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Past Issues

Volume 12, Number 3 - 3rd Quarter 2014

LOGBOOK is a quarterly magazine covering the entire spectrum of international aviation history, from the first tentative attempts at flight, to history that was made just yesterday.

LOGBOOK is a distinctive publication in the field of aviation history. At LOGBOOK we certainly enjoy bringing you in-depth articles written by some of the world’s premier aviation historians. More importantly, however, we also enjoy working with, actively encouraging and publishing the first-time, one-time and fledgling author. These are the folks who actually lived the aviation history they are writing about, which lets the reader experience the action from a unique perspective. This allows LOGBOOK to bring you aviation history you will find no other place.

Back Issue: Available

SAR Melissen

A Canadian Forces de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo. A Canadian Forces de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo.
The date is 7 September 1983, five days into an operation called SAR Melissen. I was sitting in the port side spotter’s seat of a Canadian Armed Forces de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo aircraft searching in the Mount Waddington area of British Columbia’s rugged coastal mountains.
Five days earlier, on the morning of 2 September 1983, a Britten Norman Islander - registration C-GIPF - had departed the Campbell River Airport on Vancouver Island on a two hour and 30 minute flight to the town of Smithers, in the northern interior of British Columbia. On board the twin-engine aircraft, owned by Central Mountain Air Services Ltd. of Smithers, were 37-year old pilot Mel Melissen and six passengers en route to Spatsizi Wilderness Park for a hunting expedition.
The airplane and its passengers have never been found.
Dirk Septor, who took part in the SAR missions, tells of the search.

Graf Zeppelin - Hitler's Aircraft Carrier, Part 3

The KMS Graf Zeppelin The KMS Graf Zeppelin
While the shipyard workers at Deutsche Werke Kiel A.G. were putting the finishing touches on KMS Graf Zeppelin and preparing the great carrier for launch, on 1 November 1938, the Luftwaffe formally established the ship’s flying organization, or carrier air group (CAG). That same day, at Kiel-Holtenau II. Gruppe/Trägergruppe 186 (II./186) and its first component squadron – 4.(Stuka)/186 – were formed while its fighter unit – 6.(J)/186 – followed two weeks later.
Staffed with I./JG 136 pilots and ground crews that did not accompany their unit to the former Czech city of Marienburg and inheriting Bf 109 Bs from the recently departed 4./JG 136, the unit – under command of Hptm Heinrich Seeliger – began learning to operate the much faster, more demanding and fairly tricky (particularly in the take-off and landing phases of flight) Messerschmitt. Once proficiency in normal operations was attained, in the spring of 1939 the pilots began practicing “coming aboard” a 900m (2,953 ft) mock flight deck laid out at Bremerhaven’s Flugplatz Weddewarden, immediately adjacent to the warships’ docking basin. The pilots also journeyed to Travemünde where they were instructed on cable-arrested landings using E-Stelle See’s three hook-equipped He 50 biplanes.
Colonel Douglas Dildy continues the story of the aircraft carrier Graf Zeppelin

Rolling Thunder Mission # 89

A file photo of a McDonnell F-4 Phantom II.  Photo: USAF A file photo of a McDonnell F-4 Phantom II. Photo: USAF
I recalled that I had acquired essential knowledge regarding the Six Pack fields during a previous battle and I would need that experience tonight to attack the railroad north of Hanoi. I wholly realized that it was critical to fly below 300 to 500 feet AGL [above ground level] or run the risk of taking a missile up our Phantom’s tail from one of the many deadly SAM [surface-to-air missile] sites. I also acknowledged that I had to release my night-lights, quickly attack, and speed away or we would be blasted with a thousand blistering fireballs. We had to contend with the Target Master’s miserable ground rules that restrained our approach to the railroad. However, none of the Senior Managers or High Rollers was going to be near the Park tonight to watch our performance on the field. I decided to approach the railroad close to the Chinese border, as it was difficult for the SAM sites to detect us when we used the mountains for masking.
Compelling mission debrief by Val Johnson.