Pilot Prosecution in New Zealand

I only just became aware of this court case which ended last week. Pacific Blue were a regional airline based in New Zealand. The airline is now Virgin Australia Airlines (NZ). The flight in question was departing from Queenstown, New Zealand for Sydney, Australia. The incident happened on the 22nd of June in 2010. Pacific…

Read more… 29 Mar 13

How Far Did She Fall? The Amazing Story of Vesna Vulović

This blog post started, as so many do, over a general conversation at the pub. We were actually talking about Felix Baumbartner, the man who jumped from the edge of space last year and made numerous records, including the highest freefall ever. I remembered there was a woman who held the record for the longest…

Read more… 15 Mar 13

Things That Make Me Smile

Confusion Radio Communications for Beginners: in which One One X-Ray gets slightly confused coming into Muenster/Osnabrueck, with subtitles and background laughter by Steve Paul. I have to say this is also a great example of why a controller should be able to switch into the native language to try to help a clearly confused new…

Read more… 8 Mar 13

Special Bulletin: Fatal Helicopter Crash over London

The AAIB has released a special bulletin regarding their field investigation of the helicopter which crashed into a crane at St George Wharf, Vauxhall, London on the 16th of January. The accident killed the pilot and a pedestrian. Additional people on the ground suffered serious injuries. The special bulletin does not include any analysis. They’ve…

Read more… 1 Mar 13

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…