Category: AirlineReporter Francis Zera

Alaska Airlines’ new 737-700 freighters provid…

Alaska Airlines’ new 737-700 freighters provide “lifeline” for many Alaska communities:

One of Alaska Airlines three newly-converted 737-700 freighters on the ramp at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

One of Alaska Airlines three newly-converted 737-700 freighters on the ramp at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport

Ever wonder about the process of loading, unloading, organizing, tracking, and planning the cargo side of a cargo flight?

Wonder no more — Alaska Airlines recently invited us to watch (and then ask a metric ton of questions about) one of the airline’s new 737-700 freighters on a recent visit to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

“Alaska Air Cargo serves as a lifeline to many of the communities in Alaska where we fly,” said Jason Berry, managing director of cargo for Alaska Airlines.

“Offering reliable and consistent service is critical for us. The addition of our modern fleet paired with our proprietary navigation procedures allows us the ability to bring true scheduled service to the far north,” he said.

Alaska Airlines Ramp Service Agent (RSA) Carlos Arenas, foreground, prepares to pass a bag of mail to Lead RSA Metin Mehmedov. Both are working in the aft belly hold of the aircraft.

Alaska Airlines Ramp Service Agent (RSA) Carlos Arenas, foreground, prepares to pass a bag of mail to Lead RSA Metin Mehmedov. Both are working in the aft belly hold of the aircraft.

In preparation for the induction of Alaska’s first Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, the company’s strategy was to retire the remaining 400-series “classics” from its fleet. The five combis and single dedicated freighter were all 400-series aircraft.

According to Berry, those 400s were also getting extremely cycle-heavy, which meant they had so many takeoff/landing cycles that they were nearing the end of their useful life for Alaska Airlines.

“The decision to convert three 737-700 Next-Gen passenger aircraft to freighters meant we retain much of the same fleet commonality in terms of training and maintenance and it would give us the right-sized aircraft to still serve all the same communities we provide main deck cargo lift to today (-800s could not land at some of our current scheduled airports such as Adak, Kodiak, Petersburg, and Wrangell),” he explained.

And what’s become of those old cargo planes? Berry said all six were sold to leasing companies. “I believe you can find them for sale as we speak. I speculate that someone will eventually purchase the aircraft and convert them to full freighters.”

The soon-to-be-filled cargo hold of one of Alaska Airlines' new 737-700 freighters.

The soon-to-be-filled cargo hold of one of Alaska Airlines’ new 737-700 freighters

OK, now for the fun, nerdy stuff. Berry said that the new freighters can carry approximately 39,500 lb. at maximum load under optimal conditions. Compare that with the old combi aircraft, which were extremely weight sensitive and dependent on having the right number of passengers booked in the rear compartment. “We would normally move 12-13,000 lb. per flight. The previous freighter could carry approximately 36,000 lb.,” he said, so the new freighters have a cargo-carrying advantage of 3,500 lb. over the old freighter and a whopping 26,500 lb. capacity increase over the combis, although the dedicated freighters can’t, of course, carry any passengers.

Cargo ramps are busy places.

Cargo ramps are busy places

Alaska Air’s three 737-700 freighter conversions are the first of their kind. “Since taking delivery of our last aircraft at the end of February, we’ve quickly ramped up our scheduled service, flying our aircraft 10.5 hours per day averaging 6.7 daily cycles — this is a considerable metric for a narrow body aircraft,” Berry explained. “You would be hard pressed to find any other similar freighter operators of similar sized narrow body aircraft achieve these types of results. We are putting similar demands on our freighter schedule as we do on our passenger side. This is a testament to our amazing ground crews, pilots, and maintenance and engineering teams.”

Loading cans via the big cargo door on a 737-700 freighter.

Loading cans via the big cargo door on a 737-700 freighter

Berry explained the process of a cargo turn, starting from the beginning. “The process begins with pre-planning. This includes reviewing what is booked for the flight and what is currently available and on the floor. From there, our ramp team will begin build-up of the 10 ULD (a unit load device, aka pallet, container, or ‘can’) load, working to maximize the loads,” he said.

The flight that we photographed in late April was flying SEA-KTN-SIT-JNU-SEA (Seattle-Ketchikan-Sitka-Juneau-Seattle), which meant the cargo team had to prepare the flight to best support each of the stops along the way, paying attention to details such as making sure to build ULDs so they can be loaded with the JNU cargo in the back to prevent KTN or SIT from having to unload anything more than is necessary, thereby saving time.

Filled cans on the Seattle cargo ramp, ready to be flown to Alaska.

Filled cans on the Seattle cargo ramp, ready to be flown to Alaska

Berry continued: “Once our ULDs are built, the cargo manifest is electronically submitted to our Central Load Planning team (CLP). This group uses our weight-and-balance program to achieve the best possible center of gravity, while also considering the most efficient load for the downline station.

“Once the load plan is completed it is electronically published and sent back to the cargo warehouse and includes loading instructions (details of any special handling requirements, notification of where any dangerous goods are located, live animals, etc).”

Alaska Airlines flies their cargo jets nearly as much as their passenger aircraft, which is unusual in the industry.

Alaska Airlines flies their cargo jets nearly as much as their passenger aircraft, which is unusual in the industry

On the day we visited, the aircraft had a 50-minute scheduled turn time, as it was arriving from KTN (Routing was ANC-JNU-SIT-KTN-SEA). Prior to arrival, the crew prepared the ramp, performing a FOD (foreign object debris) walk and a safety check of the area, then organizing their pallets/containers to most efficiently offload the inbound load and organize their outbound containers into strings that make the process move as smoothly as possible.

One on the ramp, the aircraft’s wheels are chocked and it is immediately offloaded, so the inbound cargo can be brought into the warehouse and promptly checked in. “Approximately 60 percent of all cargo that touches our SEA facility is transit cargo, meaning it is arriving off an aircraft or connecting once it gets here,” Berry said, adding that the warehouse teams will break down the ULDs in order of priority, processing those that have connecting cargo first.

An average turn consists of six ramp agents, including a ramp lead and a departure coordinator. Cargo supervisors attend many of the turns as well to serve as a link to the different work groups should any issues come up, such as a need for additional fuel, changes to the catering for the crew, etc.

Lead RSA Metin Mehmedov unloads bags of mail from the inbound flight.

Lead RSA Metin Mehmedov unloads bags of mail from the inbound flight

Once the offload is completed, the team reviews the outbound load sheet again to confirm the loading order of the ULDs, and upload begins. “On the main deck of the aircraft, the team lead scans the bar code of each ULD, and then scans the bar code on the side wall of the aircraft located in the position that we are locking the ULD into. This is a positive-match scanning process to ensure all of the ULDs are loaded in the correct sequence and locked in the right position” for both proper efficiency and for proper weight-and-balance calculations, he said.

Once on board, each pallet is pushed into place by hand - the cargo-hold floor is covered with small bearing-like wheels.

Once on board, each pallet is pushed into place by hand – the cargo-hold floor is covered with small bearing-like wheels

All 10 cargo positions in the plane’s upper hold are then loaded and scanned. Any ULD/location that does not match the original plan will signal an error on the hand-held scanner that will require the loading team to stop and resolve before moving forward or dispatching the aircraft. “This is a great safety protocol we have built into our aircraft to preserve load integrity,” Berry said.

The loading process is very efficient - it seems to take no time at all to load or unload the containerized cargo pallets from the upper deck.

The loading process is very efficient – it seems to take no time at all to load or unload the containerized cargo pallets from the upper deck

After all the cargo is loaded into the belly holds and main deck, the departure coordinator (DC) will confirm that all the ULD scans match, he or she then calls in to confirm the load with the central load planning (CLP) team. Once the load has been confirmed, the flight is released and readied for dispatch. The ground crew in SEA then prepares for pushback and sends the aircraft on its way.

Bags of mail are loaded into the aft belly hold.

Bags of mail are loaded into the aft belly hold

Berry said their primary commodities carried are perishables (seafood, produce, meat, etc.), e-commerce deliveries, mail, live animals, pharmaceuticals, and other products requiring time-sensitive/express service.

“We are proud of the small role we play in Alaska to keep commerce moving safely and on time. Our company was founded over 85 years ago, carrying mail in the great state of Alaska, our freighters help us carry on this tradition,” Berry said.

The post Alaska Airlines’ new 737-700 freighters provide “lifeline” for many Alaska communities appeared first on AirlineReporter.

May 19, 2018 at 05:11AM Source: https://ift.tt/2Ex2ezu

Spotting Tool Review: JetTip Watches for the G…

Spotting Tool Review: JetTip Watches for the Good Stuff So You Don’t Have To:

JetTip makes it easy to get notified when unusual aircraft are scheduled to visit your local airport. Sure, my avgeek friends *might* have told me about this MD-80F that visited KBFI last month, but it's also nice to be self-sufficient.

JetTip makes it easy to get notified when unusual aircraft are scheduled to visit your local airport. Sure, my avgeek friends *might* have told me about this MD-80F that visited KBFI last month, but it’s also nice to be self-sufficient.

There are lots of online aviation tracking and spotting tools available to AvGeeks and folks with a legitimate business concern for tracking aircraft.

JetTip is a new entry into the spotting category, created by Nick Benson. The web app is a one-trick pony, but it does that trick really well. Once a user is logged in (and paid up, natch; it’s not free), they’re able to select the airports they’re interested in, choose from a variety of notification options for when interesting aircraft have filed for either arrival or departure, and away you go.

The app is web-based, which means there’s not a phone-specific app. On iOS, for example, I just bookmarked the site by saving a link to the home screen, and it simply launches the site in my default browser. Easy.

A good friend was a beta tester for this app and became quite a fan. That made me curious about it, so I contacted the developer to ask for a review and I was given free access. I wasn’t actually sure that it would impress me enough to end up with a story, but it turns out that I was quite wrong about that.

I’ve been using the app for a few months now, both locally and while traveling. Here are my observations.

JetTip let me know this Cavok An-12 was scheduled to visit KSEA. Even though the photo wasn't optimal because of the late-night arrival time, it did mean that I got to see my first An-12.

JetTip let me know this Cavok An-12 was scheduled to visit KSEA. Even though the photo wasn’t optimal because of the late-night arrival time, it did mean that I got to see my first An-12.

• It’s solid. As far as I know, it hasn’t missed any interesting commercial flights. Military flights don’t file flight plans in the same way, so they’re notoriously difficult to track. Same with cargo, charters, VIP, and, of course, the ever-elusive Boeing test and delivery flights, which operate on what Puget Sound spotters call “Boeing time,” which is kind of like island time without the sunshine. But I’ve found the app to be far more useful than I’d anticipated.

• The alerts are great. I’ve come to rely on them when seeking out special liveries or unusual visitors to the four jetports within a 30-mile radius of Seattle: Paine Field (KPAE), Boeing Field (KBFI), Renton Municipal (KRNT), and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (KSEA). Sometimes our airspace is so busy with non-standard aircraft that I wind up turning off notifications for the local airports that I’m not currently near.

• The developer is an AvGeek. Yes, that matters, because he gets it. We’re a weird bunch, us airplane nerds, and Benson has obviously put in a lot of time and effort to make a spotting tool that works well and meets our needs.

• Based on the prior item, Benson says he’s constantly making adjustments to the app, and he says because of the fact that he’s maintaining a single web app and not multiple versions of an OS-specific app, it’s easier and faster for him to make updates.

• One very small annoyance came in the form of a deluge of notifications for my home airports when I was traveling. I suppose it’s not a huge deal to go into each saved airport and turn off the various kinds of notifications, but a global “vacation” switch would make it lots easier, especially as it’d save having to go back and reconfigure everything once I got home. That, and all those notifications made me sad to have missed all that cool stuff back home; sometimes ignorance is bliss.

• The app doesn’t cover every airport in the U.S. and Canada, but Benson says he is constantly expanding the list. As of March 18, there were 162 airports available — not too shabby.

A screen grab of the JetTip flight board for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport for the afternoon of March 4, 2018.

A screen grab of the JetTip flight board for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport for the afternoon of March 4, 2018

Benson also made time for an avgeek-to-avgeek interview:

Why did you decided to build this app?

I recently started to get interested in aviation photography, and I was setting up alerts for cool aircraft. At MSP, my home airport, there’s a pretty good amount of traffic, but relatively little variety, at least from the perspective of an aviation enthusiast. I thought it should be pretty easy to configure flight alerts here, but it was pretty frustrating. A good portion of my day job is spent reviewing web apps and figuring out how to improve them – that part of my brain kicked in, and things sort of snowballed from there.

Can you share a bit more about your background as it relates to this app and the avgeek community?

I’ve been a web developer and enjoy building little projects that can help me out with my hobbies. Like a lot of avgeeks, I’m also into railroad photography. In both hobbies, there are great communities of folks sharing information about interesting equipment nearby, but monitoring all of the various Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, email lists, forums, magazines, etc. can be very time consuming. I’ve got three kiddos now, and while I love taking them plane and train watching, I don’t have time to be out shooting four or five times a week like I did when I was younger, and keeping up with all of the news is harder too. I think that helped me realize there was a need for something that’d allow me to be an avgeek without spending a huge amount of time on it.

How long did it take to build and refine the app? Were there any challenges? Any triumphs?

I started building the app in the spring of 2017, and now (almost a year later), there are still plenty of improvements on my to-do list. The biggest challenge has been getting a handle on some of the nuances of the flight data services that are available, and balancing the needs of the application with the costs of getting information.

It’s been fairly straight-forward to build a service that works great at airports like MSP, where there’s a relatively small number of regular carriers, but getting the product to meet its potential at airports with lots more variety (LAX, JFK, SFO, ORD, etc.) is something that I’m still working on. There’s such a large volume of “cool” flights at airports like that, JetTip needs some additional filters to allow subscribers to mute certain types of alerts… that’s something that’s coming soon, but, as a one-man operation, every improvement takes time to build, test, and release.

Insofar as triumphs go, there have been quite a few cases where JetTip has triggered an alert for an interesting arrival or departure that the major flight tracking apps haven’t picked up on, and that always tickles me a bit, being the David compared to the Goliaths out there.

What has been the response to the app?

The vast majority of the feedback has been very positive; people really like the automatic tracking and notification of interesting flights and the filters and the arrival/departure boards. There’s been a steady flow of signups since the service was first offered – it’s not quite covering costs yet, but it’s getting there.

In using the app, I’ve found it to be quite useful. How does it work?

JetTip monitors every trackable flight (commercial passenger airlines and cargo operators, for the most part) at major airports in the U.S. and Canada. It evaluates each flight to see if the livery, airline, or type (or some combination thereof) is unusual at that airport. At MSP for example, a Delta 737 isn’t unusual, but, a chartered Cayman Airways 737 is. All of the analysis is done from the perspective of an aviation enthusiast – a DHL 767-300 is a DHL 767-300, regardless if its flown by Atlas, Kalitta, or ABX.

When an unusual flight is found, notifications are sent to subscribers by text message or email.

How do you decide which aircraft are important enough to warrant notifications?

Each flight is compared to traffic at the airport for the last 30 days. The first and second visits in that window trigger a high priority alert; low for the next three.

JetTip has a database of special liveries and other noteworthy aircraft (tankers, VIP airliners, white tails, alliance liveries, etc.). These noteworthy aircraft will always show on the arrival/departure boards, but, if they’re frequent visitors, they won’t trigger alerts.

What are your plans for refinements?

The biggest refinement in the pipeline is the ability to configure some more advanced filters for which types of alerts you receive; configuring simply on high or low priority works really well at most airports, but, for some airports with lots of international carriers, it can generate more alerts than most folks are probably interested in getting. I’ve got some really great stuff planned in that department.

Since JetTip is a one-man show, it takes some time for refinements to get built out, but, I’m genuinely interested in getting any feedback, good and bad, so I can improve the product. If it isn’t a joy to use, I’m not doing my job.

Any plans for other apps?

I’d love to build a full-featured flight tracking, mapping, or photography app, but, it’s a crowded marketplace with lots of people doing a great job already… maybe some of those features will get integrated into JetTip as time goes on, but I imagine things like that will come in as the result of partnerships.

Anything I forgot to ask, or is there anything that you’re dying to share that I didn’t ask about?

That pretty much covers it – I recently started offering a free arrival/departure board that rotates to a different airport every week or so so people can get a feel for how they work.

Bottom line: is it worth the subscription fee? Like anything, that depends on your situation. But if you like getting automatic, cherry-picked alerts about interesting aircraft that have filed in or out of a specific airport, then you’ll likely find it as useful as I have.

The post Spotting Tool Review: JetTip Watches for the Good Stuff So You Don’t Have To appeared first on AirlineReporter.

April 13, 2018 at 05:12PM Source: https://ift.tt/2Ex2ezu

Bonjour, Seattle! Air France Returns to the Pa…

Bonjour, Seattle! Air France Returns to the Pacific Northwest:

Air France flight 338 arrives at Sea-Tac Airport March 25

Air France flight 338 arrives at Sea-Tac Airport March 25

Following an absence of nearly 10 years, Air France is once again flying to the U.S. Pacific Northwest, using a Boeing 777-200ER with a three-class cabin for flights from Paris-Charles De Gaulle to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) on an initial schedule of three flights per week. Seattle is Air France’s 12th U.S. gateway.

Of course there was cake

Of course there was cake

The new SEA-CDG service will operate on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, increasing to five per week during the summer peak season (June 19 – Sept. 1) by adding Mondays and Tuesdays to the schedule.

The incoming flight was greeted with a traditional water-cannon salute

The incoming flight was greeted with a traditional water-cannon salute

According to Perry Cooper, senior manager of media relations at Sea-Tac Airport, Air France has returned to a very different Sea-Tac airport from when it first arrived. “Back in 2007, the Air France flight to Paris was the first new international destination in over a decade and Sea-Tac was the 19th busiest airport in North America. Now, Sea-Tac has risen to the 9th busiest airport with nearly 47 million passengers in 2017.”

One of the jet's GE90 engines, still dripping water from the water-cannon salute

One of the jet’s GE90 engines, still dripping water from the water-cannon salute

It’s always a great experience to be out on the ramp when a big jet comes in – the engines sound great up close, and the smell of jet exhaust is like AvGeek perfume.

Up close as AF338 taxiing to its gate

Up close as AF338 taxiing to its gate

The additional routes mean that Air France and its partner Delta Air Lines now offer up to 12 flights a week from Seattle to Paris. Air France-KLM is also part of the SkyTeam network.

The jet also received a water-cannon salute as it left the terminal on the return flight to Paris

The jet also received a water-cannon salute as it left the terminal on the return flight to Paris

I remember catching the SEA-CDG flight twice back in 2007, when Air France was using A340s on the route. Both were memorable flights, not just because of the destination, but, as I recall, the service was solid, even in coach. Hoping the same holds true a decade later.

Back on its way to CDG as AF355

Back on its way to CDG as AF355

The post Bonjour, Seattle! Air France Returns to the Pacific Northwest appeared first on AirlineReporter.

April 09, 2018 at 04:48PM Source: https://ift.tt/2Ex2ezu

No status? No problem. For $9+ You Now Can Fly…

No status? No problem. For $9+ You Now Can Fly VIP with Priority Boarding on United:

Tired of boardling last while flying coach? United has your cure, for nine bucks.

Tired of boardling last while flying coach? United has your cure, for nine bucks.

Note: This story was written earlier in March, but we opted to hold off a bit before publishing it so we wouldn’t look like insensitive clods in light of United’s recent, um, customer service issues. They seem to be coming around and hopefully this will make things even better — Eds.

As of March 2, 2018, passengers flying in anything other than basic economy with United Airlines can purchase “early boarding” for nine non-refundable bucks, a la American Airlines. The fee allows travelers to line up when the gate agent calls for boarding group two.

In the Polaris business class cabin on United’s first 777-300ER

If you’re already cool with the restrictions in basic economy, it’s a fair bet you’ve already made up your mind to trade “conveniences,” such as access to the overhead bins, for a lower fare. According to United spokesperson Maddie King, the airline already offers travelers the opportunity to purchase Premier Access, which includes the ability to access the premium (aka faster) TSA lines.

“Some customers already receive priority security access through programs such as TSA PreCheck, so this gives them an option of purchasing just the access to get on the plane quicker,” she said.
A United press release states, “This option is offered to customers for the initial price of $9, and its availability is closely controlled based on flight, date, time of day and day-of-week restrictions,” which leads one to imagine that the price could increase, if demand soars.

Asked whether this could potentially dilute the value of other status levels, King said that the new offering is the result of customer feedback. “We’re not expecting this to create a big difference in boarding group sizes.”

“Priority Boarding as a standalone product will offer choice to customers who want to board early yet do not want the full Premier Access product, primarily those with TSA PreCheck who do not need the security component,” said Merchandising Program Manager Jennifer Cool-Perik.

The post No status? No problem. For $9+ You Now Can Fly VIP with Priority Boarding on United appeared first on AirlineReporter.

April 04, 2018 at 04:55PM Source: https://ift.tt/2Ex2ezu

Swiss Takes Delivery of its 10th and Final 777…

Swiss Takes Delivery of its 10th and Final 777-300ER:

Swiss International Air Lines took delivery on March 13 of the final Boeing 777-300 of their 10-aircraft order.

Swiss International Air Lines took delivery on March 13 of the final Boeing 777-300ER of their 10-aircraft order

Swiss International Air Lines took delivery of its 10th Boeing 777-300ER on March 13, completing the now-expanded order it originally placed in 2013. That order was for six aircraft; three more were added in 2015, and the final 777 was added in 2016, the same year the first jet in the batch was delivered to the airline.

The new jets, with a maximum range of 7,370 nautical miles, also offer lower operating costs than competing aircraft, making them a very attractive option on long-haul routes.

Swiss employees celebrate the delivery in Everett, Wash.

Swiss employees celebrate the delivery in Everett, Wash.

Swiss placed the order as part of a planned update to their long-haul fleet. The 340-seat 777-300ER is used on eight intercontinental routes, all making use of the airline’s Zurich hub: Bangkok, Chicago, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Miami, Montreal, San Francisco, and Singapore. The airline also operates Airbus A330-300s and A340-300s on its long-haul routes.

The airline takes pride in the on-board coffee makers - "The Swiss pioneered high-quality coffee on board their aircraft," said Swiss Airlines Flight Operations Engineer Michael Gachnang.

The airline takes pride in the on-board coffee makers – “The Swiss pioneered high-quality coffee on board their aircraft,” said SWISS Flight Operations Engineer Michael Gachnang.

The airline has configured all 10 of its 77Ws the same: eight first class seats, 62 in business, and 270 in 10-abreast economy.

The four-abreast seating in the center economy section. Life is definitely different in the back of the plane.

The four-abreast seating in the center economy section. Life is definitely different in the back of the plane.

Roughly 60 journalists and bloggers made the trip to Everett to cover the final delivery, and Swiss flew over a similar number of AvGeeks for the event — they were treated to tours of the Boeing plant and of Seattle, and many blogged and posted photos about the trip to pick up the aircraft and the ride home to Zurich on the mostly-empty jetliner.

HB-JNJ at Boeing's Everett delivery center.

HB-JNJ at Boeing’s Everett delivery center

The premium sections are very Euro styled, with warm colors and plenty of right angles. The sliding privacy screen/hanging closet in first is a very nice touch.

The view across the plane from first class is quite a bit more private than back in coach.

The view across the plane from first class is quite a bit more private than back in coach.

First class suites feature dimmable privacy glass on three sides and a 32″ video screen. The seat reclines to an 80″ bed.

The front of the plane is very spacious - this is business class.

The front of the plane is very spacious – this is business class

Business class also features lie-flat beds of more than two meters in length (appx. 6′ 5.6″), with a 16″ video screen. Wifi is available throughout the aircraft, for a fee, of course.

Swiss says that the giant video screens in first class are the largest in the industry.
An overhead view of the first-class seating.
Another view of the first-class seating.

There was a lot of excitement surrounding the delivery — it was the farthest thing from a somber event. Lots of smiles, lots of photos, lots of energy.

The formal part of the delivery ceremony, complete with a Northwest-style buffet.
Attendees of the delivery ceremony take photos on the ramp.
The obligatory group photo, complete with a show of 10 fingers for 10 airplanes delivered.

And, with that, the big jet was on its way to Zurich.

Swiss' newest 777-300 departing from Paine Field, headed for Zurich on a typical rainy and windy spring day in the Pacific Northwest.

Swiss’ newest 777-300ER departing from Paine Field, headed for Zurich on a typical rainy and windy spring day in the Pacific Northwest.

The post Swiss Takes Delivery of its 10th and Final 777-300ER appeared first on AirlineReporter.

March 28, 2018 at 06:22PM Source: https://ift.tt/2Ex2ezu

PHOTOS: Boeing’s Smallest 737, the MAX 7, Take…

PHOTOS: Boeing’s Smallest 737, the MAX 7, Takes its First Flight:

The new 737 MAX 7 departs from Renton on its first flight.

The new 737 MAX 7 departs from Renton on its first flight

Boeing’s newest offering, the 737 MAX 7, took to the skies on March 16, an uncharacteristically sunny, blue-sky day for a Boeing first flight — most all of them in recent memory have taken place on truly miserable days.

Crews prepare the jet for departure.

Crews prepare the jet for departure

The new jet is the smallest of the MAX family, has a seating capacity of 138-172, and a range of 3,850 nautical miles, which is the longest reach of any of the MAX models. Southwest Airlines, with its famously all-Boeing 737 fleet, is listed as the launch customer, with a scheduled entry in to service of 2019.

A large contingent of Boeing staff and visitors was on hand to watch the first flight.

A large contingent of Boeing staff and visitors was on hand to watch the first flight

The flight took off from Boeing’s Renton facility, without a hitch, at 10:17 a.m., accompanied by one of Boeings T-33 chase planes, for a successful three-hour, five-minute flight, landing at 1:22 p.m. at Seattle’s Boeing Field. According to Boeing, the airplane was put through tests on its flight controls, as well as checks of its systems and handling qualities.

Flight crew prepare the plane for takeoff.
The fact that the "experimental" signage is apparently temporary means this jet might find its way into service with an airline after certification is complete.
The MAX 7 shares the signature advanced winglets.

It was soon followed into the air at Renton Airport by a Japan Airlines 737-800, also on its first flight, which was a nice treat.

BONUS: The MAX 7 rolled out of the factory on Feb. 5

The Renton factory pumps out 47 of various derivatives of the 737 per month, on the way up to 52 per month at some point this year. The runway at Renton Municipal Airport is where every 737 ever built first takes to the skies.

The fourth and final MAX variant, the larger MAX 10, is expected to enter service in 2020.

According to Boeing, the MAX program has garnered more than 4,300 orders from 93 customers, making it the fastest-selling airplane in the company’s history.

According to Boeing, the MAX program has garnered more than 4,300 orders from 93 customers, making it the fastest-selling airplane in the company’s history

Currently, the MAX 7 is the slowest-selling variant by a lot. Instead, many carriers are opting for the larger -8 and -9 models. All models are powered by CFM’s LEAP-1B engines and feature Boeing’s Advanced Technology split winglets.

The MAX 7 rotates for takeoff.

The MAX 7 rotates for takeoff

Boeing’s newest jet competes directly with the Airbus A319 in what analysts view as a limited market, although both manufacturers have invested in upgraded offerings in that niche. The MAX 7’s longer range and hot-and-high performance make it suitable for airports such as Denver International (DEN), Johannesburg’s O.R. Tambo International (JHB), and Mexico City (MEX).

Taxiing for departure.
The MAX 7 and a T-33 chase plane head north over Lake Washington.

Experientially, the new jets are surprisingly quiet, even when standing on a midfield ramp during takeoff. That was made even more evident as one of Boeing’s two elderly, yet still quite serviceable, T-33 chase planes settled into place behind the departing MAX 7, with its wonderfully loud Allison J33-A-35 engine totally drowning out the new MAX 7’s departure.

The post PHOTOS: Boeing’s Smallest 737, the MAX 7, Takes its First Flight appeared first on AirlineReporter.

March 21, 2018 at 04:17PM Source: http://ift.tt/2Ex2ezu

jetBlue’s New Mint Premium Service Arrives in …

jetBlue’s New Mint Premium Service Arrives in Seattle:

JetBlue's Mint seating is available on certain A321s.

JetBlue’s Mint seating is available on certain A321s.

In the premium transcontinental game Seattle doesn’t get much attention, but things are about to change with the introduction of jetBlue’s Mint product.  While the premium experience might not be the first of its type in the US market, it does give Seattle a true shot at giving passengers something better than a domestic, first class, seat to sit in for about six hours. During jetBlue’s recent inaugural flight, from Boston (BOS) to Seattle (SEA), we were able to give their Mint seats a proper test-sit in the name of journalistic thoroughness.

JetBlue loves to name it's jets, too. This one is called "One Mint, Two Mint, Blue Mint, You Mint."

JetBlue loves to name it’s jets, too. This one is called “One Mint, Two Mint, Blue Mint, You Mint.”

The seats recline to 6’8″, which jetBlue claims is the longest lie-flat domestic seats in the biz. Perks of the new service include gate-to-gate Fly-Fi WiFi, an extended slate of in-flight entertainment options on a 15″ seatback screen, fancy headphones, and even fancier meals from a menu that changes monthly.


JetBlue's Mint route map.

JetBlue currently lists 17 routes with Mint service, and an 18th, SEA-JFK, will start in April, 2018.

BONUS: A Closer Look at the jetBlue Mint Product 

JetBlue's main cabin still boasts one of the highest domestic seat pitches.

JetBlue’s main cabin still boasts one of the highest domestic seat pitches.

And, just because we’re plane nerds at heart, here are some fun photos of the exterior of the plane:



The aircraft flown in for the flight, N982JB, was delivered on Aug. 17, 2017, so it’s only six month old — still pretty much brand new. Have to love that new air plane smell!



While we didn’t fly with them this trip, watch for a proper flight review in the near future.



The post jetBlue’s New Mint Premium Service Arrives in Seattle appeared first on AirlineReporter.

February 23, 2018 at 05:22PM Source: http://ift.tt/2Ex2ezu

More Farewell Tours Than The Who: Delta’s Endl…

More Farewell Tours Than The Who: Delta’s Endless 747 Retirement Party:

Delta's Queen of the Skies took a victory lap across the country on Dec. 18.

Delta’s Queen of the Skies (N674US) took a victory lap across the country on Dec. 18

With Delta Air Lines’ last 747 now in the boneyard at Pinal Airpark in Arizona, we thought it would be a good time to look back at the next-to-last farewell tour in late December when it visited both the Boeing plant of its birth and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

N674US taxiing at Paine Field in Everett. Wash. Photo: Jordan Arens

N674US taxiing at Paine Field in Everett – Photo: Jordan Arens

This particular bird (N674US – LN: 1232) first flew on September 30, 1999 and was delivered to Northwest in October of that year. It was transferred to Delta’s fleet in June of 2009 and flew with the airline until being put out to pasture. With the retirement of these iconic planes from Delta’s fleet, no U.S.-based passenger airline flies them any longer (unless you count Atlas and their charters).

Landing at Sea-Tac.

Landing at Sea-Tac

We will still see 747s visiting the States in the liveries of quite a few international airlines, including Lufthansa, British Airways, and KLM. Also, UPS is buying several dedicated 747-8 freighters, so there are still opportunities for AvGeeks to enjoy watching the plane that launched the era of the jumbo jet. We wanted to share some photos and videos from both on the ground and in the air as part of this historic goodbye.

Still graceful after all these years. Photo: Jordan Arens

Still graceful after all these years – Photo: Jordan Arens

For a while, there were two Delta 747-400s at Sea-Tac. This one landed a few minutes before the farewell tour and was parked inside a maintenance hangar as a centerpiece for a party. It was later used to fly the Seattle Seahawks to a game someplace (we're not sportsball fans here at AirlineReporter - we only pay attention to the planes).

For a while, there were two Delta 747-400s at Sea-Tac. This one landed a few minutes before the farewell tour and was parked inside a maintenance hangar as a centerpiece for a party. It was later used to fly the Seattle Seahawks to a game someplace (we’re not all sportsball fans here at AirlineReporter – we only pay attention to the planes).

A special decal was applied to the port side of the tour aircraft to commemorate the series of flights. Photo: Jordan Arens

A special decal was applied to the port side of the tour aircraft to commemorate the series of flights – Photo: Jordan Arens



For a while, there were four 747s at Sea-Tac that day: the two Delta 744s, a Lufthansa 744, and a Singapore Airlines Cargo 744 freighter.

For a while, there were four 747s at Sea-Tac that day: the two Delta 744s, a Lufthansa 744, and a Singapore Airlines Cargo 744 freighter

And if the photos were not enough, here are some sweet videos of the flight deck, taken by our friend Jeremy Dwyer-Lindgren (videos are USA Today, pool):

The post More Farewell Tours Than The Who: Delta’s Endless 747 Retirement Party appeared first on AirlineReporter.

January 16, 2018 at 03:01PM Source: http://ift.tt/2Ex2ezu

17 hours in the friendly skies — United’s LAX-…

17 hours in the friendly skies — United’s LAX-SIN route is the 3rd longest in the world:

Our United 787-9 being made ready for the inaugural long-haul LAX-SIN flight.

Our United 787-9 being made ready for the inaugural long-haul LAX-SIN flight

Superlatives abounded on this, the inaugural non-stop flight from Los Angeles to Singapore. It’s billed as the third-longest direct flight in the world and the longest to originate from the United States.

There was even a ribbon-cutting ceremony - the presence of a trade delegation highlighted the fact that economic ties are strong between Singapore and the U.S.

There was even a ribbon-cutting ceremony – the presence of a trade delegation highlighted the fact that economic ties are strong between Singapore and the U.S.

The flight takes 17 hours, five minutes to cover the 8,772 miles between Los Angeles and Singapore. Favorable headwinds shaved an hour off our flight time, but, still. It’s an awfully long time to be in the air.

The flight crew posed for a portrait before departure.

The flight crew posed for a portrait before departure

At the departure gate, United set up a small stage for the pre-flight program, along with a catered buffet for passengers. There were dignitaries aplenty, ranging from the Singaporean ambassador to the U.S. to numerous United executives and trade-council members.

The buffet was quite good.
Custom signage was everywhere.
That had to be the largest collection of giant, golden scissors I've ever seen. They were carefully counted and locked away immediately after the ceremony.

International trade relations aside, the whole point of the exercise was to learn firsthand what it would be like to spend 17 hours on a plane, albeit in United’s Polaris business class on a relatively new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

People seemed genuinely excited to be a part of the inaugural flight.

People seemed genuinely excited to be a part of the inaugural flight.

I didn’t spend much time in the airport lounges at LAX or Changi, only popping in long enough to grab a snack on my way to the gate, so we’ll save those for a future review.

The business end of our 787-9's starboard Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engine.

The business end of our 787-9’s starboard GEnx engine

OK, so on to the part you’re probably waiting for: what was the flight actually like?

Seat 6A was my home for the outbound ride — I'm a window seat kind of a guy.

Seat 6A was my home for the outbound ride — I’m a window seat kind of a guy

It was great, as one might expect it to be, especially as it was an inaugural flight packed with United brass, dignitaries, and the press. I didn’t fly back with the press group, though, as I needed to return a day sooner, so my return was routed through San Francisco, which is a slightly shorter flight at 8,448 miles and 14 hours, 40 minutes flying time. It also provided an opportunity to travel on an ordinary flight; basically, I would have a benchmark.

BONUS: Flying United’s Last Boeing 747 Flight

And, yes, before we begin, I know this is United’s current Polaris product. As to when the updated seats might appear on the 787s, Maddie King of United’s corporate communications department said, “We are still reviewing and haven’t made any announcements on this.”

So, with that out of the way, here we go.

There was legroom and storage space aplenty.
Power outlets are behind the seat in a small recessed area near the outer bulkhead. They're tricky to reach, and I'm glad I packed a longer-than-standard power cord for my phone.
With United's upcoming (at the time) 747 retirement, specially-themed amenity kits were distributed.

The seats are quite comfortable, and I liked the window seat a lot, although the design makes night-time restroom excursions something of a predicament as you have to step over your seatmate to get to the aisle.

A surprising disappointment came in the form of the USB power port not having enough amperage to charge my iPad — this was really surprising considering that the plane we were on was less than 18 months old, and high-draw devices have been around for much longer. Even Alaska Airlines’ economy seats have USB ports that push 5 amps and can charge my iPad. A 120v USB adapter from my computer bag solved the problem, but I wasn’t able to charge my iPad and my laptop at the same time, as there was only one 120v outlet. Still, I was able to soldier on.

Food.
Lots.
Of.
Food.

The dining options were solid. The salads were fresh and flavorful; same with the seafood and the main course. The weak link, so to speak, was the breakfast – it tasted fine but everything was a bit rubbery. I loved the matar methi paneer for the main course – the flavors were distinct and, same as with the other food save breakfast, it all tasted surprisingly fresh.

I'm sure this totally marks me as a child of the 80s, but United's salt-and-pepper shakers totally make me think of the Death Star from Star Wars.

I’m sure this totally marks me as a child of the 80s, but United’s salt-and-pepper shakers totally make me think of the Death Star from Star Wars

I don’t drink, so I’ve got nothing to tell you about the wine or alcohol selections. They did have a seemingly endless supply of sparkling water, which is my favorite traveling beverage, so I was quite happy.

And we're just getting started.

And we’re just getting started

So, with dinner out of the way, what next? How to pass the 15 or so remaining hours?

The IFE system looked good, but I’m not much into movies, so the only time I used it was when I wanted to check the progress maps. I’m more of a BYOD (bring your own device) kind of person, hence my being a bit freaked out that the in-seat USB port didn’t provide enough amperage to charge my iPad.

I read a lot, played a few games, and talked to my seatmate and some of the United folks who were walking around.

Oh — and there were pajamas, but you had to know to go ask for them. And I loved them. One of the United vice presidents had changed into his even before we left the gate – he apparently liked them a lot, too. I wore them for pretty much the entire flight. And, contrary to the numerous blog posts and chat threads about the procedure, changing into them in the lavatory was a piece of cake.

United's standard-issue 787-9 seating diagram.

United’s standard-issue 787-9 seating diagram

This being an inaugural flight, people seemed chattier than usual, so I was able to enjoy several pleasant conversations with fellow travelers, with topics ranging from past flight experiences to dragon boat racing. That took care of another hour or so.

When I eventually tired of playing games, er, I mean reading, on my iPad, it was time to try for some sleep. I found the lie-flat bed to be a bit lumpy as I’d forgotten to ask for a mattress pad, but it didn’t keep me from sleeping for nearly seven hours, which is a record for me on a plane.

There was legroom and storage space aplenty. This was taken right after boarding, pre-pajamas.

There was legroom and storage space aplenty. This was taken right after boarding, pre-pajamas.

Those seven hours weren’t uninterrupted, though.

The seat controls.

The seat controls.

My elbow kept bumping the IFE remote, which is cradled low and close to the base of the seat. Elbowing the switch turned on the large and very bright video screen, which woke me up every time it happened.

That dratted IFE remote.

That dratted IFE remote

By the time it occurred to my groggy self to simply pull the wired remote out of its cradle and set it on the floor, it was time to get up for breakfast anyway. At least I had a plan for dealing with it on the return flight.

The internet connection was so slow that I couldn't even complete a speed test.

The internet connection was so slow that I couldn’t even complete a speed test

On both the outbound and return flights, the wifi was terrible, as in, 1990s AOL dial-up terrible, so slow as to be  mostly unusable. I applied for, and received, a refund of the fees once I got home.

It still feels like a big tease, this whole in-flight wifi thing. I don’t expect the speed of a fiber-optic connection at 40,000 feet over the middle of the Pacific Ocean, but I do expect to be able to at least access a text-only email, which, for the majority of the flight, wasn’t possible.

BONUS: Flying on Singapore’s Airbus A340-500 from LAX-SIN-EWR in 2013

I don’t necessarily fault the airline for this, as the underlying tech is provided by third-party vendors, but I do wish airlines wouldn’t promote in-flight wifi as if it were something that actually worked consistently and reliably.

Speaking of money, though, the $30 fee for wifi for the duration of a 17-hour flight seemed a reasonable price (assuming that it had actually worked, of course), especially considering that I’ve seen fees as high as $39 for a comparatively short five-hour transcontinental run.

 On ultra-long haul flights like this, there are multiple flight and cabin crews on board to comply with crew rest regulations. This is the crew-rest compartment on our 787-9.

On ultra-long haul flights like this, there are multiple flight and cabin crews on board to comply with crew rest regulations. This is the crew-rest compartment on our 787-9.

On both flights, the cabin crews were genuinely delightful. With the inaugural, you’d expect everyone to be on their best behavior, but on the return flight to SFO, the service was every bit as good.

About halfway through that flight, I got a bit hungry, so I gingerly stepped over my seatmate into the aisle to go forage in the galley. There wasn’t much out yet other than some chocolate, and I was tired of sweets, so I just turned around and headed back to my seat. As I did that, a flight attendant noticed I was leaving empty handed, and asked if I wanted a grilled cheese sandwich. I probably lit up like a 10-year-old kid at the thought, as she just smiled, said something about comfort food always being a hit, and sent me off to my seat. A short while later, I had a lovely hot sandwich and a nice bowl of tomato soup.

I love the shapes of the 787's wing and engines.

I love the shapes of the 787’s wing and engines

Upon landing at Singapore’s Changi Airport, there was an announcement on the plane’s PA, followed by a smattering of applause. “We have just completed the longest flight in United history.”

That announcement was immediately followed by the longest airport immigration line in my travel history – we stood in line for more than an hour to get our passports stamped and then go out and find our luggage, which by then had all been removed from the carousel and stacked alongside.

No, I'm not showing you the inside of my passport. But the stamp is in there. United also handed out passport covers to commemorate the flight.

No, I’m not showing you the inside of my passport. But the stamp is in there. United also handed out passport covers to commemorate the flight.

All in all, both ultra-long haul flights were quite pleasant. Other than some quibbles, such as a seat design that begs improvement, offering a realistic amperage for the USB outlets, and perhaps finding a better location for that IFE remote, it was a comfortable journey and I arrived refreshed rather than sleep-deprived and frazzled.

Disclaimer: United Airlines invited the media as guests on both flights and covered our accommodations in Singapore. Our opinions remain our own.

The post 17 hours in the friendly skies — United’s LAX-SIN route is the 3rd longest in the world appeared first on AirlineReporter.

December 22, 2017 at 04:11PM Source: http://ift.tt/ObypsQ

Behind the scenes with an agricultural pilot. …

Behind the scenes with an agricultural pilot. “It’s just good, fun flying.”:

These guys know how to fly.

These guys know how to fly

Agriculture (ag) aviation is not the swashbuckling, seat-of-the-pants occupation that popular culture led me to expect. Sure, it’s definitely all about daring flying, but it’s also gone all high-tech, making use of 3-D obstacle mapping, computer-controlled spray nozzles, and precisely-defined GPS flight paths across the fields.

“I’m not just drilling holes in the sky going from point A to point B – I’m helping out, it’s a gratifying feeling,” said Gavin Morse, co-owner of GEM Air, an aerial spraying company based in Warden, Wash.

A GEM Air Air Tractor 602 in action, spraying a field in central Washington state.

A GEM Air Air Tractor 602 in action, spraying a field in central Washington state

Morse said the term ‘crop duster’ is freighted with assumptions based on behaviors from a bygone era. He prefers to use either ‘ag aviation’ or ‘aerial spraying’ when referring to his line of work.

“People think of ag aviation as being a little crazy or a little wild, but that’s just not the case – the average aerial applicator is highly trained even before they’re flying,” Morse said. Pilots spend a long time, sometimes years, as loaders, mixing and loading the chemicals into the planes, along with helping to maintain the aircraft, and, of course, training to fly them.

"From the ground perspective, it may look like we’re being crazy, but I tell you everything is preplanned with GPS, even shape-planned, and fields are pre-scouted to make sure there are no surprises before we send the airplane out," Morse said.

“From the ground perspective, it may look like we’re being crazy, but I tell you everything is preplanned with GPS, even shape-planned, and fields are pre-scouted to make sure there are no surprises before we send the airplane out,” Morse said.

The aircraft are turbine powered, and their small cabins are pressurized to keep the chemical spray out of the cockpit. The Air Tractor 602s that GEM Air flies can hold up to 630 gallons of chemicals, have a maximum speed of 198 mph, and can cruise at 150 mph for 600 miles. They’re serious airplanes.

“Back in the day, these planes cost $10,000, liability was low, and guys were crazy. Anymore, with the way liability is and the way crop insurance is and the accountability for pesticides, going hand in hand with the cost of the airplanes — $1.3 million — you just don’t go out and do crazy stuff in a million-dollar airplane.”

Morse said the flying changes throughout the year as crops are planted, then mature, are harvested, and fields are prepared for fresh plantings.

Pilots and loaders go over the day's schedule prior to heading to the hangars.

Pilots and loaders go over the day’s schedule prior to heading to the hangars

Morse and his wife Erin Morse make work packets the night before for the pilots and loaders for the next day’s work, saying it’s essential to have everything organized in advance.

“We’re flying off of four different airstrips – it can be a bit of a logistical headache,” he said.

"We follow the sun and start at 4:00 in the morning in the summer," Morse said.

“We follow the sun and start at 4:00 in the morning in the summer,” Morse said.

“Everybody gets their packets, goes to their respective locations, meets their loaders, and tries to get as much done as possible until the weather changes or the wind shifts, because we need to work with the wind so things don’t drift,” he said.

Erin Morse watches as Gavin Morse, her husband and business partner, lines up on a field to start spraying.

Erin Morse watches as Gavin Morse, her husband and business partner, lines up on a field to start spraying

When applying chemicals, be they pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers, whether they’re organic or traditional, it’s essential to keep the spray within the bounds of the assigned field.

“We can’t do anything that’s going to get us sued, which is a real possibility if we’re not paying attention to the laws and agencies,” he said. “The Washington Department of Agriculture, the FAA, the EPA — there’s umpteen agencies watching us, so every move we make is based on a methodical, laid out plan on how to spray that field,” Gavin Morse said.

Flying low over the crops helps reduce the drift of the spray. And it's very cool to watch.

Flying low over the crops helps reduce the drift of the spray. And it’s very cool to watch.

Which leads to his least favorite part of the job – the ever-present knowledge that one small misstep can lead to a lot of harm.

For example, Morse said that “if you’re spraying and are not paying attention to what’s going on behind your airplane, and you drift over someone else’s field, you can wipe that crop out — it can get really messy really quick.”

Morse said he likes to write each day's spray plan on the cockpit window with a grease pencil.

Morse said he likes to write each day’s spray plan on the cockpit window with a grease pencil.

He said the stress of making sure things like that don’t happen is enormous, so being methodical is essential, even if it means waiting two weeks or more for the winds to be just right for a particular spraying application.

“It’s amazing how many applications are made in the state that are perfect — it’s incredible to me how good everyone is — every single crop out there is getting sprayed, whether it’s organic or conventional, and it has to be done right, and it’s amazing to me how few problems there are,” he said.

Beyond having excellent flying skills and an intimate knowledge of the land over which they fly, ag pilots also need to have a solid understanding of the local farming practices and chemicals they’re applying. “That’s almost 90 percent of the job,” he said.

"The biggest thing is how to control the spray behind you so that all your chemicals stay in the field, and there's a lot of tech in the cockpit to help us do that — the nozzle tech we have now is phenomenal," Morse said.

“The biggest thing is how to control the spray behind you so that all your chemicals stay in the field, and there’s a lot of tech in the cockpit to help us do that — the nozzle tech we have now is phenomenal,” Morse said.

Those careful plans also equate with efficiency. “We’re fast, we’re burning less fuel, and we’re not touching the crops and spreading diseases or compacting the soil like a tractor would,” he said.

Ag pilots also get paid by the acre, not by the flight hour. “So, if the money handle (that’s what we call the spray handle) isn’t on, we’re not making any money,” he said.

Morse pilots his plane over irrigation equipment in a central Washington field.

Morse pilots his plane over irrigation equipment in a central Washington field

“The thing I love the most about it is at the end of the day I can look around and see that I’ve done something tangible. Some of these crops actually require an airplane, like potatoes, where you can’t drive over them after a certain point without ruining the tubes. We can do 2,500 or 3,000 acres of potatoes in a day — we’re helping make sure that food is going to get somewhere and do someone some good,” he said.

Precision is the name of the game to make sure that the chemicals are being applied properly and don't drift onto adjacent fields.

Precision is the name of the game to make sure that the chemicals are being applied properly and don’t drift onto adjacent fields

Morse said that what he loves most about this job is that the planes are fun to fly. “You’re actually flying the airplane; there’s nothing controlling the plane but me, it’s just stick and rudder, tried-and-true old-fashioned flying.”

"We’re down low, we’re going quick, we're going around obstacles, it’s just good fun flying," Morse said.

“We’re down low, we’re going quick, we’re going around obstacles, it’s just good fun flying,” Morse said

Watching all this from the ground, and learning about what it takes to be an ag pilot, filled me with admiration for these folks. My chief lament was that Morse’s planes are all single-seaters so none had room for a passenger.

The post Behind the scenes with an agricultural pilot. “It’s just good, fun flying.” appeared first on AirlineReporter.

November 27, 2017 at 04:54PM Source: http://ift.tt/ObypsQ