Saturday, March 26, 2011

That sinking feeling

In my list of little victories I am proud to have defeated my addiction to watching blog traffic statistics every day. To be fair, visits to this blog have become very predictable, with around forty visits per day, half of them coming from Google searches and the other half from aviation bloggers kind enough to link to some of my posts. I get an automatic notification when this blog receives more than a hundred visits in one day, which only happened a few times in the past when A-List aviation bloggers such as Aviatrix or Ben Sandilands linked to one of my stories.

One such spike occurred earlier this week, this time caused by Google searches. What search keywords drove visitors in (relative) droves to my blog? And why did most of them go read my $100 burger at Wollongong story? The answer was VH-NRF, the Archer we had flown on that day. And that's where the sinking feeling started.

A Google search on "vh-nrf" later I realised my story appeared as number 4, while the number 3 search results was an ATSB investigation report. The Daily Telegraph has the story with a few photos of VH-NRF upside-down on a suburban street in the suburb of Smithfield.

The Archer II suffered an engine failure while approaching Bankstown at the end of a flight from Ballina. It performed a forced landing on a street and both occupants and their dog walked away from the wreckage with only minor injuries. The incident happened 5 miles north west from Bankstown, which is consistent with using Prospect Reservoir as the entry point to Bankstown coming from the north. Congrats to the pilot, a forced landing in a populated area from a height of 1500ft at most is what many pilots' nightmares are made of.