If you haven’t heard about it by now, but an ATC controller at JFK International Airport in New York City was caught letting his children issue commands to airliners.
The transmissions were played over and over on the news, and it’s quite clear that a young boy was giving airliners take-off clearance and telling others to contact the departure frequency after they were airborne. Word has it that the controller’s daughter enjoyed the same privilege the next day.
But the big question is, was anybody really in danger during the incidents? Read more…
Reports are coming out right now that a “small plane” has crashed into a seven story office building in northwestern Austin, Texas.
Take a look at the facts:
- The weather in the area is clear, 55 degrees and with only a slight breeze.
- The aircraft appears to have impacted the lower front of the building — a direct hit.
- It was mentioned multiple times that the aircraft didn’t just crash, but rather “plowed into” the building, sparking a large fire and causing structural damage to the building.
- An IRS office is located in this very office building. A regional FBI office and other federal buildings are very close to this location.
- Witnesses have reported seeing a “30-foot fireball” after watching a small aircraft flying irrationally (stalled?), nearly missing power lines before impacting the office building. Another witness countered this, claiming that the aircraft looked very much in control.
So what happened an hour ago in Austin?
Last night’s crash of flight 3407 from Newark, NJ to Buffalo, NY, killing the flight crew, all of the passengers, and a victim on the ground, shows that in addition to being dangerous to ground traffic, ice can be extremely dangerous to today’s aircraft.
By the time that the flight crew realized that there was significant ice buildup on the aircraft during final approach to the Buffalo airport, it was too late.
Today’s successful water landing of US Airways flight 1549 shows what skilled airline pilots can do during emergencies. As a result of the pilot’s actions, all 155 passengers and crew members are alive.
This shows exactly why pilots in the U.S. and other major countries are held to such high standards and required to complete training every year (or more frequent depending on the airline). You have to know exactly what you’re doing and how to handle emergencies should one ever occur.
And this flight crew appears to have done a flawless job.
XCOR Aerospace, the next company to start offering people rides to the edge of space, just today started tickets at the bargain price of only $95,000 each.
For that price one person alone gets to ride with a pilot on a half hour suborbital flight about 37 miles about the surface of the Earth. Of course, the vehicle being constructed can only carry one passenger at a time and said passenger has to wear a pressurized spacesuit, but that’s still what I would imagine to be quite a ride.
Today I finished reading Michael Crichton‘s novel, Airframe.
Overall, it was pretty good like most of Crichton’s other stories, but as an FAA licensed private pilot and general aviation enthusiast, I felt like the story was lacking better substance and a more evil plot.
The concept for nuclear-powered aircraft is back in the news.
Keeping the future environment in mind, some people believe it’s time for this concept to be used to transport people around the world.
Forty years ago the U.S. government experimented with this concept for our long-range bombers. A special B-36 was converted into a nuclear bomber by having a miniature nuclear reactor installed in the rear of the aircraft and a heavy lead lining around the cabin to protect the crew. The aircraft was test flown with the reactor running, though the tests did not power the engines.