A little jumpy as they didn’t have image stabilization on little cameras back then:
Some parts of the City I recognize easily and other parts I don’t…
You know, like this:
“JetBlue Airways and KaBOOM! Embark on their 15th Playground Build Together”
Speaking of which, do you know how long it’s been since somebody in America got on a big jet plane and then died from an aviation incident?
It’s been 11 years.
It’s been 11 years since a pilot above Lon Guyland destroyed an Airbus by treating his rudder pedals like a StairMaster machine.
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But that was all the way back in 2001.
A pretty good record, non?
When I was as young as you, Gentle Reader, Boeings and Airbuses and McDonnell Douglases and Lockheeds would fall out of the sky all the time. Engines would fall off, planes would crash into each other, terrorists would hijack and whatnot, but the past decade there’s been nothing.
Oh, I know what you’re thinking, but that was a propeller plane, not a jet.
Oh, I know what you’re thinking, but that was a little jet, one of them tiny corporate jets, or a “regional” jet, not a “big jet plane.”
Oh, I know what you’re thinking, but that was a airport worker what got killed, not a passenger.
Oh, I know what you’re thinking, but that was a flight leaving Brazil, not a flight leaving or coming to America.
Oh, I know what you’re thinking, but that was an accident what occurred before 2002.
A remarkable record, IMO.
But even so, “JetBlue Airways and KaBOOM!” probably shouldn’t be so close together on the same press release.
Took my chances on a big jet plane
Never let them tell you that they’re all the same.
Hey man, nice shot.
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Hey, can you guess which street in San Francisco was remade to be a firebreak, you know, around 1906? Sure you can. Just look at the photo. You see, it, unlike the useless, quarter-mile long, Octavia Boulevard “Livable Streets” experiment, is wide for a reason.
Omni-Vision – This referred to the rear windows on some Cessna singles, starting with the 182 and 210 in 1962, the 172 in 1963 and the 150 in 1964. The term was intended to make the pilot feel visibility was improved on the notably poor-visibility Cessna line. The introduction of the rear window caused in most models a loss of cruise speed due to the extra drag, while not adding any useful visibility
Adam Savage would like to borrow your airplane for a few days:
“ATTENTION! Anyone have a 200+ seat plane we can use (no flying) for 2-3 days in the Bay Area? We won’t blow it up. WRITE email@example.com”
See? They won’t blow it up.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking, “What about the Getty Jet?”
But I think that old gas-guzzling Boeing 727* is too small.
But what about the big Google Jets? Either the 757 or wide-body 767 should work.
Now, what are the Mythbusters up to?
*There’s nothing wrong with The Jetty per se, it’s just that it’s old school so your chances of dying on it are one or two orders of magnitude greater that what they’d be on the JetBlue or something. And it’s not possible to upgrade all its low-bypass engines to a more modern design. Therefore it’s expensive to operate compared to jets that weren’t designed half a century ago.
Yesterday, owing to the unusual winds what blew away* the fog, I saw jumbo jets above S.F. in places where I normally don’t, but I couldn’t really hear them. (I guess jets have gotten a lot quieter these days.)
Like this low-flying United Air 747-400 near the Ferry Building – you could hardly hear it:
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*I suppose – cf. yesterday’s Blue Sky Red Bridge from Burrito Justice
There I was monitoring recent Zeppelin activity over the 415 and what do I see but an old-school Allegiant Air McDonnell Douglas DC9 / MD80 / MD85 / MD90 / whatever flying out of OAK.
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You can buy a used jetliners with ancient low-bypass engines for as cheap as $4,000,000 and then start up an airline? Did not know that.
Anyway, these kinds of planes are old, baby.
But you can fly to Phoenix, AZ for $32* so I guess that’s some consolation.
*Plus fees, baby. Lots and lots and lots of fees.
Down with the landing gear
Up goes the useless prayer
Does it make sense to commute to Los Angeles for work, assuming you had a pilot’s license and an airplane? I don’t know.
Does it make sense to listen to the advice of your air traffic controller concerning the advisability of taking off into heavy fog, even if you don’t have to? Yes it does.
Is there a reason why pilots are told to turn over the Bay after takeoff? Yes there is.
Here’s what people down Palo Alto Way are saying.
The former N5225J, a Cessna 310R with relatively new, perfectly-fine-at-the-time engines:
(I’ll tell you, I don’t know why our federal government subsidizes Tesla Automotive (and for that matter, General Monkeybusiness in Detroit). Was Tesla paying for the avgas that this Cessna was burning? Does Tesla reimburse CEO Elon Musk for the jet fuel that he burns as he joyrides around the world, as is his wont? I think Tesla used to, but I don’t know about these days. You know, for an electric car company what’s produced not a whole bunch of electric cars, Tesla seems to burn up a lot of petroleum…)
Anyway, here’s the summary – the whole thing you’ll find after the jump.
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, February 17, 2010 in Palo Alto, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/22/2011
Aircraft: CESSNA 310R, registration: N5225J
Injuries: 3 Fatal.
The pilot departed the airport in near-zero visibility instrument meteorological conditions, and shortly after takeoff, struck a power pole and power lines before impacting terrain. Review of recorded air traffic control tower (ATCT) transmissions revealed that the pilot was initially given his instrument flight rules (IFR) clearance to turn right to a heading of 060 degrees and climb to 3,000 feet. Shortly after verifying his IFR clearance, the pilot received his IFR release from the ATCT controller and was informed that the runway was not visible to the controller. The controller further informed the pilot that takeoff was at his own risk. Shortly after, the controller notified the pilot that he had two minutes for his IFR release, before it expired. The pilot stated that he did not hear a “cleared for takeoff” instruction from the controller. The controller responded that he could not clear the pilot for takeoff, due to not having the runway environment in sight and that “the release is all yours and it’s at your own risk sir.” The pilot acknowledged the transmission and proceeded to take off. One witness, who was adjacent to the accident site, reported that she observed an airplane “suddenly appear from the fog” left of her position. The witness stated that she continued to watch the airplane fly in a level or slightly nose up attitude until it impacted power lines.
Accident site evidence was indicative of a level impact with a power pole about 50 feet above ground level (agl) and at a high airspeed. All major structural components of the airplane were located within the wreckage debris path. Examination of the airframe, engines and propellers disclosed no evidence of any preimpact mechanical anomaly. Weather conditions reported five minutes prior to the accident were wind variable at 5 knots, visibility 1/8th mile, fog, and vertical visibility of 100 feet agl. Weather conditions recorded by the ATCT 11 minutes after the time of the accident were visibility 1/16th mile, fog, and a vertical visibility of 100 feet agl.
Local law enforcement provided recordings from a sound recording system, which captured the accident sequence. The recordings were coupled with airport surveillance radar to interpolate a flightpath for the airplane. The interpolated flightpath indicated an approximate 45-degree left turn shortly after departure to the area of initial impact with the power pole and power lines. A sound spectrum study determined both engines were operating near full power.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident as follows:
The pilot’s failure follow the standard instrument departure as instructed, and his failure to attain a sufficient altitude to maintain clearance from power lines during takeoff in instrument meteorological conditions.”
Well we made it. We’ve gone ten years without a passenger dying on a commercial jetliner flying above America, or coming to America or leaving from America. (Now that doesn’t include regional jets – I’m talking about jet airliners, narrow-body or wide-body, made by Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed, or McDonnell Douglas.)
The last day passengers died was November 12th, 2001 on American Airlines Flight 587.
Of course, we’ve had some close calls since then, like with that shoe bomber guy or with Sully Sullenberger and his famous water landing.
Military flights, well that’s a different story. Capt. Christopher Stricklin punches out (and lives to tell the tale) 200 feet above Idaho:
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(And this no-deaths record doesn’t include smaller aircraft like regional jets or turboprops or private airplanes.)
Needless to say, this streak of good luck hasn’t happened before. Back in the day, back in the 1960′s, 1970′s, 1980′s and 1990′s, people would die on big jets all the time.
But not anymore.
Remember that Yak-50 what used to buzz about the bay area? Good times. (See below for some shots taken from the East Peak of Mt. Tam.)
Well this is better, this one’s a Yak-52 (Як-52). Hurray!
(It probably killed fewer pilots per hour than the single-seat Yak-50, so that’s nice.)
As seen from Land’s End:
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What kind of crazy airplanes will Mother Russia send over next?
“This Russian-made Yak-50 acrobatic airplane used to be seen all over the skies of the San Francisco Bay Area – buzzing Mount Tam in Marin County, checking out anti-abortion rallies along San Francisco’s waterfront, that kind of thing.
But here’s your take-away, babe: These things had a working life of just 50 hours back in Mother Russia, as the stress of all them 9G loop de loops and whatnot led to bad things, such as “main spar collapse.” Ouch.
Anyway, looks like fun:
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Canon 1D Mark II with 300mm 2.8 IS I and 2x extender – ISO 400 and lots of digital zoom: