This Dallas Fort Worth air traffic controller well deserved her NATCA award two years ago. Had she not responded quickly, the pilot would have passed out on board his Piaggio P180 Avanti (registration N501PM, callsign shortened into N1PM) and could even have passed away. Another pilot was alerted by slurring in the pilot’s speech. Video:



What is more natural than looking back over major aviation innovations of the Great War today, the anniversary of the Armistice? Here is a very interesting video posted by the BBC on how the fighter pilots dealt with reconnaissance, bombing missions and dogfight techniques. Primitive flight controls are well explained as is the interest of performing missions with a triplane aircraft – three sets of wings are necessarily more narrow, providing the pilot with a better visual field.

From the flimsy Blériot XI to Sopwiths and Fokkers, the first aces developed early methods that are always taught in fighter schools even though beyond-visual-range air combat has taken over since. Major Charles Tricornot de Rose was considered by many as the father of air fighting as early as 1914. Then as shown in this video, the German ace Oswald Boelcke laid out a first set of rules for dogfighting called the Dicta Boelcke. Pilots’ life expectancy was not measured in years but in weeks.



Monday, Sep 28, 2015 – The British pilot Paul Bonhomme won Fort Worth at Texas Motor Speedway yesterday. He is now on his way to the final victory in Master Class (RBAR World Championship). Only the Australian Matt Hall – eight points behind him – might win the Red Bull Air Race. The French Nicolas Ivanoff had won Fort Worth race last year but he he has come in ninth position this year.

If the die seems to be cast in Master Class, it is still rolling for the other championship: The top ranking is very tight in Challenger Class as the French Mickael Brageot, the Czech Petr Kopfstein, and the Swedish Daniel Ryfa all have a 28-point total. Just behind, Cristian Bolton, the Chilean pilot comes with 24 points. Only one of them will be allowed to go through to the Master Class next year. The next and last race promises to be a hard fought final in Las Vegas on October 17th & 18th, 2015.

Here is a video that explains very well the Texan track which was flown yesterday.



Few people know that there was a major aerodrome near Paris more than a century ago. Though Louis Blériots’s Aeroparc contributed a lot to aviation history, it was demolished in 1970. Villagers, aviation fans and historians made a decision of renovating the remains of this aviation temple which. There used to be a splendid video reconstruction which unfotunately no longer exists.

Renovation of  Aéroparc’s Entrance in Buc

(from Xavier Cotton’s article in French)

Louis Blériot's Aéroparc entrance being renovated
Louis Blériot’s Aéroparc entrance being renovated – early Sept. 2015

For the 100th anniversary of the English Channel crossing by Louis Blériot, a well-documented publication was released in 2009 – « Buc à travers l’aviation« . A Mirage III R was given too, by SECAMIC company. This Dassault recce aircraft can be seen in Avenue Jean Casale between Buc and Toussus-le-Noble, France. The Buc citizens could proudly look back at their prestigious aviation past as Buc and Toussus-le-Noble airfields used to be an aviation history cradle.

Villagers and historians wanted to value their aeronautical heritage in 2012 and they made a decision of setting a renovation project of Blériot’s Aéroparc entrance which is located at the beginning of Guynemer Avenue. Many documents from archives allowed them to incentivize an accurate reconstruction. As the pictures show, the renovation works have already begun as of September 2, 2015.

At the same time, the statue erected to commemorate Jean Casale (1893-1923), WWI ace and Blériot’s test pilot et pilote d’essai aux établissements Blériot, will also be restored for it has been damaged by the effects of time. As far as the Mirage III R is concerned, it would also need a new coat of paint.

AÉROPARC LOUIS BLÉRIOT IN BUC, FRANCE 1914 - Toni Giacoia collection
AÉROPARC LOUIS BLÉRIOT IN BUC, FRANCE 1914 – Toni Giacoia’s collection

You can support this work to renovate this important remnant of aviation history by making a tax-deductible donation at a rate of 60% through the Heritage Foundation (Fondation du patrimoine). Please, click on the link hereafter to see the project: and it is possible to download the donation form at :

Louis Blériot won international renown as well as his presence at the very first Paris Air Show (Salon de l’Aéronautique which occurred at « Le Grand Palais » in Paris instead of Le Bourget) in late 1909 thanks to his Channel crossing on July 25, 1909. He had crossed the English Channel on his Blériot XI monoplane which is still  exhibited at the Musée des Arts et Métiers. Accordingly, Blériot-Aéronautique received a lot of aeroplane orders since then. Louis Blériot wanted to open a flying school. He established his school near Paris, to the south of Versailles on Buc airfield in order to train pilots and test new flying machines. It was inaugurated on November 13th, 1912. The whole airfield and compound was called Aerodrome Louis Blériot.

There was a monumental gate before the main building which looked like a castle. It was the very heart of the school as well as a hotel for the student pilots and a restaurant. Hangars and grandstands were added so as to organise airshows. Many great aviators and aces landed and took off at Blériot’s Aérodrome such as Roland Garros, Maryse Bastié, Maxime Lenoir, Edmond Perreyon and the Swiss John Domenjoz. Célestin Adolphe Pégoud nicknamed « Le roi de l’air » – « King of the air » – was one of the first pilots looping the loop. Here is a video shot on September 21st, 1913 in front of a 200,000 attendance above Blériot’s aerodrome in Buc:

The airfield was very active during WW1 thanks to its SPADs, then in the 1920s. The downturn of the Aéroparc started when Louis Blériot passed away on August 2, 1936. Aéroparc Louis Blériot was occupied by the German troops during WWII and was bombed by the Allies several times in 1944. The Aéroparc facilities were given back to Blériot-Aéronautique but it was left in tatters. The movements stopped in 1966 and it was closed down in 1970 before being demolished a few years after. The remnants of the monumental gate were all that is left from this exceptional past. Therefore, the Aéroparc renovation aims at valuing this site’s aviation history heritage.

Sources :
« Passion pour l’Aviation » from Xavier Cotton’s article in French
First photo : Toni Giacoia  ( )


Air-English website - Language Test for AviatorsAir-English est une société basée en Belgique et en Espagne (Barcelone) dont l’activité principale est d’évaluer le niveau d’anglais de tous les personnels navigants et non-navigants. Elle organise des sessions partout dans le monde, principalement en Belgique et en France, en Pologne et au Portugal. Les candidats pilotes peuvent passer l’examen FCL .055. Les contrôleurs peuvent tenter l’ELPAC certifiant un niveau OACI 4 minimum. Les mécaniciens avion peuvent faire valider un niveau d’anglais comme les agents de piste.

Les communications en langue anglaise sont primordiales pour les pilotes et contrôleurs. Le facteur humain est désigné comme cause unique dans presque 8 crashs aériens sur 10. Il est aussi clairement établi que la communication radiotéléphonique en anglais est majoritairement mise en cause pour les non-natifs et ferait même partie des cinq premières causes d’accidents d’après un rapport de la Flight Safety Foundation. Réussir à la qualification de radiotéléphonie FCL .055 ou à l’examen d’anglais OACI ELPAC n’est pas seulement un objectif qui permet de valider les cases XII et XIII de la licence de pilote de la DGAC. C’est aussi un progrès pour la sécurité des vols car tous les navigants sont concernés un jour ou l’autre. Aussi, on oublie souvent que toute station radio peut être sollicitée pour relayer une communication radio en cas de défaillance d’une station ou pire en cas de situation de détresse ou même d’urgence. Que fait-on si la station radio à secourir ne sait pas parler français? Il n’ont qu’à parler français me direz-vous. Après tout, le français est une des langues officielles de l’OACI. C’est sans doute injuste mais ce qui est en vigueur en France et dans de nombreux pays ne l’est pas dans les pays anglophones mais c’est un autre débat qui sera peut-être développé plus tard ici car en évolution. Des protestations ont été émises pour faire valoir la place des autres langues officielles: le français d’abord mais ce pourrait être le cas pour l’arabe, le chinois, l’espagnol et le russe.

D’après les retours d’expérience de l’examen FCL .055 proposé par Air-English, il semblerait qu’il soit un peu plus facile que l’examen proposé par la DGAC. Il ne faut pas croire toutefois que cela soit partie gagnée puisqu’il y a aussi des échecs et quelques questions ardues. Le format de cet examen est peut-être un peu plus facile en ce qui concerne l’écoute mais l’expression orale y est soigneusement évaluée même si l’anglais des procédures est un peu allégé car les pilotes VFR sont testés comme les pilotes IFR. Il n’y a donc pas de distinction IR/VFR comme cela se fait dans les centres d’examens de la DGAC, le champ d’évaluation couvre l’anglais général et aéronautique conformément à l’échelle de notation de l’OACI (ICAO English Language Proficiency Rating Scale). Les examinateurs alternent conversations et vol fictif agrémenté de situations inhabituelles.

Les aéroclubs peuvent demander à organiser des sessions privées et les examinateurs peuvent venir sur place évaluer les niveaux d’anglais des candidats ce qui fait qu’en fin de compte, même si le tarif de la session par candidat est un peu plus élevé, on peut s’y retrouver s’il fallait prévoir des frais de déplacement. Il semblerait que les retours d’expérience soient très satisfaisants. Un travail de professionnels pour des professionnels ou amateurs.

Les niveaux OACI 4, 5 et 6 peuvent être validés et Air-English ne se contente pas d’évaluer uniquement les pilotes et contrôleurs puisque des évaluations sont proposées avec certification pour les agents de piste et les mécaniciens aéronef de la Part 66 B1 vecteur & B2 système. Voir le lien ici. Ci-dessous une vidéo en anglais pour résumer, en quoi consiste l’examen ELP FCL .055(D):