Thursday, March 21, 2013

This column is different than what I usually write about concerning aviation. But the topic came up and I had some fun discussions.

If you’ve ever woken up with a woman next to you in bed, and she asks what day it is, chances are she’s a flight attendant (FA). If she asks you what city she’s in then you can pretty much figure that the relationship is over. 

A positive of dating a FA is that you can pretty much figure they are drug free. Fa’s are required to take random drug tests after flights. The biggest downside of dating an FA is that they will most likely not be there when you need them.

I dated a senior FA for five years. She flew PHX-JFK turns. When she came home it was better not to talk to her, and just let her shower and go to bed. She became a human again the next morning.

We dated before 9-11 when there were numerous seats to travel nonrev. Want to go to Alaska or Paris, just hop on a flight. Today I wouldn’t try nonreving to Paris,Texas. Planes are full and passengers are honrey. 

FA’s must have the worst union reps of any business I know of. FA’s are required to report 1 hour before departure. Their pay doesn’t start until the door is closed and pushback. If the flight is delayed it’s at the FA’s expense.

An FA’s life style is different from anything I know of. I thought I was open minded, but when I attended FA parties it was my first time being exposed to the gay lifestyle. It took a while for the shock to wear off. I was always treated with respect by all and tried to return that feeling.

I met my FA girlfriend (ex) at a flight school a friend of mine owns. She was studying to become a pilot. Didn’t know she was a FA until I called her for a date. If you have to be on a schedule then dating a FA is probably not for you. You’ll never know when they are going to be home or working. I went to many black tie events and award dinners alone. 

People have asked me how to get a date with a FA. I asked several friends of mine that still fly that question, and the best response was to discreetly hand the FA your business card with a note on it. If she’s interested, she will call you. Surprisingly a lot of FA’s stated that they hand out their cards to passengers they would like to date. Out of the question is following an FA to their hotel, can you say stalking, or bothering them when they are leaving to their hotel with their crew.

I had some wonderful times when dating an FA. The problem was that I could never depend on her because of her job schedule. You have to decide if this lifestyle will be good for you.

This was written from a man’s perspective and can be flipped easily.

Monday, March 18, 2013

US Airway Pilots v. America West

                                                     US AIRWAYS V. AMERICA WEST
                             WILL THE EAST COAT PILOTS EVER GROW UP!

The FA's from the East and West now have a contract. However the Pilots are still far apart and will wind up back in Court. The Nicolai Award (Federal Mediator) stated that the HEAVY pilots from the East will have the first approximately 500 spots in seniority. Then the balance of East and West pilots will be merged by % of service. All furloughed pilots will go to the bottom of seniority. The East pilots have never accepted this. It went to Federal Court 2 years ago, and Judge Silver told both sides to negotiate in good faith and get it done. So far the East pilots have refused to budge from their previous stance. The West pilots have given up and petitioned the Court to rehear the case. Since the original court date, Judge Silver has become presiding Judge of the Federal Court that oversees this. She has assigned the case to a new Judge. The West Pilots have petitioned the Court for Judge Silver to hear this case as she was up to speed.

My understanding is that American pilots also wish to use % of seniority and not date of hire as the prevailing factor to merge.

I don't feel there will be any merger of the East and West Pilots until the Court makes a decision at trial. This could take another 2 to 3 years. A true shame as Northwest and Delta pilots were able to work things out before their merger.

Thursday, March 14, 2013


                                                            CAVAET EMPTOR

My wife and I decided to buy a new airplane this week. In all my years of flying I had never owned a new plane. Our reason for buying a new plane is that we wanted something more fuel efficient that could still get us to San Diego, albeit it would take about 40 minutes more than the Bonanza. At 4.5 gallons a hour we were willing to travel slower at a more economical rate. Also with a fuel burn of 4.5 gallons per hour I would fly more often.

I started investigating what new planes were available that fit our mission statement and decided on the new Luscombe LSA. After thoroughly checking out their web site we thought the Luscombe LSA would be a good fit for us and even decided to buy one with a radial engine for “cool” factor.

I tried calling Luscombe in Riverside, CA and received a voice mail with their mailbox being full. I then sent them an email with my phone number and never received a reply. I could not comprehend a going business with a full mailbox. I decided to google this company and was shocked to see what was posted on them.

This company was located in Georgia, Florida, Missouri and now Riverside, CA. I read where they took a $750,000 incentive from Missouri and skipped town. Each time they left a location they allegedly did not pay their employees. They also allegedly took deposits from customers, the first being $15,000 then a follow up of $25,0000 without ever building an airplane. In fact it is questionable if they even have a FAA type certificate or legal rights to build the new Luscombe.

This company kept opening under a new LLC and allegedly defrauding customers and employees in each State. It’s really too bad that they are not honest as the Luscombe LSA was the only LSA I would consider buying.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013



I have written in the past about the slow demise of General Aviation (GA). My thoughts have not changed. 

I believe there are 2 types of GA pilots. One is the recreational pilot like myself that travels for pleasure. I’m based at Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (DVT) the busiest GA airport in the world. The reason for this is that DVT has one of the biggest flight schools in the country, TransPac. Without TransPac DVT would drop tremendously in operations. The same applies for other GA airports based in the Vally that have large flight schools training foreign pilots.

DVT T hangar wait list used to be over 5 years and now it is a matter of a few months to acquire a T Hangar. The recreational pilots I know are getting old. People are retired and are on fixed incomes. With this comes loss of medicals and less flying due to expense of fuel and maintenance. When people are flying less they do not maintain their proficiency as a pilot. I have a friend that owns 2 airplanes, one being a twin, and flew a total of 40 hours last year. 

Recreational flying is expensive and young people on the whole do not have the discretionary income to take up flying. They leave school with large debts and have to get by with regular living expenses.

Pilots in recreational flying usually own the older planes in the fleet which averages over 40 years of age. I fly a 59 year old V Tail Bonanza.

The second category of pilot is the one who mostly flies for business and has various tax write offs to help defray costs. Also in this group are people who made it good at a young age in life. These are the people that can afford the new Cirrus’s, Corvallis’s and Mirages. They are in the minority of GA pilots. 

As the GA pilot population decline, airports that don’t have large flight schools are going to start closing because they can not be financially maintained. FBO’s will fall by the wayside.


I hear it everyday listening to podcast and aviation blogs that their is going to be a major shortage of airline and corporate pilots. In August the new FAA rules go into effect for airlines that all first officers (FO’s) must have 1500 hours and an ATP. 

The other supposition is that there are going to be a lot of airline pilots turning 65 this year and facing forced retirement. There is talk of raising the retirement age to 67 to help aid airlines against mass retirements.

There are 2 reasons I don’t think we will be facing a pilot shortage in the near future. A lot of furloughed pilots are out there that have been unable to find work. These people will help fill the pipeline for retiring pilots. The retiring airline pilots will be able to continue to fill the void in corporate flight departments.

To fly for the airforce requirement is a 10 year commitment. Most of these pilots are resigning for a second ten year term. This will allow them to receive full retirement from the service. These pilots will be in their early 40’s when leaving the service and can start a second career with the airlines.

I believe that if a shortage of airline pilots is imminent that the airlines will petition the FAA to fly single pilot on the flight deck. With todays automation in new airliners I perceive this to be a possibility in the future. Overseas flights might operate with 2 pilots for takeoff and landing and 1 pilot for cruise.

I think that those who are going to be hit the hardest with these new regulations are the Regional Airlines. Most of the FO’s start with 250 hours and will loose their jobs due to the lack of 1500 hours and ATP which starts in August.

I really don’t know how someone can afford to accumulate 1500 hours financially. Starting pay in Regionals is so low that one can almost qualify for food stamps. The Military requirement will be 750 hours and University Flight schools 1000 hours. Unless the airlines go back as they did in the 60’s and start training and paying pilots to train, I don’t see any alternative to not have single pilot flight deck. Only time will tell.

Friday, March 8, 2013

This is a response to a column I wrote by Hilton Goldstein owner of WingX Pro APP for the IPad.

Following this is my
 response to his letter.

My publisher at PLANE AND PILOT NEWS refused to run my response so they can go pound sand, as I will not write for anyone that does not have the fortitude for controversy instead of worrying about their advertising $ revenue.

Page 4     PLANE & PILOT NEWS     February 2013

Thank you for giving me to opportunity
to respond to the “My
Opinion” piece in your
December issue by Retired
Judge Arthur Rosen.  Quite
frankly, I wasn’t even going
to bother replying to the
article - not a single person
has contacted me about it.
However because I have
principles and pride in
the WingX Pro7 Software
I wish to set the record
WingX Pro7 now displays a disclaimer upon
each update.  Because of
this, Rosen jumps to the
ridiculous conclusion that
“I do not have any information, but I believe that
someone or some group
have brought suit against
WingX.”  This is reckless,
unprofessional innuendo.
That’s like saying, “I do
not have any information,
but I believe that John Doe
has raped and beaten five
women.”  As Judge Rosen
surely knows, a ‘clever’ article title does not
afford the writer license
to defame.  Rosen often
emails us to ask questions about WingX Pro7
features.  Yet he never
contacted me to ask why
WingX Pro7 was changed
to display the disclaimer
upon each update.  What I
would have told him is that
I was following a practice
that many app developers have used. Whenever
I install iTunes and other
apps, I am asked to agree
to a disclaimer so I figured I’d get WingX Pro7
to behave like other apps
in the industry – a very
far cry from what Rosen
absurdly claims.  Would
Judge Rosen have allowed
such wild speculation in
his courtroom? Is this his
standard of journalism?
Rosen then goes on a rant
about disclaimers in general whilst taking a few
extra swipes at WingX
Pro7.  Still not done, Rosen
then claims “It is too bad
that a leading company
in aviation apps has very
little quality control.”  How
does he know what QC we
have?  He doesn’t.
So, let me state clearly
and leave no doubt, to the
best of my knowledge --
and I am CEO and Founder
of Hilton Software, so I
should know -- a lawsuit
has not been filed against
Hilton Software and none
is pending or threatened.
Whether or not Rosen
and/or the Editors of Plane
and Pilot News issue an
apology is not important,
what is important is that
WingX Pro7 has been the
#1 Top Grossing Navigation
iPad app on the Apple App
Store for almost two years
beating out the Garmins,
TomToms, etc.  I just
checked and the last ten
WingX Pro7 App Reviews
on the App Store have 5
out of 5 stars.  All software
has bugs, including software from NASA, Boeing,
Airbus, and other industry giants.  We are recognized in the industry as the
technology leader.  WingX
Pro7 has features not seen
in any other single app,
including Track Up, GPWS,
Obstacles, Search and
Rescue Grids, Synthetic
Vision, Split Screen, etc.
We adopted ADS-B over
one year before ADS-B
became somewhat main
stream.  So yes, Wing
Pro7 will have bugs (as will
other apps), but we find
and fix them quickly and
get the updates out ASAP
while continually adding
new features.
WingX Pro7 has a
huge and rapidly growing customer base.  Hilton
Software and other small
aviation software companies are creating disruptive technology that is
significantly improving the
safety and cost of flying
and even saving lives.  My
Opinion is that Rosen’s hit
piece is just that and the
Editors of Plane and Pilot
News should be ashamed
of publishing it.
Dr. Hilton Goldstein
CEO and Founder of
Hilton Software LLC


March 8, 2013


Mr. Goldstein,

I am honored that you read PLANE AND PILOT NEWS and express an interest in my column. I thank you for taking time to respond to issues I addressed with reference to WINGXPRO7. I will try and address your letter one item at a time.

You seemed to miss my point on your disclaimer. When you take money for a product that is advertised as an aviation program and state that the program might work and it might not, then you require someone to accept this statement in order for the program to run is a very weak argument. In my opinion WingX would have a hard time defending this is court. Maybe someone more knowledgeable in this field should have written a better disclaimer for your company. Your analogy of someone being raped is way off base and displays anger and is an invalid argument.

The next issue is quality control. I stand by my statement that when WingX works properly it is the best Aviation App on the market. Mr. Goldstein seems to differ with me on the definition of quality control. I have written several emails to Mr. Goldstein when the App did not work. The latest issue with WingX was that Safe Taxi did not work correctly when released. WingX’s release did not show an area near a runway in yellow and when on a runway in red. In fact the safe taxi diagram did not turn yellow until one was on a runway and it only turned red on takeoff rollout. I emailed WingX and they corrected the safe taxi issues. My statement of poor quality control is that this should have never been released until it was tested and worked properly.

Mr. Goldstein compares his App to TomTom and Garmin automotive apps stating that they have several bugs. At no time did Mr. Goldstein compare his App to ForeFlight. Foreflight does not have the features that WingX has, yet when ForeFlight releases an update it works without bugs.

WingX has more features than any other aviation App. I emailed Mr. Goldstein on 2 counts to request actual winds aloft and actual temperatures in flight. This has been available on ADS-B In for months and is available on ForeFlight but not WingX. As of the writing of this column this feature is still not available on WingX.

Mr. Goldstein calls my column a “hit piece” on WingX. I disagree. I was pointing out the disclosure statement and lack of what I define as quality control. I am a paying customer of WingX and hope that my previous column along with this column will result in increased quality. I appreciate what WingX has accomplished and at this date feel there are only 2 aviation apps worth owning, WingX and ForeFlight.