Tag Archives: United Airlines

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.

AirplaneGeeks 353 Passionate Aviators on TV

The Aviators

Anthony Nalli from The Aviators, a Sonex crash takes two lives, United spurns the A380, EPA to announce aviation emissions regulations, EasyJet using drones for aircraft inspections, and JetBlue does the right thing for autism.

Guest

Anthony Nalli is Executive Producer and Director of The Aviators, an independently produced television series with 5 seasons completed so far. Anthony is an instrument rated pilot and published writer with a passion for aviation. As the show’s “everyman” Anthony does things most weekend pilots can relate to.

Anthony first appeared as our guest on Episode 242.

We talk with Anthony about growth in viewership, some of the people featured in past episodes, and the new Air Boss program that provides an inside view of that very demanding job.

The Aviators airs on most PBS stations across the United States, it’s on in Canada on Travel+Escape, and on Discovery Channel in many countries. You can also find episodes on iTunes, Hulu, and Amazon. Visit The Aviators website, find them on IMDB, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.

News

Sonex aviation CEO, mechanic die in Oshkosh crash

Some sad news. Jeremy Monnett, the CEO of Sonex Aircraft, and Michael Clark, a Sonex assembly mechanic, were killed when their plane crashed near Wittman Regional Airport. Jeremy Monnett was 40 and Michael Clark was 20. Jeremy was our guest on Airplane Geeks Episode 65, in 2009. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the cause of the crash.

United Airlines does not see a fit for Airbus A380

United Continental Holdings has confirmed that they have been talking with Airbus about the A380, but the plane just doesn’t work for them. The A380 trip cost is more than using Boeing 787’s.

Commercial airlines industry mixed on imminent emission regulations

According to “unnamed” sources, the Environmental Protection Agency will soon announce carbon emission standards for commercial aviation. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta says, “This is something that we have been working with EPA on. It’s going to be a long-term process really to bring aviation into compliance with a lot of policy level initiatives taking place globally. What we want to make sure is that anything EPA does, they understand the technical ‎situation in the aviation industry and what is within the realm of possible.”

For more background, look into the ICAO Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection, which addresses Aircraft Engine Emissions.

EasyJet tests UAV with A320 inspection

UK company Blue Bear Systems is working with EasyJet to use the Remote Intelligent Survey Equipment for Radiation (RISER) quadrotor UAV for aircraft inspection. The RISER was originally designed for gamma radiation inspection. A two-laser infrared system keep the RISER 1m away from the aircraft it is inspecting. RISER has a number of sensors (electro-optical, light detection, and ranging) which can locate damage caused by lightning strikes. The Riser area of operation can be geofenced.

The Australia News Desk

It’s the Queen’s Birthday long weekend here in Australia and while the boys didn’t get any recognition from Her Majesty, some of their friends and guests of Plane Crazy Down Under did as Chris Sperou and Dave Jacka both get Order of Australia Medals and Dick Smith gets upgraded to Companion of the Order of Australia:

Meanwhile, Qantas is saying it can restore its investment grade credit rating AND get the new 787-9s it has on order.

The Air Traffic Controller union in Australia is less than enthused with CASA’s decision to allow non-ATC people provide Unicom services.

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.

AirplaneGeeks 350 Burt Rutan Is At It Again

Filming Burt Rutan

Antenna Films documents Burt Rutan as he builds the SkiGull, FBI investigates alleged IFE hacker, United Airlines offers bug bounty program, autistic child removed from flight, passenger prevented from making emergency call, and crowdfunding a startup airline.

Guests

Scott B and Sandy Guthrie are the Executive Producers and Co-Creative Directors of Antenna Films, which is producing the documentary film Looking Up, Way Up! The Burt Rutan Story. They are following Burt as he designs and builds the SkiGull plane which he intends to fly around the world in a “Walter Mitty flight” that avoids airports. Scott and Sandy tell us about the SkiGull and the film, but also give us some insights into Burt Rutan, the man.

The team used Kickstarter to jumpstart the documentary since Burt is moving ahead quickly, but they intend to build a sustainable community around this project. Visit the documentary website at LookingUpWayUp.com and the project Facebook page.

Scott and Sandy have been making films for more than 20 years and formed Antenna Films in 2000 to tell compelling stories. Their work has appeared on National Geographic, Discovery, A&E, Lifetime and Sundance TV. Antenna produced the award winning Virgin Galactic series following the development of the world’s first spaceline. Other credits include the first one-hour episode of Virgin Galactic: Will it Fly for National Geographic, and the Peabody Award and Cine Golden Eagle Award-winning specials Black Sky: The Race for Space and  Winning the X-Prize on Discovery.

News

FBI Investigating Claim Computer Expert Hacked Plane In-Flight

Computer security expert Chris Roberts has told investigators that he hacked into the IFE system through boxes under the seats 15 to 20 times. He says he even “caused one of the airplane engines to climb resulting in a lateral or sideways movement of the plane.”

Law enforcement is investigating and says the electronics box under the seat shows signs of tampering. But they also say “there is no credible information to suggest an airplane’s flight control system can be accessed or manipulated from its in-flight entertainment system.”

United Airlines bug bounty program

White hat hackers are invited to probe for bugs that affect United “websites, apps and/or online portals” in exchange for up to one million award miles.

An autistic girl’s entire family was kicked off a plane because she wanted a First Class meal

Woman Claims She and Daughter With Autism Were Kicked Off United Airlines Flight

A Range of Reactions to Airline’s Removal of Autistic Child

A United Airlines pilot diverted a Portland flight to Salt Lake City to remove a family with an autistic 15 year old daughter. The situation developed after the girl required a hot meal. Was she disruptive? Some say no.

Woman told she couldn’t call suicidal husband during flight

A woman on a Southwest Airlines flight received a text from her husband that read, “Karen, please forgive me for what I am about to do, I am going to kill myself.” The cabin crew would not allow the call. Upon arrival at the gate, the woman called the police, but it was too late.

Struggling start-up airline turns to crowdfunding for cash

Avatar Airlines claims it’s “poised to revolutionize the airline industry as ‘the ultra-low fare’ leader with no baggage fees (up to two) and fares as low as $19” on 581-seat Boeing 747-400 aircraft. Avatar has started a crowdfunding campaign.

The Australia News Desk

The boys are back with the sad news that the “Wings Over Illawarra” show had to be cancelled due to terrible weather.

Deciding to go with military stories, the Desk opens with the news that two RAAF KC30As made multiple boom contacts off the coast of Brisbane recently. Although no gas was passed (that’s going to happen soon) it verifies that the boom is finally all but working!

Next they report that SQNLDR Andrew “Jacko” Jackson has flown the first RAAF F35. He became the first Australian to fly an F35 last month but now he’s at Luke AFB and flying A35-001 (our first RAAF F35). Apparently the kangaroo painted on the side makes all the difference!

Matt Hall took 2nd place at the Chiba (Japan) leg of the Red Bull Air Race. He’s also looking for a major “name the team” sponsor.

Mentioned

Flaris

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 349 John Montgomery and his Quest for Flight

John J. Montgomery readying to launch the The Evergreen glider from a track

The history of an early aviation pioneer, update on hidden city ticketing lawsuit, Jetblue starting flights to Havana, jet engine big data, a possible narrowbody future for Rolls Royce, Leap-1B begins flight testing, and the Airbus A400M crash.

Guest

Craig Harwood is a professional Engineering Geologist and as a hobby he enjoys researching and writing about history.

His book Quest for Flight draws out of obscurity and documents the fascinating backstories in the conquest of the skies. The work and influence of American aviation pioneer John J. Montgomery serves as a framework for understanding the western contributions in the quest for flight in America.

Montgomery was a scientific inventor in the late 1800’s who observed and tried to mimic bird flight. His research caused him to turn to soaring birds for inspiration and he demonstrated controlled flight with his manned gliders.

We talk about societal attitudes toward flying at the time, the different motivations of early pioneers, and the roles of women in early aviation. We also discuss how the stories of others were overshadowed by the Wrights, who actively worked to protect their position as the originators of manned flight.

John J. Montgomery aloft in The Evergreen

Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West is available from publisher The University of Oklahoma Press and Amazon.com. You can contact Craig Harwood via email.

The 1946 movie Gallant Journey starred Glenn Ford as John J. Montgomery.

News

Judge throws out United Airlines lawsuit against 22-year-old

Orbitz and hidden-city ticketing site Skiplagged agree to settlement

A Chicago judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by United Airlines against a 22-year-old. Last November United Airlines and Orbitz filed a civil lawsuit in against Aktarer Zaman who created Skiplagged.com.  That site helps people with the “hidden city ticketing” strategy for low cost airfare. United and Orbitz claimed that Skiplagged provided “unfair competition” and promoted “strictly prohibited” travel.

The suit was filed in the Northern District Court of Illinois, but the judge in Chicago has now ruled that court has no jurisdiction because Zaman didn’t live or do business in that city.

JetBlue will start a weekly flight from JFK to Havana every Friday, starting July 3

Travelers should make arrangements directly with Cuba Travel Services for these flights operated by JetBlue.

Big Data in Planes: New P&W GTF Engine Telemetry to Generate 10GB/S

The Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan jet engine has over 5000 sensors, creating 10 Gigabytes/second of data per engine, or 2.04 Terebits/second for a twin engine airplane. P&W estimates data streaming will reach 12 Petabytes each year and they have partnered with IBM to create the data center capacity.

Rolls Royce Sees United Technologies as Possible Jet Engine Partner

Rolls Royce, Pratt & Whitney and some other partners teamed up to form International Aero Engines in 1983 to produce the V2500 engine for the Airbus A320 family and McDonnell Douglas MD-90. In 2011, P&W bought out Rolls Royce, which effectively removed RR from the narrowbody market. Now the departing CEO of Rolls-Royce said P&W parent company United Technologies Corporation is an “obvious” potential partner.

Leap-1B For 737 MAX Begins Key Flight Tests

Competing with the P&W GTF on the A320 family is the CFM International Leap-1A. The Leap-1B is sole sourced for the B737 MAX. and the Leap-1C variant powers the Comac C919.

Airbus A400M military transporter crashes on test flight, killing four

An Airbus A400M military transport plane crashed outside Seville one mile from the airport, killing four test crew and injuring two others. The aircraft was on its maiden test flight before being delivered to Turkey.

Listener Recording

David Sudworth brings us his story of a perfect flying day in the UK.

Mentioned

Credits

John J. Montgomery readying to launch the “The Evergreen” glider from a track, likely near Evergreen CA — photo from the San Diego Air & Space Museum archive

John J. Montgomery aloft in “The Evergreen” — photo from the San Diego Air & Space Museum archive.

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

 

AirplaneGeeks 342 Arsenal of Democracy Flyover

Arsenal of Democracy Flyover

A massive Washington DC warbird flyover to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day, United Airlines customer service, the GA alphabet organizations talk current issues, an FAA forecast for GA, China looks to build airport infrastructure, and ADS-B prices drop.

Guest

Peter Bunce is President and CEO of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), an international trade association that represents over 85 manufacturers of general aviation airplanes, rotorcraft, engines, avionics, components and related services such as repair station operators, aviation training facilities, and others.

Peter Bunce

Pete is also a member of the Arsenal of Democracy Executive Committee that is planning to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, (VE Day) with a massive Washington DC warbird flyover on May 8, 2015.

Pete has been President and CEO of GAMA since April 2005. He and the GAMA staff travel all over the world engaging regulators, policymakers, and elected officials to promote general aviation and advance the interests of GAMA’s international membership.

An active pilot with more than 6,000 hours, Pete has flown military fighter and training aircraft (F-15s and A-10s) as well as civil piston, turboprop and business jet aircraft. He holds an FAA airline transport certificate and seaplane rating and serves on the board of directors of the Recreational Aviation Foundation, Veterans Airlift Command, America’s Warrior Partnership, and the Air Care Alliance. Pete also serves as co-chair of the NextGen Institute and is a member of both the FAA’s NextGen Advisory Committee and MITRE Corporation’s Aviation Advisory Committee.

News

Another Big United Customer Service Failure

Ill passengers and the airline’s response made this United flight rather unpleasant for some.

JetBlue, Southwest top-rated carriers for customer experience

JetBlue and Southwest Airlines deliver the best customer experience in the U.S. airline industry, according to the 2015 Temkin Experience Ratings, an annual ranking of companies based on a survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers.

General Aviation Groups Air Concerns at HeliExpo

Leaders from seven GA associations met as a panel during Heli-Expo 2015. Participating were:

  • Matt Zuccaro, President of Helicopter Association International
  • Melissa Rudinger, senior vice president, government affairs, AOPA
  • Jack Pelton, CEO, Experimental Aircraft Association;
  • Peter Bunce, President, General Aviation Manufacturers Association;
  • Greg Principato, president, National Association of State Aviation Officials;
  • Thomas Hendricks, president and CEO National Air Transportation Association; and
  • Ed Bolen, president, National Business Aviation Association.

They talked about rotorcraft certification, privacy protection under ADS-B, and fuel taxes not being used for runway improvements.

FAA Forecast Fact Sheet–Fiscal Years 2015-2035

The GA fleet is forecast to grow by only 0.4% per year. The fixed-wing turbine aircraft fleet is projected to grow at 2.2% per year, and rotorcraft growth is 2.5%, but these are offset by 0.6% decline per year in fixed-wing piston aircraft.

China mulls building general aviation airports in 2,800 counties

China has some 2,800 counties, but currently only 78 currently are served by general aviation aircraft. If they all had a GA airport, 280 billion yuan ($44.7 billion) of economic value would be generated.

ADS-B Prices beginning to Drop

FreeFlight Announces Low-Cost ADS-B Out System

Good news for aircraft owners, all of whom must install ADS-B Out by Jan 1, 2020.

Mentioned

  • DESIGN, BUILD, TEST Trailer – A documentary film that will follow a community of experimental test pilots in the Mojave Desert as they race to prepare themselves and their planes for the Mojave Experimental Fly-In.

Bonus

A380 over Max Trescotts Car

An A380 flys over Max Trescott’s car. Can you guess which car belongs to “Max West”?

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 339 Flying the B-52 in Two Wars

Boeing B-52D Stratofortress

Conversation with an aviation consultant, flying the B-52 in two different wars, special airline service for special customers, holding pilots accountable for safety, and reaching a Bombardier CSeries milestone.

Guest

Ken Curry is President/Owner of KC Aviation Consultants in Loveland, Colorado. We talk with Ken about being an aviation consultant, the current state of the FBO business, and flying the B-52 in the Vietnam and Cold Wars. Ken’s heavily damaged Boeing B-52D Stratofortress resides at the National Museum of the USAF in Dayton.

Established in 2001, KC Aviation provides consulting services to aviation businesses and venture capital firms.  They also assist private jet aircraft owners and buyers with corporate aircraft acquisitions, sales, and charter services.

Ken was formerly the President and COO of Jet Source, Inc. in Carlsbad, California where he was responsible for two fixed base operations with over 100 employees.

Prior to that he was Vice President and General Manager of Petersen Aviation for over 7 years, providing aviation fuel, terminal services, and commercial jet charter and aircraft management services in Van Nuys, California.

Before that, Ken was with British Aerospace, Inc. where his last position was Vice President of Marketing & Sales at Arkansas Aerospace, Inc. in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Ken served in the United States Air Force as a B-52 Pilot and Aircraft Commander.  He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and flew 157 missions in Southeast Asia, 27 of those missions over North Vietnam.

News

Did United Put a Whole Route in the Sky for One Very Important Passenger?

An investigation is underway to determine if the airline had improper “contacts or motives” when it provided the then Chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey with his own weekly flights to South Carolina.

United Airlines Officials Highlight ‘Near-Misses’ in Safety Message to Pilots

United pilots received a safety bulletin after four incidents where flight crew errors were called “major safety events and near-misses.” The bulletin came from United’s senior vice president of flight operations, and vice president of corporate safety. Some feel the message doesn’t speak kindly of pilot professionalism.

At United Airlines, Does Making Money Trump Safety?

After the story came out about the United safety alert to pilots, Rob received some information that might call into question the motives of the airline.

Canada’s Bombardier Launches its Biggest Jetliner Yet

CS300 Maiden Flight

The Bombardier CS300 made a five hour maiden test flight from Montreal’s Mirabel airport on February 27, 2015. In its Press Release, Bombardier says the “aircraft and its systems performed as expected.” The plane reached an altitude of 41,000 feet (12,500 metres) and a speed of 255 knots (470 km/h).

The Australia News Desk

Avalon Airshow is over and the boys are recovering from the heat, the long distance walking and the aero-awesomeness. For this segment, they chatted with Flying Officer “Guns” about the lessons learned when the RAAF took some C130Js to Exercise Red Flag at the start of this year.

Listener Recording

Helmet and Goggles

Micah tells us the story of “Lew’s Flight of Fancy.”

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.