Airplane Geeks PodcastAuthor: Airplane Geeks
21 Jan 2017

Airplane Geeks Podcast

Discussing commercial, military, and general aviation since 2008.

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    435 Airline Weekly’s Seth Kaplan on Commercial Aviation

    435 Airline Weekly’s Seth Kaplan on Commercial AviationThis episode, we talk about commercial aviation with Seth Kaplan, Managing Partner at Airline Weekly. In the news, we look at supersonic passenger jets, the third class medical reform rules, a 747 cargo jet crash, who is at fault for the Germanwings crash, the state of inflight WiFi, and Piper Archers that are headed for China. Guest Seth Kaplan is Managing Partner at Airline Weekly, a subscriber-supported publication that provides valuable information and analysis of the commercial aviation business. Airline Weekly is an independent company of journalists and airline industry professionals who are passionate about commercial passenger aviation. Seth worked as a newspaper and television reporter, covering aviation, transportation, and other issues. He switched to the public sector and served in various executive roles with the Miami-Dade County government. Then in 2005 Seth combined his love of both aviation and journalism to become managing partner of Airline Weekly. Since then, he has become a globally recognized airline expert and is frequently asked by print and broadcast media to provide his perspectives. Seth speaks frequently at industry events, and has taught many airline economics courses to executives and staff at airlines around the world. Seth Kaplan and Jay Shabat authored the book, Glory Lost and Found: How Delta Climbed from Despair to Dominance in the Post-9/11 Era. Seth and Airline Weekly VP Jason Cottrell host the excellent Airline Weekly Lounge podcast. Aviation News Aviation in 2017: Supersonic jets and premium economy We look at the value and practicality of supersonic passenger jets. In November, 2016, Boom Technology showed a ⅓-scale prototype of their XB-1 Supersonic Demonstrator called "Baby Boom." According to their website, they have “A breakthrough aerodynamic design, state-of-the-art engine technology, and advanced composite materials [to] enable an ultra-fast airliner as efficient and affordable as business class in today's subsonic wide-body airliners.” Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and others are also developing supersonic passenger jets. FAA Releases Third Class Medical Reform Final Rule FAA calls the new rule "BasicMed" and it becomes effective May 1, 2017. AOPA President and CEO Mark Baker says the rule is, “the best thing to happen to general aviation in decades.” AOPA plans to offer a free online medical course to let pilots comply with the BasicMed rules. Cargo Jet Crash Kills Dozens in Kyrgyzstan Village A Boeing 747 cargo jet flying from Hong Kong to Istanbul and trying to land in intermittent dense fog, crashed into a village near Kyrgyzstan's main airport. Dozens of people on the ground were killed German investigators find only pilot Lubitz at fault in Germanwings crash German prosecutors have determined that Andreas Lubitz is solely accountable for the Germanwings plane crash in March 2015. Lubitz concealed his illness from his employer and neither doctors, Lufthansa, Germanwings, or the German aviation authority could be held accountable. Chaos in the cockpit: A new view of the deadliest plane crash in Akron history Inexperience, weather, and pilot confusion conspired against the chartered Hawker that never reached its destination. Wi-Fi available on 83% of U.S. airline seats According to a report by Routehappy, Internet availability on U.S. airlines was 83% in 2016, up from about 74% in 2015. Internet availability on foreign airlines was only 28%. However in many instances, connection speeds are too slow to support video streaming. Worldwide, only 7.2% of fliers would find Wi-Fi fast enough to stream videos or movies. China Air Shuttle Orders 50 Archers China Air Shuttle, the approved Piper Aircraft dealer for Archer airplanes in China, has ordered 50 Archers. They will distribute those aircraft to flight schools and general aviation companies in the region.

  • Posted on 18 Jan 2017

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    434 Aviation Law

    An attorney and pilot discusses aviation law.

  • Posted on 11 Jan 2017

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    433 Aviation News and Listener Feedback

    A discussion of recent aviation news, a look back at aviation in 2016, and ahead to 2017.

  • Posted on 04 Jan 2017

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    432 The Pilot Logbook

    A private pilot tells us about pilot logbooks and the electronic logbook he developed. In the news, FAA releases the final Part 23 rule for GA airworthiness standards, Diamond Aircraft has attracted the attention of the Chinese, Cessna puts an end to an LSA, a study of airline pilot depression, flight attendants learn self-defense, and Airbus thinks plug-and-play for cabin modules. Guest Ken VeArd is a private pilot with Instrument rating for SEL and MEL with over 750 hours. In 1997 when Ken was a student pilot, he thought there had to be a better way to log flights than using a stack of paper. He developed the Pilot Partner system which continues to define how an electronic pilot logbook can unlock the potential of the data stored inside. Ken explains the purposes and requirements for pilot logbooks, the lack of explicit standards, and who uses logbook information. We consider paper versus electronic logbooks, and how to make a transition. Ken discusses data hosting in a way that protects customers, and the CFI dashboard, a set of free tools that allows flight instructors to electronically link to the logbooks of their students, benefiting the quality of the instruction received. Reference eLogbook Logistics: Considerations for Moving from Paper Log to Digital Login [PDF] by Susan Parson in FAA Safety Briefing May/June 2016. (Susan was our guest in Episode 397 Airman Certification Standards.) Converting From Paper Easy Way - Carry In Totals: Paper Logbook to Electronic: The Easy Way Hybrid Way - Maintain electronic and paper: Get the benefits from an electronic logbook, but have paper to backup your flight records for CFIs, check rides, and airline interviews. Take pictures of your paper based endorsements and key signatures and attach them in Pilot Partner. Log electronically first, and catch up paper later. Convert Completely - Burn the Paper: Best done when you have little flying history or have a lot of time on your hands.  Enter or import all of your flights and attach images of all of your CFI Endorsement and Training Endorsements (Signatures).  Move forward with logging electronically. News Press Release – FAA Issues Final Rule on Small Airplane Safety Certification Standards FAA issued a new Part 23 rule that overhauls the airworthiness standards for small general aviation airplanes. The Agency believes this rule will reduce the time it takes to move safety enhancing technologies for small airplanes into the marketplace and will also reduce costs. Diamond Aircraft Reportedly Sold To Chinese Interests Chinese firm acquires global aircraft manufacturing giant Reportedly, Chinese conglomerate Wanfeng Auto Holding Group has invested in at least a portion of Diamond Aircraft. Details are limited, but Diamond has had a manufacturing facility in China for some time. Wanfeng is based in Zhejiang and includes aircraft manufacturing, robotics and financial services in its business portfolio. Cessna Scraps Unsold Skycatchers Unable to make a commercial success of their 162-model Skycatcher light sport airplane program, Cessna has scrapped the remaining inventory of its airplanes. Airplane pilot mental health and suicidal thoughts: a cross-sectional descriptive study via anonymous web-based survey This study of commercial airline pilots was published in BioMed Central. 3485 pilots were surveyed, with about half of them completed the web-based survey conducted between April and December 2015. “This is the first study to describe airline pilot mental health–with a focus on depression and suicidal thoughts–outside of the information derived from aircraft accident investigations, regulated health examinations, or identifiable self-reports, which are records protected by civil aviation authorities and airline companies.” See also, Airline pilots anonymously report suicidal thoughts, study finds. Flight and fight: Attendants learn self-defense in the air Since 2004,

  • Posted on 21 Dec 2016

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    431 The Seattle Aerospace Scene

    A Seattle Times aerospace reporter tells us about the Boeing 777X, the 787 Dreamliner, the Boeing manufacturing processes, and more. In the news, inflight WiFi phone calls, air traffic controllers behaving badly, an audit of privatized flight service, United Airlines helps young dance competitors, and a seaplane with an impressive paint job. We also have a listener report about the Canadian Fixed-Wing Search and Rescue Program. Guest Dominic Gates is the aerospace reporter for the Seattle Times. We discuss a variety of topics, including the recent Boeing 777 production rate cut due to softening demand and the production requirements for 777X flight test aircraft. We talk about the business decline of the 747 and the Air Force One replacement. Also, the requirement to restart 787 Dreamliner flight control modules and 787-10 final assembly in South Carolina. We look at globalization issues and Boeing’s strategy to rely on an extensive supply chain. Dominic also tells us about some of his memorable stories and scoops, as well as those that impacted labor. Originally from Northern Ireland, Dominic taught high school calculus in Ireland and in Africa. He met his future wife and in 1992 moved to Seattle, where he switched careers to journalism. Dominic originally established himself as a journalist by freelancing, but eventually joined the Seattle Times as aerospace reporter in January 2003, his first newspaper job. The Boeing beat is the highest-profile business beat at the Times and as the aerospace reporter, Dominic has broken many high-impact stories. His tenure at the Times coincides exactly with the story of the 787 Dreamliner. In 2003, just a month into the job, he broke the story in March that Boeing would hold a competition among the states for the final assembly location of its 7E7 airplane. On December 5 of that year, he revealed that Boeing's 7E7 team was recommending Everett for final assembly. Ten days later, Boeing's board made it official. Ever since, he has closely tracked the many twists and turns of the 787 story. Dominic attends the European Air Shows each year and makes regular reporting trips to airplane leasing conferences, to Boeing plants around the U.S., including Charleston, and to Boeing suppliers, such as Spirit in Wichita. He has toured and written about the Airbus final assembly plants in Toulouse, the Airbus wing factory in Wales, and the Bombardier CSeries wing plant in Belfast. Find Dominic on Twitter as @dominicgates, on Facebook, and at the Seattle Times. News Feds could allow Wi-Fi phone calls on airline flights The Chicago Tribune reports that The U.S Department of Transportation announced it could see allowing WiFi phone calls if airlines tell customers about the policy when they buy their tickets. This is so customers who don’t want to sit next to others making calls could make other travel arrangements. DOT Proposes Rule to Protect Airline Passengers From Being Unwillingly Exposed to Voice Calls on Aircraft U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said, “Consumers deserve to have clear and accurate information about whether an airline permits voice calls before they purchase a ticket and board the aircraft. Today’s proposal will ensure that air travelers are not unwillingly exposed to voice calls, as many of them are troubled over the idea of passengers talking on cell phones in flight.” Members of the public can comment on the NPRM at www.regulations.gov, docket number DOT-OST-2014-0002. 60 days. Look for DOT-OST-2014-0002-1795. Air traffic controllers take a nap and grab a snack while pilots’ calls go unanswered The Boise Idaho Police Department says that after two helicopter pilots were unable to contact controllers, officers entered the Boise Airport air traffic control tower. One controller was sleeping and the other controller had left the tower and smelled of marijuana. Privatizing Flight Service Saved Money, Faces New Challenges

  • Posted on 14 Dec 2016

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