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Legendary F-14 Pilot Dale ‘Snort’ Snodgrass Dies In A Tragic Plane Crash

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Snodgrass
The famous knife-edge low pass over the USS America. In the box: Capt. (Ret) Dale “Snort” Snodgrass. (Photo: U.S. Navy)

Snodgrass was the sole occupant of a SIAI-Marchetti SM.1019 that crashed at Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport.

The legendary F-14 Tomcat pilot Dale “Snort” Snodgrass, the type’s most experienced pilot, tragically lost his life on July 24, 2021 in a plane crash at Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport, Idaho. Snodgrass was the only person onboard a SIAI Marchetti SM.1019, a small Italian-made STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing) aircraft built in the 1970s off the Cessna O-1 Bird Dog’s design, that crashed at midday shortly after takeoff and caught fire.

While initially it was only rumored, the presence of Snodgrass on the aircraft was confirmed by airport manager Michael Isaacs, as reported by the Lewiston Tribune website. The Lewiston Fire Department stated that the aircraft came down in a field and caught fire just off the airport’s taxiway Charlie, with the rescue services responding to the emergency call at 12:11 pm and bringing the fire under control in fewer than five minutes.

The causes of the incident are unknown at this time and the NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) officials are on scene to begin the investigation. According to the Aviation Safety Network website, the mishap aircraft was the SM.1019B registered as N28U and belonging to Snodgrass’ company 717 Aviation Inc.

Snodgrass retired as a Captain from the U.S. Navy after 26 years of decorated service. His career was remarkable since the beginning, when he became the first student to be selected to fly the F-14 Tomcat straight from the flight school. Later on, he became the F-14 demonstration pilot, a role that he retained for more than a decade, during which he flew remarkable displays at the edge of the Tomcat’s flight envelope. A famous shot from this period is the knife-edge pass at flight deck level over the CV-66 USS America in 1988.

Moving on in his military career, Snodgrass rose through the ranks until he became Commander Fighter Wing Atlantic, in charge of the F-14 operation of the entire Navy and also spearheading the Tomcat’s Precision Strike effort. When he retired, he was the pilot with the highest time in the F-14, having logged more than 4,900 flight hours (including 34 combat missions over Iraq in 1991 during Desert Storm) and 1,200 arrested landings on aircraft carriers. Among his records, he was also a TOPGUN graduate and instructor.

After retirement, Snodgrass continued to fly jets and warbirds at airshows, becoming qualified to fly F-86 Sabre, P-51 Mustang, P-40 Warhawk, F4U Corsair, T-6/SNJ Texan, L-39 Albatros, MiG-15, MiG-17, MiG-21 and, more recently, the F-5 Tiger, but also as Chief Pilot for Draken International. His most recent count shows more than 12,500 flight hours in countless aircraft types, both civilian and demilitarized aircraft. In the last 20 years, he flew during more than 850 airshows.

Stefano D’Urso is a contributor for TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. He’s a full-time engineering student and aspiring pilot. In his spare time he’s also an amateur aviation photographer and flight simulation enthusiast.

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Source: https://theaviationist.com/2021/07/25/dale-snort-snodgrass/

Aviation

Royal Canadian Air Force to upgrade CF-18A Hornets with Raytheon AESA radars

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From Flight Global – Link to source story

By Garrett Reim | 24 September 2021

The Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) plans to upgrade some of its ageing Boeing CF-18A Hornets with Raytheon Technologies’ APG-79(V)4 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars.

The US Department of Defense granted Raytheon a $140 million Foreign Military Sales contract to supply 36 examples of the system, it says on 20 September. Deliveries are anticipated to be finished by March 2024.

RCAF CF-18

Source: Royal Canadian Air Force

The RCAF CF-18A is in need of upgrades

The APG-79(V)4 radar, which uses gallium nitride components, is more capable and reliable than older radars, says Raytheon.

“This upgrade to AESA radars with [gallium nitride] supports longer detection ranges and multiple-target tracking,” says Eric Ditmars, Raytheon Intelligence & Space vice-president of secure sensor solutions.

The radar’s targeting capability is enhanced for a variety of roles, including air-to-air, maritime and air-to-surface strike applications, says the company.

The CF-18A is based on the F/A-18A “Classic Hornet” manufactured originally by McDonnell Douglas. In 2019, the US Marine Corps signed a contract to upgrade its Classic Hornet fleet with APG-79(v)4s.

Raytheon believes the sale to Ottawa opens opportunities to sell the system to other international customers.

“The expansion to support the Royal Canadian Air Force allows [Raytheon] to outfit allies with the same advanced technology provided to US military aircrews,” the company says.

The RCAF’s 60 CF-18As are, on average, 35 years old, according to Cirium fleets analyser. The service is upgrading a portion of those through its “Hornet Extension Project”, which aims to expand the usefulness of the jets until Canada decides to buy new fighters.

Through its Future Fighter Capability Project, Canada’s Department of National Defence is looking to buy 88 advanced fighters, and related equipment and services, for an estimated C$15-19 billion ($11.9-$15.1 billion). The RCAF intends to choose in 2022 between the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, Lockheed Martin F-35 and Saab Gripen E. The first aircraft is anticipated to be delivered by delivered by 2025.

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Source: https://canadianaviationnews.wordpress.com/2021/09/25/royal-canadian-air-force-to-upgrade-cf-18a-hornets-with-raytheon-aesa-radars/

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Which Airlines Still Fly The Boeing 737-300?

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The Boeing 737-300 was the first variant from the 737 Classic series to take to the skies, doing so in 1984 with USAir. Boeing produced 1,113 of these aircraft, accounting for over half of 737 Classic deliveries as a whole. Now 37 years on from the type’s first flight and entry into service, let’s take a look at which airlines still fly this popular 737 variant.

Belavia Boeing 737-300 Getty
Belavia still has three active 737-300s in its fleet. Photo: Getty Images

The largest operators

According to data from ch-aviation.com, there are present 109 active passenger 737-300s left in the world. This version of Boeing’s best-selling narrowbody family is the mid-size variant in the 737 Classic series, being larger than the -500 and smaller than the -400.

Its largest current operators each have eight examples in their respective fleets. These are Canadian North, iAero Airways (USA), and the People’s Liberation Army Air Force (China). Mexican holiday specialist Magnicharters is just behind, with seven examples.ADVERTISEMENT44.8KWhat Do Pilots Eat During A Flight

There is then a gap down to the next-largest active 737-300 fleets. These belong to Kyrgyzstan‘s Avia Traffic Company and Gambia’s Mid Africa Aviation (four each). Several operators worldwide have three remaining active 737-300s. These are Air PeaceBelaviaBoliviana, MaxAir, Star Perú, and Trigana Air Service. But what about even smaller fleets?

Canadian North Boeing 737-300
Canadian North has the joint-largest 737-300 fleet, with eight active examples. Photo: Johnnyw3 via Wikimedia Commons

Smaller fleets

The 109 remaining active 737-300s represent less than 10% of the total production output for the type. Of these, several are in pairs at different airlines worldwide, with some even flying solo. Examples of operators with two 737-300s include Aerolíneas Estelar, ALK Airlines, Broadsword Aviation, Bul Air, Cally Air, Coulson Aviation, and Dana Air.

There are also military operators with two 737-300s, such as the Mexican Air Force. The remaining companies that fly the type are flyPersia, Jordan Aviation, Saha Airlines, Sands Aviation, SCAT AirlinesTarom, and Varesh Airlines. Of course, it’s important not to forget the several operators worldwide that fly a single remaining 737-300.ADVERTISEMENT

These are widespread, and include Africa Airlines, Air Bucharest, ATA Airlines, Azman Air, and B&K Aero. Elsewhere, sole 737-300s can be found at Blue Bird Airway, Fanjet Express, Fly Jordan, FlyJet, Jonika Airlines, and even the Korean Air Force. Finally, Lumiwings, Mirage Aviation, Nauru Airlines, NordStar, Rutaca Airlines, Sideral Linhas Aéreas, Tarco Aviation, Tayaranjet, Trans Air Cargo, UR Airlines, and Yan Air also have a single example.

Boeing 737-300 flying.
The 737-300’s days are numbered, with several already over 30 years old. Photo: Getty Images

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Running out of time

While a decent amount of Boeing 737-300s are presently active, this number will only get smaller as time passes. The fact of the matter is that these aging twinjets are likely approaching the end of their service lives. Data from ch-aviation shows that several examples have exceeded three decades of service, with the oldest about to hit 37 years old.

Even the youngest active examples have comfortably exceeded two decades of service, at around 22 years old. That being said, while the 737-300 is a dying breed, it does also play a useful role. Being an older design, it can be a cheaper option for smaller airlines in developing aviation industries, enabling air service in far-flung corners of the world.

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Source: https://canadianaviationnews.wordpress.com/2021/09/25/which-airlines-still-fly-the-boeing-737-300/

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CUPE 4070 Members Ratify New Contract With Swoop

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September 25, 2021

CALGARY, Alberta–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CUPE Flight Attendants working at Swoop, WestJet’s ultra low cost carrier, have signed off on their first collective bargaining agreement. Members voted today to ratify the tentative collective agreement reached in September. The five-year agreement includes wage improvements, and momentum towards industry-standard scheduling and pay rules.

“This is the first ever collective agreement for our membership at Swoop. Ratification of this deal is proof positive that certifying with CUPE has been instrumental in our members’ pursuit of fair working conditions”

“This is the first ever collective agreement for our membership at Swoop. Ratification of this deal is proof positive that certifying with CUPE has been instrumental in our members’ pursuit of fair working conditions,” said CUPE 4070 President Chris Rauenbusch. “Reaching this deal was not easy in light of the circumstances caused by the global pandemic. I’d like to thank both our union and our bargaining committee for working so hard to find a path forward despite the challenges of the past 18 months.”

CUPE represents over 200 Flight Attendants at Swoop. The parties have been engaged in collective bargaining towards a first union contract since February 2020.

CUPE also represents cabin crew at WestJet mainline and its subsidiary WestJet Encore.

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Source: https://canadianaviationnews.wordpress.com/2021/09/25/cupe-4070-members-ratify-new-contract-with-swoop/

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Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900 ER SSWL N296AK (msn 64304) (Russell Wilson) SEA (Nick Dean). Image: 955246.

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2021 version of the Russell Wilson NFL logo jet (Seattle Seahawks)

Copyright Photo: Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-900 ER SSWL N296AK (msn 64304) (Russell Wilson) SEA (Nick Dean). Image: 955246.

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Source: https://worldairlinenews.com/2021/09/25/photo-alaska-airlines-boeing-737-900-er-sswl-n296ak-msn-64304-russell-wilson-sea-nick-dean-image-955246/

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