Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Shoreham Hunder AAIB Accident Report

The UK's Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB) have released the final report of the August 2015 Hawker Hunter crash that resulted in the deaths of eleven bystanders.

The summary is here, with the full report here and earlier reports and a brief video illustrating the aircraft's critical manoeuvre at the bottom of the page.

While the report is very long, there are numerous air display safety points touched upon (as well as recommendations specific to the UK's airshow industry approach) many of which are worth the time of anyone professionally involved in airshow organisation or safety in any country.

My comments on the accident at the time, are here.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Aircrew's - 100 Up & Out

 It's the final Aircrew feature in Aeroplane Monthly by Ian Bott and myself. Thanks to Ben Dunnell for the note, and Ian's write up below.

I'll just say that we weren't out of ideas and had still a good list of potential roles to do, but we didn't want to end up doing 'riffs on a theme' - minor variations between similar roles either. In short though, 100 was a good number, and we all thought it was time to move on to new projects!

It's a demanding, engrossing project that's taken a lot of my time and energy over the last seven years. And it's been a fascinating journey, and I've learned a lot and hundreds of people have helped to make it what it was. However three people without whom...

Ian Bott, a great artist, and a great guy to work with on this. We've pulled each other into doing things we'd perhaps otherwise not have done, but each and every one's been well worth it. Original editor Michael Oakey, who got us started with it, and current editor Ben Dunnell of Aeroplane Monthly, both who supported us with the it, and both gave us their backing and a remarkably free hand too.

So we'll be keen to see what people think of the replacement once it's out - no sneak peeks yet, except to say Ben's been very supportive of the idea, and Ian and I will be working together on it - which we're pleased to do.

You can amuse yourself in the meantime by seeing if you can name all the subjects (not just the aircraft - that's too easy) in Ian's picture montage above...

Ian said: "Here's the latest Aircrew feature on the job of an EF-111 Raven electronic warfare officer in the new issue of Aeroplane Monthly with illustration by me and words by James Kightly. It's a big landmark for us because it's the 100th feature and, sadly, it's also the final one."

Ben Dunnell's editorial comment - thanks, Ben - "This month marks the end of an Aeroplane era, as our popular Aircrew column, so diligently compiled by James Kightly and splendidly illustrated by Ian Bott, comes to a conclusion. Their examination of the role of a US Air Force EF-111 Raven electronic warfare officer is the 100th subject in the series, and we felt that this milestone provided a suitable opportunity on which to close. Thanks to James and Ian for all their hard work on Aircrew - but they'll be back to collaborate on a new regular feature from the May issue onwards. Watch this space."

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A hat with a light

Not something you see very often! The 1980s Royal Navy Historic Flight had a pith helmet (or shola topee) fitted with a rotating red beacon that was sometimes 'used' by one of the crew of Fairey Swordfish LS326 during taxiing.

It's seen here at the Shuttleworth Collection's Old Warden airfield.

I do hope it made it into the RNHF's regimental curios collection.