Friday, November 30, 2007

Update - Crash In Southern Turkey Kills All 57 On board

Update: A 6 week-old baby was not included in the original death toll which brings the total dead to 57.

An MD-83 crashed 7 miles short of landing in clear weather to Isparta (ISE) Turkey.

Video of the crash site shows the plane fuselage mostly intact in the center section without evidence of fire.

"ISPARTA, Turkey (Reuters) - A Turkish domestic airliner crashed in the mountains in south-west Turkey on Friday, killing all 56 people on board, officials said.

Private AtlasJet Airlines Chief Executive Tuncay Doganer said the cause of the crash was not clear as weather conditions were normal and the aircraft had no known technical problems.

Officials said all on board were Turkish.

The 165-seat MD 83 plane, manufactured by McDonnell Douglas, crashed in the early hours of Friday before it was due to land in the city of Isparta. It had been flying from Istanbul with 49 passengers and seven crew.

The crash occurred outside Keciborlu, a town some 12 km (7.5 miles) from Isparta's Suleyman Demirel airport.

The aircraft's black box should explain what happened, Doganer told reporters.
Turkey is in the grip of winter with snow and fog common on higher ground across much of the country.

"No matter what measures you take, plane accidents happen and we see that 80 to 85 percent are due to human error," said Transport Minister Binali Yildirim, adding regular inspections had been carried out on the leased plane.

Rescue workers reached the mountainous crash site after military helicopters spotted the wreckage of the airliner.

Sahin Kartal, who lost his nephew and sister-in-law, later reached the cordoned-off site in the forested mountain.

"The authorities made us wait for news until this hour. They told us that the plane took off and then landed, but we didn't know it landed like this," Kartal told Reuters.


A reporter from state-run Anatolian news agency who arrived with a military helicopter said she saw bodies strewn around the area of the crash, with personal belongings and luggage scattered on the hillside along with aircraft debris.

Some dead passengers were still strapped to their seats.

The area was later sealed off as rescue workers began removing the bodies, which were due to be taken to local hospitals. Ambulances had arrived at the scene.

Some 300 soldiers guarded the crash site to keep people away. Many ambulances could be seen arriving.

Turkish television showed a large section of the plane, with emergency exits open, intact on the side of a forested mountain. It appeared the front and back of the aircraft were smashed.

Anxious relatives arrived at Istanbul's Ataturk airport seeking news of the passengers.

"They have great pain. This is a terrible thing, we should all support them," Istanbul deputy governor Cafer Yildiz told reporters. He said a plane carrying the relatives would fly soon to Isparta.

The aircraft disappeared from radar screens shortly before it was due to land at Isparta, about 150 km (90 miles) north of the Mediterranean resort of Antalya.

"As the plane was approaching its descent, it sought permission to land and after receiving a positive reply from the tower, contact was lost," Anatolian news agency quoted local deputy governor Tayyar Sasmaz as saying.

The aircraft was leased by Turkish-based World Focus Airlines to AtlasJet, which operates 15 planes.

(Reporting by Gareth Jones, Selcuk Gokoluk and Omer Berberoglu, writing by Paul de Bendern, editing by Myra MacDonald)
© Reuters 2007. All Rights Reserved.


This plane seemed to be going at a slow enough speed to not be completely destroyed and there was no fire.

Conjecture: Fuel starvation and/or CFIT (controlled flight into terrain).

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Belly Landing Caught on Film

Listen for all of the factual errors by the media. But, great piloting skills at work.

Plane makes belly landing
Plane makes belly landing

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Update Wednesday

Peggy Fossett, wife of missing aviator Steve Fossett who has been missing since September 3rd, has requested that an Illinois court rule her husband as "dead".

There is finally news coming from
Vans Aircraft on the RV-12. Seems they are expecting a FLOOD of orders and want to be ready to ship immediately. While the wait has been excruciating, it shows why Vans Aircraft is so respected in the homebuilt community. I have watched many aircraft companies make huge promises (anyone remember the BD-5 that was selling like hotcakes...even before a suitable engine had been found?) only to flame out and leave many buyers with a partial plane and no support.

Vans is expecting that the plane will be so easy to build that, "...there just wouldn’t be time for us to finish development work on a wing kit while early builders work on the empennage kit, for instance. That wing kit will need to be ready to go out the door a few weeks after the first empennage kit ships."

There has been speculation by other sites that Vans was preparing to ship a "complete kit" rather than the tried and true modular build method. This statement would seem to contradict that thought.

Here is a listing of some homebuilt companies. Click on the company links and see how many are no longer there. I have even come across a few that were "New!" and the company website was already gone. I think that Vans is here to stay.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

DRIVING an F-16 in Google Earth Flight Simulator I'm bored and playing with the Flight Simulator hidden in Google Earth...

Try this: Take off from VNKT (Kathmandu airport). Well...don't EXACTLY take off.

Let me explain: Set Ø° flaps and only ¾ throttle. Make sure that you set full FORWARD trim. Once you get rolling, give right RUDDER (NOT aileron) to come to course 030°. Sit back and enjoy the show. If you take off at any time, this won't work.

The F-16 will "drive" through the Himalayas and over Mt. Everest. Don't worry about crashing. If you have never become airborne, you cannot crash. You may notice an odd phenomenon as you are driving. Sometimes, the mountains become suspended in space with stars above...and below. Weird, but fun.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

NORAD 9/11 Tapes

Discrepancies in military chiefs' testimony as well as issues in relation to white house announcements.

I have long listened to conspiracy theorists about the events surrounding 9/11. Here is a copy of the 9/11 Commission Report. I haven't completed reading all 585 pages yet, but it seems less conspiracy and more incompetency.

HB-SIA Solar Impulse Now Under Construction

At a news conference on 5 November, it was announced that after a 4-year planning phase, the Solar Impulse is now under construction.

The goal of the Solar Impulse is to fly around the world, nonstop and without fuel. It is amazing how the price of fuel has spawned serious interest in alternative ways to fly, drive and live.

To view the news conference, click
HERE. Broadband connection advised. This will open in Media Player.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Cool link

Click here to see real-time airport delays. Mouse-over the airports to view length and types of delays.

But, it's nice to know that
our government is doing a lot(?) to fix the problem.

[Rant Alert]

If our government did more to maintain and (heaven forbid!) build new airports in remote locations, maybe we could get away from the hub-based airline model.

Having lived in southern Okie-la-hooterville-homa, it meant a drive of almost 100 miles...North, to OKC...or South, to catch any flights. Either you have to have REALLY good friends or a deep pocket to pay for the gas and parking to take a flight.

Airplanes and airports mean
$$$ for communities.

[This concludes this Rant alert]

KICK ASS Flying.

Left nut? Hell..You need huge, brass ones for this kind of flying! This is a humongoid-type file (19.3 mb) that opens in Media Player. Dial-up recommended only if you are going to be working on your RV project for a few hours. Is it worth it? I think so.

The flat turns show the massive rudder capability on these aircraft and the massive right leg muscles to match. Enjoy.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Armchair Pilots - REJOICE!

Google Earth has a hidden flight simulator built into the latest version of Google Earth.

From Marco's blog:

"First of all you'll have to install the latest version of GE. Once you've started it all up, then all you have to do is hit Ctrl+Alt+A (if you're running OS X it's Command+Option+A; some people have reported that Ctrl+A or Ctrl+Windows+A work when the standard Ctrl+Alt+A does not). You must be in Earth mode (i.e. not Sky mode) for this to work . If all goes as planned the following dialog should pop up:"

The controls can be found here. Or, just say "@#%! it!" and keep pressing the [PgUp] key. Have fun.

Note: You can return to the Flight Simulator after exiting by clicking on the "Tools" menu and go back to the sim. Have FUN!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Rest In Peace Paul Tibbets

Brigadier General Paul Tibbets died Thursday at age 92. I had the chance to have lunch with this man when he visited Salem, Oregon in the late 90's. I found him to be a tough, articulate and thoughtful man.

He had no regrets about his mission over Hiroshima Japan and felt that he had done his job as a soldier and had saved many lives by shortening the war. Many people have cursed him for piloting the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb. After getting to know him, I found he was simply a good pilot trying to do his job without "screwing the pooch".

I wish he and his family well.