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

Runway Not In Sight at Princess Juliana International

Princess Juliana International Airport handles only about 60,000 aircraft movements a year (compared to almost 500,000 at Heathrow) but it is renowned the world over because of its layout. One…

MH370 Report: Additional Factors and No Answers

This is a continuation of my analysis of the Malaysian Safety Investigation Report. Last week we looked at the flight details of Malaysia Airlines flight 370, with a focus on…

Demystifying

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…

Drone Killer

When I’m not obsessing about aviation, I write speculative fiction, including science fiction featuring near-future technology. So you can imagine I was pretty excited when I saw a headline last…

History

Chalk's Flying Service and the Grumman Mallard

Sometimes when I am looking into the background of an accident, I keep finding more and more intriguing details, rabbit holes of interesting information, until I’m barely sure anymore what…

Goddamned Cat

Sometimes the best stories are the ones that aren’t so famous, where the race was not won and the record was not broken. This is such a story. It’s the…

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…