Category: I learned from that –  Page 2

Near Miss

Alistair Mayer is a brilliant science fiction writer and all around nice guy whose stories regularly grace the pages of Analog magazine. He shared this story from his flying days in Canada and kindly allowed me to share it with you here as a part of my I learned from that series. You can find…

Read more… 12 Aug 11

An Idiot’s Guide to ATC Slots

It seems to be fairly well understood these days that planes have slots – it’s common for the flight crew to announce delays because the flight missed its slot or was given a bad slot. However, I’ve noticed a tendency to blame the airport, passengers mumbling about overcrowding and bad organisation. Slots are not about…

Read more… 30 Jul 10

Short Circuit

It’s been a while since the day I missed the runway at Oxford Airport. I’ve done a lot more flying and I’m a lot more competent. But my first near-miss (no damage was done except the loss of a runway light) is not an incident I’m likely to forget in a hurry. The Saratoga is…

Read more… 16 Oct 09

Reserves? What reserves?

Not long after the Paris Trip I decided to take the same girlfriend to Perranporth on the north coast of Cornwall.  I hired a Grumman Tiger from LSF at Elstree.  The flight down was unexciting and we had a good weekend. It was on the return journey we had problems.  For some reason, Perranporth had…

Read more… 26 Dec 08

VMC On Top

An old friend of mine, also a pilot, mailed me recently saying: Hey, how about you tell me a tale of the day you really learnt to fly, you know – not when you got your licence, but an occasion, when you really learnt to fly, come on, I’ve got some, I’ll tell you if…

Read more… 21 Nov 08

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…