Category: Demystifying

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

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

Accident Reports

Operational Failures: Execuflight 1526 Part Two

On the 10th of November 2015, a BAe 125 operated by Execuflight crashed into an apartment building while on approach to Akron Fulton International Airport. The captain, the first officer…

Trouble in the Cockpit: Execuflight 1526 Part One

On the 10th of November 2015, Execuflight flight 1526 was a British Aerospace HS 127-700A chartered for a flight across Ohio from Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport in Dayton to Akron Fulton…

Demystifying

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…

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…

History

Goddamned Cat

Sometimes the best stories are the ones that aren’t so famous, where the race was not won and the record was not broken. This is such a story. It’s the…

The Story of the Avro Lancaster LM650 KM-T

I became interested in this story last year, when a reader named Niall left a comment about this rather odd item for sale on Ebay: What was the story of…

Fun Stuff

My Favourite Posts from 2006 to 2017

This week, while I recover from my Holiday Food Coma, I want to try something a little different. I’ve collected my favourite posts from the past – ones that will…

Parachute deployed in flat spin at 1,000 feet

This video was posted to a number of aviation forums last week and it’s easy to see why. I literally watched it three times in a row on the spot…