Episode 86 – Airplane Spotting with Phil

NYCAviation.com spotters

Phil Derner, Jr., the founder of NYCAviation joins Max, Rob, and David as they discuss the week’s aviation news and talk about the sport of airplane spotting. NYCAviation provides airline news and resources for aviation enthusiasts, as well as spotting guides and other great information. (That’s Phil above, with the camera.)

David Vanderhoof has his This Week in Aviation segment, and Steve Visscher and Grant McHerron from the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast have their Australia Desk report.

Follow the @AirplaneGeeks on Twitter, send us email at thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com, or leave a message on our listener line: (361) GEEKS01.

This episodeโ€™s opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. Visit his site at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.

9 thoughts on “Episode 86 – Airplane Spotting with Phil

  1. Max Flight

    [Sean writes…]

    Good afternoon, Geeks!,

    As always, thank you for the podcast!

    I’ve been traveling very frequently and as always I travel primarily on Northwest Airlines (okay, I’m trying to let go) I mean Delta and I’m normally very pleased with the service I receive from Delta, er Northwelta. The Kevin Smith incident on Southwest Airlines has brought the issue of overweight passengers (in this case an egocentric giant asshat who makes crappy movies) and the policies the airlines have in place for them. The general consensus on the airlines seems to be, if you cannot lower the center armrest then you need to buy 2 seats and this seems rather fair and most obese people seem to mind the rules and pay for a second seat. That’s all fine and dandy in the end.

    HOWEVER, what about overweight flight attendants? 3 of my recent flights (Operated by…….Pinnacle….Dangerous, but that’s a whole other conversation) the flight attendant has been overweight and barely able to squeeze themselves up and down the regional jets they are assigned on (Lately the DTW/MBS route has been operated by a CRJ200 sometimes a DC9 is used). Being a frequent traveler, it puzzles me as to how airlines can have this issue. A flight attendant who cannot manage to move up and down the aisle without have to wedge themselves through, appears to me at least, as incompetent themselves to perform the required duties of them, LET ALONE ASSIST IN AN EMERGENCY.

    So basically I am interested in knowing if it’s because of unions that these flight attendants, who maybe once were in shape, but now are not are able to hold their positions or what is going on here? Perhaps Delta and it’s codeshares, such as Pinnacle are not being monitored properly and what is the FAA ruling (if there is one) on this?

    Lastly, I had a bit of a horror story to share with you guys. I was flying Saturday on a Pinnacle flight from DTW-MBS on a very full CRJ200. I was in ROW 12 of like 14 rows. So we taxi out to the runway after our (very large) flight attendant counted the pax about 10 times. We stop short of the runway and the f/a squeezes himself through to perform another check, this is odd. A pax across from me ask what the f/a is doing and why he is counting again. The f/a says the pilot says we’re overweight and may have to return and let some people off. THEN the f/a (Kenneth ******** – Memphis Based!) makes a hand gesture of a plane taking off (slants forearm/hand up and moves upward) then makes a hand/arm gesture of a plane crashing and says BOOM. I have NEVER EVER had a F/A JOKE about the plane crashing. One of the most bizarre moments EVER.

    Okay, got off track there, but had to share that story. Thanks again for the podcast, it’s excellent! I hope Dan Webb can make it back soon! Also, let me know what you guys find out about the overweight f/a situation.

    Best regards!


  2. Max Flight

    Thanks for writing Sean! I’m really not sure what “weight restrictions” the airlines impose on flight attendants. Maybe one of our F/A listeners can respond?

    But I’ll tell you, this hand gesture routine about the plane crashing is totally inappropriate! I’d like to think something like that would be grounds for termination, or at least severe disciplinary action. That’s really bad!


  3. Grant McHerron (aka Falcon124)

    Hey there,

    Once again I’m part way through the episode and have some comments on the first couple of stories:

    1) IRS attack

    So, has the inevitable hoo haa kicked in and politicians are getting up on their soap boxes to go on about how dangerous light aircraft are & why isn’t TSA doing anything about it.?

    If so, I sure hope someone puts some perspective on this ‘cos tragic as it is, this guy with his light aircraft managed to kill ONE OTHER PERSON.

    Timothy McVeigh, however, killed ONE HUNDRED & SIXTY EIGHT people with a rental truck (and injured over 400 more)

    So please, folks, please – do ensure that ANYONE who gets up to go on about how “dangerous” light aircraft are is also asked to advise what they are doing about the far more dangerous Ryder trucks out there…

    (or have the politicians & media developed selective/short-term memories and forgotten the feds in Oklahoma? ๐Ÿ™ )

    2) Perhaps it’s no surprise that the two New York area airports are rated so poorly. How many movements do they have scheduled every day and how many of them can the airport possibly process? Of course the airport is going to be crowded, delayed and an unhappy place if you’re trying to squeeze more movements than the runways can handle.

    Seems like aviation 101: don’t schedule more than the airport can handle.

    What am I missing with this picture? ๐Ÿ™‚

    Keep it happening gang – loving the show as ever ๐Ÿ™‚

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  5. COFlyer

    Interesting ep, as usual. But I think that, for once, David may have been wrong about something: when you were talking about the JSF, it was noted that it’s cost overruns had triggered a Nunn-McCurdy review (15% over budget). David stated that now LM would have to cover the costs out of it’s own pocket. That’s only true if it’s a fixed price contract (which I don’t think the JSF is at this point). If it WAS fixed price, it wouldn’t cost the US gov’t any more money, and congress probably wouldn’t give a hoot!

  6. benn

    I met a crazy (in a good way) airplane spotter earlier this year here in Cairns (Queensland, Australia) – he’s been to 150+ countries taking photos.

    In the 6-months before I met him he’d been arrested a couple of times, had his camera gear stolen twice, been shot at (literally heard the bullet whizzing past)… and he still keeps spotting. He flies for SAS half the year, travels the other half.

    Favourite spotting location? Coords are -16.893552,145.74848. Example of his work (from that location): http://www.fap.fi/view_photo.php?id=1384


  7. benn

    Thanks for reading my comment above on the show Max, but just to clarify – it is not my photo, but my world-travelling-airliner-flying-bullet-dodging spotter acquaintance’s photo.

    Just making sure credit goes where it is due.

    And yes, I agree that it is an amazing picture.

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