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

"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…