The accidents of aviation history

Last Friday I was privileged to be at the Airways Museum for the world premiere of Out of the Blue? How Aviation Accidents Shaped Safer Skies:

Centred on accidents in the vicinity of Sydney’s Mascot Aerodrome, this movie outlines developments in Australian aviation safety from the 1920s to the 1970s. It combines original research, interviews, archival footage and graphic simulations of civilian and military accidents. Presented by historian Dr Peter Hobbins and produced by Steven Pam, it features the collections of Melbourne's Airways Museum.

Peter is well known to airminded Australian historians as one of the driving forces behind the first four iterations of the Aviation Cultures series of workshops. He's also a Chief Investigator on ARC Linkage Project Heritage of the Air and until recently an ARC DECRA Fellow at the University of Sydney, both of which grants funded production. The film covers a lot of ground in just 18 minutes; it's a novel and accessible way of presenting Peter's academic research into the history of aircraft safety in Australia. The use of flight simulator-style graphics to portray and explain some of Australia's key aircraft accidents (including probably the most famous, the 1931 disappearance of Southern Cloud) and near-accidents (yikes), is especially effective; I'd love to do something similar with Hendon's set-pieces one day...

You can watch Out of the Blue above or on YouTube. Have a look!

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