Monday, December 31, 2007

A Year-End Contest

Who can be the first person to:

A) Identify the aircraft type
B) Find the history of this aircraft (Tail #21045)
C) Identify the goofy kid in the middle

To the first person to correctly answer the first two questions goes my gratitude and the recognition of all who visit this blog when their answer is posted.

More Trouble On A United Flight

A United Flight from Washington Dulles (IAD) to Seattle (SEA) had to be diverted to Pittsburgh(PIT) because of an unruly passenger on Sunday.

There are no details as to why the man had to be removed, but one source has said there was a Sky Marshal on board United Flight 917 with 182 passengers and 8 crew members.

The flight, which had been scheduled to arrive in Seattle at 21:30, did not arrive until 23:21.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Update - MD-83 Crash In Southern Turkey

From Today's Zaman - Ankara

Black box of crashed plane was out of order

The black box from the Atlasjet airplane that crashed on Nov. 30 near an Isparta airport, killing all 57 people on board, was out of order at the time of the accident, new evidence revealed on Saturday.

The cockpit recorder device (CVR), also known as a black box, had not been working for the ninth day in a row at the time of the crash, a technical investigation being carried out in Germany revealed. The latest recording from a flight on the plane, an MD 83 leased by Atlasjet from World Focus, was from Nov 21.

According to safety rules that apply to MD83 planes, a plane with a broken CVR cannot be flown for more than three flights. Teams investigating the Isparta crash say the plane had made many flights in the nine days before its last.

It was also discovered that the plane's flight data recorder (FDR) was also out of order. The device had recorded only 15 minutes of the entire flight, the experts said. The investigation into the accident is ongoing and has been expanded in light of the new data, officials from the Transportation Ministry said.

"OOOPS" in Kansas City

It seems that a pilot for United Flight 183 took a wrong turn in fog and ended up on a service road. The 757 was too wide for the road and the wheels became stuck in mud. All 180 passengers were safely evacuated.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Flying Google Earth

This is a great video from Google Earth Flight Simulator. The music is Looking At You by the Tartan Rascals.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

NEVER fly with animals

I was reading a post on Views From The Left Seat and was reminded of a humorous story I once read.

From the Alaska is Different website:

"The cat, the dog, and the dynamite

Jack Wilson, well known bush pilot, now retired, told me this story many years ago and recently included it in a book he wrote, Glacier Wings and Tales. Jack was flying cargo from Cordova to McCarthy. Among other things his load included a cat in a sack, a small, feisty dog, dynamite and caps. Because of potential problems he put the dynamite in the back of the small plane and the dynamite caps in the passenger seat.

During the trip some rough air was experienced and this apparently disturbed the cat. It began to move around in the sack and make strange noises. This caught the attention of the dog, which had not realized an age-old enemy was also on board. All of a sudden the cat found its way out of the sack and the battle was on.

According to Jack the fur was literally flying as the animals careened from the front to the back of the cabin, locked in mortal combat. All this time Jack was trying to fly the aircraft through the turbulence and also prevent the animals from landing on the explosive dynamite caps. According to Jack, he would take a poke at them with his fist whenever they came in range. Eventually he was able to grab the cat and throw it to the rear of the plane where, astonishingly, it remained. Then he put a hammer lock on the dog and finally made it to the McCarthy airstrip.

A similar story was related to me by a bush pilot who shall go unnamed. This gentleman was flying his aircraft in Kodiak. The cargo included some lady’s very precious cat. Apparently, as the plane gained altitude the cat’s ears became plugged and the pain caused the cat to go somewhat berserk. It was going around and around in the cabin, bouncing first off the windshield then the side windows, effectively causing consternation for the pilot. After the cat had made several rapid circles around the inside of the airplane the pilot despaired of ever calming the agitated feline. So he opened the window and when the cat came around again it hit the opening and the problem was solved. The pilot never did tell me what he told the owner of the cat when he arrived in Kodiak. I really don’t want to know."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Yes, it's that time of year again...

People born on my birthday:
Name / Date of Birth / Date of Death / Age (Death *)

Edward G. Robinson 12/12/1893 / 01/26/1973 / 79 *
Karen Morley 12/12/1909 / 03/08/2003 / 93 *
Frank Sinatra 12/12/1915 / 05/14/1998 / 82 *
Richard Martin 12/12/1917 / 09/04/1994 / 76 *
Joe Williams 12/12/1918 / 03/29/1999 / 80 *
Bob Barker 12/12/1923 / 84
Ed Koch 12/12/1924 / 83
Honor Blackman 12/12/1927 / 80
Robert Noyce 12/12/1927 / 06/02/1990 / 62 *
John Osborne 12/12/1929 / 12/24/1994 / 65 *
Miguel de la Madr... 12/12/1934 / 73
Buford Pusser 12/12/1937 / 08/21/1974 / 36 *
Connie Francis 12/12/1938 / 69
Dionne Warwick 12/12/1940 / 67
Grover Washington... 12/12/1943 / 12/17/1999 / 56 *
Tony Williams 12/12/1945 / 02/23/1997 / 51 *
Emerson Fittipaldi 12/12/1946 / 61
Cathy Rigby 12/12/1952 / 55
John Anderson 12/12/1955 / 52

People who died on my birthday:
Date of Death / Age / Name / Field

12/12/1965 / 67 /
Johnny Lee / Entertainment
12/12/1968 / 66 /
Tallulah Bankhead / Entertainment
12/12/1976 / 49 /
Jack Cassidy / Entertainment
12/12/1985 / 62 /
Anne Baxter / Entertainment
12/12/1988 / 71 /
Anthony "Tony Pro" Prov... / Crime
12/12/1994 / 61 /
Stuart Roosa / Exploration
12/12/1998 / 76 /
Marco Denevi / Literature
12/12/1998 / 76 /
Mo Udall / Politics
12/12/1998 / 68 /
Lawton Chiles / Politics
12/12/1999 / 94 /
Paul Cadmus / Art
12/12/1999 / 76 /
Joseph Heller / Literature
12/12/2000 / 84 /
George Montgomery / Entertainment
12/12/2002 / 85 /
Brad Dexter / Entertainment
12/12/2003 / 80 /
Heydar Aliyev / Politics
12/12/2003 / 27 /
Keiko / Other
12/12/2006 / 71 /
Peter Boyle / Entertainment

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Atlantis is "Go" for Launch

According to NASA, the launch of STS-122 is scheduled for Sunday, December 8th at 15:21 EST.

There has been an issue with the two of four engine cut-off (ECO) sensors on the external tank of the shuttle. These fuel sensors are critical for the shuttle's main engines to cut off properly. According to NASA rules, the shuttle can fly with 3 of 4 sensors online, but that is the abort limit.

Now, the experts have decided to "fill 'er up" and see how it goes.

I am reminded of a day I was going to fly a "first-timer" up to Columbia Airport. She had never been flying in her life and this was to be a grand experience for her.

The weather at San Jose Airport was marginal, at best. The plane I was renting had 1 nav and 1 comm radio out. The route up to Columbia was painting precip and lowered ceilings. Legal VFR, but not optimal and if things changed suddenly, I could end up in IFR in the foothills of the Sierras. Now, a single nav radio and a single comm radio was still legal to fly...but, I adhere to this single rule: "There are old pilots. There are bold pilots. There are no old, bold pilots."

I told my friend that we would "not be flying today". She appreciated my caution and, at a later date, her first flight was enjoyable and memorable in its lack of excitement.

I hope that there is no excitement tomorrow for STS-122.

Thursday, December 6, 2007