We've heard a lot about US Airways flight 1549 that crashed into the Hudson River two years ago. Captain Chesley Sullenberger has received many accolades, including being named our "aviator of the year" in 2009, passengers recounted what they experienced on that chilly January day, and the Airbus A320 in question is planned to be exhibited in North Carolina.
But what were some of the long-term affects?
In this video from TED, Ric Elias, who is the CEO of a marketing services company, recounts what he has learned and how his outlook on life has changed since sitting in seat 1B on US1549.
Redbull skydiver Paul Steiner has pulled off this amazing feat, captured on video, in which at 2100m he climbs out of his glider's cockpit (don't worry: the pilot stays), climbs to the outer edge of the wing, hangs down underneath it, transfers to a second glider, and then stands up as the first glider makes an upside down rendezvous, enabling him to stand up and grab the first glider's rudder as the two aircraft fly at 100mph. He then parachutes to the ground. And oh, this is all captured against stunning Austrian mountains.
People are suddenly getting very interested in the views outside of their aircraft window. (Personally, I blame Boeing for dropping eye-catching winglets for "blended" winglets.)
Buzz Feed has selected 100 incredible views from aircraft windows. A passenger on an Air France flight from San Fransisco to Paris snapped 2,459 photos during the flight and put them together in a two minute video, below.
The views from both are great, but have you ever found yourself on a flight wondering what's below you? Well if you happen to be on a wifi-enabled flight, MondoWindow will tell you what you are overflying.
The system uses tracking information to calculate where you are and then display your aircraft on a Google map with pins indicating Wikipedia entries on nearby sights or geo-tagged Flickr photos. Try it out here on your next flight.
Rex Pemberton's forthcoming documentary 'The Calling' (screenshot above) features Medicine on the Move, a non-profit organisation based in Ghana that uses aviation as a vehicle to provide medical assistance in Ghana and soon, it hopes, in neighboring countries. In that regards it is much like a royal flying doctors service, but Medicine on the Move goes further.
It also aims to teach rural communities about health care, such as by flying in or dropping medical supplies and information.
Although started by Westerners, Medicine on the Move is working towards creating a local aviation industry in Ghana. It has partnered with WAASPS and Aviation Technology Academy to train Ghanaians, and females in particular, how to fly aircraft and perform maintenance.
One young female undergoing flight training says, "I want to fly the plane so that one day I can go to villages and tell them how to use medicine."
It is that sentiment that manifests Medicine on the Move's statement that with aviation they can "change the future of an entire generation".
I've been forwarded this magnificent high-definition video of World War II bomber aircraft flying over Arizona.
The video starts with a B17 taking off from Falcon Field in Mesa, Arizona and then flies over the Superstition Mountains, Apache Junction, Roosevelt and Canyon lakes, Saguaro Lake, and Hoover Dam.
H5 Productions with the Commemorative Air Force filmed the aircraft on November 13, 2010, the production company says. The B17 Bomber was flown by pilot Russ Gilmore and the B25 Bomber was flown by pilot Spike McLane. The base for these bombers is Falcon Field located in Mesa, Arizona.
Those Kiwis are at it yet again with their funny in-flight safety videos with the latest iteration featuring fitness personality Richard Simmons conducting a "fit to fly" safety review covering "safety exercises" like how to put bags away: "Stretch it up to the overhead locker...stretch and slide! Yeah, you're a giraffe!"
Even chief executive Rob Fyfe took part, as you can see in the above screen grabs. (Fyfe is on the left of Simmons in the photo directly above.)
The videos started to be shown today on Air NZ's narrow-body fleet and will be expanded to the carrier's wide-body fleet from 1 May, the carrier says.
For the seatbelt demonstration, Simmons instructs: "Buckle it in. Grab, click, pull! Grab, click, pull!" Simmons names the brace position "the duck".
Simmons wears a singlet adorned with Air NZ's Koru logo made, in true Simmons fashion, out of sparkles. The film was shot inside Air New Zealand's 777 mock-up (featuring 787-style windows) with disco lighting and background dancers in flourescent lycra and sweat bands set to New Zealand singer Leza Corban's cover of Yazz's 1980s hit record The Only Way is Up.
Amazing Race presenter Phil Keoghan, television personality Paul Henry, and Silver Fern Temepara George make cameo appearances. Eagle-eyed viewers will also recognise Air NZ staff from previous videos.
British Airways has set a Guinness World Record for hosting last Saturday's smile high gig, the highest stand-up comedy event in the world.
The airline partnered with comedians Dara O Briain, Jack Whitehall and Jon Richardson (above) and raised almost £100,000 for Red Nose Day, as part of the airline's partnership with Comic Relief, a registered charity in the UK launched in 1985 with the mission to make people laugh while raising money.
British Airways says the comedians performed for 45 minutes at 35,000ft to 180
guests and prize winners on board flight BA9230c, operated by an A321
aircraft from London Heathrow's Terminal 5. The flight flew over the UK for 2.5
hours and Q8 donated the fuel, the carrier says.
Whitehall had this joke to say: "I was looking forward to today. After all it's
the only gig where people can't walk out. If you want to heckle you'll
have to press the call button."
Even the pilot of the flight, Captain Brian Connolly, gave in to the humour, saying he was glad to be a member of the "Smile High Club".
You can watch a video of the event here on the BA YouTube page. (You'll need to scroll to find it. Due to restrictions BA has set up, we're unable to link directly).
Dara O Briain, Jack Whitehall and Jon Richardson with Craig Glenday from Guinness World Records. Photos: Geoff Caddick/British Airways.
Aviation these days begs for jokes, be it TSA security or Ryanair wanting to charge to use the loo.
The comic relief has been funny, but I've yet to see anyone go the length Little Britain and the BBC has with its new mockumentary (fake film in documentary-style) TV series, Come Fly with Me.
The show is akin to a fictitious version of real documentary series Airport about London Heathrow. Come Fly with Me follows fictional low-cost airline FlyLo from its pilots to owner to check-in agents. Like Airport, it also focuses on airport employees from immigration officers to paparazzi.
The BBC is kind enough to let us non-Brits watch the entire first episode (below), but you only need to see the first 45 seconds to get a flavour of what's to come--both in the TV show and in the real skies, although I suspect some of you have already experienced the latter.
There's a Michael O'Leary type who whinges about why people need to use the loo in-flight, a passenger who asks what the vegetarian option is and receives the flight attendant's response of "chicken", and general crew shenanigans. I won't spoil it anymore. See it for yourself.
Passengers may dread the wait for their checked luggage, but that was not the case for passengers coming off Spanair flight JK5208 from Barcelona to Las Palmas last Christmas Eve.
190 passengers arrived shortly before midnight, effectively spending their entire Christmas Ever traveling when normally in Spain Christmas Ever is celebrated with dinners, parties, and presents.
"We had to do something to make it a special night for them," Spanair says.
So the carrier wrapped every passenger a present--selecting different presents for men and women, adults and children--placed the passenger's name on the box, and then unloaded the presents on the luggage belt as the passengers gathered to wait for the bags.
Watch the reaction of the passengers in the video, below, the airline made of the event.