Category: Demystifying

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

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 glance I thought might be a fake. But the story of who took the photograph and how he managed to get the shot is a…

Read more… 1 Nov 13

Accident Reports

Pop Quiz: How high is FL200 in Ireland? This Crew Failed

Sometimes I have nightmares about getting confused in the cockpit and doing something so foolish that pilots all over the world will slap their foreheads in wonder. This is that…

TransAsia Flight 222 CFIT and criminal charges against ATC

There’s some odd news today which had me scurrying for the original accident report in order to make sense of a court case against two Air Traffic Controllers in Taiwan.…

Demystifying

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…

Why do aircraft still have ashtrays in the lavatory?

We’ve all seen this in the toilets of commercial aircraft: a large no-smoking sign with a plainly marked ashtray underneath. Obviously airlines who allow in-flight smoking have ashtrays as a…

History

The Mysterious Disappearance of Foxtrot 94

This is one of my favourite aviation mysteries, in which a military pilot is reported as chasing after an unidentified object in the sky which he describes as glowing in…

The Mystery of the Hawaii Clipper

Pan American Airways was founded in 1927 to offer air mail services as a response to German-owned Colombian carrier SCADTA who was moving north from Colombia and lobbying hard for…

Fun Stuff

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…

Crazy about Drones

I got a drone for Christmas! I haven’t had a chance to play with it yet but, in view of the bad reputation drones have in the aviation world, I…