Blog Archives

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MALAYSIA AIRLINES JET SHOT DOWN IN UKRAINE
The crash of MH17 becomes the seventh-deadliest air disaster in history. Plus: flying over hostile areas.

NOW AND ZEN. THE GREATEST ALBUM OF ALL TURNS 30 YEARS-OLD!
Plus: a new documentary about one of the most important songwriters of our time.

TWO PLANES ALMOST COLLIDE IN BARCELONA. SORT OF, NOT REALLY.
Taking on the hype of a YouTube sensation. Plus: runway incursions for dummies.

ESCAPE SLIDE DEPLOYS IN FLIGHT. WHAT WENT WRONG ON A UNITED 737?
Plus: Everything you need to know about doors, and What Not to do during an evacuation

VIVA MEXICO!
Airport innovations south of the border. Plus: Mexico City, more than crime and grime.

BOSTON ARRESTS UNDERSCORE TSA HYPOCRISY
The folly of airline crew screening. And RIP Massimo Vignelli, creator of the “AA” logo.

FLYING WITH THE ONE PERCENT: BUSINESS CLASS ON THE A380
Plus: My strange childhood of airlines real and imagined.

STOWAWAY SURVIVES FLIGHT TO HAWAII IN LANDING GEAR BAY
And others who weren’t so lucky.

MY KINGDOM FOR A CUP HOLDER
Sometimes it’s the (really) small things.

FAREWELL DOUGLAS
Two classics are put to pasture, and the world of aviation is that much less colorful.

THE MALAYSIA AIRLINES MYSTERY
Where is Flight 370?

NONSENSE FROM THE HUFFINGTON POST
HuffPo scrapes bottom with a goofy list of half-truths. Come on, who needs a fact-checker?

TURBULENT TIMES
Everything You Need to Know About Flying Through Rough Air.

LETTER FROM GHANA: WELCOME TO ROOM 420
Rubber floors, mysterious odors, and the world’s craziest hotel artwork.

RUMMAGING THROUGH THE SEAT POCKET OF THE MIND, Volume 1.
Armrests from hell; the language of luggage; and more annoying flight attendant habits!

PILOTS AND COPILOTS. WHO ARE THESE MYSTERIOUS PEOPLE?
Getting it right: An open letter to the Associated Press.

ICE, SNOW, AND AIRPLANES
Icing, Deicing, and the Travails of Winter Flying.

FEARFUL FLYERS TAKE HOPE
If you think you’re incurable, SOAR might be the medicine you need.

YAK HUNTING IN LIBERIA: A PHOTO ESSAY FROM WEST AFRICA
What’s the odd attraction to old abandoned airplanes?

AMERICAN AIRLINES TO KEEP NEW LIVERY
But, was the election rigged? It’s the logo, stupid!

LOGAN GOES GLOBAL
Boston sets its sights on Beijing, Dubai, Istanbul and beyond.

A LOOK AT THE ASIANA CRASH IN SAN FRANCISCO
What went wrong, and how? Plus, are Korean carriers safe?

SORRY, WRONG AIRPORT… AGAIN
First it was a 747 in Kansas. Now a Southwest 737. How do these things happen?

ECONOMY CLASS, DONE RIGHT
The woes of steerage, and some ideas to make it better.

GUNS AT THE CHECKPOINT
Should TSA screeners be permitted to carry weapons?

LET YOUR GADGETS FLY
The FAA eases the rules on PEDs. But let’s hop the phone ban stays in place.

SAFETY VIDEO HELL
Virgin America’s new safety video leaves passengers gasping for air.

R.I.P LOU REED
Plus, the Simpsons, the Replacements, and the Arc of Creative Decline

THERE’S NO FLYING IN BASEBALL?
The strange parallels between flying and America’s favorite pastime.

WHEN A PILOT DIES IN FLIGHT
Plus: captains, copilots, and the quirks of airline seniority.

A CHAT WITH THE CRANKY FLIER
An interview with Brett Snyder, host of CrankyFlier.com

LETTER FROM JFK
Will Kennedy Airport’s famous TWA terminal become a boutique hotel?

THE THINGS WE CARRY
All those gadgets and gizmos are supposed to make life easier. Do they?

THE NOISY, SWEATY MISERY OF SMALL PLANES
In a cramped cockpit over Cape Cod, I want nothing more than to be down on the beach.

REMEMBERING CAIRO
A photographic toast to one of the world’s great cities.

ASK THE PILOT VOTED ONE OF TIME’S BEST BLOGS OF THE YEAR
TIME includes ASK THE PILOT on its list of best blogs of 2013.

TWA 800 REVISITED
17 Years ago a 747 blew up over Long Island. What really happened?

NONSENSE FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES
A frequent flier describes 90-degree banks and disoriented pilots. Did it really happen?

737 LANDING GEAR COLLAPSES AT LA GUARDIA
Plus, remembering LGA’s friendly old control tower.

DOWN & OUT AT THE YANKEE CLIPPER. MY FAVORITE AIRPORT RESTAURANT HITS THE SKIDS.
Is there a future for non-chain restaurants at airports?

THE SKIES BELONG TO US
A great new book: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking.

THE DECLINE & FALL OF U.S. AVIATION
Our airports are terrible and our airlines can’t compete. We’ve done it to ourselves.

FLIGHT OF FANCY
Calling foul on a trumped-up story in the New York Times.

TSA POSTPONES NEW CARRY-ON RULES
Moving the security conversation out from under the emotions of 9/11.

LETTER FROM BOSTON
Terror in perspective, and the sad spectacle of a city gone bonkers.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, YOU’VE BEEN SEQUESTERED
Air traffic control delays and Congressional gridlock.

HIJACK BY ANDROID?
Can you really take over a plane using a smartphone application?

AIRFARES BY THE POUND
A tiny Samoan airline is charging fares based on the weight of its customers.

THE FIVE MOST ANNOYING MYTHS ABOUT FLYING
So much of what people think they know about flying is wrong.

PLANES, PRANKS, AND PRAISE: ODE TO AN AIRPORT
From terrazzo floors to exploding soda cans, here’s Boston’s airport like you’ve never seen it.

“ARGO” GETS ITS PLANES WRONG
Hollywood puts considerable efforts into getting period details correct. Except when it comes to planes.

AIRFARES DOWN 50 PERCENT SINCE 1978, STUDY SHOWS.
Flying is cheaper than ever. Plus, the myth of the Golden Age.

AMERICAN AND US AIRWAYS TO FORM THE WORLD’S LARGEST AIRLINE.
Except not necessarily. A look at mergers, and when biggest isn’t really the biggest.

MORE MEDIA NONSENSE ABOUT COCKPIT AUTOMATION.
“The Daily Show” and “Wired” are the latest purveyors of the Myth that Won’t Die.

THE FAA GROUNDS ALL 787s AFTER YET ANOTHER BATTERY FIRE
What does it mean for the future of Boeing’s showcase jetliner?

AN ASK THE PILOT CHRISTMAS
Memories of holidays aloft. Plus, the worst Christmas song of all time.

A RIDE ON THE 787
Boeing’s new jet is sleek and comfortable. But could they please fix the windows?

THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE CONCORDE DISASTER
What really happened in Paris twelve years ago?

PILOTS, ALCOHOL, HOLLYWOOD AND FARCE
A look at Denzel Washington in “Flight.”

THE MEDIA’S AIRPLANE PROBLEM
Aviation is a difficult beat, but there’s no excuse for shoddy reporting.

FACT AND FALLACY OF THE LOOMING PILOT SHORTAGE
As the pundits have it, the country is running out of pilots. But is this true?

THE WORST HOTEL ROOM ARTWORK, EVER
In-room weirdness in West Africa and beyond

RETHINKING AMSTERDAM
A second look at one of the world’s friendliest airports.

IN DEFENSE OF FLYING. IS IT REALLY THAT AWFUL?
A different look at the woes and hassles of air travel.

JUST ROLL DOWN THE WINDOW, SAYS MITT ROMNEY
The facts and fallacies of cabin pressure.

THE UGLIEST PLANES OF ALL TIME
We’re told that modern aircraft are boring because they have to be. Is it so?

HAVE PILLOW, WILL TRAVEL
From whence the phenomenon of teenage girls carrying giant pillows onto planes?

HOW TO SPEAK AIRLINE: A GLOSSARY FOR TRAVELERS
A key to deciphering the insufferable jargon of air travel.

LETTER FROM MUMBAI
An afternoon in “Maximum City.”

AIR TRAVEL IN ART, MUSIC, AND FILM
Movies, songs, album covers. From Kieslowski to the Clash, air travel is everywhere!

HOW YA DOIN’, MISTER VICE PRESIDENT?
Politicians, planes, and pilot black magic. True stories of jinx and coincidence.

WELCOME TO “HIDDEN AIRPORT”
U.S. airports get a failing grade. But, unexpected pleasures at a terminal near you.

THE JOURNEY OF THE POTATO
The mystery of the funniest-ever pamphlet is solved at last.

 

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