Tag Archives: Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team

Feeling better after a rough weekend

Greetings, readers. Friday, late afternoon, I was bitten by the flu bug. It wasn’t the worst case I’ve ever had, but still it was very unpleasant. Most of the weekend was spent on my recliner chair sleeping. I had absolutely no appetite or motivation to do anything. When I was awake, I did think of Air Crash Investigation (ACI) episodes to find on YouTube for research. Here’s what happened.

The episodes I know I wanted to include in a new top ten list are gone, probably due to copyright infringement. That is the big issue when people post material that is not their own. Sure, old TV shows and classic sporting events are wonderful to watch again, but I am almost positive that the posters did not get permission from the networks. Usually such videos will stay on YouTube a few months until they are flagged by someone and then the site will remove the video and give that person a warning. This is how I watch ACI.

One of my favorite episodes, the story about the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team crash has been removed. Other episodes have been reposted by folks who for some reason didn’t do it correctly and the audio is either too fast or too slow. Not everyone has great equipment or knows what they are doing.

Let me tell you about one episode that I’ve watched over and over again, “The Crash of the Century”. It was a special two-hour episode. Two 747s, a Pan Am and a KLM, were bound for one of the Canary Islands. After a terrorist bomb went off in the terminal, the airport was closed and all aircraft were diverted to the tiny island of Tenerife. They landed and waited a number of hours for permission to return to their original destination. A terrible fog rolled in and blanketed the airport just as the pilots were given that permission. It was a race against time to fuel up, start-up, taxi, and take off before the fog made it too dangerous to do so. Here was the mixture for failure. There was an air traffic controller whose English could have been better. The crew of the Pan Am was looking for their turn off but missed it in the fog. The Dutch KLM aircraft which had taxied first, was ready for take-off, and the captain would wait no longer. Disregarding every rule in the book that pilots follow, he started his take-off run without permission and plowed right into the Pan Am jet, killing 583 people.

In a future blog entry I’d like to do the promised top ten list, and will do so if and when I can find ten episodes that I haven’t already blogged about, in a reliable medium.

That’s it for today. I’m going to enjoy a walk in the sunshine later on. I’ll grab a cup of coffee and meet Traci, and this evening I think I will watch a movie. Until tomorrow, have a great day, take care, and happy reading.

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We began blogging 5 years ago on Thursday!

Greetings, readers. I got a notice on my WordPress.com page that I have been blogging, with Rebecca’s help, for five years now. Wow! Time sure does fly. With almost 600 entries completed, we’ve no end in sight. We have blogged on a variety of topics, from plane crashes to R.I.P.s to reviews of video games and everything in between. Are we going to keep going? Of course!  🙂

I’ve said before that I try to stay away from blogging about politics. This coming year, I might take a stab at it. I’ve always been shy about sharing my political opinion, until this year around the election. In years past, people have told me that my candidate was the wrong choice, or that my beliefs were incorrect; I shouldn’t believe this, I should believe that instead. Every four years I get a headache so terrible I feel my head will explode. Well, I have opinions and I can stand by them. I can write about them in this forum.

Other topics that we’ll be blogging about will include what’s going on in the news and R.I.Ps to famous actors, actresses, singers and other people of note.  Rebecca also suggested that perhaps I blog about other episodes of the show Air Crash Investigation that I have watched and particularly enjoyed. The original entry, Top ten list of Air Crash Investigation stories, is still the one that has the most views of all the other blog posts put together. The post I did after that on one of the episodes, The Air Crash Investigation episode on The Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team crash, also gets regular views. The entry, In memory of Air Florida Flight 90, is very popular, too. I know I have a morbid fascination with airplane wrecks, so I will try not to choose this topic to often.

No matter what topics I write about, I look forward to another year of sharing them with you. I am grateful that you take the time to read my words, and that some of you respond with your own thoughts in the comments.

Before I go, I want to wish Rebecca well. She’s been a tad under the weather. I’m happy to say that she is doing much better and will be back with us next week.  I shall put up another blog entry either tomorrow or Friday.  Until then, take care, have a great day and as always, happy reading.

Thank you readers for staying with us. Here is #500.

Greetings, readers. When Rebecca and I began this blog in late 2011, I never dreamed that we would still be going now. Not only are we still going, but numbers and popularity seem to be on the rise. I know quite a few regular readers personally. I love it. Today’s entry is going to be a thank you and a quick recap of some of our most popular blog posts.

It is with my deepest gratitude and my appreciation that I say a heartfelt thank you to all the people who have read this blog over the years. Some of my regular readers leave comments, and I take the time to read and respond to each and every one of them. It helps me to have that feedback and connection when it happens. I am grateful to the readers who have reached out to me.

The most read blog entry, by far, is still Top ten list of Air Crash Investigation stories, from September 2013. This probably is caused by the continued search for the downed Air Malaysia 370 flight. But I also know from the search terms used that I can see in the stats, that a lot of the views for this entry are from fans of the show. I also am a fan, which why I wrote it in the first place. It still intrigues me that so many look at this entry each and every day. It is always at the top of the stats or near it. Many people have also looked at my follow up about the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team crash, though not as many have looked at that as have looked at my post In memory of Air Florida Flight 90. Suffice it to say, that the blog entries about airliners and airline disasters seem to be my most popular.

Another entry that comes up a lot in the stats every month is the one I wrote in 2012, Remembering my father, Professor Joseph J. Kockelmans, and that truly warms my heart. The majority of comments I have received have been from former students of his, and their kind words about my father are special to me. To think that Pop is still enriching people’s lives years after his passing is truly amazing.

The entry that Rebecca and I still get a chuckle about is the Top ten list of modern conveniences, from February 2013. Rebecca and I both think that it’s being used as a teaching aid, perhaps in a college or university. If any of our regular readers know what this entry is actually used for so often, please do tell. We would love to know.

The From Rebecca series is also quite popular I’ve noticed, and they do get many reads, which I’m sure puts a smile on Rebecca’s face. I think it is cool too. The one that keeps coming up so much is From Rebecca: A little bit in a hurry. We don’t know why. It was written in August of 2012 while I was on the road to Maine a few years ago.

We have a direct link to Facebook and Twitter. My friends on both social medias learn about the new blog entry almost immediately after it is published. Over the last few months, I’ve noticed that more and more of my friends are coming over from there to read my blog. I am extremely happy about this. I have 250 some odd friends on Facebook, and it is exciting to see the numbers that are generated from there. They seem to especially respond when I write about something extremely personal, which I will admit I don’t do all the time. I’ve known some of them for many years, and I care about them as much as they seem to care about me.

As I’ve said before, I have no immediate plans to end the blog. I am seriously considering self-publishing a second blog book. Most of my 500 entries were written after the first book, Greetings, Readers: A Year in the Life of a New Blogger, was published in 2013. Rebecca and I will work on that quite soon.

It is with my utmost joy and appreciation that I close this entry by once again saying thank you to you my readers who have kept this blog such a joy for me to write. Until Friday, have a great couple of days, take care, and, as always, happy reading.

The Air Crash Investigation episode on The Lokomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team crash

Greetings, readers. As you know, I love aircraft, flight simulation, as well as the TV series Air Crash Investigation. I like to see what went wrong and how the investigators come to their conclusions. A couple of stories really get under my thumbnails. This is one those stories. I got my information from the show, and from an entry of Wikipedia.

Late in the afternoon of September 7, 2011, a tragedy rocked one of Russia’s top hockey teams. The Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team was about to fly from Yaroslavl Russia to the city of Minsk in Belarus for their season opening game. The plane crashed shortly after take-off on the bank of the Volga river, killing all but one of the forty-five people on board. The airplane was a Yak-42 and the airline was Yak Services. As flight #9633 roared down the runway, the three-engine airplane would not lift off. It had more than enough runway and the investigation concluded that the flaps and slats were configured correctly. What could have happened? As with the story of Air Florida Palm 90, the answer makes me furious.

One of the pilots on the three-pilot crew was the vice president of operations, who “pulled some strings,” as the episode phrased, to be able to fly his hockey heroes to their season-opening game. I’m not going to mention names because that is not important, but he had a health condition which turned out to be part of the cause of why the plane crashed. He should not have been flying.

The Yak-42 had enough speed to take off, but mysteriously remained on the ground. Faster and faster it went. The pilots must have thought any second they would take off. Then they ran out of runway and only got airborne momentarily when the plane began bouncing off the grass. It was too late. A wing struck a small tower and veered out of control. It slammed into the ground at the edge of the river, killing all but one. The city and the Kontinental Hockey League were in shock.

The Russian president at the time demanded answers, according to the show. At that time, Russia was not known for its aviation safety. The president wanted better and demanded it. Hockey in Russia was more of a religion, even more than football and baseball is to us. Lots of the players were from the town of Yaroslavl. Not only did they lose their hockey team, but some of them lost good friends as well.

In aviation, I despise it when seemly easy to avoid accidents occur. The pilot responsible not only falsified his health documentation, he falsified his training on the airplane. He had his foot on the brake pedal instead of on a safe foot rest. On the Yak-40, a slightly smaller version, the foot rest area is different in that his foot would not have been touching the brake. In the United States, pilots are not allowed to fly more than one aircraft type at a time. I believe it is to avoid just such mistakes. Russia’s president did make Russian aviation clean up its act, but not in time to save Yak Services charter company. They closed soon after.

To the families of the players, my sympathy. If this blog entry brings up any bad memories, I apologize. My condolences to you.

Until next week, stay cool if you are in the heat wave. Take care and happy reading.