Archive for the ‘airlines’ Category

POINT / COUNTERPOINT: TechCrunch on “AirPooler is Lyft for Private Airplanes”

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

AirPooler is Lyft for Private Airplanes

“Law prohibits private pilots from profiting from passengers so you only pay for your share of the cost of the flight plus a 20 percent fee to AirPooler”

UH, THE PILOTS _ARE_ PROFITING FROM PASSENGERS, ARGUABLY.

The Federal Aviation Administration also bars private plane pilots from advertising flights, which is why AirPooler is careful to never promote any specific flights.

THIS IS STARTING TO READ LIKE A PRESS RELEASE, TECH-CRUNCH!

It’s hired as its general council the former assistant chief council of regulation of the FAA to make sure it doesn’t break the law.

ALTHOUGH OF COURSE IT’S ENTIRELY POSSIBLE THAT AIRPOOLER WILL BE FOUND TO BE OUTSIDE OF THE REGULATIONS – OF COURSE HIRING ANY PARTICULAR PERSON DOESN’T CHANGE THIS FACT. ALSO, “assistant chief council” SHOULD BE “COUNSEL,” AS THE DUDE COUNSELS PEOPLE – THAT’S HOW YOU REMEMBER THE DIFFERENCE

So why the hell would you want to get in a stranger’s airplane? Because the alternatives, namely driving and commercial air travel, can be a nightmare.

OF COURSE CRASHING AND BURNING CAN BE A GENERAL AVIATION “NIGHTMARE” AS WELL, RIGHT?

It says to fly from Palo Alto to Tahoe using AirPooler it would take about an hour and cost $50.

ABOUT AN HOUR _AND SOMETHING_, MORE CORRECTLY, RIGHT?

Fifty-five percent of pilots in a small survey in Boston said they’d even add additional flights to take AirPooler passengers.

UH, THIS IS STARTING TO SOUND LIKE AN AIR TAXI TO ME

Lewis admits the core challenge will be gaining consumer mind share and convincing them AirPooler is safe and simple, which it might not be.

WELL, HOW REFRESHING. YES, GENERAL AVIATION ISN’T ALL THAT SAFE, INDEED. PLUS FIVE FOR GRYFFINDOR!

Luckily, prop planes are relatively safe compared to other transportation methods, and the planes can glide back to the ground in case of an engine failure.

WTF? MINUS 20 FOR GRYFFINDOR HOUSE! PROP PLANES ARE ABSOLUTELY NOT SAFE COMPARED WITH OTHER TRANSPORTATION METHODS. IN MOST GA MISHAPS, THE AIRPLANE AINT “GLIDING” WHEN IT TOUCHES GROUND. GENERAL AVIATION IS AT LEAST AN ORDER OF MAGNITUDE _LESS_ SAFE THAN DRIVING ON THE FREEWAY*

Still, accidents are most common with pilots with fewer than 100 hours of experience.

WRONG! IRL, ACCIDENTS ARE MORE COMMON WITH PILOTS WITH _MORE_ THAN 100 HOURS OF EXPERIENCE.

As more of our formerly prized possessions like albums and photos get digitized, society is putting a higher and higher value on experiences.

WHAT?

ALL RIGHT, THAT’S MOST OF IT.

*OF LOVE, IN A PINK CADILLAC.

Pilot Embarrassment: A Missed Approach Above SFO

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

The pilots in this Delta Connection Compass Airlines Embraer 175 or whathaveyou had some kind of issue trying to land at SFO so they gave up by climbing and circling ’round for another try:

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Which is no big deal, but it’s a kind of failure so it’s a bit embarrassing so sometimes pilots don’t follow the rules and try to force the plane down and that’s how something like Asiana 214 occurs.

It’s human nature.

The First Boeing 787 Dreamliner I’ve Ever Seen – JAL JA821J – To SFO from Haneda Tokyo International Airport

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

One thing’s for sure, Boeing didn’t do a good job with the introduction of lithium-ion batteries.

OTOH, if you want to get to the city of Tokyo, it’s nice to be able to fly on in to Haneda instead of big old, far away Narita International.

Presenting your fuel-efficient, little-giant, wide-body Boeing 787: 

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SFO Departures: Wingpeople

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Iceman: You can be my wingman any time.

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Maverick: Bullshit! You can be mine.

SFO Construction Update: New Traffic Control Tower, Tower Crane, Old Traffic Control Tower

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

They’ve made some progress the past five months:

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What SFO Needs are Longer Runways that are Farther Apart, What SFO is Getting are $7000 Fritz Hansen “Egg” Chairs

Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Look what UAL has in store for you at SFO:

“Comfortable seating options that include the iconic Fritz Hansen “egg” chairs and swivel lounge chairs”

All is forgiven, United, ’cause I’m sitting on one of your “iconic” egg chairs.*

And of course the rest of Terminal 3 will soon be loaded up with every other flavor of the month airport accessory.

But the citizens of San Francisco don’t owe the flying public an assortment of googaws, no no. What the citizens of San Francisco  owe the flying public are longer, better runways that are farther apart from each other, you know, runways that don’t need a special dispensation from the FAA. To wit:

Damn the torpedo fish (or whatever else is down there), full speed ahead (with longer and better runways farther apart)

OK then.

And oh, the concomitant Egg™ Footstool costs thousands of dollars  as well.

Happy Flying!

*If United sprang for leather, then the retail price is $16k each, srsly.

Ever more deets after the jump.

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What It’s Like to Fly an Airbus A380 Super Jumbo Jet into SFO – Excellent Video – Multiple Angles

Friday, December 27th, 2013

See?

FAA Launches Five Year Plan to Improve Training – Addresses Pilot Errors in Recent Air France, Comair, and Air Colgan Crashes

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Here’s the news of the day:

Stall Recovery, Simulator Improvements In New FAA Training Rule”
By John Croft john.croft@aviationweek.com
Source: AWIN First

Well this certainly covers the gamut of the ways that commercial pilots have killed their passengers the past decade or so. The last major crashes we’ve had in America were in 2001 (caused by terrorism and, in one case, by some odd rudder inputs) and it would appear that those issues have already been addressed.

And here’s something to ponder:

“The agency says the costs of implementing the rule, in part due to the simulator upgrades, will be as much as $354 million, while the benefits of accidents averted will be $689 million.”

It seems that the feds have assigned a dollar figure to the value of your life. Maybe it’s $10,000,000 or so.

How do you feel about that?

Anyway, I feel pretty good about this push from the FAA

Virgin America Has an Awesome New Safety Video: “Buckle Up, To Get Down” – Set To Song And Dance

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
San Francisco’s Hometown Airline has outdone itself with its new air safety video. All the deets
  • 36 Total Dancers
  • 26 Hours on Set
  • 14 Dance Styles Used: animation, b-boy, break dancing, Broadway, contemporary, contortion, finger-tutting, jazz, lyrical, pop-and-locking, tango, and waving–just to name a few.
  • 10 So You Think You Can Dance Alum
  • American Idol Semi Finalist: Todrick Hall
  • 1 Character from the Original Safety Video: the “Nun”
  • 2 Former Olympians: Tamara Campos as the “Nun” and Emilie Livingston as the “Teacher”
Check it:

“Virgin America Remixes The Safety Video:  Airline’s New Safety Video Set To Song And Dance

Hollywood Director Jon M. Chu and American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance Alums Tapped to Create First-of-its-Kind Video

Flyers Can Win Chance to Be Cast in a Future Version of Video by Showing off Their Best Freestyle #VXsafetydance Moves

Today Only, Airline Launches “Buckle Up, To Get Down” Special Offer of Up to 20% off Flights Nationwide* (restrictions apply)

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 29, 2013 — Virgin America, the airline that first put an irreverent twist on the in-flight safety video in the U.S., is taking its pre-flight safety education to new heights with the first-ever domestic safety video set entirely to music and performed in dance.  Launching on Google Play, YouTube and live on digital billboards across Times Square including the American Eagle billboard (at W. 46th Street & Broadway) at 12 p.m. ET today, the video will take to the skies on flights nationwide in November. Virgin America first made waves in the safety video genre in 2007, when it became the first domestic airline to feature a cheeky in-flight safety video across its fleet.  The cult favorite animated video will still be featured onboard the airline’s Red(TM) in-flight entertainment platform, but the new “VX Safety Dance” video will freshen up the rotation with a unique pre-flight safety experience that flyers will enjoy – and pay attention to. The new video was directed by Hollywood blockbuster film director (and Virgin America frequent flyer) Jon M. Chu (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Step Up 2) and includes some of the top dancers, singers and choreographers from American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance – with production by Virgin Group’s entertainment arm, Virgin Produced.”

Ever more deets, after the jump

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Coming & Going at Crowded SFO – Yeah, We Could Separate the Runways to Meet Current Standards, But We Don’t Wanna

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

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SFO experiences delays (known as flow control) in overcast weather when only two of the airport’s four runways can be used at a time because the centerlines of the parallel runways are only 750 feet (230 m) apart. Airport planners have floated proposals to extend the airport’s runways into San Francisco Bay to accommodate arrivals and departures during low visibility. To expand into the bay the airport would be required by law to restore bay land elsewhere in the Bay Area to offset the fill. Such proposals have met resistance from environmental groups, fearing damage to the habitat of animals near the airport, recreational degradation (such as windsurfing) and bay water quality. Such delays (among other reasons) caused some airlines, especially low-cost carriers, to shift service to Oakland and San Jose