Posts with the tag ‘Aviation technology’


Icon Suggests Pilot Erred In A5 Plane Crash

May 18, 2017

Investigators don’t know what caused the fatal plane crash last week of the new and highly-anticipated light-sport Icon A5, but in a statement on the company website, Icon’s director of flight, Shane Sullivan suggests pilot error was an issue. “We’re unsure why the plane flew into such a narrow canyon that had no outlet,” Sullivan wrote.  Such speculation by an interested party during the investigation is highly unusual and frowned upon by the National Transportation Safety Board. On May 8, aeronautical engineer and chief test pilot Jon Karkow was piloting the two seat amphibious A5 with Icon’s new director of engineering, Cagri Sever on board as a passenger…. Read More…


Aviation Year in Review Has a Star Wars Sci-Fi Feel

December 29, 2015

Star Wars dominated the end-of-the-year entertainment news. Harrison Ford, the ageless superstar most associated with the ageless film franchise also arrives on my list of top aviation news stories as I wrap up the year with a look back at 2015. It was March (and the movie was already in the can) when Ford, a pilot for nearly a quarter century, lost the engine on his Ryan Aeronautical ST3KR, shortly after takeoff from Santa Monica Airport. He crash landed on a golf course about 800 feet from the airfield. The NTSB determined a carburetor malfunction allowed too much fuel to flow into the engine causing… Read More…


Happy Birthday from Syria and Other Places in a Troubled World

December 19, 2015

>One of my Facebook messages today Not long after my eyes opened this morning I enjoyed reading some of the early birthday greetings posted on my Facebook page. (Don’t judge me.) It is heartwarming to be remembered by friends and family of course. Then I noticed something else; the remarkable number of countries from which those greetings came. I counted eleven even before 9:00 o’clock. My host family during my 2006 stay in Syria, my daughter’s former boyfriend in New Zealand, an au pair from Spain, a tour guide from Morocco, a pre-teen acquaintance from Australia, an a septuagenarian from Japan, business associates from Norway,… Read More…


Nice Landing or Scary Takeoff A350 Enters Service With Both

December 18, 2015

>A350 arrives in Brazil photo courtesy TAM What a difference a week makes. Early this morning, TAM Airlines happily welcomed its first Airbus A350 when it touched down uneventfully in Brazil after a flight from Airbus HQ in Toulouse France. Earlier this week, however, it was quite a different experience when a Qatar Airways charter flight with aviation writers enjoying a look at the fancy new wide body, attempted to leave New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.   >Honig’s blog post on the Qatar experience In that case, what appeared to be a normal takeoff roll was suddenly aborted. Zach Honig, The Points Guy… Read More…


Science Shows Metrojet Crash Triggered by a Bomb

November 13, 2015

The blast that took down a Russian Airbus A321 over the Sinai last month, had to be triggered by a bomb, an experienced explosives expert said today. “If the information about the plane being at 31,000 feet is reliable, it’s not a fuel air explosion,” Merritt Birky, a former safety investigator with the NTSB told me. Lacking any indication that a missile hit the airplane, Birky’s conclusion eliminates the other possible scenario, that the plane came apart mid flight due to an explosion in the plane’s center fuel tank. >Birky (L) in 1996 Birky, now retired, was the principal explosion and chemical expert in the… Read More…


Passion but Few Tears in Amsterdam for Airliners That Fly into the Past

October 10, 2015

Too often air travel is an antiseptic experience for the passenger as we sit in tile-floored, waiting rooms, our heads down and our minds in cyberspace. It is so rare and so thrilling to actually smell the jet fuel and hear the whine of the engines at the few airports that still encourage a love of the journey. Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is one of them and it’s the perfect place to reflect on commercial aviation’s first century since KLM Royal Dutch is, at 96 years old, the oldest airline still in operation under its original name. (And what a nice name it is.)   Schiphol Airport… Read More…


Mud Stud or Desk Detective, Two Seminars for Air Crash Analysis

September 9, 2015

Platinum Jet crash at Teterboro in 2005 Who is an air crash investigator? On those television documentaries, there’s always some government sleuth who cracks the case with extraordinary tenaciousness and a lot of taxpayer money to spend on labs, test flights and reconstructions. The ever-popular NBC News commentator and Greg Feith usually makes an appearance, which gives me a chance to remind my readers that his nickname is “the Mud Stud” picked up during the ValueJet crash of 1996. >Bob Benzon appears on Aircrash Confidential Bob Benzon, Bob MacIntosh, and other folks not named Bob but but with experience working for a government  accident bureau… Read More…


Wing Flap Should Elevate MH 370 Investigation

August 5, 2015

  The section of wing found on Reunion Island in the South Indian Ocean last week came from missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, or at least enough of a positive identification was made today for the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to announce he’s satisfied. While not a surprise to anyone who has seen or read the news since the part was found on a rocky beach, Razak’s statement is a six foot bit of certainty in the still-mysterious disappearance of the Boeing 777 on March 8, 2014. Even the confirmation today is not without equivocation, as Razak says yes, and others say, probably. The… Read More…


Egg Heads Unlikely Malaysia 370 Heroes in the Bamboozle Era

July 30, 2015

In the past I’ve referred to them as the kids who couldn’t get a date for the prom. Now, I bet the engineers at the British satellite communication company inmarsat will be the coolest kids of summer if the portion of an airplane found in Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean turns out to be from Malaysia Flight 370. Jonathan Sinnatt, director of corporate communications for inmarsat said the company is not making any comment – certainly not before a determination is made about whether the 6 foot long piece of what appears to be part of a wing, is actually from the missing Malaysia… Read More…


Beauty Takes The Runway on A350 Tour (Just Don’t Look Too Close)

July 17, 2015

>F-WWCF the Airbus A350 MSN #2 in Newark on Thursday The Airbus A350 XWB that flew into Newark Liberty International Airport this week on another stop on its tour of the Americas looked awfully pretty parked out on the ramp by Signature Aviation Services. But like many of us gals in the prep stage of a special event, one should not look too closely or the hairclips and Spanx might be visible.   That’s because this plane MSN #2, just one of two prototypes with a full cabin configuration, is still running a variety of tests. Is the cabin too humid? How are the structure… Read More…


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