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ATC and the Pilot Who Turned Back

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Last week we looked at a general aviation crash in which the pilot reported a Mayday as a result of an engine failure. Eight minutes later, the pilot crashed into a forest near Colbert, Oklahoma. Today, I want to focus on what happened with the air traffic control centre who advised the pilot. The pilot…

Read more… 15 Feb 19

The Pilot Turned Back: Engine Failure Leads to Fatal Crash

On the 26th of July a single-engine light aircraft crashed in the woods near Colbert, Oklahoma while attempting a forced landing. The pilot had reported his emergency ten minutes earlier and had the full support of ATC. The crash took place at mid-afternoon; it was a clear day and visibility was good. There was a…

Read more… 8 Feb 19

Part 2: Don’t Try This At Home (Rudy’s solo cross-country)

I’m so pleased to be able to share with you the second half of Rudy’s story of his first cross-country solo! In part one of my confessions of an old bold pilot, I wrote about my early flying. When you read the rest of the story, you might wonder how I ever became a commercial…

Read more… 1 Feb 19

Confessions of an Old Bold Pilot

Rudy Jakma was kind enough to share with me his story of how he got started in aviation, told in two parts. Rudy is known to regulars of the website for his fantastic and helpful comments and discussions on the posts. He never fails to add insight and explanations based on his long and varied…

Read more… 25 Jan 19

Ever Left The Parking Brake On?

On the 22nd of December 2017, BMI Regional flight 1822, an Embraer ERJ-145EP (G-CKAG), was a scheduled flight from Frankfurt/Main in Germany to Bristol Airport in England. There were 22 passengers and three crew on board. As the aircraft came in to land on Runway 27, it skidded off the runway and came to a…

Read more… 18 Jan 19

Amazing Alpine Rescue

On the 2nd of January, a group of experienced skiers were at the Anterne pass, in the Giffre massif mountain range in the Haute-Savoie region of the Alps in eastern France. Bruno, a 19-year-old experienced skier, injured his knee on the slope of a steep mountain above cloud level, at 7,400 feet. Nicolas Derely, who…

Read more… 11 Jan 19

Accident Reports

The Christmas Miracle - Part Two

I try to make these posts as stand-alone as possible but this time I just couldn’t do it. In order to make sense of this post, you need to read…

A Christmas Miracle

I am not a fan of “miracles” which dismiss the safety culture, training and skill that airline crew bring to a situation; however, in the case of the Miraklet i…

Demystifying

Thirty Years Since Air France Flight 296

Thirty years ago, on the 26th of June 1988, a brand new Airbus A320 crashed during a demonstration of its fly-by-wire capabilities, killing three passengers and demolishing the plane as…

Drone Killer

When I’m not obsessing about aviation, I write speculative fiction, including science fiction featuring near-future technology. So you can imagine I was pretty excited when I saw a headline last…

History

Building a B-29 Piece by Piece

I’m in Austria this week, giving a presentation about the representation of old women in science fiction. So it seemed only right to celebrate a woman in aviation who might…

The Odd Story of Richard Floyd McCoy Jr

I’ve been working hard on volume two of Without a Trace and, of course, I can’t resist a chapter on Dan Cooper, who successfully hijacked a Northwest Orient aircraft and…

Fun Stuff

For your amusement: weird and interesting NOTAMS

I was browsing around looking for interesting news when I saw that Reddit user justachamelion had posted a great question for /r/AskReddit: Pilots of Reddit, what are the weirdest or…

In case you were wondering what to get me for Christmas

There are lots of private jets up for sale but this one is special… It is a 1962 Lockheed JetStar 1329. The JetStar was a private project at Lockheed, originally…