Remembering the Past

Remembering Bill Schock on his 100th birthday … and the 52nd anniversary of Braniff 250 in Falls City. Also … feeling old from … time flying and stuff.

Since the AM2431 crash in Durango a few days ago appears to be from weather-related causes, never forgetting the lessons of BN250, as well as CO426, OZ809, EA66, PA759, DL191, and US1016 is as important as ever. Hope today’s flight crews are paying attention.

I Am The Roux!

I Am The Roux.

I am a loud basset.

A proud basset.

A messy basset.

A hungry basset.

A loving basset.

A force of nature.

As a puppy, I got lost and couldn’t find my way home.

I was very, very hungry. And scared.

I ended up in a sad place. The concrete was very hard.

But then someone saw my long sad face behind the chain link fence.

I was rescued!

Bad Beginnings

I’m sitting in a chair in an airport. Waiting on yet another flight. Taking a drag on a cigarette, trying to read the States-Item. Hard to concentrate since it’s been such a long day.

The best routing at the best price the travel agency could give me home to Minneapolis is a Braniff hop via a torturous route: Shreveport, Fort Smith, Tulsa, Kansas City, and Omaha. At least it’s a pretty comfortable jet, not one of the old prop jobs, which is why I went for it. If you have to hop around the midwest, might as well do it in style. It’s a brand new British type, a BAC 1-11. The one sitting on the tarmac, my ride home, is painted a kind of weird tan that the airline refers to as “ochre,” but it glows like an orange fireball in the early evening steamy Louisiana sun.

The intercom in the boarding area crackles to life. ‘Mr. Donnelly, Mr. Sean Donnelly, please see the Braniff ticket agent at gate 12,’ a disembodied voice pronounces.

Deadly Turbulence

Deadly Turbulence Book Cover Deadly Turbulence
Steve Pollock

Jet airliner operations in the United States began in 1958, bringing, it was thought, a new era of fast, high, safe, smooth, sophisticated travel. But almost immediately, the new aircraft were involved in incidents and accidents that showed jets created new problems even as they solved old ones. This book discusses five disasters or near-disasters of the early Jet Age, experiences which shook the industry, regulators and public out of early complacency and helped build a more realistic foundation for safer air transportation. Special attention is paid to the 1966 destruction of Braniff International Airways Flight 250 in Nebraska. Nearly two years of inquiry helped advance the understanding of jet operations in severe weather and saw the first use of cockpit voice recorder technology in an aviation accident investigation. In addition, a University of Chicago professor, Dr. Tetsuya "Ted" Fujita, conducted a more intensive investigation of the weather system which downed Flight 250. Dr. Fujita's already extensive knowledge of thunderstorms and tornadoes led to his creation of the Fujita Scale of Tornado Intensity, the F-scale that we hear about so frequently during storm season.

It’s release day!