Social Flights JetSocial Flights; Co- Founder / Chief Innovation Officer

Social Flights was a successful web-based company providing ride share services on private aircraft.  Social Flights sold charter and empty legs on private aircraft using social media technology to organize groups of people around aircraft availability.

Building Social Flights required a great deal of technical problem solving in a highly regulated industry. Route design, aircraft capacities, insurance, ground transportation, schedules, and  Our participation in partnership with a medium sized charter/Air service operator in Tennessee included Infrastructure analysis, online community management, public relation and marketing interfaces.

We authored numerous white papers and created marketing materials for web based reservation and booking system. Increased online membership and engagement 50 fold in 4 month period through effective use of social media, mainstream media, and lecture series. Created novel business methods related to scheduling, operations, regulatory compliance, and infrastructure analysis for multiple corporations, municipalities, and aviation operators.  Social Flights raised money in private equity and generated revenue of the operators.  Social flights retained 15,000 members before we were acquired by Avianis Inc, in 2011.

Airline accounts

Service Engineering Account Management

As Service Engineering Account Manager, Mr. Robles was responsible for remediation of large scale repairs and upgrades to the extensive fleets for international air carriers.   Represented ANA (All Nippon Airways), Aeroflot, Uzbekistan Airways, Qatar Airways, Saudi Arabian Airways, Etihad, etc. Providing critical internal team leadership toward resolution of complex aircraft service issues; including fatigue cracking, avionics, environmental system (HVAC), propulsion, entertainment systems, Galleys (plumbing and electrical), and fleet reliability.

Airline support problems are broad, complex, and often unique requiring a high degree of customer engagement as well and extraordinary communication skills with the manufacturer.  High Value Customer interface experience pertains to the configuration, certification, quality, contract fulfillment, aircraft acquisition, service and capital asset management.


Scan 26Commissioning Agent – Customer Engineering Account Management; New Aircraft Acquisition

The process for commissioning a new aircraft for service is similar to that of a building, ship, or any large complex system.  Upon leaving the manufacturing facility, the new owner begins taking responsibility for the operation of the aircraft.  Many complex systems act systematically to allow an aircraft to fly reliably.  Each of these systems must be verified for proper operation, adjustment, and compliance to performance or regulatory standards.  The Commissioning Agent represents the Customer in assuring that all scheduled  milestones are achieved leading up to “delivery day” when the aircraft leaves the factory on it’s first flight under new ownership.

Major systems include flight controls, avionics, hydraulic systems, electrical systems, landing gear, emergency systems, environmental controls (HVAC), payloads, seats and galleys, crew rests, as well as fits and finishes. Several test flights are performed to verify crew management systems, warning systems, performance envelope, and emergency take-off and landing procedures.  Additional responsibilities include customer contracts, exclusions and exceptions, warrantees, and final high-value financial transactions.  Delivery day festivities are hosted by the customer engineering department.


Orbiter landing chuteTest Engineering – Commercial, Military, and Experimental Spacecraft

The science of test engineering is a highly specialized subset of traditional engineering disciplines.  All tests, in order to be called “valid tests” must adhere to nuanced principles for the isolation and control of variables, procedures that avoid “causation” issues, and double blind testing of a null hypothesis.  Test engineering abides strictly to the scientific method, often called the greatest achievements of human intellect which has unlocked immeasurable advances in civilization.

Test engineering for Spacecraft is challenging since there are few second chances to get it right.  There was no “test flight” of the shuttle, for example – the first flight was manned.  The same is true for aircraft and other high value aerosystems.  Further, if there is a failure in-flight, there is little chance to recover data making investigations impossible.  The job of the test engineer it to get it right.

The Drag Parachute Upgrade for the Space Shuttle is well documented by my colleague in this publication; Space Shuttle Orbiter Drag Chute Summary 


Satellite Ejection Mechanism from Orbiting Vehicle: Some of the largest satellites were difficult to deploy from the space shuttle cargo be because they needed to translate out of the compartment while also spinning for stability.  The solution was invented by Hughes Aircraft and My task was to design the actual system.

14,000 lb. Hughes MMB2 satellite would be stowed horizontally in a specialized cradle within the space shuttle cargo hold.  The satellite needed to be mounted on shock absorbers to both isolate delicate electronics from the vibrations of launch, as well as allow the shuttle to flex in zero gravity condition without impacting the satellite structure.

At the right time, pyrotechnic bolts were released in a delicately times sequence; first letting the satellite begin spinning, then releasing the satellite to translate out of the orbiter.   Finally, all of the ejection hardware needed to be stowed for return to Earth using specialized snubbing devices.  Many patents were generated from this project.