Episode 19

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John Goglia, center, with Tamarack’s Jacob Klinginsmith (left) and Nick Guida

Guests Nick Guida and Jacob Klinginsmith from Tamarack Aerospace Group talk about the company’s patented active winglets. Installed now on 100 Citation Jets, the winglets have proven to offer better climb, more range, and less fuel burn.

Active Winglets add up to 33 percent fuel savings on general aviation aircraft and at least double or triple fuel savings percentage on commercial or most military airframes. 

Greg and John discuss the genesis of the idea, the impact for pilots, the effect on aircraft performance, and the environmental benefits of the active winglet technology. They look at the potential for military, commercial and general aviation.

They also explore a 2018 accident involving a Citation Jet equipped with active winglets. Despite initial negative press, the Tamarack technology was cleared for flight. Guida and Klinginsmith share lessons learned and ongoing efforts to work with the FAA to get out accurate information.

 

About Tamarack

Tamarack designs and develops innovative technology for business, commercial, and military aircraft, specializing in its revolutionary Active Winglets. Tamarack winglets create performance and fuel efficiencies that make aircraft more cost effective for operators and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. More information is at the Tamarack website.

Episode 18

Loretta Alkalay, a retired regional counsel for the FAA Eastern Region, is known as the “drone queen” for her passion as a drone user. She is this episode’s special guest as John and Greg explore all things drone.

Drones are an exciting way to get kids, and especially girls, involved in aviation at a time when the industry needs to build a pipeline of new talent. However, their use for commercial purposes, privacy concerns, and other issues have led to confusion and a rush for regulation.

John, Greg, and Loretta talk about current regulations as well as the FAA’s proposed rule on remote ID for drones.

They also bust some myths:

  • Drones can legally fly above 400 feet
  • It is not illegal for drones to fly within 5 miles of an airport

Learn more about the current state of drones in the US in this lively episode. Also check out the referenced resources, Women Who Drone and Women and Drones.

Episode 17

The Department of Transportation’s Inspector General’s office recently issued a scathing report about failures in Southwest Airlines’ safety practices and culture. The report also criticizes the Federal Aviation Administration’s inspectors and leaders assigned to monitor Southwest for lax and ineffective safety oversight of the airline.
 
John and Greg discuss the issues found at Southwest, and broaden the discussion to US air safety practices in general. Air safety has been so good for so long -- are we getting dangerously complacent?
 
John and Greg discuss recent and historical incidents and lay out the need for a reinvigorated commitment to safety procedures.
 
The episode wraps with a new “What Would You Do” challenge that stems from the recent helicopter crash in California. If you were the pilot of a helicopter with a high-profile customer on board and deteriorating conditions, what would you do? Share your answer with John and Greg at flightsafetydetectives@gmail.com.

Episode 16

 
The fatal Jan. 26, 2020, Sikorsky Helicopter Crash near Calabasas, California is the latest high-profile NTSB investigation. John and Greg use the unfortunate tragedy to look at the facts known so far and also to explain the NTSB investigative process.
 
They give listeners behind the scenes insight into what happens from the first moments after an accident. John and Greg share examples from the many investigations they have been part of to review what is known and what remains to be learned in this case.
 
The NTSB has already shared an update and some video footage from the investigation.
 

Episode 15

 
They have dissected the more than 300 pages of the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) final report on Lion Air Flight 610 and John and Greg reach a very different conclusion. The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) was not the root cause, flight crew deficiencies are more likely the root cause.
 
Once again, John and Greg stick to the facts presented in the report. They find that those facts are twisted in the report analysis as well as media coverage. This leads to misplaced blame on the MCAS system and, worse, missed opportunities to improve aviation safety.
 
Calling the conclusion that MCAS was the cause a “leap of logic,” John and Greg instead look at documented issues with crew training and the direct parallels those issues have to what happened in the cockpit that fateful day.

Episode 14

Greg and John do a moment by moment analysis of the events leading up to the crash of Lion Air Flight 610.
 
They share their takeaways following months of dissecting the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) final report regarding the crash. They put the facts in context – facts listed in the report as well as details that are missing.
 
The MCAS system that is widely blamed for the crash was activated for only 10 seconds of the first 6 minutes of the 11:37 flight. The report shows that the pilot was controlling the plane.
 
The Flight Safety Detectives find:

  • The airplane was not airworthy for days prior to the crash
  • Maintenance was not done properly
  • Flight crew stresses: the captain was sick and the first officer was called in ahead of his regular schedule
  • At takeoff, aircraft control warnings were triggered that are not analyzed for impact on the sequence of events
  • Flight crew did not follow procedures
  • Quality of the pilot training program is not examined
 
John and Greg bring in insights from other crashes to provide an unmatched analysis of this tragedy.

Episode 13

The Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) final report regarding the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 continues to get a lot of media attention. Moving away from soundbites, John and Greg examine the actual words and facts found in the report and call out numerous false narratives.
 
Chaos in the cockpit? The report mentions that the sound of pages being turned in the operations manual could be heard on the cockpit voice recorder.
 
Aircraft failure? The report does not support that conclusion. The report documents known maintenance issues that were not fixed more than 20 days before the crash. It also fails to dig into the pilot training program.
 
These and other facts in the report lead to conclusions other than the current focus on the aircraft as being the root cause of the crash, according to the Flight Safety Detectives.
 
They also discuss recent developments at Boeing and the impacts for airlines, employees, investors and the flying public.
 
Photo: Greg in the simulator at Boeing Headquarters in Seattle.

Episode 12

John and Greg share observations from their recent visit to Boeing headquarters. During executive briefings they asked the same tough questions they pose in their podcasts, sometimes stumping the experts.
 
They share how the visit validated the observations they have shared about the LionAir and Ethiopian Airline crashes. They also found more details that are important to finding the answers that will lead to increased air safety.
 
This episode also digs into two Thanksgiving weekend general aviation crashes. John and Greg walk you through their initial observations and provide a detailed walk-through of how investigators will determine the causes of both accidents.
 
Image: A Pilatus PC-12 single-engine aircraft, the type of plane that recently crashed in South Dakota.

Episode 11

The holiday season is a busy time for air travel. John and Greg advise that patience and planning can minimize the stress of holiday travel and help you arrive safely.
  • Give yourself plenty of extra time
  • Be sure your bags don’t have any prohibited items and meet size and weight limits
  • Review current TSA rules so you can get through security smoothly
  • Once on the plane, review the safety information and have a mental plan in case of emergency
 
Keep in mind that all the people who work in airports and on airplanes are trained professionals who want to keep you safe. Treat them with respect.
 
John and Greg note that air travel is safe and chances of an accident are minimal. A little preparation can make your holiday travels go smoothly.
 
In addition to offering these and other tips for a safe and stress-free flight, John and Greg call on the FAA to reconsider flight evacuation procedures. Reduced seating areas, passenger mobility issues, and other factors of modern air travel impact flight crews’ ability to meet the 90-second standard for evacuations. 
 
Happy holidays from the Flight Safety Detectives!

Episode 10

John and Greg explore what was said and what wasn’t said when Boeing executives recently spent two days on Capitol Hill testifying before congress. Their take: the hearings were an emotional platform for congressmen to point fingers, not an opportunity for fact finding.
 
As always, John and Greg use the podcast format to go deeper than 30 second soundbites. They talk in detail about the questions that need to be asked. They refocus the discussion on the facts of the Indonesian National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC) final report.
 
The narrative that the crash was caused solely by the 737 Max Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) isn’t the whole story. Join John and Greg as they dive into the complex issues that deserve attention.
 
Photo credit: By User:Acefitt - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=69781313

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