Doctor Aviation has been on a hiatus attending to other life matters. In the intervening six weeks a lot has happened in the aviation world. Here is a recap
The Boeing 737 Max
Doctor Aviation spent much of the latter part of March commenting on the Boeing 737 Max crashes. The first in October 2018 (Lion Air in Indonesia) and the second in March 2019 (Ethiopian Air in Ethiopia). It was a privilege to assist in the dialogue on air safety for Fox, ABC, and NBC affiliates in Dayton, Cincinnati and Columbus Ohio (see Blog). An upcoming blog will chronicle the latest updates on the Boeing 737 Max
A Return to the Moon
On March 26, Vice President Mike Pence announced US goals to return men to the moon by the year 2024. In December 2017, President Trump had indicated a desire to return to the moon with the signing of Space Policy Directive 1. Pence’s announcement moved the timeline up to return to the moon in just five years. An important additional goal is to this time establish a permanent space station on the lunar surface. An upcoming blog will give more of this story
Two Crashes in 24 Hours
On May 4, a Miami Air chartered for US military members and their families, departed Guantanamo Bay Cuba and landed at Jacksonville Naval Air Station. There were thunderstorms in the vicinity. After landing the aircraft overran the runway and came to rest in the Saint Johns River. Fortunately, the water was shallow, and no fatalities occurred. The aircraft was a Boeing 737, but not the 737 Max (which is grounded). It is a Boeing 737 800 and the aircraft type does not seem to be a factor in the crash.
Less than 24 hours later, an Aeroflot Airlines (Russian) flight departed from Moscow Russia. The Sukhoi Superjet-100 was 20 minutes into the flight when the captain reported that the aircraft had been struck by lightning. Fire broke out aboard the aircraft and the pilot headed back to Moscow. After an unsuccessful first attempt, the pilot landed the aircraft. Forty one of the 78 aboard perished in the blaze.
In February, the United States celebrated ten years of not having a fatal crash involving a US carrier. Doctor Aviation blogged about his milestone. The streak continues, but these worldwide crashes have cast a shadow over this domestic milestone.
Doctor Aviation Meets Fellow Aviators
A highlight of the hiatus is when Doctor Aviation returned to the Great Homeschool Convention in Cincinnati for the fifth time. As always, I met former students and signed up new students for the course. Equally pleasing was meeting so many current and former aviators/military members. I met several individuals who have flown or worked on military aircraft as part of the US military. Additionally, I met men working on engines for General Electric. Getting reacquainted with Marlon Detweiler, President of Veritas Press, was a pleasure. Marlon flew himself and a team member into the conference from Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
A highlight was meeting a gentleman, whom I will refer to as “Tom”. Tom was what a I call a utility man in the world of flight. He has run a small airport in Minnesota, given flying lessons, services airplanes and flown oil workers out to oil rigs in the wild. Scraping together these different activities allowed Tom to make a living for his wife and two boys. The “Tom’s” of the world are rarely famous, but they make up a big part of the aviation world.
After his six-week hiatus, Doctor Aviation is happy to be back in the blogging seat. Look for regular posts throughout the summer and as Chuck Yeager once wrote to me, “Fly Safe”!