Family Airlines Gets Smacked by the DOT

In news that will surprise absolutely no one, the DOT has sent a letter to Family Airlines saying that it needs to get its act together if it actually wants to fly. Riiight. That’ll happen. You have to read the request and Family’s completely inadequate response for maximum enjoyment. (Here’s a brief refresher on their silly plan for domestic 747s based in Vegas.)

You can read the letter from the DOT to Family Airlines (pdf) yourself, but in short, they aren’t happy. (FAI = Family Airlines, Inc)

Although a substantial amount of time has elapsed since FAI’s initial filing and FAI has submitted certain supplemental information to its application to the Department, FAI has to date failed sufficiently to meet its burden of demonstrating its fitness to allow us to continue processing its application. We remain concerned about FAI’s fitness in every area: managerial competence, finances, and compliance disposition.

The rest of the letter is a scathing rebuke of every single aspect of the airline. It is some fun-filled reading, but not nearly as much fun as the response from the “airline.” You can read that here (.doc).

The response was dated August 4, the same day the letter came from the DOT. Yeah, sure. It had three parts.

  1. This was simply a change of address. (It’s still wrong on the website.)

  2. This was a list of bios for all the new proposed officers without justifying how any of them are qualified. In particular, it didn’t address the DOT’s concern about having Dan Eikleberry as VP of Flight Ops. It also never even touched the concern that DOT had about Barry Michaels continued involvement.

  3. Finally, they addressed the DOT’s concern that they didn’t have enough money to run this operation. This is probably justified since the company’s balance sheet at the time of its previous submission showed $30 in assets. Seriously. The DOT says the airline would need $185 million to begin. The response? They are going to issue 22 million shares of preferred stock to institutional investors at $7.50 each for a total $165 million. Even a non-math whiz could figure out that’s still $20 million below what the DOT says they need. But what’s the chance they can even raise that? The only institutional investor that would be interested in this is one that is institutionalized.


I thought it would be fun to try to get Family Airlines’ take on this letter, so I called the number on the website. I was informed that “due to technical difficulties” my call could not be completed as dialed. Would the technical difficulty be that they don’t actually have any phones? I also sent them an email on Tuesday, August 11 but I haven’t heard back.

Methinks Family should look at an alternative business. If their website is any indication, they may be trying to get in on the healthcare game. Take a look:

Family Airlines Website

316 Responses to Family Airlines Gets Smacked by the DOT

  1. Todd says:

    David ~

    Dan has already pointed out that the 747 is the choice aircraft for FAI and that it’s more logical to fly that than other type of aircraft which he has made some good points. I still kind of disagree with the short haul flying with a 747. It really sounds like Dan and Barry have thought this one out. I am looking forward how to seeing if the DOT approves them.

  2. BM says:

    To everyone…….I’ve got lots of new stuff ahead for Family Airlines…..things the traditionals never dreamed of, but most of you will have to wait and see. P.S. FAI unlike thos other carriers, does not have to be desperate and charge for bags there are better ways of obtaining revenue. I predict for every five passengers you charge, you’ll lose at least one in the future.

  3. Dan says:

    @ Todd:
    Dan – I would like to be on the flight deck when you land that plane in SAN.

    Piece of cake! Slip down the hill, try not to hit any buildings on the way down, keep the speed on speed, use full flaps, touch down at the displaced threshold markings, and you’ll turn off well before the other end!

    I saw a DC-8 fly the old VOR approach or whatever it was using the old ‘drop-and-drag’ technique (now replaced by the ‘this-Vert Speed-oughta just make it’ method) that was really dragging the roof tops. It was surprising that the FAA minimums would allow flying so close to the roof tops all the way down that hill!
    But the runway is still long. 9400′ for takeoff and 7490′ landing just beyond the displaced threshold. Heck, if you can’t get stopped in 7490′ with a 747 down to landing reserves fuel, you’d better not fly that plane!
    Dan

  4. CF says:

    BM wrote:

    @ CF:
    Hi Brett,
    I neglected to say: I hate to type. Why don’t you call me at: 702 253-1520, or leave me a number and I’ll be glad to answer your questions.

    NBTA is over, so I’m finally getting caught up. I just tried to call but was told you’re gone for the day. Feel free to give me a call at 707 340 3737 at your convenience. (If the call comes in from you, it will be forwarded on – this isn’t my cell phone.)

  5. Dan says:

    As to landing at SAN, we’ll have to ask “CF” how it was to approach, while on his tummy, in the nose of that Albatross peeking thru the front port-hole last night!
    Did ya see his 3 minute video he posted of his flight, taxiing out and taking off out of San Diego last night? Very good!

    I’ve always thought Boeing SHOULD have installed plate-glass winshields smack in the front of the main deck, just like a cockpit, for the first class passengers to look FORWARD. Just relocate the radar antennas in the radome up or down to allow forward visibility for the passengers, instead of a blank wall / bulkhead or closet they usually place there. That would REALLY sell those front row seats!

    Likewise, I see nothing wrong with a foward facing camera, mounted either on the cockpit glare shield (not in the back of the cockpit!) or on the top of the tail, with live video to the cabin. I think one airline had a live video for a while, but it was in the cockpit, showing the backs of the pilot’ heads someone told me . NOt good. Hard to read your newspaper or do your revisions in flight if the passengers are watching over your shoulder!
    And… on most our over-water flights, we pull the golden mylar shades over the side windows and cover the front windows with maps and charts so the sun didn’t shine in on you. Hey.. its positive control out there, right? Not supposed to BE any other airplanes up there at FL370 unless they are already separated from you, right???? (Ask the guys in Brazil…)

  6. Todd says:

    Dan ~

    How do I apply for a managment job with you guys. I am starting to see your point.

  7. CF says:

    Todd wrote:

    Dan ~
    How do I apply for a managment job with you guys. I am starting to see your point.

    I’m fairly sure it’s an easy process. Just walk into the office and say, “Hey guys, I’m willing to work for free!”

  8. Dan says:

    Thats how you get hired! I was amazed how easy it was for me to get hired.. But the words ‘work for free’ go a long way around here!

    However, be aware those who will work for free AND have some airline experience will have preference!

    ============
    CF — Barry said he will call you tomorrow if you don’t reach him first. He’s off at the open house for the new Mini-Care office this evening.
    I’m off to California for meetings and work on a couple of my rental houses in Redwood City until Monday.
    =============
    Dan

  9. Troy Mason says:

    Hey BM and Dan ~

    Sounds like both of you guys are the mastermind in the Family Airlines. I am excited to getting off the ground, I hope the DOT approved your application soon.

    Here are a few questions:

    What are your intended turn times?
    Do you plan to heage fuel? (I know dumb question)
    How do you plan to deal with gate space in LAS?
    Have you guys proceeded with any SEC filings?
    What are your long term routes? Do you plan to fly to Eroupe or Asia?
    How does your business model compare to Ryan Air or Allegiant?
    Are you in fact going to use a -300 or a -400?
    How long after you are approved by the DOT and FAA will you start?
    Lastly, who are you investors and do you have any leads/contact to advertise.

  10. CF says:

    I just spoke with Barry for about 20 minutes on the phone. There’s no question he’s a dreamer, but ultimately there will continue to be a fundamental disagreement between us on his ability to fill seats. He remains firmly convinced that at $69, he’ll fill every single seat across the country a month out. I don’t see it. (I also don’t think he can get enough ancillary revenue, but that’s a side issue.)

    The only way to settle this is to actually get the thing flying. Anyone want to chip in some cash? ;)

  11. David SFeastbay says:

    @ CF:

    Find 500+ people with $69 and there is your first flight……lol

    Now over 160+ comments to this blog. It’s amazing it still has a following after over a week. Wonder what the buzz would be if the media picked this up.

  12. Axelsarki says:

    CF, when can we expect a fantastic-sounding across the aisle? I have to say, I am really interested in what BM has to say…

  13. CF says:

    Axelsarki wrote:

    CF, when can we expect a fantastic-sounding across the aisle? I have to say, I am really interested in what BM has to say…

    There really wasn’t much to add. He’s been working on this for 17 or 18 years, and he firmly believes it’s going to work. He’s been on the ad agency side before, and he thinks he won’t have any trouble selling it on the plane. He doesn’t have any firm commitments yet.

  14. BM says:

    @ CF:
    A slight correction…..17 years in total from the first Family Airlines to now. The first Family Airlines went out of business about a year after I left, which was in May of ’93, I incorporated this one in ’04. In between those years I studied and watched other airlines and actually incorporated Skybus & Shuttle America (obviously before anyone else dreamed of the names) but never moved ahead with either..

  15. BM says:

    @ Troy Mason: I live in Las Vegas but I’m not a gambler and therefor do not intend to heage fuel. There are no SEC filings at this time. We will be doing a REG D 506 for $220M, which I believe will eventually be filed with the SEC (I’m not an attorney but we have three involved in the offering document). Turn time was usually calculated from 2 – 3 hours, sometimes depending on the number of doors used. Sometime after we receive certification we will file for international authority. There are limited numbers of the 300 available and will definately be flying the 400 and hopefully someday the 400-8. Our business plan is totally different from that of Ryan Air or Allegiant, I believe it is like no other…..it is the “new generation” of airlines.

  16. Axelsarki says:

    @ BM:
    I don’t see how diffrent FAI is compared to FR. Except, maybe the use of a 743/4 and having a Friday’s in the sky. FR has ads all over, all coach, etc. FR uses 737′s, which are made for short-haul. A 743/4 IS NOT made for short haul. And it has four (4) engines. Their a/c are mostly in the air- you plan to be on the ground 2-3 hours. a/c make money in the air, not on the ground. Maybe you could pdf the document you use to get investors?

  17. Axelsarki says:

    Edit-Axelsarki wrote:

    Maybe you could pdf the document you use to get investors?

    And show it to us?

    Sorry, not proofreading.

  18. BM says:

    @ Axelsarki:Sorry, by law each document has to be accounted for…..we don’t just send them out without know if the investor is a qualified one. The financial model does not get sent out, but would be available for viewing in our office. Our aircraft are scheduled between 11 – 13 of actual flight time.

  19. Bosco says:

    So, if I am reading this right, they intend on using a B747 for flying short haul routes like LAS to LAX/SAN/SFO? I have studied the airlines for a few years and each of its business models for a few years as a consultant in the airlines. FAI sounds like a “dream” airline but has a lot of pros. Logically it sounds like a great idea, it’s almost like a Ryan Air and Allegiant combined but with out the fees. Now, economically, It sounds like another National Airlines – Conway was a dream and believed that his business plan would work which did for a few years then folded a year after 9-11 and before the economic down turn but mostly due to the loss of financial backing from Harrah’s and Hard Rock which was starting to lose money in the airline and slashed it backing. Another disaster LCC was the old Atlantic Coast Jet that had been flying under the “Delta Connection” banner before it decide to do “At Risk Flying” and becoming Independence Air which was offering low cost fare as well. Air Indy had the idea that could do the at risk flying with the current economy with out the backing of Delta which give its connection carriers financial backing. Western Pacific did the similar thing with the advertising just like FAI is planning on incorporating. There have been many airlines that have come and gone in the last 5-10 years with many more that were just idea or on paper.

    Is this a good time to start a LCC? Maybe not right now but with the good business model and the right aircraft it might work. Do I think the 747 is a ideal choice for FAI – sure, if you plan on doing long haul flying but I think with 2-3 hour turn times would be a waste of revenue, yes I know it’s hard to turn a 747 in 45 minutes, especially full of passengers and cargo. Most airline today have on average 45 min ground time, I know it won’t happen with a 747 but maybe downgrading to a 757 would be more of a profit if you keep it flying with the right schedule, if you are concerned with cargo revenue, then a 767 would be ideal .The good thing with a 757 is if you planed on buying or operating 767-200/300s the transition for pilots is easy but as it sounds FAI is clearly going to go with a 747. I like the idea of flying LAS to JFK or MIA with a 747 but I think short haul is not such a great idea – The business plan is great but the 747 maybe the wrong kind of aircraft.

  20. Dan says:

    Bosco:
    (Haven’t heard of “Bosco” since I was a kid in the 1950′s Bosco was chocolate stuff you put in your milk to make chocolate milk. Anyone else remember that?)

    747s or nothing for Family Airlines. That’s what makes the plan work. No mixed fleet (training costs, maintenance cost go way up — look at Southwest with a ‘single type’ fleet! There’s a good reason!).
    And I’m told that Boeing has told us the 747 is still the best aircraft on ANY segment length for cost-per-SEAT-mile if you pack in the SEATS!

    And we intend to do just that. Something like 539 all-coach seats on the main deck, nose-to-tail, and 42 ‘office class’ seats (as we call them) on the upper deck. = 581 total seats.

    As I’ve explained over and over, any smaller airplane will mean we’d have to operate multiple flights to do the same job, and that runs up the fixed costs of landing fees, gate fees, turnaound costs, staffing gates, ground crews, baggage handlers, etc.

    Its my understanding that bag handlers, for example (we plan on sub-contracting all baggage handling) only have to take the bags to one gate, and load them all on one plane — thats cheaper than sorting and loading 5 planes with the same number of bags. I could be wrong, but that’s how I understand it.

    Multiply this saving by all the other savings — refuel one plane, park one plane, push back one plane, run jetways to one plane, use only one gate area (extra large, please!), hire only one set of gate agents, well…. you get the idea.

    (Yes, I realize fuel is sold by the gallon and they probably don’t care if they put it in one plane or 5 planes. But it takes 5 trucks and operators if they have to do it at the same time, so there’s got to be some saving in sending one truck to one plane instead of 5.)

    Troy Mason asks how we plan to handle gate space at Las Vegas.

    Have you been there lately? They are building us a brand new concourse/terminal, right where Russell Road used to be, on the North side of the present ‘D’ concourse. It is designed for international arrivals which means large planes (747, maybe A380?). It will have dual jetways to the planes.
    We surprised them when we asked if we could park there for domestic flights. As most international terminals, the interior will be set up for arriving passengers to be funneled down thru immigration and customs, and departing passengers allowed to board directly from the gate area.

    For a domestic flight, you have to be able to allow the arriving passengers to enter the gate area and co-mingle with departing passengers (they might want to connect to another flight) and they don’t need to go thru customs. That was a surprise to the LAS ops people who had not considered that in their planning. But they said they could make that work for us. I suspect Family Airlines will be operating at least two gates at that new terminal when we reach the size to start serving all those cities from Las Vegas.

    Dan

  21. David SFeastbay says:

    wow now over 170 comments.

    Doesn’t the DOT (or someone) say airlines have to have so much money in reserve at all times? That would mean having to have X millions of dollars in reserve plus have many X millions of dollars to buy the planes and everything else needed. Unless they plan on hitting the crap tables and breaking the bank at every Vegas casino FAI will be just a dream forever. But isn’t that one of the best things we humans have, is our dreams which keep us going?

  22. Dan says:

    David:
    Not sure about ‘at all times’…. how would they ensure or control that? I’m not sure the major airlines have big reserves every day — some days yes, but some days, they are probably desparate for cash. Of course, they DO have a cash flow as long as they are operating, selling tickets and have advance (paid) reservations… something a start-up airline doesn’t have.

    But the DOT DOES require a working capital (or reasonable and viable plan for it) of enough money to operate 3 months without ANY ticket sales income prior to start.

    It would seem logical to take the business plan operating costs for the first three months as that basis. In some cases, airlines start out slow with just a few planes and won’t need too much to operate until the income starts flowing in and they expand. (That would be Family Airlines).
    But no! The DOT takes the entire FIRST YEAR operating expenses, including later-on growth and additional costs, and divides that number by 4 to determine necessary start-up capital!

    And, they want to see that (or the plan for it) BEFORE they will issue the needed certificate of economic viability or whatever they call it.

    And we don’t see that is a requirement for both reserves AND money to buy planes — thats what we use it for. We just have to have it BEFORE they issue the certificate. After that, go spend it, buy your planes, hire your employees, contract your services, and go fly!

    In our case, that revised formula means we need to sell more stock in our PPM before start up. Therefore, the new PPM should raise something like $225 million to satisfy the DOT requirements. I’m pretty sure that is explained in the last two communications to/from the DOT on their web site.
    We’re covered. No craps tables or casinos required.

  23. Sherm says:

    @ Dan:
    Very well said Dan. Once FAI gets off the ground you will see alot of people out there eating their words.

  24. Todd says:

    Dan ~

    Are you guys going to free load all the bags or load them with LD2/3s? It would seem to be logical to use LD2/3s since most belt loaders dont reach that high and could be a liablity.

  25. Dan says:

    Todd:
    LD3 containers make a lot of sense for faster loading and unloading of the plane, allowing a quicker turn. But they slow things down when it comes to baggage delivery at the baggage claim.

    Every airport is different, and I’m sure you’ve experienced some airports and airlines with almost immediate bag delivery to the carosel, and others with 30 to 40 minute waits!
    El Paso is almost ‘instant’ — bag there by the time you get down there. And yet, Las Vegas can be a 40 minute wait, because the bags have to be unloaded and brought over to the terminal building about a half mile away, across Paradise Road. (From Concourse D).
    There is no rhyme or reason it seems.

    LD3 containers would also mean we’d have to keep a supply of them at all our stations.
    Another drawback to containers — if someone checks a bag and fails to board, do you yank the container, dig for his bag, and remove it? You must do this for international flights, but I don’t think they require it for domestic flights just yet. You’d hope with more efficient baggage x-ray this would not be a big requirement.

    Bottom line: This is way beyond our thoughts at this moment. And, we’ll probably listen to our baggage handler contractors to which they think is best, what they like to do, what they think will be most expedient, and what method they tell us is cheapest (You knew that was coming!). I.e., we’re probably going to leave that decision to the baggage handler contractor.

  26. HTJ says:

    When is this outfit going to fly? I hear the hype but it seems like alot of talk to me.

  27. Dan says:

    HTJ:

    A lot of talk, for sure! You and I both wish we’d see something roll down a runway and take to the air!

    But…that’s not going to happen until we find some qualified investors will to invest about $225 million in this airline to get it flying. Care to invest?

    Lacking the funding at the moment, we’ve gone about as far as we can go.

    At the moment, we have a very qualified team of lawyers and accounts and SEC advisors working on a private stock offering plan that should be very enticing to prospective investors.

    So the answer to the question of “WHEN” is AFTER we get the funding, we’ll hire the employees to staff the essential functions and departments, set up operations, crew scheduling, dispatch, customer service, reservations, bag handling, and then buy some airplanes so we can fly some proving runs for the FAA and finish the work on our Part 121 certificate.

    THEN you’ll see us fly!

    Dan

  28. Bosco says:

    Dan ~

    How many people want to invest in something like an airline right now? It seems that this really isn’t the right time to have a start up carrier. Look at airlines like Vanguard, AC jet, Jet America and Skybus who all went under due to the economy and funding. I like the business plan but it seems like the timing is wrong.

  29. David SFeastbay says:

    This is more like a virtual airline then the people who start a website with a ‘virtual’ airline.

    Like was said way back in one of the 170+ comments (and I’m not going to look for it) they should get the web host to delete that old web page or at least give them access to it so it can be updated. Hmmm…..maybe it is a virtual airline and all this has been a big joke on everyone??????????

  30. Dan says:

    Bosco:
    How many want to invest in an airline right now? I don’t know, but I guess we’ll find out!
    Investing in traditional airlines is always skeptical… and risky. But what if someone came up with an idea that works? One that departs from the traditional path of squeaking out an existence with high priced (new) airplanes, very high ASM costs, and no way to make a dime other than charging high fares? I wouldn’t invest in something like that. As you point out, so many airlines like that have come and gone.

    CEO Michaels and I are meeting today with the Nevada Development Authority, to see if they are interested in promoting an airline in our state, and if they can steer us toward investors wishing to see business in Nevada prosper. Tomorrow we meet with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau, hoping they can steer us some local support and advertisers, Maybe a casino or two?

    David: Yes, I agree our web site is archaic and needs some serious work. I wish I had some way of doing that. Not my department. But then, that department of the airline is very highly paid, at least triple my salary, and you’d think they’d jump right in and do something about it!
    (For the record, my salary is ZERO. Multiply that by 3 and you’ll see what the IT folks make at Family Airlines! And that’s probably why none of them come to work anymore.)

    Dan

  31. Axelsarki says:

    @ Dan:

    Dan: Do you guys even have a goal for opening? Or is it all based on “when we get investors”? Is there anyone that is crazy enough that has expressed interest?

    @ CF: are we going to see a special “across the aisle” with Barry?

  32. HTJ says:

    Dan/BM

    How did your meetings go?

  33. CF says:

    Axelsarki wrote:

    @ CF: are we going to see a special “across the aisle” with Barry?

    Probably not. I’m not giving them any more press until they have money.

  34. Dan says:

    Dang! So no more press until we get some money? Well… we DO have some money — or at least we did when we applied to the DOT a couple of years ago. We had $30 in the checking account on that day! I think we’ve spent that, however.

    The meetings with the Vegas Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Nevada Development authority were, uhh… interesting and informative to some extent.
    This city is ripe for exploitation by tourist industry — plenty of hotel rooms being built, at least 3 or 4 major new hotel/resorts under construction — and they NEED an airline to bring millions of passengers in per year — That’s us.
    But, those two offices did not see how they could assist one airline without showing favoritism. They each had some incentives, once we get flying. Naturally, neither had any investors up their sleeves nor money of their own to help start an airline.

    It will be a task for our marketing department to get out there and find investors and hotel/casino partners who want to share in the success and prosperity we can bring to Las Vegas, or any other city we serve, by bringing them passengers (and freight) and an opportunity to advertise what your city has to offer to those customers while they are in-flight enroue to your city.

    Axelsarki asks if we have a goal for opening: YES. Tomorrow.
    But, lacking an airplane and money to buy it, that’s not going to happen. So… The day after tomorrow. If that won’t work, then the day after that.

    And yes, it all is based on ‘when we get investors’.

    Dan

  35. Axelsarki says:

    CF, is this the longest comments for any post?

  36. CF says:

    Axelsarki wrote:

    CF, is this the longest comments for any post?

    It’s #2, but it’s still 114 short of #1 – the Six Word Summary contest
    http://crankyflier.com/2008/08/05/win-ipod-nano-six-word-summary-on-the-tsa-liquid-ban/

  37. Axelsarki says:

    @ CF:
    Yea, well, that was a promotion… So this is # 1 in terms of a “normal” post.

  38. David SFeastbay says:

    @ Axelsarki:

    Axelsarki now you made me have to come here to see how many posts there was……lol.

    Mine will be 188.

  39. Dan Eikleberry says:

    OK… and this makes 189.

    Do I hear 190???

    Going, going……. (not yet gone!).

    PS. Family Airlines is now finished with our PPM. Its ready to send out to prospective investors.
    Private Placement Memorandum = a form of prospectus, but not for the public — only for our best friends with lots of $$ in their pocket that have some association with Family Airlines. SEC rules tell us we cannot advertise to just anyone. I don’t know how that works, I’m not the financial end of this business. I’m at the ‘pointy end’ as we say in the jet flying business.

    So, if any of you want to invest, all you have to do is call Barry Michaels and you, too, can become an instant friend of Family Airlines. Try (702) 253-1520. I think that number still works for the office.

  40. Dave Rice says:

    Are 747-400 still the plan or did you rethink that to a down grade like a 777 or 767-400

  41. Dan says:

    Dave Rice asks: <<>>

    The answer is: No! Not now, not ever… well… unless they drop the price of a used 777 down to around $10 million.

    The 747 airframe is what makes our plan work. The 747-300 has the big-top (more passenger seats!), and it can carry the freight loads, too, but the 747-400 is the ultimate solution — much more efficient engines, no need for a flight engineer, modern avionics. But it cost more.

    The 777 and the 767 are just too small, and they don’t carry the cargo that a 747 can carry.

  42. Axelsarki says:

    Well, Dan, I think those NW 742′s are going cheap… But I don’t think $30 will cut it, maybe a little bit more…

  43. Bosco says:

    How about a facebook page?

  44. yeah,he 747 airframe is what makes our plan work. The 747-300 has the big-top (more passenger seats!), and it can carry the freight loads, too, but the 747-400 is the ultimate solution — much more efficient engines, no need for a flight engineer, modern avionics. But it cost more.

  45. Cargoman from the Sand says:

    Question for Dan/BM,

    I am a long time veteran of the cargo industry, over 25years in sales marketing and operations management, and have dealt
    with the cargo markets in LA, HNL, JFK and MIA and currently live in Las Vegas.
    All of your literature states you can carry 100,000LBS of cargo in addition to
    your full pax load. This is very wrong. You can carry either your full pax load or the cargo. The B747 has positions for 9 LD-7/Pallets +2 LD-3s space or
    30LD-3s of space on the lower deck. You can only put more than 10,000LBs
    of cargo in one position, so you would need the entire belly for cargo.
    Bags for 581 pax would require approx 24LD-3 positions, based on the standard of 25passengers per container. This leaves only 6LD-3 positions, or 2 LD-7 pallets for cargo. Your maximum weight/space available is only
    going to be a max of 22,000LBS. Has this been taken into account in any
    of your scenarios? I would love to talk cargo with you if you are interested.

  46. Dan says:

    Cargoman:
    You provide some interesting information. I’m not familiar with the containers nor how much they hold. We only work in weights. How they are packed is a job for someone like you. I’ve seen the containers as they are loaded into the plane (and hate it when someone wants to get OFF the plane 5 minutes before push-back, and now we’ve got to find the container with their baggage, remove all the others to get to it, then remove their baggage and replace it all, before we can push back! International flights,if the passenger doesn’t fly, the bag doesn’t go, either. The rules were made back when it was assumed it was safe to carry a bag if the passenger who owned it was on board — after all, who would want to blow up a plane while they are still inside? Hah!)

    Anyway, as for weights, we are told by Boeing that the normal ZFW limits will be modified for Family Airlines if we promise NOT to carry center tank fuel (and we will not because we’re not flying very far at all!). Instead, we can carry the freight instead of the fuel. Boeing has told the CEO in discussions that the 747 can be certified (if not already) to carry the full load of passengers and their bags, AND up to 100,000 pounds of cargo if we don’t carry the center tank fuel.

    The actual practicality and process of doing that has yet to be worked out.

    Normally, one would burn the center tank fuel to get down to max landing weight, and decrease wing-bending-moment. If you continue to carry that weight as cargo until landing, I’m thinking there could be a maximum landing weight problem (due to wing-bending-moment), and of course, you can’t dump cargo as you can dump fuel for an emergency shortly after takeoff!

    And dumping the wing fuel while retaining the fuselage cargo is even worse for the poor wing spar bending moment!

    Its always best to keep the balance of weight out in the wings, with a light weight fuselage. They design the wing spar as light as they can and depend on the weight being distributed from wing-tip to wing-tip, not all concentrated in the fuselage.

    So, there are problems, and I will have to see them all worked out (and you know the FAA will, as well) before we commit to flying the plane with loads like that.

    You bring another facet of this operation to light — that of fitting it all into LD containers. I’ve never loaded a container, but I’m of the strong opinion that you can fit far more than 25 bags into one of them! Or maybe I’m mis-reading your posting above.
    Clearly we need a (volunteer) person like you on our staff to sort these things out. Wanna come to work for us? We’re in Las Vegas, too.
    Give the CEO, Barry Michaels a phone call at the number on the web site. I think it still works.

    Dan

  47. Cargoman from the Sand says:

    Dan wrote:

    Cargoman:
    You provide some interesting information. I’m not familiar with the containers nor how much they hold. We only work in weights. How they are packed is a job for someone like you. I’ve seen the containers as they are loaded into the plane (and hate it when someone wants to get OFF the plane 5 minutes before push-back, and now we’ve got to find the container with their baggage, remove all the others to get to it, then remove their baggage and replace it all, before we can push back! International flights,if the passenger doesn’t fly, the bag doesn’t go, either. The rules were made back when it was assumed it was safe to carry a bag if the passenger who owned it was on board — after all, who would want to blow up a plane while they are still inside? Hah!)
    Anyway, as for weights, we are told by Boeing that the normal ZFW limits will be modified for Family Airlines if we promise NOT to carry center tank fuel (and we will not because we’re not flying very far at all!). Instead, we can carry the freight instead of the fuel. Boeing has told the CEO in discussions that the 747 can be certified (if not already) to carry the full load of passengers and their bags, AND up to 100,000 pounds of cargo if we don’t carry the center tank fuel.
    The actual practicality and process of doing that has yet to be worked out.
    Normally, one would burn the center tank fuel to get down to max landing weight, and decrease wing-bending-moment. If you continue to carry that weight as cargo until landing, I’m thinking there could be a maximum landing weight problem (due to wing-bending-moment), and of course, you can’t dump cargo as you can dump fuel for an emergency shortly after takeoff!
    And dumping the wing fuel while retaining the fuselage cargo is even worse for the poor wing spar bending moment!
    Its always best to keep the balance of weight out in the wings, with a light weight fuselage. They design the wing spar as light as they can and depend on the weight being distributed from wing-tip to wing-tip, not all concentrated in the fuselage.
    So, there are problems, and I will have to see them all worked out (and you know the FAA will, as well) before we commit to flying the plane with loads like that.
    You bring another facet of this operation to light — that of fitting it all into LD containers. I’ve never loaded a container, but I’m of the strong opinion that you can fit far more than 25 bags into one of them! Or maybe I’m mis-reading your posting above.
    Clearly we need a (volunteer) person like you on our staff to sort these things out. Wanna come to work for us? We’re in Las Vegas, too.
    Give the CEO, Barry Michaels a phone call at the number on the web site. I think it still works.
    Dan

    Dan,

    No, its the baggage of 25 passengers per LD-3 container, not 25 bags.
    Boeing may say its ok for the weight and passengers to be uplifted,
    I’m just saying, space wise, it can not be done for the reasons I mentioned.
    I might take you up on that. Would love to have some input from a Cargo
    point of view.

    Cargoman

  48. Sgt. Hondo says:

    So, if I remember correctly, bags weights are 30lbs x 25bags = 750lbs per LD3. So you figure 1.5 bags per passenger x 500 passengers = 750 bags x 30 = 22500lbs.

    I have fit 30-40 bags in a LD3 before and I have been able to get 25 bags in a LD2 but I am not sure if the b744 can carry LD2s.

    Hey Dan – When was the new DOT paper work filed?

  49. Dan says:

    Sgt. Hondo asks: “When was the new DOT paper work filed?”
    To which Dan replies: “Huh?”

    I had no idea any new DOT paper work had been filed! What does it say? Did they approve us? Are we ready to go fly?

    Well.. first, its going to take some $$$! Please send any donations to our offices in Las Vegas. Our bank account awaits your earliest deposit!

    Dan

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