NASA Glenn Research Center icing courses for pilots

NASA Glenn Research Center has excellent online courses for pilots about icing.


Possible MH370 debris discovered

A large piece of aircraft structure washed up on the shore of Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. It appears to be a 777 flaperon, which might be the first piece of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 to be found. That airplane went missing on a flight from Luala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, 2014. CNN has the story.

Catching up on the world of aerospace

I have been gone for a while, and it’s long past time to catch up.

New Horizons is rapidly approaching Pluto, with the flyby on July 14. Recent images show all five of Pluto’s known moons.

Deep System Search 1 5-11-15

MESSENGER, the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury, crashed on the surface of the planet on April 30, 2015, ending a spectacularly successful reconaissance mission of the innermost plant.

NuSTAR has spotted a mysterious glow of high-energy X-rays that, according to scientists, could be the “howls” of dead stars as they feed on stellar companions. This zombie-like “feeding” process differs depending on the nature of the normal star, but the result may be an eruption of X-rays.

Gizmodo has published some of the famous and influential space art of Chesley Bonestell.


Fred George of Aviation Week & Space Technology takes the Airbus A350 for a spin. For comparison, here are links to previoius pilot reports for the Boeing 787 and Airbus A380.

Bombardier CS300 has first flight

Bombardier conducted the first flight of the CS300 airliner on February 27, 2015. The CS300 is a derivative of the CS100, which is also in flight test. The flight departed Bombardier’s facility in Mirabel, Québec. The crew was commanded by Andris Litavniks who was was assisted by co-pilot Christophe Marchand and flight test engineers Anthony Dunne and Mark Metivet.

Bombardier CS300 first flight 2s

Airbus makes first customer deliver of A350 XWB

Airbus made its first customer deliver of an A350 XWB to launch customer Qatar Airways on December 22, 2014.


Animation of Colgan Air Flight 3407 mishap

With the winter weather here, it’s worthwhile for pilots to review the subject of icing. This animation of the Colgan Air tragedy is a good reminder of the concerns of icing and loss of control.

Catching up on the news

September 20: University of Michigan aerospace professor Pierre T. Kabamba passed away. Professor Kabamba was the graduate advisor of this blogger. He was a nice person, a fine teacher and a brilliant applied mathematician.

September 23: United States and allies undertook airstrikes against ISIS terrorists in Syria, including 47 Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles fired from USS Arleigh Burke and USS Philippine Sea and the first combat use of the F-22A Raptor.

September 24: The Indian Space Research Organization successfully placed its Mars Orbiter Mission (Mangalyaan) in orbit around Mars.

September 25: The Airbus A320neo had its first flight, departing from Toulouse, France. The crew of F-WNEO was Airbus test pilots Philippe Pellerin and Etienne Miche de Malleray, and flight test engineers Test-Flight Engineer Jean-Paul Lambert, Manfred Birnfeld and Sandra Bour-Schaeffer. The aircraft was powered by Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-JM engines.

September 26: The Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft carrying the ISS Expedition 41 crew (Alexander Samokutyaev, Elena Serova and Barry Wilmore ) launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

September 26: A bizarre arson and suicide by a technician shut down operations at Chicago ARTCC, causing widespread disruptions in air travel in the United States.

September 27: On this day in 1956, Captain Mel Apt, a test pilot assigned to the Air Force Flight Test Center, became the first person to exceed Mach 3 but was killed shortly thereafter when the X-2 aircraft departed controlled flight.

From Los Angeles to London in a Constellation

This article gives the reader a good idea how much aviation has advanced in the last 60 years.

Shoot down of Malaysian Airlines aircraft

Malaysian Airlines Flight 17, a Boeing 777-200, has been shot down over Ukraine, most likely by an SA-11 missile.

7/24/2014 update: US discloses intelligence on downing of Malaysian jet.

Image credit: Aldo Bidini on Wikipedia

Good grief!

From the annals of buffoonery, a controller at ATL told a Delta pilot who was landing to go around as a “joke”.

I’m a big fan of air traffic controllers, who in my experience are skilled professionals. This outlier needs to get the boot.