A Few Good Stories

18 Aug 23 6 Comments

I’m in Dresden at the moment and I’m afraid I haven’t had a free moment to write you a new article. Luckily, lots of other people are on the internet and have shared some fun and interesting aviation posts.

This great clip was posted to Reddit: Every foot of that runway was used that day

Best comment:

“Positive climb rate?”

“Well, it’s not negative…”

“Gear up”

I could have sworn I wrote about this already but I’ve searched the site and can’t find it, so I’ll let Check Six tell you about it instead.

Isabel was hanging on to the tail of his aircraft trying to stop it going any further, and watching in horror it shreds through several surrounding aircraft – hoping that, any minute, the engine will stop. But, unmanned for over 150 yards – the Saratoga sliced through four Piper Warriors, operated by the University of South Australia Flying School, before turning sharply right and plowing into the school’s Piper Seminole, registered as VH-KBZ, virtually destroying it, and spewing out hundreds of liters of avgas.

Read the whole story at Check Six: Shredded Seminole

You might have heard about the close call at Boston Logan airport, in which a private jet took off without clearance directly in front of a landing Embraer ERJ 190. The final report is a quick and easy read but I was struck by the captain’s statement in the docket, which shows just how unaware they were. The first officer was the Pilot Flying and he said after lining up he asked the captain if they were cleared for take off. The captain, in his role of Pilot Monitoring, confirmed that yes, they were cleared for take-off.

Here is the Captain’s explanation from the docket

On February 27, 2023, we arrived in KBOS at 16:48 local time and dropped our passenger at Signature Flight support FBO. After leaving the passengers we proceded to call operation to find out if we were going to Layover in Boston and their answer was that we were going to reposition the plane back to KFXE. At that time, I started to do the flight plan, weight and Balance, fueling the plane and everything needed to have the plane ready to leave. I was going as a non flying Pilot (doing radio, having the airport diagram on my lap giving directions etc). We started taxing out at 6:49 pm after being clear to taxi by ground control 121.9 via taxiway B – E and hold short runway 4L. After that we were clear to cross runway 4L in E and take M for Runway 9. During the crossing we were told switch to Tower 128.8. Taking Taxiway M we had the clearance that seems to be “Line up and wait” probably I replied back but on my mind I was clear for takeoff. The takeoff was done at 18:55 local time. During cruise we received a phone number with the instruction to call upon landing. After landing in KFXE we called the number and found out that we did a takeoff without authorization and because of that a plane had to do a missed approach passing 400′ above us.

I can not understand what happened to me during the clearance, the only thing that comes to my mind is that the cold temperature in Boston affected me, I was not feeling completely well and had a stuffed nose.

My apologies, Sincerely

If you are still short of something to read this week, may I recommend Nur Ibrahim’s fact check for Snopes: Did Early 20th-Century Commercial Airplanes Use Wicker Chairs to Seat Passengers?

See you next week.

Category: Fun Stuff,


  • I think you might be confusing this with the Piper full of arrows supposedly shot by angry natives, which was really just an art piece.

    For the pilot in the private jet, that must be the same horrifying feeling as when you look back and realize you went through a red light.

    There’s an interstate interchange with two sets of lights, one before and one after the overpass. I saw people go after the far light turned green, while they still had a red light and thought “How stupid are people to do that?! Idiots!!”

    Until I did it myself one day.

    To say I was in a bad mood for the next two days would be a British-level understatement.

  • I believe that indeed, early 20th century commercial passenger aircraft used wicker seats. The weight was probably the main reason. These aircraft – I am thinking of machines like the Fokker F 2, F7 and similar early airliners, did not fly at high speed. Their mass, and therefore the force of an impact in case of an accident, also probably resulted in more survivable crashes than in to-day’s airliners with a very high mass and kinetic energy. The need for crash-resistant seats would not have been a high priority in the days of wood and linen structures.

    The photo of the sliced aircraft makes me think of another (true) story.
    The pilots involved, at least the crew of the slashed Cessna Titan that was the subject, were blameless. Actually, I used to know them well. Both highly professional pilots.
    It happened during the Hanover Air Show.
    The airport would be closed in the afternoon for all traffic because of the flying displays. At a certain moment no take-offs nor landings, other than participating aircraft. Each departing aircraft had a very tight slot. Miss it and you were grounded for the rest of the day.
    The taxiway was full of departing aircraft, eager to get airborne before the hammer would fall and the bell would sound (well, not literally of course. No hammer fell, no bell was rung).
    The Titan was waiting in line. A long queue, slow moving.
    A private owner, parked in the grass beside the paved taxiway had problems starting his aircraft.
    The battery of this aircraft had run down during the many failed attempts. In a last desperate attempt the pilot got out and hand-cranked the propeller.
    This did have the intended result: the engine sprang into life, but probably with the throttle open.
    The pilot jumped aside as the airplane started to move. He did not manage to get back into the cockpit. As it gathered speed, the unmanned aircraft entered the taxiway at an angle and the prop sliced into the fuselage and starboard engine of the Titan before it stopped.
    The Titan was a write-off (I was at Hanover some days after and saw it in a hanger, probably awaiting the verdict from the insurance).
    What happened to the single-engine aircraft? I don’t know, not do I remember the type. Fortunately, nobody was injured.

    What was remarkable was that not all that long before, the same crew had been involved in another accident in which another Titan was written off.

    This was the result of a series of misunderstandings and coincidental succession of events. I may have written about it.
    It was an accident in which the crew were not entirely blameless, but it was a surreal accident and I can not truthfully say that it would not have happened if I had been the pilot.
    But nobody was severely injured in that crash, either.
    I may have told that story a long time ago here.

  • re 2nd story: I thought shreddies were for breakfast, not dinner?

    re 3rd story: I saw the local newspaper’s report but not the fortunately-not-gory details. I don’t see anything in the documents about whether the Learjet crew’s inbound to KBOS was their first, second, third, … leg of the day and wonder whether crew fatigue was a factor.

  • Oh, and the last photo in the Snopes article does not inspire confidence; the appearance of the seat coverings fits one of the definitions of “chintzy”, which is not what one would want to see on an airplane (although I’m not sure the alternate meaning of “cheap, poorly made” dates that far back).

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