Category Archives: Airports

American Airlines Boeing and Airbus jets

AA at PHX

This is a great picture taken by a pilot while taxiing to Terminal 4 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

A nice mix of the old and new when thinking about today’s American Airlines.

The Boeing 737 and Airbus A319 and A320 jets are parked in the East Hold Bay while waiting for their respective gates to open up.

The New Boeing 737MAX and Aerodynamic Efficiency

I spent nine years flying the Boeing 737–100/200/300 series for America West Airlines based out of Phoenix.

The B737 (Baby Boeing) is a wonderful airplane, very well designed for its mission, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the left seat.

N324AW

America West B737 picture courtesy of airliners.net

A recent Yahoo article highlights some of the latest aerodynamic and propulsion upgrades to the Baby Boeing as it strives to compete with Airbus and its latest version of the A320, the A320neo.

The newest B737, named the B737MAX, will continue the great legacy of Boeing and become a very successful aircraft enjoyed by pilots and airline management.

For additional information please click on the link here.

Piper Cherokee – 56 Years Old Today

It’s amazing to think about this but, 56 years ago today (January 14, 1960), the very first flight of the Piper PA-28 Cherokee took place!

Piper Cherokee

Picture – courtesy San Diego Air and Space Archive

In my world, the Cherokee is as ubiquitous as the lovable Volkswagen bug.

The Cherokee has been in production since 1961 and more than 32,000 aircraft have been built during those years. WOW!

The Cherokee, and its many variants, is a four seat (three passengers and a pilot), single-engine, light aircraft normally weighing about 2,100 lbs at maximum takeoff weight. It will normally fly anywhere between 3,000′ – 8,000′ at a cruise speed of about 120 mph.

The Cherokee is typically used by many local flight schools for pilot training purposes. I taught may prospective young pilots in many versions of the Cherokee during my days as a flight instructor in Arizona.

I’ve always loved the airplane, very reliable, easy to fly and maintain and a joy to spend an afternoon flying a cross-country flight with students anywhere in AZ.

Always one of my fave single-engine airplanes!

Happy Birthday to a classic!

Aerodynamics in October

I teach another aerodynamics class for Embry-Riddle Worldwide tomorrow night, 5-8:20pm, through mid December (nine-week semesters).

I teach at the university’s new Phoenix–Mesa campus, which is located at the Phoenix–Mesa Gateway Airport.

ERAU Worldwide Classroom
ERAU Worldwide Classroom

The university has redesigned the undergraduate curriculum increasing the pre-req courses for many of the 300 & 400 level courses, including mine. Therefore, I’ve only four students in my class as many have yet to transition to the new curriculum. Many professors are experiencing similar small class sizes during this time.

ERAU Phoenix–Mesa campus
ERAU Phoenix–Mesa campus

Embry-Riddle recently moved to a beautiful, brand new building last month equipped with five classrooms, a student lounge, kitchen, break room and administration offices. It is a slightly larger floor plan than the previous location in Chandler including an additional classroom.

ERAU Worldwide  Phoenix-Mesa campus
ERAU Worldwide
Phoenix-Mesa campus
ERAU Classroom
ERAU Classroom
My classroom
My classroom

I met with my boss this morning to go over some last minute details for tomorrow’s class. I teased her saying I should hold my class in the student lounge (they have large very comfy overstuffed leather chairs!) since I’ve such a small group of students.

ER Banner

ERAU Worldwide Classroom
ERAU Worldwide Classroom

The Freedom Tower

I was in Newark this morning operating a EWR – PHX flight and had a nice view of the Manhattan skyline and the Freedom Tower.

Freedom Tower
Freedom Tower

Although overcast skies this morning at the airport with some light drizzle, the view is always an inspiring one!

A distant Manhattan Skyline
A distant Manhattan Skyline
An adjacent American Airbus A321 parked at Newark
An American Airbus A321 parked at an adjacent gate at Newark

It All Began in a Beechcraft C99

I cut my teeth in this Beechcraft C99, in the mid ’80s, flying around New Mexico.

Mesa Air Beechcraft C99 parked at ABQ
Mesa Air Beechcraft C99

Flying the C99 from ABQ to Roswell is essentially the same thing as flying an Airbus A321 from PHX to Denver. The only difference is better food and air-conditioning!

A lot of times while flying the Airbus, I think back to my New Mexico flying days and how this job is simply flying an airplane from A to B. However, I miss the awesome green chili chicken soup at the beautiful Albuquerque airport.

Albuquerque International Sunport - Courtesy ABQ Airport
Albuquerque International Sunport – Courtesy ABQ Airport