Are you making your holiday PLANES? Mark your calendars for the SUN ‘n FUN Holiday Fly-IN Festival and Car Show! SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus will be hosting our second annual Holiday Fly-In Festival and Car Show on December 3rd and 4th, 2021. The two-day fly-in/drive-in event will include a showplane area, car show, live music, and many other activities held on the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus at the Lakeland Linder International Airport. Innovative and intriguing competitions, exhibits, and vendors are imminent this year! Admission will be $12.00 per person in advance and $15.00 person at the gate; while children under 12 are free.
This special episode was recorded live on the deck of Sun ‘n Fun Radio on April 14, 2021. It’s the second time we recorded an episode of the Airplane Geeks podcast at the Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo. Max Flight is joined by reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari and Lt. Col. Trevor “Boat” Boswell to talk about North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) interception of civil aircraft flying in TFRs or other unauthorized airspace. We also announce the four winners of our Plane Tags giveaway.
Airline pay cuts, prospective student pilots told to wait, proposed 737 MAX training requirements, the boat that Boeing sold, and a Brit is set to pilot Air Force One. Also, a holiday flying festival, the Kitty Hawk Flyers, an A-10 pilot receives the Distinguished Flying Cross, an upcoming electric air speed record attempt, and New Zealand’s first electric airplane.
KLM pilots agreed to accept pay cuts that allow the government to make the next installment of a 3.4 billion-euro ($3.96 billion) bailout package that includes a 1 billion-euro loan and guarantees for 2.4 billion euros in bank loans. The Dutch Airline Pilots Association VNV and seven other trade unions agreed to sign a “commitment clause.”
98.5% of Cathay Pacific pilots (or 2,613 pilots) and 91.6% of the airline’s cabin crew staff (or 7,346 cabin crew) have accepted what’s characterized as a take-it-or-leave-it deal. Those who refused to accept the new contract would receive an exit package on their way out. The new contracts cut flight attendants pay by 20 to 40 percent, and aircrew pay by 40 to 60 percent.
Over 1,000 staff signed a petition asking the airline to keep jobs in New Zealand. The Kia Kaha Aotearoa petition, meaning Be Strong New Zealand in Maori, asks Air New Zealand to save jobs and stop outsourcing work.
The Transportation Security Administration says 98 federal air marshals have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. 14 of those cases are active. It’s not known if those Marshals contracted the virus on the job.
The British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) has issued a warning to everyone who is thinking about starting a pilot training course – think again. BALPA wants to help students avoid paying upwards of £100,000 for training only to find there are no jobs available. BALPA urges “potential pilots to get experience in another profession first which will postpone any training until the industry is in a more robust shape, provide additional skills and experience and also give them another avenue to fall back on.”
The public comment period on the FAA proposal for 737 MAX training ended November 2, 2020, and we are hearing about some concerns from the pilot unions. Unions feel the 8-step runaway stabilizer non-normal checklist (NNC) has too many steps and would be difficult to remember. The frequency of recurrent training is also being questioned.
According to the Daily Mail, a non-American has never piloted Air Force One. A wing commander with the RAF is set to become the first foreigner to do so.
Reportedly, Boeing has sold the 151-foot motor yacht Daedalus for $13 million. The yacht can accommodate 10 guests in cabins and has been used for entertaining and hosting corporate customers.
A private jet company is offering $28,000 ‘weddings in the sky’ as charter firms try to offset the loss of business travel
If you want to get married during the pandemic, Air Charter Service is offering a “Wedding in the Sky” experience. These take place in a private jet during a 2-hour flight to nowhere. Vows must have been exchanged in an official setting before boarding the flight.
This episode’s listener poll: Besides the Airplane Geeks podcast, what other podcasts do you listen to in order to feed your aviation habit?
Sun ‘n Fun Holiday Flying Festival and Car Show, December 4-5, 2020 on the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus in Lakeland Florida.
Kitty Hawk ends Flyer program, shifts focus to once-secret autonomous aircraft. (The American Helicopter Museum has acquired two Flyer aircraft.)
Maj. Brett DeVries, an A-10 pilot with the Michigan Air National Guard, was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for “extraordinary achievement” during a 2017 training flight in which his landing gear failed and his canopy tore off.
The Electro-Flight ACCEL project with Rolls-Royce and Yasa Motors to set a new electric air speed record. See Rolls-Royce set to break world record for fastest electric aircraft and Bremont Launches ionBIRD Timepiece as the Company Becomes Official Timing Partner for Rolls-Royce’s Groundbreaking World Record Attempt, which includes footage of the testbed.
Seth Jaworski’s great photographs of aircraft parked at Alice Springs.
We look at Airport Watch, a group of airplane enthusiasts that have built a valuable relationship with their airport, law enforcement, and the community. In the news, we again look at the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that is continuing to impact aviation. Also, a Southwest B737 experiences a fuselage rupture, and a man shoots at a police helicopter.
Peter Wagner is board president of Airport Watch, a crime prevention initiative that includes people who have an interest in various aspects of aviation and who spend time in the vicinity of the O’Hare Airport to observe the various airport operations. These airplane spotters provide safety and security value to the airport, law enforcement, businesses and the local community.
Peter is a professional photographer who has enjoyed aviation since he was young. He started plane spotting in 2001 at O’Hare Airport and now enjoys traveling to airports and air shows around the country photographing planes. While Peter’s personal favorites are the 747 and C-17, he enjoys all types of aviation.
Airport Watch holds monthly meetings, training sessions, and field tours at O’hare Airport. They liaison with the FBI, Chicago Police Department, Chicago Department of Aviation, and the TSA. Their connection to the Secret Service is through the FBI. Members come from all walks of life and include airport employees, the media, firefighters, pilots, other professionals, and the general public.
Peter explains how the organization came into existence and how it was structured using the Canadian model. The highly-detailed Airport Watch bylaws offer a comprehensive roadmap for others who might like to form a similar organization.
We also discuss airplane spotting, including what spotters look for, spotting locations, and camera gear. Anyone in the United States can join Airport Watch. Find them on Instagram. Peter also has an Instagram where you can find his professional and personal photography.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) News
American was flying 150 widebody aircraft at the end of December. Now about 135 of them will go into temporary storage from March 16 through at least May 6, 2020. This includes Airbus A330 and Boeing 767, 777 and 787 models. The airline is cutting international capacity by 75%
Delta Air Lines announced they’d cut global capacity by 40% and park up to 300 jets, including both narrow-bodies and wide-bodies.
Finnair will cut capacity by 90%, starting from 1 April and keep critical air connections for Finland, limited connections to Europe, and one remaining intercontinental route to Japan. The airline cites the “severe impact on demand for air travel” resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
United CEO Oscar Munoz sent an email to employees saying, he “has spent the last two days in Washington, D.C., meeting with senior officials in the Trump Administration and senior members of the U.S. House and Senate in both parties to understand what government policies they may be considering and explain to them the impact that the coronavirus has had on our business.”
Support Aviation—Airline Sector Pleads With Governments For Immediate Financial Support To Prevent Widespread Job Losses
British Airways CEO Alex Cruz sent a video message to employees titled “The Survival of British Airways,” saying “It is a crisis of global proportions like no other we have known.”
The new show dates for Sun ‘n Fun are May 5-10, 2020.
Official U.S. Air Force Statement: “The Air Force is committed to upholding the complete trust and confidence of Americans and our community engagement is the key to those connections. However, due to the uncertainty regarding COVID-19 and to protect our Airmen, their families and the communities that support us, the Department of the Air Force is suspending all outreach activities and support to community events through May 15. This includes, but is not limited to, on-base and civilian sponsored air shows, band performances and community engagements and meetings (speaking engagements, community meetings on installations, base tours, Pentagon visits, etc.).
NBAA and the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) announced they have canceled the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition 2020 (EBACE2020).
Defense officials issued a memorandum [PDF] halting domestic travel for service members, Defense Department employees and family members. That includes permanent changes of station and temporary duty travel. The ban is in effect from March 16 to May 11, 2020.
Travelers returning to the United States are faced with long lines for health checks.
In other aviation news…
A Southwest flight en route from Las Vegas to Boise, Idaho experienced some loss of pressure. They descended to a safe altitude and landed safely in Boise.A 12-inch rupture was found in the skin of the B737.
The helicopter was responding to a call about a possible burglar. As it circled overhead, the man allegedly fired one round at the aircraft. He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.
Interviews recorded at Sun ‘n Fun 2019: the Aerospace Center of Excellence, a family-owned GA aircraft interiors company, how a high school student funds his pilot training, a flight operations software company, and a competitive glider pilot. In the news, 737 Max fallout for American Airlines and Boeing, a pilot rescued by a hazardous tree removal company, unexplained aerial phenomena seen by military pilots, and a human transplant kidney delivered by drone.
Conversations from Sun ‘n Fun 2019
These interviews were recorded at the Sun ‘n Fun International Fly-in and Expo, held April 2-7, 2019 in Lakeland, Florida. [Approximate start times in brackets.]
Ed Young, Executive Director, Aerospace Center of Excellence. This non-profit helps people pursue careers in aviation. The Lakeland, Florida campus includes the Central Florida Aerospace High School, Buehler Restoration Center, Piedmont Hangar, Florida Air Museum, and the Crossfield Building. [32:13]
Cesia Lopez from family-owned AviationX Aircraft Interiors (formally Camarillo Aircraft Interiors) creates custom interiors to the client’s specifications. One of their custom interior clients won Outstanding In Type at Sun ‘n Fun with a 1967 Cessna 182. [51:56]
Trevor Simoneau is a high school student who funds his student pilot training through Chart it All, a business selling custom sectional chart shirts and gifts. Be sure to see Trevor’s YouTube channel. [58:10]
Tom Perkowski, co-founder and president of Eagle Cap Software, providing flight operations software and specializing in dispatch and operations systems, and front-of-the-aircraft systems such as mapping and EFB software. The free Aero Charting app is a data-driven moving map aeronautical charting application for the iPad. Tom also describes the Top Ten List of Learn to Fly Resources card he hands out when youngsters are inquisitive about aviation. [1:12:12]
Laura Radigan is a glider pilot who will be competing in the World Championships July in Romania, at the U.S. Nationals in September, and at the Southwest Regional Championships in Arizona in November. See Laura’s YouTube channel and find her on Facebook. [1:21:50]
American Airlines trims outlook citing 737 Max groundings, but expects planes to fly again by mid-August
A combination of higher fuel prices and the grounding of its 737 Max aircraft pushed the airline to cut its 2019 earnings forecast. The carrier raised its 2019 fuel cost guidance by $650 million due to higher costs.
A new Airworthiness Directive is effective on June 3, 2019, and requires inspections and checks for certain parts, including the aileron and elevator power control units. The AD was motivated by reports of hydraulic leakage after lightning strikes.
Pilot John Gregory, 79, crashed his Piper Cub into a treetop near McCall, Idaho. Gregory was able to call 911 from his 60 foot high perch. The SPOT locator beacon was activated which alerted the International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC). A hazardous tree removal company climbed the tree and rescued the pilot.
The military calls them “unexplained aerial phenomena” and pilots are repeatedly seeing something that is not explained. The U.S. Navy has drafted procedures for pilots to use to document these encounters. A spokesman for the deputy chief of naval operations for information warfare, told the Washington Post, “Since 2014, these intrusions have been happening on a regular basis. We want to get to the bottom of this. We need to determine who’s doing it, where it’s coming from, and what their intent is. We need to try to find ways to prevent it from happening again.”
GE Aviation AiRXOS unit collaborated with the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, and the Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland to fly a kidney 2.6 miles on a University of Maryland Medical Center drone. AiRXOS’s Air Mobility platform monitored the drone’s flight.
Outtro by Bruno Misonne. All photographs copyright Max Flight.
A look at the Champaign Aviation Museum including their restoration work, the volunteers working on the aircraft, and the role of aviation museums. Also, 737 safety cards, the Scaled Composites Model 401, flight attendant trip brokering, Wow Air, and the 2018 Collier Trophy winner. First-hand impressions of the 2019 SUN ‘n FUN Fly-in and Expo as well.
Aimée Brower works public affairs, donor relations, and education at the Champaign Aviation Museum in Urbana, Ohio.
The mission of the museum is “Touching lives by restoring history.” Their guiding principles include honoring our veterans and their families, educating the public about the experiences of past generations that flew in combat, and educating the public about aircraft construction and maintenance techniques. They focus on education and resources of the WWII era, and the museum seeks to restore and maintain aircraft in flying condition for public appreciation.
In fact, the Champaign Aviation Museum strives to build a reputation as a center of excellence for the restoration and maintenance of WWII era aircraft. The museum is located next to Grimes Field Airport (I74) in Urbana, Ohio, just west of Columbus.
In our conversation with Aimée, we look at the history of the museum’s B-17G project, the many volunteers engaged in the restoration, salvaging parts from five different B-17s, fabricating other parts, and adding to the workshop space.
Passengers on Southwest Airlines thought they were flying on a Boeing 737 Max after confusion about their onboard safety cards
Emergency procedures for the 737-800 and the 737 MAX 8 are the same, and both aircraft have the same safety card, and some passengers are confused.
A Scaled Composites model 401 was spotted at a Bowling Green, Kentucky FBO. It stopped for fuel on its way to NAS Paxutent River from Mojave. See Scaled Composites reveals mysterious new ‘Model 401’ prototype.
United Airlines has warned its flight attendants to stop brokering flights that they will work for compensation.
Wow Air has ceased operations and advises scheduled passengers to seek “rescue fares” from other airlines.
The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) has announced the recipient of the 2018 Robert J. Collier Trophy. The Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS) team “successfully complet[ed] a rapid design, integration, and flight test of critical, lifesaving technology for the worldwide F-35 fleet.” Auto GCAS was developed by Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Air Force, the F-35 Joint Program Office, NASA, and the Defense Safety Oversight Council.
David’s list of U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps non-transport variants of the C-130:
Combat King II
Combat Talon I
Combat Talon II
HC-130H CROWN Fulton
Outtro by Bruno Misonne.
Sun ‘n Fun is the annual week-long gathering of lovers of aviation and it features daily airshows, seminars, manufacturer exhibits, vendors, food, fun, and friendship. You’ll be hearing more about this amazing event in some upcoming episodes. Visit the Sun ‘n Fun website at FlySnF.org and listen to all the programming from Sun ‘n Fun Radio throughout the year at LiveATC.net/snf.
Join Max Flight, Max Trescott, Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari, and Rob Mark for our ever first live show, from the deck of the Sun ‘n Fun radio station.
Carl Valeri talks about aviation career opportunities, including the current employment outlook, some industry trends, and the wide availability of scholarships. We look at the Boeing acquisition of ForeFlight, the crash of an Ethiopian 737 MAX 8, FOD on new KC-46 tankers, a pilot who left his handgun on the plane, and a passenger with an RPG. We also talk about this year’s SUN ‘n FUN week-long fly-in and air show.
Carl Valeri is a flight instructor and airline pilot. He hosts the Aviation Careers Podcast and the Stuck Mic AvCast and you’ll find him on SUN ‘n FUN Radio. Carl also coaches the Polk State Flight Team.
Carl tells us about the current state of aviation employment opportunities, including the shortage of pilots, flight attendants, mechanics, managers, ground support personnel, office support, and many others. He also explains the current lack of instrument flying skills, building hours to meet the airline transport pilot requirement, airline pilot starting pay and first-year bonuses, as well as the trend of conditional hiring, the E-3 visa program, and the inclusion of rotor pilot hours in total time.
In addition to the podcasts, Carl provides career counseling as well as an extensive directory of scholarships that are available for people who want to get into an aviation career, or who want to advance their ratings.
Carl sent us a photo asking David to identify the aircraft. Can you?
Of course, David knew right away what this is. Answer below.
Flight planning company ForeFlight joins Jeppesen in Boeing’s Digital Solutions and Analytics group, part of Boeing Global Services. ForeFlight products are used by individual pilots, professional flight crews, flight departments, and others. Boeing VP Ken Sain said, “This acquisition… expands Boeing’s rapidly growing, unparalleled digital services portfolio which will enable us to compete and win in the $2.8 trillion, 10-year services market.”
See also the Boeing press release, the new joint website, and from AOPA Live Boeing acquires ForeFlight – Interview with CEO Tyson Weihs.
An Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 bound for Nairobi, Kenya crashed six minutes after takeoff from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. All 157 people on board Flight ET-302 were killed. Many countries initially responded by grounding the 737 MAX fleet.
In response to Foreign Object Debris (FOD) found by the U.S. Air Force in Boeing’s delivered KC-46 tankers, the aircraft are no longer being accepted by the government.
The handgun was found by an airline ground worker. Delta has not identified the pilot and won’t say what action it will take against the pilot.
The unassembled parts of the launcher and a replica grenade were found in a checked bag at Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The owner told officials he thought he could bring the non-functioning launcher in his checked bag. The items were confiscated.
Women Take Flight, at the New England Air Museum, Saturday, March 9, 2019.
SUN ‘n FUN, April 2 – 7, 2019, Lakeland, Florida.
Aviation News Talk Podcast #101: Emergency Landing: Controller Talks Down Student Pilot After Oil Covers Windshield
F-35 Demo Team, including 2019 schedule.
New York International Air Show, August 24-25, 2019 at New York Stewart Int’l Airport.
Bjorn Moerman Photography. Excellent aviation images.
David knew immediately this is the Bell P-63 King Cobra. He also sent along photos of a few museum examples:
Outtro by Bruno Misonne.
Interviews and observations from the Great British Fly-In at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum celebrating the 100th anniversary of Great Britain’s Royal Air Force. Also, a review of Li-ion thermal runaway containment products for use on airplanes, Sun ‘n Fun, a deal to resolve the subsidy dispute between some U.S. and Gulf airlines, the F-35 reaches a developmental test flight milestone, Allegiant Air is criticized in a CBS investigation, a standoff missile makes its operational debut, and 787 Dreamliners with the Trent 1000 Package C engines get a reduced ETOPS rating.
Reportedly, discussions are progressing that would resolve the subsidy dispute between some U.S. airlines and those in the Middle East. Emirates and Etihad Airways would make their accounting books available and would assert that they have no current plans to add additional flights to the United States.
The F-35 Joint Program Office says the program “has accomplished the final developmental test flight of the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of the program.” The program operated for more than 11, conducting more than 9,200 sorties, accumulating over 17,000 flight hours, and executing more than 65,000 test points to verify the design, durability, software, sensors, weapons capability and performance for all three F-35 variants.
During its 60 Minutes television program, CBS presented their findings after a 7-month investigation of Allegiant Air. They call the airline the “most dangerous” airline in the U.S. and found “serious mechanical incidents, including mid-air engine failures, smoke and fumes in the cabin, rapid descents, flight control malfunctions, hydraulic leaks and aborted take-offs.” Allegiant issued a statement calling the report “grossly misleading.”
The United States and its French and British allies launched strikes against Syrian government facilities supporting chemical weapons. Striking the Barzah Research Center in Damascus were 57 Tomahawk Land Attack Cruise Missiles (TLAM) and 19 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile-Extended Range (JASSM-ER) missiles.
Video: JASSM Reliability
The Great British Fly-In Celebrates the Royal Air Force Anniversary
David attended The Great British Fly-In at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, April 15, 2018. The event was conducted in partnership with Great Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) as part of the 100th-anniversary celebration of the RAF, the oldest air force in the world. The event featured many former RAF and other military aircraft, flown in for one day only.
Interviews [with approximate start times]:
- Assistant Air Attache Steve Richards [36:39]
- Doug Burkey from WideWings.net [41:47]
- RAF Flight Lt Sarah Cole [44:38]
- Dr. Peter Jakab, chief curator of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. [50:50]
Thermal Runaway Containment Products
Listener Nick undertook a study of products that are designed to contain the Li-on batteries in personal electronic devices when they experience thermal runaway on aircraft. Nick looked at the available products from:
- Baker Aviation
- Brimstone Fire Protection
- CellBlock Fire Containment Systems
- Fire Containment Concepts
- Flight Fire Containment Systems
- Highwater Innovations
Sun ‘n Fun Report
Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari reports from Sun ‘n Fun 2018 with a quick pilot report and an interview with Chief Foreign Officer Charles Villanida. GoArmy.com.
Air Force One: The Aircraft of the Modern U.S. Presidency [Amazon.com link]
Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
Max Trescott makes a cross-country flight in a Cirrus.
Positive Aviation Story
Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX)
Word of the day: snarge.
Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.