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.
Airshare chief operating officer Harry Mitchel talks about fractional jet ownership and aircraft management. Also, ADS-B equipage on the business jet fleet, C-130 groundings due to cracks, an airplane hacking security alert from the DHS, airport noise, and a Southwest Airlines program to create career paths for pilots.
Airshare chief operating officer Harry Mitchel.
Harry Mitchel is chief operating officer of Airshare, a large provider of fractional and aircraft management services. Airshare operates Phenom 100 and Phenom 300 aircraft in the fractional space, and also provides managed aircraft services where they maintain, crew, and schedule the owner’s aircraft.
As COO, Harry oversees all aircraft operations for the company, including flight operations, maintenance, scheduling, and managed aircraft. He has more than 35 years of experience in commercial and corporate aviation, including serving as vice president of operations for Colgan Air in Memphis, Tennessee.
Harry was also general manager of Funair Corporation, director of aviation for Magic Carpet Aviation (the aviation department of the NBA’s Orlando Magic), director of Pinnacle Airlines’ Corporate Education Center, and vice president of Aviation Compliance Services.
Holding a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Harry has more than 7,000 hours of experience as an ATP pilot in global operations.
FAA regulation requires that starting Jan. 1 2020, aircraft must have ADS-B Out while flying in most controlled airspace. FlightAware reports that as of June 2019, 77% of the turbine-powered U.S. business aircraft are equipped with ADS-B
Associated Press reports that the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a security alert for small planes which warned that “modern flight systems are vulnerable to hacking if someone manages to gain physical access to the aircraft.” According to AP, cybersecurity firm Rapid7 looked at small aircraft and “found that an attacker could potentially disrupt electronic messages transmitted across a small plane’s network, for example by attaching a small device to its wiring, that would affect aircraft systems.”
But NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen writes that the AP story, “missed or mischaracterized some key points about small-airplane security.” He says the DHS notice applies to all aircraft, it’s not a GA notice. Also the story “misrepresented the nature of the potential security breach involved.”
Some residents of Portland Maine have been complaining about the noise from the Portland International Jetport. United States Senator Susan Collins has even gotten herself involved. Our Main(e) man Micah stepped up and penned a letter that was published by the Portland Press Herald. In it he makes a number of points about airport noise, including the approach taken in the Salt Lake City area as related by listener Patrick.
Southwest Airlines launched the Destination 225° career program to build career pathways for qualified pilots to become first officers. Program participants receive a Southwest mentor, attend training activities and events at Southwest, and ultimately have an opportunity to apply for a position as a Southwest First Officer.
We talk with the president of VREF about aircraft valuation. In the news, we look at a replacement for the Fat Albert C-130, an electric airplane being developed by Solar Impulse 2 pilot André Borschberg, EASA concerns with the 737 MAX, additive manufacturing in aerospace, and a supersonic flight challenge that is not about the boom. We also have interviews with a Boeing T-X experimental test pilot and a Major General with the Japanese Ministry of Defense on the C-2 transport aircraft.
Jason Zilberbrand, president of VREF.
Jason Zilberbrand is president & CTO of VREF Aircraft Value Reference and Appraisal Services. He is an aircraft appraiser, expert witness, broker, inventorying dealer, acquisition agent, aircraft owner and operator, contract negotiator, consultant, teacher, conference speaker, and an author.
VREF delivers aircraft and engine data through online subscription services and published quarterly digests. The company provides valuations, appraisals, and litigation consulting services to a worldwide client base of aviation professionals including, law firms, banks, financial institutions, leasing companies, manufacturers, aircraft owners, aircraft operators, and suppliers. VREF is the official Valuation Guide and Appraisal company for AOPA.
Jason says that VREF tracks about 6800 models and 440 makes. He explains how aircraft valuation is determined, who wants to see the appraisal and why. He touches on how experimental and low volume aircraft are handled, including warbirds. We take a look at the current “seller’s market” and also consider the implications of large numbers of turbine aircraft that are not ADS-B compliant.
VREF is launching a new-from-the-ground-up application that will provide scrap value. VREF is also switching to a tiered service model. Tier 1 will continue the traditional service while Tier 2 will add fair market value and inventory. Orderly liquidation and future residual values come with Tier 3.
Jason is watching the growth of electric aircraft, and the company is even bringing in a couple of drone appraisers. VREF is also adding cybersecurity capability to provide flight department assessments.
Jason spent 25 years in General Aviation working directly with aircraft owners and operators. He owned and operating his own aircraft as well. Jason knows the international aviation marketplace well and is considered an expert in aircraft valuations and aircraft transactions.
Founded in 1994, VREF is headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa with offices in Chicago, Rockford, Los Angeles, Boise, Daytona Beach Florida, Austria, Switzerland, Australia, and Shanghai China.
The Blue Angels C-130T support aircraft known as Fat Albert is scheduled to be replaced in 2020 with a C-130J purchased from the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence for $29.7million. A new C-130J would cost $50 million more.
André Borschberg (our guest in Episode 361) and Bertrand Piccard flew around the world in the Solar Impulse 2. Now Borschberg has started a new company called H55 to build practical electric airplanes, starting with a two-seater that achieves a 90 minute flight time. The Bristell Energic flight trainer is a modified version of a BRM Aero airplane.
The Washington Post reports that the FAA had been frustrated by the number of safety issues at Boeing and the company’s repeated failure to rectify the situation as agreed. That led to a 2015 settlement agreement that bundled all the problems with one $12 million fine and one corrective action plan for systemic issues. But the degree to which Boeing has lived up to the agreement is being questioned.
Carnegie Mellon University’s Next Manufacturing Center and Manufacturing Futures Initiative (MFI) has been selected by NASA to lead a research team to examine new ways to build and power aircraft of the future. Metals additive manufacturing (AM) or 3D printing “has had a significant impact on aviation manufacturing for jet engine components, airframe structural elements, and other applications.”
The project will explore new methods for using additive manufacturing to reduce costs and increase the speed of mass-producing aircraft without sacrificing quality, reliability, and safety. Process qualification is a challenge and a focus area.
Partners include Argonne National Laboratory, ANSYS, Lockheed Martin, Trumpf, Eaton, General Electric, Pratt & Whitney, Northrop Grumman, Metal Powder Works, Siemens, Materials Solutions and The Barnes Group.
Developers of supersonic airplanes have to deal with the sonic boom problem, but there is another issue looming: increased carbon footprint. Fuel burned per passenger is high with the speedy new designs. Boom Supersonic has addressed this by stating the company’s commitment to green aviation and an alternative fuel partnership with Prometheus Fuels.
Paris Air Show Interviews
Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari brings us his final two interviews from the Paris Air Show.
Matthew (Phat) Giese, Chief Pilot F15/F22 Programs and T-X Experimental Test Pilot talks about the Boeing T-X that will replace the T-38.
Boeing T-X, courtesy Boeing.
Masahito Goto, Ph.D., Major General, Deputy Director General, Japanese Ministry of Defense talks about the C-2 Transport Aircraft.
C-2, courtesy ATLA.
David Hamilton, last living WWII Pathfinder pilot drops paratroopers out of C-47 on his 97th birthday.
97 year old (on July 20, 2019) Lt Col David Hamilton, enlisted on December 8, 1941. Dave then trained as a C-47 pilot and then later as a Pathfinder pilot. Pathfinder aircrews were specially trained WWII aircrews who flew C-47s that had cutting edge navigational equipment. Prior to the major airborne operations in the European Theater of Operation, these aircrews were tasked with dropping in specially trained pathfinder paratroopers to set up radar equipment on the drop zones to which the other C-47s would navigate when carrying in the main force of the airborne troops. Dave did this function during Operation Overlord at Normandy on D-Day, Operation Dragoon in Southern France, and Operation Market Garden in Holland. Dave also led in the aircraft for the supply drop to the 101st Airborne when they were surrounded at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. (Dave led in 27 planes and led out 9 on that mission.) Sadly, Dave is the last living Pathfinder pilot who flew all those missions.
Lt Col David Hamilton and past guest Christine Negroni with the D-Day Squadron at Waterbury-Oxford Airport. Photo by Max Flight.
Dave just returned from England and France where he flew across the English Channel in a WWII veteran aircraft (C-53) as part of the D-Day Squadron formation of American C-47s and C-53s which flew across the channel on 5 June. Dave was actually at the controls of the C-53 for part of that flight 75 years after he made his original D-Day flight. (Yes, the pathfinders did take off on 5 June 1944) When Dave was in England, he was honored in North Witham by folks who live near where the RAF base from which he flew the D-Day mission was located and was a guest at the ceremonies at the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach on June 6. Dave was pretty much treated like a rock star everywhere he went in England and France!!
Dave and the 75th anniversary of D-Day are going to be honored again at this year’s 5 October Wings Out West Airshow in Dave’s home town of Prescott, Arizona where another WWII D-Day veteran, the C-53 “D-Day Doll”, will be doing a drop of WWII type paratroopers to honor Dave and the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Also, Dave is going to be inducted into the San Diego Air and Space Museum Hall of Fame in November and he has been invited by the CAF to be in one of the WWII aircraft that will overfly the Mall in Washington D.C. during the 75th celebration of VE day in May 2020.
D-Day Doll. Photo by Max Flight.
Dave is also going to be in the cockpit of a C-47 near Frederick Oklahoma dropping the Airborne Demonstration Team’s (ADT) WWII style paratroopers on July 20, 2019, which happens to be Dave’s 97th birthday. The Frederick Oklahoma airfield is the home of Frederick Army Air Field (FAAF) which still has a wonderful WWII era wooden hanger in which sit a couple of C-47s, various WWII vehicles. FAAF is the home of the ADT’s WWII style jump school, complete with all the paraphernalia such a jump school would need, such as parachute packing tables, training hangers, mess hall, classroom, barracks, etc. When one walks into the FAAF hanger one steps back in time 75 years. ADT runs WWII style jump schools several times a year. July 20th will also be ADT’s “Open Hangar Day” for the graduation ceremony for the jumpers who have completed the 5 jumps required to graduate from their July Jump School.
Come on out to FAAF for a great story about the last living Pathfinder dropping paratroopers on his 97th birthday.
Airline pilot Kathy Dulson tells us about the National Gay Pilots Association, and we discuss the recent flurry of airline public relations disasters. Also, an all-female UPS crew, the Blue Angels touch in the air, some airlines are dropping the “two persons in the cockpit” rule, and runway safety problems at Santa Monica.
Kathy Dulson is a Boeing 757/767 pilot for a major legacy airline based in Los Angeles. She has been involved in aviation for 29 years with four different airlines, starting in customer service and airline operations before pursuing her dream of flight. Kathy has been an airline pilot since 2002 flying the Saab 340, Canadair Regional Jet, Airbus 320, and now Boeing 757/767.
Our conversation includes a discussion of the advocacy the NGPA provides on behalf of LGBT members of the airline community. We look at the sponsorship provided by airlines and the scholarships offered, as well as the local chapters with flight schools and universities, membership in NGPA, and the role of allies.
The writer attributes incidents like the violent removal of a United passenger to a procedure-based industry that prevents a culture where frontline employees are empowered to make situational decisions.
That airline customer relations issues are prevalent in the news is evidenced by this list of stories that came up on the first page of a Google News search for the word “airline.”
Thunder Over Louisville is an annual airshow and fireworks display that kicks off the Kentucky Derby Festival. UPS was an event sponsor and a UPS 757 was part of the airshow. What makes this unique is that this was the first UPS crew flying in Thunder Over Louisville comprised of all women – flight and ground crew.
After the 2015 Germanwings crash where the pilot flew the plane into the ground, a “two person in the cockpit” rule was widely discussed. A rule change was advocated by the European Aviation Safety Agency, but last year EASA changed the requirement and allowed individual airlines make their own determination. The German aviation association BDL has announced that effective June 1, 2017, airlines will return to their original cockpit safety procedures.
A look airport operations from the back office, rebates for ADS-B installations, bigger A380’s, airlines fighting over Open Skies, the history of the missing man formation, and a Delta trip report.
Jennifer Adams works for the accounting department of a medium-sized airport in the midwest and she gives us a peek at some of the activities in the “back office.” Jen tells us about the sources of revenue for the airport, such as landing fees, rent, and long-term parking. She also gives us a look at some of the airport’s costs, which range from navaid maintenance and de-icing chemicals, to toilet paper and vet bills for the dogs. Jen also explains the many statistics that must be recorded, such as landings, aircraft weights, passengers enplaned and deplaned, cargo, and mail.
A passionate avgeek, when Jennifer isn’t buried in spreadsheets or calculating landing fees, she spends her break time plane spotting and talking about aviation with anyone who will listen. In her blog “Tales from the Terminal,” she shares stories about her adventures in aviation, her love of the airport, and her not-so-secret desire to own a stairs truck.
The FAA says they will offer rebates to aircraft owners who install ADS-B Out systems, but there are some limits to the program. The $500 rebate will only be available to the first 20,000 owners of single-engine piston aircraft who apply, and just for a one year period.
There is a new plan to increase the A380 seating to eleven in a row, up from the current ten. This would add 60 more seats to the super jumbo. Meantime, Emirates president Tim Cook has conceded that a re-engined “A380neo” looks unlikely.
Qatar Airways, Emirates, Etihad, and Delta Air Lines do not see eye-to-eye when it comes to international agreements. Delta believes the Middle Eastern carriers benefit from subsidies that are a violation of U.S. Open Skies agreements. The conversation amped up with the Qatar Airways inaugural flight to Atlanta. Reportedly, Qatar had been told that a gate would not be available for their A380 and it was occupied by a Delta jet. Qatar flew in anyway, and the deplaning passengers had to be bussed to the terminal from a remote parking location.
The Aircraft of the Week
David talks about the recent Blue Angels and Thunderbirds accidents, and how they have been reported, but he also provides a somber history of the Missing Man formation, which was flown in honor of Blue Angel #6 Capt Jeff Kuss, USMC.
After the Boeing 787 experienced Lithium Ion battery problems, Boeing made some changes designed to reduce the chances of thermal runaway, and to better manage the situation should it occur. But the root cause for the problem was never determined. By Christine Negroni in her Flying Lessons blog.
A disgruntled FAA contractor posted a suicide note on Facebook, brought a can of gasoline into the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center, and set the place on fire, affecting more than 2,000 flights. The man was found by paramedics as he attempted to end his life with a knife.
Paul Allen (co-Founder of Microsoft) and Peter Jackson of (Lord Of The Rings Fame) are both amassing huge warbird collections. They are being painstakingly restored by Allen and completely recreated from scratch by Jackson using original plans. The article questions if flying these on of a kind aircraft is worth the risk. Also does creating a “Clone” of an original demean the original and cloud the historical significance.
The Geico Skytypers were invited by the Blue Angels to do a formation flight, and they wanted to David to take some air-to-air photographs. David relates that adventure.
At the Naval Air Station Oceana Air Show, David spoke with Kenneth Hess, the Public Affairs Officer for the Chief of Naval Operations, Energy and Environmental Readiness Division. They discussed biofuels and goals of the Navy to reduce energy consumption. Ken mentions the free Energy Warrior app, which lets you discover what the Navy is doing to lead change and increase combat capability. You also learn facts about U.S. oil dependence, and what America’s Navy is doing about it.
Also at Oceana, David spoke with air show and event announcer Ric Peterson about what it takes to be an announcer.
The Australia News Desk
In one of the shortest AusDesks of all time, Grant chats briefly with Errol Cavit and Zac Yates after the recent Wings Over New Zealand Forum meet-up at Ardmore Airport near Auckland.
In addition to Grant scoring a flight in a de Havilland DH.83 Fox Moth, there were plenty of amazing aircraft (including a 2-seat Spitfire) and excellent presentations during the day (plus some beer at the end).
OpenAirplane co-founders Rod Rakic and Adam Fast talk about the platform that makes it easy for pilots away from home to rent airplanes. Pilots fly more, increase their proficiency, and aircraft utilization is higher.
Rod Rakic pioneered social media for aviation as the founder of myTransponder.com. Recently, Rob left his position as Director of the Digital Innovation for Sears Holdings, to concentrate full time on growing OpenAirplane. Rod started flight training when he was sixteen, and holds a FAA commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating. He flys for business and pleasure, and he’s an active Search and Rescue pilot with the Civil Air Patrol, where he serves as a Squadron Operations Officer, with the rank of Captain.
Adam Fast loves software coding and flying GA aircraft. He’s been a software developer and a software consultant, but he combines that interest with aviation by geographically indexing the world’s aviation museums, working on aircraft management software for his flying club, building a scheduling system to automatically create an itinerary for the world’s largest airshow, and his own implementation of a glass cockpit. He’s a ham radio guy, holds a private pilot certificate, and has flown solo round trip to Oshkosh. Adam has also spoken to the International Space Station via both voice and data modes, and stood three miles away on the final launch of all three Space Shuttle Orbiters.
We also look back on significant aviation stories from 2013, and ahead to what may make the news in 2014.
David Vanderhoof interviews Lieutenant Commander David Tickle, who joined the Blue Angels in September 2010 and served as the Narrator and VIP pilot in 2011, the Opposing Solo pilot in 2012 and the Lead Solo pilot in 2013. He has accumulated more than 2,450 flight hours and 261 carrier arrested landings. His decorations include two Strike Flight Air Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and various personal and unit awards.
In this week’s Across the Pond segment:
We return to the Middle East with Oussama Salah from Oussamas Take to look at new airlines starting in the Saudi market from Qatar and Saudi Gulf Air as well as the impact of a settling of political unrest in certain parts in now affecting aircraft orders. Will Airbus’s and Boeing’s keep raining down on MENA? Find Oussama Salah on Google Plus, and Facebook.
Jon and Molly give their observations of the event, including the demand for business jets and the outlook, new programs and money going into product development, the unveiling of Dassault 5X, Learjet’s 50th anniversary and the Learjet 85, Beechcraft making it through bankruptcy, lithium batteries, new Aviation Partner scimitar winglets, and consumer electronics in cabin interiors.
David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week: The Ryan NYP, the Spirit of St. Louis by Randy dePasquale.
In this week’s Australia Desk:
There’s no AusDesk Report this week, but David uncovers some spooky hidden messages from the boys down under, just in time for Halloween.
Banned by the EU Avia Air Traffic flies BAE 146’s amongst others. Jason Smart flew on this aircraft type on his travels.
In this week’s Across the Pond segment:
We ask Jason Smart back onto the show to talk about his travel writing career that has seen him travel to every former ex Soviet state in his book The Red Quest. We then follow Jason’s journeys through the airlines and aircraft he has flown around the world, his scariest flight ever and what the food served on some airlines tastes like. A different look at the aviation sector through the eyes of someone who has flown on banned airlines and broken airliners.
His books can be found at www.theredquest.com and cover an amusing look at his travels through Europe, Asia, the America’s and The Middle East. Certainly many of these could be added to your holiday shopping list.
In the Australia Desk from Steve Visscher and Grant McHerron, they propose to produce a themed report for AusDesk episode 100. Listeners can submit theme ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to listen to the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.
Be sure to see Max, Rob, Dan, and David at the Become a Pilot Family Day and Fly-In June 18, 2011, 10 a.m. – 3p.m., at the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center next to Dulles International Airport. The Geeks will be joining Milford and Charlie from FlightTime Radio, along with some other aviation podcasters as they broadcast their show live.
Follow the @AirplaneGeeks on Twitter and on Facebook, send us email at email@example.com, or leave a message on our listener line: (361) GEEKS01.
Photo by Stephen Tornblom from his birthday trip to Chino Airport.
We talk with Milford Shirley from FlightTime Radio about their live broadcast at the upcoming Become a Pilot Family Day and Fly-In, June 18, 2011 at the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center next to Dulles International Airport. Max, Rob, Dan, and David plan to join in the show along with some other aviation podcasters.
In this week’s Across the Pond segment, Pieter Johnson gets an update from David Cenciotti on Operation Odessy Dawn in Libya, what it was like to break an international aviation story to the world, and how to track those “untraceable” black ops flights. Be sure to see David Cenciotti’s Website and follow him on Twitter at @cencio4. On Twitter, Pieter is @Nascothornet.
We spend a lot of time this episode talking about some of the great listener mail we’ve received. Click these links for more information: