A Tale of Two Captains. Over the past week, the Costa Concordia grounding in Italy has dominated the airwaves but Paul Bertorelli has pointed out on AVweb that it happened roughly three years to the day that Chesley B. Sullenberger III ditched USAir 1549 into the Hudson River (January 15th, 2009) – and more importantly, stayed on board until the last passenger was safely off. Rob Mark has also written extensively about the Costa Concordia accident and why in aviation, its always about the passengers but Jon Ostrower of FlightBlogger probably summed things up best with the juxtaposition of these two photos that do a good job of showing safety and professionalism – or the lack of both in the later case:
NTSB Hearing on Air Shows and Air Races. In other news, General Aviation News has reported that the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently had a day long meeting back on January 10th that concluded that both air shows and air races are safe in the USA – but could be made even safer. The meeting was called after the Reno Air Races tragedy last September that killed 11 people and injured 70 others.
All About Aircraft Leasing. If you have ever wondered how the global aircraft leasing business works, the Cranky Flier Blog has a lengthy discussion of the business from a guest writer. You might be surprised to learn that Ireland is a global hub for aircraft leasing with 9 of the top 10 leasing firms in the world operating there thanks in large part to favorable corporate tax rates that make aircraft leasing competitive.
How Much Do You Know About Your Aircraft Engines? On a safety note, the Air Safety Institute safety quiz will test your knowledge about general aviation engines.
Cape Cod to Cape Horn in a 172. On an interesting note, AVweb has a podcast interview with Chris and Corinne McLaughlin who are on their way down the coast of South America in a 1978 Skyhawk for a two-month journey from Cape Cod to Cape Horn to raise awareness about the need for more organ donors. Chris was once a 747 pilot but became ill and eventually received an organ donation that saved his life.
ASA Adds Another iPad Kneeboard. If you are looking for a kneeboard for your iPad, General Aviation News has reported that ASA has added a second iPad kneeboard to its product line. Kneeboard also includes a plastic cover that not only protects the iPad screen but also allows for complete touch-screen functionality.
Plans for a Hypersonic Passenger Plane. Finally, the BBC News Magazine has recently reported about the European Space Agency’s goal to create a hypersonic passenger plane that can fly more than five times faster than the speed of sound and six times faster than a standard airliner – meaning it will be able to fly from Europe to Australia in just four hours. Nevertheless and while some progress has been made, there are plenty of problems and issues that need to be solved before you can jet off to Australia for a long weekend.