Latest Posts  

Building a B-29 Piece by Piece

New

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 not otherwise have received the recognition that she deserved. I’d like to introduce you to Matt’s grandmother, Edna! Edna lived in Detroit in 1945, the…

Read more… 7 Dec 18

Preliminary Report on Lion Air flight 610

On the 29th of October 2018, Lion Air flight 610, a Boeing 737-8 (MAX) crashed at Tanjung Karawang, West Java after departing from Jakarta. On Wednesday, the KNKT (the Indonesian transport authority) released a preliminary report, based on their findings so far. In order to understand this accident, we need to start with the flight…

Read more… 30 Nov 18

Is Getting A Blow Job While Flying Reckless?

Let me warn you up front that this post is not necessarily safe for reading at work or in mixed company. It’s not often that I struggle to get through an aviation incident without sniggering but this is one of those times. I first read about this in the Reddit’s r/aviation forum and it was just…

Read more… 23 Nov 18

“Completely Uncontrollable” : Air Astana flight from hell

On the 11th of November, an Air Astana ferry flight out of Lisbon almost ended in tragedy. The ATC recordings are almost unbelievable and I recommend listening to the whole thing (audio and transcripts are below but if you are reading this as an email, you may need to click through to the post to…

Read more… 16 Nov 18

“It must be fictitious!” Aeroperu 603

On the 2nd of October in 1996, Aeroperú 603 made history with a frantic and heartbreaking 25-minute flight that ended with the loss of the aircraft and all on board. This accident highlighted the importance of the pitot-static system and the effects of spatial disorientation in a way that is hard to over-emphasise. With the…

Read more… 9 Nov 18

The Articles I Didn’t Write

This week I took the time to go through all the cases that I have listed as interesting and appropriate as Fear of Landing article. There’s rather a lot of them! So I decided to have a clear out and get rid of some of the pieces that I’m clearly never going to get around…

Read more… 2 Nov 18

Accident Reports

Turning a Runway Overrun into a Crash (East Coast Jets flight 81)

Last week, I went through the details of the fatal runway overrun of East Coast Jets flight 81). This is one of those accidents where it seems easy to blame…

Fatal Runway Overrun (East Coast Jets flight 81-2008)

On the 31st of July in 2008, East Coast Jets flight 81 departed Atlantic City International Airport carrying two pilots and six passengers for a non-scheduled domestic passenger flight to…

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

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…

Chalk's Flying Service and the Grumman Mallard

Sometimes when I am looking into the background of an accident, I keep finding more and more intriguing details, rabbit holes of interesting information, until I’m barely sure anymore what…

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…