Category: Demystifying

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

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 photograph from Heathrow Airport was posted to Reddit with the question: What is this plane doing in this enclosed bay? The correct answer is the…

Read more… 25 Mar 16

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 a motivational comic meant, the author says, to remind us that our journeys are short. You can read the comic here: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/plane. It’s a lovely…

Read more… 13 Nov 15

Piper Comanche Full of Arrows

This photograph was sent to me a couple of times with questions of what it might portray and I just had to track it down. The photograph was first posted to Reddit as This aircraft belongs to a conservation team in The Amazon. Yikes! and then again in September with its current headline, The anthropologists…

Read more… 17 Oct 14

Creative Air Marshalling

It’s not often that aircraft marshalling hits the headlines but this video of ME1 Tan Wen Kai of the Singapore Airforce has gone completely viral. Aircraft marshallers use hand-signals to communicate with aircraft on the ground, for example to give directions. It’s the equivalent of guiding someone into a parking space, except there’s not much…

Read more… 5 Sep 14

Banner Planes in Action

I’ve long been obsessed with banner planes. They are fascinating and amazing to watch. When I did my PPL in Spain, I was lucky enough to see them in action every weekend. All excerpts from You Fly Like a Woman: The weekends were busy at Axarquía now that high summer was here. Broad-shouldered young men…

Read more… 6 Dec 13

Accident Reports

A Serious Runway Incursion: Embraer 195 vs Airbus 320

There was a serious runway incursion at Brussels Airport on the 5th of October 2016, when an Embraer ERJ-195LR crossed in front of the path of a landing Airbus A320-214.…

He's a Terror in a Twin

Sometimes it’s obvious how an accident report is going to end from the very first sentence. NTSB Identification: CEN15FA400 “The airplane owner, who was a noninstrument-rated private pilot and did…

Demystifying

The Story Behind an Unbelievable Photograph

A reader mailed me this amazing aviation photograph and I knew I wanted to know more. I was surprised at how much I discovered about the photo, which at first…

5 Things About the Dreamliner That I Didn't Know

1) The Dreamliner’s noise reduction tech is the results of decades of NASA research The Dreamliner has chevrons – serrated edges on the engine nacelles – in order to reduce…

History

Amelia Earhart Captured By Japanese

On Wednesday, the news hit the headlines that a newly discovered photograph could show Amelia Earhart in Japanese custody. The photograph, apparently taken by a US spy in the 1930s,…

Sutlej Missing Over Indian Ocean

On 25 March 1986, three Antonov An-32 transport planes departed Muscat, the capital of Oman, in a staggered formation for the Indian Air Force base at Jagmagar. Initially, the Indian…

Fun Stuff

Maybe an Origin Story

It was a lazy evening in 1980 and I was bored at my dad’s house, when I put on his television and flicked through the 150 channels he had, looking…

This Week's Most Amazing Stories

This has been an amazing week for aviation news with unbelievable stories and videos seemingly coming from all directions. Anna and I have been posting every day to the Fear…