Category: 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 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

“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

Accident Reports

A Lesson On Keeping The Aircraft in Trim

On the 28th of May 2019, a customer arrived at a flight school at Archerfield Airport, Queensland for their first flight experience. The aircraft that day was a Cessna 152,…

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.…

Demystifying

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…

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),…

History

The History Listen

I was on the radio on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, in a show called The History Listen. They asked me to tell them about a famous story in Australian and…

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…

Fun Stuff

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…

The History Listen

I was on the radio on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, in a show called The History Listen. They asked me to tell them about a famous story in Australian and…