Category: Demystifying –  Page 2

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

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), there was one question in the pre-interview that I wanted to share more widely. We were talking about the fact that radio stations triangulated their…

Read more… 7 Feb 20

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 photographic technology resulting in these beautiful air-to-air photographs of supersonic aircraft and how their shockwaves interact. Two T-38 Talon twinjet supersonic jet trainers were flown…

Read more… 24 Jan 20

Thermal Image of 757 Landing at Gatwick

This thermal imaging footage of a Boeing 757 coming into land at Gatwick airport dates from 2013 but I first saw it today on r/aviation and found myself mesmerised as I watched the changes in the infra-red spectrum. I found the comments on the post pretty interesting, too. The bulk of the discussion is about…

Read more… 2 Aug 19

What Is Going On With The Boeing 737 Max 8?

The news is dominated right now with the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 8 after a second fatal crash of a passenger jet which could be related to the onboard systems. There’s a LOT of questionable information out there and many of the explanations presume a certain level of aviation knowledge. I’d like to…

Read more… 15 Mar 19

Accident Reports

Fatal Seaplane Crash at Oshkosh

The flight crew is often the last safety net when things go wrong, making their failures an easy target for us to point at. After all, if the pilot can…

Never Just One Thing: Air Midwest flight 5481 part 2

Last week, we looked at the weight and balance of Air Midwest 5481, which had been underestimated for a number of different reasons. However, although the aircraft was overweight and…

Demystifying

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…

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…

History

The Last Known Whereabouts of the White Bird

The disappearance of L’Oiseau Blanc in 1927 is one of the enduring mysteries of aviation history. The pilots eventually achieved their goal of changing aviation history, but certainly not in…

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…

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…