Category: Excerpts –  Page 4

I like foreign places (except when they’re foreign)

I made a mistake. I pitched an aviation article which involves bitching about people not speaking English. Actually, it’s worse than that. This is about people in a foreign country who do speak English … and then there’s me, bitching that their English isn’t good enough. Ugh. Obviously, I didn’t realise that that’s what it…

Read more… 22 Feb 07

Rousse Tower

We sat on the terrace of the Chalet, gazing out at the water and Sark in the distance, while Peter and Mary put up with a torrent of questions about the island and the must-see places. “And while you are exploring the bays, you should go visit the towers, they’ve been put into quite good…

Read more… 11 Jan 07

The Shipwreck of the Stella

The Casquets, the set of towers we’d seen on the flight in, is not surprisingly an important figure within the recent history of the island but the most interesting and tragic story is told at the Maritime Museum: the wreck of the Stella. In the 1890s the competition between the ‘London and South Western’ and…

Read more… 5 Oct 06

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…