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Airplane Geeks Podcast
16 minutes | 7 days ago
A micro-episode with some positive thoughts on aviation during Covid, and an Eat at the Airport review. Aviation During Covid A short piece from our Main(e) Man Micah with some positive personal aspects of aviation during Covid. This was originally written for the one-year anniversary of Isaac Alexander’s Sunday Night Zoom Meetings on March 21, 2021. Eat at the Airport Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari stopped by Hangar 6 Air Cafe in Uvalde, Texas and filed this report. Find more airports with local eating establishments at EatAtTheAirport.com. Hangar 6 Air Cafe
105 minutes | 14 days ago
647 Glass Cockpit
We explore the glass cockpit and the new book on the Garmin G3000 and G5000. In the news, the shape of the airline recovery, JetBlue scores London slots, Boeing gets a very large 737 MAX order, a special National Aviation Hall of Fame volunteer, an update on the Cessna SkyCourier, possible relief for Wichita aviation jobs, and a fun mod for Microsoft Flight Simulator. Glass Cockpit Max Trescott’s G3000 and G5000 Glass Cockpit Handbook is a newly published resource for pilots flying with these Garmin flight decks for light turbine jets. The Garmin G3000 and G5000 are currently used in twenty-three aircraft models, with plans for adding more. Max describes glass cockpit hardware and software, and how the presentation of information differs from traditional cockpit gauges. We talk about reliability and lower maintenance considerations compared to steam gauges, weight advantages including paper document elimination, and the glass cockpit learning curve. The G3000 and G5000 have nearly identical user interfaces, but the G3000 is designed for smaller and lighter Part 23 aircraft, while the G5000 is targeted to the Part 25 regulations which apply to larger aircraft, including the transport aircraft used by the airlines. Besides being a host on this podcast, Max Trescott produces the Aviation News Talk podcast which focuses on General Aviation news, general tips for pilots, and technical details on glass cockpits and flying GPS approaches. The show features listener questions and occasional interviews. He’s the 2008 National CFI of the Year, and a Cirrus Platinum CSIP. Aviation News American Airlines Reports V-Shaped Recovery American Airlines direct bookings are up 150-400% over 2020, and close to 2019 levels. Domestic load factors were 80% recently and all planes will be flying in May, 2021. Do leisure travelers believe the pandemic is over? United unveils 26 new point-to-point routes from Midwest, East Coast Since business travel isn’t indicating anything like a V-recovery, airlines want to capture the leisure travel recovery. The new United routes include “flights from Cleveland (CLE), Cincinnati (CVG), Columbus (CMH), Indianapolis (IND), Milwaukee (MKE), St. Louis (STL), and Pittsburgh (PIT) to a variety of coastal destinations, from Portland, Maine (PWM), to Pensacola, Florida (PNS).” These are point-to-point, non-stop routes that avoid hubs with service by the Bombardier CRJ550. The routes begin May 27, and will operate through Labor Day Weekend. See: With business travel lagging, Portland lands direct flights to cities around the U.S. JetBlue Secures London Heathrow Slots for its Transatlantic Debut JetBlue plans to launch transatlantic service this year with Airbus A321LR aircraft. In it’s summer 2021 schedule report, Airport Coordination Limited included allocated 270 slots to JetBlue for flights to and from London Heathrow (LHR) airport. 180 slots are for flights to New York-JFK and 90 slots for service to Boston. The slots phase in over time and expire on Oct. 30, 2021. National Aviation Hall of Fame Volunteer Alice Griffin Turns 100 The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) in Dayton announced that volunteer Alice Griffin celebrated her 100th birthday on March 28, 2021. She was asked if she had any words of wisdom to share and replied, “Work hard, don’t take anything for granted, and give ten percent of your salary to charity.” The National Aviation Hall of Fame was founded in 1962 and is located adjacent to the National Museum of the United States Air Force. The NAHF collaborated with the National Aeronautic Association for a series of aviation webinars in 2020, including: Airports, Airlines and Airplanes: A Webinar (May 28, 2020) with panelists Cirrus Aircraft co-founder and NAHF Enshrinee Dale Klapmeier, CVG Airport CEO and NAA Board Member Candace McGraw, Oliver Wyman Partner, and NAHF Trustee Geoff Murray, and United Airlines Executive and NAHF Chair Michael Quiello. SPACE: Charting the next trajectory (Jun 25, 2020) Panelists included National Air and Space Musuem Director Ellen Stofan, NAHF Enshrinee and NAA Record holder Hoot Gibson, Blue Origin Director Business Development Brett Alexander, and former NASA Administrator and NAHF Enshrinee Charlie Bolden. Aerobatics and Air Shows: Get your fix (Jul 24, 2020) Panelists included NAHF Enshrinee and Aerobatic Champion Patty Wagstaff, NAHF Candidate and Aerobatic pilot Julie Clark, IAC International judge and NAA Board Member Peggy Riedinger, and Aerobatic Pilot Vicki Benzig. Sustainability and Innovation: Ensuring the future of aviation (Sep 10, 2020) Panelists included MagniX CEO and NAA Board Member Roei Ganzarski, Founder and CEO Bye Aerospace George Bye, President and CEO NBAA Ed Bolen, and President Environmental Affairs Airlines 4 America and NAA Board Member Nancy Young. Cessna SkyCourier Begins Final Phase of Flight Testing Textron Aviation is hoping to begin deliveries of the Cessna SkyCourier this year, however, the company first needs type-approval from the FAA. The certification flight test phase is underway. Production final assembly of the SkyCourier will start at the airframer’s east Wichita campus. Launch customer for the airplane is FedEx with 50 firm orders and 50 options. New COVID relief bill could help bring back Wichita aviation jobs. Here’s how The Aviation Manufacturing Jobs Protection Act was swept into the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the COVID-19 relief package signed into law. It is a $3 billion public-private partnership where the federal government contributes 50% of the compensation for eligible employee groups, as long as the company commits to continuing employment of those workers. The funding is available until Sept. 30, 2023, but an employee group cannot receive the federal money for more than six months. Here’s the stuck Suez cargo ship in Microsoft Flight Simulator Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 allows you to add things as modifications. YouTube and TikTok poster donut_enforcement has added the Ever Given cargo ship that has been stuck in the Suez Canal and completely shut down ship movement. Mentioned This Cockpit View Of A C-17’s Wild Ride Through Star Wars Canyon Is Bonkers The C-17 is a big, but incredibly nimble beast, as proven in this video of one making hard maneuvers while rocketing low through the Jedi Transition. Video: C-17 Star Wars Canyon https://youtu.be/T_nPUnFGRoI Groundbreaking H3X Motor Brings Electric Aircraft One Step Closer To Reality The startup H3X says it has developed a compact electric motor that develops more than 3 times the power and weighs less than most commercially available motors. Promotional video: The H3X electric motor: the power density of electric aircraft motors! NASA Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Prepares for First Flight Month of Ingenuity: Helicopter Flight Preview Webinar In early April, 2021 the Mars Ingenuity helicopter will attempt the first-ever powered flight on Mars. Join this interactive webinar to hear team members describe how they will support the helicopter when it takes to the skies. Monday, April 5 at 10:30 a.m. PDT / 1:30 p.m. EDT Support You can support the Airplane Geeks podcast by making a donation.
87 minutes | 21 days ago
646 Pilot Shop
Our guest is Sporty’s Pilot Shop vice president John Zimmerman. In the news, startup airlines are launching during the pandemic, data on General Aviation shipments, and F-35 software upgrade issues. Also, the recent Blue Bonnet airshow, how to notify the FAA of construction activity, and a hush kit for the Gulfstream. Guest John Zimmerman, VP Sporty’s Pilot Shop John Zimmerman is a pilot and a vice president at Sporty’s Pilot Shop. Before becoming an employee, John learned to fly at a Cincinnati airport and regularly attended Sporty’s famous hot dog cookouts. Today as a vice president, he’s responsible for new product development and marketing. John regularly flies a Citabria, a Pilatus PC-12, and a Robinson R44 helicopter. He is an ATP and also holds ratings for multi-engine, seaplanes, gliders, and helicopters. John is also editor-in-chief of Air Facts and a contributing editor at Flying Magazine. John tells us the Sporty’s story that started 60 years ago. It’s a company where the employees are pilots who use the products they sell. We look at the challenges of the last twelve months and consider the strength of the demand for flight training. John explains how Sporty’s Pilot Shop has responded to training technology that has changed over the years – from videotapes to streaming media. We also learn about Sporty’s iPad Pilot News, the monthly email newsletter where you can find tips and tricks for using your favorite apps, stay up to date on the latest iPad news, read detailed reviews of new apps, and learn about new iPad accessories and specials. Aviation News How to launch an airline during a global pandemic At least three airlines are planning to start operations in 2021: Norwegian low-cost startup Flyr, UK startup Flypop, and Breeze Airways in the US. Flyr will focus on the Norwegian family and leisure market with the Boeing 737-800. Flypop will offer low-cost long-haul flights with the Airbus A330. Breeze Airways from airline entrepreneur David Neeleman will target the US leisure travel market with the Airbus A220-300 and some Embraer E190 and E195 aircraft. Does Reduced Airline Capacity Give General Aviation And Business Jets More Opportunity? Global business aviation is reported to be “back to 85% of pre-COVID-19 levels” while the U.S. business aviation market is down just 7% and charter flights are up 4%. Former first class passengers are turning to business jets and some travelers are looking at charter memberships and jet cards. General Aviation Airplane Shipments Fall Off 10 Percent for 2020 In 2020, the overall GA industry saw 9.7 percent fewer shipments. Billings fell 14.8 percent. GAMA’s executive committee chairman, Nicolas Chabbert, said, “I must say that these figures are not representing the level of demand, which stays very high and are moderated by our ability to deliver as a global industry.” Supply chain constraints are limiting shipments, as well as company efforts to fight the pandemic and keep employees safe. Block 4 Software Issues Could Cause F-35 Capability Delays, Costly Retrofits The Government Accountability Office issued a 67-page report to Congress, F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, DOD Needs to Update Modernization Schedule and Improve Data on Software Development (PDF). The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter is DOD’s most expensive weapon system program. Congress directed the GAO to review the F-35 program which is 3 years into a development effort to modernize the F-35 aircraft’s capabilities. GAO is making three recommendations to DOD: that DOD update its modernization schedule to reflect achievable time frames, identify and implement tools to enable automated data collection on software development performance, and set software quality performance targets. DOD agreed with GAO’s recommendations. Mentioned Valerie Insinna, Defense News’ air warfare reporter. On Twitter: @ValerieInsinna. The Marshalling Detachment of the Commemorative Air Force Adventure Flying podcast, Flying Over the Swiss Alps in a PA-28 with Launchpad Marzari. Obstruction Evaluation / Airport Airspace Analysis (OE/AAA) The FAA website where a project proponent can determine if they need to notify the FAA about a contemplated construction. What is the Waffle House Index? Hubbard Aviation hush kit. Support You can support the Airplane Geeks podcast by making a donation.
91 minutes | a month ago
645 Woman Aviator
The inspiring story of a legendary woman aviator and member of the “Mercury 13” who was also the first female FAA inspector and the first female investigator for the NTSB. Also, the AerCap/GECAS merger of aircraft leasing companies, the Dassault Falcon 6X first flight, FAA 2021 GA award winners, Buzz Lightyear’s mission with Southwest Airlines, and the serial stowaway. Guest Loretta Hall Loretta Hall captured the memoir of the extraordinary woman aviator, Wally Funk, in Higher, Faster, Longer: My Life in Aviation and My Quest for Spaceflight. Wally Funk was the first woman civilian flight instructor at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, the 58th woman in the U.S. to earn an Airline Transport Rating (in 1968), the FAA’s first woman operations inspector and Systems Worthiness Analysis Program specialist, and the first woman NTSB accident investigator. She was also one of the “Mercury 13,” hoping to become an astronaut. Wally Funk Loretta is a freelance writer and nonfiction book author. She’s a long-time space travel enthusiast and is currently a certified Space Ambassador for the National Space Society. Loretta has written eight books, including five on the history and future of space travel, one of which is The Complete Space Buff’s Bucket List: 100 Space Things to Do Before You Die. Loretta has been interested in space travel since her teenage years when she followed the early NASA programs: the selection of the Mercury Seven astronauts, the suborbital and orbital missions of Mercury and Gemini, and the Apollo steps toward a moon landing. She has written eight books, including five on the history and future of space travel. Loretta loves finding ways to participate in space activities without being an astronaut. Her newest book was a cooperative effort to produce the memoir of Wally Funk, an icon in the fields of aviation and spaceflight. Loretta Hall and Wally Funk Aviation News This $30 Billion Deal Could Reshape the Aviation Industry AerCap Holdings announced that it would acquire the GECAS (GE Capital Aviation Services) unit of General Electric in a $30 billion deal. This would consolidate the number one and number two commercial aviation financing and leasing companies, measured by the number of aircraft. The resulting business would be the largest customer for Airbus, Boeing, and the engine manufacturers. Dassault’s Falcon 6X Makes First Flight Dassault Aviation’s Falcon 6X long-range, ultra-widebody business jet’s first flight was made from the company’s facility at Mérignac, France, near Bordeaux, on March 10, 2021. The 2.5-hour flight reached FL400 and a speed of 0.8 Mach and was dedicated to Olivier Dassault, who died in a helicopter accident on March 7, 2021. 2021 GA Award Winners Announced by FAA, Committee The awards for National Flight Instructor, Aviation Technician, and FAASTeam Rep of the Year will be presented at EAA AirVenture at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in July. The 2021 awards go to: Ronald Jay Timmermans of Orlando, Florida, Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year Michael Colin Dunkley of Coshocton, Ohio, Aviation Technician of the Year Adam Timothy Magee of Swisher, Iowa, FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year. ‘To infinity & beyond!’ Southwest Airlines reunites Buzz Lightyear with young passenger who left toy behind After a young boy left his beloved Buzz Lightyear on a flight, a Southwest employee found it, located the family, and arranged for Buzz to return home. Women’s History Month: A Look at Impactful Women in Aviation Women Entrepreneurs in Aviation These articles highlight just some of the amazing women who have had successful careers in aviation. They include Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space; Joan Higginbotham, who helped build the international space station and operated robotic arm; LeAnn Ridgeway, a Rockwell Collins executive leader (now Collins Aerospace); Susan Mashibe, Tanzania’s first female FAA-certified pilot and mechanic and owner of a private jet handling and hangar services company; Rachel King, the founder and owner of the Precision Approach aircraft washing service; and Steffany Kisling, founder of cabin attendant staffing company SkyAngles and SKYacademy, an online training platform for pilots, cabin attendants and aspiring crew. Mentioned #PaxEx Podcast 74: Ready to fly, but has COVID reset expectations? Max Flight’s Aviation Podcast Directory Airline Pilot Guy podcast ABC7 Salutes: Filmmakers complete mission to make documentary honoring WWII heroes Journey to Royal: A WWII Rescue Mission is a hybrid documentary and action film with painstakingly accurate recreations filmed using real planes (at the Palm Springs Air Museum and the March Field Air Museum) and recreated models. It is now available on streaming and cable platforms and on DVD. The story takes place during the Second World War, the 4th Emergency Rescue Squadron was stationed on the Mariana Islands of the South Pacific. Its crews policed flight paths searching for B-29 bombers in jeopardy and downed airmen in need of rescue in the open ocean of this war-torn theatre. View the trailer: Journey to Royal: A WWII Rescue Mission https://youtu.be/V4rAwgBrVK4 World’s best airports for customer experience revealed Support You can support the Airplane Geeks podcast by making a donation.
87 minutes | a month ago
644 Aviation Art Designs
MotoArt turns unused aircraft parts into high-end furniture and aviation art designs. In the news, Pratt & Whitney’s new hypersonic engine project, the AFRL autonomous Skyborg aircraft and the Boeing Loyal Wingman, Boeing criticizes the A321XLR, Qantas offers mystery flights, and the Southwest Airlines grant program. Guest Dave Hall is the co-founder and owner of MotoArt which sells high-end aviation-inspired furniture and aviation art designs constructed from genuine aircraft parts. Dave Hall Dave is also the founder/owner of PlaneTags – collectible, three-inch oval-shaped luggage tags made from authentic aircraft skin. Each PlaneTag is laser etched with the aircraft’s schematic and serial / tail number and is attached to a baseball-type trading card containing the history of the aircraft. PlaneTags allows collectors the opportunity to hold a piece of aviation history in their hands while simultaneously providing them with an educational experience for each aircraft offered. Nearly 100 different types of PlaneTags have been created to date and several years’ worth of aircraft are in the queue for future releases. PlaneTags fans can expect new releases each month. Dave began his career working at his father’s fuel storage tank business and later moved on to marketing and selling high-end architectural signage for amusement parks and sports arenas. In 2001, he and former colleague Donovan Fell began creating sculptures out of vintage World War II propellers. The popularity of these sculptures prompted the two to form a partnership and together created MotoArt LLC, which introduced high-end aviation-inspired furniture and art designs constructed from genuine aircraft parts. Since its inception, MotoArt has created over 100 limited edition custom designs for both private and Fortune 500 clients. Dave has graciously donated four PlaneTags to Airplane Geeks which we’ll be giving away to listeners in a random drawing. In addition, Dave is offering Airplane Geeks listeners a PlaneTags discount. Details in the podcast. PlaneTags giveaway. Finally, the Pima Air & Space Museum is running a sweepstakes (open until April 9, 2021) where your donation enters you in a contest to win a $25,000 MotoArt gift certificate. Aviation News Pratt & Whitney Makes Hypersonic Revival As Pentagon Pushes Reuse Pratt & Whitney has a secret development program to develop a low-cost, reusable hypersonic propulsion system. This is a capability high in priority for the U.S. Department of Defense. The program is called Metacomet and comes from Pratt & Whitney’s GatorWorks prototyping division in Florida. David Stagney, senior director of GatorWorks said, “The faster you go, the larger the propulsion system is relative to the vehicle and how much payload and fuel you can actually fit in. So, we have spent a lot of time going back to the fundamentals and thinking about how to solve that problem differently. We know the Air Force wants to go really fast. They also want to have some very low-cost solutions, and to be able to have a large quantity of vehicles.” Boeing to base U.S. Air Force prototype on Australian pilotless combat jet Boeing designed and manufactured the unmanned “Loyal Wingman” aircraft in Australia, which just completed its first flight. The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Skyborg autonomous aircraft program has contracted with Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, and Kratos Defense & Security Solutions to develop the prototypes. Boeing says they are basing their bid on the Loyal Wingman. The technology will be tested during Orange Flag exercises this summer. Boeing labels new Airbus jet a ‘potential hazard’ just days after being fined millions for safety oversights The A321XLR gets additional range with a fuel tank that is moulded into the fuselage. Boeing has informed the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) that this design “presents many potential hazards.” EASA had already noted the design, saying “An integral fuselage fuel tank exposed to an external fire, if not adequately protected, may not provide enough time for the passengers to safely evacuate the aircraft.” First there were flights to nowhere. Now there are ‘mystery flights.’ Qantas is launching three flights to unspecified Australian destinations. Passengers will have “low-level scenic flybys of key landmarks” and land about two hours after departure. That will be followed by a day’s worth of activities on the ground. In order to know what to wear and pack, Qantas will give passengers clues about the destination. Southwest Airlines donates 7,500 free flights for those in need of medical care The airline’s Medical Transportation Grant Program is providing roundtrip flights for those in need of urgent medical care. Southwest awarded the tickets to over 75 nonprofit hospitals and medical transportation organizations. The airline valued the transportation at $3 million. To date, more than $38.6 million in free transportation has been provided since the program began in 2007. Mike Collins Rob Mark talks about the passing of Mike Collins, AOPA Technical Editor and Director of Business Operations. See Saying Goodbye: AOPA Loses Technical Editor Mike Collins. Mentioned Aerojet Rocketdyne Air Care Alliance AvGeekFests.com Innovations in Flight Family Day and Outdoor Aviation Display 47th annual Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo April 13-18, 2021. See SnF Covid policy. Podcasting on a Plane, Episode 091, Remote View Flight Check with Rob Mark. Airplane Geeks Listener Poll #643: Who would you like to see win the 2020 Collier Trophy? Cat attacks pilots in cockpit, plane forced to make emergency landing Trade group again names Portland’s jetport best in North America. Airports Council International recognizes the world’s best airports in customer experience with their annual Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards. The Portland International Jetport was named the best airport in North America for customer experience in its passenger class. Airplane Flyover
89 minutes | a month ago
643 Aeronautical Charts
We learn about aeronautical charts produced by the FAA’s Aeronautical Information Services team. In the news, the NTSB will decommission the TWA Flight 800 reconstruction, Collier Trophy finalists announced as are Flying Magazine Editors’ Choice Awards and FAA General Aviation Awards, Boeing fined by the FAA, United orders the Boeing 737 MAX, Delta plans to reactivate pilots, Icelandair flies to Antarctica and back. Guest Katie Murphy is a Supervisory Aeronautical Information Specialist in the FAA’s Aeronautical Information Services Visual Charting Team. Katie has worked with both VFR and IFR charts for over 17 years and is a self-proclaimed “map geek.” Aeronautical Information Services (AIS) is the authority for the development of aeronautical charts and services. They are also the authoritative government source for collecting, storing, maintaining, and disseminating aeronautical data for the U.S. and its territories. The Interagency Air Committee (IAC) Specifications are used in the preparation of United States Government Charts and thus define what appears in aeronautical charts.Changes can be proposed through the Aeronautical Charting Meeting. Use the Aeronautical Information Portal to submit data forms, make inquiries, and sign up for notifications. Aviation News NTSB’s TWA Flight 800 Reconstruction to be Decommissioned The lease is expiring on the National Transportation Safety Board training facility and the NTSB plans to dispose of the TWA Flight 800 reconstruction. With advances such as 3-D scanning, the need for large-scale reconstruction in teaching investigative techniques is less relevant. Seven aviation and space achievements to compete for the 2020 Robert J. Collier Trophy [PDF] The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) announced the seven finalists competing for the prestigious 2020 Robert J. Collier Trophy: Bell V-280 Valor Boeing Confident Travel Initiative Garmin Autoland Reliable Robotics Remotely Operated Aircraft System (ROAS) SpaceX Falcon 9 & Dragon 2 U.S. Department of the Air Force Green Propellant Infusion Mission Team Yates Electrospace Corporation’s Silent Arrow The Collier Trophy Selection Committee will meet virtually in June and the winner will be announced publicly following the selection. The formal presentation of the Collier Trophy will take place when health and safety protocols allow. Flying Announces Editors’ Choice Awards for 2021 These awards recognize collaboration in aviation innovation and one of these teams will be chosen to receive the Flying Innovation Award: Autoland: Garmin Aviation + Piper Aircraft + Cirrus Aircraft + Daher ThrustSense Autothrottle: Innovative Solutions & Support + Pilatus + Textron Aviation Crewed Dragon Capsule to the International Space Station: NASA + SpaceX General Aviation Award recipients for 2020 named The awards have been given annually for more than 50 years through a partnership program between the FAA and sponsoring organizations from the aviation industry. The 2020 honorees are: Gary Brossett, 2020 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year Dennis Wolter, 2020 Aviation Technician of the Year Catherine Cavagnaro, 2020 National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year The winners will receive their awards at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in July. Boeing, hit with $6.6 million FAA fine, faces much bigger 787 repair bill – sources In 2015, Boeing paid a $12 million fine and pledged to implement and improve several certification processes to further enhance the airworthiness and continued compliance of all Boeing Commercial Aircraft products. The settlement agreement resolved multiple pending and potential enforcement cases. Press Release – Boeing Agrees to Pay $12 Million and Enhance its Compliance Systems to Settle Enforcement Cases (December 22, 2015) Under the agreement, Boeing could face up to $24 million in additional penalties over the following five years if it failed to implement its obligations. Press Release – Boeing to Pay $6.6 Million in Penalties to FAA (February 25, 2021) Now, the FAA has assessed $5.4 million in deferred civil penalties against The Boeing Company for failing to meet its performance obligations under the 2015 settlement agreement. Boeing also agreed to pay $1.21 million to settle two pending FAA enforcement cases. FAA says, “Boeing missed some of its improvement targets, and …some company managers did not sufficiently prioritize compliance with FAA regulations.” See: Delegated Organizations United orders another 25 Boeing 737 MAX jets to prepare for recovery United Airlines ordered 25 new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft for delivery in 2023. The company also accelerated the delivery of other aircraft in anticipation of post-pandemic demand growth. Delta To Reactivate All Pilots By October Expecting a strong recovery, Delta informed pilots it plans to return them to flying status by October, 2021. Icelandair 767 flying between Iceland & Antarctica The 20 year old Boeing 767-300 is currently flying between Iceland and Antarctica via South Africa. The 767 has a crew of 20 people, including six pilots, 13 flight attendants, and one mechanic. The roundtrip journey covers over 20,000 miles. Mentioned Australian Frontline Machinery will hold the March 2021 Aviation Auction, auctioning demilitarised aircraft and spare parts direct from the Australian Defence Force. See Can civilians buy ex-military aircraft? for more information. Virtual aviation events: Aircraft Cabin Air International Conference 2021, March 15 – March 18, 2021. Creating the Future of Vertical Flight: A Sikorsky Innovations Perspective, March 25, 2021. Video: UNITED 328 Engine Failure! WHAT CHECKLISTS did the pilots use? Explained by CAPTAIN JOE https://youtu.be/q5Wler87pwY
73 minutes | 2 months ago
642 Aircraft Line Maintenance
We examine aircraft line maintenance with a successful family-owned business. Also, two engine failures on commercial flights, testing single pilot aircraft with an eye toward future autonomous planes, a possible all new design for an F-16 replacement, and a mid-air wedding. Guests FEAM Maintenance/Engineering provides aircraft line maintenance engineering services for commercial aircraft operators through a wide network of line stations. They hold approvals for all current and next-generation aircraft, including B787 and A350 aircraft. Fred Murphy is the founder and president of FEAM, the company that started in 1992 as Fred & Everett’s Aircraft Maintenance. Fred had a vision and he saw a niche for a 3rd party maintenance provider that could deliver high-quality maintenance at a reasonable cost. Now 29 years later FEAM has grown from zero to nearly $100 million in revenue projected for 2020. Prior to joining FEAM, Fred held various positions in maintenance/engineering departments at American Airlines, US Airways, FedEx and Trans World Airlines. Fred served in the US Air Force as a noncommissioned officer and holds an Associate Degree for Aircraft Maintenance Management. Fred also holds a Federal Aviation Administration airframe and powerplant license; Federal Communications Commission restricted radio operators license and a Federal Aviation Administration private pilot/ instrument rating. Cam Murphy is the managing director of FEAM and is the second generation in his family business. Cam grew up in the business and his experiences include positions in almost every department, from janitorial services, stockroom clerk, to shadowing technicians on the flight line, and various management positions. Cam joined the leadership ranks in 2010 with the vision of scaling the business. He and the team succeeded at that and what was once just two guys and a truck now employs about 1,100 technicians at 30 international airports. FEAM has maintenance certifications in the US as well as international certifications that include Korea, Singapore, Europe, Australia, Japan, and Bermuda. Cam has an MBA in Aerospace and Defense, with a green belt certification for Lean Maintenance Repair and Overhaul from the University of Tennessee’s College of Business and Administration In 2017 Cam was awarded the Forbes 30 under 30 award, which recognizes 600 of the brightest young entrepreneurs, innovators and game changers in the US in 20 different industries. Aviation News United Flight Sheds Debris Over Colorado After Engine Failure United Flight 328, a Boeing 777-200, experienced an engine failure shortly after taking off from Denver International Airport. Debris fell along the aircraft’s flight path. The plane returned to Denver. There were no injuries. United Airlines announced they will be grounding 24 Boeing 777 aircraft powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000 series engines, Japan’s Transport Ministry instructed Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways to ground the Boeing 777s in their fleet. The FAA issued an Emergency Airworthiness Directive that would require immediate or stepped-up inspections of Boeing 777 airplanes equipped with these engines. Boeing recommends suspending operations of the 69 in-service and 59 in-storage 777s powered by Pratt & Whitney 4000-112 engines until the FAA identifies the appropriate inspection protocol. Dutch probe shedding of 747 freighter engine parts over Maastricht A Boeing 747-400 freighter taking off from Maastricht lost parts from one of its four engines. Two people were slightly injured, one went to the hospital. It appears to be a Longtail Aviation 747-400 converted freighter. The aircraft was originally delivered in 1991 to Singapore Airlines. FedEx and Sikorsky quietly begin single-pilot tests for cargo airliners An old ATR 42-300 turboprop owned by FedEx (N912FX) is undergoing trial flights around the Waterbury-Oxford airport in Connecticut. Autonomous and single-pilot technology for helicopters and fixed wing aircraft is being tested. Air Force Boss Wants Clean-Sheet Fighter That’s Less Advanced Than F-35 To Replace F-16 Some in the USAF are thinking about an F-16 replacement that could be an all-new fighter. If it goes forward, this would be a new “four-and-a-half-gen or fifth-gen-minus” fighter. The study would hopefully inform the Air Force’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget request. Virgin Australia Hosts Mid-air Wedding on 737-8FE, VA841 The first mid-air wedding hosted by Virgin Australia took place on a flight from Melbourne to Sydney. The first kiss didn’t occur until after the 737 arrived at Sydney since the couple wore masks due to Covid protocols. “After five years of dating we wanted to elope, and thanks to Virgin Australia, we’ve done just that.” Passengers received a buttermilk biscuit wedding favour in the shape of a heart. Mentioned MRO Americas 2021, April 27-29, Orlando, Florida. #MROAM 2021 Aerospace Media Awards Journalism & Aviation: A Complex Relationship, a webinar. Podfest Expo
75 minutes | 2 months ago
641 AOPA Events for 2021
The AOPA events planned for 2021, Bombardier ending Learjet production, United Airlines investment in eVTOL, VFR charts move to a 56-day production cycle, F-35A engine issues impact the demo team schedule, and a TSA agent saves the day for some confused passengers. Guest Chris Eads, AOPA Senior Director, Outreach and Events Chris Eads is Senior Director, Outreach and Events for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA). He’s a private pilot and an AOPA member since 2001. He began working for AOPA in 2013. Chris flies VFR all over the country both for fun and as a part of his role leading AOPA events and regional fly-ins. We focus on AOPA’s thinking and plans for events late in 2021 and even into 2022. The organization has released plans for two 2021 Aviator Showcase events. Each showcase will be a single-day event designed to provide new product and aircraft information to pilots, aircraft owners, and prospective buyers. Aviator Showcase at Manassas, VirginiaAug. 27, 2021, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.At Manassas Regional Airport (KHEF), hosted by Chantilly Air Jet Center. Aviator Showcase at Fort Worth, TexasOct. 1, 2021, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.At Fort Worth Alliance Airport (KAFW), hosted by Alliance Aviation Services. These events will be one-day gatherings in an exhibit hall, with an aircraft sales display and technology-related seminars. Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with industry leaders in avionics and cockpit technology, flight planning, weather resources, aircraft manufacturing, and more. To be sure AOPA is in alignment with current CDC guidelines at the time of the event, registration will open approximately 12 weeks prior to each event. Attendance will be limited according to CDC restrictions, and advance registration is required. In addition to the two Showcases, AOPA is considering “pilot gathering air tours” for when the pandemic clears sufficiently. These would be similar to a barnstormer’s tour and include social functions, unlike the Aviator Showcase events. Aviation News Learjet, once the go-to private plane for celebrities, is ending production Learjet, owned by Bombardier, will stop production later this year. Bombardier said it will concentrate on the Challenger and Global aircraft, which are more profitable. The company was started in 1962 by Bill Lear, with the first entry-into-service in 1963. The company was purchased by Bombardier in 1990. Archer Aviation gets a $1 billion order from United Airlines, on the same day it announces a deal to go public Archer Aviation Inc. announced that United placed an order valued at $1 billion for all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL). United has an option to buy an additional $500 million worth of aircraft. Archer also announced its merger with Atlas Crest Investment Corp. which takes the company public and allows the public to invest in the urban air mobility (UAM) market. United Airlines plans to have a role in the UAM market with “last mile” transportation between airports and urban destinations using low-emission eVTOL aircraft. VFR charts to go on 56-day publication cycle in 2021 The 56-Day Visual Charts notice [PDF] was published January 15, 2021 and takes effect February 25, 2021. In shortening the update cycle for VFR charts to match the dates on IFR charts, the FAA will now be updating all charts every 56 days. F-35 Demo Team Forced To Cut Airshow Appearances Due To Fleet-Wide Engine Issues Turbine blades in the Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engine powering the F-35 are experiencing shorter than expected life. Some F-35As have been running close to design limits which is causing premature cracks in the turbine blade coatings. While not a flight safety issue, it is causing unscheduled engine removals. The depot system is apparently already backlogged, so this extra workload is adding to that problem. This impacts the available engine supply so the Air Force F-35 demonstration team is scaling back the number of air show appearances by about a third. Wrong Portland: TSA officer helps family fly to correct coast A family of three Spanish-speaking passengers landed in the wrong Portland airport – Oregon, not Maine. They were about 2,500 miles from where they wanted to be. A TSA agent escorted the family to a ticket agent, and learned the family only had $200. The agent personally provided the additional money that allowed them to book a flight to their correct destination. Mentioned Check Out These Stunning Images Of The Super Bowl’s Bomber Trio Flyover Here’s why Army helicopters have Native American names FAA Files Reveal a Surprising Threat to Airline Safety: the U.S. Military’s GPS Tests Gerbino Flight Systems: Innovations in Flight Gerbino rotorcraft by listener Harold.
82 minutes | 2 months ago
640 Australian Women Pilots
Amazing true stories of Australian woman pilots, predicting the air travel recovery, airline response to shifting demand, flying across the Atlantic on the jetstream, roles for USAF tankers, preventing cabin crew from disappearing, and an Alaska Airlines sweepstakes for lovers. Guest Kathy Mexted, author of Australian Women Pilots. Kathy Mexted is a writer, photographer, and editor of AirSport Magazine from Sport Aircraft Association Australia, a general aviation organization. She’s written for several publications and her recently published book is titled Australian Woman Pilots, Amazing True Stories of Women in the Air. Kathy’s book tells the stories of ten Australian women pilots, and we look at three in particular. Gaby Kennard flew around the world in a Saratoga, mostly following Amelia Earhart’s route. In a ferrying operation, Lyn Gray had to ditch a Seminole 500 miles off Hawaii, requiring a U.S. Coastguard operation. Patricia Toole flew cargo and passenger flights in rugged and dangerous New Guinea. Meeting Patricia just before her death motivated Kathy to tell the inspiring stories of these women pilots. Aviation News Air travel recovery likely pushed back to 2022 The optimism that the Covid vaccine would quickly turn everything around for the travel industry may have been premature. We see the slow pace of vaccinations, which may not prevent you from transmitting the virus to others, mutations popping up, closed borders, and no consensus on so-called “vaccine passports.” The International Air Transport Association that in a worst-case scenario, passenger traffic may only improve by 13 percent this year. Airlines Are Ditching Business Hubs and Rerouting Flights to Florida Leisure travel is showing signs of life, but business travel is not. Since convenience is important to leisure travelers, airlines are responding with more direct routes. Fly like the wind: Pilots are about to cross the Atlantic in a whole new way More than 1,300 flights used to occur daily over the North Atlantic. Radar cannot cover the entire distance, so to maintain safe separation, the organized track structure (OTS) was created. Safe, but not the most efficient. However, Reading University researchers found that over the course of a typical winter, a 2.7% saving on carbon emission per passenger could be obtained if aircraft flew routes that took advantage of the wind. Air Force Hunts for Ways to Use Not-Quite-Ready Tankers The behind-schedule Boeing KC-46 tankers are still in testing because of the improvements needed for its refueling system. In addition, two problems exist with the plane’s auxiliary power unit. The Air Mobility Command is “exploring limited operational capability for the KC-46.” Airline to confiscate cabin crew’s passports after second flight attendant goes missing during layover Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) said it will confiscate cabin crew passports during layovers. Twice now flight attendants have gone missing for the return leg of a round-trip. Alaska Airlines offers pandemic’s locked-down lovers a chance at free flights This offer expired, but Alaska Airlines held a contest where 100 couples won roundtrip tickets. The “Booking for Love Sweepstakes” requested stories from couples who had “a long-distance love that began during the lock down or was separated by stay-at-home orders.” AirVenture Oshkosh 2021 Update Planning for the 2021 event continues, but with Covid-19 protocols in place. Get the latest information at the EAA page for Oshkosh 2021 Covid updates. FAA Creates Gateways for new Presidential TFR AOPA has been working with the FAA and other agencies since October to gather information about how future presidential TFRs might impact general aviation operations, part of a yearslong effort spanning many administrations to mitigate the economic damage and inconvenience that these restrictions can cause. Mentioned DARPA Disc Rotor Helicopter and other projects Video: DARPA/Boeing DiscRotor https://youtu.be/pg6LuwyNIxk A Curator Special: The Impossible Case of MH370, a special episode of the podcast Monocle 24: The Curator from Monocle. Hampton Roads Helicopters, a full-service aviation company for both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft based at Hampton Roads Executive Airport (PVG).
78 minutes | 2 months ago
The AeroEducate youth aviation initiative from the EAA, pandemic effects on airline pilot employment and proficiency, FedEx plan to temporarily relocate Hong Kong-based crew, a 5G program and its effects on satellite-based navigation, Norwegian Air Shuttle plans a different strategy, conformal fuel tanks on F-18 Super Hornets, the first contractor-owned F-16 aggressors. Guest Ron Connolly, Director of Museum and Education, EAA. Ron Connolly, Ed.D, Director of Museum and Education, Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is a U.S. Army veteran pilot who previously served as an EAA Aviation Museum docent and tour guide. Ron introduces us to AeroEducate, the new youth aviation initiative from the EAA for young people from 5 to 18 years old. The AeroEducate initiative encourages youngsters to explore aviation and possible careers in aviation. It’s an interactive, educational, and engaging experience that will officially begin later this year. Designed for both individual and classroom settings, AeroEducate was developed with support from groups such as United Airlines’ Aviate program and North Carolina State University’s school of education. EAA AeroEducate initiative helps young people discover and explore aviation interest EAA AeroEducate Initiative Helps Young People Explore and Cultivate Aviation Interest We also talk with Ron about Airventure Oshkosh and the EAA Aviation Museum, including some of the impressive exhibits and artifacts. Prior to joining the EAA staff, Ron spent time with both the Milwaukee and Appleton Police Departments as a Patrol Officer and then as a Senior Sergeant. Since 2016 he has spent time as an Associate Professor at Marian University. Prior to that he was a technical college instructor at institutions like Fox Valley Technical College, North Central Technical College and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. Ron earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Mount Senario College. He also holds a Master of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership and Quality from Marian University and an Educational Doctorate in Leadership, for the Advancement of Learning and Service from Cardinal Stritch University. Aviation News We Finally Know Exactly How Bad The Pandemic Has Been for Airline Pilots Pilot recruitment firm GOOSE and FlightGlobal conducted a survey [PDF] to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting pilots. Almost half of all pilots are either looking for work or furloughed. Of those who are looking, GOOSE says, 80% said that they’d accept a cut in pay for a new job. Pilot Survey 2021 had input from 2,598 pilots from all over the world. Survey topics include pilot retention, pilot job security, employee engagement, pilot referral, stress, mental health and well-being, and the future of aviation. Airline pilots making in-flight errors say they’re ‘rusty’ because of pandemic A number of errors and mishaps are being blamed by pilots on the pandemic and recorded in the NASA ASRS (Aviation Safety Reporting System). AOPA’s Richard G. McSpadden Jr., senior vice president at the Air Safety Institute said, “The key to flying safely is frequency. You are not as sharp if you haven’t flown for a while.” FedEx Express balks at Hong Kong’s new coronavirus quarantine measures, will temporarily relocate aircrew and families to San Francisco Hong Kong, the world’s busiest air cargo hub, plans to require a 14-day quarantine for aircrews. FedEx Express is concerned and the company says they will temporarily relocate Hong Kong-based pilots and their families to San Francisco. Other passenger and cargo airlines might be forced to reconsider their flights to and from Hong Kong. Also: Hong Kong quarantine disrupts FedEx, Cathay Pacific crews and cargo FCC Refuses To Halt Ligado 5G Program Some aviation groups sent a request to the FCC asking it to reconsider its approval for Ligado Networks’ terrestrial 5G program. The groups are concerned about possible GPS interference. However, the FCC denied the “request to stay its unanimous decision,” allowing the Ligado Networks’ terrestrial 5G program to continue. Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari describes the issue. Norwegian Air Shuttle Falls Back On Original Business Plan and Returns to Short Haul Norwegian Air Shuttle’s Board of Directors announced the airline will exit the low-cost long-haul market and focus on short haul routes within Norway and to “key European destinations.” Under the plan, 2,160 pilots and crew working at subsidiaries in the UK, U.S., Italy, Spain, and France will lose their jobs. Approximately half of that number are at Norwegian’s London Gatwick base. Navy Considers Axing Conformal Fuel Tanks From Its Block III Super Hornet Upgrade Plan In testing, the Navy identified unspecified “technical, structural, and sustainment” problems in a “carrier environment.” The Drive speculates that since “there is a specific link between [conformal fuel tanks (or CFT)] and the operation of CFT-equipped jets from its aircraft carriers, [that] could suggest the problems have to do, at least in part, with how the upgraded aircraft handle the stresses of catapult launches and arrested recoveries.” The article continues, “Another possibility might be that the tanks have been found to block access to key sections of the aircraft when they are installed, requiring their removal to perform certain routine maintenance and other tasks, adding costly time and effort to those processes.” First Contractor-Owned F-16 Aggressors Include MiG Killers, Veteran Of Iraqi Reactor Raid Private contractor Top Aces provides red air adversary support and will now be the first to acquire fourth-generation fighters, starting with four ex-Israeli Air Force F-16s. These jets have combat experience from the 1980s. Three of them shot down Syrian MiGs during the conflict in Lebanon, and one of them participated in the bombing raid on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor. The four F16s were transported from Ben Gurion Airport to Phoenix, Arizona on a Ukrainian-registered An-124 cargo aircraft. Homebuilt The tug is the homebuilt, not the Focke Wulf. Launchpad Marzari explains how he and a friend combined some decidedly non-aviation items into a functional tug. Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari and his new “snow tug.” Mentioned Phil’s Airline Fleet News published “The B737 MAX List – 1st February 2021” [PDF].
87 minutes | 3 months ago
638 Geospatial Data for Airports
Geospatial data supporting airports, investment strategy for airport recovery, lower airport operations volume, halted international flights, a health bill for domestic air travel, aviation events, a criminal conviction for unsafe drone operation, a B-21 update, and the outlook for New Zealand. Guest Bob Vander Meer Bob Vander Meer is vice president of business development for NV5 Geospatial (Powered by Quantum Spatial). He has over 20 years of business development and management experience in the geospatial industry, and serves within NV5 Geospatial’s public market sector, leading the business development activities with state, municipal, and county government agencies. Bob has provided executive support to over 700 airport projects under FAA Advisory Circular 150/5300-16A, -17C, -18B guidelines. He has managed all internal project activities, including overseeing that the airport ground surveys and collection of aerial imagery are performed in accordance with the appropriate FAA specifications. We dive into how geospatial data for airports are collected, analyzed, and used for applications like obstruction analysis, airport mapping, and even pavement management and crack assessment, as well as interior mapping. Bob explains the sensors used and the aircraft that carry them. Aviation News Brock Solutions Emphasizes Importance of Technological Investment in Airport Recovery in 2021 Mark Stokes, the Business Unit Manager – SmartSuite at Brock Solutions, notes that “Many in the aviation industry went from full speed ahead, managing the absolute peak of volumes, to a near dead stop.” As business returns, “airlines and airports are likely going to not bring back as many people as they had before.” But the pre-pandemic situation with “unmanageable volumes of traffic” tells us “what’s going to happen to our systems and our passenger flows and our facilities when those volumes come back. Now, we have some time to prepare and to adjust the course so we can avoid those problems we were inevitably facing in 2019.” O’Hare Loses Title Of Busiest Airport As COVID-19 Brings Huge Drops In Air Traffic For 2020 O’Hare reported a 41% drop in arrivals and departures for 2020 compared to 2019. Atlanta experienced a 39% drop and LAX saw a 45% decline. Chicago’s Midway a 35% drop in flight operations. KLM To Halt Intercontinental Flights KLM temporarily suspends 270 flights The Dutch government announced they will require all travelers, including crew, to get both a PCR test and an antigen test before flying to that country. In response, KLM stopped operating all its intercontinental flights and some of its European services on January 22, 2021. A KLM spokesperson said, “We cannot run the risk of our staff being stranded somewhere. This is why we are stopping all intercontinental flights from Friday & all flights to European destinations where crew members have to spend the night.” Covid rules ‘workaround’ means KLM Cargo can continue to fly its freighters But what about cargo and repatriation flights, and the impact on vaccine shipments? Well, now aircrew will be exempt from the rules if, either they do not leave the aircraft position upon reaching their destination, or if a PCR test is done within 12 hours before the flight, then the rapid test is not required. Crew may also operate within a “72-hour bubble,” allowing them to isolate in a hotel. Building on Biden Exec. Order, Senators Markey and Blumenthal, Rep. Lynch Call for Coronavirus Task Force on Aviation Health and Safety President Biden signed an executive order that calls for interagency cooperation to develop recommendations for national public health measures for domestic travel. A press release from Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) announced the reintroduction of the Ensuring Health Safety in the Skies Act of 2020, which passed the Senate unanimously last year. The Act [PDF] “would require the Departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Transportation to establish a joint task force on air travel during and after the COVID-19 public health emergency. The task force would consist of representatives from various federal agencies, and would develop policy recommendations to address issues related to airport and air carrier operations during and after the coronavirus pandemic.” This task force would be advised by a joint federal advisory committee to include aviation industry, security, and public health experts. It would clearly establish the risks that must be addressed, the stakeholders that should be involved, and the process for developing national standards for safe air travel. Lufthansa Set To Ban Cloth Masks Onboard From February Lufthansa announced starting February 1st, 2021, they will stop accepting cloth masks and all passengers will have to wear a surgical mask or an FFP2 mask, (also known as KN95/N95 masks). Masks with valves will not be allowed. Lufthansa Group member Austrian Airlines says that surgical masks will not be allowed. Only FFP2 masks. Man pleads guilty to recklessly operating drone that collided with LAPD helicopter A 22 year old man crashed the drone he was operating into a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter in September, 2020. He faces a statutory maximum sentence of one year in federal prison. The sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 12, 2021. The investigation was conducted by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force and the LAPD, with the assistance of the FAA. Mentioned National Aviation Hall of Fame’s Spirit of Flight Award The National Aviation Hall of Fame’s 2020 Milton Caniff Spirit of Flight Award to be presented to the American Rocketry Challenge. The Spirit of Flight Award is presented to recognize and reward aerospace organizations that exemplify the positive utilization of aviation for charitable purposes or for service to mankind. Watch the skies in 2022 for the first B-21 bomber flight
75 minutes | 3 months ago
637 Travel Industry
Travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt talks about the impacts of COVID-19 and the 737 MAX on air travel. In the news, new CDC test requirements for air passengers entering the US, airlines benefiting from the relief package, booking the middle seat, growth of air cargo, F-35B qualifications for the Italian navy, Australia orders the Apache, and aviation event postponements. Guest Henry Harteveldt is a well-known travel industry analyst and founder and president of Atmosphere Research Group. He has an extensive background in marketing, planning, distribution, and strategy, and he was head of Forrester Research’s global travel research practice. Henry launched Atmosphere Research in 2011 which helps travel industry clients understand emerging trends and opportunities in areas such as brand strategy, distribution, product development and retailing, customer experience, loyalty marketing, and digital commerce and technologies. The firm’s worldwide clients include airlines, lodging firms, cruise lines, car rental agencies, travel agencies, GDSs, financial services firms, and technology companies. Aviation News CDC to require all air travelers to US to show negative coronavirus test The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is expanding the requirement for a negative COVID-19 test to all air passengers entering the United States. Within 3 days before departure to the United States, air passengers are required to get a viral test and provide written documentation of their laboratory test result (paper or electronic copy) to the airline or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19. Airlines must confirm the negative test result for all passengers or documentation of recovery before they board. If a passenger does not provide documentation of a negative test or recovery or chooses not to take a test, the airline must deny boarding to the passenger. This order was signed by the CDC Director on January 12, 2021, and will become effective on January 26, 2021. Media Statement: CDC Expands Negative COVID-19 Test Requirement to All Air Passengers Entering the United States. Airlines get relief funds, but travel rebound may take a while The new Covid-19 relief package provides $15 Billion for airline salaries through the end of March. Southwest Airlines canceled planned furloughs, and United and American say they’ll bring back thousands of furloughed employees. Delta Keeps Middle Seat Ban in Hopes of Spring Recovery United Airlines never stopped booking middle seats but other airlines have started booking them. Delta says they’ll keep the middle seats open at least through March. Air Cargo Construction Is Booming, Thanks to Amazon Passenger traffic is down but air cargo is flourishing. At Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Amazon Air is building a 798,000-square-foot sorting center, complete with a seven-level parking structure. It’s part of Amazon’s commitment to a $1.5 billion, three-million-square-foot air cargo hub at CVG. FedEx handled an average of 6.2 million air packages a day in 2020, up 48 percent compared to 2016. The company just opened a $290 million, 51-acre project at the Ontario International Airport in Southern California. At Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, the second-largest air cargo airport in the United States after Memphis International Airport, the plan is for $500 million in new freight and package handling and sorting facilities. Atlas Air Buys The Last 4 Boeing 747 Aircraft Due To Be Built Atlas Air has agreed to purchase four 747-8 freighters. The aircraft will be delivered by 2022 and would be the last four 747-8s to roll off the production line. DHL Express orders eight more B777 freighters DHL Express ordered 14 B777Fs in 2018 and has taken delivery of the first 10. Now they’ve ordered 8 more with first deliveries are scheduled for 2022. John Pearson, CEO at DHL Express: “Although the current health crisis has pushed pause on several areas of life, global trade did not stand still.” Italian Navy Aircraft Carrier Cavour To Start F-35B Qualification Next Month The Italian Navy STOVL (Short Take Off and Vertical Landing) aircraft carrier is expected to arrive at Naval Station Norfolk in mid-February for F-35B aircraft qualifications with the U.S. Marine Corps. The Italian Navy ordered a total of 15 F-35B fighter jets. The Italian Air Force has the same amount on order (in addition to about 60 F-35A models). Apache chosen as armed helicopter replacement Steve Visscher reports that the Australian Defence Department has announced it will replace the Army’s fleet of Tiger ARH’s with AH-64E Apache Guardians. The new aircraft will come into service in 2025, replacing the Airbus/Eurocopter fleet, which have been in service only since 2003. Florida ‘fly-in, drive-in’ canceled The DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase in Florida that was originally planned for November 12 to 14, 2020 and postponed until January 2021 has been delayed again until November 2021. National Warbird Operator Conference Move In 2022 The Conference originally scheduled for February 25028, 2021 has been postponed to February 24-27, 2022 at the same venue at the Omni Corpus Christi Hotel in Corpus Christi, Texas. First Dream Chaser Mission Delayed Sierra Nevada Corporation announced that the first Dream Chaser civilian space plane mission to the International Space Station (ISS) has been postponed to 2022. The uncrewed cargo mission to the ISS will be the first of at least six to be conducted under a Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS-2) contract with NASA. Video: AOPA Live This Week – January 14, 2021 AOPA announced that the 5th annual Bob Hoover Trophy award ceremony will be virtual and live online on February 3, 2021, at 8:00 PM Eastern. The Hoover Trophy will be presented to legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan. The inaugural Brigadier General Charles E. McGee Aviation Inspiration Award will be presented to Gen. McGee himself, and he’ll make the first presentation of this award to a deserving young military aviator and aviation leader, Kenyatta Ruffin. California man lived inside O’Hare Airport security zone for 3 months — because he was afraid to fly during COVID, prosecutors say Aditya Singh, 36, arrived at the airport on a flight from Los Angeles on October 19, 2020. Allegedly, he had been living inside the airport’s security zone ever since. The man was found to have an airport worker’s misplaced credentials. Assistant State’s Attorney Kathleen Hagerty said he survived “largely from other passengers giving him food.” Police took Singh into custody and he’s been charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanor theft.
57 minutes | 3 months ago
636 Boeing Criminal Fine
Boeing agrees to pay a $2.5 Billion settlement for criminal charges relating to the 737 MAX MCAS system, the FAA issued final rules for supersonic aircraft testing, Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary says the government mismanaged travel restrictions, flight attendant unions are concerned about disruptive air travelers and the FAA responds with a stern warning, initial reports from the Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 crash, and on a lighter note, the TSA celebrates agency canines in a 2021 calendar. Aviation News Boeing Charged with 737 Max Fraud Conspiracy and Agrees to Pay over $2.5 Billion Boeing Reaches $2.5 Billion Settlement With U.S. Over 737 Max The Boeing Company has entered into an agreement with the Department of Justice to resolve a criminal charge related to a conspiracy to defraud the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aircraft Evaluation Group (FAA AEG) in connection with the FAA AEG’s evaluation of Boeing’s 737 MAX airplane. Boeing entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) in connection with criminal information that charges the company with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Under the terms of the DPA, Boeing will pay a total criminal monetary amount of over $2.5 billion: A criminal monetary penalty of $243.6 million, compensation payments to Boeing’s 737 MAX airline customers of $1.77 billion, and the establishment of a $500 million crash-victim beneficiaries fund to compensate the heirs, relatives, and legal beneficiaries of the 346 passengers who died in the Boeing 737 MAX crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302. The tragic crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 exposed fraudulent and deceptive conduct by employees of one of the world’s leading commercial airplane manufacturers. Boeing’s employees chose the path of profit over candor by concealing material information from the FAA concerning the operation of its 737 Max airplane and engaging in an effort to cover up their deception. This resolution holds Boeing accountable for its employees’ criminal misconduct, addresses the financial impact to Boeing’s airline customers, and hopefully provides some measure of compensation to the crash-victims’ families and beneficiaries. Acting Assistant Attorney General David P. Burns of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. Aviation analysts react to Boeing criminal fine Aviation consultant Scott Hamilton (our guest in episode 398) says the penalty is a “slap on the wrist.” He notes that Airbus paid nearly twice that for a bribery case and there were no fatalities involved there. Hamilton wants to see leadership changes at Boeing. Charles Herrmann, a lawyer representing more than 50 families of 737 crash victims says the fine is appropriate. Boeing has already suffered financially and doesn’t need to be put out of business. “He blames Boeing’s problems on a change in culture that began when they moved headquarters to Chicago.” See Jon Ostrower’s The Air Current piece Boeing’s MCAS on the 737 Max may not have been needed at all for many insights. Individuals who believe they may be an heir, relative, or legal beneficiary of one of the Lion Air Flight 610 or Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 passengers in this case should contact the Fraud Section’s Victim Witness Unit by email at: Victimassistance.email@example.com or call (888) 549-3945. FAA issues rules for supersonic jet flight testing in the US Press Release – FAA Announces Final Rule to Facilitate the Reintroduction of Civil Supersonic Flight On January 6, 2021, the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued a final rule (PDF) to facilitate the safe development of civil supersonic aircraft. The government says the rule is intended to streamline the application procedure for special flight authorizations to operate in excess of Mach 1 over land in the United States by Amending the administrative requirements for a special flight authorization, clarifying the information that is needed for submission, and specifying the program office within the FAA that processes the applications. Outside the special flight authorizations under this final rule, the FAA continues generally to prohibit civil supersonic flight over land in the United States. In place since 1973. This item came to our attention through an issue of Starburst Weekly, the newsletter of Starburst, a global aerospace accelerator. Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary says airline’s flights have collapsed from 2,000 a day to 10 but claims summer holidays WILL go ahead From 2,000 flights per day to “ten or twenty” starting January 21, 2021 is an enormous drop. Covid reductions are catastrophic to the travel industry but O’Leary anticipates that with vaccine availability, by the summer air travel should rebound. He opined that the failure of the Government to end travel restrictions was “beyond him” and it is “one of the great contradictions of the Government’s mismanagement of the Covid travel restrictions.” Flight attendant union wants pro-Trump rioters barred from flights FAA chief issues stern warning to travelers after politically-motivated flight disruptions The president of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, Sara Nelson, (our guest in episode 545) said “The mob mentality behavior that took place on several flights to the D.C. area yesterday was unacceptable and threatened the safety and security of every single person onboard.” On an American Airlines flight to Dulles International Airport, passengers shouted and cursed at each other. The flight attendant had to turn up the cabin lights and ordered passengers to return to their seats. On a Delta Air Lines flight carrying Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, some passengers started chanting “traitor.” Alaska Airlines banned 14 passengers on a Washington D.C.-Seattle flight. in a statement, FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said.“The FAA will pursue strong enforcement action against anyone who endangers the safety of a flight, with penalties ranging from monetary fines to jail time.” Passengers can face fines of up to $35,000. The message here is clear: Do what the crew tells you to do and don’t argue. It doesn’t matter what the issue is, or if you are right and somebody else is wrong. Do what the crew says or you face serious consequences. The Sriwijaya Air Crash: A Brief Rundown of What We Know Sriwijaya Air Flight SJ182: Hope for survivors fades as plane wreckage found off Indonesian coast Indonesian LCC Sriwijaya Air flight SJ182 with 62 people on board (50 PAX, 12 crew) crashed into the water off the Indonesian coast about five minutes into its flight. Four minutes after departing Jakarta, the Boeing 737-500 lost over 10,000 feet of altitude in less than a minute. Bad weather was reported in the area. Some wreckage and human remains have been found. A navy ship detected the emergency signals from the flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder. TSA’s 2021 dog calendar stars airport pups. Here’s how to get a free copy The Transportation Security Administration has more than 400 canine teams at airports around the country. Now you can see photos and learn fun facts about thirteen of the dogs with the 2021 TSA Canine Calendar [PDF]. For each dog, you’ll find the dog’s name, breed, airport, handler, favorite treat and favorite toys. Pipistrel G4 Mentioned Wendover Airfield Wild Nevada – Episode 411: Wendover to Elko, a PBS video that aired in 2018. The Pentagon Has 6 Months to Disclose What It Knows About UFOs
94 minutes | 3 months ago
635 Positive Aviation News
This special episode offers a roundtable discussion of the positive aviation news stories from 2020, the year everybody would like to forget. Participating are: Max Flight, David Vanderhoof, Max Trescott, Rob Mark, our Main(e) Man Micah, Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari, and uber-AvGeek Isaac Alexander. WWII letters point author to pilot who saved her dad’s life 12 wild things that happened in aviation in 2020 Top Aviation Stories Of 2020, Part I Top Aviation Stories Of 2020, Part II Congress Poised to Raise Standards for Assessing New Airliner Designs Good News for 2021 – Super Jumbo Still Possible You’ll definitely want to listen to the story Micah tells. We all wondered where it was going and what it had to do with aviation and this podcast, but Micah pulls it all together in a surprise ending. Also, we put out a call to listeners for a possible Airplane Geeks challenge coin. If you have content ideas for such a coin, pass them along. If you have graphic design talents, we’d similarly love to see some sketches.
29 minutes | 3 months ago
634 The F-35 Demo Team
An interview with an F-35 pilot from the United States Air Force F-35 Lightning II Demonstration Team, and an audio recording of her aerobatic performance. F-35 Lightning II Demonstration Team in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo © Max Flight.) This episode focuses on the United States Air Force F-35 Lightning II Demonstration Team that flew both days at the Sun ‘n Fun Holiday Flying Festival and Car Show held December 4-5, 2020 in Lakeland, Florida. That event included Central Florida Classic STOL qualifying and finals, a nighttime balloon glow, a car show, and an air show with the F-35, F-16, P-51, and the U.S. Army Special Operations Command Black Daggers. We recorded an interview with F-35 pilot Kristin “Beo” Wolfe that was posted on Facebook Live. This podcast episode includes the audio from that conversation but we’ve compensated for some audio quality issues in the video. In addition to the interview with Beo, we have a recording of her F-35 aerobatic performance at the Flying Festival. If you like the sound of a jet fighter on afterburner, you’ll enjoy this recording. We captured Beo’s F-35 flight as a high-resolution binaural recording. You can listen with earbuds or a good home speaker system, but for the best effect, you’ll need high-quality headphones. Good headphones will reproduce the spatial perspective of the F-35 flight and produce a visceral feeling almost like being there. Max Flight and F-35 demo pilot Kristin “Beo” Wolfe. We’d like to thank the F-35 Demo Team for giving us access to pilot Kristin “Beo” Wolfe after her first flying performance of the weekend. And thanks to Beo for her time after a long day. Mentioned Sun ‘n Fun Aerospace Expo coming to Lakeland, Florida April 13-18, 2021.
69 minutes | 4 months ago
633 Aviation Safety
A Congressional report is critical of aviation safety and the FAA, the Air Force flies an AI co-pilot, precision airdrops as a service, Antonov AN-124 cargo, Chinese SODramjet, world’s first female aeronautical engineer, airline emissions statistics, flying through smoke. Aviation News Boeing ‘inappropriately coached’ pilots in 737 MAX testing: U.S. Senate report The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation released a Committee Investigation Report titled Aviation Safety Oversight prepared by the Committee Republican staff. In testimony, whistleblowers were critical of Boeing and the FAA. The report says that concerning this year’s testing of the MCAS system, Boeing officials “had established a pre-determined outcome to reaffirm a long-held human factor assumption related to pilot reaction time … It appears, in this instance, FAA and Boeing were attempting to cover up important information that may have contributed to the 737 MAX tragedies.” Southwest Airlines Allegedly Cut Corners, Pilots Struggled to Get Planes to Take Off In the same report, a whistleblower working as an FAA safety inspector at a Southwest base alleged that the airline’s Performance Weight and Balance System (PWB) was flawed. The PWB system was introduced in 2017 but Southwest removed safety buffers and some pilots reported difficulty getting airborne. A Southwest spokesperson said, “We discovered a discrepancy between data systems involving the weight of a number of aircraft earlier this year. Southwest took immediate actions to prevent a recurrence, which included notifying the FAA, correcting the data discrepancies, and launching a daily audit to review each of the impacted systems.” Dash Systems raises $8M for precision-airdrops-as-a-service at distant or disaster-stricken destinations Dash Systems wants to expedite the “middle-mile” with military-inspired airdrops. They say Land the package not the planeTM and seek to drop pallets of parcels (“pods”) at their penultimate destinations, no matter how inaccessible the location is. The pods have control surfaces and a tail kit, and a method of slowing down and landing. Swirl-in Airlift: Irregular Antonov Flights Deliver Relief to Phoenix Laxative Factory Ukraine’s Antonov Airlines has been operating curious flights between Mumbai and Phoenix. Three An-124s have completed the route so far, and a fourth is enroute. Many speculated what the cargo is, but JetTip uncovers the true mission: “The avgeek rumor-mill provided some hints at its cargo, with people saying it was carrying silica, seeds, or medicine; the payload is tons and tons of psyllium (pronounced “si-lee-uhm”), a plant grown in India, whose primary use is as a fibrous laxative. Coincidentally, psyllium is the main ingredient in Metamucil, which is manufactured in Phoenix.” The Queen of the Hurricanes drove a Model A Roadster Elsie MacGill is reported to be the world’s first female aeronautical engineer. Born in Vancouver in 1905, she wore leg braces because of polio. At one point she was told she’d never walk again. In 1938 she became the chief aeronautical engineer at Canadian Car and Foundry (Can Car) in charge of the design and construction of the Maple Leaf II training biplane, the world’s first aircraft designed and built by a woman. MacGill retooled the Can Car factory to mass-produce the Hawker Hurricane, and she was responsible for coming up with a winterized version with skis. Elsie MacGill died in 1980, at the age of seventy-five. She was posthumously inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame in 1983. The Experimental Engine That Could Get Us Anywhere in the World in 2 Hours The Chinese have developed and demonstrated a Standing Oblique Detonation ramjet engine, or SODramjet for hypersonic propulsion at Mach 16. It’s an old concept that utilizes shock waves produced in the engine. The Chinese demonstrator reached Mach 9 in a wind tunnel. See The criteria for hypersonic airbreathing propulsion and its experimental verification in the Chinese Journal of Aeronautics. Air Force U-2 Surveillance Plane Flies First Mission with AI Copilot The U.S. Air Force flew a U-2 Dragonlady reconnaissance aircraft with an artificial intelligence system as the co-pilot. Going by the call sign ARTUµ (pronounced R-2), the algorithm took control of the sensor systems after take off in an exercise that simulated a missile strike. As the pilot flew the U-2, ARTUµ controlled sensors and navigation and watched for enemy launch weapons. Countries Ban U.K. Flights Amid Mutant Coronavirus Concerns Flights between the U.K. and a number of other countries are being banned after a new, more contagious coronavirus strain was detected. Mentioned Facebook’s artificial intelligence robots shut down after they start talking to each other in their own language Flying Dirty: Why Airlines Emissions Rise Even When They Try to Cut
85 minutes | 4 months ago
632 Fight Training with Jason Miller
Guest Jason Miller produces flight training videos, a critically acclaimed podcast (The Finer Points), and now the Ground School flight training app. In the news, legend Chuck Yeager dies at 97, flight training restrictions due to Covid-19 and airline plans to transport vaccines, insurance rates for pilots, Designated Pilot Examiners, and a hydrogen fuel cell-powered research aircraft. Guest Jason Miller Jason Miller is an award-winning CFI with more than 20 years of experience. He is the founder of the original flight training podcast, The Finer Points, and is the host of the fastest growing flight training channel on YouTube. He’s passionate about developing products that make a difference for real pilots in the real world and can be found online at learnthefinerpoints.com. Video: Ground School Tour. https://youtu.be/Rfiu8bGSkWA Aviation News Yeager Leaves a Legacy of Speed On December 7, 2020, Charles E. Yeager died of natural causes, at age 97. Besides breaking the sound barrier on October 14, 1947 in the Bell X-1, Yeager tested the YF-100 prototype of the F-100A, evaluated a Russian MiG 15 that had fallen into American hands, and on December 12, 1953, took the Bell X-1A to Mach 2.44 where he encountered “inertia coupling” at 76,000 feet. His skills were evident as he regained control at 25,000 feet. Flight School Association of North America (FSANA) FSANA says they are getting some reports of flight training restrictions and limitations that would limit in-person flight training. For example, Michigan has terminated all in-person collegiate instruction for at least a 3-week period. FSANA is also hearing concerns about crossing state boundaries for flight training and being subject to “return quarantines” due to state restrictions. Potential insurance relief on the horizon for older pilots? Many AOPA members are complaining that their premiums are spiking, coverages are being limited, and restrictions to just get covered are sometimes harsh—often with little to no explanation. “Not a day goes by that I don’t get a call about insurance rates,” says AOPA President Mark Baker. ow, AOPA’s strategic insurance partner AssuredPartners Aerospace, has teamed with an aviation insurer that will explore options for pilots up to age 79. This insurer will also offer potential coverage options for younger and newer pilots. Flight School Association of North America (FSANA) Although airman certification in the United States is conducted by the FAA, most of the actual certification of pilots is done by Designated Pilot Examiners (DPEs). They are certified as instructors, administer practical tests for airmen, and charge for their services. DPE’s serve at the pleasure of the FAA, meaning the FAA can revoke the privilege at any time, with or without need for cause. Recently, there have been two terminations of DPEs that have been reported in the press. FSANA is interested in the review process and termination, and/or appeal of such a termination process. Perhaps some additional transparency is needed. Airlines Gear Up to Transport Vaccines That Could Revive Travel US Airlines have been planning the distribution of Covid vaccine for months in anticipation of a huge demand for transport capacity. Airlines even are preparing to run vaccine-only flights. United says a single 777 can carry up to one million doses. Some vaccines need extreme cooling with dry ice – carbon dioxide – which is regulated by the FAA. United conducted some tests and asked the FAA to raise the limit so it could fly the Pfizer vaccine from Brussels to Chicago. The agency agreed, allowing the airline to carry up to 15,000 pounds of dry ice aboard a Boeing 777-224, compared with the previous limit of 3,000 pounds. See FAA Advisory Circular Re: Transporting Dry Ice [PDF]. Hydrogen-Powered HY4 Rolled Out The HY4 research aircraft was shown by a consortium of European companies and organizations. Details are scarce, but the twin-boom HY4 looks like it is based on the Pipistrel Aircraft Taurus G4. The Taurus utilizes two electric gliders joined by a center section wing with an electric motor. The HY4 hydrogen drive uses a fuel cell powering a 160-HP electric motor. With a top speed of 108 knots, range is claimed to be up to 900 miles. Test flights began last month and more than 30 takeoffs and flights of up to two hours have been completed. See the HY4 website. HY4 – 2020 6th Generation, courtesy H2FLY.
52 minutes | 4 months ago
631 Airlines Plan 737 MAX Return to Service
US airlines are releasing plans for the 737 MAX return to service, pilots are being advised to hold off participation in clinical vaccine trials, Southwest Airlines warns of its first-ever furlough, in-flight cell phone calls are off the table at the FCC, a final rule is announced for traveling by air with service animals, and the Paris Air Show is canceled for 2021. Aviation News US airlines detail plans for resuming Boeing 737 Max flights In the US, the 737 MAX is operated by American Airlines, United, and Southwest. Those airlines are already making return to service announcements and passengers who don’t want to fly the MAX can change flights without penalty. American starts service on December 29, 2020, between New York LaGuardia and Miami, United service starts first quarter 2021, and Southwest service starts in the second quarter of 2021. Post-crash recovery: How one airline plans to restore confidence in the Boeing 737 MAX American Airlines COO David Seymour says, “We didn’t intend to be first to put the Max back in the air. But the only way to truly build confidence is by flying it. You don’t build that back by sitting on the ground.” American Airlines TechOps said it will take six to eight days to make each aircraft compliant with the new requirements for MCAS software updates (which take six hours) and flight control system re-wiring. That will be followed by a two-hour Operational Readiness Flight (ORF). AA Reviewing Whether Pilots Can Take COVID Vaccine Should commercial pilots take the Covid vaccine when it becomes available? Can they and still keep their medical? The FAA is waiting for the outcome of the upcoming meeting of the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee. The Air Line Pilots Association is telling its members to not take part in clinical trials for vaccines. Southwest Airlines warns it could furlough 6,800 employees to cut costs If they occur, these would be the first furloughs ever for Southwest Airlines. The number amounts to 12% of the airline’s staff. Southwest says negotiations with labor unions to cut costs have produced a “lack of meaningful progress.” FCC Walks Back Plan To Allow In Flight Cell Service The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is no longer going to look into a ruling that would allow passengers to make in-flight cell phone calls on domestic United States flights. The FCC said, “The record is insufficient to determine any reasonable solution that would strike an appropriate balance of competing interests. There is strong opposition to the Commission’s proposals from many commenters in this proceeding, including our nation’s airline pilots and flight attendants.” U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Final Rule on Traveling by Air with Service Animals The U.S. Department of Transportation is revising its Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) regulation concerning the transportation of service animals by air. The final rule defines a service animal as a dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of a person with a disability. An emotional support animal is no longer considered to be a service animal. The final rule will be effective 30 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register. Cancellation of the 2021 edition of the Paris Air Show [PDF] “In light of the uncertainty linked to the current COVID-19 health crisis, the Paris Air Show organization has made the decision to cancel the 2021 edition of the show, which was scheduled to take place from 21 to 27 June 2021. The next edition of the Paris Air Show will be held in June 2023, at a date that will be announced shortly. Exhibitors will receive a full refund of all sums already paid and the Paris Air Show will take full financial responsibility for this decision.” Airplane Geeks Listener Poll 628 Do you intend to fly to a vacation destination in 2021? 50% said Yes, 16% said No, and 34% said Maybe.Do you expect to fly for business in 2021? 41% said Yes, 36% said No, and 23% said Maybe. Mentioned Obituary: Ralph Weymouth
51 minutes | 4 months ago
630 Flying During a Pandemic
In this special episode, we talk with former co-host Brian Coleman. He recently flew commercial from California to Florida and he tells us about his experiences at the airport, inflight, and at the hotel during a global pandemic. Mentioned TABfabric, specializing in vintage fabrics, notions, masks, and more.
91 minutes | 5 months ago
629 Boeing 737 MAX Return to Service Airworthiness Directive
We talk with an Air Traffic Controller at London Heathrow who also acts as deputy manager of the ATC team for the RIAT airshow. In the news, FAA airworthiness directive permits the Boeing 737 MAX to return to service, Delta and tariffs on Airbus aircraft, Gatwick slot usage and planned labor action at Heathrow, speed dating in the air, Norwegian Air Shuttle troubles, autonomous airplane tugs, and a F/A-18C Hornet goes into the National Air & Space Museum. Guest Adam Spink has been an air traffic controller at the Heathrow Airport tower for 22 years. He’s also an instructor, examiner, and supervisor. Adam’s main job is in the Procedures and Development office working on new procedures and equipment. Adam explains aircraft wake turbulence and the Time Based Separation (TBS) used at Heathrow to increase the aircraft landing rate, including the implications for air traffic controllers when planes are separated by time instead of by distance. See: New separation standard permanently adopted over the North Atlantic. We also learn how the environmental aspects of aviation fit into key performance measures and controller metrics that include reduced emissions. In addition to his job as a NATS controller at Heathrow, Adam acts as deputy manager of the ATC team for the Royal International Air Tattoo airshow (RIAT) held at RAF Fairford in the UK. He’s a member of the UK Air Transport Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme (the equivalent of NASA ASRS), and a member of various international working groups on low visibility ops, satellite-based navigation, and radar systems. Adam speaks about human factors at various medical school/medical university courses. Find Adam on Twitter and Instagram. Aviation News U.S. lifts Boeing 737 MAX flight ban after crash probes, tough hurdles remain On November 20, 2020, the FAA issued AD 2020-24-02, Airworthiness Directives; The Boeing Company Airplanes [PDF] superseding Airworthiness Directive 2018-23-51, which applied to all Boeing Company Model 737-8 and 737-9 (737 MAX) airplanes. AD 2018-23-51 required revising certificate limitations and operating procedures of the Airplane Flight Manual (AFM) to provide the flight crew with runaway horizontal stabilizer trim procedures to follow under certain conditions. The new AD requires installing new flight control computer (FCC) software, revising the existing Airplane Flight Manual to incorporate new and revised flight crew procedures, installing new MAX display system (MDS) software, changing the horizontal stabilizer trim wire routing installations, completing an angle of attack (AOA) sensor system test, and performing an operational readiness flight. Southwest deploys team to bring 737 MAX jets out of desert Southwest Airlines has 34 Boeing 737 MAX jets in storage in Victorville, California. The airline sent a team of mechanics to start the process of bringing its jets out of storage. 737 MAX flights at Southwest should resume the second quarter of 2021. There will be no re-booking charge for passengers who are uncomfortable flying on the MAX. European regulator to lift Boeing 737 MAX grounding in January The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) executive director said the 737 MAX is safe to fly. “We wanted to carry out a totally independent analysis of the safety of this aircraft, so we performed our own checks and flight tests. All these studies tell us that the 737 MAX can return to service. We have started to put in place all the measures. It is likely that in our case we will adopt the decisions, allowing it to return to service, sometime in January.” Delta Skirts Trump Tariffs by Sending Airbus Jets on World Tour As part of the Boeing/Airbus subsidy battle, tariffs were placed on European-built Airbus aircraft in October 2019. Delta has taken delivery of seven planes since then, but instead of flying them to the United States, the airline based them overseas, avoiding the tariff because they weren’t imports. In a statement to Bloomberg News, Delta said “We have made the decision not to import any new aircraft from Europe while these tariffs are in effect. Instead, we have opted to use the new aircraft exclusively for international service, which does not require importation.” Suspension of airport “80/20” slot usage rule to last till end of March 2021 – Gatwick not happy Until March 2020, European regulations required that an airline use 80% of its landing slots or they were lost. But because of the huge drop in travel demand, the rule was suspended for six months, then extended for another 6 months, to 27th March 2021. Gatwick airport wants the old slot rules reinstated before summer 2021. Heathrow Staff To Strike For 4 Days In December London’s Heathrow Airport wants to cut costs by reducing wages. The large Unite trade union says the airport plans to fire some 4,000 workers, then rehire them at lower wages. 85% of the union membership voted in favor of strikes in protest. Airline offers speed-dating on dead-end ‘flight to nowhere’ Taiwanese carrier EVA Air and travel experience company are offering flights called “Fly! Love Is In the Air!” Twenty men and twenty women will depart from Taipei, fly around the island for three hours, return to the airport, and pairs will then enjoy a two-hour date. Seating on the plane is by random draw, but mingling is allowed. Food is prepared by a Michelin-starred chef. Norwegian Air Is the Latest Trans-Atlantic Carrier to File for Bankruptcy in 2020 Due to Covid-19 Norwegian Air Shuttle has filed for protection from creditors in Ireland. Autonomous Electric Tow Tugs Could Cut Handling Costs Californian start-up Moonware says the aviation industry is stagnant. They want to do something about that. Moonware says they are “building an AI-powered fleet management network and subsequently deploying autonomous & electric vehicles to fundamentally reshape airport operations.” The company is developing a family of autonomous electrically powered tow tugs for aircraft ground handling. National Air and Space Museum Welcomes Blue Angels’ F/A-18C Hornet The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum has brought a Blue Angels’ F/A-18C Hornet BuNo 163439 into the collection. This is the first “Blue Angels” aircraft and the first F-18 the museum has acquired. Mentioned Save Whiteman airport, a change.org petition. Dobbins Reservists Tie the Knot Aboard a C-130
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