Category Archives: Accidents

What exactly is a black box?

After any aviation disaster occurs, one of the primary items the crash investigators seek to find is the black box. But what is it and what does it do? Firstly, a black box consists of two separate boxes – a flight data recorder and a cockpit voice recorder. Secondly, they aren’t black but dayglo orange […]

Parachutes For Passenger Planes

Ever wish that if your passenger plane got into trouble you could just fire an ejector seat and parachute to safety? Well a Ukrainian inventor has gone one step further. Tatarenko Vladimir Nikolaevich has spent the last 3 years working on a design for an aircraft with a detachable cabin that, in an emergency situation, could be safely ejected […]

Where’s the safest place to sit on an airplane?

It’s one of the most common questions asked by people who have an innate fear of flying in order to maximise their chance of survival in the case of an accident. So where is the safest seat? Well, unfortunately both Boeing and Airbus will tell you that there’s no one place that is the safest […]

Reducing Pilot Error

On the evening of December 28th, 1978, United Airlines flight 173 was making its final approach into Portland, Oregon. Upon lowering the landing gear, only the nose-gear down indicator light illuminated green. No green lights came on for the main wheels. The approach was abandoned and the aircraft entered a holding pattern to sort out […]

Are pilots psychologically assessed?

The lives of many people are in the hands of the pilots at the front of an airliner and, as was highlighted in the tragic Germanwings crash, the psychological state of a pilot can be vitally important in safe guarding those lives.  So what assessment, if any, is carried out on pilots? Well as regards […]

Can commercial planes fly on just one engine?

Well, it depends on the plane but, yes – the majority of them can. If we look at twin-engined commercial aircraft (which account for most of the commercial aircraft in the world) they are designed to be able to keep flying in the event of an engine failure. Thankfully aircraft engines rarely fail but if […]

Video – amazing 5 minute reconstruction of Hudson River landing

On January 15th, 2009, US Airways flight 1549 made a miracle landing on the Hudson River in New York after hitting a flock of Canadian geese and losing thrust on both its engines. This video recreates the 5 minute flight with actual ATC audio overlaid. You will also see written transcript of conversation inside the flight deck […]