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There's No Crying In Pilots

Actual Network notes given to actual shows BONUS: What network notes say vs. what they mean.
posted by The Whelk on May 9, 2014 - 43 comments

Can a slavery system include a middle class?

The truth about the luxury of Qatar Airways [more inside]
posted by armage on Feb 4, 2014 - 24 comments

SOP

Have you ever wondered how to turn on a Boeing 737? (SLYT)
posted by theodolite on Jan 25, 2014 - 56 comments

"It's the lousy drink," he said, summing things up.

On September 20, 1956, just before the bars closed at 3 a.m., a single-engine plane landed on St. Nicholas Avenue near 191st Street in northern Manhattan. Behind the stick was 26-year-old Tommy Fiztpatrick, who pulled off the no-lights, no-radio "feat of aeronautics" while (allegedly) drunk to (allegedly) win a bar bet. Two years later, when a fellow patron called his story into question, Fitzpatrick did it again.
posted by gottabefunky on Dec 4, 2013 - 43 comments

This ain't chemistry. This is Art.

With the momentous series finale of Breaking Bad just hours away, fans of the show are hungry for something, anything to wile away the time before the epic conclusion tonight. So why not kick back and chew the fat with your fellow MeFites with the help of a little tool I like to call "The Periodic Table of Breaking Bad." [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 29, 2013 - 974 comments

A different kind of LSD trip

Early this morning, pilot John Pedersen encountered mechanical difficulties and made an emergency landing on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago [photos]. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. on Sep 22, 2013 - 49 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

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

... But you wouldn’t want your mom to see it!

"When you were up there in a plane, you’d get shot at, and you couldn’t call field artillery to support you. You had no ambulance, no medic. There was no tank to come in and run over the enemy. All it took was one accurate aircraft shot, and a plane full of 10 guys was gone. The commanders, for the most part, understood this,” Conway continues, “So there was a little bit more leniency in that regard than there would have been with ground guys. The officers figured, ‘Well, if this guy wants to paint a naked lady on the back of the jacket, what good is it to try to stop him? He could be dead tomorrow morning.’ The main objective was winning the war, not enforcing minor regulations and rules.”

posted by ChuraChura on Jan 29, 2013 - 23 comments

Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does the work

The author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, a popular MetaFilter topic, was born 177 years ago today (November 30th 1835) in Missouri. The printer, riverboat pilot, game designer, journalist, lecturer, technology investor, gold miner, publisher and patent holder wrote short stories, essays, novels and non-fiction under the pen name Mark Twain. This included The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (recently adapted into a musical), one of the top five challenged books of the 1990s, published in 1884-85 to a mixed reception and with an ending that still causes debate. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Nov 30, 2012 - 42 comments

"The story of Lost makes no sense."

'I pretty much wanted to die', an excerpt from Alan Sepinwall's The Revolution Was Televised.
posted by IvoShandor on Nov 29, 2012 - 61 comments

New NBC Show "Revolution" is suspiciously similar to indie production "Powerless"

"Revolution" seems a little too much like "Powerless." Indie television proof-of-concept pilot "Powerless" is "about a trio who are in the woods when an unexplained and unexpected event causes electricity the world over to suddenly disappear." The pilot is submitted to a 2011 television festival where it is seen by studio executives. Then, "come February 2012, NBC picks up [a] mystery high concept pilot and reveals it's called 'Revolution' and the high concept is: An adventure series in a world suddenly and inexplicably without power." [more inside]
posted by Mo Nickels on Sep 18, 2012 - 150 comments

Pilot's Timelapse

The working week of a commercial pilot as seen from the cockpit A timelapse video showing takeoffs and landings from the pilot's perspective. Complete with squashed insects on the windscreen.
posted by jontyjago on Sep 18, 2012 - 33 comments

This Warrior's Dream

The drawings of Ron Franciere circa 1962-1988 — "Ron Franciere was something of a mystery to me. Ran into many dead ends trying to find information on him. I posted some images on my website Bighappyfunhouse. I received emails that held a few stories of Ron and his life - but nothing ever lead me to contacting Ron Franciere. Then, I received an anonymous comment on my website."
posted by unliteral on Aug 21, 2012 - 7 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

A Day Job Waiting for a Kill Shot a World Away

A Day Job Waiting for a Kill Shot a World Away (SLNYT)
posted by destrius on Jul 30, 2012 - 79 comments

Nobody else had Denny Fitch, who beat those one-in-a-billion odds.

Denny Fitch, one of 4 pilots who guided United 232 to a controlled crash landing in Sioux City, Iowa after a complete hydraulic fluid loss following an engine failure, has died of cancer. He was interviewed about the landing for Errol Morris' First Person series (YouTube) (previously). Denny's family also documented his journey with his incurable brain tumor on his website and blog.
posted by bluefly on May 13, 2012 - 22 comments

X Planes

X Planes, a tumblr. x planes is a tumblr devoted to historical aviation, and with a specific interest in experimental aviation. [more inside]
posted by mwhybark on Mar 2, 2012 - 7 comments

Kermit?

In 1975, a half-hour variety show titled The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence piloted on ABC television but it was going after an older audience.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 23, 2012 - 18 comments

Bomber Jackets

A gallery of personalized bomber jackets from WWII with descriptions.
posted by gman on Jan 6, 2012 - 22 comments

Your father spotted my presence immediately

In August-September 1965, India and Pakistan went to war for the second time since their independence in 1947. On September 19, a civilian aircraft (Beechcraft Model 18) carrying the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat (bordering Pakistan) was shot down by a Pakistani Air Force pilot (flying an F-86F). Now, 46 years later, the Pakistani pilot has written a condolence letter to the daughter of the pilot of the Indian civilian aircraft.
posted by vidur on Aug 8, 2011 - 8 comments

The Chain Of Coincidence

One day in 1984 character actor Stephen Tobolowsky (Groundhog Day, the original, unaired pilot of Buffy The Vampire Slayer) was walking down the street when Jonathan Demme pulled up and asked if he wanted to see a movie he was finishing. Tobolowsky accepted: taking his girlfriend Beth Henley, they went to the Academy Linwood Dunn Theatre to watch the rough cut of the movie, Stop Making Sense. The audience in the otherwise empty theatre consisted of Tobolowsky, Henley, and Demme, along with members of Talking Heads, including David Byrne and Tina Weymouth. Later, Byrne passed Tobolowsky on his bike and asked if he wanted to work on a new movie. Interest sparked again, and during the ensuing collaboration Tobolowsky shared his past experience of psychic phenomena. Inspired, Byrne went on to write Radio Head. The song was heard by Thom Yorke and became the name of his band. All of this is a true story, based on puzzling evidence. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul on Jul 17, 2011 - 46 comments

You can't have one without the other...

Ever wish you could watch the pilot episode of Married... with Children with different actors portraying the roles of Bud and Kelly? Of course you have. Why wouldn't you? [more inside]
posted by item on Jun 10, 2011 - 25 comments

Cutting in on Fred Astaire.

'Poets don’t draw,' Jean Cocteau said. 'They unravel their handwriting and then tie it up again, but differently.' An ode to the Pilot Precise V5 Extra Fine.
posted by shakespeherian on Feb 28, 2011 - 68 comments

I looked over my shoulder and saw her sitting on the floor of the aircraft and she was just devastated. It was heartbreaking.

Mark Kempton s a chopper pilot. On Monday January 10, 2011 while flood waters rose in Grantham, Queensland, Mark and his Emergency Management Queensland helicopter crew from Archerfield winched 28 people to safety over a period of 2 1/2 hours. [more inside]
posted by gomichild on Feb 16, 2011 - 13 comments

More than you ever wanted to know.

This is by far the coolest collection of TV pilots, pitches, scripts, and supplementary documents I have ever seen. [more inside]
posted by cthuljew on Jan 30, 2011 - 33 comments

At least they actually made Firefly

13 awesome and awful pilots for sci-fi series we never got to see.
posted by cthuljew on Dec 14, 2010 - 63 comments

Fighting crime is surely not far behind

Once, there was a boy named Yves. He lived in the mountainous country of Switzerland, and he dreamed of flying. He loved the idea of being free to soar through the air so much that he became a pilot. Later, he went on to fly bigger planes. Perhaps he's even been your pilot. But being a pilot was never quite enough. Yves still dreamed of soaring through the air, like a bird. And now, he does. Meet Jetman. Previously
posted by anigbrowl on Nov 7, 2010 - 6 comments

let's roll with Joel Hodgson's TV Wheel

"The TV Wheel was a television experiment created by and starring Joel Hodgson, of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame. Cable network HBO ordered a pilot, but ultimately passed on picking up the show. The pilot episode eventually aired once on Comedy Central as a special presentation following the last new episode of MST3K to be broadcast on that network."*

The pilot, bookended by introduction segments, is right through this door: [more inside]
posted by item on Aug 11, 2010 - 41 comments

"We spent our sperm money on tandori chicken."

The unaired pilot of The Big Bang Theory has surfaced on YouTube. Coming off like an episode of the series from an alternate universe, this first stab at the show gives us a more inept Leonard, a sexual Sheldon, and two female leads that wouldn't carry over to the finished product: Katie (a wild party girl who makes stupid choices) and Gilda (a fellow nerd who has her analytical eyes on Leonard). [Part 2 | Part 3] [more inside]
posted by Servo5678 on Jun 11, 2010 - 71 comments

This is what I call a target-rich environment.

Ever wonder how military aviators get their callsigns? Chances are good it won't be based on something you're proud of. Apparently being too influenced by Top Gun and asking to be called "Iceman" is a frequent, and bad, move: see "Slush" and "Snocone", and that's just from the S's. [more inside]
posted by George_Spiggott on May 2, 2010 - 31 comments

Cross my palm with silver and your future I shall see

Palm is up for sale. Brief history and influence of this award winning maker of handheld devices. Does it have a future? [more inside]
posted by infini on Apr 12, 2010 - 90 comments

Never-before-seen 'Star Trek' pilot found

Star Trek fans know that there was a second, unaired pilot episode of Where No Man has Gone Before. That version has been found by a collector in Germany, and is going to be released.
posted by pjern on Nov 15, 2009 - 30 comments

South Park Episode 0

The complete and until today unaired pilot of South Park for Comedy Central, with an additional creator's commentary track. About 90% was recut into the first episode, "Cartman Gets an Anal Probe," but with a few slightly altered scenes and characters. After gaining underground popularity with two shorts that you've all probably seen already at this point, Trey Parker and Matt Stone were contracted by Comedy Central to produce a full pilot episode for a potential show based on the shorts. This pilot episode is what would ultimately lead to a series that is now 12 years old, spans over 180 episodes, and is one of the most successful shows in the history of cable television both in ratings and revenue. The pilot is also the only episode in the series that, like the original shorts, uses stop-motion animation of paper cutouts instead of computer software.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Aug 14, 2009 - 24 comments

fear of flying

Ask the Pilot. Columnist Patrick Smith explains why you shouldn't be afraid of flying. [more inside]
posted by lalex on Jun 5, 2009 - 42 comments

Girl with No Arms pilots plane

A woman with no arms has conquered flying It's not all sensible, though. As she says at the end, she literally has her life in her "own feet." Flying a plane never looked so comfortable.
posted by jwakawaka on Dec 5, 2008 - 22 comments

The Faroe (Fær Øer) pilot whales slaughter.

The Faroe (Fær Øer) pilot whales slaughter (warning, crude pictures). The Faroe Islands (prev) were nominated in year 2007 by National Geographic as one of the most appealing tourism location in the world. The inhabitans have traditionally hunted pilot whales and other cetaceans for their own sustainment, but according also to their own national statistics (PDF) , the whale hunting business is no longer a significant factor. Some ongoing online petition is trying to put a final end to this practice.
posted by elpapacito on Nov 19, 2008 - 37 comments

Flawlesss Aircraft Emergency Landings (QLYTP)

Flawless Aircraft Emergency Landings (QLYTP). Breatheless reporting aside, it looks like when a pilot can control the landing, these aircraft are tough enough that no one need be hurt. Many more excellent videos in the post-video links, too.
posted by five fresh fish on Oct 21, 2008 - 40 comments

JollyMetaFilter

In the years after leaving MST, Joel Hodgson of Mystery Science Theater, and his "smarter brother" Jim Hodgson, worked on a new movie-repurposing concept for USA Networks. The introduction for the test clip read:
"The Jolly Filter segment is a proof of concept test for a new film process. You will first view 2 minutes of the original film 'Rollercoaster' and then the same 2 minutes utilizing the JollyFilter technique.
"Note: If you find yourself getting bored during the original 'Rollercoaster' footage, don't worry, this is normal."
(SLYT, but an awesome one.) [more inside]
posted by JHarris on Jul 27, 2008 - 50 comments

Too Much Sunshine Will Make Him Explode.

I'm baffled why these science fiction tv pilots never made it to series... especially Leonard Nimoy's Baffled!.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Apr 6, 2008 - 30 comments

World War II Glider Pilots; none had ever been before and probably none will ever be again; a hybrid breed like jackasses with no need to reproduce themselves...

Gliders spearheaded many major invasions and other operations in the European theatre of World War II, including the invasion of Normandy. I had no idea, but it turns out the House of Representatives recently passed a resolution honoring the glider pilots, and there's a Silent Wings Museum in Lubbock, TX. The World War II Glider Pilots Association site gives more background on the men, the planes, and the missions, as well as the memorable title quote. There's even a movie. [More Inside]
posted by Mister_A on Apr 18, 2007 - 27 comments

No means maybe

Three Strikes is a TV pilot from the writers of Frasier, Larry Sanders and King of the Hill and executive produced by Jon Stewart for Comedy Central. It was turned down by the network but like Nobody's Watching the makers have turned to YouTube to revive its chances [Parts 1, 2, 3]. [via TVtattle]
posted by meech on Mar 27, 2007 - 24 comments

On a wing and a prayer...

An Israeli military training mission gone bad. A mid-air collision during a simulated dogfight. An A4 Skyhawk goes down, and an F-15 Eagle decides to try and make it the 10 miles back to base. When the pilot lands, he finds out that he has definitively answered the question, Can this aircraft fly on just one wing? [video]
posted by NotMyselfRightNow on Oct 4, 2006 - 28 comments

Hey Airbus, let's see your A380 do this.

Do a Barrel Roll! [emvedded WMV, or view it on YouTube here] Test pilot Tex Johnston shows off the capabilities of Boeing's new 367-80 "Dash 80" prototype -- which would later become the Boeing 707 -- at a 1955 air show. The barrel roll (or aileron roll to others), done twice, was a no-hazard 1G maneuver for the Dash 80, but thoroughly impressed the crowd. Following the roll, it's said that William Allen turned to an elderly attender to ask for heart attack pills. You can still view the Dash-80 today at its final resting place, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Udvar-Hazy Center.
posted by brownpau on Jun 21, 2006 - 36 comments

Gimli Glider: How to glide a 767

The impressive Gimli Glider. Yes, seriously: it can be a glider. An amazing story of a commercial pilot with mad emergency landing skillz.
posted by five fresh fish on Feb 21, 2006 - 42 comments

To Paris and back!

Pilot's eye view of a three day trip [Youtube]. A pilot at American Airlines made this video of his three-day trip from Boston to Paris and back so his young daughter could see where he worked. It's all shot from the pilot's perspective so there's plenty of eye candy for the aviation and gadget geeks. On his day off, fly4fun catches a cruise on a Bateux-Mouches river boat, sees the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, and grabs a few pints in Parisian pubs (including the expat bar, Le Mazet, where the last official sighting of Jim Morrison took place). It's all edited with iMovie and set to U2's Vertigo. [more inside]
posted by junesix on Feb 9, 2006 - 46 comments

Alpe d'Huez flying man

Henri Giraud was the first to land a plane on Mont Aiguille [41.4 MB mpg], on August 27th 1957 and on Mont Blanc [32.2 MB mpg] on June 23rd 1960. [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Nov 23, 2005 - 6 comments

The Boeing 737, Nose to Tail

All things 737: aircraft systems, pilots' notes, deliveries and fleet movements, production methods, technical photographs, blended winglets, rudder news, illustrated history, accident reports, Q's and A's. Know it all? Take the quiz.
posted by breezeway on Apr 27, 2005 - 19 comments

Flying an injured Warthog by the seat of her pants

"It's been a rough few days for the A-10," the pilot told her father after she landed, but she assured him that the A-10 'Warthog' is a "a durable and reliable plane." It. Sure. Is. But the pilot brought it back from Baghdad in this condition with dead hydraulics, using only manual controls, and landed safely. The A-10 may be slower than birds, but it's loved by the Army.
via The Cellar's Picture of the Day
posted by Slithy_Tove on Apr 13, 2003 - 29 comments

US demands information on long forgotten downed pilot

US demands information on long forgotten downed pilot while insisting they not release the names or allow legal counsel to "enemy combatants" held within the US?
posted by specialk420 on Aug 23, 2002 - 15 comments

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