Tag Archives: Boeing

806 Fly-In

A look at the fly-in at the Spurwink Farm grass field. In the news, the EASA AD for Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines, Boeing and DOG agree to a plea deal, 737 oxygen generators, United travel delay messages, 107-II/CH-46 helicopter upgrade, and air travel complaints.

Spurwink Farm Fly-In

Our Main(e) Man Micah attended the 2024 Spurwink Farm fly-in and interviewed attendees and others.

A gyrocopter landing at the Spurwink Farm Fly-in.
Gyrocopter landing
A V-tail Bonanza landing at the Spurwink Farm Fly-in.
V-tail Bonanza landing.
Micah and 3 air bosses at the Spurwink Farm Fly-in.
Micah and the air bosses.

Aviation News

EASA Issues Airworthiness Directive Over Boeing 787 Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 Engine Parts

EASA (the European Union Aviation Safety Agency) has issued an updated airworthiness directive (2019-0286R1) for Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. The AD pertains to Low Pressure Compressor front cases installed on Boeing 787 airplanes:

Engineering analysis has identified that 38 LPC front cases have non-optimal material properties. This could inhibit the intended function of the LPC front case to contain certain engine failures. This condition, if not corrected, could, in case of fan blade failure, lead to high energy debris release, possibly resulting in damage to, and reduced control of, the aeroplane.

The corrective action is to remove and replace the fan case for certain serial numbers. However, RR updated the population of affected parts to allow some to remain in service with inspections of LPC front case thickness at 16 locations.

Boeing to plead guilty to criminal fraud charge

The US Department of Justice and Boeing agreed to the previously reported plea deal. Boeing will plead guilty to a criminal fraud conspiracy charge and pay a criminal fine of $243.6m. The judge has to accept the deal. DOJ pointed out that the deal does not grant immunity to individuals.

FAA orders inspection of 2,600 Boeing 737s over oxygen mask issue

The passenger service unit oxygen generators can shift out of position due to a problem with a retention strap. The strap adhesive has been found to allow the generators to move.

Your Flight Is Delayed. Would More Details Make You Feel Better?

United Airlines is sharing a lot of flight delay and cancellation information via mobile alerts, texts, and emails.

Columbia and Piasecki Partner on Upgrade for 107-II and CH-46E Helicopters

Columbia Helicopters and Piasecki Aircraft Corporation (PiAC) are collaborating on a program to upgrade the Model 107-II tandem rotor helicopter to create a CH-46 107-III variant. Columbia holds the 107-II type certificate and intends to implement a phased series of STCs (supplemental type certificates) to upgrade the engines, introduce modern avionics, and make other improvements.

Air travel is getting worse. That’s what passengers are telling the US government

The DOT received so many complaints in 2023 that it took them until July to compile the numbers. Last year, the DOT received almost 97,000, just about a 13% increase over 2022. About 1.2% of flights were canceled in 2023, compared to 2.3% in 2022.So far this year, cancellations are around 1.3% In 2023, delays were about 21% of all flights, the same as this year. The DOT partly attributed the increase in complaints to greater consumer awareness of how to file a complaint. 

Mentioned

Land use around airports:

Aviation News Talk

The Journey is the Reward

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, our Main(e) Man Micah, and Max Trescott.

805 Running an Airport

The director of the Portland International Jetport explains airport surface detection and runway incursions, airport use restrictions, construction at the airport, the impacts of a power outage, and many other issues faced by airports. In the news, the NTSB reacts to a violation of its investigative regulations, Boeing plans to purchase Spirit Aerosystems, a resolution to the violation of the deferred prosecution agreement, the FAA’s Surface Awareness Initiative (SAI), a home damaged by space junk, and a pilot caught working for two airlines at the same time.

Guest

Photo of Paul Bradbury, Director of the Portland International Jetport (PWM).

Paul H. Bradbury is the director of the Portland International Jetport (PWM) in Portland, Maine. Since there have been many recent airport-related news stories, we asked Paul to join us and provide his insight.

One timely topic is runway incursions and surface surveillance systems. The Jetport currently employs an Autonomous Runway Incursion Warning System (ARIWS) but we also look at the  FAA’s Surface Awareness Initiative and the new uAvionics deployments.

We also discuss airport use restrictions, the different Part 135 and Part 121 requirements, and the financial, security, and safety impacts of service vs. on-demand operations.

Other topics include airport expansions, construction, and renovation while maintaining operations in the face of runway closures and back-taxiing on a runway. Also, residential development near the airport and land use issues such as improper zoning. Paul explains the impact of a power outage and the Jetport’s Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) backup project. We even talk about solar panel glare that impacts pilots, Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) requirements, and whether there should be a Gate 13. (See Airports having or skipping gate 13, based on airport size [OC]).

Aviation News

uAvionix enables ground surveillance for runway safety

The uAvionix FlightLine system provides ADS-B surveillance and surface situational awareness for Air Traffic Control towers at U.S. Airports. The system is qualified through the FAA’s Surface Awareness Initiative (SAI) program, a component of the FAA Surface Safety Portfolio. FlightLine is designed for facilities without existing surface surveillance systems. According to uAvionix, the FAA has identified over 230 airports that are potential candidates for an SAI solution.

The first FlightLine deployments by uAvionix are for Indianapolis International Airport (KIND) and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (KAUS) towers. The systems were to be fully operational by June 30, 2024. Aircraft positions on the surface and in airport arrival and departure corridors are displayed on a surface map of the airport. ADS-B is the primary source of aircraft position.

The Surface Awareness Initiative includes Approach Runway Verification and the Runway Incursion Device.

Boeing Sanctioned for Sharing Non-Public Investigative Information With Media on 737 Max 9 Door Plug Investigation

​​​Boeing “blatantly violated NTSB investigative regulations” and the NTSB announced a series of restrictions and sanctions on the company. Boeing provided non-public investigative information to the media and speculated about possible causes of the Jan. 5, 2024 door-plug blowout.

NTSB said Boeing will “no longer have access to the investigative information the NTSB produces as it develops the factual record of the accident.” Also, the NTSB will subpoena the company to appear at an investigative hearing into the case scheduled for Aug. 6 and 7, 2024 in Washington, DC. “Unlike the other parties in the hearing, Boeing will not be allowed to ask questions of other participants.”

See also:

Boeing to buy supplier Spirit AeroSystems in $4.7bn deal

Boeing plans to acquire Spirit AeroSystems in an all-stock transaction. Spirit, the manufacturer of the door plug, was spun off from Boeing in 2005. About 70% of all Spirit orders are for Boeing while Airbus accounts for roughly 25%. Spirit’s Northern Ireland operations that make wings and fuselage for the A220 will go to Airbus. Boeing will pay Airbus $559 million to take over four plants. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals.

Boeing will get a ‘sweetheart’ plea deal, says lawyer representing 737 Max crash victims

Lawyers representing the families of victims of the 737 Max crashes say that the US Justice Department is making a deal with Boeing concerning the deferred prosecution agreement. Reportedly, Boeing will plead guilty to criminal charges, pay a fine, agree to a corporate monitor, and be on probation for three years. The families would rather see a trial. They characterize this as a “sweetheart deal.”

A Florida family is suing NASA after a piece of space debris crashed through their home

After the space junk punched a hole in their roof, the family is seeking compensation for non-insured property damage, emotional and mental anguish, and other damages. Pilots must report incidents where objects fall from aircraft within 24 hours. The FAA tracks such incidents to ensure safety. Falling objects (including those from the sky) are typically covered under standard homeowners’ insurance policies for property damage.

Pilot Caught Secretly Working For Two Airlines

One Mile at a Time wonders how she managed schedules at two airlines without running into conflicts. Also, how long did she think this was going to last? Was she planning to pick one airline?

KM Malta pilot caught flying for another airline in breach of safety rules

The Shift reports that a first officer with KM Malta Airlines was found to be traveling to London during her rest period and working for Virgin Atlantic. Virgin fired the woman immediately when they discovered what she was doing, a violation of international safety rules and the employment contract. Reportedly, KM Malta Airlines initially suspended her but then reinstated the pilot. See also, Virgin Atlantic is hit by frightening safety scare after pilot’s disturbing secret was exposed and Pilot Caught Secretly Working For Two Airlines.

Mentioned

The Air Show Podcast

Flight Planning Demands a Dose of Common Sense

Airbus releases its first original free-to-view docuseries, A330neo evolution

The series is titled “A330neo: The Heir Apparent.” It’s an Airbus Original documentary series that explores the A330neo. Find episodes on the Airbus YouTube channel.

Video: A330neo: The Heir Apparent – An Airbus Original series (Trailer)

Dassault Falcon 7X at the Portland Jetport.
Dassault Falcon 7X
Three airplane geeks at a beachfront picnic table.
An FO, Micah, and Captain Dana

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, our Main(e) Man Micah, and Rob Mark.

804 Triphibian

Boeing CEO testifies before Congress and prosecutors ask for criminal charges, investigators look into a low-altitude Southwest flight and an activist investor wants Southwest CEO out, NTSB released a close-call preliminary report, and Cirrus won’t approve a certain 100LL fuel. Also, an Australia Desk report, the E-3 AWACS jet, and a Triphibian.

Aviation News

Boeing CEO grilled at Senate hearing: ‘The problem’s with you’

Boeing CEO David Calhoun testified at a two-hour Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations hearing. Calhoun admitted that whistleblowers were retaliated against. Subcommittee chair Sen. Richard Blumenthal stated “After whistleblower John Barnett raised his concerns about missing parts, he reported that his supervisor called him 19 times in one day and 21 times another day. And when Barnett asked his supervisor about those calls, he was told, ‘I’m going to push you until you break.’”

Blumenthal said that in his opinion, the Department of Justice should criminally prosecute Boeing for violating its 2021 deferred prosecution agreement. The DOJ has until July 7, 2024, to decide how it will act.

Video: Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun testifies before Senate committee on safety issues — 6/18/2024

Victims’ Attorney Asks DOJ To Fine Boeing; Prosecute Executives

In his 32-page letter to the DOJ, Professor Paul Cassell of the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City asks for $24 billion in fines, that part of the $24 billion fine should be used for “corporate compliance and new safety measures,” that a corporate monitor is appointed to review the safety measures and “to direct improvement as appropriate.” Also that the DOJ prosecutes former Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg and other “responsible corporate executives.”

Exclusive: US prosecutors recommend Justice Dept. criminally charge Boeing

U.S. prosecutors asked Justice Department officials to bring criminal charges against Boeing for violation of the deferred prosecution agreement.

Federal officials are investigating a Southwest Airlines low flight over Oklahoma City suburbs

A Southwest Airlines plane triggered an automated low-altitude alert nine miles out from the Oklahoma City airport. Flightradar24 shows the plane descending to about 525 feet AGL over Oklahoma City suburbs. Air traffic control asked, “Southwest 4069, low altitude alert. You doing OK?” The pilot responded, “Yeah, we’re going around.” The air traffic controller responded telling the pilot to maintain 3000 feet. Federal officials are investigating.

Southwest’s Diehard Fans Don’t Want Airline to Change

Activist hedge fund company Elliott Investment Management has taken a $1.9 billion stake in Southwest Airlines and wants to oust the airline’s CEO Robert Jordan. Elliott says Jordan “has delivered unacceptable financial and operational performance quarter after quarter and Jordan and former CEO Gary Kelly (currently the executive chairman) “are not up to the task of modernizing Southwest.” Elliott wants to replace Jordan and Kelly with outsiders and make “significant” changes to the board of directors with others who bring airline experience.

NTSB Releases Preliminary Reports On Two Airline Close Calls

In April 2024, a Swiss Air A330 aborted its takeoff from Runway 4L at JFK after they saw taxiing traffic on the runway. One controller cleared the Swiss flight for takeoff, and a ground controller cleared four other airplanes to cross the same runway. In February 2023, TCAS (traffic/collision alert system) issued “resolution advisories” over an inbound Mesa Airlines Bombardier CRJ900 and a SkyWest Embraer EMB-170 at  Hollywood-Burbank Airport. The two aircraft came within 1,700 feet of each other.

Cirrus: G100UL Use May Void Warranties

GAMI Responds To Cirrus G100UL Service Advisory

General Aviation Modifications Inc. has invested in developing an unleaded, high-octane fuel that could replace leaded avgas in piston airplanes. Cirrus has tested G100UL fuel in SR20, SR22, and SR22T aircraft, but the result is mixed. Cirrus says “While some aspects of the initial Cirrus testing of the GAMI G100UL fuel are encouraging, other areas, including materials compatibility, remain inconclusive. At this time, Cirrus does not approve the use of GAMI G100UL fuel in Cirrus SR Series airplanes.” See Transition to Unleaded Fuel and Use of Non-Cirrus Approved Fuel in SR Series Aircraft [PDF].

Australia Desk

Grant and Steve return for an Australia Desk report, the first for 2024, and much has happened in the first half of the year on the Australian aviation scene.

Sadly, in a case of “we told you so”, new LCC entrant Bonza Air has ceased operations after 15 months, entering into voluntary administration on April 30th.  Despite numerous reports of a buyer being found for the group, lessors had repossessed the company’s 737 MAX8 aircraft, the last of which departed Australia on June 5th.

Bonza joins a long list of failed operators who’ve tried to enter the local airline market, only to find that hype, spin, and fancy PR only go so far before the financial realities of operating in an ultra-competitive aviation environment begin to take their toll.  Previous entrants include Compass, Air Australia, JetGo, Impulse (which morphed eventually into Jetstar), OzJet, and most notably (but for perhaps a wider range of issues) Ansett.

But fear not!  As cringe-worthy as the infantile branding of Bonza was, Grant shakes Steve to his boots with news of a possible new contender under the name Koala Airlines.  Oh, dear….

Bonza owes money to almost 60,000 customers, hundreds of staff, and 120 suppliers, court hears

Koala Airlines

In defence news, the RAAF has taken delivery of its first MQ-4C Triton aircraft; the first of four on order which will be based in northern Australia at RAAF Base Tindal, and operated remotely from RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia by 9 Squadron.

9SQN had been stood down since 1989, following the transfer of Australia’s Blackhawk fleet to the Army, and has now been reactivated in this new RPAS role.  The squadron enjoys a rich history however, dating back to its inception in 1939.

First Australian Triton lands at Tindal

No. 9 Squadron RAAF

Plane Crazy Down Under

Mentioned

Familyfest Boeing/Leonardo MH-139A Grey Wolf Helicopter

MVP Aero Model 3 Amphibious Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) –  A prototype “triphibian” light-sport aircraft.

Promotional poster for the Spurwink Farm Fly-In.

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, Max Trescott, our Main(e) Man Micah, and Rob Mark.

803 Innovations in Flight

Innovations in Flight at the National Air & Space Museum, FAA preparing to address the public charter loophole, titanium components manufactured with improper paperwork, Southwest 737 MAX experienced a “Dutch Roll,” Lockheed Martin team receives Collier Trophy, and business jet found after 53 years.

Innovations in Flight

The annual Innovations in Flight was held June 15, 2024, at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air & Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, adjacent to Dulles International Airport.

The outdoor fly-in features over 50 unique aircraft, flown in for one day only. Visitors explored the engineering and design innovations that have taken place during the last century of flight and talk with the pilots of vintage and modern aircraft on display.

Sign inviting kids to "be on a podcast."

Again this year, Hillel Glazer flew his 1972 Piper Cherokee 180 to Innovations in Flight. He describes how aircraft are selected to participate, the process of arriving and departing from Dulles Airport, and the taxiway through the woods that connects the two facilities.

Perhaps most notably, Hillel recorded conversations with some younger visitors, ages 7 to 13. In this episode, you can hear Johnny (Age 7), Alexandra (Age 8), Phoebe (Age 12), Luka (Age 12), and Jackson (Age 9). Jackson even has his own YouTube channel: Flight Pattern Talk with Jax.

Listener JD and Hillel at Innovations in Flight.
LIstener JD Gold (left) 777 Pilot for FedEx with Hillel (right).
Hillel's plane reflecting in the museum's architectural feature.
Reflections on the museum’s architectural feature above the side door.
Lined up behind a NOAA P-3 waiting to depart Dulles Airport.
Waiting in the conga line to depart behind the NOAA “P-3”

Aviation News

FAA Cracks Down On “Public Charter” Loophole, Bad News For JSX

The so-called “public charter loophole” allows charter companies to operate from private terminals without some of the requirements that larger carriers are subject to, such as TSA screening and pilots with more than 1,500 flight hours. The FAA says they are now going to address this situation by issuing an NPRM that would amend the definitions of “scheduled,” “on demand,” and “supplemental” operations.

Titanium in Boeing, Airbus jets lacks proper documentation, companies say

Spirit AeroSystems used titanium that had counterfeit documentation and which found its way into both Airbus and Boeing aircraft. U.S. and European safety regulators are investigating, while the companies involved say the titanium is not a safety issue, only the documentation is deficient.

US NTSB investigating ‘Dutch roll’ by Southwest Boeing 737 MAX

The Dutch roll occurred at 34,000 feet on a flight from Phoenix, Arizona to Oakland, California. The lateral asymmetric movements of the roll were named after a Dutch ice skating technique. Pilots regained control of the plane which proceeded without additional incident, however, Southwest found damage to structural components and the NTSB and FAA are investigating.

See: Yaw Dampers and video: What is a Dutch Roll?

The National Aeronautic Association Recognizes Lockheed Martin with Prestigious Collier Trophy

The 2023 Robert J. Collier Trophy was awarded by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) to Lockheed Martin for the team’s work on NASA’s OSIRIS-REx sample return mission which collected an asteroid sample in 2020 and returned it to Earth on Sept. 24, 2023. The OSIRIS-Rex team includes Lockheed Martin, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Johnson Space Center, the University of Arizona, and KinetX, among many others.

A jet disappeared in Vermont over 53 years ago. Experts believe they’ve found it in Lake Champlain

Air controllers lost contact with the Aero Commander Jet Commander 1121A ( N400CP) shortly after takeoff in 1971 over Lake Champlain in Vermont. It was only found after an underwater searcher located it recently at a depth of 200 feet. The NTSB will verify that this is the plane from 1971.

Small plane crash-lands in Androscoggin River in Topsham

The 1947 fixed-wing single-engine Aeronca 7AC Champion is fully submerged, after experiencing mechanical problems.

Mentioned

Mobile Helicopter Exhibit

The mobile helicopter exhibit.
“Stubby,” the helicopter exhibit.

MAC Air Group founder Al Caruso flies west at the age of 74

Video: FIGHTER JET DELAY? – F-35’s buzz over Phillies vs. Orioles game in Baltimore causing a short delay

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, Max Trescott, our Main(e) Man Micah, and Hillel Glazer.

802 Boeing Safety and Quality Plan

We take a look at the Boeing Safety and Quality Plan, the NTSB recommendations after the Southwest/FedEx near miss, the suspension of some ATC staff in India, Essential Air Service contracts, BARK Air’s lawsuit over airport-use restrictions, the sale of a B-17, and the NTSB inspection of the USAirways flight 1549 engines.

Aviation News

Boeing Safety & Quality Plan

Boeing had 90 days to deliver a comprehensive plan to the FAA to improve the company’s safety management and quality assurance, including in the supply chain. We look at The Boeing Product Safety and Quality Plan Executive Summary [PDF, 11 pages.]

The Plan includes the containment and mitigation actions Boeing took immediately after the accident. It also introduces Boeing’s new Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of production system health and associated control limits for each KPI. Boeing intends that these metrics will provide “a continuous assessment of factory health and provide early warning of emerging quality and safety risks. They also will facilitate tracking of Boeing’s improvement under the Product Safety and Quality Plan and guide decisions about system readiness for rate increases.”

Boeing’s Immediate Containment and Mitigation

Improvements directed at the Boeing production system:

Photo of Admiral Kirkland Donald.
Admiral Kirkland Donald
  • Revised the build plans, training, maintenance planning, aircraft manual documentation, removal requirements and inspection criteria for the Mid-Exit Door (MED) plug;
  • Instituted additional controls to prevent defects in the MED plug and similar structures and assemblies;
  • Added conformance inspections to nine critical build points;
  • Processed fleet and production inspection findings through Boeing’s SMS and Quality Management System (QMS);
  • Published alerts on removals and rework, signed by all factory employees;
  • Hosted representatives from 737 airline customers to review Boeing’s production and quality procedures, and to provide feedback;
  • Appointed a recognized safety and quality leader, Admiral Kirkland Donald, to independently assess Boeing’s production system; and
  • Implemented a revised management and salaried compensation model focused on quality and safety, with aligned key performance indicators across all programs.

Improvements directed at the Boeing supply chain:

  • Instituted additional controls at Spirit to prevent defects in the MED plug and similar structures and assemblies;
  • Added new inspections at Spirit, as well as pre-shipment approval requirements on fuselages prior to shipment to Boeing;
  • Added competency assessments for all supplier mechanics doing structural work at Boeing sites; and
  • Issued supplier bulletins to strengthen focus on conformance and reduce the risks of defects being shipped.

Key Performance Indicators

A significant component of the Product Safety and Quality Plan is the identification of six critical, safety-focused production health KPIs:

  1. Employee Proficiency (measures share of employees currently staffed to commercial programs who are proficient);
  2. Notice of Escape (NoE) Rework Hours (measures rework due to Fabrication and supplier-provided escapes to Final Assembly);
  3. Supplier Shortages (measures Fabrication and supplier shortages/day);
  4. Rework Hours per airplane (measures total rework hours per airplane in Final Assembly);
  5. Travelers at Factory Rollout (measures jobs traveling from Final Assembly); and
  6. Ticketing Performance (measures average escapes per ticketed airplane).

Each KPI also has associated control limits and defined criteria that will trigger corrective action and SMS risk monitoring.

Product Safety and Quality Plan Attention Areas

Safety Management System three main initiatives: 

  1. Streamlining employee reporting channels; [Submissions are up 500%]
  2. Addressing traveled work risk; [implemented a “move ready” process—737 airplanes may not move to the next factory position until identified build milestones are completed, unless a Safety Risk Assessment (SRA) is conducted and a mitigation plan is in place.]
  3. Deepening the integration of Boeing’s SMS with the QMS.

Simplification of Processes and Procedures [To help employees better understand their obligations, execute work instructions, and deploy solutions to overcome roadblocks.]

Supply Chain Defect Reduction

  • Strengthening data and analytics capabilities to provide proactive notification of supplier issues, including the creation of an advanced analysis tool;
  • Standardizing supplier oversight actions to prioritize safety and quality, including through the implementation of a common supplier engagement model; 
  • Simplifying and improving supplier quality processes;
  • Driving industry change and dialogue about quality and safety issues.

Training

  • Planned enhancements in late 2024, 
  • New manufacturing and quality employees will receive up to two more weeks of foundational training, followed by enhanced structured on-the-job training (SOJT)

Production System Compliance

  • Foreign Object Debris (FOD) control; 
  • Tool control; 
  • Parts and materials control; 
  • Employees’ adherence to work instructions. 

Engagement and Communications

  • Holding full-day quality stand downs and Safety and Quality events across the Company;
  • Creating and supporting Employee Involvement Teams (“EITs”) to conduct weekly problem-solving sessions and review employee ideas for improving the production system; 
  • Establishing a leadership program for manufacturing, quality, and fulfillment managers;
  • Improving the Company’s messaging about safety, quality, and compliance.

Installation Plan Improvements [work plans]

Special Audit Items

  • For Boeing quality escapes; 
  • Boeing liaison engineering and Material Review Board (MRB) issues; 
  • and Boeing’s approach to Spirit-related findings

Expert Review Panel Recommendations

Boeing agrees with the findings and recommendations of the Expert Review Panel.

NTSB Proposes More Training, Tech After Southwest and FedEx Jets Near-Miss in Texas

In February 2023, Southwest Airlines and FedEx jets came close to colliding in Austin, Texas. After seeing the Southwest Boeing 737-700 plane at the last second, the FedEx pilots flew their Boeing 767-300 over the Southwest jet to avoid a collision. The two planes were only about 150 to 170 feet apart.

The NTSB determined the probable cause of the near miss was a bad assumption by the air traffic controller that the departing Southwest plane would be clear before the FedEx plane landed on the same runway.

 The Board also identified two contributing factors:

  • Southwest crew members failed “to account for the traffic on short final approach and to notify the controller” that they would need additional time for takeoff. 
  • The FAA did not require surface detection equipment at the Austin airport.

India’s Aviation Regulator Suspends Mumbai ATC Staff Involved In IndiGo & Air India Airbus A320neo Close Call

The IndiGo A320neo was on approach to Runway 27 at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport (BOM) in Mumbai, India. The plane touched down seconds after an Air India A320neo had departed the same runway. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is investigating and has “derostered” the ATC staff working at the time of the incident.

Video: Indigo a320 Landing and Air India a320 Takeoff at The Same time at Mumbai Airport

JetBlue Awarded First-Ever Essential Air Service Contract

JetBlue will serve Presque Isle under a two-year contract. 

Essential Air Service

The Essential Air Service (EAS) program was implemented to guarantee that small communities served by certified air carriers before airline deregulation maintain a minimal level of scheduled air service.

This is generally accomplished by subsidizing two round trips a day with 30- to 50-seat aircraft, or additional frequencies with aircraft with 9-seat[s] or fewer, usually to a large- or medium-hub airport.  The Department currently subsidizes commuter and certificated air carriers to serve approximately 60 communities in Alaska and 115 communities in the lower 48 contiguous states that otherwise would not receive any scheduled air service.

2024-6-3 Order Selecting Air Carrier

Posted by the Department of Transportation on Jun 4, 2024:

“By this Order, the U.S. Department of Transportation (the Department) selects JetBlue Airways Corporation (JetBlue) to provide Essential Air Service (EAS) at Presque Isle, Maine (Presque Isle), for the two-year term from September 1, 2024, through August 31, 2026. JetBlue will provide Presque Isle with seven (7) nonstop round trips per week from Presque Isle International Airport (PQI) to Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) using 100-passenger Embraer E190 (E190) aircraft for the first year and 140-passenger Airbus A220-300 aircraft for the second year. JetBlue will be compensated at the annual subsidy rates outlined below.”

BARK Air for dogs sued days after first flight

Westchester County sued BARK Air alleging violations of the county’s airport-use restrictions.  Those restrictions include a prohibition on the operation of commercial and chartered aircraft with more than nine seats from using the private jet terminal. BARK Air’s Gulfstream Aerospace GV jet has 14 seats. In a filing to the FAA, Westchester County said that the public charters “closely resemble” services offered by large, commercial airlines.

Michigan Flight Museum (former Yankee Air Museum) Sells Centerpiece B-17 ‘Yankee Lady’

The Boeing B-17G has been sold to an undisclosed buyer for an undisclosed price. For some 40 years, the museum generated revenue with rides on the B-17. The money from the sale will be invested to support the museum.

Mentioned

NTSB Docket No. SA-532 Exhibit No. 8-A

William (Bill) Anders, Apollo 8 astronaut, Killed in San Juan Islands Plane Crash

Apollo 8: Earthrise

Taken aboard Apollo 8 by Bill Anders, this iconic picture shows Earth peeking out from beyond the lunar surface as the first crewed spacecraft circumnavigated the Moon, with astronauts Anders, Frank Borman, and Jim Lovell aboard.
Taken aboard Apollo 8 by Bill Anders. Image Credit: NASA.

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Rob Mark, and our Main(e) Man Micah.

800 Tail Strike

Airplane tail strike, miracle flights, 737 MAX Deferred Prosecution Agreement, the FAA Reauthorization Act, airport name changes, and fatal helicopter crash in Iran. Also, a report on the Valdez Fly-In and Airshow, and a scenic flight around Denali Mountain.

Aviation News

NTSB Releases Final Report Of United Airlines Boeing 737 Tail Strike In Houston

The NTSB report of the January 2024 tail strike says the 737-900ER touched down three times while landing. The aircraft’s aft fuselage “impacted the runway as a result of a delayed flare and subsequent nose-high pitch inputs.” The initial touchdown force was 1.87G and the second touchdown was 2.87G.

An article in SKYbrary states that “various studies by several of the major aircraft manufacturers have arrived at similar conclusions regarding the primary cause of tail strike. The most significant common factor is the amount of flight crew experience with the specific model of aircraft being flown.” Studies identified eight specific Causal Factors that greatly increase the risk of a tail strike:

During take-off:

  • Improperly Set Elevator Trim or Mis-Trimmed Stabiliser 
  • Rotation at Incorrect Speed
  • Excessive Rotation Rate
  • Improper Use of the Flight Director

During landing:

  • Unstabilized Approach
  • Excessive Hold-Off in the Flare 
  • Crosswinds
  • Over-Rotation During Go-Around

Over 65% of tail strikes occur during landings, while only 25% happen during takeoffs.

With One Simple Change, Southwest Airlines Will Deal Blow To Wheelchair Scammers, Unruly Passengers And Seat Savers

Southwest Airlines is considering implementing assigned seating, eliminating the need for passengers to board early to get a good seat. The change would address “the phenomenon of passengers faking disabilities to board early, end the practice of seat saving, and make it easier to identify unruly passengers on board.” Currently, Southwest is the only airline that doesn’t have passenger names and seat assignments on the flight’s manifest.

DOJ Takes Key Step to Hold Boeing Accountable for 737 MAX8 Crash Deaths

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has determined that Boeing breached the January 2021 Deferred Prosecution Agreement. The Clifford law firm (which represents families of the Boeing 787 MAX8 crash victims) says that Boeing could now face a criminal trial, although more action is needed from the DOJ.

Bipartisan FAA Reauthorization Act Signed Into Law

American Airlines Bus Service Connecting Wilmington Delaware Airport (ILG) to PHL to Start This Fall

The Delaware River & Bay Authority announced that American Airlines and its partner Landline Co. plan to launch a bus service between Wilmington Airport (ILG) and Philadelphia International Airport (PHL). Passengers flying out of Philly can park, check bags, and pass through security at the Wilmington Airport.

Chicago-Bound United Airlines Boeing 767 Diverts to Ireland After Passenger Gets Laptop Wedged Stuck in Business Class Seat

United Airlines flight 12 from Zurich to Chicago O’Hare was forced to make an emergency diversion to Shannon, Ireland after a passenger got their laptop stuck in a Business Class seat aboard the Boeing 767-300.

Two More Airports Are Fighting Over Using a City Name, This Time in Canada Where a Lawsuit Is Already Underway

Montreal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL) is suing Saint-Hubert Airport after the smaller airport decided to rebrand itself as Montreal Metropolitan Airport.

Valdez Fly-In and Airshow

Listener Brian and Cora attended the 2024 Valdez Fly-In and Airshow in Alaska and provided a trip report. The couple also took a scenic flight around Denali Mountain and the report highlights the unique experiences and stunning views.

The Valdez Fly-In and Airshow is an annual aviation event held at Valdez Pioneer Field Airport in Valdez, Alaska. Established in 2003, the Valdez Fly-In features world-class competitions, aerobatic displays, and a variety of activities for aviation enthusiasts and families alike.

Brian and Cora on the glacier.

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Max Trescott, David Vanderhoof, and our Main(e) Man Micah.

798 Satellite Communications

Satellite communications for aviation with the Executive Director of Aviation at Iridium Communications Inc. In the news, we’ve lost an aviation icon, a DOT Office of Inspector General report looks NextGen, an unruly passenger pays the price, a second Boeing whistleblower dies, the declining value of frequent flyer programs, and squawking the 7700 emergency distress code.

Guest

Logo of satellite communications provider Iridium Communications.

John Peterson is the Executive Director of Aviation at Iridium Communications Inc., a satellite communications company offering global voice and data coverage. John helps deliver Iridium’s safety, voice, and data solutions to pilots and operators. John is an aviation enthusiast and private pilot who has worked in the industry for 30 years in different roles, including engineering, product management, and leadership roles at Boeing, Collins, Gogo, and Honeywell.

Iridium provides an L-band service with signals that pass through weather effectively. The Ku-band and Ka-band frequencies used by others have higher data rates but are more susceptible to degradation caused by weather. Because of the L-band reliability, those frequencies are permitted for safety applications.

John explains that the infrastructure for ground-based communication is robust in the U.S., but not so over the ocean. Thus, satellite communications are necessary for flights over areas without ground stations.

We learn that the Iridium “legacy” satellites have a data rate of 2.4 kbps while the new Iridium Certus® satellites offer a faster 700 kbps. John explains the orbital planes of the Iridium Low Earth Orbit satellites and how data gets to ground stations via cross-links between satellites.

John tells us about GA applications for satellite communications and the value-added resellers. We also explore critical infrastructure support, narrow-band IoT (direct-to-device) technologies,  and how low-cost hand-held transponders could bring significant value to aviation.

Aviation News

Dick Rutan, co-pilot of historic round-the-world flight, dies aged 85

Dick Rutan was a USAF pilot, a Vietnam War veteran who flew 325 missions, and a test pilot. He flew the first unrefueled non-stop flight around the world with Jeana Yeager in the Rutan Voyager, designed by his brother Burt. Dick Rutan and Mike Melvill flew two Rutan Long-EZ kit aircraft around the world as the Spirit of EAA Friendship World Tour. Dick set the point-to-point distance record in a ground-launched, rocket-powered aircraft. He died from complications of Long COVID in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on May 3, 2024. He was 85.

DOT Inspector General Report Faults FAA NextGen Progress

The Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen), is a large-scale FAA initiative to modernize the U.S. National Airspace System (NAS). According to the FAA, “NextGen… has modernized air traffic infrastructure in communications, navigation, surveillance, automation, and information management with the aim of increasing the safety, efficiency, capacity, predictability, flexibility, and resiliency of American aviation. NextGen’s scope includes airport infrastructure improvements, new air traffic technologies and procedures, and safety and security enhancements.”

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) report says the NextGen air traffic management technology is not living up to FAA promises.

See: FAA’s Report on Air Traffic Modernization Presents an Incomplete and Out-of-Date Assessment of NextGen [PDF] from the OIG.

A United Airlines passenger got “belligerent” with flight attendants. Here’s what that will cost him.

A passenger from Chelmsford, England on a flight from London to Newark, New Jersey had a loud argument with his girlfriend. Then he started yelling at a flight attendant. Court documents indicate that he was verbally and physically aggressive. The TSA said, “When flight attendants asked [the man] to be quiet and attempted to calm him, he became belligerent, threatening, and intimidating towards them. He also said that he would “mess up the plane.” The man was restrained and the plane diverted to Bangor, Maine. On March 22, 2024, he pleaded guilty to one count of interfering with a flight crew and was sentenced to time already served and ordered to pay United Airlines $20,638.

Was Foul Play Involved in the Boeing Whistleblowers’ Deaths? People Are Definitely Worried About It.

A second Boeing whistleblower has died, in this case, the man was 45 and passed after becoming suddenly ill. Two months ago, another whistleblower was found dead in his truck from a gunshot wound.

The bad news about your airline points

It’s harder to gain status on Delta, Alaska has increased points needed for some destinations, American limited what tickets earn points (based on where you bought the tickets), some airlines stopped posting redemption charts so you don’t know what your points are worth, airlines sometimes charge more for “mileage multipliers” than what the points are worth, and some airlines charge a fee to transfer points.

Mystery of Why Multiple Flights Over Belgium Suddenly Started Transmitting Emergency Distress Call in Quick Succession Has Been Solved 

At least four aircraft flying over Belgium squawked the 7700 emergency distress code at about the same time. Observers were curious about why, but the controller asked them to squawk 7700 when rerouting them through airspace where the military was conducting training.

Mentioned

Graphic for the Rockets and Rotors special exhibit at the American Helicopter Museum & Education Center.

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Rob Mark, our Main(e) Man Micah, and David Vanderhoof.

795 Airline Industry Insights

Marisa Garcia offers airline industry insights. In the news, orders from Korean Air and Japan Air Lines, the Frontier financial incentive to retain new pilots, lower reward values for frequent flyer programs, landing a plane on the road, changing the name of an airport, and jet service for your dog.

Guest

Marisa Garcia headshot

Marisa Garcia is the founder, editor, and writer at FCMedia | FlightChic. She’s a freelance writer and senior contributor with Forbes.

FlightChic provides airline industry insights, analysis, and reviews, strongly focusing on the passenger experience. Marisa covers aircraft interiors, technical advancements, aviation safety and regulations, airline branding, and marketing strategies. Frequent flyers and aviation enthusiasts will find that Marisa’s writing provides valuable insights and perspectives on the evolving aviation landscape.

Marisa joins the conversation as we discuss recent JAL and Korean widebody orders. She offers her perspectives on the premium economy “sweet spot” for airlines and how onboard comfort has improved. Other topics include cabin crew training (especially safety training), the eroding value of airline frequent flyer programs, the criticality of aircraft interiors to safety, and how she became a “safety geek.” Marisa just published Why A B797 Revival Should Be Boeing’s New $50 Billion Plane in Forbes and has a lot to say about a Boeing “middle of the market” aircraft.

Marisa has worked directly designing and manufacturing aircraft interiors and safety equipment for many of the world’s leading airlines. She now applies that hands-on experience to reporting on product innovations, certification requirements, and new programs. The editorial aim of FlightChic is to highlight trends and make the industry easier to understand, both for professionals and everyday travelers.

See some recent articles by Marisa:

Aviation News

Korean Air Favors Airbus With Order For 33 New A350s

Korean Air announced an order for 33 A350 family aircraft: 27 A350-1000s and six A350-900s. The deal is valued at USD 13.7 billion. The A350-1000 can accommodate 350 to 410 passengers in a standard three-class configuration. The A350-900 variant is about 7 meters shorter than the A350-1000 and typically seats 300-350 passengers in a three-class layout.

Japan Airlines Will Introduce 42 New Planes from Airbus and Boeing. Accelerating International Network Growth With Advanced Fuel-Efficient Aircraft

JAL is acquiring 21 Airbus A350-900s, 11 A321neos, and 10 Boeing 787-9 planes. The A350s will be added to its international routes, augmenting its current A350 domestic operations. In January 2024, Japan Airlines debuted new cabins on their A350-1000 fleet of aircraft with enclosed suites.

Frontier Airlines Will Make New Hire Pilots Pay Nearly $60,000 If They Leave the Airline Within Two Years

As of May 1, 2024, the new Frontier Training Cost Repayment Agreement is designed to help the airline recoup the training cost for new pilots. Pilots who leave within two years will pay a prorated portion of the currently estimated $59,190 training cost.

Also, Frontier Airlines recently started a new out-and-back model business model where airplanes (and crew) return to their home base each night. Flight attendants don’t like the out-and-back model saying they earn less and spend more on hotel accommodation and commuting costs. The Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA) says that most of Frontier’s crew members don’t live close to their home base, and many commute more than 90 miles. The union wants Frontier to enter into contract negotiations over the issue.

Frequent Flyer Programs Deliver Lower Reward Value in the Era of Basic Economy Fares and Co-Branded Cards – Press Release

The IdeaWorksCompany Reward Seat Availability Survey answers the question, “How costly is points redemption for the most popular basic reward type offered by top US airlines?” The survey reviewed flight award programs from Alaska, American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United. These programs were found to have declining value to flyers.

Plane lands near Poland Springs building after running low on gas

A Cessna running low on fuel made an emergency landing on a road in an industrial area.

Oakland officials vote to include ‘San Francisco’ in airport’s name

The Board of Commissioners for the Port of Oakland voted to change the name of Oakland International Airport to San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport. Oakland airport officials say travelers sometimes fly into San Francisco’s airport when their destination is closer to the Oakland airport. San Francisco has claimed a trademark violation and has threatened a lawsuit.

The world’s first doggy jet service will cost you $6K for a one-way ticket

BARK Air offers a “white paw” experience. The check-in process involves no crates or TSA checkpoints. Calming aids are provided in the cabin along with leashes, poop bags and a beverage. The first BARK Air flights take off on May 23, 2024.

Mentioned

LeVeL33 – Meetup April 19 or 20, 2024.

NASA Retires DC-8 Flying Lab

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Rob Mark, and our Main(e) Man Micah.

794 SouthWings Environmental Flights

The SouthWings volunteer pilot organization uses aircraft for environmental monitoring and survey flights. In the news, the best-selling piston aircraft in 2023, student pilot statistics, around the world in a LearJet, an additional Las Vegas airport, skipping security at airports, failure to disclose flight deck features, and a Spirit Airlines order deferral.

Guests

SouthWings is a volunteer pilot organization that flies conservation groups, community groups, the media, and decision-makers on environmental monitoring and survey flights, as well as flights of persuasion, and media flights.

Volunteer pilots donate their aircraft, time, and money to fulfill the 130-150 flight requests received annually. The aerial perspective and photographs that these groups and individuals capture help to tell the story to those on the ground. 

SouthWings is a member of the Air Care Alliance, a nonprofit public service organization representing a nationwide network of volunteer pilot groups that are putting charitable aviation to use to meet all sorts of needs throughout this country. 

Chelsea Easter, SouthWings Director of Operations and Volunteer Pilot Engagement.

Chelsea Easter is SouthWings’ Director of Operations and Volunteer Pilot Engagement. A 2012 graduate of Auburn University, Chelsea began working in the fields of mental health and education, and then took a look into the nonprofit world and was introduced to SouthWings where, for the past four years now, she has been recruiting, onboarding, and working closely with their volunteer pilots.

Landon Thorne, SouthWings volunteer pilot and board member.

Landon Thorne is a SouthWings volunteer pilot who also serves on SouthWings’ board. Landon has been flying since his teens. He has a long career in private equity and venture capital investing, and he served as an officer in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, retiring in 2002 with the rank of Colonel. During his military career and many active duty deployments, he served in Vietnam, Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. In Vietnam, he flew 163 missions as a back-seater in the Cessna O-1 Bird Dog and vowed that he would eventually own one of those wonderful airplanes. Today he flies N68VN, his fully restored Bird Dog painted in the colors of Marine Observation Squadron 6.

Video: SouthWings Overview

SouthWings 2023 Program Report

Landon Thorne's Cessna O-1 Bird Dog in the hangar.
Landon Thorne’s Cessna O-1 Bird Dog

Aviation News

10 best-selling piston airplanes in 2023

In 2023, piston airplane shipments increased 11.8% to 1,682 worldwide. Cirrus figures prominently in the top ten. See the 2023 General Aviation Aircraft Shipment Report [PDF] from the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

More pilots in 2023

The FAA U.S. Civil Airmen Statistics shows that 69,503 student pilot certificates were issued in 2023, a 24% increase over 2022. The U.S. Civil Airmen Statistics is an annual study published for the benefit of the FAA, other government agencies, and industry. It contains detailed airmen statistics not published in other FAA reports. Statistics about airmen, both pilot and nonpilot, are obtained from the official airmen certification records maintained by the FAA. An active airman is defined as one who holds both an airmen certificate and a valid medical certificate. Active Civil Airmen Statistics are currently available in spreadsheet form for 2018 to 2023.

Learjet 36A Crew Departs Wichita For Record Round-The-World Flight

Four pilots and one observer departed on April 3, 2024, for a 60-hour, 11-stop, record-setting flight around the world. The “Century Mission” commemorates the first around-the-world flight 100 years ago. The flight is a fundraiser for the restoration of an historic 1964 Lear Jet Model 23, Serial 23-003 owned by the Classic Lear Jet Foundation. That was the first Lear Jet delivered to a customer.

Plans for new Las Vegas airport no longer up in the air

In the 1990s, a second airport serving Las Vegas, Nevada was considered. Sixteen candidate sites were considered. Now the Southern Nevada Supplemental Airport project is finally moving ahead into the environmental phase. The Clark County Department of Aviation (CCDOA) plans to go before the Clark County Commission to award bids for project contracts. Project completion is planned for 2037.

Hundreds of people bypassed parts of airport security in last year

The Transportation Security Administration says that since March 2023, there have been at least 300 instances of people bypassing parts of airport security. The TSA says these aren’t full security breaches – passengers who bypassed some checks went through others or were stopped. Since March 2023, 200 people bypassed “exit lanes” often marked with “no reentry” signs, and 80 people evaded the travel document checker.

Duckworth wants FAA to review Boeing’s failure to disclose flight deck features

Senator Tammy Duckworth feels there is a pattern of Boeing not disclosing 737 Max flight deck features to pilots. A recent example is the design of the cockpit door which opens automatically during rapid depressurization. Duckworth wrote in a letter to the FAA “Boeing’s failure to disclose this feature is chilling given its history of concealing 737 MAX information from pilots.”

Spirit Airlines to defer Airbus deliveries, furlough 260 pilots to save cash

To conserve cash, Spirit Airlines plans to furlough about 260 pilots starting September 1, 2024. Additionally, Airbus has agreed to delay aircraft deliveries scheduled from the second quarter of 2025 through 2026 to 2030-2031. Spirit says the aircraft pushout has a positive $340 million liquidity impact over the next two years. Deliveries scheduled for 2027-2029 are unchanged.

Flight Team Internship

This California Science Center project exposes disadvantaged students to the many possible careers in aviation. The project needs support from aviation companies.

Mentioned

Mach Speed: From Mach 1 To Mach 3 Speed and Beyond

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Max Trescott, Rob Mark, and David Vanderhoof.

792 Boom Supersonic XB-1 Demonstrator

The milestone reached by Boom Supersonic with their XB-1 demonstrator and the recent leadership changes at Boeing, including the resignation of CEO Dave Calhoun. Also, the FBI contacted the passengers of Alaska Airlines Flight 1282, quality issues with Boeing MAX jets, FAA oversight of United Airlines, engine issues with Pratt & Whitney, and the farewell tour of the A-10 demonstration team.

Aviation News

Boom Announces Successful Flight of XB-1 Demonstrator Aircraft

The XB-1 supersonic jet demonstrator flew from the Mojave Air and Space Port. Boom Supersonic calls it the world’s first independently developed supersonic jet. The XB-1 incorporates carbon fiber composites, advanced avionics, digitally-optimized aerodynamics, and an advanced supersonic propulsion system. Boom said the “XB-1 met all of its test objectives, including safely and successfully achieving an altitude of 7,120 feet and speeds up to 238 knots (273 mph). While XB-1 was in the air, the team performed an initial assessment of the aircraft’s handling qualities, including airspeed checks with the T-38 chase aircraft, and assessing the aircraft’s stability in the landing attitude (at a high angle of attack).”

Boom’s supersonic airliner Overture “…will carry 64-80 passengers at Mach 1.7, about twice the speed of today’s subsonic airliners. Overture is designed to run on up to 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).”

Video: Full Video: XB-1 Takes Flight

Boeing C.E.O. to Step Down in Major Reshuffle at Embattled Plane Maker

Boeing announced leadership changes:

  • CEO Dave Calhoun leaves at the end of 2024
  • Stan Deal, the head of Boeing commercial planes left immediately
  • Stephanie Pope, Boeing’s COO, replaces Stan Deal.
  • Board Chairman Larry Kellner will not stand for re-election.
  • Steve Mollenkopf was elected by the board to be the new chairman. He’s an electrical engineer by training and the former chief executive of Qualcomm.
  • The Board will choose the next Boeing chief executive.

Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 passengers receive FBI letter identifying them as the victims of a possible crime

Attorney Mark Lindquist represents passengers who were on Alaska Airlines Flight 1282 when the door plug blew out. He shared a letter from the FBI’s Seattle division under the Justice Department that he says was received by the passengers he represents. The letter says “I’m contacting you because we have identified you as a possible victim of a crime.”

Boeing Charged with 737 Max Fraud Conspiracy and Agrees to Pay over $2.5 Billion

The DOJ press release from 2021 describes the conditions of the Boeing deferred prosecution agreement. In part:

“The Boeing Company (Boeing) has entered into an agreement with the Department of Justice to resolve a criminal charge related to a conspiracy to defraud the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aircraft Evaluation Group (FAA AEG) in connection with the FAA AEG’s evaluation of Boeing’s 737 MAX airplane.”

“The tragic crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 exposed fraudulent and deceptive conduct by employees of one of the world’s leading commercial airplane manufacturers…”

“Boeing’s employees chose the path of profit over candor by concealing material information from the FAA concerning the operation of its 737 Max airplane and engaging in an effort to cover up their deception. This resolution holds Boeing accountable for its employees’ criminal misconduct, addresses the financial impact to Boeing’s airline customers, and hopefully provides some measure of compensation to the crash-victims’ families and beneficiaries.”

FAA wants inspections of Boeing Max planes for wiring flaws that could lead to ‘loss of control’

A recent FAA proposed airworthiness directive would require the inspection of about 207 737 Max airplane wings for wiring damage within three years. The Agency says an “unsafe condition” could result in a “loss of control” of certain Boeing 737 Max jets due to the “nonconforming” installation of spoiler control wires.

FAA to increase oversight of United Airlines after recent issues

Oversight of United Airlines by the FAA is increasing after recent incidents. The airlines vice president of corporate safety, Sasha Johnson said in a memo to employees that the “number of safety-related events in recent weeks have rightfully caused us to pause and evaluate whether there is anything we can and should do differently.”

The FAA will review some work processes, manuals, and facilities. Johnson said, “We welcome their engagement and are very open to hear from them about what they find and their perspective on things we may need to change to make us even safer.”

FAA responds to PW1100G ‘misaligned’ vane issue that caused a 2022 failure

Photo of a "blisk" by Olivier Cleynen - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30317852
A “blisk.” Image by Olivier Cleynen.

In 2022, the low-pressure compressor first-stage integrally bladed rotor (or “blisk”) in an Airbus A320neo engine failed, resulting in an engine shutdown. In a proposed rule, the FAA wants to require that airlines replace the rotor. Pratt & Whitney says “The [proposal] relates to a known issue that affected a limited number of engines and is unrelated to powder metal. The improved hardware has been deploying to the fleet over the past two years through previously released service bulletins.”

According to the FAA, a “misaligned” inlet guide vane ahead of the low-pressure compressor resulted in “aerodynamic excitement,” which caused the rotor to fail.

Improvements made by Pratt & Whitney include redesigns of the arm assembly and the first-stage integrally bladed rotor.

Why You’ve Never Been in a Plane Crash

Subtitle: The United States leads the world in airline safety. That’s because of the way we assign blame when accidents do happen.

Understanding the Boeing Mess

Mentioned

A-10 Demo Team Announces Its Final Year As The Warthog’s End Draws Near

A-10 Demo Team

Great Electric Airplane Race Preview

The Air Show podcast.

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Max Trescott, Rob Mark, David Vanderhoof, and our Main(e) Man Micah.