Avgeeks:  Ask ‘Siri’ This Question…..

Avgeeks: Ask ‘Siri’ This Question…..

Avgeek?  Have an iPhone?

Ask Siri:

“What’s Flying Overhead?”

This little gem of a question was brought to my attention by a friend who uses it once in awhile to see what aircraft are coming into our local airport or flying nearby.  Having used an iPhone for years, I never knew Siri had the ability to see the sky and report her findings.

Though it’s not nearly impressive as the ‘binocular view’ afforded to us by FlightRadar24, it’s still a slick feature that Siri has available for those of us who are curious as to what is 35,000 feet overhead.

The screen that Siri returns is 2 pages long, so you’ll need to scroll down to see all the data. The data is compiled by Wolfram|Alpha and presented in the following manner:


Screen 1……


…and scroll down to see this screen


I’m not sure if other ‘Digi-Gals’ such as Alexa or others offer this kind of tool, but for an avgeek it’s something worth knowing about if you use Apple products.


Coming Soon:   Your Driver’s License May Not Be Enough For Airport Security……..

Coming Soon: Your Driver’s License May Not Be Enough For Airport Security……..

As a result of laws enacted by Congress in 2005, passengers traveling on January 22 and beyond will need a ‘compliant’ driver’s license in order to clear security at airports in most US states.

The ‘Real ID Act’ requires enhanced identification to be put in place by January 22, 2018.   This basically meant that your basic driver’s licenses needed to be updated with either barcode or ‘RFID’ technology that would contain more information than what is printed on the license.   28 States and  several US territories are currently compliant to the new standard, while 22 states received extensions to implement the changeover.

For residents traveling from states that have already enacted the ‘compliant’ licenses, they’ll have to provide the enhanced ID when clearing security, otherwise they run the risk of not be allowed through security.    For residents in states that have been granted extensions to implementing the new ID program, you can continue traveling on your current ID.  However, it may be wise to carry another official ID such as a passport or Global Entry card as a backup piece of ID.

The map below shows which states are already part of the Real ID program and which states are operating under an extension.   States shaded in Green are already compliant, while the yellow states are those with extensions.


Map courtesy of CNBC.com



So for example, if you are a Texas resident, you need to use your ‘Real ID’ license on January 22, otherwise you will need to show additional ID (Passport, Global Entry Card, etc) if you wish to clear security.    According to the TSA, if a resident of a ‘Real ID’ state shows up at security without the right ID and the TSA can’t prove the identity at screening, the passenger can be prevented from traveling.

Another example…..  If you are a Michigan resident (a state under extension), you can still use your normal driver’s license at security.   According to the TSA, if you are a resident of a state that is currently under extension, and are traveling from a state already in compliance you should be OK to use your Michigan license (i.e. Michigan resident flying from Texas).   But if we know anything, it’s that the TSA rules can be interpreted differently by each ‘officer’, so it might make sense that if you are in a state that is under extension to take along your Passport or Global Entry card as a back-up piece of ID.

Regardless of the changes coming on January 22, it will be required of all residents of all states to have a ‘Real ID’ Driver’s License by October 1, 2020.    At that point only Real ID Licenses will be acceptable, otherwise you’ll need to provide another valid ID, such as a passport or other officially recognized piece of identification.

The TSA expects this to go smoothly.

Where have we heard that before! 🙂

BRUSSELS Retires Their Final ‘Jumbolino’ / Avro RJ

BRUSSELS Retires Their Final ‘Jumbolino’ / Avro RJ

Last week, Brussels Airlines sent their last ‘Jumbolino’ into retirement when aircraft ‘OO-DWD’ landed in Brussels after a short flight from Geneva.   This last touchdown put an exclamation point on a long and successful career for the ‘AVRO RJ100’ aircraft type in the ‘SN’ fleet.

According to Brussels, the Jumbolino was part of their fleet for 15 years.   32 of them transported 31.5 million passengers over the course of 606,000 flights to 89 destinations.

A friend of mine, FlyerTalk & VFT member ‘Claudi STR’ was fortunate to be on the final flight of the Jumbolino and was kind enough to share some of her photos from the ‘Retirement’ flight.


The last safety briefing aboard the Avro’s last flight

Passengers received a souvenir to mark the retirement flight.

‘OO-DWD’ prepared for boarding her final passengers…

The Avro got its ‘Jumbolino’ nickname due to the fact that it has 4 jet engines, not unlike her much larger relatives like the 747, A380 and A340 aircraft…..


In the past, retired Jumbolinos have found new homes with other airlines as well as being repurposed to serve as fire-fighting aircraft around world.   Though she won’t carry any more passengers for Brussels, there are a lot of hours left on her engines.