Archive for the ‘aircraft’ Category


Monday, September 21st, 2015

Ah let’s head back to nature. Do you see – it’s hard to spot:

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This is better:

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Here we go, at the bottom – there’s a clear shot:

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And then, back to its master:

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Are drones legal in California State Parks like 4.5 starred Emerald Bay?

Sure, for now.

That’s good, ’cause people be flying drones all over the place these days. (You’ll hear them before you see them, most likely. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM…)

When You See, Hear, and Feel Fighter Jets Over Frisco, Most of the Time They’re These F/A-18’s from Naval Air Station Lemoore

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

Or slightly bigger jets, these days, mostly.

As seen from the Marina Green, back in aught-13:

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Naval Air Station Lemoore, 93246

And he’s peeling off those dollar bills
Slapping them down
One hundred, two hundred
And I can see those fighter planes
And I can see those fighter planes

Flat-Hatting, 94129 – Flying So Close to the Presidio, People Could Read Your Registration Number, Except You Don’t Have One

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015


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Altitude Restrictions –

  • Over Congested Areas – when over any city, town or settlement, a pilot shall maintain 1000’ above the highest obstacle within a horizontal distance of 2000’
  • Over other than congested areas – 500 AGL is the minimum altitude and must not get within 500 feet to any person, vessel or vehicle
  • Anywhere a plane is flying, he must have time to land if he has engine failure”

Press Release: “Asiana suit dismissal vindicates firefighters’ ‘heroic efforts’ in tragic crash, Dennis Herrera says”

Friday, August 7th, 2015

Just released, see below.

I don’t know. The NTSB weighed in and the SFFD certainly DID NOT get an A+ grade, to say the least:

“The overall triage process in this mass casualty incident was effective with the exception of the failure of responders to verify their visual assessments of the condition of passenger 41E.

The San Francisco Fire Department’s aircraft rescue and firefighting staffing level was instrumental in the department’s ability to conduct a successful interior fire attack and successfully rescue five passengers who were unable to self-evacuate amid rapidly deteriorating cabin conditions.

Although no additional injuries or loss of life were attributed to the fire attack supervisor’s lack of aircraft rescue and firefighting (ARFF) knowledge and training, the decisions and assumptions he made demonstrate the potential strategic and tactical challenges associated with having non-ARFF trained personnel in positions of command at an airplane accident.

Although some of the communications difficulties encountered during the emergency response, including the lack of radio interoperability, have been remedied, others, such as the breakdown in communications between the airport and city dispatch centers, should be addressed.

The Alert 3 section of the San Francisco International Airport’s emergency procedures manual was not sufficiently robust to anticipate and prevent the problems that occurred in the accident response.”

Here’s some more on Flight 214 from San Francisco Magazine. Some quotes in there from SFFD personnel appeared to show a bit of self deception, IMO.

And there’s this, from the San Jose Mercury News:

San Francisco’s emergency personnel also were criticized. While praising firefighters for rescuing several passengers from the burning wreckage and having more than the required number of personnel on hand, the report said “the arriving incident commander placed an officer in charge of the fire attack” who hadn’t been properly trained. The responders also had communication problems, including being unable “to speak directly with units from the airport on a common radio frequency” and didn’t rush medical buses to the scene, which “delayed the arrival of backboards to treat seriously injured passengers.” In addition, the report said airport emergency officials in general lack policies “for ensuring the safety of passengers and crew at risk of being struck or rolled over by a vehicle” during rescue operations. During the chaotic initial response to the Asiana crash, two firetrucks ran over one of the teenage passengers lying outside the plane. The San Mateo County coroner ruled the girl was alive when she was hit, but the San Francisco Fire Department disputes that finding.

Obviously, this was an aircraft accident that involved pilot error, as most do. Equally obviously, some of the problems on that day showed that the SFFD wasn’t training properly, realistically.

All right, here’s the release:

“Asiana suit dismissal vindicates firefighters’ ‘heroic efforts’ in tragic crash, Herrera says. City Attorney adds, ‘Our hearts go out to the parents of Ye Ming Yuan and to all the surviving loved ones of the three who lost their lives’ in 2013’s Asiana tragedy

SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 7, 2015) — Parents of the 16-year-old passenger who was ejected and killed in the crash of Asiana Flight 214 on July 6, 2013 dismissed their civil lawsuit against the City and County of San Francisco today. Neither the plaintiffs nor their attorneys appear to have issued a public statement accompanying their dismissal, which was filed in U.S. District Court this afternoon.

City Attorney Dennis Herrera issued the following statement in response:

“Our hearts go out to the parents of Ye Ming Yuan and to all the surviving loved ones of the three who lost their lives in the tragic crash of Asiana Flight 214. We’re grateful for a dismissal that will spare everyone involved the added heartache and costs of litigation, which we believed from the beginning to be without legal merit.
“As we remember those who lost their lives in the Asiana crash, I hope we acknowledge, too, the heroic efforts of San Francisco’s firefighters and police who saved hundreds of lives that day. With thousands of gallons of venting jet fuel threatening unimaginable calamity, our firefighters initiated a daring interior search-and-rescue that within minutes extricated trapped passengers, and moved them safely to medical triage. In the face of great danger to their own lives, our emergency responders showed heroism and selflessness that day. They deserve our honor and gratitude.”

The National Transportation Safety Board determined that the crash of Asiana flight 214 was caused by the Asiana flight crew’s mismanagement in approaching and inadequately monitoring the airspeed of the Boeing 777 on its approach to San Francisco International Airport, according to the NTSB’s June 24, 2014 announcement. The NTSB also found that the flight crew’s misunderstanding of the autothrottle and autopilot flight director systems contributed to the tragedy.

On July 3, 2014, NTSB Member Mark R. Rosekind issued a concurrent statement that praised San Francisco’s first responders: “The critical role of the emergency response personnel at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) and the firefighters from the San Francisco Fire Department cannot be underestimated. Although certain issues regarding communications, triage, and training became evident from the investigation and must be addressed, emergency responders were faced with the extremely rare situation of having to enter a burning airplane to perform rescue operations. Their quick and professional action in concert with a diligent flight crew evacuated the remaining passengers and prevented this catastrophe from becoming much worse. In addition, the emergency response infrastructure and resources at SFO that supported firefighting and recovery after the crash are admirable, significantly exceeding minimum requirements.”

Asiana Flight 214 struck the seawall short of SFO’s Runway 28L shortly before 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, July 6, 2013, beginning a violent impact sequence that sheared off the tail assembly, rotated the aircraft approximately 330 degrees, and created a heavy cloud of dust and debris before the aircraft finally came to rest approximately 2300 feet from its initial site of impact. The sheared-off tail assembly and force of rotation resulted in the ejection of five people: two crewmembers still strapped into the rear jump seats, and three passengers seated in the last two passenger rows. All three ejected passengers suffered fatal injuries: two died at the scene, and one died six days later.

With nearly 3,000 gallons of jet fuel venting from fuel lines where two engines detached during the crash sequence, a fire started in one engines that was wedged against the fuselage. A fire also began in the insulation lining the fuselage interior, beginning near the front of the aircraft. The interior fire produced heavy smoke inside the aircraft and posed extremely dangerous conditions given the volatility of leaking jet fuel and its proximity to potentially explosive oxygen tanks. In the face of imminent explosion, the rescue effort safely evacuated and triaged of some 300 people. Asiana flight 214 carried 307 individuals: 4 flight crew, 12 cabin crewmembers and 291 passengers. Three of the 291 passengers were fatally injured.

The case is: Gan Ye and Xiao Yun Zheng, et al v. City and County of San Francisco, et al., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, case no. C14-04941, filed Aug. 13, 2014. Learn more about the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office at”

Tech Bros Use a Drone to Lasso Our Famous McKinley Statue with a Hula Hoop? Sure Looks That Way

Thursday, April 2nd, 2015

Of all the insults Bill McKinley has endured over the years, this has got to be the worst.

Don’t say side-boob, don’t say side-boob…


Now if you filled the hula hoop up with something, there’s a chance that could you impart enough momentum to toss it up there.

But if this is just a regular, unaltered hoop, then a drone is prolly what these, these urban thugs used.

I am the ghost of Troubled Joe / Hoop’d by his pretty white neck / Some eighteen days ago

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And our somewhat corrupt RPD is now droneless, oh no!

I call for a General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper to loiter above the eastern portion of the GGP Panhandle, you know, an armed patrol, to show the tech bros that WE MEAN BUSINESS!

And who are the prime suspects? It’s these two, recently spotted loitering near the monument:

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And if not them, then it was this crew.


Two Tech Bros/Nerds Enjoy Their New Drone in the Golden Gate Park Panhandle

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015


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Just some good ol’ bros nerds
Never meanin’ no harm.
Beats all you never saw
Been in trouble with their drones
Since the day they was born

Peepin’ through your windows
Crashin’ on your head
Someday the mountain might get ‘em
But the law never will

Formation Flying: 56 Years After The Day The Music Died, Two Beech Bonanzas Buzz SF – Like a G[3]6, Like a G[3]6

Friday, February 20th, 2015

(Your choice – you can play Like a G6 or American Pie* as you look at photos of these Beechcraft Bonanza G36’s.)

This was the scene yesterday over Market Street. I ain’t never seen this:

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What’s this, a joyride? Or is somebody making a video? I don’t get it. This is like the General Aviation version of the Blue Angels.

I’ll just say that this is dangerous flying.

Gee, if I could only get an N-number as this formation circles over South of Market, the Twitterloin, the Western Addition, etc. My aging Canon prolly shouldn’t have been set at ISO 25600 and this pair was a little too far away from my 200mm lens as they flew in and out of the fog, oh well:

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Oh, I know, how about N301RB for a registration number? Hello Brent Wolfe of Phoenix, Arizona.

Welcome to Frisco.

*Yeah, the $70 million Gulfstream G650 was supposed to be called the G6, hence the song title. But it turned out that the name G6 was only actually applied to a kind of Pontiac, which was a car line, back in the day. Speaking of history, Buddy Holly died in a V-tail** Bonanza back in 1959.

**Yeah, 60 Minutes made a big deal about the differences betwixt the accident rate of V-tailed versus straight-tailed Bonanzas, but most of the deaths had to do with inexperienced pilots flying into known bad weather. Another factor was that v-tailed Bonanzas certainly look bad-ass – they have a strong “ramp appeal,” so they attracted the wrong element, you know, people like Steve Wozniak, people who are successful in the non-flying realm. “Forked Tail Doctor Killer” is the phrase that covers this phenomenon. The next step up in status would be a Piper Saratoga or something, or, Heaven forbid, a twin-engined aircraft, and that’s when you know you’re a baller…

The Dashcams of Taiwan: Incredible Video of the Crash of Transasia Flight GE235 – Sullenberger-Style River Landing Saves Some Lives?

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Nothing goes unrecorded by the car dash cams of Taiwan:

TransAsia Airways Flight 235 looks to have lost a lot of power from its left engine. But assuming that the propeller blades of the failing engine were feathered to lessen drag, there’s no reason why a properly-loaded ATR 72 shouldn’t have been able to climb out to a safe altitude using the remaining engine.

There appears to be a lot of data recorded on this crash, so they mystery should be solved soon…

How the Giant Airbus A380 is a Fuel-Hungry Dinosaur and How Smaller Mammals are Eating Its Eggs – The 80 Meter Box

Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Here you go, let’s take a look at two recent flights out of SFO.

An Airbus A380:

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And here’s a Boeing 777, which is an older design, but it’s not yet a flying dinosaur:

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Here’s why. What are the differences you see? Doesn’t the A380 look sort of stubby to you? Part of that has to do with the 80 Meter Box, which is the reason why the wingspan is 79 point-something meters. The wings were made as long as possible, so they just barely fit inside that box. The result is a design that isn’t aerodynamically efficient. Also the wings were made too big and too strong* in order to accommodate anticipated future stretched models. So that means that if the A380 never gets stretched, then it will be burdened by too short, too strong wings for its whole life. (And look at the A380’s huge tailplane in the back – that’s another sign of its stubbiness. It’s too close the wings, so it needs to be bigger and heavier, ala the even-stubbier Boeing 747SP.) Future 777s will have folding wingtips, the better to be long and thin in flight, but easier to move about the gate area. Mmmm…

Also, four engines vs. two. Well, if you want to build big big big, then four engines is the way to go, but why would you want to build so big? Well, efficiencies, but landing slots at big international airports aren’t as precious as Airbus anticipated. If you think that international flight will grow spectacularly and that the hub and spoke system will dominate, well then, yeah, it’d be nice to get as many passengers as possible into the limited number of flights you’re allowed. But that’s not the point we’re at now, so maybe Airbus built the A380 “too soon?” It’s sure looking that way. And then Airbus is stuck with four older-style engines sucking up fuel. Unless, they want to hang newer style engines off of the wings, but that change would take a long time and cost a lot of money. But then it’d still be too stubby.

It’s incredible how it is was billed as some kind of revolutionary “green” aircraft just eight years ago. Anyway, that’s the fuel-hungry dinosaur part.

Now, where are the smaller mammals? Well they’re coming, they’re the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350. Look at what you can do with them – you can more easily avoid those those big, crowded airports, right?

So we’ll just have to wait and see how things go for the A380. Maybe the world will change soon enough for the A380 to start making sense, despite its shortcomings. But until that happens, the A380 is nothing but a superjumbo jobs program, something the Euros can waste $20 billion of development money on, to put workers to work, all over Europe and in a few American states as well.

(It’s like the Concorde program all over again, spending big bucks to sell thirsty four-engined aircraft at less than cost.)

Oh well.

IMO, if Airbus wanted a big hub and spoke airliner, it should have built a big big twinjet, which would have fit into the 80 meter (or whatever) box more efficiently.

Boxes are efficient for watermelons, but not for jetliners – that’s how it works.

It’s halftime for the A380 and it’s down by three touchdowns.

Oh well.

Maybe it was just a bad idea…

*Or I should say designed too strong. The wing crack issue is there, but it doesn’t go to show how the A380 was fundamentally a bad idea for its time. It was just something that happened. My point is that the wings on the current and only A380 don’t really match the rest of the current and only A380, even leaving aside the 80 Meter Box

US Navy C-2A Greyhound Caught Flying Over Alcatraz with Its Cargo Ramp Down

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

How embarrassing!

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Click to expand

My first thought was that they might have been doing photography…