Category: 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 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

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 attributed to crew error and concluded that nearly half of them involved lapses of attention associated with interruptions, distractions, or preoccupation with one task to…

Read more… 17 Sep 21

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 the pressure put on aircraft storage and maintenance, where it is often unknown how many aircraft will need to be stored for how long. NASA’s…

Read more… 7 May 21

Accident Reports

Bird Opens Cargo Door on A320

On the 20th of June in 2011, an Airbus A320-212, registration CS-TKJ, taxied to runway 05 at Aeroporto de Madeira for a scheduled morning flight from Funchal to Copenhagen with…

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…

Demystifying

How Many Successful Ditchings of Commercial Airliners?

When I was learning to fly, I remember someone in the pilots’ bar insisting that all that talk about life jackets under your seat was a waste of time; if…

Small Plane Gets Stoned

This photograph has been posted to aviation forums repeatedly, each time with a thread of pilots wondering what the hell could have happened to cause the light aircraft to be…

History

Avro York Runway Excursion at Stansted

While researching another subject, I discovered this accident report from 1956 which I just had to share with you. Normally, an aviation accident investigation is done by a group of…

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…

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…