Whilst I appreciate that he could have caused a major accident, the world progresses by "men in sheds" building things like this.
A homemade airship went out of control above Oklahoma last week and came down on an interstate motorway, causing startled highway patrolmen to hurriedly close several lanes to traffic. According to reports, the 79-year-old pilot and inventor of the craft was uninjured - but is now in trouble with the feds for not possessing …
Besides, dirigibles, even hydrogen-filled ones, are sedate enough to not be prone to a lot of speed related accidents. One of the things I dislike about technology-in-wide-production is the sheer amount of red tape it invariably attracts. This guy, well, he's undaunted. More power to him. If the FCC had any balls they'd just give him a licence to experiment with his dirigibles, perhaps provided he reads up on the existing literature. But of course they can't, they're stuck in red tape land.
"According to Polzein he was forced to come down on the interstate to avoid an even more dangerous descent into trees."
Descending into trees put one man in danger. Descending on the interstate -- in an unlicensed, illegal vehicle -- puts dozens of lives in danger.
A man who takes risks should learn to accept the consequences.
The interstate in OK are long and straight, cars tend to be moving at well over the posted limit because they are "quite".
By putting a STATIONARY obstacle in the path of oncoming traffic he put other peoples lives at risk, very careless.
While I agree with other posters that he is should continue, and I would encourage him to do so. But he needs to remember that if he screws up someone else could die if he is not careful, even the Wrights tested in an empty field.
drivers can see miles ahead that something large, slow and not-at-all car-like is descending on to the road. And even with the average attentiveness of OK drivers, and the state of their car's brakes, they should be able to stop without pranging into the blimp, each other or any amount of wayside trees.
Surely you know that when a bureaucrat makes marks on paper, the entire makeup of the universe alters to support his will....That's why booze and ciggies as legal and taxable drugs are much safer than mary jane or anything else that's banned.....yet for a period in US history booze was amazingly dangerous.
Humans really are bell-ends.
Tux, cos sooner or later Balmer will get Linux banned, at which point it'll become more dangerous than a starving timber wolf with a peeled habenjero up it's ringpiece.
...a big, wide-open area called the USA, sadly becoming Police State USA. We're right behind you, Britain.
Still, a big thumbs-up for old Marvin, for sure. Reminds me of my late father-in-law, who celebrated his 80th birthday with a parachute jump. Banzai, you crazy geezer.
you do realize that there was a lot less commercial air traffic aloft when the Wright boys were testing their craft, not to mention a bit less interstate road travel that this guy put in danger just to satisfy his hobby. There's the safe and legal way to do this, then there's his "rules don't apply to me, I'll do whatever the hell I please" way. And don't give me the "wide open USA" crap - he landed on the Interstate in Oklahoma, it's not like the state is covered with them, so he obviously wasn't out in the middle of nowhere. I'm sure you'd feel a bit different about his right to play with experimental aircraft if he landed one on your house.
This guy wasn't traversing any commercial air corridors at the altitude he was flying at ! He was probably using the Intersate a nav waypoint being a massive linear feature unlike the surrounding landascape after all this guy is flying VFR probably without GPS - slack cutting needed. Mind you landing on a road in the States a recipe for disaster as the driving standard out there is moronic.
"the world progresses by 'men in sheds' building things like this."
Bad example. Men in sheds who build useful devices have more gumption than this old codger. Notice that the Wright brothers, the quintessential men in sheds, had the brains to do their test flights at Kitty Hawk where no one would be endangered by crashes.
And besides, the era of men in sheds building useful devices seems to be nearly over. Maybe a lot of innovative software still comes out of sheds, but at least it doesn't endanger lives by crashing on a freeway. It restricts its crashes to the guts of computers.
As for the inventor himself, the applicable platitude is "There's no fool like an old fool."
Where are the curmudgeon, bah-humbug, and Scrooge icons, pray tell?
>Notice that the Wright brothers, the quintessential men in sheds, had the brains to do their test flights at Kitty Hawk where no one would be endangered by crashes.
They chose Kitty Hawk for its consistent winds, not out of concern for safety. At that stage of development, any farmer's field would have been equally safe for bystanders.
>And besides, the era of men in sheds building useful devices seems to be nearly over. Maybe a lot of innovative software still comes out of sheds, but at least it doesn't endanger lives by crashing on a freeway. It restricts its crashes to the guts of computers.
What an odd, inane statement. Surfboards, hang gliders, the CRT, and the stepped airfoil (almost) no stall wing, air brakes, and automatic oilers were all invented by amateurs in their sheds. These examples just popped into mind. A little research would reveal a plethora of like examples. Who knows what is being worked on in some enthusiasts' garages that will end up a part of our everyday lives?
Better than rotting away in some bloody old folks home.... fair play to him and I wish him all the best in his efforts.
And for the whiners out there .....
If the Feds (and most bloody officials) out there had their way we'd never get anywhere so shut the f&%^ up!!
Happy christmas to ye all ... Last day and it's beer o' clock.
Oh yes indeedy. Enough errors, and you get your trial in court...
And seriously, a plastic patio chair? I'm not exactly Mr Hippo (160lbs) and I've mullered one in the past just by sitting down a little too hard. Would I want this to be the only obstacle to raspberry-jam-ness several hundred feet below? Not much.
...how is what this geezer did any different from what the Wright Brothers were doing over a century ago, or what Robert Goddard was doing in the 1930s?
Also, even allowing for traffic concerns... isn't this what every private light-aircraft pilot is trained to do, even if only informally -- if you're in trouble, and trying to get yourself down without killing yourself, look for an open stretch of highway? I'm sure that's happened many, many times.
Pint of beer icon, because, what the hell; here it is, Merry Christmas.
<< isn't this what every private light-aircraft pilot is trained to do, even if only informally -- look for an open stretch of highway? >>
I'm not sure what they teach where you come from, but, over here in Australia that's the last place you'd try to land. Virtually all highways here are surrounded by overhead power and telephone lines. You (usually) won't survive hitting one of those.
I was taught to NEVER try landing on a highway. Much better a field, park, golf course or even a large backyard. You'll bend the aeroplane, but you've a fair chance of walking (or staggering) away. I've even heard of people surviving landing in a tree!
There's a similar guy but succesful in Finland. Made a plane from VW motor, wood and greenhouse plastic film with hardly any education or flight training, only from experience of flying RC planes.
Flyed first lane for about 70h, was caught and fined. Sold that plane and it ended up into a museum: http://fi.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiira_%28Raimo_P%C3%A4%C3%A4talon_lentokone%29
He made a second plane, flied with it and was caught and sentenced for a 4 months suspended prison sentence.
He claims there's even third plane in a secret place, and there's rumors about fourth but he denies the existence of the fourth.
The guy is 62 now, and could still be flying some plane.
I've seen the Tiira 1 in the museum, and it's quite rough looking. Most of the parts are taken from whatevers been laying around. The control sticks bearing is a 4 inch iron nail! That blimp guy has a long way to go compared to this crazy finn.
"Did you know the Wright broithers did not have a pilots licence between them?"
There's a very simple explanation for that: The Wright brothers' maiden flight was the first officially documented case of powered flight therefore there were no sorts of laws, regulations or licensing for air travel. Why would you license or create legislation for something that was considered impossible at the time?
This guy want all the way down to Texas in this thing so I can't be that crap and Lewis where in the article does in mention an Interstate let alone alone landing on one. He crash landed near a school. Intersates don't run through towns to my knowledge. Top bloke shame there are so few of his type still about and so many politically correct, risk-averse, autocratic worms.
"Intersates don't run through towns to my knowledge"
I-5 (Interstate 5) runs through Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland. I-5 was actually designed that way, so it's *not* a case of cities/businesses/etc springing up around busy highways, because those cities were there first. I-5 is not some piddly little short interstate either - it's over 1000 miles long and runs all the way from Canada to Mexico, although there is room for debate as to whether Seattle qualifies for 'piddly' status ;) but Tacoma's status in that regard was confirmed decades ago. ;)
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