Tag Archives: FAA

629 Boeing 737 MAX Return to Service Airworthiness Directive

We talk with an Air Traffic Controller at London Heathrow who also acts as deputy manager of the ATC team for the RIAT airshow. In the news, FAA airworthiness directive permits the Boeing 737 MAX to return to service, Delta and tariffs on Airbus aircraft, Gatwick slot usage and planned labor action at Heathrow, speed dating in the air, Norwegian Air Shuttle troubles, autonomous airplane tugs, and a F/A-18C Hornet goes into the National Air & Space Museum.

Guest

Adam Spink has been an air traffic controller at the Heathrow Airport tower for 22 years. He’s also an instructor, examiner, and supervisor. Adam’s main job is in the Procedures and Development office working on new procedures and equipment.

Adam explains aircraft wake turbulence and the Time Based Separation (TBS) used at Heathrow to increase the aircraft landing rate, including the implications for air traffic controllers when planes are separated by time instead of by distance. See: New separation standard permanently adopted over the North Atlantic.

We also learn how the environmental aspects of aviation fit into key performance measures and controller metrics that include reduced emissions.

In addition to his job as a NATS controller at Heathrow, Adam acts as deputy manager of the ATC team for the Royal International Air Tattoo airshow (RIAT) held at RAF Fairford in the UK. He’s a member of the UK Air Transport Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme (the equivalent of NASA ASRS), and a member of various international working groups on low visibility ops, satellite-based navigation, and radar systems. Adam speaks about human factors at various medical school/medical university courses.

Find Adam on Twitter and Instagram.

Aviation News

U.S. lifts Boeing 737 MAX flight ban after crash probes, tough hurdles remain

On November 20, 2020, the FAA issued AD 2020-24-02, Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes [PDF] superseding Airworthiness Directive 2018-23-51, which applied to all Boeing Company Model 737-8 and 737-9 (737 MAX) airplanes. AD 2018-23-51 required revising certificate limitations and operating procedures of the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) to provide the flight crew with runaway horizontal stabilizer trim procedures to follow under certain conditions. 

The new AD requires installing new flight control computer (FCC) software, revising the existing Airplane Flight Manual to incorporate new and revised flight crew procedures, installing new MAX display system (MDS) software, changing the horizontal stabilizer trim wire routing installations, completing an angle of attack (AOA) sensor system test, and performing an operational readiness flight.

Southwest deploys team to bring 737 MAX jets out of desert

Southwest Airlines has 34 Boeing 737 MAX jets in storage in Victorville, California. The airline sent a team of mechanics to start the process of bringing its jets out of storage. 737 MAX flights at Southwest should resume the second quarter of 2021. There will be no re-booking charge for passengers who are uncomfortable flying on the MAX.

European regulator to lift Boeing 737 MAX grounding in January

The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) executive director said the 737 MAX is safe to fly.  “We wanted to carry out a totally independent analysis of the safety of this aircraft, so we performed our own checks and flight tests. All these studies tell us that the 737 MAX can return to service. We have started to put in place all the measures. It is likely that in our case we will adopt the decisions, allowing it to return to service, sometime in January.”

Delta Skirts Trump Tariffs by Sending Airbus Jets on World Tour

As part of the Boeing/Airbus subsidy battle, tariffs were placed on European-built Airbus aircraft in October 2019. Delta has taken delivery of seven planes since then, but instead of flying them to the United States, the airline based them overseas, avoiding the tariff because they weren’t imports. In a statement to Bloomberg News, Delta said “We have made the decision not to import any new aircraft from Europe while these tariffs are in effect. Instead, we have opted to use the new aircraft exclusively for international service, which does not require importation.”

Suspension of airport “80/20” slot usage rule to last till end of March 2021 – Gatwick not happy

Until March 2020, European regulations required that an airline use 80% of its landing slots or they were lost. But because of the huge drop in travel demand, the rule was suspended for six months, then extended for another 6 months, to 27th March 2021. Gatwick airport wants the old slot rules reinstated before summer 2021.

Heathrow Staff To Strike For 4 Days In December

London’s Heathrow Airport wants to cut costs by reducing wages. The large Unite trade union says the airport plans to fire some 4,000 workers, then rehire them at lower wages. 85% of the union membership voted in favor of strikes in protest.

Airline offers speed-dating on dead-end ‘flight to nowhere’

Taiwanese carrier EVA Air and travel experience company are offering flights called “Fly! Love Is In the Air!” Twenty men and twenty women will depart from Taipei, fly around the island for three hours, return to the airport, and pairs will then enjoy a two-hour date. Seating on the plane is by random draw, but mingling is allowed. Food is prepared by a Michelin-starred chef.

Norwegian Air Is the Latest Trans-Atlantic Carrier to File for Bankruptcy in 2020 Due to Covid-19

Norwegian Air Shuttle has filed for protection from creditors in Ireland.

Autonomous Electric Tow Tugs Could Cut Handling Costs

Californian start-up Moonware says the aviation industry is stagnant. They want to do something about that. Moonware says they are “building an AI-powered fleet management network and subsequently deploying autonomous & electric vehicles to fundamentally reshape airport operations.” The company is developing a family of autonomous electrically powered tow tugs for aircraft ground handling.

National Air and Space Museum Welcomes Blue Angels’ F/A-18C Hornet

The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum has brought a Blue Angels’ F/A-18C Hornet BuNo 163439 into the collection. This is the first “Blue Angels” aircraft and the first F-18 the museum has acquired. 

Mentioned

Save Whiteman airport, a change.org petition.

Dobbins Reservists Tie the Knot Aboard a C-130

615 Supersonic Commercial Aircraft

Boom Supersonic and Virgin Galactic supersonic commercial aircraft eye Rolls-Royce engine technology, China’s AG600 large seaplane, United’s ERJ-145 regional jets to CommutAir, pilot re-examinations, Boeing’s quarterly loss and good 737 MAX news, airline passengers and booze, the growing stockpile of airline nuts, and Allegiant Air’s clever “work from Vegas” packages.

Aviation News

Boom, Rolls-Royce Partner On Supersonic Overture

Boom Supersonic and Rolls-Royce announced they are exploring a Rolls-Royce propulsion system on Boom’s Overture supersonic commercial aircraft. The companies will investigate if an existing engine architecture can be adapted for supersonic flight. The smaller Boom XB-1 supersonic demonstrator is expected to roll out on Oct. 7, 2020.

See the Boom press release: Engine Studies Advance Program Development and Focus on Sustainability and the outstanding XB-1 progress animation.

Virgin Galactic Unveils Mach 3 Aircraft Design for High Speed Travel, and Signs Memorandum of Understanding with Rolls-Royce

Virgin Galactic Holdings wants to create a supersonic commercial aircraft and just unveiled its initial design of a Mach 3 airplane. The company’s manufacturer of advanced air and space vehicles, The Spaceship Company (“TSC”), announced the first stage design scope and also the signing of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Rolls-Royce to collaborate in designing and developing engine propulsion technology for high-speed commercial aircraft.

Virgin is targeting a Mach 3 certified delta-wing aircraft, with a capacity for 9 to 19 people at an altitude above 60,000 feet, that is able to incorporate custom cabin layouts, and use sustainable aviation fuel.

The FAA’s Center for Emerging Concepts and Innovation will work with Virgin Galactic to outline a certification framework.

United to drop contract with ExpressJet, dealing fatal blow

United Airlines plans to move its 50-seat United Express Embraer ERJ-145 planes operated by ExpressJet to regional carrier CommutAir, which would become United’s sole ERJ-145 operator. Operations are being consolidated as United looks to be a smaller airline as a result of the pandemic. United says, “This transition will take a number of months.”

The World’s Largest Seaplane Pulls Off Its First Waterborne Flight

The AG600 “Kunlong” is China’s first seaplane and the world’s largest seaplane. The AG600 just had its first takeoff from the ocean, followed by a 31-minute flight. The plane, which did fly from a reservoir in 2018, can carry 50 passengers up to 2,700 miles. It has a 128-foot wingspan and a length of 121 feet. Maximum takeoff weight of 53.5 tons. Power comes from four WJ-6 turboprops.

Video: China’s AG600 amphibious aircraft completes first sea surface flight

Pilots Who Flew With Discredited Examiner Face Reexamination

The FAA has notified some pilots that they may have to be re-examined because of problems with the work of a specific examiner.

Boeing’s revenue plunges 25 percent as long-term effects of pandemic take hold

Shipments are down and so is Boeing’s second-quarter profit.

FAA gives preliminary approval on design fixes for 737 Max

Welcome news for Boeing. A few details need attention and the FAA will proceed with a 45-day public comment period.

Most airlines aren’t serving booze during the pandemic. Passengers are (illegally) bringing their own

Some people just need a drink when flying, but it’s against regulations for a passenger to bring their own.

There’s A Huge Surplus Of American Airlines Nuts

Fewer people are flying and the stockpile of airline nuts is growing. Order yours now for an at-home experience.

Viva Las remote office? Allegiant Air to pitch ‘work from Vegas’ travel packages to boost bookings

Allegiant Air has a brilliant idea to provide you with a “work at home” experience in Las Vegas.

Mentioned

For a limited time, PilotPartner.net is offering a discount code for Airplane Geeks listeners. The code “airplanegeeks18” will get you an 18-month membership for the price of 12 months. Ken was our guest in Episode 432.

There is always a ham in the crowd…

614 Choosing a Flight School

An aviation climate control proposal from the EPA, an update on airline furloughs, questions about fighter pilot’s flying experience, Airbus’ autonomous A350, Delta Airline’s fleet simplification, and the Garmin outage that lasted for days. Also, an Australia News Desk from the boys down under, a special discount code for our listeners, and advice on choosing a flight school.

Aviation News

US Says it Will Adopt Global Climate Standards for Aviation

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new aircraft emissions regulations that some are criticizing and others are applauding. The proposal adopts 2017 emissions standards from the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Boeing and the Airlines for America trade group welcomed the proposal. Environmental groups and the EPA itself said the proposed regulations would have no meaningful effect.

Southwest Airlines Will Not Furlough Workers On Oct. 1

Southwest CEO Gary Kelly announced that the airline will not furlough or lay off any workers on Oct. 1, 2020. Kelly said, “We have no intention of seeking furloughs, layoffs, pay rate cuts or benefits cuts through at least the end of the year… I can’t guarantee it will never happen, especially during these dark pandemic times. I can promise you it will be the last thing we do to keep Southwest financially healthy and viable.”

American Airlines’ Grim Warning To Flight Attendants

American Airlines says it has over 20,000 more employees than it will need later this year. The airline has been trying to entice employees to accept voluntary leaves of absence or early retirement, but the acceptance numbers are lower than American wants to see.

Fighter Pilots Warn Of Newly Trained Pilots’ Lack Of Actual Flying Experience

We’ve recently seen a number of military aviation accidents. A team of senior U.S. Air Force officers has been speaking to pilots and aircrew to see if there are common factors. They find that experienced pilots worry about possible cuts in flying hours and increased use of simulators.

Airbus Completes Autonomous Airliner Experiment

Since 2018, Airbus has flown an A350-1000 autonomously 500 times. The airplane is fitted with image recognition technology that uses external cameras. The software processes the images and controls the flight.

Delta Air Lines: Fleet Simplification Will Be A Game Changer

Delta had announced a fleet simplification strategy last December. At the beginning of 2020, Delta operated 20 different aircraft models in multiple configurations, with two more scheduled to join the fleet in 2020 (the Airbus A220-300 and A321neo). Delta has now accelerated its simplification strategy.

FAA warns of Boeing 737 double-engine power loss (EAD)

The FAA issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive (EAD) for Boeing 737 Classic and NextGeneration aircraft in storage. The bleed air fifth stage check valve on CFM56 engines stored for seven or more days could exhibit corrosion that could lead to an engine shutdown. Perhaps even a double-engine shutdown. This follows four single-engine 737 shutdowns during flight.

Garmin Aviation App And Services Down in Ransomware Attack

On Jul. 23, 2020, Garmin experienced a major outage attributed in the press to a ransomware attack. The FlyGarmin app for pilots using Garmin GPS based instruments and navigation equipment was affected, as was the Garmin Pilot app and Garmin aviation and navigation watches.

Mentioned

QANTAS Boeing 747 VH-OEJ “Wunala” Final Walkaround at LAX

For a limited time, PilotPartner.net is offering a discount code for Airplane Geeks listeners. The code “airplanegeeks18” will get you an 18-month membership for the price of 12 months. Ken from PilotPartner was our guest in Episode 432.

Delta CEO: Navigating the Coronavirus Crisis – Boss Files with Poppy Harlow

As the coronavirus pandemic ravages the airline industry, Delta CEO Ed Bastian says he is leading the company through a defining moment. He opens up about how Delta is navigating the crisis, mandating masks on all flights, and blocking middle seats. He also pledges as CEO to stand against racism and is committed to promoting more African-American executives throughout the company.

597 Bail Out Boeing?

Airlines that might go bankrupt and financial assistance to aircraft producers and airlines, Boeing contributes manufacturing capability to PPE production, coronavirus insurance from Vietjet, and the FAA waiver of medical certificate enforcement action. Also, FAA revokes Collings Foundation passenger flights, the FAA requests information from low-altitude manned aircraft pilots about how they want to use identification data from drones, things to keep you occupied while you quarantine yourself at home, and cosmic rays in the atmosphere.

Aviation News

FAA Seeks Information on Low Altitude Operators for UAS Rulemaking

The FAA wants to hear from aircraft operators who fly at low altitudes to learn more about how manned aircraft can receive and use the network or broadcast UAS Remote Identification information. In FAA Low Altitude Manned Aviator Participation In UAS Remote Identification Request for Information, the FAA seeks input from those who could be routinely affected by UAS operations in the United States. This includes pilots who fly aerial firefighting, agriculture, survey, pipeline and infrastructure patrols. Responses will be accepted until April 16, 2020.

The Airlines Most in Danger of Going Under During the Crisis

The impact of the COVID-19 virus on the airlines is reportedly worse than that following 9/11. IATA says airlines could lose $252B in 2020 and the CAPA Centre for Aviation said most carriers will go bankrupt by the end of May if they don’t get support. Bloomberg News used the Z-score statistical method to predict the probability that an airline will go into bankruptcy.

Boeing Chips In, So Can Individuals

Boeing plants in St. Louis, El Segundo, Mesa, Huntsville, and Philadelphia are using 3-D printing machines to manufacture face shields for medical personnel and first responders. Boeing also offered its Dreamlifter to deliver critically needed supplies.

In “Help make face masks for aviation crews,” the Institute for Women of Aviation Worldwide provides instructions for making face masks at home. These can be donated locally or to aviation organizations that need masks. “We are building a global database of organizations seeking masks for their essential aviation professionals.”

Senate aid package quietly carves out billions intended for Boeing, officials say

The Senate’s $2 trillion package includes a $17 billion federal loan program for businesses deemed “critical to maintaining national security.” The package does not specifically mention Boeing, but the Washington Post reports it “…was crafted largely for the company’s benefit.”

Bob Crandall Upfront on Industry Bailouts

Bob Crandall retired in 1998 as chairman, president, and CEO of AMR, parent organization to American Airlines. “You can’t simply let these companies go away,” he said. “But these companies need to understand there needs to be some kind of controls put in place. It probably needs to be regulated like some form of utility.”

Vietnamese airline launches controversial coronavirus insurance

Budget airline Vietjet launched “SKY COVID CARE” to protect passengers who become infected while traveling on one a Vietjet flight. Those passengers can claim up to 200 million Vietnamese dong (about $8,500). The policy is free and covers all domestic flights through June 30, 2020.

FAA eases pilots medical certificate worries

The FAA published a notice of enforcement policy: “…from March 31, 2020, to June 30, 2020, the FAA will not take legal enforcement action against any person serving as a required pilot flight crewmember or flight engineer who holds a medical certificate that expires within this time period.”

FAA says owner of World War II bomber involved in deadly Bradley crash did not take safety seriously and can no longer carry passengers

The B-17G bomber Nine O Nine operated by the Collings Foundation crashed shortly after takeoff from Bradley International Airport on Oct. 2, 2019, killing the pilot, co-pilot and five passengers. Seven others survived. The FAA has now revoked the Collings Foundation’s permission to carry passengers aboard all its vintage aircraft, saying the Collings Foundation “lacked a safety culture when operating the B-17G.”

Our reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari provides a primer on Living History Flight Experience flights.

Stuck at Home

Things to keep you occupied while being stuck at home:

  • The Crown on Netflix
  • Craig Ferguson, episode 5 on Amazon Prime
  • NEAMathome
  • Tiger King on Netflix
  • Dogfights on History Channel
  • Garmin webinars that were planned for Sun n Fun and AERO Friedrichshafen.

Mentioned

SpaceWeather.com for airline flight cosmic radiation data.

Ninth Triennial International Aircraft Fire and Cabin Safety Research Conference

This conference is the ninth in a series of triennial international conferences established to inform the international aviation community about recent, ongoing, and planned research activities in transport category airplane fire and cabin safety.  This conference is for anyone with an interest in aircraft fire and cabin safety research.  Past attendees have included aviation safety professionals in the areas of engineering, design, airplane operations, maintenance, and research. The conference is jointly sponsored by the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the National Civil Aviation Agency – Brazil (ANAC), the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), and the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB). Conference registration is free and available online at https://www.fire.tc.faa.gov/Meetings/meetings.asp.  A special group hotel rate of $59 (US $) per night plus taxes/fees has been established.  Hotel reservations available at https://bit.ly/2KvQsvv.

567 Dream Planes

We look at the new DOT Safety Oversight and Certification Advisory Committee, the planned British Airways pilot strike, a compressor stall on a Delta Air Lines Boeing B757, a snake in the airport, and the Chinese stealth bomber. We speak with the chairman of the North 40 flight line operations for AirVenture, and we review the New York International Air Show. Launchpad Marzari brings us Part 2 of his adventure buying an airplane, we announce the winner of the GE Aviation: 100 Years of Reimagining Flight book giveaway, and we hear from some listeners about their dream plane rides.

Guest

Carol Garceau is the chairman of the North 40 flight line operations for AirVenture. We learn about how they safely and efficiently get planes in and out of a massive area with camping,  parking, and transiting of people, displays, and show operations. To volunteer for North 40 (or South 40) flight line operations for the next AirVenture, start by visiting the EAA website.

Aviation News

U.S. transport chief names aviation safety advisory panel

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao Announces Appointees to Safety Oversight and Certification Advisory Committee

The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 established a DOT Safety Oversight and Certification Advisory Committee (SOCAC) to provide advice to the Secretary of Transportation on issues related to FAA safety oversight and certification programs. That advice covers the aircraft and flight standards certification processes, oversight of safety management systems, risk-based oversight efforts, and utilization of delegation and designation authorities. U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has now announced the 22 members of the SOCAC.

This airline’s pilots are planning to strike for the first time ever in September

British Airways and BALPA, the British Airline Pilots Association, have been unable to reach an agreement over pay. BALPA said 93 percent of its members voted in favor of a strike, scheduled for September 9, 10, and 27, 2019.

British Airways strike: Passengers angry at airline ‘silence’

British Airways notified customers of flight cancellations in anticipation of the strike, but apparently, some customers with tickets on other days were also told their flights were canceled. Some customers say they have spent hours trying to get in touch with BA customer service without success.

Delta Air Lines Boeing B757 Diverts To Portland Following Compressor Stall

Delta Airlines flight DL-122, a Boeing 757-200 flying from Boston to Edinburgh, experienced a compressor stall climbing through about FL270. The plane diverted to the Portland (Maine) Jetport.

Newark Airport traveler abandons snake at TSA checkpoint

A 15-inch ring-necked snake was found on the floor at a Newark Airport security checkpoint. A youngster spotted the harmless snake in Terminal C and a TSA officer trapped it with a checkpoint bin.

China’s Very Own B-2 Stealth Bomber? Meet the H-20 Stealth Bomber.

China’s new strategic bomber is a flying wing design with power believed to come from four non-afterburning WS-10A Taihang turbofans. While not yet publicly shown, the Chinese media has reported it will be shown in 2019.

Air Show Report

The New York International Air Show at New York Stewart Int’l Airport featured the F-35 Lightning II Demonstration Team, the Royal Air Force Red Arrows, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels, the GEICO Skytypers, the West Point Parachute Team, and others. The RAF A400M was on static display. See Max Flight’s event photo album for a collection of images.

Red Arrows at the New York International Air Show. Photo by Max Flight

F-35 demo team

F-35 demo team at the New York International Air Show. Photo by Max Flight.

Book Giveaway

We announce the winner of the drawing for a copy of GE Aviation: 100 Years of Reimagining Flight.

Report

Launchpad Marzari brings us Part 2 of his series about buying an airplane.

Listener Dream Plane Rides

We asked listeners to tell us the aircraft they have never flown on, but would most like to:

  • Ted picks the F4U Corsair or PBY Catalina.
  • Glen chose the DeHaviland Mosquito and the Hawker Siddeley Buccaneer.
  • Martin would love to fly the Hawk flown by the RAF Red Arrows.

Meetups

Dr. Steph & Micah

Dr. Steph and Micah.

Micah and Fred Samson.

Micah and Fred Samson.

Mentioned

The Most Notorious Weapon Ever Produced? – There are no simple answers for fixing the F-35 program, as tempting as it is to look for a single root cause for its problems.

566 Aviation Conversations

We talk with an FAA NextGen portfolio manager, the CEO and digital marketing director of a flight simulation company, the crew of an NOAA WP-3D Orion hurricane hunter, a retired Vice Admiral and pilot who is the oldest living graduate of the US Naval Academy, and the owners of an aviation-themed hotel in Texas. In the news, we look at a hydrogen fuel cell-powered airplane, a $5B repair bill for China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, new wings for the A-10 Warthog, alcohol and commercial pilots, and landing an A321 in a cornfield. Also, Part 1 of Launchpad Marzari’s adventure buying an airplane.

Guests

We present a number of aviation conversations recorded with interesting people at several events:

Jamal Wilson manages two of the FAA NextGen portfolios: performance-based navigation and separation management. Jamal attended EAA Airventure Oshkosh 2019 for ADS-B outreach with the GA community.

Laura LeBan is co-founder and CEO of InfiniteFlight. Jason Rosewell is the digital marketing director. The company produces a photo-realistic flight simulator that runs on a tablet. The software is so comprehensive and realistic that one of the biggest names in electronic flight bags uses InfiniteFlight to conduct product validation testing.

Pilot LCDR Rob Mitchell, engineer Nick Underwood, and technician Todd Richards hunt hurricanes on the NOAA WP-3D Orion.

Retired Vice Admiral Ralph Weymouth is 102 years old and currently the oldest living graduate of the US Naval Academy in Annapolis. He’s flown Curtiss SBC Helldivers, Douglas SBD Dauntless’s, and Grumman F9F Panthers. His career as a naval aviator was long enough that he transitioned from biplanes to jet fighters. Admiral Weymouth is the recipient of the Navy Cross for actions against the Japanese Navy in the Battle of the Philippine Sea, and he was also awarded the Legion of Merit, twice, and the Distinguished Flying Cross, four times.

Retired Vice Admiral Ralph Weymouth

Retired Vice Admiral Ralph Weymouth.

Jay and Mary Honeck, operate Amelia’s Landing, an aviation-themed hotel in Port Aransas, Texas. The two have been attending AirVenture for 37 consecutive years and they host a large awning/pavilion they call “The Chalet” at the North 40 camping area.

Aviation News

Navy’s China Lake Earthquake Damage Dramatically Climbs to Estimated $5 Billion

The repair bill for the damage to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake is estimated at $5 billion. The Mojave Desert facility in California suffered from the two earthquakes on July 4 and July 5, 2019.

This plane can fly 500 miles, powered entirely by hydrogen

Startup ZeroAvia has designed a hydrogen-fueled electric power plant that can be used in aircraft. They have been testing the technology in a Piper and plan to conduct a full test flight with hydrogen on-board in a few weeks. ZeroAvia says they will supply the powertrain for use in planes with as many as 20 seats on flights up to 500 miles long.

See This Strange Looking ‘New’ A-10 Warthog? It Is Special for 1 Big Reason

The Ogden Air Logistics Complex at Hill Air Force Base has finished installing new wings on A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft. This under the A-10 Enhanced Wing Assembly replacement program. The new wings are expected to last for up to 10,000 equivalent flight hours without a depot inspection.

A-10 at the 2019 Geneseo, NY air show. Photo by Max Flight.

A-10 at the 2019 Geneseo, NY air show. Photo by Max Flight.

United Airlines Cracks Down On Drinking Pilots

United Airlines has new alcohol consumption rules for pilots. Under the previous policy, pilots had to stop drinking eight hours before they were due to report for duty. Now United Airlines pilots have to stop drinking at least 12 hours before they’re due to report for duty. The FAA mandates that pilots in the US can have a maximum blood alcohol level of 0.04. in the UK the maximum is 0.02.

Recording reveals the Russian Sully told air traffic control to buzz off after his emergency landing

A Ural Airlines Airbus A321 experienced dual engine failures after ingesting seagulls just after takeoff from Zhukovsky International Airport in Moscow. The plane came down in a cornfield with no serious injuries.

Airlines Are No Longer Allowed to Ban Service Dogs Based on Breed

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) now forbids airlines from discriminating against service dogs of particular breeds. That includes pit bulls. “The Department’s Enforcement Office views a limitation based exclusively on breed of the service animal to not be allowed under its service animal regulation. The Enforcement Office intends to use available resources to ensure that dogs as a species are accepted for transport.” The new rule applies specifically to service animals. Emotional support animals aren’t covered by the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Report

Launchpad Marzari gives us Part 1 of his series about buying an airplane.

Credit

Interviews conducted by Robert Fairbairn and Hillel Glazer at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2019, and by Max Flight and Main(e) Man Micah at the Owls Head Transportation Museum.

563 Circumnavigating the Globe in a Pilatus

Our guests tell us about circumnavigating the globe three times in a Pilatus PC-12: eastbound, westbound, and polar. In the news, Allegiant is testing a new service offering more seat pitch, the fuel dump from a Norwegian flight ruins a runway, more 737 MAX fallout, an English Channel attempt on a hoverboard, the Senate confirms a controversial nominee to be the new FAA administrator, Congress considers the PLANE Act with positive implications for GA, and China is growing the number of carrier pilots.

The Pilatus at Sangster International Airport, Jamaica.

The Pilatus at Sangster International Airport, Jamaica.

Guests

Josh and Jack with the Pilatus PC-12.

Joshua Marvil and Jack Long are recipients of the eastbound and polar circumnavigation diplomas awarded by the International Aeronautic Federation (FAI) and the National Aeronautic Association (NAA). Their westbound circumnavigation was completed in January 2019 and the diploma is forthcoming. All flights were on a Pilatus PC-12 and Jack and Josh have landed in more than 40 different countries and all seven continents.

On the 2015 eastbound trip, Josh and Jack were joined by pilots Jerry Seckler and Giuseppe Caltabiano at various points along the way. For the 2016-2017 polar circumnavigation, Giuseppe was along most of the way and Jerry joined the flight in Punta Arenas, Chile to fly the Antarctic segment. For the 2018-2019 westbound trip, the only pilots were Josh and Jack. Their wives Becky and Carolyn were along for almost all of these trips in their entirety except for some of the polar legs.

Josh is a Director (and former Chair) for LightHawk and a Trustee of the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Josh and his wife Becky have flown the Cirrus SR22 all around the U.S. and the Bahamas.

Jack is an entrepreneur by profession and a pilot by passion. He started two software businesses and one transportation business. In 2003, he became part of the founding faculty of the Acton School of Business where he teaches entrepreneurship. Jack soloed in a Piper Cherokee 140 in 1977 and moved-up the aviation food chain to a Mooney 201, a Cirrus SR-22, and now the Pilatus PC-12.

Circumnavigating the Globe Westbound.

Circumnavigating the Globe Westbound.

See Josh’s blog Marvils Around the World. Jack has a blog for each circumnavigation: Round the World Flight 2015, Polar Round the World Flight 2016-2017, and Round the World 3.0.

For a register of pilots who have flown around the world in light aircraft, see Earthrounders.com.

Video: Saint Helena Landing in N575PC

Aviation News

Allegiant goes Extra with increased legroom option

Allegiant Extra seating will get you priority boarding, an extra 6 inches of seat pitch, designated bin space, and a complimentary drink on the plane. Allegiant does this without changing the overall seat count: an additional row is added in the rear section and there is less Legroom+ option. Allegiant is testing Extra on flights to and from Los Angeles. At the end of the 2019-2020 winter season, the company will make a decision as to the future of the program.

WOW Air’s American Buyer Reveals (Bizarre?) Plans

It came out recently that some former WOW Air executives were planning to launch a new airline similar to WOW but not called WOW. Right after that, American investors purchased WOW Air’s assets. American businesswoman Michele Ballarin, one of the owners of USAerospace, is currently creating a new Icelandic company that looks to provide freight transport between Iceland and the US, with passenger operations to come.

Massive Norwegian Air fuel spill at Orlando airport gives rise to fear of runway damage

A Norwegian Air flight from Orlando to London operating with an Airbus from Hi-Fly of Portugal experienced hydraulic trouble and was forced to return to Orlando. For some reason, a large quantity of fuel was dumped on Orlando’s airport runway and taxiway and it appears that the asphalt will need to be replaced.

Southwest Airlines to Leave Newark Airport as Toll of Boeing’s 737 Max Grounding Grows

In its second-quarter earnings report, Southwest said it had lost an estimated $175 million in profit. The Airline said it would shut down its operations at Newark Liberty International Airport and consolidate its operations in the New York area at LaGuardia Airport.

For more on the Boeing 737 MAX, see:

Attempt to fly hoverboard across English Channel ends in failure

Franky Zapata made an attempt to cross the English Channel on a jet-powered hoverboard. While attempting to land on a refueling platform pitching in the waves in the middle of the Channel, Zapata fell into the water, just missing the platform. The Zapata Flyboard Air is powered by five small turbo engines, each producing up to 250 horsepower each.

The Senate has confirmed a controversial new FAA administrator, a former air force pilot and Delta executive

Former Delta Air Lines pilot and executive Steve Dickson has been confirmed by the Senate to lead the FAA. The opposition voiced claims that while at Delta, Dickson mistreated a pilot who raised safety concerns. See also Politics and Aviation in the Flight to Success blog.

PLANE Act takes flight in Congress

The bipartisan legislation Promoting the Launch of Aviation’s Next Era (PLANE) Act of 2019, S.2198, was introduced on July 23, 2019. The PLANE Act would benefit general aviation by empowering pilots, investing in airports, and ensuring opportunities for a sustainable, well-trained workforce. Boeing’s new Pilot and Technician Outlook predicts a need for more than 800,000 new pilots and 750,000 new aviation technicians in the next 20 years.

China’s recruiting a lot more flattop fighter pilots — another sign China has big plans for its aircraft carriers

The annual program to recruit pilots for the People’s Liberation Army resulted in 20% more recruits than last year. Enrollment in the carrier-based fighter pilot program increased 41%. China currently has one operational aircraft carrier, with a second carrier expected to enter service soon, and a third is under construction.

Mentioned

Episode 23: DEF Contamination | AIN’s Tales from the Flight Deck Podcast

Mistaking diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) additive for fuel system icing inhibitor PRIST on the flight line is a growing problem on ramps all over the world. This can be disastrous since DEF causes jet-A to crystallize and clog aircraft fuel filters and lines. In fact, DEF contamination of jet-A has already forced several business aircraft crews to perform engine-out landings in the U.S. and elsewhere.

AOPA Foundation You Can Fly Challenge

Contribute to the Challenge by August 31, 2019, and your donation’s impact will be doubled by the Ray Foundation’s dollar-for-dollar matching grant of up to $2 million.

Women in Aviation President Chabrian Announces Retirement

Women in Aviation President Dr. Peggy Chabrian announced at the WAI Connect Breakfast at Oshkosh that she would retire in April 2020. The transition period will allow for an executive search to determine her replacement.

Airventure Oshkosh 2019

Launchpad and Josiah

Launchpad and Josiah.

The Australians visit Andy & Ed's.

The Australians visit Andy & Ed’s.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

541 Airline Cabins

We look at the airline cabin environment, cameras in seatback IFE systems, Alaska Airlines and Sisters of the Skies working for more industry diversity, bringing a gun on a plane, the Amazon Prime Air B767 crash, a new drone marking requirement, and the winners of the Chicken Wings comics giveaway.

Guest

Jennifer Coutts Clay, author of Jetliner Cabins detailing airline cabins

Jennifer Coutts Clay, author of Jetliner Cabins

Jennifer Coutts Clay is the principal of J. Clay Consulting, a consultancy based on over four decades of pioneering work in the airline industry. Jennifer is also the author of Jetliner Cabins: Evolution and Innovation which examines the history, evolution, and development of airline cabin interiors in great detail.

In our conversation, Jennifer explains airline considerations for seller-furnished or buyer-furnished equipment. We explore “trickle down product upgrades” from first class to business to coach, and what that means for the future of first class. Jennifer also explains how corporate travel departments have indirectly affected cabin design and fare structures, and the importance of minor miscellaneous items (MMI) to the passenger experience. We also discuss slimline seats, green cabin design, and future trends. Jennifer also gives us her perspective on the impacts of the Boeing 747 and the Concorde, both iconic aircraft.

At British Airways, Jennifer was the first woman to serve as Head of Operations and Sales for the Western US. After serving as the General Manager of Product Design and Development at Pan American World Airways for three years in the late 1980s, Jennifer became a consultant and now provides technical advice and marketing support to the aviation industry, with a focus on airline interior and corporate branding programs.

Jennifer has been featured, interviewed, and published by dozens of news media outlets, including The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes.com, Conde Nast Traveler, and CNN.com. She is a founding sponsor of the Crystal Cabin Awards, a founding member of the Pan American Historical Foundation Museum, and she serves on the Concorde Advisory Committee at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum in New York City.

Jetliner Cabins: Evolution and Innovation is available as an eBook from Amazon, the Apple App Store, and Google Play.

Jennifer Coutts Clay and the Concorde.

Jennifer Coutts Clay and the Concorde.

Aviation News

Airline seats now equipped with cameras — aimed at passengers

Seat-back entertainment systems on some American, United, and Singapore Airlines planes have cameras. All three airlines have said those cameras are part of the IFE systems from suppliers such as Panasonic and Thales. The airlines say the cameras are not activated and they have no plans to do so.

Alaska Airlines promises to bring more Black women pilots into the fold

The travel industry is dominated by white males, and Alaska Airlines has committed to hiring more African American female pilots. The airline has teamed up with the nonprofit Sisters of the Skies organization to sign a pledge promising to hire more Black woman pilots to its ranks.

According to Sisters of the Skies, “Currently, there are less than 150 black women pilots in the United States holding Airline Transport Pilot, Commercial, Military, and or Certified Flight Instructor Licenses.”

Man’s gun reportedly stolen from SFO baggage carousel

The man was traveling on a United flight with a properly checked gun. But the flight was delayed and the gun flew on a different plane. Apparently, when it did arrive, it sat on the baggage carousel for some time and was then stolen.

For information about flying with a firearm, see 9 Must Do Tips for Flying with a Gun on Gun Goals, a site dedicated to gun enthusiasts.

Amazon Prime Air 767 Crashes in Texas

An Amazon Prime Air B767-300 operated by Atlas Air crashed in Trinity Bay near Anahuac, Texas. The plane was flying from Miami to Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport. All three on board were lost.

FAA imposed this big change Saturday for drone pilots

Effective immediately, drone operators must display their aircraft registration number on the outside of the drone. Previously, the number could be located inside a component, like in the battery case.

Mentioned

Chicken Wings Comics – We announce the two winners of the book giveaway. Thanks to all who entered, and to Michael and Stefan Strasser at Chicken Wings for donating and autographing the books.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne.

529 Normandy Jump 2019

The upcoming Normandy Jump commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day, new standards for obtaining an Airline Transport Pilot certificate or an airplane type rating, a solid-state propulsion system from MIT, and a carbon offsetting and reduction scheme for international aviation.

Guest

CJ Machado is a writer, a photojournalist with Homeland Magazine, and an illustrator. She is founder/CEO producer of Love Amazingly Productions and devotes all her projects to humanitarian causes and veteran advocacy. One of those projects is Normandy Jump 2019.

Training for Normandy Jump 2019

CJ getting her pin after jump school from 93-year-old Vincent Speranza, WWII “Battle of the Bulge” and “Screaming Eagle” 101st Airborne veteran.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day and the invasion of Normandy, an estimated 25 countries and dozens of vintage aircraft, mainly C-47’s, will participate including the Commemorative Air Force’s D-Day Doll and lead aircraft of “Operation Overlord,” That’s all Brother. Hundreds of paratroopers and civilian parachutists, as well as members of the 82nd Airborne, will fly across the English Channel and jump in the historic drop zones of Normandy as they did 75 years ago. Everyone will be dressed in WWII style allied uniforms and will jump with military round parachutes.

Love Amazingly Productions and Speed and Angels Productions are producing a documentary film about this event. In order to participate, CJ had to attend and document the same jump training as the parachutists, and she tells us about that experience. Her jump school was conducted by the WWII Airborne Demonstration Team and her pinning ceremony was quite remarkable.

The Normandy Jump 2019 documentary will include interviews and rare footage of the WWII veterans that fought on D-Day and the team will follow and film D-Day Doll on her mission back to Normandy with much-anticipated stops at the National Museum of the United States Air Force in Ohio and the Waterbury-Oxford Airport in Connecticut, where American aircraft will convene before they cross the Atlantic.

References/information

For more information and to support the documentation of Normandy Jump 2019, please visit NormandyJump2019.com and consider pre-ordering a Normandy Jump 2019 DVD.

CJ Machado on the cover of Homeland Magazine promoting Normandy Jump 2019.

CJ Machado on the cover of Homeland Magazine.

See CJ’s Homeland Magazine article, Airborne all the Way about D-Day Doll and the WWII Airborne Demonstration Team at the Planes Of Fame Air Show in Chino, California.

Inland Empire Wing is a wing of the Commemorative Air Force which has as it’s mission education such that generations of Americans will value and support the contributions of military aviation to assure the nation’s freedom. In 2019, the D-Day Doll will journey back to Normandy, as the world celebrates a day of infamy, the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. Five men will climb into an old warbird and fly her back to the mission field once more.

Listen to Airplane Geeks Episode 503 D-Day Squadron and the C-47 with guest Moreno “Mo” Aguiari, Executive Director of D-Day Squadron, an organization that plans to lead an American fleet of historic, restored C-47 World War II military aircraft in Daks Over Normandy in June 2019.

Video: WW II Veteran Stories – Vince Speranza

Reading PA WWII Weekend 2012. Photo by David Vanderhoof.

Reading PA WWII Weekend 2012. Photo by David Vanderhoof.

Aviation News

FAA Seeks Input On ATP, Type Rating Changes

The FAA is proposing new standards for obtaining an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate in the airplane category or for obtaining an airplane type rating. Submit your comments at Airline Transport Pilot and Type Rating for Airplane Airman Certification Standards by December 21, 2018. The proposed change includes preparation for the FAA ATP knowledge test and practical test and to receive an ATP certificate or airplane type rating.

Experimental plane flies silently, may lead to quiet drones

MIT has demonstrated a solid-state propulsion system that can sustain powered flight, by designing and flying an electroaerodynamically propelled heavier-than-air aeroplane. See Flight of an aeroplane with solid-state propulsion published November 21, 2018 in Nature.

Video: Ion drive: The first flight

Stop Worrying About Buying Carbon Offsets for Your Flights

The UN Agreement, Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) would require that by 2021, participating airlines that fly internationally will have to offset any extra emissions. See Assembly Resolution A39-3.

YouTube Aviation Channel

Greg’s Airplanes and Automobiles

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.