My Fleeting But Memorable Fling With The AN-225
My then-young son Peter and I were attending the Paris Air Show in 1989. We were walking down a fence line in the parking lot abutting runway 03. It was a plane spotter’s paradise. Everything on short final was passing overhead and touching down a few dozen yards away. I saw the AN-225 with Buran attached on an extended left downwind and we waited. Soon the largest aircraft in the world roared over our heads, and her “centipede” landing gear mashed onto the runway. Mriya was breathtaking, and its unfathomable demise seems a fitting metaphor for these troubled times. It’s great you had a chance to climb aboard, Paul, especially with Mr. Deakin…
I also had the opportunity to tour the AN225 at BDL in March 1991. I was the Tower Supervisor at the time. I have a video of my then 8-month-old daughter sitting in the left seat. The flight crew got a kick out of her trying to reach the controls.
I remember watching the takeoff from the tower. They used 9450 feet of the 9500′ runway. I have that VHS video buried somewhere in a closet.
Not an Antonov, but that’s the same weird feeling I get whenever I see N106US (the Miracle on the Hudson airplane). I flew ship 106 into Las Vegas the week prior to the splash down. I left it dry and reusable, but of course birds weren’t a factor. Too bad they didn’t get Mriya out of there.
A Radar Primer
Fascinating information. The limitations of radar, even today’s most sophisticated versions, is why some of the best advice I ever received was, “look out the damn window!” It happened when I was getting the weather information from a newbie FSS fellow in Laramie many years ago. He finished his briefing with “you shouldn’t have any trouble—good VFR all the way”. Just then one of the most experienced FSS guys walked in, overheard the tail end of the briefing, and began chastising the newbie. Exact language I don’t remember, but it was something like, “don’t ever tell a pilot that he won’t have any trouble and that it’s good VFR all the way!” And he finished with “look out the damn window”—as it happened, a snow squall was moving in right then which engulfed us over the next few minutes.
Of course, back then all radar information was pretty old, and it was transmitted by wet fax from the NWS, but even today it still makes good sense to “look out the damn window”, no matter how current and accurate the weather information seems to be.
Very well written article. This coming from someone who designed (airborne) color weather RADAR in my younger days. (Our claim to fame was to paint an area on the display where the signal was so attenuated from precip that you couldn’t be sure what was behind it. (See Southern Airways flight 242.) And, at the time, we had a mathematical genius who was developing our airborne Doppler RADAR.)
Poll: Should The FAA Crack Down On Social Media Flying Stunts?
- You can’t crack down on what you don’t know. But when the FAA does find out because the whole purpose is for views, they will crack down more and more heavily inevitably affecting all law-abiding aviators. S___ rolls downhill. Law abiding citizens are always at the bottom of this proverbial hill.
- Public safety aside, FAA enforcement isn’t much of a deterrent for people like that. Not to mention the far-reaching effects for the rest of us given the FAAs propensity for great variability in its role as judge, jury, and executioner.
- This is an opportunity for the FAA to introduce themselves to a new generation in useful ways.
- Already enough regs to deal with the problem as long as the regs are enforced.
- It depends… enforce the regulations and grant waivers when the proper level of safety is assured. BUT work with the requester to find a way to have fun without undue endangerment.
- Depends on the stunt. Willfully breaking the regs leaves the rulebreaker open to however the FAA wants to deal with the issue. If nobody or nothing is clearly endangered, friendly warnings ought to do it.
- The existing regulations are adequate, if enforced rigorously and in a timely manner.
- Rule breakers should eb pursued, but the FAA also needs to be more reasonable in permitting stunts when properly managed.
- It’s pretty unlikely that general public equates us GA pilots with stunt teams like Red Bull. The YouTubers are a different matter. They also do not represent G.A. pilots. They represent the YouTubers of the world constantly hunting for clicks. If they happen to be pilots, it still pales in comparison to their Social Media goals.
- This is nothing more than the low hanging fruit prosecution: easy to follow up and make an example of, rather than address more pressing issues that impact the whole of aviation.
- Yes, but…The Trent Palmer fiasco (like the training fiasco) suggests that *THIS* FAA cannot be trusted to enforce sensibly. We need a clean-out at the top of the FAA.
- If the stunt endangers person or property then the stunt should be violated. If not and the proper procedures were followed then let the stunt happen.
- The FAA needs to exercise good judgement. In today’s “guidance-based” system (looking at FSIMS and the like), working with the FAA is kafkaesque.
- FAA action should be on a case-by-case basis.
- As with all enforcement, should be case-by-case. There are plenty of egregious violations that they should be looking into.
- Only for FAR violations.
- FAA should do its job and exercise maximum penalty on ‘social media’ pilots , not censure social media.
- No, not if the public is not at risk.
- Strictly on a case-by-case basis. The FAA needs to get it right and not just violate anyone for anything.
- Yes, but not on Trent Palmer’s inspection pass.
- Question too vague. They should, on the ones that deserve it. Not all (likely the minority) social media “stunts” are illegal.
- If they prepare for safety, why crack down? If they do not, please crack down.
- Enforce the rules and punish the rule beakers.
- They should use social media posting as evidence for emergency revocation of certificates.
- Can’t fix stupid! But, limit areas in country where these unsafe events can be performed. Unpopulated areas.
- The Trevors need to be stopped. The FAA tried to stop the Red Bull stunt, they did it anyway and all involved should pay dearly for that.
- Only if they violate CFRs.
- I think they are enforcing them.
- Use the regs to pursue and reinforce it is a rules-based agency vs. a “likes” agency; i.e. TJ enforcement vs. TP enforcement.
- Social media is a stage. FAA has no authority. We all just need to stop watching.
- Enforce the rules! That isn’t a “crack down.”
- How about some weight given to intent, of both the pilot and the complainant?
- Willful violations of FARs, with a denied waiver. Pull their tickets. They know better.
- FAA already has a “Thou shall not” attitude.
- Should be case by case. If proper precautions are made. A blank enforcement check is not good for pilots.
- Too late to crack down … the genie is out of the bottle.
- Perhaps FAA could just do their job? But, does anyone remember what that is?