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Trappy - 1 : FAA - 0

Previously on the blue. Raphael Pirker, a.k.a. "Trappy" was the first person ever to to fined by the FAA for the commercial operation of a drone. However, instead of paying up, Pirker decided to contest the ruling with a little pro bono legal help. Last Thursday evening, the judge issued his ruling. The judge dismissed the FAA's case, agreeing with the defense that since the FAA never created any legally binding rules for small drones to begin with, they cannot now apply rules that would be used for a pilot flying a full size manned aircraft to drone operators. For now, the ruling means that commercial operation of SUAS in the United States is, basically, legal. Within 24 hours of the ruling, the FAA appealed the case to entire board of the NTSB. SUAS experimenters who have been waiting in the wings are pleased with the ruling.
posted by smoothvirus on Mar 9, 2014 - 13 comments

 

"In fact, there are no places that are not for ladies anymore."

Earlier this week, the captain of a Westjet flight received a note from a passenger regarding her place in the "cockpit". At the time Westjet declined to comment, feeling no need to "lend credibility to the author of the note." In honour of today being International Women's Day, Westjet has provided a more subtle response.
posted by nubs on Mar 8, 2014 - 83 comments

MH370 missing

Malaysia Airlines MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing is missing.
Flight MH370, operated on the B777-200 aircraft, departed Kuala Lumpur at 12.41am on 8 March 2014. MH370 was expected to land in Beijing at 6.30am the same day. The flight was carrying a total number of 227 passengers (including 2 infants), 12 crew members.
Rumors that the plane has landed in Nanning, China are debunked. Chinese media had originally reported Vietnamese officials saying they've picked up a signal, but this has also been refuted. There has been no contact nor distress signals, and the case is especially puzzling as the plane lost contact at the safest moment of the flight. [more inside]
posted by divabat on Mar 7, 2014 - 1953 comments

The Thrill Of Being Airborne

A 1955 TWA promotional movie about vacationing in the glittering metropolios - SKYLINE NEW YORK!
posted by The Whelk on Nov 22, 2013 - 26 comments

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot requests clearance to taxi to pad charlie and cry.

Boeing's largest, and ugliest, aircraft today is the 747 LCF, better known as the DreamLifter. The primary job of the DreamLifter is delivering entire 787 fuselages for final assembly. Yesterday evening, one DreamLifter was supposed to land at Wichita, Kansas... [more inside]
posted by eriko on Nov 21, 2013 - 172 comments

The FAA vs. Trappy

Raphael Pirker, a.k.a. Trappy, is a FPV pilot who came to be well known after the video from his New York flight went viral. While most of the media coverage of Trappy's NYC exploits was positive, the incident prompted a heated debate in the hobbyist community, and the authorities took a dim view of it. Shortly afterwards, Trappy was hired by a PR firm to do an aerial video shoot over the University of Virginia. The FAA, having banned commercial use of UAVs in 2007, took the unusual step of issuing a $10,000 fine for the unauthorized flight. Earlier this month Trappy's attorneys filed a response(pdf) to the FAA's action which questions whether the FAA holds jurisdiction over "model aircraft" in the first place. According to Wired Magazine, he court's decision could determine the future of model aviation and miniature UAVs in the US. Once again, the response from the hobbyist/entrepreneur community has been spirited. [more inside]
posted by smoothvirus on Oct 17, 2013 - 26 comments

R/C Carrier Launches R/C Plane

Three years ago, we resolved to fly an R/C airplane from an R/C aircraft carrier [more inside]
posted by Confess, Fletch on Sep 18, 2013 - 40 comments

Aviatrixes: female aviators from the earliest years of powered flight

"In the early days of human flight, a new word entered our lexicon: "aviatrix," the female version of "aviator." These women were true pioneers, although if you asked them, they would probably tell you they were just adventurous and loved flying -same as the men who took to the air in those days." Mentalfloss profiles seven women from the first decades of airplanes. If you'd like more tales of adventure and daring, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum website has a section on women in aviation, as does the San Diego Air and Space Museum (related Flickr gallery). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Sep 17, 2013 - 9 comments

"Don't mess up"

How airplanes pulling banners take off. (With wonderful MSPaint style illustrations.) Short video showing how it's done. You can hire companies to fly most any banner, of course. The pickup move is risky, so some types of banners can be directly taken off with, because of wheels (that from Wikipedia).
posted by skynxnex on Aug 19, 2013 - 24 comments

the scenic route to nowhere

Photographer Dietmar Eckell has taen a series of pictures of wrecked airplanes. It's called "Happy Endings," and no one was killed in any of the 15 crashes.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 10, 2013 - 8 comments

Plane crashes while landing at San Francisco International Airport

Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed just before noon today while attempting to land at SFO. [more inside]
posted by Red Desk on Jul 6, 2013 - 292 comments

Grenades, Bayonets, and Tasers. Oh My!

The TSA has started an Instagram page showing confiscated items from TSA checkpoints in airports around the country.
posted by reenum on Jul 3, 2013 - 36 comments

There was applause, but it wasn't for the airline.

Several members of the Philadelphia Orchestra were on a flight from Bejing to Macao that got stuck on the tarmac for three hours. With nothing better to do, the musicians resorted to doing what they do best...
posted by schmod on Jun 7, 2013 - 44 comments

Mayday...

How to land an airplane if you are not a pilot...
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies on Apr 30, 2013 - 43 comments

Planesploit

Planesploit : this Android app permits you to take control over the commercial jet in which you are a passenger if it is on autopilot.
posted by Chocolate Pickle on Apr 11, 2013 - 74 comments

Free falling

A videoclip shot from the point of view of a guitar thrown from a plane.
posted by Tom-B on Apr 11, 2013 - 17 comments

Weight x Distance = Flight Cost.

Samoa Air announces it will start charging passengers by weight.
posted by modernnomad on Apr 2, 2013 - 81 comments

Please turn off all electronic devices during take-off and landing.

Filmmaker Tim Sessler shot the short film Drift during a flight from San Francisco to Salt Lake City with his Canon 5D Mark III.
posted by bayani on Feb 27, 2013 - 14 comments

Please turn your electronic devices off as we commence descent and landing

109 years ago today, on December 17th 1903, Orville Wright lay down and flew 120 feet at 10 feet per second on the Wright Flyer. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Dec 17, 2012 - 25 comments

'We didn't know what 90 percent of the switches did'

In 2006, the United States Air Force declassified part of one of its secret programs: Constant Peg, the 4477th Test and Evaluation Squadron, which flew MiGs. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Aug 11, 2012 - 36 comments

Even damp it looked sticky.

In the spring of 1977, a Lockheed Lodestar crashed into a lake in Yosemite National Park carrying six tons of Mexican marijuana. The US government recovered most of it. Camp Four got the rest. A true stoner fable by Kief Hillsbery. [more inside]
posted by theodolite on Apr 20, 2012 - 12 comments

"But, since you asked, buckle up."

Quora: What do all the controls in an airplane cockpit do?
posted by zarq on Mar 15, 2012 - 70 comments

GPS on an airplane.

Ever wonder what a GPS looks like on an airplane?
posted by deathpanels on Mar 10, 2012 - 54 comments

Fight and Flight. And Cars, too.

AIRBOYD.tv has three Youtube channels: The eponymous AIRBOYD features 2000+ videos for "aviation and aerospace enthusiasts. Then there's the Nuclear Vault: Vintage Military, War and News Videos, with 1200+ full-length documentaries, news reels and other assorted footage, including 200 episodes of "The Big Picture (Army Signal Corps)" and a variety of Atomic and Nuclear energy films. Last but not least is US Auto Industry, an archive of over 450 vintage automobile films, including commercials from Buick, Pontiac, Chevy and Ford. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 8, 2012 - 2 comments

Feline takeoff keeps plane on tarmac

“We now have a ‘lost cat in airplane’ file that’s got one piece of paper in it after this morning.” [more inside]
posted by empatterson on Jan 25, 2012 - 70 comments

Light My Fire

iPhones, laptops, the Chevy Volt, and airplanes all have something in common - fires caused by lithium batteries. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot on Dec 1, 2011 - 39 comments

Kiss Your Ass Goodbye

The art form of airline safety cards. [more inside]
posted by gman on Nov 29, 2011 - 25 comments

Magic carpet ride

Video: An Italian pilot flies a glider through the Alps for eleven hours (video highly condensed, obviously) at times coming agonizingly close to the mountains, not because he's reckless, but because that's what's keeping him aloft. Fullscreen viewing recommended.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Nov 28, 2011 - 25 comments

Angry Birds With FLIR

"We finally flew our first thermal camera flight yesterday afternoon. About 10 seconds after launch my co pilot looked at the screen and said something like, 'We now have our very own predator drone'" A rice farmer in Louisiana had a real problem, feral pigs were coming out of the woods at night, into the rice fields, tearing up his crops and causing thousands of dollars worth of damage. The only solution is to bring in hunters to shoot the pigs. Hunting feral pigs in waist high rice plants, in the dead of night, is very difficult. You have to be within 10 feet of them to shoot them and it can take hours to stalk them down. So the farmer calls his brother, an Electronic Warfare engineer who flies RC airplanes as a hobby. $5000 worth of electronics, including a $4500 infrared camera, are installed on a $80 model airplane, and the Dehogaflier is born!
posted by smoothvirus on Oct 18, 2011 - 52 comments

Flight into Danger

"Flight into Danger" invented the cliches of the disaster film genre, invigorated the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and changed the life of its author, tractor-trailer company advertising executive Arthur Hailey.
posted by sevenyearlurk on Aug 15, 2011 - 16 comments

D-Dalus

Austrian research company IAT21 has presented a new type of aircraft at the Paris Air Show which has the potential to become aviation's first disruptive technology since the jet engine. ... The key to the D-Dalus' extreme maneuverability is the facility to alter the angle of the blades (using servos) to vector the forces, meaning that the thrust can be delivered in your choice of 360 degrees around any of the three axes. Hence D-Dalus can launch vertically, hover perfectly still and move in any direction, and that's just the start of the story.
posted by Trurl on Jun 23, 2011 - 38 comments

♪ "So kiss me and smile for me. Tell me that you'll wait for me. Hold me like you'll never let me go..." ♫

Inspired by Andrew Sullivan's recent post on views outside airplane windows, BuzzFeed compiled a collection of "100 incredible airplane window views" from Flickr. (bandwidth-heavy single page version.) Click through slideshow at Business Insider.
posted by zarq on May 9, 2011 - 56 comments

Senator James Inhofe

A released FAA investigation describes how in October last year, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) deliberately landed his plane on a closed runway, and then caused the plane to "hop" over terrified construction workers and their vehicles. More recently, Senator Inhofe has taken to the Senate floor in praise of his friend (and friend of C Street), deposed Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo. [Previously, previously]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Apr 13, 2011 - 81 comments

Happy surprise at 40000 feet

Photographer Nate Bolt, on a overnight San Francisco to Paris flight, set up a time lapse camera to record the journey (with permission), and found midflight that he was shooting an aurora borealis. [more inside]
posted by ZeusHumms on Apr 11, 2011 - 16 comments

Radiation, yes indeed.

The xkcd Radiation Dose Chart. (More about it.) (via)
posted by Artw on Mar 20, 2011 - 95 comments

Boeing can't say it wasn't warned.

The biggest mistake people make when talking about the outsourcing of U.S. jobs by U.S. companies is to treat it as a moral issue. Sure, it's immoral to abandon your loyal American workers in search of cheap labor overseas. But the real problem with outsourcing, if you don't think it through, is that it can wreck your business and cost you a bundle.
Case in point: Boeing Co. and its 787 Dreamliner. Boeing can't say it wasn't warned. As early as 2001, L.J. Hart-Smith, a Boeing senior technical fellow, produced a prescient analysis projecting that excessive outsourcing would raise Boeing's costs and steer profits to its subcontractors. [previously]
posted by ennui.bz on Feb 18, 2011 - 58 comments

The World's Shortest Runway

The largest model railway layout in the world, Hamburg's Miniatur Wunderland has been featured here before. Featuring areas modelled on real life attractions, it also is home to the fictional town of Knuffingen where the 200,000 mini-inhabitants are very much looking forward to the opening of their new airport. [more inside]
posted by jontyjago on Feb 12, 2011 - 15 comments

Excuse me, I ordered this Fixie medium rare, and this is obviously well-done. I'd like to send it back.

A man who has eaten an aircraft cockpit, and the whole plane, and some bicycles and other stuff as well: Michel Lotito aka Monsieur Mangetout aka Mister Eats All [ prev i ously ] Sci-fi bonus: In 2050, scientists discovered the cause, and then the crazy genetic corporations did stuff like they are wont to do.
posted by not_on_display on Feb 8, 2011 - 31 comments

Roger, Roger.

14 high-res panoramas of aircraft cockpits.
posted by gman on Feb 8, 2011 - 20 comments

O to speed where there is space enough and air enough at last!

High-def twilight landing at LAX [more inside]
posted by BeerFilter on Feb 1, 2011 - 72 comments

Girls Gone WWII

Photos of female aircraft workers, 1942-1943.
posted by hermitosis on Dec 16, 2010 - 31 comments

Teen stowaway gets through airport security, stows away in wheel well, ends tragically.

Authorities believe a 16 year old boy found dead last month on a Milton, MA street fell out of the wheel well of an aircraft. Last month, the suburb of Milton, MA, was horrified when the mutilated body of a teenager was found in the road. The body lacked identification, but was eventually found to be that of Delvonte Tisdale, age 16, from Charlotte, NC. The mystery of how he got there when he had been seen the night before in his bedroom seems to have been solved: authorities now believe he stowed away in the wheel well of an aircraft from Charlotte to Boston, and fell out as the airplane approached Logan airport. [more inside]
posted by kpht on Dec 10, 2010 - 59 comments

List of commercial airliner bombings.

This list of commercial airliner bombings appears in the Ask a Rocket Scientist section of Aerospaceweb.org. It presents a comprehensive and descriptive catalog of 86 bombings and attempted bombings since 1933, 54 of which resulted in fatalities, and offers some information that might be relevant to the question of airline security.
posted by washburn on Nov 29, 2010 - 44 comments

We'll need to declaw that cat.

Airport-security cartoons from The New Yorker’s archives (1938 - present).
posted by gman on Nov 23, 2010 - 28 comments

Speed Is Life

The SR-71 Blackbird reconnaissance aircraft was designed to cruise at speeds in excess of Mach 3. But what's the slowest speed attainable by an airborne Blackbird?
posted by CrunchyFrog on Nov 21, 2010 - 49 comments

Invasion of the blue UFOs!

“It’s weird. You only see this type of stuff in movies. Just as long as we're here, I'm sure there are other things somewhere." In the past couple of months, strange blue lights have been appearing over towns across the USA: Anaheim, College Station, and outside of Washington DC. Many UFO buffs and conspiracy theorists believe this to be a part of an alien agenda to force the US Government to disclose alien existence, or perhaps a plot by NASA to overthrow all the world's religions. [more inside]
posted by smoothvirus on Nov 10, 2010 - 52 comments

eject

Pilot ejects an instant before fighterjet crashes [video] (via mr)
posted by kliuless on Oct 18, 2010 - 54 comments

Gee, Mrs. Cleaver ...

"Gee, Mrs. Cleaver, your kitchen always looks so clean. Why, thank you, Eddie. My mother says it looks as though you never do any work in here." U.S. television and film actress Barbara Billingsley, mother of Theodore 'Beaver' and Wally Cleaver on the television series 'Leave It to Beaver,' has died. [more inside]
posted by ericb on Oct 16, 2010 - 71 comments

Hauntingly Calm

Recently uploaded airplane camera footage from 1945 Japan (slyt). Uploaded from the Romano Archives (previously).
posted by glaucon on Sep 21, 2010 - 34 comments

The largest aircraft ever to have disappeared without a trace.

The 727 that Vanished. Interesting article that recounts a mystery still unsolved. Prev, from 2003.
posted by allkindsoftime on Sep 15, 2010 - 39 comments

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