Category: Learning to Fly

Fourteen Lessons Every Pilot Must Learn

The posts have been very in-depth lately and I’ve not got the next one quite ready yet. However, I did find this great video by instructor Judy Robus. She’s taken YouTube clips and compiled them into a video lessons on the pitfalls of becoming complacent. It’s twelve minutes long and well worth watching, even if…

Read more… 2 Feb 18

Learning Finesse: Pitch vs Power

Today I leave you with a piece from the archives; an ah hah! moment for me as the relationship between pitch and power on landing really came clear (yes, I’m a slow learner). I wrote this in 2009 but rereading it brought it all back… Flying is hours of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer…

Read more… 24 Jul 15

An Unexpected Primer on Aviation Radio

I’ve been waylaid by an unexpected birthday party! It’s hard to complain about such a lovely thing. So here’s something from the archives: a 2008 post about Air Traffic Service Units in the UK and my native ability to talk too much. I’m on my way to Paris (!!!) but I’ll be back with fresh…

Read more… 6 Mar 15

Fly by Night

I’m back from California (I didn’t win) and still trying to get into the swing of things, let alone sleeping on the right timezone. So for this week, here’s a piece I wrote some years ago. A version of this piece was published in Piper Flyer. Fly by Night Flying feels different in the dark.…

Read more… 30 May 14

State Your Intentions

There are different levels of radio service available to pilots flying in the UK: Air/Ground Radio, Flight Information Service and Air Traffic Control. If you fly into Military Air Traffic Zones, things work somewhat differently. I’ve spent quite some time speaking on the radio and am considered quite experienced. Here are my explanations of the…

Read more… 9 Dec 11

The Reluctant Pilot: Emergency Landings

This is another excerpt from my essays about learning to fly at Velez-Malaga airfield in Axarquía, Spain. The events took place shortly before I did my first solo flight away from the airfield. The cross country navigation exercise is required to get your private pilot’s licence. It is effectively the first time the pilot is…

Read more… 4 Feb 11

Accident Reports

When Two 737s Collide

This Wednesday, the 11th of July, the Transport Safety Board of Canada have released an investigation report on the ground collision, fire and evacuation at Toronto Pearson International Airport in…

Too Slow, Too Low and Obstacles Ahead: Air France flight 296

On the 26th of June in 1988, one of the first in-service Airbus A320s flew a demonstration flight over Habsheim airport and ended in tragedy. I’ve written an introductory piece…

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

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…

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…

Fun Stuff

My Favourite Posts from 2006 to 2017

This week, while I recover from my Holiday Food Coma, I want to try something a little different. I’ve collected my favourite posts from the past – ones that will…

Parachute deployed in flat spin at 1,000 feet

This video was posted to a number of aviation forums last week and it’s easy to see why. I literally watched it three times in a row on the spot…