An aircraft dispatcher for a major airline tells us about the training and knowledge requirements of a dispatcher. Also, the FAA says they don’t need to regulate airline seat space, Delta goes only nine abreast on the 777-200ER, Boeing and Embraer sign an MOU, and JetBlue steps up to help a pet in distress. We have an interview with the executive director of the PIMA Air & Space Museum, and we talk about going supersonic, more airmail navigation arrows, and the Equator Aircraft P2 Xcursion first test flight.
Mike Karrels is an aircraft dispatcher for a major airline based in the United States. He owns a share of a vintage 1963 Beechcraft Musketeer and hosts the Flying and Life podcast which covers the duties of a dispatcher and dives into the complex details of airline operations and flight planning. We last talked with Mike at the National Air & Space Museum in Episode 508 and here we expand the conversation about becoming an aircraft dispatcher.
Mike explains that dispatcher training requirements are defined in 14 CFR Part 65, Subpart C – Aircraft Dispatchers. Content and minimum hours are specified in 14 CFR 65.61 – Aircraft dispatcher certification courses: Content and minimum hours and 14 CFR Appendix A to Part 65, Aircraft Dispatcher Courses lists the knowledge topics. There are currently 57 Part 65 schools approved to teach: FAA-Approved 14 CFR Part 65 Aircraft Dispatcher Certification Courses [PDF]. We also look at the dispatcher practical exam, recurrent training, and the annual desk check.
We explore the differences between dispatching domestically and internationally, and between trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific where Mike tells us about the system of tracks system. He also explains how an awareness of the geopolitical situation is important to an aircraft dispatcher. We look at dispatcher trade associations and the union situation.
Mike graduated from Lewis University with an undergraduate degree in Aviation Flight Management and a few years later earned a Masters in Aviation and Transportation. He holds FAA certificates for Commercial Single engine land with an instrument rating, a Remote Pilot Certificate, and an Aircraft Dispatcher certificate.
In response to a rulemaking petition filed by FlyersRights, in March 2017 the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, DC ordered the FAA to take a second look at regulating seat size and passenger room. FlyersRights argued that shrinking seat room and increasing passenger size made airliners unsafe in evacuation situations. The FAA has now responded saying, “The FAA has no evidence that there is an immediate safety issue necessitating rulemaking at this time.”
Delta announced that their 777-200ER fleet refresh includes “9-abreast seating in Main Cabin versus the industry norm of 10 across.” Also in the refresh are seatback entertainment screens throughout with Delta Studio and thousands of hours of free content, and full-spectrum LED ambient lighting with customized lighting schemes depending on the phase of flight.
Boeing and Embraer signed a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a strategic partnership. In a joint press release, the companies say, “The non-binding agreement proposes the formation of a joint venture comprising the commercial aircraft and services business of Embraer that would strategically align with Boeing’s commercial development, production, marketing and lifecycle services operations. Under the terms of the agreement, Boeing will hold an 80 percent ownership stake in the joint venture and Embraer will own the remaining 20 percent stake.”
Both United and Delta have been in the news with horror stories about pets on planes. Now we see a good news story about a French Bulldog named Darcy on JetBlue.
The Pima Air & Space Museum opened in 1976 and is the third largest aviation museum in the world. The museum exhibits about 335 aircraft and 125,000 artifacts, attracts more than 170,000 visitors annually, and houses its own aircraft restoration shop. The museum also offers exclusive tours of the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG) on Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. Known as the “Boneyard,” it is the world’s largest military aircraft storage facility.
Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad spoke with Scott Marchand, Executive Director of the PIMA Air & Space Museum.
Northern Utah Aircraft Navigation Arrows Circa Early 20th Century by Patrick Wiggins.
An interesting graphic from Two wings “is megl’ che one!” (1) Some notes about sound:
Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.