Category: History –  Page 3

Alcock and Brown: part 1

I’m going to Ireland! It will be my first time there. While I’m there, I’ll get the chance to see Dublin and Belfast and Rudy! I’m not sure which of the three is most exciting. You can bet I’m looking forward to this, even if it means you’ll be without me for a few weeks.…

Read more… 9 Aug 19

Building a B-29 Piece by Piece

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

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…