Category: Without a Trace

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 way that they had hoped. It has only just come to my attention that I haven’t written about this mystery here, so I hope…

Read more… 21 May 21

Without a Trace: 1970-2016

It’s taken a lot longer than I expected but I’m thrilled to announce that I have finished Without a Trace: 1970-2016, my second book about aviation mysteries. The two book series covers thirty mysteries, starting with the hot air balloon and ending with the Sutlej that disappeared from under the military’s nose. It’s been a…

Read more… 3 May 19

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 disappeared mid-flight, never to be heard of again. As a part of this, I investigated the story of Richard McCoy Jr, whom some believe to…

Read more… 26 Oct 18

I’ve written a book!

I am thrilled and relieved and excited to tell you all that the first volume of my book Without a Trace is now out and available at all good e-bookstores. This volume covers a range of aviation vehicles from balloons to airships to single-engine planes to jet airliners to high-tech special reconnaisance jets flying three…

Read more… 9 Mar 18

Accident Reports

Alitalia flight 404: The result of a dozen small decisions

Last week, we looked at the key events that led to the Alitalia flight 404 crash. A few points from the previous post: Maintenance replaced both radio receivers in the…

Alitalia Flight 404: "Catch the glide!"

On the 14th of November 1990, Alitalia flight AZ404 crashed into high ground upon approach to Zürich. The accident was investigated by the Federal Aircraft Accidents Inquiry Board in Switzerland…

Demystifying

I am a teapot

A reader contacted me to ask about a missing flight 404; they had heard on a trivia podcast that the original computer error message 404 was based on two flights…

The Legend of the Ghost of Kyiv

On the 25th of February 2022, Plane & Pilot magazine shared a video of the “Ghost of Kyiv” overflying Kyiv in a Ukrainian MiG-29. An unnamed Ukrainian fighter pilot shot…

History

Amazing Aerial View of Edinburgh

When I first saw this image, I assumed it was result of modern image manipulations, maybe even the poster for a film. It was too perfect and too modern to…

The Mount Erebus Disaster

On the 28th of November 1979, a sight-seeing flight to Antartica crashed into Mount Erebus, killing all 257 on board. The Mount Erebus Disaster, as it came to be known,…

Fun Stuff

Funniest Thing You've Heard On the Radio

I’ve been struggling this week and was just panicking that I would not have a post finished in time for you for today when I discovered that Reddit had saved…

A Little Bit of Everything

There’s so much great aviation writing and video out there and I’m always appreciative when people send me fun things; it seems a shame not to share them! So here’s…