Author Archives: Jay Rollins

Remembering the “Miracle on the Hudson”


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Gotta Love Them “Blues”!

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Boeing Dreamliner Finally Aloft

After two-years of delays, the all-new Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” is at last reality, following its first successful test flight from Seattle yesterday.

More than 25,000 employees, members of the public, and airline officials witnessed the departure. quotes Mitsuo Morimoto saying, “After the test flight, I feel confident the schedule will be on time, and we will receive the aircraft as scheduled.” Morimoto’s company, All Nippon Airways is slated to receive the first aircraft sometime late in 2010.

Even at a price of $150-$200 million each, Boeing already has orders for approximately 850 of the 300-passenger aircraft. The company predicts operating costs 20% less than contemporary airliners, thanks to the use of light composite materials, improved aerodynamics, and refined engine technology in its manufacture.

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Pearl Harbor Day

“A date which will live in infamy”!

That’s how President Franklin D. Roosevelt described December 7, 1941, the day Japanese airplanes surprise-bombed US Navy ships at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The devastating attack drew the USA into World War II.

Capt Jay was recently honored for Veteran’s Day by Pine Crest School of Ft. Lauderdale. The K-12 academy arranged for his son, Orion Rollins to interview him on the virtues of being a veteran.

Here is the interview posted in honor of Pearl Harbor Day …
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FAA Computer Glitch Causing Delays

The Federal Aviation Administration is having computer problems – again, and it’s causing travel delays across the country.

Contrary to news reports, you do NOT have to file a flight plan to fly. However, the problem greatly affects the airlines, since commercial flights generally operate under so-called “Instrument Flight Rules” (IFR).

IFR flights do require filed flight plans, but flights flying visually (VFR) need not. Consequently more flights (even some commercial flights) are likely to attempt to fly under visual rules, where the pilot is expected to maintain separation from other aircraft without the assistance of air traffic controllers. Because of this, pilots must fly clear of clouds.

Authorities insist the situation does not threaten safety, since airliners will not take off until their paperwork is in order. However, some users may elect to take off under visual rules then request an IFR clearance enroute, or to fly VFR from takeoff to landing. Such flights require a greater level of pilot vigilance.

Bottom line: the capacity of the system is severely restricted, and it does add a measure of chaos, which in my opinion can indeed threaten safety.

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Happy Holiday Travel Tips

If you haven’t already made arrangements for the fast-approaching Holiday Season, you’ve already violated the first rule!


PLAN EARLY! Your total cost and stress levels for airfares, rental cars, and hotels are much lower when you book early. LATE NEWS – Airlines are announcing SURCHARGES for high density days like the Super Bowl. Shop and compare!

WATCH OUT FOR HIDDEN COSTS like unaccompanied minor fees, baggage fees, hotel parking fees, etc.

Cancellation Policies. Make sure you are clear what they are! If there’s a chance plans could change, consider paying more for the right to do so – or buy trip cancellation insurance.

Allow Plenty of Time. Late arrivals and missed connections will dramatically raise travel costs and stress levels. LEAVE EARLY; remember long lines and delays are “normal” for Holiday travel!

Check this video featuring Captain Jay on the subject.

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And check for more tips!

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Water Found on the Moon

After “bombing” the moon in early October, NASA now confirms they have discovered water there (see related blog post, Oct 9 below).


A month ago, NASA’s “LCross” space craft accomplished extensive mapping in orbit around the moon, and then its two sections crashed directly into a lunar crater. Only recently have scientists even questioned if the moon might be anything other than a dry, dusty rock, but analysis of the residual dust clouds from the two impacts confirm; water is indeed present.

“We are ecstatic,” said NASA Principal Investigator, Anthony Colaprete. “Multiple lines of evidence show water was present… ”

Colaprete goes on to hint the moon may contain even more surprises: “The full understanding of the LCross data may take years – the data is that rich.”

Finding water and other useful material on the moon should enhance NASA’s efforts to fly manned missions not only back to the moon, but also Mars some time in the next decade.

NASA had previously found evidence water was once on Mars, but new images indicate it still flows at the surface, if only for brief periods before it evaporates or freezes.


Scientists say the crater shown left was photographed dry in 1999, but the second image indicates water flowed through the same area as recently as 2004.

The presence of liquid water raises the probability that microbial life may exist on Mars.

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