All Aviation Articles By Josh

YouTube Turns 5: How technology is changing business and how we can help

News Flash: The Internet is changing the way we live our lives.

OK, so that is not news. And this post is not, per se, aviation related. However, it makes an interesting point that applies to the airfield and everywhere else.

Wired.com brings us news as YouTube celebrates its fifth anniversary that the video site dwarfs the number of people watching network television in prime time.

The article above goes as far as to wonder whether YouTube will replace broadcast and subscription TV altogether in coming years. Considering its impact in a half decade, it is an idea that is not out of reach.

As mobile entertainment and communications platforms continue to morph with technology, iPads, Droid phones and Skype, it changes the way we do business.

For instance, we now have a feature so someone interested in buying an aircraft can send a text message to the person selling it. Clients are meeting face to face via web cam.

Information is more accessible and moves much more freely. Just as the aircraft revolutionized business and personal travel in its golden age, information technology continues to do the same today.

It is important to make sure your business is visible in the ever-growing 21st Century marketplace.

We have delivered many tools over the years to help aircraft sales departments and FBOs do just that, and we are hard at work creating even more such platforms.

As a destination for pilots and flight staffs to find aviation information, we are a high-value target for anyone in the industry to utilize to get seen. 

Register for a My Flight Department account, list your business in our aviation directory, advertise with us.    

Weigh in below and let us know what you like about what we have done with the site, and what you would like to see.    

Thanks again for reading.

Airports and social media

Airlines give customer support and announce promotions on Twitter. Their presence on the micro-blogging social media site has won them great gains, as well as cost them a couple PR black eyes.

Take Southwest for example.

Its airfare promotions and other tidbits announced on the site have resulted in its Twitter account gaining more than 1 million followers. Whenever the company makes an announcement, each one of those followers hear about it directly.  That kind of promotion cannot be bought.

On the other hand, when movie director Kevin Smith ran into a seating snafu with the airline, it created a fair amount of backlash for the company as the spit hit the fan on Twitter.  With the highs, so come the lows.

Social media accelerates both gains and losses for companies who utilize services such as Facebook and Twitter.

InventorSpot.com looked at how social media benefits airports that use it, and how untapped potential in the industry still runs rampant.

It pointed to how Minneapolis-St. Paul International (MSP) offers online discounts that can be accessed via smart phone and presented to an airport retailer or restaurant for a discount.

The site then wonders how AirMall at Pittsburgh International (PIT), home of the highest grossing retail sites at a U.S. airport, would fare if it adopted a similar approach.

Read the complete article and its analysis here, and let us know in the comments how social media has affected your aviation business — or your experiences with aviation businesses — for better or worse.

Sole survivors in airline crashes

Today’s crash in Libya was at least the third of its sort in the past few years to weave a small miracle into its largely tragic story.

A 10-year-old boy from the Netherlands was in good condition Wednesday in a Libyan hospital, aside from a few broken bones, and despite 103 other people around him perishing.

Last July, 14-year-old Bahia Bakari survived a Yemenia Airways crash in the Indian Ocean that killed 152 others as the weak swimmer clutched to a piece of wreckage in the choppy waters.

First officer James M. Polehinke survived a Comair CRJ-100 that crashed on takeoff in Lexington, Ky., in August 2006, killing 49. He was the only one to live through it.

All three share an improbable connection:  They are a sole survivor of a commercial aircraft crash.

In the past 40 years, 14 airliner crashes resulted in a single person surviving. In an overwhelming number of cases (about 75 percent), just as the three above, a child or crewmember was that fortunate soul.

Some speculate that the training of a staff member or the not-fully-developed skeleton or lighter weight of a young person may slightly increase the odds of survival. In the larger scope, though, it’s like changing a baseball game by throwing a blade of grass onto the field. So much is left to be determined by forces we do not understand.

Juliane Köpck, 17 years old at the time, survived more than a week on her own in the Peruvian jungle after being the only person to survive a 1971 crash. She routinely defied every astronomical improbability thrown her way.

It is important to note that all three of these recent incidents occurred near take-off or landing, as do the bulk of aircraft crashes.

However, Popular Mechanics not too long ago published a story explaining what one would need to do to survive a 35,000-foot fall from a jetliner in mid-cruise. The article’s conclusion: protect your head, try to land in a soft swamp or snowdrift and hope you are lucky.

The article cites the Aircraft Crashes Record Office in Geneva to conclude that of the 118,934 people to die in 15,463 plane crashes between 1940 and 2008, only 42 survivors made it through the experience alive after falling from a height over 10,000 feet.

Like many things, crash survival stories are mysteries. The latest chapter makes one wonder whether such events are random happenings. A compilation of sole-survivor crashes from the AP shows the rarity.

Cashing in on that $100 hamburger

With the weekend finally here, many recreational pilots will take to the sky with a tiding of good weather in search of that ever-allusive $100 hamburger.

While fuel and rental costs mean that burger likely will cost $200 or more, it’s the thrill of the flight that certainly outweighs the cost of getting to the meal.

Enjoy the journey, not the destination, right?

There are several great sites online to assist in finding where to land for that pancake, burger or whatever meal you desire, many of them featuring user feedback to know what others think of a place. Such tools help eliminate the dread of flying two hours to an unknown spot only to receive poor service.

Of course, right here on our site you can plug your destination into our Airport Resource Center and find a rental car, hotel, $100 hamburger, FBO or any other service you may need after landing. And our Max-Trax software is built to save you money on fuel along your route.

Other great sites for the pilot with the picky palette include Fly2Lunch.com. It features a great search tool, and its only setback is the lack of information at listed airports. (There are no diners listed on the site for FXE, FLL, OSH or even our beloved LOU).  

AdventurePilot.com provides a useful virtual map. Users plug in a home airport and set a nautical-mile radius. Press enter and see dozens, if not hundreds, of surrounding spots to play, eat, and sleep.

Perhaps the most simple and user-interactive $100 hamburger site is Flyingfood.com. Starting with its national map, a navigator can double click to zoom to a particular region, honing in on user-reviewed eateries. The numbers hovering above a location indicate the user rating of a spot.

Perhaps these tools keep you a happy pilot and never a hungry pilot.

If you happen to be flying to Louisville, I strongly recommend a stop at W.W. Cousins for your $100 hamburger. The staff cooks delicious burgers to order and bakes buns and desserts on site. A mile-long topping bar lets you pile on anything under the sun, from sweet pepper relish, jalapenos, Dusseldorf mustard and even fancy ketchup, you will find it all.

And it’s only a mile from Bowman Field. Perfect.

Please let us know about your endeavors to get a $100 (or however much it costs) hamburger in the comments section. And happy flying.

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