used to fly a sailplane to great heights.

The Perlan Project is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit aeronautical exploration and atmospheric science research organization that utilizes sailplanes (gliders) designed to fly at extremely high altitudes.

Einar and Steve Fossett proved their concept when they set a world altitude record for gliders of 50,671 feet on August 30, 2006. They flew the Perlan I, a modified DG505M, in stratospheric mountain waves generated by the Polar Vortex over el Calafate, Argentina.

In July 2014, Airbus Group became the partner and title sponsor of Airbus Perlan Mission II.

Sometime in 2015/16 the Airbus Perlan Mission II intends to set new altitude records by flying a purpose-built pressurized high-altitude glider higher than any other manned wing borne aircraft has ever flown in sustained flight using stratospheric mountain waves and the polar vortex. Perlan Project intends to use the Airbus Perlan Mission II to expand their educational programmes by creating more partnerships and forming an international education committee.

YF-12A

YF-12A

Einar’s military service includes test pilot on the Hunter, Lightning, and Javelin British fighter aircraft from 1966 to 1967. Following that, Einar was a NASA research pilot at the Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards, California. Among the many planes he flew for NASA were the YF-12A (Interceptor version of the SR-71), the oblique wing AD-1, the Controlled Deep Stall Sailplane, and the X-24B Lifting Body. He was twice awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal.

X-24B

X-24B

News

Eight Holland America Guests Die in Alaska “Flightseeing” Accident

Eight passengers and the pilot died when their “flightseeing” DeHavilland DHC-3T Turbine Otter crashed into a rock face about 20 from Ketchikan, Alaska. The floatplane was providing a tour for passengers from Holland America Line’s MS Westerdam cruise ship. The wreckage is on a 60 degree slope at the base of a mountainside cliff.

Azul by Paul Flimer

Azul by Paul Flimer

United Airlines to pay $100 mln for Azul stake, for foothold in Brazil

Azul Brazilian Airlines is the third largest airline in Brazil, and was founded in 2008 by Brazilian-born David Neeleman, who also founded JetBlue Airways. Neeleman is Azul’s chief executive. United would gain access to Brazilian cities. Azul gets investment money where they have been unable to offer an initial public offering due to Brazil’s poor economy.

China’s aviation boom drives airport building frenzy

More than 60 inland airports in China are expanding, and another 30 new regional airports are  being built. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC), says more than $80 billion will be invested in aviation projects this year alone. Driving this are business travel and outbound tourism.

News Coalition Launches Hands-On Drone Testing Program with Virginia Tech

Fifteen news media companies launched research testing of sUAS for news gathering in partnership with Virginia Tech, one of the six FAA UAS test sites. Flight tests will include a series of scenarios to simulate news gathering with small UAVs.

OneGo Will Offer Unlimited West Coast Flights For $1,500 A Month

Startup OneGo wants to offer this service to small and medium businesses where team members have to do a lot of travel. In exchange for the fixed monthly fee, travelers will get unlimited economy class direct flights on major airlines like American, Delta, United and Virgin America, as well as Gogo WiFi membership, and enrollment in TSA Pre for faster security screenings.

Solar Impulse Crossing The Pacific

Solar Impulse 2 finally launched from Nagoya, Japan, en route to Hawaii. The flight is expected to take five days.

The Australia News Desk

Grant’s holding together with cold and flu medicine long enough to get an AusDesk recorded with Steve covering:

Mentioned

  • Flight Threats – An iOS app designed as a situational awareness improvement tool for pilots.

Patrick Wiggins 50th anniversary jump

Courtesy of Skydive Utah: NASA Ambassador Patrick Wiggins, 66, is no stranger to the sky with about 760 jumps under his belt as he logs another while stepping out of a Skydive Utah plane near Tooele. On Friday the education assistant at the University of Utah donned his original 1965 “antique parachute” and gear to mark the 50th anniversary of his first jump while joining friends at Skydive Utah, at the Tooele Valley Airport in Erda.

Credit

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 354 Controlling the Airport Conversation

Chino Airport

Chino Airport Community Ambassador Bob Velker, an alternative to radar, smaller airline carry-on bags, an update on the A400M crash, shooting wildlife from a plane, and two airlines make a top 10 list that you don’t want to be on.

Guest

Bob Velker is Business Liaison & Community Outreach Manager, Chino Airport (CNO), County of San Bernardino – Department of Airports.

We talk with Bob about his role as the “community ambassador” for Chino Airport, one of the country’s largest general aviation airports and located in the County of San Bernardino, close to Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside counties in Southern California.

His primary task is to dispel the notion that Chino Airport is a “gated community filled with rich boys and their toys.” More precisely, that Chino is a small business park with runways, made up of dozens of businesses, employing hundreds of people, and pouring millions of dollars into the local economy.

Bob tells us how he builds synergy for all the airport stakeholders: the developers, the community, the Planes of Fame Air Museum, area businesses, and the airport itself. He creates education and awareness programs that engage the community with the airport and help them see the important role the airport plays in the local economy.

Chino Airshow

We also talk about the Planes of Fame Airshow and the notion of an “aerotropolis,” where an airport is in the center of a city which then grows around it, connecting workers, suppliers, executives, and goods to the global marketplace. Bob gives us a great example of how an airport can work with drone flyers for their mutual benefit.

Bob has been in-and-around Chino Airport for 18 years. He’s also a pilot, a businessman, a strategic planner, and a management consultant, plus, he says, a recovering engineer.

Reporting directly to the county’s Director of Airports, Bob’s role also requires a close working relationship with local governments, elected officials, chambers of commerce, community service organizations, local school districts and colleges, pilot’s groups, and high-profile businesses in and around the airport.

Bob is responsible for creating and maintaining the airport’s social media platform. Their website is ChinoAirport.org, and you can find them on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. The History of Chino Airport (formerly Cal Aero Field) is a video worth watching.

News

Television signals a possible alternative to radar

NATS, in conjunction with Thales ATM UK and Roke Manor, have been testing a system that uses standard TV signals to detect and direct aircraft.

Get ready for smaller airline carry-on bags

At its annual meeting, IATA (The International Air Transport Association) proposed the Cabin OK program to try and standardize the size of cabin bags allowed by airlines.

On its webpage, IATA says, “…the current variety of policies among airlines can lead to frustration for passengers. Bags that do not correspond to the allowance are regularly checked in at the gate, which adds inconvenience for the traveller, slows down the boarding process, increases airline costs and occasionally delays flights.”

The bag size proposed by IATA is a little smaller than the standard size used by most U.S. carriers, including Delta, United, American, and Southwest.

Vital engine software files accidentally wiped, linked to fatal A400M plane crash

On May 9, an Airbus A400M crashed near Spain’s Seville Airport. Four of six crew members were killed. A BBC source says investigators believe that when software was installed, the torque calibration parameters had accidentally been deleted, causing the ECU’s to fail to operate properly.

Ranchers mourn wildlife employees killed in plane crash

The pilot and a gunner were killed while attempting to shoot a coyote in northeastern New Mexico as part of the Wildlife Services program under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

According to the USDA, Wildlife Services resolves “wildlife conflicts to allow people and wildlife to coexist.” The Predator Defense organization takes a dim view of the USDA methodology, but nonetheless the Wildlife Services use of aerial gunning has led to a number of accidents and deaths.

10 Companies That Act Like They Hate Their Customers

The list of major corporations with terrible customer service includes cable companies, telecommunications companies, banks, insurance companies, and (no surprise) two U.S. airlines.

The Australia News Desk

In order to prevent a Rob Mark moment on the Oz Desk, Grant has to pass Steve’s Breathalyzer test before he can join in reporting on:

  • Qantas and American teaming up on the SYD-LAX route allowing Qantas to redeploy some 747-400s to the SYD-SFO route
  • Alan Joyce joins the chorus of howls against the government’s proposed northern cabotage reductions.

The Aviation Minute

Rob Mark has been watching the growth of commercial and hobby drone use, and provides his thoughts on some of the technology being employed.

Mentioned

Credit

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