Tony Blair Shoot Down?

The former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair was traveling on an executive private jet from Sinai, Egypt back to England when two Israeli fighter jets intercepted the aircraft after Israeli ground controllers could not establish contact with and identify the aircraft traversing Israeli air space.

After multiple attempts to contact the suspicious aircraft the fighters moved into position behind and above the aircraft. Needless to say Israel is always nervous about terrorism, so they took up this aggressive attack position after which they were able to establish direct contract with the aircraft only to discover it carried delegates from the World Economic Forum in Sharm e-Sheikh back to the UK.

A spokesman for Blair who was on the flight said they were unaware that the aircraft had suffered a technical fault which prevented them from hearing Israeli ATC’s requests for identification. Apparently the passengers learned of the incident after landing back in England when they were questioned about the incident by reporters.
The flight crew was apparently startled when they saw the interceptors and immediately contacted them to inform them of who was on board.

Just think, if it had been you would they have held off and not shot the aircraft down? Humhhh……

Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!


“Seven Minutes Of Terror”

Today at about 7:22pm EST the Mars lander dubbed “Phoenix” will attempt a
difficult landing at the North Pole of Mars. Considering that NASA has not had a successful soft landing since Viking in 1976, the controllers at Jet Propulsion Laboratory are nervous. The Phoenix must slow from over 12,000 mph to less than 5 mph in order to safely land.

Phoenix will use an eight (8’) foot arm to analyze dirt and ice samples for traces of organic compounds which are the building blocks of life. Phoenix is a “retread”, built from a lander that was scrapped after the Polar Lander disaster.

This mission is led by the University of Arizona, and is the first public university to lead a mission to Mars. The Phoenix is the first in NASA’s “Scout Program”, a program designed to be highly innovative, relatively
low cost and to compliment major missions planned as part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program.

If you are interested in more information you can track the progress at

Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!


When Does One Have Enough Model Airplanes?

The chairman of Turkish aviation company Fly Servis has been collecting model aircraft ever since he became interested in aviation as a child. Watching aircraft take off and land led Gökhan Sarigöl from taking photographs of aircraft taking off and landing at Istanbul’s Atatűrk International Airport to a career in the airline industry.

There are no more than seven or eight people in the world who might have a similar collection, and as an expert Sarigől can tell with a glance whether a model is accurate in both scale and detail. His collection numbers in the thousands, including hundreds of historic photographs and paintings of aircraft.

Many of the models are made from cast iron and the collection is worth in excess of $2 million.  He recently purchase a $ 400,000 apartment to house his collection, and is looking to earn a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Aircraft models anyone?  If you are looking for one of your favorite aircraft, or would like a model of your own aircraft, take some time and look through Civilian and Private Airplane Models and I am sure you can find what you are looking for.

Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!