After last year’s extremely successful and sold-out drive-in format, Canada’s first socially responsible and physically distant air show is excited to return August 27-29, headlined by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. New this year will be a Friday night show, Hour of Power, capped off with afterburners from the Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Demonstration Jet.
The drive-in format’s innovative and safe approach conforms to, and often exceeds, health guidelines to ensure an experience that minimizes risk to health and safety for everyone involved.
Guests will have the opportunity to purchase from roving food vendors or bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages. There will be no stationary vendors.
A former A-10 pilot who flew combat missions during Operation Desert Storm tells us about the A-10 from a first-hand perspective. Also, Boeing 737 MAX cancellations, airline layoffs and furloughs, Emirates plan for the A380, an American Airlines and JetBlue partnership, a bizarre Icelandair plan, aviation museums are re-opening, the B-52 Chrome Dome mission, a drive-in airshow, and thoughts on Urban Air Mobility.
Buck Wyndham is an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University graduate who joined the Air Force to fly his dream airplane, the A-10 Thunderbolt II. He became one of the very first pilots to take the Warthog into battle and flew many missions during Operation Desert Storm. He went on to fly the T-38 Talon as an instructor for over seven years.
Buck describes A-10 design and its mission as a ground support aircraft built around a 30mm rotary cannon. “The gun” is 21 feet long, weighs 4,000 pounds loaded, and can fire 70 rounds per second. Buck describes the physical sensations when firing the gun, and he tells us about the difference between air-to-air combat with fast jets and air-to-ground combat with an attack aircraft. He also explains A-10 maneuverability.
Buck’s new book, Hogs in the Sand: A Gulf War A-10 Pilot’s Combat Journal, is available in either hardcover or paperback. It’s a gritty, inside look at aerial warfare during Operation Desert Storm, but it is more personal and emotional than books of the same genre. It’s not the typical combat account. It includes that but also much more.
Currently, Buck is an A320 captain for a major US airline, and he is the Chief Pilot for Code 1 Aviation in Rockford, Illinois. Buck has written articles for Warbirds, Classic Jet Journal, and Warbird Digest. He enjoys flying vintage aircraft, building his RV-8, and working on his next book, a novel entitled Red Air.
Southwest Airlines has never had an involuntary layoff or furlough. That might change this year. Southwest’s initial plans for 2020 suggested the airline expected a recovery by year-end and Southwest originally planned to operate in November and December about as many flights as last year. However, in a letter to employees, Southwest acknowledged that this is becoming unlikely and they may see involuntary layoffs and furloughs.
25,000 front-line employees, about 29% of American’s U.S. mainline workforce, were warned that they could be furloughed this autumn. As with other airlines, employees were advised to take early retirement packages or extended leaves. American’s revenue in June was down more than 80% versus a year ago.
United Airlines has said that blocking middle seats is just PR. However, Delta Air Lines and Southwest “decided their customers would prefer those middle seats empty,” according to ZDNet. Delta is not raising ticket prices and CEO Ed Bastian says those empty middle seats are the “No. 1 reason” travelers are booking with Delta.
Only 251 A380s will have been delivered by Airbus when production stops in 2021. Emirates has about half of them and the airline’s president Tim Clark says they’ll bring them back into service: “Hopefully, we’ll see them flying for at least another 10 years. Unfortunately, it’s not being produced. So there’s nothing we can do about it. We’ll keep it going as long as we can.”
American Airlines and JetBlue Airways have again formed an alliance where each can sell seats on the other’s flights. With this agreement, American stands to gain in JetBlue strongholds Boston and New York. JetBlue could benefit from American strength in the Midwest and Southeast. The deal is subject to regulatory approval.
Icelandair and its cabin crew have had a labor dispute and last Friday the airline said starting July 20 cabin crew employment would be terminated. The airline’s pilots would temporarily assume flight attendants’ roles. In May 2019, 419,000 passengers flew on Icelandair. In May 2020, just 3,100 flew the airline. But then on Sunday… Icelandair and flight attendants have struck a deal. Icelandair and the Icelandic Cabin Crew Association (FFI) reached an agreement and the announced firing of the flight attendants was rescinded.
Airshow London (Ontario) announced its 2020 air show will take place on September 12 and 13 as a drive-in format featuring a traditional three-hour air display. The airport grounds can accommodate close to 2500 cars with this socially responsible model. Guests will arrive with a pre-purchased ticket (1 ticket per vehicle) and be directed to park in their own 20 X 25-foot space to enjoy the show either inside or outside their vehicle. Guests can bring their own refreshments, listen to the show on their car radios, and utilize portable washrooms.
David Costa, the RenegadeAV8R, on being a jet airshow demo pilot, hosting the RenegadeAV8R Radio Show and engaging young engineers in a project to set new jet records. Also, ALPA wants COVID rules and not just guidelines, airline cash flow with sale/leaseback transactions, a tragic runway accident, the unending Heathrow airport controversy, Frontier rethinks their middle seat strategy, and Qatar Airlines wants training expenses reimbursed by a terminated pilot.
David “Taz” Costa is a jet airshow demonstration pilot flying the TS-11 Iskra, an advanced military jet trainer. He also hosts the RenegadeAV8R Radio Show and is CEO of Renegade Jets. David is also an airline transport pilot with over 15,000 hours of flight time in over 100 different makes and models of aircraft.
The RenegadeAV8R Radio Show promotes aviation to a wide audience using interviews and stories from guests that demonstrate excellence, overcoming obstacles, and achieving big goals. Both aviation enthusiasts and others admire and appreciate the radio show, which is also released as a podcast.
We talk with David about airshows and the value they provide. He describes what being an airshow performer means to him, and how he interfaces with people while he’s on the ground. David loves talking to the crowd, answering their questions, and serving the fans. We discuss the future of airshows and the need for the “new normal” to be like the “old normal.”
The original Iskra achieved four world records at the time, but those have been eclipsed. David explains his plan to upgrade the Iskra and launch a world record attempt using the skills of engineering students. This brings the latest engineering knowledge to the project and offers the students a unique opportunity to apply their skills to real-world aircraft.
Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) President Capt. Joe DePete wants the FAA to mandate compliance with CDC recommendations, not just suggest guidelines. “There are carriers that are doing a good job and there are carriers that are doing not such a great job,” DePete said. “So there is this varying patchwork of compliance or lack thereof and that’s no way to handle a pandemic.”
Southwest Airlines has entered into a sale/leaseback agreement with BOC Aviation for 10 Boeing 737-800s and 10 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft. This generates $815 million in cash for the airline. BOC Aviation is a global aircraft leasing company, originally founded as Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise (SALE) in 1993.
London Heathrow’s John Holland-Kaye says it could be 10 to 15 years before the airport needs a third runway. The Heathrow £14billion expansion plan could be scrapped given the poor economic situation. At the least, it’s not a priority now. Also, Heathrow expansion: What is the third runway plan?
Frontier Airlines had a plan to charge passengers at least a $39 “More Room” fee to sit next to an empty middle seat. Amid accusations that Frontier was attempting to profit from coronavirus fear, the airline has dropped the plan.
Qatar Airlines fired a pilot trainee and now demands a payment of $162,000 for training expenses. Qatar created a cadet scholarship program for locals, which this woman joined in 2013 and graduated in 2017.
It is an air show, beer festival, rock concert and food carnival all rolled into one. Hangar 24 Craft Brewery’s 10th anniversary will be one to remember at the local Redlands (California) Municipal Airport. The U.S. Air Force will bring F-16s, while the Royal Canadian Air Force will have CF-18s on hand. A beer festival, with 30 fellow breweries, will take place on the taxiway. A full day of bands are on the schedule and at least two dozen food vendors are expected to be on here. It is an aviation party one decade in the making.
Joint Base Andrews is hosting a free public air show featuring the United States Air Force Thunderbirds and entertainment for all ages Sept. 16-17, 2017.
Media members and DOD cardholders are invited to attend the air show on the rehearsal day, Sept 15. The rehearsal is open to Department of Defense cardholders and special guests. It will include all acts and static displays that will be participating in the public show Sept. 16-17.
The 2017 Joint Base Andrews Air Show will commemorate the U.S. Air Force’s 70th birthday and highlight American Airmen: breaking barriers since 1947.
We talk with Kitfox Aircraft about kit-built airplanes. Also, a digital co-pilot for GA, the Stratolaunch airplane, Middle Eastern airlines shun Qatar, an aviation-themed playground, the U.S. Secretary of the Air Force wants mandatory budget caps removed, and President Trump wants the U.S. air traffic control system privatized. We also have a very informative listener recording about pulling through and hand propping radial engines.
Kitfox Aircraft S7 Super Sport
Kitfox Aircraft is owned and operated by John and Debra McBean from the Homedale Municipal Airport (S66) in southwest Idaho. The McBean’s were builders before they owned the company and they often helped other builders with their projects. John McBean holds commercial and instructor ratings and we welcome him to the Airplane Geeks podcast.
Also joining us from Kitfox is Brandon Petersen who joined the team in 2012 as the wing builder. His role has evolved over time. You can find his fingerprints on the company social media posts, videos, wings, and fiberglass products that are shipped to builders around the world.
The original Kitfox Model I was introduced at Oshkosh AirVenture in 1984 by Denney Aerocraft. The modern Kitfox has stayed true to the concept of the original design – it’s a fun, comfortable, and affordable airplane that can be easily built without any special tools or training.
Kitfox Aircraft is introducing the Kitfox Speedster at EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2017. Based on the Series 7 platform, it offers a bigger fuselage, higher gross weight capability, a shortened wing, and a cleaned up and faired airframe. This allows the builder to get up and go fast without giving up a whole lot of the STOL characteristics of the airplane.
The plane going to Air Venture will display a new brightly colored paint scheme designed by Jason Noll of Dream Scheme Designs. It pays homage to the original Speedster with a modern twist. Kitfox has arranged with Kyle Franklin to perform with the Speedster in the air show. Kyle’s late father Jimmy flew the original Speedster.
Kitfox Aircraft Speedster with paint scheme designed by Jason Noll of Dream Scheme Designs,
Researchers from Mitre Corp.’s Center for Advanced Aviation System Development have developed a “Digital Copilot.” The concept is that general aviation single-pilot flight operations would benefit from a tablet app that monitors and communicates safety-critical flight information to the pilot.
The Stratolaunch is a twin fuselage, 385-foot wingspan aircraft designed to carry a launch vehicle as part of an air launch to orbit system. What is not called Stratolaunch Systems Corporation was officially announced in December 2011 by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen and Scaled Composites founder Burt Rutan.
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, and Egypt have accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, and have broken off relations with that country. As a result, Etihad, Emirates, Fly Dubai, and Gulf Air are discontinuing flights in and out of the capital of Qatar, Doha. The Qatari government called this “unjustified and based on baseless allegations.”
Stafford Regional Airport in Virginia is building a playground around an aviation theme. Two nonprofits are making this happen: EAA Chapter 1099 and Rappahannock Aviation Outreach, a non-profit organization based in Stafford, Virginia focused on community outreach programs and initiatives that educate and inspire youth in aviation.
Dr. Heather Wilson was the first female military veteran elected to a full term in Congress. More recently, the US Senate confirmed her nomination as U.S. Secretary of the Air Force on May 8, 2017. Wilson has now asked Congress to remove the mandatory budget caps of the Budget Control Act.
We have a collection of aviation topics this episode: A flight in a Robinson R-44, a look at residential airparks, the General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS, imaging instruments for aviation maintenance, US Air Force F-35A avionics and a walk around the aircraft, the Commemorative Air Force, honoring the Women Airforce Service Pilots, and using a portable ADS-B receiver.
Bits & Pieces
As long-time listeners know, when our recording day falls on a major U.S. holiday, we forgo our usual format and instead bring you a collection of pre-recorded segments from the co-hosts, and from our listeners and contributors. That’s the case this episode.
The segments that make up this episode [with start times]:
Our Main(e) man Micah talks with helicopter pilot and Airplane Geeks listener Ernie Eaton at the Hampton Airfield Cafe after their flight in Ernie’s Robinson R44. [2:27]
Ernie Eaton’s Robinson R-44.
Ernie Eaton and our Main(e) Man Micah.
Bill Armstrong, developer and partner at Big South Fork Airpark, explains what it is like to live in a residential airpark community, and what to consider when you are looking for that lifestyle. [13:14]
Residential airpark living. Photo courtesy Big South Fork Airpark.
Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari speaks with Captain Richards, Company Commander, F company 227 Aviation Battalion, and Sergeant Elbert about the General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS. [24:27]
General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS. Photo courtesy General Atomics.
Max recorded a call with Liam Hanna, a product specialist with Olympus Europe in Germany. Olympus Europe provides test, measurement, and imaging instruments for the aviation industry. Liam explains the different types of borescopes, how they are used and inspector training requirements, technology advancements that have been made, and dealing with a shortage of inspectors using live inspections and remote experts. Be sure to see the Olympus Application Photo Gallery for a great selection of videoscope and borescope images and videos. Max’s favorite is the High Pressure Turbine Movie, where the laser-drilled cooling holes are clearly visible. [38:12]
At the Chino Air Show, Brian talked with listener Matt Haines about the 60th Anniversary of the Planes of Fame Airshow [1:04:23]; with Staff Sgt Alexandra Dougherty, an avionics specialist for the US Air Force F-35A [1:06:30]; and with Colonel Eddie Bentley of the Commemorative Air Force in front of the beautifully restored C-53. The Commemorative Air Force operates the world’s largest collection of Flying WWII Airplanes. [1:11:47]
Launchpad Marzari spoke with Allison Hoyt about the Commemorative Air Force’s Rise Above: WASP program. The CAF Rise Above program provides young people with real-world examples of how courage, self-confidence, and perseverance can allow them to triumph over the adversity they face in their own lives. The WASP program looks to encourage young women to become involved in aviation. [1:15:15]
Using a portable ADS-B receiver, often connected to an iPad, is a low-cost way for pilots to display nearby traffic. However, the displays can be misleading, as they often don’t show the most important traffic, which is the traffic closest to the plane with the portable ADS-B receiver. Max Trescott talked about the limitations of these devices in a recent episode of his Aviation News Talk podcast, and we have that segment for you here. [1:19:42]
Our Main(e) man introduces an interview with F-35 pilot Captain Roar conducted by Brian, Carlos, and Micah at Wings Over Pittsburgh 2017. In the interview, they discuss the transition from the F-15E Strike Eagle and low military flying in the UK. Capt. Roar mentions the Mach Loop we talked about a few episodes ago and describes the 3 different F-35 versions. We also hear about high G flight. Following that, Capt. Roar takes Brian, Carlos, and Micah on a walk around the F-35. [1:30:31]
The F-35A at the 2017 Wings Over Pittsburgh Airshow. Photo by Carlos Stebbings, Plane Talking UK Podcast.
Carlos and Matt from the Plane Talking UK Podcast pulled together a video presenting many of the faces at the Wings Over Pittsburgh air show. Have a look and see how many (sunburned) people you recognize from Airplane Geeks, the Airline Pilot Guy Show, the Plane Talking UK Podcast, as well as friends of the podcasts.
This episode, we bring you interviews from the 2017 Wings Over Pittsburgh air show, hosted by the 911th Airlift Wing. We talked with some of the performers, with others from with static displays, with the 911th Airlift Wing, and with a few AvGeeks for good measure.
USAF Thunderbirds at Wings Over Pittsburgh 2017. Photo (c) @dronemama.
Wings Over Pittsburgh 2017
The Wings Over Pittsburgh air show held May 13 and 14, 2017 was a huge success. The show was hosted by the 911th Airlift Wing at the Pittsburgh Air Reserve Station. During the event, we recorded a number of interviews for this episode. Next week when we’re all together again, we’ll tell you more about the event.
Also attending were Capt. Jeff and the crew from the Airline Pilot Guy Show, as well as the guys from the Plane Talking UK Podcast. We also had a pretty strong contingent of aviation podcast listeners – some we’ve met before, and others we enjoyed meeting for the first time.
Opening ceremony. [0:03:13]
Carlos, Brian, Micah, Captain Al, and Matt spoke with Captain Tim about the iconic Douglas C-54 Spirit of Freedom, used in the Berlin airlift. [0:08:41]
David talks with Lieutenant Jacob “Bacon” Riggs with the F-18F Super Hornet VFA-122 Flying Eagles. [0:25:12]
Max speaks with Colonel Jeffrey A. Van Dooltingh, Commander of the 911th Airlift Wing, Pittsburgh International Airport Air Reserve Station, Coraopolis, PA. [0:31;29]
Carlos from the Plane Talking UK podcast and Brian interviewed Captain Randy Ball and talked about his MiG-17. See the Randy W. Ball Facebook fan page. [0:36:20]
Max spoke briefly with F-35 pilot Matt Gardner. Brian and Micah have a longer conversation at the F-35 static display, which we’ll bring you in an upcoming episode. [0:47:25]
The air show mainly featured military aircraft but there were a few commercial aircraft on static display, including a Republic Embraer E-175. Micah and Brian interviewed First Officer Mike Schrader. [0:51:51]
David talks with Lt CDr Andy Patterson about the P-8A Poseidon on static display. [1:02:34]
Max spoke with Airshow Director Major Charlie Baker. [1:09:58]
Some AvGeeks tell us their favorite airplane from the show. [1:20:52]
…and as a bonus:
Audio of the F-22 demonstration flight. [1:27:38]
Airline Pilot Guy Show episode 271 was recorded live Friday evening at the hotel, and all three podcasts recorded a live show Saturday evening. Look for those videos on the Airline Pilot Guy YouTube channel, or you can watch them right here:
The Ohio State University’s Center for Aviation Studies, a student pilot killed under mysterious circumstances, new wings for F-15C/Ds, new airline regulations, Bombardier layoffs, seat assignments by passenger size, hot props, airshow and air race reports, and a paint job that fails as a conspiracy theory.
Martin Rottler, M.S., CFI, is a Lecturer and the Industry Relations Coordinator for the Ohio State University’s Center for Aviation Studies in Columbus, OH.
Martin explains the degree programs offered for students seeking professional pilot, management, operations, airport planning, or airport management careers. We discuss the passion for aviation that students have today, the cost of education and flight training, the pilot shortage, and accumulating hours with activities such as giving flight instruction, flying 135 cargo, and skydiving operations. Martin talks about efforts to increase student diversity, as well as pilot cadet programs in conjunction with airlines. These offer several benefits to students, including tuition reimbursement, airline company introductions, ground school, and social events.
As a lecturer, Martin is primarily responsible for teaching several courses a semester and advising students. As the Center’s Industry Relations Coordinator, Martin is the primary point of contact for the program’s industry partners across all facets of the aviation industry, including airlines, business aviation, and airports.
Martin brings a variety of aviation experiences to his teaching, having worked in Corporate Flight Operations for Cirrus Aircraft in Duluth, MN and in Flight Operations Quality Assurance at Korean Air in Seoul, South Korea. He currently holds a Commercial Pilot certificate, an Instrument Rating and is a Certified Flight Instructor.
Student pilot Feras M. Freitekh, a Jordanian national, was killed and his instructor, Arian Prevalla injured when their twin-engine Piper PA-34 crashed on Main Street, in East Hartford, Connecticut. The crash site is directly across the street from Pratt & Whitney. Reportedly, Freitekh was arguing with his instructor before the flight.
In 2005, an airplane crashed after an engine failure, killing the pilot. His spouse sued the engine manufacturer, claiming a carburetor design defect. In 2014, a U.S. District Court found that there was no design defect in the carburetor because the engine was certified and approved by the FAA. A U.S. Court of Appeals reversed the decision in April 2016, ruling that FAA certification of the engine did not mean there was no design defect, and the FAA does not preempt state law standards of care as far as aviation products liability goes.
Federal complaints against Hawaiian Airlines claimed the airline practice of assigning seats only at the terminal discriminated against Samoans. The complaint has been denied and Hawaiian will continue the policy on flights between Honolulu and American Samoa.
The Airplane of the Week
This week, the conspiracy theorists came out to play. VFC-12 debuted a new camouflage scheme, based on the SU-34 Fullbacks seen in action over Syria. Photos of the new camo appeared first on Facebook, on a page that is dedicated to Adversary and Aggressor aircraft. The photos were then somehow hijacked into a story about the U.S. planning a “false flag” operation in Syria.
Photo by David Vanderhoof.
Ted attended the Red Bull Air Race in Indianapolis and sent us a great audio report.
Race plane, airliner, and helicopter at the Red Bull air race. Can you spot all three? Photo by Ted.
Max Flight was a guest on the FS In Focus podcast with host Nicolas Jackson. The show aired live on Sky Blue Radio on October 15th, 2016. The episode starts with Capt. Nick from the Airline Pilot Guy podcast, then Max comes in at 1:03:00 talking jet engine technology. Tracy Shiffman from VATSIM’s Worldflight charity group starts at 1:42:00.
Brian has been traveling quite a bit lately, including to Singapore and Hong Kong. He did manage to see the last flight of the Cathay 747.
Huntington Beach Airshow
Back in California, Brian caught the Huntington Beach Airshow and recorded an interview with Staff Sgt Danny Wolfram of the United States Air Force. He was entertained by the “Screamin Sasquatch,” a biplane with a jet engine.