Posts tagged with "pilot"

Challenger: The Final Flight

By Cassandra Yany

On Wednesday, Netflix released “Challenger: The Final Flight,” a four-episode docuseries about the tragic explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

The doc was directed by Daniel Junge and Steven Leckart, and executive produced by JJ Abrams and Glenn Zipper. It provides a complete look at the events leading up to the takeoff and includes interviews with family members of the seven astronauts who died in the explosion.

According to CNN, the series uses archival footage and home videos, along with interviews from officials and crew members to shed light on the poor decision-making and systemic failures that led up to the disaster, as well as the aftermath that followed.

Challenger took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral on January 28, 1986. Just 73 seconds after it launched, the shuttle began breaking apart, due to malfunctioning O-rings in the rocket boosters, which hardened as the temperature decreased. NASA had reportedly known about this damaged hardware for months prior, according to Vanity Fair.

The purpose of mission STS-51-L was to deploy a satellite to study the approaching Halley’s Comet, but it had been delayed multiple times because of technical difficulties.

The crew was one of NASA’s most diverse to date, as reported by the New York Post. One of the astronauts was a teacher, so school children across the country watched in class as the shuttle went down, engulfed by a huge, ominous cloud of smoke. The explosion devastated the nation, especially all of the young children who had watched it live.

Nearly thirty-five years later, we remember the passengers who lost their lives on that dreadful day:

Christa McAuliffe

Christa McAuliffe was a teacher at Concord High School in New Hampshire who learned of the Teacher in Space Project— NASA’s plan to fly an educator into space. NASA had hoped that this would help increase public interest in the space shuttle program. 

Along with 11,000 others, McAuliffe applied in 1984 to be the first teacher to communicate with students from space. She was chosen as one of two finalists from New Hampshire, then was selected to be part of the STS-51-L crew by a Review Panel in Washington, D.C.

McAuliffe took a year off from teaching to train for the space shuttle mission. While in orbit, she was planning to conduct experiments in chromatography, hydroponics, magnetism and Newton’s laws. She also would have taught two 15-minute classes— one providing a tour of the spacecraft, the other about the benefits of space travel— which would have been broadcasted to students on closed-circuit TV. 

The nationwide excitement of having McAuliffe in space was a significant reason why the explosion had such a lasting impact on the country, and was especially upsetting for young students who watched the takeoff or extensive coverage in class. 

Gregory Jarvis

Gregory Jarvis was an engineer for Hughes Aircraft who served as Payload Specialist 2 on Challenger. In 1984, he was one of two employees from the company that were selected for the Space Shuttle program. 

Jarvis was originally supposed to make his shuttle flight in April 1985, but was rescheduled to early January 1986, then rescheduled again, landing him a spot on the STS-51-L crew. From space, he planned to conduct experiments on the effects of weightlessness on fluids. 

Dick Scobee

Dick Scobee earned his pilot wings in 1966 and served as a combat aviator in the Vietnam War, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal.

After the war, Scobee graduated from the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School and became an Air Force test pilot. He was the commander on Challenger and died a lieutenant colonel.

Judith Resnik

After graduating from Carnegie Mellon, Judith Resnik worked as a design engineer in missile and radar projects at RCA (Radio Corporation of America). There, she performed circuit design for the missile and surface radar division. She later developed electronics and software for NASA’s sounding rocket and telemetry systems programs. 

Resnik qualified as a professional aircraft pilot in 1977 and was recruited into the NASA Astronaut Corps in 1978. She was one of six women selected for the program out of 8,000 applicants. At NASA, and piloted the Northrop T-38 Talon, trained intensely, conducted research, and developed different systems and software. 

Resnik served as a mission specialist on the maiden voyage of Discovery in 1984 for her first space flight from August to September. During this flight, she operated a shuttle’s robotic arm (which she created), and deployed and conducted experiments on a solar array wing to determine if there was a way to generate additional electric power during missions. She was the second American woman in space and the first Jewish woman in space. 

Resnik was a mission specialist on Challenger. After the explosion, further examination of the cockpit shows that her Personal Egress Air Pack was activated, indicating that she may have been alive after the cockpit separated from the vehicle to activate it. Her body was the first to be recovered from the crash by Navy divers. 

Ellison Onizuka

Ellison Onizuka served as a flight test engineer and test pilot for the U.S. Air Force in the early 1970s. After attending the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School from 1974 to 1975, he became a squadron flight test engineer there and worked as a manager for engineering support in the training resources division. 

In 1978, Onizuka was selected for the astronaut program and later worked in the experimentation team, orbiter test team, and launch support screw for the STS-1 and STS-2. At NASA he also worked on the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory test and revision software team. 

Onizzuka’s first space mission was one year before the Challenger explosion, on the mission STS-51-C on the shuttle Discovery. This was the first space shuttle mission for the Department of Defense, and he became the first Asian American to reach space. 

Onizuka was a mission specialist aboard Challenger. Similar to Resnik, it is speculated that he could have been alive when the cockpit separated from the vehicle because his Personal Egress Air Pack was also activated. When he died, he held the position of lieutenant colonel, but was later promoted to the rank of colonel. 

Ronald McNair

Ronald McNair received his Ph.D. in Physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976 and became nationally recognized for his work in laser physics. After graduation, he worked as a staff physicist at the Hugh Research Lab in Malibu, CA. 

McNair was one of the ten thousand applicants to be selected in 1978 for the NASA astronaut program. He became the second African American astronaut in 1984 when he flew as a mission specialist for STS-41-B on Challenger from Feb. 3-11. 

McNair later served as a mission specialist for STS-51-L. During this flight, he had planned to record the saxophone solo for a song he had worked on with composer Jean-Michel Jarre for his upcoming album Rendez-Vous. This would have been the first original piece of music to be recorded in space. 

McNair was also supposed to participate in Jarre’s Rendez-Vous Houston concert through a live feed from Challenger. To honor McNair, Jarre dedicated the last song on the album to him and subtitled it “Ron’s Piece.”

Michael J. Smith

Michael J. Smith served in the Vietnam War, then attended U.S. naval Test Pilot School. After graduation, he was assigned to the Strike Aircraft Test Directorate at NAS Patuxent River in Maryland, where he worked on the A-6E TRAM and Cruise missile guidance systems. In 1976, later returned to NTPS for 18 months as an instructor. 

Smith was selected for the astronaut program in May 1980, in which he served as a commander in the Shuttle Avionics Integration Laboratory, the Deputy Chief of Aircraft Operations, the Technical Assistant to the Director, and the Flights Operations Directorate. 

Smith was the pilot for Challenger, and was set to pilot another mission the following fall. His voice was the last heard on the flight deck tape recorder with his final words being “Uh oh.”

All seven passengers were awarded with the Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 2004.

LATAM Airlines, Star Wars, 360 MAGAZINE, Disney

LATAM Airlines Reveals Star Wars-inspired Aircraft

·       LATAM Airlines Group today unveiled the first image of its Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge-inspired aircraft.

·       The livery of the ‘Stormtrooper Plane’, a Boeing 777 with capacity for 410 passengers, was designed by Disney’s creative team in conjunction with Lucasfilm, and was painted by using stencils.

·       The aircraft is expected to arrive in São Paulo/Guarulhos and operate commercial flights at the end of October. 

LATAM Airlines Group today unveiled the first image of its Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge-inspired aircraft, following the recent opening of the new land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.

LATAM Airlines Group will enable customers and fans to travel on an aircraft inspired by the stormtroopers of the First Order from the airline group’s São Paulo/Guarulhos hub to Orlando, where Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is based, as well as other international destinations including Miami and European cities such as Madrid, Frankfurt and Paris.

The livery of the ‘Stormtrooper Plane’, a Boeing 777 with capacity for 410 passengers, was designed by Disney’s creative team in conjunction with Lucasfilm, and was painted using stencils. The aircraft is due to arrive in São Paulo/Guarulhos and operate its first commercial flight in October.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the highly anticipated new land inside Disney’s Hollywood Studios, opened to the public Aug. 29, 2019.

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About LATAM Airlines Group S.A

LATAM Airlines Group is Latin America’s leading airline group with one of the largest route networks in the world, offering services to 143 destinations in 25 countries, including six domestic markets in Latin America – Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru – in addition to international operations in Latin America, Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, Oceania, Africa and Asia.

The airline group employs over 41,000 people worldwide, operating approximately 1,300 flights per day and transporting 69 million passengers per year.

LATAM Airlines Group has 317 aircraft in its fleet, which features the latest and most modern models including the Boeing 787, Airbus A350, A321 and A320neo.

LATAM Airlines Group is the only airline group in the Americas and one of three worldwide to be part of the Dow Jones Sustainability ‘World’ Index. In 2018, it was recognized by the index for sustainable practices, based on economic, social and environmental criteria, for the fifth consecutive year.

LATAM Airlines Group shares are traded on the Santiago Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange in the form of ADRs.

For any commercial or brand related query, visit www.latam.com. Further financial information is available via www.latamairlinesgroup.net

Flash Mob Disrupts UN 20,000 Rally For World Law to Save Humanity

A Broadway actor leapt over a barricade to the front of the United Nations Assembly and interrupted the proceedings with a demand for peace and world law to protect human rights for all.

“And if you won’t do it, step aside and a Peoples World Assembly will arise from our own ranks to do it,” shouted actor Garry Davis, a war veteran and former bomber pilot.

UN security forces grabbed Davis, but as they tussled with him, war-hero Robert Sarrazac leapt up on the opposite balcony and shouted in French: “In the name of the people of the world not represented here, I interrupt!”

Other protesters scattered among the audience leapt up to continue the speech: “The nations you represent divide us and lead us to the abyss of total war.”

Delegates were shocked–until it became clear this was a coordinated action. Then many applauded and joined in.

On December 9, outside the UN, 20,000 supporters rallied to demand that world law be passed to protect human rights for all.

The December 9th rally was a historic first, in that it occurred seventy years ago today, and was part of the massive people-power movement which helped trigger the unanimous passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) the very next day: December 10th, 1948.

In a clip released to the press at http://vimeo.com/297521680 one of the protesters, Pierre Bergé, said the interruption of the United Nations General Assembly in Paris was planned and executed by “very famous writers” including Albert Camus.

Bergé called the disruption “a political comedy” and said it was designed to give people hope for a better way to run our world. “We have to dream, because the only way to catch the reality is to dream.”

The hidden history of how one man’s bold action helped spark a massive movement on the eve of this great leap forward for humanity is told in a forthcoming film “The World is My Country.”

Here is an excerpt:

Because this 70th anniversary event is so relevant to the hot-button issues in today’s world, the filmmakers are making a special password-protected preview version available online–for one week only. To sign up for this advance preview click on this link and select “Free Preview.”

Los Angeles area media and others are invited to meet the director at a preview screening of the film December 8th at 6:30 PM at 3916 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City 90230.

For more information about Garry and the passage of the UDHR see the article in the German magazine Spiegel.

Kirby Chambliss × Hot Air Balloons

Pilot takes to stunning skies to mark National Hot Air Balloon Day in style.

Kirby Chambliss switched chicanes for hot air balloons in a novel and eye-catching display to mark National Hot Air Balloon Day.

Some 99 years after Indianapolis Motor Speedway held its first event, a hot air balloon race, the Red Bull Air Race pilot commemorated the anniversary in some style. Here is all you need to know:

  • The display was put on from his Phoenix, Arizona, home – he has a runway in his back garden – with a series of hot air balloons set up on the ground akin to pylons for him to weave through.
  • The American pilot then took to the skies as the balloons were released and showed some of the aerobatic skills, which have made him one of the world’s leading pilots by swerving in, out and above the balloons.
  • Of the venture, he said: “The reason we did it is because the up-and-coming race in the United States will be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and the very first event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was a hot air balloon race. Weaving back and forth between the balloons is a bit different than doing that around our pylons because the balloons are quite a bit wider, and you can’t hit the balloons!”
  • Chambliss currently lies eighth in the Red Bull Air Race Championship with a podium finish in the opening round in Abu Dhabi.
  • He will compete on American soil, where he is a two-time race winner, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on October 6-7 for its round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.
  • The 58-year-old is a two-time world champion in the series having been crowned in both 2004 and 2006. He also boasts 10 race victories.
  • Growing up, he was a motocross rider but always dreamt of being a pilot and, aged 24, became the youngest ever commercial pilot for Southwest Airlines. Four years later, he was a captain. He fuelled aircraft growing up to earn enough money to fly himself.
  • He is married to a fellow pilot, Kellie, and lives on a ranch aptly named Flying Crown Ranch.

Discover more Red Bull Air Race content HERE.

Hot Air Balloon Day

In the United States, June 5 is National Hot Air Balloon Day. On this day in 1909, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) held its first ever event – a hot air balloon race. To commemorate this past milestone, and in anticipation of the upcoming round of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship at IMS on October 6 and 7, pilot Kirby Chambliss decided to incorporate hot air balloons into his training regimen. He took to the skies at dawn above his Phoenix, AZ, home, chicaning through the balloons on the ground, similar to the chicanes he races through in the Red Bull Air Race. Once the balloons were released into the air, Kirby got a bit more creative, performing aerobatics above, around and through the balloons. Chambliss will head to Indianapolis Motor Speedway for round 7 of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship on October 6 and 7. Tickets are available at www.redbullairrace.com.

Credits: http://www.redbullcontentpool.com/redbullairrace/AP-1VRQ1E87D2111