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Pilots of Instagram:

beautiful views from the cockpit, violating rules of the air [more inside]
posted by So You're Saying These Are Pants? on Dec 16, 2014 - 66 comments

My New Folding and Throwing Technique is Unstoppable

John Collins, holder of the world record for paper airplane flight distance, shows you how to fold that airplane. Here, he demonstrates the plane to David Rees[previously], along with a few other designs, which he also teaches to you: the Tube, the Boomerang, and the Tumbling Wing. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display on Nov 16, 2014 - 11 comments

Welcome to BLAH

Virgin Airlines has released a nearly six-hour video showing what's it like to fly from New York to San Francisco with BLAH airlines, which is fictional, gray, boring, and non-Virgin; all in excruciating detail. (Warnings: SLYT, mannequins, Lynchian, Virgin Pepsi Blue)
posted by Baldons on Oct 16, 2014 - 82 comments

how the rich fly

what it's like to fly the $23,000 Singapore Airlines Suites Class (includes lots of photos) [more inside]
posted by flex on Sep 30, 2014 - 175 comments

“You don’t understand, women are holier than men.”

"I'm not sure whether it mattered. One young man very kindly said to me, 'You don’t understand, women are holier than men.' I said, 'That’s rubbish and it doesn't excuse the insult,' and then I added that I spent 13 years in yeshiva and there's nothing he could tell me that I haven't already heard. Then the original man, the one who refused to sit next to me, muttered to another man as he was walking away, 'She doesn't understand.' I said, 'I understand everything, and don't talk to me as if I'm not here.' He ignored me, and all the other men turned their backs and did not respond or even look at me." [Similar version at JewFem blog.]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Sep 27, 2014 - 61 comments

Monsieur, the pilot is never wrong.

Should Airplanes Be Flying Themselves? William Langewiesche examines the ways in which airplane automation, entrenched cockpit culture, and difficult flying conditions led to the 2009 crash of Air France Flight 447, resulting in 228 deaths. [more inside]
posted by Sheydem-tants on Sep 20, 2014 - 64 comments

What a plane crash feels like: The inside story

“When we yelled ‘Brace!’ ” Brown said later, “I always described it as if you watched a wind come across a field of wheat and everything bends. That’s how it was. Everybody went down. It was like a field of wheat being blown over.” What a plane crash feels like: The inside story of an American aviation disaster — and miracle [more inside]
posted by heyho on Aug 2, 2014 - 27 comments

The Long Way Home

"Normal return route canceled. Proceed as follows: Strip all company marking, registration numbers and identifiable insignia from exterior surfaces. Proceed westbound soonest your discretion to avoid hostilities and deliver NC18602 to marine terminal La Guardia Field New York. Good luck." [more inside]
posted by jedicus on Jul 13, 2014 - 27 comments

Airports from above

Holding Pattern is a Tumblr of some images of airports from Google maps.
posted by carter on Jun 20, 2014 - 8 comments

How Mistakes Can Save Lives

What hospitals can learn from flight safety measures. After his wife died due to a mistake during a very simple procedure, Martin Bromiley decided to use his pilot experience to examine how such mistakes can be avoided in the future. It involves changing the whole hierarchy of the hospital environment.
posted by JanetLand on Jun 6, 2014 - 28 comments

Mystery MH370

Last week it was announced that "Bluefin-21 completed its last mission" and that "the area can now be discounted as the final resting place of MH370". That news came two days after Malaysian authorities released a 47 pages long document of Inmarsat's raw data [pdf]. [more inside]
posted by travelwithcats on Jun 1, 2014 - 84 comments

Way too close for comfort

Two Weeks Ago, I Almost Died in the Deadliest Plane Crash Ever How two jetliners nearly collided over the Pacific, why no one knows about it, and what it means for safety oversight aboard airplanes
posted by gottabefunky on May 15, 2014 - 67 comments

When Unlimited really meant Unlimited

Way back in 1970, there were some air racing organizers who felt that the answer to the too-short Unlimited air races at Reno might be to have a longer race, so long that it would require pit stops. In Unlimited-class piston airplanes. Thus was born the California 1000. [more inside]
posted by pjern on May 12, 2014 - 15 comments

Snaps on a plane

Taking photos from an airplane window seat usually results in banal or just bad (hazy, blurry) pictures. Here are some remarkable exceptions to that rule (in French with credits and links).
posted by elgilito on May 1, 2014 - 34 comments

First Class

How do you cram a bunch of strangers into an airborne metal tube, charge them a lot of money for the privilege, and get them to rave about it? Hire people like James Park to attract the one percent. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 26, 2014 - 52 comments

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

Rollin' rollin' rollin'...

"This is unprecedented footage of a small airplane crash from inside the cockpit from two different views. Miraculously, everyone survived. The pilot will make a full recovery and the rest of us escaped with superficial injuries and feel very lucky to be alive." (Graphic accident footage, injuries are shown) [more inside]
posted by heyho on Aug 10, 2012 - 79 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

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