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24 August 2012

Everyone Loves a Happy Ending

This week: a collection of aviation news that turned out well.

I find it terribly disconcerting to see a large plane doing a wheelie:

Photos: Airbus A310-325/ET Aircraft Pictures |

CS-TKN (cn 624) This month of November had been really good for us spotters, with so many different things coming by!! Not being a different A/C, this one deserved some attention… These pilots were caught in some wind shear, and it was really close to total disaster, since the wing almost touched the ground! You can also see the stress in main landing gear… At that time, there were gusts up to 44 knots of crosswind, and heavy turbulence was reported! I’m glad that everything ended up well..

The Daily Mail lambasted the pilot’s action after he wrecked a Tiger Moth, but it seemed a totally sensible response to me.

Pilot’s crashes plane in a field, takes photo of the wreckage… then goes to the pub | Mail Online

A heap of mangled metal, this is all that remains of a bi-plane that crash-landed in a field.

The 1930s design Tiger Moth smashed into pieces after clipping a tree as it tried to land in Denbighshire, North Wales.

Luckily, however, the pilot was unhurt and calmly walked away from the wreckage, telling a witness: ‘I just feel such a fool.’

The man, in his 40s, was wearing a cream linen suit and was later spotted in a local pub.

The terror in the pilot’s voice makes this a chilling exchange to listen to.

Iced Pilots: Cessna Caravan Emergency due to Icing – YouTube

On April 23rd, 2006, a Cessna Caravan flying near Buffalo experienced a total loss of control due to severe icing. The pilot was able to recover from three 90 degrees banks: she then opted to continue on to her final destination, Bangor.

Mrs Ahmed is now back in Paris but it isn’t clear who should pay.

BBC News – Paris plane passenger flown back to Lahore while asleep

A Frenchwoman who flew from Pakistan, slept through her arrival at Paris and then flew back to Lahore, has finally arrived back in the French capital.

Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) is investigating how ground crew at Charles de Gaulle Airport failed to notice Patrice Christine Ahmed during the plane’s two-hour stopover.

By the time she woke up she was on her way back to Pakistan.

Pakistan International Airlines are arguing that it is the passenger’s responsibility to disembark at the correct airport.

And in another cockpit video, this plane struck power lines with the landing gear on final approach:

Video Landing Page – Fox 2 News Headlines

The sheriff’s department says the single-engine plane was piloted by 84-year-old Wilbert Matthes of Ida and his co-pilot was his 20-year-old grandson Ian Zawacki of Monroe. They were attempting to land at a small airport when a landing gear caught the power line north of the landing strip.

The men were taken to a hospital as a precaution. Injuries were described as minor. Some power outages were reported due to the crash.

Finally, I promise I will never complain about airport regulations and the time it takes to get fuel again:

20 July 2012

Things That Make Me Go Hmmmmm

This week: a collection of news and views from the Web that I think you will find interesting. Don’t forget that if you want to see interesting Aviation links throughout the week, you can subscribe to Fear of Landing on Facebook for automatic updates.

This looked like a pretty slick landing to me until the very end:

Plane’s crash landing captured by camera mounted on the wing | The Sun |News

You can get the full details on the NTSB write up: WPR12CA072

First injury reported:

JetBlue Pilot suffers eye injury from green laser during flight

Pilots on board JetBlue 657 reported seeing green laser flashes while they were on their approach into John F. Kennedy International Airport on Sunday, and notified the tower immediately, saying it was somewhere about 5,000 feet above sea level.

Question of the day:

You have an electrical fire in the cockpit… – PPRuNe Forums

As your first action, do you:

- Declare an emergency?
- Turn off the master switch?

And finally, this made me smile. A lot.

Gopher Found To Be Living Under Rocket Launch Pad :: The Florida News Journal

Workers at the Russia’s Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan recently discovered a gopher living under one of its launch pads while preparing for an upcoming launch.

Workers placed a camera at the hole trying to see what was under there and caught the sub-terrain resident coming out for a stroll.

The Russian Space Agency said it will safely relocate the friendly gopher out of the launch pad area for its safety.

As they say, at least he has plenty of space…;)

22 June 2012

Lost Hydraulics, Fuselage Collapse, Aircraft Falling to the Ground

Lots of interesting plane incidents in the news this week so rather than pick just one subject, I’ve created a selection for you to view.

AVweb have posted the audio and flight path information for JetBlue flight 194 which lost hydraulic systems and declared an emergency last week.

JetBlue Flight 194: “We’ve Lost Two Hydraulic Systems”

The pilots of an Airbus A320 operated by JetBlue as Flight 194 out of Las Vegas for JFK Sunday told controllers “we’ve lost two hydraulic systems” before they declared an emergency, audio of the event shows. Ultimately, the flight landed safely and the NTSB is investigating. But the flight itself was far from routine. In the air, the airliner began to swing from side to side and rolled into steep banks. There were roughly 155 passengers aboard and some got sick. The pilots called Las Vegas to request a hold near the airport as they worked the problem. When asked by controllers, the pilots described the problem as “right now, it’s quite a few things, but the initial thing is, uh, uh, we lost our hydraulics, two, we’ve lost two hydraulic systems.” It would be four hours before the flight was safely on the ground again.

Follow the above link for the streaming audio or click here to download the MP3 file.

Last Sunday, an All Nippon Airways flight damaged its fuselage on impact as it came in to land at Narita Airport.

VIDEO: ANA Boeing 767 damaged after ‘hard landing’

The aircraft, registration JA610A, was on a Beijing-Narita service when the incident happened at 13:28 local time. Flightglobal data show that the airframe was manufactured in 2002.

During the landing the 767 bounced off the runway before coming down heavily a second time, a video recording of the incident shows.

The landing was caught on security camera:

There was a strong crosswind and multiple landing craft reported strong turbulence on final approach earlier that morning. Appparently the nose wheel strut is damaged and the fuselage was twisted and cracked as a result of the landing which was beyond 5gs.

Last week the landing gear collapsed on a Blue Island plane after arriving at Jersey Airport.

BBC News – Landing gear collapse at Jersey Airport

The ATR 42 plane from Guernsey had touched down and was taxiing to its stand when there appeared to be a “collapse” of the undercarriage.

A spokesman for airline Blue Islands said the plane was evacuated in less than a minute and no one was hurt.

Flights were suspended and the runway was closed for more than seven hours on Saturday.

“MrKnowwun” on YouTube was at the airport at the time. He posts wonderful photographs and videos of trains on YouTube but for their holiday, he says his wife dragged him to Jersey as there are no trains there. He was at the airport at the time and took these great photographs from the departure lounge:

There’s also a set of photographs of the aircraft and its recovery posted by Graham Hocquard of Jersey Airport: Blue Islands – a set on Flickr

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch in the UK posted today to celebrate 100 years of Aircraft Accident Investigation in the UK.

Air Accidents Investigation: 100 years of aircraft accident investigation

Aircraft accident investigation in the United Kingdom has been an evolutionary process which began in the early twentieth century. Surviving information on the earliest period is sketchy and in some cases contradictory. In 1910, C S Rolls, co-founder of the Rolls-Royce Company, had the misfortune to become the first British citizen to be fatally injured in an aircraft accident, when his modified Wright biplane suffered a structural failure during an aviation meeting at Bournemouth. Later in the same year, a British pilot and his aircraft disappeared during an attempted double crossing of the Channel. Although no official flight safety structure then existed, the Royal Aero Club, which had only recently obtained its Royal Charter, became closely interested in the topic.

The article includes a PDF scan of the first accident report:

He was making a left-hand turn when the aircraft fell to the ground, killing both the aviator and passenger. Almost immediately after contact with the ground, the aircraft was in flames.

Fascinating reading the sequence of events and especially the probable cause in the very first British accident report.

25 May 2012

In the News

There have been so many interesting links in my inbox this week, I spent the day reading fascinating aviation pieces. I’ve collated my favourites as a Flying Around the Web round-up to share with the rest of you.

Here are the links, with a warning: If you have any intention of being productive, stop reading right now!

Steve Weaver’s history is amazing and this blogpost is charming for its healthy combination of nostalgia and horror at just how naive he started out.

Steve Weaver: Flying with the Newly Dead

The Six had arrived at our airport with much fanfare and as I was admiring it and getting ready to hang out my new ‘Charter Flights Available’ shingle, a friend who worked for a large charter operator out of state came by. As we stood talking about my new venture into the people transport business, he asked if I’d had trouble getting my 135 certificate from the Feds. My deer-in-the-headlights look was followed with a gulped ‘what is a 135?’ My friend proceeded to enlighten me about how the days of having a Commercial License and an airplane with a 100 hour inspection was enough to do charter were over, and had been since half the country stars in Nashville had been wiped out by airplane crashes. I discontentedly placed a call to the FAA.

NYC Aviations coverage of this YouTube video is worth the read.

Video: Passenger Captures Engine Cover Shattering During Takeoff | NYCAviation

This is what happens when you use an electronic device during takeoff: The engine cover breaks off and hurls itself into the side of your plane.

The Professional Pilot’s Rumour Network says that we need an investigation: why on earth was the golf course closed on a sunny weekday?

WSVN-TV – Door detaches from plane, lands on golf course

The main cabin door fell from the airplane and landed onto the golf course near the Westin Diplomat Hotel & Spa, Wednesday afternoon.

The incident occurred shortly after the jet took off from Opa-Locka Executive Airport.

The door seemed to have fallen in between two condominium high-rises and crashed through some trees before hitting the ground, skidding 15 feet and coming to a stop on the golf course.

A tongue-in-cheek look at aviation history.

5 Recklessly Stupid Attempts at Human Flight (That Worked) |

We like to think of early aviators as careful, studious men who cautiously weighed every possible design decision, knowing full well that somebody would be trusting their life to those calculations at the prototype stage. It turns out that wasn’t quite the case; it was more a matter of slapping as many of whatever they had lying around the workshop together and getting a running start off the nearest cliff. The truly crazy part? Sometimes it actually worked.

Alls well that ends well but the whole situation was a bit of a mess.

Report: Jetstar A320 at Brisbane on Oct 13th 2011, weather and “immediate” forces aircraft into cumulonimbus and alpha floor

There was congestion on the radio frequency which delayed him requesting a heading change to get out of the cell. About 30 seconds after receiving the instruction to immediately turn left the crew requested an “immediate heading of 090″, ATC advised they could expect the turn in 30 seconds, the crew repeated they needed the heading “NOW” and were cleared to turn onto 090. The aircraft subsequently flew clear of the weather and continued for a safe landing in Brisbane. No injuries occurred, the aircraft received no damage.

And finally, I’ve watched this video a dozen times and it just never gets old…

On Tuesday, May 22, SpaceX launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying a Dragon capsule on a demonstration flight towards the International Space Station. The launch occurred at 3:44 a.m. EDT from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.


04 May 2012

Aviation Features and Videos

I spent much too much time browsing the web and not enough time writing. The result? A collection of interesting aviation articles and videos for your amusement!

Top tip: play this one in full-screen mode for the full effect.

GoPro + F18 = AWESOME
Footage taken from fighter detachment at NASWI with VFA-204.

I never knew wingtips could be so fascinating:

Yoga for jets: why planemakers prefer bent wingtips via

There are, so the industry saying goes, only three secrets in the commercial airplane business: the selling price, the production cost and the shape of the wing.

Boeing on Wednesday trumpeted its latest achievement in aerodynamics as it battles Airbus — wingtip to wingtip — for the lion’s share of a $2 trillion market for narrowbody Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 models over the next two decades.

It takes a special kind of geek to get excited by this page:

Airplane Boarding

By pressing play you can view a simulation of different airplane boarding strategies. Note, random boarding (i.e. boarding all rows at the same time) is faster than back-to-front boarding. Hence, you will actually speed up the boarding process if you board before your turn in back-to-front boarding. Try and explain that to your boarding agent :)

Whereas the appeal of this one is easy:

Test flight of the last 195th F-22 Raptor fighter on March 14, 2012. The final F-22 Raptor was delivered to the USAF in ceremonies on May 2, 2012 at the Lockheed Martin manufacturing facility in Marietta, Georgia.

As if pilots didn’t have a difficult job already:

Reports: North Korea jamming South’s air traffic navigation – This Just In – Blogs

North Korea has been busy for the past week, trying to jam the navigation signals going to civilian aircraft over South Korea, according to reports in South Korean media.

Through Wednesday afternoon, the GPS satellite signals to more than 250 aircraft have been affected, the Chosun Ilbo reported, citing South Korea’s Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs Ministry.

I would think the FAA had better things to do with their time:

FAA rips Delta passenger for filming bird strike
Grant Cardone target of FAA probe for not turning off electronic device on takeoff

And finally, well, all I can say is ouch!

That’s a road that he’s on, not a taxiway. The aircraft somehow left the ramp, went between two hangars with a foot of clearance on each side and wound up bouncing through a drainage ditch. Obviously took out the nose gear and had a propstrike.

7S5 Independence, Oregon, for those wondering.


No, the 5 foot deep drainage ditch behind the airplane is responsible for the nose wheel failure. Not sure how fast he was going, but he cleared it…almost. The aircraft didn’t change direction. It came from directly behind where it’s sitting. To the left, just outside of the frame there is a gap between two hangars that is just wide enough for the plane to get through. The road it’s sitting on is between the ramp and the air park houses.

06 April 2012

Flying Through Space

I am going to be spending the weekend at Eastercon, an annual science fiction and fantasy extravaganza. If you are attending, please come and say hello! I’ll be speaking on the panel on Social Media in Science Fiction on Monday afternoon.

So I’m not around for a new post today. In keeping with the Eastercon theme, I’ve put together this collection of aircraft from the future for you to enjoy.


Ascender is a small sub-orbital spaceplane designed to use existing technology and to pave the way for later vehicles on our development sequence. Ascender is specifically designed to generate spaceplane revenues at minimum development cost and risk, and thereby to be attractive to private-sector investment. Ascender carries one pilot and one passenger or experiment. The passenger remains strapped in his/her seat during the flight. Ascender takes off from an ordinary airfield using its turbo-fan engine and climbs at subsonic speed to a height of 8 km. The pilot then starts the rocket engine and pulls up into a steep climb. Ascender has a maximum speed of around Mach 3 on a steep climb and can reach a height of 100 km.

Find out more: Bristol Spaceplanes – Ascender


Astrium’s business jet-sized spaceplane will take off and land conventionally from a standard airport runway using its jet engines. At an altitude of about 12 km, the rocket engine are ignited and in only 80 seconds the craft climbs to 60 km altitude. The rocket propulsion system is then shut down as the plane’s inertia carries it on to over 100 km, enabling passengers to hover weightlessly for some minutes and to witness the most spectacular view of Earth imaginable. After slowing down during descent, the jet engines are restarted for a normal landing at the airfield. The entire trip will last approximately two hours.

Find out more: The Spaceplane: rocketing into the future – Folders | Astrium


This two-seat, piloted space transport vehicle will take humans and payloads on a half-hour suborbital flight to 100 km (330,000 feet) and then return safely to a landing at the takeoff runway.

Like an aircraft, Lynx is a horizontal takeoff and horizontal landing vehicle, but instead of a jet or piston engine, Lynx uses its own fully reusable rocket propulsion system to depart a runway and return safely. This approach is unique compared to most other RLVs in development, such as conventional vertical rocket launches and air-launched winged rocket vehicles “dropped” at altitude from a jet powered mothership.

Find out more: XCOR Lynx Suborbital Spacecraft / spaceplane

White Knight

The White Knight is a manned, twin-turbojet research aircraft intended for high-altitude missions. First flight was in August 2002. Design mission – provides a high-altitude airborne launch of SpaceShipOne, a manned sub-orbital spacecraft. The White Knight is equipped to flight-qualify all the spacecraft systems, except rocket propulsion. The White Knight’s cockpit, avionics, ECS, pneumatics, trim servos, data system, and electrical system components are identical to those installed on SpaceShipOne. The White Knight’s high thrust-to-weight ratio and enormous speed brakes allow the astronauts in training to practice space flight maneuvers such as boost, approach, and landing with a very realistic environment. Thus, the aircraft serves as a high-fidelity moving-base simulator for SpaceShipOne pilot training.

Find out more: Scaled Composites: SpaceShipOne & White Knight


SKYLON is an unpiloted, reusable spaceplane intended to provide inexpensive and reliable access to space. Currently in proof-of-concept phase, the vehicle will take approximately 10 years to develop and will be capable of transporting 12 tonnes of cargo into space.

Though the SKYLON has primarily been designed to launch satellites, consideration has been given to its passenger carrying capabilities. SKYLON is basically a hypersonic aircraft with hybrid engines, changing their mode of operation as the vehicle leaves the atmosphere. On return, because it is an aircraft, it has a cross range capability and ends its flights by landing conventionally on a runway.

Find out more: Reaction Engines Ltd : Current Projects : SKYLON


A unique capability to explore the atmosphere, surface and interior of Mars. During its flight, the ARES rocket-propelled airplane will fly over 500 km of geologically diverse terrain, obtaining previously unobtainable measurements of Mars’ remnant magnetic fields, atmosphere boundary layer and near-surface water.

Find out more: ARES – A Proposed Mars Scout Mission

And not so forward-thinking (nor even really “flying”) but amazingly cool nevertheless: an 800-pound, 45-foot long paper airplane.

It’s not every day that a giant paper airplane is released high over the Arizona desert. In fact, it’s never been done. But that’s exactly what the Pima Air & Space Museum did on March 21, 2012. The video shows the complete flight (including crash landing!).

I’ll be back next week with my feet more firmly on the ground.

17 February 2012

Soothing Aviation Videos for Troubled Souls

I’ve got some sort of horrible chest cold and to be honest, I’m not sure I’m capable of stringing two words together. All I want to do is sleep.

So I’m taking the day off and watching soothing videos. No crashes, no discussion, no analyses. Just aircraft in flight, looking beautiful. These are my favourites that I’ve found today, all very mellow and soothing. If you want to chill out, pull up a chair and join me.

F-18 Formating Flying Over the Ocean:

I don’t think I’ve ever posted RC aircraft video before but this is beautiful footage filmed at the beach at sunrise:

Stunning landscapes with a Swiss Airforce Hawker Hunter flight over the alps:

And finally, a lovely montage of clips called “We will always love Aviation”:

And with that, I’m going back to sleep. If anyone would like to deliver a bowl of chicken soup and large mug of hot whiskey with lemon, it would be greatly appreciated.

20 January 2012

New York Flying from the Front Seat

I’ve got a soft-spot for aviation stories told well and I found a goldmine this week.

“La Guardia Airport, information Charley. Clear, wind 220 at 10, temperature 65, dew point 42, altimeter 30.27. Landing and departing runway 22. Advise on initial contact that you have information Charley.”

I was still about fifty miles away from the Big Apple, level at eleven thousand on an IFR flight from a small Pennsylvania town where I had spent the previous night.

This is the beginning of Conga Lines, Skylines and the Lady with a Torch, one of the many great essays on the Stoenworks Aviation website.

It had all of the makings of another beautiful day as VFR conditions extended up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Although we were in sunshine, the valleys down below were still in shadows with the cities and towns showing their twinkling lights as we passed eleven thousand feet overhead. This was one of my favorite times as a corporate pilot. Just me and the airplane, early in the morning. It was like you _owned_ the sky.

I have no time/money for flying this month and the weather’s not great for it even if I could get away. But reading Hal Stoen’s stories almost makes me feel like I’m there. He’s been a flight instructor, a charter pilot, worked for mail and commuter airlines and after all that spent eighteen years as a corporate pilot.

“Good morning Approach, Cessna 1557 Golf is with you, five thousand, Charley.”
“Good morning 57 Golf, turn right heading 090, intercept the runway 22 localizer and track it inbound. Descend to and maintain 2,500.”
“Zero nine zero, localizer inbound, out of five for two point five, 57 Golf.”
“Cessna 57 Golf I have traffic behind you, a Boeing 727. Keep your airspeed up as much as practical.”
“Ah, roger (Chuck Yeager homage), I can give you about 175 knots up to the Marker, then I’ll have to slow down.”
“Understand 57 Golf, give me what you can.”

I bring the power up a few more inches to raise the airspeed to 175 knots indicated. The expensive real estate of Manhattan Island begins to fill the right side of the windshield as I see higher traffic most likely descending into Kennedy, about 15 miles ahead and to our left.

Even better, Hal Stoen takes me places that I’ve never been. He let’s me join him on flights that I will never fly. He’s in the Cessna 421B, a pressurised 8-passenger aircraft. It’s a beauty.

My head is down for a moment as I verify and then switch the auxiliary main fuel pumps from “on” to “standby”. When I look up again I see that we are aimed directly at the Empire State Building. Not a few degrees left of it, nor a few to the right. We’re headed right at the darn thing. This is not faulting the guys at La Guardia, we’re VFR- see and avoid. Wow, what a perspective. 57 Golf had a large front windshield, and the 102 story structure was occupying a fair portion of it.

“Cessna 57 Golf, squawk 1200. Good morning.”
“Ah, roger 57 Golf…..shouldn’t we call somebody?”
“Well Sir, you can give Newark Departure a try if you like, they’re on 126.45. So long!”

It just amazed me. Here we were, over one of the largest cities in the world, and it was “..if you like.” I watched for traffic, and the skyscraper, as I tuned Comm. 2 to 126.45.

“Good morning Newark, Cessna 1557 Golf with you, over downtown Manhattan, squawking 1200. Advisories if you have the time.”
“Cessna 57 Golf, Newark. Stand-by.”

As we were “standing-by” we whisked past the Empire State Building. I could see people out on the observation deck, even at this time of the day. I couldn’t help myself- I waved at them. The temptation to circle around the lovely structure was almost overpowering.

When I mailed him to tell him how much I loved this story, he told me that he thinks he will always regret not making a turn around the Empire State Building. But man, what a view he must have had.

You can read this full story and many more on the website. I swear, if Airman Lost doesn’t bring a tear to your eye, you might not be human.

I’m warning you though, be sure you have an hour or two free before you visit the website. His stories include life lessons (“Never take your first flight with your new boss without the keys to the airplane”) and practical advice (“How to find a good restaurant when at high altitude”) and pilot training (including “a basic primer for the flight simulator neophyte”) and not-so-practical advice (“Achieving weightlessness in a Cessna 150″).

His entire collection is available for sale – 900 pages devoted to aviation stories and flight instruction help – for $12.50 on CD or as a Kindle eBook series on Amazon. Based on what I’ve read on his website, it’s a bargain.

But you should go look for yourself: Stoenworks.

02 December 2011

Give me a Ticket for an Aeroplane….

A mix of entertainment this week with a round-up of current events and news from around around the aviation world. Enjoy!

English Lessons for China Airline After Unauthorized Take Off – China Real Time Report – WSJ

How do you say “Oops” in Chinese?

China Eastern Airlines is pledging to improve the English-language skills of its crew following an incident in the Japanese city of Osaka where a Shanghai-bound China Eastern flight took off apparently without permission from the tower, in what may have been a simple case of broken communication between the pilot and controllers.

Found in Reddit SpacePorn: Soyuz capsule recovery in Kazakhstan:

Qantas investigates pilot’s steamy midair ‘interaction’ | Herald Sun

The seat has privacy walls and reclines to become a bed. The pilot was off-duty and not in uniform at the time of the incident.

He was scolded twice by crew as passengers became annoyed at the public display of affection, sources said.

After the flood of complaints, the pilot shifted to economy.

A later report stated that it was unclear if the pilot knew the woman before boarding the flight. I sort of want to high-five him for a clever upgrade.

Video of police ramming a smuggler’s aircraft – Golf Hotel Whiskey

Hat tip to the website for posting this video of what happens when smugglers in an aircraft try to outrun the Brazilian police in a vehicle: The police simply ram the aircraft with their vehicle and ground it!

How striking! Heathrow queues shorter on day of protest | Society | The Guardian

“It was the fastest we’ve ever cleared immigration here,” said Sue Bates, with her husband, Ben, who had landed from Bangkok after a holiday in Koh Samui.

Alanrewaju Adewunmi, 58, flying in from Lagos via Madrid, said he waited no more than two minutes before clearing the border after a face check and passport scan. “I was expecting something much worse and hours of waiting before I got out of here,” he said.

Stunning F-35 Shots at – Aviation Blog, News & Stories

These stunning photos have been hand-picked as a little tribute to one of the most awesome fighter jets ever built – the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II. Initial fielding of this single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters is currently scheduled for 2016.

Why You Can’t Read a Kindle During Take-Off—4 Theories – James Fallows – Technology – The Atlantic

As usual the token pilot who can’t prove it but is sure that there is an issue. For the record, I’ve dealt with the phone issue here: Phones Interfering with Flight

He does mention my point – airlines are really encouraging passengers to keep situational awareness – under the D.A.R.E. effect. Still, with that justification Kindles and books should be cut off whilst digital cameras would be just fine.

From TED Ideas worth spreading: Strapped to a jet-powered wing, Yves Rossy is the Jetman — flying free, his body as the rudder, above the Swiss Alps and the Grand Canyon. After a powerful short film shows how it works, Rossy takes the TEDGlobal stage to share the experience and thrill of flying.

Did I miss a good aviation story? Leave the link in the comments!

07 October 2011

Online Excitement

Here’s a fun collection of articles, videos and photography I found on the web this week.

I know I’m a sucker for jet fighters but I really enjoyed this video from How Things Work: Massive Speed: F-16 Fighting Falcon

Stunning Nose Gear Collapse Caught on Video

The video is well worth watching but what really caught my eye is the analysis by Pat Flannigan on AviationChatter of the video and what he thinks really happened:

First off, this airplane did not stall. According to Remos, the G3 600 has a power-off stall speed of 45 mph and power-on stall speed of 49 mph. Just prior to impact, the airspeed indicator shows a speed just over 50 mph. Of course, stall is based on angle-of-attack and the actual speed at which an airplane stalls will vary. In this case, the pilot is in ground effect and is below max gross weight, both factors lowering the speed at which the wing will stall.

Read the full breakdown along with the video on AviationChatter.

Designs unveiled for Kuwait International Airport

…and isn’t it a beauty!

Modern-day aviation pioneer achieves world’s first untethered, manned electric helicopter flight

I’d missed this completely until it was featured on the AOPA Pilot Blog: Reporting Points. I’ve just switched to a hybrid car and am very impressed with the performance. I’d be more than happy to try an electric plane, especially considering the rising costs of Avgas!

The rechargeable battery cells are Lithium ion polymer pouch cells, with an energy density of 160 Watt-hours per kg. Although reasonably lightweight, these cells presented probably the biggest danger to Chretien in the test flight phase. As he puts it: “The infamous thermal instability of lithium/cobalt chemistry does not leave room for error… It is important to take it slowly, if I don’t want to wreck tens of thousands of Euros worth of hardware; but also, in case of crash I stand good chances to end up in kebab form, as LiPo batteries are notoriously infamous for bursting to flames once distorted. The chemical reaction is violently exothermic. This machine looks like a toy, and flies like a toy, but there is a raging tiger under the seat, waiting to bite at the first mistake.”

Craziest Low Pass Ever ! MUST SEE !! [French Mirage F1] – YouTube

I love how the camera man totally panics while the man on the runway doesn’t even flinch.

Exclusive: Computer Virus Hits U.S. Drone Fleet

I prefer not to think too hard about the implications of this one.

The virus, first detected nearly two weeks ago by the military’s Host-Based Security System, has not prevented pilots at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada from flying their missions overseas. Nor have there been any confirmed incidents of classified information being lost or sent to an outside source. But the virus has resisted multiple efforts to remove it from Creech’s computers, network security specialists say. And the infection underscores the ongoing security risks in what has become the U.S. military’s most important weapons system.

“We keep wiping it off, and it keeps coming back,” says a source familiar with the network infection, one of three that told Danger Room about the virus. “We think it’s benign. But we just don’t know.”

War hero RAF dog Buster bow wows out after serving FIVE tours of duty | Mail Online

Doesn’t he look proud!

Where you at Airventure this year? I just found this on reddit aviation:

Google just updated its satellite view of Oshkosh to show opening day of Airventure 2011!


Tickets for the Boeing Dreamliner 787 auctioned for $31,000

If you are not familiar with ANA 787 Boeing’s Dreamliner flight, you will now. Recently at an auction on eBay a pair of tickets for the inaugural flight was sold for a record AU $32,700 (US $31,000 ). The first inaugural flight of ANA 787 Boeing Dreamliner flight is scheduled to take off from Japan’s Narita International Airport to Hong Kong International Airport and return back the next day. The auctioned package along with the two business class tickets also includes accommodation in Hong Kong’s Kowloon Shangri-La Hotel.

Business class? I’d expect first class tickets at that price, wouldn’t you? Still, if the winner would like someone to travel with, I’d be happy to use the second ticket!

New on YouTube is this video by AviationColabs which is the first of a series on “Real Aviation Heathrow”. It’s nothing ground breaking but some lovely views of the airport and the aircraft coming in:

Did you know there’s a Facebook fan page for Fear of Landing?

Facebook | Fear of Landing

If you use Facebook, you can “like” the page and you’ll get notifications of the aviation links I post (no more than one a day) and new posts on this blog. If there’s something else you think might be fun to include, do let me know!

What have I missed? Share your favourite posts and videos in the comments for us all to share!