Category: Demystifying

Flying Blind: The Importance of NOTAMs in Aviation

On the 11th of January 2023, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the US stopped all departing commercial flights, grounding aircraft all over the US. Hot on the heels of what’s now being referred to as the “Southwest meltdown,” outdated IT systems are once again centre stage. Wednesday’s outage caused the most extensive ground stop…

Read more… 13 Jan 23

Post-Pandemic Mystery at Heathrow

In June 2021, the British Air Accident Investigative Branch (AAIB) initiated a fascinating investigation after they noticed three similar incidents at London Heathrow over a three-day period. Soon, they realised that the three incidents, all involving blocked pitot tubes, were related. As the investigation continued, several more incidents were discovered. The pitot tube measures the…

Read more… 26 Aug 22

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 404 that disappeared. I tracked down the podcast episode and while talking about the number 4 and then the 404 File Not Found error, they…

Read more… 20 May 22

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 down six invading Russian planes on Thursday, becoming an ace in a matter of hours. The pilot’s identity is being protected, for fear of reprisals…

Read more… 6 May 22

Questions and Answers: It’s Your Turn

A Fear of Landing reader asked me a great question in email. Is there some way of asking general technical questions that relate to aircraft or airport operations rather than a specific post. One of your posts discussed runway naming, but I’ve got more questions about this. This particular example could be answered by yourself…

Read more… 17 Dec 21

Wings for Wildlife: Aviation at Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, founded in 1977, is a charity focused on the conservation, preservation and protection of wildlife and habitats in Kenya. Their well-written newsletters are always a joy to receive, with news and stories from the trust and if you adopt an orphan elephant, rhino and giraffe, you receive additional content including a…

Read more… 5 Nov 21

Accident Reports

The faulty AOA sensor on Ethiopian flight 302

The NTSB report submitted in response to the third draft covers two areas: Airframe/Systems and Operational and Human Factors. Today, I’m going to focus on the airframes and systems. The…

No one noticed it was missing: 1971 Super Cub crash

Lasham Aerodrome in Hampshire, England, was built in 1942 and used as a base for the RAF Fighter Command. After the war, it became the home of the Army Gliding…

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 Oldest Footage of Flight

About a week ago, Marléne Aviation posted to Twitter in an attempt to find the oldest video footage of a flight. Marléne Aviation is run by a French aviation history…

Twin Pioneer Down in Libya: Structural Failure in 1956

On the 7th of December 1957, a Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer 1, registration G-AOEO, departed an airstrip at Anshan in Libya for a routine flight to Tripoli-Idris Airport. There were…

Fun Stuff

Aviation Videos and Articles for August

I always collect videos and links that I think you might enjoy but apparently, I have been neglecting to actually share them with you! So here’s a “best of the…

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…