Category: Excerpts

Cattle Attack at the Brookmans Park VOR

I’m in Estonia for the moment and researching local crashes for you! Meanwhile, I’ve pulled this piece from the archives to keep you entertained while I am travelling. This version has a few updates and better photography. This was originally posted in September 2009. I can vouch for the fact that the Killer Cattle Protection…

Read more… 27 Jan 17

Stick in the Mud

When I went to start my day at the desk, there was a whirr and a slight smell of burning and then nothing. The computer stayed dark. I did a walk-around but there’s nothing wrong that I can see: the machine needs an engineer. Meanwhile, I’m using my iPhone to keep the withdrawal symptoms at…

Read more… 23 Aug 13

Sequel to You Fly Like a Woman

I’ve been working on a sequel to You Fly Like a Woman (available at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk if you would like to support my writing habit). The new book will be about learning to fly without an instructor (not as easy as it sounds) with a focus on European travel. Here’s a small excerpt just…

Read more… 13 Jul 12

Just Being Helpful

Recently I was talking to Julien of Making Time for Flying and he mentioned that his wife was from the same part of Germany as I am. He had never flown into the local airfield there and I was able to reassure him that it is a very nice airfield with easy access and friendly…

Read more… 2 Jul 10

November 666 Echo X-ray, Do You Read?

(Something from the archives: a 2008 post about Air Traffic Service Units in the UK and my native ability to talk too much. I’ll be back with fresh content next week.) Air/Ground Radio Airfields with A/G Radio offer an information service with a radio operator who are not licensed and not under close CAA supervision.…

Read more… 7 May 10

Cross Country Solo – Part Three

The cross country navigation exercise is required to complete the JAR private pilot’s licence. It is effectively the first time the pilot is left alone with the plane, dependent on the new skills learned over the past few weeks. It is now not simply a case of handling the plane but also juggling the full…

Read more… 16 Apr 10

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…