Category: ATC

ATC behind the scenes: VFR into IMC

One of the biggest safety hazards in general aviation is pilots inadvertently flying into instrument meteorological conditions (IMC) and losing visibility in the cloud. A private pilot who has not undergone special training for using instruments flies VFR (Visual Flight Rules), looking outside the aircraft. If the aircraft flies into cloud, the pilot loses visual…

Read more… 11 Jun 21

Two Accidents at the Same Time

The American National Air Traffic Controllers Association has an annual event to recognise the best “flight assist” of air traffic controllers in each of the nine regions which cover the United States. The winners in 2019 involved a number of weather-related emergencies. This one is particularly interesting because the controller not only handled an emergency…

Read more… 16 Oct 20

“N28V, I need your call sign, please.”

This general aviation accident didn’t happen on the 27th of April 2017, although I think you’ll agree with me that it was a near thing. The aircraft, a 1964 Mooney M20E registration N7828V, was at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport at Broomfield, Colorado; it’s still commonly referred to as Jeffco Airport (short for Jefferson County) although…

Read more… 3 Apr 20

ATC Heroes: A Super Bowl Save

This is the happy-ending story of a Cessna Cardinal flying back to his home base of Paris Airfield, Texas in bad weather when the aircraft experienced a complete electrical failure. I found this amazing story on the NATCA website and they kindly gave me permission to reprint it. The New England Patriots’ stunning comeback win…

Read more… 19 Oct 18

More Amazing ATC: 2016 Archie League Awards (Part Two)

Last week we looked at the first five regions for the 2016 Archie League Award Honorees. This week, without further introduction, I’d like to share the final four regions which includes the winner of the President’s award. Northwest Mountain Region A Cessna departed Ranger Creek Airport, following the White River valley northwest to route to…

Read more… 9 Sep 16

Amazing ATC: 2016 Archie League Award Honorees

The American National Air Traffic Controllers Association has an annual event to recognise the best “flight assist” of air traffic controllers in each of the nine regions which cover the United States. In this two-part special, I’ve collected the 2016 honorees for the Archie League Awards, highlighting the air traffic controller(s) selected per region, along…

Read more… 2 Sep 16

Accident Reports

Runway Excursion on Take-Off

This accident happened some time ago but it is new to me. A twin-engine business jet departing from Portland, Oregon, crashed shortly after take-off with four on board. The Aerospatiale…

Aeroperú Flight 603

On Tuesday, the 1st of October 1996, Aeroperú flight 603 departed Miami for a scheduled passenger flight to Santiago, Chile, and landed in Lima, Peru for a planned stop to…

Demystifying

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…

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…

History

An Icon of Aviation

I have a guest post this week by Nicholas Brown, the Campus President of Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology. The college has been rebuilding a replica of Little Stinker,…

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…

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…