longacre writes: It was 4 years ago today that US Airways Flight 1549 glided to a safe landing on the Hudson River after losing both of its engines. Were Captain C.B. Sully Sullenberger (and his frequently forgotten first officer Jeff Skiles) heroes or were they just doing their job? From the article, "There’s little harm in celebrating the unlikely survival of 155 people, but terms like “hero” and “miracle” shouldn’t be thrown around lightly. A miracle describes an outcome that cannot be rationally explained. Everything that happened on the river that day can be rationally explained. And a hero, to me, describes a person who accepts a great personal sacrifice, up to and including injury or death, for the benefit of somebody else. I didn’t see heroics; I saw professional execution in the throes of an emergency."
longacre writes: "Three deadly airliner crashes over the course of 10 years in the 1980s and 1990s forever changed how winter weather flight operations in the United States are conducted, spurring advances in technology including infrared hangars to melt ice and new chemical solutions."
longacre writes: In the biggest breakthrough yet toward discovering the cause of the mysterious crash, French investigators this past weekend successfully downloaded the entire record of data from the recently retrieved flight data and voice recorders of Air France Flight 447.
longacre writes: Rarely is much attention paid to one of the most important design aspects of modern jet engines: the pieces of metal and composites that enclose them. Aviation safety expert David J. Williams explores the history and evolution of the engine cowling.
longacre writes: The corpse of a Bolivian pilot was found in the country's snow capped mountain tops east of its capital, La Paz, 20 years after a plane crash, local media reported Wednesday. Benjamin Pabon Galindo died on October 19, 1990 after crashing a plane while transporting meat from Bolivia's northern Amazonian region of Beni to La Paz. Apparently, due to technical failure and severe weather conditions, the plane crashed into the Huayna Potosi mountain. Around 7 years after the accident, the body of another pilot that was also on board was found, but Pabon's bodily remains were not found until last Sunday by mountaineers hired by family members.
longacre writes: Primitive technology and a cowboy mentality might have been to blame for the deaths of former Senator Ted Stevens and now the legendary Alaskan bush pilot John Graybill. Jeff Wise writes: "What makes it especially bitter is that technology exists which could make flying much safer, if only pilots would use it. Unfortunately, the frontier mentality so prevalent among bush pilots is often resistant to relying on technological solutions.... The major killer in bush flying is "VFR into IMC," short for visual flight rules into instrument meteorological conditions--in other words, a pilot who is navigating by looking out the window suddenly finds himself in clouds.... Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast, ADS-B, is a new technology that can prevent crashes. It relies on GPS receivers in each aircraft that broadcast their location to ground controllers and to other aircraft."