Dear Friends, I often tell my student pilots that it is wise to hold on before taking off when another aircraft has just taken off. Even two minutes is not enough sometimes because the wake turbulence may move in an unpredictable way – rather sideways – depending on the wind but not only. You can watch a previous post in which a spectacular uncontrolled roll happened: I have repeated that over and over – waiting is as wise as safe:

We cannot see clearly what really made the seaplane – assumed to be a French Canadair CL-415 Superscooper water bomber – veer off but it was definitely too close to the previous aircraft. Maybe the pilot wanted to do the right thing by saving time to save more lives. Was it because of the bow wake of the flying boat? Because of the air wake turbulence? A human error? A control failure? Or a combination of several factors? Anyway when you see an aircraft of this size taking off, please wait for two minutes before entering the same path. Fortunately, a pole was clipped, the Canadair was damaged, but it could have been worse.



Here is a remarkable video for training purpose. It is not easy to understand how air traffic is managed at Heathrow airport but this video helps a lot to make out the stakes:
Voici une vidéo remarquable à but pédagogique. Il n’est pas facile de comprendre comment la circulation aérienne est gérée à l’aéroport de Heathrow mais cette vidéo est d’une grande aide pour comprendre les enjeux:

Note that there are four stacks in the vicinity of London. The word « stack » means « holding pattern » here. However, stack can mean another thing in aeronautical and general English. For instance:

Notez qu’il y a quatre « stacks » aux environs de Londres. Le mot « stack » signifie ici « circuit d’attente ». Cependant, stack peut vouloir dire autre chose en anglais aéronautique et général. Par exemple:

  • Stack of folders = Pile de dossiers
  • Smokestack = Cheminée d’usine
  • Hay stack = Botte de foin, meule de foin
  • Radio stack = Equipement radio à bord de l’avion (radio com, radio nav, transponder)
  • Wood stack = Tas de bois
  • Stack up / Stack down = Espacement décalé vers le haut ou vers le bas entre des avions de chasse ou d’acrobaties aérienne
  • Vent stack = Colonne de ventilation
  • To stack = Empiler, entasser
  • Stack = Circuit d’attente dans l’espace aérien londonien pour les avions à destination d’Heathrow

Note that easterly operations match westerly winds, and westerly operations match easterly winds.

Notez que les opérations d’est correspondent aux vents d’ouest, et que les opérations d’ouest correspondent aux vents d’est.




Thanks to this video shared by @air_english, here is an example of the kind of accident you can avoid if you follow some basic flight safety rules. Even if nobody could expect such a spectacular accident while weather and visibility were excellent, some precautionary measures could have prevented the aircrew from a catastrophic failure. This video will let you guess what provoked this. You will find an analysis of this German Robin DR-400 accident here.

Thanks to AIR-ENGLISH and John Maxwell. Please, pass the information on for it is a flight safety issue and it could happen to anybody. It is useful for BIA-CAEA too.



Here are two very useful videos about the semi-circular rule. The first one is in English, the second one in French:

Pour la seconde vidéo, on peut ajouter que si les niveaux de vol 55, 75 et 85 (pour les routes magnétiques vers l’est) sont valables en VFR (régime de vol à vue), on devra emrunter en vol IFR (vol aux instruments) les niveaux de vol 50, 70, 80 et 90 par exemple. C’est à dire qu’en IFR on n’utilise pas les niveaux de vol se terminant par 5 mais par 0 et cela est valable pour les routes magnétiques allant vers l’ouest (FL 80, FL 90, etc). La règle semi-circulaire est utile aussi pour le module NRS (Navigation, Réglementation et Sécurité des vols) au BIA-CAEA. D’autres informations très intéressantes sont disponibles sur ces chaines Youtube:





Do you remember that some fighter pilots could safely eject from underwater back in 1965? Could it be survived? One may wonder but a few ejections were reported. The transcript is below the video. Look at that canopy, it looks like it came from an F-8 Crusader:


If your aircraft has provision for underwater ejection, you have a ready-made, secondary escape route. Succesful underwater ejections can be made from any aircraft attitude – nose down, tail down, and inverted.

Escape by this method requires no preparation other than that recommended for normal seat ejection. There should be at least ten feet of water above you before you can safely eject. Never eject from the surface. With present systems, the chute cannot open with a zero-zero situation (which means at a height of 0 and at a speed of 0). The effect of free-falling 80 feet to water is little different than falling 80 feet to concrete. True, some lucky ones have lived to tell about it. But it is one hell of a gamble.

When you eject through the canopy underwater, the seat breaks through clearing the way for your body. Because water resistance imposes terrific forces on your head and neck, it is vital to hold the face curtain tight against your head for support. The forces of ejection might cause a momentary blackout. Immediately upon collecting your wits, disconnect yourself from the seat by pulling the emergency release handle breaking your restraints. Now, separate yourself from the seat. This is difficult. You will have to kick and swim violently even though you are disconnected.

If your chute gets hung up on the seat, do not waste time trying to clear it. Release your riser fittings and swim clear off the chute. Do not inflate flotation equipment until clear of the seat. Remember, surface slowly, exhaling as you go. Remove your oxygen mask.