Category: History

You won’t believe this one weird trick they used to fly beer to the D-Day troops in Normandy

Today, I have a long and very interesting article for you which was originally published on the amazing Zythophile blog by Martyn Cornell. Martyn Cornell is an author, journalist and beer historian. Enjoy! Normandy, 70 years ago, and one of the biggest concerns of the British troops who have made it over the channel, survived…

Read more… 12 Jun 15

The teenager who flew to Moscow

28 years ago, on the 28th May 1987, a 19-year old German flew a Cessna 172 to Moscow, taxi-ing straight into the Red Square. At the time, the airspace around the Soviet Union was closed and fiercely protected. Just four years earlier, Korean Air Lines flight 007 was shot down by a Soviet Su-15 interceptor.…

Read more… 29 May 15

Cal Rodgers and the first fatal birdstrike

Bird strikes are loosely defined as a collision between an airborne animal and a human-made vehicle. The animal in question is usually a bird but can also be a bat (and in one bizarre incident, a fish). Annual damages caused by bird strikes are estimated at US$1.2 billion for commercial aircraft worldwide. Initial aviators had…

Read more… 22 May 15

The Mystery of Pan Am flight 7

Pan Am trip number 7 was an around-the-world flight which disappeared at sea, never to be recovered or understood. The aircraft was Pan Am ship #944 (registration N90944), a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser Romance of the Skies. The Stratocruiser was “the ocean liner of the air” with Pullman-style sleeping berths, reclining seats with 60 inches of…

Read more… 13 Mar 15

The Story of Diamond Jack Palmer and the Pelikaan

The story of Diamond Jack Palmer is a typically Australian story of a beach comber whose luck was in when he found diamonds worth a few million on the beach but couldn’t quite keep up with his luck. It’s also a fascinating aviation story. It starts with the Koninklijke Nederlandsch-Indische Luchtvaart Maatschappij airline and their…

Read more… 21 Nov 14

Landing in a Corn Field

I’ve been browsing old photographs again, and found an amazing pair of a Lockheed Constellation from 1951. The Lockheed Constellation, affectionately known as the “Connie” is an easy aircraft to recognise. The propeller-driven aircraft with four 18-cylinder engines was described by Popular Mechanics Magazine in 1943 as resembling a great winged shark: Popular Mechanics ,…

Read more… 20 Jun 14

Accident Reports

Shocking CRM led to that Abandoned Tupolev at Moscow Airport

This story started, as so many do, with an interesting photograph posted to Reddit. I was curious, and decided to investigate the accident. The sequence of events that led to…

Details of the Frightening Near Miss at Chicago Midway

On Tuesday, two aircraft were on a collision course when ATC instructions weren’t understood at Chicago’s Midway airport in Illinois. Delta Airlines flight 1328, a Boeing 717-200, was a scheduled…

Demystifying

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…

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…

History

The Disappearance of Aeronaut Walter Powell

I meant to be researching something else entirely but then I stumbled upon the sad story of Walter Powell, a Welsh gentleman born in 1842 who disappeared in 1881. Walter…

B-1B with its Nose to the Ground

On the 5th of October in 1989, a B-1B Lancer departed Dyess Air Force Base with four crew on a routine training flight. Three hours later, the flight crew discovered…

Fun Stuff

New Design!

A few months ago I saw some people talking about Fear of Landing on Reddit, which was pretty cool, except that one of them said “Yeah, but what’s up with…

Tom Cruise: Hanging on a Wing and a Prayer

Are you looking forward to the new Mission Impossible movie? I don’t usually talk about Hollywood on here (other than for debunking purposes) but there’s a stunt here that I…