Around the Pattern

Ramblings about flying for fun and profit.

Your Flying Stories for 7 Jan 2011

Beryl Gwynn Hart - photo credit: Smithsonian Institution Continental-United Merger hits the bumpy part of the road.
Pilots from both Continental and United are represented by the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA), however their collective bargaining agreements contain very different work rules. The new company management tried to take advantage of those differences, were challenged by the Continental pilots and lost in arbitration.

Where would you expect to find the oldest flying Boeing 747?
Trans World Airlines (TWA) took delivery of N93101 in 1970 but only flew it five years. That airplane is still flying today.

An FAA magazine celebrates it’s 50th year of publication.
The FAA began publishing a magazine called FAA Aviation News in January 1961, three years after the creation of the administration. It originally was intended to give readers insight into the FAA’s policies and programs, concentrating on safety awareness and education. The publication is now named FAA Safety Briefing, a more apt title for it’s primary purpose. The Jan/Feb 2011 issue celebrates the publications 50th Anniversary. The magazine is well worth reading and is available either in PDF format or in print form. You can also download selected articles from an issue.

Pilot Training Reform Symposium to be held in May 2011
The Society of Aviation and Flight Educators (SAFE) is chairing a symposium on pilot training reform to be held in Atlanta, GA on May4-5, 2011. It will be held in the Crowne Plaza Hotel at the Atlanta International Airport. The symposium is intended to be a collaborative effort among OEMs, courseware providers, organizations/trade associations, university aviation programs and FBOs, insurance providers, and regulatory agencies to reform our national flight training system.

General aviation, social media and collaborative consumption
This is a Forbes article discussing an opportunity for the general aviation charter industry to change it’s operating model. It discusses a book titled The Rise of Collaborative Consumption and how the growth of social media may provide an opening for this concept in the charter industry.

And you thought that there were a lot of airline fees this year…
An ABC News travel article with predictions of what new airline fees we might see tacked on to your ticket price in 2011.

A female aviator with a male navigator who was lost at sea…not named Earhart.
This is a well-written, comprehensive article about the life of Beryl Gwynn Hart, the 14th female aviator in the U.S. to hold a transport pilot’s license.

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Your Flying Stories for 31 Dec 2010

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Flying Stories for 14 Jan 2011

4 Comments

  1. Craig

    I read the first article RE: United/Contential Pilot Merger. Ouch! It is ALWAYS a big issue in mergers and most of the frint-end folks are unhappy. Worst-case is Big eating small, but even Big-Big mergers have BIG issues. There are several models to consider, but none is perfect and some pilots still get screwed. I have read a lot abou this and I understand most of the draft models. Some have more merit than others. Some pilots advance too fast, while others get left in the dust. I wish hat I knew; I wish that the bean-counting Fathers knew! We have seen some “Point” systems advanced, giving credit for years of service, dates of rank, years at lower class, total hours, hours with company, hours in class and even age. No single model works very well and there are constraints that prevent some comsidertions (like age). I wish I knew a good answer and I hpe the resolution is fair. Again, some almost win the lottery and others get lost at the bottom. Sadly, none of the various processes ever consider skill or safe practices. Why? They are nearly impossible to objectivley measure and UNION RULES prevent those assessments, –probably a good thing because it cannot be made objective. Best wishes to my UA and CA flying friends. Ouch!
    -Craig

  2. Craig

    Addendum: Those airlines will NOT be adding any fees to MY fares on 2011: When I fly these days, it is for personal travel. I usually fly a “J” or better seat, to avoid the masses ..and to avoid the fees. I do not accumulate enough miles or trips to achieve any freebies and I just pay the higher fare to avoid the folks that -perhaps- should not be flying. When compared to typical fares of the 60s and early 70s and adjusting for inflation, the B.C. fares are +/- reasonable. Getting to the plane is a pain, but on the darn thing. the basics are covered. I do not need more than that (Foot massage heading toward HK: Spare me!) I get fed, I can have a drink – or not and I do not have an OBSESE person sloppin up half of my seat. I don’t want to be a classist, but some folks (or their attire or their state of personal hygiene or personal behavior) simply should not be on airplanes. Buying a B.C. fare usually avoids those issues and is money well-spent. I am low maintenance, ‘Self Loading Cargo’ and I like it that way. When B.C. is sold out, I find another date or route – or skip the trip. For some brief flights, I can tolerate the back end, but 60 miutes is about my limit. So why am I such a ‘spoiled brat?’ I first flew in 1957. It was a big deal and it was extremely expensive. Even through the 70s, most folks tressed well when flying, understood the privlidge and behaved themselves. Sadly, far too many of today’s PAX expect that level of service and grace, but have zero clue about what it costs. Cheap tickets entice those “Trailer Park Queens,” onto airplanes, often a double-digit fares, but with expectations of a few hours of four-digit service. Sorry, Queens! It does not work that way and No, I do not want to sit with you, nor hear you bitch about how bad the service is. I am perfectly happy to pay a little more, sit near the pinty end, see my FA only once or twice and have a nap. If I have to add this… I listen to the FA’s safety briefings, I watch the signal lights and I stay buckled up unless I am headed somewhere. I do not drink too much and I turn OFF my electronics before boarding. (I do not need to tell my Trailer Park neighbor that the engines are running or that we are about to take off!) I smile when the FAs ask me what I want (usually nothing) and I make eye contact with them. I do not talk about thier geners, ,shapes or ages becasue I di not care. I do not believe that turbulance is the airline’s fault and I understand that stuff happens. The men and women at the pointy end are professionals and they do their very best to avoid variations from their appointed rounds. In short, have never believed that an airline ticket includes having my ass kissed! All I want is a quiet (and SAFE) trip from A to B. I am willing to pay a little more to make that trip without encountering Trailer Park Queens that emit unpleasant odors, words and behaviors. When that is no longer possible, I will just stay home.
    I enjoy your blog, but hope that you will post more (and more often) than some weekly links.
    -Craig

  3. Thanks for your comments.

    I assure you that I do intend to post more in the future. I have a lot going on right now that is occupying my free time. I’m in my last month of airline employment and just had a short 6-day break between 12-day trips. Hardly enough time to get on the right time zone.

  4. I’m really enjoying this digests. I hope they continue!

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