Latest Posts  

Alcock and Brown: Part 2

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In part 1, I introduced Jack Alcock and Teddie Brown along with the context under which they raced to become the first to fly across the Atlantic in less than 72 hours. Of course, they weren’t the only ones. In all, there were seventeen teams who wanted to attempt the crossing but most of them…

Read more… 16 Aug 19

Alcock and Brown: part 1

I’m going to Ireland! It will be my first time there. While I’m there, I’ll get the chance to see Dublin and Belfast and Rudy! I’m not sure which of the three is most exciting. You can bet I’m looking forward to this, even if it means you’ll be without me for a few weeks.…

Read more… 9 Aug 19

Thermal Image of 757 Landing at Gatwick

This thermal imaging footage of a Boeing 757 coming into land at Gatwick airport dates from 2013 but I first saw it today on r/aviation and found myself mesmerised as I watched the changes in the infra-red spectrum. I found the comments on the post pretty interesting, too. The bulk of the discussion is about…

Read more… 2 Aug 19

Three Cheeseburgers and a Rental Car

Aircraft hijacks are pretty rare since airport security started checking bags before allowing them on the flight. However, I was intrigued by the story of Glenn Kurt Tripp who appeared to attempt a DB Cooper style hijack in 1980 and then again in 1983, at the end of which he was shot and killed by…

Read more… 26 Jul 19

Human Factors Breakdown: C-17 Crash at Elmendorf

Last week, we looked at a fatal C-17 accident at Elmendorf in 2010. I now want to focus on the analysis of the situation leading up to the stall. It’s clear that the flight crew did not react to the warning signs as they attempted their manoeuvres at low altitude without reaching their target airspeed.…

Read more… 19 Jul 19

Dangerous Aerobatics : C-17 crash at Elmendorf (2010)

In 2010, a US Air Force transport plane crashed just one minute after take-off while practising for the Arctic Thunder Air Show at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska. ​ The Boeing C-17 Globemaster III, a large military transport aircraft, was being flown by a highly qualified commander and three crew members, all of whom…

Read more… 12 Jul 19

Accident Reports

Stall and Fatal Crash at Houston Hobby

On the 9th of June 2016, a Cirrus SR20, registration N4252G crashed during a go-around at William P. Hobby airport, killing the pilot and two passengers. I first heard of…

What happened on Ethiopian flight 302: a breakdown of the preliminary report

Yesterday, the 4th of April, the Ethiopian Accident Investigation Bureau investigating the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 released the Preliminary Report (local version stored at bottom of this post).…

Demystifying

What Is Going On With The Boeing 737 Max 8?

The news is dominated right now with the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 8 after a second fatal crash of a passenger jet which could be related to the…

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…

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

2019 Valdez Fly In and STOL Competition

Every May in Valdez, Alaska there is a fantastic aviation competition which requires astounding performance and precision from both from the aircraft and from the pilot. The Valdez STOL competition…

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…