Live and recorded ATC transmissions from LiveATC.net. In the news, the FAA Acting Administrator is stepping down, Airbus and Air France are cleared in the Air France Flight 447 accident, the FAA has some advice for terrain avoidance and warning systems, and ADs for Boeing 747-8s and B-17s.
Dave Pascoe is the founder and CEO of LiveATC.net, the world’s largest aviation radio voice data collection. Dave has had a life-long obsession with radio and technology, which led him to an MSEE degree and a career that spans RF technology to large-scale IT systems management.
Dave made a few minor detours along the way. One of those detours turned into LiveATC.net, which Dave started in late 2002. The service hosts live audio streams and archived voice data from over 3,000 channels of air traffic radio transmissions at over 1,400 airports and ATC control areas. Dave is also an active instrument-rated private pilot and avid ham radio operator.
Dave describes how the service is used by pilots, student pilots, CFIs, flight schools, aircraft operators, FBOs, the NTSB, and more. Volunteers capture the transmissions, often with a simple Raspberry Pi and a software defined radio. In addition, Dave often supports events such as EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, Sun ‘N Fun, and the Air Race Classic.
Nolen announced he’d be leaving the FAA to spend more time with his family. He became Acting Administrator in April 2022 when former FAA Administrator Steve Dickson stepped down before his term was finished.
Air France Flight 447, an A330, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on June 1, 2009, killing all 228 people on board. A French court has determined that a causal link between any possible errors made and the crash could not be proved. “A probable causal link isn’t sufficient to characterize an offense,” the judge said in her statement. Families of the victims were shocked and angered by the finding.
A terrain avoidance and warning system (TAWS) seeks to avoid controlled flight into terrain accidents. TAWS is the generic term for a ground proximity warning system (GPWS). According to the notice, “Alerts from TAWS can become a nuisance or a distraction to pilots when flying at altitudes below the alerting threshold of the system. This may result in the pilot’s decision to inhibit the system. Inhibiting warning systems and ignoring warnings, combined with deteriorating weather conditions leading to loss of visual surface reference and situational awareness, has been found to be the cause of some CFIT [controlled flight into terrain] accidents.”
The FAA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) concerning “cracks in stringers, common to the end fittings, forward and aft of the pressure bulkhead at station (STA) 2360 at multiple stringer locations” on 747-8i and 747–8F series aircraft. The proposed AD would require repetitive inspections of stringer sidewalls and certain stringer assemblies.
In its investigation, the FAA determined that during assembly, un-shimmed or incorrectly shimmed gaps larger than what is required caused “excessive and sustained internal tensile stresses and resulted in stress corrosion cracking in the stringers.”
The FAA is preparing to issue an AD that will likely ground all B-17 aircraft due to “wing spar issues.” The Yankee Air Museum has already grounded its Boeing B-17G (“Yankee Lady”) in anticipation of the AD. The upcoming AD may be a result of wing spar issues found in the EAA’s B-17 “Aluminum Overcast.” That plane has been grounded since April 2021.
GlobalAir.com says in Rumors fly of AD that will ground all B-17 aircraft that Hangar Thirteen is restoring a B-17 and posted on Facebook about the Yankee Lady. The post noted that wing spars are a common issue within the B-17 community, citing a 2001 AD from the FAA concerning cracking and corrosion of the wing spar chords, bolts and bolt holes of the spar chords and wing terminals, and a correction of any problems found during inspections.”
According to Aero Vintage, there are now only four operational B-17s left. While there may be 46 total complete airframes and 18 registered in the U.S., many are currently being restored or used as display pieces.
Australia News Desk
Aviation pioneer Max Hazelton sadly passed away shortly before his 96th birthday after quite the career. Max was the founder of Hazelton Airlines which became a subsidiary of Ansett Airlines and then merged with Kendell Airlines to become Regional Express (aka REX) after Ansett went under in September 2001.
Speaking of REX, they’ve taken a financial stake in a local electric propulsion company.
Meanwhile, Qantas’ bid to take over Alliance Airlines is blocked by the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) and Qantas are not happy about it.
Finally, a former RAF Mustang arrives at the Hunter Fighter Collection in Scone where it was reassembled to static display in just three days.
Hosts this Episode
Max Flight, Rob Mark, David Vanderhoof, and Max Trescott. Contributions by Grant McHerron and Steve Visscher.