What’s Happening in Aviation #7
A group of Ryanair pilots has conducted their third planned strike due to a disagreement with the airline over over scheduling other working arrangements. The strike resulted in 16 flight cancellations. Ryanair has warned that if the work actions continue that there could be job losses. Ryanair cabin crew are planning a strike soon in Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Italy.
Textron Aviation is displaying a full-scale mockup of its new Cessna Denali turboprop at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh. The mockup is featuring the new airplane’s flight deck with functioning Garmin G3000 avionics. Attendees are able to demo the touchscreen G3000 avionics, including the speech-recognition functions. On-site demonstrations are also showing how the airplane can be easily transformed from an executive configuration to a passenger/cargo combi layout.
Hawaiian Airlines has placed orders for 18 A321neos with all airplanes scheduled to be delivered from 2017 to 2020. The carrier was expecting to have 8 of the new airplanes by the middle of 2018, allowing it to begin replacing its aging Boeing 767s. However, a series of production mistakes at Pratt & Whitney delayed this year’s deliveries. The airline is reporting that its original plans are now getting back on track.
Delta is launching a new program called the Propel Pilot Career Path Program. The new program is designed to compliment the traditional existing paths which pilots use to advance into major airline employment and includes three focus areas – college, company, and community.
Lufthansa’s Innovation Hub has announced that they will be launching an Aviation Blockchain Challenge. SAP.iO Foundry, a Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence company has teamed up with Lufthansa on the challenge. Lufthansa says “We want to attract the world’s most talented Blockchain entrepreneurs by providing the perfect environment to ideate and experiment with new business models. The combination of Lufthansa’s innovation ecosystem and massive industry expertise along with access to SAP Blockchain assets and mentorship will enable you to put your idea in the spotlight.”
The FAA is issuing a new policy that will offer eligible commercial pilots whose certificates were revoked for allegedly violating drug or alcohol testing a process for quick settlement of their case and re-issuance of their certificate. The new policy goes into effect October 1.
As part of an order for additional Airbus airplanes, JetBlue Airways secured options to change some of its A321neo orders to A321XLRs, should Airbus commit to making the new model. The A321LR would have range up to 4,000 nautical miles — sufficient for flights from New York and Boston to most of Western Europe. Airbus is starting to evaluate an even longer range variant, the A321XLR, that would allow JetBlue to expand into longer-haul international markets.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. currently has 159,000 active airline transport pilots but to meet growing demand will need to train 87 new airline pilots every day for the next 20 years. This article summaries three main causes of the pilot shortage:
- The Military Is Short On Pilots
- Traditional Pipelines are Drying Up
- Compensation Isn’t Matching Investment
Eligible mobility pilots can apply for Air Mobility Command’s new Aviator Technical Track that cuts out non-flying-related duties and lets pilots stay in the cockpit longer. The Air Force is short 2,000 pilots with an additional 1,600 pilots eligible to separate in the next four years. The Air Force reached out to service members in an attempt to find ideas to better attract and retain pilots.
In 2017 there was 10 fatal commercial passenger and cargo air crashes that killed 44 people. There were no turbofan-powered airline crashes during the year. Airliner accidents have been on a decline since 1992. The last quarter century has brought new technology and changes to pilot training and regulations. The decline in total accidents has occurred during a tripling of airliner traffic in the last 25 years.
A recent fatal accident at Southwest Airlines has focused renewed scrutiny on the engine inspection process. Investigators said a routine visual inspection of the engine may not have been enough to find problems in the engine, but two years prior the manufacturer of the engine said such problems could be discovered only with ultrasound inspections. After the accident, several 737 operators have said they will more thoroughly inspect the fan blades of the engines.
Airbus and Boeing say demand for aircraft surged at the Farnborough International Airshow amid increased passenger and cargo traffic. Boeing said it recieved orders and commits for 673 airplanes at the show, compared to 571 from last year’s show. Airbus received orders and commitments for 431 airplanes, compared to 326 at the previous event.
Greg started his professional pilot journey in 2002 after graduating from Embry Riddle. Since that time he has accumulated over 8,000 hours working as a pilot. Greg’s professional experience includes flight instructing, animal tracking, backcountry flying, forest firefighting, passenger charter, part 135 cargo, flying for a regional airline, a national low cost airline, a legacy airline, and also working as a manager in charge of Part 135 and Part 121 training programs.