Are You Willing to Work in Exchange for Flight Training?

Do you have services to offer in exchange for flight training? Or, are you a flight instructor who would accept those services in exchange for your skills and knowledge? If so, Stephanie Thoen hopes you’ll visit a new website:

Thoen, of Aurora, Colo., created the website as a means of offering an alternative method for student pilots to pay for their flight training. Certificated flight instructors can register free of charge. All others pay a yearly fee of $18.95. Thoen said she has begun the process of registering her business, Limitless Aviation, as a nonprofit. She plans to set aside 10 percent of registration fees toward monthly scholarships for registered users.

The website  suggests numerous services that registrants may wish to offer, such as accounting, automotive work, house and pet sitting, property management, tutoring, catering, and many more. If you aren’t particularly skilled in any of those areas, the website also suggests that timeshares, cabins, hunting property, recreational vehicles, or boats can be posted if owners are willing to barter for the use of the items or even trade them outright for instruction.

Thoen said she was inspired to create the website after running out of funds to pay for her own training. Discharged from the U.S. Army in January, she had applied for flight training assistance through the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. She has been unable to get full credit for her active duty time from the Department of Veterans Affairs and is just 16 hours away from completing her private pilot certificate.

“My business isn’t just targeting” primary student pilots, Thoen said. “I want to find CFIs of all ranks of experience who are willing to barter with students all the way up to ATP.”


By Jill W. Tallman – AOPA

Airline Pilots – A Tribute..

Those first young men, the pioneers, the aviators building super highways in an unknown sky. Leaving wives and children in their snug homes, with just a kiss and a promise to return.

Roaring into the clouds to battle wind and stars.

Their safety systems built of brain and heart.  They landed where there were no lights.

Transforming strange names from tall tales into pictures on postcards home. And those next young men, travelling further, faster, higher than any in history and the ones who followed them, who skimmed the edge of space, the edge of heaven, the edge of dreams.

And we follow them up there to live by an unbreakable promise. The same four words stitched into every uniform of every captain who takes their command.

To Fly. To Serve.

FAA Orders Boeing to Fix a Software Glitch on the 747-8 Fleet with GE Engines

747-8 GE Engines

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday ordered an immediate fix to the latest version of Boeing Co’s 747-8 plane, saying a software glitch could cause it to lose thrust when close to landing and fly into the ground.

The FAA’s so-called airworthiness directive covers Boeing’s 747-8 and 747-8F planes with certain General Electric engines. It calls for replacing defective software with a new, improved version.

The rule, the fourth such directive involving the 747-8, directly affects seven airplanes in the United States, the FAA said.

If adopted internationally, the rule would cover a larger number. Boeing’s website said it had delivered 66 of the four-engine jets, the company’s largest, to customers worldwide since the model was introduced in October 2011.

The problem never caused a problem in flight, Boeing said.

Because of the seriousness of the safety issues, the directive takes effect April 9, skipping the usual comment period, although comments can still be submitted, the FAA said.

Boeing said data analysis indicated a potential problem, and it advised customers last year to update the software. It said it believed the majority of operators had already done so.

The risk of failure was “extremely remote,” Boeing said.

GE said it owned the software and jointly analyzed it with Boeing, but plane maker decided to recommend the software change to customers.

According to the FAA, the risk arises when a plane is changing back into “air mode” while performing a “rejected or bounced landing.” That change halts hydraulic pressure used to stow the engine thrust reversers, which slow the plane on landing, the agency said.

Without hydraulic pressure, the reversers may not stow fully and might redeploy, which “could result in inadequate climb performance at an altitude insufficient for recovery, and consequent uncontrolled flight into terrain,” the FAA said.

Unidentified business jet/VIP customers own the eight passenger models of the aircraft in the United States, according to Boeing’s website. Air cargo company Atlas Air is the largest U.S. commercial owner of the jet, with a fleet of eight 747-8F freighters.

Among passenger carriers, Lufthansa is the largest operator, with 11. It said its planes were unaffected by the directive.

“GE has confirmed that all our engines already have the software update that is required by the FAA,” a spokesman said on Wednesday.

China’s Cathay Pacific has 13 freighters and Cargolux, based in Luxembourg, has nine.

Korean Airlines Co, Nippon Cargo Airlines Co Ltd and Volga-Dnepr UK Ltd also own 787-8F freighters, according to Boeing’s website.

Source:  Reuters.

Photo:  Reuters


Two Weeks after Malaysian Airlines B777 Disappearance, There is Only Frustration and Suspicions

Two weeks after the Malaysia Airlines B777-200/ER went missing with 239 people on board, officials are bracing for the “long haul” as searches by more than two dozen countries turn up little but frustration and fresh questions.

RAAF Pilot Flight Lieutenant Brett pilots a RAAF C-130J Hercules as it prepares to launch two Self Locating Data Marker Buoys in the southern Indian Ocean during the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370The international team hunting Flight MH370 in the remote southern Indian Ocean yielded no results on Friday, and Australia’s deputy prime minister said suspected debris there may have sunk.

Aircraft and ships have renewed the search in the Andaman Sea between India and Thailand going over areas that have already been exhaustively swept to find some clue to unlock one of the biggest mysteries in modern aviation.

Malaysian officials have been realistic about their ability to lead the operation with a global dynamic that some have said is beyond the country’s technical capabilities and expertise.

“This continues to be a multinational effort coordinated by Malaysia, involving dozens of countries from around the world,” Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said at a briefing on Friday.

Malaysia welcomed “all assistance to continue to follow all credible leads”, said Hishammuddin, who is also acting transport minister.

He said searchers were facing the “long haul” but were conscious that the clock was ticking. The plane’s “black box” voice and data recorder only transmits an electronic signal for about 30 days before its battery dies, after which it will be far more difficult to locate.

Investigators suspect the Boeing 777, which took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing shortly after midnight on March 8, was deliberately diverted thousands of miles from its scheduled path. They say they are focusing on hijacking or sabotage but have not ruled out technical problems. A Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion returns from a search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 over the Indian Ocean, at RAAF Base Pearce

The search itself has strained ties between China and Malaysia, with Beijing repeatedly leaning on the Southeast Asian nation to step up its hunt and do a better job at looking after the relatives of the Chinese passengers.


Hishammuddin has rejected complaints that the country has botched search efforts or refused to share vital information with other governments.

For families of the passengers, the process has proved to be an emotionally wrenching battle to elicit information, their angst fuelled by a steady stream of speculation and false leads.

In a Beijing hotel where the bulk of Chinese families have been awaiting information, the deadlock prompted rage over perceived Malaysian incompetence.

For a handful of Chinese families who chose to be flown to Kuala Lumpur to be closer to the heart of search operations, the flow of information has been no more fluid.

On Wednesday, grief erupted into anger when several family members unfurled a protest banner in front of a throng of journalists, demanding the truth from the Malaysian government. The ruckus prompted police to escort the relatives, including a distraught mother, away from the briefing room.

By Friday, the Chinese families who had been staying at a resort south of Kuala Lumpur had to decamp to another hotel as they were displaced by customers for the upcoming Malaysian Formula One grand prix.

“Tonight all the government could give us was old information. But of course we, the families, want to hear new updates,” Malaysian Hamid Ramlat, the father of a passenger, told reporters after emerging from a briefing on Thursday night.

Some experts have argued that the reluctance to share sensitive radar data and capabilities in a region fraught with suspicion amid China’s military rise and territorial disputes may have hampered the search.

Two people familiar with the investigation said the search had been slowed in some cases by delays over the paperwork needed to allow foreign maritime surveillance aircraft into territorial waters without a formal diplomatic request.

Source:  Reuters

A350 XWB Flight Test Campaign

Airbus produces great high quality videos. Here is one of the last ones, the A350XWB flight test campaign.

Since Feb 26, 2014, Airbus has doubled from two to four the number of A350 WXB flight test aircraft with the simultaneous maiden flights of MSN2 and MSN4 – both of which were performed from Toulouse, France. MSN2 is the first developmental aircraft to feature a full passenger cabin, allowing Airbus to begin validating all related systems; while MSN4 will be used for multiple test activities – including low-weight flight envelope certification and external noise measurements among others.

A New Creature is Taking Shape…

After more than 25 years of success, the A320 story continues with the start of final assembly for Airbus’ first A320neo (new engine option) – which incorporates numerous innovations, including the latest-generation engines and large Sharklet wing-tip devices. This video clip focuses on contributions from across Airbus’ international network of production sites.


Air Asia India Takes Delivery of its First A320

Air Asia India Airbus 320

India’s newest airline, AirAsia India, has taken delivery of its first aircraft, an Airbus A320 equipped with Sharklets, becoming the newest operator of the type. Chennai-based AirAsia India will take delivery of an additional nine aircraft for its initial fleet of 10 A320s, to serve India’s rapidly growing domestic air traffic. Powered by CFM engines, the aircraft is configured in an all economy layout with 180 seats.

The new airline is a joint venture between AirAsia Group, Tata Sons and Telstra Tradeplace.

“Indian domestic traffic is growing at an impressive rate and our well established and successful business model suits the market,” said Mittu Chandilya, AirAsia India CEO. “AirAsia and Airbus have a long-standing, special relationship. We are fully confident that with our new A320 fleet we will provide the Indian passenger the service and convenient travel options already offered by the AirAsia Group elsewhere in the region.

“In the next 20 years, more people will travel by air for the first time in India and China than anywhere else,” said John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer, Customers. “India’s domestic air transport growth is leading the world and will propel India to be one of the largest civil aviation markets by 2032. The launch of AirAsia India reflects this growth potential.”

AirAsia India’s fleet will be drawn from the 475 A320 Family aircraft ordered by the AirAsia Group. To date, almost a third of the aircraft on order have already been delivered and are flying  on AirAsia Group’s operations out of Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Jakarta, Manila and now Chennai. The AirAsia Group has also ordered 51 A330s and 10 A350 XWBs for its long haul affiliate AirAsia X.

The A320 Family is the world’s best-selling and most modern single aisle aircraft Family. To date, some 10,200 aircraft have been ordered and over 6,000 delivered to operators worldwide. With proven reliability and extended servicing periods, the A320 Family has the lowest operating costs of any single-aisle aircraft.

Source:  Airbus Media Room

Australia Resumes Search for Missing MH370

An international search force resumed the hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the remote southern Indian Ocean on Friday as authorities pored over satellite data to try and confirm a potential debris field.

RAAF pilot, Flight Lieutenant Russell Adams from 10 Squadron, steers his AP-3C Orion over the Southern Indian Ocean during the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370The Australian-led mission said it was sending five aircraft back to a storm-lashed area some 2,500 km (1,500 miles) southwest of Perth. The search began on Thursday after analysis of satellite images identified two large objects floating in the ocean there that may have come from the Boeing 777 which went missing 13 days ago with 239 people aboard.

Investigators have said the sighting in one of the most isolated parts of the globe was a credible lead but nothing beyond that.

“It’s about the most inaccessible spot that you can imagine on the face of the earth, but if there is anything down there, we will find it,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told reporters in Papua New Guineau, where he is on a visit.

“We owe it to the families of those people (on board) to do no less.”

The investigators suspect Flight MH370, which took off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing shortly after midnight on March 8, was deliberately diverted thousands of miles from its scheduled path. They say they are focusing on hijacking or sabotage but have not ruled out technical problems.

The search for the plane also continues in other regions, including a wide arc sweeping northward from Laos to Kazakhstan.

A source close to the investigation said it might take “several days” to establish whether the objects spotted by satellite in the Indian Ocean came from the missing airliner.

A former senior crash investigator said there had been false leads in many investigations, especially in waters containing stray containers or dumped and lost cargo.

Three Australian P3 Orions would be joined by a high-tech U.S. Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft and a civilian Gulfstream jet to search the 23,000 square km (8,900 sq mile) zone on Friday, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said. A Norwegian merchant ship that had been diverted to the area on Thursday was still searching there and another vessel would arrive later on Friday.

Satellite imagery provided to AMSA of objects that may be possible debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

China’s icebreaker for Antarctic research, Xuelong, or Snow Dragon, will set off from Perth to search the area, Chinese state news agency Xinhua cited maritime authorities as saying.

About two-thirds of the missing plane’s passengers were Chinese nationals.

Australia’s deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said authorities continued to examine satellite footage to pinpoint the location of the suspected debris, which included a piece estimated from the satellite imagery to be 24 meters (79 feet) long.

“Clearly, there’s a lot of resources being put into that particular area. It’s broadly consistent with the flight plans that were talked about ever since the satellites and their work has been added to the information bank,” Truss told ABC radio.

“That work will continue, trying to get more pictures, stronger resolution so that we can be more confident about where the items are, how far they have moved and therefore what efforts should be put into the search effort.”


Strong winds, cloud and rain had made searching on Thursday difficult, said Kevin Short, an air vice marshal in New Zealand’s Defence Forces, which sent a P-3K2 Orion to search the area.

“The crew never found any object of significance,” he told Radio New Zealand. “Visibility wasn’t very good, which makes it harder to search the surface of the water,” he said.

Satellite imagery provided to AMSA of objects that may be possible debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370A nearby desolate group of French-administered sub-Antarctic islands including St. Paul and Amsterdam and Kerguelen had been asked to look for debris, but none had been spotted, said Sebastien Mourot, chief of staff for the French prefect of La Reunion.

There have been many false leads and no confirmed wreckage found from Flight MH370 since it vanished off Malaysia’s east coast, less than an hour after taking off.

There has also been criticism of the search operation and investigation, as more than two dozen countries scramble to overcome logistical and diplomatic hurdles to solve the mystery.

Investigators piecing together patchy data from military radar and satellites believe that, minutes after its identifying transponder was switched off as it crossed the Gulf of Thailand, the plane turned sharply west, re-crossing the Malay Peninsula and following an established route towards India.

What happened next is unclear, but faint electronic “pings” picked up by one commercial satellite suggest the aircraft flew on for at least six hours.

A source with direct knowledge of the situation said that information gleaned from the pings had been passed to investigators within a few days, but it took Malaysia more than a week to narrow the search area to two large arcs – one reaching south to near where the potential debris was spotted, and a second crossing to the north into China and central Asia.

A diagram showing the search area for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean is seen during a briefing at AMSA in Canberra

The four-day delay in identifying satellite images that may show debris was due to the vast amount of data that needed to be analyzed by various agencies, Australian authorities and the U.S. company that collected the images said.

The satellite images, provided by U.S. company DigitalGlobe, were taken on March 16, meaning that the possible debris could by now have drifted far from the original site.

The relatively large size of the objects would suggest that if they do come from the missing aircraft, it was largely intact when it went into the water.

Still, finding any debris, let alone the “black boxes” that could shed light on what happened, remains incredibly challenging in the remote, deep-sea region known as the Roaring 40s for its huge seas and frequent storm-force winds.


Source:  Reuters

Photos:  Reuters

Possible Debris of MH370 Discovered by a US Satellite

When the Australian official took the podium to explain to reporters the discovery of satellite images that might show pieces of MH370, he carefully omitted to tell them the source.

The images were from a US satellite. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority’s John Young didn’t mention this to the media. Nor was he asked. But he wouldn’t have disclosed it in any case.

Debris found: Australian Maritime Safety Authority general manager John Young announcing details of what had been spotted. Photo: Andrew Meares
As ever, Australian officialdom is hyper protective of US intelligence and its sources – even more protective than the Americans themselves.

The US decision to share its satellite imagery was just one part of the international co-operation involved in the 26-country search and rescue effort.


The satellite imagery of many nations has been carefully “scrubbed” by analysts in the search for the Malaysia Airlines jet, a painstaking task. “This is human eyeballs working through a vast number of images,” said an official involved in the effort.

And just as quickly as Tony Abbott was briefed on the potential find on Thursday, he decided he should phone his Malaysian counterpart to brief him.

Pressure on Najib Razak has built every day of the agonising 12 days of the search. He was on the phone to Mr Abbott around 1pm, within half an hour of Australian officials requesting the call.

After Mr Abbott set out the scant facts of the sighting of potential debris in the Indian Ocean 2500 kilometres south-west of Perth, Mr Najib thanked the Australian Prime Minister for the search effort and the call. He asked to be kept informed of any major developments.

The Australian government has also given priority to keeping China informed.

In the Australian hierarchy, “Malaysia has the primary claim on this because it’s their plane,” said an official, “then China because of the number of Chinese passengers, then the US because it’s a Boeing.”

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs phoned the Chinese ambassador to Canberra, Ma Zhaoxu, to tell him the news before Mr Abbott rose to inform the Australian Parliament a few minutes after 2pm.

The two countries have been considering taking the co-operation to a higher level. Chinese and Australian officials have held preliminary discussions on bringing the Chinese military into the search.

By Thursday night, the three countries participating in the Australian-co-ordinated search were all members of the so-called Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance. Australia had dispatched four Orion P3 maritime surveillance planes, New Zealand had sent another and the US had contributed a Poseidon submarine-hunting plane.

According to an official, Australia had not yet asked for any particular Chinese assets, nor had Beijing offered, but “preliminary planning discussions” had been held.

Officials were keenly aware of two considerations. One, if the apparent debris is part of MH370, a long search and recovery effort could lie ahead.

Two, it was vital to avoid leaping to conclusions, especially after 12 days of false leads and faded hopes.


Source:  Peter Archer –

Photo:  Andrew Meares



Possible wreckage spotted in search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370

TWO large objects identified by satellite in the Indian Ocean off Perth may be related to missing Flight MH370 and are “possible indications of debris”.

Malaysia Airlines MH370

Describing the “credible sightings” as the best lead investigators currently have, Australian Maritime Safety Authority general manager John Young said the objects were “relatively indistinct on imagery”.

One was about 24-metres long, approximately double the length of a standard shipping container, while the other one was smaller.

“Those who are experts indicate they are credible sightings,” Mr Young told a press conference in Canberra this afternoon. “The indication to me is of objects that are of reasonable size and awash with water, bobbing up and down on the surface.”

A US Navy P8 Poseidon aircraft is already in the remote search area, which is about 2,500km southwest of Perth, and a RAAF Orion aircraft is expected to arrive later this afternoon. Additional aircraft are also expected to follow for a more intensive search.



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