AvTalk Episode 12: Out on the Airfield

On episode 12 of AvTalk, we discuss Air Berlin’s insolvency and what that might mean for other airlines in Europe, NASA gets ready to study the eclipse, and we list some of our favorite airports. We also talk with Dan Kierna, an airport operations supervisor at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago about what it takes to keep one of the world’s busiest airports running on a daily basis.

Air Berlin files for insolvency

Air Berlin files for insolvency after Etihad declines to provide further financing

Air Berlin filed for insolvency this week after Etihad withdrew its support for the airline. We discuss what might be the fate of the airline and its aircraft.

NASA gets ready for the eclipse

N927NA, one of NASA’s WB-57s

NASA will send two of its WB-57 aircraft to chase the eclipse over the United States on 21 August. They will be conducting high-altitude research during the eclipse. Track the aircraft as N926NA and N927NA. From NASA:

Taking observations from twin telescopes mounted on the noses of the planes, Caspi will capture the clearest images of the Sun’s outer atmosphere — the corona — to date and the first-ever thermal images of Mercury, revealing how temperature varies across the planet’s surface.

See NASA’s fuller explanation of their eclipse mission in the video below.


Boeing draws a 787 with a 787

Boeing’s 787 drawn with a 787

Of course, this occurred just after we recorded the last episode. To perform ETOPS testing on the new Rolls Royce Trent 1000 TEN engine, which will power the new Boeing 787-10, Boeing spent 18 hours in the sky over the US drawing a 787. More on that here.

Our favorite airports

Jason posed the question on twitter, so we decided to do our own lists, and get a little impromptu lesson on cemeteries in the middle of airports.

Not Atlanta, as Ian states in the episode, but Savannah Airport has two headstones in the runway.

Chicago-O’Hare’s remaining cemetery, surrounded by the rest of the airport.

Keeping the Airport Running

O’Hare International Airport in Chicago

We chat with Dan Kierna, airport operations supervisor at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, one of the busiest in the world, to see what it takes to keep the airport running and what happens when things go bad.

A new receiver near Chernobyl

The new Flightradar24 ADS-B receiver approximately 1.5 km from the Chernobyl nuclear plant

This week we activated a new receiver new Chernobyl. We discuss how the receiver got there and why it’s a helpful location for tracking very large aircraft.

Read more about our new receiver near Chernobyl

Russian Treaty on Open Skies observation flights

The Russian Open Skies Treaty Tu-154

Twitter and cable news were abuzz last week when a Russian surveillance aircraft overflew Washington D.C. We discuss the flights and note that they’re nothing new.

See more on the Open Skies flights and view flight data

New planes for the Patriots

After having issues with charter operations, the New England Patriots football team purchased two Boeing 767s for use during their season. The 767s formerly flew for American Airlines and had been stored in the desert. The planes, currently undergoing rework, will be registered N225NE and N36NE.

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