Captain Al and the Spotty M

Captain Al and the Spotty M

On 5 June 1967, Monarch Airlines was established with a rather aged Bristol Britannia and I doubt that many people had any great hopes for its longevity but, when it was approaching its 50th year of operation, it fell foul of a poor economic situation and collapsed.  A year has gone by since then and Captain Al Evens recalls the events leading up to the demise of this much loved airline in this, the first part of two interviews.

A younger Al before he moved across to the Captain’s seat.

 

Happier days with a much loved airline.

 

Images under Creative Commons with thanks to Sebastian Ballard and Capt Al Evans.

Uncle Geoff

Uncle Geoff

Many of us have past generations in our family who flew during the Second World War but few of us have a wonderful diary describing the lives they lived during the conflict.  Nick Kidd’s Uncle was one of the secretive pilots who flew agents into France and supplied the Free French Resistance and this is the fascinating story of his Uncle Geoff.

The Wellington under construction showing its unusual geodesic design.

 

 

 

The Pundit system that Geoff and his navigator used to help them find their home base.

 

How to fly the corkscrew evasion manoeuvre.

 

The original version of the Wellington.

 

 

 

Images under Creative Commons Licence with thanks to UK Gov, the RAF and HMSO.

The Bong Bridge

The Bong Bridge

He was the greatest fighter pilot that ever served with the United States armed forces. A quiet and unassuming man who, even when he had more kills than the fabled Eddie Rickenbacker, insisted on going back into combat.  A remarkable pilot whose life was brought to a sadly early end.

 

Images under Creative Commons Licence with thanks to US Gov, USAF and Mikejfm.

The Cargo Gods

The Cargo Gods

To the primitive tribes of the Pacific Islands the sudden arrival of flying machines disgorging tons of wonderful cargo is beyond their understanding.  Their attempts to make sense of what is occurring leads to the creation of a remarkable new religion.

 

 

Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to the authors.

Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, Cathay 780!

Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, Cathay 780!

A gradual degradation of engine performance leads a Cathy Pacific crew into a dire situation, all due to Super Absorbent Polymer Spheres!  This is the story of Cathy 780 and the excellent job that the crew did to get their crippled aircraft onto the ground.

The incident aircraft, an Airbus A330.

Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to SA 4.0 and Aero Icarus.