Archive for August, 2007
Ever thought of owning something really quite different? How about a three engine transport?
At $3M I think I might take a rain check though, as gorgeous as she is. try the link, the pictures do the old lady justice, they are excellent.
She is for sale of course, try here for the details. Cheque book ready?
Canadian authorities have known for at least five years that the seatbelts in the CT-114 Tutor jets used by the Snowbirds could come open in flight because there was an incident in 2002 similar to the one that led to the most recent fatal crash.
Capt. Shawn McCaughey died in late May after his restraint came undone while he rolled inverted and he lost control of the aircraft during a rehearsal for a show in Great Falls, Mont. According to the Toronto Globe and Mail, in 2002, Snowbird Capt. Robert Reichert also fell out of his seat when the belt unfastened while he was inverted. He was able to recover.
However, nothing was done to modify the restraints in the meantime and it wasn’t until after McCaughey’s death that a parachute arming key that is part of the seatbelt latch mechanism was modified to prevent it from interfering with the proper closing of the latch. The team’s executive officer Maj. Cory Blakely told the Globe and Mail all Snowbird pilots were award of the belt problem.
Blakely said the military was in the process of fixing the problem when McCaughey crashed. “It’s definitely something that we were aware of, and I know the system was working on it. The time frame of it was definitely unfortunate,” he said. The ongoing investigation into the crash will examine the timeline of the belt fix, he said. Blakely said he usually double-checks his restraint to ensure it’s properly latched. McCaughey’s father Ken told CTV News that his son complained to him about the seatbelts before the accident. Meanwhile Canadian politicians representing opposition parties in the government are calling for someone to be held accountable for the lack of action on the belt problem. “There really was negligence here and there has to be someone who is held responsible,” said Bloc Quebecois Member of Parliament Claude Bachand.
Incredible isn’t it that the boss of the team allowed them to carry on flying when the problem was known about. He would be the last backstop in the safety chain. One of the givens in the aerobatic game is that the seat straps will hold you in the aircraft. Take that confidence away and you are not left with much.
Difficult to be too prescriptive about this without all the facts but as the Canadian Parliament asserts, someone must be held accountable for negligence which has cost lives.
The sequence shown here might be a little distressing for some. It shows two P-51′s during a formation landing mishap, one of them has to be a fatality.
The file is a .pps file for use with either Powerpoint or Keynote.
Photo Tom Smith
A once-in-a-lifetime aviation event is in the works for next month, when up to 100 Mustangs will fly into Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus, Ohio, for the “Gathering of Mustangs and Legends.” The last such gathering took place in Florida in 1999. This year’s event is billed as “The Final Round-up,” as it might be the last chance for many of the original Mustang pilots and crew from World War II to attend. About 50 such “legends” are expected at the event, including Aces, crew chiefs, WASPs and others who were part of the P-51 family. The event will take place Sept. 27 to 30. Besides Mustangs, the show will feature the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, the F-22 Raptor, the Red Baron Stearman squadron, air show pilots Patty Wagstaff and Mike Goulian and more. But the real focus of the event, according to the Web site, is not the aircraft but the men and women who flew and took care of them. “This is what the event is all about — to reunite them together again: to honor, to thank, to hear their stories one more time,” the organizer says.
The mighty P-51 Mustang just never seems to lose its appeal does it? What is wonderful is that so many of the guys who flew it in combat are still prepared and able to turn up and take part in the homage.
‘The prototype NA-73X was rolled out just 117 days after the order was placed, and first flew on 26 October 1940, just 178 days after the order had been placed — an incredibly short gestation period.’
British specification, British engine and an all American design and manufacturing process – an amazing feat which contained a few ‘firsts’. Quite an example of cross Atlantic co-operation and an echo to an era of a real special relationship. What a shame we can’t run one of that quality at the moment.
Photo L. Hicks
Could it be just a coincidence? Or ‘Boeing Aircraft’ maybe…
Whatever was wrong with wishful thinking?
This may well be first sight of the wing for the new Airbus military transport, the A400.
From my ‘man on the inside.’
A400M is the Airbus-designed transport replacement for the RAF Hercules.
All the major European countries were coerced into buying them.
Total orders currently stand at +/-175 aircraft.
It’s been designed over maybe 8 years or so – a long gestation period since the customers couldn’t decide what they really wanted – although not to the extent of the Eurofighter/Taifun 20 year gestation .
As usual, the wings are designed and manufactured in the UK, although control surfaces such as the flaps are designed and manufactured by companies in Belgium. I’m not 100% certain but since this is a turbo-prop there shouldn’t be any leading-edge slats although I may be wrong on that.
The Front Spar and Rear Spars are carbon fibre designed by GKN and manufactured on the Isle of Wight. There’s quite a lot of carbon fibre in the structure, but certainly not to the extent of the B787.
It looks as if the RAF ‘Navigators Union’ has kept an option for a seat for their man. Come on gents, think INS/GPS/FMCS – the way ahead…. years ago.
As a group that has pored over Gardner Island several times failed in its attempt to find conclusive evidence that the island is the final resting place of Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan, another effort to solve the 70-year-old mystery has received fresh funding, thanks in part to its exposure in AVweb.
Last week The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery wrapped up its latest effort, recovering a part of a zipper and a melted bottle that might have been used to boil water, but nothing that proves Earhart was ever there. Official accounts say she and Noonan crashed at sea, but theories persist that they crashed on an island and perhaps survived for a time, either as castaways or prisoners of the Japanese.
An Australian man hopes to test his theory that Earhart’s plane came down on New Britain Island off Papua New Guinea and the $75,000 in funding pledges David Billings has received since his podcast interview appeared in AVweb a month ago will go a long way toward that effort.
Billings believes an Australian army patrol found the wreck of Earhart’s Lockheed Electra and dutifully reported the discovery, including engine and airframe serial numbers. Although Billings has searched the area on foot, he believes the aircraft is so buried by jungle the only way to find it is with an airborne metal detector. That will cost about $150,000 and, with the money pledged so far and some promising leads on the way, he hopes to finally launch the search.
AVweb, a great service, give it a try. The podcast is very compelling.
Podcast: Play in new window
Singapore – The wingtips of two Singapore Airlines (SIA) planes hit each other while taxiing for take-off, but there were no injuries, the national carrier said on Sunday. Both Boeing 777 aircraft suffered minor damage in Saturday’s accident at Changi Airport, SIA officials said.
The passengers were transferred to other aircraft for their flights to Copenhagen and Rome.
An investigation is underway, the national carrier said. The number of passengers aboard the two planes was not disclosed.
Accidents are messy affairs, in the first instance at the scene, and later sometimes even more grievously during the aftermath. Quite how messy depends on how well the investigation is handled and how accurately the conclusions are arrived at. It can be comforting to know that no expense has been spared, no rock left unturned and the truth arrived at by those connecting the myriad fragments of both lives and machines to build a picture of the truth.
Before we take this too much further, lets look at the way a couple of other investigations played out. Remember Egypt Air 990, a Boeing 767-366ER that came down in the Atlantic 60 Miles South of Nantucket, Massachusetts on October 31, 1999?
The airline argued that the aircraft manufacturers product was implicated in the ‘accident,’ but the reality may well have been that the Captain had effectively included the passengers and crew in his suicide. The arguing swayed to and frow until the huff died down…. and what was the conclusion, where was the follow up?