Category Archives: Flying

And I Thought My Solo Was Exciting

Took me 2.5 hours to get down with a strong crosswind. Or rather, get down and stay down.

Here’s a 17 year old girl on her solo who was informed her wheel fell off her Piper Warrior.

Listen to the audio with ATC though the links.

Stressed, but kept her head and resumed flying a week later.

Good on her.

I’ll bet there are some interesting stories on solos. Some funny.

H/T to Comjam.

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Fate and Mystery

As I have mentioned from time to time, I am fascinated by history. Not only how the past made us as we are, but how many seemingly small and inconsequential events can have profound consequences.

I am currently reading a book by a favorite author, Erik Larson, on Winston Churchill during the time of the Blitz.

It’s his contention that a German navigator’s error, in mistakenly jettisoning their bombs over London rather than a country field during inclement weather, led to Hiroshima.

Personally I think that may be a bridge too far, for reasons that I outlined here.

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Filed under Flying, History, Hollywood

Aviation – When to Listen to the Computer

I’ve really been enjoying this series on aviation airliner accidents. When I used to fly in the 80s, I used to read accounts of various accidents in aviation magazines to see if there was something I could learn from them.

And I believe Lex’s account of his flying has helped some readers somewhere.

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A Simple System with Profound Consequences

Among the many programs I have been watching on Amazon Prime and Netflix is a short series on airliner crashes over the years, with detailed explanations as to the causes. Actually in checking imdb, there have been many seasons but Amazon has just the first.

The accident investigators are interviewed, the controllers, and sometimes the passengers. I’ve seen 3 or 4 episodes, and it has been illuminating, not only for the causes but the pressures from the airline industry (which is understandable, given their investments). I’m thinking of the episode detailing the United Airlines 747, flight 811,  that had the cargo hold door explode from pressure over the Pacific.

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A Good Interview About the A-6 Intruder

One of our own, Comjam, talks about flying and fighting in the Intruder.

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Filed under Airplanes, Flying, Good Stuff, Naval Aviation, Navy

Into Thin Air

Yesterday, some of us in the F/B group were reading Lex’s post on hypoxia. It reminded me of a time in the early 80s as a (then) active pilot with the massive experience of 200 hours, I was given the opportunity by the FAA to attend the Navy’s physiological course at (then) NAS Miramar. It was probably the same place Lex went to a few years later.

That day remains etched in my mind for all that I learned. As I recall all those years ago, it was comprised of 2 parts – the causes of vertigo and hypoxia, which is the body’s reaction to the thinning air at altitude.

Both can be insidious and sneak up on you,  and you aren’t even aware of it. Both can kill you if you are unaware of their effects.

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A Carroll “Lex” LeFon Primer

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Who was Carroll LeFon?

The best description of Lex that I’ve heard is “Imagine Hemingway flew fighters…and liked people.

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Filed under Airplanes, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, Faith, Family, Fighter Pilot Stories, Flying, Funny Stuff, Good Stuff, GWOT, Heroes Among Us, Humor, In Memoriam, Index, International Affairs, Iraq, Leadership, Lex, Lexicans, Life, Naval Aviation, Naval History, Navy, Neptunus Lex, Night Bounce, Politics and Culture, San Diego, Tales Of The Sea Service, USNA, Valor

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

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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