Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2015: 290,939
2014: 363,407
Total: 1,212,540


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Flying in “Fat Albert” with the Blue Angels

Fat Albert flying over Lake Washington - Photo: Clemens Vasters | FlickrCC

Fat Albert flying over Lake Washington – Photo: Clemens Vasters | FlickrCC

The Blue Angels are known for their high precision, mesmerizing aerobatic shows. What is it like to be around and fly with such an elite group for a day? Simply put: inspiring. Maybe it’s their outstanding skill, balanced with admirable humbleness which is so inspiring, or their thorough understanding of every maneuver that must be made – or perhaps it’s just their snazzy uniforms. Either way, here is your inside look into riding with the Blue Angels.

Low, steep bank in residential area

Low, steep bank in residential area – Photo: Kassy Coan | AirlineReporter

The demonstration flight on the C-130, known as “Fat Albert,” while not on one of the F/A-18 fighter jets, it is still a thrilling flight made of both positive and negative G-forces. I was lucky enough to be invited to a demonstration flight over Seattle this past Friday, during the SeaFair show. The experience forces up to 2G, causing me to feel up to double my weight. The negative-G experience, also known as weightlessness, was (according to the cheers on-board) the best part.

Preparing for flight, we had a briefing of what to expect. On at least three different occasions, I was asked if I get motion sickness and told how to puke in a low-G environment. Pro tip: remember to close the barf bag!

It was exciting, but also intimidating to hear the speed and confidence with which each maneuver was explained. The intensity and timing of every turn, ascent and descent, is planned in advance.  While I’ve never gotten motion sickness before, and I’ve always been a roller-coaster junkie, even I was beginning to second-guess myself.

Continue reading Flying in “Fat Albert” with the Blue Angels

VIDEO: Bigger. Better. Checking Out the New Boeing Space Bins Firsthand

Space Bins in the 737 Configuration Studio - Photo: The Boeing Company

Space Bins in the 737 Configuration Studio – Photo: The Boeing Company

During Aviation Geek Fest 2015, a small number of us AvGeeks (seven, to be exact: me, Mal, Dan, Christy, Michael, Michael #2, and Derek  — who didn’t seem to make it into the video, but still was great) were invited by Boeing to preview their new Space Bin design and offer our feedback. It was previously announced that Alaska Airlines will be the launch customer for the Space Bin (first aircraft should be delivered by the end of the year), so as a frequent flier on Alaska, I was very interested to see the overhead bin of the future. (Also, this was probably the closest I will ever come to my not-so-secret dream of appearing in an airline safety demonstration video.)

The Space Bin offers a significant increase in capacity, with each bin holding six standard-sized rollaboard bags, instead of four. According to Boeing, that allows for 194 total bags in Space Bins on a 737-900ER or 737 MAX 9, compared to 132 in the current bin configuration; 174 compared to 118 on a 737-800 or 737 MAX 8; and 130 compared to 90 on a 737-700 or 737 MAX 7.

Continue reading VIDEO: Bigger. Better. Checking Out the New Boeing Space Bins Firsthand

Time-Lapse Video of Salt Lake City International Airport

Airports are a complicated part of the airline business. Planes, vehicles, and people are constantly in motion, sometimes 24 hours per day. This video gives a pretty good idea of what goes down, during the typical day at Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC).

VIDEO: Qantas Retires Their Boeing 767s [60 Minutes]

If you are a fan of the Boeing 767, this video might make you a bit sad.

Qantas Airways is in the process of retiring their final 767-300ERs and the TV show 60 Minutes produced a story following VH-OGG from Australia over to Victorville Airport (VCV), home of probably the most famous airliner graveyard. Many times the main-stream media drops the ball when it comes to stories like this, but I have to admit that they did a pretty darn good job!

VH-OGG first flew at Paine Field on November 27, 1990. It was delivered to Qantas on December 12th of the same year and served with the airline for its entire life — up until now. The aircraft even sported a special Planes livery from Disney on the fuselage for a while.

Continue reading VIDEO: Qantas Retires Their Boeing 767s [60 Minutes]