December 15, 2007
Fame At Last!
Until, that is, a few days ago, when John called me and mentioned that one of his ex-students (and a mutual acquaintance hello Andy!) had called him and told him "Hamish's blog was in the WSJ". Well, maybe it is, but since I don't subscribe the the WSJ, and no one else has mentioned it, and "Hamish's blog" could refer to at least four blogs under my own name or a pseudonym, I don't actually know when and where it appeared, let alone what was written about it (and googling "YAFB WSJ" or obvious permutations doesn't hit much, except self-referentially it'll soon probably start serving up this entry ). Anyone got any details? Or was it all a cruel hoax?! :-)
As with my fifteen minutes on BBC Radio a decade ago in connection with one of my other sites, this fame hasn't exactly rocked my world (or even made a spike in my readership as far as I can tell), but I'll try not to let it go to my head. Not yet, anyway .
December 11, 2007
JOURNAL REPORT: TECHNOLOGY
By KEITH HUANG
December 11, 2007; Page R6
• YANKEE ALPHA FOXTROT BRAVO
A large portion of Hamish Reid's blog is about training for an instrument rating, which certifies that a pilot has learned to navigate by instruments only. In one post, he writes about the "Cone of Stupidity," a plastic hood that eliminates peripheral vision to simulate flying in zero visibility. "All you can see with it on is the instrument panel, more or less," he writes, and "things that are simply obvious under normal flying conditions start feeling like mammoth feats of intellectual effort."
[The WSJ included several other flying blogs, which follow]
Todd McClamroch always dreamed of flying. About three years ago, the Chicago resident earned his private pilot's license, and he has been blogging about his time in the air ever since -- in part, he writes, to encourage others to pursue their dreams.
Some of Mr. McClamroch's posts offer practical advice to beginners who are interested in aviation, on topics like choosing an aviation school. And he details the time and expense involved in getting a license. But he also takes time to express the joy of piloting: "It's the achievement of making a dream a reality and finally learning to fly after years of looking up at the skies wishing," he writes. "I am sure flying will take me to places I would not have gone, and it may even allow me to travel more efficiently, but in the end it will be for the pure satisfaction of flying."
It's not actually the pilot that's plastic, it's the planes that he sometimes talks about on his blog.
Vincent Lambercy, a private pilot, is an advocate of technological change in aviation, such as building lighter planes from carbon-fiber plastic instead of metal to save on fuel costs, and replacing analog instrument panels with digital monitors that provide more information. "I'm convinced of the advantages of these changes, and want to share my experiences with other pilots," he says.
Mr. Lambercy also regularly posts about safety issues and reviews accidents. Mostly, he says, he wants to help animate the aviation community. "Fuel prices, security issues and airspace complexities reduce the number of active pilots," he says. "But pilots who belong to a community, and who fly together, are more likely to keep flying. With this blog, I try to contribute to that community spirit."
To reach the blog, be sure to use the "www" prefix in the URL; without it, you'll end up on a different site.
• SULAKO'S BLOG
Shane Murphy flies a corporate jet for a company based in Toronto. He blogs about aviation but also talks about the personal side of his job, like the people and the situations he encounters, and about his life away from the plane.
Like many pilot bloggers, Mr. Murphy doesn't shy away from writing about crashes, sharing theories as to why accidents occur, all in the hope of preventing mistakes. In one poignant series, he probes the site where a good friend and fellow aviator crashed. "I have listened to many Transport Canada presentations on safety, and they all hammer home one basic thing: An accident is the result of many links in the accident chain, it's never just one thing," he writes. "And this was a classic case of exactly that."