Category: Demystifying

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

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 your aircraft is going down over water, you were done for. This wasn’t just idle talk. In 1999, Slate’s article In The Event of a…

Read more… 5 Feb 21

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

Accident Reports

Causal Factors of the Piper Malibu Crash near Guernsey

Sometimes it seems like these posts get longer every year that I keep doing this. This collection of details from the AAIB report that I left out of the Piper…

Piper Malibu Loss of Control Over the Channel

On the 21st of January 2019, a Piper Malibu crashed into the English Channel near the island of Guernsey, killing both the pilot and the passenger on impact. Technically, this…

Demystifying

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…

"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…

History

The Mount Erebus Disaster

On the 28th of November 1979, a sight-seeing flight to Antartica crashed into Mount Erebus, killing all 257 on board. The Mount Erebus Disaster, as it came to be known,…

An Icon of Aviation

I have a guest post this week by Nicholas Brown, the Campus President of Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology. The college has been rebuilding a replica of Little Stinker,…

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…