Category: Demystifying

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

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

Accident Reports

Lion Air flight 610: In the Cockpit

On the 29th of October 2018, Lion Air flight 610, a Boeing 737-8 (MAX) crashed at Tanjung Karawang, West Java after departing from Jakarta. This crash was the first public…

Crash at Pensacola: "I wasn't ridiculously low"

On Tuesday the 13th of August 2019, a Cessna 172 Skyhawk, registration N84287 crashed into a sand bar on the Escambia River near Jay, Florida, near the Alabama border. The…

Demystifying

"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…

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…

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

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…

The Tetris Challenge

When the Kantonspolizei Zürich (the police department of the Swiss canton of Zurich) posted a photograph on Facebook showing the contents of a standard patrol car, they had no idea…