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

Lion Air flight 610: In the Cockpit

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. This crash was the first public…

Crash at Pensacola: "I wasn't ridiculously low"

On Tuesday the 13th of August 2019, a Cessna 172 Skyhawk, registration N84287 crashed into a sand bar on the Escambia River near Jay, Florida, near the Alabama border. The…

Demystifying

Maintaining Focus in the Cockpit

This article by Key Dismukes, Grant Young and Robert Sumwait is based on their research at NASA to study the problem of crew preoccupation. They reviewed NTSB reports of accidents…

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…

History

The Mount Erebus Disaster

On the 28th of November 1979, a sight-seeing flight to Antartica crashed into Mount Erebus, killing all 257 on board. The Mount Erebus Disaster, as it came to be known,…

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,…

Fun Stuff

A Little Bit of Everything

There’s so much great aviation writing and video out there and I’m always appreciative when people send me fun things; it seems a shame not to share them! So here’s…

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…