Tag Archives: F-16

642 Aircraft Line Maintenance

We examine aircraft line maintenance with a successful family-owned business. Also, two engine failures on commercial flights, testing single pilot aircraft with an eye toward future autonomous planes, a possible all new design for an F-16 replacement, and a mid-air wedding.

Guests

FEAM Maintenance/Engineering provides aircraft line maintenance engineering services for commercial aircraft operators through a wide network of line stations. They hold approvals for all current and next-generation aircraft, including B787 and A350 aircraft.

Fred Murphy is the founder and president of FEAM, the company that started in 1992 as Fred & Everett’s Aircraft Maintenance. Fred had a vision and he saw a niche for a 3rd party maintenance provider that could deliver high-quality maintenance at a reasonable cost. Now 29 years later FEAM has grown from zero to nearly $100 million in revenue projected for 2020.

Fred Murphy, founder and president, FEAM.

Prior to joining FEAM, Fred held various positions in maintenance/engineering departments at American Airlines, US Airways, FedEx and Trans World Airlines. Fred served in the US Air Force as a noncommissioned officer and holds an Associate Degree for Aircraft Maintenance Management. Fred also holds a Federal Aviation Administration airframe and powerplant license; Federal Communications Commission restricted radio operators license and a Federal Aviation Administration private pilot/ instrument rating.

Cam Murphy is the managing director of FEAM and is the second generation in his family business. Cam grew up in the business and his experiences include positions in almost every department, from janitorial services, stockroom clerk, to shadowing technicians on the flight line, and various management positions.

Cam Murphy, managing director, FEAM.

Cam joined the leadership ranks in 2010 with the vision of scaling the business. He and the team succeeded at that and what was once just two guys and a truck now employs about 1,100 technicians at 30 international airports. FEAM has maintenance certifications in the US as well as international certifications that include Korea, Singapore, Europe, Australia, Japan, and Bermuda.

Cam has an MBA in Aerospace and Defense, with a green belt certification for Lean Maintenance Repair and Overhaul from the University of Tennessee’s College of Business and Administration In 2017 Cam was awarded the Forbes 30 under 30 award, which recognizes 600 of the brightest young entrepreneurs, innovators and game changers in the US in 20 different industries.

Aviation News

United Flight Sheds Debris Over Colorado After Engine Failure

United Flight 328, a Boeing 777-200, experienced an engine failure shortly after taking off from Denver International Airport. Debris fell along the aircraft’s flight path. The plane returned to Denver. There were no injuries. United Airlines announced they will be grounding 24 Boeing 777 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines, Japan’s Transport Ministry instructed Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways to ground the Boeing 777s in their fleet. The FAA issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive that would require immediate or stepped-up inspections of Boeing 777 airplanes equipped with these engines. Boeing recommends suspending operations of the 69 in-service and 59 in-storage 777s powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines until the FAA identifies the appropriate inspection protocol.

Dutch probe shedding of 747 freighter engine parts over Maastricht

A Boeing 747-400 freighter taking off from Maastricht lost parts from one of its four engines. Two people were slightly injured, one went to the hospital. It appears to be a Longtail Aviation 747-400 converted freighter. The aircraft was originally delivered in 1991 to Singapore Airlines.

FedEx and Sikorsky quietly begin single-pilot tests for cargo airliners

An old ATR 42-300 turboprop owned by FedEx (N912FX) is undergoing trial flights around the Waterbury-Oxford airport in Connecticut. Autonomous and single-pilot technology for helicopters  and fixed wing aircraft is being tested.

Air Force Boss Wants Clean-Sheet Fighter That’s Less Advanced Than F-35 To Replace F-16

Some in the USAF are thinking about an F-16 replacement that could be an all-new fighter. If it goes forward, this would be a new “four-and-a-half-gen or fifth-gen-minus” fighter. The study would hopefully inform the Air Force’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget request.

Virgin Australia Hosts Mid-air Wedding on 737-8FE, VA841

The first mid-air wedding hosted by Virgin Australia took place on a flight from Melbourne to Sydney. The first kiss didn’t occur until after the 737 arrived at Sydney since the couple wore masks due to Covid protocols. “After five years of dating we wanted to elope, and thanks to Virgin Australia, we’ve done just that.” Passengers received a buttermilk biscuit wedding favour in the shape of a heart.

Mentioned

MRO Americas 2021, April 27-29, Orlando, Florida. #MROAM

2021 Aerospace Media Awards

Journalism & Aviation: A Complex Relationship, a webinar.

Podfest Expo

639 AeroEducate

The AeroEducate youth aviation initiative from the EAA, pandemic effects on airline pilot employment and proficiency, FedEx plan to temporarily relocate Hong Kong-based crew, a 5G program and its effects on satellite-based navigation, Norwegian Air Shuttle plans a different strategy, conformal fuel tanks on F-18 Super Hornets, the first contractor-owned F-16 aggressors.

Guest

Ron Connolly, Director of Museum and Education, EAA.

Ron Connolly, Ed.D, Director of Museum and Education, Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is a U.S. Army veteran pilot who previously served as an EAA Aviation Museum docent and tour guide.

Ron introduces us to AeroEducate, the new youth aviation initiative from the EAA for young people from 5 to 18 years old. The AeroEducate initiative encourages youngsters to explore aviation and possible careers in aviation. It’s an interactive, educational, and engaging experience that will officially begin later this year. Designed for both individual and classroom settings, AeroEducate was developed with support from groups such as United Airlines’ Aviate program and North Carolina State University’s school of education.

EAA AeroEducate initiative helps young people discover and explore aviation interest

EAA AeroEducate Initiative Helps Young People Explore and Cultivate Aviation Interest

We also talk with Ron about Airventure Oshkosh and the EAA Aviation Museum, including some of the impressive exhibits and artifacts.

Prior to joining the EAA staff, Ron spent time with both the Milwaukee and Appleton Police Departments as a Patrol Officer and then as a Senior Sergeant. Since 2016 he has spent time as an Associate Professor at Marian University. Prior to that he was a technical college instructor at institutions like Fox Valley Technical College, North Central Technical College and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

Ron earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Mount Senario College. He also holds a Master of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership and Quality from Marian University and an Educational Doctorate in Leadership, for the Advancement of Learning and Service from Cardinal Stritch University.

Aviation News

We Finally Know Exactly How Bad The Pandemic Has Been for Airline Pilots

Pilot recruitment firm GOOSE and FlightGlobal conducted a survey [PDF] to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting pilots. Almost half of all pilots are either looking for work or furloughed. Of those who are looking, GOOSE says, 80% said that they’d accept a cut in pay for a new job. Pilot Survey 2021 had input from 2,598 pilots from all over the world. Survey topics include pilot retention, pilot job security, employee engagement, pilot referral, stress, mental health and well-being, and the future of aviation.

Airline pilots making in-flight errors say they’re ‘rusty’ because of pandemic

A number of errors and mishaps are being blamed by pilots on the pandemic and recorded in the NASA ASRS (Aviation Safety Reporting System). AOPA’s Richard G. McSpadden Jr., senior vice president at the Air Safety Institute said, “The key to flying safely is frequency. You are not as sharp if you haven’t flown for a while.”

FedEx Express balks at Hong Kong’s new coronavirus quarantine measures, will temporarily relocate aircrew and families to San Francisco

Hong Kong, the world’s busiest air cargo hub, plans to require a 14-day quarantine for aircrews. FedEx Express is concerned and the company says they will temporarily relocate Hong Kong-based pilots and their families to San Francisco. Other passenger and cargo airlines might be forced to reconsider their flights to and from Hong Kong.

Also: Hong Kong quarantine disrupts FedEx, Cathay Pacific crews and cargo

FCC Refuses To Halt Ligado 5G Program

Some aviation groups sent a request to the FCC asking it to reconsider its approval for Ligado Networks’ terrestrial 5G program. The groups are concerned about possible GPS interference. However, the FCC denied the “request to stay its unanimous decision,” allowing the Ligado Networks’ terrestrial 5G program to continue. Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari describes the issue.

Norwegian Air Shuttle Falls Back On Original Business Plan and Returns to Short Haul

Norwegian Air Shuttle’s Board of Directors announced the airline will exit the low-cost long-haul market and focus on short haul routes within Norway and to “key European destinations.” Under the plan, 2,160 pilots and crew working at subsidiaries in the UK, U.S., Italy, Spain, and France will lose their jobs. Approximately half of that number are at Norwegian’s London Gatwick base.

Navy Considers Axing Conformal Fuel Tanks From Its Block III Super Hornet Upgrade Plan

In testing, the Navy identified unspecified “technical, structural, and sustainment” problems in a “carrier environment.” The Drive speculates that since “there is a specific link between [conformal fuel tanks (or CFT)] and the operation of CFT-equipped jets from its aircraft carriers, [that] could suggest the problems have to do, at least in part, with how the upgraded aircraft handle the stresses of catapult launches and arrested recoveries.”

The article continues, “Another possibility might be that the tanks have been found to block access to key sections of the aircraft when they are installed, requiring their removal to perform certain routine maintenance and other tasks, adding costly time and effort to those processes.”

First Contractor-Owned F-16 Aggressors Include MiG Killers, Veteran Of Iraqi Reactor Raid

Private contractor Top Aces provides red air adversary support and will now be the first to acquire fourth-generation fighters, starting with four ex-Israeli Air Force F-16s. These jets have combat experience from the 1980s. Three of them shot down Syrian MiGs during the conflict in Lebanon, and one of them participated in the bombing raid on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor. The four F16s were transported from Ben Gurion Airport to Phoenix, Arizona on a Ukrainian-registered An-124 cargo aircraft.

Homebuilt

The tug is the homebuilt, not the Focke Wulf. Launchpad Marzari explains how he and a friend combined some decidedly non-aviation items into a functional tug.

Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari and his new “snow tug.”

Mentioned

Phil’s Airline Fleet News published “The B737 MAX List – 1st February 2021 [PDF].

618 Leave No One Behind

A retired U.S. Air Force colonel tells the “leave no one behind” story of a pilot who ejected over the Gulf of Tonkin. In the news, Boeing could consolidate 787 assembly lines, ski jump launch trials for the F/A-18 Super Hornet, a live air-to-air missile is found at Lakeland Airport, a man is arrested after driving under a taxiing airplane, a virtual airline that can help with your air travel withdrawal, and AI bests a human F-16 pilot in simulated dogfights.

Guest

Eileen Bjorkman

Eileen Bjorkman

Eileen Bjorkman is an author who tells veteran’s stories, a speaker, and a retired U.S. Air Force colonel with 700+ hours of flying time as a flight test engineer in 25 different types of military aircraft, primarily the F-4, F-16, C-130, and C-141. As a civilian pilot, she holds an Airline Transport Pilot rating and is a Certificated Flight Instructor with more than 2,000 hours of flying time. She owns an aerobatic airplane, a Decathlon.

Eileen has just published her book Unforgotten in the Gulf of Tonkin: A Story of the U.S. Military’s Commitment to Leave No One Behind, available on Amazon and from University of Nebraska Press/Potomac Books where for a limited time you can use code 6AF20 to get a 40% discount on the book. Outside North America, call Combined Academic Publishers in the UK at +44(0)1423 526350 and use discount code CS40UNP.

Unforgotten in the Gulf of TonkinThe book tells the story of U.S. Navy pilot Willie Sharp who ejected from his F-8 fighter after being hit on November 18, 1965, over a target in North Vietnam. With a cloud layer beneath him, he did not know if he was over land or over the Gulf of Tonkin. As he ejected, both navy and air force aircraft were already heading toward him to help.

In addition to her books, Eileen has had articles published in Air & Space/Smithsonian, Aviation History, Portland, Equinox: Poetry and Prose, Sport Aviation, the Everett Daily Herald, and many technical journals. She has both MS and BS degrees in Aeronautical Engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in Ohio, and a BS in Computer Science from the University of Washington in Seattle. She also has a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from The George Washington University in Washington, DC.

Visit Eileen’s web page at EileenBjorkman.com for more about her books, publications, and her blog.

Aviation News

Boeing’s 787 choice could gut Washington state’s aircraft industry

Boeing has two 787 Dreamliner assembly lines – one in Everett, Washington, and one in South Carolina. Boeing is expected to decide soon if those lines will be consolidated at a single site. The speculation is that If the company eliminates one facility, it will be Everett, impacting some 30,000 employees.

F/A-18 Super Hornet Is Now Undergoing Ski Jump Launch Trials For The Indian Navy

Boeing is competing the F/A-18 Super Hornet for an Indian Navy contract. Since the Indian Navy only has aircraft carriers with ski jumps, Boeing has been demonstrating the aircraft off a ground-based ski jump at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.

Live Missile Found At Lakeland Airport

The live but unarmed air-to-air missile is a French S-530. It was found at Florida’s Lakeland Linder International Airport (LAL) in a shipment delivered to Draken International. That defense contractor operates a fleet of about 150 tactical ex-military fighter jets. Draken provides contract air services to locations in the U.S. and internationally.

Man Arrested In Portland After Driving Under A Taxiing Aircraft

A family of four in their sedan drove off a local road and crashed through gates at the north side of Portland International Airport. The 24-year-old driver was stopped and said he had no option because he was being chased by several trucks. But then the man returned to his car and drove off with one of his children, right underneath an aircraft that was taxiing to the runway, which stopped to let the vehicle pass. The man then stopped the vehicle near the gates and was detained and charged him with three felonies.

A US Air Force F-16 pilot just battled AI in 5 simulated dogfights, and the machine emerged victorious every time

Under DARPA’s AlphaDogfight competition, an artificial intelligence program developed by Heron Systems was pitted against a seasoned Air Force F-16 pilot in a simulated dogfight. Heron’s AI achieved five straight wins.

Travelers miss flying so much that they’re taking ‘flights’ to nowhere

Japanese company First Airlines offers an option for those who just need to take a first-class flight: virtual reality flight experiences. You get a two-hour experience, a first-class “lounge” with departure screens, a first-class Airbus seat, a four-course “in-flight” meal, TV screens for windows, and flight attendants carrying out safety protocols.

Mentioned

Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA)

Video: Landing on the Melbourne Citadel in Microsoft Flight Simulator

Micah and the KC-135 at MAC Jets FBO at The Portland International Jetport

617 Boeing 737 MAX NPRM

We look at the Boeing 737 MAX NPRM for return to service, Phillips 66 investment in sustainable aviation fuel, JetBlue carbon neutrality on domestic flights, this year’s Collier Trophy winner, American Airlines plans to eliminate some smaller destinations, and the F-16 fighter jet sale to Taiwan.

Boeing 737 MAX NPRM

Boeing 737 MAX AD NPRM Now Available for Early Public Review

Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for a Boeing 737 MAX airworthiness directive (AD) (PDF)

The FAA proposes to supersede Airworthiness Directive (AD) 2018-23-51, which applies to all The Boeing Company Model 737-8 and 737-9 (737 MAX) airplanes. Since AD 2018-23-51 was issued, the agency has determined that final corrective action is necessary to address the unsafe condition. This proposed AD would require installing new flight control computer (FCC) software, revising the existing Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) to incorporate new and revised flightcrew procedures, installing new MAX display system (MDS) software, changing the horizontal stabilizer trim wire routing installations, completing an angle of attack sensor system test, and performing an operational readiness flight. 

2019-NM-035-AD The Boeing Company Model 737-8 and 737-9 (737 MAX) airplanes

Comments are due Sep 21, 2020 11:59 PM ET.

Preliminary Summary of the FAA’s Review of the Boeing 737 MAX (PDF)

This report will provide a detailed technical account of the lessons learned since the two fatal accidents involving the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, as well as the actions by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure the airplane’s safe return to service. As the State of Design agent, the FAA is providing this report to all States of Registry and to the general public to assist in their understanding of how the agency identified and is addressing the safety issues affecting the 737 MAX.

Aviation News

Phillips 66 To Convert Plant For Sustainable Fuel Production

The company announced its San Francisco Refinery in Rodeo, California will be reconfigured to produce 680 million gallons annually of sustainable diesel, gasoline, and jet fuels using cooking oil, fats, greases, and soybean oils. If approved, the production of sustainable fuels could start in early 2024.

JetBlue is the First U.S. Airline to Commit to and Achieve Carbon Neutrality for All Domestic Flying

JetBlue previously announced a commitment to go carbon neutral on all domestic flights. The airline says it has achieved that goal and carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) from jet fuel for all domestic JetBlue-operated flights are now offset. The airline is also investing in sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and flights from San Francisco International Airport are fueled with SAF.  JetBlue had already offset more than 2.6 billion pounds of CO2 emissions in partnership with CarbonFund.org Foundation.

X-37B Team Wins Collier Trophy

The United States Department of the Air Force-Boeing X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle team has won the 2019 Robert J. Collier Trophy. The National Aeronautic Association selection committee said the team was chosen for “… developing and employing the world’s only reusable, autonomous spaceplane, which logged more than 2,865 days in orbit across five missions, changing access to space and serving as the nation’s workhorse in space experimentation and technology.”

X-37B Landing

X-37B Landing.

American Airlines prepares to drop some service to smaller cities as expiration of federal aid nears

Under the terms of a $25 billion federal aid package, airlines must maintain minimum levels of service through September 30, 2020. American Airlines says they’ll discontinue flights to some as yet unidentified small and medium-sized cities. The airline may not wait until October 1, 2020, to drop the destinations from the fall schedules. There is congressional support for an additional federal payment that would sustain the flights, but the necessary legislation hasn’t come together yet.

U.S. Formalizes F-16 Jet Sale to Taiwan With China Tensions High

Taiwan signed an agreement to purchase 66 F-16 jets, to be completed by 2026. The planned sale was announced last August and at that time a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry said “U.S. arms sales to Taiwan severely violate the one-China principle.”

Cutter Aviation

Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari visits FBO Cutter Aviation in Colorado Springs.

Mentioned

Tuskegee Airman General Charles McGee

On Wednesday, September 2, 2020, General McGee will be interviewed live as part of the Old Guys and Their Airplanes “Debrief” series.

General McGee served in WWII, The Korean War, and the Vietnam War, accumulating an astounding 409 combat missions.  His civilian service is marked by extensive honors including the nation’s highest civilian award, The Congressional Gold Medal.   Today, at age 100, he remains an active role model to youth, promoting his mantra of personal success, “Perceive, Prepare, Perform and Persevere.”

The live interview is free to the public with special emphasis on encouraging teachers and group leaders to tune-in. To this point, the 2 September interview with General McGee will be conducted during the ‘school time’ – 9 am Pacific, 10 am Mountain, 11 am Central and Noon Eastern.

Also…

Amphibious Assault Ship USS Essex Carries Load Of Gorgeous World War II Warbirds To Hawaii

2019 Stuart Air Show

The Stuart Air Show highlights the importance of aviation and the service of Veterans it also provides hundreds of opportunities to schools and school age children to learn about aviation, American history and about the Armed Forces. On Friday afternoon prior to the show, schools and children service agencies from all over the Treasure Coast participate in the show for free, allowing underserved children and families an opportunity to see and be a part of the experience. The Air Show is also a ‘fundraiser’ as well as a ‘friendraiser’ for many non profit organizations. Each year the Stuart Air show donates tens of thousands of dollars each year to area charities as well as service programs for children and Veterans.

We promote a safe, family entertainment event while providing financial support to its benefiting non-profit organizations including: the Special Olympics, United Way of Martin County, Civil Air Patrol, as well as many other deserving community charities. We offer many different types fundraising opportunities for local non-profit organizations and community groups. Nearly a dozen organizations benefit each year.

Our air show is a three-day event featuring thrilling performances by nationally known performers as well as interesting and historical static displays of aircraft and vehicles. We provide multiple benefits to the surrounding community through our direct charitable giving, through fundraising opportunities for nonprofit and civic groups during the show, and through our significant impact on the local economy.

553 Museum of Flight

From the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington: the CEO of the museum, the curator for space history, and the director of collections. In the news, maybe one pilot for the Boeing NMA, airline deals in Canada, Michael O’Leary sees more European airline failures, a cryogenic hydrogen fuel cell, an app for getting bumped, United promotes women artists, U.S. fighters get special paint jobs, and an Air Force aggressor squadron with F-35A’s.

The Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. Photo by Max Flight.

Max’s Pacific Northwest AvGeek Adventure 2019 (Part 1)

Max Flight and Isaac Alexander spent a week visiting Viking Air, British Columbia Aviation Museum, NavCanada Victoria Harbor Tower, Vancouver Flight Center, Canadian Museum of Flight, Historic Flight Foundation, Museum of Flight, and several other attractions.

This episode, we have interviews from the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. We spoke with Matt Hayes, the CEO and president; Geoff Nunn, exhibit developer/adjunct curator for space history; and Amy Heidrick, Director of Collections.

The Destination Moon, the Apollo 11 Mission exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of the landing on the moon continues at the Museum of Flight through Sept 2, 2019.

Next episode, Max and Isaac review the entire trip.

The Apollo 11 capsule at the Museum of Flight.

The Apollo 11 capsule at the Museum of Flight. Photo by Max Flight.

The mighty F1 engine at the Museum of Flight.

The mighty F1 engine at the Museum of Flight. Photo by Max Flight.

Aviation News

Some airlines want Boeing’s new ’797′ to fly with just one pilot on board

Multinational investment bank and financial services company Jefferies asked airline and leasing company executives what they wanted in Boeing’s New Midsize Airplane (NMA). There seems to be interest in a single onboard pilot, with a second ground-based pilot serving multiple aircraft.

Big Transactions For Canadian Airlines

Toronto-based Onex has offered $31 a share for WestJet. The deal was approved by the Canadian airline’s board of directors. Onex owns Spirit Aerosystems, which manufactures fuselages and wings for Boeing in Wichita and Kansas City. Also, Air Canada is in talks to buy leisure-market carrier Air Transat for $520 million.

Ryanair boss says ‘wave’ of European airline failures to continue

Michael O’Leary says airline failures and sales would pick up in the second half of 2019. Increasing fuel costs and fare wars are contributing factors. See also Ryanair profits fall by almost 30 per cent and ‘I don’t need cash’ — but the Ryanair CEO wants Boeing to pay for 737 Max delivery delays.

NASA backs development of cryogenic hydrogen system to power all-electric aircraft

The University of Illinois Center for Cryogenic High-Efficiency Electrical Technologies for Aircraft (CHEETA) has a concept for a cryogenic hydrogen fuel cell system to power all-electric aircraft. The project is a consortium with Air Force Research Laboratory, Boeing Research and Technology, General Electric Global Research, Ohio State University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Arkansas, the University of Dayton Research Institute, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

American Airlines App Instantly Compensates Bumped Passengers

American, Delta, and United already let you volunteer for the bump list through their apps. But now American is the first to award compensation through their app. You can also pick a replacement flight.

United Airlines Unveils Two Special Liveries

United says 51% of today’s artists are women, but not even 13% of the art on display in museums is by woman artists. So United created the “Her Art Here” contest for women artists. Two Boeing 757 aircraft will be painted with the designs of the winning artists.

Air Force F-16 Aggressor Jet Emerges In Highly Anticipated “Ghost” Paint Scheme

The F-16C of the 64th Aggressor Squadron based at Nellis AFB in Las Vegas rolled out the new paint scheme. The design came from a crowdsourced competition at the Facebook page of 57th Wing Commander Brigadier General Robert Novotny.

Time lapse video: The GHOST is here!. And not to be outdone: U.S. Navy First with Pixelated Aggressor Scheme On VFC-12 Hornet, And the Russians Are Loving It!

Air Force to reactivate aggressor squadron for F-35 training

The 65th Aggressor Squadron is being reactivated and they wanted improved training for fifth-generation fighter tactics development and close-air support. So nine early non-combat capable F-35A aircraft are moving from Eglin AFB, Florida, to the squadron.

Positive Airline Story of the Week

United Airlines and Audubon International Team Up to Save Owls in San Francisco

United Airlines is expanding the Raptor Relocation Network to SFO. United and Audubon International trap raptors that live near the airport (primarily barn owls), and resettle them at suitable golf course habitats.

Mentioned

D-Day Squadron

Daks Over Normandy

Credit & Thanks

Deepest thanks to Tom for the Air Canada flights, Bill for the tour of Victoria, and Isaac for creating the itinerary and driving Max to wonderful AvGeek destinations.

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

Zeke and his P-40.

Zeke and his P-40.

 

552 Planes of Fame Air Show

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.

Planes of Fame Air Show

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]

Tech SGT Ryan Hutchison and Sr. Airman Kathryn Reaves with the F-16 Viper Demonstration Team. [33:43]

Brian speaks with the F-16 Demonstration Team.

Brian speaks with the F-16 Demonstration Team.

Michael Rogers and his daughter. [42:05]

Carl Scholl from Aero Trader and the owner and pilot of a B-25. [51:40]

Aviation News

Boeing says safety alert in 737 Max didn’t work in all planes

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.”

Inside the Air Force’s Plan to Revolutionize Pilot Training

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.

A380 Scrapping Begins

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:

Marty Huvar, the PAO/Training/Safety Officer with the Marshalling Detachment of the Commemorative Air Force. [1:06:40]

Troy Fitting from 3rd Coast Squadron providing flight line services. [1:11:21]

Video: The CAF Marshalling Detachment

Mentioned

Canberra T19 WH904, courtesy Newark Air Museum.

Canberra T19 WH904, courtesy Newark Air Museum.

 

480 General Aviation Trip Booking with Flightbridge

We talk with the founder and CEO of FlightBridge, which provides booking and reservation technology for services related to General Aviation trips. In the news, we look at pilotless airliners, the purchase of roadable airplane maker Terrafugia, the preliminary report from the NTSB on the recent Icon A5 crash, general aviation safety trends, the outlook for the A380, and Fort Worth delivers last F-16 fighter.

Guest

FlightBridge founder and CEO Dudley King.

FlightBridge founder and CEO Dudley King.

Dudley King is the founder and CEO of FlightBridge Inc. He’s a “repeat entrepreneur” with a historical focus on technology services and consulting.

FlightBridge is a booking and reservation tool for services related to General Aviation trips. As Dudley says “There’s more to a trip than flying a plane and passengers from point A to point B. Rental Cars or limos, catering, crew accommodation, and FBO services are just some of the logistics that must be coordinated and run smoothly for a successful trip.”  

FlightBridge supports these efforts with an online booking and operations management tool that is completely tailored to private aviation. FlightBridge was developed with input and feedback from flight department staff, crew members, FBOs, and service providers.

Before founding FlightBridge, Dudley spent over 20 years in custom software development for customers that included several fortune 500 companies and leaders in the aviation industry.

Aviation News

Airbus Looking Forward to a Pilotless Future

Airbus Chief Technology Officer Paul Eremenko says the company wants to develop autonomous aircraft and technologies that will allow a single pilot to operate commercial jetliners: “We’re pursuing single-pilot operation as a potential option and a lot of the technologies needed to make that happen has also put us on the path towards unpiloted operation.”

Terrafugia Sale May Accelerate Flying Car’s Arrival

Chinese firm Zhejiang Geely Holding Group has acquired Terrafugia. Founder Carl Dietrich moves to chief technology officer and the Transition market entry is planned for 2019, followed by a 4-seater VTOL craft in 2023. See the press release: Zhejiang Geely Holding Group completes acquisition of Terrafugia, Inc.

National Transportation Safety Board Aviation Accident Preliminary Report

The NTSB released a preliminary report on the fatal Icon A5 crash of November 7, 2017. The report details data received from the Icon’s onboard “digital data module that recorded basic GPS, engine, and flight parameters. The airplane was also equipped with a Rockwell Collins engine control unit that recorded engine parameters.” The data seems to confirm eyewitness accounts that the pilot was flying as low as 11 feet above the water.

NTSB: GA Safety Best In 50 Years

The NTSB reports that in 2016, the general aviation accident rate dropped below 1 fatal accident per 100,000 flight hours. It’s the first time the rate has been that low in 50 years. Most aviation fatalities (almost 94%) occurred in general aviation accidents. Other forms of transport, like cars, trains, and boats, all showed increases. See the NTSB press release: Highway Deaths Lead National Increase in Transportation Fatalities.

Does Lack Of A Deal In Dubai Mean The End For A380 Jumbo Jet?

Leading up to the Dubai Air Show, the speculation was that Emirates would order between 36 and 38 A380s, but that didn’t happen. Analyst Richard Aboulafia noted that at least 30 aircraft are needed “for annual recurring breakeven.” Sir Tim Clark said Emirates won’t order any more until Airbus assures the airline that it will keep production open for 10 to 15 years.

How the F-16 fighter jet put Fort Worth on the aerospace map

F-16 production is moving out of Fort Worth. Lockheed needs the room at the plant for the ramp-up of the F-35.

Mentioned

#PaxEx Podcast 52: Bending Bluetooth to become an onboard network

Max and Mary Kirby talk with Ron Chapman, president of ASI Group, which provides low-cost in-flight connectivity solutions to the business aviation market, and is now working in the commercial airline space.

Zahorsky Aviation: Worldflight 2017

Karl-Heinz Zahorsky and Karl Karbach chronicle their journey around the world with a Piper Malibu. Web page in German and English: Logbook entries, photographs, route maps.

Etihad Airways A380 Flyover at the 2017 Abu Dhabi GP

Airbus A380 and the Al Fursan Aerobatic Display Team performing a low flyover of the 2017 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi GP.

Boeing 747 jumbo jet: Pilot farewells the iconic plane. Mark Vanhoenacker is also the author of Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot.

Credit

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

448 Aerial Firefighting with the Global SuperTanker

Aerial firefighting with a Boeing 747-400, airline policies for overbooking and bumping passengers, Mar-a-Lago air restrictions for presidential visits, and F-16 fighter service life.

The Global SuperTanker in Chile for aerial firefighting operations.

The Global SuperTanker in Chile for aerial firefighting operations. Courtesy Global SuperTanker Services, LLC, (c) Bill Gabbert.

Guests

Capt. Tom Parsons, Assistant Chief Supervisor/Pilot and Scott Olson, VP Maintenance for Global SuperTanker Services, LLC. The company was formed in 2015 and acquired a B747-400 to use for aerial firefighting and other operations.

We talk about the kinds of missions the Global SuperTanker can fly, and Tom and Scott explain the aircraft modifications, the loading and delivery system, and the recent activity in Chile fighting wildfires. We also learn about the coordination required for all the air and ground participants in this kind of operation.

Related resources:

Aviation News

The passenger who was violently removed from the United Express flight operated by Republic Airways intends to take legal action. The man’s lawyer claimed his client lost two teeth and his nose was broken. We discuss the resulting media storm, airline practice of overbooking flights, and the procedure for bumping passengers.

United is promising to make major customer service changes

JetBlue Founder Backs Overbooking After United Flight Fiasco

Here’s why overbooking flights is actually a good thing

Delta CEO: Overbooking Flights is a ‘Valid Business Process’

Passengers removed from overbooked flights on US airlines – in data

The 10 Worst Airlines for Overbooking

In other news:

FAA: 5 aircraft violated Mar-a-Lago air restrictions during Trump stay

U.S. Air Force extends F-16 fighter’s service life

US Air Force chief ambivalent on F-15 Eagle retirement

Mentioned

The Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP)

Jet engine thrust reverser examples:

Credit

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

419 Regional Airlines Raise Pilot Pay

Pay for regional pilots, prospects for the A380, Auto-GCAS saving F-16 pilot’s lives, travel security, large airports and GA airplanes, a rebate for ADS-B, and flying the Eclipse 550.

News

American Airlines raises pay for regional pilots

American Airlines Group subsidiary Envoy Air announced they are raising their starting pay for new hires 47% to $37.90 per hour. AA subsidiary PSA Airlines is increasing starting pay 56% to $38.50 per hour. This is in addition to opportunities for bonuses. First-year pilots can make about $58,000.

Singapore Airlines Won’t Extend Lease on First Airbus A380 Jet

Singapore Airlines operates 19 A380 jets. The first five of them were obtained on a 10-year lease deal. Now Singapore has announced they will not be renewing the lease for the first A380, which expires in October, 2017. The WSJ notes that it “isn’t a fateful blow for the program” but “it is another symbolic hit for the double-deck aircraft.”

Auto-GCAS Saves Unconscious F-16 Pilot—Declassified USAF Footage

An international F-16 student pilot experienced G-induced loss of consciousness, and his aircraft went into a steep supersonic dive with full afterburner. The Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto-GCAS) kicked in and executed a recovery maneuver, saving the pilot. This was the fourth confirmed “save” of an aircraft by the system.

This Muslim Woman Says The TSA Stopped Her At Least 10 Different Times In One Round Trip

25 year-old Zainab Merchant from Gainesville, Florida was traveling with her husband and 6-month-old baby to a wedding in Vancouver, Canada. Over the course of the trip, she and her family experienced many security checks, rechecks, missed flights, they were held overnight, the at times the family was separated.

Pilot Sues SF Airport Over General Aviation

For the last three years, Robert Reinheimer’s Cessna 182 has been the only piston airplane tied down or home-based at San Francisco International Airport. Reinheimer claims the airport is trying to force him out.

ADS-B Rebate Reservation System to go Live

The FAA is offering a rebate reservation system for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) systems. Aircraft owners will be able to apply online for a $500 rebate toward the cost of installing ADS-B Out equipment in their aircraft. A total of 20,000 rebates will be available through the program.

Mentioned

Rob tells us about his flight in the Eclipse 550, and compares it to the original model. He also attended the EAA chapter 932 meeting at Galt Airport, in Greenwood, Illinois, and the AOPA regional Fly-In at Battle Creek, Michigan.

Max West posted his first Facebook Live video from the traffic pattern.

Max East visited the South Dakota Air & Space Museum at Ellsworth AFB, home to B1-B Lancers.

Design a Boeing Dreamliner! Hainan Airlines is hosting a Design Your Own Livery contest in which you can design a paint scheme on a 787 airplane through a custom built web based tool. Whoever wins the contest could get their design painted on a real Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane, and also get a free business class trip to China.

Listener at Large Launchpad Marzari sent a recording examining the question, “if you fly a drone, are you a pilot or an operator?” To go along with that, he sent a link to Brain Surgeon – That Mitchell & Webb Look , Series 3 – BBC Two.

John Mollison, producer of Old Guys and Their Airplanes sent a nice little animation he made with his new Apple Pencil. It’s a study for an upcoming quick-short featuring an RAF pilot.

Spitfire from 41 Squadron nails a Doodlebug

Navy: Pilot Error Primary Cause of Fatal Blue Angels Crash

A member of the Blue Angels flight demonstration team killed during practice in Tennessee lost control of his fighter jet because it was traveling too fast and then failed to recover because it was too low for the maneuver he was performing, a Navy investigation shows.

China to spend $1 trillion on 6,810 new aircraft

Chinese airlines will spend more than $1 trillion on new aircraft over the next two decades as they seek to meet booming demand for air travel, according to a new forecast by Boeing. Randy Tinseth, a marketing executive at Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said that he expects passenger traffic in China to grow by 6.4% a year over the next 20 years.

Gigantic RC Crash SAAB Gripen XXXL 1:2 Scale Model Turbine Jet Fatal End Total Destroyed

Computer Engineering Student Donates Five Million Air Miles to Student Organizations

Ryan Pickren, a senior computer engineering major in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the Georgia Institute of Technology, is donating five million United Airlines miles to Georgia Tech student organizations that participate in charity work.

Credit

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