Terrific Southwest Airlines safety briefing video

Beats the others:


I think using humor to keep peoples’ attention beats all the pre-recorded announcements hands down.

Joy to The World, USAF Band style, at the Smithsonian

U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with ‘Top Gun’-worthy stunt: ‘You really ought to go home’ – Washington Times

In what only can be described as a scene out of Tom Cruise’s “Top Gun,” Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Air Force chief of staff, describes how F-22 stealth jets scared off Iranian jets from a U.S. drone flying in international airspace.

via U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with ‘Top Gun’-worthy stunt: ‘You really ought to go home’ – Washington Times.

Click through to see what happened. I’ll be the in-cockpit tape of that gets out someday…and it will be cool.


Two other thoughts: are we now riding shotgun on drones (aren’t the drones so we don’t have to endanger pilots), and/or, was this bait to see what Iranian air intercept does?

Defikopter drone air-drops a defibrillator to EMTs on the ground

The Defikopter is a UAV that can be activated by a smartphone app to automatically take to the skies and drop a defibrillator to medical personnel on the ground, shaving precious seconds from the time it takes to receive treatment for cardiac arrest.

The idea for the drone comes from Definetz, a non-profit group dedicated to preventing deaths due to heart failure.

via Defikopter drone air-drops a defibrillator to EMTs on the ground.

Interesting idea. Won’t work here in the Land o’ the Lawsuit.

The Untold Story of the Battle of Camp Bastion

One year ago this month, under cover of night, fifteen Taliban, dressed as American soldiers, snuck onto one of the largest air bases in Afghanistan. What followed was a bloody confrontation highlighting a startling security lapse, with hundreds of millions in matériel lost in a matter of hours—the worst day for American airpower since the Tet Offensive. Yet the attack faded from view before anyone could figure out what went wrong. For the first time, Matthieu Aikins relives those heart-pounding moments and offers an extraordinary account of the Battle of Bastion

via The Untold Story of the Battle of Bastion.

Amazingly well written story of close combat by air wing Marines.

Sikorsky prize won: human powered helicopter successful!

Never bet against the humans.

Terrific article about this and the prize at PopMech. ht Instapundit.

Southwest Airlines mobile design fail

So, I was trying to sign up for the Rapid Rewards for Southwest on my iPhone.

I got nearly to the end before the design fail happened. I wonder what I should answer when I’m not sure of the question.



Quantas mechanics have another work hazard

Ten foot pythons in the engine compartments/flap operators:

Snake clings to wing of Qantas plane – video | World news | guardian.co.uk_640x480

Click the link, I didn’t embed it here as I cannot turn off the autoplay.

From The Guardian.

The astonishing interactive map that show EVERY bomb dropped on London during the Blitz | Mail Online

I thought I knew rather a lot about WWII (for someone who didn’t live through it), but was completely shocked at the graphic representation of all the bombs that struck London:

If you’ve ever wondered how close London’s landmarks came to being blown up in the Blitz, a new interactive map has the answer.

The Bomb Sight project allows people to zoom in on a map of the capital to see the damage inflicted during the heaviest period of bombing by German planes.

via The astonishing interactive map that show EVERY bomb dropped on London during the Blitz | Mail Online.


Meacham Hangar storm damage

This is impressive. It took me a bit to figure out what I was seeing, so after you watch the NBC5i video, I’ve annotated one screenshot with my explanation.

View more videos at: http://nbcdfw.com.



Just in case you thought having your plane in a hangar during a storm guarantees safety…


FYI, I think the far left jet is a Fouga Magister (not shown in this picture, visible in the video).

Skydiver Fearless Felix jumps from 18 miles up

Skydiver “Fearless Felix” Baumgartner has done it again.

On Wednesday, Baumgartner took another stratospheric leap, this time from an altitude of more than 18 miles – an estimated 96,640 feet, nearly three times higher than cruising jetliners. He landed safely near Roswell, N.M. His top speed was an estimated 536 mph, said Brian Utley, an official observer on site.

via News from The Associated Press.

His goal is to beat the 1960 record of Capt. Kittinger of 19.5 miles up.

If you have a few minutes, read about Captain Kittinger’s life. Amazing fellow.

C-17 Globmaster fun

Yesterday a C-17 landed safely. It was also pretty spectacular, as it was on a 3,000′ general aviation strip 5 miles short of the McDill AFB runway.

Okay, but can they then fly it out?

From here:


Airmail navigation stations of the 1930′s

I’m gifted with interesting friends.

One lives in my hometown of Odessa (yes, he escaped, and went back of his own volition), and he has an interesting hobby: searching for the remaining Airmail Navigation stations of the ’30′s.

His description:

I think you may have seen one of these before.

This is a station of the 1930 air mail route across Texas. It originally had a 90ft tower attached to the four steel stubs. There was a 36 inch rotation beacon on top. Between the building and the slab for the tower is a foundation for a fuel tank.  The arrow points in the direction of the next beacon. I’ve read they were originally spaced about ten miles apart. This one was as an aux landing field, not too far from Guadalupe peak.

Not being a pilot, I’d not seen these before. I expect there are several still visible from the air, though I’ve only located a few via Google earth.

106 today, … Odd way to spend my time off.

The photo indicates the compact genius of these stations:

Delaware Arrow

Delaware Arrow


I asked him if I could blog this, and while saying yes elaborated on the ‘why’ of this hobby:

I got interested in an odd way. I was looking up stuff on Pam Am 103, and when following a link found that there are stamp collectors who collect letters from crashed airmail planes.  These are salvaged by the PO, and forwarded with a note on the envelope. On a list of such envelopes, I found a Fokker tri-motor crash in the early 1930s near Guadalupe Peak. More link following showed information on the route, beacons, and airfields. Government subsidy of the air mail route used the legal precedent of the Light Houses and buoys provided for marine navigation. Beacons were at ten mile intervals, airfields at 30. Over time I plan to trace more of the route at far as Big Spring (which was apparently the main field for west texas).  Here is the route as traced so far:

google earth arrows

google earth arrows


Very neat.

I wouldn’t have wanted to be that airmail pilot, flying at night looking for the next 10 mile beacon, hoping it’s there…


Thanks to “An Old Friend” for allowing me to post these here.


Worker Trapped Under Boeing 787 Tires

EVERETT, Wash. – Officials say emergency crews have rescued a worker who was temporarily trapped beneath the tires of a Boeing 787 jetliner at an Everett, Wash., airfield.

via Worker Trapped Under Boeing 787 Tires Is Rescued.

Yikes. Best wishes.


via Drudge.

American Airlines, this is a problem

Dear AA,

I appreciate all the good to great service over the years, so this is why, in the spirit of improving our relationship, I offer this constructive criticism:

For those unfamiliar with DFW, the gates are always related to the terminal. So the terminal being B and the gate starting with D, that’s a disconnect.

I figured it out, but only after asking a terminal B curbside bag fellow which was real, and the answer was that the Terminal B was incorrect, it was supposed to be D.

No harm, no foul. A learning experience. From a friend.