Category: History –  Page 3

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

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 26-year-old case of the sinking of the MS Estonia. On the 28th of September 1994, The MS Estonia, a cruise ferry operated by Estline, sank…

Read more… 9 Oct 20

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 their Cougar as a part of the Cold War arms race. US aircraft were being outperformed by the swept-wing design of the Soviet’s Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15…

Read more… 21 Aug 20

Arrow Air flight 1285: icing or explosion?

On the 12th of December 1985, a DC-8 Jetliner operating as Arrow Air flight 1285 crashed on departure from Gander, Canada. This was an international charter flight carrying US troops from Cairo, Egypt to their home base of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, with stops to refuel at Cologne in West Germany and at Gander. The flight…

Read more… 24 Jul 20

Accident Reports

Air Taxi Prototype Crash at Cotswold Airport

On the 9th of August 2023, a VX4 crashed at Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire during a test flight over the runway. The VX4 is a prototype air taxi, designed and…

The Unstallable Plane That Stalled

The Cessna 185 Skywagon is a high wing, single engine aircraft: basically a Cessna 180 with six seats, a strengthened fuselage and a slightly more powerful engine. It’s a popular…

Demystifying

Training an AI Copilot To Spot Gliders

My friend Maria at Daedalean wrote this article about how they are using AI to help pilots detect gliders. I thought it was fascinating and Daedalean gave me permission to…

The Missing Bolts from Alaska Airlines flight 1282

On the 5th of January 2024, Alaska Airlines flight 1282 had just taken off when it lost a door plug, leaving a gaping hole on the left side of row…

History

Gladys Ingle Inflight Wheel Change: Emergency Action or Stunt?

This video of a mid-air wheel exchange goes viral once a year or so, but I never get tired of watching it. Last week, it showed up on Reddit and…

The Disappearance of the Hawaii Clipper May Not Be as Mysterious as Was Thought

This week, we have a guest post by J.B. Rivard who wrote an article for the American Aviation Historical Society (AAHS) and used one of my articles as a reference.…

Fun Stuff

A Few Good Stories

I’m in Dresden at the moment and I’m afraid I haven’t had a free moment to write you a new article. Luckily, lots of other people are on the internet…

Flying Fails and Airshow Considerations

Long-term readings of Fear of Landing know that my favourite aerobatics show of all time is Kyle Franklin’s Ben Whabnoski Comedy act. Just in case some of you haven’t seen…