Monthly Archives: August 2010

Tilt-shift examples

By showing me some of the attempts he had made, Riccardo Braccini of the Aviopress team, recently introduced me to the tilt-shift post-precessing using Photoshop, to turn normal pictures in diorama-like images.

“Tilt-shift photography” refers to the use of a photo-editing software to simulate the shallow depth of field (as if produced optically by a lens) in a close-up picture of a model. The term “Tilt-shift” derives from the tilt-shift lens normally required when the effect is produced optically.

Here are a few attempts made by following the simple tutorials that can be found on the Internet. I have used the following ones:

You may also follow this video tutorial:

Obviously, you will need some time to tune your skill, but since your first attempts you will be able to produce model-like pictures.

The below ones (far from being perfect), took only a few minutes.

ItAF stopovers in Lajes, Azores

Strategically located in the Atlantic Ocean, some 3.700 chilometers from New York City and about 1.600 chilometers from Lisbon, Lajes airbase, in the Azores (Portugal), is one of the most frequent stopovers for military traffic on the Middle East/Europe – US routes. US aircraft of all types and services, coming back from TDY in support of various operations or deploying to the CONUS (CONtinental US) often pay visit to the Portuguese airport. Miguel Santos is a retired PoAF Lt.Col. and an aircraft spotter and photographer who lives in Terceira island, Azores, and who has often the opportunity to take extremely interesting pictures and logs of the visiting aircraft. Fortunately, he’s also a reader of this blog and offered me the opportunity to publish some pictures he took of the Tornados IDS and ECR deploying to the Red Flag in Alaska and returning to Italy and of the two batches of leased US F-16ADFs being returned by the Aeronautica Militare to the 309th AMARG (Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group), Davis-Monthan AFB, near Tucson, AZ.
Dealing with the  Tornados, Miguel provided the images and the following detailed informations about the deployments:

Arr. Dep. C/s Type Serial/Code

04-Jun-10 05-Jun-10 RETRO11 CE-115 TOR ECR MM7068/50-46
04-Jun-10 05-Jun-10 RETRO12 CE-115 TOR ECR MM7052/50-02
04-Jun-10 05-Jun-10 RETRO13 CE-115 TOR ECR MM7021/50-01
04-Jun-10 05-Jun-10 RETRO14 CE-115 TOR ECR MM7055/50-42
04-Jun-10 05-Jun-10 RETRO15 CE-115 TOR IDS MM7058/6-11
04-Jun-10 05-Jun-10 RETRO16 CE-115 TOR IDS MM7015/6-32
04-Jun-10 05-Jun-10 BLUE61 KC10A MPRS 60028
04-Jun-10 05-Jun-10 BLUE72 K35R 38019/D
04-Jun-10 05-Jun-10 I2183 C130J MM62186/46-51
04-Jun-10 05-Jun-10 RETRO21 CE-115 TOR IDS MM7007/6-01
04-Jun-10 05-Jun-10 RETRO22 CE-115 TOR IDS MM7043/6-25
04-Jun-10 05-Jun-10 RETRO23 CE-115 TOR IDS MM7011/6-13
04-Jun-10 05-Jun-10 RETRO24 CE-115 TOR IDS MM7071/6-12
04-Jun-10 05-Jun-10 RETRO25 CE-115 TOR IDS MM7038/6-37
04-Jun-10 05-Jun-10 RETRO26 CE-115 TOR IDS MM7026/6-35
04-Jun-10 05-Jun-10 BLUE71 KC10A MPRS 70123
04-Jun-10 05-Jun-10 I2184 C130J MM62175/46-40
04-Jun-10 05-Jun-10 I2182 KC130J MM62183/46-48
04-Jun-10 05-Jun-10 I2181 C130J-30 MM62188/46-54

14-Jul-10 16-Jul-10 RETRO11 CE-116 TOR IDS MM7058/6-11
14-Jul-10 16-Jul-10 RETRO12 CE-116 TOR IDS MM7043/6-25
14-Jul-10 16-Jul-10 RETRO13 CE-116 TOR IDS MM7071/6-12
14-Jul-10 16-Jul-10 RETRO14 CE-116 TOR IDS MM7015/6-32
14-Jul-10 16-Jul-10 RETRO15 CE-116 TOR IDS MM7026/6-35
14-Jul-10 16-Jul-10 RETRO16 CE-116 TOR IDS MM7007/6-01
14-Jul-10 16-Jul-10 BLUE61 DC10 50030
14-Jul-10 16-Jul-10 I2184 C130J MM62186/46-51
15-Jul-10 16-Jul-10 RETRO21 CE-116 TOR MM7068 / 50-46
15-Jul-10 16-Jul-10 RETRO22 CE-116 TOR MM7052 / 50-02
15-Jul-10 16-Jul-10 RETRO23 CE-116 TOR MM7021 / 50-01
15-Jul-10 16-Jul-10 RETRO24 CE-116 TOR MM7055 / 50-42
15-Jul-10 16-Jul-10 RETRO25 CE-116 TOR MM7011 / 6-13
15-Jul-10 16-Jul-10 RETRO26 CE-116 TOR MM7038 / 6-37
15-Jul-10 16-Jul-10 BLUE71 DC10 30080
15-Jul-10 16-Jul-10 BLUE72 K35R .00335
15-Jul-10 16-Jul-10 I2185 C130J MM62175/46-40
15-Jul-10 16-Jul-10 I2183 C130J MM62191/46-57
15-Jul-10 16-Jul-10 I2182 C130J MM62188/46-54


Last German Phantoms detachment in Decimomannu

14 F-4 Phantom belonging to the JG71 of the German Air Force have been operating from Decimomannu airbase, in Sardinia from Aug. 2, 2010. Most probably, this will be the the last F.4 deployment in Italy for the German Phantoms, as they are expected to cease the operations at Wittmund airbase next year. The F-4s were joined by 2 A-4s of the BAE Systems (former Israeli Air Force Skyhawk that replaced the F-100Fs in 2002) employed for target-towing during gunnery practice, that landed in Deci on Aug. 17 and will be operating along with the Phantoms until Sept. 16, 2010, when the detachment is expected to leave. One of the JG71 birds, the special coloured “37+75” was handed over as a base gate guardian.
Giovanni Maduli went to Decimomannu on Aug. 18, 2010, and took the following pictures of the flying activity taking place in the ItAF base.

A microcamera mounted on the MB.339A/PAN MLU to shoot footage for the 50th Anniversary promo

In the last few days, the new Frecce Tricolori’s 50th Anniversary promo was unveiled. The video, was recorded and produced entirely in Rivolto Airbase by the Pattuglia Acrobatica Nazionale, with the help of the Reparto Sperimentale Volo (the ItAF Test Wing), for the first time shows the unique images taken from special, internal and external microcameras. The video can be found here:

The following images show the microcamera that was attached to one of the aircraft (the MM54479/”0″, that later became “50” to celebrate the Anniversary) before the Frosinone airshow. As the first picture shows, the upper part of the tail (with a light blue colour) was completely removed/replaced to attach the equipment needed to shoot footage for the promo.

Can malware cause an aviation disaster?

The answer is of course yes.
Let’s change the question: did a malware cause the Spanair 5022 crash? According to a recent article: (most probably) yes. An interesting article was suggested by a reader of the website. Here’s an exerpt (the full article can be read here:

Malware implicated in fatal Spanair plane crash
Computer monitoring system was infected with Trojan horse, authorities say

By Leslie Meredith
updated 8/20/2010 4:48:01 PM ET

Authorities investigating the 2008 crash of Spanair flight 5022 have discovered a central computer system used to monitor technical problems in the aircraft was infected with malware.

An internal report issued by the airline revealed the infected computer failed to detect three technical problems with the aircraft, which if detected, may have prevented the plane from taking off, according to reports in the Spanish newspaper, El Pais.

Flight 5022 crashed just after takeoff from Madrid-Barajas International Airport two years ago today, killing 154 and leaving only 18 survivors.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board reported in a preliminary investigation that the plane had taken off with its flaps and slats retracted — and that no audible alarm had been heard to warn of this because the systems delivering power to the take-off warning system failed. Two earlier events had not been reported by the automated system.

The malware on the Spanair computer has been identified as a type of Trojan horse.

I’ve always underlined the aviation safety risks implied with Information Security. Here’s just a tragic example. The final report from crash investigators is not due to be presented until December. However, we can affirm since now that, even if malware was not the root cause of the Spanair 5022 crash (as the aircraft took off with flaps and slats retracted) at least it was a contributing factor to an aviation disaster.