Category Archives: Aviation

Airbus to reduce engineering staff

WICHITA — Cessna Aircraft and Beechcraft aren’t the only aircraft manufacturers cutting jobs in Wichita.

Airbus also will be reducing its engineering staff.

“This is not bad news,” says spokeswoman Kristi Tucker.

“This type of staffing balance is not unusual in the aviation industry,” she says. “At some point in every project, the product leaves the engineering and design phase and goes into production, so you don’t need as much engineering focus on it.”

Currently, about 370 of Airbus’ 400 Wichita employees are engineers.

“It’s been at a top level,” Tucker says. “It’s more work than we’ve ever done or ever managed out of that office.”

She says she can’t discuss specific numbers of how many jobs will be eliminated because that’s not been determined yet.

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Kansas Aviation Museum to try to capitalize on unexplained activity at the museum

kamWICHITA — As executive director of the Kansas Aviation Museum, Lon Smith often works late – and alone – at the 1934 building, which was Wichita’s first airport terminal.

One night at about 1 a.m., he says, “I heard a loud, loud screaming sound. Sounded like a female voice more than a male.”

He walked in the direction of the sound to the darkened atrium, which once was a waiting area for passengers. He turned on the lights and started to investigate.

“When things like that happen, I tend to look for explanations, like there’s wind blowing through a window jamb or something like that,” Smith says. “It wasn’t anything like that.”

So Smith says he returned to work.

“All of a sudden, there it was again,” he says. “It was really like a blood-curdling, chills-up-your-back, somebody’s-getting-hurt kind of sound. Like if it had been a real person, I would have thought I need to go save this person from some kind of untimely demise.”

Instead, he left the building.

“I hate to admit it, but I was a little frightened.”

After six years of working there and experiencing about 25 unexplained incidents such as this, Smith has decided to start sharing his experiences.

“For quite a long time, I did not share anything about these incidents because it was my belief that some people might be worried about visiting the museum,” he says.

Smith says he’s changed his mind on the counsel of a trusted adviser.

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You don’t say

“I notice Jeff Turner has a suntan.”

Spirit AeroSystems CEO Larry Lawson, speaking at the Wichita Aero Club where his predecessor was in the audience, on how he’s gained 10 pounds and lost his tan since joining the company 10 months ago

You don’t say

“My father would have loved the video, and my mother would have believed it.”

Cessna Aircraft chairman emeritus Russ Meyer on a video tribute to him at Saturday’s Wichita Aero Club gala, where he was the honoree

You don’t say

“I hope they have a big window at the ATM on the way home.”

Wichita Aero Club president Dave Franson after BBAviation gave the club’s scholarship fund an oversized mockup of a $10,000 check

You don’t say

“Women pilots don’t land at the wrong airport. We ask for directions!”

– A tweet from Seattle-based pilot Karlene Petitt (‏@KarlenePetitt) about the Dreamlifter incident at Colonel James Jabara Airport

You don’t say

“Be aware, Boeing, ‘this route has tolls.’ Bring some change.”

– An NPR story that acknowledged a stranded Dreamlifter likely couldn’t be towed from Colonel James Jabara Airport to McConnell Air Force Base but offered a Google map and driving directions anyway

You don’t say

“When I was at GE, we talked about dishwashers.”

Cessna Aircraft CEO Scott Ernest, speaking at the kickoff reception for the Kansas Aviation Expo, on how cool it is to work for a company that makes airplanes

You don’t say

“Where’s Pete?”

City Council member James Clendenin’s question about fellow council member Pete Meitzner while touring the airport’s new terminal

“He only cares about trains.”

– City Council member Jeff Longwell’s response about Meitzner, who is a leading proponent of bringing Amtrak rail service to Wichita

You don’t say

“You know, I don’t know. We think it’s a cool name I guess.”

John O’Leary of Airbus on why the company uses the term “Sharklets“ instead of “winglets” as other aircraft manufacturers do