Tag Archives: Virgin Atlantic

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

658 Helping Youngsters in Aviation

We talk with Ellie Carter, Britain’s youngest solo glider pilot, and youngest single-engined PPL holder. Ellie has a passion for helping youngsters in aviation. In the news, the possibility of just one pilot on the flight deck for long haul flights, Airbus eyes an A350 freighter derivative, airlines struggle to meet the growing travel demand, a unique checked baggage item, a delay and possible price increase for the new Air Force One planes, the U.S. Air Force wants to know who would bid on a contract for the KC-Y bridge tanker, and an open rotor engine.

Across the Pond

Pieter Johnson welcomes Ellie Carter to Across The Pond. At age 14, Ellie became Britain’s youngest solo glider pilot and later went on to become Britain’s Youngest single-engined PPL holder, having soloed at 16. She is currently qualifying for her aerobatic and IFR ratings.

A STEM ambassador and Chair of the Light Aircraft Association’s Youth and Education Support Strut, Ellie has a passion for helping youngsters into aviation and has just completed her A-Level exams specializing in maths.

Ellie has been awarded the British Women’s Pilots Association, Hilda Hewitt Trophy, for her actions and her example, being an inspiration to her peer group. Most recently Ellie was awarded the Light Aircraft Association’s President’s Breitling Certificate for her work in promoting younger people in aviation.

Find Ellie on social media: Twitter, Instagram, and at the Youth Education branch of the Light Aircraft Association. Pieter can be found on Twitter and Aviation Xtended.

Aviation News

Cathay working with Airbus on single-pilot system for long-haul

Long-haul flights typically have three or four pilots, with two pilots on the flight deck. Airbus and Cathay Pacific are working on a system to allow only one pilot on the flight deck at cruising altitude on long-haul flights. 

Airbus Set to Move Ahead With A350 Freighter Within Weeks

Airbus is interested in competing in a market dominated by Boeing, and will reportedly be seeking board approval to proceed with an A350-based freighter. The modified A350-900 might be slightly longer than the passenger version and take four to five years from the launch date to enter service.

American Airlines asking Dallas-based employees to volunteer to work without pay as travel skyrockets

Travel demand is going up in the U.S. and American Airlines wants to be ready. A company memo is asking non-union employees to volunteer their help at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The corporate scheduling, planning, and communications workers are being asked to work unpaid 6-hour shifts helping travelers in international terminals and other tasks.

TSA checkpoint travel numbers

The TSA reports 20221 traveler throughput by day compared to throughput for 2020 and 2021.

College student gets $20 to check pool noodle on Southwest flight

It started as a bet. The airline’s response is notable.

Delivery of new Air Force One planes could be delayed until 2025

Boeing has notified the US Air Force that the two 747-8 Air Force One aircraft could cost more than the $3.9 billion previously agreed to, and the planes could be delivered a year late, in 2025.

Air Force Begins Search For New Refueling Tanker as Lawmakers Push Airbus

The U.S. Air Force posted a Contracting Opportunity for new tankers. The “Sources Sought” request is “to determine if there exists an adequate number of qualified interested contractors capable of providing solutions to meet the requirement. The Government may use the responses to this Sources Sought for information and planning purposes.” The Air Force is looking for companies that can deliver approximately 140-160 Commercial Derivative Tanker Aircraft—at a rate of 12 to 15 per year—to supplement the Air Force Tanker Aircraft fleet at the end of KC-46A production, and bridge the gap to the next Tanker recapitalization phase.

Wild-Looking ‘Open Rotor’ Engine Could Cut Airliner Emissions by a Massive 20 Percent

A CFM design looks to address the noise issues of past oper rotor (or unducted fan) turbine engines.

Mentioned

American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic order e-air taxis from UK startup

Vertical Aerospace is an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) startup based in the UK. The company announced pre-orders for up to 1,000 of its electric VA-X4 vertical takeoff aircraft. American Airlines ordered between 250 and 350 aircraft, Virgin Atlantic ordered between 50 and 150, and aircraft leasing group Avolon ordered 310.

The VA-X4 seats 4 PAX and a pilot, with commercial flights expected in 2024. The aircraft can cruise at 202 mph, has a usable range of up to 120 miles, and is claimed to be 100x quieter than a helicopter thanks to the VA-X4’s distributed propulsion system.

Vertical plans to go public this year on the New York Stock Exchange via a SPAC merger (special purpose acquisition) in a deal valuing it at $2.2 billion. SPAC investors include American Airlines, Avolon, Honeywell, Rolls-Royce, and Microsoft’s venture capital fund M12.

Huntsman spider drops on top of pilot

481 Meet the Airplane Geeks

The Airplane Geeks hosts interview each other to give you a closer look at the guys who create this podcast. Also, the Commemorative Air Force “12 Planes of Christmas,” the first Boeing KC-46 will miss its delivery goal, transmitting pre-departure air traffic control clearances to pilots’ mobile devices, a Van’s Aircraft milestone, the best U.S. airlines, the Boeing 717, and a Virgin Atlantic IFE solution for the visually impaired.

Aviation News

The 12 Planes of Christmas

Each year the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) hosts the “12 Planes of Christmas” online giving campaign. Designed to support the aircraft of the CAF, this event highlights the efforts of the organization and its volunteer members who restore and preserve its fleet of over 170 World War II aircraft.

Boeing will miss 2017 delivery goal for first KC-46

Boeing will miss its goal to deliver the first KC-46 tanker to the Air Force by the end of 2017.

App Could Deliver IFR Clearances to Mobile Devices

AOPA is encouraging the FAA to promptly field test technology being developed to electronically transmit pre-departure air traffic control clearances to pilots’ mobile devices.

Van’s Aircraft reaches 10,000 flying kitplanes

Van’s Aircraft has officially broken the 10,000 flying aircraft mark.

Best U.S. Airlines ’17: Alaska Airlines Owns the Skies

Each year, the Airfarewatchdog team searches for the best domestic airline.

How the Boeing jet no one wanted became the plane airlines scour the planet for

Boeing delivered the last two 717-200 jetliners in 2006, and it is currently operated primarily by Delta, Hawaiian, Qantas, and Spanish Volotea. Yet airlines are scouring the planet looking for available Boeing 717s.

Airline Story of the Week

Virgin Atlantic to roll out portable IFE solution for visually impaired passengers

Virgin Atlantic is rolling out an accessible in-flight entertainment (IFE) solution that has been developed especially for passengers with visual impairment.

Credit

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

467 EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize

We talk with the three high school students who won the EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize competition for 2017. In the news, we look at the decline in short haul traffic in the US, how the US Air Force is responding to the flight crew shortage, using airport data to improve efficiency, the grounding of the MRJ test fleet, and AOPA taking action against egregious FBO charges.

Guests

EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize winners Justin Zhou, Thomas Baron, and Max Lord.

Justin Zhou, Thomas Baron, and Max Lord

Thomas Baron, Max Lord, and Justin Zhou won the 2017 EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize with their “Remora System” which takes sensor inputs and displays airspeed and angle of attack on a head-mounted display. All three are seniors at the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Northern Virginia.

The students explain their system which places the sensors in a pod under the airplane and transmits data which is displayed in a Vufine high definition wearable display. We talk about how the project started, and how it came to be entered in the EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize competition.

The EAA Founder’s Innovation Prize was presented by Airbus and leveraged the creativity of the EAA community to solve specific challenges facing general aviation. The competition was featured at AirVenture Oshkosh where five finalists presented their ideas.

See Three High School Students Awarded Founder’s Innovation Prize, the Remora Systems website, and their Facebook page.

The Shark with sensor pod.

The Shark with sensor pod.

Jonathan Baron and the head mounted display.

Jonathan Baron and the head-mounted display.

Aviation News

What Caused Short Haul Traffic Decline in the US? – the $34b Question

Courtney Miller discusses three theories why U.S. short-haul traffic under 500 miles has declined by almost 30% since 2000 while the total U.S. domestic market has grown almost 30% since then. Courtney is Director, Lessor Sales at Bombardier Aerospace.

Air Force Boosts Pay Incentives, Targets Retirees Amid Pilot Shortage

The U.S. Air Force faces an aircrew shortage and is increasing incentive pay to try and improve the situation. In June, the Air Force expanded Aviator Retention Pay with a new Aviation Bonus Program.

How a Danish startup is using math to cut airport wait times in half

Copenhagen Optimization is using mathematical models and data to help airports optimize their activities. Waiting time was reduced by more than 50% at Geneva Airport in Switzerland, passenger throughput increased by 10% at Dublin Airport, and peak in check-in counter demand was decreased by 5.5% at Stockholm Arlanda.

Mitsubishi Grounds MRJs Following In-flight Engine Failure

Mitsubishi has four U.S.-based MRJ flight-test airplanes. The left engine on FTA-2 experienced an uncommanded shutdown and the plane was diverted to Portland International Airport where it landed “without incident.” The engine has been removed and sent to Pratt & Whitney for inspection.

AOPA Files Official Complaints Over FBO Fees

After pilots started reporting that some fixed base operators are charging excessive fees, AOPA analyzed the data and found some “exceptionally egregious,” fees: fuel more than $6 a gallon or fees for minimal or no services over $100. AOPA and seven affected pilots have “filed FAA Part 13 complaints over egregious FBO pricing practices at Illinois’s Waukegan National Airport, North Carolina’s Asheville Regional Airport, and Florida’s Key West International Airport, on behalf of its membership.”

Airline Story of the Week

Virgin Atlantic helps a family of four enjoy a memorable flight from London Gatwick to Orlando, especially for the two daughters aged 10 and 12.

Airshow Report

David tells us about Thunder Over Dover, the 2017 Dover AFB Open House. All photos by copyright by David Vanderhoof:

Listener Recording

Glen gives us some thoughts on the Embraer KC-390. For background, see Embraer and Boeing to collaborate on worldwide sales, support of KC-390 medium airlift.

Mentioned

easyjet : Inside The Cockpit ITV S1 E1 – This documentary series follows new recruits as they train to become pilots for easyJet. [Note: This video has now been blocked by ITV.]

The OLC website lets sailplane, paraglider, and hang glider pilots from all over the world upload their flight tracks. It’s competitive and there are several categories of competitions and most are based on distance. See Help… How things work in OLC? And All Flights of Jim Payne which shows Jim Payne’s flights from the Perlan 2 project.

Самолёт на трассе ДТП [Plane on the road accident]

https://youtu.be/VwfWBcsj6dk

Credit

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

Episode 101 – Another Jetwhiner

Insitu Scan Eagle

Guest Scott Spangler is an instrument-rated commercial pilot and the founding editor of Flight Training magazine. He launched and edited NAFI Mentor for the National Association of Flight Instructors, and was editor in chief of EAA publications. As a freelancer he’s written for Air & Space Smithsonian, Overhaul & Maintenance, Aviation for Women, Twin & Turbine, Avionics News, Kitplanes, a number of non-aviation titles. Oh, and of course, he posts at the Jetwhine blog.

Scott joins Max, David, Dan and Rob to talk about the week’s aviation news and how to get started on an aviation career. That plus This Week in Aviation and the Australia Desk report.

The news:

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/. Australia Desk music is “Six Months In a Leaky Boat” by Split Enz.

Episode 99 – Bits and Pieces

Photo by Seb Spencer

In this episode, Rob, Max, and David discuss aviation news, with a focus on odd stories. Then Dan brings in Tom from The Airline Blog to talk about some additional stories. David has six interviews from the 2010 Joint Service Open House, as well as his usual This Week in Aviation segment. Finally, Steve and Grant have this week’s Australia Desk report.

The news:

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.

Australia Desk Report music is Journey of the Sorcerer by The Eagles, used in the British TV version of the Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Post photo courtesy listener Seb Spencer.

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/.

Episode 50 – Weekly Aviation News with Eddy P.

phenom

Max and Court are joined by Eddy Pieniazek from Ascend Worldwide. We once again have split the podcast into two episodes, and you’ll find the latest and greatest in news in this episode.

Don’t forget to send us your ideas for Airplane Geeks T-Shirts!

The Airplane Geeks are now on Twitter! You can follow us @AirplaneGeeks.

Make sure to sign up for our new newsletter, “Airplane Geeks Week in Aviation.”
We’ll be bringing you these show notes, as well as some of the week’s news we didn’t have time to cover.
You can sign up at AirplaneGeeks.com.

Brother Love is responsible for this episode’s opening and closing
music, and you can visit his site at brotherloverocks.com.

If you have a question or a comment for the Airplane Geeks, you
can send it to thegeeks@airplanegeeks.com.

You can also leave us voice mail at (812) 757-4252. If you have
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