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

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…

Alitalia Flight 404: "Catch the glide!"

On the 14th of November 1990, Alitalia flight AZ404 crashed into high ground upon approach to Zürich. The accident was investigated by the Federal Aircraft Accidents Inquiry Board in Switzerland…

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

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…

The Mount Erebus Disaster

On the 28th of November 1979, a sight-seeing flight to Antartica crashed into Mount Erebus, killing all 257 on board. The Mount Erebus Disaster, as it came to be known,…

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…