Tag Archives: Qantas

701 Aviation Weather

How aviation weather intelligence affects airlines and airports, the FAA wants radio altimeters replaced, Easyjet has a solution to fly with less crew, Spirit Airlines says no to JetBlue, an electric airplane first, jail time for some unruly passengers, and Virgin Atlantic flight training requirements.

Guest

Scott Gilmore, Tomorrow.io aviation weather information

Scott Gilmore is the Global Vice President and GM of Aviation at Tomorrow.io, a company that provides an aviation weather and climate security platform. Scott has over 40 years in the aviation industry, including 27 as a pilot. He drives Tomorrow.io’s aviation go-to-market offerings, including sales activity, revenue management, and the product roadmap.

Scott explains the sources and uses of aviation weather data, and how weather intelligence results in fewer turnbacks, more payload, and better fuel load. He also tells us about the impact on airport ground staffing and de-icing planning.

Tomorrow.io is deploying its own constellation of LEO weather satellites equipped with radar and microwave sounders. This will provide global coverage with a significantly improved refresh rate. Scott describes the goal of being able to machine generate a custom “TAF” (Terminal Aerodrome Forecast) for any selected location.

It’s with noting that the non-profit TomorrowNow.org is committed to helping vulnerable populations adapt to the climate changes that are happening now.

Prior to Tomorrow.io, Scott served as the Head of Flight Deck Solutions with The Weather Company, an IBM Business; Senior Manager of Strategic Partnerships at the International Air Transport Association (IATA); and Director Of Business Development Airline Industry Solutions, and Head Of Application Development Aircraft Mission Kit / Electronic Flight Bag at Unisys. Scott was a Senior Strategic Airlift Manager C-5, C-17, and Tanker Operations with the United States Air Force. He’s an FAA Rated Flight Engineer with over 21,000 hours in the flight deck, an Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic, and a member of the American Association of Airport Executives.

Aviation News

FAA wants U.S. airlines to retrofit, replace radio altimeters

The FAA wants to establish “an achievable timeframe to retrofit/replace radar altimeters in the U.S. fleet” due to possible interference from C-Band 5G wireless service. So they are meeting with telecom and airline industry officials where they can hear “options and commit to actions necessary to meet these objectives.”

EasyJet to take out seats so it can fly with fewer crew

Staff shortages are affecting commercial flight schedules globally and EasyJet has a solution to reduce its cabin crew from four to three legally: Take out the back row of seats in its A319 fleet. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulates the number of cabin crew based on seats, not passengers on board.

Nigerian airlines are threatening to ground domestic flights amid soaring jet fuel prices

Nine Nigerian airlines issued a statement saying that the cost of imported jet fuel had increased nearly fourfold as a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and that they are threatening to stop domestic flights. Airline operating costs have increased from about 40% to nearly 95%

Frustrated Alaska Airlines Pilots to Vote on Strike

Alaska Airlines pilots have been without a contract for some three years. Pilots started voting on May 9 on whether to strike. Balloting will end on May 25. The Air Line Pilots Association is seeking higher pay and better scheduling for its pilots.

Spirit Airlines rejects JetBlue’s buyout bid, citing approval concerns

The Spirit Airlines board rejected the $3.6 billion takeover bid by JetBlue Airways. They say Spirit will continue to pursue a merger with Frontier Airlines.

The Board determined that the JetBlue proposal involves an unacceptable level of closing risk that would be assumed by Spirit stockholders. We believe that our pending merger with Frontier will start an exciting new chapter for Spirit.

Mac Gardner, Spirit Airlines board chairman.

U.S. Aviation First: Private Pilot Certificate Earned Using an Electric Airplane

In a U.S. first, a student pilot has earned a private pilot certificate with an electric aircraft. Shane Fisher flew his check ride in a two-seat Pipistrel Velis Electro, the world’s first and still only electric-powered airplane to receive a type certificate. Certificated by EASA in 2020, it operates in the U.S. as a light sport experimental aircraft. Fisher’s cross-country was accomplished in a Pipistrel Virus SW, which has a similar airframe but is powered by a Rotax 912 engine. 

Unruly Passenger Who Managed to Open Plane Door Inflight is Sentenced to Just One Year in Jail

A disruptive and violent passenger who opened the aircraft door on a United Express flight just before landing could have received 20-years imprisonment and a $200,000 fine. But instead, he was sentenced to one year behind bars for interfering with a flight crew. Kameron C. Stone, 30, of Fairfax, Virginia was also ordered to pay a $7,500 fine and undergo three years of supervised release. He can also look forward to a fine from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

Man Who Assaulted Flight Attendants Gets 60 Days in Jail

Witnesses Describe the Scene When Man Exited Moving Plane at O’Hare, Slid Down Wing

A person opened the emergency exit door of United flight 2874 at O’Hare International Airport as the plane was moving on the runway. The passenger then walked out onto the wing and slid down onto the airfield. 

Our ground crew stopped the individual outside of the aircraft, and the person is now with law enforcement.

United Airlines statement.

Virgin Atlantic Flight Aborted After Pilot Found To Be ‘Untrained’

This was a Virgin Atlantic internal training protocol compliance violation, not a regulatory violation. The first officer had not completed his final assessment, and the captain was not yet qualified as a check airman. The plane returned and the first officer was replaced.

Australia News Desk

This week’s segment covers the big announcement by QANTAS of the purchase of 12 A350-1000s, along with a ton of other variants which will gradually replace, and effectively phase out, Boeing aircraft over the next five years.  We also take a look at QANTAS purchasing regional operator Alliance Airlines, the upcoming RAAF Amberley Air Tattoo, the Pacific Air Show scheduled for Queensland in 2023, and the World Championship Air Race round for Australia which was recently announced.  We also may have had a little fun at Rob’s expense….

What passengers can expect on Qantas’ longest commercial flight in the world

Introducing the Airbus A350-1000

Pacific Airshow comes to Gold Coast in 2023

Pacific Airshow

Qantas has reached an agreement to fully acquire Australian-based operator, Alliance Aviation Services

QANTAS to acquire Alliance Aviation to Better Support Resources Segment

Air race 2022: Lake Macquarie locks in $8 million drawcard for November

Ipswich Amberley Air Tattoo

Hosts this Episode

Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, Max Trescott

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.

575 U.S. Army Golden Knights

Interviews with the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team and the crew chief of the T-38 Spirit of Alliance at the Bell Fort Worth Alliance Air Show. In the news, internal Boeing messages about the 737 MAX, an almost 20-hour non-stop flight from New York to Sydney, the German airfare tax increase, and aviation travel perks to encourage ground transportation by train. Also, registering a foreign plane in the U.S.

U.S. Army Golden Knights

The Bell Fort Worth Alliance Air Show was held on October 19 – 20, 2019, at the Fort Worth Alliance Airport. Performers included the U.S. Army Golden Knights parachute team. Our reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari rode in the jump plane and interviewed Golden Knights SFC Roman Grijalva, SSG Morgan George, and CW4 Felicia Marlow.

Launchpad with the U.S. Army Golden Knights.

T-38 Spirit of Alliance

Launchpad speaks with Butch Wonderland, crew chief of the T-38 Spirit of Alliance in its Thunderbirds paint scheme.

Video: Ross Perot Jr.’s T-38 (Spirit of Alliance) “NX385AF”

Aviation News

Text messages show Boeing employees knew in 2016 of problems that turned deadly on the 737 Max

In 2016, a text message from Boeing’s chief technical pilot for the 737 to a technical pilot said the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) was engaging “itself like crazy,” and called the problem “egregious.” Furthermore, the chief technical pilot said that he basically unknowingly lied to the FAA. In a letter to Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg on Friday, FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson said: “I expect your explanation immediately.”

More:

Human guinea pigs about to embark on world’s first 20-hour airline flight

Qantas flew the first non-stop commercial airline flight from New York to Sydney after 19 hours and 16 minutes in the air. During the flight, a series of experiments were conducted to assess the health and well-being of those on board. Three ultra-long-haul research flights are planned.

More:

Germany’s Increased Aviation Taxes Are Set To Come Into Force In April 2020

An increase in the so-called German “climate tax” will likely cause airfares to increase. The tax increase of 38% and will affect all domestic and Europe flights as well as mid and long-haul. Revenue from the tax will be used to offset train VAT by over 10%.

BART proposing plan to let riders jump security lines at SFO

Passenger numbers at LAX are increasing but more and more of them are using Uber and Lyft for ground transportation. The use of trains is down 10%. Now the BART Board of Directors is considering offering transit riders with access to “priority” airport security check-in lanes.

Report

Buying a Plane, Part 6

Reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari explains how he registered his Focke-Wulf in the United States.

Mentioned

Libertas - 75th Anniversary of D-DayLibertas – 75th Anniversary of D-Day

In this documentary video, veterans’ advocate CJ Machado trains with the WWII Airborne Demonstration Team in preparation for the group’s jump at the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. We also hear surviving heroes of the “Greatest Generation” recount their experiences liberating Europe.

CJ Machado was our guest on Episode 529, in November 2018.

Airliners.net, Airfleets.net, and the Plane Finder app

Hawker Sea Fury “September Fury” – Race 232 Reno 2013

530 Airlines and the Cloud: Creating Responsive Customer Service

Airlines use the cloud to provide responsive customer service. Also, Indigo Partners invests in Wow Air, micro-hotel rooms at the airport, Qantas retires some B747 aircraft, passengers chip in for aircraft repairs, Airbus A320 engine cowling door problems, and Piaggio Aerospace declares itself insolvent. Also, we have a history segment on the Grumman TBF Avenger.

Guest

IBM Global Industry Leader

Greg Land, IBM Global Industry Leader.

Greg Land is an IBM Global Industry Leader with responsibility for the Aviation, Hospitality, and Travel Related Services industry segment. That includes airlines, airports, hospitality, car rental, cruise lines, gaming and casino, GDS, and OTA/TMC/Tour Operators. Greg’s responsibilities include driving IBM’s strategy and point-of-view for the industry segment; accountability for total revenues and business development; work across all lines of business to support new contract signings for industry solutions, IBM’s growth initiatives, long-term services agreements and successful delivery of solutions and services across the segment.

Greg describes the digital transformation of the airline industry and how the cloud facilitates responsive customer service through electronic interaction with customers and employees. We talk about the reasons why airlines host their data externally, and how they achieve scale and stability of customer-facing systems.

IBM: airlines and the cloudService providers across the travel supply chain are now interacting more than ever before and IBM is embracing open source APIs for multi-cloud applications. Greg talks about cybersecurity considerations, the implications of GDPR for the industry, and how the future increase in the number and types of connected devices creates vast volumes of airline data.

Prior to joining IBM, Greg held leadership roles with American Airlines, Sabre, Wyndham Hotel Group, and Radius Global Travel Management. All that spanning a 23-year travel industry career. Greg has participated and held leadership positions with a number of travel industry associations, and he served as the Chairman for the U.S. Travel Association’s International Pow Wow, participated on the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) Allied Council; and has been a member of Hospitality Financial & Technical Professionals (HFTP), Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI), Meeting Planners International (MPI), American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), The Sales Executive Council and The Travel Institute.

Greg currently represents IBM on the Open Travel Alliance Board, and the World Travel & Tourism Council. He also serves on the Thought Leadership Committee for Global Hotel Network, and is a member of the IBM Industry Academy.

See the IBM Travel and Transportation site for more information, and drill down to the Airlines industry segment to learn more about airlines and the cloud. Follow Greg on Twitter at @gregland24.

Aviation News

US Discount Airline Mogul Steps In to Back Iceland’s Wow Air

Despite previous reports that Icelandair was bidding for Iceland’s Wow, the airline has backed off. Instead, U.S. private-equity firm Indigo Partners is investing in Wow, which is facing significant financial difficulty. Indigo owns Frontier Airlines and they have holdings in Mexico’s Volaris, Wizz Air, and Chile’s JetSmart. In 2017, Indigo agreed to buy 430 Airbus aircraft valued at $50 billion.

Sleepbox micro-hotel set open at Washington Dulles International Airport

Ever wanted someplace to sleep for a few hours at the airport that was more comfortable than the seats in the boarding area? You’ll have that option soon on Concourse A of Dulles International Airport at the Sleepbox Nap Lounge. Sixteen small, stand-alone sound-proofed rooms (with no bathrooms or showers) can be rented via the Sleepbox website or app. The 8-foot-tall rooms come in 30 square foot and 45 square foot sizes.

Minute Suites also rents small rooms for sleeping or working at airports in Dallas, Philadelphia, Charlotte and Atlanta.

Qantas Flies Final Boeing 747 Service from Los Angeles

The last Qantas 747 to depart Los Angeles International Airport for Brisbane marks the end of an era. Qantas will exclusively fly the Boeing 787-9 aircraft to Los Angeles from Brisbane, fly the 787-9 and A380 on flights to Melbourne, and fly its A380 from Sydney.

Some recent military aircraft retirements:

Farewell to the CH-124 Sea King – Canadian Forces fleet has flown more than 550,000 hours

Adelaide to farewell Orions after 50 years of rescues, military operations and searches

Airline Asks Passengers to Chip in Money for Plane’s Repairs During Delay on the Runway

A LOT Polish Airlines flight in Beijing needed a new pump to fly to Warsaw. Apparently, without sufficient cash on hand, the crew asked passengers to contribute funds to pay for the repair so the flight could continue.

Frontier flight bound for Tampa forced to return to Las Vegas airport after engine cover rips off

On November 30, 2017, the number two engine cowling on Frontier Flight 9260 from Las Vegas to Tampa let go. The CFM56 engine on the A320 continued to operate and the plane returned to McCarran International Airport with no injuries.

In ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 218815, Aviation Safety Network says, “This incident is one in over 40 fan cowl loss events involving Airbus A320-family aircraft since 1992.” More about the history of this problem in Timeline of occurrences and regulatory actions on Airbus A320-family engine fan cowl door loss incidents.

Video from the University of Limerick: The Airbus A320 family engine access doors case – UL Talk – Kyriakos Kourousis

One of the World’s Oldest Aviation Companies Is Forced to Declare Bankruptcy

Piaggio Aerospace, the maker of arguably the most beautiful airplanes, has declared itself insolvent and is entering “special administration,” effectively what we call bankruptcy in the US.

Video: Flying at Jet Speeds in Italian Style with the Piaggio P.180 Avanti Evo Turboprop – AINtv

History Segment

David tells us about the Grumman TBF Avenger.

Grumman TBF Avenger, by David Vanderhoof.

Grumman TBF Avenger, by David Vanderhoof.

Mentioned

Aviation News Talk podcast, 87 Night IFR Electrical Failure: ATC and a Cell Phone Save a Doctor – Interview with Controller Phil Enis

The NEXUS program allows pre-screened travelers expedited processing when entering the United States and Canada.

Airline safety: Pilot falling asleep over Tasmania reveals problem of cockpit fatigue

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from Around the World.

498 Sun ‘n Fun Radio

Dave Shallbetter talks about the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-in and Expo and Sun ‘n Fun Radio. Also, we note that Cirrus Aircraft will be receiving the 2017 Robert J. Collier Trophy for their Vision Jet, the recent noncombat-related air crashes that have resulted in the loss of US service members, and a proposal to use cargo hold space for a new passenger class. We have a positive story about the TSA, a new director of the National Air and Space Museum, some great listener feedback on the helicopter crash into the river in New York, as well as on the need to change the United Airlines company culture.

Guest

Dave Shallbetter,  Chairman of Sun ‘n Fun Radio.

Dave Shallbetter, Chairman of Sun ‘n Fun Radio.

Dave Shallbetter is Chairman of Sun ‘n Fun Radio and a long time volunteer at the annual Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-in and Expo.  This year’s event is April 10 to 15, 2018.

Sun ’n Fun’s mission is to preserve and enhance the future of flight through world-class events, inspiring and educating people of all ages. Sun ‘n Fun Radio broadcasts locally on 1510 AM and audio streams worldwide from LiveATC.net.

Sun ‘n Fun was created in 1974 by a small group of aviation enthusiasts and has grown into the second largest event of its kind in the world. The six-day event is held on 2,200 acres at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport in Lakeland, Florida and offers jet teams, aerospace-related exhibits; educational forums, aircraft static displays, professional gatherings of aviation and economic development groups; daily and evening airshows, youth activities, a veterans plaza, and women in aviation arena. Many performers mingle on the grounds with vendors and students.

To learn more, visit the Sun ‘n Fun website and follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Also, visit the Sun ‘n Fun Radio website and follow them on Twitter, on Facebook, and listen 24/7 365 on LiveATC.net/snf.

Aviation News

Cirrus Aircraft Vision Jet to be Awarded the 2017 Collier Trophy

The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) has announced that Cirrus Aircraft will be receiving the 2017 Robert J. Collier Trophy for “… designing, certifying, and entering-into-service the Vision Jet – the world’s first single-engine general aviation personal jet aircraft with a whole airframe parachute system.”

After 5 Deaths In 2 Days, US Military Aviation Is In A Full-Blown Crisis

2 soldiers killed in helicopter crash identified: US Army

With 16 service members killed in air crashes, top lawmaker says ‘readiness of the military is at a crisis point’

A number of US service members have been killed recently in noncombat-related air crashes. Are there common threads?

Qantas reveals plans for new ‘cargo class’ where passengers can stretch their legs and exercise during super long-haul flights – and says the airline will fly direct to London from Sydney by 2022

Cargo class: Qantas CEO reveals ‘out there’ options for super long haul flights

In a leaked audio recording, CEO, Alan Joyce said that under “Project Sunrise,” Qantas would like to offer direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne to London. But he also described using the cargo hold space for berths like you’d see on a train or spaces for walking around.

Trip Report

Max Trescott makes a  cross-country flight in a Cirrus.

Positive Aviation Story

Mom praises TSA at Indianapolis airport in viral post: ‘She treated him like a person with feelings’

Mentioned

PaxEx Podcast #56 with Mary Kirby and guest Marisa Garcia, founder of the aviation news site Flight Chic.

Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX)

Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association

Ellen Stofan, Former NASA Chief Scientist, to Head National Air and Space Museum

Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Celebrates Royal Air Force Anniversary With “The Great British Fly-In”

TSA Passenger Support – TSA Cares

FlyNYON knew of safety concerns before fatal doors-off flight

Shark US – Shark Tip 2 – Low Cost ANR

Word of the day: snarge.

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

496 Electric Aircraft and New Technologies

We talk about electric aircraft, automation, and new technologies in aviation with the Vice President of Global Innovation and Policy for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Also, airport access for general aviation, a GAMA jobs rally, the Department of Defense receives more aircraft than they asked for, a proposal for increased air cargo security, and interviews from South by Southwest with an astronaut and with the EAA.

Guest

Greg Bowles talks about electric aircraft

Greg Bowles, VP of Global Innovation & Policy, GAMA

Greg Bowles is the Vice President of Global Innovation and Policy for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Greg is responsible for identifying key technology opportunities and developing critical paths to success which will evolve the global safety, efficiency, and success of aviation.

Greg is in a unique position to talk about electric aircraft technology, regulatory changes, and other new aviation developments that impact the industry, pilots, and the general population. We discuss the state of electric propulsion, battery energy density, hybrid aircraft, and the rapid emergence of eVTOL electric aircraft. Greg illustrates some of the new options that electric power allows, and explains how the interaction between the human pilot and the technology has licensing and training implications. Greg sees a future where simplified vehicles open up aviation to a broader audience.

Greg leads the GAMA Electric Propulsion and Innovation Committee (EPIC) which represents the world’s leading aviation mobility development companies along with traditional aviation manufacturers as this community strives to enable new kinds of public transportation through the air. He also leads the worldwide design standards committee that is chartered to develop globally acceptable means of compliance for general aviation aircraft.

Greg has been an advisor to several long-standing ICAO panels and he’s the industry co-chair on the FAA’s Part 23 Reorganization ARC which has developed the rewrite of FAA part 23 regulations to assure they will address aircraft of the next twenty years.

Pipistrel Alpha Electro electric aircraft.

Alpha Electro 2-seat electric trainer. Courtesy Pipistrel.

Before he joined GAMA, Greg worked as a certification engineer at Keystone (now Sikorsky) Helicopter, and he was a design engineer at Cessna Aircraft Company (now Textron Aviation).

Greg holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Webster University. He is an active instrument-rated general aviation pilot.

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

Aviation News

Maintaining Airport Access for General Aviation

In the U.S., most airports have Fixed Base Operators (FBOs) which provide many services to general aviation, including fuel and parking. Changes in the FBO customer base may have implications for general aviation.

GAMA To Stage Next Rally at Garmin’s Olathe Facility

The General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) is planning a jobs rally on in Olathe, Kansas, April 6, 2018, at the Garmin International Warehouse and Distribution Center. The event will feature government and industry leaders who will discuss the economic contributions of aviation, investment in products, the future workforce, and the promotion of STEM.

Congress appropriates a 28% increase in funding for new aircraft

The U.S. Government spending bill signed by the president on March 23, 2018, included 143 aircraft above what was requested by the Department of Defence. These include Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighters, F/A-18 Super Hornets, KC-46A tankers, and Lockheed C-130 Hercules aircraft. We look at the reasons for this and the implications.

H.R. 4176: Air Cargo Security Improvement Act of 2017

The Act passed the House by voice vote and goes to the Senate. If enacted, the TSA Administrator would establish an air cargo security division which would conduct a feasibility study on expanding the use of computed tomography (CT) technology for screening air cargo transported on passenger aircraft, followed by a 2-year pilot program.

Airline Story of the Week

Southwest Airlines Had a Brilliant Reaction When a Passenger’s Wi-Fi Wouldn’t Work

Interviews

At South by Southwest in Austin Texas, Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari spoke with astronaut Dr. John Danny Olivas and Andy Ovans from EAA headquarters.

Listener Recording

Student pilot Nicki provides an update on her flight training and tells us about a recent episode with her flight instructor.

Mentioned

ASTM F44 General Aviation Aircraft

At Long Last, Flat Earth Rocketeer Finally Manages to Blast Himself Into Sky at God Knows What Speed

Australia-UK: First non-stop flight arrives in London from Perth

Qantas has set a new record for non-stop flight as QF9 has landed at Heathrow International Airport

Credit

Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

 

475 Aviation News of the Week

In the aviation news this week: An executive order allowing up to 1,000 air force pilots to be recalled, a proposed ban on laptops in checked luggage, aircraft working the California wildfires, Qantas wants an extra long range airplane, a Goodyear blimp, the CLEEN II program, and a Delta Airlines story.

Aviation News

Air Force could recall as many as 1,000 retired pilots to address serious shortage

The US military suffers a pilot shortage and needs about 1,500 more pilots. They’ve tried bonus and other incentive programs, but the gap remains. President Trump recently signed an executive order that allows the Air Force to recall as many as 1,000 retired pilots to active duty.

Nuclear Bombers Poised to Return to 24-Hour Alert After Trump Recalls Retired Pilots

There is talk that the U.S. Air Force is preparing to put nuclear-armed B-52 bombers back on 24-hour alert.

Laptops could be banned from checked bags on planes due to fire risk

The Dangerous Goods Panel of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is recommending that laptops be banned from checked luggage.

Military and Contract Air Assets (Including U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper Drones) Key in Fighting Largest Ever California Wildfires

Wildfires continued to cause major problems in California and airborne firefighting operations playing a key role. This might be the greatest combined military and contract air fire suppression operation in history.

Drone forces brief suspension of air operations battling Bear Fire in Santa Cruz Mountains

Once again drones flying near wildfires have forced firefighting operations to be halted.

Boeing and Airbus accept Qantas’s ultra-long-haul challenge

Qantas wants to fly non-stop from Sydney to London and New York. They’ve challenged Boeing and Airbus are to modify their aircraft to make 20-hour flights possible.

Goodyear Blimp Wingfoot Two Goes West: Tiremaker’s newest airship to fly over 10 states on journey to California home

The Goodyear Blimp Wingfoot Two is on a three-week, 2,600-mile cross-country trip from Akron, Ohio to California.

Fact Sheet – Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise II (CLEEN II Program)

The Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions, and Noise (CLEEN) Program is the environmental effort that is part of the FAA’s Next Generation (NextGen) program. The Idea is to accelerate the development of new aircraft, new engine technologies, and advance the use of sustainable alternative jet fuels.

Airline Story of the Week

What Losing My First-Class Seat Taught Me About Delta Air Lines

Trip Report

Brian’s “big trip” reports conclude with his description of the flights home.

Mentioned

Limited leg space on commercial planes makes it harder to brace in flight emergencies: expert

Jan Davies is chair of the International Board for Research into Aircraft Crash Events (IBRACE) — a group of experts studying effective impact bracing positions. She told the SafeSkies aviation safety conference that limited leg space could have an impact on passenger safety in emergencies.

Happy Design Studio

Happy Design Studio collaborated with paint specialist Air Livery on a custom livery design for a BBJ customer. Press release [PDF]. Photo Gallery.

BBJ livery by Happy Design Studio and Air Livery. Photo courtesy Sebastien Ognier.

BBJ livery by Happy Design Studio and Air Livery. Photo courtesy Sebastien Ognier.

Pete’s discovered a Better Way to Fly with Air New Zealand

Pete the Kiwi finds out how to fly across the world and back. He’s voiced by actor Sam Neill (Jurassic Park, Hunt For The Wilderpeople), who makes a cameo appearance too. Pete the Kiwi is part of Air New Zealand’s “A Better Way To Fly” campaign.

NASA – Gulfstream III (G-III) Research Testbed Aircraft

California contrails over California by listener Sean.

Contrails over California by listener Sean.

NASA 502 flight path by listener Sean.

NASA 502 flight path by listener Sean.

Credit

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

AirplaneGeeks 384 Plane Spotting with Ben Granucci

NYCAviation.com editor Ben Granucci on plane spotting, CEO change at Spirit Airlines, drone news from the 2016 CES, a new FAA app, the Airbus A350, hand flying the airplane, five-engine airplanes, and the odd-looking Northrop Tacit Blue.

Guest

Ben Granucci inside Fedex A300 at EWR's Airport Day

Ben Granucci inside Fedex A300 at EWR’s Airport Day. Photo by Maggie Bradley.

Ben Granucci is the Standards Editor for NYCAviation.com, a New York City-based, globally focused aviation news, commentary, and enthusiast website. He is an avid aviation photographer and a lifelong avgeek. In addition to his work with NYCAviation, Ben also occasionally writes for AirlineReporter.com. Follow him on Twitter at @blgranucci and visit his Facebook page.

Some of Ben’s favorite photos:

Plane spotting at St Maarten

Plane spotting at St Maarten

A Tarom A310 carrying the Hungarian delegation taxis to depart while a Cathay Pacific 777-300ER lifts off in the background during UN Week 2015.

A Tarom A310 carrying the Hungarian delegation taxis to depart while a Cathay Pacific 777-300ER lifts off in the background during UN Week 2015.

An F-22 Raptor and P-51 Mustang perform the Heritage Flight during day 2 of the first ever New York Air Show.

An F-22 Raptor and P-51 Mustang perform the Heritage Flight during day 2 of the first ever New York Air Show.

A LAN Airlines A320 departs Santiago, Chile at sunset.

A LAN Airlines A320 departs Santiago, Chile at sunset.

News

Behind The Sudden Departure of Spirit Airline’s Wildly Unconventional CEO

The Spirit Airlines board announced that board member Robert Fornaro would replace Ben Baldanza as the CEO of the ultra low-cost airline. Fornaro was the AirTran CEO who managed the sale to Southwest  2011. While Spirit remains profitable, it is less so than before, and stock prices have tumbled. Could there be a merger in Spirit’s future?

See also:

It’s Official: Human-Carrying Drones Are Happening

EHang 184

EHang 184

China-based EHang announced its EHang 184 autonomous electric drone at CES, and says it should be in production in a year. The aircraft carries a single passenger, is limited to a 23 minute flight, and is expected to have a price of $200,000-$300,000.

B4UFLY Smartphone AppB4UFLY

At CES, FAA Administrator Huerta announced the public release of the B4UFLY app for iOS, and the beta of a version for the Android operating system. The FAA says, “B4UFLY tells users about current or upcoming requirements and restrictions in areas of the National Airspace System (NAS) where they may want to operate their unmanned aircraft system (UAS).”

FAA fails to ensure pilots’ manual flying skills: government report

The U.S. Transportation Department Office of the Inspector General released a report saying the FAA is not ensuring that airline pilots maintain the skills they need to take control from automated systems during an unexpected event.

FAA Wants GA Hand Flying Skills Checked

The FAA has issued a new advisory circular for flight instructors that promotes hand flying skills during flight reviews and proficiency checks. The AC says, “The FAA reminds CFIs conducting flight reviews and IPCs to ensure that a pilot under evaluation is proficient with the automated system and knows what to do if it fails.”

That time when we strapped an extra engine onto a jumbo

Qantas ferried a Rolls Royce engine from Sydney to Johannesburg so it could be used on another B747. See the video: Qantas’ Five-Engined Boeing 747-400 Ferry Flight Takes Off From Perth. Some years ago, Aviation Week covered Pratt & Whitney’s 747SP flying testbed with a “fifth engine” GTF.

PW B747SP flying testbed

P&W B747SP flying testbed with the PW1200G. Source: Pratt & Whitney.

The Airplane of the Week

David tells us about the ugliest airplane ever, the Northrop Tacit Blue.

Northrop Tacit Blue

Northrop Tacit Blue, courtesy National Museum of the US Air Force

Across the Pond

Pieter talks to FlightChic Marisa Garcia about the A350, Finnair, RyanAir and the sad new unfolding of an accident in Sweden.

ATP Finnair

Mentioned

Aviation centennials in 2016:

The 3 Plane Crashes You’ve Never Heard Of: Aviation’s Sacrificial Lambs by Phil Derner Jr. in NYCAviation.

Jack Dunn Stories – Stories from a long time aviator, captured in video.

Tracey Curtis-Taylor finishes UK to Australia biplane flight – Tracey Curtis-Taylor flew her 1942 Boeing Stearman Spirit of Artemis from Farnborough to Sydney, retracing pioneer Amy Johnson’s 1930 flight.

NASA Research Could Save Commercial Airlines Billions in New Era of Aviation

Credit

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

 

Episode 255 – Steve McNeilly, Aviation Tutorials

VH-OLS “Spirit of the Sapphire Coast”

Guest Steve McNeilly is president and founder of Aviation Tutorials, providing interactive training software for pilots and flight simmers. He’s been in aviation for thirty years, he’s an airline pilot, A&P mechanic, instructor, examiner, book author, and FAA WINGS training provider.

We talk about how Steve came to develop these professional grade simulation tutorials which are light on theory and heavy on “this is what you need to do.” Also, pilots using iPads, drones in the airspace, electric drive systems for airliners, thrust reverser depoyment at altitude (Steve’s done that in a DC-8).

The week’s aviation news:

David Vanderhoof’s Aircraft of the Week is the D.H. 86 Express Airliner.

Ryan Cambell

Ryan Cambell

In this week’s Australia Desk:

After an “interesting” week in Australian federal politics, Minister for Transport & Infrastructure, Anthony Albanese, is now also the Deputy Prime Minister, leaving Steve & Grant to ponder whether this will be good for aviation or not. In more positive aviation news, 19 year old Ryan Campbell has set out on his attempt to become the youngest person to fly solo around the world; a record which has only recently been set by American, Jack Wiegant. Ryan is flying in a Cirrus SR-22, VH-OLS, named “Spirit of the Sapphire Coast”, tracking east from Wollongong, just south of Sydney, across the Pacific to the USA (including a stop at Airventure 2013), then on to Europe, Asia and back to Australia. We spoke to Ryan a couple of days prior to launch and we present part of that interview in the week’s report.

Follow Ryan’s progress at www.teenworldflight.com and @teenworldflight on Twitter.

In other news, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau has handed down it’s findings into the cause of the Qantas A380 engine failure on board VH-OQA, in 2010. Although this has been covered earlier in the show, we popped our two cents in as well, including the fact that Rolls Royce ended up paying some hefty compensation.

Find more from Grant and Steve at the Plane Crazy Down Under podcast, and follow the show on Twitter at @pcdu. Steve’s at @stevevisscher and Grant at @falcon124. Australia Desk archives can be found at www.australiadesk.net.

Mentioned:

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

Episode 180 – Mary Kirby from APEX

The Aerobatic Project

Guest Mary Kirby is is Editor-in-Chief of the Airline Passenger Experience magazine and the APEX media platform. We talk about the current state of inflight internet connectivity, what passengers expect aboard the flight, the GoGo IPO, and why we’re going to see more announcements. Also, pressure on interior suppliers as a result of the huge numbers of narrow body orders going on the books, and how that’s delaying aircraft deliveries. We touch on airline alliance interior commonality, and the outlook for embedded IFE.

Find Mary at the APEX Editor’s Blog and on Twitter as @APEXmary. The Airline Passenger Experience Association is at apex.aero.

The week’s aviation news:

David’s Aircraft of the Week is the Cessna A-37 Dragonfly, also known as the Super Tweet.

In this week’s Australia Desk report: 12th A380 arrives for Qantas, more A380s coming to Melbourne as Emirates signals their intentions, cracks appearing in some A380s including one QF aircraft, 150 Qantas pilots now working for Gulf based airlines during their down time, tragic balloon crash in New Zealand kills 11 people.

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

This week on Across the Pond, Pieter talks to new aerobatic pilot and author of The Aerobatic Project, Lauren Richardson. Lauren explains what’s its like to transition from a 152 to a Pitts Special and what it was like in her first aerobatic competition. Lauren can be found on Twitter @Groovy_Nut, while Pieter can be found on Twitter as @Nascothornet or XTP Media’s Facebook Page.oba

Mentioned in the episode:

Follow the @AirplaneGeeks on Twitter and on Facebook, send us email at thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com, or leave a message on our listener line: (361) GEEKS01.

Opening and closing music is provided by Brother Love from the Album Of The Year CD. You can find his great music at http://www.brotherloverocks.com/.