Tag Archives: DOT

779 Aircraft Leases

Aircraft leases, engine leasing pools, and related aerospace investments. In the news, Southwest flight attendants will have to vote again on the proposed labor contract, the YouTuber who crashed his plane in a video stunt is flying again, the FAA issues an NPRM for the 737NG nacelle retrofit program, another NPRM is out for PW1100G engine inspections, DOT fines Southwest Airlines $150 million, and a new museum is created for WWII crashes flying over “the hump.”

Guest

Nathan Dickstein is Managing Director and Head of Aerospace Leasing at investment firm AE Industrial Partners, LP. The company was founded in 1998 as AeroEquity and later rebranded as AE Industrial Partners (AEI).

Nathan Dickstein, managing director and head of aerospace leasing at AE Industrial Partners, LP (AEI) on aircraft leases.

Nathan focuses on the origination and management of aircraft leases, engine leasing pools, and related aerospace investments. He has over 12 years of industry experience investing in aircraft and engine leasing at investment funds, banks, and leasing companies.

We explore various aspects of aircraft leasing and its impact on the aviation industry. Nathan discusses the challenges faced by airlines due to airworthiness directives and the need for early engine visits. Our conversation also delves into different types of leasing companies and the expertise of AEI in aircraft leasing. Nathan highlights the benefits of aircraft leases and the flexibility they offer. We also consider the growth and resilience of the aircraft leasing industry.

Before joining AE Industrial in 2020, Nathan worked in Marathon Asset Management’s Structured Credit team where he was responsible for the origination and management of aircraft and aviation-related investments. Before Marathon, Nathan was employed by Alterna Capital Partners, responsible for sourcing, executing, and realizing aircraft investments. 

Nathan’s previous industry work experience includes Deucalion Aviation Funds, the equity investment arm of DVB Bank where he was responsible for transaction analysis and deal structuring, and AWAS Aviation Capital, a top 10 aircraft lessor, where he was part of the Risk Management team.

Aviation News

Southwest Airlines Flight Attendants Forced to Rerun Contract Vote After Crew Discovered Ballot System Was Vulnerable to Fraud

Transport Workers Union Local 556 (TWU Local 556) represents Southwest Airlines flight attendants and contract negotiations have been going on for years. Recently, with 95% of eligible union members voting, the proposed contract was soundly rejected. However, some members questioned the integrity of the voting process. After an investigation, the union says the membership will have to vote again.

Trevor Jacob Goes Flying On Temporary Certificate

Two years ago, Trevor Jacob intentionally crashed his Taylorcraft for a YouTube stunt. His pilot certificate was revoked in April 2022, and he was recently sentenced to six months in prison for hiding evidence. However, Jacob was eligible to apply for a certificate after one year and he says he’s passed the written exam and completed his checkride. With that, the FAA says he has now been issued a temporary pilot certificate.

(a) A temporary pilot, flight instructor, or ground instructor certificate or rating is issued for up to 120 days, at which time a permanent certificate will be issued to a person whom the Administrator finds qualified under this part.

(b) A temporary pilot, flight instructor, or ground instructor certificate or rating expires: (1) On the expiration date shown on the certificate; (2) Upon receipt of the permanent certificate; or (3) Upon receipt of a notice that the certificate or rating sought is denied or revoked.

Code of Federal Regulations § 61.17 Temporary Certificate.

FAA Starts 737NG Nacelle Retrofit Mandate Process

Following two incidents, the NTSB recommended a redesign of the 737NG nacelle. The FAA issued three notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRMs) that would mandate that operators would have until July 31, 2028, to upgrade their aircraft with new inlet spacers and fasteners, a fan cowl support beam, a stiffer exhaust nozzle, and upgraded inlet aft bulkhead fasteners. Boeing would issue maintenance instructions by Dec. 31, 2029. The changes are intended to keep fan cowls closed, intact, and attached to the airplane in the event of a fan-blade-out event.

FAA Outlines Next Phase Of PW1100G Inspections

In another NPRM, the draft rule based on two service bulletins developed by Pratt would mandate inspections of the PW1100G. The next batch of engines needing off-wing inspection of high-pressure turbine (HPT) stage 1 and stage 2 disks were identified and high-pressure compressor (HPC) stage 7 and 8 integrated blade rotors (IBRs) are to be added to Pratt’s “fleet management plan.”

DOT Penalizes Southwest Airlines $140 Million for 2022 Holiday Meltdown

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced a $140 million civil penalty against Southwest Airlines for violating consumer protection laws over the 2022 Christmas holiday and into the New Year after the operational failures canceled 16,900 flights and stranded over two million passengers. Most of the penalty will go towards compensating future Southwest passengers. In its investigation, DOT found the company violated consumer protection laws by failing to provide adequate customer service assistance, failing to provide prompt flight status notifications, and failing to provide refunds promptly and properly.

600 U.S. planes crashed in the Himalayas during WWII. A new museum shows the artifacts

An estimated 1,500 pilots and passengers were killed flying “the hump” due to incorrect maps, weather conditions, flying at high altitudes with unpressurized aircraft, and other causes.

Mentioned

American Heritage Museum

Video: Collings Foundation Hangar (Stow, MA)

Air Force Safety Center: Aviation Statistics

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Rob Mark, and David Vanderhoof.

773 North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco

We look at the North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco with a former combat aircraft pilot. In the news, Van’s Aircraft is experiencing financial issues, the U.S. Government is getting involved in the Schiphol airport move to reduce flights, and a Federal Flight Deck Officer allegedly threatens to shoot another pilot.

Guest

Tim Plaehn in the F-16 cockpit 1985.
Tim Plaehn in 1985

Tim Plaehn is a former combat aircraft pilot who attended the Air Force Academy, graduating in 1979. Tim attended Undergraduate Pilot Training at Williams AFB and his first assignment ran from 1980 to 1984, flying the North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco. He spent one year at Osan AB in South Korea, and two years as an OV-10 instructor at Patrick AFB. Tim received his F-16 training at Luke AFB in 1985 and served as a frontline F-16 pilot at Nellis AFB through 1987 when he separated from the Air Force.

Tim describes the very interesting OV-10 aircraft, and its design, armament, and acrobatic qualities. We hear some stories about his experiences training pilots to fly the OV-10 including several student-induced spins.

NASA OV-10 in flight.
NASA OV-10

After major maintenance was performed on an Air Force aircraft, a follow-up flight called a functional check flight (FCF) would be required. A squadron would have two pilots qualified to fly FCFs. Tim was fortunate to be an FCF pilot for both the OV-10 and the F-16.

Since his Air Force career, Tim has spent most of his working life in the investment world. For the past 10 years, he’s been the researcher and writer of newsletters focusing on the stock market. He also writes about his experiences at landflyordie.substack.com.

Video: Brilliant OV-10 Bronco Display – Abingdon 2023

Museums with the North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco on display:

The Bronco Is Back! A Fleet Of OV-10s Will Help Train Air Force Forward Air Controllers

The OV-10 Squadron is an organization that received seven OV-10D Broncos at Chino Airport in Southern California (KCNO).

Blue Air Training Acquires Seven OV-10 Broncos

Aviation News

Van’s Aircraft reports cash crunch, prompts concern

In a video posted on YouTube, Dick VanGrunsven, founder and CEO of kit plane maker Van’s Aircraft, said, “Van’s is facing serious cash flow issues that must be addressed for ongoing operation.” Van also stated, “We are confident we can work through the situation, but some changes are required. Candidly, since early September, Van’s has only been able to continue operating through loans of operating capital made by my wife and me.”

Video: Van’s Aircraft Business Announcement from Dick VanGrunsven

Van was our guest in Airplane Geeks Episode 376.

United States Retaliates Against Netherlands Flight Cap

In previous episodes, we talked about Amsterdam Schiphol reducing the number of flights in 2024 by about 10%, and how newcomer JetBlue asked the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) to take some action to protect its interests. The DOT now says the Netherlands is violating the United States and European Union Air Transport Agreement. As a consequence,

The Department orders KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, NV; Martinair Holland NV; and TUI Airlines Nederland, BV to file with the Department, within seven days of the service date of this order, any and all of their existing schedules for air transportation services, including codeshare, common branding, and extra sections, between any point or points in the United States and any point or points not in the United States.

US DOT

The claimed violation falls under the balanced approach philosophy. According to the IATA factsheet The Balanced Approach to aircraft noise management:

The Balanced Approach requires that all available options be evaluated to identify the most cost-effective measure or combination of measures to mitigate a specific noise problem.

Each new generation of aircraft is quieter than the previous one and the noise footprint surrounding airports has reduced, but increased flight operations have counteracted some of these benefits. These factors are driving some local authorities to impose noise operating restrictions at airports, either in terms of annual movement reductions, aircraft type bans, or night operations bans.

Most of these restrictions are being implemented without ICAO’s Balanced Approach, which requires that the noise concerns of local residents be balanced with protecting the huge social and economic benefits of the airport’s connectivity for the whole country. 

IATA and its member airlines fully support the implementation of the Balanced Approach when it comes to noise management.

IATA

The Balanced Approach principle was adopted in 2001. It is included in Annex 16, Volume I of the ICAO Chicago Convention. It is enshrined in the EU regulation 598/2014, and it is also stipulated in the USA-EU Air Transport Agreement.

Pilot accused of threatening to shoot captain who tried to divert flight for a medical emergency, officials say

A commercial first officer has been indicted by a Utah grand jury for an August 2022 incident when he allegedly threatened to shoot the captain if the flight was diverted for a passenger medical event. The pilot had been charged with interference with a flight crew. The first officer “told the Captain they would be shot multiple times” after a disagreement regarding a possible flight diversion for a passenger medical event, the Office of Inspector General said.

The pilot was authorized to carry a gun on board the plane under to the Transportation Security Administration’s Federal Flight Deck Officer program. Such officers are “deputized as a federal law enforcement officer and issued a TSA-approved firearm and federal flight deck officer credentials,” according to the TSA.

Mentioned

Marshall Blythe stunning airplane models on Flickr.

Shocker: Math proves boarding planes is actually really efficient

Hosts this Episode

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

735 Aircraft Automation

The co-founder and CEO of Reliable Robotics explains how aircraft automation sets the path to bringing certified autonomous vehicles to commercial aviation. In the news, the first graduating class from United Aviate Academy, the NTSB and BEA comment on the Ethiopian Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau’s final report on the 737 Max crash, pilots working to make their airport safer, the government wants to know if the Southwest meltdown was caused by unrealistic scheduling, and ADS-B Exchange purchase by Jetnet.

Guest

Robert Rose headshot.

Robert Rose is the co-founder and CEO of Reliable Robotics, a company that seeks to bring certified autonomous vehicles to commercial aviation. Their vision is to leverage aircraft automation to transform the way we move goods and people around the planet with safer, more convenient, and more affordable air transportation. The company is headquartered in Mountain View, California, and has a distributed global workforce.

Robert explains how incremental safety enhancements can lead to the long-term goal of remotely piloted aircraft. Reliable Robotics is developing a higher precision navigation system, followed by the capability for auto-land without airport infrastructure. From there, an auto-takeoff capability that includes takeoff rejection, and auto-taxi. Altogether, these significantly impact the safety of GA aircraft

Admitting that fully autonomous aircraft are not a near-term possibility, Robert says that aircraft automation takes us down the path to autonomous operation.

He sees certification in three phases:

  1. Certification of a continuous engagement autopilot for the Cessna Caravan.
  2. Certifying the management of contingencies outside the system’s control.
  3. Certifying detect and avoid and the communication system with the pilot in a control center.

Robert’s engineering experience spans aerospace, self-driving cars, robotics, gaming, and consumer products. Prior to co-founding Reliable Robotics, he was the Director of Flight Software at SpaceX where he led the development of the onboard flight software for the Falcon 9 rocket and the Dragon spacecraft, resulting in the first commercial mission to the International Space Station. At Tesla, Robert was the Senior Director of Autopilot, Robert brought to market the first consumer automobile with fully unassisted self-driving capability. At X (Google’s skunkworks division), Robert led a team bringing advanced machine perception and manipulation technologies to large vehicles. 

Earlier in his career, he developed three Game of the Year award-winning titles as a Game Engine Programmer at Sony PlayStation. Robert holds a B.S. in Computer Science, a B.S. in Computer Engineering, and an M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Oregon State University.

Aviation News

United Airlines celebrates historic first graduating class of Flight Academy Pilots

United Aviate Academy graduated the first 51 student pilots out of what United hopes will be 5,000 by 2030. United is the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school. Nearly 80% of this inaugural graduating class is made up of women or people of color. The airline hopes that at least half of the graduates will be women or people of color. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says only 5.6% of pilots are women and 6% are people of color.

What’s next for the graduates?

  • Some will work as Certified Flight Instructors at the academy and build their hours toward 1,500 required flying hours
  • Others will build hours at participating flight schools or universities, including Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Purdue University and Hampton University.
  • Graduates are encouraged to eventually fly for a United Express carrier, take on leadership roles at an Aviate participating Part 135 operator, or become a Fleet Technical Instructor at United to complete their training.
  • Aviate participants can expect to become a United pilot within about six years of graduating from United Aviate Academy.

NTSB Finds More Problems in Ethiopian 737 Max Final Report

The Ethiopian Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (EAIB) final report focuses on system failures, not the actions (or inactions) of the pilots. The NTSB and BEA believe the failure of the pilots to execute proper procedures was a contributing factor. Comments made by NTSB and BEA to that effect were not included in the EAIB final report. NTSB and BEA have gone on record to express their belief that the final report is deficient in this respect.

Boeing pleads not guilty to fraud in criminal case over deadly 737 Max crashes

Boeing pleaded not guilty to felony fraud in the recent arraignment in federal court. The families asked Judge O’Connor to impose certain conditions on Boeing as a condition of release, including appointing an independent monitor to oversee Boeing’s compliance with the terms of the previous deferred prosecution agreement, and that the company’s compliance efforts “be made public to the fullest extent possible.” Boeing and the Justice Department opposed the request and the judge did not rule on those at the time.

Aspen Pilots Want to Improve Airport Safety Record

The Aspen Airport (KASE) has been regarded as a dangerous airport. The Aspen Times called it “the most dangerous [airport] in the United States.” A number of jet and piston accidents have occurred there, some fatal. In December 2022, the formation of the Aspen/Pitkin County Airport FlightOps Safety Task Force was announced. The task force includes a dozen volunteer pilots

Transportation Department looking into whether ‘unrealistic scheduling’ played role in Southwest holiday meltdown

A Department of Transportation (DOT) spokesperson said, “DOT is in the initial phase of a rigorous and comprehensive investigation into Southwest Airlines’ holiday debacle that stranded millions … [and] probing whether Southwest executives engaged in unrealistic scheduling of flights which under federal law is considered an unfair and deceptive practice.”

Southwest Airlines says travel disruptions could cost $800 million

“In a …filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, [Southwest Airlines] estimated pretax losses from the disruption of $725 million to $825 million for the quarter. Of that, it expects to lose $400 million to $425 million in revenue directly from the flight cancellations.”

The Flight Tracker That Powered @ElonJet Just Took a Left Turn

ADS-B Exchange was purchased by Jetnet, which Silversmith Capital Partners own. Some people are expressing outrage and worry that ADS-B Exchange will lose its openness. Founder and president of ADS-B Exchange Dan Streufert was our guest in Episode 692.

Australia News Desk

Auckland floods: International flights resume at Auckland Airport, 600% increase in calls to Air NZ

This week we take a look across the Tasman Sea as New Zealand’s capital, Auckland, was hit with historic levels of flooding, leading to the temporary closure of their International Airport, leaving passengers from all corners of the globe stranded for many hours in the terminal, and saw a number of inbound flights diverted.

Steve’s a little tired after being recertified as an instructor…not for airplanes…but for trains.  We discuss the similarities in approaches to training between rail and aviation, including one of Steve’s more interesting sim sessions.

Train simulation

Saber announces first projects to fly in Australian Astronaut Program

Meanwhile, Grant’s literally over the moon following Saber Astronautics’ plans to send Australian tech to the International Space Station in coming years, including beer in a specially made zero-G bottle.  

Sydney Airport chaos as control tower incident triggers evacuations and grounds flights

Flights were temporarily halted in and out of Sydney Airport this weekend when the control tower had to be evacuated following the smell of gaseous fumes in the ventilation system.

And finally, we pay tribute to local aviation photographer Matt Savage, of Mach One Aeromedia, who passed away recently after a long battle with illness.  Matt was a man who shared our passion for aviation and was a big supporter of our work.  Though he left us way too soon, his skill with the lens will live on as a lasting legacy for all of us to enjoy. 

Plane in flight photograph by Matt Savage.
Image by Matt Savage – 2022

Mentioned

Air Traffic Out Of Control podcast.

AutoGyro USA

Calidus Gyroplane on the tarmac.
2014 Calidus Gyroplane

New aviation museum planned at the Santa Maria Airport ready to take off

Donate here: https://www.pofsantamaria.org/

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, Rob Mark, Max Trescott, and David Vanderhoof. With contributions by Grant McHerron and Steve Vischer.

713 Women Aviators

We talk with two women aviators. The first had a dream of flying, changed careers, persisted, and eventually became a Boeing 777 pilot. Then a Marine pilot in training from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 tells us about flying the MV-22.

In the news, the DOT wants to see action from the airlines, an Apple AirTag leads law enforcement to a bag thief, two pilots reportedly fell asleep and overflew the runway, and seaplane service expands in the eastern U.S.

Tami Ueda-Heuer

Tami Ueda-Heuer
Tami Ueda-Heuer

This is the story of an insurance claims adjuster who went to flight school, left her job to become a flight instructor, lived frugally to pay off her debt, got married and had a child, and was furloughed. Tami was passionate about flying and very persistent. She flew charter and regional and she is now the First Officer on a Boeing 777 for a major US airline.

Lt Rachel Hardinger

Lt Rachel Hardinger USMC in the MV-22 cockpit.
Lt Rachel Hardinger USMC

Our Main(e) Man Micah spoke with Lt Rachel Hardinger USMC, a Marine pilot in training on the MV-22 Osprey. Her squadron’s mission is to “Train the world’s finest tiltrotor pilots, aircrew, and maintainers for the U.S. Marine Corps, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Navy, and Japan Ground Self-Defense Force. Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 traveled from North Carolina to Maine to perform training operations.

Micah and Lt Hardinger in front of the MV-22.
Micah and Lt Hardinger

Aviation News

Buttigieg Warns Airlines to Help Travelers or Face New Regulations

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg wants the airlines to step up regarding flight cancellations and delays. The DOT sent letters to the CEOs of 10 U.S. airlines, saying the department is considering additional rules “that would further expand the rights of airline passengers who experience disruptions.”

Buttigieg announces DOT dashboard for delayed, canceled flights

The DOT plans to launch an interactive dashboard before the Labor Day weekend. Travelers will be able to find out what each airline offers in the event of a delay or cancellation. Buttigieg wrote, “The Department is creating an interactive dashboard that provides air travelers with a single venue where they can locate easy-to-read, comparative summary information on the services or amenities that each of the large U.S. airlines provide when the cause of a cancelation or delay was due to circumstances within the airline’s control.”

AirTag leads to arrest of airline worker accused of stealing at least $15,000 worth of items from luggage

Two travelers reported missing luggage. One of them had an Apple AirTag inside her bag which indicated the location of the device. Police arrived at the residence and found the missing bag of one passenger, and just the AirTag owned by the other. A 19-year-old has been charged with two counts of grand theft.

According to the Department of Transportation, through May, 237,828 items of luggage have been reported missing. That compares to 132,071 bags during the same period last year. For detailed information, including the rate of mishandled bags by each airline, see the July 2022 Air Travel Consumer Report from DOT.

Ethiopian B738 at Addis Ababa on Aug 15th 2022, pilots asleep

On Aug 15, 2022, the pilots on an Ethiopian Airlines flight reportedly fell asleep. ET-343 departed from Khartoum (Sudan) for Addis Ababa (Ethiopia). The plane passed the top of descent, maintained FL370, and continued along the FMC route for the approach and overflew runway 25L. At that point the autopilot disconnected and the alert woke the pilots up. They then flew the aircraft for a safe landing on runway 25L. Both pilots have been suspended and the incident is under investigation.

Tailwind launches DC-ish semi-seaplane service from New York City

Tailwind Air announced nonstop seaplane service from Manhattan’s Skyport Marina (NYS) to Washington, D.C.’s College Park Airport (CGS). Scheduled service begins September 13, 2022, and will be operated by a fleet of Cessna Grand Caravans with eight Economy Plus leather seats. Tailwind is offering a “buy one seat, and a companion flies with you free” launch promotion available on the company’s website until September 10, 2022.

Tailwind Air Cessna Grand Caravan in flight.
Tailwind Air

Hosts this Episode

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

711 Women Student Pilots

A woman earns her pilot’s license at age 68 and now helps women of all ages successfully become pilots. We also have an interview with the CEO of Cirrus Aircraft. In the news, a hard landing injures a flight attendant, a mother/daughter flying first, JetBlue’s high turnover rate, flight cancellations and delays, a proposed rule for passenger refunds, and the FAA asks for public comments on seat size.

Maria Harrison-Dooley in the Diamond DA42
Maria Harrison-Dooley in the Diamond DA42

Guest

Maria Harrison-Dooley is the founder of You Fly Gal, an organization that provides scholarships and support for women student pilots. For decades Maria had dreamt of getting her Private Pilots License and at the age of 68, she accomplished that dream. Her motto is: “Flying is my passion, inspiration is my mission.”

Maria shows us that age doesn’t have to be a barrier when it comes to becoming a pilot. Noting the very high fallout rate for student pilots, she illustrates the critical role that community plays, especially for women student pilots. The Ninety-Nines: International Organization of Women Pilots is an example of an organization that fills that need.

Sponsorship for You Fly Gal scholarships comes from several sources, including King Schools and Pilot Workshops, but individual donations are also welcome.

Aviation News

Southwest Airlines Flight Attendant Ends Up With ‘Broken Back’ After Hard Landing

A Southwest Airlines flight attendant suffered a compression fracture to her T3 vertebra after a firm landing. She was reported to have been in her jumpseat. The pilots of Southwest flight WN2029 were making a visual approach at Santa Ana’s John Wayne Orange County Airport (SNA). The NTSB closed the investigation without making any specific recommendations.

Mother, daughter lead historic Southwest Airlines flight to St. Louis

Mother Holly Petitt and daughter Keely Petitt flew the flight from Denver (their hometown) to St. Louis on July 23, 2022. Holly served as the captain and Keely served as the first officer. The airline’s Campus Reach Internship Program helped Keely learn more about aviation and the airline.

JetBlue Boss Says Airline is Over-Hiring Staff Because Existing Employees Are Quitting En Masse

JetBlue is hiring, as are most other airlines, but employee retention is a big problem and the turnover is very high. So the airline is forced to over-hire. JetBlue estimates that by the end of the year, half of its workforce will have been with the airline for less than two years.

Airlines cancel more than 1,500 US flights Friday

Bad weather caused more flight delays and cancellations. FlightAware reported more than 7,700 delays in the United States on one day last week. The day before that, the TSA screened 2.3 million passengers.

DOT rule would require airlines to issue refunds for domestic flights delayed by 3 hours

Under current rules, passengers are entitled to refunds if an airline has “made a significant schedule change and/or significantly delays a flight and the consumer chooses not to travel.” However, there is no definition of “significant.” If enacted, the proposed rule would define the terms of a “significant” change and cancellation:

  • Changes that affect the departure and/or arrival times by three hours or more for a domestic flight or six hours or more for an international flight
  • Changes to the departure or arrival airport
  • Changes that increase the number of connections in the itinerary; and
  • Changes to the type of aircraft flown if it causes a significant downgrade in the air travel experience or amenities a­­vailable onboard the flight.

See Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Airline Ticket Refunds and Consumer Protections.

How small should airplane seats be? The FAA wants to hear from you

In the 2018 FAA Reauthorization Act, Congress directed the FAA to issue rules for minimum dimensions for passenger seats necessary for passenger safety. Since then, the FAA conducted simulated emergency evacuations and is now asking for public comment. This is safety-related, not comfort-related.

See: Request for Comments in Minimum Seat Dimensions Necessary for Safety of Air Passengers (Emergency Evacuation)

Australia News Desk

We pay tribute to Glen Towler, Dave Higdon, and Grant’s father, Jim McHerron, all of whom passed away since our last segment.

Australia is about to see a new low-cost carrier take to the skies, in the form of Bonza Airline, flying a small fleet of Boeing 737 Max-8 aircraft. The first of those arrived in-country last week, and Steve is cringing at their proposed market strategy. Corny, you may ask? Well, it may be if you speak Australian slang.

Bonza airline’s first plane touches down: Boeing 737 MAX arrives in Australia

Bonza 737 Max-8 VH-UJT. Photo by Cam Hines.
Bonza 737 Max-8 VH-UJT. Photo by Cam Hines.

In defence news, the RAAF has elected to keep Australia’s fleet of F-35A fighters flying, despite safety concerns over ejection seat components in a small number of US and Israeli jets which has seen those nations temporarily suspend operations.  The Department of Defence has issued a statement saying an ongoing risk assessment regime has been put in place with regard to the issue, and developments are being monitored closely.

RAAF to continue flying its F-35s despite ejector seat fault

Beyond the Press Release

Our Aviation Entrepreneurship and Innovation Correspondent Hillel Glazer interviewed business executives at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022. His objective was to look beyond what anyone can read in company press releases.

In this episode, Hillel talks to Zean Nielsen, the CEO of Cirrus Aircraft.

Mentioned

Museum needs space for more cars, airplanes, and students

The Owls Head Transportation Museum has launched a $9.7 million capital campaign to expand museum space and educational programs.

EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2022 photos by listener Steve:

Cirrus Vision jet.
Cirrus Vision jet.
Focke Wulf FWP-149D.
Focke Wulf FWP-149D.

Video: President Theodore Roosevelt flying in a Wright Brothers plane in 1910

Theodore Roosevelt – First Presidential Flight, 1910

Theodore Roosevelt's first flight.

Hosts this Episode

Your hosts: Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, Max Trescott, and Rob Mark. Contributions by Hillel Glazer, Steve Vischer, and Grant McHerron.

675 NBAA-BACE

Highlights from NBAA-BACE, including the HondaJet 2600 Concept Light Jet, Cirrus Vision Jet, and Diamond all-electric trainer. Also, a KC-46 tanker update, airline ticket refunds, FA smuggling, a passenger who was not a terrorist, an Australia News Desk report, and a story from our Main(e) Man Micah.

NBAA-BACE

Highlights from the 2021 edition of the NBAA-BACE from the National Business Aviation Association.

NBAA-BACE news.

Aviation supply chain faces mounting strain as demand picks up

Global shipping, supply chain, and labor issues are affecting aviation with component delays and increasing raw material prices. Skilled worker shortages are also occurring.

HondaJet Launches New 2600 Concept Light Jet at NBAA BACE

Honda displayed a mockup of the HondaJet 2600 Concept that will feature a transcontinental range of 2,625 nm. Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino:

“New conditions in the business aviation industry have signaled the need for rapid cross-country travel and the ability to carry more passengers and payload and dire necessity of cutting carbon emissions. In response we developed the HondaJet 2600 Concept, which delivers a transcontinental range of 2,625 nautical miles, with seating for up to 11 occupants.”

Honda Aircraft president and CEO Michimasa Fujino

Cirrus Brings Latest Jet to NBAA-BACE

The Cirrus Aircraft SF50 G2+ Vision Jet is the successor of the G2. The G2+ adds new features including increased engine performance, Gogo Wi-Fi, and new color configurations. The Williams International FJ33-5A engine modifications produce a 20 percent improvement in takeoff performance in hot-and-high conditions.

Diamond Announces Plans to Create All-Electric Trainer

The Diamond Aircraft eDA40 will be targeted to flight school training fleets. First flight is planned for the second quarter of 2022 with certification following in 2023. The EDA40 is expected to have about a 90-minute flight time and a recharge turnaround time of about 20 minutes, said Heikenwälder.

Aviation News

AMC Green Lights KC-46 to Refuel F-15s, F-16s; 62 Percent of Receivers Now Cleared

The Air Mobility Command has cleared KC-46A tankers for air-to-air refueling using the boom. This is the third “interim capability release”

Battles are being waged over airline refunds. Passengers aren’t always winning.

The Department of Transportation recently reported that in the 18 months starting in January 2020, it received 124,918 consumer complaints related to air travel. Over 84 percent of them concerned ticket refunds. The Department of Transportation has launched investigations into 20 airlines but 18 of them are still pending.

American Airlines Flight Attendant Busted Allegedly Smuggling Gold Bars, Rolex Watches and Cash On Flight to Miami

The 57-year-old head purser was arrested in Argentina on suspicion of trying to smuggle the loot on a flight from Buenos Aires to Miami. Her luggage contained 2,204 grams of gold, Rolex watches, other jewelry, thousands of Pesos, and US$ 11,413.33. The flight attendant is accused of smuggling and money laundering.

Man who was pinned to ground as a terrorist at LaGuardia was held after fellow flyer mistook his vintage camera for a bomb

American Airlines Flight 4817, from Indianapolis to LaGuardia, made an emergency landing and emergency slide evacuation after a woman accused another passenger of having a bomb. The “terrorist” was simply watching vintage camera videos and handling his own old camera.

Australia News Desk

Steve and Grant bring news from Down Under:

More details around Defence’s proposed MH-60R buy

RAN MH-60R Seahawk helicopter ditches in the Philippine Sea

QANTAS Brings Forward International Flights to 1 November

Virgin Australia to return to international flights

Stereotypes on the Q400 – Reprise

A story from our Main(e) Man Micah.

661 Bambi Buckets for Aerial Firefighting

We learn about the Bambi Buckets carried by helicopters in aerial firefighting operations. In the news, the wreckage of the cargo jet that made a water landing is located, Richard Branson flies into space, the F-35A wins a Swiss competition and Germany buys the P-8A Poseidon, but China isn’t having a lot of success exporting their fighters, thoughts on supersonic transports, unruly passengers and defense training for flight attendants.

Bambi Buckets produced by SEI Industries Ltd.
The Bambi Bucket, courtesy SEI Industries Ltd.

Guest

Sergio Fukamati is the aerial firefighting director at SEI Industries Ltd., maker of Bambi Buckets. SEI Industries is an industrial fabric products manufacturer established in 1978 and best known for its Bambi Bucket Systems used in aerial firefighting operations worldwide. These lightweight, strong, and flexible firefighting buckets were first introduced in 1982 and since then have become a very successful firefighting tool. The Bambi Bucket is now used in over 115 countries by more than 1,000 helicopter operators.

Sergio has over 25 years of international business management experience. He is a professional engineer and a registered project management professional. Sergio has led the Aerial Firefighting Division at SEI Industries Ltd, in Delta, BC, Canada since 2017.

SEI Industries – Pushing the Bambi Bucket Further

Video: Wildfires and Bambi Buckets

Video: CAL FIRE MV-22 Osprey Bambi Bucket Demonstration

Aviation News

Wreckage located of Boeing cargo jet that made emergency landing off Hawaii

Transair Flight 810 has been found on the seafloor at depths between 360 and 420 feet, about two miles off the shore. Parts of the Boeing 737-200 cargo plane were located using a Side Scan Sonar and Remotely Operated Vehicle. The wreckage is too deep for divers to recover the flight data and cockpit voice recorders and plans are being developed to recover the aircraft.

Richard Branson goes to space

Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson becomes the first billionaire to travel to space aboard a spacecraft he helped fund. Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity space plane landed safely at Spaceport America. Branson announced a partnership with charity fundraising site Omaze where people can donate to the nonprofit Humanity for Space. The winner gets two seats on a Virgin Galactic commercial flight. See Win Two Seats on One of the FIRST Virgin Galactic Flights to Space.

Lockheed’s F-35 Topples Competition in Swiss Fighter Contest

Switzerland has chosen the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter in a $6.5 billion competition against Eurofighter, Dassault, and Boeing. The Swiss Federal Council said the F-35 offered the highest performance for the lowest price, although it noted that the F-35 did not achieve the best performance in the area of offsets.

Germany signs on for Five Boeing P-8A Poseidon Aircraft

This maritime surveillance aircraft sale is under the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process. The P-8A is used for anti-submarine warfare, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and search-and-rescue operations.

The World Doesn’t Want Beijing’s Fighter Jets

China hopes to become a major exporter of fighter jets but hasn’t found much success. Most countries don’t want to partner with Beijing. Between 2000 and 2020, the United States exported $99.6 billion in military aircraft, Russia exported $61.5 billion, France exported $14.7 billion, while China exported only $7.2 billion worth of military aircraft.

Does Supersonic Flight Have A Future?

This audio report from NPR’s Hear & Now takes a look at supersonic aircraft being developed.

US to require airlines to refund fees on baggage if delayed

The US Department of Transportation plans to propose that airlines would refund baggage fees if they fail to deliver a passenger’s bag within 12 hours of touchdown for US flights, or within 25 hours after an international flight. Also, airlines would have to refund the fees charged for other services if the service was not provided.

TikTok video shows woman on American Airlines plane duct-taped to her seat after she tried to open the door mid-flight

Reportedly, the passenger attacked flight attendants and attempted to open the plane’s front door.

TSA will resume defense training for airline employees

Voluntary classes for airline flight crews were paused in 2020 due to the pandemic. Now the Transportation Security Administration says they will resume in July. The FAA says airlines have reported more than 3,000 incidents involving unruly passengers since January 1, 2021.

Mentioned

Episode 82 – Rainbows and Unicorns

توظيف الذكاء الاصطناعي برسم مستقبل النقل الجوي بأميركا [or David in the press.]

612 Difficult Times for Airlines

Airlines face downward booking trends and very large furloughs, flight training in a time of social distancing, airlines struggle to enforce face-covering policies, airports are responding to the pandemic, Boeing issues draft pilot training document for the 737 MAX, and Spirit Airlines steps up to help a family in need.

American Helicopter Museum & Education Center

American Helicopter Museum & Education Center

Aviation News

United Airlines to lay off up to 36,000 U.S. employees in October as travel remains depressed

United Airlines sent employees a notice saying that 36,000 employees may be subject to involuntary furloughs. That would represent 45% of its U.S. front-line workers. Most of these (26,000) would be flight attendants and airport customer service and gate agents. Up to 2,250 pilots could be affected.

United Airlines Has a Huge Warning for Airlines

In mid-April, there were days when TSA checkpoint volume was only 4% of previous year levels. In May and June, the volume rose slightly and airlines started operating more flights. But now Covid-19 infections are spiking upward in many U.S. states and bookings are again dropping.

Redbird Connect Enables Virtual Pilot Proficiency Center

A few months ago, Redbird Flight Simulations started thinking about social distancing and flight training. They’ve developed a platform for flight instructors and their students that uses video conferencing technology and a web-based version of the Redbird Navigator flight simulator operating system.

Airline passengers find ‘creative ways’ to remove masks, American pilot says

Airline passengers are required to wear face coverings in flight, except when eating and drinking. Most do, but not everyone. Cabin crew have difficulty enforcing a mask policy since there is no Federal requirement, only a recommendation.

In July 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation published a 44-page “Runway to Recovery” plan [PDF] subtitled “The United States Framework for Airlines and Airports to Mitigate the Public Health Risks of Coronavirus.”

Touchless: How the world’s busiest airport envisions post-COVID travel

DFW and American Airlines plan to roll out self-check-in for luggage and touchless restrooms at the airport. The airport is piloting three luggage self-check-in systems: Amadeus’s ICM, SITA, and Materna IPS. DFW is also testing new sanitization technology including ultraviolet light to kill germs before they circulate into the HVAC system.

You couldn’t even pay me to fly United or American Airlines right now, and here’s why

Delta and Southwest Airlines are still flying with reduced seating, but American and United have resumed booking middle seats.

American pilots review Boeing’s latest Max training draft

Boeing has a draft of its new 737 MAX pilot training document. The Allied Pilots Association (APA) representing American Airlines’ pilots has a copy and they say the document is vastly more thorough than previous drafts. The APA is generally pleased with it but some concerns remain. Boeing’s latest draft includes some 10 documents and 200 pages.

Spirit to the rescue: Airline sends emergency plane to bring stranded family home

A family was flying on Spirit Airlines from San Juan to Philadelphia when their 4-year-old daughter had a medical emergency. The plane diverted to Turks and Caicos so the girl could get medical treatment. (She’s fine.) But the family didn’t have the necessary documentation when they tried to leave the island. Plus international travel is shut down there. They were trapped but Spirit and others came to the rescue. 

Mentioned

EAA’s Spirit of Aviation Week™ – July 21-25, 2020.

Meet The Navy’s First Female African American Tactical Jet Pilot

Air Force Name Tapes Can Now Include Accent Marks and Hyphens

 

431 The Seattle Aerospace Scene

A Seattle Times aerospace reporter tells us about the Boeing 777X, the 787 Dreamliner, the Boeing manufacturing processes, and more. In the news, inflight WiFi phone calls, air traffic controllers behaving badly, an audit of privatized flight service, United Airlines helps young dance competitors, and a seaplane with an impressive paint job. We also have a listener report about the Canadian Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue Program.

Guest

Dominic GatesDominic Gates is the aerospace reporter for the Seattle Times. We discuss a variety of topics, including the recent Boeing 777 production rate cut due to softening demand and the production requirements for 777X flight test aircraft. We talk about the business decline of the 747 and the Air Force One replacement. Also, the requirement to restart 787 Dreamliner flight control modules and 787-10 final assembly in South Carolina. We look at globalization issues and Boeing’s strategy to rely on an extensive supply chain. Dominic also tells us about some of his memorable stories and scoops, as well as those that impacted labor.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Dominic taught high school calculus in Ireland and in Africa. He met his future wife and in 1992 moved to Seattle, where he switched careers to journalism. Dominic originally established himself as a journalist by freelancing, but eventually joined the Seattle Times as aerospace reporter in January 2003, his first newspaper job.

The Boeing beat is the highest-profile business beat at the Times and as the aerospace reporter, Dominic has broken many high-impact stories. His tenure at the Times coincides exactly with the story of the 787 Dreamliner. In 2003, just a month into the job, he broke the story in March that Boeing would hold a competition among the states for the final assembly location of its 7E7 airplane. On December 5 of that year, he revealed that Boeing’s 7E7 team was recommending Everett for final assembly. Ten days later, Boeing’s board made it official. Ever since, he has closely tracked the many twists and turns of the 787 story.

Dominic attends the European Air Shows each year and makes regular reporting trips to airplane leasing conferences, to Boeing plants around the U.S., including Charleston, and to Boeing suppliers, such as Spirit in Wichita. He has toured and written about the Airbus final assembly plants in Toulouse, the Airbus wing factory in Wales, and the Bombardier CSeries wing plant in Belfast.

Find Dominic on Twitter as @dominicgates, on Facebook, and at the Seattle Times.

News

Feds could allow Wi-Fi phone calls on airline flights

The Chicago Tribune reports that The U.S Department of Transportation announced it could see allowing WiFi phone calls if airlines tell customers about the policy when they buy their tickets. This is so customers who don’t want to sit next to others making calls could make other travel arrangements.

DOT Proposes Rule to Protect Airline Passengers From Being Unwillingly Exposed to Voice Calls on Aircraft

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said, “Consumers deserve to have clear and accurate information about whether an airline permits voice calls before they purchase a ticket and board the aircraft. Today’s proposal will ensure that air travelers are not unwillingly exposed to voice calls, as many of them are troubled over the idea of passengers talking on cell phones in flight.”

Members of the public can comment on the NPRM at www.regulations.gov, docket number DOT-OST-2014-0002. 60 days. Look for DOT-OST-2014-0002-1795.

Air traffic controllers take a nap and grab a snack while pilots’ calls go unanswered

The Boise Idaho Police Department says that after two helicopter pilots were unable to contact controllers, officers entered the Boise Airport air traffic control tower. One controller was sleeping and the other controller had left the tower and smelled of marijuana.

Privatizing Flight Service Saved Money, Faces New Challenges

The Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General has released the report titled, FAA Achieved Most of the Anticipated Cost Savings from Contracting Out Flight Service Stations, but Needs to Determine the Future Direction of the Program [PDF], finding that the FAA has saved or avoided costs of approximately $2.13 billion over a 13-year period, and has implemented effective controls. The Office did make three recommendations to the FAA to help develop its future approach to providing flight services.

How United Airlines stepped up big time to help stranded young tap dancers

United Airlines came to the assistance of a group of American dancers trying to reach a major tap dance competition in Germany. The group was stranded in Boston over the Thanksgiving holiday due to the Lufthansa pilot strike, and United arranged for flights to transport the dancers to Germany in time for the competition. See Results – IDO World Tap Dance Championships 2016 for the ultimate outcome.

Seattle’s ‘Wild Orca’ Seaplane Attracts Attention

Seattle’s Kenmore Air Harbor is raising awareness of the plight of caged whales with a beautiful paint job.

Listener Recording

Kevin talks about Airbus winning the Canadian Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue Program with their C-295. Competing with Airbus was the C-27J Spartan and the Embraer KC-390.

How did search-and-rescue mission to Igloolik go wrong?

That Others May Live: In The Air With Canada’s Search And Rescue Technicians

Mentioned

Aerospace Industries Association (AIA)

Would You Like To Fly? by Jennifer Adams in Jetwhine.com. Jennifer blogs at Tales From the Terminal.

Photos: Kish, Iran (OIBK) – International Iran Airshow, 17 November 2016 by Paul Filmer.

International Iran Airshow

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

 

AirplaneGeeks 309 – Airways News

B25 Mitchell of the Royal Netherlands Dutch Historic Flight lining up at RNAS Yeovilton

Airchive.com and Airways Magazine working together, airline citations over passenger rights, airline safety, and announcements from AirVenture Oshkosh.

Guest

Guest Chris Sloan is the founder of Airchive.com and president and founder of 2C Media, a television production and promotion company. Previously, Chris held senior level executive positions with NBC, TLC, and USA Networks.

Chris produced “International Airport 24/7: Miami” on the Travel Channel, and oversaw the TLC documentary on the building of the Airbus A-380 featuring John Travolta.

We talk about changes at Airchive.com and their cross-promotion with Airways magazine, which is becoming more feature driven.  Airchive.com will become AirwaysNews.com and deliver the digital product.

Also, Chris tells us about the challenges producing Airport 24/7 and other aviation programs he has in the works. We talk about  aviation shows on TV, thoughts on an all-aviation television channel, and how different markets demand different aviation programming.

News

Passenger rights rules lead to jump in U.S. airline citations

The LA Times looked at U.S. Department of Transportation records for citations issued against airlines and travel agencies from 2010 to 2013. 521 citations were issued in that time period, almost twice the annual rate for the previous four years. Airlines were cited airlines 181 times for violating rules of unfair and deceptive practices, like advertising fares that were not available. Mistreating disabled passengers resulted in the largest fines.

Elsewhere:

Netherlands and Germany fine foreign airlines over ETS

Swiss Regulator Fines Airlines $11M For Price-Fixing

Despite All the Recent Accidents, Flying is Still Very Safe

It’s been a bad time recently for commercial aviation: MH70 still missing, MH17 shot down by a missile over Ukraine, TransAsia ATR-72 crashed a Taiwanese in heavy rains killing 40, aAn Air Algerie MD-83 with 116 on board crashed in Mali.

Flight Bans Show Skittishness Over Trouble Spots

Airlines are acting ahead of their regulatory agencies.

How Israel persuaded the Airlines that Ben Gurion is Safe

Israel’s Civil Aviation authorities sent a memo to international airline regulators and airlines, describing that Ben-Gurion is safe. In part, the memo says, “The Iron dome launch batteries covering Ben-Gurion Airport operate under a specific set of procedures which I cannot go into in detail due to security reasons. I would like to note, however, that out of over 2,250 rockets fired from Gaza into Israeli territory… not a single one has landed in Ben-Gurion Airport.”

News from AirVenture Oshkosh 2014

AeroVue Cockpit Retrofit Launched By BendixKing

There’s A New Light Sport Amphib Coming To The Block

Cessna Introduces Turbo Skyhawk JT-A

Brown Aviation Lease and Redhawk Aero Partner to Address High Cost Flight Training Combining Hardware, Software and Services

Premier Launches Diesel Cessna 172 Upgrade Program

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week

Lockheed M21and D21

The Tagboard Senior Trend 30, and the M/D-21 – the MACH 3.5 drone that had a serious disaster in July 1966. See a video of the accident: SR71 Sistership, The MD21 Blackbird Accident and JC-130 Recovery.

The Australia News Desk

The first two RAAF F-35s are unveiled in Texas, and Qantas are once again considering splitting their International and Domestic arms, as the proposed changes to the Qantas Sale Act just aren’t enough in their eyes.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124.

Across the Pond

This week Pieter is at the home of the Fleet Air Arm, Royal Navy Air Station Yeovilton in Somerset in the UK, for their annual Air Show. There are no flying Swordfish this year but the Royal Navy Historic Flight Sea Fury certainly starts off the display with a growl in the hands of Lt Commander Chris Gotke. Visitors from the Army and RAF, as well as Germany, France, Switzerland, Denmark, Jordan and Belgium made it a truly international show. This years theme follows the naming of HMS Queen Elizabeth and is all about operating at sea.

Find Pieter on Twitter as @Nascothornet, on Facebook at XTPMedia, and at the Aviation Xtended podcast.

Mentioned

Carl Valeri’s Aviation Careers Podcast.

Credit

Opening and closing music courtesy Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at www.brotherloverocks.com.