An Addendum

An Addendum

Following my previous story concerning the tragic murder of both pilots on the flight deck, the son of First Officer Ray Andress wrote and told me the story from his side.  Steve Andress went on to become a USAF pilot and is now flies for a major legacy airline.   He also tells us of the work his mother undertook to ban the use of flight insurance vending machines at airports to deter others with murderous intent and we hear of a couple of other awful murder cases involving air travel.

Captain Steve Andress

 

 

With thanks to Steve for the photographs of his father which heads this story and of himself.  The image of a flight insurance vending machine under a Creative Commons licence.

Murder on the Flight Deck

Murder on the Flight Deck

Two dramatic and awful incidents when unsuspecting pilots are attacked on the Flight Deck, enough to put shivers down the spine. The title image is of Francisco Paula Gonzales, one of the murderers.

 

The Pacific Air Lines F27 that was involved in the tragedy of flight 773.

 

An Eastern Air Lines DC9.

 

The Eastern Airlines Training Centre plaque.

Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to The Beaver County Times and Jon Proctor.  The EAL plaque image is, unfortunately, unattributed.  

On Wings of Gossamer

On Wings of Gossamer

The dream of flight began with makeshift wings bound to men’s arms which, like Icarus from Green mythology failed, often with deadly results.  This is the story of the pioneers who took to the air under their own power.

Zaschka’s Human-Power Aircraft, Berlin 1934.

 

SUMPAC was the first successful human powered aircraft.

 

The Gossamer Albatross II is seen here during a test flight at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Centre, Edwards, California.

 

 

Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to Madrid, Museo del Prado, Popular Science, Nimbus227 and NASA.

 

A Little VC Tenderness

A Little VC Tenderness

The Vickers VC10 was an aircraft that was ahead of its time.  Sleek, fast and powerful it was designed to please an airline which then turned its back on it.  However, the VC10 won the hearts of many.

The RAF version of the VC10, the K3.

 

The VC10 flight deck including the ‘voice activated throttles’!

 

Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to Bahnfrend, Steve Fitzgerald and Chris Lofting.

The Dead Stick

The Dead Stick

Despite being injured during a civil war and losing the sight of an eye, Carlos Dardano became a B737 Captain for TACA.  On descent into New Orleans, he strayed into a thunderstorm with disastrous consequences.  The fate of the aircraft its crew and passengers now depended on the flying skills of the Captain.

                                                        

Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to US Gov, NTSB and other sources.

BRIXMIS

BRIXMIS

During the height of the Cold War, a most unlikely spy plane gathered intelligence over East Germany on behalf of the Western allies.  This is the little known story of the British Commander’s in Chief Mission to the Soviet forces in Germany!

The BRIXMIS logo.

 

The de Havilland Chipmunk.

 

A Soviet BMP photographed whilst a soldier aims at the Chipmunk!

 

Images under Creative Commons licence with thanks to UK Gov (BRIXMIS) under Crown Copyright, Peter Farey, Adrian Pingstone and Roy Marsden.