AvTalk - Aviation Podcast
Summary: An aviation podcast by aviation geeks for anyone who looks up when they hear an airplane fly overhead. Listen in as Ian Petchenik and Jason Rabinowitz bring you aviation news, views, and special guests for a half hour every other week. If you're a new avgeek or just can't get enough aviation in your life, get your avgeek fix with us.
On this episode of AvTalk, Jason finally gets to fly the Bombardier C Series, we say goodbye to Monarch Airlines, get an update on the Air France A380 that suffered an engine failure over Greenland, and find out how Loon balloons might soon be helping the people of Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria. Trouble in Europe In a sad conclusion to a once-great airline, Monarch Airlines has entered administration. The airline ceased operations at the beginning of October, leaving the UK’s CAA to arrange repatriation to the UK for thousands of Monarch’s passengers. We take a look at the repatriation effort and some of the airlines you may not have heard of. We also look into the fate of Monarch’s fleet. Another fleet that will soon find a new home is Air Berlin’s. The airline is ceasing all operations by 28 October. Air Berlin had previously announced it was ceasing long-haul operations by 15 October. And we look into Ryanair’s recent schedule difficulties as they cancel 18,000 flights affecting 400,000 passengers. Air France loses (most of) an engine On 30 September, Air France flight 66 en route from Paris to Los Angeles suffered an engine failure over Greenland, leading to a safe diversion to Goose Bay in Canada. The aircraft, an Airbus A380-861 powered by Engine Alliance GP7200 engines, suffered a failure of the number 4 engine—the outer, right engine, resulting in a large portion of the engine falling to the ground from approximately 37,000 feet. We talk about the investigation and impressive manner in which the aircraft will return to Europe. See Captain Dave Wallsworth’s list of requirements for A380 three-engine operation The avgeek trifecta Jason heads to Europe to connect with Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren again for an avgeek adventure aboard the Bombardier C Series CS100 and the Avro RJ85. We put them to work testing the sound inside each aircraft. Jason also discovered this interesting quirk on the RJ85. Speaking of curious things, these Avro RJ85 indie shades are bizarre. Never seen a split shade before. pic.twitter.com/rCszaWCmYx — Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) October 13, 2017 Loons to Puerto Rico Loons may soon be helping Puerto Rico connect after Hurricane Maria. Project Loon, which is a project inside X, the innovation lab of Alphabet (Google’s parent company), provides connectivity via large helium balloons. We talk about how the balloons work and how you can track them on Flightradar24. Let us know what you think Like the podcast? Have suggestions for future shows? Let us know by leaving us a review on iTunes. Reviews on iTunes not only help us make a better show, they help more people find the podcast! Want to send us additional feedback, just email us.
On this episode of AvTalk, Jason reports from the APEX EXPO in Long Beach, we chat with Seth Miller about the fate of the Bombardier C Series in the US, and we Swoop in to discuss Air France’s newest creation, Joon. Swoop and Joon WestJet introduced their new ultra low-cost carrier, Swoop, this week and Air France’s new airline Joon received a full roll out. We talk about each airline’s prospects. A Big Blow to Bombardier We discuss with Seth Miller the ITC’s decision to place a 219.63% tariff on Bombardier C Series aircraft imported into the United States and the major impact this could have on Delta Air Lines. We also try to make sense of the decision and work through some of the possibilities for the future. The APEX Expo And here’s the @GEE_Media Grumman Albatross landing with Mr sitting in the node bubble. Amazing ride. #AvGeek pic.twitter.com/uqpICLWkSP — Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) September 29, 2017 Bi-weekly Air Berlin Update Air Berlin is sending its leased A330s to storage and winding down its long-haul operations by 15 October. The rest of the airline’s assets are being divided among bidders. COMAC C919 Flies Again After nearly five months, the COMAC C919, the first large jetliner designed and built in China, made its second flight. Let Us Know What You Think Like the podcast? Have suggestions for future shows? Let us know by leaving us a review on iTunes. Reviews on iTunes not only help us make a better show, they help more people find the podcast! Want to send us additional feedback, just email us.
On this episode of AvTalk, we discuss the massive aviation impacts of Hurricane Irma. From Caribbean devastation to a total lack of flights in the air over Florida for more than a day, we take an in-depth look at what’s happened and how the recovery effort has begun. And Jason’s 15-minutes of television fame comes from an unexpected source. Hurricane Irma Hurricane Irma moved through the Caribbean and Florida last week, leaving a devastating path of destruction in its wake. We talk about the effects of Irma on aviation from the Leeward Islands to Atlanta and check in on some of the more harder hit areas like St. Maarten. Jason walks us through how a Delta flight to San Juan became a viral sensation. Jason, go make your bed We run down the list of rescue flights and post-Irma evacuation and supply flights and take a look at where airlines parked planes out of Irma’s path. We also talk about the planes that didn’t make it out ahead of the storm. We also take a look at how Irma affected ADS-B coverage in the area of the storm, and how that’s made for increased use of estimated coverage. The Hurricane Hunters were also busy during Irma and we talk about how they help forecast the hurricane’s path. #NOAA42 live through the eye of #Irma, while #NOAA49 surveys the edge of the storm.
In episode 13, we look at the effects of Hurricane Harvey on aviation and see how airlines are helping with relief efforts. GE Aviation retires the oldest active 747. Southwest Airlines takes delivery of its first 737 MAX and American Airlines isn’t too far behind. We get surprised by the possible new home for the first production A380s. And we again welcome Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren to the podcast to hear about another 747 retirement and how we can improve our avgeek photography. Hurricane Harvey Devastates Houston Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston earlier this week and brought flooding to much of the Houston area. Both major Houston airports, George Bush Intercontinental-IAH and William P. Hobby Airport-HOU were closed for days to commercial traffic. Airlines worked hard to help get stranded passengers out of the airports and to bring relief supplies in. Traffic is slowly returning to normal as the airports reopen. GE Aviation Retires the Oldest Active 747 Listen at 10:28 GE Aviation officially retired its 747-100 Flying Test Bed, the oldest active 747. GE had used the flying test bed registered N747GE since 1992 to develop engines like the GE90 (777), GEnx (747-8 & 787), Engine Alliance GP7200 (A380), CFM-56 (various), and the LEAP (737 MAX, A320neo, C919). Interview—EVA Air Retires their Passenger 747s and How to Improve Your AvGeek Photography Listen at 16:44 We talk again with Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren, who just flew on EVA Air’s final passenger 747 flight from Hong Kong to Taipei. We also get Jeremy to tell us how we can improve our avgeek photography. EVA Air 747’s unusual upper deck seating arrangement. Southwest Takes Delivery of its First 737 MAX Listen at 33:07 Southwest Airlines took delivery of their first 737 MAX this week and American Airlines is getting ready for theirs as well. We talk about how the MAX fits in to Southwest’s fleet and why Jason may soon need new knees. A Surprising New Home for Used A380s Listen at 36:27 The first production A380s have been parked by Singapore Airlines ahead of lease return and a surprising airline may be putting them back into service. We try to understand what HiFly is up to. Air Berlin Cuts Long-haul Routes Listen at 39:21 As we discussed in episode 12, Air Berlin has entered insolvency, but they are now cutting long-haul routes as other airlines begin to figure out how to acquire pieces of Air Berlin’s operations. Let Us Know What You Think Like the podcast? Have suggestions for future shows? Let us know by leaving us a review on iTunes. Reviews on iTunes not only help us make a better show, they help more people find the podcast! Want to send us additional feedback, just email us.
On episode 12 of AvTalk, we discuss Air Berlin’s insolvency and what that might mean for other airlines in Europe, NASA gets ready to study the eclipse, and we list some of our favorite airports. We also talk with Dan Kierna, an airport operations supervisor at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago about what it takes to keep one of the world’s busiest airports running on a daily basis. Air Berlin files for insolvency Air Berlin filed for insolvency this week after Etihad withdrew its support for the airline. We discuss what might be the fate of the airline and its aircraft. NASA gets ready for the eclipse NASA will send two of its WB-57 aircraft to chase the eclipse over the United States on 21 August. They will be conducting high-altitude research during the eclipse. Track the aircraft as N926NA and N927NA. From NASA: Taking observations from twin telescopes mounted on the noses of the planes, Caspi will capture the clearest images of the Sun’s outer atmosphere — the corona — to date and the first-ever thermal images of Mercury, revealing how temperature varies across the planet’s surface. See NASA’s fuller explanation of their eclipse mission in the video below. Boeing draws a 787 with a 787 Of course, this occurred just after we recorded the last episode. To perform ETOPS testing on the new Rolls Royce Trent 1000 TEN engine, which will power the new Boeing 787-10, Boeing spent 18 hours in the sky over the US drawing a 787. More on that here. Our favorite airports Jason posed the question on twitter, so we decided to do our own lists, and get a little impromptu lesson on cemeteries in the middle of airports. Not Atlanta, as Ian states in the episode, but Savannah Airport has two headstones in the runway. Chicago-O’Hare’s remaining cemetery, surrounded by the rest of the airport. Keeping the Airport Running We chat with Dan Kierna, airport operations supervisor at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, one of the busiest in the world, to see what it takes to keep the airport running and what happens when things go bad. A new receiver near Chernobyl This week we activated a new receiver new Chernobyl. We discuss how the receiver got there and why it’s a helpful location for tracking very large aircraft. Read more about our new receiver near Chernobyl Russian Treaty on Open Skies observation flights Twitter and cable news were abuzz last week when a Russian surveillance aircraft overflew Washington D.C. We discuss the flights and note that they’re nothing new. See more on the Open Skies flights and view flight data New planes for the Patriots New airkrafts. pic.twitter.com/Af2gI3G0vQ — New England Patriots (@Patriots) August 9, 2017 After having issues with charter operations, the New England Patriots football team purchased two Boeing 767s for use during their season. The 767s formerly flew for American Airlines and had been sto...
In Episode 11, we check in on the 747 to note a few melancholy milestones and the possibility that two 747s might soon find an interesting new home. We run through some of the flights that made the news recently, including some for the wrong reasons. And we ponder the thorny legal issues that airborne labor and delivery can create. Melancholy Milestones As the 747 ages, many airlines are sending their fleet to the desert, marking the end of long-haul routes and the conclusion of domestic service. We walk through some of the milestones, including the delivery of what is likely the last commercial passenger 747. Also in the news this week, the US Air Force and Boeing moved closer to a deal to use two 747s originally ordered by now-defunct airline Transaero and currently stored in the California desert as the next presidential aircraft. We debate the merits of this approach. Happy Milestones In July, Flightradar24 set a monthly record of 5.3 million flights and a daily record of 189,168. We also installed a few new remote receivers, including the third receiver on St Helena and one in far-north Greenland. Flights in the News An Air India flight forgot to retract its landing gear and needed to divert because it ran low on fuel. As part of its ongoing dispute with countries in region, Qatar has requested its own Flight Information Region. International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Extraordinary Session Urges All Member States to Abide by Chicago Convention pic.twitter.com/mTdknIhh5C — المواصلات والاتصالات (@MOTC_QA) July 31, 2017 A interesting flight over Ontario, Canada caught our eye. MNR @ONresources Twin Otter plane flying low level pattern over Halton. Likely dropping rabies vaccination bait drops (fox, raccoon, skunk). pic.twitter.com/bzZ3Xrdobp — Tom Podolec CTV News (@TomPodolec) July 28, 2017 There was a hail of a storm in Istanbul and at least four aircraft were damaged, including severe damage to an Atlas Global A320. A320 encounters a hail storm at 5000ft, Istanbul Turkey. pic.twitter.com/Tus2NVil9n — Marty Abbott ✈
In episode 10, we talk to Andrew Poure, a flight operations supervisor for a U.S.-based major cargo airline. We see how construction fumes and cows affected aviation last week, celebrate an impressive milestone, and quickly preview next week’s Airventure. All Cargo, All the Time We sat down with Andrew Poure, who works for a major U.S. cargo airline, to learn more about what it takes to ship anything from cherries to horses around the world. Construction Fumes Cause Airspace Closure Construction fumes caused the evacuation of the Washington ARTCC in Leesburg, Virgina last week, leading to airspace closures and significant delays along the U.S. east coast. Airspace clearing (2200-0100 UTC) following the evacuation of Washington ARTCC. Live flights: https://t.co/cjH7MbkPNK pic.twitter.com/R0rCirKMR2 — Flightradar24 (@flightradar24) July 11, 2017 Cows on a Plane Facing a milk shortage due to restrictions related to its ongoing dispute with other countries in the region, Qatar is importing dairy cows. The first 165 of 4000 cows arrived last week.
In episode 9, we talk about some of the stranger aviation stories over the past few weeks, including a passenger new to approach patterns and a woman who threw coins into an engine for luck. We also talk with Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren Norwegian’s first 737 MAX delivery and long-haul, low-cost flying. Approach and Landing A passenger, not understanding how approach patterns work, accused the pilots of her flight of being ‘drunk’. It escalated from there. We talk about why that’s such a serious accusation and how approaches to major airports can sometimes lead to a circuitous path. The original tweet has since been deleted and person who made the accusation has since protected their twitter account, but the main thread begins here. Long-haul, Low-cost Flying Norwegian took delivery of its first 737 MAX last week and our guest, Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren was on board the 9 hour flight from Seattle to Oslo. Jeremy describes the flight and we discuss the perks and perils of long-haul, low-cost flying. British Airways leases Qatar A320s British Airways is flying some short- and medium-haul routes with Qatar Airways aircraft and crews. We talk about why and how you can see which flights will be operated by Qatar Airways aircraft. An Aircraft Engine is Not a Wishing Well An elderly woman flying from Shanghai to Guangzhou on China Southern Airlines delayed the flight by five hours after throwing nine coins into the engine for luck during boarding. That’s a 34 minute per coin delay. Let Us Know What You Think Like the podcast? Have suggestions for future shows? Let us know by leaving us a review on iTunes. Reviews on iTunes not only help us make a better show, they help more people find the podcast! Want to send us additional feedback, just email us.
In episode 8, we recap some of the major announcements from the Paris Air Show, like the launch of the 737 MAX 10, this year’s big seller, Boeing’s tease of a ‘New Market Airplane’, and Airbus’ new A380plus winglets. A brief apology, as we had earlier planned to discuss ATC privatization, but as everyone we wanted to bring on the show was already in Paris, this was not possible. We will discuss the issue in a future episode. Paris Air Show Highlights The 737 MAX 10 was launched and quickly purchased. Boeing’s NMA or what may become the 797 was teased by the company. Airbus added winglets to the A380 to complete the A380plus. Airbus also developed ejectable data and voice recorders for inclusion on the A350 and other aircraft beginning in a few years. And we briefly cover Flightradar24’s partnership with NAVBLUE on N-tracking, a new global coverage solution. We’d love to hear your thoughts on Airbus’ A380plus winglets. Email us or drop us a note on twitter or Facebook. In our discussion of Paris Air Show flying displays, we mentioned a special transponder mode. Here’s what that switch looks like on a Boeing 737-800. Boeing Takes the 737 MAX 9 and 787-10 Out for Spin Prior to the Paris Air Show, Boeing took its 737 MAX 9 and 787-10 up over Washington to shoot some amazing air-to-air video. Watch the video and see the data behind the flight. Weather Balloon Buzzed by a Delta A319 at 37,000 feet A weather balloon above Newark, New York (near Rochester) got a close look at Delta flight 159 on its way from Boston to Detroit. Watch the video below. Let Us Know What You Think Like the podcast? Have suggestions for future shows? Let us know by leaving us a review on iTunes. Reviews on iTunes not only help us make a better show, they help more people find the podcast! Want to send us additional feedback, just email us.
In episode 7, we discuss the flight ban affecting Qatar and how it is reshaping air traffic in the region. We also attempt to understand the IT problems that forced British Airways to cancel a full day of flights at London-Heathrow. Qatar Flight Ban Following the severing of diplomatic relations with Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates banned all flights to and from Qatar and overflights by Qatar-registered aircraft. Restrictions put in place by Bahrain leave Qatar Airways with one route in and one route out of Doha. We discuss the particulars and what effects the ban is having on air traffic in the region. For more on the Qatar flight ban, see our in-depth blog post British Airways’ IT Meltdown We try to understand the British Airways IT meltdown that stranded thousands of passengers and created headaches for the better part of a week. Quick Bits of Good News We leave bans and meltdowns behind for a few small pieces of good news as well. ✈️ The first Airbus A321neo (N921VA) entered service with Virgin America. ✈️ We set a single-day tracking record on 26 May, tracking 182,790 flights. ✈️ Stratolaunch rolls out ✈️ Follow Virgin Galactic’s White Knight Two and VSS Unity. Upcoming in a Special Episode 8 We’ll have an in-depth discussion of Air Traffic Control privatization in our next episode with guests who know much more than Jason and Ian. Tune in then! Let Us Know What You Think Like the podcast? Have suggestions for future shows? Let us know by leaving us a review on iTunes. Reviews on iTunes not only help us make a better show, they help more people find the podcast! Want to send us additional feedback, just email us.
In Episode 6 we head to Japan for an interview with John Walton to get an update on the status of the Mitsubishi MRJ regional jet program. We also delve into the peculiarities of Japanese aviation. Checking in on the MRJ Jason travels to Japan to meet up with John Walton, Runway Girl Network’s deputy editor, to visit the Mitsubishi MRJ program in Nagoya. We discuss the state of the program and the aircraft’s commercial potential. How Japanese Aviation Stands Out Also in our conversation with John, we learn more about how Japanese aviation stands out in terms of aircraft utilization and service. Ladies and Gentlemen, This is Your Captain, the King, Speaking Unbeknownst to passengers and the public, Dutch King Willem-Alexander has been piloting KLM short-haul flights for the past 21 years. Ex-Singapore Airlines A380s now for Sale Singapore Airlines is retiring 5 early-build A380s as they take new A380s from Airbus. We ponder their fate as they go up for sale. New ICAO Type Codes Make Tracking 737 MAX and A320neo Easier With a recent update to its list of aircraft type codes, ICAO makes it easy to track the A320neo and 737 MAX families. We talk about the new codes and how to use them. Let Us Know What You Think Like the podcast? Have suggestions for future shows? Let us know by leaving us a review on iTunes. Reviews on iTunes not only help us make a better show, they help more people find the podcast!
In Episode 5 we sit down for an extended interview with CNN Aviation Editor Jon Ostrower to talk about the COMAC C919’s first flight and burgeoning Chinese aviation market. We also learn how to track newly built aircraft and send Jason off to Japan. COMAC C919 First Flight and Chinese Aviation We sat down with CNN aviation editor Jon Ostrower for an extended discussion of the COMAC C919’s first flight and what the C919 means to the rapidly expanding aviation market. Tracking New Aircraft Following our discussion of the C919, we explain how to track newly built aircraft from Airbus and Boeing to newer entrants like Mitsubishi. For more on using aircraft filters, see our quick tutorial. Jason Flies to Japan Jason is headed to Japan, where he’ll meet up with John Walton to discuss Japanese aviation for our next episode. New Liveries and Flights We also discuss the first passenger flight to St. Helena, Hawaiian Airlines’ new livery, and the new special livery Iceland Air has painted on one of its 757s. Let Us Know What You Think Like the podcast? Have suggestions for future shows? Let us know by leaving us a review on iTunes. Reviews on iTunes not only help us make a better show, they help more people find the podcast!
In episode 4, we learn how most airlines navigate their way around North Korea, sit down with Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren to talk about the last US-based 747-200 flight, and learn about tracking aircraft that may be broadcasting the sporting event you’re watching on TV. Help more listeners find the show by leaving us a review on iTunes Navigating North Korea Jumping off from our blog post earlier this month, we talk about how airlines navigate around North Korean airspace and what effect, if any, current tensions might be having on traffic in the region. The First A321neo Goes Home Virgin America took delivery of the first Airbus A321neo this week to a muted reception. We talk about the reason for the less-than-normal fanfare and what it means for the A321neo’s future with the airline. The last US-based 747-200 The last US-based 747-200 completed its final revenue flight last week so we sit down with Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren who was on hand for the final touchdown in Seattle. Patterns in the Sky Jason happened to be poking around and found a plane circling Boston last week. We investigate the world of television relay, aerial imaging, and instrument calibration flights. What are you doing up there, @DynamicAvi? pic.twitter.com/mjZh4yUVHz — Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) April 14, 2017 Let Us Know What You Think Like the podcast? Have suggestions for future shows? Let us know by leaving us a review on iTunes. Reviews on iTunes not only help us make a better show, they help more people find the podcast!
In a special Episode 3, we visit the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, Germany to see what you might find inside or connected to an aircraft in the coming years. Help more listeners find the show by leaving us a review on iTunes The Aircraft Interiors Expo At this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo, we walked the floor to see some of the new and interesting items that will make it into aircraft in the next few years. We sat in the newest seats, used the newest inflight entertainment systems, and learned about the future of inflight WiFi. Jason got a first hand look at Bombardier’s newest CS300 when airBaltic’s YL-CSC landed in Hamburg with only 30 flight hours. The CS300 is leading the way in cabin comfort and other seat manufacturers are following suit in making seats wider, especially for short-haul flights. Actual cooking on board an aircraft. This @LHTechnik induction stovetop let’s airlines cook, not just reheat. #AIX17 #PaxEx pic.twitter.com/tOvJTBK0fP — Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) April 4, 2017 We also got a first hand look at Lufthansa Technik’s induction cooking system, which allows food to be cooked, instead of just reheated, on board the aircraft. When it comes to cleaning up the dishes, we got a demo of the GermFalcon, a new system for sanitizing aircraft. We also heard about some of the news from the show that will make connecting to in-flight WiFi even easier on new planes. Let Us Know What You Think Like the podcast? Have suggestions for future shows? Let us know by leaving us a review on iTunes. Reviews on iTunes not only help us make a better show, they help more people find the podcast!
In Episode 2, Jason crawls inside a plane, we talk in circles about circular runways, wonder about the best job in aviation, and quickly preview the upcoming Aircraft Interiors Expo. Jason Crawls Inside a Plane Jason takes us to Malta where he spent the day with Lufthansa Technik at their MRO facility getting up close and personal with many places on the aircraft passengers don’t get to see. Descending into the electronics and engineering bay of an A330. #LHTAvDays #AvGeek pic.twitter.com/NE1pb0b5RE — Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) March 17, 2017 Aircraft Interiors Expo We preview the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg that we’ll be visiting the first week of April. Episode 3 of AvTalk will come to you from the Expo’s show floor. Circular Runways We discuss Dutch researcher Henk Hesselink’s idea for an airports with massive circular runways. Without spoiling too much, this article from NYCAviation’s Phil Derner is a close approximation of our thoughts. The Best Job in Aviation? Mike Isler probably has the best job in aviation. But the lawn care tractor driver at Auckland airport is a close second. We ponder what other jobs might be out there. Have thoughts on the best job in aviation? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or email us. Like the podcast? Leave us a review on iTunes, Stitcher, TuneIn, or Google Play.