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Posts about aircraft maintenance and handling

As I'm sure you've heard by now, the NTSB recently published its final report on last year's crash of Galloping Ghost, the highly modified P-51 flown by veteran racer Jimmy Leeward, which killed 11 people and injured more than 60. The report confirmed what many had suspected: the crash was precipitated by the flutter-induced failure of a trim-tab actuating mechanism. This caused the airplane to roll and pitch up uncontrollably, subjecting the pilot to approximately 17 G of acceleration and damaging the aircraft structure. At that point, with the pilot incapacitated and the aircraft out of control, the resulting crash was a foregone conclusion. The report's statement of probable cause includes the following:

More on Reno Revisited

Filed under Aircraft, Pilot by  #

"A mechanical voice says, 'Fasten seat belts.' The Sky Pony turns onto the runway and Myrtle is pressed back into her seat as the airplane surges forward. A few seconds later, she's off the ground and climbing steeply on her way to Lincoln."

More on Captain Dunsel?

Filed under Aircraft by  #

It was a very dark, moonless night at Paso Robles, California when my wife Janet, our friend Lena, and I finished a lovely dinner and were boarding the airplane for our flight home. Paso Robles is in a valley, surrounded by high terrain, and there would be very few signs of human habitation along most of our route back to the San Francisco bay area. Anticipating this, I had filed an IFR flight plan and prepared to fly the published obstacle departure procedure to give us an extra margin of safety.

More on Margins

And the award goes to… Pipistrel-USA.com!

On Monday, October 3, at Moffett Field in Mountain View, California, NASA awarded the first prize of $1.35 million in the NASA/CAFE Foundation Green Flight Challenge.

More on Green Flight Challenge

Filed under Aircraft by  #

"Are we on the ground?" I asked my instructor Bill as we careened down the runway. I really couldn't tell, and it certainly wasn't because I greased the landing!

"Yes," he replied.

More on Straight Arrow?

Filed under Aircraft by  #

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