Come Fly with Me

Offbeat and Various Aviation Blurbs

Where are they now…

 The Spruce Goose

While driving to the Oregon Coast, came across this Air Museum, Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum …  We go into have a look and this is what we see…  020We were surprised that they had gotten a Seaplane that never got 30 feet off the ground at a museum that is about 40 miles from the sea.  It actually made the hairs on my neck tingle, here was such a beautiful remnant of a bygone era.  And they even allowed people to go and sit in the cockpit, of course you had to wear the Howard Hughes hat..   057055

This thing only made one ‘flight’, but when I look out across the wing you could see why this thing barely broke the bonds of earth, engine technology just was not there in the day..



How Stories can change over time…

B-17-All-American-FlightI have included a reference to an article below..  B-17 “All American”  In a similar situation as the author of this article, I too received an email from a colleague this morning with the italicized portion and the parchment handwritten letter..  I at first thought this was an incredible story, and the core part is true, it was just that some of the supporting facts were quite a bit stretched.  The part about the planes flying back to England from North Africa was a stretch..  So I Googled  the aircraft name and found this article.  This now made sense.  The plane only had to fly back 300 miles to its home base in North Africa after it got struck.  Even in pristine shape this plane could never go this distance, this sounds more like a more recent story whereby the Americans bombed Libya and used England for a base for there bombers back in 1986..  Libya gets Bombed ..

The basic Story is very heroic, these crews and airplanes took a real pounding during the Second World War..  Stories are lost and sometimes rewritten, but we owe a lot to these brave crews…  Lest We Forget..

Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour..

032As per usual, cannot go anywhere and have things go smoothly..  While on a visit the Boeing aircraft plant in Everett, WA, which is just north of Seattle.  Just taking in a bit of fresh air after the tour, and as we are on the observation deck where the PA is tied to usually mundane tower chatter, I hear the word ‘MAYDAY’ repeated three times..  Translated it means aircraft declaring emergency.. Then I hear ‘ME 262 inbound with landing gear issue, no positive lock’..  Which means he is not sure if his gear is down and locked, no green light on dashboard…  After doing a couple of passes by the control tower to check to see if his gear was down, he landed safely..

The Messerschmitt Me 262 is the first jet powered aircraft to fly.  It’s development started before World War 2 by the German’s..  Luckily for our side it did not see action until the war was almost over…  I had never seen one fly until that day here at Paine Field, which is where the Boeing plant is located..  A lot of civilian traffic moves through here, on a previous occasion a friend of ours took us up in his little Cessna 172.  We passed a Boeing 747-400, similar to the one in the background off to the right side of the picture, boy did that make us feel small, if he would of turned on his engines it would have blown us to Seattle..

The Museum and Plant tour is well worth the trip..   Unfortunately you cannot take pictures while on the tour, seriously you can get arrested for doing so, Homeland Security stuff..  It is hard to describe how large a building it is (background just off to the left), They have four different aircraft being assembled on four separate lines, the 747, 767, 777 and the new 787.   They usually have 3-4 fully or close to being fully assembled of each type within that building, plus quite a few others at various stages..  Nowadays they refer to these new types of factories as assembly buildings..  Major components are built all over the world, then are shipped here to be slapped together..  BTW the planes on the right side are waiting for the paint shop, which is on this side of the Freeway(526)… this is where this is.. Were am I??

Out for a paddle one day when this happens..

We were just out one day enjoying a three day white water trip down the Rogue River in Oregon when these visitors drop in on us…

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There was a forest fire on the other side of the valley, so these guys were picking up water in the river..  The big guy on left is the Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane.  In fire fighting mode it can scoop up almost 20,000 lbs of water through a one foot diameter hose..  Will post some video later of this operation. 

A lot of the terms in Aviation terms came from our days as a seafaring nation.. As the big green guy hovers we are being blown around by the wiper wash and wake caused by this, when you turn right, you are turning to starboard..  Even speed is measured in knots.. one knot = 1.852Km/hr = 1.15mph.. 

BTW- cruising down the Rogue river is a nice way to spend a few days, normally you don’t get an airshow like we did, but there is a lot of wild life..


Air Safety and a little twist thrown in..

Sometimes in order to drive something home, some serious information can be conveyed through some alternate means.  This video is from Air New Zealand, they have taken the normal boring but very important safety video and thrown in a little twist..  They have a different sense of humour down there..

Unfortunately a lot of people take these safety videos for granted.. what I usually get questioned about is the storing of electronic devices and the fact that it interferes with the airplane.  Have to explain that the headphones can become a serious tripping hazard and the iPod could become implanted in someone should there be an emergency..  they really have nothing to do with aircraft radios and more to do with the fact that the less clutter in an emergency the better, don’t want things flying around in cabin..  Also tell them the story about the person out west who got hit by a helicopter that was crashing, they had their headphones on and did not hear the screeching as it plummeted to earth.  Mind you a have an issue with people walking around in public with these devices on to begin with, let alone cycling through traffic..  But I will let the folks that deal with the Darwin Awards preside over that topic..

As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly..

Ok, so this is really not aviation related, but this is one of my favourite scenes from a sitcom.  And really they did have a helicopter, and Les Nessman is sounding like he is reporting on the Hindenburg disaster, so I am close ..

Considering it is Thanksgiving in Canada this weekend, I thought I would bring some fun and frivolity into this blog this week..

For the younger viewers, ‘WKRP In Cincinnati’ was popular sitcom that ran from 1978-82..  More info here: History of WKRP

Have fun with this and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

How to land an Airliner properly..

I found this really interesting video.  It shows the maiden voyage of an Airbus 380 into San Francisco(SFO) by Lufthansa.  As apposed to some of my own videos, these are professionally done by .  If you can, watch this at 1080P you will see a lot of the detail better..

This flight LH454 is now a daily from Frankfurt(FRA) to San Francisco(SFO).  I am posting this other worthwhile page that allows you to track any flight, so next time before you head to the airport you will know exactly where you plane is, in this case I have LH454 being tracked.. Where is my plane..

Just a little FYI, at the end of the video the Captain is discussing activities they are doing the next day while in San Francisco.  At the end he mentions they are going to the Cliff House in San Francisco for dinner, if you are ever in town that is an excellent place to eat and the scenery is spectacular!!

Before I leave this post, the title of this post refers to a proper landing at SFO.. As you watch the video you will notice they are landing 28R, a few months ago an Asiana Airlines Flight showed how not to land.  You can actually see the seawall the plane hit on 28L..

Just realized I may be using terms folks are not familiar with.  As an example, 28R..  These are runway designations, this tells me the runway is pointing to 280 degrees as per a compass heading, as we approach from the south and the ‘R’ refers to the right runway.  If we were landing from the north heading south this same runway is labelled 10L(100 Degrees) at the other end. SFO Runway Map  At larger airports the letter is added because they may have multiple runways pointed in the same direction, you may see the ‘R’, ‘L’ or even ‘C’ which stands for centre runway.  Needless to say smaller airports like Hamilton(YHM) International will not have letters after the numbers because they have only single runways in any one direction.   BTW, the three letters you see after the the names are just short forms, you have probably noticed them on your luggage tags the airlines use..  YYZ is Toronto International..

Now you know..

Just because this is cool

That Friend of mine who fly’s for Air Canada, we will call him Don, actually that is his name…  He occasionally posts these short video clips from the cockpit of his 777.   This one is kind of cool which is why I am posting it..  To set the scene for you, night is approaching, they are entering Russian Airspace on there way to China.  They are traveling at almost 900km/h at 31,000′, or as they say in the industry, they are at flight level three one zero..  Just binging a little education into the posts, feel that everyday you should pick up something you did not know before..″width=”568″height=”320″frameborder=”0″


fernflyNo, I only play one on TV…  Just kidding.  I was leaving class last week and a young Lady asked if I was a pilot,  her brother is wanting to get into aviation and wants to be a pilot.  I explained why I wound up where I did and given that aviation is in my blood, anytime I fly I look forward to the flight more than the destination..  Being a pilot is a passion, mind you the money is not bad once you get into the top tier, but not everyone gets there.

A couple I know are both First Officers(aka Co-pilots), the guys/gals, in this case, with three stripes on the shoulder, Captain’s have four stripes..  They are both with Air Canada and fly the Boeing 777, which is the largest aircraft in Air Canada’s fleet AIr Canada Boeing 777-300.  They only do a few flights a month, but are usually away for at least 3-4 days at a time.  They have been around the world. It probably took 15-20 years to reach this level, they have been through layoffs and all the hassles of doing the commuter flying.  They are the exception, most pilots usually never hit that level, they wind up doing more cycles per day(Take offs and landings) on the smaller aircraft.

Most people get into aviation because it is in there blood, if you approach it to become rich you will be disappointed.  You also get a certain rush when you fly, the picture I have posted is obviously pre 9/11, thank god I got rid of the cheesy mustache!!  The one friend I spoke of used to take me ‘flying’, it was a simulator, but it was a real Air Canada simulator.  First time I went, when I got home that evening I boxed up my Flight Simulator program on my computer and threw it out.

Like sports or anything else in life, you have to enjoy what you are doing, not everyone gets to play for the Blue Jays, but a lot of us enjoy the sport.  Have some fun, and if you get paid for it even better..

Why the BLOG?

As part of my Business Administration Diploma from McMaster University, and as my second last course towards it’s completion, I am taking ‘Building Social Media Relationships’. I have dealt with the Internet since 1995 as part of my job as the Network Operations Manager for the Halton District School Board, tracking abuse, hackers and the like. Apart from using email, search engines and Facebook I have never really paid much attention to the other various tools.
As part of the outcomes, I want to establish a real comfort level with tools that are out there, Blogs being one of them. I did not realize that I have inadvertently been reading blogs till I started this course a few weeks ago.
When we were asked to start a blog as part of the course, Aviation was the first thing I thought of. Growing up I wanted to be a pilot, but not having 20/20 vision in the early 80’s kept me out of commercial and military careers. This prerequisite has since changed. I have good friends who I live vicariously through and I have spent a fair time traveling. So in this Blog you will see trivia and other antidotes, even some very cool video, or at least I think so, that in some cases I have shot myself.
Social Media today is sown into the fabric of everything we are involved in nowadays. Has anyone looked for a phone booth lately?? For most of the free world, whatever you need is just at your finger tips. Which brings up one of the major things I want to get out of this course. Knowing what the various tools and what context they can be used in or used for, let’s realize that there is a dark under belly to all these tools. Being responsible for security on a day to day basis makes you question a lot of things. This is why it is always best ‘know your enemy’, so by establishing a comfort level and being acquainted with the various delivery vehicle’s will allow me to function better.
Besides being all forthright and proper, sometimes making someone chuckle is acceptable, as you see in some of my posts. And maybe we can both learn something…
By the way, or as the cool kids say, ‘BTW’.. Any medium which chronicles the activities cat and has a over a million followers is well worth the effort to understand it..

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