Conversation with a retired charter pilot and freight dog, UTC agrees to sell Sikorsky to Lockheed Martin, Solar Impulse 2 grounded, a SkyWest high altitude “slow speed event,” new NASA astronauts, Piper woes, fault found with an air traffic controller, and United pays out in bug bounty program.
Kimber C. Turner is both a retired airline pilot with over 18,000 hours of flight time, and a former radio talk show host. Now he is out of the sky and off of the air. In his retirement, Captain Turner does some voiceover work, and an occasional guest spot on the radio. He also writes a book now and then.
Kimber was a Captain on the Airbus A-300 for the last ten years of his career and a Captain on the Boeing 727 before that. He has written three books so far.
The first is “Crooked Creek Farm” which is a humor book about a city family moving to the farm.
The other two books are aviation-related. “Freight Dog: The Dark Side of Aviation” is an exposé and memoir that covers Kimber’s path to an airline career at DHL, and the company’s missteps and eventual downfall. Kimber flew for DHL for over 24 years.
In “Learjets and Layovers: The Bright Side of Aviation,” Kimber shares tales of adventurous travel and layovers in exotic locals and encounters with celebrities during his charter and airline days.
United Technologies plans to sell Sikorsky to Lockheed Martin for $9 billion in cash. Sikorsky will become part of Lockheed Martin’s Mission Systems and Training division, and not a separate entity.
United Technologies is the parent corporation of aerospace companies Pratt & Whitney, Sikorsky, Hamilton Sundstrand, and Goodrich, and building and industrial systems companies Otis, Carrier, and Kidde.
The flight across the Pacific was considered to be the riskiest part of the Solar Impulse 2’s journey around the world. And they successfully completed the leg to Hawaii. But there was a problem with the batteries: They overheated on the first day of the trip from Japan to Hawaii. Lacking any means to cool them down, the batteries are ruined. The Solar Impulse 2 will stay in Hawaii until repairs can be made.
The FAA says last April, a SkyWest plane experienced a stall en route from Denver to Oklahoma City. The plane rapidly descended from 39,000 feet to 27,000 feet, then landed without incident at Oklahoma City.
In a statement to ABC News, SkyWest said, “Months ago, one SkyWest CRJ aircraft experienced an isolated slow speed event, which is when an aircraft reaches less than optimal speeds. The aircraft’s slow speed alert systems functioned perfectly, and the crew responded appropriately with a 4,000-foot descent. No stall occurred.”
NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden named four test pilots who will fly on capsules built by private companies SpaceX and Boeing. The commercial crew astronauts are:
- Air Force Col. Robert Behnken, who was head of the astronaut office;
- Air Force Col. Eric Boe, part of shuttle Discovery’s last crew;
- retired Marine Col. Douglas Hurley, pilot of the final shuttle crew; and
- Navy Capt. Sunita Williams, who has been to the International Space Station twice.
Sales are sluggish and Piper plans to cut its workforce of 750 employees by 15 to 20 percent.
An ExpressJet Embraer waited 15 seconds before starting his takeoff roll, which allowed a United Airlines jet to fly closer to the runway intersection at Newark Liberty International Airport where the near collision occurred. The NTSB says fault lies solely on the Newark air traffic controller.
Jordan Wiens, owner of the security firm Vector 35, found a remote-code execution flaw in United’s website and won a million miles in the United bug bounty program.
Aircraft of the Week
David tells the story of FRED, which has a familiar ring to it.. Due to cost overruns, some wanted the program cancelled. After several expensive fixes, Congress didn’t want to let the Air Force retire the aircraft.
- The Aviation Zone: Lockheed C-5 Galaxy
- Lockheed Martin: C-5 Galaxy
- Travis C-5M flies into aviation record books
- C-5 A/B/C Galaxy and C-5M Super Galaxy
The Australia News Desk
Well, Grant finally made it away for his vacation….but not to Bali as originally planned. Instead, he and his lovely wife flew halfway across the Pacific to Fiji. Now, of course, you’d think he’d be living it up on the beach and all, but Grant still managed to find his way to a local airport from where he filed a quick report for us.
Across the Pond
Pieter reports in from Air Day 2015 where he gets to see the new Mk1 Swordfish in the air as well as the Seafire from the Royal Navy Historic Flight. The show is lit up with lots of great aviation noise, notably from the Avro Vulcan XH558 “The Spirit of Great Britain” making her last season of displays and the RNHF Sea Vixrn. But Pieter’s report leaves us with the sound of the French Navy Rafale doing its solo display after displaying with two Super Etendards.
- Max was Adam Knight’s guest on Episode 16 of the Go Flying Australia Podcast, talking about UAV’s.
- Radio Silence: The Chicago Air Traffic Control Fire – A detailed very look at the ATC fire in September 2014.
- 2011 article in the Onion on shining laser pointers into the cockpit. Note: explicit language!
Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display
Photos from the June 20, 2015 event at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum by Kevin:
Aerial Firefighting in California
David sent in this dramatic photo:
Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at brotherloverocks.com.