Category: Demystifying

Thermal Image of 757 Landing at Gatwick

This thermal imaging footage of a Boeing 757 coming into land at Gatwick airport dates from 2013 but I first saw it today on r/aviation and found myself mesmerised as I watched the changes in the infra-red spectrum. I found the comments on the post pretty interesting, too. The bulk of the discussion is about…

Read more… 2 Aug 19

What Is Going On With The Boeing 737 Max 8?

The news is dominated right now with the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 8 after a second fatal crash of a passenger jet which could be related to the onboard systems. There’s a LOT of questionable information out there and many of the explanations presume a certain level of aviation knowledge. I’d like to…

Read more… 15 Mar 19

Thirty Years Since Air France Flight 296

Thirty years ago, on the 26th of June 1988, a brand new Airbus A320 crashed during a demonstration of its fly-by-wire capabilities, killing three passengers and demolishing the plane as airshow guests watched helplessly. The tragic accident was filmed from start to finish, one of the few commercial crashes captured on video. But it wasn’t…

Read more… 29 Jun 18

Drone Killer

When I’m not obsessing about aviation, I write speculative fiction, including science fiction featuring near-future technology. So you can imagine I was pretty excited when I saw a headline last week that the Oceanside Police Department in California has recently acquired a Drone Killer. I had visions of The Terminator but it turns out that…

Read more… 20 Apr 18

Crash in the Desert (Controlled Impact Demonstration)

This post started, as so many of them do, with a seemingly unbelieveable photograph with no attribution information. It didn’t take long to find a Reddit thread discussing the photograph and tracing it to a television show called Destroyed in Seconds, a Discovery Channel series featuring ‘video segments of various things being destroyed quickly”. Episode…

Read more… 10 Nov 17

The 1% rule and air disaster avoidance

I asked my friend, Robert Dawson, to help me understand the numbers behind risk assessment and the 1% rule. Robert writes fantastic science fiction and poetry, however I contacted him in this case because he teaches mathematics in Nova Scotia at Saint Mary’s University and is absolutely excellent at explaining numbers to me. Although he…

Read more… 13 May 16

Accident Reports

When Pre-Flight Prep Becomes Criminal

The accident took place on the 9th of September 2017 shortly after take-off from Manchester City Airport, a municipal airfield near the Manchester Ship Canal in the north of England.…

Misdiagnosis: Convair Crash at Wonderboom (part 2)

Last week, we went through the flight and crash of a Convair 340/440 at Wonderboom Airport in Pretoria. As a quick recap, as the Convair rotated the left engine caught…

Demystifying

Airplane Pens

This is a bit of a short post today to make up for all the heavy posts recently. Me, I’m enjoying the long weekend and a bit of sunshine… This…

Factual Version of the Clipper Eclipse crash featured in the Oatmeal

This week The Oatmeal presented a comic strip entitled It’s going to be okay about Gene Roddenberry, the creator of Star Trek, who survived a plane crash in 1947. It’s…

History

Alcock and Brown: Part 3

Last week, we looked at the teams and the aircraft who were competing to be the first to fly across the Atlantic. Alcock and Brown arrived in St. John’s, Newfoundland…

Alcock and Brown: Part 2

In part 1, I introduced Jack Alcock and Teddie Brown along with the context under which they raced to become the first to fly across the Atlantic in less than…

Fun Stuff

Ghost Planes and Spooky Things

I noticed yesterday that the nights were getting longer and there’s a distinct chill to the air. Rudy then mentioned Samhain, the Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest…

Air Canada flight 759, Sabotage and More Fire Fighting

There’s a lot of good content out there this week, so much so that I couldn’t resist putting together a round-up post sharing the best of it with you. This…