Category: Demystifying

The 1% rule and air disaster avoidance

I asked my friend, Robert Dawson, to help me understand the numbers behind risk assessment and the 1% rule. Robert writes fantastic science fiction and poetry, however I contacted him in this case because he teaches mathematics in Nova Scotia at Saint Mary’s University and is absolutely excellent at explaining numbers to me. Although he…

Read more… 13 May 16

Airplane Pens

This is a bit of a short post today to make up for all the heavy posts recently. Me, I’m enjoying the long weekend and a bit of sunshine… This photograph from Heathrow Airport was posted to Reddit with the question: What is this plane doing in this enclosed bay? The correct answer is the…

Read more… 25 Mar 16

Factual Version of the Clipper Eclipse crash featured in the Oatmeal

This week The Oatmeal presented a comic strip entitled It’s going to be okay about Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, who survived a plane crash in 1947. It’s a motivational comic meant, the author says, to remind us that our journeys are short. You can read the comic here: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/plane. It’s a lovely…

Read more… 13 Nov 15

Piper Comanche Full of Arrows

This photograph was sent to me a couple of times with questions of what it might portray and I just had to track it down. The photograph was first posted to Reddit as This aircraft belongs to a conservation team in The Amazon. Yikes! and then again in September with its current headline, The anthropologists…

Read more… 17 Oct 14

Creative Air Marshalling

It’s not often that aircraft marshalling hits the headlines but this video of ME1 Tan Wen Kai of the Singapore Airforce has gone completely viral. Aircraft marshallers use hand-signals to communicate with aircraft on the ground, for example to give directions. It’s the equivalent of guiding someone into a parking space, except there’s not much…

Read more… 5 Sep 14

Banner Planes in Action

I’ve long been obsessed with banner planes. They are fascinating and amazing to watch. When I did my PPL in Spain, I was lucky enough to see them in action every weekend. All excerpts from You Fly Like a Woman: The weekends were busy at Axarquía now that high summer was here. Broad-shouldered young men…

Read more… 6 Dec 13

Accident Reports

Losing Two Functional Engines: TransAsia Airways flight GE235

On the 4th of February 2015, these horrifying photographs of TransAsia Airways flight GE235 were published around the world. These appear to be some photos of the TransAsia ATR72 crashing…

Half Asleep Pilot Attempts Go-Around

On the day of the accident, the captain woke up at 2am to drive to the airport. He knew it was going to be a tough, tough day. Although he…

Demystifying

The Story Behind an Unbelievable Photograph

A reader mailed me this amazing aviation photograph and I knew I wanted to know more. I was surprised at how much I discovered about the photo, which at first…

5 Things About the Dreamliner That I Didn't Know

1) The Dreamliner’s noise reduction tech is the results of decades of NASA research The Dreamliner has chevrons – serrated edges on the engine nacelles – in order to reduce…

History

Wrong Way Corrigan mistakes Ireland for California

The story of how Douglas Corrigan ended up in Ireland while aiming for California is one of my favourites. In fact, I feel sure that I’ve written about him before*.…

The first supersonic jet bomber

This week, I am away camping in rainy North Wales. However, my friend Tatiana works for Picryl (https://picryl.com), a cross-platform application to find traces of history in photos, rare and…

Fun Stuff

Amusing ATC Videos

Fear of Landing has been terribly serious lately and I think we could all use a bit of a smile. So here’s my favourite ATC videos so far this year……

Top Ten Posts of 2015

It’s that time of year again! A moment of retrospection as we look at the most popular posts on Fear of Landing in 2015. Number 10: The teenager who flew…