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

What happened on Ethiopian flight 302: a breakdown of the preliminary report

Yesterday, the 4th of April, the Ethiopian Accident Investigation Bureau investigating the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 released the Preliminary Report (local version stored at bottom of this post).…

The Reckless Final Approach of US Bangla Flight 211

The crash of US Bangla flight 211 made international headlines when it occurred on the 12th of March 2018; however, it wasn’t until a month ago that the true sequence…

Demystifying

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…

Thirty Years Since Air France Flight 296

Thirty years ago, on the 26th of June 1988, a brand new Airbus A320 crashed during a demonstration of its fly-by-wire capabilities, killing three passengers and demolishing the plane as…

History

Building a B-29 Piece by Piece

I’m in Austria this week, giving a presentation about the representation of old women in science fiction. So it seemed only right to celebrate a woman in aviation who might…

The Odd Story of Richard Floyd McCoy Jr

I’ve been working hard on volume two of Without a Trace and, of course, I can’t resist a chapter on Dan Cooper, who successfully hijacked a Northwest Orient aircraft and…

Fun Stuff

For your amusement: weird and interesting NOTAMS

I was browsing around looking for interesting news when I saw that Reddit user justachamelion had posted a great question for /r/AskReddit: Pilots of Reddit, what are the weirdest or…

In case you were wondering what to get me for Christmas

There are lots of private jets up for sale but this one is special… It is a 1962 Lockheed JetStar 1329. The JetStar was a private project at Lockheed, originally…