Thursday, May 28, 2015

Lost and Confounded Until Hiker Finds Missing Plane

What forces of fate allow thousands of people to cross the same terrain without seeing the crashed airplane that John Weisheit discovered on May 20th? And what does his find tell us about the still-missing Boeing 777 that disappeared on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014?  Stay with me because I believe these two stories are related.

River guide and Colorado River advocate John Weisheit was hiking in the Grand Canyon National Park with several others last week when the group came across the wreckage of a plane wedged between two boulders. The aircraft was "smashed, so compressed that it was really hard to find an actual skeleton," Weisheit told the Associated Press, because seeing something like that really does beg the question, “Is anybody inside?” The answer was yes.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Drive in the Country or Tumble Through the Sky; Acrobatic Pilot Rob Holland's Flying Lessons

I made the one hour drive on the beautiful back roads of New England, rounding the curves and ascending the hills. Distracted by spring in full bloom, I struggled to concentrate on the road ahead. 

By the time I arrived at Westfield Municipal Airport and introduced myself to acrobatic pilot Rob Holland I was exhausted and we had yet to fly.

That’s what sustained focus will do to you.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Suicidal/Homicidal Pilots and the Challenge of Trying to Fix Unknown Unknowns

Andreas Lubitz from Facebook
The chilling news that pilot Andreas Lubitz had already tried the controlled descent into terrain of an airliner prior to the successful crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 on March 23, threatens to overwhelm other facts that put the bizarre case into perspective.

In the just released report by the French Civil Aviation Safety Investigation Authority, investigators say the flight data recorder shows that on the first leg of the round trip between Dusseldorf and Barcelona, the 27 year old first officer set the selected altitude to 100 feet several times; while the plane was at cruise at 37 thousand feet, after it was cleared to descend to 35 thousand feet and again when controllers instructed the crew to descend to 21 thousand feet. During this four minute period, the captain was not in the cockpit.