September 7, 2020

Dutch efforts are retrieving the downed RAF BK716 bomber

Filed under: Aviation,History by Orangemaster @ 2:14 pm

After about 12 years of wondering what happened to the missing British Short Stirling Bomber BK716, it was finally found at the bottom of the Markermeer lake, near Amsterdam. In 2020 we’ve also learned that the remains of the seven airmen who went missing aboard this aircraft during World War II are still on board.

A spokesman for Durham Constabulary in the United Kingdom said the Bomber Command Museum of Canada had asked it for help tracking down living relatives of Sergeant Charles Armstrong Bell of Langley Park, County Durham, one of the seven airmen. The relatives of the six other crew members have also been found, although their names have not been revealed.

The BK716 was lost when returning from a bombing raid in Germany in 1943, and first discovered in 2008 when a piece of its landing gear latched onto the anchor of a stranded boat. Experts had long believed that the aircraft was another Short Stirling, the BK710, after examining an aluminium panel. Later, however, a cigarette case and a wooden mascot brought on a new investigation that made the BK716 a more likely candidate.

The defence ministry and a private contractor started retrieving the wreckage of the BK716 on 31 August, with an engine part confirming that it is the BK716. After six weeks, the dredging will have been completed and hopefully we’ll hear all the historical details. For context, the Markermeer is a 700 km² lake that is in fact shallow at 3 to 5 m in depth, while the area the plane parts are being found cover 75 m².

(Links:,, Photo of a different plane, the Short S 31 Half Scale Stirling by, most probably, the Imperial War Museum)

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November 18, 2019

Nine-minute flight between Netherlands and Belgium

Filed under: Aviation,Weird by Orangemaster @ 11:49 pm


Definitely classified as a ‘weird flight’ in the best case and possibly ‘useless flight’ for other reasons, Qatar Airways will be scrapping a nine-minute cargo flight from Maastricht, Limburg to Liège, Belgium.

The entire flight is 38 kilometres, carried out by a Boeing 777 aircraft. It caught the eye of Belgian politicians who used this as an example to express their concerns about the environment. In the Netherlands, stopping flights of less than 100 kilometres is also being discussed, and even on Twitter, folks are saying that anything trips of less than 750 kilometres can be done by train rather than by plane when it comes to people moving around, not cargo.

The flight is a charter flight, ordered by one company who wants their cargo delivered directly to Liège rather than having to pick it up in Maastricht.


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July 17, 2019

KLM slammed for asking mother to cover up while breastfeeding

Filed under: Aviation,General by Orangemaster @ 7:45 pm

KLM is getting bashed on social media for having asked the mother of a newborn to cover up while breastfeeding on a flight from Amsterdam to San Francisco. The mother explained to the stewardess who had asked her to cover up that her daughter did not like having a blanket over her, but the stewardess said that it was important to consider other people’s feelings.

“Breastfeeding is permitted at KLM flights. However, to ensure that all our passengers of all backgrounds feel comfortable on board, we may request a mother to cover herself while breastfeeding, should other passengers be offended by this.”

Feeding your child is offensive because, well, boobs. Boobs’ primary use are to feed babies last time I heard.

Once the mother told everyone online that people should not fly with KLM, the airline receive thousands of reactions from outraged folks. Parool newspaper also explains that women showing a lot of cleavage apparently are also asked to cover up with a blanket because clients (who, and really?) complain about, well, boobs performing their secondary function: being boobs.

Funny replies include handing out eye masks for people bothered by human feeding humans.

(Link:, Photo of KLM A330-200 by caribb, some rights reserved)

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May 1, 2019

Dutch designed play area at Singapore airport

Filed under: Architecture,Aviation by Orangemaster @ 9:18 pm

At Jewel Changi International Airport in Singapore at Terminal 1, Canopy Park, you’ll find a play area for all ages, with four very big slides, designed by Dutch engineers and street furniture designers Carve from Amsterdam. The official opening is on 10 June, and everyone will be able to see how the first children and parents will enjoy the play area.

Carve’s Discovery slides look very much like jewellery you can play on. “The rubber patterns on the floor are designed in such a way that they create spiral-shaped dynamic reflections on the surface of the slides, which will surely end up all over instagram.” They are installed at the highest point of the airport and provide a spectacular view. There are four slides: a family wide slide, a free fall slide and two spiral-shaped tunnel slides.

For anyone in The Netherlands and not in Singapore, you can climb onto Carve installations in Amsterdam’s Oosterpark, the Zuiderzee Museum in Enkhuizen, the Ark Park pavilion in Utrecht, the Strijp S grounds in Eindhoven and the red fence square in The Hague.

(Links:, Photo: businesstraveller)

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April 18, 2019

Dutch Air Force F-16 shoots itself by mistake

Filed under: Aviation by Orangemaster @ 11:07 am

An incident that took place in January of this year is being investigated, in which a Dutch Air Force F-16 managed to shoot itself with its own MA61A1 Vulcan Gatling gun at a military range on the island of Vlieland, bringing the concept of friendly fire to a whole new level.

On 21 January, two F-16s were carrying out firing exercises, and the aircraft in question managed to catch up with its own 20-millimetre cannon rounds, damaging the fuselage and parts of the engine. No pilots were injured during this incident.

“The incident reflects why guns on a high-powered performance jet are perhaps a less than ideal weapon.” The Vulcan is able to fire 6,000 rounds a minute, but its magazines only hold 511 rounds, which is enough for five seconds of constant shooting. A pilot can accelerate and manoeuvre in such a way that they get hit by their own bullets.

The Dutch Air Force is currently replacing its F-16s with Lockheed F-35As, which have four-barrel General Dynamics GAU-22 Equalizers, with 25-millimetre cannons that can hold 182 rounds for two seconds of constant fire, hopefully providing less opportunities for ‘potentially deadly friendly fire’.

(Link, Photo

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October 7, 2018

KLM house number 99, a nod to coffee

Filed under: Aviation,Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 1:57 pm

Back when flying was less democratic, KLM would give
house-shaped bottles filled with Bols genever to folks flying on intercontinental flights in business class, which over time became collector’s items.

This year to celebrate KLM’s 99th anniversary on October 7, a new house, number 99, was unveiled: the first shop of coffee merchant Douwe Egberts, in Joure, Friesland. These houses are so popular that people are already selling them on Dutch online auction sites.

KLM currently serves Douwe Egberts on their flights, in their lounges and in their offices, which would explain their choice. And all of us are wondering what house number 100 will be. OK, not all of us, but KLM and all those collectors for sure.

(Link:, image:

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June 22, 2018

‘Don’t mess with stroopwafels’, says American airline passenger

Filed under: Aviation by Orangemaster @ 10:07 pm

An American passenger on United Airlines was upset when their usual stroopwafel was replaced by a ‘maple wafer cookie’, which I bet has ‘pole syrup’ instead of any kind of actual maple syrup in it. Québec, which produces 75% of the world’s maple syrup, colloquially refers to fake maple syrup as ‘pole syrup’ – maple-flavoured corn syrup, fictitiously coming from telephone poles rather than sugar maple trees.

Jeroen Daelmans of the Daelmans in Nieuwkuijk, Noord-Brabant responded in the media with surprise about United pulling their stroopwafels as well as being stunned by the public’s response to being denied his company’s product. He hopes United will listen to their passengers and get back to serving the beloved treat.

We know all too well here in the Netherlands that you don’t mess with stroopwafels, and hopefully international businesses will get the message as well.


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June 9, 2018

Eindhoven Airport is ‘one of the world’s worst’

Filed under: Aviation by Orangemaster @ 7:00 am

According to a study of 141 world airports conducted by Air Help, Eindhoven Airport is the tenth worst airport in the world. Flights to and from Eindhoven are often delayed, and passengers are quite negative about the airport.

I was there once over 10 years ago and found it tough to get to by public transport, which is a breeze with Schiphol. I was sending someone off to Ireland with Ryanair and I’m sure I’ve forgotten all about the troubles the person had at Eindhoven Airport. Funny enough, I remember getting onto a badly protected Wi-Fi network that was for employees only.

Eindhoven Airport is the second busiest airport in the Netherlands. Of course, Amsterdam Airport aka Schiphol performed better, and came out in forty-fourth place.

(Link:, Photo of KLM A330-200 by caribb, some rights reserved)

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February 23, 2018

Stay over in a 1950s Fokker airplane

Filed under: Aviation,General by Orangemaster @ 6:50 pm


In Hoogerheide, North Brabant adventurous folks can stay over at a Bed and Breakfast in an old Fokker 27 aeroplane, the most numerous post-war aircraft to have been manufactured in the Netherlands and one of the most successful European airliners of its time.

The plane has a big sofa, small kitchen and even a sauna. Hosts Gerhard and Esther Slootweg wanted to provide optimal comfort with a nod to the 1960s, although the planes are from the late 1950s. The accommodations aren’t far from the Fokker factory and the Woensdrecht military air base, and get a lot of ‘flyers’ as guests.

The Fokker Bed & Breakfast was on a Dutch television channel that caters to an older audience, and is getting all kinds of bookings since.

(Link and photo:

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January 1, 2018

KLM scraps pilot caps from uniform

Filed under: Aviation by Orangemaster @ 2:21 pm

Happy New Year!

As of today, KLM pilots will no longer be required to wear caps, claiming that in today’s world, they have no added value. As well, not wearing a cap makes pilots more modern and easier to talk to as people. Many other airlines have either scrapped the caps or never introduced them at all.

There’s also talk of donating all the fun caps to a foundation for sick and handicapped children who are fans of pilots and aviation.

(Link:, Photo of KLM A330-200 by caribb, some rights reserved)

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