Things We No Longer See on Airplanes. Mental Floss has a list of things we no longer see on airplanes, such as table-side meat carving, stewardesses in hot pants, sleeping births and even pianos. Mental Floss noted that when President Jimmy Carter signed the Airline Deregulation Act in 1978 and cost-effectiveness suddenly became a corporate concern, most of these unique amenities were quickly done away with.
Bidding Open for Harrier. Canadian businessman Ian Cotton recently did a podcast interview with AVweb about selling his almost-flyable Sea Harrier on eBay. In the interview, Ian tells how the jump jet made it to his driveway in Red Deer, Alberta.
Balloons Across the Atlantic. Pilot Jonathan Trappe, who has crossed the English Channel using a cluster of small helium balloons, is in Maine waiting for the right weather to launch across the sea. AVweb talked to him about how he is preparing for the flight, the challenges he expects to face and how we can track his progress after launch.
Jet Left at a Gas Station. Residents of Igando, a suburb of Lagos in Nigeria, woke up to the unusual sight of an Aero Commander 1121B jet at a filling station. The aircraft was allegedly last owned by the Gabriel Oduyemi World Crusade Ministry and was being towed by road from the airport (to decongest it) when one of the tyres burst – forcing whoever was towing it to park it at the filling station.
Fatal Accident Statistics. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has published a study of recent world-wide air accidents which revealed nearly 40% of all fatal accidents involved some kind of loss of control, 40% or so involved at least one airworthiness related causal factor and two-thirds involved at least one flight operations related causal factor. The full report (Global Fatal Accident Review 2002-2011) is available for download.
Fractional Ownership Company. General Aviation News has a lengthy article explaining how fractional ownership company PlaneSmart! works. Basically, PlaneSmart!’s business model is to buy a high-end aircraft and then sell shares to customers starting at 1/4th share. Customer down payments range from $1,500 to $7,500 (depending on the aircraft model), with a monthly payment from $1,164 to $3,295. Clients also get up to 150 flight hours per year. However, a quick look at the few comments posted shows that some pilots aren’t exactly impressed with the idea!
High Jackers Restaurant. Finally, Air Facts has a review of a unique restaurant called the High Jackers Restaurant located at the Flagler County Airport, Palm Coast, Florida (just north of Daytona Beach and South of Jacksonville). Would-be patrons are warned in the review that they “better bring an appetite and bring a plane that can handle a full belly load takeoff.”