People have seen unexplained objects in the skies for decades. The US Government and other entities are finally discussing these events publicly, an important development for aviation safety.
“These events have an impact on flight crews and systems and are important to look at,” says Todd Curtis.
Now falling under the classification, unidentified anomalous phenomena (UAP), these events have been cited by the US Government as impacting national security and public safety. Todd and John discuss how these events impact aviation safety.
The episode looks at the July 2023 hearing in the US House of Representatives that included testimony from three military veterans who either witnessed or investigated UAP events. John and Todd share their perspectives on the aviation safety aspect of UAP issues, including the difficulty of understanding what may be behind these phenomena when there are few trustworthy sources of information.
Aerobatic fun led to tragedy in the fatal plane crash that killed composer James Horner. His aerobatic maneuvers in a high performance Tucano aircraft ended with a high speed crash in the canyons of California.
Horner wrote music for dozens of movies, including Titanic, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and Avatar. Horner was the sole occupant of a high-performance Tucano turboprop aircraft. He crashed while performing a number of low-level maneuvers.
John and Todd discuss the findings of the accident report. They ask key questions about the accident that were not answered by the NTSB.
The report does not indicate whether Horner, who had nearly 900 hours of flight experience and nearly 80 hours in the make and model of the accident aircraft, had experience performing the kinds of maneuvers performed during the accident flight.
Take a closer look at this tragic accident to learn how to bring aviation safety into your flight plan!
Todd Curtis, Greg Feith, and John Goglia discuss the risks of aviation thrill-seeking. They look at aviation disasters from the NTSB database that involve experiences outside of standard FAA regulations.
The FAA allows certain commercial operators to offer voluntary high-risk experiences to the general public. “Top Gun” aerobatic rides, balloon flights, and sight-seeing flights are some examples. Existing rules allow for a wide range of leeway in FAA approval for these types of flights. Oversight may be minimal.
They evaluate a plane crash where a thrill ride resulted in the loss of the aircraft and crew. The high-impact collision occurred in Four Corners, California.
Anyone considering one of these experiences needs to consider the aviation safety risks involved. Thrill seeking can be a deadly experience.
John and Greg also share insights from AirVenture 2023, including new safety products from various manufacturers and concerns about the insurance needs of older pilots.
Todd Curtis, Greg Feith, and John Goglia interview historian and author S.C. “Sam” Gwynne, about his latest book, “His Majesty’s Airship.” The book tells the story of the crash of the British R101 in France in 1930.
The book discusses how the airship R101 was a key part of the British government’s plan to cut by more than half the time it took to travel to distant parts of its empire such as Australia and India. The R101 crashed during its first commercial flight.
The aviation disaster killed 48 people. Among those lost was the commander of the airship, who 11 years before had also been the first person to command an airship on a round trip journey across the Atlantic.
While the Hindenburg disaster is better known, this tale has many intriguing impacts on the evolution of rigid airships and aviation safety.
Todd Curtis and John Goglia discuss the use of carbon fiber in the Boeing 787 airplane and the Titan submersible. Prompted by listener questions, they explain why the carbon fiber is subjected to completely different – and riskier – conditions in the case of the sub that got international attention when it imploded on June 18, 2023.
The Titan accident is under investigation by American and Canadian authorities. The submersible used a novel design that included using carbon fiber to construct a major portion of the hull.
Todd and John compare the use of carbon fiber in a submersible compared to the use in aircraft, specifically the 787. They explain the radically different effects that a rapid decompression would have on an airliner at cruising altitude versus a catastrophic implosion in the depths of the ocean.
They also compare the unique design of the Titan with more traditional submersible designs. Two aspects that get the attention of these safety experts:
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