For long-haul airline pilots, the name Gander is well known. For those sitting in the back of the aircraft, the small Canadian town passing by on the moving map will barely be noticed. From boosting the war effort in Europe between 1940 to 1945 to hosting celebrities such as Frank Sinatra and John Travolta, Gander … Continue reading How a small Canadian town is integral to your transatlantic flight
A few weeks ago, a Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737-800 attempted to land in wet and stormy weather in Istanbul. After touching down, it didn’t slow down as planned and ran off the end of the runway where it broke into three pieces. In the resulting carnage, 180 people were injured and three people were killed. … Continue reading How pilots avoid runway overruns
The recent storms in the U.K. made for some incredible viewing for spotters at airports across the country. The 90 mph winds battered aircraft as they made their approaches to land, the pilots requiring all their training and skills to keep their passengers and crew safe. Whilst the majority of flights landed first time around, a number of crews … Continue reading What’s the difference between a go-around and a rejected landing?
Last weekend saw the worst storm the U.K. has experienced in years. Storm Ciara brought 90 mph winds, heavy rain and flooding to almost all of the U.K. Whilst most people had the benefit of being at home, for pilots, it was one of the most testing days of their careers. Social media posts were full … Continue reading How pilots prepare to land during severe storms
The events at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on 2 August 1985 played an integral role in how pilots learn to respect the weather. Right from the very start of flying school, understanding how the clouds, wind and rain affect the performance of your aircraft is key to becoming a safe pilot. On that fateful day, … Continue reading Windshear: Why pilots learn to respect the weather
When watching your aircraft being prepared for flight, the last thing you imagine for what will happen to the fuel is for it to be dumped overboard a short while later. However, for a very small number of flights every year, this is exactly what happens. Before each departure, the pilots carefully decide how much fuel … Continue reading How and why pilots dump fuel
A few weeks ago, a video made the rounds on social media of a student pilot whose aircraft ended up nose first in the grass. The clip shows this individual making an approach to a runway, only to veer off to the side, tipping the aircraft onto its propellor. Happily to say, the only thing … Continue reading Missed Approach: What happens during a go-around?
It’s quite often said that the job of a pilot is very much like that of an anaesthetist. It’s pretty busy at the start and end of the operation, but in the middle it’s a bit more relaxed. With the intensity of the departure complete, the atmosphere in the flight deck relaxes. The pilots instruct … Continue reading What do pilots do during the cruise?
As winter sets in, snow and ice become a regular part of aviation. Whilst it may look great in your Instagram photos, icy conditions can cause some serious headaches for airlines and airports. Why ice and aviation don’t mix Aircraft fly not because of the engines, but because of the lift generated by the wings. … Continue reading How aircraft deal with the dangers of snow and ice
Flying halfway around the world is great, but unless you can accurately find your for way those last few hundred feet to the runway, it’s all a bit pointless. When the weather is good, pilots are able to see the airport from several miles away. However, what do we do when there is low cloud … Continue reading Runway approaching: How pilots find their way safely to the ground in all elements