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.


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.


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.