Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Aviation Reveals the Mystery of Human Resiliency

One month before Orville Wright's birthday (which we remember today on National Aviation day) he was injured in a plane crash while demonstrating the Wright Flyer to the U.S. Army in Ft. Myers, Virginia with Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge on board. 

On their fifth circuit of the field, the Flyer’s right propeller broke unleashing a cascade of other problems that caused the plane to nose dive. Selfridge, a pilot and airplane designer was killed.

There is little doubt in my mind that these aviation pioneers understood the risks associated with taking to the sky. Of the uncertainties for aviation pioneers, Wilbur Wright wrote this beautiful warning; "If you are looking for perfect safety, you will do well to sit on a fence and watch the birds; but if you really wish to learn, you must mount a machine and become acquainted with its tricks by actual trial." 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wing Flap Should Elevate MH 370 Investigation

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.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

High but Not So Mighty American Dreamliner Damage Photos

Updated Thursday August 6th with news from inspection in Dallas

Radome damage
Glass half full: This American Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner, returned to Beijing safely after flying into a hail storm at 26 thousand feet (ish) after takeoff on July 27. All 209 passengers and a crew of 13 were able to continue on the way to Dallas albeit on a different airplane and with a delay.

Glass half empty: Travelers had the beejeebies scared out of them during the encounter. Passenger Dallas Rueschoff told a reporter, "We were going sideways, up and down...we dropped a good few hundred feet at least."  Or as a 787 pilot I know characterized it, "I bet that was a hellava ride and I'm glad I wasn't there." Then there is the damage to the brand new $200+ million airliner.