Archive | May, 2011

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Air France 447: the facts and what’s behind them

This is what the Air France A330′s trajectory looked like during its last few minutes, starting when everything was still fine…   The BEA’s simple three-page factual summary is here. It doesn’t attempt to judge, it just reports facts. Conclusions will come with the final report. From this point I will number the paragraphs so […]

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The Dreamliner becomes real

Learning the Boeing 787 starts here. It doesn’t matter whether you are a mechanic or a pilot, when you’re learning about aircraft systems the manuals are in an identical laptop/tablet/EFB, and are based on the same software. So you learn to use the manuals which can, in virtual reality, walk you through the process of system […]

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Does art imitate aviation or……..?

Aerodynamics, even at its most primitive, conspires to make aeroplanes art. If they aren’t art, they don’t fly. Engineering and art share a spectrum, even if some manifestations of each are at opposite ends. TAG Aviation, not satisfied with having created the world’s coolest terminal and sexiest hangar (above) at Britain’s oldest aerodrome (Farnborough), expects it to be the […]

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How government predetermined the outcome of the toxic cabin air report

  The UK Government, through the 2000 House of Lords Inquiry into contaminated cabin air, called for research “to refute the ‘common allegations’ and give public confidence with regard to cabin air quality”. No call for a genuine inquiry to find out whether the air actually does get contaminated, then? Apparently not. Anyway, the result of that […]

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Don’t worry, there’s only a little bit of poison in the cabin air today

You can almost hear the UK authorities breathing a collective sigh of relief at the publication of Cranfield University’s report on a series of flights in which cabin air samples were analysed. Apparently crews and passengers don’t need to worry because the quantity of pernicious neurotoxins collected were at a legal level. Whew! What a relief that the […]

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US training industry says it, not the FAA, has to sharpen up

Ab initio pilot training in the USA is still based on Second World War methodology and concepts, a major training symposium in Atlanta has just heard. As a result the US GA accident rate has remained static, the GA industry is suffering, and it is the responsibility of the industry itself – not the Federal Aviation […]

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Dutch rock-and-roll courtesy of Tupolev

This Tupolev Tu-154 is demonstrating a gyration known as dutch roll, but a rather more violent example than usual.   The sketchy details of what’s going on where are here. Before I explain why there are several things about this film that make me a bit sceptical about what’s happening, I will describe how dutch roll develops. […]

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“Have you seen the 172?”….”Whoaa!”

A Cessna Citation Sovereign pilot, climbing away from the runway looks up from the task of engaging the autopilot to find a Cessna 172 filling his windscreen. His exclamation – with the transmit button pressed – says it all: “Whoaa!” Actually he said that more than that: the full story is here. The event happened at […]

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