An aircraft type club executive director talks about training and air safety. In the news, a Boeing 737 MAX lands in Antarctica for the first time, mixed GA accident messages, business aviation continues to grow, a B-52 takes a 1,400-mile journey over the road, an F-35C crashes, and Qatar Airways goes after some employees.
Thomas P. Turner is Executive Director of the Air Safety Foundation, part of the aircraft type club American Bonanza Society (ABS). He also publishes the popular FLYING LESSONS Weekly blog and writes, lectures, and instructs from his home in Wichita, Kansas, the “Air Capital of the World.”
The ABS Air Safety Foundation is the education and technical support arm of the Beech Bonanza type club. It offers its 10,000 members the opportunity to communicate and share information. Tom describes the training products and services offered to pilots, mechanics, and flight instructors. That includes the service clinic program, online training courses, and the monthly webinar open to non-members. In general, aircraft type club members have been shown to have a better safety record.
Tom has logged over 4900 hours, including over 2900 as an instructor. He holds ATP and Flight Instructor certificates with CFII and MEI ratings and a Master’s Degree in Aviation Safety. He was inducted into the Flight Instructor Hall of Fame in 2015, he is also the 2021 Jack Eggspuhler Award recipient from the National Association of Flight Instructors, the 2010 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year, and the 2008 FAA Central Region Flight Instructor of the Year.
A three-time Master CFI, Tom has been Lead Instructor for Beech Bonanza pilot training at the Beech factory, turbo normalizer production test pilot, aviation insurance broker and underwriter, corporate flight department manager and safety officer, university aviation course developer, and a Captain in the United States Air Force.
For more type clubs, see the AOPA Aircraft Type Club Listing [PDF].
Czech carrier Smartwings flew a Boeing 737 MAX 8 into Troll Airfield (AT27) on January 26, 2022. The flight departed from Oslo, Norway, stopped over in Chad, proceeded to Cape Town, South Africa, and continued to Antarctica. The 737 stayed in Antarctica for just two hours before making the return flight. The Airfield opened in 2005 and is owned and operated by the Norwegian Polar Institute. It includes a 3,300 meter (10,830 foot) runway on glacial blue ice.
Wikipedia page: List of airports in Antarctica.
Mixed Messages on GA Accident Data: GA accidents and the accident rate have generally trended down, but AOPA Air Safety Institute’s numbers are up in 2019, while the NTSB says accidents are down in 2020, then AOPA said 2021 was the safest year in aviation ever, and then AOPA and the NBAA said an appreciable uptick in general aviation accidents.
WingX reports that in January, U.S. bizjet traffic was up 26 percent over the previous January, and up 19 percent over January 2019. Most of the growth is from owned and managed aircraft. seeing the most growth. Internationally, business traffic is up 25 percent compared to January 2021, and 16 percent more than reported in January 2020. WINGX Advance GmbH is a Hamburg-based company, founded in 2012, that provides aviation business and broader aviation market intelligence.
“Damage Inc. II” is a B-52H Stratofortress built in 1961 and retired to a boneyard in Arizona in 2008. Moved 1,407 miles in 19 days, the aircraft will serve as a mock-up at a Boeing facility near Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma.
In what’s been called “a landing mishap,” an F-35C Lightning II “impacted the flight deck [of the USS Carl Vinson] during landing” and went into the South China Sea. The pilot safely ejected but seven sailors were injured. This was the first time the F-35C stealth fighter had been deployed aboard a carrier.
The U.S. Navy is working to recover the jet. China’s Foreign Ministry said that China was aware but had no interest in the stealth fighter and added, “We advise [the US] to contribute more to regional peace and stability, rather than flexing force at every turn in [the South China Sea]”.
The Air Force Times previously reported that “the F-22 grew increasingly wobbly upon takeoff, then refused to turn left and barrel-rolled into the ground after the pilot safely ejected.” According to an Air Force investigation, the Florida crash was the result of an improper wash procedure, deficient pre-flight inspection, failure to notify the pilot of a new emergency procedure.
Qatar Airways is said to have subpoenaed Google to find the identities of employees who have been critical of the airline. The two anonymous accounts in the Professional Pilots Rumour Network (PPRuNE) had revealed confidential information about the airline – specifically its recruitment and re-joining activities.
Hosts this Episode
Max Flight, Rob Mark, David Vanderhoof.