Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Crash on the front page of the Pilot Operating Handbook

 A few days ago when I was in the cruise I pulled out a copy of that days Pilot Operating Handbook (NT News) to be confronted by a bent Cessna 210 on the front cover. Slightly disconcerting when I have nicknamed the NT News the Pilot Operating Handbook. Also a slightly misleading headline "'Tornado' causes plane crash". It was a Dust devil or whirlie whirlie if your Australian. If your wondering what a 'dust devil' is, they are the swirling winds you occasionally see in a park nearly always associated with a few crisp packets swirling around inside. I know some of you are maybe wondering; how can these little whirl winds with their swirling crisp packets bring a plane down?
When I began my first flying job in Botswana my bare foot boss warned me to never fly through a 'dust devil'. The rotating air of a 'dust devil' is enough to disrupt the airflow over the aerofoil (wing for the non technical sorts) therefore disrupting the lift created by the aerofoil (wing). Without lift a fixed wing or rotary wing (helicopter / contraption) will simply fall out of the sky. These dodgy 'dust devil' types are not always easily seen especially if it they have not picked up any dust or crisp packets. I believe this poor pilot was just caught off guard.
 Where's the Captain?
 Beech 1900 fleet on the ground outside the company hangar in Darwin.
 I had to take this picture of a 1900 in the hangar. it has the new after market box air conditioning unit modification installed on the side of the aircraft. It's not a pro aerodynamic modification at all but it does actually keep the 1900 pressurized and cool unlike the standard bleed air system....No this unit is just connected in the hangar to keep the engineers working / sleeping inside the aircraft cool.
 I took these two pictures late yesterday afternoon. The sun is behind the Saab resulting in a small rainbow silhouetted Saab shadow on this cloud layer as we are about to descend through it.
One last thing for all Australians and New Zealanders today is ANZAC day


  1. "caught off guard" typo end of 1st parah... love reading your blog! :)

  2. Thanks, I am surprised that is not the only typo you have discovered.

  3. Cheers for the interesting post. Taking a student through PFLs the other day, saw a willy willy spring up not too far below us, promptly got the hell out of there.

  4. Hi Brendan, I am glad to hear that my ramblings on this blog have provided you with the relevant information to aid in the safety of your flight.


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