amednews: Astrodocs: For these physicians, space is their workplace :: March 15, 2010 … American Medical News

Astrodocs: For these physicians, space is their workplace

Since 1973, 23 U.S. physicians have launched into space. They have taken part in spacewalks, treated fellow crew members and conducted medical research.

via amednews: Astrodocs: For these physicians, space is their workplace :: March 15, 2010 … American Medical News.

Good article, and I had no idea this many physicians had been into space.

Read the cautionary tale, though of 128 days in space requiring years of rehab…

First nonstop around-the-world flight began, ended in Fort Worth in 1949 | Nation | News…

On the morning of March 2, 1949, Lucky Lady II, an Air Force B-50 Superfortress, touched down at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, becoming the first airplane to fly nonstop around the world.Lucky Lady II had departed Carswell midday Feb. 26 with a crew of 14 under the command of Capt. James Gallagher. The plane traveled 23,452 miles in 94 hours and 1 minute, flying an average ground speed of 239 mph at altitudes ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 feet.

via First nonstop around-the-world flight began, ended in Fort Worth in 1949 | Nation | News….

I did not know that.  Neither did you!

Air Accidents Investigation: G-YMMM Report Sections

Air Accidents Investigation: G-YMMM Report Sections.

January, 2008 a Boeing 777 landed short (300 meters) of Heathrow.  No deaths, fortunately.  The aircraft looks like a write-off from the damage description, but I’d be interested to know if I’m wrong.

Here’s the official British report: it’s well written and understandable.  If you’re interested, ‘synopsis’ gives the why, and ‘conclusions’ gives a clinically chilling look at the crash and its cause.

HT: reader Glen

Body found in plane’s landing gear bay in Japan –

Tokyo, Japan (CNN) — A body was found in the landing gear bay of an airplane that arrived at Tokyo's Narita Airport Sunday, the airport announced.

The dead man was not carrying a passport or personal belongings, airport police said.

via Body found in plane’s landing gear bay in Japan –

JFK to Narita.  Someone was able not just to approach this aricraft without appropriate ID, but was able to climb into the landing gear bay (under the wing structure, next to the fuel tanks) and hide there.

FWIW, stowing away in a wheel well is a bad way to die.  If you’re not crushed to death by the landing gear coming up (it’s hydraulic, powered to lift a couple of tons against high airspeeds, there’s not any ‘extra’ room in the wheel well*), there’s not enough oxygen to survive at cruising altitude, even if it were heated, which it’s not.  So, don’t try it.

Now, substitute the word bomb for body.  Someones’ security isn’t good enough.  By far.

*Dad was an airline mechanic; back in the Good Old Days, kids could go to work with their dads and watch their dads work on them (and occasionally I got to empty out ash trays and arrange seat belts).  I learned a lot from that.

Jasper Schuringa, Hero

Update: the BBC report is much better (many thanks to reader Melissa!)

CNN has a (marginally B+) interview with Amsterdam native Jasper Schuringa, the man who subdued the Northwest Airlines terrorist and put out the fire (sustaining burns on his hand in the process).

If you can get through the interview, please watch it.

Interestingly, he said they moved the terrorist to First Class and stripped him looking for more explosives, which seems a very heads-up move.

The courage to act.  He’s a hero in my book.

The Kopp-Etchells Effect: Beautiful Helo pics

The Kopp-Etchells Effect: the worlds’ ugliest flying machine looking completely beautiful.

‘City of Fort Worth’ debuts at Pima

From the Star Telegram:

Star-Telegram.comThe final B-36 Peacemaker off the assembly line in west Fort Worth hadn’t been seen in public since an overland trip from Fort Worth to Tucson, Ariz., in 2005.

Now the 10-engine, nuclear-capable Cold War bomber has been rolled out at the Pima Air & Space Museum after exhaustive restoration.

Nice picture of the refurbished aircraft in the article.

It was embarrassing Fort Worth couldn’t take care of its namesake, but it’s terrific the aircraft historians at the Pima Museum have given her the home she needed.


Older posts here on this topic:

B-36 Museum in Fort Worth

A Homeless Veteran of the Cold War

The City of Fort Worth moves to Arizona

Don’t tick off people with talent

United is wishing they’d thought of that…

American Thinker Blog: Airman saves airliner

American Thinker Blog: Airman saves airliner

Sgt. Bacleda stayed behind in San Francisco to speak with authorities. The following day, the airline flew him back to Tokyo, first class. An honor richly deserved, I would say.

The men and women who serve America in the Armed Services are America’s best and brightest, despite prevailing attitudes on campus.

Hoo Rah, or whatever the Fly-Boys say.

Snark aside, BZ from this Grunt helping Squid!

Wonder what a G-LOC looks like?

Wonder no more.  A G induced loss of consciousness (G-LOC) happens when the brain stops getting oxygen due to an inability of the cardiovascular system to pump blood against the force of several gravities.

Fighter planes pulling G’s can cause it, and our pilots are trained (and equipped) to try and avoid the blackout.  Civilian riders don’t do as well at 7 G’s.

Enter our intrepid reporter from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, getting to ride backseat in a Blue Angels F-18.  Good video of his blackouts, and he comes across as a fun guy.

via Aerospace Genius.

Los Angeles Times: Passengers pounce on man who made threats aboard L.A.-bound flight

More confirmation that the rules have changed:

Los Angeles Times: Passengers pounce on man who made threats aboard L.A.-bound flight

“I thought this guy was going to open the door. I was thinking, ‘I’m not going to go down with the plane,’ ” said Llewellyn, 26, a 6-foot guitarist, who was flying into Los Angeles from Atlanta on Wednesday morning for a TV appearance with hip-hop artist Asher Roth.

Along with half a dozen other passengers, Llewellyn ran down the aisle into the galley area and jumped on the man, pulling him away from the door.

“He was struggling hard-core,” Llewellyn said. “I was holding down his arm. Somebody had a foot on his head. Everyone was holding down a different body part. He was going nuts. I was telling him to chill because he’s not going any place.”

The jet landed safely and no bomb was found. Still, local and federal authorities credited Llewellyn and the other good Samaritans with helping save the day.

The days of sit still and pray are over, they died on September 11th.  Now let’s hope he doesn’t get sued: he was being a Good Samaritan, after all, but wasn’t rendering medical aid.

State Helicopters Are Flying Much Less After Fatal Crash in Pr. George’s –

State Helicopters Are Flying Much Less After Fatal Crash in Pr. George’s –
Maryland has seen a dramatic drop in the number of patients flown to hospitals since the September crash of a Maryland State Police helicopter killed three rescue workers and a patient.

If the trend holds, there will be fewer than 1,700 air transports in the 12 months following the September crash, compared with about 4,100 in fiscal 2008. The state’s aeromedical director, Douglas J. Floccare, told the experts yesterday that he worries that a “skittishness” among ambulance crews might have led them to avoid necessary air transports.

So, either patients aren’t being flown who should be now, or patients who shouldn’t have been were being flown before.  (Alternately, there are fewer injuries and illnesses than before, but that’s unlikely).  My money is on overuse, but we’ll probably never know.

Newsflash: Transportation is Dangerous

It’s been in the news (at least, in the medical worlds’ news) that there are a lot of EMS helo crashes this year: 

The Associated PressThe five-member National Transportation Safety Board in January 2006 urged the Federal Aviation Administration to take a series of steps to improve the safety of EMS helicopter flights.

At a meeting Tuesday, the safety board acknowledged that the FAA is working on the proposals, but not quickly enough. Over the past 11 months, nine emergency medical helicopters have crashed, killing 35 people.

Interestingly, the NYTimes is on point today with an article about the untimely deaths of politicians, musicians, etc, with the common denominator being that they’re ‘unscheduled’ (charter) flights. 

New York TimesThey fly to the next gig or the next game, to the next political rally or the next board meeting — another day, another town, and another ride in a corporate jet, chartered plane, helicopter or whatever other conveyance seems convenient, sometimes regardless of risk.

When their planes crash, the headlines name another musician, politician or athlete killed in an aviation accident: Will Rogers, Knute Rockne, Otis Redding, Hale Boggs, Rocky Marciano, Thurman Munson, Rick Nelson and John G. Tower, to name just a few. The song "American Pie" memorializes the crash in February 1959 that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J. P. (The Big Bopper) Richardson.

Because they are busy and prosperous, prominent people often fly in planes not operated by major airlines. By doing so, accident statistics show, they increase their chances of crashing.

(Wikipedia listing of deaths by aircraft of the rich and powerful here).

Airlines have their outstanding safety record because they work terrifically hard (and well) at doing the same thing the same way every time, managing risk, and by avoiding anything that’s been historically risky.  That doesn’t mean they’re perfect, or that accidents don’t happen, but when you’re looking for a safe transportation baseline the scheduled airlines are where to start.

EMS helos are, by definition unscheduled.  They are, with a few exceptions, expected to be available every minute of every day.  They also don’t have the luxury of flying into well lit, organized airports, they’re landing in areas with trees, wires, etc.  There are a lot of things the NTSB has recommended, and hopefully they’ll help.

So, you’ll avoid an accident if you take the ground ambulance, instead, right?  Umm, no.  EMS crashes happen as well.  Per the CDC:

MMWREMS personnel in the United States have an estimated fatality rate of 12.7 per 100,000 workers, more than twice the national average (1). This report documents 27 ambulance crash-related fatalities among EMS workers over a 10-year period.

(Before you point out that 27 isn’t a big number, read the limitations section of the paper).  Here’s a somewhat less scientific but much more inclusive list of EMS crashes, from the EMS Network.

The WSJ Health Blog points out a real concern: if a helicopter is always available, it’ll get used, sometimes when it shouldn’t be:

Medical helicopters have been under scrutiny for a while now. In 2005, the WSJ reported that air ambulances are often used to transport patients who are “minimally injured,” and who could make it to a hospital faster and more safely via ground transport.

Helos on the ground don’t pay for themselves, so there’s a bias to fly.  I understand it, but we all need to understand there are risks to everyone.

None of us like helos falling out of the sky, and it’s always going to be risky.  Steps should continue to be taken to mitigate risks in all transportation, but remember that all unscheduled travel is risky.

Medical helicopters collide, killing at least 6 –

Medical helicopters collide, killing at least 6 –

Medical helicopters collide, killing at least 6

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Six killed includes one patient; one critically injured
  • Collision sets fire to 10-acre area near Arizona’s Flagstaff Medical Center
  • “We’ve got lots of heaps of metal to go through,” fire captain says

(CNN) — At least six people were dead and one critically injured Sunday after a midair crash between two medical helicopters near a hospital in Arizona, authorities said.

The collision, at Flagstaff Medical Center in Flagstaff, Arizona, set fire to a 10-acre area, according to fire officials, and another two rescue workers were injured by a secondary explosion after the crash.

The helicopters collided at roughly 3:45 p.m. local time, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.


Eclipse 400 – Video – Eclipse 400 over California

My brother, the Aerospace Genius, wrote last week to tell me the airplane his company was involved in, now called the Eclipse 400, is a go!

Here’s a video:

Eclipse 400 – Video – Eclipse 400 over California  and here’s some pictures:

For only about 1.3 million you can have your own personal jet.

If you get one, let me know.  I can probably get my brother to autograph it.