Episode 101 – Another Jetwhiner

Insitu Scan Eagle

Guest Scott Spangler is an instrument-rated commercial pilot and the founding editor of Flight Training magazine. He launched and edited NAFI Mentor for the National Association of Flight Instructors, and was editor in chief of EAA publications. As a freelancer he’s written for Air & Space Smithsonian, Overhaul & Maintenance, Aviation for Women, Twin & Turbine, Avionics News, Kitplanes, a number of non-aviation titles. Oh, and of course, he posts at the Jetwhine blog.

Scott joins Max, David, Dan and Rob to talk about the week’s aviation news and how to get started on an aviation career. That plus This Week in Aviation and the Australia Desk report.

The news:

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

Opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/. Australia Desk music is “Six Months In a Leaky Boat” by Split Enz.

5 thoughts on “Episode 101 – Another Jetwhiner

  1. Kim Welch

    Hi Geeks,

    I’ve gotten a little behind, but am now catching up, so I would like to offer a few observations if you will permit me.

    I regret that my comment to Dan regarding his being out of his depth on labor issues was taken as my “slamming Dan”. It was not meant that way at all. Assuming Dan succeeds in his goal to become part of the industry, I think he will find that airline labor – mgmt issues are very complex and take years to achieve a through understanding. Even then, one is often caught off guard with what actually transpires.

    On Darryl Jenkins: of all the so-called airline analysts / experts / consultants I was exposed to in my ALPA work, Mr. Jenkins was consistently the most informed and tuned in, without any apparent bias of his own. One correction on his statement that the majors had not hired in a decade, and were also facing a retirement bulge due to aging pilots: Delta hired in the hundreds through the spring of 2009. Additionally, with bankruptcy approaching in 2004 – 6, Delta lost to early retirement a significant portion of its over age 50. This was unique in the industry because DL early retirees could take 50% of their retirement in a lump sum, and were doing so, hundreds a month, as a hedge against the coming plan termination. The result is that DL has a relatively small number of pilots left who are now approaching retirement age …. and a lot of young int’l captains.

    In Episode 98, I was really disappointed to hear guest host Phil’s anti labor screed. I always welcome anyone’s reasoned case for one side or the other of an issue, but his take was something else. When contract talks drag out for 5 years, you can rest assured that it is not because the union “wants its dues”. That statement made no sense on its face. Negotiations cost the union a tremendous amount of money, and …. not signing a contract only delays the increased dues that will come from higher pay.

    To which airlines was he referring when he stated, “striking is becoming a trend”, and “this whole striking thing is getting out of hand” and, “I find it to be a little irresponsible” and, “its getting old. I’m tired of it” ? Can he, or any of you guys, name an airline pilot group that has struck since Comair in 2001 …. or the last one before that?

    Finally, he does a complete flip-flop and describes an airline that defaults on its pension plan as equivalent to a mugger. Then, he would take action, by golly. I guess that labor action is OK if its purpose is to defend Phil’s choice of sacred cows …. but it cannot be left up to the pilots themselves to decide what issues threaten their families and livelihood. End of rant.

    In 99, I believe, Dan stated correctly (see, I can be nice) that the SST was at an economic disadvantage due to its high fuel consumption when compared to a low payload (same as a DC-9). He missed, though, in stating the SST’s 3-man crew was unique in modern times. With the exception of a very few JFK and BOS routes to the British Isles and extreme western Europe, those 767s, 777s, A330, etc all require a relief pilot (total of 3) due to the fact that at least the eastbound leg will exceed 8 hours.

  2. Max Flight

    [From Jeremy…]

    Hi guys love the pod cast. I was wondering what you all thought was the best job in avation. Also I have a story from my last trip to Maui. I was flying back from Maui to Denver and the guy next to me smelt odd later in the flight I saw into his bag and in it was pot. yes thats right pot So for 6hrs 19 min on a United 757 I was stuck next to a pot head. This thus proves the TSA sucks at doing its job.

  3. Max Flight

    Jeremy: I think the best job in aviation is the one that Dan will have someday!

    Seriously, think about it. It’s all about doing what you are passionate about, and Dan has no shortage of passion.

    Otherwise, how about something like this: Machining integrally bladed rotors (“blisks”) for jet engine compressors. Have you ever seen one? Here’s one example:


    It’s like artwork in metal. I think that would be a cool job.


  4. Max Flight

    [From Chris…]

    Hi Guys,

    I’m one of your loyal European listeners, currently in the UK. I was really interested by the inflight entertainment section that you’ve been running lately and picked up on this article that came through the other day. I thought you might not have seen it as the only place if found it was on this site for a UK paper.

    Anyway, it basically concerns the use of inflight entertainment for Thomas Cook UK. They supposedly have decided to remove all of their seatback entertainment from, the entire fleet and provide playstation portables for every passenger which come pre installed with games, music, films etc. Here’s the catch though; you have hire these at a cost of £7.50 or just over $11.

    I thought this was quite funny as undoubtedly it would save on weight and therefore fuel, but I’m not sure if the public would actually buy into this idea? I mean it’s fine for the younger generation but can you see the ‘ahem’ elderly passengers trying to get to grips with a hand held console they’ve never seen before? My dad still has trouble with the VCR that he has had for the last 10 years, so I can’t imagine he’d really hire one of these.

    Anyway, just my two cents. Keep up the fantastic show.


    p.s here is the link if you want to see it yourselves http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/7827114/Thomas-Cook-Airlines-to-offer-Playstation-Portables.html

  5. Max Flight

    [Another listener email…]

    hi gents,
    i ve just downloaded all your back issues of your podcasts and i m now making my way through them. not being sure how to contact you apart from through email. Here goes, would you or do you still want feed back on any of your old podcasts? And for david could you please send me a link for a modeling site where i can get good info and or tips to improve my air brushing skill

    many thanks again for many hours of informative listening


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