Archive | August, 2011

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Soft field follies of the Virginia sort

Laura Thorburn-Gundlach (hereafter referred to as TG) learned a hard lesson about simulated versus real manoeuvres on Independence Day. TG badly pranged the Beechcraft BE-77 “Skipper” she and her husband own while trying to takeoff from a cow pasture in Virginia on the fourth of July. She and her husband, also a pilot, had been […]

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#AUVSI11 – UAVS help with Sea Lion surveillance

The Geophysical Institute has posted a video showing a very practical use for unmanned aircraft systems in civilian operations. In this case, the Institute teamed with the North Pacific Fisheries Foundation and the Navy to use an AeroVironment Puma all-weather UAV with an EO/IR sensor package to quietly observe Stellar sea lions in the Aleutian […]

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Dumpster Diving in Buttonwillow

Fatigue put a tired cropduster pilot in Buttonwillow, California right into the dumpster, literally. According to the US NTSB, pilot Douglas Abbott was coming back to his home field at the end of the day on 13 June having completed 20 missions in a Grumman G-164A-600 Ag Cat (N5286). “I experienced a loss of directional […]

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Mechanical “nano” hummingbird comes to DC

AeroVironment plans to fly it’s “nano hummingbird” at the DC Convention Centre next week as part of this year’s AUVSI show. For a preview of what you might see when the bird’s chief developer, Matt Keennon (flying the bird in the picture above, and in the video below), takes to the radio control box at the […]

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Sad end to Wright B pilots

The two pilots testing a Wright Brothers’ Model B experimental aircraft were killed when the Lycoming-powered replica, one of two flying versions belonging to the Ohio-based non-profit, Wright B Flyer Inc, crashed in a field on 30 July. Killed were Mitch Cary, a former US Air Force test pilot and programme manager at the Wright-Patterson Air Force […]

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Where to find the next Orville or Wilbur Wright…

I discovered several videos that make me believe the next person to shake the aerospace world the way Burt Rutan, now retired, did is not at the MITs or Stanfords of the world, but at your local model airplane field. Two videos below from the 2010 Academy of Model Aeronautics (AME) annual EXPO the wonderful […]

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Cold Bay Cock-up

The captain on board this once-beautiful DC-6 carrying fish and cargo between Togiak and Cold Bay, Alaska, took the blame for June 12 landing prang at Cold Bay. According to the NTSB factual report issued 29 July, the captain told investigators “he distracted the crew by pointing out a boat dock” as the four-engine plane approached the runway. […]

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