Category: ATC

Passenger In Control

Everyone is talking about the passenger who safely landed a Cessna 208 Caravan at Palm Beach International Airport after the pilot slumped over the controls, incapacitated. The Cessna Caravan is a single-engine high-wing aircraft first produced in 1984. This one, registration N333LD, was recently listed as for sale on Aircraft.com, which gives us a bit…

Read more… 13 May 22

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

Accident Reports

Alitalia flight 404: The result of a dozen small decisions

Last week, we looked at the key events that led to the Alitalia flight 404 crash. A few points from the previous post: Maintenance replaced both radio receivers in the…

Alitalia Flight 404: "Catch the glide!"

On the 14th of November 1990, Alitalia flight AZ404 crashed into high ground upon approach to Zürich. The accident was investigated by the Federal Aircraft Accidents Inquiry Board in Switzerland…

Demystifying

I am a teapot

A reader contacted me to ask about a missing flight 404; they had heard on a trivia podcast that the original computer error message 404 was based on two flights…

The Legend of the Ghost of Kyiv

On the 25th of February 2022, Plane & Pilot magazine shared a video of the “Ghost of Kyiv” overflying Kyiv in a Ukrainian MiG-29. An unnamed Ukrainian fighter pilot shot…

History

Amazing Aerial View of Edinburgh

When I first saw this image, I assumed it was result of modern image manipulations, maybe even the poster for a film. It was too perfect and too modern to…

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,…

Fun Stuff

Funniest Thing You've Heard On the Radio

I’ve been struggling this week and was just panicking that I would not have a post finished in time for you for today when I discovered that Reddit had saved…

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…