Beauty and Awesome Power: The Storm 2011-09-04, by Daniel Mack
It’s really weird how certain memories stick like fish in a hot iron skillet. They lay dormant for years, like a sleeping volcano, and suddenly explode to life without warning, particularly the ones that you would like to forget! So it is with a memory in my past, early in my flying career.
A Murderous Hijacker in Baltimore 2011-08-23, by Dick Blizzard
Captain Doug Lofton and his copilot, Fred Jones, are busy running the check-list in a Douglas DC-9. It is dark out on the ramp, but the dawn is breaking. There is a tug attached to the nose wheel, preparing to push the twin engine Delta passenger jet back from the terminal building for departure. The passenger loading door is open and the loading bridge (jetway) is attached. The cockpit door is ajar, awaiting final paperwork from operations.
Are Airlines on the Right Track? 2011-05-02, by Mark Martin
In recent years there has been an influx of airlines who have become involved in Formula One. The most prominent of these have been Virgin, Kingfisher and Air Asia.
In a period blighted by economic hardship and unemployment, are the airlines wasting their money as some critics have suggested or is it a shrewd move aimed at generating additional custom?
Non Stop to Havana: Better To Be Lucky Than Smart 2011-04-12, by Dick Blizzard
I had only been a captain for about three years when my DC-9 flight out of Chicago was commandeered. We were headed to Nashville with 30 souls on board. We flew nonstop to Havana without refueling. The bad guy had no control of the bomb he had taped to his body. We were incredibly lucky that day.
Worth the Wait 2011-02-22, by Stephen Koewler
Stephen Koewler takes us through his journey into the world of aviation, culminating in his flight in his flight with Julie Clark, renowned aerobatic air show pilot.
New Technology Can Dramatically Enhance Security and Thwart Terrorist Attacks 2010-02-05, by Lori J. Brown
Lori J. Brown (Faculty Specialist, Western Michigan University College of Aviation) returns with an article that not only analyzes what needs to be done to heighten airline security and thwart terrorist attacks, but also introduces new technology that has the potential to dramatically improve cabin crew communication and enhance in-flight security.
With Iran-America tensions as high as ever, we present an historical/investigative review of an event that today seems overlooked, yet offers important insight into why today's tension can't easily be resolved.
Trials of a “Girly” Plane Spotter 2009-09-04, by Aoife Kiernan
Aoife Kiernan is a self-confessed airplane nerd who spends her spare time spotting at Dublin’s airport. Tired of the gender wars still raging, she’s launching a suffragette movement to claim equal rights at the end of the runway.
Smoke in the Cockpit! 2009-07-13, by Ben Zwebner
Ben Zwebner offers a first had account of an in-flight emergency he had recently, and the emergency landing at DCA that followed.
Riding Russian Classics in Syrian Skies 2009-06-08, by Jan Koppen
Jan Koppen returns with a trip diary from an exciting trip to Syria where he was able to ride two classic birds - the Yak-40 and the Tu-134.
Diary of a Hawaiian Freight Dog 2009-05-05, by Nick Voge
From introspection to Indiana Jones, Nick Voge offers a glimpse of what life is like as a Hawaiian freight pilot.
The Evacuation of US Air Flight 1549 Brings Up Fatigue Issues for Flight Attendants 2009-02-27, by Lori Brown
The successful landing of US Air Flight 1549 on the Hudson River without the loss of life was nothing short of a miracle, and the performance of the flight and cabin crew was exemplary. Lori Brown returns with a timely reminder that, while flight crew fatigue is an all-too-regular and dangerous issue, cabin crew fatigue is an equally understudied, underappreciated, and unsafe issue that needs more serious attention.
The Shock of the Old 2008-11-06, by Glenn Johnson
Many of the most innovative designs in aviation will come in the next century. However, many older, seemingly dated designs are even more revolutionary. Glenn Johnson shows how 20th century innovations like the Blended Wing Body and Twin Decks will shape 21st century aviation design.
The Afghan Skies Remain Unsafe 2008-10-08, by Zabi Sarwar
Zabi Sarwar offers a concise and pointed criticism of Afghan aviation, and reminds us that despite international aid, safety and regulation aren’t improving.
Flight Schools – How to Choose a Flight School and Learn to Fly 2008-09-07, by Jeff Miller
For those considering a career as a pilot, experienced pilot Jeff Miller offers information and advice about how to make some important decisions in the beginning of the process. Filled with valuable insights, Miller's two articles will help aspiring pilots understand much more about their pursuit.
The 25th Anniversary of KAL 007 2008-08-26, by Bert Schlossberg
September 1st marks the 25th anniversary of the KAL 007 tragedy. To mark this historic date, we present a piece by Bert Schlossberg, who still dedicates much of his life to investigating this unsolved disaster. Airliners.net salutes Schlossberg’s dedication, his strong will, and his tireless efforts, as he continues to attempt to unravel the details of this Cold War conflict.
Arik Air - The Future of African Aviation 2008-07-07, by Martin Russell
The aviation industry in Africa has rightly earned a reputation for poor maintenance and for being dangerous and careless, but a new Nigerian airline seeks to change all of that. Martin Russell takes us through Arik Air’s bold plans to change the way Africa flies.
The Right Seat: Propellers, Polyester, and the Deeper Meaning of Flight 2008-06-03, by Patrick Smith
Patrick Smith, columnist for Salon.com and author of the popular book "Ask the Pilot," returns with his third piece for Airliners.net, which takes us from the daily 'pleasures' of being a pilot to the thoughtful insights gained with years of service in this unique industry.
The Romance of a 5 a.m. Cargo Takeoff 2008-04-17, by Jan Koppen
Can standing on the cold tarmac in the earliest hours of the day watching the sleepless cargo jumbos at Schiphol be an idyllic experience? Jan Koppen returns with a unique composition that lets us all put ourselves into this unusual environment.
General Aviation vs. the Airlines - the Misguided Debate 2008-03-01, by Bruce M. Curtis
Congestion relief and ATC upgrades are significant and relevant issues currently being addressed by the industry. Too often the guilt is erroneously placed on General Aviation. Bruce M. Curtis warns us of the consequences of proposed legislation being passed, of power falling into the hands of an unelected body, and of General Aviation taking the fall for it all.
Lingering Inadequacies in Post 9/11 Security 2008-01-14, by Lori J. Brown
Post 9-11 Flight Attendant/Pilot communication and security training requirements. Are they adequate to reflect our current threat environment? Brown, a faculty specialist at the Western Michigan College of Aviation reviews what still needs to be done to protect our skies.
Swissair 111 Reconsidered 2007-12-05, by Ethan Rider
Ethan Rider returns with an important perspective on the Swissair 111 tragedy. Rider argues that numerous factors such as electromagnetic interference and defective wiring contributed to this tragedy in a more significant way than are currently accepted.
Flying the B-17! 2007-10-10, by Reggie Paulk
Reggie Paulk offers a lively review of his flight aboard the historic B-17. Restored by the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), she is one of only a handful of these classic birds still flying today, and she's coming back next year for more tours. The enthusiast's ultimate experience!
The Environment Challenge 2007-09-05, by Philippe Rochat
The media often portrays the aviation industry as a heavy polluter, and irresponsible about emissions and climate change. In an effort to balance the debate, Philippe Rochat, Executive Director of the Air Transport Action Group, presents a brief overview on the debate, and an introduction to an important new intiative created by the aviation industry, http://www.enviro.aero.
Making Digital Copies of Slides and Negatives With Your SLR 2007-08-09, by Roel Reijne
Roel Reijne offers us his tips on how to digitize your old slides and negatives. A prolific Airliners.net photographer, Reijne has converted hundreds of old images into a digital format with this fairly simple and quick method.
A New Transatlantic Challenge for a Nostalgic Aircraft - Powered by Iran Air 2007-06-28, by Manuel Kliese
In an effort to strengthen relations between Iran and Venezuela, Iran Air announced last year that it would begin a new transatlantic route from Tehran and Caracas. Manuel Kliese takes us on the historic first journey of that route, which was performed on an old bird - the 747SP!
Can a Reborn Jetliner Again Change the World — or Look Good Trying? 2007-03-05, by Patrick Smith
Patrick Smith returns to Airliners.net with a history of Boeing's most graceful and timeless bird, and tells of how Boeing has recently looked back to its roots to recreate its style. Smith also demonstrates how Boeing’s innovation is exactly what will keep the manufacturer ahead of the competition.
Classic Jets Over Iran: Nostalgia At Its Finest! 2007-02-01, by Jan Koppen
For those of you who cannot make it to Iran to ride the elegant 707 before she is retired, sit back and relax, and let our returning author Jan Koppen help you experience the ride!
Position and Hold: A flawed order from the FAA 2007-01-08, by Matthew Johnson
In early 2006, the FAA issued an order which effectively banned ATC's ability to the use "position and hold" procedures. Matthew Johnson has penned his criticisms of this order, and demonstrates how it will increase delays, raise costs, and diminish safety.
KAL 007 Revisited Part 6 - New Evidence! 2006-11-14, by Bert Schlossberg
The title speaks for itself! Schlossberg remains the only individual today who proves able to uncover new, real evidence in this tragedy, and who has not accepted the dated Kirkpatrick theory. Airliners.net remains dedicated to posting new information as it continues to surface.
Alternatives in Aviation After Peak Oil 2006-10-09, by Harry Valentine
What will happen to the aviation industry after the world's supply of fossil oil begins to diminish? Harry Valentine offers a review of some of the alternatives that need to be discussed and considered now, so that the industry can be prepared to change and thrive in the future.
Crash Pads! 2006-08-28, by Steve Dennis
Steve Dennis brings us an in-depth look into the bizarre world of airline crews' sleeping arrangements, with the development that has been born of necessity: crash pads. Dennis tells us all about crash pads, how to find one, and even how to start one.
I met my wife on Airliners.net! 2006-07-27, by James Richard Covington
Airliners.net is proud to once again publish the work of one of our esteemed photographers! Herein, Mr. Covington provides a remarkable story that will surely inspire many of our readers to start their own discussion forums, and do a little extra research on the birds they've photographed!
The Forgotten Disaster in Zaire 2006-06-13, by Ethan Rider
Ethan Rider returns with an expertly researched yet painfully thorough account of the worst aviation disaster ever to occur on African soil. Airliners.net considers this to be the most well-researched, complete account of this tragedy ever published, anywhere in the world.
Around the World in Three Days! 2006-05-08, by Martin Braun
Can traveling around the globe change your life? Moved by Steve Fossett's accomplishments, Martin Braun decided to circumnavigatie the globe... with commercial aircraft! Herein, you'll find his notes and experiences of circling the Earth in the most familiar way!
A Guide to Traveling and Flying in Iran 2006-04-12, by Alex Ananian-Cooper
For the civil aviation buff, Iran has got it all: uncommon planes, great spotting opportunities, and a chance to ride a B707. Alex Ananian-Cooper has prepared a thorough field guide to traveling to and within Iran, and offers valuable insights for those who would like to take advantage of Iran's unique aviation highlights.
Contrails: What’s Left Behind Is Bad News 2006-03-04, by Nick Onkow
Nick Onkow offers an informative and illuminating exposé on the detrimental effects of contrails to our environment. Contained herein is an undeniably important article not just because of its content, but because it breaches a topic so commonly overlooked, and so consistently regarded as harmless.
KAL 007 Revisited (Part 5: Conclusion) - The Survivors 2006-02-03, by Bert Schlossberg
What is left to say about this tragedy? Bert Schlossberg returns with 6 pieces of evidence that suggest we have never been told the truth about Flight 007. Survivors may still be out there; Schlossberg implores us not to forget and not to give up on this Cold War catastrophe.
Pressure Thrust- The Future of Aviation? 2005-12-30, by David Birkenstock
A nonstop, nonrefueled widebody jetliner flight around the globe?
An under-explored synergy that’s currently in development could finally make this goal reasonable…
KAL 007 Revisited (Part 4) 2005-12-06, by Ethan Rider
Arguing from the Michel Brun school of thought, Ethan Rider provides an interesting account of this tragedy from a perspective that has not yet been discussed in the first three parts of this series. With an unexpectedly shocking conclusion, Rider tells of how this tragedy unfolded in ways which we have never considered.
Peak Oil: The Coming Global Crisis and the Decline of Aviation 2005-10-29, by Drs. Alex Kuhlman
Although debated and denied frequently, a massive shortfall in oil production is coming faster than many are willing to admit. Drs. Alex Kuhlman assesses the situation and its effect on the airline industry, and reminds us to start thinking about tomorrow.
KAL 007 Revisited (Part 3) 2005-09-20, by Bert Schlossberg
Again, Bert Schlossberg takes us through the tragic events of over 20 years ago, but this time he's armed with the one thing that can truly reinvigorate this story: new evidence. Inside, you will read heretofore-unpublished transcripts from the night of the shootdown which contain compelling evidence contrary to the popularly believed account of this disaster. Will this new evidence be powerful enough for the truth to finally surface?
The Sikorsky VS 44 Flying Boat 2005-08-28, by Bruce M. Curtis
Bruce Curtis takes us on a nostalgic trip on the Sikorsky VS 44 flying boat, and through a lively history of this unique and rare bird. With this thorough and fun article, Curtis helps us remember and celebrate this aviation gem, which is still impressive, even today.
Kal 007 Revisited (Part 2) 2005-08-03, by Bert Schlossberg
Bert Schlossberg now takes a close look at the facts surrounding the search and salvage operations carried out in international and in Soviet waters. Schlossberg uses compelling new evidence to demonstrate that much more was transpiring around the small island of Moneron than a simple search operation. With this impressive evidence, Schlossberg reaches a new, powerful conclusion as to what really happened to the downed Korean airliner.
Young (and Not-So-Young) Eagles Needed in China 2005-06-30, by George Chao
China is currently faced with a major dilemma: how to accommodate a rapidly burgeoning aviation industry with an acute shortage of new pilots. Aviation writer and student George Chao analyzes China’s current problems and discusses China's options in resolving its pilot shortage and nurturing its booming aviation sector.
KAL 007 Revisited (Part 1) 2005-06-12, by Bert Schlossberg
The destruction of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 occurred more than 20 years ago, but still proves quite relevant today, especially because of the incomplete and inconclusive evidence regarding the actual series of events on the night of August 31, 1983, and the whereabouts or remnants of the passengers and the airplane. In the first of a series of articles dedicated to reinvigorating the debate and the investigation into this mysterious incident, Bert Schlossberg recounts some of the details of KAL 007's deviation from its flight path, and the stalking of this flight by Maj. Osipovich in his Sukhoi 15 intercepter.
Firebomber! (and some warbirds too) 2005-03-12, by Michael Blank
Michael Blank takes us on a tour of the wildfire-prone regions of the Western United States, visiting the fleet of vintage propliners and military aircraft operated under contract to the United States Forestry Service. These veteran workhorses have been converted into aerial fire-fighting platforms, and have played an important role in fighting the vast wildfires that sometimes engulf large portions of the region. On the way, he also shows us other historic aircraft, and in the process, creates an entertaining and enlightening narrative.
The Rise and Fall of PEOPLExpress 2004-08-13, by Eric Kochneff
PEOPLExpress burgeoned out of less than nothing, seemed bound for instant greatness, and then perished almost as quickly. Take a visit, now, to the origins of the low-fare airline of the 80s, and the politics of big business in the deregulation era.
The Might-Have-Beens: Convair 880 and 990 2004-07-08, by Tim Haskin
In the first article of a series on airliners which were well-conjured and intelligently conceived but ill-timed and poorly received, we take a look at Convair's famously-fast 880 and 990, why they didn't become all that they may have been, and the impact their failure had on Convair as a commercial jet manufacturer.
The UPS Way 2004-06-08, by Michael A. Burris
The history of one of the largest airlines in the world... United Parcel Service.
The DC-4 - Still At Work, Today 2004-04-10, by Jan Koppen
It’s becoming harder all the time to experience examples of the “good old days” of aviation, when piston engines ruled the skies. Fortunately, South Africa still has a good number of operational “Big Props” lumbering through southern skies. Jan Koppen returns with his third Airliners.Net article for another flight aboard a rare airliner - this time, the DC-4...
Handguns and Air Marshals 2003-11-15, by Ethan Rider
Aviation writer and enthusiast Ethan Rider provides a well-researched and thoroughly-reviewed examination of the practicality of arming pilots or loading flights with tens of thousands of air marshals.
Constellation Survivors 2003-09-29, by Ralph Pettersen
Ralph Pettersen returns with his third article, an incredibly detailed and thorough history of Constellations complete with an unprecedented review of all of the surviving Constellations, including dozens of photos.
Landing in Kai Tak 2003-09-07, by Eric Coeckelberghs
Eric Coeckelberghs is an avid aviation enthusiast who, in 1991, had the chance to fly - jumpseat - into world-renowned Kai Tak airport. Between his own photographs of the landing and his entire trip, and his telling of the adventure, we get a feel for what it was like heading towards the most famous checkerboard in the world...
The Lost Flight - Malév 240 2003-05-23, by Laszlo Bencsics
Speculation and conjecture have long surrounded the tragic 1975 demise of Hungarian Tupolev Tu-154 HA-LCI 10 Km North west of Beirut. Were the flights a cover for arms shipments to a region which was a war zone serviced by virtually no other airlines - and was the aircraft deliberately shot down as a result?
"Chicken Kiev" - Flight Aboard an AN-12 2003-04-11, by Jan Koppen
Jan Koppen takes us with him on a voyage aboard a classic AN-12, including descriptions of the cuisine... Included are Jan's own photographs of the voyage, detailing the aircraft inside and out.
America's Oldest Public Aviation Mechanic School - Harvard H. Ellis Technical School - Turns 70 2003-01-16, by Robert W. Conry
The Harvard H. Ellis Technical School located in Danielson, CT is home to a historic aviation maintenance technician school. The AMT program began in Putam, CT in September of 1930 has been in continuous operation since. For over seventy years thousands of graduates have worked for major and regional airlines, corporate aviation, and manufactures such as Sikorsky, Pratt and Whitney, and Kaman Aerospace. Robert W. Conry was an instructor in the AMT program at Ellis Tech. This is the story of this historic program.
"Little Amy" - Air Marshall Islands' DC-8 2002-11-01, by Dave Glover
In the early 1990s, Air Marshall Islands, or "AMI", leased and operated a unique DC-8-62. Now, Dave Glover, who worked with this classic combi jetliner, tells the story and shows the pictures of one of the most unique and far-reaching jets ever in air service...
History of Airline Design 2002-09-12, by Konstantin von Wedelstaedt
When it comes to aircraft spotting and photographing, it's the airlines and their aircraft and colorschemes which attract the enthusiast's attention. An airline's design is the most visible element of the corporate identity. This article takes us through the colorful history of airline design and reviews the various aspects and styles of exterior and interior design.
Flying the Mighty Lockheed Constellation 2002-08-09, by Ralph Pettersen
In 1997, Ralph Pettersen - a self-confessed propliner fanatic - was able to realize a life-long fantasy and fly a Lockheed Constellation. His day with the Constellation Group at their Avra Valley headquarters flying their beautiful MATS (Military Air Transport Service) Connie proved even more exciting than he could have imagined!
Aer Lingus... 2002-07-03, by Barry Mulcahy
...Not Just an Airline
Simplify, Simplify, Simplify! 2002-06-16, by James C. Kruggel
Simple fleets are a key to the financial success of low-fare airlines... In this in-depth article, Jim Kruggel contends that large, network airlines could have very simple fleets and still meet their own very different service goals.
Two Unusual Concordes 2002-05-22, by Alain Mengus
Alain Mengus takes us on a guided tour of the two most unique - and short lived - paint schemes ever applied to the Concorde: the 1996 Air France Pepsi flights and the 1977-1980 British Airways & Singapore Airlines flights to Bahrain and Singapore.
A Day with Westpac 2002-04-15, by Ralph R. Olson
In his first article for Airliners.net, well-known aviation commentator Ralph Olson spins a colourful tale about Western Pacific's logojets.
Motives of Monsters: 2002-03-15, by Clinton Shiell
Clinton Shiell helps us understand why terrorists and air pirates seek to
cause mayhem and destruction using technology designed to liberate humankind.
An Introduction to Aviation Photography 2001-10-27, by Charles Falk
Aviation photography is as old as powered flight itself, as it started the same day that Orville and Wilbur Wright made their historic flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17th, 1903. Some guy with a camera was there and recorded the event, and photographers have followed aircraft around the world ever since.
Connie's Comeback 2001-10-02, by Ralph Pettersen
A grand old Connie is currently being restored in Arizona by a group of dedicated volunteers from the Dutch Aviodome Museum. Ralph Pettersen visited Avra Valley Airport in August 2001 and reports on the project.
YOWza! Think nothing interesting ever happens at secondary airports? Think again! 2001-08-21, by Colin Saunders
In mid 1990, after a brief stint in the military, I landed a Commissionaire’s job at the Ottawa MacDonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW). For those of you who aren’t from Canada, a Commissionaire is more than a security guard, but less than a cop. I didn’t screen bags or check pockets for metal objects, but I did back-up the Royal Canadian Mounted Police constables who were assigned to the airport. My job was to deal with lesser complaints, enforce security regulations, fetch coffee and, when called upon, take the odd bullet. Below, in the first instalment of “YOWza”, are some of the more interesting experiences that I shared with my “Mountie” friends. These stories may cause you to look at smaller airports in a whole new light.
Super Catalina Restoration 2001-08-08, by Paul Chandler
Most people are aware of the history of this aircraft and its unfortunate accident in Southampton Water in July 1998 - this is the story of the project so far and my involvement with it.
Legislating gridlock -- Why new laws will not improve U.S. airline service
Difficult Approach + Short Runway = Challenge 2001-04-29, by Ryan Bert
Tegucigalpa - Toncontin Int'l Airport (TGU) in Honduras, though small and challenging, holds a special place in the heart of pilots and spotters alike. Let one of its most dedicated spotters tell you why.
The Extinction of the Canadian Goose 2001-04-18, by Colin Saunders
Before American and TWA there was Air Canada/Canadian. In this era of
mega-mergers, we take a look at what airline consolidation has meant in
Canada. Do only the strong survive?
To Aviation Valhalla: The Merger of TWA and American 2001-03-20, by Nicholas Everage
With the Federal Courts approving its enormous bid, American will soon acquire TWA, making it a veritable aviation giant. But, with sadness in our hearts, we send another airline great to its high place in aviation history.
Shooting Airliners For Best Results 2001-03-13, by Joe Pries
Shooting quality airliner photos involves a bit more than just picking up a camera and going out to the airport. Joe Pries, a professional photographer, takes you though the do's and don'ts of this growing art form.
"Thank You" - In memory of TWA 800 2001-03-12, by Nathan Elbert
Too often, perhaps, the response to a disaster is to launch ourselves into an unending debate on what made the mishap happen, and too often, perhaps, we don't hear that sometimes there's just nothing to be said for what we're saying.
The DC-8 that was too young to die! 2001-03-09, by Richard Silagi
Not too many airliners have survived crash landings at off airport locations and have lived to fly again. This is the story of one such crash survivor.