Tag Archives: NTSB

625 Aerospace Internships

We talk with a co-founder of the Patti Grace Smith Fellowship which matches interns with aerospace companies. He’s also a former USAF combat pilot and an astronaut who flew on two Space Shuttle missions. In the news, EASA and the Boeing 737 MAX, the NTSB finds that alcohol caused a fatal accident, the U.S. Army plans to review its aviation fleet, expansion opportunities for budget airlines, and a dog evades capture at an airport for 12 hours.

Guest

Alvin DrewAlvin Drew Jr. is the Department of Defense Liaison at NASA Headquarters and a cofounder of the Patti Grace Smith Fellowship. That organization is designed for Black and African-American students who are looking for their first aerospace internship. Alvin is also a former USAF combat pilot and an astronaut with over 600 hours in space.

The mission of the Fellowship is to provide a pathway into successful aerospace careers and future aerospace industry leadership to people whose race and ethnicity has made them the subject of systemic bias. Participating companies identify internship opportunities and the Fellowship matches those with student candidates. Aerospace internship applications are being accepted this year through November 15, 2020.

In addition to hearing Alvin explain the Patti Grace Smith Fellowship, we are treated to some perspectives that can only come from an astronaut who has flown the Space Shuttle twice and visited the International Space Station.

Alvin graduated from the United States Air Force Academy, served as a combat rescue helicopter pilot, then transitioned into USAF special operations, where he flew 60 combat missions. Alvin went on to become a test pilot, and served in the U.S. Air Force’s Air Combat Command staff, retiring in 2010 as a Colonel. Alvin has more than 3,500 hours of flying experience and has piloted 30 different types of aircraft.  

Selected as a mission specialist by NASA, Alvin was initially assigned technical duties in the Astronaut Office Station Operations Branch. He served as Director of Operations at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia and logged more than 612 hours in space on STS-118 in 2007 and STS-133 in 2011. Alvin is the 200th person to walk in space. 

Alvin holds two bachelor’s degrees from the United States Air Force Academy as well as master’s degrees from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and the United States Air Force Air University. He is an active member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, and the American Helicopter Society.

Learn more about the Patti Grace Smith Fellowship at their website, and follow them on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Aviation News

Boeing Max Judged Safe to Fly by Europe’s Aviation Regulator

EASA is reviewing the documents for a draft 737 MAX airworthiness directive that it expects to issue in November. The organization is satisfied with the September test flights. After the draft is issued, there will be a 4-week public comment period. EASA wants a synthetic sensor added in addition to the two mechanical AOA indicators. Boeing says that will take 20 to 24 months, but EASA says, “Our analysis is showing that this is safe, and the level of safety reached is high enough for us. What we discussed with Boeing is the fact that with the third sensor, we could reach even higher safety levels.”

NTSB Points to Alcohol-Impaired Pilot as the Cause of Alaska Accident

In a 2019 accident near Girdwood, Alaska, a Piper PA22-150 impacted a 5,512-foot ridge about 15 feet below the peak. The ATP-rated pilot and three passengers died. The NTSB reported that both the pilot and the student pilot had elevated levels of alcohol in their bloodstream.

Army to conduct thorough review of aviation fleet in FY23

The U.S. Army is trying to balance funding for the current fleet vs. investments in future technology, including the Future Armed Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) and the Future Long-Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA).

Budget airlines muscle into big airports as coronavirus creates new opportunities

In the past, some airlines would have liked to expand into new airports but their ability to do so was prevented by the lack of airport capacity. Now, with incumbent airlines cutting back on some routes, the door has opened for others to move in. At the Boyd Group International Aviation Forecast Summit this month, most estimates for when air travel will return to 2019 levels put that recovery in 2025 or 2026.

Dog Disrupts Airport For 12 Hours

Arriving at Pearson International Airport in Toronto from Spain, Crystal, a Spanish podenco, escaped from her crate. The podenco is related to the greyhound and is a fast runner. It took airport personnel 12-hours to chase Crystal down.

Eat at the Airport

Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari speaks with Gate 12 Bar and Grill owner Cody Whitten for a live Eat at the Airport review from Easterwood Airport (KCLL) in College Station, Texas. Find more airport eating establishments at EatAtTheAirport.com.

Mentioned

Request for Feedback on the Standardization Community’s Interest in Developing Space Cyber Standards – The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is seeking information on efforts by members of the standardization community to develop space cybersecurity standards, or any plans to develop such standards.

Six Minutes to Freedom: An Evening with Kurt Muse – At the American Helicopter Museum, November 14, 2020. Hear the amazing story online or in-person of Kurt Muse, who was rescued from a Panamanian prison by American Special Operations Forces after being interrogated and confined by military dictator General Manuel Noriega. Muse will tell the story of his fight for freedom in Panama as the leader of a group of patriots broadcasting on The Voice of Liberty, an underground radio station; his harrowing interrogation and imprisonment; and his dramatic rescue by the elite Delta forces in Operation Acid Gambit. He will offer his presentation in front of the Museum’s Hughes MH-6J helicopter, which was recreated from parts of the helicopter that rescued him.

Powering a Sustainable Future, an Aerospace Industry Business After Hours Webinar at the New England Air Museum with Dr. Michael Winter, Senior Fellow, Advanced Technology, Pratt & Whitney.

Airplane Geeks Listener poll #625

Video: Space Shuttle Launch Audio – play LOUD (no music) HD 1080p

623 Boeing 787 Dreamliner Move

Boeing decides to move 787 Dreamliner production to South Carolina, the FAA Administrator flies the 737 MAX, Germany halts its heavy-lift helicopter procurement, airlines offer Covid-19 testing to passengers, furloughs after the CARES Act expired, go-arounds and accidents, a fast electric airplane from Rolls-Royce, advanced preflight after maintenance, and Flightradar24 DDoS attack.

Aviation News

Report: Boeing to move all 787 Dreamliner production to S.C.; WA governor responds

Boeing made their decision, and all assembly of the 787 Dreamliner will be consolidated in South Carolina. Production of the 787 will end in Washington state. Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal said the move to consolidate the work in North Charleston, S.C., will be done by “mid-2021, according to our best estimate.”

‘I Like What I See’: FAA Chief Flies 737 Max, But Not Ready To Recertify Plane

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson (a former Delta Air Lines pilot) flew the 737 MAX. At a news conference, Dickson said, “I completed a number of test profiles today to examine the functionality of the aircraft and I liked what I saw, so it responded well. I did two landings and also some air work maneuvers over about a two-hour period… and I felt prepared. I think most importantly, I felt that the training prepared me to be very comfortable.”

Germany Axes Plan To Buy Either Sikorsky CH-53K Or Boeing CH-47 Helicopters

In what was called “a surprise development,” Germany decided not to replace the German Luftwaffe’s aging CH-53G series helicopters with either the CH-53K King Stallion or the CH-47F Chinook. The reason: both heavy-lift helicopters are too expensive.

Here are the U.S. airlines offering COVID-19 testing to travelers

JetBlue has partnered with Vault Health to provide at-home saliva tests to customers “wanting peace of mind and those who must secure a negative COVID-19 test result before entering certain states and countries or in order to avoid certain mandatory quarantines.” United Airlines will offer testing for customers traveling from San Francisco International Airport to Hawaii beginning Oct. American Airlines will offer pre-flight testing to travelers at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport going to Hawaii starting on Oct. 15.

Black Thursday Has Arrived: It’s Bad, But Not As Bad As Feared

The CARES Act has expired and while thousands were furloughed, others have negotiated new agreements with airlines or are in the process of negotiating new deals.

Failure to Go Around Leads to Runway Excursion

The August 15, 2019 crash of Dale Earnhardt Jr’s Cessna Citation Latitude at Elizabethton, Tennessee (0A9) followed “an unstable VFR approach, a poorly executed landing, and a botched go-around attempt.”

Rolls-Royce Thinks It’s Developing The Fastest Electric Airplane In The World

The concept includes a 500hp motor, and “a battery with enough energy to supply 250 homes.”  Rolls-Royce is ground testing the technology on a full-scale replica of the plane’s core. Project partners include YASA, a British electric powertrain company, and electric aviation startup Electroflight. Rolls-Royce said, “The first flight is planned for later this year and we are aiming to beat the current all-electric flight world record early next year.”

Advanced Preflight After Maintenance

General Aviation fatalities have occurred after in-flight emergencies that have been the direct result of maintenance personnel who have serviced or installed systems incorrectly. The General Aviation Joint Steering Committee (GAJSC) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) say that a significant number of those fatalities could have been avoided if pilots conducted more thorough preflight inspections of aircraft that have just been returned to service.

Resources:

Update on Flightradar24’s extended downtime

Flightradar24 experienced a sustained Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack that resulted in extensive downtime. “We are continuing to do everything possible to mitigate the effects of the attack and to harden our systems to reduce the likelihood of future attacks making our services unavailable.”

Mentioned

Listener Poll 623

Whirly-Girls New Instrument Rating Scholarship for Female Aviators for 2021

Aviation Careers Podcast and the Aerospace Scholarships guide.

SUN ‘n FUN Holiday Flying Festival and Car Show

Last ever Airbus A380 superjumbo assembled in France

Airbus A380 Struggles But a Business Case Exists for Neo

Airbus debuts hydrogen net-zero concept aircraft for 2035 launch

Video: How Delta Fixes $32 Million Jet Engines | Big Business

Video: Coulson Aviation CH47

Video: Awesome Chinook helicopter firefighting system in action

Jet World Record Project – A video report from KTVN, the CBS affiliate in Reno, Nevada on the TS-11 project to rebuild the airplane. See also Renegade Jets.

581 AERObridge and Disaster Response

AERObridge coordinates business and general aviation aircraft for disaster response in times of need. In the news, we look at airliner formation flying, IndiGo engine failures, Boeing’s hand in X-Wing drones, a volcanic eruption forcing a turnback, a jet blast injury, a bill to spur transportation careers, and slipping a president out of the country.

AERObridge disaster response.

Disaster response flight. Courtesy AERObridge.

Guest

Trevor Norman is the AERObridge national chapter coordinator. AERObridge is a non-profit organization that coordinates donated business and general aviation aircraft to provide disaster response in times of catastrophic emergencies. They transport critically needed items and personnel to where they are needed.

Trevor explains how AERObridge matches aircraft with emergency response teams and critical supplies. The organization delivers aid from donors like AirCare Alliance and Crossroads Alliance. We discuss how AERObridge coordinates with other organizations and local agencies, and how pilots are vetted and matched with missions that fit with their aircraft and their skills. Trevor describes how no two disasters are the same and the need to be flexible and change plans on a moment’s notice.

As a non-profit organization, AERObridge accepts donations of time, talent, and treasure.

Aviation News

Airbus Wants To Fly 2 Planes In Extra-Close Formation, Like Geese, To Save Energy

Geese fly in V-formations because they are aerodynamically more efficient than all of them flying alone. If airliners employ the same technique, they could find a 5 to 10% fuel savings on a long oceanic flight.

Pilots Revving Engines Too Hard Led to IndiGo’s Airbus Woes

IndiGo has been experiencing A320neo turbine failures in its Pratt & Whitney GTF engines and they’ve seen 13 engine shutdowns this year. Interestingly, Go Airlines India flying the same equipment has not seen these problems. India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation says IndiGo’s practice of running up A320neo jets at full thrust right after takeoff could wear down the engines.

Disney’s Plan To Fly X-Wings Over Star Wars Park Speaks To Perception Manipulation Tactics

Boeing may have been working to help Disney Imagineers create ⅔ scale X-Wing drones based on Boeing’s NeXt Cargo Air Vehicle.

Watch: Cargo Air Vehicle Completes First Outdoor Flight

Volcanic eruption forces flight with large cargo of horses onboard to turn back

KLM flight KL685 from Amsterdam to Mexico City was heading toward volcanic activity from Popocatepetl, just outside their destination. Because of the “unfavourable flying conditions” and the cargo of horses, the flight had to return to Schiphol. “Landing at another airport was not possible, because of the visa requirements of passengers and as there was a large cargo of horses onboard.”

NTSB releases report on woman injured in jet blast incident, family shares video

A woman boarding a private jet in October at Augusta Regional Airport was seriously injured when the jet blast from another aircraft knocked her over. The National Transportation Safety Board released a preliminary report on the incident indicating that while the airport and the FBO had a protocol for aircraft being marshaled into the taxiway, there was no protocol for aircraft leaving the area.

Bipartisan bill would spur transportation careers

The Promoting Service in Transportation Act was recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill authorizes the U.S. Department of Transportation to develop and publish public service announcements in digital, print, and broadcast media which highlight the need for more professional airline pilots, safety inspectors, mechanics and technicians, air traffic controllers, and flight attendants, as well as railroad workers, truck drivers, and other transportation industry professionals. News release: Larsen, Young and Craig Introduce Bill to Promote Transportation Career Opportunities

What Aircraft Snuck Trump Out Of Florida On His Way To Afghanistan For Thanksgiving?

President Trump visited the Afghanistan combat zone, but he had to be whisked out of Florida without being noticed, possibly on a Senior Leader In-transit Pallet (SLIP).

Mentioned

Jacinda Ardern apologises for Air New Zealand Erebus tragedy at 40th anniversary event

The White Silence and Erebus Flight 901: Litany of lies? podcasts discuss the Erebus crash and its aftermath.

Recording screenshot

Clockwise from top left: David Vanderhoof, Max Flight, Lily the Cat, Trevor Norman.

580 Dubai Airshow 2019

News from the 2019 Dubai Airshow, Boeing’s 737 MAX 10, splitting up families who want to sit together on the airplane, NTSB findings on the fatal Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 accident, and a commercial aerial tanker company. Also, the application of structural batteries to aircraft, flying in formation down under, and romance in the air.

Dubai Airshow 2019

The 2019 Dubai Airshow ran November 17 – 21, reportedly with 1300 exhibitors, 100 aircraft on display, and around 90,000 in attendance over the five days. We talk about some of the aircraft orders placed and other topics from the airshow.

The Truth Is That Emirates Net Canceled $20 Billion Of Aircraft Orders At The Dubai Airshow—Contrary To Headlines

Dubai Air Show wraps up with $54.5b in deals

Honda Aircraft Reports Global Expansion

Video: Dubai Airshow 2019 – Watch the weeks highlights

Aviation News

Boeing Debuts 737 MAX 10

The largest Boeing 737 MAX is the MAX 10, and the company debuted the aircraft at its Renton, Washington facility. Boeing says they currently have more than 550 orders and commitments for the aircraft. With a range of 3,300 NM and maximum seating for 230 passengers, Boeing says it will offer the lowest seat-mile cost of any single-aisle airplane yet produced.

Boeing’s 737 Max shouldn’t be allowed to fly with a controversial flight-control system, an aviation regulator reportedly said in leaked emails

Reportedly, the Transport Canada Civil Aviation manager of aircraft integration and safety assessment sent an email saying the “only way I see moving forward at this point, is that MCAS has to go.” The manager’s email was sent to the FAA, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, and the National Civil Aviation Agency in Brazil.

Sen. Schumer to airlines: Stop splitting up families on flights

The FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 directed the Department of Transportation to study guidelines that would keep families together on airlines. Carriers were to have policies that keep parents and children under 13 sitting together. But that hasn’t happened and Senator Chuck Schumer from New York isn’t happy. See Family Seating from the DOT for tips.

NTSB Issues 7 Safety Recommendations Based on Findings from Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 Investigation

As a result of the engine failure on Southwest Airlines Flight 1380 on April 17, 2018, material pierced the fuselage and caused the cabin to depressurize, with one fatality. The NTSB explains:

“…portions of the fan cowl separated in flight after a fan blade, which had fractured due to a fatigue crack, impacted the engine fan case at a location that was critical to the structural integrity and performance of the fan cowl structure.  The NTSB found that the separated fan blade impacted the engine fan case and fractured into multiple fragments. Some of the fragments traveled forward of the engine and into the inlet. The impact of the separated fan blade with the fan case also imparted significant loads into the fan cowl through the radial restraint fitting, which is what caused the fan cowl to fail.”

It was the failed engine inlet and casing that impacted the fuselage. An abstract of the final report is available and includes the findings, probable cause, and safety recommendations.

Video: A380 Blade Off Test

The First Boom-Equipped Tanker For A Private Aerial Refueling Company Has Arrived

Omega Air operates a few hose and drogue aerial tankers and has now received the first of two surplus KDC-10 tankers with aerial refueling booms from the Royal Netherlands Air Force. That will allow Omega Air to provide contractor refueling support to the USAF and other allies.

Mentioned

Video: Expedition Overland S4 EP 1:The Great Pursuit – New Horizons

Carbon fibre can act as a structural battery component in vehicle bodies

Van's Aircraft RV-7

Kevin, Eddie, Monty, Mal, Mark, and Jorgo at the HARS museum at Wollongong. Eddie’s immaculate RV-7 is behind.

LifeFlight helicopter lands in Penobscot field following mechanical anomaly

Couple tie the knot 37,000 feet in the air between Australia and New Zealand

573 Collings Foundation B-17

We discuss the crash of the Collings Foundation B-17 and present our interview with pilot Mac McCauley, recorded one week prior to the fatal crash. Also, NTSB recommendations for the FAA after the fatal 737 MAX crashes, ICAO’s push ahead with the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation, tariffs after the WTO rules on unfair aviation subsidies, and two airliners make emergency landings.

Collings Foundation B-17

Collings Foundation B-17 pilot Ernest "Mac" McCauley. Copyright Max Flight.

Collings Foundation B-17 pilot Ernest “Mac” McCauley. Copyright Max Flight.

One week prior to the fatal crash at BDL of the Collings Foundation B-17, we toured the aircraft and interviewed B-17 pilot Ernest “Mac” McCauley. We present that interview in full, examine safety concerns for such warbird flights, and provide our thoughts about the crash and its implications for warbird flights in the future.

Podcast dialogue releases details about pilot involved in B-17 plane crash. Photos and clips from our interview with Mac, from ABC affiliate WMTW, Channel 8 in Portland Maine, reported by Mary Cate Mannion.

NTSB B-Roll at Bradley International Airport 10/3/2019. Video of the crash scene.

Brother Of Connecticut B-17 Bomber Crash Victim: ‘I’m In A Bad Dream’

What We Know About the Victims of the B-17 Bomber Crash

Just in: The names of all the victims of the B-17 crash at Bradley International Airport. From @HeidiVoight, an NBC Connecticut anchor.

Last minutes of the flight on LiveATC.net (Note: This link will download an MP3 file to your computer.)

Owner Of B-17 Bomber In Deadly Crash Suspends Other Flights. From CBS affiliate WBZ in Boston. The Collings Foundation “says it is suspending flights and its Wings of Freedom Tour for the remainder of the year.” Tickets for flights through December will be refunded.

B-17 crash raises questions about vintage plane safety. We take issue with “… Arthur Alan Wolk, a lawyer who specializes in crash litigation in Philadelphia, said Friday that the accident shows the risks associated with flying old planes: They break. He said the rules for operating vintage aircraft are stringent, but he questioned whether compliance and training are adequate.”

Keep History Flying: Warbirds In The Wake Of The B-17 Crash. “These aircraft serve as traveling museums, able to visit communities across America and engage people who are not able to journey to the National Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio, or the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.”

Collings Foundation B-17. Copyright Max Flight.

Collings Foundation B-17. Copyright Max Flight.

Aviation News

NTSB Issues 7 Safety Recommendations to FAA related to Ongoing Lion Air, Ethiopian Airlines Crash Investigations

The National Transportation Safety Board issued seven safety recommendations to the FAA that address concerns about how multiple alerts and indications are considered when making assumptions as part of design safety assessments.

UN Aviation Agency Moves Forward on Climate Action, Despite Objections from China and Russia

The UN’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) assembly approved moving forward with the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). China, India, and Russia objected.

U.S. airlines grapple with ‘unfair tax’ that adds to aircraft supply disruption

The World Trade Organization has been considering claims against Boeing and Airbus that they each received unfair government subsidies. The WTO determined that both charges are valid. They haven’t yet quantified the “damage” that resulted from Boeing subsidies, but they have quantified it for Airbus and given Washington the right to impose tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of EU goods annually.

Delta says US airlines face ‘serious harm’ from tariffs on Airbus planes

Delta said that new U.S. tariffs placed on Airbus planes “will inflict serious harm on U.S. airlines” and impact its profits. The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said it will impose a 10 percent tariff on large commercial aircraft. Agricultural and other industrial goods will face even higher tariffs.

Durian stink causes Rouge 767 emergency landing

Rouge Boeing 767-300ER Flight 1566 had to return to the airport after a shipment of durians in the forward cargo compartment created an overpowering odor.

Amsterdam-bound flight makes emergency landing in Bangor

A United Airlines flight experienced a cabin pressure issue that forced Flight 986 to divert to Bangor International Airport.

Mentioned

General Aviathon Award ceremony at Hiller Aviation Museum.

Mechanic Accidentally Fires Cannon, Destroying F-16 on Ground in Belgium

Inside Skunk Works podcast.

Wings Over the Rockies Museum

539 Boeing 747 First Flight

We mark the 50th anniversary of the first flight of the Boeing 747 with a member of that flight test team, now a docent at The Museum of Flight in Seattle. Also, the NTSB Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements, the last commercial flight of the Boeing 727, Airbnb may be doing something with air travel, SFO’s new outdoor observation deck, two Virgin Galactic pilots earn astronaut wings, and the Collier Trophy nominees list is released.

Boeing 747 ceremony.

Boeing 747 ceremony, courtesy The Museum of Flight.

Guests

Sean Mobley, Docent Services Specialist with The Museum of Flight joins us. Sean also hosts the Museum’s Flight Deck Podcast. In addition, Docent Thomas Gray brings us recollections of the Boeing 747 flight test program and the first flight, fifty years ago.

From 1968 to 1985, Thomas was a member of the Boeing 747 first flight test team. That airplane, the “City of Everett,” resides at The Museum of Flight. Thomas was also the lead instrumentation engineer when RA001 was later used as the flying test bed for the 757/767 engines.

Thomas graduated with a BS in Electrical Engineering in 1961. He served in the New Mexico Air National Guard as a Radio Technician for one year where he provided maintenance service on F-100 fighter aircraft radio equipment. After that, he joined the Washington Air National Guard until 1967 as a Radio Technician, providing maintenance service on the mobile teletype and cryptographic equipment.

Thomas was hired by Boeing as the Systems Test Engineer on the Dyna-Soar program. From there he moved over to the Flight Test organization as an Instrumentation Engineer for 24 years. Thomas worked on the 737, 747, 757, 767, the Boeing Hydrofoil Test Craft, and John F. Kennedy’s Air Force One 26000. He also served as the test engineer on the Space Shuttle Carrier aircraft during Space Shuttle Landing tests at Edwards AFB, California. Thomas then worked as a Commercial Sales Support Engineer for three years and worked seven years as a Customer Service Engineer until retiring in 1995.

Boeing 747.

Courtesy The Museum of Flight.

Boeing 747 First Flight

The first flight took place on February 9, 1969 and we learn that the three initial flights were around Paine Field with a pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer, and F-86 escort. It wasn’t until the fourth flight that the full crew was aboard and the plane was allowed to fly over populated areas.

Thomas helps us understand the mood at Boeing leading up to the B747 first flight, as well as his role as part of the first flight test team. He explains the 747 test Instrumentation, the telemetry system, and the ballast system that moved water between barrels to change the airplane’s center of gravity.

The first flight Boeing 747 is on display at The Museum of Flight in the test configuration. An excellent 3D tour of the plane is available from the Museum. See Aviation Pavilion Virtual Tour for that aircraft tour and others in the collection.

Boeing 747 test aircraft virtual tour. Courtesy The Museum of Flight.

Boeing 747 test aircraft virtual tour. Courtesy The Museum of Flight.

Videos of interest:

To learn more about upcoming activities, visit The Museum of Flight Calendar of Events. Be sure to look at Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission. This is an exhibition from the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. This traveling exhibit comes to the Museum April 13th through September 2nd, 2019.

Aviation News

NTSB 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements

The National Transportation Safety Board (the NTSB) has issued its 2019-2020 Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements. The NTSB would like the FAA to close the gap in safety requirements between commercial airlines and those operating under Part 135. The NTSB argues that all flights should be safe, no matter the purpose of the flight or the type of aircraft. Most Part 135 organizations don’t have a safety management system (SMS), flight data monitoring (FDM), or a controlled flight into terrain (CFIT) avoidance training program.

Boeing’s famous trijet 727 makes last commercial flight

In mid-January, 2019, a 38-year-old Boeing 727-200 owned by Iran Aseman Airlines became the last 727 on a commercial passenger flight. See the Boeing history page for more on the 727.

Airbnb Hires Aviation Industry Veteran to Lead New Transportation Division

Home-sharing service Airbnb has hired long-time aviation industry veteran Fred Reid to be the company’s global head of transportation. His task is “building partnerships and services that make travel seamless while delivering the kind of people-to-people hospitality Airbnb is known for around the world.” CEO Brian Chesky says, “I’m not interested in building our own airline or creating just another place on the Internet where you can buy a plane ticket, but there is a tremendous opportunity to improve the transportation experience for everyone.”

SFO unveils dramatic outdoor observation deck

A $55 million upgrade at San Francisco International Airport’s International Terminal includes a new, 3,000 square foot roofless observation deck on the Terminal G side. Since the outdoor lounge is behind security, only passengers using Terminal 3 (United) and the International G-side will have access to it. The deck offers a 180+ degree view of the ramp and runways on the north side of the airport.

San Francisco International Airport’s observation deck. Credit: Chris McGinnis | Tim Jue

San Francisco International Airport’s observation deck. Credit: Chris McGinnis | Tim Jue

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Pilots Awarded FAA Astronaut Wings

The two Virgin Galactic test pilots who flew the SpaceShipTwo “VSS Unity” into space on December 13, 2018, were recognized in a ceremony at the Department of Transportation in Washington, DC. Mark “Forger” Stucky and Frederick “CJ” Sturckow were awarded Commercial Astronaut Wings by the FAA on February 7.

Credit: FAA/Virgin Galactic via collectSPACE.com.

Credit: FAA/Virgin Galactic via collectSPACE.com.

Collier Nominees Released

The National Aeronautic Association announced that eleven aviation and space achievements will compete for the 2018 Robert J. Collier Trophy:

The Collier Trophy Selection Committee will meet on April 4, 2019, in Arlington, Virginia, and the recipient will be announced publicly the following day. The formal presentation of the Collier Trophy will take place on June 13, 2019, at a location to be determined.

Mentioned

Red Bull Air Race app

Evening With Enshrinees Dick and Burt Rutan February 22, 2019

#PaxEx Podcast

Two podcast episodes recommended by Max Trescott:

Chicken Wings Comics

Eat at the Airport

Call for Nominations for the 2019 Aerospace Media Awards

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

524 Electric Airplane Propulsion

The CEO of magniX talks about electric airplane propulsion. Also, FAA reauthorization, an initial NTSB report, why bad airline service is profitable, a possible increase in the LSA weight limit, and Air Force contracts for helicopters and the T-38 replacement.

Guest

Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX. maker of electric airplane motors.

Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX.

Roei Ganzarski is the CEO of magniX, a company developing high-power-density electric motors for aircraft propulsion.

magniX sees itself as a propulsion company, developing electric motors for existing and future airframes. Roei describes how the electric airplane (or hybrid-electric) offers the prospect of connecting communities through lower costs to fly. In addition to reduced fuel and maintenance costs, electric airplanes benefit from lower emissions.

Roei describes some of the challenges faced, including battery energy density, lifespan, and replacement cost.

The magniX 350SHP electrfic airplane motor.

The magniX 350SHP electric airplane motor.

magniX is currently testing a 350 hp motor, while the 375 hp and 750 hp production motors are in final design. Flight tests are planned for the second half of 2019, with certification and start of commercial operation in 2022. Beyond that, magniX looks to develop one-megawatt and superconductor motors for very high output per kilogram.

Prior to joining magniX, Roei was CEO of BoldIQ, a global provider of dynamic real-time scheduling optimization software. Under Roei’s leadership, BoldIQ grew from a seed software startup to a profitable multi-million dollar SaaS company.

Follow @magniX on Twitter and find them on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Before BoldIQ, Roei was Chief Customer Officer for Boeing’s Flight Services division where he led all worldwide customer and market-facing organizations. Other experiences prior to Boeing include private investment banking, corporate finance, advertising, and the military.

Roei is a graduate of Wharton’s Advanced Management Program. He earned an MBA from the University of Washington, and a BA in Economics from The University of Haifa. Roei sits on the board of the Washington Technology Industry Association.

See: MagniX Hits Milestone for All-Electric Aircraft Motors.

Aviation News

President Trump Just Signed a Law That Radically Changes Life for Airline Passengers, Flight Attendants, and Airlines (Almost Nobody Even Noticed)

Greenville plane crash: Initial NTSB report shows braking switch was inoperative

This Is The Real Reason Bad Airline Service is Profitable

LSA Weight Limit Increasing To 3600 Pounds

Boeing Wins Air Force Chopper Deal [paywall]

Boeing Wins Contest to Build Air Force Trainer Jets [paywall]

Mentioned

Zunum Partners With France’s Safran For Hybrid-To-Electric Airplane

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

523 Fly Girls

The author of New York Times Bestseller Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History helps us look at the true story of pioneering women aviators. Also, Air Canada’s near disaster last year, the FAA approves an ultralight VTOL, FAA reauthorization, an F-35B crash, and an American Airlines podcast. Plus, more from Dorkfest 2018, and a visit with the Collings Foundation.

Fly Girls at East St. Louis.

Fly Girls in East St. Louis.

Guest

Keith O’Brien is the author of Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History. This is the true story of women fliers of the 1920s and ‘30s who were willing to risk everything, even their lives, to do the thing they loved. Despite many defeats, these women fought to change the world, shatter the glass ceiling, and battle injustice.

Keith is a former reporter for the Boston Globe and a frequent contributor to National Public Radio. His work has appeared on shows such as All Things Considered, Morning Edition, and This American Life. He has also written for the New York Times Magazine, Politico, and Slate. Follow Keith on Twitter at @keithob.

Santa Monica

Santa Monica

Amelia, Ruth, and Louise.

Amelia Earhart, Ruth Nichols, and Louise Thaden.

Aviation News

NTSB faults Air Canada pilots for last year’s near disaster

NTSB Report on Air Canada 759 Taxiway Incident at SFO: Pilot Error

FAA Approves Ultralight VTOL

With Extension in Hand, Senate To Vote on Full FAA Bill

F-35 crashes for the first time in the jet’s 17-year history, pilot ejects safely

F-35B Crashes, Pilot Ejects

American Airlines using podcasts to reach staff—and the public

Interviews

Brian from Dorkfest 2018:

Main(e) Man Micah talks with the Collings Foundation:

  • Gene Norman, Crew Chief
  • Jamie Mitchell, Flight Coordinator
  • Jonathan Henley, P-51 Pilot
Jonathan Henley and Micah

Micah and Jonathan Henley

Gene Norman, Jaimie Mitchell, Micah, Jonathan Henley

Gene Norman, Jaimie Mitchell, Micah, Jonathan Henley

Mentioned

Audi Stuart Air Show, November 2-4, 2018 in Stuart, Florida.

International Women’s Air & Space Museum

NASA: 60 Years in 60 Seconds

NASA: 60 Years and Counting

United Airlines is under fire after a flight attendant reportedly told a mother her baby wasn’t allowed to cry for more than 5 minutes

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

497 Designing an Airplane

The Chief Engineer at Vashon Aircraft talks about designing an airplane. Also, Bombardier and Embraer and the market for small commercial jets, the corporate culture of Boeing, the future of the A-10 Thunderbolt, and a preliminary report from the NTSB on the fatal helicopter crash into the river.

Vashon Aircraft Chief Engineer Ken Krueger talks about designing an airplane.

The Vashon Ranger R7 flying near Mt Baker. Courtesy Vashon Aircraft.

Guest

new Ken Krueger, Chief Engineer at Vashon Aircraft.

Ken Krueger is Chief Engineer at Vashon Aircraft and principal designer of the Ranger R7 2-place aircraft.

We talk with Ken about designing an airplane. He tells us about the things that push you to design a new airplane, design objectives, and engineering reality. Ken describes the manufacturability of airplane designs and how to keep costs down through manufacturing automation, vertical integration, and the company culture. Ken explains how materials and construction affect repairability, and talks to us about engine selection, the considerations for good flying ability, and even the contribution of workforce diversity.

Ken played a tiny part in the development of large airplanes such as C-17, B-2, and F-22. He played a greater role in the design of small airplanes such as the RV-7, RV-8, RV-9, RV-10, RV-12, RV-14, and the Ranger. Along the way, he has built, owned, and maintained several airplanes, including an RV-4, an RV-6, and a single seat aircraft of his own design. This combination of education and experience gives Ken a unique perspective on successfully designing and manufacturing light aircraft in today’s world.

Ken grew up in an aviation family and his passion for aviation sparked early. He earned his pilot’s license while still a teenager and graduated a few years later from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering. Ken and his wife, Susan, live in Washington State and they currently own an RV-4 and a Cessna 150.

Visit the Vashon Aircraft website, and follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Also, check out the article by Pia Bergqvist in Flying Magazine, What It’s Like to Fly the Vashon Ranger R7: The Jeep of the light-sport aircraft category makes a surprise entrance.

 

Aviation News

Boeing, Airbus Gird for New Duel in Niche Market for Small Jets

Airbus has aligned with Bombardier on the CSeries. Boeing is courting Embraer. Bombardier and Embraer have new fuel-efficient jets in the 100 – 150 seat range and orders for the smaller jets may be out there from Air France-KLM, United Continental Holdings, and JetBlue Airways.

How to Fix United Airlines’ Culture Problem

United Airlines treatment of their customers has been well documented in the press. With almost alarming frequency. Does United suffer from a corporate culture problem? If so, what can be done?

The Air Force has the money it needs for the A-10 Thunderbolt — but may soon get a new partner to help keep it in the air

What needs to happen for the A-10 to have a future, and who would have a role in keeping it flying?

NTSB Releases Preliminary Report on NY Helicopter Accident

The NTSB preliminary report contains no analysis or probable cause but describes the sequence of events is described, subject to change as the investigation proceeds.

Listener Recording

Student pilot Nicki provides an update on her flight training and tells us about her solo and experiences with a GPS.

Mentioned

After decade of restoration in Auburn, iconic ’50s airliner returning to Germany

Lufthansa L-1649 Starliner – A commercial from Lufthansa circa 1960 for a flight from Hamburg to New York on the L-1649A Starliner. In German with subtitles.

Cora VTOL: Autonomous Electric Sky Taxi from Zephyr Airworks/Kitty Hawk

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

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.