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Flight Safety Information


Curt Lewis & Associates, LLC Newsletter

TopFlight Safety Information


July 29, 2020 - No. 152


In This Issue

PRISM - Here's Why You Need An Operational Health Check In This COVID-19 Environment

Accident: Trigana B733 at Wamena on Jul 28th 2020, wing tip strike on unstabilized approach

Navy P-8 Plane Makes Emergency Landing in Japan Following Compressor Stall

FedEx pilots, union call on company to suspend Hong Kong operations

How Many Drone Pilots are Flying Without a License? DRONELIFE Minute Survey

DOT Names 20 Industry Reps for Aviation Jobs Task Force

Airbus unveils autonomous airplane

Happy Birthday, 'Bomber Betty': Auburn woman who worked in aircraft engine repair during 2 wars turns 95

Over 600 Aircraft Are Waiting To Be Delivered By Airbus & Boeing


United Airlines Goes On Cargo Tear

Preserving Cash Is Top Priority for JetBlue Airways

Boeing Has Paid Southwest $428 Million in 737 MAX Damages So Far This Year

Boeing Sees Rising Demand For Freighter Conversions

Virgin Galactic unveils space plane's cabin, poised for commercial flights

SpaceX's third NASA astronaut launch to reuse Crew Dragon and Falcon 9

The USC Aviation Safety & Security Program Will Offer Online and In-Person Classes This Fall

AvSax - Airline Safety in a Bag

Urban Air Mobility and Single-Pilot/Autonomous Airline Operations Research Project

Graduate Research Survey



Today's Photo

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Accident: Trigana B733 at Wamena on Jul 28th 2020, wing tip strike on unstabilized approach

A Trigana Air Services Boeing 737-300, registration PK-YSZ performing a freight flight from Jayapura to Wamena (Indonesia) with 2 crew and 14 tons of goods, performed an entirely unstabilized approach to Wamena's runway 15 rolling right and left, but continued the approach to a touch down with the left wing low causing the wing tip and flaps to contact the runway surface at about 07:38L (22:38Z Jul 27th). The aircraft rolled out without further incident. Both crew were taken to a hospital for checks. The aircraft sustained visible damage to flaps fairing, outboard flaps and wing tip, the damage is being assessed.

Papua Police reported both crew were taken to a hospital for checks of their health condition. Indonesia's KNKT opened an investigation.

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Navy P-8 Plane Makes Emergency Landing in Japan Following Compressor Stall

A compressor stall forced the Navy crew of a P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance aircraft to request an emergency landing at an Air Force base in the Pacific earlier this month, according to a recent Naval Safety Center accident report.

The crew made a precautionary landing at Kadena Air Base, Japan, July 16, Navy spokesman Lt. Samuel Boyle said Monday. The news was first reported by Navy Times.

"There were no injuries and the landing was safe," Boyle said in a statement. The incident is under investigation, he said.

The Safety Center labeled the event as a Class A mishap, a category that includes fatalities, severe damage totaling $2 million or more or a complete loss of the aircraft.

The main mission of the P-8A, which replaced the Navy's P-3C Orion, is to track submarines by dropping buoys that ping, listen and detect.

The intelligence-gathering aircraft is a Boeing-made adaptation of its 737 commercial aircraft.

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FedEx pilots, union call on company to suspend Hong Kong operations

(Reuters) - The union representing FedEx Corp pilots on Tuesday called on the U.S. package delivery company to suspend its operations in Hong Kong after some of its members were subject to "extremely difficult conditions" in government-mandated quarantine aimed at tamping down the spread of the coronavirus.

The Air Line Pilots Association International (ALPA) said three FedEx pilots infected with the coronavirus were forced into mandated hospital facilities for up to 10 days in Hong Kong. Those pilots were asymptomatic.

Several other pilots who tested negative, but had been in contact with individuals who tested positive, were put in government camps "under extremely difficult conditions," the world's largest pilots' union said.

"Not only do these situations pose unacceptable risks to our pilots' safety and wellbeing, but they also create added stress and distraction for flight operations," said Dave Chase, chairman, FedEx ALPA Master Executive Council.

FedEx in a statement said the company was fully engaged with government authorities to support its crew members in situations that required medical treatment or self-isolation in Hong Kong.

The statement comes as Hong Kong implemented tightened testing and quarantine arrangements for sea on and air crew entering the Asian financial hub starting Wednesday.

Before arriving, crew must test negative for COVID-19 within 48 hours of boarding. On arrival, they will be tested again and must self isolate without going into the community, the government said.

There have been numerous instances of aircrew flouting quarantine rules, including a FedEx pilot who flew from Boston to Hong Kong.

On July 26, one Twitter user based in Hong Kong posted that he had met the pilot on the city's historic Peak tram as he awaited his test results.

"You are not going to believe this! An American guy got on the tram and started chatting... Said he won't get results for two days-AND HE'S ON THE PEAK TRAM."

After arriving in Hong Kong, crew have not been given clear guidelines as to what they can or cannot do while awaiting their test results, said one pilot who declined to be named because of corporate policy.

Authorities in the former British colony have warned the city faces a critical period to contain the virus. Strict new measures that ban restaurant dining and restrict gatherings to two people also came into effect on Wednesday.

Hong Kong reported 106 new COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, including 98 that were locally transmitted.

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How Many Drone Pilots are Flying Without a License? DRONELIFE Minute Survey

At DRONELIFE, we've gathered some anecdotal evidence over the years about how many drone pilots are flying without a license. Whenever we've asked drone operators that we meet in life outside of work if they have a license, we've found that none of the operators that we've run into have a Part 107. These are local roofers, photographers, or recreational flyers who have a day job but accept commissions to take a picture of a town ballfield or soccer game once in a while. Not only are these pilots flying without a license: we've found that until we mention it, they are completely unaware that such a thing exists.

Admittedly, we're located in a small town, and the number of drone operators we've run across is small. To get a better feel for the gray market in drone services, we decided to ask DRONELIFE followers to fess up in our latest anonymous survey, the DRONELIFE Minute Survey. Read on to see just how many drone pilots are flying without a license.
There are a lot of very significant drone business surveys, and a lot of very official forecasts for the drone industry. The DRONELIFE Minute Survey makes no claim to be either - it's a way for DRONELIFE to share some of the prevailing buzz that comes our way from readers on a variety of subjects, and for us to track changes over time on topics that we feel would be of interest to our readers and the industry. Recent surveys included pricing in the commercial drone space and the effect of the coronavirus on business at a point in time.

We asked DRONELIFE Twitter followers a simple question.

Commercial Drone Operators: Have you ever flown without a Part 107 (or equivalent) commercially?

Respondents had two choices:

No way, never: 60.7%
Sure, what of it: 39.3%

As an anonymous, random question, this survey isn't significant data (see disclaimer above.) Respondents, however, were selected from DRONELIFE followers - and we would like to believe that a DRONELIFE follower at least knows that Part 107 exists. In addition, respondents self-identified as commercial drone operators. If nearly 40% of that pool admits to flying without a license - how many others who don't read drone publications are also?

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DOT Names 20 Industry Reps for Aviation Jobs Task Force

The U.S. Department of Transportation has appointed 20 representatives from across the industry to serve on a newly-formed Youth Access to American Jobs in Aviation Task Force that will work to encourage high school students to pursue aviation careers. Established at the behest of Congress, the task force will consider means to help steer U.S. high school students toward technical and STEM educations, including those related to aviation. The task force will explore possibilities for apprenticeships, workforce development programs, and careers in the U.S.

"This task force will help identify and develop pathways to encourage a diversity of young people to enter the exciting aviation sector of the future," said Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in announcing the appointments.

"We know that introducing students to the wonders of aerospace when they are in the early high school years can inspire them to pursue careers in the field," added FAA Administrator Steve Dickson.

Sharon DeVivo, president of Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology, will chair the task force, which also includes representatives from air carriers; aircraft, powerplant, and avionics manufacturers; aircraft repair stations; local educational agencies or high schools; and higher education, including community colleges and aviation trade schools.

Among them are Joanne "Jo" Damato, v-p of education and workforce development for NBAA. Damato, who stepped into her current role in 2019, has served with NBAA for nearly 20 years, originally managing the association's air traffic services function at the FAA Air Traffic Control System Command Center.

Others on the committee are Amy Voss (Cirrus Aircraft), Brett Levanto (the Aeronautical Repair Station Association), Kasey Herzberg (Aircraft Data Fusion), Stacey Bechdolt (the Aerospace Education Resource Organization), Joey Colleran (Redbird Flight Simulations), Ralph Coppola (Real World Design Challenge), Whitney Dix (Southwest Airlines), Joel English (Centura College), Ryan Goertzen (Maintenance Workforce Development), James Hall (Wichita State University), Jennifer Henderson (Boeing Aircraft), and Nancy Shane Hocking (JetBlue Airways).

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Airbus unveils autonomous airplane

Aerospace giant Airbus has unveiled an autonomous airplane the company is using to research and develop pilotless technologies.

Following an extensive two-year flight test programme, Airbus says it has "successfully concluded its Autonomous Taxi, Take-Off and Landing (ATTOL) project".

In completing this project, Airbus has achieved autonomous taxiing, take-off and landing of a commercial aircraft through fully automatic vision-based flight tests using on-board image recognition technology - a "world-first in aviation", according to Airbus.

In total, over 500 test flights were conducted. Approximately 450 of those flights were dedicated to gathering raw video data, to support and fine tune algorithms, while a series of six test flights, each one including five take-offs and landings per run, were used to test autonomous flight capabilities.

The ATTOL project was initiated by Airbus to explore how autonomous technologies, including the use of machine learning algorithms and automated tools for data labelling, processing and model generation, could help pilots focus less on aircraft operations and more on strategic decision-making and mission management.

Airbus is now able to analyse the potential of these technologies for enhancing future aircraft operations, all the while improving aircraft safety, ensuring today's unprecedented levels are maintained.

Airbus will continue research into the application of autonomous technologies alongside other innovations in areas such as materials, alternative propulsion systems and connectivity.

By leveraging these opportunities, Airbus is opening up possibilities for creating new business models that will transform how aircraft are developed, manufactured, flown, powered and serviced.

Airbus says the "rapid development and demonstration" of ATTOL's capabilities was made possible due to a cross-divisional, cross-functional, global team comprising of Airbus engineering and technology teams, Airbus Defence and Space, Acubed (Project Wayfinder), Airbus China and ONERA (the French Aerospace Lab) under the leadership of Airbus UpNext.

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Happy Birthday, 'Bomber Betty': Auburn woman who worked in aircraft engine repair during 2 wars turns 95

Not everyone receives birthday cards from Rosie the Riveter, The Greatest Generation and McClellan Air Force Base Alumni. Not everyone receives the honor of a banner strung across downtown, courtesy of the Newcastle Community Association.

Because not everyone is known as "Bomber Betty."

Betty Mosher Samson - aka "Bomber Betty" - celebrated her 95th birthday with family July 26 at Spring Creek Ranch, the rural Auburn property she has called home since she and husband Stanley James "Smoky" Samson bought it in 1952, six years after their marriage.

Long before raising beef cattle and goats on the ranch and running Samson's Saddle and Leather Repair from 1972-96, Betty took an aircraft engine mechanics course at Grant High School in Sacramento to the next level. After graduating in January 1943, at 17, she took a job in engine repair at McClellan Field until November 1945. She returned to McClellan during the Korean War and worked on B29 Superfortress bombers.

In 2016, Betty received the Waddingham/Doctor Award of Merit from the Conference of California Historical Societies for her years of service and contributions to the Placer County Historical Society.

She also has been active in the League of Placer County Taxpayers and Placer County Historical Foundation.

In 2015, Betty was interviewed by the Oral History Center of the Bancroft Library for its Rosie the Riveter/World War II American Home Front Oral History Project. The transcript is available at the Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front Historical National Park in Richmond and the Bancroft Library in Berkeley. It's also available online at Betty participated in several early Rosie Rally Home Front Festivals.

For many years, she rode in a WWII Jeep in Auburn's Veterans Day Parade in recognition of her work during World War II.

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Over 600 Aircraft Are Waiting To Be Delivered By Airbus & Boeing

It was revealed yesterday that Airbus and Boeing had accumulated more than 600 aircraft that are waiting to be delivered. The slump in the aviation industry caused by the global pandemic has forced airlines to ground their fleets, and many have canceled or deferred orders for new planes.

Hundreds of aircraft stockpiled by manufacturers
FlightGlobal reported that, as of July 27, Airbus and Boeing had a stockpile of 628 commercial passenger aircraft between them. According to Cirium fleets data, the planes have completed their first flights, but remain undelivered.

Boeing's inventory stands at 462, although 423 of those are the grounded 737 MAX aircraft. The MAX cannot be delivered until regulators have lifted the regulatory grounding that was put in place in March 2019. The remainder of the undelivered planes are widebody jets, including 31 787s, five 777s, one 767, and two 747-8Fs.

The Airbus stockpile of 166 undelivered jets includes 11 A220s, 112 A320-family aircraft, 14 A330s, 25 A350s, and four A380s. A large number of the A320s are parked in the German cities of Erfurt and Rostock until the customers can finally take delivery.

Not all of the aircraft are a result of delayed deliveries. There is always some time between the first flight and delivery to the customer. Airbus has 40 planes that only made their first flight this month, while Boeing has five.

Cirium's global head of consultancy Rob Morris says,

"We might expect this inventory to grow further as travel restrictions and continued demand weakness drive airlines to fail to accept delivery of these aircraft in a timely manner."

Challenging times for plane makers
The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for many industries, but aviation has been among the hardest hit. With government-imposed travel restrictions and the resulting slump in demand for air travel, the delivery of new aircraft has become challenging.

Airbus confirmed that, as of last month, it had 130 aircraft that it couldn't deliver as a result of the pandemic. The company said,

"Many of our customers are currently physically unable to take delivery, and many have asked for deferments. We cannot escape the COVID-related developments affecting the [airlines]."

Typically, aircraft production and delivery rates are closely matched, but that is no longer the case.

Aircraft production rates cut
As airlines slowly take to the skies once more, many are emerging from the crisis as smaller entities with much-reduced fleets. As a result, many orders for new planes have been canceled or delayed, for years in some cases.

In the first six months of 2020, Airbus delivered 196 jets, a 50% drop on last year. Boeing only delivered 70 planes in the first half of the year, a 71% reduction compared to 2019. Part of that drop is a result of the grounding of the 737 MAX.

Airbus has cut the production of narrowbody planes from 60 to 40 per month, while A330 production has been reduced from 3.5 to two per month, and A350 from 9.5 to six monthly. Boing has cut 777 output by half to 2.5 per month and reduced 787 production from 14 to 10 with a further cut seven per month by 2022.

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The jet engine has a long and storied history. Its development occurred spontaneously amongst several unrelated groups in the early 20th Century. Frank Whittle submitted a UK patent on a design in 1930, while Hans von Ohain begun exploring the field in Germany in 1935. Leading on from Ohain's work, the first flight of a jet-powered aircraft was in August 27, 1939. By the end of World War II, a smattering of military jet aircraft had entered service, and the propeller was on the way out as far as high performance aviation is concerned.

With the invention of the jet engine so far in the past, one could be forgiven for thinking that the technology has long been mastered around the world. However, recent reports show that's not the case. China is a great example, facing issues with the development of jet engines for their indigenous military aircraft.


In the age of the Internet and open source, technology moves swiftly around the world. In the consumer space, companies are eager to sell their product to as many customers as possible, shipping their latest wares worldwide lest their competitors do so first. In the case of products more reliant on infrastructure, we see a slower roll out. Hydrogen-powered cars are only available in select regions, while services like media streaming can take time to solve legal issues around rights to exhibit material in different countries. In these cases, we often see a lag of 5-10 years at most, assuming the technology survives to maturity.

In most cases, if there's a market for a technology, there'll be someone standing in line to sell it. However, some can prove more tricky than others. The ballpoint pen is one example of a technology that most of us would consider quaint to the point of mediocrity. However, despite producing over 80% of the world's ballpoint pens, China was unable to produce the entire pen domestically. Chinese manufactured ballpoint tips performed poorly, with scratchy writing as the result. This attracted the notice of government officials, which resulted in a push to improve the indigenous ballpoint technology. In 2017, they succeeded, producing high-quality ballpoint pens for the first time.

The secrets to creating just the right steel, and manipulating it into a smooth rolling ball just right for writing, were complex and manifold. The Japanese, German, and Swiss companies that supplied China with ballpoint tips made a healthy profit from the trade. Sharing the inside knowledge on how it's done would only seek to destroy their own business. Thus, China had to go it alone, taking 5 years to solve the problem.

There was little drive for pen manufacturers to improve their product; the Chinese consumer was more focused on price than quality. Once the government made it a point of national pride, things shifted. For jet engines, however, it's somewhat of a different story.


In recent decades, China has aligned itself closely with Russia for major military acquisitions. Over the years, it has acquired military aircraft like the Sukhoi Su-27 for the People's Liberation Army Air Force, following the nations growing closer after the fall of the Soviet Union.China has also pursued its own fighter development programs, spawning aircraft like the J-10 and JF-17 over the years. While China appear to have had little problem with aerodynamic and avionics development, reliable, world-class jet engines have thus far eluded them.

Attempts to power Chinese aircraft designs have been hamstrung by Russia's reticence to sell fighter engines directly, preferring to sell entire aircraft instead. The relationship has been further strained over the year's by China's efforts to reverse engineer foreign designs. After signing a deal to produce 200 Su-27 aircraft locally, China stopped the production line after just 100 units. Electing to learn from and change the design, the subsequent J-11 ruffled feathers as an unlicenced copy.

Similar efforts were made to accelerate development of jet engines, by copying engines from overseas manufacturers. Reports suggest the CFM-56, purchased from the United States in the 1980s, may have been the starting point for the WS-10 design. Despite having access to the hardware, progress has been slow. A lack of human capital, insider knowledge, and production hardware and materials can make duplicating a complex design difficult to impossible. Early revisions of the resulting WS-10 engine have fallen well short of design goals which aimed to match the Su-27's AL-31 engine on thrust output and reliability. Overhauls were required every 30 hours, versus 400 hours for the Russian benchmark. Anecdotal evidence suggests the WS-10 also takes longer to produce thrust.

The problems lie largely in materials and machining. Jet engine components must withstand huge temperatures and pressures, while spinning at high RPM for hours on end. Factors like thermal cycling and crack propagation must be considered for the materials used, lest the engine destroy itself before time. Reliability is as important as performance, as all the thrust in the world is useless if the aircraft needs an engine replacement after every flight. The keys to producing the raw materials, as well as creating the high-tolerance final parts, are closely guarded national secrets. Spy photos are easy to take at airshows, and blueprints can be readily stolen - often as simply as searching for CAD files and sending them home. Data on metallurgy and materials and production processes can be harder to lay one's hands on.

After 25 years spent trying to build a competitive fighter jet engine, China is still struggling to match the performance of a design with roots in the 1970s. Initial production models of China's latest J-20 stealth fighter used the upgraded WS-10B, but production models appear to still rely on Russian Saturn AL-31 engines. The Chinese-produced WS-15 is slated to enter service within a few years, but until then, the J-20 will be at a thrust deficit to its rivals. In fighter combat, where energy is everything, this is a serious drawback that China will be eager to fix. Worse, until the higher-thrust WS-15 engines reach maturity, the J-20 is also unable to supercruise, meaning it must use afterburner to reach supersonic speeds. China's premier air superiority fighter will struggle to keep up with its 5th generation contemporaries until the situation is rectified.

As long as there's money to be made in providing high-quality parts that are difficult to reproduce, it's unlikely China will be able to buy the information it needs. Instead, it will have to go the hard way, as it did with ballpoint pens. Years of expensive research and indigenous technological development will be required, to replicate something achieved by others 30 years hence. In the military world, as in the corporate one, that's simply the price of doing business.

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United Airlines Goes On Cargo Tear

Airlines have touted how much-dedicated cargo flying they're doing with transformed passenger planes, but United Airlines is the only major U.S. carrier where cargo is boosting the bottom line during the COVID pandemic.

United's second-quarter earnings last week included an eye-popping 36.3% increase in cargo revenue to $402 million. Cargo-ton-miles were up 40.3% to 496 million. Even more impressive is the fact that cargo revenue represented 27.3% of the company's total operating revenue compared to 2.6% in the same period last year. Half-year results showed cargo revenue grew 14.6% to $666 million.

The Chicago-based company quickly launched cargo-only services, involved the cargo team in operations planning, and leveraged its hub locations and strong relations with freight forwarders to fill the flights, according to company officials and industry specialists.

At Delta Air Lines, cargo revenue during the quarter plunged 42% to $108 million and fell 31% in the first six months of the year. American Airlines recorded a 41% quarterly drop in cargo revenue to $130 million and a 73% reduction in cargo-ton-miles (176 million), with first-half revenue down 37%. Delta didn't report any figures for transported volume.

Southwest Airlines, the third-largest domestic carrier by market share, doesn't have much of an international network and doesn't fly widebody jets that attract the most cargo volume, so comparisons are somewhat unfair. Still, the Dallas-based company said second-quarter cargo revenue fell 13.6% to $38 million.

During follow-up calls with analysts, United executives were eager to brag about the cargo division's performance. At Delta, American, and Southwest, cargo never came up.

"Our commercial team has done a better job, I think than any airline in the entire world recognizing what the pandemic has meant for demand and taking advantage of opportunities where they present themselves," CEO Scott Kirby boasted. "Our cargo team, led by Jan Krems, [generated a] 36% increase in cargo. I mean, who would have ever thought we could do something like that?"

Experts and logistics partners say United Airlines made cargo a focal point in March when the novel coronavirus forced countries to close borders and airlines to suspend most passenger operations. The airline aggressively turned idle planes and their lower-deck holds into mini-freighters, offering dedicated charter flights and cargo-only scheduled routes when freight intermediaries were desperate to replace the lost passenger capacity. After receiving approval from U.S. aviation authorities, United also operated "ghost" flights with mail and lightweight freight in the seats and storage areas of the cabin normally occupied by travelers and their carry-on bags.

United officials say they have flown more than 4,000 passenger freighters and 130 million pounds of cargo, since March 19. Delta and American Airlines have operated 1,100 and 1,224 "preighters" so far, respectively, according to spokespersons at both companies.

Southwest retreated from offering cargo-only charters because aircraft were needed to meet rising demand from the passenger side of the business and fewer forwarders were interested in booking entire aircraft for large domestic shipments, spokesman Dan Landson said.

Chief Commercial Officer Andrew Nocella said United's cargo throughput also got a boost because the airline maintained passenger service throughout the crisis to Australia, Japan, Brazil, and multiple points in Europe, despite restrictive border policies.

Cargo Man In Charge

Observers say United benefits from having someone whose career is built on cargo running the Cargo division. Krems has been United Cargo's president since 2014 and held a series of management positions at Air France/KLM Cargo for 15 years, cultivating relations with logistics providers who book most of the freight with airlines.

"Krems was able to convince them to fly the planes," said an industry source who asked not to be named because of close business ties with all the major airlines.

By contrast, Rick Elieson headed cargo at American Airlines for three years before moving on this month to lead the airline's loyalty program. Previously, he was in charge of marketing, customer service, web development, and the vacation package business. American promoted Jessica Tyler to the president of cargo after two years as Elieson's deputy. Prior to that, she worked in business process re-engineering for American and a management consulting firm.

At Delta, Shawn Cole has been vice president of cargo for three years. In his previous nine years at Delta, and before that at Coca-Cola, he focused on finance, strategic planning, and budgeting.

While other airlines treat cargo as a steppingstone for executives on the leadership track, "Jan will still be there," the industry insider said.

Krems has generated loyalty from top freight forwarders through handshake agreements in which United essentially agrees not to charge the highest possible rate during a seller's market, as currently exists, in exchange for forwarders not chasing the lowest price when there is surplus capacity and times are leaner for airlines, said the well-connected air cargo representative.

"Cargo needs to have a seat at the boardroom table in order to truly optimize its revenue streams. We're seeing which airlines took that to heart as the second-quarter results are coming in," Neel Jones Shah, the global head of air carrier relationships at forwarder Flexport, told FreightWaves. "United really reacted very quickly to the COVID-19 crisis and was one of the first airlines in the world to institute passenger freighters. They very quickly built a global cargo-only flight network and had great support from the freight forwarding community."

United recently said on its company blog, for example, that it has partnered with DSV/Panalpina, a global logistics powerhouse based in Europe, to transport frozen blood plasma and other pharmaceutical materials during the COVID crisis. Every week, DSV delivers 20 temperature-controlled shipping containers holding more than 1,750 pounds of plasma for carriage on a Boeing 787-9 temporary freighter.

It also partnered with Los Angeles-based Commodity Forwarders Inc. to transport nearly 190,000 pounds of fresh produce to food banks in Guam for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program. The new program was created to provide support to consumers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.

CFI repacked the fruit in 10-pound cases at its facility near Los Angeles International Airport and delivered it to United for delivery to Guam on a Boeing 777 using a newly opened cargo route.

Fortress Chicago

United also has a built-in advantage with its hub at Chicago O'Hare International Airport, which is centrally located and ringed by warehouses of major forwarders that have extensive road feeder networks across the country. United also has the most international flights originating from Newark, N.J., Los Angeles and San Francisco, and Washington Dulles connecting to many European destinations. Houston is a key gateway to Latin America.

"Cargo tends to go to and from our hubs. We have a well-established network with our people and our distributors, and that just was really humming," United's Nocella said. "Our cargo revenue in the second quarter and the first month was actually kind of flattish. So you can just imagine what May and June looked like. They were just really off the charts."

Delta's network is built around smaller hub cities such as Minneapolis and Detroit, although it also has conducted dedicated cargo operations out of Atlanta, Los Angeles, and New York.

Nocella predicted cargo will perform well during the third quarter too.

"As long as the global fleet of widebodies is not flying like it normally is industrywide, we think cargo is going to be pretty strong in terms of the yield production which gives us the ability to do cargo-only charters," he said. "Whether it's at the levels of Q2, I think it's a little bit early to tell, but it definitely will outperform year-over-year based on what we're seeing here in July already."

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Preserving Cash Is Top Priority for JetBlue Airways

Customers searching for flights on JetBlue Airways' website may buy whatever they wish, but the options should come with a warning, saying "these flights will only operate if they can generate cash."

Preserving cash was the theme of JetBlue's second quarter earnings call on Tuesday. Executives repeatedly said they will do anything to hold on to it, including canceling flights close to departure if they will operate at a loss. Most other airlines have similar strategies, but on recent earnings calls, few of JetBlue's competitors have shared so many details about their approaches. For JetBlue, cash is the No. 1 concern, even if that means annoying some customers.

"Our guiding criteria is cash generation," JetBlue President and Chief Operating Officer Joanna Geraghty told investors. "We will continue to react to changes in demand trends, rationalizing and pulling capacity as needed before each schedule month is flown."

Like all U.S. airlines, JetBlue is in crisis. It reported a pre-tax loss of $450 million for the second quarter, with a pre-tax margin of negative 209 percent. During the quarter, JetBlue flew 85 percent less capacity than it had expected, despite ramping up flying in May and June when demand improved slightly. It suspects some improvement going forward, but warned investors of a choppy recovery.

"We expect demand will continue to be volatile and recovery will not be perfectly linear as customers' willingness to travel evolves as regions reopen for business and as infection rates change over time," Geraghty said.

It will be a long time - years, likely - until JetBlue is profitable again. But by relentlessly focusing on cash preservation, the airline can ensure it withstands this crisis and emerges as a viable enterprise. The closer it can get to zero, the longer it can last, even if the United States continues to struggle to handle outbreaks.

In the second quarter, JetBlue said it had an average daily cash burn of $9.5 million, but it told investors the burn rate improved by late June, when it was about $8 million per day. This quarter, the airline said, it expects to burn between $7 and $9 million per day.

JetBlue should be able to go awhile at that burn rate. As of June 30, the airline had about $3.4 billion in total liquidity. It also carries debt of almost $4.8 billion.

Flight-By-Flight Evaluation
In normal times, an airline would prefer most of its flights generate a true profit, measured against all the costs of running an airline, including employee, real estate and airplane costs. But in Covid times, many carriers are using a different thought process.

The new calculation essentially comes down to this: Is it better to fly the aircraft, and generate a bit of cash, or keep the airplane on the ground to avoid cash losses?

Recently, many U.S. carriers have erred on the side of more flying, because fuel is cheap and the government is reimbursing airlines for most employee salaries under the terms of the CARES act. In this environment, Jetblue typically needs a load factor of 20 to 30 percent to breakeven, said Scott Laurence, the airline's head of revenue and planning.

Ideally, JetBlue can estimate how a flight will book ahead of time. But if it not looking good, JetBlue will make changes as soon as a couple of days before departure, Laurence said. If JetBlue has multiple frequencies in a market, it can easily rebook customers on another flight.

"We plan the schedule," Laurence said. "We then take a scrub of it a couple of weeks out, and then we take a scrub of it a couple of days out. That allows us to cancel and combine, if necessary ... That allows us to drive a better cash result at the end of the day."

This strategy requires nimble planning and buy-in from employees, but given the circumstances, it is necessary, Geraghty said.

"Our planning process has become much closer in," Geraghty said. "This is enabling us to adjust quickly to that changing demand environment. It's been somewhat disruptive, obviously, to crew members, but they've been unbelievably supportive given the current environment. We understand our cash-break even economics for flights. We will not operate flights that are not cash positive."

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Boeing Has Paid Southwest $428 Million in 737 MAX Damages So Far This Year

The number was revealed in a quarterly filing.

Boeing (NYSE:BA) has paid Southwest Airlines (NYSE:LUV) $428 million due to ongoing issues with the 737 MAX, according to Southwest's quarterly report filed Monday, a sign of how much the troubled aircraft is weighing on cash flow at the aerospace giant.

The 737 MAX was grounded in March 2019 after a pair of fatal accidents, causing existing operators to scramble to fill their schedules with older planes. Southwest had 34 MAX planes in its fleet at the time of the grounding, and was scheduled to take delivery on 41 additional planes through the rest of the year.

The airline said in its second-quarter regulatory filing that it received $428 million in total cash proceeds from Boeing in the first half of 2020 as compensation for the issues. The two parties late last year reached a memorandum of understanding to compensate Southwest for estimated financial damages, but the terms were confidential at the time.

Boeing burned through $4.7 billion in the first quarter and is expected to report even higher cash burn when it reports second-quarter earnings this week, largely due to the ongoing 737 MAX issues. Southwest is just one customer for the plane, but it is an important one. Southwest has only flown 737s throughout its history, and the airline is responsible for a significant part of Boeing's 737 MAX backlog.

Boeing hopes to have the 737 MAX recertified to fly before year's end, but the financial ramifications from the grounding will continue for years to come. Southwest CEO Gary Kelly said on a call with investors last week that the airline intends to renegotiate its future purchases.

"I think the way to visualize the situation with Boeing is that, basically, where we go from here needs to be negotiated, period," Kelly said. "It's almost like we don't have a firm contract for deliveries. So all of that has to be completely reset because Boeing is out of compliance with their contract."

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Boeing Sees Rising Demand For Freighter Conversions

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing (NYSE: BA) is experiencing an uplift in business to convert former passenger planes for all-cargo operations.

"Strong demand is driven by customers transitioning to newer-generation freighters and choosing a Boeing converted freighter (BCF) as a cost-efficient alternative that can be modified with approximately a 90-day turnaround time, regardless of the conversion facility," spokeswoman Laura Fenton told American Shipper.

Sustained e-commerce growth and an abundance of affordable aircraft to convert to freighters are driving this demand, she added.

German courier DHL Express (OTCMKTS: DPSGY) recently contracted with Boeing to convert four 767-300 passenger planes to freighter operations. The express carrier said conversions are part of an effort to modernize its long-haul intercontinental aircraft fleet.

"We have operated the 767-300F model across our global fleet for many years and look forward to continue investing in the platform by adding more 767-300BCFs," said Geoff Kehr, DHL's senior vice president of global air fleet management, in a statement.

The website Plane Spotter says DHL Express currently operates a fleet of 34 767-300 freighters.

According to Boeing, the 767-300BCF has the same cargo capacity as the purpose-built 767-300 freighter, with about a 50-ton payload and a 3,000-nautical-mile flight range.

In another recent announcement, Boeing said it will convert two 737-800 passenger planes to cargo operations for Aircraft Finance Germany (AFG), an aircraft brokerage firm.

The 737-800 cargo plane can carry up to 24 tons of freight per payload and with a 2,000-nautical-mile flight range is best suited for regional express services, Boeing said.

Boeing delivered its first 737-800BCF in 2018 and now has 10 airline customers that utilize the cargo aircraft. The company said it has ramped up production of 737-800BCFs with 132 aircraft orders. So far, Boeing has delivered 34 of the converted planes.

Boeing did not disclose the financial terms of the aircraft conversions for DHL and AGF.

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Virgin Galactic unveils space plane's cabin, poised for commercial flights

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Billionaire Richard Branson's space tourism firm Virgin Galactic revealed the interior of its centerpiece space plane on Tuesday, showing off a cabin with new custom seats and a "space mirror" in a virtual tour of what its passengers can expect to experience on flights to the edge of space.


For $250,000 a ticket, passengers who have signed up for the suborbital flight aboard the air-launched plane VSS Unity will strap into six tailored, teal-colored seats and peer out of the cabin's 12 circular windows as they ascend some 60 miles (97 km) above Earth. The plane has five other windows up front.


"We have amazing seats that will be tailored to each person, and that move during the flight to maximize people's comfort," Virgin Galactic Chief Space Officer George Whitesides told Reuters, adding that passengers can unbuckle themselves at peak altitude to float around the cabin in zero-gravity conditions.


The company has 600 customers signed up to fly and more than 400 more who have expressed interest, Whitesides said.It has not set a firm date for its first commercial space flight, with its British founder Branson expected to be aboard.


The cabin, revealed in a virtual-reality headset the company provided to journalists and paying customers, also features a large, circular mirror "to allow our customers to see themselves in space in a way that has really never been done before," Whitesides said.

The plane, attached to a bigger carrier plane, is intended to take off from the company's New Mexico spaceport and detach mid-air to launch further toward the edge of space in a trip lasting 90 minutes.


Virgin Galactic is on track to clear its final testing milestones to obtain a commercial operating license from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration after it conducts "a small number of flights" carrying four test passengers, Whitesides told a news briefing.

Whitesides said Virgin Galactic may temporarily increase ticket prices from $250,000 in the future but hopes someday to make the experience more affordable to "as many people as possible."


Virgin Galactic went public in October after merging with Social Capital Hedosophia, the special-purpose acquisition vehicle run by early Facebook Inc executive and venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya.

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SpaceX's third NASA astronaut launch to reuse Crew Dragon and Falcon 9

NASA has revealed that SpaceX could reuse the next Falcon 9 booster and first Crew Dragon spacecraft scheduled to launch astronauts as soon as SpaceX's third astronaut launch, scheduled for early 2021.

First, though, SpaceX must successfully return two NASA astronauts to Earth just a few days from now and launch another four astronauts - three NASA and one Japanese (JAXA) - to the International Space Station (ISS) just ~8 weeks later. Astronauts Bob Behnken are currently occupying the ISS as part of Crew Dragon's inaugural crewed launch, which has been a near-flawless success up to this point. Those astronauts are scheduled to board the orbiting spacecraft and depart the ISS on August 1st and reenter Earth's atmosphere roughly one day later on August 2nd.

It will be Crew Dragon's second orbital reentry but also its first with astronauts aboard. If Crew Dragon performs as designed and capsule C206 is recovered without issue, SpaceX and NASA will debrief all teams involved, inspect the spacecraft and astronaut spacesuits, and hopefully certify the spacecraft for operational crewed launches.

Mentioned above, the first of those operational astronaut launches will be known as Crew-1 or Post-Certification Mission 1 (PCM-1) and is currently expected to launch no earlier than (NET) late September. Crew-1's launch date is almost entirely contingent upon the successful completion of Demo-2 and NASA's subsequent certification of Crew Dragon. SpaceX is in the process of delivering all the rocket and spacecraft hardware needed for Crew-1 from its Hawthorne, California factory to launch and processing facilities at Cape Canaveral, Florida and Kennedy Space Center (KSC).

An expendable trunk and the new Crew Dragon capsule assigned to Crew-1 - believed to be capsule C207 - could arrive at SpaceX's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station (CCAFS) processing facilities any day now. Prior to heading to Florida, the spacecraft must complete numerous acceptance tests, including hardware-in-the-loop launch simulations, the static fire of all four SuperDraco abort thruster modules and Draco maneuvering pods, a from of WDR, and more. After arriving, SpaceX will inspect every part of the spacecraft, complete any final outfitting needed, load the capsule with monomethylhydrazine (MMH) fuel and dinitrogen tetroxide (NTO) oxidizer, and install its trunk section.

If Demo-2 Crew Dragon capsule C206 is able to safely return astronauts Behnken and Hurley to Earth and make it back to dry land in one piece, it could become the first American space capsule in history to launch astronauts into orbit twice. The same goes for Crew-1 Falcon 9 booster B1061: if it successfully launches and lands as part of SpaceX's operational astronaut launch debut, it will be refurbished to become the first liquid rocket booster in the world to support two astronaut launches when it flies again on Crew-2.

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TheUSC Aviation Safety & Security ProgramWill Offer Online Classes This Fall


The following upcoming courses, including NEW Safety Performance Indicators course, will take place in our virtual Webex classrooms.


Software Safety


Philosophies and methods of developing software, analyzing software, and managing a software safety program.


Online Course

August 17-20, 2020

4 Days

Tuition: $2250


SeMS Aviation Security Management Systems


Managing and implementing aviation security measures at medium to small size aircraft operators, all airports, and Indirect Air Carriers, with emphasis on risk assessment and cyber security.


Online Course

August 17-21, 2020

4.5 Days

Tuition: $2650


Accident/Incident Response Preparedness


This course is designed for individuals who are involved in either preparing emergency response plans or responding to incidents and accidents as a representative of their organization.

This updated course has been extended to four full days to integrate communications in the digital age.


Online Course

August 24-27, 2020

4 Days

Tuition: $2250


Human Factors in Aviation Safety


This course presents human factors in a manner that can be readily understood and applied by aviation practitioners in all phases of aviation operations. Emphasis is placed on identifying the causes of human error, predicting how human error can affect performance, and applying countermeasures to reduce or eliminate its effects.


Online Course

August 24-28, 2020

4.5 Days

Tuition: $2650


Aviation Law & Aviation Dispute Resolution


This course provides information on the legal risks inherent in aviation operations and an overview of the legal system as it relates to aviation safety. The course also provides an understanding of the various legal processes relating to aviation and discusses ways to engage aviation authorities in a responsible and successful manner. The judicial process, current litigation trends, legal definitions, and procedures are also covered.


Online Course

August 31-September 3, 2020

4 Days

Tuition: $2250


Safety Management for Aviation Maintenance


This course provides supervisors with aviation safety principles and practices needed to manage the problems associated with aircraft maintenance operations. In addition, it prepares attendees to assume safety responsibilities in their areas of operation.


Online Course

August 31-September 4, 2020

4.5 Days

Tuition: $2650


Threat and Error Managment


This course provides students with sufficient knowledge to develop a TEM program and a LOSA program within their organizations.


Online Course

September 9-11, 2020

2.5 Days

Tuition: $1375


Aviation Safety Management Systems


Providing the skills and practical methods to plan, manage, and maintain an effective Aviation Safety Management System.

Special emphasis for safety managers, training, flight department and maintenance managers and supervisors, pilots, air traffic controllers, dispatchers, and schedulers.


Online Course

September 14-25, 2020

9.5 Days

Tuition: $3750


Hazard Effects and Control Strategies


This course focuses on underlying physical, chemical, and biological characteristics and effects, and hazard control strategies. The following hazards are specifically addressed: electrical hazards, electrostatic discharge, toxicity, kinetic hazards, ionizing and non-ionizing radiation, thermal hazards, noise, fire and explosion, high pressure, etc.


Online Course

September 14-15, 2020

2 Days

Tuition: $1200


Damage Assessment for System Safety


Sophisticated mathematical models and methods have been developed to estimate the level of impact of a hazardous condition. This course provides an overall understanding of these methods to help managers and system safety analysis reviewers understand the analysis conducted and results obtained by the experts in the field. Specifically, methods for modeling the impact of fire and explosion, debris distribution from an explosion, and toxic gas dispersion are discussed.


Online Course

September 16-18, 2020

3 Days

Tuition: $1625


Safety Management Systems for Ground Operation Safety


This course provides airport, air carrier and ground service company supervisors and managers with practices that will reduce ground operation mishaps to personnel and equipment. It provides an understanding of how ground operations safety management is an essential part or an airport's or air carrier's SMS.


Online Course

September 21-23, 2020

2.5 Days

Tuition: $1375


Safety Performance Indicators


This course teaches how SPI's are developed, monitored, analyzed and modified in order for an organization to correctly know its safety performance. The course utilizes guidance provided in ICAO Annex 19 and the ICAO Safety Management Manual Doc. 9859.


Online Course

September 24-25, 2020

2 Days

Tuition: $1200


Earn Credit for FlightSafety International Master Technician-Management Program



Students taking the following USC courses will earn elective credits towards FlightSafety International's Master Technician-Management Program



Earn Credit for National Business Aviation Association Certified Aviation Manager Exam


Students taking the following USC courses will earn two points toward completing the application for the National Business Aviation Association Certified Aviation Manager Exam.



For further details, please visitour websiteor use the contact information below.

Email:[email protected]

Telephone: +1 (310) 342-1345


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As part of our Swinburne Bachelor of Aviation undergraduate research project, we have constructed a survey for members of the aviation industry and those who have not worked in aviation to provide feedback on their attitudes and opinions about Urban Air Mobility and single-pilot and/or autonomous airline operations.

If you are an active participant in the aviation industry as a passenger or through employment, we invite you to take part in this survey to help give the industry a better understanding of the general sentiment towards these emerging technologies and operational concepts.


To participate please follow the link below to our online survey:


It should take approximately 20 minutes to complete. Participants who complete the survey will be eligible to enter the draw to WIN AN iPad. Thank you very much for your time.


This research project is being supervised by Peter Renshaw at the Department of Aviation, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia. If you have any questions, please contact Peter at [email protected]

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Graduate Research Survey

Critical Evaluation of the Gaps in SMS Debriefing Tools and Development of Potential Solutions


I am inviting you to take part in a study of Feedback within Aviation Safety Management Systems.


An airline/organisation Safety Management System (SMS) relies on pilot safety reports (ASAP or ASR) or data (FOQA, FDM) to discover hazards and threats in the operation. In return, the pilots depend on up to date information from the airline's safety department to make sound decisions regarding safety. The safety department can accomplish that by debriefing or giving feedback on the safety reports or data. A literature review of safety report feedback/debrief within Safety Management Systems showed that safety reports are not fully debriefed.


This survey aims to gather data regarding pilots' perspective of safety report/safety data debriefing. In addition, the survey also aims to find out the opinions of a potential solution.


This study is undertaken as part of a thesis for an Air Safety Management Master of Science degree at City, University of London.


Bengt Jansson


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members of their Management, Regulators and related organizations

(airplane, helicopter, civil or military)







Dear aviation colleague,


you are invited to participate in a research project conducted by the department of Psychology at City, University of London, which aims to elicit your views and thoughts on Aeronautical Decision-Making, including Monitoring and Intervention in normal operation,by which we mean routine line flightswithout anyincidentsortechnical malfunctions.


The questions deal with teamwork and decision-making issues in various Pilot-roles, e.g. the role of the Pilot Monitoring (PM), Pilot Flying (PF), Pilot in Command (PIC) and Co-Pilot, and respectively in the Air Traffic Controller (ATCO)-roles of the coordinating and radioing/radar ATCO as well as pilot's and controller's training and occupational picture.


This survey is completely anonymous - no identifying information will be requested or collected - and all responses will be treated as strictly confidential. The survey is approved by City's research and ethics committee (Approval Code: ETH 1920-1414). The introductory section of the survey will provide you with further information and the informed consent.


Please click hereto access the survey or copy the survey-link below into your browser.


By completing the questionnaire, you can - in addition to supporting aviation safety research - even do more good as we will donate a minimum of €2 for the first 1000 fully completed responses to the UNICEF COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund which helps to care forvulnerable children and communities all over the world.


If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us via email: [email protected] or [email protected]or via phone: +49 172 7178780.


We thank you very much in advance. Your support is truly appreciated.


Best regards,


Capt. Tom Becker

Prof. Peter Ayton

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Dear Participants,


You are being asked to participate in a research study of your opinions and attitudes about stress and mental health. This research started almost two years ago. The purpose of this study is to examine mental health issues in aviation, specifically Part 121 airline pilots. During this study, you will be asked to complete a brief online survey about your opinions on various life circumstances, stress, and mental health topics. This study is expected to take approximately 15 minutes of your time. In order to participate, you must possess an FAA issued Airline Transport Certificate (ATP) and you must also be currently working as a pilot for a Part 121 air carrier that is headquartered within the United States. Participation in this study is voluntary and data will be collected anonymously, stored confidentially, and you may choose to opt out of the study at any time. We sincerely appreciate your consideration and time to complete our study, as it is another small but important step towards increasing safety in aviation.


Please click on the link below to complete the survey:


For more information, please contact:


Tanya Gatlin - Student Researcher

[email protected]



Dr. Scott Winter - Faculty Advisor

[email protected]



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Today's Photo


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