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Isle of Wight – local white wine?

“Marked as medium-dry but not sweet at all. In fact, it’s sour … but surprisingly drinkable after the first shock. I could imagine enjoying it in sunnier climates mixed with mineral water as a tart wine spritzer.” Why I would bother to write all that and not name the wine is beyond me. I don’t…

Read more… 10 Oct 06

New Look

A winter re-design. There were quite a few small things on the site that needed dealing with and Cliff volunteered to help with bringing WordPress to heel. I have to admit I thought the grey was particularly appropriate, given the issues with winter flying in the UK. The categories and archives should be a bit…

Read more… 7 Oct 06

The Shipwreck of the Stella

The Casquets, the set of towers we’d seen on the flight in, is not surprisingly an important figure within the recent history of the island but the most interesting and tragic story is told at the Maritime Museum: the wreck of the Stella. In the 1890s the competition between the ‘London and South Western’ and…

Read more… 5 Oct 06

I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore…

This trip, I learned how to tie down the plane after the housekeeper at our Bed and Breakfast warned us of an upcoming hurricane. “It’s really a hurricane?” I asked Lynne. “Yes, tail-end of one. Which one is it?” “Gordon,” piped up someone in the corner of the room. “No, not Gordon,” said Lynne. “That…

Read more… 30 Sep 06

Things to Do on St Mary’s

The Isles of Scilly are said to be the most isolated islands in Britain, which I have a hard time believing — in England maybe, but in Britain? It’s a total of 150 islands (five inhabited) but in line with my other destinations, I’m staying on the chunk of land with the airfield on it.…

Read more… 21 Sep 06

Scilly, how long it took…

Finally have confirmed the trip to St Mary’s and the Isles of Scilly for next week. Looking forward to this, especially as I did all the leg-work last month. The flight in looks a bit confusing; I might go a bit of a roundabout route. I was a bit amused by the local online news,…

Read more… 18 Sep 06

Accident Reports

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…

Fatal Runway Overrun (East Coast Jets flight 81-2008)

On the 31st of July in 2008, East Coast Jets flight 81 departed Atlantic City International Airport carrying two pilots and six passengers for a non-scheduled domestic passenger flight to…

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

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

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…