Airport drone 'plastic bag'
A "drone" that apparently hit an aircraft at Heathrow Airport in the UK last weekend may have been a plastic bag.
"The reported drone strike on Sunday has not been confirmed it was actually a drone. It was the local police force that tweeted that they had a report of a drone striking an aircraft," said UK transport minister Roger Goodwill, The Daily Telegraph reports.
"The early reports of a dent in the front of the plane were not confirmed – there was no actual damage to the plane and there's indeed some speculation that it may have even been a plastic bag or something."
Dear Federal Aviation Administration,
In light of recent headlines I would like to address your fine agency on an important safety issue.
To be exact, what are you prepared to do about the glut of plastic bags threatening our national airspace? Thousands of plastic bags leave stores and shops daily across our nation unregulated and unreported. Who knows what the new owners of these bags are up to? Given that the majority of these bags are free and currently untraceable the opportunities for terrorists to release havoc on our skies are mind-blowing. At this very moment splinter cells from sea to sea could be collecting these tools of destruction just waiting for the day to come when they surround our airports and capitals with flying bags of doom.
Please, for the sake of our nation, create a plastic bag registry now if not sooner. Don’t listen to the naysayers with claims of freedom to carry groceries, think of the children. Stand firm on your convictions to protect our airspace before we too face a tragedy such as the one in England. Do not wait until the supposed bodies start hitting the ground.
Bag Registry now!
A Concerned Citizen That Once Saw a Plastic Bag Flying in the Wind
I used to teach at a school with a banner at the entrance that stated “Failure is not an option.”
This is amazingly wrong and I wish this nation would get over this poor idea.
Failure is not only an option, it is a necessity. Children need to fail. They need to trip, crash and burn, and fall while they still have the ability to bounce. This is not to say that parents shouldn’t try to protect their children, but they need to understand that failure is not the end. Failure is a beginning, a crucible that forges a strong mind and heart that is needed in order to thrive in the world.
Failure gives us the power to overcome and conquer.
Failure gives us empathy.
Failure keeps our ego in check.
Failure is a master teacher and it is better to learn its lessons early while life is still a game. To fear failure is to allow it to conquer us.
So parents, let your children stumble. Teachers, go ahead and use the red pen. Let them drift and then help pick up the pieces so they may trip again. And again. And again. To keep failure at bay underestimates a child’s ability to overcome. Continual blocking of failure will make the eventual failure that much harder to overcome when they run into it in an adult world that lacks the time or inclination to help those that give up because something is seen to be too hard.
“Can I see your badge?”
There is something about women of a certain age that when they ask you to do something you just do it. I guess you could call it the Grandma Reflex. So I showed her my badge and we talked briefly about my job and then she made another comment that threw me a bit.
“I like your hat.”
Now, when an old lady makes that comment most people think of wide brims, loud colors, and feathers. I doubt anybody would think motorcycle helmets. What followed was one of those little life moments that just makes the day.
She told me about her brothers and a sister that rode. There was no hint of jealousy when she talked about her father decreeing that one girl in the family riding was enough. An old Shovel Head was mentioned. Today’s bike, my 1985 Honda Interceptor, was admired. Rides with her husband of 50 years were glowed about and my use of safety gear was praised. The bike she talked about most was a Honda Goldwing that they shared which led to my favorite quote of the entire conversation.
“We could never go too far, too long, or too fast.”
She mentioned that they could no longer ride, and while there was a touch of sadness in her voice the smile on her face demonstrated a joy of remembering adventures. A hint of longing for another ride was also there, the call of the road.
I would have loved to spend more time with her and her husband and listened to their tales but alas the real world called as our lunch orders were filled and we parted ways, they back out into the world and me back to work.
I doubt the entire encounter lasted longer than two minutes but the effect will last much, much longer and I offer my thanks to the universe for letting our paths cross.
So, with Star Wars being every freakin’ where I pulled out the DVD’s to re-watch the “original” three movies before hitting the theaters for The Force Awakens. Many words have been printed on how Lucas damaged the movies with his changes and a large majority of those words have center on the Han shot first debacle.
This is not one of those rants.
While I agree that the shooting of Greedo was not a good change, at least Lucas had a thought out reason for said change. I disagree with his conclusion but I can understand where he is coming from. The one change that I hate the most, the change that makes me cringe every time and makes me want to pummel Lucas happens in Empire Strikes Back.
Let me set the scene – Darth Vader has just finished an epic fight with Luke Skywalker that ranges across several decks, flings out into a huge abyss, ending with hacking off Luke’s hand and reveling the truth that Obi Wan hid. Rather than join up with his father to rule that galaxy as father and son, Luke chooses to take a flying leap.
And then Lucas bungles it with this change – (go to the 12:00 min mark for the bungle in question.)
I don’t have the words to truly express how much I hate this different line. In this instance Lucas already had perfection and he throws it away. The new sequence fails on sooooo many levels. Whoever reads the line reads it flat and boring. It takes too long to deliver. It breaks up the pace of the moment. It is out of character. Most importantly, the original is just awesome.
Let’s listen to it again -
The delivery of that line is a master course in subtext. In just three words James Earl Jones conveys frustration, anger, sadness, and you better not fuck with me right now because I won’t bother to force choke you, I’ll just force blow you into bits. Three simple words dripping with emotion, verses nine words that do nothing but add needles verbiage. A great example of less is more.
Drives me nuts every single time.
I am a model aviator. Having just celebrated my 40th birthday, I have been flying, building, and designing model aircraft for over thirty years. I have experience with everything from simple hand launched gliders to complex composite airplanes capable of speeds in excess of 100 mph. I am a club flight instructor and introductory pilot for both fixed wing and rotary wing airplanes and am also a repair tech for model airplanes and helicopters at a local hobby shop. When called upon, I have volunteered for local schools to help with STEM education projects involving aviation and I am also the district ten representative for the Jet Pilots Association, a special interest group within the Academy of Model Aeronautics. (AMA) As a GED instructor in an adult probation program I use model aviation to help illustrate math and science concepts. To say that I am heavily involved in model aviation is a bit of an understatement.
Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration convinced the Department of Transportation to push through regulation requiring that all pilots of model aircraft (commonly incorrectly referred to as drones) be registered. It is important to note that the FAA has already been informed by two different court cases that model aviation is beyond the jurisdiction of the FAA. It is my opinion that this is why they chose to use the DOT as a proxy.
This new registration requirement is a textbook example of government overreach and waste. It is also a great way to continue the erosion of the trust of government as this is not the first time the FAA has gone against a previous decision on this issue that the AMA (an organization with over 140,000 members) has negotiated on in good faith.
It is also against a congressional ruling –
SEC. 336. SPECIAL RULE FOR MODEL AIRCRAFT.
(a) IN GENERAL
.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law
relating to the incorporation of unmanned aircraft systems into Federal Aviation Administration plans and policies, including this subtitle, the Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration may
not promulgate any rule or regulation regarding a model aircraft,
or an aircraft being developed as a model aircraft, if—
(1) the aircraft is flown strictly for hobby or recreational
(2) the aircraft is operated in accordance with a community-based set of safety guidelines and within the programming
of a nationwide community-based organization;
(3) the aircraft is limited to not more than 55 pounds unless otherwise certified through a design, construction, inspection, flight test, and operational safety program administered
by a community-based organization;
(4) the aircraft is operated in a manner that does not interfere with and gives way to any manned aircraft; and
(5) when flown within 5 miles of an airport, the operator
of the aircraft provides the airport operator and the airport air
traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at
the airport) with prior notice of the operation (model aircraft
operators flying from a permanent location within 5 miles of an
airport should establish a mutually-agreed upon operating procedure with the airport operator and the airport air traffic control tower (when an air traffic facility is located at the airport)).
(b) STATUTORY CONSTRUCTION
.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of the Administrator to pursue enforcement action against persons operating model aircraft who en-danger the safety of the national airspace system.
(c) MODEL AIRCRAFT DEFINED
.—In this section, the term ‘‘model
aircraft’’ means an unmanned aircraft that is—
(1) capable of sustained flight in the atmosphere;
(2) flown within visual line of sight of the person operating
the aircraft; and
(3) flown for hobby or recreational purposes.
The policy writers within the FAA will tell you that this regulation is in the name of safety. I would ask you to look into the safety record of model aviation that spans over 100 years. A quick internet search will show less than 100 reports of accidental deaths caused by model aircraft in the past ten years worldwide. By way of comparison, there have been over 1800 gun accidents in the United States this year alone. I give this statistic simply to illustrate the false urgency that the FAA is using to ram through this legislation.
The FAA likes to point to the many reports of interaction between full scale aviation and model aviation; further investigation of these claims show that the statistics used by the FAA are greatly inflated at best. Many of these “drone sightings” later turn out to be false.
Model aviation is not without its dangers. As with any other activity there are risks involved and people can and have been injured. If you look into these events it is frequently the participants that are injured. In the few cases where an airplane has injured spectators the pilot in question has been present to take responsibility. I do agree that there are some irresponsible people doing stupid things with model airplanes. Unfortunately, registering the responsible pilots does nothing to educate the small percentage of irresponsible joy riders.
While I understand the security risk, this also is a concern that has been blown out of proportion. The quadcopter that landed on the White House lawn is a great example of how useless this registration is. Every model aviator I know is very well aware that basically all of the capital is a no fly zone. Do you honestly think that a drunken government worker out for kicks at midnight is going to be aware of a registration requirement?
I do not think the FAA need be abolished as it does serve a very important role in keeping our air travel safe. However, I can’t help but point out that while the FAA has been tilting at the windmill of model aviation 787’s that have been approved for commercial use are catching fire and our air traffic control system continues to slip further and further in to disrepair.
I do ask that you look into containing a government agency that is spooked by imagined visions of hulking boogiemen lurking in dark corners. I also ask you to look into the importance of model aviation to this nation. Many of this nation’s pilots got started in model aviation. Some of our astronauts fulfilled their first dreams of flight with model aviation. Model aviation is the spark that ignites the passion to further the aerospace field that leads to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.
Perhaps it is time for the people within the FAA spend more time, energy, and resources to keep track of what they are actually supposed to keep track of rather than succumbing to their self generated fear.
Thank you for your time and attention in the matter
So, the latest school outrage of the week is the girl that got tossed out of her desk by a police officer. I was trying to ignore it until I read that it was over a cell phone. Yes, a cell phone.
Now, before you start the chants of police brutality and all that, ask yourself a simple question -
How did it get to a point that an officer had to be called in to the classroom in the first place?
The student in question took out her phone during class. This is generally frowned upon in just about every classroom in the nation. Apparently the teacher asked for the phone. This is SOP in schools around the nation. The student refused, (again, SOP) and an administrator was called in. Rinse and repeat.
For those of you keeping score, this student has at this point broken a fairly standard class rule and has refused two attempts to hand over the phone.
So a cop gets called in and things get ugly.
Just to be clear I am in no way defending the cop, but this gets back to my original question – Why was an officer needed to settle something as petty as a cell phone dispute?
There are a few forces at work here.
All the student had to do was hand over the phone. She had more than one opportunity but instead doubled down on the thought of the ever falsely persecuted teenager – “I did nothing wrong!” Even better, she could have waited an hour until the end of class to pull out her phone.
OK, I just watched the new trailer for The Force Awakens and yes, it looks awesome.
There is this little voice in the back of my head. A little voice of doubt. No, the voice doesn’t sound like Jar Jar, it does look a bit like a lens flair however. More on that later.
Have you ever seen a trailer and said to yourself “that movie looks great I gotta see it” and then you find out that the two minutes of the trailer were the only two minutes of watchable footage in the entire film? I worry that this may be the case.
Let’s take a look at the work JJ “lens flair” Abrams did with Star Trek. The first wasn’t bad. I had a few issues with it but overall it wasn’t horrible. That clustered rehash that was Something About Kahn on the other hand, oy. I’m not sure if it was bad film making or the dude just got lazy. A little bit of this blood magically cures the incurable disease? Madam Pomfrey on Harry Potter has more credibility than that. And let us not forget the the Enterprise rising up through a cloud. He used the exact same shot in the previous movie! It’s a cool effect and all but come on, at least wait a movie before recycling stuff. If I see an X-wing rising up vertically through the mist I’m walking out. (Who am I kidding; I’ll stay, but under protest.) Actually, it’s more likely that it will be the Millennium Falcon rising up through a cloud.
Lastly - the lens flairs. Fuck me, the lens flairs. What is with Abrams and lens flairs? The guy uses lens flairs with the same subtly that Michael Bay uses explosions. Again, they are kinda neat and I’ve used them myself but at what point does it go from artistic choice to “enough already, learn how to use a camera”? I’d say pick a number and try to limit yourself but I counted four in a two minute trailer; how many is he going to cram into the entire movie? Perhaps the other Hollywood directors can have an intervention or something.
So yes, I am planning on seeing The Force Awakens and I hope it will be as good as the teasers have indicated. If it is life will be good.
P.S. To all those nit-wits boycotting because it keeps the white man down or some other such bullshit - fuck off.
Did you know that you can download some of my stories for free? Actually, this month they all are free! I have several short stories available both on Amazonand Smashwords and some of them have always been free but from now until November 7 all my wonderful stories are free to download from my Smashwords page. All you need is the right code to use on checkout.
Why would you want to download from Smashwords? The best reason is format. No matter what you read on from Kindle to PDF’s on your laptop you can get it there, nobody telling you what to use!
Just what are these stories about? Take a look –
Visitor – An old man is visited by a friend he hasn’t seen in many years. It may be the last chance he has to ask a question that has been eating at him for years. Smashwords code VQ85S
Aware – A space freighter is hit by an asteroid leaving Navigation Specialist Jenkins alone to work with a possibly malfunctioning robot to survive. Can she overcome her prejiduce in order for them to work as a team? Smashwords code PT46F
Don’t Press the Red X – That bad first day at a new job. We’ve all had it, but for some it can be very, very bad. Already free on Amazon and Smashwords!
The Second Coming – Did we already string Jesus up faster than the Romans did? Already free on Amazon and Smashwords!
I’m Sorry – A woman trapped in an abusive relationship finally gets pushed too far. Already free on Amazon and Smashwords!
The Interview – A man down on his luck has one last chance at a dream job but it might come at too high a price. Already free on Amazon and Smashwords!
Contracts of the Father – A continuation of The Interview. Smashwords code EZ66J
The Eternal Question – Why are we here? A chance encounter with a strange old may provide the answer. Smashwords code FX69E
Futurecaster – Can a fortune teller escape his own predicted fate? Smashwords code TM85G
Spirits’ Last Vision – The Mars rover Spirit made one last amazing discovery before it died but mankind didn’t get the message. Smashwords code AA55G
All I ask of you other than very little of your time (seriously, some of these can be read in a few minutes) is that you please leave a review.
Thank you for your support and enjoy the holidays!
P. S. Like the picture at the top? It's called The Truth.
Step inside the mind of me.
Hi. Welcome to my little electron of the internet, where you will find random comments about whatever pops into my mind!