Category: History

“I Don’t Know Why I Killed Him But I Did”

The true story of Earnest Pletch is hard to believe, even almost a hundred years later. Commonly referred to as America’s first hijack, I’m not sure where else there might have been an earlier one. Also, I think it should technically be referred to as in-flight theft of an aircraft, I guess, not to mention…

Read more… 14 Apr 17

Kaleva Shot Down By Long Range Bombers

Today is the 99th anniversary of Estonian independence. Sadly, that doesn’t mean 99 years of independence. The auspicious date seems like a good opportunity for a historical post covering the most famous aviation incident in Estonian territory: when the Finnish passenger plane Kaleva was shot down by Soviet bombers as it was departing Tallinn. Kaleva…

Read more… 24 Feb 17

The Mystery of Flying Tiger Line flight 739

On the 16th of March, 1962, a Lockheed Super Constellation airliner disappeared over the Pacific. The Flying Tiger Line was the first scheduled cargo airline in the US. It was named after the Flying Tigers fighter unit, a World War II group of pilots from the US Army, Navy and Marine Corps whose shark-faced fighter…

Read more… 30 Sep 16

Disaster at the Air Show

ONE OF THE MOST tragic accidents in recent history is hard to reach concrete conclusions about because there are no published investigation results and no final report to be read. The accident took place at Sknyliv Airport, near Lviv in the Ukraine, in July 2002. Fourteen years later, the local community has still not recovered.…

Read more… 5 Aug 16

Wrong Way Corrigan mistakes Ireland for California

The story of how Douglas Corrigan ended up in Ireland while aiming for California is one of my favourites. In fact, I feel sure that I’ve written about him before*. It was seventy-eight years ago, the 17th of July in 1938, when Douglas Corrigan earned the nickname “Wrong Way Corrigan”. He started his aviation career…

Read more… 22 Jul 16

The first supersonic jet bomber

This week, I am away camping in rainy North Wales. However, my friend Tatiana works for Picryl (https://picryl.com), a cross-platform application to find traces of history in photos, rare and ancient books, photos, posters and postcards in hundreds of sources like Library of Congress, the Internet Archive, and NASA. Tatiana is an aviation geek too…

Read more… 24 Jun 16

Accident Reports

How will we stop the engine, then? Kigali Crash into VIP lounge

You may recall these photographs from the mainstream media in 2009, when an aircraft crashed into an airport building, killing one passenger. The CRJ-100 had just taken off from Kigali…

The Mystery of Nightship 282

I often praise the NTSB for thorough and balanced reports but occasionally, there’s one that makes me wonder what the hell someone was thinking.  The Night Ship final report fits…

Demystifying

The 1% rule and air disaster avoidance

I asked my friend, Robert Dawson, to help me understand the numbers behind risk assessment and the 1% rule. Robert writes fantastic science fiction and poetry, however I contacted him…

Airplane Pens

This is a bit of a short post today to make up for all the heavy posts recently. Me, I’m enjoying the long weekend and a bit of sunshine… This…

History

Another Unsolved Mystery: The Kinross Incident

The Kinross Incident is a famous aviation accident which many still believe shows proof of an extraterrestrial encounter. The story unfolds in late November in 1953 over the Great Lakes.…

The Mysterious Disappearance of Foxtrot 94

This is one of my favourite aviation mysteries, in which a military pilot is reported as chasing after an unidentified object in the sky which he describes as glowing in…

Fun Stuff

Fascinating Aviation Articles on the Internet

How Aviation Became Firefighters’ Best Friend—And Then Their Worst Enemy This fire, now known as the Saddle Fire, raged across the state throughout summer 2016. Before it burned out it…

Ten Great Christmas Gifts for Aviation Geeks

It’s the last weekend of November and time to get those Christmas gifts ready! I’ve collected ten great gifts here to give to your fellow aviation geeks… or pass this…