Southwest Safety FAA Findings! Safety Culture to Blame?

By Karlene Pettit, 

Could this Event Have Been Avoided?


The only way to create change is to stand up and tell the truth, despite the repercussions. However, sometimes individuals stay silent because they have families to feed and mortgages to pay and their careers are threatened. Thus, we needed a little government reform to help. Safety Management Systems (SMS) is an FAA mandate to improve safety. However, SMS demands a positive Safety Culture. Yet, without a Reporting and Just Culture, Safety Culture declines.

See more of Karlene's article Click to go to her website:

The World's Busiest Airport Revealed

By CNN News

 It's not just you: Airports really are getting busier. Close to 104 million passengers passed though the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson Int'l. Airport in 2017, making it the world's busiest passenger airport for another year. That's according to preliminary 2017 data released Monday by Airports Council International. Globally, there were significant increases in passenger numbers, cargo, international freight and total aircraft movements. With flight routes this busy, it's surprising we can see the sky at all.

Major connecting hub

Atlanta can thank its location as a major connecting hub and port of entry into North America for its continued dominance. The city is within a two-hour flight of 80% of the United States population of more than 300 million people. However, that could change by next year. Atlanta was the only airport in the top 20 to see a decrease in passenger traffic last year, with a small drop of 0.26%. Beijing Capital International has long nipped at the heels of the Hartsfield-Jackson and has held the top spot for two decades. This year, the Chinese capital's airport came in second place again with 94.4 million passengers (a 1.5% increase). The overall news is also good for the world's airports. Worldwide passenger traffic increased 6.6% in 2017, while international passenger numbers were up 8.4%.  Worldwide cargo traffic, including mail, rose 7.9%. The world's largest air cargo hub remains Hong Kong, China. The US city of Memphis, Tennessee, took the second spot, followed by Shanghai, China.  ACI's preliminary figures and percentages from the annual report are based on data from more than 1,200 airports worldwide.

Delhi's rapid growth

The international airport to watch is Delhi, according to ACI.The 22nd busiest passenger airport in 2016, Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport jumped into 16th position in 2017. Total passenger traffic grew by 14.1%. "India is poised to be one of the largest aviation markets in the world in the years to come," ACI claims in its report, noting that Calcutta, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Madras all saw growth of between 10% and 27%.  The second busiest US airport on the list is Los Angeles International Airport, which saw a 4.49% increase in traffic last year. LAX was still knocked from fourth place to fifth place on the global list by Tokyo International Haneda Airport, with its impressive 6.46% growth. Total international freight was up 9.9% on 2016, while total aircraft movements was up 2.4%. "The surge in cargo volumes and passenger numbers across many of the world's airports is testament to heightened business and consumer confidence, at least in the short term," Angela Gittens, director general of ACI World, says. "Connecting people, business and places still remains paramount to the aviation sector despite the recent threats of a step backwards in market liberalization in some major economies."

The world's busiest airports 2017

1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Int"l Airport (Georgia) -- 104 million passengers

2. Beijing Capital International Airport (China) -- 96 million

3. Dubai International Airport (United Arab Emirates) -- 88 million

4. Tokyo Haneda International Airport (Japan) -- 85 million

5 Los Angeles International Airport (California) -- 84.6 million

6. Chicago's O'Hare International Airport (Illinois) -- 80 million

7. London Heathrow Airport (United Kingdom) -- 78 million

8. Hong Kong International Airport (China) -- 73 million

9. Shanghai Pudong International Airport (China) -- 70 million

10. Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle (France) -- 69 million

11. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (Netherlands) -- 68.5 million

12. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (Texas) -- 67 million

13. Guangzhou Bai Yun International Airport (China) -- 66 million

14. Frankfurt Am Main Airport (Germany) -- 64.5 million

15. Atatürk International Airport (Turkey) -- 64 million

16. Indira Gandhi International Airport (India) -- 63.5 million

17. Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (Indonesia) -- 63 million

18. Singapore Changi Airport (Singapore) -- 62.22 million

19. Incheon International Airport (South Korea) -- 62.16 million

20 Denver International Airport (Colorado) -- 61 million

What's wrong with this list?  No New York Airport

ERAU Crash Investigation Focused On Wing Spar

By Joy Finnegan


The NTSB and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University officials are working together to determine what caused the PA-28R-201’s wing to fall off in mid-flight last week. The resulting accident killed two: Zach Capra, an ERAU student, and an FAA designated examiner, John S. Azma, conducting a checkride. Flight training resumed on Thursday for all aircraft at ERAU except the PA-28s. They remain grounded until inspections are completed. The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that witnesses, including air traffic controllers, said the aircraft’s wing “departed the aircraft,” causing it to spin out of control and then slam into a cow field about a half mile from Daytona Beach International Airport.

NTSB Investigator Aaron McCarter said during a news conference Thursday they are focusing their initial efforts on that fact. They are looking at maintenance and engineering records. The maintenance records for the Piper Arrow have already been provided by the school. The investigation into the crash will include metallurgists examining the plane’s wreckage, but a wing detaching inflight is rare, the investigator said. There are at least two Special Airworthiness Information Bulletins (SAIB), CE-11-13 and CE-11-12R1, saying the aircraft has the potential for corrosion on the wing front spar at the fuselage attach fitting. One warns of the potential for corrosion on the wing rear spar at the fuselage attach fitting. The SAIBs mention the increased risk associated with high moisture and salt water.

Capra was on a checkride for his commercial certificate and set to graduate on May 7. The ongoing investigation may take between 18 months to two years as is typical for the agency. See the Daytona Beach News Journal article here.

Los Angeles International Airport New train system

 By Airports   Illustrations via LAWA

Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to approve a 30-year $4.9B contract with LAX Integrated Express Solutions (LINXS) to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the automated people mover (APM) train system at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). The approval – announced on April 11 – marks the largest contract ever awarded in the City’s history. The item was heard at Los Angeles City Council’s Trade, Travel and Tourism (TTT) committee meeting on April 10, where it was also unanimously approved.“Making LAX the most passenger-friendly airport in the world means giving travellers what they need and have been asking for — reliable, convenient transportation to and from the terminals,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This historic investment will ensure that LAX is seamlessly connected with communities across the region.”


The Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Board of Airport Commissioners (BOAC) approved the contract at its April 5 meeting. Prior to that, BOAC selected LINXS as the recommended developer at the February 15 meeting and entered into an early works agreement, which allowed LINXS to begin pre-construction activities such as hiring, soil “We are pleased to have received unanimous approval from the Los Angeles City Council, the Trade, Travel and Tourism Committee and the Board of Airport Commission for this contract that will propel LAX to be amongst the world’s best airports.    The LINXS team contract brings more than we required, and through this partnership, this project will transform the airport and will also transform lives in our local community,” said Deborah Flint, CEO of LAWA. LINXS is comprised of Fluor, Balfour Beatty, ACS Infrastructure Development, Dragados USA, HOCHTIEF PPP Solutions, Flatiron, HDR and HNTB. Bombardier Transportation will provide the APM Operating System, including all vehicles.


“The new Automated People Mover will transform the LAX experience for travellers by removing the frustration of the tangled traffic inside the horseshoe,” said Councilman Joe Buscaino, Chair of the LA City Trade, Travel and Tourism Committee. “Coupled with the new consolidated rent-a-car facility and the LAX/Crenshaw line, in a few short years going to LAX will become stress less for generations to come.”testing, engineering and furthering design of the APM. Convenience, reliability and easy accessibility are key elements of the user experience and are integral requirements for the APM. Trains will arrive every two minutes, have wide doors for easy access with luggage, large windows for viewing, plenty of hand holds and seats. Station platforms are open air and have escalators, lifts and moving walkways for quick, convenient access to the terminals.

Architectural features include a viewing platform of the iconic Theme Building, an Experience LA centre with an 800 sq./ft. LED programmable screen and an LED light band that accents the 2.25 mile guideway. LAWA anticipates that the APM will offer a maximum ridership capacity of 10,000 passengers per hour and up to 87.7 million passengers per year. The system will be operational in 2023. The APM will be built using a public-private partnership contracting model. LINXS will be designing and constructing the system and will also be responsible for operating and maintaining the train and stations for a 30-year period

Flying Cars?

One Day, They Could Be Landing At This Downtown Highrise

By Rob Wile, Miami Herald

Jetson family, take note: One Miami developer is now preparing for flying cars. Dan Kodsi, CEO of Royal Palms Companies and developer of the Paramount Miami World Center complex downtown, says he is retrofitting the Paramount’s roof for a future that includes airborne personal transportation. “It’s not a question of if, but when,” Kodsi said.

The roof of the 60-story condo is being encased entirely in glass. Upon completion, it will serve as an observation deck for residents. When the flying-car future arrives, the rooftop will be outfitted with a landing pad, and the observation deck will become a sky lobby for coming and going commuters on the wing. The building is slated to open next spring. See more on the video.

Two Killed In ERAU Plane Crash
By Kate O'Connor

An Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University student pilot and FAA examiner were killed Wednesday morning when the when the Piper PA-28 they were flying crashed shortly after takeoff from Daytona Beach International Airport. The aircraft impacted in a pasture and some witnesses said they saw the aircraft's wing separate from the fuselage before the crash. The wing was reportedly located 150-200 yards away from the primary wreckage site. No distress call was received prior to the crash.

This is the first fatal accident involving an ERAU plane at either Embry-Riddle campus since the 2004 midair collision involving two ERAU-Prescott faculty members practicing an aerobatics routine. The last fatal accident involving an ERAU training flight occurred in 1999. “We are cooperating fully with the investigation of this tragic accident,” ERAU VP of marketing and communications Anne Botteri said in a statement to The Daytona Beach News‐Journal. “We will be releasing further information as soon as it’s available.” The victims have been identified as ERAU student and U.S. Navy
veteran Zachary Capra and FAA pilot examiner John S. Azma. The FAA and NTSB will be on-site to investigate.
Thai Airways Bans Overweight Passengers From Business Class By Simon Calder

Slim down or sit down at the back of the plane: that is the message from Thai Airways International. The Thai airline has banned passengers with waists bigger than 56 inches from the business class cabin of its Boeing 787-9 “Dreamliner” fleet. The airline, known as THAI, has fitted the safety belts in its premium cabin with airbags. The idea is to meet strict requirements on passenger survivability: basically, preventing the traveller’s head impacting the back of the seat in front in the event of sudden deceleration. The airbag manufacturer, AmSafe of Phoenix, Arizona, says the device provides “compliance for difficult to certify seat placements”. The firm describes the airbag as: “A self-contained, modular restraint system specifically designed to improve occupant protection from serious head-impact injury during a survivable aircraft crash, and enhance the occupant’s ability to egress the aircraft.” But passengers with a waist size above 56 inches cannot fit within the maximum travel of the belt.

Normally larger passengers are issued with a safety belt extender. But the airbags must be centred over the traveller’s waist to be safe and effective. The maker says: “The airbag deploys up and away from the seated passenger … providing protection to the head, neck and torso.” An extender would reduce the protection. The same restriction excludes a parent travelling with an infant on their lap in business class, branded by THAI as Royal Silk class. The Thai airline markets the premium product thus: “THAI invites you on a journey as smooth as silk in our elegant business class cabins that are inspired by the rich culture and heritage of Thailand. “Whatever your needs, we assure you that you will be perfectly equipped to either ease off and relax or catch up on the world of business.” Other airlines encourage larger passengers to travel in business class rather than economy, in order to be more comfortable.

THAI also warns passengers of the perils of lying on the floor on aircraft. The airline tells travellers: “Despite a clean and tidy floor, tiny dust particles in the carpet may cause allergic symptoms, and even affect the respiratory system. “Moreover, the onboard oxygen may not be circulated fully and sufficiently down on the floor, causing difficult to breathe, and, upon getting up, the passenger may feel lightheaded and dizzy. “Most importantly, when lying on the cabin floor contact with the metal parts of the seat and floor can cause severe injury, especially during turbulence.”

Embraer E190-E2 Granted Certification by FAA,


by Aviation Tribune

In a ceremony held at the Company’s facilities in São José dos Campos, Embraer received Type Certificate for the E190-E2, the first member of the E-Jets E2 family of commercial aircraft, from the Brazilian Civil Aviation Agency (Agência Nacional de Aviação Civil – ANAC), the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) and EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency). It is the first time that an aircraft program with the level of complexity of the E2 receives a type certificate from three major worldwide certification authorities simultaneously. It took just 56 months from program launch until the E190-E2 was certified. The E190-E2 features new ultra-high bypass ratio engines and a completely new wing and landing gear. Compared to the first-generation E190, 75% of the aircraft systems are new.

“Having had the pleasure of launching the E-Jets E2 family back in 2013, it is very emotional for me to see the E190-E2 reach Type Certificate today, on schedule and on budget. Our development teams have once again excelled in their creativity, dedication and competence! Not only all development targets were met, but several important ones like fuel burn, performance, noise and maintenance costs came in better than originally specified,” said Paulo Cesar de Souza e Silva, Embraer President & CEO. “I want to congratulate all the teams involved in the program, everyone at Embraer played a part in this tremendous achievement, bringing to the market the best and most efficient single-aisle aircraft in the world. The E190-E2, alongside with the Legacy 450, Legacy 500 and, soon, the KC-390, positions Embraer as one of the top aerospace companies in the world.”

The flight test program comprised four prototype aircraft which were subjected to rigorous testing. The E190-E2 test fleet completed over 2,000 flight hours. Some 45,000 hours of tests were conducted in laboratories with rigs for aircraft avionics, flight controls, and electrical, hydraulic, and environmental systems. “Today’s certification of the E190-E2 marks a pivotal milestone in the program. It’s reasonable to now anticipate an acceleration of commercial discussions with operators around the globe” said John Slattery, President & CEO, Embraer Commercial Aviation. “Today, many of the campaigns involving the E190-E2 and its bigger sibling the E195-E2 are with new operators for Embraer – and that’s very encouraging as we continue our trajectory towards 100 E-Jets operators around the world.”Widerøe, the largest regional airline in Scandinavia, is the first airline in the world to receive the brand-new E190-E2 and will put the aircraft in revenue service in April. The airline has a contract for up to 15 E2 family jets consisting of three firm orders for the E190-E2 and purchase rights for 12 further E2 family aircraft.

Embraer recently announced some final flight test results confirming the E2 as the most efficient single-aisle aircraft on the market. In fuel consumption, the E190-E2 proved to be 1.3% better than originally expected, a 17.3% improvement compared to the current- generation E190. The E190-E2 also becomes the most environmentally friendly aircraft in its class, with the lowest levels of external noise and emissions. Flight test results also confirmed the E190-E2 to be better than its original specification in takeoff performance. The aircraft’s range from airports with hot-and-high conditions, such as Denver and Mexico City, increases by 600 nm compared to current-generation aircraft. Its range from airports with short runways, such as London City, also increases by more than 1,000 nm allowing the aircraft to reach destinations like Moscow and cities in the north of Africa.

The E190-E2 will also have the longest maintenance intervals among single-aisle aircraft with 10,000 flight hours for basic checks and no calendar limit for typical utilization. This means an additional 15 days of aircraft utilization over ten years compared to current generation E-Jets. Another key gain is with pilot transition training time. Pilots of current-generation E-Jets will need only 2.5 days of training and no full flight simulator to be qualified to fly an E2. Embraer is the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial jets up to 150 seats. The Company has 100 customers from all over the world operating the ERJ and E-Jet families of aircraft. For the E-Jets program alone, Embraer has logged more than 1,800 orders and 1,400 deliveries, redefining the traditional concept of regional aircraft by operating across a range of business applications.

FBI Seeks Mechanic Linked To Valujet Crash That Killed

110 In 1996
By Amy Lieu | Fox News

The FBI’s Miami Field Office is trying to locate an airline mechanic who may be linked to a 1996 airline crash that killed 110 people. It is offering a $10,000 reward in a "Wanted" poster calling for information about a man identified as Mauro Ociel Valenzuela-Reyes.The mechanic was criminally charged in the crash of ValuJet Flight 592 after he allegedly mishandled and packaged oxygen generators placed in the plane’s cargo space, the Miami Herald reported.

The generators didn’t have safety caps and ignited in the cargo area, according to the FBI.  At the time, Valenzuela-Reyes worked for the now defunct SabreTech, the airline’s maintenance contractor. But he never faced charges and fled, FBI Miami Special Agent Jacqueline Fruge said in a news release obtained by the Herald.  “We’ve tried over the years to find him,” Fruge said. “It bothers me. I’ve lived and breathed it for many, many years.” “We’ve tried over the years to find him. It bothers me. I’ve lived and breathed it for many, many years.”- FBI Miami Special Agent Jacqueline Fruge. 

On May 11, 1996, Flight 592 took off from Miami International Airport. Shortly after, the pilot reported a fire in the cargo area, and the aircraft plunged into the Everglades, west of Miami. A 1996 Miami Herald archive story said the plane “slammed nose-first into the muck and disappeared under the earth.” An FBI “Wanted” poster released this week includes a photo of Valenzuela-Reyes in 1996 and progessive aging images of how he may look today. The reward is for information on his whereabouts, in hopes of leading to “a tip to bring him to justice,” Fox Miami reported. He faces additional federal charges for fleeing and failure to appear at his trial. According to the FBI, Valenzuela-Reyes has connections to Atlanta, where his ex-wife and kids have lived, and Santiago, Chile, where he has relatives, the report said. 

Authorities believe he may be living under a false identity, Fox Miami reported.

Fruge has been the primary agent on the case since it began and has worked with the families of the victims over the years. She said they “want closure,” the Herald reported.Two other SabreTech employees were also reportedly charged in the criminal case, but were acquitted. The ValuJet name is no longer in the skies, as the company merged with another airline a year after the disaster, the 1996 archival Herald report said. 

Amy Lieu is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.

Airshow Pilot OK After Crash In Aerobatic MXS-RH

By Mary Grady

 Airshow pilot Rob Holland was able to walk away after a forced landing that destroyed his custom MXS-RH aerobatic show plane last week. Holland said in a Facebook post last Wednesday he had taken off from the Naval Air Station in Kingsville, Texas, about 4:30 p.m. on March 25, heading for Shreveport, Louisiana. He was about 15 minutes into the flight, at 11,500 feet, when the airplane “had a catastrophic engine failure” and lost all power, he wrote. The canopy was immediately covered with oil and he had "zero forward visibility.” Given the terrain, he determined an off-airport landing was not a good option, and high winds at the surface ruled out a parachute. Depending on his EFIS system, he was able to find a nearby runway, and aimed for it.

There was a low scattered-to-broken cloud layer around the vicinity of my landing site, which obstructed my view of the runway,” Holland wrote. “I glided through an opening in the clouds.” The runway, at an abandoned airfield, was only about 30 feet wide and 1,650 feet long, Holland wrote He touched down at a normal landing speed of about 90 knots, but with a 20-knot tailwind. About 200 feet down the runway, the landing gear hit a large piece of stray debris — part of a roof blown there by Hurricane Harvey, Holland wrote. The left main landing gear was torn completely off the plane. The plane skidded on its belly down the runway, coming to rest about 30 feet off the right side of the runway. “The plane remained upright and straight the entire time,” Holland wrote. Holland was unhurt, but the airplane is damaged beyond repair, he said. He is already working with MX Aircraft to build a new airplane, he said.

Germania Flight Set To Take Off Collided With An EL Al Plane

By Airlive Contributors

Two planes collided on the ground during pushback at Tel Aviv, Ben Gurion airport. A Germania flight #GMI 4915 set to take off for Berlin-TXL, collided Wednesday morning at Ben-Gurion Airport with an El Al plane flight #LY 385 to Rome just minutes later. The German Boeing 737-700 (registration D-ABLB) suffered severe damage to its vertical stabilizer, which was almost completely cleaved off with the Israeli Boeing 767-300 (registration 4X-EAK) horizontal stabilizer.

Ofer Lefler, spokesman for the Israel Airports Authority, said “the incident is under investigation and further details will be given later.” The chief accident investigator at the Transportation Ministry launched an investigation into the incident. The person responsible for the incident is apparently the driver of the tow truck that took the German company’s plane from the terminal towards the route. There were no casualties and all passengers were safely taken back to the terminal.  Click here to go to Video hyperlink.

Air New Zealand and United Airlines Announce New Nonstop Service Between Chicago and Auckland

MIAMI — Air New Zealand will launch new nonstop service between Auckland and Chicago as part of United Airlines’ joint venture, starting on November 30, 2018. New Zealand flag carrier will operate the route three times a week on a year-round service with its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. “We expect the addition of Chicago to our network to be an attractive option for Americans keen to explore New Zealand and Kiwis wanting to visit Chicago or head on to other North American destinations,” says Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon. Additionally, United announced an extension of its seasonal service between San Francisco and Auckland to year-round, beginning April 2019.

Luxon also added “this new route is also good news for New Zealand, as we expect it to contribute around $70 million annually to our economy, and we know that more than 50% of spending by U.S. visitors is done outside of the main centers. We’ll be working alongside our colleagues at United Airlines to grow the route and visitor numbers in both directions.” San Francisco-Auckland route is expected to be operated year-round on a three-time a week service. According to United, the flight arriving in Auckland will offer passengers more than 20 connections across the region. United also added that the route will be operated by a Boeing 777-300ER between November and March and a Boeing 777-200ER between April to October.

On Board the Inaugural Auckland-Houston Flight with Air New Zealand

MIAMI— New routes mean inaugural flight parties and Air New Zealand stepped up to the plate this week with the launch of service from its hub at Auckland to Houston, Texas. The new route is the longest in the company’s network and offers an opportunity for the carrier to show off what its CEO calls its “fired up, highly engaged” staff and “great Kiwi food and wine” in transporting passengers to and fro. Airways News was hosted in the carrier’s Premium Economy cabin on the Boeing 777-200ER for the trip, offering the opportunity to put the service and cabin through the paces. The entire Air New Zealand operation is keen on the new route; during domestic flights earlier in the week adverts for the Houston service were spotted in the rotation on the overhead IFE systems. Similarly, the airport was adorned with posters celebrating the new service. Travelers on the inaugural were treated to a special reception in the lounge (assuming they had access via premium cabin or elite status) with passed canapés and beverages, plus the opportunity to mingle with company executives, many of whom were also on the flight. This selection was arguably a downgrade from the impressive spread of food and drinks available, but it was offered without needing to walk around. Naturally, I chose to try both options for research.

There were no big speeches nor over-the-top events at the boarding gate though there were signs celebrating Texas culture and mini pecan pies given out to passengers prior to boarding. Once on the aircraft it was clear that this would be a special flight. The “Kia Ora Y’all” theme for the trip was on the headrests and travelers in Premium Economy and Business received a special amenity kit to commemorate the event. Shortly after the plane lifted off the runway at Auckland the party quickly resumed. Passengers were once again up mingling and enjoying the experience. Drink service was something of a challenge with everyone in the aisles but the crew made it work. One interesting quirk on the catering cart: Havana Club Especial was the rum of choice for the flight in to Texas. Needless to say, I do not expect that it will be the same option for the return segment. Also, it is delicious with an apple tart.

Following the meal I settled in for a movie and some sleep.

The IFE system is based on the Panasonic eX2 platform but Air New Zealand “customized the hell out of it” as it was incorporated into the fleet. The menus and operation are smooth and responsive, both from the handset control or the touch screen. The moving map (still my favorite channel) allows touch screen based pan and pinch-to-zoom with spectacular levels of detail. It is one of the best eX2 implementations I’ve had the opportunity to fly with. The newer Premium Economy product on the 772 presents a downgrade from the 777-300ER in that the cabin layout goes from 2-2-2 to 2-4-2 meaning some passengers will be stuck in a middle seat. The loss of seat width and switch from the more plush arm chair-style layout has its drawbacks but also some positives. Legroom is significantly improved on the newer version as is recline.

Ground Worker Injured At London Gatwick Airport After His Foot Was Struck Under Airbus A319’s Wheel By Airlive Contributors

According to reports, an Airbus A319 has struck a ground crew member at Gatwick airport during pushback.  Passengers were stuck onboard the Russia-bound aircraft for more than two hours as emergency services attended the scene. The Ros si ya (Rossiya)  aircraft to St Petersburg was suddenly halted moments before take-off and kept on the tarmac. Twitter user Flora Lu claimed the plane ran over the foot of a ground crew member. She added that the cabin crew told passengers that a person was trapped under the wheel. A spokesperson for Gatwick Airport told the Sun: “We can confirm that an incident took place on the airfield at 1710 where a Dnata employee was unfortunately injured and the emergency services were required to attend.”

The Dnata employee was taken to hospital by air ambulance and an investigation has been opened into the incident. Töm Chapman_TCXHD @HeresTommy  said: No idea what is going on but I’m speaking broken English. I have been told that a member of the ground team has been injured here as we planned to take off to Russia from Gatwick?! @BBCNews @SkyNewsBreak @itvnews @LondonNewsUK #gatwick.

China Airline Dumps 30 Tons Of Fuel While On Air To Save Passenger’s Life

By Katrina Hallare Inquirer.Net/Asia News Network

60-year-old unidentified woman complained of breathing difficulties while on board the plane from Shanghai, China, en route to New York Friday night.One pilot for the China Eastern Airlines decided to dump 30 tons of fuel in mid-air to enable the plane to  land safely to save a passenger’s life. In a report by CGTN , it could be seen that she was being tended to by airline crew aboard the flight. She was then transferred from economy class to business class to let the crew perform first aid on her, Chinese media through The Straits Times reported. In a further bid to save her life, the pilot, Gu Jian, decided to discharge fuel so it could land at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Alaska.

A 60-year-old unidentified woman complained of breathing difficulties while on board the plane from Shanghai, China, en route to New York Friday night. In a report by CGTN, it could be seen that she was being tended to by airline crew aboard the flight. She was then transferred from economy class to business class to let the crew perform first aid on her, Chinese media through The Straits Times reported. In a further bid to save her life, the pilot, Gu Jian, decided to discharge fuel so it could land at the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport in Alaska. “The airplane’s weight was 282 tons, far more than the maximum landing weight,” Jian explained to CGTN. “When the sick passenger needed medical attention for safety reasons, the plane had to descend and dump gasoline at the same time.” After the procedure was done, the woman was rushed to a local hospital.

One passenger, identified as Ivy, praised Jian’s actions for the emergency landing, as saving lives should be a priority, the report said. The plane then refueled, took off and safely landed in New York after a six-hour delay. Meanwhile, the woman has been discharged and she and her daughter went on with their trip the next morning.  

Russian Runway Paved in Gold By Joy Finnegan cargo door of an Antonov An-12, a Soviet-era cargo plane, loaded with nine metric tons of gold broke open as the aircraft took off from Yakutsk in East Siberia. The aircraft’s door apparently gave way and broke off due to the weight shifting in the cargo hold. Gold alloy bars were then strewn across the runway and on the airport property. The aircraft then went on to land successfully at an airport several kilometers away. They were en route from a mine in Kupol to Krasnoyarsk and made a refueling stop in Yakutsk. It was carrying a cargo of gold-silver alloy bars belonging to the Chukot Mining and Geological Company, according to the Russian news agency, TASS.

All 172 bars of the gold/silver alloy were recovered, according to Russian authorities. However, a warning was issued stating that anyone finding a gold bar and failing to report it would be prosecuted, a New York Times story about the incident said. The gold alloy was reported to be worth $156 million. No one was injured in the incident.

WASP Florence “Shutsy” Reynolds Dies By Joy Finnegan


Florence “Shutsy” Reynolds of Connellsville, Penn., passed away Thursday, March 15, 2018, at home. She was 95. She took a Civilian Pilot Training Program at her local airport in Connellsville and completed it, receiving her pilot’s certificate at the end. According to the “Fly Girls the Series” blog, “Reynolds was required to sign a document promising that she would join the aviation military service in case of war. ‘That was a big joke at the airport that day … But I signed it. By damn I joined later on.’” At 19 she read about the WASP program but learned she was too young to join. The minimum age was 21. But, determined to join, she wrote Jackie Cochran, the founder and director of the program, every week.


 Eventually the age requirement was lowered and she was accepted in the program. She reported for training in December of 1943. “The training was exactly like the men’s. And our living environment was also military … I fell in love with it, I loved military life. I thought it was great,” she is quoted as saying the blog.

Her duties included flight testing planes, ferrying aircraft from repair stops and transporting people and materials for the war effort. Reynolds recalled fondly her time flying the WASPs as “the closest thing to God. I’ve always felt that way. There’s nothing like it, especially when you’re on a solo flight.”

You can see a video of Florence on the U. S. Air Force Academy's Facebook page.

MIAMI — United Airlines Announced That It Has Changed Its Pet Policy Starting Next Month By Airways Magazine

The proposal is specifically aimed to changing the rules regarding pet carriers, following the death of Kokito, a French bulldog traveling from Houston to New York in flight 1284. Throughout the entire week, the Chicago-based carrier has faced serious criticism after a flight attendant commanded Catalina Robledo, owner of the 10-month-old dog, to place it in the overhead bin. The Chicago-based carrier shared in a statement: “We have learned that the customer did tell the flight attendant that there was a dog in the carrier. However, our flight attendant did not hear or understand her, and did not knowingly place the dog in the overhead bin.” “To prevent this from happening again, by April we will issue bright colored bag tags to customers traveling with in-cabin pets.”

However, Kokito’s family contradicted the employee’s claims, alleging that she knowingly placed the dog in the bin. Eleven-year-old Sophia Ceballos—the daughter of the dog’s owner— told ABC News on behalf of her mother who doesn’t speak fluently English: “The flight attendant came, and she was like, ‘You have to put him up there because it’s going to block the path’. And we were like, ‘It’s a dog! It’s a dog!’ And she said, ‘It doesn’t matter, you still have to put it up there.’” “In the end, she says she didn’t know it was a dog, but she actually touched the bag and felt him there. She’s basically lying to us now.” “He was a member of our family. He was like my brother to me.” In addition, fellow passengers pointed “there was some back-and-forth before the flight attendant convinced her to move the pet to the bin above,” and that the dog barked during the flight.

After landing at New York’s LaGuardia Airport (LGA) from George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), the family opened the overhead bin and broke into tears after discovering its beloved pet was dead. United spokesperson, Maggie Schmerin, told PEOPLE, “As we stated, we take full responsibility and are deeply sorry for this tragic accident. We remain in contact with the family to express our condolences and offer support.” Furthermore, Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., demanded an explanation for the number of animals who have died in United Airlines in a letter he sent to the carrier’s President, Scott Kirby. According to the Department of Transportation, 18 animals, mostly dogs, died on United Airlines aircraft during 2017, more than on any other carrier in the same year.

United Airlines features a pet-shipping program, PetSafe, which is not eligible to travel in the aircraft cabin, carries more animals than any other airline, traveling to almost 300 destinations.

Airways Gets Exclusive Access onto Emirates’ Two-Class 777-200LR

By Cody Diamond

On March 6, 2018, Emirates began two-class Boeing 777-200LR service to Fort Lauderdale from Dubai. On March 13, Airways was invited to tour the new cabin after the arrival of Emirates EK 213 at FLL. Emirates operates a total of 137 Boeing 777’s, including three 777-300’s, 124 777-300ER,’s, and 10 long-range 777-200LR’s. The airline previously operated the 777-200 and 777-200ER but has since retired those types. Emirates 777-200LR fleet was delivered between 2007 and 2009 with 8 First Class seats, 42 Business Class Seats, and 216 Economy Class Seats.

By the end of this year, the entire LR fleet will be reconfigured to a two-class configuration with 38 Business Class seats and 264 Economy Class seats. The new product matches that of the new 777-300ER seating in Business, and the colours in Economy now feature blue seat covers as on the 300ER. Airways was invited to tour A6-EWA, Emirates first 777LR delivered in 2007, and one of only two reconfigured thus far. “The product increases both capacity and comfort for our ultra long haul mark to and is uniform with our new 777-300ER’s.

All of the aeroplanes will be reconfigured this year and we will use this product to launch our new service to Santiago, Chile in the 200LR. Fort Lauderdale will alternate between two and three class LR’s for the time being until all the aircraft are reconfigured,” Emirates Senior Vice President Matthias Schmid said in the boarding lounge at FLL. Since the reconfiguration, Emirates has used A6-EWA exclusively to FLL. The 777LR fleet will continue to be used for ultra-long-haul service to North and South America.

Op-Ed: Technology Needed for Emerging Airlines in the Next Decade

by Ed Wegel for Airways

Photo: Op-Ed Wegel, World Airways CEO

Evolving with technological advancements should be at the forefront of strategic planning and development for an industry leader. For aviation specifically, it is imperative to stay on top of trend forecasts and be prepared to adapt to the needs of the consumers as they become more dependent upon technology. According to an analysis by the World Economic Forum, over the next decade digitalization in aviation, travel, and tourism is predicted to create up to $305 billion of value for the industry through increased profitability. One hundred billion dollars of that is expected to migrate from traditional players to new competitors. Looking back over the last 15 years, few would have predicted the devices and technology that have become engrained in our daily lives and habits. From iPhones and easy access to public Wi-Fi to Google Maps and Self Driving Cars, we have quickly become accustomed to an easier way of life thanks to these technological advancements.

By the year 2020, millennials will make up more than half of the global workforce. They are far more likely to travel for work then Gen-Xers and baby boomers and they are already the largest segment of business travelers. Looking ahead to 2028, millennials will range from 35 to 48-year-olds making room for Generation Z to become the new targets for our industry. Generation Z will be even more technology and mobile-centric, more diverse and far less brand loyal. Their influences shift from traditional forms of advertising to photography and influencers promotions. These shift forces airlines who intend to remain relevant to shift focus from reacting to new technology to anticipating what lies ahead. Over the next 8-10 years, and in some cases sooner than that, airlines will have no choice to adopt, master, and continue to innovate these predicted advancements.

The Berlin Airlift: This Is The Year To RememberGail Halvorsen Former Air Force Transport Pilot”

By Paul Bertorelli

Some readers will instantly recognize that name, some will search the mists of their memories and others will draw a blank. Which are you? In 1948, Gail Halvorsen was a 27-year-old prematurely balding Air Force transport pilot who gained overnight fame as the beloved Candy Bomber during the Berlin Airlift. At 97, Halvorsen is still with us and this year, the 70th anniversary of the Berlin Airlift, I suspect you’ll be hearing a lot both about him and the airlift. I’ll use this blog space to get you thinking about it because among the many things the airlift represented, it was inarguably a moment in which the airplane indelibly bent the arc of history. A lowly first lieutenant, Halvorsen was but a minor cog in a big wheel, but his impact was outsized. Two books I’ve read recently chronicle the big lift: Daring Young Men: The Heroism and Triumph of the Berlin Airlift, by Richard Reeves, and The Candy Bombers: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlift and America’s Finest Hour, by Andrei Cherny.

The airlift began in late June 1948, ignited by a spat over currency in divided Germany. The Soviets closed road, rail and canal traffic to Berlin from western Germany, hoping the allies, whose tactical situation was hopeless, would collapse and abandon Berlin. A stubborn and occasionally petulant Army engineering officer, Gen. Lucius D. Clay, thought otherwise and pledged to sustain the city via an air bridge. The Soviets believed the very notion was patently absurd. Even the wise men in Washington counseled Clay, who had been assigned as allied governor of Germany, that the plan was untenable during the summer, much less during Germany’s notoriously foggy winter. Gen. Omar Bradley, then Army Chief of Staff, and Gen. George C. Marshall, then Secretary of State, advised President Harry Truman that a withdrawal from Berlin would be inevitable. Truman rejected the advice. “We stay in Berlin. Period,” he said. The record isn’t clear if Truman had the vaguest inkling of how ill-prepared the Air Force was to undertake such an operation. Clay was no better informed.

The airlift was initially a slapdash affair, flown mainly by C-47s, some with faded invasion stripes from their Normandy labors and whose cargo capacity was woefully inadequate. Truman again overruled the staff and ordered C-54s from all over the world—there weren’t that many of them—to Berlin. In the end, the U.S. had 225, each with a capacity of about 20,000 pounds. Enter Lt. Gail Halvorsen, ordered to report to Germany in July of 1948.

Seized by curiosity on his first trip into Berlin, he dragooned a sergeant to give him a tour of the devastated city, which he filmed with an 8 mm camera. When he encountered a gaggle of ragged kids watching the airlift landings from the St. Thomas cemetery hard by Tempelhof’s runway, Halvorson gave them bits of gum and candy he happened to be carrying. On a lark, he promised to drop them more from his airplane, after wagging the wings on approach.  And so he did. The crowd of kids swelled and so did the buzz. When the airlift commander, Gen. William Tunner, got wind of the “candy bomber,” he summoned Halvorsen for a rug dance. Except, shrewdly, Tunner understood that the airlift was not a battle of wits or resources, but of ideas and public image. And he knew golden PR when he saw it. Tunner encouraged Halvorson to expand his candy bombing, christening it “Operation Little Vittles.” Halvorsen made a trip back home and soon became a telegenic star of a new medium: television.

The U.S. public was enthralled and so were the beat-down residents of a shattered Berlin. Against fierce resistance from Berliners, the Soviets were trying mightily to drive the allies out of the city, bribing them with food ration cards and coal, a fuel in critically short supply. (Two-thirds of airlift tonnage was coal.) The airlift itself and especially Halvorsen’s candy bombers were high-profile demonstrations that were instrumental in swaying public opinion, convincing Berliners that the allies would sustain the city. And whether he intended it or not, Truman’s resolve won him a second term in an election that was all but ceded to Thomas Dewey. More...Click here to find two personal accounts of pilots who flew in the Berlin Airlift. It originally appeared in the June 1998 issue of our sister magazine, IFR.

AOPA Aviation Curriculum Free To Teachers By Mary Grady

 AOPA has developed a curriculum for ninth-grade students that uses aviation to teach science, technology, engineering and math, and is offering it free to schoolteachers. Teachers will be introduced to the program through a professional development workshop offered June 26 to 28, which can be attended at AOPA headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, or taken online. The course has been tested with more than 700 students in nearly 30 schools over the last year, AOPA says. The program includes lesson plans, presentations, assignments, student activities and other learning experiences. The deadline for applying to use the aviation STEM curriculum during the 2018-19 school year is April 19.

The ninth-grade curriculum is the first in a four-year program that will comprise three career and technical education pathways — pilot, aerospace engineering and drones. The 10th-grade program will be available next year, and the 11th- and 12th-grade programs will follow in the next two years. Schools can decide to select individual courses to use as stand-alone electives, or implement one or more complete pathways. “This is a major step in our work to help young people learn more about the engaging and well-paying careers in aviation, and it gives schools the tools they need to teach our children skills that will last for a lifetime,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. The program is funded by the AOPA Foundation.

AOPA Offers High-School Aviation Curriculum: Schools around the country can take advantage of STEM program for free.  By Pia Bergqvist March 13, 2018 In order to be considered for the 2018-2019 school year, schools have to apply for the program before April 19. Teachers will be required to attend a three-day professional development workshop on June 26 through 28 in Frederick, Maryland. The cost for the workshop is $200. While attendance in Frederick is highly recommended, the workshop will also be available online for free. Teachers will be supplied with lesson plans, presentations, assessments and other teaching tools. The curriculum is part of the You Can Fly High School Initiative, and its development was funded through the AOPA Foundation. The program will be provided to qualified private and public schools free of charge. While the curriculum is currently only available for ninth-grade, programs for additional grades will follow.

Flight Safety Foundation Calls for Sweeping Changes to Pilot Training By Rob Mark

Despite strides in 2017, the safety problem has not been solved. The pilot training system in the United States has remained essentially unchanged for the past 50 or 60 years, with just a few notable exceptions. New technologies have added complexity to the training process, while loss of control accidents have focused everyone on how much we actually did not know about how airplanes fly. Two accidents in 2009 caught the industry’s attention related to loss of control, for instance. The crash of a Continental Express Dash 8 in Buffalo, New York, and an Air France Airbus A330 over the South Atlantic convinced the FAA that the way we’ve been teaching stalls and stall recovery were all wrong. Companies have since sprung up to teach upset and recovery prevention, focused primarily on recognition of an impending stall, hoping the recovery techniques might never be needed.

While the U.S. commercial airlines just finished their safest year in history with no loss of life, GA has not been so lucky. No matter the numbers, the big industry worry is that people might be lulled into falsely believing the safety problem has finally been solved. The Flight Safety Foundation last week challenged the industry to keep aviation safety front and center, a reminder that just because you haven’t experienced an accident does not mean your operations are safe. The FSF’s test goes further too by reminding the industry of the fallout following the Continental accident. Significant lobbying by the victim’s families resulted in Congress mandating that every pilot in a Part 121 operation possess an ATP certificate and hence at least 1,500 hours of flight time to win an airline job. Only a handful of other countries share that requirement. Proponents of that Congressional move point to the airline’s improved safety record as proof that the 1,500-hour requirement worked, but those claims have never been tied to data that solidly proves the premise.

The Air Line Pilots Association believes the 1,500-hour rule should not be altered in any form however In a statement, the association said, “While ALPA appreciates the work that went into the white paper, we are disappointed that the Flight Safety Foundation chose to omit the fact that since Congress passed the Airline Safety and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Extension Act of 2010, there have been zero fatal passenger airline accidents in the United States. In the two decades prior to enactment of the law, which strengthened pilot training and qualification requirements, more than 1,100 people died in U.S. passenger airline accidents. This change in the law and associated rules have moved the United States into an environment where flight training, flight time, and demonstration of competency are well balanced – and has resulted in safer skies.” More at:

India Most Female Friendly For Pilots By Russ Niles


As Women of Aviation Week begins this week, the country with the highest ratio of female airline pilots may come as a surprise to some. India has the most female pilots per capita as a little more than 12 percent of Indian airline pilots are women. Finland is neck and neck with India but most other countries are far behind that total. In the U.S. it’s 5.1 percent and worldwide just 5 percent. India was relatively late to the game in hiring females for the flight deck but its airline industry is also fairly new. The first female FO started working in 1984.

Meanwhile, Women of Aviation Week attempts to boost those numbers by giving girls and women firsthand contact with the aviation industry and women who work in it. The belief is that the relative scarcity of female role models has led to the belief that flying is not a viable career option as girls start mapping out their working lives. Many WOAW events are built around Fly It Forward events in which volunteer pilots take girls and women for their first flight in a small plane. One of the largest of hundreds of events planned for this week will be in Loveland, Colorado.

Tax Reform: How It Affects Pilots’ Employee Fringe Benefits

By Dan White, Sr. Benefits Atty, Alpa

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) was signed into law by President Trump on Dec. 22, 2017. It makes sweeping changes to the Internal Revenue Code in general and substantially modifies the taxation of employee fringe benefits, which is expected to significantly impact pilots. Fortunately, the TCJA made only modest changes to retirement benefits. Generally, most provisions of the TCJA took effect Jan. 1, 2018, and apply to income earned beginning in the 2018 taxable year. Many of these changes sunset after Dec. 31, 2025, unless Congress passes an extension.

Congress subsequently passed the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA), which President Trump signed on Feb. 9, 2018. This law features several tax provisions that had previously been dropped from the TCJA. This article summarizes the tax reform changes made to employee fringe benefits by the TCJA and the BBA and does not discuss changes made to individual income tax rates, college savings incentives, estate planning, or corporate taxes. ALPA members should consult a tax professional to understand how changes made by the new tax law will affect them.

Do Pilots Need College?

By Mary Grady


In my recent wanderings in the online aviation world, I came across this question in a few different places … if pilots are so scarce, why do airlines still require pilot applicants to have a four-year college degree? Especially since they often don’t seem to care what the degree is in … forestry or engineering or English lit all seem to equally make the cut. Getting that degree requires a substantial investment in time, energy and money. Wouldn’t those resources be better spent on building hours and adding certificates? I asked a few professional pilots for their take on this, and came up with some surprising responses. A corporate jet pilot told me that in fact, many of the airlines don’t expressly require a degree, though it may be listed as a “preference.”


Applicants with military backgrounds or extensive corporate experience or outstanding personal references might wrangle an interview. But having the degree is still considered an asset. If nothing else, it shows that you’ve had the skills and fortitude to set a goal and achieve it, and that you’ve probably learned some important life lessons along the way — how to work well with others, demonstrate leadership and all that stuff. In practice, all other things being equal, an applicant without a degree is going to be less competitive.

An RJ pilot told me another consideration for young folks seeking an aviation career is that it never hurts to have a Plan B. You might find out along the way that a pilot career is not that appealing for you, or that jobs disappear because of changes in the industry. Or you could run into a disqualifying medical issue at some point. You can imagine plenty of scenarios where it might not be a bad idea to have another option. In that case, having some kind of useful college degree in your back pocket is not a bad thing.

A charter pilot and former FAA staffer with a varied career flying all sorts of civilian planes told me even if some of the airlines don’t expressly require a degree, not having one “is just a way to get yourself eliminated.” He agreed with the consensus from my small, casual sample, that if an airline career is your goal, skipping the degree is not a good strategy. Of course, if four years of school means decades of debt, that’s a tougher equation than if your parents are paying the bill for you. If the airline career works out, it should still prove to be a good investment over time. But is the requirement kind of unfair and unnecessary and maybe even discriminatory? I tend to think it is. But as long as the airlines have enough applicants, they can impose any criteria they like.

In any case, I suspect this current pilot crunch is not going to last too long. Older pilots flying today in two-crew cockpits remember when there was a third chair there, for the flight engineer. Younger pilots flying now are likely going to see the day when there’s just one seat in the cockpit. You won’t need a dog for company — a remotely based second officer will be filling that second slot. As soon as the airlines can show that the remote pilot can safely land a jet if the single pilot on board is incapacitated, we’ll be on the road to single-pilot cockpits. And you know what’s next.

Canadian Air Force Just Needs More Practice

By Carli Teproff And Howard Cohen

Photo by: Pedro Portal [email protected]

She thought it was a bomb. Turns out the Canadian Air Just Needs More Practice. Emergency crews responded to a call that something fell through the roof. Miami-Dade police confirmed that a raft that fell from a Canadian military helicopter on a training mission in Miami went through the roof.

Luce Rameau was lying in bed and talking to a friend on her cellphone when she heard what she thought was a bomb. Then she was covered in wood and dust from her roof. “I kept screaming, ‘What happened? What happened?”’ she said. “I was shocked.” Turns out what sounded like a bomb was actually an 80-pound inflatable raft crashing through the roof of her home in the 14000 block of Northeast 10th Court. 

An inflatable raft that “separated from a Royal Canadian Air Force helicopter” crashed through the ceiling into a bedroom in a home in the 14000 block of Northeast 10th Court on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018.  And where did the raft come from? Police say the yellow raft fell from a Royal Canadian Air Force search-and-rescue helicopter on its way back to Miami-Opa locka Executive Airport. The Canadian Air Force had been conducting an off-shore training exercise and somehow the raft “separated from the helicopter,” a police spokesman said.

David Lavallee, a Royal Canadian Air Force spokesman, said Wednesday night that crews were in South Florida for a few weeks “taking advantage of the warm weather” to train for water search-and-rescue missions. How the raft ended up detaching from the CH-146 Griffon chopper is under investigation, he said. He added that the Air Force intends to help “the resident with accommodations and other support.”According to Miami-Dade Fire, crews responded to a call that something fell through the roof. When they arrived, they found the uninflated six-seat raft, 2 feet by 2 feet in size, in the bedroom of the home. “Fortunately, the occupant narrowly escaped disaster and sustained only minor injuries,” Capt. William McAllister IV said. Luce Rameau escaped unhurt when an 80-pound inflatable life raft fell from a Royal Canadian Air Force helicopter and crashed into her home, punching a gaping hole in the roof.

Rameau said she wasn’t physically injured, but she was still “shaken up.” “I am very lucky,” she said. “It could have hit me.” Raft falling from helicopter strikes woman in bed. The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department speaks to the media after a raft fell into a home Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. Miami-Dade police confirmed that a raft that fell from a Canadian military helicopter on a training mission in Miami. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. Luce Rameau reacts after an 80-pound inflatable life raft fell from a Canadian Air Force helicopter and crashed through the ceiling of her room while she was lying in bed on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. She was not hurt.

Air Force One Deal Near

By Russ Niles

President Donald Trump has again intervened in the negotiations with Boeing to modify two new 747-8i airliners to serve as the primary Air Force One aircraft and backup but it remains to be seen if the president’s promise of $1 billion in savings will be realized. Defense One reported Trump met with Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg at the White House last Tuesday to try to break an impasse between the Air Force, which normally buys its own airplanes, and Boeing. The Air Force wants a fixed-price deal, meaning Boeing would eat any overruns, but Boeing is less keen on the idea. The Air Force already has the aircraft. It bought two 747-8is that were supposed to go to a Russian airline that went bankrupt, so the negotiations are about the many modifications required.

Defense One’s sources said the logjam was broken in the White House meeting and details are expected in the next few weeks. Shortly after his election, Trump tweeted that the agreed-to $4 billion deal for the new jets should be canceled because of the cost. Trump later said he’d managed to shave $1 billion off the cost. One of the casualties of the cost-cutting was reported to be air-to-air refueling capability. The rationale for the move was that new 747s can reach just about anywhere on the planet from Washington without a fill-up but refueling is also considered a strategic necessity in case the aircraft needs to stay airborne in a prolonged crisis. It seems like that need is still a factor since the Air Force recently spent $24 million to replace the refrigerators on the current aircraft so they can store the 3,000 meals that are normally loaded to sustain occupants for a long flight.


Martin-Baker Fined For Ejection Seat Failure

By Russ Niles


U.K.-based ejection seat manufacturer Martin-Baker has been fined $1.4 million by a British court after admitting its role in the death of a Royal Air Force Red Arrow Demonstration Team member who accidentally ejected from a team aircraft on the ground. Flight Lieutenant Sean Cunningham died in a local hospital near RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire, on Nov. 8, 2011, when the parachute on his Model 10b seat failed to deploy after he was shot 200 feet in the air from the stationary aircraft. The chute was mis-rigged and the company admitted it failed to warn the Air Force of the possible failure. "This tragic accident was the result of an inadvertent ejection and main parachute deployment failure due to the over-tightening of the drogue shackle bolt,” the company said in a statement last November. It conceded it “failed to provide a written warning to the RAF not to over-tighten the drogue shackle bolt.” It was charged under the U.K.’s health and safety laws.

Cunningham was doing preflight checks when the ejection seat was inadvertently triggered. The accidental ejection was not the fault of the seat. The seats are designed to work from the ground but the overtightened shackle prevented the parachute deployment. It was apparently an issue with that seat in other aircraft. "A significant number of pilots, and also potential passengers, were exposed to the risk of harm over a lengthy period,” Mrs. Justice Carr said in her judgment. "This was, in the words of his father, an entirely preventable tragedy.” Martin-Baker also agreed to pay court costs of about $700,000. "The company accepts its responsibility for the significant contribution it has made in the death of Lieutenant Cunningham,” company lawyer Richard Matthews said. Martin-Baker tracks ejections in its seats and counts a total of 7,560 lives saved, including 1,050 in the RAF.

First Ultra Long Range Airbus 350 XWB Makes Its Debut

By Aviation Tribune

The first Ultra Long Range version of the A350 XWB has rolled out of the Airbus final assembly line in Toulouse. The latest variant of the best-selling A350 XWB Family will be able to fly further than any other commercial airliner and will enter service with launch operator Singapore Airlines later this year. Altogether, Singapore Airlines has ordered seven A350-900 Ultra Long Range aircraft, which it will use on non-stop flights between Singapore and the US, including the world’s longest commercial service between Singapore and New York. Following completion of the airframe assembly, the first aircraft has now moved to an outdoor station where it will undergo extensive ground tests, prior to installation of its Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.

The aircraft will then embark on a short flight test programme to certify the changes over the standard A350-900 that will bring the additional range capability.These include a modified fuel system that increases fuel carrying capacity by 24,000 litres, without the need for additional fuel tanks. The test phase will also measure enhanced performance derived from aerodynamic improvements, including extended winglets. With a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 280 tonnes, the A350 XWB Ultra Long Range is capable of flying up to 9,700 nautical miles or over 20 hours non-stop, combining the highest levels of passenger and crew comfort with unbeatable economics for such distances.

The A350 XWB is an all-new family of wide body long-haul airliners shaping the future of air travel. The A350 XWB features the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fiber fuselage and wings, plus new fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce engines. Together, these latest technologies translate into unrivaled levels of operational efficiency, with a 25 percent reduction in fuel burn and emissions, and significantly lower maintenance costs. The A350 XWB features an Airspace, by Airbus cabin offering absolute well-being on board with the quietest twin-aisle cabin and new air systems. To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 854 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful widebody aircraft ever.

Singapore Airlines is one of the largest customers for the A350 XWB Family, having ordered a total of 67 A350-900s, including the seven Ultra Long Range models. The carrier has already taken delivery of 21 A350-900s.

The Douglas C-47/ Dakota Forever Fly
 Or Soon Die?

Will the new “Preferred Turbine-3” carry the Douglas “Dakota” legacy to its 100th anniversary?

By hans 23/02/2018
Blog February 23


Winter in America is cold and out there in that winter wonderland, on 30 January 2018, I rode out to a small town named Kidron, somewhere in between Columbus and Cleveland in the state of Ohio. I was looking for a remote farm-road with a private airstrip. Hard to believe but this is the place where they are remanufacturing old DC-3/ C-47 airframes into new DC-3 Turbo-Props, in series production!  I counted 12 DC-3/ C-47 airframes on the Preferred premises, in an odd mix of original airframes and extended fuselages that had already Turbo Prop engines mounted before they came in here.

Photo left: “Preferred Airparts, LLC” is the name of the company and their President Brian Stoltzfus (at left) was so kind to show me around in their hangars. private airstrip and projects on that cold winter day with snow-covered fields all around us.


More than 25 years ago, I visited the other existing DC-3 Turbo Conversion company, Basler’s in Oshkosh for purchasing their surplus Dakota parts. Ever since, I have been around in the world of the DC-3 and have met that legendary aircraft in all shapes between total decay, dereliction, and full serviceability.  I have seen factories or hangars where they renovate or rather remanufacture the Gooney Bird, in Oregon (with Paul Bazely’s AeroMetal), in Virginia (with Robert Randazzo), but also in El Alto, La Paz, Bolivia and in Villavicencio, Colombia where they did total overhauls of engines and complete reskinning jobs. Visiting all those places, I loved every one of them. And again, the Preferred Airparts hangars with the ongoing works on engines and reskinning of wings and airframes, that was an awesome experience for me. With all that vintage flying metal in the background, I’ll never have a dull day.

Photo left: Beautifully decorated DC-3 of Alaskan Bush Air Cargo. Ready for a conversion,  this 75-year old transport awaits its turn to extending its commercial operations with yet another 25 years lease of life. That is what virtually happens out there now in Kidron. I witnessed the total remaking of the oldest commercially operated transport in the World, preparing her to fly and work until the year 2044 and beyond. Mishaps excluded, but if she makes it until or beyond that year, this icon of WWII origin will come to a respectable 100 years of age while still earning revenues for the owner! See more of this story at:


WSJ’s ATC Stand

By Mary Grady



A Wall Street Journal editorial last week said it would be a good idea to privatize the air traffic control system, and singled out the opposition by NBAA and AOPA for critique. “What’s really going on,” the WSJ editorial board says, is that the business jet industry pays just 0.6 percent of aviation user taxes, though it accounts for 11 to 13 percent of controlled traffic. “The industry would like to keep it that way,” the board says. NBAA and AOPA were quick to respond in their own defense. In a rebuttal posted on their website, NBAA says the WSJ editorial is incorrect in a number of key statements.

The Journal says only one seat on the proposed nonprofit board for ATC would be held by the airlines, but NBAA notes that eight of the 13 board seats would be held by “airline-centric interests,” with only two seats for GA. The editorial singled out NBAA and AOPA and “the lobbyists for the paupers known as the corporate jet lobby” for opposing privatization, but AOPA’s rebuttal noted that the newspaper “ignored more than 200 GA groups as well as more than 100 mayors in every state, airport organizations, chambers of commerce, and others who have reviewed the [ATC privatization] proposal and reached a very different conclusion.” AOPA and NBAA have jointly submitted a letter to the editor with their arguments against the points made in the editorial. See more of this story at:

First Drone-Caused Crash?

By Russ Niles

The The FAA and NTSB are now mulling the circumstances of a relatively minor helicopter crash in South Carolina that may go down in history as the first U.S. aircraft crash caused by a drone. FAA and NTSB are now mulling the circumstances of a relatively minor helicopter crash in South Carolina that may go down in history as the first U.S. aircraft crash caused by a drone. According to the narrative available so far, the drone didn’t directly cause the crash but the pilot’s evasive maneuvers to avoid it seem to have. Whether that becomes part of the official cause is part of what those deliberations will entail. The Charleston Post and Courier is reporting the Robinson R22, with a student and instructor on board, encountered the drone, possibly a DJI Phantom, while the student was practicing maneuvers over an undeveloped area of Daniel Island.

The instructor told authorities the drone entered the airspace and he took control, trying to avoid a collision. He managed to miss the drone but smacked the tail rotor on a small tree and the helicopter ended up on its side. The aircraft was destroyed but the occupants were not hurt. The instructor reported the accident immediately and the investigators took over. So far, the only confirmed collision with a drone involved an Army Blackhawk helicopter last September in New York with predictable results for the drone.


Boeing 737 Max 9 FAA-Certified By Mary Grady Boeing’s latest version of the 737, the Max 9, is now FAA certified and will soon start deliveries, the company announced last week. The airplane adds three additional seat rows compared to the Max 8, for a total capacity of 220 passengers. CFM International LEAP-1B engines and Advanced Technology winglets enhance efficiency and reduce noise. The jet has a range of up to 3,550 nautical miles. Boeing says the 737 Max is the fastest-selling airplane in its history, with more than 4,300 orders from 93 customers worldwide. The first delivery of the Max 9 will go to Lion Air Group, based in Indonesia.

United Airlines said on Monday it will start to operate the Max 9 jets in June from its hubs in Houston and Los Angeles, including trips to Honolulu. United will take delivery of 10 of the Max 9 jets this year. The next variant, the Max 10, will begin assembly next year, with the first deliveries expected in 2020. The Max 7, which first rolled out of the hangar earlier this month, is not expected to enter service until next year.

Suspected Drone Collision Causes $4,000 In Damage

By Russ Niles

Canadian authorities are investigating after a Cessna 172 on a training flight suffered about $4,000 (USD) in damage when it collided with an airborne object near a British Columbia Airport. The aircraft, owned by Abbotsford-based Chinook Helicopters, was turning final to land at nearby Chilliwack Airport when its left wing struck the object, which “left blue bits on the wing,” according to flight school owner Cathy Press. “It was definitely manmade,” she said. “We’re just lucky it didn’t go through the windshield.” Her company offers both fixed-wing and rotary training and the plane was being flown by a student and instructor when the collision occurred at about 500 feet AGL. “They heard it but they didn’t see it,” she said.

The instructor took over, aborted the landing and the duo returned to Abbotsford. Maintenance personnel examined the wing and found the plastic wingtip fairing destroyed, a significant dent in the sheet metal and enough damage to the outer rib that it had to be replaced. “By the time it’s painted and all finished I wouldn’t be surprised if [the bill] is $5,000 (CAD),” she said. Press will have to foot the bill herself because it’s less than her insurance deductible. She said it’s impossible to know if the object was a drone but she doesn’t think it was an RC aircraft because those hobbyists normally know they can’t fly near airports. The incident was reported to Transport Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. If the culprit was a drone, it would be one of a handful of airborne collisions between aircraft and drones and the only one that has so far been reported to have caused significant damage.

The Slapgate Controversy


On 01 Jan 18, passengers flying on a long haul Jet Airways flight 9W119 from London to Mumbai were witness to a bizarre spectacle high up in the sky. Their Captain, a lady Jet Airways pilot came out of the flight deck in tears. When consoled by equally shocked cabin attendants, she alleged that the copilot, a senior Captain himself, had slapped her in the cockpit. Overcome with emotion after the physical assault, the commander of the flight left the flight deck in a huff.What followed took airline etiquettes to a new low. The copilot who allegedly perpetrated the brazen assault came out of the cockpit to persuade the commander to return. As shocked passengers watched on helplessly, the cockpit was left unattended in a gross breach of regulations. After some more bickering and coaxing, both pilots resumed their duties in the cockpit and the flight landed uneventfully at Mumbai.

It is easy here to focus on the wrong emotionality – that of the lady pilot breaking down into tears and leaving the flight deck. However, the trigger for irrational behaviour and subsequent sequence of events was likely the uncontrollable rage of the male pilot who assaulted the Captain whom he was duty bound to assist and support throughout the flight. Predictably, the media and armchair theorists from airline industry focused more on the lady’s tamasha than the man’s alleged violence, some even casually suggesting that she may have had it coming. It is 2018 and victim shaming is regrettably still very much alive and kicking.The Indian aviation regulator struck back by suspending both pilots’ licensees for 5 years, effectively putting a full stop to their flying careers. The quantum of punishment meted out to both protagonists leaves the impression that both are equally at fault.

Violence in the Air

In a sky that has seen many such transgressions followed by knee-jerk reactions and periods of apathy, this incident further eroded passengers’ faith in those vested with their safe return to the ground. In 2009, the pilots and cabin crew onboard national carrier Air India’s Sharjah-Delhi flight came to blows at 30000 feet. In April 2015, another incident of in-flight fracas leading to the cockpit crew coming to blows was reported from Air India. In Sep 2017, an Indigo Airlines air hostess and pilot were caught on CCTV exchanging tight slaps in the operational area of Jaipur airport while bewildered CISF personnel looked on. Now this. Some may argue this is not enough data to raise an alarm where thousands of flights operate each day. But in aviation, ANY incident that has the potential to create an accident or incident must be viewed as one too many.

Physical Assaults in the Cockpit

Most of us (thankfully) have never been at the receiving end of a humiliating physical assault like slapping. So let me give you a vicarious run down of how it feels when you get hit in the cockpit. During basic flying training, we had the odd instructor who used to hit their trainees. It was strictly forbidden but who would ever squeal on one’s instructor in a military flying environment?

These were exceptions and those instructors had no business to be teaching. Once you are hit, the sortie is all but over. The fear factor and utter humiliation leave you so disoriented that you either freeze on controls or wish the sortie would end right there. Mind you, the experience and seniority divide between the instructor and pupil those days was huge (although that doesn’t justify use of violence). Think of the Jet Airways incident where both were equally qualified and the victim was a Commander of a wide-bodied Boeing 777. Can you imagine her state of mind on being slapped on the flight deck – a position she had earned through many years of hardwork and toil in the face of a punishing schedule and stressful lifestyle? Can rational thinking be expected of her in the immediate aftermath of the incident? As a pilot, my mind may not agree with her reaction but my heart definitely goes out to her. Nobody deserves workplace violence.

Treat symptoms or get to the root cause?

By firing the erring crew, we are only wishing the problem away. If one digs a little deeper, most of these incidents will have their genesis in personal or personality issues. While elaborate ‘no-fly’ lists and guidelines are being drawn up to prevent habitual offenders from taking to the skies, what have we done to secure hapless passengers from flight crew who may turn violent? Past precedence is that we punish the offenders and bury the whole episode with help from the airline’s PR mechanism; till the aeroplane becomes a ‘big boss house’ and boils over another time. A deeper analysis reveals many sensitive issues that could be festering in our skies. Many of them may seem to be in the realm of conjecture at this time as the real context for these incidents are seldom made public. But I write from my experiences as a military aviator and now a pilot in civil aviation, after having spoken to many in the industry who opened up on the condition of anonymity.

More to Read at this Hyperlink on Kayplus:

Here's How Much Flight Attendants Really Make

By Jennifer Calfas

A flight’s take-off can mean different things to different people. For some, it could be the beginning of an international trip. For others, it may signal an emotional trip home. For flight attendants, it marks the beginning of their paid hours because their salary completely depends on the number of hours an aircraft is in flight. This means how much a flight attendant makes does not incorporate boarding, taxiing, flight delays, flight cancellations, or anything else that prevents a flight from taking off. So how much does the average flight attendant make? Salaries for flight attendants — it doesn’t matter if their flight is domestic or international — is between $23,000 or $25,00 a year to upwards of $80,000 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and PayScale, a salary and compensation information company. (Some flight attendants, however, have shared online and in an interview with MONEY that they make as low as $18,000 a year.)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, flight attendants work between 75 to 100 hours a month in the air and another 50 hours a month preparing for flights. In addition to their pay, flight attendants are often compensated for meals and accommodations while they are away from home — something that happens frequently, especially if they live in a different city than where they are based. Shawn Kathleen, a former flight attendant MONEY spoke with, lived in Ohio while her base was in New York. She flew from Ohio to New York just to prepare for the start of her shift — that is, once the flight took off. (Shawn Kathleen asked MONEY not to include her last name due to online threats she received for running the Passenger Shaming Instagram account.) And while being a flight attendant may come with the perk of free air travel, that benefit can only be done through stand-by, which means flight attendants can’t expect to score the flight they want all the time. Still, flight attendants have reported satisfactory job reviews to PayScale. Here’s more on what we know about how much flight attendants’ salaries and what it’s like to work from 30,000 feet above the ground.

Flight attendant pay

The median salary for a flight attendant in May 2016 was $48,500, according to the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. PayScale estimates the average pay for a flight attendant is a bit lower — landing around $39,000 a year. The range in flight attendants’ salaries depends on their level of experience. The average entry-level flight attendant — with zero to five years of experience — makes around $38,000 in total compensation, according to PayScale. The average salary for a late-career flight attendant is around $61,000. A flight attendant’s airport base plays a part in determining how much he or she makes. Airlines based in San Francisco and Houston pay 10 percent and 9 percent, respectively, above the national average, while those based in Atlanta and Miami both earn 15 percent less than the national average. Flight attendants also receive benefits, ranging from medical, dental and vision, according to PayScale.

Small vs. major airlines flight attendant pay

The average flight attendant salary varies widely from major aircraft carriers to smaller, regional ones, as well. Flight attendants for United Airlines make around $82,404, according to PayScale, while flight attendants for Skywest Airlines make about half that: $47,461. Other major airline carriers like American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Southwest Airlines pay attendants upwards of $64,000.

Per diem flight attendant pay

On top of their wages, flight attendants can receive a per diem — or, pay per hour — to help compensate for expenses on the job.At SkyWest, a regional airline, flight attendants make $1.95 per diem for every hour they are on duty. The company said this comes out to about $3,700 per year. At larger airline carriers like United Airlines, flight attendants make $2.20 per diem for every hour on domestic flights and those to Canada, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. On international flights, flight attendants make $2.70 per hour.

Ehang (pronounced JONG) Announces Vtol Passenger Flights By Mary Grady


 (Jong) Ehang said this week they have flown “40 or so” passengers in their autonomous VTOL, the (JONG) Ehang 184, and a video of the flights is now posted online. "Performing manned test flights enables us to demonstrate the safety and stability of our vehicles," said the founder and CEO, (Hoo-a-shi HOO) Huazhi Hu. "What we're doing isn't an extreme sport, so the safety of each passenger always comes first. Now that we've successfully tested the (Jong) Ehang 184, I'm really excited to see what the future holds for us in terms of air mobility." (HOO) Hu was among the passengers who flew in the drone, as well as local officials and company employees. The video shows both a single-seat version and a two-seater flying. The video also shows a cockpit equipped with a control stick and rudder pedals.

(Jong) Ehang’s staff of more than 150 engineers have conducted thousands of unmanned test flights, the company said, including a vertical climbing test reaching up to nearly 1,000 feet, a load test carrying about 500 pounds, a routed test covering more than 9 miles and a high-speed cruising test that reached about 70 knots. "We've been developing and testing aerial vehicle technology for some time now, and we're finally at the test flight stage for the AAV [autonomous aerial vehicle],” said (HOO) Hu. “It's been a huge success.” The company is still working to improve the AAV, and plans to add an optional manual control for those who prefer to operate the vehicle themselves. The company also is developing a two-seat version with a payload of more than 600 pounds. “Our dreams of the future are real,” says (HOO) Hu. “Fantasy has now become reality.” (Go to hyperlink below to see video.)

.Utility Drone To Start U.S. Testing By Mary Grady


A company in Wyoming has secured FAA approval to start flight tests with a large twin-engine drone, the Flyox Mark II, built by Singular Aircraft of Barcelona, Spain. The amphibious drone has a 35-foot wingspan and can carry up to 4,000 pounds of water for dropping on forest fires. According to Singular, it’s the world’s largest amphibious drone, and can be used for agricultural work, freight transport, border surveillance and rescue missions. Unmanned Aircraft International, headquartered in Casper, Wyoming, will conduct the flight tests. “Getting authorization to fly an 8,800-pound drone is very challenging,” UAI operations manager Chuck Jarnot told the Abilene Reflector-Chronicle.

“The previous record was a 200-pound drone for commercial use.” The drone can be broken down to fit in a standard 40-foot cargo trailer, and then can be re-assembled in less than four hours, according to Singular. It burns 95-octane fuel and can fly day or night, and can take off or land on snow, water or hard surfaces. It has an internal GPS control system that enables it to take off, complete its mission and return for landing, all autonomously, with no human input. The Mark II has an endurance of up to 28 hours aloft, according to the company’s website, and a range of 2,515 NM.

Friday, February 9, 2018 actually marked the 55th Anniversary of Boeing 727 –

This is an article in the archives of Aviation Week by Joe Anselmo which reads: 52 Years Ago February 9: Boeing 727 Takes Flight (1963)


Feb 9, 2015,  was then the 52nd anniversary of the first flight of the Boeing 727. Powered by three Pratt & Whitney JT8D turbofan engines, the passenger jet took off from the municipal airport in Renton, Wash., and landed 2 hr., 1 min. later at Paine Field north of Seattle. Aviation Week & Space Technology, which had written extensively on the 727’s rollout three months earlier, gave only cursory coverage to the test flight: a single page of three photos in our Feb. 18, 1963 edition.

In a recent blog, Senior Propulsion Editor Guy Norris noted that the 727 was the first commercial Boeing program to use a dedicated aircraft for flight testing. The jetliner was also the first to be fitted with an auxiliary power unit (APU). In a brief article in the March 4, 1963 issue of Aviation Week, we reported that United Air Lines, Eastern Air Lines and Trans World Airlines -- which had collectively signed up for 90 727s – placed orders with Garrett Corp.’s AiResearch Div. for APU systems. “Installation consists of a gas turbine engine driving a 40 kva. alternator which supplies compressed air for main engine starting and cabin air conditioning on the ground,” the article said. “The auxiliary power makes the 727 independent of the need for mobile power units.”

The 727 was certified later that year and entered service with Eastern in Febraury, 1964. Its production ran to 1984.

Airbus Dramatic Near Miss Between  Drone And Airliner

                               By Paul Bertorelli


The FAA is investigating a near-miss incident between a drone and a Frontier Airlines Airbus dramatically captured in a 27-second video that went viral late last week. The Airbus was inbound to Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport, but it’s unclear when it occurred and the authenticity of the video has yet to be confirmed.  “We became aware of this incident this afternoon and we are investigating,” the FAA’s Ian Gregor told Las Vegas Now on Friday. The drone’s video is detailed enough to show the footage was shot over Whitney Ranch Recreational Center in Henderson, about seven miles east of McCarran Aiport and off the approach end of Runway 26R, the airport’s longest runway.

The flying shown in the video was widely condemned by drone trade and user organizations. “This video is not the first drone incident we report on but it sure is the most reckless video we have seen,” said Haye Kesteloo of DroneDJ. The Association of Unmanned Vehicles Systems International (AUVSI) also condemned the close call: “All UAS operators need to understand their aircraft [and] stay well clear of manned aircraft and adhere to the law. AUVSI supports strict enforcement against careless and reckless operators who endanger the safety of the airspace and violate the law,” the association said.

Flying under guidelines established by the Academy of Model Aeronautics and codified in FAR Part 107, operators of drones under 55 pounds are prohibited from flying above 400 feet unless within a 400-foot radius of buildings or structures. Section 107.43 of the regulation prohibits operation in such a way to interfere with traffic patterns of any airports, heliports or seaplane bases. Fines for violation can reach $250,000 and can include jail sentences under civil penalties.


Collier Trophy Nominees Named

                     By Mary Grady, AVWeb 


The National Aeronautic Association has named its candidates for the 2017 Robert J. Collier trophy, which is awarded annually for the “greatest achievement in aeronautics or astronautics in America.” The nominees are: Boeing’s 737 Max; the Cirrus Aircraft Vision SF50 single-engine jet; the autonomous helicopter system developed by the U.S. Marine Corps Office of Naval Research and Aurora Flight Sciences; the high-altitude glider Perlan Project; the Zee Aero Division of Kitty Hawk Corporation; the Vanilla Aircraft VA001 drone; the Edwards Air Force Base F-35 Integrated Test Force; the NASA/JPL Cassini Project Team; and the TSA, ALPA, and A4A Known Crewmember® and TSA Pre✓® Programs. The Collier Trophy Selection Committee will meet on March 22 in Arlington, Virginia, and the recipient will be announced the next day. The formal presentation of the trophy will take place on June 14, at a location to be determined.

The trophy has been awarded annually for 105 years. Past winners include the crews of Apollo 11 and Apollo 8, the Mercury 7, Scott Crossfield, Elmer Sperry, Howard Hughes, and Orville Wright. Projects and programs that have received the trophy include the B-52, the Boeing 747, the Cessna Citation, the F-22 and the International Space Station. The five most recent recipients are the Blue Origin New Shepard Team; the NASA/JPL Dawn Mission Team; the Gulfstream G650; the Northrop Grumman, US Navy, and X-47B Industry Team; and the NASA/JPL Mars Curiosity Project Team. “This year’s outstanding group of nominees represent the great depth and breadth of our aviation industry,” said Greg Principato, NAA president. “Each is changing our world for the better. The Collier Selection Committee will have its work cut out for it this year and we at NAA couldn’t be more excited.”


Spirit Reaches 'Next Step' In Salary Negotiations

With Pilots

By Emon Reiser  – South FL Business Journal

Spirit Airlines Inc. has formed a tentative agreement with the Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA) over wage negotiations that have been ongoing since February 2015. Spirit pilots will vote on the agreement in the coming weeks. The Miramar-based discount passenger airline (Nasdaq: SAVE) said Monday that this is the "next step" in collective bargaining negotiations with the union, which represents 1,600 Spirit pilots. The Spirit ALPA Master Executive Council approved the agreement Sunday, and will schedule a ratification vote.

Last summer, Spirit canceled as many as 60 flights a day because a large group of pilots weren't taking overtime as they typically did. Citing the wage negotiations, the company filed a lawsuit, and a judge ordered the pilots to return to the status quo and restore regular operations. Pilots are asking to be paid an "industry standard" – a similar rate to their peers at major airlines such as Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. In its lawsuit filed in May, Spirit said that, while it "recognizes the importance of a competitive contract in compensating its employees," salaries must "take into account Spirit’s business model as an ultra-low-cost carrier and its relative size."

Mexico May Allow U.S. Air Marshals To Use Stun Guns On Flights

By  Gabriel Stargardter, Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico is in talks with the United States on whether to allow U.S. federal air marshals to travel with Taser stun guns on cross-border flights with U.S. airlines, National Security Commissioner Renato Sales said in a TV interview on Tuesday. Commissioner Sales’ comments come the day after Reuters exclusively revealed that Mexico and the United States were looking into an agreement that could allow armed U.S. federal air marshals to be deployed on commercial cross-border flights. In his interview with broadcaster Televisa, Sales said no memorandum of understanding had been signed with the United States, adding that talks to allow U.S. federal marshals in Mexico stretch back years.

“They would only be on commercial (U.S.) flights, on (U.S.) airlines, not on Mexican airlines,” he said. “But it’s still not finalized... we’re still in talks.” Mexico has been trying to prove itself a good ally to the United States in the hopes this will help its efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in terms that are as favorable as possible. Quizzed by ruling party lawmakers on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray denied the air marshals were critical to the fraught trade talks. “I can assure you that we’re not going to negotiate NAFTA in exchange for the air marshals,” he said.

Videgaray will visit Washington on Wednesday and is scheduled to meet with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Jared Kushner, a senior presidential adviser, the foreign ministry said in a statement late Tuesday. The meetings will focus on immigration, security and trade issues, the statement added. Reuters reported on Monday that the hardest part of the air marshals negotiations would center on allowing U.S. officials to carry arms, given that the use of weapons by foreigners in Mexico is sensitive and tightly regulated. An official document seen by Reuters that mentioned the plan to possibly deploy air marshals said the two countries also seek to negotiate a maritime drug seizures treaty as well as deepen efforts to eradicate opium and marijuana plantations.

Sales said he understood that the U.S. federal air marshals would carry stun guns, not lethal weapons, and said they would be undercover, but did not give any further details.It was still not clear if the air marshals would fly on just U.S.-bound flights, Mexico-bound flights, or both.The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) places sharp-shooters on certain domestic and international commercial flights to and from the United States to prevent militant attacks.The foreign ministry has pushed hard to defend NAFTA ahead of a July 2018 election in which the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) is currently polling third. Mexico, Canada and the United States are currently engaged in talks to reshape NAFTA, a lynchpin of the Mexican economy that Trump has threatened to abandon. 

United Airlines Refuses To Let Emotional Support

Peacock On Flight

By David Moye, HuffPost

United Airlines employees at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey recently told a passenger that her emotional support peacock wouldn’t be able to accompany her on her flight. United Airlines employees at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey recently told a passenger that her emotional support peacock wouldn’t be able to accompany her on her flight. It may sound bizarre to bring a peacock on a plane, but give the woman credit for persistence: She reportedly tried several times to get the bird on board and even offered to buy a separate ticket for it, but airline employees nixed every request, according to the travel blog Live and Let Fly. The passenger’s identity was not released. “This animal did not meet guidelines for a number of reasons, including its weight and size,” United said in a statement to Fox News.

“We explained this to the customers on three separate occasions before they arrived at the airport.” United told Business Insider that passengers need to “provide documentation from a medical professional and at least 48 hours advance notice” before bringing an emotional support animal onto a flight. As you might expect, many people rushed to Twitter in an attempt to understand what it all means. Others suggested that needing an emotional support peacock in the first place was a sign of deeper issues. However, one person correctly pointed out that a peacock on a plane is preferable to other loathsome situations aloft. United Airlines’ anti-peacock protocol comes at a time when other airlines are tightening up rules on support animals.

Earlier this month, Delta Air Lines announced that passengers who want to bring service or emotional support animals aboard must show proof of vaccinations 48 hours in advance of the flight. They must also prove that the animal is trained well enough to handle a flight, according to Travel + Leisure.Delta decided to enact stricter rules after noticing an 84 percent increase since 2016 in incidents involving untrained or poorly trained animals. The problems included animals peeing and pooping on the plane, and biting passengers or crew members. One passenger was mauled by an emotional-support dog, according to Business Insider.

         Report: Airline Safety

           Record Analyzed

                                    By Mary Grady


For the first time in aviation history, in 2017, not a single person died anywhere in the world because of a jet airliner accident. One man died in the crash of a Canadian ATR42 turboprop in December.  The chance of dying in an airline crash now is about 1 in 50 million, according to a recent analysis in The Wall Street Journal. “It’s just stunning,” safety consultant William Voss told the Journal. “I hope that we can sustain it, but that’s hard to do.” The flawless safety record can be attributed to a lot of hard work by many people over many years, but luck also played a role. Several analysts noted that a few close calls last year, notably the Air Canada incident in San Francisco, could have dramatically changed the outcome. The analysts also said there have been substantial improvements in the developing world, which has long trailed behind in airline safety.


Some of the improvement, the Journal says, can be attributed to changes at banks and leasing companies that have made it easier for airlines in less-developed countries to afford new airplanes. That has reduced the number of old, poorly maintained aircraft in the air. Also, the European Union began publishing a list of “blacklisted” airlines in 2006, the Journal says. That pressured the offending airlines to improve safety if they wanted to attract customers. Other key changes: The International Air Transport Association in 2003 began requiring members to pass a safety audit; self-correcting safety systems in aircraft; a 90 percent drop in runway incursions due to improved technology; and cockpit systems that warn pilots of unsafe runway condition.


Double Yak’ Coming To Oshkosh By Mary Grady 


A one-of-a-kind modified double-hulled Yak-110 is coming to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh for the first time this summer, and will perform in the afternoon airshows, EAA has announced. The aerobatic airplane was created by attaching two Yak-55 fuselages together and adding a jet engine in addition to the two radial engines. “I can’t think of a better place to bring this airplane in its first year,” said Dell Coller, the primary builder of the aircraft. “Everybody who attends the show is really into experimental airplanes … they’ll really enjoy seeing this airplane do its thing.” Collier, who works as a crew chief for John Klatt Airshows, said he got started in airplane building through EAA, attending workshops and mastering the basic skills. Jeff Boerboon, who has previously flown the “Screamin’ Sasquatch” jet Waco at AirVenture, will fly the airplane.

Norwegian Air Jet Stream Allows

Trans-Atlantic Record

By Russ Niles

Thanks to a big kick from the jet stream, Norwegian Airlines is laying claim to the fastest non-Concorde airline flight between New York and London (Gatwick). The Boeing 787-9 hit a top groundspeed of 674 knots and made it to the airport just south of London in five hours and 13 minutes on Monday, almost an hour faster than usual. "We were actually in the air for just over five hours and if it had not been for forecasted turbulence at lower altitude, we could have flown even faster,” said Capt. Harold Van Dam.

All airlines are taking advantage of the strong tailwinds and heading for the altitudes that have the fastest west-east flow, which is up to 160 knots for the next few days. It also means they’re battling headwinds on the return trip but can adjust their routes and altitudes to get away from most of it. The Dreamliner normally cruises about 490 knots but has a top operational speed of 515 knots. The winds are expected to persist for several days.

Airbus Just Landed The $16 Billion Emirates Deal It Needs To Save The Iconic A380 

By Benjamin Zhang,

Business Insider


Emirates has agreed to a firm order for 20 Airbus A380 airliners along with an option for 16 additional superjumbos. At list prices, Thursday's deal is worth roughly $16 billion, although it is customary in the aviation industry for important customers such as Emirates to receive major discounts. Earlier this week, Airbus indicated that it would have to consider shuttering the A380 program without an additional order from Emirates. With this order in hand, the iconic double-decker has earned a reprieve from the scrap heap for at least another decade. "This new order underscores Airbus' commitment to produce the A380 at least for another ten years," Airbus sales chief John Leahy said in a statement. "I’m personally convinced more orders will follow Emirates’ example and that this great aircraft will be built well into the 2030s." Emirates is, by far, the Airbus A380's largest customer. The airline currently operates 101 of the aircraft. No other airline has more than 18.

"We’ve made no secret of the fact that the A380 has been a success for Emirates," the airline's chairman and CEO His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in a statement. "Our customers love it, and we’ve been able to deploy it on different missions across our network, giving us flexibility in terms of range and passenger mix." Thursday's deal brings Emirates' total commitment to the A380 program up to 178 aircraft and a total value of $60 billion. The newly ordered planes will be used both to expand the A380 fleet and to replace early aircraft which were delivered in 2008. Aircraft from this latest tranche of planes is expected to be delivered after 2020. In recent years, Airbus a struggled to find new buyers for the world's largest airliner. Prior to Thursday, the A380 program had been without a major airline order for the aircraft since Emirates' previous order in 2013. 

New Tax Laws Will Impact Aviation By Mary Grady


The new federal tax law that took effect this month includes several provisions that impact the various segments of general aviation, from private owners with small airplanes to corporations with their own fleet of jets. Buyers of business aircraft now can immediately write off the entire cost of  their new or pre-owned aircraft. That’s good news for GA, says AOPA President Mark Baker. “We think the inclusion of immediate expensing for used as well as new investments will effectively spur economic growth and create good jobs, especially in aviation and the aircraft industry,” Baker said


Overall tax cuts for businesses, not necessarily specific to aviation, already are driving growth in aviation, according to Ricky Sitomer, CEO of Star Jets International. “The private jet charter market is on fire right now,” Sitomer told Forbes. “The tax cuts that are fueling the market are fueling the private jet growth for Wall Street and Main Street alike.” The new tax bill also eliminates a long-standing rule that allowed deductions for certain entertainment expenses, if they were directly connected to the taxpayer’s business activities. NBAA says the change could affect many business-aircraft owners.

The Coolest Paper Airplane Ever

Imagine spending thousands of hours of your life working on a single paper airplane that could be destroyed in just a few seconds. Take a match to this intricate paper airplane or crush it into a ball and years of work by Luca Iaconi-Stewart will be destroyed. The detail that he has incorporated into this model of a Boeing 777 aircraft made entirely of manila folders is simply astounding.


If you enjoyed this cool video and want to see something amazing take a look at The World’s Smallest Airport.

Airliner Veers Off Cliffside Runway Russ Niles authorities say they still aren’t sure why a Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737 suddenly veered left at the end of its landing run and ended up hanging off the edge of a steep bank over the Black Sea late Saturday. The aircraft, which was on flight from the capital city of Ankara to Trabzon, on the northeastern coast, was safely evacuated and there were no reported injuries among the 168 passengers and crew. “We swerved all of a sudden,” passenger Yuksel Gordu told the Anadolu news agency. “The front of the plane crashed and the back was in the air. Everyone panicked.”

Video of the evacuation shows the slope where the aircraft ended up was muddy and the runway was wet but Weather Underground reported winds were light all Saturday evening and generally aligned with Runway 11/29. Emergency crews were on the scene within minutes and doused the aircraft with water. There was no post-crash fire. Drone video below shows the aftermath.

  A British Airways Flight Was    Grounded Due to Bed Bugs

                               by Melissa Minton

A British Airways Flight Was Grounded Due to Bed Bugs. Those who are squeamish might want to avoid British Airways for the time being. A flight from London to Ghana was recently grounded after the cabin crew refused to fly the plane due to a bed bug infestation. The crew walked off minutes before the scheduled takeoff from Heathrow Airport. According to Yahoo News UK, the crew was able to see the bed bugs “crawling over the seats” with their naked eyes. The flight's passengers and crew reportedly were sent on their way four hours after their scheduled departure time once a replacement plane had been secured.

The company has released a statement, confirming the latest event. “The comfort of our customers is paramount, so as soon as this very rare issue was identified at Heathrow, we immediately took the aircraft out of service for treatment.“ This is not the first time that British Airways has suffered from a bed bug infestation. In October 2017, a passenger, her eight-year-old daughter, and her fiancé all complained of multiple bites from the tiny bugs after a nine-hour flight. The company later apologized and upgraded the group for their return trip. And just three days ago, yet another passenger disembarked from a flight with dozens of bites. Not to mention, a mouse was found on a British Airways plane last year, leading to significant delays.

Over the past year, the airline has cut perks like free food and alcohol in economy class on short flights. Also, on flights less than four hours, economy passengers will no longer be able to recline seats, while legroom has also been scaled back. Just don't skimp on the pest control, BA. We're begging you.

    Body Closes Honolulu Runway

                       By Russ Niles, AVweb


Not long after a false missile strike alarm rocked Hawaii on Saturday, pilots and controllers at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport at Honolulu had to deal with the closure of one of the main runways because there was a dead body on it. Authorities closed Runway 26L for more than six hours as they gathered evidence about how the body got there.

Runway 26L is known as the reef runway and at this time of year is used by widebody aircraft to keep their approach over the water. They were shifted to 26R, which required them to maneuver over the city.

Officials still haven’t released the identity of the person found on the runway or how he or she got there but the shift in operations did cause a few aircraft to go around. No significant delays were reported. The body was spotted by the crew of an aircraft just after noon and the runway was closed minutes later. The incident happened about four hours after Hawaii’s emergency broadcast system sent out a false alarm over an imminent nuclear missile attack on the state. The false alarm was attributed to human error.

Virgin Galactic Back In The Air

                    By Mary Grady, AVweb

  Virgin Galactic is ramping up its test-flight program in Mojave, with a goal to bring tourists to space later this year. Late last week, VSS Unity, the passenger-carrying part of Virgin’s space vehicle, completed its seventh glide flight, after a break of several months. During that downtime, Virgin’s engineers worked on testing and analysis, and made some small modifications to the vehicle, to ensure its “readiness for the higher loads and forces of powered test flight,” according to the company blog. A crew of two test pilots checked stability, control and transonic performance during the test flight, which topped out at Mach 0.9.

“At this stage of the glide flight programme, each flight is essentially a dry run for rocket-powered test flights,” according to the blog. “Where possible, the team replicates those powered flight conditions by, for example, adding water ballast to simulate the weight and positioning of the rocket motor. As during previous flights, the water ballast was jettisoned at around 22,000 feet, allowing the pilots to complete the flight and land in a lighter configuration, again simulating the conditions which will apply during space flight.” Virgin founder Richard Branson said recently that he expects Virgin Galactic to launch its first paying passengers into space by the end of this year. The tourism operations will be based at New Mexico’s spaceport.

Make Or Break Search For MH370

By Myron Nelson, AVweb

The government of Malaysia has announced that it has signed a unique agreement with a U.S. oceanic research company to resume the search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, which mysteriously disappeared in March of 2014. The private company, Ocean Infinity, based in Texas, has signed a speculative “no-find, no-fee” contract for 90 days that has the potential to reward the research company up to $70 million on a graduated fee scale based upon search results and the amount of area covered within the allotted time. The search will focus on an area in the Southern Indian Ocean approximately the size of Vermont that experts have narrowed down as having the best chances for success.

The company will use its vessel Seabed Constructor for the search. The vessel is outfitted with a fleet of eight autonomous, non-tethered underwater vehicles fitted with high-tech cameras, sonars and sensors. It is believed that this new technology will be able to accurately map and search the area significantly more accurately, efficiently and at a much faster pace than the technology previously used in the search. “We have a realistic prospect of finding it,” said Ocean Infinity Chief Executive Oliver Plunkett. “While there can be no guarantees of locating the aircraft, we believe our system of multiple autonomous vehicles working simultaneously is well suited to the task at hand.” It has been reported that while the reward fee potential of the venture is speculative, the Malaysian government has agreed to underwrite the operating costs of the search effort and that two of its naval officers will be on board the search vessel as observers, participants and consultants. The vessel is on its way to the search area and search efforts are scheduled to start by Jan. 17.

          First Airbus BelugaXL

                      Rolls Out

                 By Mary Brady



 The BelugaXL, the extra-large and unique cargo aircraft built by Airbus to transport huge aircraft sections among its various production sites in Europe, has rolled out from its assembly hangar in Toulouse, France, for the first time, this month, Airbus announced on Tuesday. The airframe is now structurally complete, the company said. It’s the first of five aircraft now under construction, and is expected to fly for the first time by this summer. The new airplanes will be bigger than the BelugaST transporters they are replacing. The ST can carry only one wing at a time for the A350 XWB jet, but the XL can transport both wings at once.

The aircraft is based on the Airbus A330-200 jet, with a highly modified fuselage. “We have the A330 as a foundation,” said Bertrand George, head of the BelugaXL program. “But many changes have been successfully designed, introduced into the aircraft and tested. Transforming an existing product into a super transporter is not a simple task.” The BelugaXL is about 20 feet longer and 3 feet wider than the BelugaST, and will be able to lift about 6.6 tons more payload. Five BelugaXLs are scheduled to enter service for Airbus’ airlift needs. Workers have now begun to build the second aircraft.

Aeromexico 737 Nearly Lands On Wrong San Francisco Runway

By Jon Hemmerdinger,,

Pilots of an Aeromexico Boeing 737-800 lined up to land on the wrong runway at San Francisco International airport on 9 January before executing a go-around procedure, the third safety-related landing incident at San Francisco in about six months. A Virgin America A320 family aircraft was on Runway 28L awaiting takeoff at the time of the incident, the Federal Aviation Administration confirms. The incident happened at about 11:45, says the FAA.

Air traffic controllers cleared Aeromexico flight 668 from Mexico City to land on San Francisco's Runway 28R, and the pilot of the aircraft acknowledged the instruction, according to the FAA, which is investigating. "When the plane was about a mile from the airport, air traffic controllers noticed the aircraft was lined up for Runway 28L and instructed the crew to execute a missed approach," says the FAA.

Neither Aeromexico nor Virgin America responded immediately to requests for comment. Click on hyperlink to take you to Control Tower video…AeroMexico  

First U.S. Flight Demo For Volocopter

By Mary Grady 

Volocopter, the German company that has long been working to develop a semi-autonomous VTOL, flew its aircraft for the first time in the U.S., on Monday. The aircraft flew briefly, unmanned and tethered, on a stage during the keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Volocopter also announced it had flown with a passenger for the first time last month, taking Intel CEO Brian Krzanich for a short flight inside a hangar in Germany. The aircraft was remotely piloted while Krzanich went along for the ride. “That was the best flight I’ve ever had,” Krzanich said after landing. “Everybody will fly like this someday.”


According to The Verge, Intel has been working with Volocopter to integrate its drone technology into the aircraft. The Verge also reported that besides the aircraft that flew during the keynote, the 2X production version also is on display at the show. The 2X rotors are set a bit higher, to enhance safety, says Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter, and the interior is roomier. Flight endurance now is about 30 minutes, but Reuter said the goal is to be able to stay aloft for at least an hour. That should be enough for the urban routes that he expects the aircraft to serve.


Company spokesperson Helena Treeck told AVweb on Tuesday the Volocopter will remain on display at CES for another four days, but will not fly again. She added there are currently no plans for the aircraft to appear elsewhere in the U.S. However, company representatives have told AVweb in the past they would love to bring the aircraft to the U.S. and fly at EAA AirVenture, so we’ll see.

         Here Comes The Future

                                   By Mary Grady

Every year around this time, when the days are short and nights are long and cold, we can’t help spending some time thinking about the future. A new calendar provides the illusion of a fresh start, though in reality the Earth continues its elliptical orbit, as it has for millions of years, oblivious to our human concepts. December 31 rings out the old, and January 1 arbitrarily rings in the new, regardless of astronomical realities. So what does the future hold? We all know that we don’t know. But we choose to prognosticate anyway. And here’s my contribution — I think the two aviation stories to watch in the new year will be autonomy and women. The pilot community seems to be warming up to the idea of flying airplanes that are smarter than us. Many of us still remember the days of stick and rudder, islands in the sky and dead reckoning.

But even many diehard old-style pilots, who believe nothing beats the hands-on flying in a DC-3 or Cub, appreciate that technology that makes flying safer isn’t really a bad thing. And the safer it gets, and the easier it gets to be a safe pilot, the more people will be interested in learning to fly. The idea of a “flying car” isn’t really about having a machine you can park in your garage and drive to the airport. It’s about having an airplane that’s as simple and safe to operate as an automobile. And with autonomy surging in the automobile world, “as safe as driving” is going to change … cars driven by humans aren’t all that safe, but autonomous cars are. Autonomous, or semi-autonomous, airplanes will indisputably reduce the risks in GA flying. Already, the NTSB has reported that 2016 was the safest year in 50 years for general aviation. I’ll go out on a limb and guess that’s not because pilots are being more careful and training harder. It’s because more airplanes are better equipped with safety gear, from AOA indicators to envelope protection to parachutes.

As autonomous systems take over more and more of the chores of flying, and eliminate more of the risk, interest in private flying will soar. And that takes us to the next story — women. Aviation has been failing to inspire half the population, for decades now. The reasons for that are legion, but let’s not debate that. Let’s say that if the career track is there, for the airlines — and I think it is, especially now, with pilots in short supply — then there’s something in society that needs to change. And that’s the reality that it’s harder for women to combine an airline career with family life than it is for men. If that’s going to change, men are going to have to be willing to step up at home. Will that happen? Will we look back someday at 2018 as a turning point? Hard to say, but it’s a New Year. The shortest days of winter are over, and hope for the future reigns, at least for today.

        Despite The Hassles of Air Travel

                                         By Chabeli Herrera

2017 was a good year for flyers — here’s why.You may not have enjoyed flying in 2017, but at least you were safe. According to two airline safety groups, there were no recorded accidents on large passenger jets in 2017, making 2017 the safest year on record. The bad news: Passengers suffered more than 891,000 delays and nearly 76,000 cancellations, out of 4.7 million flights as of October, the most recent month for which data is available from the Federal Aviation Administration. There were also system malfunctions and service shortcomings. (Remember that passenger who was dragged off a United Airlines flight?)  On the safety side, commercial airlines had a stellar year. Dutch aviation consulting group to70 calculated two regional airline accidents last year, which accounted for a combined 13 deaths. All were on small prop or cargo planes. Since 1997 the average number of airliner accidents has shown a steady and persistent decline, for a great deal thanks to the continuing safety-driven efforts by international aviation organizations such as ICAO, IATA, Flight Safety Foundation and the aviation industry.

Harro Ranter, president of the Aviation Safety Network


Those figures don’t include a crash Sunday in Costa Rica that claimed 12 people, including 10 U.S. citizens, on a private charter aboard a Cessna Grand Caravan prop plane. A family from Belleair, Florida, was killed in the crash. Also not included in that count is a crash in the Everglades in July that killed the pilot, the only person on board. (The report does not include small commuter planes.) According to the Aviation Safety Network, 10 fatal airline accidents were recorded in 2017 — five on passenger flights and five on cargo flights — resulting in 79 total deaths.


By comparison, 303 people died in 2016 from 16 accidents.


The report comes in a year where global air traffic again grew, by 3 percent, compared to 2016. That amounts to one fatal accident for every 16 million flights, to70 estimated. In 2017, there was one fatal accident for every 16 million flights, according to to70. The low number of accidents is a result of years of increased improvements in airline safety, Harro Ranter, president of the Aviation Safety Network, told the Miami Herald.  “There were no specific recent changes that contributed to the low number of accidents. The improvements have been built over years by a growing reliability of aircraft and engines as well as sharing incident data and learning from incidents before they turn into accidents,” Ranter said. He added that the positive numbers are a result of safety-driven efforts by numerous aviation organizations, including the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Flight Safety Foundation. Not to be left out, President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday morning that he had some part in the increased safety on aircrafts: “Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation. Good news — it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!” These statistics encompass only fatalities on aircraft. Staying on land wasn’t a safety guarantee.


A New Zealand woman was killed while holding onto the fence outside St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana International Airport — famous for its proximity to Maho Beach — due to the force of a jet blast. And in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, a cargo plane overran the runway in January 2017 and crashed in a village killing at least 35 people. Other issues were less critical, but vexing nonetheless. They included hurricane-related delays, claims of price gouging from storm-affected regions, and a massive scheduling mix up at American Airlines that threatened to — but ultimately didn’t — cancel thousands of holiday flights. Just Monday, international travelers arriving in Miami on New Year’s Day were confronted with a two-hour outage of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s nationwide processing system, causing massive congestion at passport control. The issue was corrected by 9:30 p.m., but some passengers lost their connecting flights, American Airlines said in a statement.

Southwest and American to Pay Bonuses After Tax Bill

                      By DAVID KOENIG


DALLAS –  Airlines are sharing some of their tax-law windfall with employees and Boeing, the big aircraft maker. American and Southwest said Tuesday that they will pay employees bonuses of $1,000 each, a gesture that American said would cost $130 million. Southwest also said that it exercised options to buy more new jets from Boeing while delaying orders for some others. Unlike most other U.S. airlines, Dallas-based Southwest has long been profitable and already pays cash income taxes. It earned $1.6 billion in the first nine months of 2017, and will benefit immediately from the lower rate on corporate income in the tax bill that President Donald Trump signed last month. Open a New Window.

Blockchain will be bigger than you can imagine, but getting there will be harder than expected. Despite a consensus about Blockchain benefits, why haven’t we seen any use cases go live at scale? Southwest said it expects to record a non-cash credit of between $1 billion and $1.5 billion in the fourth quarter to reflect the difference in rates between the time the tax expenses were accrued and when they will be paid.

Because of huge losses in previous years, other major U.S. carriers do not pay cash income taxes even though they have become hugely profitable. American, for instance, earned $1.7 billion in the first nine months of last year. All the airlines should benefit, however, from a provision in the new law that lets businesses more quickly depreciate the cost of investments — aircraft, in their case. CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said the new tax law will help American in the long run, presumably when it can no longer avoid income taxes by counting past losses. They said the tax changes will give the company more confidence to invest in planes and facilities and pay the employee bonuses. American said employees at the main airline and its regional affiliates would get their money in the first quarter.


Southwest said it will make payments next Monday. Southwest also announced that it would exercise options on 40 Boeing 737 jets valued at $4.5 billion while delaying 23 previous orders with a sticker price of $2.1 billion by up to five years. Southwest did not disclose financial terms, but airlines routinely get large discounts from list prices. Southwest also said that it will donate an extra $5 million to charities in 2018. A spokesman for the company said it paid out more than $25 million in cash, free tickets and other donations to charity in 2016, the last year for which final figures are available. In a regulatory filing, Southwest also said it expects to record $105 million in fourth-quarter expenses because of the moves announced Tuesday and other items, including a legal settlement, which it did not describe. The result will be an increase of about 3.5 percentage points in the company's forecast of so-called unit expenses — the amount per seat that it costs to fly one mile.


       International Airlines Group (IAG),

       Steps in to Purchase Stricken Niki

                            By Breaking News Travel

International Airlines Group is to buy assets of the Austrian airline Niki, formerly part of the airberlin group.The deal is worth €20 million and will provide liquidity to Niki of up to €16.5 million. The transaction is being made by a newly formed subsidiary of Vueling which will be incorporated as an Austrian company and run initially as a separate operation. It is subject to customary closing conditions such as the EC competition approval. The assets include up to 15 A320 family aircraft and an attractive slot portfolio at various airports including Vienna, Dusseldorf, Munich, Palma and Zurich. The new company plans to employ approximately 740 former NIKI employees to run the operation.

Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: “Niki was the most financially viable part of airberlin and its focus on leisure travel means it’s a great fit with Vueling. “This deal will enable Vueling to increase its presence in Austria, Germany and Switzerland and provide the region’s consumers with more choice of low cost air travel.” airberlin ceased operations in October after equity investor Etihad withdrew financial support. Niki itself was grounded earlier this month after filing for insolvency protection. More details about the new subsidiary’s branding and route network will be provided in due course, when appropriate. IAG also owns Iberia, Aer Lingus, and British Airways.

Table of
News Articles

  • Airbus Lands$16B Emirates
  • Airbus  Near Miss - Drone
  • Airliner Veers Off Cliffside
  • Air New Zealand & UA
  • Air Safety Record Analyzed
  • AOPA Aviation Curriculum
  • AOPA, NBAA ATC Stand
  • AM737 Nearly Lands SanFra
  • BA Grounded - Bed Bugs 
  • Body Closes HNL Runway
  • Boeing 727 55th Anniver.
  • Boeing 737 Max 9 Certified
  • Canadian Air Force Needs
  • Collier Trophy Nominees
  • Despite Hassles of Travel
  • Double Yak To Oshkosh
  • Do Pilots Need College?
  • Embraer E190-E2 Granted
  • Ehang Announces Vtol
  • Emirates’ 2-Cl 777-200LR
  • ERAU Plane Crash
  • ERAU Crash Investigation
  • FBI &The Valujet Crash
  • First Airbus BelugaXL
  • First Drone-Caused Crash?
  • Flight Attendants Make
  • Flight Safety Foundation
  • Germania Flight Collided
  • Ground Worker Injured
  • Here Comes The Future
  • IAG Steps to Purchase Niki
  • India Female Pilots
  • LAX New train system
  • Malaysia 370 Make/Break
  • Mexico Allow Air Marshals
  • Norwegian Trans Atlantic
  • Trans-Atlantic Record
  • Op-Ed: Technology
  • Paramount, Flying Cars?
  • Russian Runway Paved
  • Spirit Reaches 'Next Step'
  • Suspected Drone Collision
  • SW and AA to Pay Bonuses
  • Tax Laws Impact Aviation
  • Tax Reform: Affects Pilots’
  • The Berlin Airlift:
  • The Slapgate Controversy
  • Thai Air Bans Overweight
  • UA Refuses Peacock On Flt
  •  UA Announced Pet Policy
  • Utility Drone Start Testing
  • Virgin Galactic Back In Air
  • Volocopter 1st US. Flt Demo
  • WASP Florence Reynolds
  • World's Busiest Airports

Upcoming Events

Monday, Apr 23 at 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday, Apr 24 at 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Wednesday, Apr 25 at 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Thursday, Apr 26 at 3:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Recent Blog Entries

Recent Videos

202 views - 0 comments