Category: History –  Page 8

Cal Rodgers and the first fatal birdstrike

Bird strikes are loosely defined as a collision between an airborne animal and a human-made vehicle. The animal in question is usually a bird but can also be a bat (and in one bizarre incident, a fish). Annual damages caused by bird strikes are estimated at US$1.2 billion for commercial aircraft worldwide. Initial aviators had…

Read more… 22 May 15

The Mystery of Pan Am flight 7

Pan Am trip number 7 was an around-the-world flight which disappeared at sea, never to be recovered or understood. The aircraft was Pan Am ship #944 (registration N90944), a Boeing 377 Stratocruiser Romance of the Skies. The Stratocruiser was “the ocean liner of the air” with Pullman-style sleeping berths, reclining seats with 60 inches of…

Read more… 13 Mar 15

The Story of Diamond Jack Palmer and the Pelikaan

The story of Diamond Jack Palmer is a typically Australian story of a beach comber whose luck was in when he found diamonds worth a few million on the beach but couldn’t quite keep up with his luck. It’s also a fascinating aviation story. It starts with the Koninklijke Nederlandsch-Indische Luchtvaart Maatschappij airline and their…

Read more… 21 Nov 14

Landing in a Corn Field

I’ve been browsing old photographs again, and found an amazing pair of a Lockheed Constellation from 1951. The Lockheed Constellation, affectionately known as the “Connie” is an easy aircraft to recognise. The propeller-driven aircraft with four 18-cylinder engines was described by Popular Mechanics Magazine in 1943 as resembling a great winged shark: Popular Mechanics ,…

Read more… 20 Jun 14

The Disappearance of Aeronaut Walter Powell

I meant to be researching something else entirely but then I stumbled upon the sad story of Walter Powell, a Welsh gentleman born in 1842 who disappeared in 1881. Walter Powell, the Tory Member of Parliament for Malmesbury, took up ballooning in 1880 after the death of his wife. He received training and soon had…

Read more… 18 Apr 14

B-1B with its Nose to the Ground

On the 5th of October in 1989, a B-1B Lancer departed Dyess Air Force Base with four crew on a routine training flight. Three hours later, the flight crew discovered that the aircraft had a hydraulics fault. As they came in to land at Dyess Air Force Base in Texas, the front landing gear failed…

Read more… 28 Feb 14

Accident Reports

Madness on the Runway at Manchester

The Manchester Airport Group Plc owns and operates three airports: Manchester, London Stansted and East Midlands. Manchester Airport is the third busiest airport in Britain. Their website says Manchester Airport…

Mid-air Collision of Wingsuit Flyer and Pilatus PC-6

On the 27th of July 2018, an experienced pilot departed with ten parachutists on board for a routine drop mission. It was the pilot’s fourth flight of the day in…

Demystifying

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…

Descending into Illusion: The Black Hole Effect

With no moon or city lights to guide you, the runway lights up ahead should be a beacon of safety. However, it might be a trap known as the black…

History

A Brief Word About Icelandic Aviation

Aviation in Iceland started with an airline, not an aircraft. Flugfélag Íslands, the first Icelandic airline, was founded in Reykjavík on the 22nd of March 1919. They did not (yet)…

The Wright brothers and the dream of flying

I’ve lost most of the day to unexpected research and one of the fascinating items that I discovered was the Air Force Historical Research Agency and their amazing photo collection.…

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…