Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Study: Fast Food Enhances Pilot Performance

In what appears to be a link between our nations fast-food addiction and our aviation safety record that is second to none, unhealthy foods have been shown to enhance pilot performance.

As reported by Ultra Fitness Dynamics, a University of North Dakota study has shown that "commercial airline pilots who ate a diet that was high in fat or carbohydrates performed significantly better on a flight simulator than did pilots who ate a diet high in protein."

The report went on to describe that cognitive function and sleep were also enhanced with such a diet.

The implications are clear - when you board your next flight, you want to see your pilots straining their waistbands, smacking their lips, and covered in grease.

And while no operator-specific correlations have been linked to the study, the Yum! Brands senior management team can likely rest assured that they are in good hands:
Click here for bigger photo!
Photographer © James Richard Covington

Monday, June 13, 2011

Royal Navy Dubs New King-Air Trainers "Avenger"

Having retired their 30+ year-old Jetstreams, the Royal Navy will soon be taking delivery of their replacement - converted Beechcraft King Air 350ERs:

What's interesting about these aircraft from a NIFA/Aircraft Rec perspective is their name. Soon, a King-Air 350ER in Royal Navy colors will be an "Avenger".

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Aviation Coverage in the Media

Oh, US media...when will you learn to check your facts when covering aviation stories?

Another example, this time from Fox News:

The media's lack of attention to detail is not limited to aircraft identification. It seems that every time a 737, A320, or regional jet has an issue in the air, the media soon starts talking about how the aircraft in question is dumping fuel. A capability, of course, that the aforementioned aircraft models lack. And it's not uncommon to witness a reporter bash corporate aviation, claiming that corporate pilots are "less experienced" and undergo less training than their airline counterparts.

I never notice this level of blatant disregard for accuracy in non-aviation coverage. But in the world of aviation, it seems that the opportunity for quick sensationalism trumps the opportunity for disciplined reporting.

The problem is not that reporters speculate, sometimes incorrectly, at the content of aviation-related news. Speculation can be constructive. The problem occurs when reporters either present this speculation as fact, or fail to specify that it is, in fact, speculation.


An airplane crashes. You're the reporter. You vaguely remember hearing your neighbor's stepcousin-in-law mention that this particular airline flies Airbus L-1011 aircraft.

Which do you report?

A) An airplane has crashed
B) An Airbus L-1011 has crashed

Far too often, reporters choose the equivalent of B and either present it as fact or fail to clearly specify that it is speculation.

That is the problem with the media. It amounts to a severe lack of discipline and professionalism. Qualities that, in most other professions, would justifiably lead to termination.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

History - Tupolev TB-1 Lands in Dearborn, Michigan

It's amazing what one can find in forgotten boxes in the attic. During a recent move, I uncovered this framed news clipping, given to me by a relative:

As the Milwaukee Sentinel reported on October 29, 1929:

The four flyers of the Russian plane, "Land of the Soviets", were greeted Monday by Henry Ford after their arrival from Chicago at the Ford Airport at Dearborn. The automobile manufacturer congratulated them on their achievement in conquering the storms of the northern Pacific ocean and placed the facilities of his airport at their disposal.

The Soviet airmen were guests of the engineering department of the Ford Motor Company at a luncheon in the engineering laboratories.

Monday it was announced they would continue the tourney to New York Wednesday morning. Meanwhile they will be feted by various Slavish organizations of Detroit. They will be presented with ten farm tractors which will be shipped to Russia to be used in cultivating the soil of the soviet union.

More than 5,000 persons were at the airport when the plane arrived.