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    Do I Talk Too Much? A Primer on Airline PA Announcements

    The chapter in Tom Wolfe’s novel, The Right Stuff, which introduces us to Chuck Yeager, starts with this vignette: Anyone who travels very much on airlines in the United States soon gets to know the voice of the airline pilot—coming over the intercom with a particular drawl, a particular folksiness, a particular down-home calmness that […] More

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    Will the Air Force Ever Get Their New Tanker Aircraft?

    The Air Force has been trying to replace their aging KC-135 tanker aircraft…for decades. There is a replacement aircraft, the KC-46, which is nearly ready to go, but the program has been plagued by scandal and delays for many years. And now, on the eve of the new aircraft’s introduction into operational service, more delays […] More

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    Will Computers Learn to Fly Well Enough Before Pilots Forget How?

    In my job, I get to fly with all different kinds of cats and dogs. And by cats and dogs, I don’t mean the ubiquitous emotional support animals now being carried by passengers, but rather pilots. The guys and gals I fly with all have different backgrounds and stories. Over the years I’ve flown with […] More

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    USAF Authorized to Recall 1000 Retired Pilots–Here’s Our Take

    The Air Force has a pilot problem. It doesn’t have enough. The service says that the problem is reaching “crisis” levels with a current shortage of 1500 pilots. Having exhausted all means to convince their current pilot force to remain in the service, and unable to increase the number of new pilots produced, the Air […] More

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    The Real Reason that Southwest Just Announced Hawaii

    As you probably know by now, Southwest Airlines announced their intention to serve Hawaii this past Wednesday night. There has been speculation about if and when Southwest Airlines would begin service to Hawaii for years. Driving these rumors is the fact that they’ve been removing many of the obstacles holding them back from flying to the islands. […] More

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    How Do Pilots Check the Weather Before Flying?

    An old aviation aphorism states that there are old pilots and bold pilots, but no old, bold pilots. Going flying without first checking the weather would be sort of like gambling in a casino but with no way to win and many ways to lose. So it is universally recognized by all pilots that one […] More

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    Air Traffic Control Reform: The Battle of the Fat Cats

    There is a battle royale brewing over the future of Air Traffic Control in the US which could affect much of the nation’s air transportation system. While the usual ideologically pro and anti privatization partisans are playing their roles to perfection, there is an array of very well heeled interests on both sides of this […] More

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    Where are the Pilotless Airliners? Why Aren’t They Here Yet?

    Peter Thiel, PayPal founder and tech evangelist, noted several years ago that “We wanted flying cars, but instead got 140 characters.” He was, of course, talking about Twitter, but his larger point was that the technological advancements that seemed to be inevitable have—when they’ve even shown up— been underwhelming. The pilotless airliner, like the driverless car, is […] More

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    The First Time the B-2 Bomber Flew Was in the Belly of a C-5

    Not the whole bomber, mind you, but rather pieces of it. Big pieces, including the wings and the “cargo hold” otherwise known as the bomb bay structure were delivered for assembly by C-5 Galaxy airlift. But first, a little background on the B-2 is in order. The B-2 Spirit, America’s newest manned bomber, was first […] More

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    Why is it So Freaking Cold (or Hot) on my Plane?

    You get to the airport parking lot, run to catch your shuttle, make it through the TSA body cavity search, and then schlep your stuff a thousand yards to the gate. You board and heave your rollaboard into the overhead bin. After finally sitting down you notice two things: you are drenched in sweat and […] More

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    The Curious Case of Dr. Dao On A United Express Jet

    An airline pilot separates emotion from facts and breaks down the case. By now we’ve all heard of the events on United Express Flight 3411 wherein a passenger refused to deplane to accommodate some deadheading crew and was eventually dragged off the aircraft by Chicago law enforcement officers. The passenger, Dr. David Dao, suffered some […] More

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