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Maintaining the Stores

We don’t often talk about parked aircraft because it is not very common for them to be involved in crashes. However, one of the side-effects of these pandemic times is the pressure put on aircraft storage and maintenance, where it is often unknown how many aircraft will need to be stored for how long. NASA’s…

Read more… 7 May 21

For Your Entertainment

I’m clearing out my inbox once again and found a number of links that I think you will enjoy. Mayday, mayday, we have a delivery for you. I was bemused to see this fly past on Twitter (and grateful that the person included a source; I wish everyone did this!) Today I learned that Iran's…

Read more… 30 Apr 21

Never Just One Thing: Air Midwest flight 5481 part 2

Last week, we looked at the weight and balance of Air Midwest 5481, which had been underestimated for a number of different reasons. However, although the aircraft was overweight and the centre of gravity was outside of the limits, it didn’t explain the fatal crash. The captain reacted immediately and should have been able to…

Read more… 23 Apr 21

The Weight and Balance of Air Midwest 5481

Air Midwest, headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, was originally certified as an air carrier by the FAA in 1965. The airline originally consisted of a single Cessna 206, which transported human remains for area mortuaries. In 1968, the company began to provide a passenger service (for live passengers). The Mesa Air Group acquired the company in…

Read more… 16 Apr 21

Weight and Balance: How Much Do You Weigh, Miss?

A number of airlines suspended operations during the worst of the pandemic that has disrupted the world over the past year. One of these, a British charter airline owned by a German-Anglo travel and tourism company, were in the process of upgrading their systems, including their reservation software, when the pandemic hit. The integrated check-in…

Read more… 9 Apr 21

Lion Air flight 610 : The Previous Flight

We have explored the aircraft registered as PK-LQP in quite some detail, looking at the sequence of events leading up to the crash of Lion Air flight 610. The Maintenance The Faulty AOA Sensor The AOA Disagree Alert These pieces explore how the aircraft went into service with a faulty AOA sensor. It also shows…

Read more… 2 Apr 21

Accident Reports

Fatal Seaplane Crash at Oshkosh

The flight crew is often the last safety net when things go wrong, making their failures an easy target for us to point at. After all, if the pilot can…

Pitch-up Illusion on Take-Off

On the 28th of April 2017, a single-engine turbo-prop flying at night under instruments crashed near Amarillo International Airport in Texas. The accident report had been available on the app.ntsb.gov…

Demystifying

How Many Successful Ditchings of Commercial Airliners?

When I was learning to fly, I remember someone in the pilots’ bar insisting that all that talk about life jackets under your seat was a waste of time; if…

Small Plane Gets Stoned

This photograph has been posted to aviation forums repeatedly, each time with a thread of pilots wondering what the hell could have happened to cause the light aircraft to be…

History

The Last Known Whereabouts of the White Bird

The disappearance of L’Oiseau Blanc in 1927 is one of the enduring mysteries of aviation history. The pilots eventually achieved their goal of changing aviation history, but certainly not in…

The History Listen

I was on the radio on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, in a show called The History Listen. They asked me to tell them about a famous story in Australian and…

Fun Stuff

The Tetris Challenge

When the Kantonspolizei Zürich (the police department of the Swiss canton of Zurich) posted a photograph on Facebook showing the contents of a standard patrol car, they had no idea…

The History Listen

I was on the radio on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, in a show called The History Listen. They asked me to tell them about a famous story in Australian and…