Category: Aerobatics

The Fatal Flight Instruction: Spiral Dive Technique

A reader contacted me about a fatal crash which killed a pilot and his instructor in November 2021. The reader had some specific questions, which I answered as best I could. However, a few aspects aren’t that clear cut, so I told him I would post it to Fear of Landing and see what other…

Read more… 1 Mar 24

Impromptu Airshow

On the 26th of August 2019, a glider pilot posted a video of him flying his high performance glider at the Aeroplanes Trains and Automobiles event held two days earlier in Spanish Fork, Utah. The glider was a Schleicher ASW-27, a 15-metre sailplane certified in 1997. Designed by Gerhard Waibel, a famous German sailplane designer,…

Read more… 19 Mar 21

Amazing Display of the Dassault Rafale

I’ve had a soft spot for the Dassault Rafale for a long time; I even included it in a short story under a slightly modified name and description. It’s a French twin-engine fighter which is so crazily agile that it’s aerodynamically unstable; digital fly-by-wire controls keep it under control. Designed to work with aircraft carriers,…

Read more… 29 Mar 19

Another Angle of Drunk Stealing Plane at Airshow

This is one of my favourite videos ever. I originally posted it in 2009, before YouTube had discovered Kyle Franklin and his flying: There’s a few versions of the Drunken Pilot routine on YouTube now and it remains an airshow favourite. But at the Robins Airshow at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia, Kyle came…

Read more… 27 Mar 15

Amazing Aerobatics

Since my Tiger Moth flight, I’ve been even more excited about aerobatics that I was before, which really is saying something. It’s pretty neat knowing how it feels to be in the middle of a barrel roll, of course, but also it makes me feel a lot dizzier when watching the pros in action. So…

Read more… 29 Aug 14

Ejection 0.8 Seconds Before Impact

The incident happened in 2003 but I only just saw the photograph and video on /r/aviation last week. This looks like a photoshopped picture or a stunt still from of a Hollywood movie but it is 100% legitimate. The photograph was taken at the Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, where the Thunderbirds were…

Read more… 9 May 14

Accident Reports

Air Taxi Prototype Crash at Cotswold Airport

On the 9th of August 2023, a VX4 crashed at Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire during a test flight over the runway. The VX4 is a prototype air taxi, designed and…

The Unstallable Plane That Stalled

The Cessna 185 Skywagon is a high wing, single engine aircraft: basically a Cessna 180 with six seats, a strengthened fuselage and a slightly more powerful engine. It’s a popular…

Demystifying

Training an AI Copilot To Spot Gliders

My friend Maria at Daedalean wrote this article about how they are using AI to help pilots detect gliders. I thought it was fascinating and Daedalean gave me permission to…

The Missing Bolts from Alaska Airlines flight 1282

On the 5th of January 2024, Alaska Airlines flight 1282 had just taken off when it lost a door plug, leaving a gaping hole on the left side of row…

History

Gladys Ingle Inflight Wheel Change: Emergency Action or Stunt?

This video of a mid-air wheel exchange goes viral once a year or so, but I never get tired of watching it. Last week, it showed up on Reddit and…

The Disappearance of the Hawaii Clipper May Not Be as Mysterious as Was Thought

This week, we have a guest post by J.B. Rivard who wrote an article for the American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS) and used one of my articles as a reference.…

Fun Stuff

A Few Good Stories

I’m in Dresden at the moment and I’m afraid I haven’t had a free moment to write you a new article. Luckily, lots of other people are on the internet…

Flying Fails and Airshow Considerations

Long-term readings of Fear of Landing know that my favourite aerobatics show of all time is Kyle Franklin’s Ben Whabnoski Comedy act. Just in case some of you haven’t seen…