Airplane GEEK

Aviation News from around the world

639 AeroEducate

The AeroEducate youth aviation initiative from the EAA, pandemic effects on airline pilot employment and proficiency, FedEx plan to temporarily relocate Hong Kong-based crew, a 5G program and its effects on satellite-based navigation, Norwegian Air Shuttle plans a different strategy, conformal fuel tanks on F-18 Super Hornets, the first contractor-owned F-16 aggressors.

Guest

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Ron Connolly, Director of Museum and Education, EAA.

Ron Connolly, Ed.D, Director of Museum and Education, Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) is a U.S. Army veteran pilot who previously served as an EAA Aviation Museum docent and tour guide.

Ron introduces us to AeroEducate, the new youth aviation initiative from the EAA for young people from 5 to 18 years old. The AeroEducate initiative encourages youngsters to explore aviation and possible careers in aviation. It’s an interactive, educational, and engaging experience that will officially begin later this year. Designed for both individual and classroom settings, AeroEducate was developed with support from groups such as United Airlines’ Aviate program and North Carolina State University’s school of education.

EAA AeroEducate initiative helps young people discover and explore aviation interest

EAA AeroEducate Initiative Helps Young People Explore and Cultivate Aviation Interest

We also talk with Ron about Airventure Oshkosh and the EAA Aviation Museum, including some of the impressive exhibits and artifacts.

Prior to joining the EAA staff, Ron spent time with both the Milwaukee and Appleton Police Departments as a Patrol Officer and then as a Senior Sergeant. Since 2016 he has spent time as an Associate Professor at Marian University. Prior to that he was a technical college instructor at institutions like Fox Valley Technical College, North Central Technical College and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College.

Ron earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Mount Senario College. He also holds a Master of Science Degree in Organizational Leadership and Quality from Marian University and an Educational Doctorate in Leadership, for the Advancement of Learning and Service from Cardinal Stritch University.

Aviation News

We Finally Know Exactly How Bad The Pandemic Has Been for Airline Pilots

Pilot recruitment firm GOOSE and FlightGlobal conducted a survey [PDF] to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting pilots. Almost half of all pilots are either looking for work or furloughed. Of those who are looking, GOOSE says, 80% said that they’d accept a cut in pay for a new job. Pilot Survey 2021 had input from 2,598 pilots from all over the world. Survey topics include pilot retention, pilot job security, employee engagement, pilot referral, stress, mental health and well-being, and the future of aviation.

Airline pilots making in-flight errors say they’re ‘rusty’ because of pandemic

A number of errors and mishaps are being blamed by pilots on the pandemic and recorded in the NASA ASRS (Aviation Safety Reporting System). AOPA’s Richard G. McSpadden Jr., senior vice president at the Air Safety Institute said, “The key to flying safely is frequency. You are not as sharp if you haven’t flown for a while.”

FedEx Express balks at Hong Kong’s new coronavirus quarantine measures, will temporarily relocate aircrew and families to San Francisco

Hong Kong, the world’s busiest air cargo hub, plans to require a 14-day quarantine for aircrews. FedEx Express is concerned and the company says they will temporarily relocate Hong Kong-based pilots and their families to San Francisco. Other passenger and cargo airlines might be forced to reconsider their flights to and from Hong Kong.

Also: Hong Kong quarantine disrupts FedEx, Cathay Pacific crews and cargo

FCC Refuses To Halt Ligado 5G Program

Some aviation groups sent a request to the FCC asking it to reconsider its approval for Ligado Networks’ terrestrial 5G program. The groups are concerned about possible GPS interference. However, the FCC denied the “request to stay its unanimous decision,” allowing the Ligado Networks’ terrestrial 5G program to continue. Airplane Geeks reporter-at-large Launchpad Marzari describes the issue.

Norwegian Air Shuttle Falls Back On Original Business Plan and Returns to Short Haul

Norwegian Air Shuttle’s Board of Directors announced the airline will exit the low-cost long-haul market and focus on short haul routes within Norway and to “key European destinations.” Under the plan, 2,160 pilots and crew working at subsidiaries in the UK, U.S., Italy, Spain, and France will lose their jobs. Approximately half of that number are at Norwegian’s London Gatwick base.

Navy Considers Axing Conformal Fuel Tanks From Its Block III Super Hornet Upgrade Plan

In testing, the Navy identified unspecified “technical, structural, and sustainment” problems in a “carrier environment.” The Drive speculates that since “there is a specific link between [conformal fuel tanks (or CFT)] and the operation of CFT-equipped jets from its aircraft carriers, [that] could suggest the problems have to do, at least in part, with how the upgraded aircraft handle the stresses of catapult launches and arrested recoveries.”

The article continues, “Another possibility might be that the tanks have been found to block access to key sections of the aircraft when they are installed, requiring their removal to perform certain routine maintenance and other tasks, adding costly time and effort to those processes.”

First Contractor-Owned F-16 Aggressors Include MiG Killers, Veteran Of Iraqi Reactor Raid

Private contractor Top Aces provides red air adversary support and will now be the first to acquire fourth-generation fighters, starting with four ex-Israeli Air Force F-16s. These jets have combat experience from the 1980s. Three of them shot down Syrian MiGs during the conflict in Lebanon, and one of them participated in the bombing raid on Iraq’s Osirak nuclear reactor. The four F16s were transported from Ben Gurion Airport to Phoenix, Arizona on a Ukrainian-registered An-124 cargo aircraft.

Homebuilt

The tug is the homebuilt, not the Focke Wulf. Launchpad Marzari explains how he and a friend combined some decidedly non-aviation items into a functional tug.

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Airplane Geeks Reporter-at-Large Launchpad Marzari and his new “snow tug.”

Mentioned

Phil’s Airline Fleet News published “The B737 MAX List – 1st February 2021 [PDF].

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