Globe with the words Around the Pattern cured around the top half.

Aviation Articles for June 3, 2011


Oops, I thought I published this last night – guess I just saved the final draft.  I trust that none of you lost sleep over my error…

Here are some flying stories that you may have missed this week:

Some weeks there just aren’t many stories out there that I want to pass along. This week was pretty sparse – most ‘big news’ stories are covered in any number of online publications that you probably read, so I don’t rehash those – like AF 447 (which I discussed in my previous post).

These were the only two I wound that are worthy of this weekend’s reading list.

Putting on an airshow is not easy work…
Photo Credit Dan Walters This article is from Sign On San Diego. Howard Merritt is the head of maintenance for the Wings Over Gillespie Airshow in El Cajon, CA each year – here is his story.


Once he flew off a carrier – now he flies a Meyers OTW
This article is from Channel 13, WREX in Rockford, IL. Captain Chuck Downey sounds like a really interesting guy. He was the youngest guy to ever get his Naval Wings, flew dive bombers in WWI and now retires to Florida in the winters. But he always heads north to fly his Meyers OTW in the summers.


3 responses to “Aviation Articles for June 3, 2011”

  1. Cedarglen Avatar

    Hi Tracy. Good posts, as always. Your interim post on the AF447 data was great and thank you. Obviously, a lot of questions remain and we will have to wait. Wthe BEA issues their final report, I and others will look to the experienced professionals like you to help us understand WFT happened. I guess I’m comfortable with the differences between Normal, Alternate and Direct Law on ABs but… what good is Alternate if one or more of the source data inputs is inop, corrupt or wrong? I have to wonder what **reliable** data were available to those fellows. Look for a back channel note within hours or days. Thanks for your posts and best regards,

  2. Tracy Avatar

    My guess is that their airspeed indications were out of whack because the angle of attack was so far above acceptable limits that the computers couldn’t get real pressure values. When the pitch was lowered they got numbers the computers could believe and it set off the stall warning. Then they pitched up past where the computers could get meaningful numbers and the computers shut down again without anything to work with.
    Dark nite, overcast over the water = no outside references at all other than occasional lightning flashes.
    Definitely a bad situation.

  3. Cedarglen Avatar

    Thanks. Ouch. A lot of folks are wanting to fault the seated pilots becasue of the angle of attack reports. I think we ought to wait, to see if there are any data to (maybe?) explain the high angle. Even amateures intuitivly understand the physics of lift – put you hand out the window at 60 MPH and tilt it! I guess we wait. Thanks Tracy. (And no , I don’t care how your Mother spelled your name. A famous admiral was known as “Betty,” and his mother did not name him Elizabeth. I had a service colleague whose long/short nicknames were ‘twinkie’ and ‘twink.’ At least in the usual expectation, he was not, meaning that he was not gay. So help me, the tall, blond fellow looked like a Hostess Twinkie and it stuck. His wife of ~40 years still calls him ‘Twink’ once in a while, but his friends have quit. Regards, -C.