Hurt

With just over a week to go before I set off on the 'Tracks of the Deep South' Tour and I'm getting myself in the mind set with Dusk-to-Dawn Country, Blues, Cajun, Zydeco & Jazz loaded on the iPhone and streaming from room to room. I keep returning to one song. Despite all his previous excellent …

Amtrak Conductors

Dawn Albuquerque, New Mexico This photo caught my eye because it captures some of my favourite things about travel with Amtrak in the USA. Firstly, the metallic coach exterior; for me there is something exciting about this exterior finish which may be related to my airline background. It just looks more appealing to my eyes. Secondly, the …

Airlines: the pre-Truth industry

A compelling case for change?

Learmount.com

Airline pilots today are obliged to steer their machines according to an instrument discovered in the earth’s Iron Age: the magnetic compass. Ships’ commanders only use that these days if all else fails.

By modern navigation standards the magnetic compass is not an accurate device. An aviator flying along a magnetic meridian toward either the North or South Magnetic Pole flies “a wiggly track” according to the Geomagnetism Team of the British Geological Survey. The pilot’s magnetic compass may display a constant heading, but the aircraft relying on it follows the gently wandering vagaries of the earth’s dipolar magnetic field.

In 2011 a Boeing 737 suffered a fatal crash on approach to land because of the artificially-induced complexities of a navigation system based on Magnetic North in a digital era (detail later). All four crew and eight of the 11 passengers were killed.

Modern aviation navigation can be conducted using…

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Thunderstruck

Spain often surprises in extraordinary ways, particularly when it comes to the sheer variety and enthusiasm for displays of local heritage. Provinces throughout the country take fierce pride in their regional traditions as demonstrated here by a Galician band 'A Rondalla Santa Eulalia de Mos' playing (unexpectedly well) a cover of the AC/DC song 'Thunderstruck'. Bagpipes are …

Selfies

There isn't a place that I haven't visited where the experience hasn't been been at least slightly marred by some idiot taking a selfie. In days gone by I used to take groups around Auschwitz/Birkenau; the day I realised that it might be time to slow up was the day that I watched a man make a …