Category: Demystifying –  Page 3

Piper Comanche Full of Arrows

This photograph was sent to me a couple of times with questions of what it might portray and I just had to track it down. The photograph was first posted to Reddit as This aircraft belongs to a conservation team in The Amazon. Yikes! and then again in September with its current headline, The anthropologists…

Read more… 17 Oct 14

Creative Air Marshalling

It’s not often that aircraft marshalling hits the headlines but this video of ME1 Tan Wen Kai of the Singapore Airforce has gone completely viral. Aircraft marshallers use hand-signals to communicate with aircraft on the ground, for example to give directions. It’s the equivalent of guiding someone into a parking space, except there’s not much…

Read more… 5 Sep 14

Banner Planes in Action

I’ve long been obsessed with banner planes. They are fascinating and amazing to watch. When I did my PPL in Spain, I was lucky enough to see them in action every weekend. All excerpts from You Fly Like a Woman: The weekends were busy at Axarquía now that high summer was here. Broad-shouldered young men…

Read more… 6 Dec 13

The Story Behind an Unbelievable Photograph

A reader mailed me this amazing aviation photograph and I knew I wanted to know more. I was surprised at how much I discovered about the photo, which at first glance I thought might be a fake. But the story of who took the photograph and how he managed to get the shot is a…

Read more… 1 Nov 13

5 Things About the Dreamliner That I Didn’t Know

1) The Dreamliner’s noise reduction tech is the results of decades of NASA research The Dreamliner has chevrons – serrated edges on the engine nacelles – in order to reduce the noise. Passengers on the plane before it was grounded say that it is quite noticeably quieter but I hadn’t understood the background. “Evolution from…

Read more… 1 Feb 13

Why do aircraft still have ashtrays in the lavatory?

We’ve all seen this in the toilets of commercial aircraft: a large no-smoking sign with a plainly marked ashtray underneath. Obviously airlines who allow in-flight smoking have ashtrays as a part of the standard model. But are there any of those left? The US banned smoking on domestic flights in 1990 and soon followed up…

Read more… 14 Dec 12

Accident Reports

Procedural Drift at Yeager Airport

In the early morning hours of the 5th of May 2017, Air Cargo Carriers flight 1260 crashed at Yeager Airport in Charleston, West Virginia. There were two souls on board,…

Lion Air flight 610 and the AOA Disagree alert

I wrote before that Lion Air’s Boeing 737 had a faulty AOA sensor which was replaced the day before Lion Air flight 610. The new sensor was out of alignment…

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 Real “Bionic Man”

Some of you may have spotted the recent comments on Wingless Flight in the M2-F1 by aerospace journalist and author Nigel Macknight, who had written about NASA’s M2-F2 pilot Milt…

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),…

Fun Stuff

Toddler Overboard and other aviation videos

I’ve got quite a collection of interesting videos building up so it’s past time for me to share them! These are not all brand new but new to me and…

Top Ten Posts of 2019

Next week we’ll be starting on a detailed look at Lion Air flight 610 but first, to celebrate the end of 2019, I want to share the most popular posts…