Category: British Mainland

Stick in the Mud

When I went to start my day at the desk, there was a whirr and a slight smell of burning and then nothing. The computer stayed dark. I did a walk-around but there’s nothing wrong that I can see: the machine needs an engineer. Meanwhile, I’m using my iPhone to keep the withdrawal symptoms at…

Read more… 23 Aug 13

A Visit to Blackpool ATC

Visit ATC Day is an annual event coordinated by the Airspace and Safety Initiative in the US, allowing pilots to sign up for tours at Air Traffic Control units around the country. This year, the event was held with events in October and November. I couldn’t make the Prestwick date but I was lucky enough…

Read more… 7 Dec 12

Destination: Swansea

I’ve been bursting to tell you all about this for weeks. We’re moving to South Wales! We’ve taken a gorgeous flat right on the Marina and we’ll be splitting our time between Swansea and the Costa del Sol. I’m really looking forward to this (despite all the dire weather predictions) and I hope to share…

Read more… 24 Jun 11

Places to Go, People to See

I’m going to be spending more time in England and Wales over the summer. I’m looking forward to it: I tend to commute back and forth which means I tend to only see places where I have a meeting. I haven’t had much chance to wander around and see things just because I want to…

Read more… 3 Jun 11

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

November 666 Echo X-ray, Do You Read?

(Something from the archives: a 2008 post about Air Traffic Service Units in the UK and my native ability to talk too much. I’ll be back with fresh content next week.) Air/Ground Radio Airfields with A/G Radio offer an information service with a radio operator who are not licensed and not under close CAA supervision.…

Read more… 7 May 10

Accident Reports

The Wing Just Broke Off: Chalk's Airline Flight 101 (2005)

On the 19th of December, 2005, Chalk’s Ocean Airways flight 101 crashed into a shipping channel shortly after take-off. This fatal accident signalled the beginning of the end for Chalk’s…

Aloha Air 243 Becomes Relevant Thirty Years Later

The 28th of April marks 30 years since Aloha Airlines flight 243 had its hull ripped open at 24,000 feet. In light of the current focus on metal fatigue and…

Demystifying

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…

Crash in the Desert (Controlled Impact Demonstration)

This post started, as so many of them do, with a seemingly unbelieveable photograph with no attribution information. It didn’t take long to find a Reddit thread discussing the photograph…

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…