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

Lion Air flight 610: In the Cockpit

On the 29th of October 2018, Lion Air flight 610, a Boeing 737-8 (MAX) crashed at Tanjung Karawang, West Java after departing from Jakarta. This crash was the first public…

Crash at Pensacola: "I wasn't ridiculously low"

On Tuesday the 13th of August 2019, a Cessna 172 Skyhawk, registration N84287 crashed into a sand bar on the Escambia River near Jay, Florida, near the Alabama border. The…

Demystifying

Maintaining Focus in the Cockpit

This article by Key Dismukes, Grant Young and Robert Sumwait is based on their research at NASA to study the problem of crew preoccupation. They reviewed NTSB reports of accidents…

Maintaining the Stores

We don’t often talk about parked aircraft because it is not very common for them to be involved in crashes. However, one of the side-effects of these pandemic times is…

History

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,…

An Icon of Aviation

I have a guest post this week by Nicholas Brown, the Campus President of Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology. The college has been rebuilding a replica of Little Stinker,…

Fun Stuff

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…

The Tetris Challenge

When the Kantonspolizei Zürich (the police department of the Swiss canton of Zurich) posted a photograph on Facebook showing the contents of a standard patrol car, they had no idea…