Category: British Islands

Landing on the Beach – Destination Barra

One of my Things to Do Before I Die is to fly to every possible island in the British Isles. I have identified 38 islands with usable runways within the geographical British Isles, from Jersey off the coast of France to the icy Faroes, located halfway between Iceland and Norway. Ireland and the Aran Islands…

Read more… 6 Jul 12

Living in a Lighthouse

It might sound silly to highlight lighthouses on an aviation blog but pilots who fly on the coast know why they are important. Lighthouses make for unmistakeable landmarks and are often used as Visual Reporting Points. Also, they tend to be on the most scenic of locations (why is that?) and so I know I’m…

Read more… 25 Feb 11

Destination: Glenforsa

It took a couple of visits before I felt confident landing at Glenforsa airfield. It’s a grass runway with no margin for error: hills on one side and the Sound of Mull on the other. Having said that, there has never been a serious injury at Glenforsa although the Glenforsa Airfield History includes some incredible…

Read more… 17 Jul 09

Photographs of the Scillies

I’ve finally finished going through my photographs from our trip to the Isles of Scilly in 2006. I’ve put together a collection of my favourites. Click through to comment on any individual photograph.

Read more… 27 Feb 09

Moor on St Mary’s

The Lower Moors Nature Trail leads through a wetland consisting of a mixture of Sallow Thicket, Reed bed and wet pasture. There is a small pool in the middle of the moor overlooked by two hides. The raised path gives views across the largest Reed bed on St Mary’s and there is a circular board…

Read more… 17 Oct 08

Old Town Churchyard

The following morning, we left our hotel to do some exploring. Our hotel was in Hugh Town, known locally as just the Town. ‘The Town’ has a feeling unlike any other part of Scilly – built-up and almost urbanised. But there is usually a friendly feel to the place with people stopping in the street…

Read more… 5 Sep 08

Accident Reports

"It must be fictitious!" Aeroperu 603

On the 2nd of October in 1996, Aeroperú 603 made history with a frantic and heartbreaking 25-minute flight that ended with the loss of the aircraft and all on board.…

Turning a Runway Overrun into a Crash (East Coast Jets flight 81)

Last week, I went through the details of the fatal runway overrun of East Coast Jets flight 81). This is one of those accidents where it seems easy to blame…

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

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…

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…

Fun Stuff

For your amusement: weird and interesting NOTAMS

I was browsing around looking for interesting news when I saw that Reddit user justachamelion had posted a great question for /r/AskReddit: Pilots of Reddit, what are the weirdest or…

In case you were wondering what to get me for Christmas

There are lots of private jets up for sale but this one is special… It is a 1962 Lockheed JetStar 1329. The JetStar was a private project at Lockheed, originally…