Category: History

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, is famous not just for the tragic accident, New Zealand’s worst peacetime disaster, but also because the final accident report’s conclusion was overturned within a…

Read more… 20 Aug 21

An Icon of Aviation

I have a guest post this week by Nicholas Brown, the Campus President of Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology. The college has been rebuilding a replica of Little Stinker, the Pitts Special flown by Betty Skelton. I’ll let Nicholas tell you all about it but first I wanted to share this video from an…

Read more… 25 Jun 21

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 way that they had hoped. It has only just come to my attention that I haven’t written about this mystery here, so I hope…

Read more… 21 May 21

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 aviation history, when Ivan Smirnov crashlanded on the coast of northwest Australia, losing a cigar box of diamonds in the process. The recording was done…

Read more… 22 Jan 21

The Last Flight of B121-120

The Beagle B.121 Pup is a British, single-engine, all-metal aircraft produced in the 1960s. British Executive and General Aviation Limited, who traded as BEAGLE, designed the Beagle B.121 Pup as a replacement for aging Tiger Moths and Pipers; Beagle Aircraft Limited marketed it as “a pilot’s aeroplane”. I found the designation B.121 interesting. B stands…

Read more… 6 Nov 20

Abused fighter planes and the men who love them

A few months ago, I wrote about how to shoot down a fighter jet while flying it, the case of a test-pilot in a Grumman F-11 Tiger who managed to catch up to his own gunfire. One of the fantastic things I found out in the course of writing that piece was that Tom Attridge…

Read more… 23 Oct 20

Accident Reports

The Sad Story of the Seawind 3000 N8UU

For this post, I’m going to start with the NTSB report of an accident which took place on the 3rd of July 2021 on Lake Michigan. The aircraft was a…

Causal Factors of the Piper Malibu Crash near Guernsey

Sometimes it seems like these posts get longer every year that I keep doing this. This collection of details from the AAIB report that I left out of the Piper…

Demystifying

Questions and Answers: It's Your Turn

A Fear of Landing reader asked me a great question in email. Is there some way of asking general technical questions that relate to aircraft or airport operations rather than…

Wings for Wildlife: Aviation at Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

The Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, founded in 1977, is a charity focused on the conservation, preservation and protection of wildlife and habitats in Kenya. Their well-written newsletters are always a joy…

History

The MS Estonia 1994 Ferry Disaster Revisited

On the 28th of September 2020, a Swedish documentary called Estonia–The Find That Changes Everything made headlines around the world when they claimed to have found new evidence on the…

How to shoot down a fighter jet...while flying it.

The Grumman F-11 Tiger was a popular US Navy fighter aircraft introduced in 1956. At the time, it was known as the F11F Tiger. Grumman had been working to modernise…

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…