99 Ways To Die

Fallen Eagles By Norman Franks ISBN 978 1 47387 996 6 A book should be about the size of an airport terminal. Not too rudimentary, and not too overblown with distractions either – but still big enough to deliver all the anticipation, preparation, challenge and satisfaction you’d expect for your planned flight. That’s not how this one works though. Rather than take us from the … Continue reading 99 Ways To Die

True Story

The Lost Aviator The True Story of Bill Lancaster I just want to quickly share with you this trailer for The Lost Aviator, a documentary film by director Andrew Lancaster – investigating the life, flying, murder trial and disappearance of his uncle, Bill Lancaster. The 90 minute feature was brought to my attention by Chrystopher Spicer, whose The Flying Adventures of Jessie Keith ‘Chubbie’ Miller … Continue reading True Story

Jessie-Keith-Miller-aviatrix

Significant other

The Flying Adventures of Jessie Keith ‘Chubbie’ Miller The Southern Hemisphere’s First International Aviatrix by Chrystopher J Spicer ISBN 978 1 4766 6531 3 Even before I started it, I had a feeling I was going to enjoy this book. Well, I wasn’t disappointed. In almost every sense, The Flying Adventures of Jessie Keith ‘Chubbie’ Miller is the essential companion to Bill Lancaster: The Final … Continue reading Significant other

Breaking news

The invention of the news helicopter From What Goes Up by Jack Hitt Extracted from Epic Magazine All photos courtesy of Jerry Foster, via Epic Magazine, unless noted otherwise. At least since that swarm of choppers followed OJ Simpson along LA’s freeway system in the most un-Hollywood chase scene since, well… ever, we’ve kind of taken live helicopter news coverage for granted. But, like everything, airborne … Continue reading Breaking news

QRA encounters

Cool reception For a generation of Westerners, the first words of Russian we learned were Mikhail Gorbachev’s offers of glasnost (гла́сность – openness) and perestroika ((перестро́йка – listening) which culminated in the end of the Berlin Wall, the USSR and, theoretically at least, the Cold War. So you may be surprised to learn that as you read this, two pairs of RAF fighter pilots are … Continue reading QRA encounters

Ride of a lifetime

Thunder and Lightnings As promised, here is John Bentley’s account of his English Electric Lightning flight, from Flight International for April 23rd, 1970. In what would certainly get a well-deserved ‘#bestweekeva’ tweet today, Bentley joined 29 Squadron during their month-long deployment to RAF Akrotiri on the southern coast of Cyprus, to report on their mobile Quick Reaction Alert (QRA) capabilities. It was a textbook example … Continue reading Ride of a lifetime

Somme 101

The battle above Today marks 101 years since the first day of the Battle of the Somme. And, while the bloody hours of July 1st, 1916 have become a by-word for military disaster, the operation above the trenches was an absolute triumph. Compared to the British Army’s 57,470 casualties and the German Army’s approximately 12,000, the Royal Flying Corps finished the day with just one airman … Continue reading Somme 101

Lightning for sale

Electrifying ads For a generation of jet jocks, it was the ultimate ride – a seat you didn’t say ‘no’ to: The English Electric Lightning was a thundering, twin-Avon brute of a point defence fighter, designed around the single-minded mission brief of reaching high-flying hostile bombers before they could harm the UK’s vital airfields and other infrastructure… It was an echo of the Battle of Britain, re-imagined … Continue reading Lightning for sale

Movement area

Taking off While Melbourne Australia’s airport at Tullamarine might not glow with the aviation heritage of, say, NY–La Guardia or Paris-Le Bourget, it’s still a good index for the world’s ever-expanding demand for aviation connections. And, as recent stats from YMML show, global aviation is definitely not shrinking. Flights, city pairs, available seats and airline fleets are all growing astronomically. At the beginning of June … Continue reading Movement area