Category Archives: Flying

What Really Brought Down the Boeing 737 Max

This article is a long read and in case you haven’t seen it, worthwhile if you really want to know what brought these down.

The Cliff Notes version?

“Malfunctions caused two deadly crashes. But an industry that puts unprepared pilots in the cockpit is just as guilty.” 

This was sent to me by someone I’ve known a long time, a retired Air Force test pilot. He believes that this problem is only going to get worse, and chooses to fly on only a few airlines.

I have a good friend who bought his dream car a few weeks ago – and has discovered that it is so heavily invested in electronics and “driver aids” – he is starting to hate it. He calls his car “the beast“.

He almost rear-ended someone thinking his cruise control – with a forward radar that keeps the distance of the car ahead of you – was on.

Point is with that car and this issue, when we depend too much on electronic aids – use them as a crutch instead of an assist – we can get into trouble when the electronics fails.

As an aside, this author knows flying. In addition to his own credentials, his father wrote the classic book on piloting.

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Filed under Airplanes, Flying

Breaking the wall

Courtesy of parrothead Jeff from the Facebook page today:

Sixty years ago today on September 8, 1954, NACA test pilot Scott Crossfield made the first powerless “deadstick” landing of an F-100. Crossfield explains the event in his 1960 book, “Always Another Dawn, The Story Of A Rocket Test Pilot.”

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Flying a Mustang in the 357th Fighter Group


I wrote about this the other day a bit –  Since hearing Bud talk about his times flying in the famous 357th Fighter Group, it’s been difficult to put his book down.

I’d like to say that he “puts you in the seat” during a mission into Germany, but I think that is a bit disrespectful to those who fought (and died) performing those missions.

However he sure tells the story well about what it was like to be one of the “Yoxford Boys”.

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Filed under Books, Flying, Heroes Among Us, History, Uncategorized

Paul Allen’s Aviation Museum

Paul Allen's Aviation Museum

My idea of traveling Nirvana – whether I am going halfway around the world or just jumping in the car – is to just go with no specific daily destinations in mind. I don’t like things to be too structured.

Last week I had  5 days I could get away – responsibilities keep me around home most of the time these days – so I just got in the car and went – for 2,000 miles.  Ended up going up the OR coast – to Everett WA (just north of Seattle), back down to “hopefully” see Crater Lake and visit an aunt and cousin I hadn’t seen in decades.

The downside of traveling in this manner is that sometimes there isn’t a hotel room to be found. Last year there was a snowstorm about this time of year and while I was at Crater Lake, it was nowhere to be seen. This year the lake was fine with no place to stay.

Oh well.

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By lex, on March 6th, 2012

I supposed it had to happen eventually, everybody has one in time. And I had mine yesterday.

It was a good hop, really. Raging around down low, hiding in the mountains, waiting for a chance to pounce on the unwary. Although this is graduation week at the (prestigious) Navy Fighter Weapons School, and there are very few unwary students left. Still, good clean fun, and your host can say “Copy kill” with the best of them.

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Flying, Naval Aviation

A Quiet, Normal Life

By lex, on September 15th, 2010

Flight planning a 0945 launch to Scottsdale in a Cessna 182RG today, where we will discuss their tactical cross-domain guard (which runs natively in Linux).

Part of this will be fun, part less so. The distinction is left to the reader.

Talk amongst yerselves, whyncha.

Unless of course, you choose to continue hurling lame ad hominems * one against t’other, in which case leave off it, I beg.

A Quiet Normal Life

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Flying, Travel

Pros and Cons

By lex, on September 7th, 2010

The conventional landing gear equipped single engine aircraft is trickier to fly under normal operations, requiring exacting attention to wind corrections and drift in order to prevent the back end racing towards the front. Land in a crab, and sideloads kick the center of gravity out beyond the main wheels, while gyroscopic precession as the tail rises or plants subtly imparts yaw that, left un-countered, could result in a ground loop. Which – I am told – is nothing like as fun as an “air” loop.

But there are certain advantages as well:

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Filed under Best of Neptunus Lex, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Flying, Lex, Neptunus Lex