Germ ALERT! Dirtiest parts of an airplane cabin?
ARE SMALL AIRPORTS DOOMED?
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Letter from the Editor
Hey 145 readers! I know you’re probably anxious to read this issue. The cover has you curious about what might be going on with our friends at Safe Fuel Systems, Accel Aviation and B&E ACR. So I won’t make you read a long Editor’s Lettter. There’s just a few things I want to touch on to get you excited for this issue. The first being germs! If you’re a germ freak, then don’t read our article about the dirtiest spots on airplanes, or maybe do?! It’s a fun article written by one of our team members and with some research, he’s found the diriest places on airplanes, and I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the lavatory. Second, can you name the airport that suffered 13 accidents with over 200 fatalities during its time in operation? I’d give you a hint, but I’m just going to let you read this one. And lastly, we would like to say thank you to those of you who jumped on board with our advertising promotion. If you’re interested, there’s still a few spaces left! Claim yours today by emailing Taylor@the145.com. Editor-in-Chief
November Volume 4 Issue 5
CONTENTS November 2017
Are small ariports doomed?
Name that Airport
12 Dirtiest Parts of an Airplane Cabin? 16 29
Old School Meets New School ARE SMALL AIRPORTS DOOMED?
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: +1.888.820.8551 Ext. 704 Fax: +1.801.772.1947
Germ ALERT! Dirtiest parts of an airplane cabin?
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ARE SMALL AIRPORTS DOOMED? At first thought, you might assume a flight from New York City to Montana would be cheaper than flying to Los Angeles – think again. Airline prices aren’t solely based on distance but rather plain old supply and demand. And in today’s aviation world with a growing national pilot shortage – the gaps between airfares between popular and uncommon flight routes could widen. The pilot shortage within the U.S. Air Force has been well documented as of late but commercial airlines are also in a bind, most notably the smaller regional airlines. So far this year, both SeaPort Airlines and Republic Airlines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to pilot shortages while Horizon Air terminated hundreds of flights. The head scratcher is, what is causing the pilot shortage? The answer may lie behind three major legislative and regulatory changes which directly impacted pilots. The first came back in 2009, when the FAA increased the mandatory retirement age from 60 to 65. We’re now seeing pilots hitting their mandatory retire-
ment ages by the droves. It is expected that over the next three years as many as 18,000 pilots will retire from major U.S. carriers. The second change occurred after the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 outside of Buffalo, NY back in 2009. Following the wake of the crash both congress and the FAA raised the bar on the required flight hours to obtain a commercial pilots license. What was once 250 hours became a daunting 1,500 hours. Lastly, the FAA instituted new mandates surrounding crew rest, a regulation which forced airlines to fill each flight with more flight crew. Now, combine these changes with the simultaneously growing demand for air travel. Over the past 5 years, Boeing announced worldwide air travel has increased by 6.2% annually; a trend that is expected to grow an additional 4.7% each year for the next 20 years. In order to meet the increased demand for air travel, airlines are buying more planes and hiring
pilots to fly them. This trend in air travel isn’t just localized to United States either – Boeing predicts the Asia Pacific region will hunt for over 250,000 new pilots compared to North America’s demand for nearly 120,000 new pilots. Many might be wondering what happened to the good old days when working as a pilot came with praise and prestige? Well, unfortunately the road to becoming a pilot these days is paved with the stigma of high student loans and a low starting wage. Industry experts have estimated the cost of acquiring an ATP rating to be over $150,000. Once hired as a pilot, new hires should plan on making less than $30,000 for at least a few years. Now factor in the time away from home and high stress work environment – many would be pilots have decided the pursuit of pilot prestige isn’t worth the debt or time. To follow up a point made earlier, regional airlines are feeling the pinch more so than the larger airlines. In the past, younger pilots would transition from regional airlines to the major carriers after about a decade but the pilot demand at the major carriers has left the smaller airlines wanting. According to the Regional Airline Association, regional airlines were only able to hire pilots for half of the jobs they needed to fill. Here’s how this affects you. Regional airlines provide exclusive flights to 65% of U.S. airports and are responsible for half of all national departures. As regional airlines struggle to find pilots, they will be forced to make logical cuts on the flights to smaller airports or less profitable destinations. As an example, United Airlines shut down their Cleveland hub and stated pilot shortage as one of the primary causes. At some point, if this trend in pilot shortage continues, it may affect your travels plans by increasing the airfare or by the complete cancelation of flights. Various groups are aiming to tackle this issue by revising the 150,000-hour mandate imposed by the FAA. Airlines and Military branches are also looking into increased scholarships to help displace the debt-to income ratio for new pilots. The shortage may take years to fix but it’s critical the small-market passengers enter the national conversation as they stand to lose the most.
T A H ET
Which airport: - Served as the main airport for the island of Hong Kong from 1925 to 1998? - Required technical expertise from pilots because of the difficulty of the approach? - Suffered 13 accidents with over 200 fatalities during its time in operation? - Is now the site of a cruise ship terminal? Answer: Kai Tak Airport
echnically, Kai Tak Airport was known as Hong Kong International Airport since its inception in 1925. The name Kai Tak dates back to the early 1900s when Ho Kai and Au Tak formed an investment company to reclaim land in Kowloon. After their business plan failed, the land they had reclaimed was acquired by the government and developed into an airfield. The first tower and hangar were built in 1935. During WWII, the Japanese army expanded Kai Tak and built two runways using POW laborers. After WWII the British expanded the airport and extended the two runways. Unfortunately, as Hong Kong grew, Kai Tak’s ability to handle airline customers fell behind. By 1996, the airport accommodated about 6 million MORE passengers than it was built to handle. Another negative side effect is that the clearance needed to take off and land at the airport limited the height of the buildings in the surrounding area. On July 6, 1998, the last aircraft departed from Kai Tak Airport, the lights were turned off, and the airport was retired. The new Hong Kong International Airport was built to the west on Chek Lap Kok. Many business plans were presented to make use of the retired airport, but the government settled on building a new cruise terminal. The name “Kai Tak” still has a special place in the western Pacific Ocean, as Kai-tak has been used 3 times since 2000 as the name for a tropical cyclone.
Dirtiest parts of an Airplane Cabin?
et’s face it, flying can be uncomfortable. Whether it’s the non-existent leg room, the endless struggle to find that sweet spot on the partially reclined chair, or the hours spent next to complete strangers sharing their recycled air – certain aspects of air travel can make you twitch. And while you can’t do anything about the chair or those plopped next to you in your row, you can make your flight experience a little more sanitary by avoiding the dirtiest places on airplanes. According to the World Health Organization, some people are doomed for getting sick on an airplane thanks to the humidity of the cabin alone. Most people live in areas where the humid-
ity level hovers around 30%, while cabin humidity on most aircraft is kept below 20%. This dry environment can trigger your body’s immune system to secrete more mucus as a defense – a preemptive precursor leading to a higher vulnerability of infection. In fact, a 2004 study published in the Journal of Environmental Health Research found the common cold is 113 times more likely spread within the confines of an aircraft cabin than it is on ground. Humidifier anyone? If that didn’t freak you out then maybe this will. In 2015, TravelMath conducted a study on the cleanliness of the hard surfaces within airplanes. You may have heard some people say: “Steer clear of the tray table ”. Well I’m here to tell you it’s true.
The study found that tray tables - which unfold right onto your lap and are designed with to sole purpose of holding your food, laptops or head for the occasional desperate nap – held 8 times the number of bacteria per square inch than the bathroom’s. The airplane tray tables tested had over 2000 bacteria colony forming units per square inch, that’s almost 17 times more bacteria than your toilet seat back home!
pects are the ones getting all the attention. Sometimes the cleaning crews of these aircraft don’t have enough time for all inconspicuous things. Instead, cleaning crews prioritize the bathrooms. United Airlines, Delta and American Airlines have been on record saying their lavatories are disinfected overnight and also between long flights – which is certainly more attention than the commonly touched items found at each seat.
A microbiologist from the University of Arizona, Dr. Charles Gerba, said that the tested trays contained a slew of viruses including the cold virus, norovirus, parainfluenza virus and last but not least, MRSA – look that one up. Actually, don’t. Now, we can all speculate why these tray tables are so gross. Babies have been literally changed on these things. If pull down trays could talk they’d speak of the countless sneezes, used tissues, diapers and the frequent downpour of dandruff. Unfortunately, they would have much to say about the use of disinfectants So, if you’re adamant on using the tray table, consider bringing your own wipes just to be safe. The next stop on our paranoia adventure takes us to seatbelts and air vents. When you think about it, all the things your likely going to reach out and touch – someone else has sat in your exact seat and thought to do the same. Seatbelt buckles and air vents are the perfect offenders of cleanliness because they have been handled by virtually everyone in the history of your seat. TravelMath found that both air vent dials and seatbelt buckles had a minimum of 230 bacteria forming colonies – again, more than the lavatory toilet flusher. We recommend traveling with a small bottle of hand sanitizer because you just never know. If you’re like me you’re probably wondering how these common items are dirtier than the usual suspects found in the bathroom. But that’s just it, the usual sus-
We now consider everyone’s personal trashcan – the seatback pocket in front of you. It doesn’t matter how many times the flight attendant asks for your trash, you’re going to pretend like you don’t have any and leave it in your seatback pocket instead. Yeah, we’re on to you. Seatback pockets have been to hell and back folks. They’ve contained dirty diapers, forgotten food, toe nail clippings, partially used vomit bags and used tissues to only name a few. If you’re on a plane with a quick turnaround, chances are the flight crew didn’t have time to check your seatback pocket, let alone clean it. A study from Auburn University in Alabama found that MRSA virus can survive for an entire week in the seatback pocket due to the type of cloth used. When it comes to the seat back pocket, your best to follow the simple advice from Drexel University of Medicine, “Just don’t use them. It’s simply not worth the risk.” Lastly, the seat you select might actually play a big part in your chances of getting sick. Many people prefer the aisle seat for the freedom of standing up whenever you please; but freedom has its costs. You might recall a flight from Boston to L.A. that had to make an emergency landing due to an outbreak of diarrhea and vomiting. Well, Clinical Infectious Diseases published a study analyzing this flight and found individuals in the aisles were more likely to contract the spreading norovirus. This may be the result of the aisle seat headrests harboring the germs of every passerby brushing up against them or holding onto them for support. Sitting in the aisle might be convenient but it puts you at the most risk. By taking the window seat you give yourself the best chances of avoiding outbreaks coming up and down the aisles.
People in Aviation
Old School MEETS New School 16
People in Aviation
Left: Gary DeLuca
Director of Powerplant Programs for Accel Aviation
Right: Boris Fernandez
Business Development Manager for Safe Fuel Systems Both loyal, dedicated and passionate employees who represent Safe Aviation Solutions.
People in Aviation
n July 21st, 2017, The B & E Group announced the formation of Safe Aviation Solutions, a joint marketing initiative between Safe Fuel Systems, Accel Aviation Accessories and B&E Aircraft Component Repair. We recently met up with Safe Aviation Solutions team to learn how this change came about and how it aims to benefit their customers. “The idea of joining forces with Accel Aviation has been many years in the making”, says Rafael Fuentes, President of Safe Fuel Systems. Rafael continues: “Chris Villano (President of Accel Aviation) and I have known each another for more than twenty years and as time has passed, the subject of combining forces became more and more relevant”. The two companies have always considered each other “friendly” competition in the areas of fuel system component repairs, so it was only logical that each company kept the other in mind in the event one of them opted to be acquired. In 2016 Safe Fuel Systems had reached a point where they were looking for partners who could help them take their business to the next level, both personally and professionally. They decided the time was right to explore opportunities for growth by aligning their company with other successful businesses. Rafael remembers saying: "Let me give my friend Chris a call for some advice." Chris not only gave them some great advice, he also introduced Safe Fuel to his strategic partners, The B & E Group.
People in Aviation
Pictured below: Bill Offerman Master Main Engine Fuel Control Technician @ Accel Aviation and happens to be Rafael Fuentes mentor. Over 20 years ago, they worked together at Greenwich Air Services and taught Rafael most of what he knows about fuel components.
The B & E Group is composed of various manufacturing, engineering and MRO groups. The company’s history extends back to the 1950’s when it operated as a precision machine shop specializing in matched valve assemblies. Over the years B&E transformed itself into multiple divisions, including:
• B&E Precision Aircraft Components (BEPAC) which specializes in working with the latest high-tech and exotic materials to tolerances as low as .000020. In addition to machining, the company has capabilities that include electro polish, induction brazing, stress relief furnace, air and fluid pressure testing up to 10,000 PSIG and the repair & replacement of silver and lead seals. • B&E Aircraft Component Repair (BEACR) an FAA Repair Station that supports existing repair schemes and the development of new custom repairs (DER’s) for complex aircraft components and assemblies. • New England Heat Treat (NEHTS) a full-service thermal processing center that offers atmosphere and vacuum hardening, atmosphere and vacuum tempering, stress relieving, annealing, solution, aging, deep freezing, thermal cycling, and vacuum brazing.
As we analyzed the pros and cons of the partnership carefully, we knew that putting all three companies together as a group would give us a competitive advantage, such as offering more repair capabilities, and providing cost effective in-house solutions such as PMA development and DER repairs. The only thing we had to come to terms with, was how the arrangement might impact the culture of our business. We have a lot of employees at Safe Fuel Systems that have worked for us for many years, which has helped us maintain a very low turnover rate. We had to ask ourselves if we were willing to risk our company’s culture just to grow the business? Chris assured us that things would change, but ultimately, we would have control over how those changes would be implemented and to what extent we would allow things to change. Finally, after careful consideration, the decision to merge was made and things were set in motion. “Both Safe Fuel Systems and Accel Aviation Accessories won the 145 Top Shop awards for Best Fuel Systems & Fuel Accessories Repair and Best Engine Accessories Repair in 2017, says Ann”. “When that happened, we felt it was a sign that we were on the right track!”
• Safe Fuel System
Specializes in the repair and overhaul of Fuel, Hydraulics, Pneumatics & Power Generation components. • Accel Aviation Global leader in the repair and overhaul of aerospace engine fuel related companies. • B & E ACR Repair station which utilizes its core competencies , Precision Machining and Engineering, to provide development of new re-
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People in Aviation
A rose between two Presidents
“I am very proud to be working with the finest group of people in the Aviation Industry.” -Chris Villano
The partnership between all three companies, known collectively now as Safe Aviation Solutions, is a powerhouse MRO Team. Between Accel Aviation, B & E ACR and Safe Fuel Systems we have over 50,000 square feet of combined workspace, with 40+ state-of-theart test benches and over 55 years of combined operational and technical experience. There haven’t been too many changes thus far as they are just in the beginning stages of integration and sharing best practices, but things are starting to evolve. Rafael maintains his role as President of Safe Fuel Systems, while his wife Ann has stepped out of the day-to-day role as Director of Sales, to spend more time with their fifteen-yearold daughter, Sydney and to focus on marketing for The Safe Aviation Solutions Group, as the VP of Marketing. “It was time to slow down and make more time for family”, says Ann. She continues: “It’s been surprisingly more challenging to ‘slow down’ than I’d imagined. Like they say: ‘when you love what you do, it’s not really work.’” Chris is now the president of the newly formed Safe Aviation Solutions. Chris says: “I am very proud to be working with the finest group of people in the Aviation Industry. With the addition of Safe Fuel Systems to the group, we are the perfect marriage of three highly reputable companies, offering a myriad of capabilities that range from Engine, Airframe and APU components for all Aircraft types. Together we have limitless reach to help serve the Aviation Community.”
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Aviation Trivia What aviation teaching aid began life as an amusement park ride? A. B. C. D.
KC-97 flight simulator REDIFON simulator Comet IV simulator Link Trainer
Named after its inventor Edwin Link, the Link Trainer began life in 1929 as an amusement park ride. Link’s family worked in the piano/organ industry which gave Link the idea for much of the pneumatics system used in the Link Trainer. He developed the Link Trainer to be, “a fuselage-like device with a cockpit and controls that produced the motions and sensations of flying.” The Link Trainer started out amusing children and adults at amusement parks until in 1934 when the United States Army Air Corp bought 6 of the Trainers. During World War II, more than 500,000 servicemen were taught how to fly using the Link Trainer. One of the purposes of the Link Trainer was to teach pilots to fly by instruments with the appropriate feedback from the machine. Link Trainers took off from there. Edwin set up a production facility in the Binghamton New York area. The Link Trainer was modified throughout the years to keep pace with the changes taking place in the cockpit. Link Trainers were produced through the late 1950’s but were eventually replaced by more sophisticated pilot trainers. Although the Link Company was sold many years ago, the original company can still be traced to the current L-3 division know as Link Simulation and Training. Link was awarded the Howard N. Potts Medal in 1945 for developing training devices for aviators, and the Royal Aeronautical Society Wakefield Gold Medal in 1947. He received an honorary degree from Binghamton University, and in 1976, he was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame. Edwin Link is the namesake of Link Hall on the campus of Syracuse University. All of this came from one man’s desire to create an apparatus for training pilots and entertaining people.
145 is a lifestyle magazine dedicated to people in the aviation industry.