Oct 082016

A video footage shows breathtaking moments at Prague’s Václav Havel Airport where a Boeing 737 airplane narrowly avoided a dramatic crash right before touching down.

Crash averted in split second at Prague airport (capture: youtube)

Crash averted in split second at Prague airport (capture: youtube/Radko Nasinec)

As seen in the images below, the giant passenger jet is on the final approach and becomes almost uncontrollable because of the strong wind gusts. It banks from one side to the other and would have probably smashed into the tarmac if the pilots couldn’t abort the landing in split second opting for a go-around.

Fortunately, the second landing attempt brought the aircraft and its over 100 passengers on board safely to ground.

In aviation, a crosswind landing is a landing maneuver in which a significant component of the prevailing wind is perpendicular to the runway center line.

In situations where a crosswind is present, the aircraft will drift laterally as it approaches the runway. This drift poses significant safety issues because safe operation of the undercarriage requires the body and track of the aircraft to be aligned with the runway at touch down, according to Wikipedia.

Video: Crosswinds almost crashed Boeing 737 at Prague international airport

Extended version of Prague’s crosswind landing

Oct 082016

Two F-16 fighter jets rumbled into the sky above 86th Air Base near Fetesti on Friday Oct. 7, 2016, marking the official entry into service of this type of aircraft for the Romanian Air Force (SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO).

f16 romania

RoAF F-16 fighter on runaway at 86th Air Base Borcea in Romania (pic: MApN/Facebook)

Besides the two jets that rocked the skies, three were lined-up on the runway while a dual-seat unit was showcased in the hangar where a festive inaugural ceremony took place. The event was attended by high ranking officials including Prime Minister Dacian Ciolos.

Romania bought 12 second hand F-16A/B Block 15 multi-role fighters from Portugal at a price of 628 million euros. Of this amount, 120 million euros were paid solely for the jets – 9 units of F16A single-seat model and 3 units of F16B two-seat model-, while the rest of 508 million euros were given off for avionics upgrade, flight lessons for pilots and training for technicians. The aircraft were subjected to a standard Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) carried out by plane’s current manufacturer, the US aerospace company Lockheed Martin.

The first six F-16 MLU aircraft (5.2R upgrade standard), landed at the 86th Air Base on September 29. Three other fighters are scheduled for delivery by the end of the year, while the last three are expected to join the Romanian Air Force in 2017.

“Carpathian Ghost”
According to the Ministry of Defense, the F-16 aircraft uses a “Carpathian Ghost” paint scheme which provides “optimal camouflage for fulfilling air defense missions in environmental conditions specific to Romania”.

Lockheed Martin’s Mid-Life Update program involved the following changes:
– Standardized cockpit F-16 C / D Block 50/52, compatible with night vision systems;
– Two multifunction color displays;
– Mission modular computer;
– Modernized fire control radar;
– Hybrid navigation system;
– “Friend-foe” advanced identification system;
– Management system for electronic warfare;
– Capability to use the headset with electronic displays.

F-16 Fighting Falcon: tactical and technical specifications:
Wingspan: 10.00 m
Length: 15.03 m
Height: 5.09 m
Wing area: 27.87 sq m
Weight empty: 9,207.9 kg
Configuration fighting weight: 11.5 t
Maximum take-off weight: 21,772 kg
Maximum speed: (H = 11,000 m): Mach 2.05 / 2180 km / h
Maximum speed: (H = 0 m): Mach 1.2 / 1470 km / h
Static altitude: 16,700 m
Internal fuel: 2,685.2 kg
Range (with extra tanks): 4400 km
Power plant: 1 engine Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200/220/229 or General Electric F110-GE-100/129

M61A1 Vulcan Cannon, 20 mm caliber, six-barrel, 511-round capacity.
Attachment points: 2 at top of the wing (for air-to-air missiles), 6 under her wings, three under the fuselage, with a total capacity of 7700 kg.
    6 x AIM-9 Sidewinder
    6 x AIM-120 AMRAAM
    6 x AIM-65 Maverick
    4 x Mark 84
8 x Mark 83
12 x Mark 82
8 x GBU-39 Small Diameter Bomb (SDB)
4 x GBU-10 Paveway II
6 x GBU-12 Paveway II
4 x GBU-24 Paveway III
4 x GBU-27 Paveway III
4 x Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM)

Video: F16 Fighters Enter Service in Romanian Air Flotilla

Oct 012016

F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets made historic touchdown on Romanian soil on Thursday, and the eagerly awaited arrival occurred at the 86th Air Base (Baza 86 Aeriană) Borcea in Calarasi County.

f-16 romania fetesti

F-16 in V-shaped formation before landing near Fetesti, Romania (pic: MApN/Romanian Defense Ministry)

“The first six F-16 aircraft landed yesterday (Thursday, Sep. 29) at Romanian Air Base 86 Borcea. Before landing at the airfield, the six fighter jets have conducted a perfect V-formation flyover. Welcome home and success in future missions!”, reads a message posted on the official Facebook page of the Ministry of Defence (MApN).

The planes are part of a 12-unit squadron, with three other units to be delivered later this year and the remaining three be “shipped” during 2017.

Romania rolled out its F-16 Program back in 2013 when it decided to buy 12 “F-16A/B Block 15” fighters from Portugal at a price of 628 million euros. Of this amount, 120 million were effectively paid for the multirole aircraft while 508 million euros for pilots training and avionics upgrade.

F-16 Entry Into Service with Romanian Army: Official Ceremony (VIDEO)

The aircraft are not new but they underwent an extensive Mid-Life Update (MLU) performed by the US aerospace company Lockheed Martin, the current manufacturer of the model.

Romanian Air Force (RoAF) 86th Air Base (Baza 86 Aeriană) is located in the proximity of Fetesti city and is currently the home of the 861st, 862nd Fighter squadrons (operating MiG-21 LanceRs) and of the 863rd Helicopter squadron – located at the Mihail Kogălniceanu Airport (operating IAR-330Ls), according to Wikipedia.

Video: Romanian F16s landing at Air Base near Fetesti

Jul 162013

A Chinese stewardess died by electrocution while she was talking on her iPhone which was charging at the time. It is not clear what happened or what caused the death but Apple officials say they are saddened by the accident and will cooperate with the authorities.

iPhone 5 Apple

Chinese stewardess Ma Ailun was killed by electric shock while using an iPhone 5 that was recharging

“We are deeply saddened to learn of this tragic incident and offer our condolences to the Ma family”. “We will fully investigate and co-operate with authorities in this matter,” Apple said in a statement

Ma Ailun, the 23-year-old flight attendant of the China Southern Airlines, passed away last Thursday after she answered an incoming call on her iPhone 5. Shortly after the accident, her sister revealed the story on Sina Weibo, the largest Chinese social network, and her posting has become viral, especially as users are now advised not to respond to a phone that is plugged to the electricity.

Police opened an investigation into the case but they lack options, and people from Apple say they are willing to give a helpful hand. Too little is currently known about the circumstances of the electrocution death, but it is rumored that the girl had wet hands.

News about people dying electrocuted while talking on the phone are very rare and most of the incidents so far have mainly come from India, a country where electricity grids are often improvised in a dangerous way.

Jul 132013

The most expensive car in the world was sold for almost 20 million pound sterling at an auction held in Britain on July 12, 2013. The Formula One racing car “Mercedes-Benz W196” was once driven by legendary pilot Juan Manuel Fangio and recently put up for sale by the auction house Bonhams.

Mercedes-Benz W196

Mercedes-Benz W196 set world record as most valuable car (Credit: swns.com/rtv.net)

W196 which has officially become the most expensive in the world, was Mercedes Formula 1 entry in 1954 and belonged to Argentine driver Juan Manuel Fangio who won two Grand Prix that year.

Although experts have rated the sports car at only 10 million British pounds, the final amount paid for it, 19.6 million pounds, took everyone by surprise.

The vehicle has not undergone any change since 1954 and has been stored in a warehouse over time. This fact has increased its value.

The amount paid by the lucky collector exceeded the previous record of 10.8 million pounds paid for a 1957 Ferrari.

Video: Juan Manuel Fangio’s F1 car Mercedes-Benz W196 set price record of £19.6 million

Dec 182012

A fireball fell into the Black Sea last week and the incident was filmed by a security camera in the city of Ordu, Turkey.

While some people believe that it was a meteor, others are convinced that the images show nothing else than a UFO.

The soundtrack of the video apparently features also the noise of an explosion, but many Internet users doubted its veracity.

Some websites went further with imagination and even claim that in the Black Sea there is an underwater alien base.

The images below appear to have been presented by a television in Turkey and later posted on YouTube.

Video: Meteorite falls into Black See off Turkey coast. Impact featuring lightning and noise captured on camera: 12 December 2012

Fireball crashed into Black Sea off Turkey leaving a bright light and boom behind

Dec 062012

Australian PM jokes about the End of the World

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in a statement addressed to country’s people from the government panel, that the Mayan prophecy regarding the December 21, 2012 Apocalypse is correct. Fortunately, the declaration was just a joke made ​​to promote an entertainment program.

“My dear remaining fellow Australians, the end of the world is coming…” Gillard started her statement.

Then she went on saying: “It turns out that the Mayan calendar was true. Whether the final blow comes through flesh eating zombies, demonic beasts or from the total triumph of K-Pop (Korean Pop music style) if you know one thing about me it is this: I will always fight for you to the very end,” Gillard joked in the video promoting “Tom & Alex – End of the World Show”.

Video: Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard speech on “End Of The World”

Nov 292012

British traveler Graham Hughes became the first person to visit all states around the world without flying

A British adventurer became the first person who had traveled all the 201 sovereign states of the world without flying. The challenging journey ended on Monday when he arrived in South Sudan, world’s newest country (scroll down for video).

Graham Hughes used buses, boats, taxis, trains and his feet – but no aircraft – to browse over 250,000 kilometers in 1426 days, spending an average of less than $100 a week.

“I love to travel. I guess the reason I made this journey is because I wanted to see if it is possible, if a person with a limited budget can visit all countries over the world,” said Hughes to CS Monitor. “I also wanted to show that the world is not a big scary place, but is full of people who want to help you even if you are a foreigner,” added Hughes by phone from Juba, capital of South Sudan.

33-year-old Graham Hughes went on this trip on January 1, 2009, starting in his homecity of Liverpool. Since then, the Briton has visited all 193 UN member countries and Taiwan, the Vatican, Palestine, Kosovo, Western Sahara and the four nations that make up the United Kingdom.

Organization Guinness World Records confirmed that Hughes is the first person who manages to visit all countries without flying. The British filmed his adventures throughout the trip and now intends to produce a documentary. Furthermore, along the journey Hughes raised money for a charity, Water Aid.

“At this moment I feel a great sense of gratitude to everyone around the world who helped me get here, whether they took me by car, let me sleep on a couch or just showed me directions,” said Hughes. “There were also difficult times, e.g. waiting at a bus stop in Cambodia or traveling in a truck on a terrible road, and during those moments I wondered” why do I do this?. But I always found a reason to go on,” said the Brit.

Among the special moments of the trip, Hughes had the chance to swim in a lake full of jellyfish in Palau, opportunity to witness the final launch of a NASA space shuttle and dance with tribes in the jungles of Papua New Guinea island.

“People asked me how I would go to Afghanistan, Iraq or North Korea, but these were easy countries, I had no visa for Iraq, I just simply passed the border from Turkey,” said the daredevil traveler.

“The most difficult countries to reach were Nauru, Maldives and Seychelles, island states around which pirates sail sometimes,” said Hughes.

To cross oceans, Hughes “hitchhiked” being taken on board cargo ships. The brave man spent four days in a fishing canoe traveling from Senegal to Cape Verde, where he was arrested upon arrival.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, authorities kept him in jail for 6 days, claiming he is a spy. “Nothing made me quit, on contrary these challenges gave me strength I continue my trip,” said Hughes.

The toughest moment, “when I really wanted to quit” was two years ago when his older sister, Nicola, died of cancer at the age of 39. Hughes rushed to get home to see her before she died.

“She told me not to quit traveling, but I felt terrible. I had visited 184 countries and was only 17 to go and thought I would stop there,” recalls Hughes.

The Briton passed over this difficult time, traveling in the honor of his sister. He was thinking at all people he met along the expedition and the money he raised for Water Aid organization, which strives to make drinking water available to all people in developing countries.

“If you think about everything you know about the world from the news, then you conclude that everything is evil and become paranoid that everyone wants to hurt you,” says Hughes. “For me it was great to discover that everyone I knew took care of me despite they did not even know me”.

Hughes stayed a few days in South Sudan, and after that he wants to continue in the same spirit of adventure. Britain will go on traveling through Africa and Europe by bus and boat and will return to Liverpool by ferry before Christmas.

After a long rest, Hughes says he’s going to try to make a career as a filmmaker.

Video: Graham Hughes in South Sudan after visiting all world’s nations (26.Nov.2012)