Category: Demystifying –  Page 5

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

5 Surprising Facts about Black Boxes

Today, aircrash investigations centre around the black box – that is, the flight data recorder (FDR) and the cockpit voice recorder (CVR). I have always thought of them as rather straight forward: one collects flight data and the other records voices in the cockpit. However, when I started to do some research about flight recorders,…

Read more… 27 Apr 12

Motion Induced Blindness

I received this from reader Albert Masetti as a demonstration on eye fixation. Michael Bach, a Professor at the University of Freiburg has a full page of Optical Illusions and Visual Phenomena. The strength of this site is that he allows for controls for each of the illusions, so that you can check for yourself…

Read more… 20 Apr 12

Accident Reports

Bird Opens Cargo Door on A320

On the 20th of June in 2011, an Airbus A320-212, registration CS-TKJ, taxied to runway 05 at Aeroporto de Madeira for a scheduled morning flight from Funchal to Copenhagen with…

Alitalia flight 404: The result of a dozen small decisions

Last week, we looked at the key events that led to the Alitalia flight 404 crash. A few points from the previous post: Maintenance replaced both radio receivers in the…

Demystifying

I am a teapot

A reader contacted me to ask about a missing flight 404; they had heard on a trivia podcast that the original computer error message 404 was based on two flights…

The Legend of the Ghost of Kyiv

On the 25th of February 2022, Plane & Pilot magazine shared a video of the “Ghost of Kyiv” overflying Kyiv in a Ukrainian MiG-29. An unnamed Ukrainian fighter pilot shot…

History

Avro York Runway Excursion at Stansted

While researching another subject, I discovered this accident report from 1956 which I just had to share with you. Normally, an aviation accident investigation is done by a group of…

Amazing Aerial View of Edinburgh

When I first saw this image, I assumed it was result of modern image manipulations, maybe even the poster for a film. It was too perfect and too modern to…

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…