Blue Origin Announces New Glenn Orbital Launch Vehicle

The heat just got turned up another notch in New Space Race. Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin just announced a new rocket, the New Glenn. NASA reports that the 23' diameter rocket will provide 3.85 million pounds of thrust. While Blue Origin's new rockets are enormous, they don't have quite enough thrust to match the 5 million pounds of SpaceX's Falcon Heavy.

How an Hour in a Fart Chamber Saved My Life

There is a lot more to being a pilot than having the stick & rudder skills to keep the ball centered and the blue side up. Sometimes I think we don’t emphasize these skills enough. How are you going to go to the bathroom on this flight? What are you going to eat? (You did remember to bring some food, right?) Do the tone of your radio voice and efficiency of your calls inspire confidence in controllers, or do they earn you disdain and penalty vectors?

I recently used another skill, recognizing my personal hypoxia symptoms, to potentially save my life and my airplane. I learned that skill through several sessions in flatulence-filled funny rooms, also known as hypobaric (or "altitude") chambers. How about we mix it up today and do story first, background second?

Preparing for the Logbook Battle Royale

People frequently ask me what electronic logbook program/app I recommend. Unfortunately, as a computer geek, I've been unable to recommend any of them because I just made my own years ago. Thankfully, mobile computing and the cloud have reached the point where the logbook apps available offer far more capability than anything I can do in MS Excel or even Access. So, I'm going to host an Electronic Logbook Battle Royale. I'm going to do a head-to-head comparison of the most popular logbook apps out there.

Short-Term Pilot Shortage Solutions for the USAF

I've written a couple articles recently comparing the financial angle of staying in the military for a full retirement vs. getting out halfway through to start an airline career 9 years earlier. My second article was prompted by proposals to increase the USAF's pilot retention bonus from $25K per year to as much as $60K per year. The USAF Chief of Staff (CSAF) and the Secretary of the Air Force (SECAF) put forth their proposal because the Air Force is having trouble retaining pilots.

Fly Jets, See the World, Get Rich!

The career of airline pilot isn't what it used to be in the US. It used to be prestigious, respected, and pay ridiculously well. Nowadays, either you spend 10 years flying for the military, or you starve for up to 10 years flying for the regionals. Then, finally, you get hired by a major airline and start living the good life. (But the pay today is generally less than what it was before 2001, before you even start talking about inflation.) It's not the same level of good deal that it used to be.

Commercial sUAS? It's Easy! Just Do It!

If you've been reading AviationBull for a while, you'll know that I'm not the biggest fan of drones. (We're going to call them unmanned aerial systems, or UAS, for the rest of this post because that's the term the FAA's going with.) I've narrowly avoided a couple near midair collisions with UAS in Afghanistan that would have killed me and my crew if not for our actions. Despite the dangers inherent with UAS, they are the way of the future. There is no stopping that.

New USAF Pilot Bonus - Too Little Too Late?

It seems that I hit a nerve when I recently compared pay between military and airline pilots. The story has been read more than 33,000 times to date and I've received numerous follow-up questions. Now, thanks to a recent Air Force Times article, there's a new perturbation in this discussion.

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