Avelo Airlines flight report, Redbird Flight Simulation, Nicki’s flying adventures, the covert Ravens program, the Commemorative Air Force, USAF Aerial Targets Squadron, the Flying Musicians Association, and a commentary about sustainable jet fuel.
Launchpad Marzari spoke with Hank Coats, the CEO and president of the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) and Nancy McGee, Vice President of Education about their new headquarters and the Henry B. Tippie National Aviation Education Center.
Dennis Klotz and Trent McMillan represented the Flying Musicians Association at Sun ‘n Fun. Founded in 2009, this 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is for pilots who are also musicians. They welcome all proficiency levels and musical genres.
Commentary on sustainable aviation fuel
In this opinion piece, Main(e) Man Micah tells us his views about sustainable fuel for aviation.
Our guest is Sporty’s Pilot Shop vice president John Zimmerman. In the news, startup airlines are launching during the pandemic, data on General Aviation shipments, and F-35 software upgrade issues. Also, the recent Blue Bonnet airshow, how to notify the FAA of construction activity, and a hush kit for the Gulfstream.
John Zimmerman is a pilot and a vice president at Sporty’s Pilot Shop. Before becoming an employee, John learned to fly at a Cincinnati airport and regularly attended Sporty’s famous hot dog cookouts. Today as a vice president, he’s responsible for new product development and marketing. John regularly flies a Citabria, a Pilatus PC-12, and a Robinson R44 helicopter. He is an ATP and also holds ratings for multi-engine, seaplanes, gliders, and helicopters. John is also editor-in-chief of Air Facts and a contributing editor at Flying Magazine.
John tells us the Sporty’s story that started 60 years ago. It’s a company where the employees are pilots who use the products they sell. We look at the challenges of the last twelve months and consider the strength of the demand for flight training. John explains how Sporty’s Pilot Shop has responded to training technology that has changed over the years – from videotapes to streaming media.
We also learn about Sporty’s iPad Pilot News, the monthly email newsletter where you can find tips and tricks for using your favorite apps, stay up to date on the latest iPad news, read detailed reviews of new apps, and learn about new iPad accessories and specials.
At least three airlines are planning to start operations in 2021: Norwegian low-cost startup Flyr, UK startup Flypop, and Breeze Airways in the US. Flyr will focus on the Norwegian family and leisure market with the Boeing 737-800. Flypop will offer low-cost long-haul flights with the Airbus A330. Breeze Airways from airline entrepreneur David Neeleman will target the US leisure travel market with the Airbus A220-300 and some Embraer E190 and E195 aircraft.
Global business aviation is reported to be “back to 85% of pre-COVID-19 levels” while the U.S. business aviation market is down just 7% and charter flights are up 4%. Former first class passengers are turning to business jets and some travelers are looking at charter memberships and jet cards.
In 2020, the overall GA industry saw 9.7 percent fewer shipments. Billings fell 14.8 percent. GAMA’s executive committee chairman, Nicolas Chabbert, said, “I must say that these figures are not representing the level of demand, which stays very high and are moderated by our ability to deliver as a global industry.” Supply chain constraints are limiting shipments, as well as company efforts to fight the pandemic and keep employees safe.
The Government Accountability Office issued a 67-page report to Congress, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, DOD Needs to Update Modernization Schedule and Improve Data on Software Development (PDF). The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is DOD’s most expensive weapon system program. Congress directed the GAO to review the F-35 program which is 3 years into a development effort to modernize the F-35 aircraft’s capabilities. GAO is making three recommendations to DOD: that DOD update its modernization schedule to reflect achievable time frames, identify and implement tools to enable automated data collection on software development performance, and set software quality performance targets. DOD agreed with GAO’s recommendations.
Interviews from the 2019 Planes of Fame Air Show and also with Commemorative Air Force support crew. In the news, we look at the AOA Disagree alert on the 737 Max, military pilot training with virtual reality, Airbus A380s being parted out, and the pilot of the fatal Planes of Fame Northrop N9MB Flying Wing crash has been identified.
The 2019 Planes of Fame Air Show at Chino Airport was dedicated to the memory of David Vopat, the Planes of Fame Air Museum pilot who was tragically killed in the crash of a Northrop Flying Wing.
The show featured over 50 historic aircraft, including the P-47 Thunderbolt, P-38 Lightning and P-51 Mustangs. Performances included: USAF F-16 Viper Demo and Heritage Flight; WWII Airborne Demo Team Paratroopers; the world’s fastest piston engine aircraft P-51 Mustang Voodoo; Pacific, European, Korean and Vietnam Flight Displays; Gregory ‘Wired’ Colyer T-33 Aerobatics; Eric Tucker Piper Cub demo; and Rob Harrison the Tumbling Bear.
Brian Coleman recorded the following interviews, with start times indicated in brackets.
Longtime listener Matt Haines works the ramp at the show. [29:01]
We now have reports about the failure to detect erroneous AOA readings on 737 Max aircraft. The AOA safety alert was designed to indicate faulty data, but it is only activated if optional equipment is installed. This was not what Boeing originally intended.
In their press release, Boeing Statement on AOA Disagree Alert,Boeing says “Neither the angle of attack indicator nor the AOA Disagree alert are necessary for the safe operation of the airplane. They provide supplemental information only, and have never been considered safety features on commercial jet transport airplanes.” And, “The Boeing design requirements for the 737 MAX included the AOA Disagree alert as a standard, standalone feature…” But “In 2017… engineers at Boeing identified that the 737 MAX display system software did not correctly meet the AOA Disagree alert requirements. The software delivered to Boeing linked the AOA Disagree alert to the AOA indicator, which is an optional feature on the MAX and the NG. Accordingly, the software activated the AOA Disagree alert only if an airline opted for the AOA indicator.”
The U.S. Air Force employs virtual reality for training, but they are looking at expanding the use of the technology. The Air Education and Training Command (AETC) is developing a business case in the hope that the technology will train pilots faster and with a better result.
It’s only been 12 years since entry into service, but two ex-Singapore Airlines A380s are being dismantled for scrap. They were leased for 10 years and returned to the lessor, who couldn’t find any buyers for the aircraft.
Commemorative Air Force
Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari spoke with two CAF air show support crew:
We have a collection of aviation topics this episode: A flight in a Robinson R-44, a look at residential airparks, the General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS, imaging instruments for aviation maintenance, US Air Force F-35A avionics and a walk around the aircraft, the Commemorative Air Force, honoring the Women Airforce Service Pilots, and using a portable ADS-B receiver.
Bits & Pieces
As long-time listeners know, when our recording day falls on a major U.S. holiday, we forgo our usual format and instead bring you a collection of pre-recorded segments from the co-hosts, and from our listeners and contributors. That’s the case this episode.
The segments that make up this episode [with start times]:
Our Main(e) man Micah talks with helicopter pilot and Airplane Geeks listener Ernie Eaton at the Hampton Airfield Cafe after their flight in Ernie’s Robinson R44. [2:27]
Ernie Eaton’s Robinson R-44.
Ernie Eaton and our Main(e) Man Micah.
Bill Armstrong, developer and partner at Big South Fork Airpark, explains what it is like to live in a residential airpark community, and what to consider when you are looking for that lifestyle. [13:14]
Residential airpark living. Photo courtesy Big South Fork Airpark.
Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari speaks with Captain Richards, Company Commander, F company 227 Aviation Battalion, and Sergeant Elbert about the General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS. [24:27]
General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle UAS. Photo courtesy General Atomics.
Max recorded a call with Liam Hanna, a product specialist with Olympus Europe in Germany. Olympus Europe provides test, measurement, and imaging instruments for the aviation industry. Liam explains the different types of borescopes, how they are used and inspector training requirements, technology advancements that have been made, and dealing with a shortage of inspectors using live inspections and remote experts. Be sure to see the Olympus Application Photo Gallery for a great selection of videoscope and borescope images and videos. Max’s favorite is the High Pressure Turbine Movie, where the laser-drilled cooling holes are clearly visible. [38:12]
At the Chino Air Show, Brian talked with listener Matt Haines about the 60th Anniversary of the Planes of Fame Airshow [1:04:23]; with Staff Sgt Alexandra Dougherty, an avionics specialist for the US Air Force F-35A [1:06:30]; and with Colonel Eddie Bentley of the Commemorative Air Force in front of the beautifully restored C-53. The Commemorative Air Force operates the world’s largest collection of Flying WWII Airplanes. [1:11:47]
Launchpad Marzari spoke with Allison Hoyt about the Commemorative Air Force’s Rise Above: WASP program. The CAF Rise Above program provides young people with real-world examples of how courage, self-confidence, and perseverance can allow them to triumph over the adversity they face in their own lives. The WASP program looks to encourage young women to become involved in aviation. [1:15:15]
Using a portable ADS-B receiver, often connected to an iPad, is a low-cost way for pilots to display nearby traffic. However, the displays can be misleading, as they often don’t show the most important traffic, which is the traffic closest to the plane with the portable ADS-B receiver. Max Trescott talked about the limitations of these devices in a recent episode of his Aviation News Talk podcast, and we have that segment for you here. [1:19:42]
Our Main(e) man introduces an interview with F-35 pilot Captain Roar conducted by Brian, Carlos, and Micah at Wings Over Pittsburgh 2017. In the interview, they discuss the transition from the F-15E Strike Eagle and low military flying in the UK. Capt. Roar mentions the Mach Loop we talked about a few episodes ago and describes the 3 different F-35 versions. We also hear about high G flight. Following that, Capt. Roar takes Brian, Carlos, and Micah on a walk around the F-35. [1:30:31]
The F-35A at the 2017 Wings Over Pittsburgh Airshow. Photo by Carlos Stebbings, Plane Talking UK Podcast.
Carlos and Matt from the Plane Talking UK Podcast pulled together a video presenting many of the faces at the Wings Over Pittsburgh air show. Have a look and see how many (sunburned) people you recognize from Airplane Geeks, the Airline Pilot Guy Show, the Plane Talking UK Podcast, as well as friends of the podcasts.