Air Canada...Airline Go-Around

                      Raises Fears

                  By Mary Grady

An Air Canada A320 crew mistakenly lined up to land on the parallel Taxiway C instead of Runway 28R last Friday at San Francisco International Airport, a mistake that was caught and corrected by air traffic controllers. The incident sparked widespread news reporting about the “near miss” that could have caused “the greatest aviation disaster in history.” The Mercury News, based in the Bay Area, broke the story on Monday. The story notes that “four airplanes full of passengers and fuel” were parked on the taxiway waiting to take off, and all of them could have been destroyed if the A320 had in fact tried to land there. Peter Fitzpatrick, an Air Canada spokesman, told The News that Flight AC759 from Toronto “landed normally without incident” after a go-around.

On the audio clip from, the Air Canada pilot can be heard asking the tower why there are aircraft lights on the runway, and he is told there are no aircraft on the runway. Another unidentified voice then chimes in to say he’s lined up on the taxiway, and the controller tells him to go around. "If you could imagine an Airbus colliding with four passenger aircraft wide bodies, full of fuel and passengers, then you can imagine how horrific this could have been," retired United Airlines Captain Ross Aimer, CEO of Aero Consulting Experts, told the Mercury News. "If it is true, what happened probably came close to the greatest aviation disaster in history.” The FAA is now investigating the incident, according to Reuters. Click to hear Control Tower Video.

Southwest Jet Makes 'Crazy' Landing at Wrong Airport

By Dan Good, Courtesy Scott Schieffer

Cockpit Confusion: Plane Lands at Wrong Airport.

For passenger Hunter Poole, the landing of Southwest Airlines flight 4013 was just plain "crazy."The jet, carrying 124 passengers, landed at the wrong airport in Branson, Mo., Jan. 13, 2014, 7 miles away, on a runway about half the size of the intended destination. A steep drop-off lurked beyond the Taney County Airport runway. "[It was] very shocking when we exited the plane and saw the actual runway and how close we were to the edge of the runway," Poole told ABC News. Passengers reported a sudden stop to the flight. Scott Schieffer says he could smell burning rubber from the plane's tires as they came to a halt. "The brakes were applied forcefully. We were lurched forward a little bit. I was glad I had my seatbelt on in that case," Schieffer told ABC News. The pilot spoke to passengers over the intercom after the landing, trying to calm their nerves. "People know we are here and we will be taking care of you just as soon as we can," the pilot said, as recorded by a passenger on the plane. "Thanks again for your patience and I apologize."  

Jumbo Oops! Giant Cargo Plane Mistakenly Lands at Tiny Airport

Airline spokesman Brad Hawkins called the landing "uneventful," noting "all customers and crew are safe." He had no information on why the plane went to the wrong airport. But the pilots are likely to be reprimanded for a mishap that could have been disastrous, ABC News aviation consultant John Nance said. "There is a very high propensity for a collision, especially if you've got a large airplane making this mistake into a smaller airport," Nance said. The Boeing 737-700 took off at Chicago's Midway International Airport and was supposed to land at Branson Airport. A relief plane later brought the passengers from the proper Branson airport onto Dallas.


The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident, which marks the second time in less than two months that a large jet landed at the wrong airport. 

Boeing, University Of Central Florida Collaborate On Virtual Co-Pilot Technology

By Mark Schlueb, UCF News & Information Reality Technology Streamlines Training

ABOVE VIDEO: The virtual co-pilot technology will streamline training and lower costs by eliminating the need for a second person on the flight deck, with the ultimate goal being a mobile package trainees can take home and practice multiple scenarios from the comfort of their living room.

ORLANDO, FLORIDA – Researchers from the University of Central Florida and The Boeing Company have developed a “virtual co-pilot” to help train new pilots. Until now, experienced teaching pilots needed to join pilot trainees in simulators.New virtual reality technology streamlines training and lowers costs by eliminating the need for a second person on the flight deck. By wearing a virtual reality headset, pilot trainees can see and interact with a 3D virtual co-pilot sitting next to them in the flight deck. The co-pilot – visible only to those wearing the headset – can speak, follow instructions from the trainee and even ask questions.

“The pilot can have the same conversations with the virtual co-pilot as with a real co-pilot,” said David Metcalf, director of Mixed Emerging Technology Integration Lab (METIL) at UCF’s Institute for Simulation & Training. “It is very sophisticated, immersive technology.”Metcalf and his research team collaborated with Boeing for more than a year to develop a co-pilot avatar that’s fully customizable with different genders, cultures and languages. See video.

More Than 1,000 Expected To Picket Outsourcing By American Airlines At DFW Today

By Bill Hethcock,  Dallas Business Journal


Preventing outsourcing of jobs and jump-starting contract negotiations for American Airlines aircraft maintenance and ground support workers top the list of concerns in a picket scheduled Wednesday at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. “Safety and security and preserving American work is what this is all about,” Brian Parker, strategic action coordinator of Transport Workers Union 513, said Tuesday in an interview with sister publication the Dallas Business Journal. American Airlines TWU Locals 513, 567 and 591, representing Fort Worth-based American’s (Nasdaq: AAL) aircraft maintenance, fleet service, facilities and ground support employees, will picket at Terminal D. They will host Transport Workers Union International leadership, and officers and members from labor organizations across the country.

More than 1,000 people are expected to participate, Parker said. “We are not pleased that we are put in a position that we have to do this,” he said. “It’s not a happy day for us to have to step out on the curb and raise our collective voice. But our backs are against the wall and our story has to be told.” On the outsourcing issue, Parker said the number of jobs expected to be lost will be quantified at the protest. The union questioned an American Airlines plan to invest what TWU characterized as $100 million into a new aircraft maintenance facility in Brazil that will be staffed with foreign workers.

A spokesman for the American Airlines said the facility to be built in São Paulo will cost about $50 million and won’t impact work already done in the United States. "All of this work is being done today — we are simply putting a roof over it," spokesman Matt Miller said. "We aren’t starting new lines of work that we don’t already perform." Parker said the airline is not presenting the full picture. “Once we lose those jobs through attrition, they wouldn’t be replaced,” Parker said. “The average age of an aircraft mechanic is about 55 years old. So in a very short period of time, those American jobs would be lost.”

American has been embroiled in contract discussions with labor groups since exiting bankruptcy and completing its merger with US Airways. American Airlines earlier this year boosted pay for flight attendants and pilots — a move that was welcomed by union leaders but questioned on Wall Street. American jumped ahead of contract negotiations scheduled for 2019 and 2020, respectively, for flight attendants and pilots, and gave flight attendants a 5 percent raise and pilots an 8 percent raise. The cost of the mid-contract adjustments will be $230 million in 2017 and $350 million annually in 2018 and 2019, American said at the time.  When money was tight and the company’s survival was at stake, American Airlines asked TWU workers to tighten their belts to help the airline financially, and TWU did so, Parker said. Now, it’s time for American to “make things right,” he said.

Delta Unruly Passenger Beaten

With Wine Bottles

By Russ Niles

Crew members and passengers aboard a Delta Air Lines flight from Seattle headed for China Thursday evening, weaponized wine bottles and anything else they could think of to subdue a young passenger who was hell bent on opening a galley exit door. According to an FBI affidavit, Joseph Hudek IV, 23, was finally subdued after a wild melee involving several crew members and passengers. At one point, a flight attendant smashed two full wine bottles over Hudek's head but he shook that off as the Boeing 767 crew made a U-turn over Vancouver Island and headed back to Sea-Tac. “Hudek did not seem impacted by the breaking of a full liter red wine bottle over his head,” the FBI agent wrote, “and instead shouted ‘Do you know who I am?’ or something to that extent.”

In between fending off the counterattacks of flight attendants, pilots and fellow passengers, Hudek managed to get the handle of the door halfway up but it would have been held in place by the pressurization of the cabin. Had the aircraft been at low altitude, he could have potentially opened the door although it’s not clear to what end. Severely outnumbered, he was finally zip-tied into submission on the galley floor but passengers had to keep holding him down until he was arrested by Seattle police an hour later. Hudek was flying on a company-issued flight pass used by relatives of airline employees. He was reportedly sober but did spend a couple of minutes in the bathroom before going on his rampage. He has been charged with interfering with a flight crew.

Delta Air Lines Receives First A350-900 From Airbus

By Breaking Travel News


Delta Air Lines has taken delivery of its first A350-900, and will be the first US-based airline to operate the newest member of Airbus’ leading wide-body family. The A350 XWB will bring unrivaled Eco-efficiency and a superior passenger experience to primarily transpacific routes starting in October.  This delivery is the first of five A350-900s scheduled for delivery to Delta in 2017. The aircraft features 32 seats in the Delta One cabin, 48 seats in Delta Premium Select and 226 seats in the Main Cabin. The A350 XWB was the first aircraft to incorporate the innovative passenger experience elements collectively known as Airspace by Airbus. Delta’s customers will enjoy the quietest twin-aisle cabin, with more personal space and the largest overhead bins in the business.

More fresh air, LED ambient lighting, and optimization of cabin pressure, temperature and humidity all combine for absolute passenger well-being. The A350 XWB also boasts the latest aerodynamic design, carbon fibre fuselage and wings, and the fuel-efficient Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines. To date, Airbus has recorded a total of 847 firm orders for the A350 XWB from 45 customers worldwide, already making it one of the most successful wide-body aircraft ever. Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. More Information - Delta Air Lines is Supporting Partner for the upcoming World Travel Awards Latin America Gala Ceremony 2017 and Caribbean & North America Gala Ceremony 2017.

Passengers Say Jetblue Removed Them From Flight After

1-Year-Old Kicked Seat

By Jeffrey Cook Jul 19, 2017

 Joe Raedle/Getty Images


JetBlue is disputing family members' characterization of an episode that prompted their removal from a June 21 flight and said it is considering barring the family from flying with the airline. Through a press release from their attorney, Tamir Raanan and Mandy Ifrah said they were returning home to New York from Fort Lauderdale, FL, with their three children when their 1-year-old, Eden, began kicking a seat in front of them as the plane was about to depart. The statement said Ifrah and the female passenger in the seat "exchanged a few words" before the woman moved to an empty seat next to her. According to the family, Ifrah apologized to the passenger, but a flight attendant nevertheless asked the pilot to return to the gate, and the family was removed from the flight. But in a statement to ABC News, JetBlue said the encounter was more serious and "included physical threats and profanities against a nearby customer." JetBlue said a crew member asked the family to step off the plane to discuss what happened. After they refused "repeated requests," the crew deplaned all passengers, and law enforcement officers escorted the family from the gate area, according to the airline.


A video posted to YouTube shows a flight attendant asking the parents several times to step off the plane to discuss the matter. Both parents refuse. "I'm not getting off this plane," Ifrah is heard saying in the video. Another video posted to YouTube shows the two arguing with JetBlue staffers and law enforcement in the gate area about their removal. In the video, they demand to know if a woman on the plane is also being removed. It is unclear to whom they are referring. Raanan and Ifrah said the flight later departed for New York with their luggage, including their clothes and baby supplies, leaving them stranded without many of their belongings overnight. When they returned to the airport the next day, a JetBlue representative said the family was "banned from all future flights and could not provide an explanation," according to the family's press release. It took Raanan and Ifrah a week to get all their luggage, the press release said.  The two claim that JetBlue never informed them why they were kicked off the flight or banned from future flights with the airline. The lawyer for the family disputed JetBlue's accusation that a member of the family "used profanity and threats of violence."

JetBlue said the passengers were removed because of the parents' actions and it is investigating whether the behavior warrants banning them from future flights. The family's attorney called JetBlue's actions "unprofessional and reckless, if not malicious." The family has not filed a lawsuit against the airline, as of Wednesday morning.

Frontier Low-Cost Airline To Launch New Flights

To 9 Cities From Miami

By Emon Reiser  


Frontier Airlines Inc. is taking Miami International Airport into new territory with flights to nine cities — five of which are not served by any other carrier at the airport. The Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier this week announced its expansion at MIA and the return seasonal flights starting in October. From MIA, Frontier will fly to Buffalo, New York three times a week; Cincinnati three times a week; Cleveland three times a week; Detroit daily; Islip, New York daily; Milwaukee daily; Providence, Rhode Island daily; San Juan, Puerto Rico daily and Trenton, New Jersey daily. Frontier Airlines Chief Information Officer Rick Zeni and Miami-Dade Aviation Director say… Frontier will also bring back seasonal flights from Miami to Chicago daily, Las Vegas daily, New York City daily and Philadelphia daily through Nov. 10. Beginning in December, the airline will also host a seasonal service to Atlanta. "We look forward to welcoming Frontier’s new routes and passengers this fall," said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González. "It is encouraging to see that in addition to our expansion into new foreign markets, we are also growing our domestic route network."


As Frontier expands at MIA, it will cease operations at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL) later this year according to the Sun Sentinel. The airline is increasing its presence at an airport where Miramar-based ultra-low-cost competitor Spirit Airlines Inc. does not have any flights. Frontier entered the Miami market in 2014 with service to five cities and by 2015, expanded to seven cities in the United States with 54 weekly departures. The airline had more than 575,000 passengers to and from Miami in 2016, making it MIA's seventh-busiest airline. The new flights will bring Frontier's total number of Miami routes to 15. And more routes means Miami International Airport grows as a regional economic engine, bringing in more tourists for South Florida's hospitality businesses. The airport generates business revenue of $33.7 billion annually.

Sully Opposes

ATC Privatization

By Geoff Rapoport


Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger says privatizing air traffic control in the U.S. will reduce aviation safety and access to aviation. In an interview with Katie Couric, Capt. Sullenberger said of the proposal, “There are other, better ways to solve this political budget problem — by giving the FAA, in running the air traffic control system and making capital improvements to the air traffic control system, more predictable multiyear funding — without giving away the keys to the kingdom to the largest airlines to control access and fees and pricing too.”

Capt. Sullenberger famously piloted an Airbus A320 to a ditching in the Hudson River with no loss of life following the simultaneous bird ingestion and failure of both engines and has since become a familiar face on Capitol Hill lobbying on behalf of airline pilots and airline safety issues. Sully also pulled no punches sharing his opinion on the pilot shortage—or lack thereof: “It’s really only a few of the real bottom-feeders that are the least well run, the least capitalized companies that are having the most trouble [finding pilots] .... There are still a few of them that have extraordinarily low starting pay, in the $20,000 range, barely above food-stamp wage levels, and they’re the ones that are still trying to continue to use what is a broken economic model and one that is not sufficient in this market to attract sufficient numbers of fully qualified candidates.” 

American Airlines Cancels Codeshare Partnerships With Qatar Air And Etihad

                  By Breaking Travel News

American Airlines has announced it will terminate codeshare partnerships with Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways. The move is seen as part of a dispute over state subsidies American claims these carriers receive from their governments. Both the Middle Eastern carriers deny such claims. American and other United States-based carrier, notably Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, argue government subsidies allow Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates to offer lower fares and more amenities to long-haul, international travellers. American said cancelling code-sharing agreements with Qatar Airways and Etihad would not have a material financial impact. The decision comes as Qatar Airways confirmed it would go ahead with plans to buy a stake in American Airlines. The Middle Eastern carrier – which holds ten per cent of LATAM and a 20 per cent stake in British Airways-owner IAG - is seeking a ten per cent stake in its rival. “Our stock purchase request and filing is going ahead as normal,” Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar al-Baker said. Qatar Airways sent a revised antitrust filing to US regulators earlier seeking clearance to buy up to a ten per cent stake in American. Qatar Airways, American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia and LATAM are all members of the one world airline alliance.

Qatar Airways Chief Al Baker Apologies For Cabin Crew Remarks


Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker has apologised for sexist and ageist comments he made in a speech in Ireland. Speaking an event to celebrate the launch of a new route from Dublin to Doha, Al Baker said US airlines were “crap” and their passengers were “always being served by grandmothers”. Al Baker also boasted “the average age of my cabin crew is only 26”. However, in a letter to the US Association of Flight Attendants, the Qatar Airways chief distanced himself from the remarks, saying he had spoken “carelessly”.  “I want to apologise for my recent remarks. “These remarks do not reflect my true sentiments about cabin crew, or about any employees, all of whom deserve and have my greatest respect,”

Al Baker added. He continued: “For the cabin crew serving aboard all air carriers, professionalism, skill and dedication are the qualities that matter.  “I was wrong to imply that other factors, like age, are relevant.” The spat comes against a background of animosity between Middle Eastern and United States-based carriers, with the latter accusing Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways of receiving illegal subsidies from governments.The row this week prompted American Airlines to cut codeshare ties with oneworld partner Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways. At the same time, Qatar Airways is seeking to acquire a ten per cent stake in American Airlines. American has so far proved reticent to such a deal.  Qatar Airways already owns a 20 per cent stake in the owner of British Airways, International Airlines Group, and ten per cent of South America’s LATAM Airlines.

Pilot Urges Passengers to Pray After AirAsia Flight Forced to Turn Around

SAN FRANCISCO (WFLA) – An AirAsia flight destined for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia had to turn back early after a “technical issue” caused the plane to shake. About 90 minutes after the flight took off from Perth, Australia, the plane started shaking heavily and continued to shake for two hours, according to reports. “It was really shaky, very scary,” one passenger, Damien Stevens told CNN. Other passengers described the shaking as similar to a vibrating washing machine.

According to reports, the pilot of the plane asked passengers to pray twice and to hold the “brace position” for two minutes before landing.

One person shared a video of her experience on Instagram and wrote “I thought I might die.” There were 359 passengers on board the aircraft. A spokesman for the Perth Airport told CNN, “The pilot identified a technical issue with the engine. The plane turned around and safely landed back at Perth Airport.”The plane landed just before 10 am on Sunday. Fortunately, no injuries were reported as a result of the incident. It’s still unclear what caused the shake, but passengers said it was described to them as a problem with the jet’s Rolls-Royce engines. According to CNN, imbalances inside the engine can cause violent vibrations that can be felt throughout the plane.

Documentary Says Amelia Earhart May Have Survived Crash Landing in the Marshall Islands

                                                   By JULIA JACOBO


A photograph appearing in a new documentary is being touted as possible proof that famed American aviator Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, may have survived the crash landing of their final flight more than 80 years ago. The History channel's new special, "Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence" contends that the photo depicts Earhart and Noonan after they crash-landed in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean. The History channel said the photo was discovered in the National Archives as part of a top secret Navy file. In the fuzzy photo, two people that the History channel claim are Earhart and Noonan are on a dock with several other people. The person who appears to be a woman, possibly Earhart, has her back toward the camera as she appears to gaze at a barge, The Associated Press reported. However, Ric Gillespie, the executive director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, told ABC News that the woman with her back to the camera in the photo is not Earhart. Her hair was too long."What you have here is a picture of a bunch of people on a wharf," Gillespie said, adding that there is "nothing to support the contention" that the photo contains Amelia Earhart.

In the special, which airs Sunday, Shawn Henry, a former FBI executive assistant director, investigates new evidence related to Earhart's disappearance. The film argues that Earhart and Noonan were picked up by the Japanese military after they crashed in the Japanese-held Marshall Islands and that Earhart may have been held prisoner after she was presumed to be a spy, according to The AP. One common theory about what happened to Earhart and Noonan is that they crashed and sank in the South Pacific on July 2, 1937, as she attempted to become the first female pilot to circumnavigate the globe. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. In June 2015, newly rediscovered footage, believed to be from the spring of 1937, showed Earhart in what may have been the last recording of her before she departed for the final flight. The History channel documentary also explores whether there was a cover-up in the investigation into Earhart's disappearance, since the U.S. government closed the investigation just two weeks after she and Noonan went missing, according to the AP. Henry said the documentary describes "a world-famous aviator who got caught up in an international dispute, was abandoned by her own government, and made the ultimate sacrifice," adding that Earhart "may very well be the first casualty of World War II."

The documentary suggests that a decades-old theory that Earhart and Noonan crashed in the Marshall Islands and survived —- based on accounts of locals who claimed to have seen her —- could be accurate.The National Archives told ABC News that they are searching for the photo in their files and will continue investigating. ABC News' Darren Reynolds contributed to this report

Top 3 Theories for
Amelia Earhart's Disappearance

Eighty years since she disappeared, Earhart's fate remains one of aviation's greatest unsolved mysteries.

Theory 1: Open-Ocean Crash Near Destination

The official U.S. position is that Earhart and Noonan ran out of fuel on the way to Howland Island and crashed in the Pacific Ocean. The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Itasca was at Howland to assist Earhart in this pre-radar era by providing radio bearings and a smoke plume, but owing to radio problems, communication was sporadic and broken. According to the Itasca's radio logs, Earhart indicated she must be near the island but couldn't see it and was running low on gas. The Electra never made it to the island. lickSee the complete story of the 3 Theories and a Video on:National Geographic

Escape Chaos on Fiery American Airlines Jet Detailed by NTSB

By Alan Levin

Photographer: Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images


Firefighters extinguish flames from American Airlines Flight which caught fire on a runway at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago on Oct. 28, 2016. Panicked passengers on an American Airlines widebody aircraft in Chicago last October demanded to evacuate as a massive fire engulfed the right wing, and were blasted by exhaust from an engine that pilots hadn’t shut down.The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board released more than 500 pages of investigative reports Thursday detailing how a metallurgical flaw led to a violent right engine failure, a fire that raged outside the plane, and the ensuing evacuation.

Flight attendants described a chaotic scene as they at first tried to prevent passengers from fleeing because the plane’s left engine was still operating and was buffeting two of the three escape slides. They relented after smoke began filling the cabin, and some of the passengers were blown to the tarmac by the blast of air from the working engine while they attempted to evacuate, according to the investigative reports. One flier told investigators that he “stood up to get away from the airplane and was blown over by the thrust coming out of the back of the engine,” NTSB wrote in one report. “He got back up again ran to a grass strip next to the runway. He could feel pain in his back.” Flight 383, a Boeing Co. 767-300, was accelerating for takeoff Oct. 28 when its right engine exploded in what’s known as an uncontained failure. Shrapnel from the disintegrating engine ripped through the hardened casing and it burst into flames.

Massive Fireball

Leaking fuel triggered a massive fireball on the right of the plane as passengers evacuated out the other side. Out of 170 people aboard, one person suffered a serious injury and 19 had minor injuries, according to NTSB.

The NTSB documents include technical reports on the crew’s performance, the failure in the engine, and the evacuation. They stop short of reaching any conclusions about the causes of the incident, which will be issued later.

Flight attendants said they weren’t able to contact the cockpit to coordinate the evacuation with the pilots. Passengers had begun racing to the left side of the plane even before it stopped on the runway. Some people insisted on trying to bring their bags with them despite repeated calls to leave them by flight attendants. One attendant reported having an altercation with a passenger who refused to obey her instruction to leave luggage behind. “He refused to drop it and proceeded forward with the bag over his head,” the NTSB said in a report. A surveillance camera video released by the NTSB shows that the first of the plane’s exit doors was opened less than 20 seconds after the plane came to a stop. Fire was already engulfing the right side of the aircraft as black smoke billowed into the air.

40 Seconds

All three of the exit doors were opened within about 40 seconds of the plane stopping, though the engine’s exhaust was buffeting the two inflatable exit slides at the middle and rear of the aircraft. A flight attendant at the rear of the plane said he and another attendant held off opening the emergency exit while waiting to hear from the pilots. “As they were waiting the cabin began to fill with smoke, so they decided to open the door and evacuate,” NTSB said in a report. “Once the door was open he could see passengers rolling across the runway behind the engine and the slide blowing to the rear.” While attendants are given leeway to react to potentially catastrophic emergencies, American instructs them to assess whether engines are still running before ordering an evacuation, according to the NTSB.

Checklist Requirement

It took at least a minute from the time the plane stopped until the copilot reported shutting off fuel to the engines, according to a transcript of the cockpit’s voice recorder. Pilots told investigators that it took a long time to depressurize the cabin, which was required in the evacuation checklist before shutting off the engine and ordering an evacuation. The captain described the checklist as “cumbersome.”

“We are proud of our pilots, flight attendants and other team members who responded quickly on Oct. 28, 2016, to take care of our customers and colleagues under very challenging circumstances,” American spokesman Ross Feinstein said. A rotating disk within the General Electric Co. CF6-80 engine had an “internal inclusion,” meaning foreign debris became embedded within the nickel- and chromium-based alloy designed to withstand the heat and high stresses of a jet engine, according to the NTSB. The engine that failed was built in 1997, according to GE.

The company has issued a voluntary recommendation to operators that disks made from 1984 to 2000 be inspected using an ultrasonic technique during those engines’ next scheduled shop visit, said GE Aviation spokesman Rick Kennedy. Many of the roughly 4,000 disks made during the period have been retired and it’s not clear the number still in service, he said. Boeing didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. The American flight had accelerated to 154 miles (248 kilometers) per hour before the pilots began applying the brakes, according to NTSB. It came to a stop about 25 seconds later. Fire crews arrived on scene and started applying foam to the burning jet fuel within 2 minutes and 51 seconds of being notified of the emergency, NTSB said.The fire burned so hot that the right wing partially collapsed.

Boeing Delivers Norwegian’s
First Two 737 MAX 8s
By Travel PR News Editors

(Marian Lockhart photo)

Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Norwegian celebrated the delivery today of the airline’s first two 737 MAX 8s. One of the airplanes is seen here, taking off from the Seattle Delivery Center.

Norwegian becomes first European carrier to take delivery of the 737 MAX

SEATTLE, 2017-Jul-04 — /Travel PR News/ — Boeing (NYSE: BA) and Norwegian celebrated the delivery today of the airline’s first two 737 MAX 8s. Norwegian is the first European carrier to take delivery of the 737 MAX and will deploy the airplanes on transatlantic flights between northern Europe and the east coast of the United States.

“We have been eagerly awaiting the delivery of our Boeing 737 MAX, and we are overjoyed to have it join our fleet today,” said Bjørn Kjos, Norwegian’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are the first European airline to operate this brand-new aircraft, and we’re also the first airline in the world to operate it to and from the United States. This aircraft allows us to open up new, unserved routes and offer both Americans and Europeans even more affordable transatlantic fares. It will also provide our passengers with a quieter onboard experience, whilst it significantly reduces both fuel use and carbon dioxide emissions.” Norwegian is the sixth largest low-cost carrier in the world and flies over 500 routes to more than 150 destinations in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Thailand, the Caribbean and the US. It currently operates a fleet of more than 100 Next-Generation 737-800s and over a dozen 787-8 and 787-9 Dreamliners. The Oslo-headquartered carrier also has unfilled orders for 108 737 MAX 8s and 19 787-9s.

“The 737 MAX 8 is a significant addition to Norwegian’s fleet, enabling the airline to start the next chapter in its incredible growth story of low-cost, long-haul travel,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO, Kevin McAllister. “It is a tremendous honor that a brand as innovative as Norwegian will be the first European carrier to fly the 737 MAX, and we are certain that this airplane will play a key role in its continued success.”

The 737 MAX family has been designed to offer customers exceptional performance, flexibility and efficiency, with lower per-seat costs and an extended range that will open up new destinations in the single-aisle market.

The 737 MAX incorporates the latest technology CFM International LEAP-1B engines, Advanced Technology winglets, Boeing Sky Interior, large flight deck displays, and other improvements to deliver the highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market. It is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing history.

747 Transforms Into

Air Force One Replica

By Mary Grady

Images courtesy of Noah Forden.

 A 747 that has been parked at Quonset State Airport in Rhode Island for a couple of years now is being transformed into a replica of Air Force One, according to a local news station. The 747 first flew into the airport in Evergreen livery in June 2015, and has been sitting outside through rain, snow and wind.

Now workers on site are beginning the transformation with a fresh coat of exterior paint. Franklin Exhibits, based in New York, owns the airplane. They told Channel 10 they plan to replicate every detail of the presidential aircraft, inside and out, to create a tourist attraction. The finished airplane may first be based at Quonset for a few months, but then will be removed via barge, from the airport’s shipping port on Narragansett Bay, according to Channel 10. It then will either be transported to a new site, perhaps in Washington, D.C., or it may become a traveling exhibit.

 The 747 has been in production since 1970, but Boeing officials said recently that demand is slowing down and they don’t expect to sell any more of them for commercial air travel. A few may still be built for freight and VIP transport. Boeing has produced more than 1,500 of the distinctive jets.


At least two actual Air Force One aircraft are in museums. The first jet-powered Air Force One, a Boeing 707-120, is at the Museum of Flight, in Seattle. The Ronald Reagan presidential library, in California, has a Boeing 707 that flew from 1973 to 2001, serving seven presidents. Twenty-two airplanes have flown as official presidential aircraft, starting with a Douglas C-54 Skymaster during the Eisenhower administration in 1959. Aircraft were used before that, beginning with President Roosevelt. The 747s have been the presidential aircraft since 1990. The White House today is served by two highly customized Boeing 747-200B series aircraft.

Embraer to Face Tougher U.S. Market If JetBlue Drops E190

By Mary Schlangenstein

JetBlue Embraer E190, center, and Airbus A320, rear, taxi at JFK airport. (Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg)

Embraer SA’s E190 aircraft is flown by airlines around the world, but has struggled to find much of a home in North America. Now the largest U.S. operator of the plane may walk away, casting doubts on whether the next version of the jet can succeed in the market. JetBlue Airways Corp. plans to decide by the end of this year whether to join American Airlines Group Inc. and Air Canada in dropping the plane, ending an original plan for one hundred E190s in the New York-based carrier’s fleet. It would leave Aeromexico Connect as the only airline in North America flying Embraer’s second best-selling commercial jet, which can carry 96 to 114 passengers.

The E190’s fall from favor in the U.S., the world’s largest air travel market, illustrates the struggle for aircraft designed for point-to-point, high-frequency routes, operating between smaller planes that ferry passengers to airport hubs and big jets that are flown greater distances by large carriers. Operators have to charge higher fares for the convenience of multiple daily flights between the same cities to cover the increased costs of flying a plane with fewer seats.

“There are arguments for the 100-seater, but it’s far from guaranteed,” said Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace analyst at Teal Group. “It’s always depended upon the confidence that airlines could make it work from a pricing standpoint. This JetBlue decision is kind of a referendum or judgment on that.” JetBlue’s fleet review comes as Embraer prepares for the first commercial flight next year of the E190 E2, a new version with an engine the Brazilian planemaker says will burn less fuel and have lower maintenance costs than the current jet. The Sao Jose dos Campos-based company also is marketing the E2 version of its larger E195 small jet. “Right now its important to have a stake in the North American market,” said Nick Heymann, a William Blair analyst. The E190 “is supposed to be a natural walkup to the E2. North America is a pretty important market for both regional and small narrow-body airplanes.”

Boeing, Airbus

At least 38 airlines outside of North America fly 40 or more E190s. The jet has competed against 120- to 150-seat planes from Boeing Co. and Airbus SE that were already in use when it was introduced, John Slattery, head of the Brazilian planemaker’s commercial aviation unit, said in an interview. JetBlue’s version carries 100 passengers. The shaky position of the E190 doesn’t mean that Embraer is lacking fans in the U.S. The planemaker’s 76-seat E175 aircraft is flown by most U.S. regional carriers. But union contracts at American, United and Delta airlines require that planes with more than 76 seats be flown as part of their main jet operations, where higher-paid pilots raise the operating costs of the E190. Still, Slattery doesn’t think that history will hamper Embraer’s ability to sell the new version in the U.S.

Transition Moment

“It feels to me we are at a point of inflection, a moment of transition, where the U.S. major network carriers and also the low-cost carriers and ultra low-cost carriers are looking at re-fleeting at the lower end of their narrow-body fleet,” Slattery said. “That’s where the 190 and 195 E2 will play. We predict plenty of opportunity for Embraer in North America.” Every option is being considered as part of JetBlue’s review, Chief Financial Officer Steve Priest has said, including shedding the sixty E190s it now flies, keeping them or replacing them with another small plane. In addition to Embraer, candidates include Bombardier Inc.’s C Series or Airbus’s A319. A smaller jet from Mitsubishi Corp. also may be ready by mid-2018.

“I am cautiously optimistic we will continue our amazing partnership with JetBlue for many decades to come,” Slattery said. The planemaker will present “the full family” of its aircraft to JetBlue, “especially the E195 E2, which we believe could be a perfect fit for the broader JetBlue fleet for the coming years.” JetBlue’s E190s have a troubled history, from early teething pains with software following their 2005 debut, to pneumatic system problems to engine-maintenance issues that drove up costs as late as 2013.

Hunter Keay, a Wolfe Research analyst, has said he expects JetBlue “will announce its exit as an E190 operator by the end of the year.” American and Air Canada plan to shed their E190s -- 20 and 25, respectively -- by the end of 2019. Costs for each seat flown a mile on the aircraft are about 20 percent higher than JetBlue’s Airbus planes when adjusted for longer routes flown by the larger jets, Priest has said. The E190 also has “significantly higher” revenue on that basis, he said, declining to be more specific. Such differences generally are true for smaller jets because there are fewer seats to spread both costs and revenue across.  JetBlue’s E190s have been used for high-frequency flights to the Caribbean and out of Boston that are favored by business travelers willing to pay more.


       New Fort Lauderdale-London Flight

         British Airways To Launch July 6

                            South Florida Business Journal

Fort Lauderdale airport's new c oncourse to bring more flights. British Airways next week will begin its first scheduled commercial service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to London's Gatwick Airport.Starting July 6, the, United Kingdom-based airline will operate the new nonstop route on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. FLL says the new service connects Broward to not just London, but more than 150 destinations around the world.


Officials will commemorate the inaugural flight on Thursday. FLL CEO Mark Gale and Director of International Sales for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Erick Garnica will attend along with Doug Caines, vice president of business development for British Airways and Broward County commissioners. With nearly 700 daily arrivals and departures, FLL offers nonstop service to more than 75 cities and connections to more than 60 international destinations in 30 countries. The airport recently completed a terminal expansion that launched flights to more international destinations with Southwest Airlines.

FAA Spinoff Bill Gains Traction
By Mary Grady

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved a proposal on Tuesday to separate air traffic control from the FAA and transfer to it a nonprofit corporation over three years, according to a report in The Hill. The bill would create a board of directors with the power to impose user fees; however, general aviation users would be exempt from fees. The board’s 13 members would include three from the airlines – one each for passenger, cargo and regional carriers – and one seat each for GA and business aviation. The rest of the seats would be occupied by government, airports, air traffic controllers, commercial pilots and two more members chosen by the group. The FAA would retain safety oversight. The FAA bill will be considered on the House floor next month.

About 35,000 workers, including 14,000 controllers and 6,000 technicians, would be affected by moving air traffic control operations out of the FAA, according to USA Today. NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said last week he would support the House bill. “After extremely careful review, consideration, and deliberation, we have decided to support the bill because it fully aligns with NATCA’s policies, practices, and core principles,” he said in a news release. “We made sure that we clearly understood how this bill would protect the National Airspace System and allow it to continue to grow, as well as how it would protect the men and women who are the backbone of the system. This bill protects our workforce – including pay, benefits, retirement, and collective bargaining rights.”

Most GA advocacy groups have expressed opposition to separating ATC from the FAA, and instead support the Senate version of the bill, which would retain ATC in its current form. “Privatizing ATC is a bad solution in search of a nonexistent problem,” said EAA Chairman Jack Pelton. “The unknown costs, transition, and fallout from this plan would be extremely harmful to general aviation.” The two versions must still be worked out in Congress before a final version of the bill becomes law.

BVI Airways To Launch MIA's First-ever Tortola-Miami Route

By Emon Reiser

Photo: BVI Airways’ BAe Avro 146 RJ100 aircraft

Miami International Airport on July 22 will begin service to its 40th Caribbean destination when BVI Airways launches its route to Tortola, British Virgin Islands. It will be the major airport's first-ever flight path to B.V.I.'s capital island. "The Tortola route reinforces our position as the Gateway of the Americas, with more flights to Latin and the Caribbean than any other U.S. airport," said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio T. González. BVI will fly two weekly roundtrip flights on Saturdays and Sundays between MIA and the Terrance B. Lettsome International Airport, where BVI is also headquartered. The new route presents an opportunity for MIA to capture even more tourists from the Caribbean. Nearly 70 percent of overnight visitors to Miami-Dade County arrive from Latin America and the Caribbean, according to the most recent Visitor Industry Overview from the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.

This year, the airport also launched four weekly flights to Guadalajara and daily service to Mexico City with Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris on Feb. 1. Canadian airline First Air began charter passenger flights Feb. 4 from Ontario. Low-cost transatlantic airline WOW air launched flights three-times-weekly to Reykjavík, Iceland on April 5.Avianca Brazil began daily service to São Paulo, Brazil on June 24. Later this year, Aer Lingus will launch three weekly flights to Dublin, Ireland on Sept. 1 and on Oct. 29, SAS will begin weekly service to Stockholm, Sweden. Then, on Nov. 1, El Al Israel Airlines will begin three weekly flights from Tel Aviv.

In the past year, MIA and Los Angeles International Airport tied at No. 1 for the largest gain in new international routes, among all U.S. airports, according to a study by industry analyst Airline Network News and Analysis. The airports each added 10 new international routes between May 2016 and May 2017.More routes means this economic engine is getting even bigger, and more tourists for South Florida's hospitality businesses. The airport generates business revenue of $33.7 billion annually.

MIA & FLL: How They Compare To America’s Best-Run Airports

By Emon Reiser  


Best Airports Chart.jpgThe international airports in Miami and Fort Lauderdale are separated by only 30 miles, but they couldn’t be farther apart when it comes to their relative strengths, according to an American City Business Journals analysis. Miami International Airport is the No. 7 best-run airport in America, outpacing Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, at No. 52.

The “best run” analysis weighed productivity and growth metrics, including revenue per employee, operating income per employee and overall growth rate in the past five years. But in a separate ranking looking at amenities and conveniences, FLL soared ahead, receiving a grade of B+, while MIA received a C+. The reasons: It costs less to park and valet at FLL, and it’s closer to the convention center. Free Wi-Fi, which MIA does not yet have, was also a major factor.

Those are among the findings from the first-ever Airport Power Rankings analysis by American City Business Journals, parent company of the South Florida Business Journal. The analysis draws from U.S. Department of Transportation statistics from 2010 to 2015, with supporting research from ACBJ’s 43 newsrooms and analysis provided by faculty at Wake Forest University’s School of Business. Why conduct such a survey now? A comment from President Donald Trump, of course.

Trump’s run for the presidency gained a lift of sorts when, during a nationally televised debate with Hillary Clinton, he struck a new line of attack by bemoaning the general state of the nation’s airports. Like much of what Trump has said before and since his Nov. 8 election, the comment struck a nerve. “Our airports are like from a third-world country,’’ he quipped. No surprise, the broadside resonated with some and alienated others. But it also raised an important question, one that’s relevant to regional economies and millions of business travelers who crisscross the nation each day: How well do America’s airports stack up, anyway? The answer for South Florida: We do fairly well when ranked against others, with both of the region’s major airports experiencing double-digit growth in revenue, operating income and enplanements over the past five years.

Ms. Christina Nitschmann

Speaker, Consultant and Radio Show Host of Savvy Business Radio

More about our guest host who is appearing on our EAL Radio Show Broadcast, Episode 324 "Fear of Flying" and airing on Monday evening, June 26, 2017 at 7:00 PM ET.  More on Christina and her fears of flying, and our guest host scheduled for our show.

How to Get Over Your Fear of Flying?: FLY! During this transitional period I was able to fly my pants off (some two hundred hours in less than a year).  I should backup though. While I loved travel, I was petrified of flying. It was in 2006  that I made a promise to myself to conquer my fear of flying by taking flying lessons. At the same time I met the love of my life and partner Bryan. I'd have to say, while leaving corporate America gave me the space to discover my greatest gifts, it was flying that gave me the courage to pursue them.


Flying Gave me Courage:  Often folks ask me how I kicked my fear of flying to the curb, and it was actually easy, I just DID it. If I haven't been up flying for a while or I'm learning a new maneuver or experiencing a new situation, I still experience fear. But, I've learned if I don't fight the fear, and let it come, it quickly passes. I simply focus on my training and flying the airplane. In the past, I think the reason fear won, was I kept fighting against it. By doing so, I made the fear stronger, and myself weaker. So my advice would be for anything that frightens you, (like the Nike Motto), Just Do It! and when the fear rises, don't fight it, let it come and pass. In fact, I'd say whatever great accomplishment you want to reach, from getting your private pilot certificate, starting your own business, or living your passion and purpose in the world, you'll have to do what makes you scared  and makes you uncomfortable. In the end though, constantly pushing yourself beyond your limits is what will allow you to live the life of your dreams! Go for IT! "


Twitter: @Savvy_Radio -

EC-121 “Warning Star” Moving To The Yankee Air Museum

By Aviation Museum News

(Photo by Jack Weber)

As previously reported HERE by WarbirdsNews, the Yankee Air Museum has launched the “The Warning Star Rescue Project” to save a Lockheed EC-121K Warning Star, and move it to their facility in Ypsilanti, Michigan. A team has been disassembling the aircraft at the sadly now-defunct Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum, located at the former Chanute AFB in Rantoul, Illinois. Jack Weber, a former navy crew chief on the type, was involved in this effort and kindly sent in these images and details. (Incidentally, Weber is also the webmaster for the fascinating, a website dedicated to those who flew and maintained Warning Stars during the Cold War.)

The aircraft started life as a ‘Willy Victor’, or WV-2, the naval variant of the Warning Star. She joined with the US Navy in August, 1956 as Bu.141311. The type became an EC-121K with the amalgamation of military aircraft designations in 1962, and it is largely equivalent to its US Air Force counterparts. Bu.141311 spent the bulk of her career assigned to the Pacific Missile Test Center at NAS Point Magu in California. She retired to the boneyard at Davis Monthan Air Force Base in 1979, but a team ferried her to Chanute AFB for display in 1983. Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum volunteers poured 16,000 man hours into restoring the aircraft between 2000 and 2005, bringing her interior back to its former glory. She is still in great condition, even if her exterior paint is a little faded, and will make a marvelous addition to the Yankee Air Museum. The Warning Star is supposed to arrive at The Yankee Air Museum this week for reassembly. The museum plans to unveil her at their Thunder Over Michigan Air Show during Labor Day Weekend (September 2nd thru 4th, 2017). Bu.141311 will be open to the public and the Yankee Museum has invited Willy Victor veterans to be part of the event. Go to this hyperlink for more photos (a collage) of this Historic Warbird.

When the Octave Chanute Aerospace Museum closed its doors in 2015, Bu.141311’s future looked very bleak indeed. She is still owned by the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida, but they already have a WV-2 in their collection and had no interest in moving her elsewhere. This is understandable, as it is a massive aircraft and hugely expensive to move. So full credit must go to the Yankee Air Museum for having the courage to save this aviation gem, and take on her upkeep. There are still a number of significant airframes in Rantoul awaiting new homes though, and their days must surely be numbered, so for those who can get involved saving them, please do! The Yankee team plans to restore the EC-121 to static condition, to best represent the “Star” as she looked during her Cold War days. From here, the aircraft will continue to serve a vital role, though this time as an educational tool, rather than warrior.

 FAA Proposes $435,000 Civil Penalty Against United Airlines


The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) proposes a $435,000 civil penalty against United Airlines for allegedly operating an aircraft that was not in an airworthy condition. The FAA alleges that on June 9, 2014, United mechanics replaced a fuel pump pressure switch on a Boeing 787 in response to a problem that a flight crew had documented two days before. However, the airline failed to perform a required inspection of the work before returning the aircraft to service, the agency alleges. United operated the aircraft on 23 domestic and international passenger flights before performing the required inspection on June 28, 2014, the FAA alleges. Two of those flights allegedly occurred after the FAA had notified United that it had not performed the inspection. The FAA alleges the aircraft was not airworthy during all 23 of the flights. “Maintaining the highest levels of safety depends on operators closely following all applicable rules and regulations,” said FAA Administrator Michael Huerta. “Failing to do so can create unsafe conditions.” United has asked to meet with the FAA to discuss the case.

What Can the Public Possibly Know About ATC Privatization?

By Paul Bertorelli

“Those who try to lead the people can only do so by following the mob.” – Oscar Wilde

I can’t think of a better lead in for the latest round of polling that indicates—surprise—the general public opposes the idea of privatizing air traffic control. The latest run at plumbing public sentiment on this topic was done by the polling firm Hart Research Associates and the most predictable thing about the results is the round of press releases from the alphabets citing the findings. But the data isn’t so categorical that it can’t be spun. While NBAA’s headline said, “CNBC Poll Reaffirms Americans' Opposition to Privatizing ATC,” The Morning Consult ‘s own survey found a “plurality” of voters favored privatization. While Consult bills itself as a non-partisan digital polling firm, we politicize everything from the color of our socks to the vegetables in school lunches. So, sure enough, the cross tabs show that Republicans favor privatization, Democrats oppose it.

But what do these poll respondents even know about this topic to have an informed opinion? Squat. Zero. Nada. Zip. I’m in the industry and consider myself fairly well informed and I can just muster an opinion based on probable fact. I say “probable” because by the time the airline lobbyists get done distorting whatever bill comes out of congress, who knows what the terms of engagement will be? Further, the topic itself is a natural for ill-informed innuendo such as President Trump’s claim that the current ATC system is “horrible.” If we thought about it for a nanosecond longer, maybe we could explain that the FAA is hobbled by funding issues that keep it from meeting its infrastructure goals and might there be a better way? I know. That would require a level of cognition that seems to have gone out of fashion with the rise of the internet.  

So. That leaves pollsters to massage the prose in a way that distracted survey takers can parse and answer. Can’t make it too complicated. And the question shouldn’t have innate bias. Here’s how Hart did it: “There is a proposal to shift control of the U.S. air traffic control system from the Federal Aviation Administration, or FAA, to a private, non-profit entity that would be governed by representatives of the major U.S. airlines and others. The FAA would have some oversight of this new entity, but would no longer manage the air traffic control system. Which of the following statements about this possible shift in control do you agree with more?” Then it followed with the usual strongly favor, somewhat favor and so forth. To summarize, 53 percent responded that it was a bad idea, 33 percent said it was good. The rest said neither or not sure. Morning Consult framed it this way: “As you may know, the U.S. air traffic control system is currently run by the federal government, through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Knowing this, do you support or oppose a plan that would establish an independent, not-for-profit corporation to run U.S. air traffic control, instead of the FAA?”

I don’t know about you, but I consider that prose intentionally anodyne. For a broadly uninformed reader—and on this subject, that’s probably most—it leaves out the potential bitter pill of the airlines running the thing. Even before United started beating its passengers, airlines weren’t especially warmly thought of. So no surprise the survey nets different results. Consult’s survey found 42 percent supported privatization, 32 percent opposed it and 27 percent had no opinion. I’m not suggesting Consult was fishing for a result, by the way, but merely dumbed down the question to make it more readable. Click hyperlink to read more Privatization.

60th Anniversary First Flight  707 Prototype - The Dash 80

By Bob Bogash

It is the 60th Anniversary of the First Flight of the 707 Prototype - the Dash 80.  The product of a bunch of engineers who probably lived in Bellevue, Washington, wore wing-tipped shoes with argyle socks , white shirts with pocket protectors, and carried K & E slipsticks (slide rules.)  They produced a machine that - on a dozen levels - changed the world. But the first flight of this matriarch of Boeing's long line of descendant jet transports, as advanced as it was, might have led to a very different outcome.  And, a very different Boeing. The story of the $16 million gamble, betting the company by building the 707 with Boeing's own funds and no customers, has been told often.  But, there was more to the story.

On Saturday, July 12, I led a walk-around tour at the Museum of Flight - covering the history of Boeing jetliners.  My thrust was perhaps a little different from that which some in my audience may have expected.  For me, the success of Boeing's jet transport line was not the designing, and building, and flying of the 707 - it was something else - a subtle but profound attitude change inside Boeing.  And the critical event was not the kick-off order for the 707 from Pan Am, but rather the later order from American Airlines. More of this article on:

Haredi Pilot, Mother of 4, to Fly Netanyahu to Greece

By David Israel


PM Netanyahu, Sara Netnayahu, Captain Yinon Hadar and first officer, Nechama Spiegel Novak, the first female Hareidi El Al pilot.

When Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu takes off to Salonika Wednesday afternoon for a trilateral summit meeting with Greek and Cypriot leaders, his EL AL aircraft will be the first flown by an ultra-Orthodox, female Israeli pilot, Yeditoh Aharonoth reported.

At the helm will be Captain Yinon Hadar and his first officer, Nechama Spiegel Novak, who was the first Haredi woman accepted into the El Al pilots’ school in 2015 and graduated successfully several months ago.

The pilot Nechama was educated at Beit Yaakov institutions in Jerusalem, she is married, has four children and lives in a Haredi community in the Jerusalem area. At the age of 20, she became infected with the aviation bug and took flying lessons in the US. She received an American pilot’s license and has since been trying to be accepted into the EL AL pilot course. Eventually she passed the prerequisite demands, but since she had not served in the Israeli air force, she did not have a sufficient amount of flight hours.

The tenacious Nechama did not give up, however, and flew to the US every year to accumulate flight hours, until, finally, in 2015 she was accepted into the El-Al course. According to Yedioth, Nehama says that her life’s dream has always been to be an active pilot, noting that “my husband is very helpful in this,” although working as a pilot means long absences from home and working very unusual hours. It appears that Nechama’s family is very happy with her choice. 

Harrison Ford Receives Aero Club of New England's Godfrey L. Cabot Award

By Ashley Burns Twitter:


The actor and pilot was honored for his work with the EAA's Young Eagles program. Harrison Ford is a great example of all of the attributes we look for in an honoree, and his name now joins the many other amazing recipients of years past. Thanks to all who came and enjoyed a fantastic luncheon and event!

Harrison Ford had the people of Boston buzzing earlier this month, when he was spotted visiting popular locations like the Freedom Trail and Fanueil Hall. He was in town as a guest of the Aero Club of New England, which honored the actor and pilot with its annual Godfrey L. Cabot Award for his work in promoting the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Young Eagles program, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

“The Young Eagles program… is an effort that many of you have contributed to and it has provided a great service to those who have an ambition to join our aviation family,” the actor told the audience. “I was very honored and very reluctant to accept the obligation of following in the footsteps of General Chuck Yeager… It led me to recognize and realize that I could possibly be useful with my notoriety in carrying some of the water that needs to be brought, so that people understand the value of general aviation and the incredible benefit aviation has brought to our modern lives.” Ford’s acceptance speech was equal parts humble and inspirational, but he also called on ACONE members to be vocal about the current issues affecting GA.


“All of us involved in aviation know that we face certain obstacles — the loss of airports, the threat of user fees, potentially the complications of privatization of air traffic control — these are things we need to maintain a degree of vigilance about and come together to try and create some understanding amongst our legislative servants, to educate them about the consequences of some of these programs,” he said. “I know that all of you feel a responsibility as citizens to stand up and speak your minds about those things, and we all need to encourage ourselves to do that.”

He even elicited a few laughs from the crowd at his own expense, mocking his recent taxiway landing and his “dumb schmuck” moment. But it wasn’t all about Ford, as the actor used his appearance to make a special evening even more exciting for one Young Eagle, who chose the ACONE event over his high school graduation. That teen ended up receiving his diploma from Ford himself. “They had all the kids stand up, and said, ‘One of our students here today had to make a big decision between graduating high school and being here. And guess what? He chose to be with us! Come on up here! We have something for ya’,” an attendee told People magazine. “He chose this [event], and they surprised him with Harrison giving him his diploma.”


Senate Introduces Flight

Act of 2017

By Jake Lamb

Sen. James Inhofe spearheads the GA-friendly bill as experts point to $100 billion in needed airport infrastructure improvements in the next five years. Infrastructure investments at U.S. general aviation airports may become a lot more flexible thanks to a bipartisan bill introduced by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.).

S.1320, the Forward Looking Investment in General Aviation, Hangars, and Tarmacs (Flight) Act of 2017, among other things, moves to reform Non-Primary Entitlement (NPE) funding, cut red tape for environmental reviews for GA airport projects, and designates certain airports across the country as “Disaster Relief Airports.” Inhofe, a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and a certified pilot with over 11,000 hours, boasted many positive reasons for the legislation.

Our general aviation airports are vital to aviation safety and positively impact the efficiency of large commercial airports, emergency medical operations, law enforcement activities and agriculture and small businesses activities throughout the United States,” Inhofe said in an announcement on his website. “These airports also manage military-related air operations, which directly supports the readiness of our armed services. To enjoy these benefits, it is vital that our GA airports are equipped to handle their day-to-day demands.

“Oklahoma is home to 96 GA airports, which will need $303 million in critical infrastructure updates over the next five years. As a pilot myself, I know first-hand the needs of the GA community and the Flight Act makes a number of needed reforms to facilitate GA airport infrastructure investment. The Flight Act allows GA airports more FAA funding flexibility, expedites the environmental review process and incentivizes public private partnerships. This legislation builds upon past Congressional efforts to support GA airports and will ultimately grow the positive impact GA airports have on the larger airport ecosystem.” Duckworth, who is also a pilot, said he also understands why small airports are a benefit.

Southwest Has a New Terminal in Ft. Lauderdale!

Southwest is counting down to the opening of Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport's new Concourse A in Terminal 1, when the airline will launch a swath of new international flights. The Dallas-based airline (NYSE: LUV) this week announced it would launch nonstop daily flights between FLL and San José, Costa Rica and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, starting November. On June 4, the airline previously announced it would launch multiple nonstop flights between FLL and Montego Bay, Jamaica; Grand Cayman; Belize and Cancun, Mexico. The new service next month coincides with the opening of 5 new gates. Click on the slideshow to see renderings of FLL's new Concourse A in Terminal 1.

Photos of FLL from 1950s and 1985 for remembering back when!

What the Aviation Industry is Saying about Trump’s

Air Traffic Control Reform Initiative

By Ashley Burns June 6, 2017

The President’s push for ATC privatization continues to generate resistance. President Trump's latest push for ATC privatization is still mostly being met with resistance from aviation industry officials. , President Trump introduced his Air Traffic Control Reform Initiative at the White House on Monday and outlined a vague plan to usher in a “great new era in American aviation.”

He claimed that taking the existing “ancient, broken, antiquated, horrible” ATC system away from the FAA and putting it in the hands of a nonprofit entity will make air travel better for the nation, and also create a new system that will be much better than any other country’s ATC. “Ours is going to top it by a lot,” Trump said.  Responses from major aviation groups were swift and blunt from the moment Trump wrapped his speech. As it has been since the administration’s budget was first proposed, the reaction was once again mostly negative.

While many officials and experts remain open to new ideas and proposals, especially in regard to job creation and the modernization of infrastructure, the strongest push back concerns the idea of user fees for general aviation.


“While AOPA is open to proposals aimed at making the air traffic control system more efficient and delivering technology in a timely and cost effective manner, we have consistently said we will not support policies that impose user fees on general aviation. As the air traffic debate continues, we are also concerned about the impact of these proposed reforms on general aviation based on what we have seen in other countries. We applaud President Trump’s calls to invest and improve our nation’s infrastructure including our airports. However, the U.S. has a very safe air traffic system today and we don’t hear complaints from our nearly 350,000 members about it. We will continue to work with the Administration and members of Congress including the General Aviation Caucus to ensure that safety, access, cost, and the freedom to fly are protected and addressed.” – Mark Baker, AOPA President & CEO



“The White House principles make a gross misrepresentation that the air traffic control system is broken, but the facts don’t support the claim,” said Jack J. Pelton, EAA CEO/Chairman. “This proposal is a solution in search of a problem. EAA supports modernization of the American airspace system, and progress is happening with the input of all the system’s stakeholders. This new plan would do nothing to solve any current technology or efficiency issues, while undermining the world’s most extensive general aviation system and disrupting the world’s largest and safest air traffic control system. It is a bad idea, and EAA will continue to state that to those in aviation, Congress, and the public.”



"With the airlines in charge of air traffic control, it's increasingly possible that airport access to general aviation aircraft could become restricted, and that a private organization could be empowered with taxing authority," AEA President Paula Derks said. "The volume of air traffic in the United States, including general aviation traffic, far exceeds that of any other nation. Modernizing the nation's aviation system should be the focus and is much more important than privatizing the system, which is the safest in the world."



“It’s difficult to see how one 'Makes America Great Again' by emulating foreign air traffic control systems that are smaller and demonstrably less safe than our own. The Trump proposal introduces significant uncertainty to the world’s largest, most complex and safest air traffic control system, offering a radical solution to issues that can be addressed within the FAA’s current framework. Surprisingly, the proposal also makes little business sense, it does nothing to address the need for additional airport infrastructure investment but adds significantly to annual budget deficits and increases the costs to be borne by the non-flying public.

“This is yet another Trump Administration slap at rural America. The Administration recently proposed slashing support for rural air service but now talks about maintaining rural access. What are those services and how do you maintain them? Instead, the Trump proposal indicates access for rural America will be limited to their willingness to pay whatever the airlines demand. Corporatizing air traffic control further limits the public’s ability to address issues of concern, removes transparency in ticket costs and undermines general aviation. General aviation groups shared those concerns in a joint industry letter to President Trump.” – NATA President Martin H. Hiller


National Business Aviation Association (NBAA)

 “NBAA has worked for many years to promote technologies, policies and procedures that ensure America’s aviation system remains the largest, best, safest and most diverse system in the world,” National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen said. “We are deeply concerned with the president’s call for ATC privatization – a concept that has long been a goal of the big airlines. No one should confuse ATC modernization with ATC privatization – the two are very different concepts.

“Unfortunately, the recent discussion about privatization is really about the airlines’ push to gain more control over our air traffic control system, so that they can run it for their own benefit, and is a sideshow to a serious and constructive discussion about building on the progress currently underway on NextGen. We are concerned that those left behind under ATC privatization would be the citizens, companies and communities that rely on general aviation for all manner of services.''



“Privatizing the largest and most complex aviation system in the world is a risky and unnecessary step at this pivotal point in its modernization. True progress is being made through Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) programs. Breaking apart the system to establish a monopoly will take the focus off the substantial progress already being made. This would slow down enhancements and possibly compromise safety to fix a system that’s not broken.

“… this is not a single union, or single group of employees at the FAA, opposing this move. PASS is part of a coalition of labor and management groups that represent a majority of employees at the agency who oppose any efforts to privatize the air traffic control system.” - Mike Perrone, national president of the Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, AFL-CIO



The United States (U.S.) Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) air traffic control system is the safest, most efficient, largest, technically advanced and most complex in the world. Jobs and continuing investment in the U.S. aviation system depend on a robust, stable and predictable climate for all users. We should not delay or prevent the system’s progress or the country’s growth for a risky transition to a new privatized entity for which only untested assertions about rewards or results can be made. Removing the U.S. air traffic control system from the FAA will create negative impacts for general aviation, rural and small communities, global leadership in air traffic control modernization and ongoing regulatory reform efforts.


Alliance for Aviation Across America

“The White House plan to privatize the air traffic control system would give control over this infrastructure to private stakeholders and the commercial airlines, directly harming consumers and smaller communities who are already at the mercy of a large airline-conglomerate that leaves them with fewer choices, terrible and degrading treatment on flights, and a stream of constant delays and travel headaches that are the airlines own fault,” said Selena Shilad, Executive Director of the Alliance for Aviation Across America.

“Not only is the President’s proposal a huge power grab for the commercial airlines, but the notion that the airlines can run anything better, let alone air traffic control, is laughable. These are the same airlines can scarcely get through a week without beating up their customers or throwing them off of flights, they have reduced service by over 20% to small towns, and they have about a major technological outage a week. All of these issues are the direct result of the fact that the airlines have become too large and anticompetitive, so handing them the keys to the air traffic control system is exactly a step in the wrong direction.”   Website for article:

General Aviation Advocates        Oppose Trump Privatization Plan

                                                               By Mary Grady

Sixteen general aviation advocacy groups signed on to a letter on Monday (PDF) opposing President Trump’s plan to turn the FAA into a private nonprofit corporation. “Dismantling the current system will devastate GA, while not accomplishing the desired goals of efficiency and technological improvements,” the letter says. “Today, the U.S. air traffic control system is the best in the world, moving more aircraft, more safely and efficiently, than any other country. Working with Congress and the FAA, aviation stakeholders have been able to ensure that our system operates for the public benefit, providing access for all stakeholders to airports, heliports and airspace, and encouraging competition and innovation.” The letter says “big airlines” are pushing for the new funding model, but the GA groups say they have seen similar systems in other countries and they are not good for GA.


The letter concludes: “We respectfully request that you provide ample opportunity for all stakeholders and citizens to carefully review, analyze and debate any proposed legislation changing the governance and funding for air traffic control.” The groups signing the letter are: Air Care Alliance, Aircraft Electronics Association, AOPA, Citation Jet Pilots, Commemorative Air Force, EAA, GAMA, Helicopter Association International, International Council of Air Shows, National Agricultural Aviation Association, National Association of State Aviation Officials, National Air Transportation Association, NBAA, Recreational Aviation Foundation, U.S. Parachute Association, and Veterans Airlift Command.

FAA, Unions React To ATC Plan

                                                                     By Mary Grady

The aviation community is continuing to respond to the Trump administration’s proposal on Monday to privatize the air traffic control system. FAA Administrator Michael P. Huerta released a brief statement, saying he supports “looking at new ways to help us provide stable and sufficient funding to more rapidly modernize our system, while maintaining the highest level of safety.” He concludes: “The proposal to create a separate, non-government air traffic control service provider is a step in a process that needs to involve all users of the airspace system and deliver benefits to the system as a whole.” The Professional Aviation Safety Specialists, the union representing FAA employees who install, maintain, support and certify computers and other equipment, also issued a statement, strongly opposing the president’s plan.

"Privatizing the largest and most complex aviation system in the world is a risky and unnecessary step at this pivotal point in its modernization,” PASS said. “True progress is being made through Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) programs. Breaking apart the system to establish a monopoly will take the focus off the substantial progress already being made. This would slow down enhancements and possibly compromise safety to fix a system that's not broken.

It is unfathomable to consider gambling with the future and safety of our air traffic control system by putting it into the hands of an organization that diminishes the voice of the American citizens who will be most affected by it. PASS will continue to work tirelessly with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to keep this misguided proposal from coming to fruition."

NATCA, the union representing air traffic controllers, said on Monday they would review the specifics of the ATC reform legislation to “evaluate whether it satisfies our Union’s principles, including protecting the rights and benefits of the ATC workforce.” On Tuesday, NATCA spokesman Doug Church reiterated that position to AVweb: “It is too early to support or oppose. We need to see the legislation first. We look forward to reviewing the specifics of legislation.”


Paine Field Museum Scores Rare 1930s

De Havilland Airplane

By Dan Catchpole

MUKILTEO (pronounced Mu kil teo).  One of the rarest aircraft in the world recently landed at Paine Field’s Historic Flight Foundation in Mukilteo. The museum added a 1930s-era airliner, the de Havilland Dragon Rapide. The sleek airplane is a jewel in the foundation’s collection of vintage airplanes, which date from the end of the barnstormer days in the late 1920s to the beginning of commercial jet age in the late 1950s. The Dragon Rapide “defines the end of an era” when planes were made with wood and fabric, said John Sessions, the Historic Flight Foundation’s owner and founder. The plane’s durability and reliability meant airlines could stick to regularly scheduled flights, launching a new era of air travel, he said. The Dragon Rapide first flew April 17, 1934, at the Hatfield Aerodrome north of London. It was designed by Geoffrey de Havilland, one of the most influential airplane designers of the 20th century. It quickly proved popular with airlines and even with a member of the United Kingdom’s royal family. Edward, Prince of Wales, used one of the twin-engine biplanes for official travel, including to fly to London for his coronation (as Edward VIII) in 1936.

The plane’s durability and reliability meant airlines could stick to regularly scheduled flights, launching a new era of air travel, he said. The Dragon Rapide first flew April 17, 1934, at the Hatfield Aerodrome north of London. It was designed by Geoffrey de Havilland, one of the most influential airplane designers of the 20th century. It quickly proved popular with airlines and even with a member of the United Kingdom’s royal family. Edward, Prince of Wales, used one of the twin-engine biplanes for official travel, including to fly to London for his coronation (as Edward VIII) in 1936.

De Havilland built 731 of the airplanes. Many were delivered to the Royal Air Force during World War II. The military version was dubbed the Dominie. The airplane, which had one pilot and carried eight passengers, helped connect the farflung British Empire. The flight from London to Cape Town, South Africa, took 10 days with 23 stops, but was still faster than going by boat. They surely were “intrepid passengers,” Sessions said. “Some of those stops must have been pretty sketchy.”

Sessions opened the Historic Flight Foundation in 2010 to celebrate the innovation and creativity that fueled a golden age of propeller-powered airplanes. The period is bookmarked by pivotal moments — Charles Lindbergh’s crossing of the Atlantic in 1927 and the development of Boeing’s 707, the first commercially successful jetliner in the 1950s. The museum is open to the public year round. All the planes in the collection have been restored to original flying condition.

The foundation’s Dragon Rapide was built in 1944 for the Royal Air Force. After the war, it was converted into an airliner and used by British European Airways until 1953. For the next 18 years, it was used for aerial surveying of major public projects, such as highway and seaport construction. The aging plane was next shipped across the Atlantic in 1971, to the Experimental Aircraft Association Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. The Dragon Rapide remained on display until late 1997, when a private collector in California, William ‘Bud’ Field, bought it and moved it to the West Coast.

After Field died in 2010, the plane stayed in storage as part of his estate.

When Sessions learned of the airplane’s existence, he contacted Field’s family and asked about acquiring the historic airplane. He declined to say how much he paid for the plane. Earlier this year, he took off in the Dragon Rapide from Davis, California, and turned north. Flying into Oregon, he felt an unusual vibration. He set down in Medford, and inspected the plane. A key part of the left engine had failed, causing a significant drop in power. The plane stayed in Medford until spare parts arrived from the U.K. Sessions flew it to Paine Field in early spring.

The Dragon Rapide is slated to head out soon to British Columbia, where it will be overhauled by a restoration company, Sealand Aviation. The plane will be painted in either its World War II colors or as it would have looked during its days with British European Airways. Mechanics also will painstakingly inspect the airplane and replace any questionable parts, Sessions said. “You can only be wrong once in these old airplanes.” Dan Catchpole: 425-339-3454; [email protected]; Twitter: @dcatchpole.

 The de Havilland Dragon Rapide had a cramped interior, with room for one pilot and up to eight passengers. The twin-engine biplane helped connect the British Empire in the 1930s. The Historic Flight Foundation at Paine Field has one of 12 left in the world. (Dan Catchpole / The Herald)


The Historic Flight Foundation’s de Havilland Dragon Rapide is still in flying condition despite being more than 70 years old. The recently-acquired airplane is scheduled to be extensively restored this summer in British Columbia and then returned to Paine Field. (Historic Flight Foundation)

Malaysia Airlines Flight

Grounded As Passenger Seeks

To Enter Cockpit

                                          By Breaking Travel News


A Malaysia Airlines flight has been forced to turn back to Melbourne Airport on June 1, 2017 after a passenger attempted to enter the cockpit of the plane. The airline’s cabin crew, with the help of a passenger, restrained the assailant on board flight MH128 to Kuala Lumpur. He was then handcuffed and subdued. The flight landed safely and the passenger was arrested, police said, adding it was not terror-related.

The flight has now been rescheduled to operate as MH128D today. Passengers are expected to depart Melbourne and arrive in Kuala Lumpur at 02:35 local time the next day. Passengers with critical onward connections have been allocated seats on Malaysia Airlines’ earlier flight, MH148 departing Melbourne. A total of three Malaysia Airlines flights are now scheduled to depart Melbourne today.

Victoria Police chief commissioner Graham Ashton said the suspect was a 25-year-old Sri Lankan man who was released from a Melbourne psychiatric facility earlier on Wednesday. The Australian Security authorities have screened all baggage and it is being transferred on the respective flights that passengers are rebooked on.


Malaysia Airlines’ technical and cabin crew that operated MH128/31May will not operate on flights until further notice.  A fresh set of crew will be operating MH128D. “An investigation led by Australian authorities is currently underway and Malaysia Airlines wishes to extend its appreciation to everyone involved during the emergency situation,” the carrier said in a statement.

JetBlue Will Test Facial-recognition Boarding Technology

David L. Harris ,

Boston Business Journal

JetBlue Airways Corp. said Wednesday that it will begin to test facial-recognition technology as part its the boarding process. The New York-based airline said that it will collaborate with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and SITA, an information technology company based in Switzerland, to test a new paperless and deviceless self-boarding process.


JetBlue (Nasdaq: JBLU) will be the first airline to integrate with the U.S. agency to use biometrics and facial recognition technology to verify customers at the gate during boarding. The airline, which has a large presence in Florida, will start testing the technology at Boston's Logan International Airport. The program will start in June on flights from Logan to Aruba’s Queen Beatrix International Airport. Customers can participate without any prior enrollment or registration after they've gone through the normal security screening, JetBlue said in a release.

Customers who opt in during the boarding process can put away their boarding passes and devices and simply step up to the camera for a quick photo, the airline said. The custom-designed camera station will connect to U.S. Customs and Border Protection to instantly match the image to passport, visa or immigration photos in the CBP database and verify flight details.

The customer will be notified on an integrated screen above the camera when they are cleared to proceed to the jet bridge. JetBlue said the technology will allow crew members from behind the counter to interact with customers and assist throughout the process. JetBlue will issue iPad minis to crew members, giving them mobility to monitor and manage the boarding process while interacting with customers, the company said. “We hope to learn how we can further reduce friction points in the airport experience, with the boarding process being one of the hardest to solve,” said Joanna Geraghty, executive vice president customer experience at JetBlue, in a statement. “Self-boarding eliminates boarding pass scanning and manual passport checks. Just look into the camera and you’re on your way.”

  Think Charlotte’s Airport Has        A Lot of Construction Now?

                  Just Wait!

                                            By Ely Portillo

If you haven’t been to Charlotte Douglas International Airport in a few months, get ready: It might look a little different the next time you go. The airport is one of the busiest construction sites in Charlotte, with projects totaling hundreds of millions of dollars underway. And the biggest and most potentially disruptive projects, especially the planned terminal expansion, haven’t even started yet. The new projects will accommodate more flights at Charlotte Douglas and rising numbers of local travelers. The terminal currently sees more than 120,000 passengers a day on average, and it can get crowded, especially at peak times. See more about the biggest projects underway now. Here’s a look at the biggest projects underway now and what they’ll make room for as each is completed:

▪ New parking spaces: With 28,000 public spaces, Charlotte Douglas is still expecting to see most of them filled during the busy summer travel season. The airport is building about 1,700 new, long-term spaces (the cheapest option, at $7 a day). Half of them should be complete this summer and half this fall. Workers continue to assemble a building as part of the Concourse A Expansion - Phase I at Charlotte Douglas International Airport on Monday, May 22, 2017. David T. Foster III [email protected]

▪ Concourse A North: Located just north of the current Concourse A (as you might infer from the name), this $200 million, nine-gate expansion is expected to be complete in May 2018. The new gates will be connected to Concourse A with moving walkways. Carriers besides American Airlines (which accounts for more than 90 percent of Charlotte’s daily flights) will move into Concourse A North, and American Airlines will backfill their gates. After that, Charlotte Douglas plans to start expanding Concourse A North, which will eventually total about two dozen gates. More...

Travolta Gives 707 To Museum

 By Russ Niles, AVweb Flash

John Travolta is hanging up his four-barred Qantas uniform and donating his personal Boeing 707 to an Australian museum, which will restore it. Travolta said he plans to personally deliver the Boeing to the Historic Aircraft Restoration Society (HARS) in Illawarra, New South Wales, after some maintenance on the aircraft. Travolta discussed the possibility of sending the aircraft to the museum in 2009 when he was invited to fly the HARS Super Constellation. He decided to let the jet go this year and the museum was happy to take it off his hands. "I am truly excited by this project and am just so pleased that this beautiful aircraft, for which I obviously have very fond memories, will continue to fly well into the future," Travolta said in a statement.

Travolta bought the old airliner in 1998, a few years after he chartered it for a fast trip to Europe. It was originally delivered to Qantas in 1964, one of 13 shortened, long-range versions of the venerable design. It was outfitted with the executive interior in 1973 and had previously been owned by Frank Sinatra and billionaire Kirk Kirkorian.

Travolta operated it himself for a few years before striking a deal with Qantas to paint it in historic livery and fly it as an ambassador for the airline in exchange for maintenance. Even a movie superstar couldn’t justify the maintenance costs on the thirsty jet. "Any plane this size is too pricey," Travolta told The Australian. "I did it for four years on my own and it was much easier to do a barter system and promote the airline.” Travolta still owns a GII, an Eclipse, a Yugoslavian Soko fighter and a couple of ultralights.

Russian Investigators:
Air Crash Pilot Error,
December 25, 2016
Tu-154 Airliner Crash, December
News on PlanetGenius

Russian investigators say the December crash of a Tu-154 airliner in the Black Sea, which killed 92 people, was most likely a case of pilot error. The military flight was on its way to Syria, carrying members of the Alexandrov music ensemble, when it plunged into the sea on 25 December. Analysis of the flight data suggests the pilot lost his bearings and ignored his instruments, believing that the jet was climbing too sharply. Tiredness was thought to be a factor.

The Russian defense ministry's report said the cause "could have been disruption of the flight captain's spatial and situational awareness, which led to him making errors". The report stressed that no violations of refueling rules were found, nor was there any evidence of an external factor in the crash. It is the end of the official inquiry.The Tuple plane had taken off earlier that morning from Chkalovsky military airbase near Moscow, and had refueled at Adler airport near Sochi. Disaster struck as the jet was climbing away from Adler, en route to Russia's Hmeimim airbase, outside Latakia in Syria.

Russia's Kommersant daily says all the evidence points to Maj Roman Volkov having suffered from "somatogravic illusion" - a condition that can affect a pilot's sense of balance during rapid acceleration or deceleration.

Experts quoted by the daily said Maj Volkov was already feeling unwell on the ground - he had had trouble getting the plane on to the correct runway for take-off.

As the plane was gaining height he started issuing incoherent instructions to the crew and pushed the control column forwards, sending the plane into a steep dive, Kommersant reported (in Russian). The plane lost height at 6-8 meters per second (20-26 ft/sec) and the alarm went off. But then the pilot made an abrupt maneuver, from executing a starboard turn with a 10-degree bank to a 53-degree bank to the left. In the 70th second of the flight, the plane had dropped to just 90m (295ft) above the water, and it was diving at a rate of 20m/sec. It broke up on impact, hitting the surface at 540km/h (336mph), with a 50-degree bank, and all aboard were killed.

The Alexandrov Ensemble - the official choir of the Russian armed forces - was scheduled to perform a New Year's concert at Hmeimim.Those on board also included nine journalists, eight soldiers, two civil servants and eight crew members.

Among the victims was Yelizaveta Glinka, known as Dr. Liza, the executive director of the Fair Aid charity and the inaugural winner of Russia's state prize for achievements in human rights.

Powerful Aviation Industry Soars In Miami-Dade

By Joseph A. Mann Jr., Miami Herald

That frequent rumble overhead signals more than just another planeload of New Yorkers escaping to the tropics. Building on its early 20th century history as a commercial and military flight center, Miami is thrusting deeper into the aviation cosmos, increasing its presence as an international nexus for aviation and aerospace services. In the past five years, local aviation-sector jobs have grown from a total of $1.2 billion in payroll to $2 billion, now accounting for one one of every four local jobs.

That growth helps explain why the industry’s top trade group, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), has chosen Miami for its key North American confab in 2017. The Wings of Change conference, slated for May 2-3, will bring together about 300 industry decision makers from around the region to discuss infrastructure, regulatory issues, passenger trends and technology.

“The purpose of Wings of Change is to bring together key air transport decision-makers, government officials and airlines to examine aviation’s top priority issues and map out strategies for the industry’s future,” said Peter Cerdá, the Miami-based regional vice president for the Americas at IATA, which represents 268 airlines in 121 countries. “Air transport has an oversized footprint in the local economy, and it is fitting that we recognize this example and leadership by bringing Wings of Change to Miami.”

The conference is the result of ongoing efforts by the Miami-Dade Beacon Council, the county’s economic development agency supported by tax dollars and private funds. The council’s 20-year initiative to grow the aviation industry kicked into high gear under the 2012 One Community One Goal economic diversification program, which identified the industry as a target for growth. In the years since, Miami has partnered with the offices of the county mayor and Florida governor to boost its brand at industry events including the signature Paris Air Show and has played host to peripatetic conferences, including the industry’s overhaul and repair conference.

The Wings of Change conference, slated for May 2-3, will bring together about 300 industry decision makers from around the region to discuss infrastructure, regulatory issues, passenger trends and technology.

While initiatives to bring a commercial air show to Miami-Dade have been quashed by the Pentagon and environmentalists, Beacon Council officials hope the Wings of Change conference will become a signature Miami event that will help attract and grow the industry’s local presence, much like SeaTrade, a long-standing global cruise shipping conference, and eMerge Americas, the 4-year-old tech conference. Though each of those are held annually, Wings of Change — previously held in Chile — would likely be held every two years, said James Kohnstamm, the Beacon Council’s senior vice president of economic development.

The Miami event “will be a real opportunity to highlight the importance of the industry for Miami-Dade,” said Alex de Gunten, an executive with South Florida-based HEICO and chairman of the Miami-Dade Beacon Council’s aviation committee.

Thanks to Miami’s organic growth as an international destination and the council’s efforts, the number of aviation and aerospace companies in Miami-Dade has grown from 448 in 2011 to 483 today, resulting in industry-sector job growth of 23 percent and an increase of average salaries from $60,491 to $82,811. In Broward County, industry jobs have grown nearly as much, by 20.8 percent over the past five years.

When it comes to vying for aviation business, Miami has plenty of competition. But while Boeing’s home field of Seattle-Tacoma commandeers U.S. manufacturing, Southern California ranks high for repair and maintenance, Memphis competes for for parts distribution, and Florida’s Space Coast competes for aerospace ventures, Miami brings together multiple critical services in a single location: overhaul and maintenance, parts distribution and training for both aviation and aerospace.

The number of aviation and aerospace companies in Miami-Dade has grown from 448 in 2011 to 483 today, resulting in industry sector job growth of 23 percent and an increase of average salaries from $60,491 to $82,811.

“Miami has a number of areas — like tourism and real estate — where we have a competitive advantage,” said Jerry Haar, a business professor at Florida International University. “But we don't have many with a sustainable competitive advantage, and one of these is aviation.

“We’re the gateway to the Americas. When LatAm Airlines or other regional air carriers need to service their planes, they don’t go to Denver ... They come to Miami,” Haar said. “You have an industrial cluster here — airports, commercial and private aviation, parts and services, pilot training, attorneys specializing in aviation law. Anything that feeds into and out of aviation is here.”

All are just steps from the nation’s busiest airport for international cargo and third-busiest for international passenger traffic.

Miami International and five smaller public airports used for private air traffic account for 37,500 direct jobs and support 282,000 direct and indirect jobs — one out of four in Miami-Dade, according to Joseph Napoli, chief of staff and senior policy advisor for the Miami-Dade Aviation Department. Napoli, who was a U.S. Army colonel, took over the MIA position in early 2014. More on a video of MIA Cargo.

One-Ton Cargo Drone

In The Works

By Mary Grady, AV Web

An online retailer in China,, announced this week it plans to develop heavy-duty drones that can deliver one ton or more of cargo. The drones could also be used to ferry goods out of the rural areas, such as fruits and vegetables headed for urban markets, according to the company. JD chairman Richard Liu said he plans to build 150 drone delivery sites in China’s rural districts within the next three years, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company, which is second only to Alibaba in the region, already operates about 30 drones that deliver shipments to customers in remote areas of China.

A spokesperson from JD told Recode the one-ton capacity drone should be ready to fly in about two to three years. The company also said it now operates about 20 drone delivery routes, but plans to expand to 100 by the end of this year. CEO Liu said delivering by drone to rural areas can be 70 percent cheaper than by truck, and is much faster.

The Untold Story of QF72:

What Happens When 'Psycho' Automation Leaves

Pilots Powerless?

By Matt O'Sullivan, May 12 2017


For the first time, the captain of the imperilled Qantas Flight 72 reveals his horrific experience of automation's dark side: when one computer "went psycho" and put more than 300 passengers at risk.

Returning from the toilet, second officer Ross Hales straps into the right-hand-side seat beside Captain Kevin Sullivan in the Qantas jet's cockpit. "No change," Sullivan tells him in his American accent. He is referring to the Airbus A330-300's autopilot and altitude as it cruises at 37,000 feet above the Indian Ocean on a blue-sky day.

Within a minute, the plane's autopilot disconnects. It forces Sullivan to take manual control of Qantas Flight 72, carrying 303 passengers and 12 crew from Singapore to Perth. Five seconds later, stall and over-speed warnings begin blaring. St-aaa-ll, st-aaa-ll, they screech. The over-speed warnings are louder, sounding like a fire bell. Ding, ding, ding, ding. Caution messages light up the instrument panel. The story continues and has a video to watch as the Captain relays his experience. Go to the website:


Airports of Interest

A Newsworthy recommendation from George Jehn our EAL Host, of a website that has as a lot of interesting airports to see. Click on this hyperlink below to take you there. Members are sure to enjoy looking at all of them.

The Tomb of the Unknown Solider

 Arlington National Cemetery

See more...Videos


The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery stands atop a hill overlooking Washington, D.C.

On March 4, 1921, Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American soldier from World War I in the plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheater.

The white marble sarcophagus has a flat-faced form and is relieved at the corners and along the sides by neo-classic pilasters, or columns, set into the surface. Sculpted into the east panel which faces Washington, D.C., are three Greek figures representing Peace, Victory, and Valor. The six wreaths, three sculpted on each side, represent the six major campaigns of World War I. Inscribed on the back of the Tomb are the words:

Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God.The Tomb sarcophagus was placed above the grave of the Unknown Soldier of World War I. West of the World War I Unknown are the crypts of unknowns from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Those three graves are marked with white marble slabs flush with the plaza.

"Soldiers never die unless their forgotten." The tomb is guarded 24 hours a day and the Tomb Guards never let them be forgotten. The guards take 21 steps back and forth on the mat, to symbolize the 21 Gun Salute...the highest honor well as each turn they stop for 21 seconds and again in front of the tomb for 21 seconds to honor them.


The Unknown of World War I

On Memorial Day, 1921, four unknowns were exhumed from four World War I American cemeteries in France. U.S. Army Sgt. Edward F. Younger, who was wounded in combat, highly decorated for valor and received the Distinguished Service Medal in "The Great War, the war to end all wars," selected the Unknown Soldier of World War I from four identical caskets at the city hall in Chalons-sur-Marne, France, Oct. 24, 1921. Sgt. Younger selected the unknown by placing a spray of white roses on one of the caskets. He chose the third casket from the left. The chosen unknown soldier was transported to the United States aboard the USS Olympia. Those remaining were interred in the Meuse Argonne Cemetery, France.

The Unknown Soldier lay in state in the Capitol Rotunda from his arrival in the United States until Armistice Day, 1921. On Nov. 11, 1921, President Warren G. Harding officiated at the interment ceremonies at the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery.


The Unknown of World War II and Korea

On Aug. 3, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill to select and pay tribute to the unknowns of World War II and Korea. The selection ceremonies and the interment of these unknowns took place in 1958. The World War II Unknown was selected from remains exhumed from cemeteries in Europe, Africa, Hawaii and the Philippines.

Two unknowns from World War II, one from the European Theater and one from the Pacific Theater, were placed in identical caskets and taken aboard the USS Canberra, a guided-missile cruiser resting off the Virginia capes. Navy Hospitalman 1st Class William R. Charette, then the Navy's only active-duty Medal of Honor recipient, selected the Unknown Soldier of World War II. The remaining casket received a solemn burial at sea.

Four unknown Americans who died in the Korean War were disinterred from the National Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii. Army Master Sgt. Ned Lyle made the final selection. Both caskets arrived in Washington May 28, 1958, where they lay in the Capitol Rotunda until May 30.

That morning, they were carried on caissons to Arlington National Cemetery. President Eisenhower awarded each the Medal of Honor, and the Unknowns were interred in the plaza beside their World War I comrade.


The Unknown of Vietnam

The Unknown service member from the Vietnam War was designated by Medal of Honor recipient U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Allan Jay Kellogg Jr. during a ceremony at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, May 17, 1984. The Vietnam Unknown was transported aboard the USS Brewton to Alameda Naval Base, Calif. The remains were sent to Travis Air Force Base, Calif., May 24. The Vietnam Unknown arrived at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., the next day. Many Vietnam veterans and President and Mrs. Ronald Reagan visited the Vietnam Unknown in the U.S. Capitol. An Army caisson carried the Vietnam Unknown from the Capitol to the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 28, 1984. President Reagan presided over the funeral, and presented the Medal of Honor to the Vietnam Unknown.

The president also acted as next of kin by accepting the interment flag at the end of the ceremony. The interment flags of all Unknowns at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier are on view in the Memorial Display Room. The Memorial Bridge leading from Washington, D.C., to Virginia was lined with a joint-service cordon as the remains of the Vietnam War Unknown were taken by motor escort to Arlington National Cemetery for interment in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

The remains of the Vietnam Unknown were exhumed May 14, 1998. Based on mitochondrial DNA testing, DoD scientists identified the remains as those of Air Force 1st Lt. Michael Joseph Blassie, who was shot down near An Loc, Vietnam, in 1972. It has been decided that the crypt that contained the remains of the Vietnam Unknown will remain vacant. The crypt cover has been replaced with one that has the inscription “Honoring and Keeping Faith with America’s Missing Servicemen, 1958-1975.”

Helicopter Monument Update

Arlington National Cemetery

As of 5/30/17


An Update on the monument to the helicopter crews of the Vietnam War will be placed at Arlington Cemetery, after a long uphill fight by advocates.

Arlington Cemetery has taken over the site and is now grading the land and preparing the street intersection for the small grass circle in which the memorial will stand.  They hope to have it finished by next summer and dedicated by Veterans Day 2018, the 100th Anniversary of the end of World War I, and the 15th Aanniversary of the Battle of Dak To “in which the 173rd Airborne was decimated.” 

History of "The Battle of Dak To"

"The Battle of Đắk Tô" was a series of major engagements of the Vietnam War that took place between November 3 to 23, 1967, in Kon Tum Province, in the Central Highlands of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). The action at Đắk Tô was one of a series of People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) offensive initiatives that began during the second half of the year. North Vietnamese attacks at Lộc Ninh (in Bình Long Province), Song Be (in Phước Long Province), and at Con Thien and Khe Sanh, (in Quảng Trị Province), were other actions which, combined with Đắk Tô, became known as "the border battles." The objective of the PAVN forces was to distract American and South Vietnamese forces away from cities towards the borders in preparation for the Tet Offensive.

During the summer of 1967, heavy contact with PAVN forces in the area prompted the launching of Operation Greeley, a combined search and destroy effort by elements of the U.S. Army's 4th Infantry Division and 173rd Airborne Brigade, along with the Army of the Republic of Vietnam's 42nd Infantry Regiment and Airborne units. The fighting was intense and lasted into the fall, when the North Vietnamese seemingly withdrew.

By late October, however, U.S. intelligence indicated that local communist units had been reinforced and combined into the 1st PAVN Division, which was tasked with the capture of Đắk Tô and the destruction of a brigade-size U.S. unit. Information provided by a PAVN defector provided the allies a good indication of the locations of North Vietnamese forces. This intelligence prompted the launching of Operation MacArthur, and brought the units back to the area along with more reinforcements from the ARVN Airborne Division. The battles that erupted on the hill masses south and southeast of Đắk Tô became some of the hardest-fought and bloodiest battles of the Vietnam War.

The Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association took their case to Congress, and gathered thousands of signatures on petitions asking the government to allow the monument to be installed. “Helicopters played a major role in Vietnam,” the VHPA said in a statement issued on Monday. “It is estimated that about 40,000 served as helicopter pilots during the Vietnam War. This monument honoring the sacrifices of helicopter crews in Vietnam is long overdue and much deserved.”

About 5,000 helicopters were flown during that war, according to Time, and 42 percent of them were destroyed by enemy fire, bad weather and other problems. More than 2,000 pilots and 2,700 crewmen and gunners were killed. They helped to rescue more than 90,000 victims of war. Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Bob Hesselbein, who flew AH-1 Cobra gunships in Vietnam, helped spearhead the campaign for the memorial. “People need to create memorials and monuments to honor those who give the ultimate sacrifice,” he said. The monument will be placed in Section 35 along Memorial Drive, not far from the Tomb of the Unknowns.

New England Air Museum Gets An Upgrade

By Mary Grady


Work has begun on major improvements at the New England Air Museum, adjacent to Bradley

International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.

The $1.9 million project aims to enhance the visitor experience. The project will create lofty mezzanines in two of the massive aircraft hangars, which will provide vistas over the museum's aircraft collections. The mezzanines, equipped with grand staircases and elevators, will create space for additional exhibits, public programs and events. The project will also install energy-efficient heat and air-conditioning systems, as well as new LED lighting. Aircraft will be relocated to take advantage of the new perspectives.

The project also will create new exhibits and graphics in the museum's galleries and add new exterior signage and branding. The museum will remain open throughout the construction, with completion slated for mid-August. The work is funded by a state bond, grants from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Pratt & Whitney and museum resources. The collection includes a B-29 Superfortress; a Silas Brooks balloon basket built in 1870, which is believed to be the oldest surviving aircraft in the United States; the 1912 Bunce-Curtiss Pusher, the oldest surviving Connecticut-built airplane; the Sikorsky S-39, the oldest surviving Sikorsky aircraft; and a Kaman K-225 helicopter, the oldest surviving Kaman-built aircraft.

What Is FAA Hiding from the Public? And Why??

FAA, like many federal agencies, has a nasty habit of expending lots of time and money working to keep the people in the dark. They are supposed to comply with FOIA laws, but instead they redact the hell out of what should be disclosed. Making matters worse, in recent decades it seems as though most in Congress are ‘too busy’ and/or ‘too inert’ to force FAA to follow the FOIA laws. Every once in a while, we get a great chance to look past these barriers.

Sometimes, FAA’s redactions become unmasked. When that happens, it is like sitting down with the devil, and sharing tea and a candid conversation. So much can be learned…. In this Post, a 27-page FAA memo is offered in two forms, redacted and unredacted. This memo documents how a safety investigation produced copious details and a strong recommendation for corrective action … which was then nixed by a higher FAA official. The heavily redacted copy was provided to an investigative report team. Seeing that so much data was hidden, they filed an appeal.

 An appeal response letter was eventually sent, rejecting the appeal, but somehow a copy of the unredacted 27-page was included in the appeal response letter. There  are the two versions, presented as scrollable/downloadable/searchable PDFs. View them side-by-side. See for yourself what FAA chose to redact, when a reporter team tried to help the public understand how FAA was handling a dangerous safety failure involving commercial aircraft maintenance. Go to: Aviation Impact Reform at:

 American Airlines Reduces Leg-room; Why It’s Your Fault

        Posted by The Unaccompanied Flyer

American Reduced Legroom, Get Over It! American Airlines recently announced that the airline would reduce the amount of standard main cabin pitch from 31-inches to 30-inches beginning with the delivery of their first Boeing 737 MAX.  Reducing the pitch (legroom) by two inches, of course, allows American to fly more passengers on a single flight.  Additionally, on three rows of American’s new 737 MAX aircraft, pitch (aka legroom) will be reduced to 29-inches.

By comparison, both Spirit and Frontier, two prominent ultra-low cost carriers feature 28 to 29-inch pitch on all of their aircraft.  According to Jon Ostrower of CNN Money, American is the first non-ultra-low cost carrier to feature 29-inch pitch. While 29-inch legroom is extreme, 30-inch legroom is nothing new.  All three major airlines feature 30-inch pitch on select aircraft in select rows.  American is, however, the first major carrier to implement 30-inch pitch throughout the entire main cabin.  United Airlines is also rumored to be considering 29 and 30-inch pitch in economy on its aircraft as well.

American’s decision has already sparked backlash throughout social media platforms.  This announcement was only recently made available to the public.  It’s only a matter of time before major news platforms (other than CNN), break this story. Passengers, already faced with less legroom, more fees, and decreased service are outraged by American’s announcement.  You might think that this outrage is totally understandable.  However, I disagree. Why are airlines making flying even more unenjoyable?  You’re the reason.

Demanding Cheap Fares Means Sacrificing Legroom, Amenities

There’s no such thing as a free soda!  Allegiant Airlines aired a commercial a few years back explaining why they charge for all drinks onboard.  The reason was that there’s no such thing as a free soda.  Every service and comfort provided by an airline are paid for by you.  You might think Delta Air Lines is providing you with a complimentary bag of pretzels and a free soda, however, you’re mistaken.  That bag of free pretzels and that free Sprite is reflected in the price of your ticket.  It’s the same on every airline.

History: The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978

I was born far too late to see what a regulated airline industry looked like.  (Airlines were deregulated in 1978, nearly twenty years before I was born.)  However, you don’t have to look far to see the impact that a regulated industry had on the price of a ticket. Prior to 1978, US airlines were heavily regulated by the federal government.  Airlines had some leeway regarding routes and ticket prices. However, almost every aspect of the airline industry was regulated.  Becuase of regulation, competition was scarce, and airlines were smaller.  Airlines were allowed to sell expensive tickets.  Without much competition and high airfare, airlines were able to provide these high paying customers full meals, free drinks, and business class-like legroom in coach.


European Airline Union (EU) Push Back On Laptop Ban

By Paul Bertorelli

The U.S. plan to ban laptops from airliner cabins on flights originating in Europe is drawing increasing resistance from the European Union, a UK pilot union and business travelers. EU aviation authorities will meet this week to consider the proposed laptop ban. The issue became the center of a Washington political firestorm this week on reports that President Donald Trump revealed classified information to Russian diplomats related to intelligence on terrorists’ plans to use laptops as explosive devices.

The Department of Homeland Security in March banned laptops in cabins of U.S.-bound flights originating in 50 cities, most in the Middle East. It has proposed expanding the ban to include European departure cities, but no effective date has been announced. The proposal hasn’t been received warmly in Europe.

The British Airline Pilots Association said this week that banning laptops creates a catastrophic fire potential in aircraft baggage holds. In a statement released on May 14, BAPA’s Steve Landells said, “Given the risk of fire from these devices when they are damaged or they short circuit, an incident in the cabin would be spotted earlier and this would enable the crew to react quickly before any fire becomes uncontainable. If these devices are kept in the hold, the risk is that if a fire occurs the results can be catastrophic. Indeed, there have been two crashes where lithium batteries have been cited in the accident reports.”

Landells added that the union doesn’t doubt the security threats represented by laptops improvised as bombs, but it urged authorities to assess the additional fire risk before “solving one problem by creating a worse one.”  Meanwhile, European governments planned to meet with DHS officials on Friday, worried that the ban will “create logistical chaos” on the world’s busiest transoceanic travel corridor. EU officials want to know if the proposed ban is in reaction to any specific threat, but DHS has said it is not.  The head of CNAPS, a French security agency regulator, agreed that the initial implementation would be chaotic. "You need a lot of time to inform them and a lot of time for it to enter people's heads until it becomes a habit," said Alain Bauer. "After a week of quite big difficulties, 95 percent of people will understand the practicalities," he added.

The Business Traveler’s Coalition is also protesting the ban. The organization said lost productivity is an issue, but the larger concern related to demand for business travel. “Most organizations -- corporations, universities, governments -- will not allow employees to check laptops, most of which have sensitive information on them. IT chiefs and risk managers are very conservative and assume everything on a laptop is sensitive, such as emails, contacts, hiring, marketing and sales strategies, new product diagrams …”, said BTC’s chairman, Kevin Mitchell in a letter to DHS. “Simply put, the ripple effects of this could create an economic tsunami of the likes which terrorists are dreaming of,” he added.

Other countries are reviewing policies on laptops in cabins. Canadian officials say they aren’t considering a laptop ban for now, but Australia is considering following the U.S. lead on laptop restrictions, according to ABC Online.

Boeing Debuts 737 MAX
With Malindo Air Delivery                                   by Airline News

Boeing has marked the first delivery of the new 737 MAX.  The airplane, a 737 MAX 8, was handed over to Malindo Air at the Seattle Delivery Centre. The Malaysia-
based airline will be the first to put the 737 MAX into commercial service.

“This airplane will change the face of the single-aisle market,” said Boeing Commercial Airplanes president Kevin McAllister. “The 737 MAX 8 is the best in its class, providing unmatched performance and economics for our airline customers.”

The 737 MAX family is designed to offer the greatest flexibility, reliability and efficiency in the single-aisle market. Every airplane will feature the new Boeing Sky Interior, highlighted by modern sculpted sidewalls and window reveals, LED lighting that enhances the sense of spaciousness and larger pivoting overhead stowage bins.


“We are thrilled to partner with Boeing to take the delivery of the world’s first Boeing 737 MAX,” said Chandran Rama Muthy, chief executive, Malindo Air. “The Boeing 737NG fleet has served Malindo well in its growth and we believe that the 737 MAX will become the centrepiece of our fleet. “These new aircraft will allow us to go to further destinations and will play a key role in providing lower air fares to our customers.”

The 737 MAX is the fastest-selling airplane in Boeing’s history. To date, it has received almost 3,700 orders from 87 customers across the world.

Boeing Celebrates 50 Years
Happy Birthday Boeing 737
(L. Photo)!

This week 50 yrs ago was the 1st flight.

We’ve been working out since then,

see 737 Max (R. Photo)!

Neal mentioned that the pilots used to call the Boeing 737 when it first came out "FLUFF!"

Do you remember what that meant?

Op-Ed: Is Ignorance Bliss? United Flight 3411 Is Part Of A Larger Story That Isn’t Being Told

by Annie Flodin

MIAMIThe shocking footage of Dr. David Dao being physically dragged off United Express Flight 3411 at Chicago O’Hare International Airport on April 9, 2017, set off a media firestorm, leaving people astounded as to what could possibly lead to such a violent act against a paying customer.

That video and the stories that followed infuriated many, leading to a flood of “Boycott United” hashtags on Twitter in the days following the incident. It also led to a scolding of airline executives before Congress. With the power of social media, it was easy for the world to “tsk tsk” the airline, but should all the blame be directed toward United? Are there bigger issues at hand that are being overshadowed? See more…

                          Allegiant Failures

An Outstanding Investigative Series  on Allegiant Failures and FAA Hiding Those Safety Issues From  the Public

                       Posted on Aviation Impact Reform

If you are increasingly concerned that FAA appears to be just a hack, a faux-regulator that does not really serve the people but instead enables the industry … you need to read these articles. If you have felt yourself doubting the veracity of an FAA high official, as they spew glowing pro-NextGen claims while dodging the enormous failures and impacts (like David Suomi, at the Port of Seattle on 4/25/2016; to see the video, click here, then select the April ‘video’ tab, and ‘Item 3c – Briefing’ under the 4/25 meeting) … well, you need to take a look at these articles.

This is where agency corruption goes beyond being an annoyance, to become downright dangerous.

When the Nut is Not Secured…

This photo was shot during an investigation after an Allegiant MD-80 was forced to do a high speed aborted takeoff. The castellated nut at the center of the photo has a twisted safety wire, to prevent the nut from detaching. The near-accident was caused by failure to secure the nut, creating a jammed elevator. Despite FAA and industry efforts to confuse us all, this is not rocket science. Given the speed and power in aviation, it is absolutely critical that parts not ‘come apart’ while operating.

So, what happens when aircraft mechanics fail to include a cotter pin or safety wire, as in the photo at right? Well, in this example, a hundred or so aircraft occupants are damned lucky they did not end up dead in a post-impact fire in Las Vegas. What exactly happened? While accelerating for takeoff, the nose lifted up on its own and the crew suddenly discovered they had zero elevator control. They cut the power to bring the nose back down and, luckily, had enough runway remaining to come to a safe stop and taxi back to the gate.

More at website...Aviation Impact Reform

Boeing on Wednesday Announced It Is Grounding All Flights
Of Its New Single-aisle 737 Max

by Jon Ostrower 

The plane maker has concerns about a manufacturing quality issue inside the jet's new engines.  "Out of an abundance of caution, we decided to temporarily suspend MAX flights.

The step is consistent with our priority focus on safety for all who use and fly our products," the plane maker said in a statement. More...Go to Boeing.

From: Jeff Lewis ([email protected])

Sent: Saturday, May 13, 2017 9:40 PM

To: George Jehn

Subject: Re: "Great" and "Safe" Automated Cockpits


I have an example of U.S. bias, involving the NTSB, just ran into earlier today. Take a look at my latest post: An Outstanding Investigative Series on Allegiant Failures and FAA Hiding Those Safety Issues From the Public 


While researching it, I went to the NTSB database, expecting to find a Las Vegas incident matching the news stories. It was not there. The monthly data base had nearly 200 incidents in August (six per day!), mostly involving little GA flibs, but the near-conflagration at KLAS was not included. This, despite the fact, the actual Report by FAA has lengthy text showing NTSB was brought into the case early.


On Sat, May 13, 2017 at 6:33 PM, George Jehn <[email protected]> wrote:

This is the scariest one that I have read so far. Interestingly, it didn’t come out of the U.S., but Australia. Makes me wonder how many similar or worse incidents have occurred here, but we never hear about them. The traveling public is being BS’ed by the Feds and the airlines.



From: Jeff Lewis

Sent: Saturday, May 13, 2017 9:21 PM

To: George Jehn

Subject: Re: "Great" and "safe" Automated Cockpits


I attended an FAA & Port of Seattle presentation a couple weeks ago and came away with full confirmation of what I had come to conclude about NG: it is all about transitioning to full automation, and is generally a wholesale attack on labor. I could not believe how badly the FAA guys were lying, and then was even more surprised to see them scrambling  and uttering lots of garbage that nobody would understand, unless they had a fairly deep aviation background. It was clear, they were scrambling, saying stuff like they cannot do GPS and ILS approaches simultaneously! ... and most people seemed to be trusting them!!​


GA Advocates Pleased

With FAA Funding Bill

 By Mary Grady

The FAA funding bill passed by Congress and signed by President Trump last week is good news for general aviation, according to analyses of the plan by several GA advocacy groups.

“We appreciate the strong support shown by Congress in this omnibus measure for general aviation, especially in the critical areas of safety, certification and the transition to an unleaded avgas,” said GAMA President Pete Bunce. He added that the bill also raises “strong concerns about the attempt to remove the U.S. air traffic control system from the FAA,” which is in sync with GAMA’s view that ATC privatization would be a bad idea. The bill provides $1.29 billion for aviation safety activities, including $1.5 million to hire six new FAA staffers to support the certification of new technologies. Contract towers are fully funded, at $159 million.

The measure also directs the FAA to work with industry to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of product certification, including fuller utilization of organization designation authorization, something for which GAMA strongly advocated. AOPA also was pleased with the bill. “Congress has clearly spoken in support of general aviation in the omnibus spending bill, which fully funds the programs that matter to pilots, including air traffic control, contract towers and NextGen implementation,” said Jim Coon, AOPA senior vice president of government affairs. The bill allots more than $1 billion to NextGen, to “help ease future congestion and reduce delays for travelers,” and directs $7 million to research on alternative fuels for GA.

NBAA also supported the bill. “This bill recognizes the importance of making a continued investment to ensure America retains its global leadership position in aviation,” said NBAA President Ed Bolen. “NBAA was proud to advocate for the language giving the FAA increased flexibility in the use of resources, thereby providing the agency with more tools in its toolbox to help ensure that its programs have stable, predictable funding.”

The bill provides $16.4 billion in total budgetary resources to the FAA, $127 million above the level in fiscal 2016, and $508 million above the amount requested for fiscal year 2017, according to AOPA. The bill funds the FAA through Sept. 30. 

NTSB Reports On Fatal Icon Crash

The NTSB issued its preliminary report this week on the fatal crash of an Icon A5 on May 8 in California. A witness, who was aboard a boat on Lake Berryessa, told investigators he saw the A5 flying over the lake about 30 to 50 feet above the water, at what seemed to be a low speed. The witness said the airplane passed by his position and entered a nearby cove, traveling in a northerly direction. The witness heard the engine "rev up" as the airplane drifted to the right side of the cove. Subsequently, the airplane pitched upward and entered a left turn, just before it traveled beyond the witness's field of view. The witness said he heard the sound of impact shortly after losing sight of the airplane. All major structural components of the airplane were located at the accident site, the NTSB said. Icon employees Jon Karkow and Cagri Sever were killed in the crash.

“This was a devastating personal loss for the Icon team,” said Kirk Hawkins, Icon’s CEO and founder, in a statement released this week. “We didn’t just lose employees; we lost family members. Jon and Cagri were both passionate engineers … We will miss them both tremendously, and our thoughts and prayers are with their families.” Icon said a flight data recorder was recovered from the accident aircraft, and NTSB investigators have reviewed it together with Icon engineers. The area where the crash occurred is known as Little Portuguese Canyon, and the terrain is steep and narrow, according to Icon. “We’re unsure why the plane flew into such a narrow canyon that had no outlet,” said Shane Sullivan, Icon’s director of flight. “We’re deeply saddened and fully committed to learning whatever we can from this tragic situation.”

Icon said it suspended all flight operations of the A5 fleet immediately after the accident, but flight operations have now resumed following the NTSB preliminary report. The wreckage from the accident flight has been recovered and moved to a secure location, the NTSB said.

Two Killed In Icon A5 Crash

  By Mary Grady

An Icon A5 amphibious light sport aircraft crashed about 9:20 a.m. on Monday along the shore of Lake Berryessa in Napa County, California, and two Icon employees were killed -- Jon Karkow, 55, the pilot in command of the aircraft, and Cagri Sever, 41, who was a passenger. It’s the first fatal crash for the design. The site, which is close to the company's training facility in Vacaville, is inaccessible by land, but authorities reached the wreckage via boat. The FAA and NTSB are investigating. 

Icon has not yet begun customer deliveries but has been offering flight training and demo flights from its flight centers. “It is with great sadness that I write this," Hawkins wrote by email on Monday afternoon. "Earlier today, two Icon employees were killed in an A5 accident while flying at Lake Berryessa, CA. We have no details on the cause of the accident right now.The NTSB and FAA have been notified and Icon will be working closely with them to fully support their investigation."

Karkow was well known in the industry and had come to Icon in 2007 after 21 years at Scaled Composites. At Scaled, he led more than 20 aircraft programs and five complete airplanes including the record-breaking, around-the-world Virgin GlobalFlyer, which won him a 2006 Aeronautics Laureate Award from Aviation Week & Space Technology. He also served as the technical program manager for SpaceShipTwo. A licensed airframe and Power plant mechanic, Karkow received a BS in Physics at Kenyon College and a BS in Aeronautical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was test pilot for the first flight of the Icon A5. He was an active pilot and experimental test pilot with instrument, multi-engine, seaplane, helicopter and glider ratings.

Sever had been with Icon only a couple of weeks, and until recently had been a manager of product design and development at Ford Motor Company. "This was a devastating personal loss for many of us," Hawkins continued. "The thoughts and prayers of our entire organization are with the families of both people onboard, they were both truly amazing individuals.” Officials said the two had been flying for only about 20 minutes before the crash.

Last month, an A5 aircraft was damaged in a hard landing, but the pilot and passenger escaped unharmed. AVweb will continue to update this story as more information is made available.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­             What’s  It Like To fly                          Boeing’s New Jetliner?

                  By Carol Rosenberg, Miami Herald

Photo: The pilot’s view in the cockpit of a 737 MAX full-flight simulator on hold in a midair flight over Moses Lake, Washington, on Thursday, May 5, 2017 at Boeing’s Miami Campus.

Pilots will soon find out in Miami Simulator. When U.S. pilots start flying into Miami soon for training on Boeing’s new jetliner, they’ll get a full-body experience. A 737 MAX simulator shown to media and airline representatives on Thursday, May 4, offers an opportunity to sit in an exact replica of a cockpit of the new aircraft — to be delivered to the first airline customers in June — for training before delivery. From the cockpit, trainees see video reproductions that let them practice taking off, landing and flying, and experience the tilt, turbulence and climb of an actual aircraft.

On Thursday, Miami’s Boeing Campus training site gave airline representatives and reporters a look at its new simulation suites and full-flight simulator, a pod-like unit containing the cockpit. It is Boeing’s only U.S. site where pilots can train on the new aircraft. Delivery to airlines begins in June. The media day visit also showed the 16-student classroom where mechanics are training specifically on the new aircraft, distinguishable from other 737s by its split-tipped winglet. Seattle-based Jayson Remfert, Boeing’s maintenance training product manager, said the program teaches already seasoned airline mechanics how to maintain and monitor a 737 MAX, even before they get hands-on experience with the real thing.

Miami is the first campus to offer “MAX training” for the plane, also called the 737-8, said Martin Schaaf, campus manager. Boeing will later set up simulation classes in Singapore, Gatwick and Shanghai to train pilots for the 3,700-plus MAX aircraft already ordered by 87 airlines around the world. Miami is the first to have the 737 MAX classroom, Schaaf said, because “it’s a great aviation community” with proximity to “many of our customers.” More than a dozen airlines have already signed up to do their 737 MAX training in Miami, Schaaf said, including Aer Lingus, Air Mexico, American, Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, COPA and Southwest. Some of them also toured the training sites on Thursday. The MAX version caused a mini-stir earlier this week when CNN disclosed American Airlines’ plan to shrink the legroom in economy class in the new model.

Simulation has come a long way since pilots underwent rote memorization and learning from manuals with classroom lectures, said Seattle-based Scott Anderson of the 737 MAX training development team, as he demonstrated Miami’s simulation suite capable of teaching four pilots at a time. Today, they learn with hands-on training. Rather than sit at a desk, the pilots sit side by side at a flat-panel, interactive flight deck computerized cockpit before graduating to a full-flight simulators. Today’s generation “don’t want to read about it. They want to do it,” Anderson said. “The students of the future, they’re not afraid of technology.”

B-29 ‘Doc’ Makes Airshow Debut

By Mary Grady

The restored B-29 Doc made its airshow debut on Saturday, in the Defenders of Liberty Airshow at Barksdale Air Force Base, in Louisiana.

“What was really special for us, we were able to meet up with a B-52 in flight, over Oklahoma,” Josh Wells, spokesman for Doc’s Friends, told AVweb this week. “That was majestic. Doc’s first assignment, in 1945, was Barksdale, so to come screaming down across the airfield with those bombers, that was special. We got a hero’s welcome.”

The air show was sold out both days, with record crowds, Wells said, drawing more than 170,000 people each day. “People were just amazed to see the airplane, the sheer beauty of the airplane, and amazed by the story of how it was restored by thousands of volunteers over 15 years. People were just thrilled to see it.” Wells said the airplane flew and operated beautifully, with no problems.

The B-29 will next fly June 10 and 11 at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri, in the Wings Over Whiteman air show. Wells said they are also working to schedule a public event in Wichita sometime in June, to make up for an April open house that had to be canceled due to weather. Later this summer, the B-29 will fly at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, July 24 to 30. More events are in the works and will be announced as plans are finalized, Wells said.

"Impulse Control Anyone?”

By Paul Bertorelli | April 25, 2017

You’ve probably heard the term “silo’d” as management consultant-speak for an organization that operates with multiple independent entities that don’t talk to each other. At AVweb, we don’t quite fit that definition but we have a certain intentional insularity. Thus, over the weekend, when I saw early Saturday morning the story of yet another airline cabin dustup—this time American Airlines, complete with video—I thought, hmm, what’s Russ gonna do with this? There was second incident in a terminal involving a commuting pilot.

I got my answer in an email two hours later: “Despite the high profile of these I’m going to skip them. Nothing to do with flying, really. Let me know if you disagree and I’ll follow up in the morning.” To me, that was the right news judgment and I’d have made the same decision.

When I saw early Saturday morning the story of yet another airline cabin dustup—this time American Airlines, complete with video—I thought, hmm, what’s Russ gonna do with this? There was second incident in a terminal involving a commuting pilot.

The United story was completely over–the-top abusive treatment of a passenger on a scheduled airline. It may have been a first. AVweb covers the airlines, so it made sense to cover the story., and it had video. So did the American incident, but in the end, it was just a spat of the sort that happens frequently, I’m guessing. It just happened to be caught on video, but it was nothing but a version of road rage that, at least, happily ended in first-class seats for two passengers. American learned the lesson from United and got right ahead of the PR loop. Kudos.  But there is a point to be made here and I’m taking the time to make it. In my view, it doesn’t matter who was right or wrong, how the incident started or that it’s a federal rap to threaten a uniformed crew member.

It’s far more elemental than that. It has to do with how we, as members of a civilized society, should treat each other in public settings, or anywhere. If the two guys involved in this incident can view that video without being properly appalled, they both ought to stay off airplanes for a while, if not permanently. Maybe both were having a bad day, but given contemporary security considerations when flying and the overarching stress of the process itself, you can be forgiven for being impatient but you surely better be able to summon some impulse control.

Some years ago, when I was doing business reporting, someone explained the process of negotiating not as a zero-sum game, but as a question: What do you want to happen and how do you get there? This applies directly to a cabin confrontation. Clearly, no one wants a physical beat down nor a loud verbal altercation. With that in mind, threatening to flatten a flight attendant or a return provocation to “bring it on” is not helpful. It’s just two guys preening their testosterone. The better option is to skip right past the threat and find the conciliatory gesture or words that immediately defuse the situation. That’s a lesson we should all take from that video.

But there’s another point to make. I had actually written a blog about this a month ago, but never published it. I fly enough to have gained some sense of what Flight Attendants have to put up with. I think the job is harder and more stressful than ever and that airlines expect more for less from these trained professionals. Remember, they aren’t there to serve drinks, but to maximize cabin safety and, if necessary, drag passengers out of a wrecked airplane.

On a Southwest flight home, I saw two things that just astonished me. Southwest is famous for its quick turns and that depends on passengers getting to their seats efficiently. In the midst of boarding—early in boarding—an aisle passenger three rows ahead of me got up, grabbed his bag from the overhead and placed it across the seat armrest while he rooted around for something, clogging up the aisle for what was more than 30 seconds but maybe less than three minutes. I could see the Flight Attendant biting her lip and not saying anything. Well, next time, I will. “Excuse me sir, a suggestion…”

An hour later, after drinks had been served, an aisle passenger in the row ahead of me decided he needed more room for his magazine on the tray table, so he placed his half-filled drink on the floor under his seat where it took, oh, about 10 seconds for the passenger behind him to kick it over. Well, guess who has to clean that up? That will explain, perhaps, why Flight Attendants can get testy. And why I might get a little testy myself, since I have to occupy the same cabin that guys like this mess for lack of common sense and courtesy. So next time, I’ll have a polite suggestion for that situation, too.

I’m usually more succinct than this, but that’s 841 words to say: Don’t be a butthole. I’ll try to do the same.


United Airlines And Competitors (Seriously) Rethink Denied Boarding Policies — And Payouts

By Lewis Lazare,Chicago Business Journal


United Airlines made headlines around the world today for increasing its denied boarding compensation ceiling to $10,000.That's a whopping 10 times the $1,000 ceiling that existed prior to the United Express Flight 3411 incident during which United employees could not coax enough passengers off the plane with the money the carrier was offering them.

United States-based airlines, including United Airlines, are rushing to rethink denied… United, however, was not the first to show such largesse. All the major domestic carriers already have — or soon will — revamp their denied boarding policies and compensation levels. Some are doing it more cagily as American Airlines. But as they all adjust to a new reality post-Flight 3411, one thing is clear: Smart travelers who may find themselves possibly in line for compensation for denied boarding could — if they play their cards right — walk away with a significant chunk of money.

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) was the first to up the ante for denied boarding earlier this month — with a new ceiling of $9,950. United (NYSE: UAL), looking to outdo Delta, added $50 to the pot to make it a round $10,000. Sweet. American Airlines, however, updated its Conditions of Carriage on April 14 with wording that doesn't spell out dollar amounts. Per an AA spokeswoman AA's Conditions of Carriage now states that the world's largest airline will not involuntarily remove a revenue passenger who has already boarded a flight to give a seat to another passenger. Furthermore American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL) now says its team members across the airline will work closely with the Day of Departure desk in Fort Worth, Texas to ensure that we set compensation amounts properly in order to obtain the correct number of volunteers. Depending on the situation, quite possibly the sky could be the limit at American Airlines.

And given the deluge of bad publicity for airlines in recent days, even Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV) is now reviewing all its policies regarding denied boarding, according to a spokeswoman. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly also said this morning in a memo to employees that it will stop booking flights beyond capacity. Kelly said that improved forecasting tools and techniques mean overbooking is no longer a necessity for revenue management. Southwest has it's largest hub at Chicago's Midway Airport.

Alitailia...The End Finally Near For
Italian Airline Alitalia?
Ben Mutzabaugh , USA TODAY

It’s back to the brink for Alitalia. The perennially troubled Italian carrier again finds itself starting down the possibility of collapse, a scenario the airline already has survived a surprising number times during the past two decades. Altialia’s latest crisis came after workers voted against a turnaround plan that would have slashed costs by more than $1 billion while trimming about 1,000 jobs. Alitalia's management said the cuts were needed to stay solvent, and the company followed the move by declaring bankruptcy (yet again) on Tuesday. “Now, with little cash left, the Italian carrier faces a series of unpalatable choices,” writes The Wall Street Journal.


 “It could sell out to a larger rival, either as a whole or split into parts. But there appears to be little appetite among competitors for the long-troubled airline.” For now, the Italian government will give Alitalia a bridge loan worth €600 million (about $650 million) that will keep the carrier flying while a new buyer is sought, according to The Associated Press.


The Journal says analysts estimate that Alitalia has already received a whopping €10 billion in taxpayer money to keep it going during previous crises the past two decades. Since its one of its most notable rescues in 2008, Alitalia has gone on to lose an additional €3 billion, adds Bloomberg News.


Will new buyers step up to try yet another turnaround plan for Alitalia? That will be a closely watched question, though there is skepticism that anyone will be able to bring Alitalia into the black. The latest turnaround plan for Alitalia came in 2014 when Gulf carrier Etihad bought a 49% stake in the carrier, raising hopes that the Abu Dhabi airline known for its high-end service might be able to finally fix what ailed Alitalia.


But Alitalia’s losses have continued, exacerbated by increasing competition from low-cost rivals like Ryanair and easyJet in Italian markets. Etihad Aviation Group CEO James Hogan said in a statement to AP that Alitalia needs "fundamental and far-reaching restructuring to survive.” The news agency adds that Hogan “made clear (Etihad) is not prepared to continue pumping money into the Italian company.”


Against that statement, AP writes "analysts ... say it may be difficult to find another suitor, making the prospect of liquidation more likely than in past crises as the government may lack the political will to ensure the carrier's survival as a stand-alone entity."


The Journal spells out what’s next, writing: “If the government-appointed administrator finds no other solution in six months, the company will go into liquidation. Such a possibility could reignite support from politicians for public assistance under pressure to help the 12,500 employees whose jobs are at risk.”

While all this plays out, Alitalia says its flights will operate as normal as the busy summer season approaches. But the renewed turmoil is not a welcome sign at the company. "Would you buy a ticket now for an operator that may not exist in six months?" Gregory Alegi, who teaches at Rome's LUISS University, says to AP. Whatever happens, most speculation about the company's future are grim -- even for an Alitalia, which has perfected the art of surviving the impossible.


"In the end," Bloomberg writes, "Alitalia’s only real attraction may prove to be physical assets. Even before the filing for bankruptcy proceedings, Malaysia Airlines said it had approached firms that lease Airbus A330 planes to the Italian carrier about taking over some of the wide-body jets."


SAS: Wright Plans For

“Electric 737”

By Geoff Rapoport


Wright Electric, a San Los Obispo-based startup, aims to make every short commercial flight electric within 20 years by building what co-founder Jeff Engler calls their “electric 737.” Wright’s vision is a 150-seat, short-haul aircraft capable of serving routes under 300 miles. Engler told attendees at the Sustainable Aviation Symposium that Wright was inspired to reject energy density arguments by looking at data on the length of commercial flights around the world.

While the energy density necessary to sustain commercial aircraft for long-haul flights is far beyond the reach of current battery technology, Engler told AVweb that roughly 30% of routes served by narrow-body jets are under 300 miles. Wright estimates that flying 300-mile routes will require a doubling of the power density available in today’s batteries (400 Wh/kg needed vs. 190 Wh/kg available now), which they believe will be commercially available in the coming decades. Wright’s airliner would carry about 60,000 pounds of batteries for a 300-mile flight.

Fresno Hopes To Train

In Electric Aircraft

By Geoff Rapoport

Subsidized by local funds from Fresno County, a fleet of four Pipistrel Alpha Electro trainers will be made available for primary training in California’s Central Valley late this year, program organizers hope. Fresno County will be installing chargers for the aircraft at four local airports: Mendota, Reedley, Fresno Chandler and a fourth airport to be determined. The Alpha Electro has a maximum endurance of approximately 90 minutes and an 85-knot cruising speed, making round-trip, cross-country flights a stretch.

Joseph Oldham, Sustainability Manager for the City of Fresno, told AVweb that the fourth airport will ideally be just over 50 NM, permitting the Alphas to make one-way flights meeting private pilot cross-country training requirements, recharge in about 45 minutes and return home. The fallback plan is for students to do cross-country training in the piston-powered version of the Alpha.

Oldham told attendees at the Sustainable Aviation Symposium that Fresno hopes to have the new aircraft on hand and high-voltage chargers installed at the four chosen airports by the fall of this year. The FAA has not yet released a paradigm for approving electric propulsion airplanes, either in certified aircraft or in light sports, as Pipistrel plans for the Alpha Electro. Oldham is travelling to Washington next week to meet with the FAA about approval of electric LSAs, the last major hurdle in Fresno’s race to get the Alpha Electros into service. The aircraft will likely be available for rent by area pilots, but the priority users of the aircraft will be veterans and low-income youth seeking primary flight training.

Jetblue Asks For More Routes To Cuba After Spirit And Frontier Drop Out

Emon Reiser, Digital Producer South Florida Business Journal


JetBlue scales back on Cuba flights

JetBlue Airways Corp. last week filed an application to add more flights between Fort Lauderdale and Havana, and to launch what it says would be the first-ever nonstop service between Boston and Cuba's capital city. The New York-based airline (Nasdaq: JBLU) is asking for more Cuba routes after Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines announced they will end their commercial trips between the island nation and South Florida. Silver Airways, based in Fort Lauderdale, will also end its flights to Cuba, saying the market was too crowded to be profitable.

The application states that JetBlue aims to add the flights Nov. 1. JetBlue currently flies a daily route from New York to Havana, a daily nonstop service from Orlando to Havana and 13 times weekly service from Fort Lauderdale to Havana. "JetBlue wishes to provide additional service from Fort Lauderdale to Havana and requests six weekly frequencies in order to increase its service levels on that route," the application states.

JetBlue's move to add more flights to Cuba seems to be a turnaround strategy. In February, the airline announced it was scaling back on its Cuba flights. The airline made history last year when it became the first commercial U.S. flight to Cuba in more than 50 years.

Southwest Pilot Caught Carrying Gun On Board

A Southwest Airlines pilot was arrested in Albany, New York, on Monday for trying to board his plane with a loaded handgun in one of his carry-on bags. TSA officers spotted the .380 caliber gun during a routine X-ray scan, the agency said in a news release. The gun was loaded with six bullets.

The pilot said he was unaware the weapon was in the bag, a Southwest spokesperson said. He was taken into custody by the local sheriff and charged with criminal possession of a weapon. The pilot’s name was not released. The flight, bound for Chicago-Midway, was delayed for about four hours.

Firearms, firearm parts and ammunition are not permitted in carry-on bags, but they can be transported in checked bags if they are unloaded, properly packed and declared to the airline, according to the TSA.

Travelers who bring firearms to a TSA checkpoint are subject to criminal charges from law enforcement and civil penalties from the TSA of up to $12,000, the TSA

American Airlines Newest Destination/Cartagena

MIAMI – Beginning on December 15, the airline will start daily rotation from Miami to Cartagena on-board the Airbus A319; the flight will depart from Miami arriving at Cartagena and the return leg will leave Cartagena and will be back in Miami.

American Airlines will join three airlines in the Cartagena to South Florida market; Avianca with seven weekly flights to Miami, JetBlue with seven weekly flights to Fort Lauderdale and Spirit with flights four times a week to Fort Lauderdale. Between the three, there are 2470 one-way seats per week, the new service will add 868 seats one way bringing the total to 3338 one-way seats per week.

“American Airlines started its Latin American expansion at the late 80s, and today we are the biggest airline in the US-Latin America market with 8 destinations in México (not including American Eagle), 10 in Central America and 19 in South America,” said Jose Maria Giraldo, Country Manager of American Airlines.

American Airlines has 49 weekly flights from Miami to four destinations in Colombia, Barranquilla (7), Bogota (21), Cali (7) and Medellin (14); and 7 weekly flights from Dallas to Bogota. All of them are operated in the Airbus A319 which handles 128 passengers, of whom 8 are in first class, 24 in main cabin extra and 96 in the main cabin.

Cartagena, a beautiful and historic city located on the Caribbean Coast of Colombia, is attracting a growing number of international tourists. American service to Miami will be the 5th international route launched this year from Cartagena, the others being Amsterdam by KLM, Lima by LATAM Peru, Panama City (Pacifico) by Wingo, and Panamá City (Albrook) by AirPanama. More…American/Cartagena/Newsletter online 2017

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Ray Sisson, AVi8’s Chairman & CEO, moderated a key panel at the Airfinance North America conference taking place in NY.

Along with Ray his Panel was: Francois Collet, Vice President, Structured Finance – Banks and Capital Markets, Airbus, and Wendy Sowers, Director of Product Forecasting, Boeing Commercial Airplanes

Panel topic, “Are the book to bill ratios of Boeing & Airbus the signs of a downturn?”

Some of the key points discussed were:

  • It will be the first time since 2009 either manufacturer falls short of their book to bill of one; what this could mean.
  • Will Boeing & Airbus be able to shift older generation planes…how and where: to other airlines or into retirement.
  • Trends in rates of deferrals and cancellations.
  • Key financing trends, will credit tighten significantly and how could that impact deliveries near-term.
  • Do these factors point to a near-term downturn?
  • The impact that low cost jet fuel, over a year now at around $50 per barrel, allowing older generation aircraft to stay viable and profitable in fleets, standing in the way of new aircraft taking their place.
  • New technology aircraft introductory issues phasing into fleets.

NTSB Report: Pilots, ATC Need To Improve PIREP System

The NTSB report concludes that pilots need better training and procedures, and air traffic controllers need to do more to be sure the pilot weather reporting system enhan