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

How will we stop the engine, then? Kigali Crash into VIP lounge

You may recall these photographs from the mainstream media in 2009, when an aircraft crashed into an airport building, killing one passenger. The CRJ-100 had just taken off from Kigali…

The Mystery of Nightship 282

I often praise the NTSB for thorough and balanced reports but occasionally, there’s one that makes me wonder what the hell someone was thinking.  The Night Ship final report fits…

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

"I Don't Know Why I Killed Him But I Did"

The true story of Earnest Pletch is hard to believe, even almost a hundred years later. Commonly referred to as America’s first hijack, I’m not sure where else there might…

Kaleva Shot Down By Long Range Bombers

Today is the 99th anniversary of Estonian independence. Sadly, that doesn’t mean 99 years of independence. The auspicious date seems like a good opportunity for a historical post covering the…

Fun Stuff

Fascinating Aviation Articles on the Internet

How Aviation Became Firefighters’ Best Friend—And Then Their Worst Enemy This fire, now known as the Saddle Fire, raged across the state throughout summer 2016. Before it burned out it…

Ten Great Christmas Gifts for Aviation Geeks

It’s the last weekend of November and time to get those Christmas gifts ready! I’ve collected ten great gifts here to give to your fellow aviation geeks… or pass this…