Category: History

Building a B-29 Piece by Piece

New

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 not otherwise have received the recognition that she deserved. I’d like to introduce you to Matt’s grandmother, Edna! Edna lived in Detroit in 1945, the…

Read more… 7 Dec 18

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 disappeared mid-flight, never to be heard of again. As a part of this, I investigated the story of Richard McCoy Jr, whom some believe to…

Read more… 26 Oct 18

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 it was I wanted to know in the first place. It’s well known that commercial aviation got its start in the aftermath of the First…

Read more… 11 May 18

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 story of a cat, who was neither the first cat to fly nor the first cat to cross the Atlantic. But the cat rubbed shoulders…

Read more… 15 Dec 17

The Story of the Avro Lancaster LM650 KM-T

I became interested in this story last year, when a reader named Niall left a comment about this rather odd item for sale on Ebay: What was the story of this piece of an aircraft, suddenly available for sale for a mere £26, seventy years after the crash? The answer took me down a rabbit…

Read more… 29 Sep 17

Amelia Earhart Captured By Japanese

On Wednesday, the news hit the headlines that a newly discovered photograph could show Amelia Earhart in Japanese custody. The photograph, apparently taken by a US spy in the 1930s, shows what appears to be a seated woman with rough curly hair. The location of the photograph is given as Jaluit Atoll on the Marshall…

Read more… 7 Jul 17

Accident Reports

Preliminary Report on Lion Air flight 610

On the 29th of October 2018, Lion Air flight 610, a Boeing 737-8 (MAX) crashed at Tanjung Karawang, West Java after departing from Jakarta. On Wednesday, the KNKT (the Indonesian…

"It must be fictitious!" Aeroperu 603

On the 2nd of October in 1996, Aeroperú 603 made history with a frantic and heartbreaking 25-minute flight that ended with the loss of the aircraft and all on board.…

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

Sutlej Missing Over Indian Ocean

On 25 March 1986, three Antonov An-32 transport planes departed Muscat, the capital of Oman, in a staggered formation for the Indian Air Force base at Jagmagar. Initially, the Indian…

"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…

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…