Did You Loose a Metal Clipboard Over Long Island? Gus Binos was washing a van outside his Long Island home when he heard the startling noise of a metal clipboard landing 20 feet from where he was standing in the driveway. The metal clipboard had flight patterns and navigation guidelines for flying through the Hudson River corridor and around the Statue of Liberty along with a runway map of MacArthur Airport. Its not mandatory for a pilot to report when a personal item accidentally falls from an aircraft and the clipboard may have been left on the aircraft’s exterior by mistake.
How Americans Used Spitfires. Sylvia, the blogger behind the Fear of Landing blog, has a very lengthy post about how American pilots used Spitfires during World War II – a fact that may not be known to many. Apparently, the Spitfire was one of the very few foreign aircraft used by the US Air Force plus they were also used by the US Navy after the Normandy landings.
North Wales at the Centre of RAF Mountain Rescue Anniversary. On another World War II note, air bases and flight training schools were forced to relocate from southeast England to more isolated spots in Wales and Scotland during the Blitz. And while that made the RAF safer from the Luftwaffe, inexperienced pilots were forced to negotiate mountainous terrain – often leading to fatal crashes and the eventual formation of RAF mountain rescue teams to save the lives of downed crews. The 7oth anniversary celebrations of the first such rescue teams will start today with a public demonstration of the rescue service’s work at the Caernarfon Airport.
World War II Bomber Poet Laid to Rest. In adidtion, the BBC has a lengthy story about RAF pilot David Raikes who wrote movingly about his World War II comrades who didn’t come back. Raikes himself was killed on an April 1945 mission to attack a bridge on the River Po in Northern Italy. After 68 years, he and the rest of the bomber crew that died with him have finally been found and laid to rest at a Commonwealth war cemetery in the city of Padua.
The Unhappy Fate of the First Air Force One. The Air Force Times has reported that the first aircraft to be designated as Air Force One and once flew President Dwight D. Eisenhower on cross-country trips (a Lockheed VC-121 Constellation 48-610 built in California in 1948), is slowly decaying in a southern Arizona field that’s part of the Marana Regional Airport. The caretaker is looking for a museum willing to restore the aircraft as it will only take $200,000 and 30 days of work by a team of mechanics to reverse the decay.
An iPad Saves a Pilot After a Navigation System Failure. Pilot Raymond Cody was flying a single-engine plane across western Colorado when the instrument panel in his cockpit stopped working. Luckily, he was able to land his aircraft using an iPad app and his cell phone to call a TSA official who coordinated with a control tower to guide him to an airport.
New FAA Rules for Commercial Pilots. In reaction to the 2009 crash of a Colgan Air airplane near Buffalo, New York, where both the captain and the first officer were relatively inexperienced, the FAA has finalized a rule that requires all commercial airline pilots hired by US carriers to have at least 1,500 hours of flight time. The new rule goes into effect on August 1st.
Rainy Day Reflections on a B-17. Finally, The Aero Experience blog has posted some cool shots of a B-17 on a rainy day in St. Louis. The photos evoke images of what it must have been like to see B-17s on a UK air base during the war.