Thursday, December 22, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

December 21 - A U.S. Airways flight bound for Charlotte from Ottawa made a safe emergency return landing to Ottawa after smoke filled the cockpit shortly after takeoff. A crew member speculated that fluids used to deice the aircraft entered an engine intake, causing the smoke.

December 20 - A single-engine Cessna registered to U.S. Aviation Academy crashed on approach to Denton Municipal Airport in Denton, Texas, killing one and injuring two. The aircraft was reportedly on an instructional flight at the time of the crash. (AVSIG Discussion)

December 20 - All five aboard a Socata TBM-700 were killed after crashing on I-287 near Harding, New Jersey. The aircraft reportedly disappeared from radar after departing Teterboro and ascending through 17,000 feet in icing conditions. The wreckage reported left a half-mile debris field. (AVSIG Discussion)

December 19 - All five aboard a single-engine Piper were killed after crashing near Bryan, Texas. Heavy rain was reported at the time of the crash. (AVSIG Discussion)

December 18 - Two single-engine aircraft collided near the airport in Leicestershire, England, killing the pilot of one aircraft. Both aircraft reportedly landed intact on a public road.

December 15 - A Cirrus SR22 crashed in a residential yard on approach to Scottsdale Municipal Airport in Arizona, killing one and injuring one. No injuries were reported on the ground.

December 9 - All four aboard a Cessna 421 were killed after crashing shortly after takeoff from Sioux Falls Regional Airport in South Dakota.

December 7 - All five aboard a sightseeing helicopter operated by Sundance Helicopters were killed after crashing into a mountainside near Lake Mead in Las Vegas, Nevada. Weather was reported clear at the time of the crash.

December 3 - A Socata TB-21 crashed north of Silverton, Colorado, killing all four aboard. The aircraft was reportedly en route from Durango to Aspen at the time of the crash.

December 3 - A Piper Saratoga registered to Great Lakes Air Inc. crashed in the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan, killing both aboard. The aircraft had reportedly just departed St. Ignace for Mackinaw Island at the time of the crash.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

From Our Don't Cross Your Eyes within 1,000 Feet of an Airliner File ...

When a well-known actor was recently escorted from First Class for acting less than, the resulting press coverage couldn't help but make the incident look like an elaborate publicity stunt.  Was it really necessary to mention the specific playphone game that caused the actor, whose name we're not mentioning here simply because we're sick of seeing it, to disobey the flight crew and thumb away on his phone?

The game, Posturing with People (a name we made up, because we're also tired of seeing it) was gratuitously mentioned not once, but three times in the initial wire coverage, and every media outlet thereafter seemed compelled to mention Posturing with People in the breathless way that the real names of rappers are mentioned only after they've been shot.

Posturing with People.
Posturing with People.
Posturing with People.

Hopefully we're done now.

As easy as it might be to lump this into either the Celebrity Behaving Badly or Pea-Eye-Double-Essy-Flight-Attendant-on-a-Power-Trip Files, this internet blog is (almost) ignoring this too-smart-for-the-media publicity tweet and filing it under Mega-rich Celebrity Who's Too Cheap to Buy a NetJets Share.

Such twit-gawkering baubles distract from less-made-for-TMZ incidents of cabin rage where seemingly minor flight attendant/passenger conflicts are escalated into matters of national security, as in the case of three women who were recently booted off an AirTran flight in West Palm Beach for having the temerity to question the behavior of a flight attendant.

In an account not disputed by the airline, a flight attendant moved a bag from one overhead shelf to another.  The bag's owner complained about the handling of the bag, which contained fragile items.  The flight attendant took issue.  A nearby passenger deemed this the perfect time to complain about her broken seat and the flight attendant invited both women to leave the airplane before a third woman came to their verbal defense in time join them on a perp walk off the airplane past roused-just-in-case Palm Beach County sheriff's deputies.

No drunkenness ... no threats.  At worst maybe three testy passengers who might have been easily left to pound sand and compose nasty letters-to-the-CEO during the flight to Westchester County.

Unless these women failed to buckle in, delaying an airline flight and diverting law enforcement resources for such a petty spat calls for a closer look, not from the airline, which has made its position clear by expressing nothing but nothing in its public response, and not from passengers, who are always free to vote with their wallets, but from the people charged with making our air travel system safe from real threats.

M.O.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

November 3 - A Cessna Citation skidded off the runway end at Key West International Airport in Florida after the pilot reported losing brakes. The aircraft safely impacted an EMAS arresting structure. (AVSIG Discussion)

November 1 - A LOT B767 made a safe emergency gear-up landing in Warsaw after encountering a complete failure of the landing gear hydraulics shortly after departing Newark, New Jersey. The aircraft circled Warsaw to burn fuel before the landing. (AVSIG Discussion)

October 31 - A Gulfstream G150 owned by Hendrick Motorsports skidded off the runway end at Key West International Airport in Florida after the pilot reported losing brakes. Two injuries were reported.

October 29 - Both aboard a single-engine plane were killed after crashing off a runway end at Richards Field Airport in Redland, Florida.

October 29 - The pilot of a 1990 Pietenpol Air Camper was seriously injured after crashing in a wooded area north of Youngstown, Ohio. Witnesses reported that the aircraft appeared to struggle to make power before the crash.

October 26 - The crew of a Lufthansa A320 requested landing priority at its Frankfort destination after an unusual odor was noticed in the cabin.

October 24 - A fractionally-owned Cirrus SR22T crashed in a field adjacent to a high school in Carrollton, Texas, killing one and injuring two. The pilot reported engine trouble and was attempting to turn back to Addison Airport at the time of the crash. (AVSIG Discussion)

October 23 - A single-engine plane crashed on approach to Davidson County Airport near Lexington, North Carolina, killing one and injuring one.

October 21 - Both aboard a single-engine experimental plane received minor injuries after striking a fence and flipping during an emergency landing in a field near Hibbing, Minnesota. The pilot reported smoke in the cockpit prior to crash landing.

October 20 - A U.S. Airways flight bound for Zurich from Philadelphia made an unscheduled landing in Boston after flight attendants were reportedly sickened by electrical fumes at the rear of the cabin.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

October 16 - The pilot of an Cirrus SR22 registered to Cirrwood LLC was killed after striking a house and crashing in Danbury, Connecticut. The aircraft was reportedly on approach to Danbury Municipal Airport at the time of the crash. (AVSIG Discussion)

October 16 - A single-engine plane crashed near Lanwedel, Germany, killing both aboard. A witness reported that the aircraft appeared to experience engine trouble before the crash.

October 16 - All three aboard a Beech Bonanza were killed after crashing five miles short of the runway during an emergency landing attempt at Barstow-Daggett Airport in Daggett, California. No other details were available at post time.

October 15 - The pilot of a JH-7 "Flying Leopard" fighter-bomber was killed after crashing during an air show demonstration in Xi'an, China. The back-seat pilot safely ejected before the crash. (AVSIG Discussion)

October 14 - Both aboard a single-engine plane were killed after crashing shortly after takeoff from Yverdon-les Bains, Switzerland.

October 12 - The pilot of a Socata TBM 700 registered to SV Leasing Co. of America was forced to make an emergency landing on the Florida Turnpike near Hollywood, Florida after experiencing an engine failure on approach to North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines. Both the pilot and a passenger were reportedly injured during the landing.

October 10 - A Pen Air flight made an emergency return landing to Dillingham, Alaska after the airline received a bomb threat against the flight.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

October 8 - The pilot of a single-engine plane was killed after crashing shortly after takeoff from Thomasville Airport near Quitman, Georgia.

October 7 - The pilot of a Cessna 310 made a safe water ditching northeast of Hawaii Island after running out of fuel during an attempted flight between Monterey, California and Hilo. The U.S. Coast Guard dispatched both air and sea units to assist in the pilot's rescue. (AVSIG Discussion)

October 6 - All three aboard a Piper Saratoga were killed after crashing in mountainous terrain near Brake, West Virginia. Poor weather was reported at the time of the crash.

October 5 - The pilot of a single-engine plane was killed after crashing in a farm field near Moyock, North Carolina.

October 4 - A Bell 206 sightseeing helicopter crashed in the East River near New York's 34th Street heliport, killing one and injuring four. Witnesses reported that the pilot lost control of the aircraft shortly after takeoff. (AVSIG Discussion)

October 3 - A United Airlines CRJ-200 made a safe emergency return landing to Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport after the nosegear failed to retract on takeoff.

September 29 - All 18 aboard a Casa C-212 were killed after crashing in heavy-forested terrain in North Sumatra, Indonesia. Heavy rain and high winds were reported in the area at the time of the crash.

September 25 - All 19 aboard a Buddha Air BE19 were killed after crashing during a landing attempt at an airport south of Kathmandu. Heavy fog was present at the time of the crash.

September 20 - A Salsa d’Haiti Beech 99 crashed in heavy rain near Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, killing all three aboard.

September 19 - The pilot of a Skybolt stunt biplane safely ejected before his aircraft crashed in Greenleaf, Idaho. The pilot reported that the aircraft suffered a structural failure before he elected to eject.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

September 18 - A London-bound Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight made a safe emergency landing in Jordan after the crew reported a "technical fault." Airline officials reportedly speculated the emergency landing and several similar recent flight delays were part of a concerted effort by unnamed parties to sabotage company operations.

September 17 - The pilot of a Cessna 172 was killed after crashing near Greenville Municipal Airport in Greenville, Maine.

September 17 - The pilot of a WWII-era T-28 operating on behalf of the Trojan Horseman aerobatic team was killed after crashing during an aerobatic maneuver at the Thunder Over the Blue Ridge air show in Martinsburg, West Virginia. (AVSIG Discussion)

September 16 - Eight spectators and the pilot of a modified P-51 Mustang were killed after the aircraft crashed near a spectator gallery at the Reno Air Races in Reno, Nevada. High-resolution video frames of the aircraft before the crash revealed a broken elevator trim tab on the tail and an extended tailwheel gear. The wings of the crashed Mustang had reportedly been shortened by five feet on each side and ailerons shortened from 60 to 32 inches to increase speed and maneuverability. (AVSIG Discussion)

September 15 - A Thompson Airways flight made an emergency landing at London's Gatwick Airport after a passenger attempted to open an emergency exit at 36,000 feet, shouting, "It's OK, we are just on a flight simulator."

September 12 - A Cessna 182 crashed near Stanley, Idaho, killing both aboard. Search efforts were hampered by heavy terrain.

September 8 - The pilot of a Cirrus SR20 was killed after crashing near West Liberty, Ohio.

September 7 - A chartered Yak-42 operated by Yak-Servis crashed on takeoff from Yaroslavl, Russia, killing 43, including a professional hockey team and staff. Two crew members reportedly survived the crash. Witnesses reported that the aircraft struggled to gain altitude after rotation. (AVSIG Discussion)

September 6 - A Russian Air Force MiG-31 crashed during a training flight in the Ural Mountains in western Russia, killing both aboard. Russia grounded all MiG-31 pending an investigation of the crash.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Breaking: Reno Air Show P-51 Crash



September 16 - A P-51 Mustang crashed into spectators during the Reno Air Races, killing the pilot and two on the ground.  Many critical injuries were reported at post time.  AVSIG Discussion.  Video.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

September 5 - The pilot of a helicopter walked away uninjured after crashing in a field near Ingham, Queensland, Australia.

September 4 - A student and flight instructor were killed after crashing in a corn field shortly after takeoff from Seward Municipal Airport in Seward, Nebraska.

September 4 - A Spirit Airlines flight made a safe emergency return landing to McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas after a passenger made a bomb threat against the flight.

September 2 - All 21 aboard a Chilean Air Force C-212 Aviocar were killed after crashing in the Pacific Ocean off the Juan Fernandez islands. The aircraft was reportedly making a third landing attempt in poor weather at the time of the crash.

September 2 - A single-engine plane struck utility lines before crashing near the A1 motorway in Peterborough, England. No serious injuries were reported.

September 1 - A helicopter registered to CHC Scotia made an emergency return landing to Great Yarmouth Airport in Great Yarmouth, England after its emergency flotation system deployed shortly after takeoff.

August 30 - No serious injuries were reported after a Lithuanian Air Force L-39 and French Air Force Mirage 2000 collided over Siauliai, Lithuania. The crew of the L-39 reportedly ejected while the Mirage crew made safe landing. The French plane was reportedly on routine NATO patrol at the time of the collision.

August 29 - A student pilot on a solo flight was injured after crashing into a house near the Santa Monica Municipal Airport in California. A house painter was also reported injured.

August 28 - Two single-engine planes collided over an airport runway end in Zell am See, Salzburg, Austria, killing three and injuring two.

August 26 - All four aboard a Lifenet Eurocopter AS-350 medevac helicopter were killed after crashing on approach to Mosby Airport in Mosby, Missouri. The helicopter was reportedly headed to the airport for refueling. (AVSIG Discussion)

August 25 - The pilot of a single-engine Cessna was injured after flipping during a takeoff attempt from Monmouth Municipal Airport in Monmouth, Illinois.

August 23 - The pilot of a single-engine plane was critically injured after crashing into trees while performing touch-and-goes at an air strip in Coolin, Idaho.

August 20 - One pilot was killed after two planes performing aerobatics collided over Hammonton Municipal Airport in Hammonton, New Jersey. The surviving pilot was able to parachute to safety. (AVSIG Discussion)

August 20 - A charted B737 operated by First Air crashed on approach to Resolute Bay, Nunavut Canada, killing 12 and injuring three. Heavy fog was reported in the area at the time of the crash. (AVSIG Discussion)

August 19 - The pilot of a homebuilt made a safe emergency landing on a public roadway near Coos Bay, Oregon after running out of fuel during a recreational flight.

August 17 - A Cessna 310 crashed into a residential yard shortly after departing Tupelo Regional Airport in Tupelo, Mississippi, killing the pilot. No injuries were reported on the ground.

August 14 - All four aboard a single-engine plane were killed after crashing near the airport in Burley, Idaho.

August 13 - A Cessna 207 operated by Inland Aviation Services crashed near McGrath, Alaska, killing two and injuring four. Weather was reported poor at the time of the crash.

August 12 - A seaplane-configured Cessna 206 Stationair registered to Key West Seaplanes crashed on takeoff from the Peace River near Arcadia, Florida, injuring all five aboard. (AVSIG Discussion)

August 12 - Eight passengers were injured after a PIA B747 made an emergency landing at Benazir Bhutto International Airport in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. High winds were reported in the area at the time of the crash.

Friday, August 26, 2011

What the $#!% is Happening to Free Speech on the Web?

Once upon a time AVSIG was the last known place on the internet to require its members to use real names. We were archaic prudes.   But we were just sticking with the theory we've had since back when we sort of invented online social networking in 1981*: Mobs of anonymous people won't hesitate to say terrible things about your mother on the internet, but Dr. John P. DeWalter of Rhinebeck, New York** will probably give her the benefit of the doubt.

This probably has something to do with Dr. DeWalter's full name being on his sentiments.  Or his successful, readily located dental practice in Rhinebeck.  Or his knowledge of the cost and inconvenience of getting one's front teeth replaced.

With a few exceptions the policy has always worked out for us.

Sure, some low life could print up, say, your musings from our political section and send a sheaf of it off to your soon-to-be-former employer, but we have always kept the low-life population pretty low on AVSIG.  And honestly: do you really want to contribute your services to an employer who would fire you over your political beliefs?  (You say the economy is in the dumper and you value any employment you can get?  OK. Then just keep your big bazoo shut on politics anywhere your true identity is on the line, whether it's a glowing screen or a Rotary breakfast).

The larger web is embracing real names on a grand scale lately, as if the old-fashioned idea of knowing who you're conversing with on a regular basis is a new user experience upgrade.

Facebook and Google Plus may claim to want only to cultivate civil, productive social environments with their real name policies, but in reality these behemoths wouldn't be going to the mat over this issue unless they wanted the real good marketing data that rides along with real names.

Interblog counter-punching against this new-old real name trend has not exactly been bruising.

A blogger at InformationWeek recently compared the Google+ real name policy to an authoritarian regime, asserting that the search giant's latest attempt at social networking exposes users to potential harassment and persecution, stifles the exchange of free ideas, denies privacy, and isn't being enforced fairly.

If this sounds vaguely like a cross between some 60s flower child whining about not being able to pitch a tent on the White House lawn and some high-schooler's reluctant poli-sci position paper, it may be because the vanguard of tech writers today are children of the web's no-barriers free-for-all first decade-point-five.  The consequence of bad behavior in the land of screen names rarely ever amounted to anything more than the inconvenience of being "banned," after which the "banned" reincarnate under new screen names to resume flaming, taunting, and trolling and other "ings." 

Considering the millions of insults traded on web forums each day, the idea of, say, comfortably calling someone a bleepbag under one's real name must be discomforting to folks who have probably rarely written a letter to the editor, let alone a letter to the editor under their real names.

But let's look back to the recent days before DARPA, Bill, Steve, and Tim hooked us all up on the never-ending natter, when the only safe opportunities we had to call somebody a bleepbag was from a passing car or while sitting among thousands in a football stadium.

The pre-ZuckerWinkle "social networks" were pool halls, Elks Lodges, corner taverns, churches, and the PTA.  Everybody knew everybody's name at those places with the exception of maybe the pool halls and taverns, but the anonymity afforded in those places was never good enough to stand between you and a broken beer bottle.

Today there are endless destinations for anonymous web posters, but still very few online places where everybody knows your name.  You can count the large sites on one hand.

So why even join one of these real-name social networks if your real name is such a big secret?

And if you do join a real-name social network, why spout off about politics unless you're proud of your opinion and willing to live with half of all registered voters (or more) disagreeing with it?  For whatever it may be worth to you, research at the politically-biased institution of your choice shows that your political opinion counts for squat out there on the internet ... same as with your smug look-who-I'm-voting-for bumper sticker and your hip I-support-Bozo yard sign.

Your web time would be better spent plus-one-ing fan sites for Snooki and The Biebs.

Of course modern real name pushback isn't all about political persecution.  There are certainly other ideals you can be "persecuted for" on the web and in real life, like being a Michigan fan or driving a PT Cruiser.   Still: you make your choices and you and your real identity live with them.

There can be no doubt that InformationWeek's real name protester is on the money about real names stifling the free exchange of ideas, however ... at least the free exchange of ideas anon web punks have come to see as an online birthright.

Recently The Columbus Dispatch switched its online article comment module to one requiring real names for posting.  Editor Ben Marrison, who under the previous anonymous comment arrangement enjoyed 24/7 insults accusing him of making up positive reader feedback anecdotes, having bad hair, and dribbling non-stop insipid observations about the world in his column each Sunday, couldn't have been more pleased with result.  Real Name feedback on Mr. Marrison's column announcing this change dwindled to 1/100th the typical feedback under the anonymous comment arrangement, and it was mostly polite, glowing, and positive feedback congratulating Mr. Marrison on the publication's wise, prescient move.  If prevarication serves, someone even complemented Mr. Marrison's hair.

But there was a little hiccup in the Dispatch Real Name changeover ... where Editor Marrison mistakenly announced that real account-holder names would not show up on posts in the new comment system ... but where the real account-holder names did show up on the posts, along with the fake names the commentators had been using as posting names on the old anon system.  One outspoken and oft-inflammatory poster under the previous make-up-whatever-name-you-want setup, a prominent local attorney, was tragically outed. As they say on the internets under real names or fake, sucks to be him.

M.O.
(Real Name: BieberCleaver114)

*No, we're not going all Winklevoss on anybody.  We only sort of invented it.
**Dr. John P. DeWalter of Rhinebeck, New York is a wholly fictitious person, we think. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

August 9 - All three aboard a Piper Apache were killed after crashing on approach to Holmes County Airport in Millersburg, Ohio. The pilot was reportedly diverting from his destination in heavy fog at the time of the crash.

August 8 - The pilot of a Cessna 150 made a safe emergency landing on the grounds of the Korbel Champagne Cellars in Rio Nido, California.

August 7 - A single-engine plane crashed near Warrenton, Virginia, killing both aboard.

August 6 - All four aboard a single-engine aircraft were injured after crashing near Harris Ranch Airport in Coalinga, California.

August 5 - A Cessna 210 registered to Muy Flying LLC of San Antonio crash-landed in a field near Amarillo, Texas, injuring all five aboard. The pilot reported engine trouble before the landing attempt.

August 4 - An ultralight crashed in the desert near Lordsburg, New Mexico. Authorities found 134 pounds of marijuana strapped to the underside of the aircraft. The pilot could not be located after the crash.

August 3 - A Piper Cherokee crashed on approach to Grove Field Airport in Camas, Oregon, killing the pilot.

August 2 - The pilot of an Indian Air Force Mig-21 was killed after ejecting from his crashing jet over Bikaner, Rajasthan India. The aircraft reportedly had just departed Naal airfield before the crash.

August 2 - A Delta Air Lines flight bound for Los Angeles from Minneapolis made an emergency landing in Salt Lake City after a lavatory toilet malfunctioned.

August 1 - A single-engine plane crashed near Dunkirk, Wisconsin, injuring both aboard. The aircraft reportedly had recently departed Matson Airport.

July 31 - The pilot of a Beechcraft Bonanza was killed after his aircraft broke up in flight over Byron, Georgia. Wreckage of the aircraft landed in a residential area. No injuries were reported on the ground.

July 29 - Five Colombian police officers were killed and one injured after their Cessna 206 crashed on takeoff from Antioquia.

July 28 - An Asiana Airlines 747-400 freighter crashed into the sea off the South Korean island of Jeju, killing both aboard. The flight was bound for Shanghai from Seoul when the crew reported a cargo fire and attempted to divert to the airport on Jeju. (AVSIG Discussion)

July 26 - The pilot of a single-engine Cessna treaded water in Lake Huron for 17 hours after his aircraft crashed and sank in the lake. A fishing party rescued the man and transported him to shore. (AVSIG Discussion)

July 26 - A Moroccan military Hercules C-130 crashed into a mountainside near Rabat, killing 78 and injuring three. Heavy fog was reported in the area at the time of the crash.

July 24 - All three aboard a Piper P46 were killed after crashing on takeoff from Rantoul Airport in Rantoul, Illinois. Witnesses said the aircraft struggled to gain altitude before the crash. (AVSIG Discussion)

July 21 - A single-engine Cessna crashed in the Cape Fear River on approach to Harnett Regional Jetport near Lillington, North Carolina, killing one and injuring one.

July 20 - A single-engine plane crashed on takeoff from Medina Municipal Airport in Medina, Ohio. No serious injuries were reported.

July 20 - A Robinson R22 registered to Nassau Helicopters crash-landed on the grounds of an elementary school in South Brunswick, New Jersey, injuring both aboard. The aircraft was reportedly engaged in aerial photography before the crash. (AVSIG Discussion)

July 18 - The pilot of a Mooney M20K was killed after crashing on takeoff from Augusta Regional Airport in Augusta, Georgia. (AVSIG Discussion)

July 16 - A helicopter caught fire after crash-landing in Kaeo, New Zealand. The pilot was reportedly able to walk away from the wreckage.

July 15 - A glider crashed into a tree after being released from its tow plane at St. Mary's Airport in Hollywood, Maryland, killing one and critically injuring one. Witnesses said the release occurred at low altitude and low airspeed. (AVSIG Discussion)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

July 8 - A Hewa Bora B727 crashed short of the runway at Kisangani Airport in The Democratic Republic of the Congo, killing 53 of 112 aboard. Heavy thunderstorms were reported in the area at the time of the crash.

July 7 - Both aboard a Mooney M20 were killed after crashing into a hospital in Watsonville, California. Witnesses said the aircraft struggled to gain altitude after departing Watsonville Municipal Airport. (AVSIG Discussion)

July 4 - The pilot of a single-engine plane was killed after colliding with another single-engine plane near Shoreham Airport in Shoreham, England. The pilot of the other plane was able to safely return to the airport.

July 3 - Both aboard a single-engine plane were killed after clipping utility lines and crashing shortly after departing Santa Paula Airport near Oxnard, California.

July 2 - The pilot of a single-engine plane was killed after crashing near Tom B. David Airport in Calhoun, Georgia.

July 1 - A Southwest Airlines B737 made a safe emergency landing at its destination of Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix after an engine failed in flight. The flight originated in El Paso, Texas.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tu-134 Crash Kills 44

A RusAir Tu-134 has crashed on a public highway in northwest Russia  near Petrozavodsk, killing 44.  The aircraft was reportedly on approach to Petrozavodsk in poor weather when it crashed a mile short of the runway.

Recent Accidents & Incidents

June 19 - A Cirrus SR22 crashed on takeoff from Rickenbacker International Airport near Columbus, Ohio, killing both aboard.

June 18 - Two U.S. Coast Guard helicopters intercepted a single-engine plane after it entered restricted airspace near Washington, D.C. The pilot was directed to land at Annapolis for an interview.

June 18 - All four aboard a Cessna 210 were killed after crashing shortly after takeoff from Westchester County Airport in Armonk, New York. The pilot was reportedly attempting to return to the airport at the time of the crash. (AVSIG Discussion)

June 17 - A Pinnacle Airlines CRJ200 operating on behalf of Delta Air Lines made a safe emergency landing at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport after a low oil pressure warning light activated.

June 16 - A cargo plane operating on behalf of FedEx made a safe emergency landing at its destination of San Antonio after experiencing a hydraulic failure.

June 13 - A B-17 operated by The Liberty Foundation made a safe emergency landing in a field after catching fire during flight over Aurora, Illinois. No injuries were reported. The aircraft was consumed by the fire. (AVSIG Discussion)

June 12 - The pilot of a Goodyear Blimp safely offloaded all three passengers at a height of seven feet after it caught fire over Reichelsheim, Germany. After the passengers jumped, the airship rose rapidly and burned, killing the pilot. (AVSIG Discussion)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

June 6 - A DHL cargo plane crashed into the sea on approach to Libreville, Gabon in Central Africa after reportedly suffering a hydraulic failure. The crew of four was rescued in good condition.

June 5 - The pilot of a Quicksilver MX Ultralight was injured after crashing on a runway at Langlade County Airport in Antigo, Wisconsin.

June 4 - No serious injuries were reported after a biplane crashed into a house in Junction City, Kansas. The aircraft reportedly lost power before the crash. The aircraft was participating in the National Biplane Fly-In at nearby Freeman Field.

June 4 - The pilot of a Mooney M20R was not injured after his aircraft veered off the runway during a landing attempt at Lake in the Hills Airport in Lake in the Hills, Illinois. The pilot reported losing power before running off the runway.

June 4 - An American Airlines MD-80 made a safe emergency return landing to Lambert Field in St. Louis after developing engine trouble shortly after takeoff. The engine burst into flames as the aircraft approached the gate; firefighters quickly extinquished the flames.

June 2 - A Delta B767 made a safe emergency landing at its destination of Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport after developing engine trouble on approach to the airport.

May 31 - The pilot of a single-engine plane registered to Southern Maine Aviation LLC was injured after crashing on landing at Concord Municipal Airport in Concord, New Hampshire.

May 30 - A Qantas B747 diverted to the Pacific island of Noumea to refuel after running low on fuel during a newly scheduled non-stop flight from Dallas to Brisbane. The airline is reviewing the route planning.

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Tale of One Tail

















It's hard to miss all the stories this week pinning the fate of Air France 447 on iced-over pitot tubes.

Two years after the Airbus 330 crashed in the Atlantic the French Bureau of Investigations and Analyses is finally reviewing data from flight recorders found at the bottom of the ocean after an exhaustive search.  Preliminary investigation shows that conflicting airspeed information from onboard sensors caused the Airbus to disconnect the autopilot, leaving the crew to fly manually.  A stall warning followed by several control inputs and the still confusing reaction of the pilot flying to pull up followed.

Even as some media outlets play this story like a zigged-when-he-should-have-zagged repeat of the crew proficiency issues in the Colgan Air tragedy, it's important to remember that these latest details of the crash must share the glare of scrutiny with the above photo of the A330's neatly-severed vertical stabilizer, which was found floating in the ocean some miles from subsequent debris fields in the days after the crash.

That is one pristine piece of airplane.

M.O.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

May 21 - A Delta DC-9 made a safe emergency landing at Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay, Wisconsin after the odor of smoke was detected in the forward galley during a scheduled flight from Detroit to Minneapolis.

May 20 - The pilot of a Lancair Legacy was killed after crashing into a mountainside in El Dorado National Forest in California.

May 19 - Both aboard a Bellanca 17 were killed after crashing near Rock Springs, Wyoming. Heavy snow was reported in the area at the time of the crash.

May 18 - A B707 operated by Omega Air Inc. as a refueling tanker under contract with the U.S. Navy crashed on takeoff from Point Mugu Naval Air Station near Los Angeles, injuring all three aboard. An engine reportedly caught fire before the crash.

May 18 - All 22 aboard a Sol Saab 340 were killed after crashing in Argentina's southern Patagonia region. The airline reported receiving a distress signal from the flight prior to the crash.

May 17 - All four aboard a twin-engine plane were killed after crashing near Sao Paulo, Brazil. Controllers reported losing contact with the pilot for some time prior to the crash.

May 16 - A US Airways flight returned to its gate in Indianapolis after the first officer passed out shortly after pushback.

May 15 - The crew of an American Airlines MD-82 made a safe emergency landing in Little Rock, Arkansas after reporting an engine fire shortly after departure from Dallas.

May 15 - Both aboard a Tiger Moth biplane were seriously injured after crashing in Dorsett, England. Witnesses said the aircraft appeared to be performing aerobatics before the crash.

May 14 - The pilot of a SportCruiser was killed after crashing on takeoff from Arlington Municipal Airport in Arlington, Washington. Witnesses said the aircraft appeared to enter an aerodynamic stall before the crash.

May 13 - A US Airways A319 returned to Atlanta after the crew noted a mechanical malfunction with the main landing gear.

May 12 - The pilot of a A-29 Super Tucano was killed after crashing near Natal, Rio Grande do Norte Brazil.

May 11 - All four aboard a single-engine plane were injured after overrunning an embankment during a takeoff attempt at Rock Airport near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Two middle school students and their science teacher were aboard the flight, which was reportedly operating on behalf of a school field trip.

May 11 - An unidentified airliner made an emergency landing at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport after a passenger reportedly gained access to the cockpit and attacked the flight crew during a scheduled flight from Poland to the United Kingdom. The passenger reportedly sustained substantial injuries while being subdued.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

May 8 - A passenger aboard an American Airlines flight was subdued and handcuffed after he approached the cockpit and banged on the door as the flight approached its destination in San Francisco.

May 8 - A Continental Airlines flight made an unscheduled landing in St. Louis after a passenger tried to open an emergency door during a scheduled flight from Houston to Chicago. Passengers subdued the man.

May 7 - A Merpati Nusantara Airlines Xian MA60 crashed into the sea on its approach to Kaimana Airport in the West Papua province of Indonesia, killing all 27 aboard. Heavy rain was reported at the time of the crash.

May 7 - Both aboard a Ravin 500 were killed after crashing while trying to return to Lone Star Executive Airport in Conroe, Texas. The pilot reported smoke in the cockpit prior to the crash.

May 6 - The pilot of a Czech Sport Aircraft was killed after bailing out of his spinning plane near Spring Hill, Florida. Witnesses reported the aircraft broke apart in midair.

May 6 - Both aboard a single-engine plane were killed after crashing on approach to Albert J. Ellis Airport in Richlands, North Carolina. The pilot reported loss of fuel pressure before the crash.

May 5 - A Cessna 172 crash-landed in a school yard near Burlington, Ontario Canada after the pilot reported low fuel. No injuries were reported. The aircraft sustained substantial damage after the wings clipped trees.

May 4 - An AirTran B717 bound for Atlanta from Charlotte, North Carolina made a safe emergency landing at Greenville Spartanburg International Airport after encountering engine trouble during the flight.

May 4 - The pilot of a Rockwell Commander was uninjured after running off the runway during a landing at Griffing-Sandusky Airport in Sandusky, Ohio. The pilot reported encountering a strong cross-wind before the accident.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

May 3 - A freight-carrying single-engine plane operated by Goma Air overshot the runway during a landing attempt and crashed at Juphal Airport northwest of Nepal, causing extensive damage to the aircraft. No injuries were reported. Authorities attributed the overrun to a brake failure.

May 2 - A freight-carrying Beechcraft 18 owned by Aircap Management crashed into a fence and van during a takeoff attempt from Opa-Locka Airport in Opa-Locka, Florida, killing the pilot.

May 1 - A single-engine plane crashed near Elephant Butte Lake in Truth Or Consequences, New Mexico, killing the pilot. Witness reported seeing flames coming from the aircraft before the crash.

May 1 - A Delta B757 bound for Palm Beach International Airport made a safe emergency landing in Tampa after smoke was detected in the cabin during a scheduled flight from Atlanta.

April 30 - The pilot of a Piper Archer III lost control of his aircraft and clipped trees while landing at Sky Acres Airport near Poughkeepsie, New York, resulting in injuries to the passenger and substantial damage to the aircraft.

April 28 - Both aboard a Yak-52 were killed after crashing into a lake near Essex, England. Witnesses reported seeing the aircraft performing aerobatic maneuvers before the crash.

April 27 - The pilot of a Cessna 180 was killed after crashing on Mount King near Golden, British Columbia. A dog aboard the aircraft survived the crash.

April 27 - An air traffic controller was found stabbed to death in a secure area of EuroAirport in Saint-Louis, France.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

April 24 - A Los Angeles Police Department helicopter made a safe emergency landing in Van Nuys after a gunman opened fire on the aircraft from the ground. Fuel was found leaking from the aircraft after the attack. The gunman was reportedly subdued by family members and taken into custody.

April 23 - A single-engine plane registered to Cub Crafters Inc., crashed at the Rocky Mountain Airpark fly-in community near Parker, Colorado, killing both aboard. A witness reported seeing the aircraft in a spin before the crash.

April 23 - A helicopter pilot received minor injuries during an emergency landing in Massillon, Ohio. The pilot elected to make the landing after transmission failure.

April 22 - All four aboard a Beechcraft Baron were killed after crashing in a field near Topeka, Kansas. Witnesses reported seeing the aircraft flying under low cloud cover before the crash.

April 20 - A LOT flight bound for Warsaw from Chicago made an unscheduled landing in Reykjavik, Iceland to deboard two intoxicated passengers who assaulted the flight crew.

April 20 - A Thomson Airways B767 chartered for London made a safe emergency return landing to Orlando Sanford International Airport after striking birds shortly after takeoff.

April 19 - A Paven Hans Mi-17 helicopter with 23 aboard crashed during a landing attempt in Tawang, killing 17 and injuring six.

April 18 - Both aboard an experimental Christen Eagle II were killed after crashing near San Angelo, Texas. Witnesses said the aircraft was performing aerobatics before the crash.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Little Everyday Terrors

Should we be outraged about a six-year-old girl getting a pat down at a TSA checkpoint?  Here's the video.

The "cute little girl" (so-described by some blogger in the course of oh-so-subtly setting up a victimization rant ... though we think she looks somewhat dangerous) recently raised concern while passing through an enhanced imaging device at a TSA checkpoint in New Orleans.  She was called aside for the white glove treatment.

Since the only other important news this week is Joe Biden sleeping through a budget meeting and the president of Czechoslovakia stealing pens, the video of a little girl being checked for contraband is all the rage.

A spokesperson for the Louisiana ACLU has breathlessly opined that clearly, the little girl didn't want a pat down.  But who wants a pat down?  That guy standing over there in the Bermuda shorts, maybe, but America's Next Suicide Airline Bomber probably doesn't want one, especially  if not wanting one is acceptable logic for not getting one.

In response to the above video, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, promises to introduce legislation that requires "parental supervision" during such pat downs. Shucks, Jason.  The parents were right there.  They took video.  Does the word "supervise" so boldly empower the poor chumps who sent you to Washington as to warrant a press release, let alone legislation?

The little girl, who appears in the video to be at worst bewildered and at best waiting to see if a clown with balloons comes next is purported to have burst into tears after the experience.

Some little girls burst into tears over dropped ice cream cones and snapped Silly Bandz. But assuming our cute little girl was indeed so-traumatized, a little proactive parenting might have worked wonders here. 

"Sweetheart?  We're traveling by airplane today.  A stranger might touch you, but it's not going to be bad touching like in the videos they show you at school."

(Sweetheart?  After the airplane ride we're getting a cab ride from a man who looks like one of those bad men in the videos they show you at school.  But we're going pay him so he'll let us go, and right in front of our hotel!).

We like Derrionne Pollard's wisdom, filmed by a CNN crew as she hustled her yet-untraumatized young son through a TSA screening point:

"That took what?  All of 20 seconds to get done?  Suck it up.  It's a part of travel right now." 

M.O.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

April 10 - The pilot of a twin-engine Cessna was killed after crashing into a house near Biddeford Municipal Airport in Biddeford, Maine. One occupant in the house was reported injured. Witnesses said the aircraft clipped trees before the crash.

April 10 - All three aboard a Cessna 310 were killed after crashing near McComb, Mississippi.

April 6 - A Skywest flight operating on behalf of Delta Air Lines made a safe emergency return landing to Portland International Airport in Oregon after ingesting a bird shortly after takeoff.

April 6 - An American Airlines flight bound for Paris from Dallas made an unscheduled landing at O'Hare International Airport after a inebriated passenger became unruly.

April 5 - A Southwest Airlines B737 bound for Denver made a safe emergency landing at Oakland International Airport after the crew encountered trouble with the wing flaps.

April 2 - All four aboard a Gulfstream G650 were killed after crashing during a takeoff attempt at Roswell International Air Center in Roswell, New Mexico. The aircraft was reportedly on a company test flight at the time of the crash. Witnesses said a wingtip brushed the runway during rotation and a subsequent hard touchdown caused the landing gear to collapse.

April 1 - A Southwest Airlines B737 made a safe emergency landing in Yuma, Arizona after a five-foot hole developed in the fuselage shortly after takeoff from Phoenix on a scheduled flight to Sacramento. The incident prompted Southwest to ground 80 of its high-cycle 737s for inspection. (AVSIG Discussion)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

March 20 - A Cessna 210 crashed near Barstow-Daggett Airport in Barstow, California, killing all three aboard.

March 19 - A single-engine plane crashed west of Butte, Montana, killing the pilot. A witness reported the aircraft was flying at low altitude before the crash.

March 19 - A Delta CRJ made a safe emergency return landing to Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan after smoke filled the cockpit shortly after takeoff.

March 19 - The pilot of a homebuilt was killed after crashing on takeoff from Laurens, South Carolina.

March 19 - A firefighting helicopter crashed near Camerena, Spain, killing all four aboard.

March 18 - A single-engine plane crashed in a residential yard shortly after takeoff from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Texas. No serious injuries were reported.

March 16 - A Beech King Air crashed on takeoff from Long Beach Airport in California, killing five and seriously injuring one. Witnesses said the aircraft made a sharp left turn shortly after rotation. (AVSIG Discussion)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Oliver at the Beach 2011

This week we are reminded of our old friend Bob Besco, who has periodically published the Oliver Ostrich Head-in-the-sand awards celebrating those who issue clueless rationalizations for minimizing the reality of safety risks in aviation.

These awards ignore the relative cost-benefit arguments implicit in aviation safety risk management and zero-in on statements that just plain betray blissful denial.  They highlight the imagery of the perpendicular Cheshire Cat left beaming at the world once one's head is fully ensconced in sand.

The usual suspects are airline suits, but that once-treasure trove of quotes has dried up thanks to our nothing-you-say-ever-goes-away new media-everywhere world.

In any case, Mr. Besco made certain the recipients of these awards remained anonymous to minimize embarrassment in favor of spreading enlightenment.

In that spirit we cloak the identity of this week's nominee submission (and paraphrase to fend-off Google sleuthing), which comes by way of a midwestern city elder who asks whether a proposed runway overrun barrier will result in any new customers at the local airport.

New customers?  Some marketing wank could probably invent lots of them.

Return customers?  More likely, which is what progress in aviation safety is all about, and not a bad cost-benefit argument, either.

The floor is open for new aviation risk-denying submissions in the comment section below.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

March 13 - The pilot of a helicopter was injured after crashing on the Raytheon Corporation campus in El Segundo, California. The helicopter was reportedly engaged in rooftop air conditioner lift operations at the time of the crash.

March 12 - The pilot and wing walker of a husband-wife aerobatic team suffered serious burns after crashing at the Air Fiesta 2011 air show at Brownsville-South Padre Island International Airport in Texas. (AVSIG Discussion)

March 11 - The pilot of a Cessna 310 registered to Hudson Management Corporation was killed after crashing shortly after takeoff from Smyrna, Tennessee. A witness said the aircraft appeared to struggle to gain altitude and clipped trees prior to the crash. (AVSIG Discussion)

March 10 - An Austrian Arrows F70 made a safe emergency return landing to Vienna International Airport after the cabin began losing pressure shortly after takeoff.

March 9 - The owner/operator of a mine tour helicopter was killed after crashing near Keswick, Cumbria, England.

March 8 - Both aboard a single-engine plane were killed after crashing near Tara Field in McDonough, Georgia. A witness said the aircraft appeared to struggle to maintain altitude before the crash.

March 7 - A Diamond DA-40 crashed near Somerset, Maine, killing one and injuring one. Heavy snow was reported in the area at the time of the crash.

March 6 - An Atlantic Southeast CRJ operating on behalf of Delta Air Lines made a safe emergency landing in Albany, Georgia after the crew noticed a crack in the windshield during a scheduled flight from Atlanta to Tallahassee, Florida.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

March 5 - All six aboard a Russian An-148 were killed after crashing in central Russia. The aircraft was reportedly being tested by Myanmar Air Force pilots prior to delivery at the time of the crash.

March 5 - A Cessna 172 operated by the Aeroflyer Flying School crashed during touch-and-go training at Cirebon Airport in West Java, Indonesia, causing minor injuries to the instructor and student. The plane's nose gear reportedly broke before the crash.

March 3 - An Austrian Airlines Fokker F70 made a safe emergency return landing to Franz Josef Strauss International Airport in Munich after a landing gear wheel fell off the aircraft during takeoff rotation.

March 3 - Both aboard a single-engine plane were killed after crashing near Mahanayim Airport in the Upper Galilee region of northern Israel. The pilot reported engine trouble before the crash.

March 1 - Both aboard a helicopter were injured during a hard-landing crash at Tooele Valley Airport in Erda, Oklahoma.

March 1 - A French Air Force Mirage 2000 crashed near Saint-Pres-Oradoux Crocq in central France, killing both aboard. The aircraft was reportedly on a low-altitude training flight at the time of the crash.

February 28 - Two Kfir fighter jets collided over Colombo, Sri Lanka and crashed during a training exercise. Both pilots reportedly ejected; their fates were undisclosed at post time.

February 27 - All four aboard a McKinnon Turbo Goose G21G owned by Triple S Aviation were killed after crashing shortly after takeoff from Al Ain International Airport near Dubai.

February 26 - The pilot of a 1969 BAC-167 Strikemaster was killed after crashing into the Hudson River near Rhinecliff, New York. Witnesses said the aircraft struck the frozen river in a nosedown attitude. The pilot was reportedly performing a fly-by for friends on his maiden flight in the vintage military jet. (AVSIG Discussion)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Rake 22: Grounded No More

The high-stakes, high-speed world-wide ongoing difference-of-opinion was invented on AVSIG.  Before online discussion forums no other venue allowed so many people from so many backgrounds to debate on one worldwide stage.

There is no speaker list in online discussion.  No "Thank you, ladies and gentlemen, and goodnight."

Instead a multitude of oft-times divergent opinions dispensed from anywhere at any time that shape and form issues by the hour.

An evening of back-and-forth on glass cockpits stretches for weeks.

Who's this new guy who claims to drive Concordes?  Who's this lady who says she makes helicopters stay in the air?

Where are these know-it-alls from, and why are they banging out posts at three in the morning?

Over the decades we've had our share of industry Type As, unaccustomed to having their expertise so-challenged, punch-out of our little 24-7 electronic aerodrome in a huff.

But some stayed and embraced the highs and lows of controlled online free-for-alls, and one was John Wiley.

Wiley was that rare combination of 50,000-pound-thrust expert moderated by a unique yaw and pitch control system made up of equal-parts tough skin and biting humor.  A decorated Vietnam vet, airline pilot, and award-winning journalist who didn't wear any of it on his sleeve.

As a regular air safety commentator on CNN, Mr. Wiley drew both plaudits and bile.  Last July we blogged about John's unique capacity for getting AvSafety talking head wannabes to throw public tantrums about being left on the Look-at-Me-I'm-on-TV dance hall wall.

Those of us who were treated to John's whimsical retorts won't soon forget them.

A few years back John hit a pothole during a high-speed descent on his bicycle.  He had spent many tortured months repairing a broken shoulder, and was hopeful of getting back on the bike and back up in little airplanes soon.

Last Friday John suffered a fatal heart attack while working out at the gym.  He leaves a wife, two daughters, and many other family members and friends to repair broken hearts.

M.O.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

About Our Safer Skies

It's great to see another hopeful IATA report on the state of world airline safety.  Even if 2010's record low hull loss rate story is buried 32 layers below Justin Bieber's new haircut, the air transport world should be proud.

Aviation has proven a quick study on some problems, painfully slow on others.  The safety culture that has given us sterile cockpits and relentless emergency drills still hasn't cracked low-wage regional pilots and too-frequent reports of near misses in congested airspace, for instance.  And in some parts of the world airline safety remains Plan B (C ... or D ...).

While the past decade's improving commercial airline safety record is very real, we know there will always be a "next big one."  The harder we work to be wrong about that, the better.

In the meantime, congratulations to all the folks who work hard every day to make fewer accidents no accident.

M.O.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

February 20 - A Delta Air Lines B737 made a safe emergency return landing to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida after an engine failed shortly after takeoff. (AVSIG Discussion)

February 19 - An Air France B777 made a safe emergency landing in St. John's, Newfoundland after a passenger suffered a medical emergency during a schedule flight from Paris to Houston.

February 19 - The pilot of a Cessna 150 was killed after crashing in a field near Princeton, South Carolina. Witnesses said they hear the plane's engine operation at high RPM before the crash.

February 17 - A Cessna 182 crashed during a landing attempt at Levelland Municipal Airport in Levelland, Texas, killing two and injuring two.

February 17 - A Heliswiss helicopter crashed during a landing attempt in the Swiss Alps near Thonon-les-Bains, injuring all six aboard. Weather was reported clear at the time of the crash.

February 16 - Both aboard a Cessna 172 operated by Phoenix East Aviation were missing and presumed dead after crashing off the coast of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. The aircraft was on an instruction flight at the time of the crash.

February 15 - Both aboard a single-engine plane were injured after crashing in a heavily-wooded area near Americus, Indiana. Authorities believe the aircraft lost engine power before the crash.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

February 14 - Both aboard a Thai Air Force F-16 safely ejected before the aircraft crashed in the Chaiyaphum province of Thailand. The aircraft was on a training exercise at the time of the crash.

February 12 - No serious injuries were reported after a Cessna 150 crashed near Springdale Airport in Springdale, Arkansas.

February 12 - All five aboard an aircraft operated by Sabang Merauke Raya Air Charter were killed after crashing in the Riau Islands province of Indonesia. The aircraft was reportedly on a maintenance test flight at the time of the crash.

February 11 - A SkyWest flight bound for San Francisco from Santa Barbara made a safe emergency landing at Monterey Peninsula Airport in California after losing cabin pressure.

February 11 - All five aboard a single-engine plane were killed after the aircraft crashed into the 3,000-foot level of a mountainside in Saint-Luc, Val d’Anniviers Switzerland.

February 10 - An Alaska Airlines flight returned to the gate Seattle-Tacoma International Airport after a rat was seen in the cabin. Passengers were transferred to another flight.

February 9 - Two single-engine planes collided at 1,500 feet over Mission, British Columbia Canada, killing one of two aboard a plane that crashed into a swamp. Both aircraft were reportedly locked together and spiraling to the ground when the crew of one aircraft was able to work the controls to free the airplane from the entanglement. The crew of that aircraft found that full flight control was still available, cut fuel, restarted, and made a safe emergency landing in a field. The aircraft involved in the collision were reportedly flying in formation with several other aircraft at the time.

February 9 - A Southwest Airlines B737 made a safe emergency return landing to Omaha after smoke filled the cockpit shortly after takeoff.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

NOTAM: Still Watch for Cattle on the Runway

We haven't gotten mailbags here at the AVSIG International Aerodrome & Farm ever since the mail man was chased off by the FBO Labradoodle, but somehow these questions arrived in our mailbag this week:

Is the AVSIG International Aerodrome & Farm a real place?
WM, Poughkeepsie, NY 


Do you provide flight training?
WHM, Fargo, ND


Are there any beef cows in the runway overruns, and do you guys ship the steaks when someone lands long?
discoPete, Miami, FL


Well of course the AVSIG International Aerodrome & Farm is real ... in every way that the tin man's heart, scarecrow's brain, and lion's courage are real.  But we don't provide flight training, and we don't ship steaks from unfortunate ORBs*

Let's just say that in heavy rain we're the kind of real place where our hangar leaks, but nobody gets wet.

The 'Drome & Farm shtick developed in AVSIG's blinking fixed-pitch green-on-black beginning when something in our collective human nature demanded that we attach a folksy backdrop to the novel act of typing messages back and forth to strangers on CRT screens.

There were no Twitter feeds or YouTubes to suggest that there was anything normal or everyday about conducting life inside a glass rectangle in 1981.  Sandy Trevor & Co. hadn't yet dreamed up GIFs to spare us our thousand words.

So the sight-unseen destination modem-connected aviators from around the globe converged on naturally became an airport.  Land your bits and bauds a the AVSIG International Aerodrome.

Someone soon surrounded our airport by farmland, and then someone started talking about cows. 

Industrial parks and golfers are used to intercept short and long runway traffic at some airports, but our virtual airport would use grazing cows.  Land your bits and bauds at the AVSIG International Aerodrome & Farm.

This year we celebrate AVSIG's 30th anniversary as the oldest real imagined place in all of online-dom.  Though we've rehabbed the runways a few times and a metropolis of FaceGoogles have grown up around us we're still the same old place.

Please do log-in and land at our humble little aerodrome.  Hang around our always-open, always-warm, always-well-lit hangar, where the coffee and conversation never stops flowing and the coffee pot always never gets cleaned.

Despite the fact we don't offer flight training and don't ship steaks, you might learn a thing or two about aviation, and you might periodically step in evidence of cows.

M.O.

*Overun Retention Bovine

Monday, February 7, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

February 6 - The pilot of an ultralight was critically injured after crashing near a landfill in Mojave, California.

February 6 - The pilot of a single-engine plane was injured after crashing near West Blocton, Alabama.

February 5 - A US Airways B767 bound for Philadelphia from Switzerland diverted to Greensboro, North Carolina after anti-icing equipment necessary for operating in Philadelphia's weather conditions failed.

February 4 - A jetBlue A320 bound for Bogata from Orlando made a safe emergency landing in Kingston, Jamaica after onboard instruments indicated smoke in the cabin. The aircraft was inspected in Kingston and cleared for takeoff three hours later.

February 4 - A twin-engine plane owned by Faruk, Inc. crashed on takeoff from Sulaymaniyah International Airport in Iraq, killing four and injuring eight. Heavy fog was reported at the time of the crash.

February 3 - A Hawker jet made a safe emergency return landing to Spirit of St. Louis Airport in Missouri after an engine failed shortly after takeoff.

February 3 - Both Aboard a 1943 Aeronca 0-58B were injured after crashing on ranch land near San Luis Obispo, California. Air traffic controllers indicated the pilot reported mechanical trouble before the crash.

February 2 - A Southwest Airlines B737 made a safe emergency landing in Omaha after the crew detected the odor of smoke in the cockpit during scheduled flight from Denver to Philadelphia.

February 2 - Both aboard a Fouga CM-170 Magister were killed after crashing on approach to Kissimmee Municipal Airport in Florida. (AVSIG Discussion)

February 2 - A Colgan Air flight made a safe emergency return landing to Hancock International Airport in Syracuse, New York after experiencing engine trouble shortly after takeoff.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

January 30 - All three aboard a Cessna 182 were killed after crashing into a hillside near Adrian, Oregon.

January 30 - The pilot of an Ercoupe received minor injuries after his plane flipped on takeoff from a frozen lake near Newaygo, Michigan. The pilot reported striking a snow bank during the takeoff attempt.

January 30 - A Piper Comanche crashed into two houses during a takeoff attempt from Big Bear Airport near San Bernardino, California. The pilot and one person on the ground reportedly suffered minor injuries.

January 29 - No serious injuries were reported after a single-engine airplane crashed into a residential back yard during a landing attempt at Weiser Airpark in Houston, Texas.

January 28 - An American Airlines B757 made a safe emergency landing at Sangster International Airport in St James, Jamaica after encountering engine trouble during a scheduled flight from Quito to Miami.

January 27 - An RAF Tornado crashed into the sea off the west coast of Scotland during a training mission. Both aboard safely ejected before the crash.

January 26 - No serious injuries were reported after a Cessna 185 operated by the Montana Department of Natural Resources crashed on landing at Helena Regional Airport. The pilot was reportedly practicing touch-and-goes at the time of the crash.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

What's a Security Perimeter?

Once upon a time this humble blogger and an accomplice passed through pre-9/11 wand-n-go security at the airport for no reason but to embarrass a family member coming in from his first year at Princeton.  The Ivy Leaguer had recently adopted tweed and rectangle glasses.  Two bros and one videographer conspired to welcome his rarefied new personage home with overfamiliar bear hugs and loud backwoods drawls as he walked off the jetway.  Stuffed in our jackets was seaweed paper that would be molded over staggered teeth to achieve the appearance of random toothlessness.  Also furry bomber hats like you see on unshaven guys answering midnight knocks from the sheriff in trailer parks.  We hadn't shaved.

Hilarious video, by the way. The wand guy didn't blink when yours truly opened his coat for a closer pass-by and everything fell out.

Try this silliness at an airport in 2011 and besides being bounced for lack of a boarding pass we would probably be sent straight to the Gitmo for being found in possession of concealed bomber hats.

The days of greeting or bidding adieu to friends and family at airport gates are long gone, and after yesterday's suicide bombing in the luggage return at Domodedovo Airport in Moscow the question of saying hello and goodbye anywhere in the airport terminal is again front and center.

Unlike many crowded public places, airports never have to be as crowded as they are, whether crowded with friends, family, and punks at the gate or anywhere on the premises save for driving by for curbside drop-off/pickup.

Should we expand the security ring or require a boarding pass to so much as enter an airport?  The question  puts a fine point on the psychology behind protecting people using the air transport system compared to protecting the same number of people who might regularly pack into any other low-security public venue.

Domodedovo-level suicide bombings can occur anywhere people are free to move about, and the sad fact remains that in many cases the call to "find the people responsible for this" rings hollow.  Often there are accomplices, but sometimes the sole responsible party remains at the crime scene: there ... there ... there ... and way over there.

As is usually the case in these tragedies, the security question raised by yesterday's bombing feels lots more like a sociology question.


M.O.



Monday, January 24, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

January 23 - A U.S. Airways A320 made a safe emergency landing in Omaha after developing electrical problems during a scheduled flight from Chicago to Phoenix.

January 22 - A Southwest Airlines B737 made a safe emergency landing at Oakland International Airport after a warning light warned of high temperatures in a gear well shortly after takeoff from San Francisco.

January 21 - A Fresno, California police helicopter made a safe emergency landing in east central Fresno after a warning light activated during routine operations.

January 20 - A twin-engine plane crashed into a vineyard off the runway end of McChesney Field in San Luis Obispo, California, injuring the pilot.

January 19 - A Delta Air Lines DC-9 made a safe emergency landing at its destination in Little Rock, Arkansas after the crew encountered trouble with the hydraulics in one or more landing gear doors.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Confectioner's Notes

This time of year found John Galipault, patriarch of the AVSIG International Aerodrome & Farm, laying out steaming sheets of  peanut brittle to flash-cool in the January chill, then passing tins of it out to family and friends around Worthington.  Some northerners rush right out to the gym after the holidays, but others are in no mood to quit laying on insulation.  Peanut brittle makes fine insulation.

As sure as fruitcakes pass from doorstep-to-doorstep in December and the maple sap runs in February, the crackle of peanut brittle can be heard in Worthington on the third week of January to mark eight-weeks-to-spring-and-counting.  On the town square each January 21 a sheet of peanut brittle is brought forth by the town fathers and dropped level on a blacksmith's anvil from a height defined by a random citizen's open palm.  The number of fractured pieces foretells the number of weeks until spring.

Though the Worthington Peanut Brittle Drop has been a tradition ever since this humble blogger made it up in this very post, alas the celebrated burgh a few hundred miles east with its large rodent continues to hog all the press in folksy predictions of mother earth's annual rebirth. 

No one knows if John B's peanut brittle recipe was secret or not (he was secretive about that), but here's the recipe we continue to prepare for this hopeful mid-winter week:

Get ...

2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup water
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups dry roasted peanuts
3 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. baking soda

Then ...

... Line a 10- by 15-inch baking pan, or really, any old pan with foil. Spray the foil with vegetable cooking spray; set aside.

... Combine sugar, light corn syrup, water, and salt in a 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, over medium high heat. Once the mixture begins to boil, stop stirring. Boil until the mixture reaches 300°F on a candy thermometer. Add the peanuts and cook, stirring, until the mixture is golden brown. Remove from the heat and add the butter and baking soda. Pour the mixture onto the prepared pan and spread as thinly as possible. Allow to cool.   Brittle will cool faster if you leave the tray outside in the six-degree balm.  If a squirrel should attempt to dine on the brittle during the cool-down you will know (and you will have world-famous Worthington Stuck Angry Squirrel).

... Bust up the brittle, share, enjoy and wait for spring.

M.O.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

January 16 - A Cathay Pacific B777 returned twice to Vancouver International Airport after the odor of smoke was detected in the cabin shortly after takeoff. After the second landing the flight was canceled and passengers were booked in hotels for the night.

January 15 - No serious injuries were reported after a single-engine plane crashed on takeoff from Plymouth, New Hampshire.

January 14 - A single-engine plane crashed in mountainous terrain near Senador Canedo, Brazil, killing all six aboard. Heavy rain was reported in the area at the time of the crash.

January 14 - No injuries were reported after a helicopter crashed on the lawn of The Rooms on the Beach in Ocho Rios, St. Ann Jamaica. The pilot reported having engine trouble before the crash.

January 14 - A man was found dead in an uncrashed helicopter in a secluded area near Mineral Wells, Texas. Authorities reported that no signs of bodily trauma were immediately evident.

January 13 - No serious injuries were reported after a single-engine plane crashed and flipped in Cheshire, Connecticut. The pilot reported engine trouble during an approach to Waterbury-Oxford Airport.

January 12 - An Alaskan Airlines flight made a safe emergency return landing to Sacramento International Airport after ingesting a bird in one engine shortly after takeoff.

January 12 - A Delta Air Lines A320 made a safe emergency landing at its destination in Salt Lake City, Utah after the crew reported failures in the steering and braking systems.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Recent Accidents & Incidents

January 9 - An Iran Air B727 crashed near Orumiyeh, Iran, killing 71 of 106 aboard. The aircraft was reportedly attempting an emergency landing in heavy snow at the time of the crash.

January 7 - A medevac helicopter crashed in southern Riyadh, killing all four aboard. The flight was en route to a patient pickup at the time of the crash.

January 6 - A Pinnacle Airlines CRJ operating on behalf of Delta Air Lines made a safe emergency return landing to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport in Pennsylvania after the nosegear failed to retract on a scheduled flight to Detroit.

January 6 - The pilot of a 1942 Taylorcraft made a safe emergency landing on I-94 near Jamestown, North Dakota after heavy fog developed during his low-altitude flight.

January 6 - A Continental Airlines B737 made a safe emergency landing in El Paso, Texas after smoke was detected in the cabin during a scheduled flight.

January 6 - A Qantas B767 made a safe emergency return landing to Melbourne after a cockpit warning light indicated a flap problem.

January 5 - A Columbia LC -41 crashed shortly after takeoff from Eagles Nest Estates Airport in Midolthian, Texas, killing both aboard. Witnesses said the aircraft struggled to gain altitude before the crash.

January 3 - The pilot of a single-engine Cessna was killed after crashing near Walnut Grove, Missouri. Witnesses reported hearing the engine cutting out before the crash. Investigators believe the aircraft hit the ground nose first.

January 3 - A United Airlines A320 made a safe emergency return landing to Denver International Airport after smoke was detected in the cabin shortly after takeoff.

January 1 - A B767 made a safe emergency landing at Rostov-on-Don after encountering undisclosed trouble shortly after departing Moscow's Domodedovo Airport.

January 1 - Both aboard a hot air balloon were killed after crashing near Midsomer Norton, Somerset England. The balloonists were reportedly engaged in an altitude record attempt. Witnesses reported seeing the balloon rapidly deflate before the crash.