Category: Demystifying

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 smashed with a large rock? I have to admit, I presumed some sort of airfield accident when the plane was parked but, until I saw…

Read more… 27 Nov 20

How do you pronounce…?

This is a very interesting article by Allen Amsbaugh which was originally published in NASA’s ASRS Directline about the issues of navigational fixes which sound or look similar. The ASRS is the Aviation Safety Reporting System which collects reports anonymously and then analyses the data in order to share important information to the aviation community.…

Read more… 17 Jul 20

Flightradar 24 and aircraft tracking

Flightradar24 (FR24) is a global flight tracking site which offers realtime information about flights by tracking ADS-B. ADS-B stands for automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast. This is a means for an aircraft to automatically transmit its identification and location, allowing other aircraft and aerodromes to know where they are. What’s great for us is that because it…

Read more… 12 Jun 20

“N28V, I need your call sign, please.”

This general aviation accident didn’t happen on the 27th of April 2017, although I think you’ll agree with me that it was a near thing. The aircraft, a 1964 Mooney M20E registration N7828V, was at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport at Broomfield, Colorado; it’s still commonly referred to as Jeffco Airport (short for Jefferson County) although…

Read more… 3 Apr 20

Aviation Airspeed Guide

Just a quick one today but I really liked this guide to the airspeed indicator which was published to r/aviation. The thread has ended up in an interesting discussion about Vne (the never-exceed speed) and why the gauge goes up to 200 on an aircraft which can’t (or shouldn’t) exceed 155 knots. The comments range…

Read more… 28 Feb 20

What To Do In Case Of An Electrical Failure

NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) have an interesting series in Callback, in which they publish the first half of a story, based on ASRS reports, to the point where a specific decision must be made or a situation managed. The reader can then consider what he or she might have done to resolve the…

Read more… 14 Feb 20

Accident Reports

Explosive Decompression on the Ground

The Gulfstream G150, a twin-engine business jet, arrived at Kittilä airport in Lapland on a cold Tuesday afternoon on the 2nd of January 2018, carrying three crew and four passengers.…

I am the problem: PSA flight 1771

On the 7th of December in 1987, Pacific Southwest Airlines flight 1771 departed Los Angeles International for a scheduled passenger flight to San Francisco. There were five crew and thirty-eight…

Demystifying

Flight 19: The Point of No Return

I was interviewed about Flight 19 for a documentary recently and although I’ve limited the details of the experience to supporters of my personal Patreon (for travel writing and essays),…

Supersonic Shockwave Interactions

These photographs are from last March but they’ve just been featured in Nature magazine’s collection of the best science images of the year NASA has been exploring the potential of…

History

The Last Flight of B121-120

The Beagle B.121 Pup is a British, single-engine, all-metal aircraft produced in the 1960s. British Executive and General Aviation Limited, who traded as BEAGLE, designed the Beagle B.121 Pup as…

Abused fighter planes and the men who love them

A few months ago, I wrote about how to shoot down a fighter jet while flying it, the case of a test-pilot in a Grumman F-11 Tiger who managed to…

Fun Stuff

Jetpacks and Wingwalking: 2020 keeps getting weirder

Twenty-twenty was always an interesting sounding year, popular with futurists and science fiction writers for having something of a ring to it, a year in which clean fuel and commercial…

Microsoft Flight Simulator: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

Microsoft Flight Simulator has released a new version, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, fourteen years after the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator X. The timing couldn’t be better, of course, with…