Category Archives: Travel

Germanwings Airbus crash: Co-pilot deliberately crashed plane; captain was locked out of cockpit

UPDATE:

The New York Times reports that today, March 26, 2015, French officials said that Andreas Lubitz, the co-pilot of Germanwings flight 9525 deliberately crashed the aircraft. Voice recorder evidence shows that he had locked the captain out of the cockpit, ignored his pleas for re-entry and steered down into the French Alps as passengers were heard screaming.

The top executive of Lufthansa, the parent company of Germanwings, said he was speechless at the news from France.

Prosecutor Brice Robin said it appeared that Lubitz’s intention was “to destroy the aircraft.” Voice recorder showed that the co-pilot had been breathing until before the moment of impact, suggesting that he was conscious and deliberate in bringing the plane down and killing all 150 abroad.

The assertions instantly changed the nature of the Tuesday crash into a wide-ranging criminal investigation that focused on Lubitz the co-pilot, a 27-year-old German with no obvious reason to commit mass murder, who had been hired less than two years ago. (Read more, here.)

Click to enlarge
Germanwings crash

From the New York Times:

PARIS – As officials struggled Wednesday to explain why a jet with 150 people on board crashed in relatively clear skies, an investigator said evidence from a cockpit voice recorder indicated one pilot left the cockpit before the plane’s descent and was unable to get back in.

A senior military official involved in the investigation described “very smooth, very cool” conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. Then the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not re-enter.

“The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer,” the investigator said. “And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer.”

He said, “You can hear he is trying to smash the door down.” […]

“We don’t know yet the reason why one of the guys went out,” said the official, who requested anonymity because the investigation is continuing. “But what is sure is that at the very end of the flight, the other pilot is alone and does not open the door.”

The data from the voice recorder seems only to deepen the mystery surrounding the crash and provides no indication of the condition or activity of the pilot who remained in the cockpit. The descent from 38,000 feet over about 10 minutes was alarming but still gradual enough to indicate that the twin-engine Airbus A320 had not been damaged catastrophically. At no point during the descent was there any communication from the cockpit to air traffic controllers or any other signal of an emergency.

When the plane plowed into craggy mountains northeast of Nice, it was traveling with enough speed that it was all but pulverized, killing the 144 passengers and crew of six and leaving few clues. […]

The flight’s trajectory ahead of the crash also left many unanswered questions.

But minutes later, the plane inexplicably began to descend, Mr. Jouty said. At 10:40 and 47 seconds, the plane reported its last radar position, at an altitude of 6,175 feet. “The radar could follow the plane until the point of impact,” he said.

Mr. Jouty said the plane slammed into a mountainside and disintegrated, scattering debris over a wide area, and making it difficult to analyze what had happened. […]

A senior French official involved in the investigation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the lack of communication from the pilots during the plane’s descent was disturbing, and that the possibility that their silence was deliberate could not be ruled out.

“I don’t like it,” said the French official, who cautioned that his initial analysis was based on the very limited information currently available. “To me, it seems very weird: this very long descent at normal speed without any communications, though the weather was absolutely clear.”

“So far, we don’t have any evidence that points clearly to a technical explanation,” the official said. “So we have to consider the possibility of deliberate human responsibility.” […]

Speaking on the French radio station RTL, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said on Wednesday morning that terrorism was not a likely “hypothesis at the moment,” but that no theories had been definitively excluded. He said the size of the area over which debris was scattered suggested that the aircraft had not exploded in the air but rather had disintegrated on impact.

H/t my friend Don Hanks, who wrote this comment with which I heartily agree:

If the names of the pilots are ever disclosed, we may have a clue.

~Éowyn

TSA will require “Real ID” with background checks to board all commercial flights next year

On May 11, 2005, exploiting Americans’ fear of terrorism after 9/11, Congress and the Bush administration enacted the Real I.D. Act in the name of national security. (See “National ID card for every American“)

Real I.D. is an effective National ID card. All 50 constituent States in America are required to federalize their driver’s licenses by making them conform to national federal standards. Even non-drivers will be issued an ID card, thereby putting the lie to Real ID being just a driver’s license. That ID card contains all sorts of information on you which are entered into a national database and accessible and shared by the 50 state authorities. The information includes:

  • Information that’s on your driver’s license now: birthdate and address;
  • Your Social Security number;
  • Proof of citizenship or immigration status;
  • Reportedly, biometric security features and RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips.

Real ID cardThis is Nevada’s Real ID card — an “enhanced” driver’s license. The star in a gold circle in the top right indicates DMV has “checked out” your background.

After a yearlong period of deferred enforcement, implementation of Phase 1 of the Real ID Act began on January 20, 2014, with at least 21 states now fully compliant. There are four planned phases, three of which apply to areas that affect relatively few U.S. citizens—e.g., DHS headquarters, nuclear power plants, and restricted and semi-restricted federal facilities.

Phase 4 applies to boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft. The TSA recently announced that Phase 4, requiring a Real ID to board domestic flights, will be implemented in a year — by 2016.

Activist Post reports, Feb. 1, 2015, that by then, the Real IDs will have already performed extensive background checks on everyone who receives them and will feature stars and other markings to indicate good behavior. No word on markings for troublemakers.

Since its inception, civil liberties advocates have had concerns that those without these intrusive new IDs will be excluded from basic human rights like working or traveling. The KTVN news report below appears to confirm this agenda.

KTVN reporter Ellen Breen states that by July 2016, Nevadans must present either a passport or a Real ID card to board a commercial airplane.

“It’s a choice,” says Nevada DMV official David Fierro, “you don’t have to get a Real ID card, but if you want to get on an airplane after 2016, you’re going to have to have a Real ID card.”

Nevada’s Real ID card looks like a regular driver’s license but with a white star in a gold circle in the top right corner. The star indicates the DMV has checked out your background.

Welcome to 1984!

See also:

~Éowyn

It’s Official. Norad Has Confirmed Santa On Radar. Here Is Link To Track.

Friends, please if you have little ones go to http://www.noradsanta.org/ and track Santa. Also lot’s of other cool things to do. You have to go to the Big Red Link. The pic below is only a screen grab. I can’t figure out how to put it up live. Merry Christmas Friends Of  the Fellowship.   sangels_100-123sangels_100-110sangels_100-125

 

PS.  You might find this interesting. This is the story of how NORAD and Santa got hooked up in the first place . It all started in 1955, with a misprint in a Colorado Springs newspaper and a call to Col. Harry Shoup’s secret hotline at the Continental Air Defense Command, now known as NORAD. Here is the link. Kinda heart warming.

http://www.npr.org/2014/12/19/371647099/norads-santa-tracker-began-with-a-typo-and-a-good-sport

 http://www.noradsanta.org/

 http://www.noradsanta.org/

These stats were just taken at 11:45 EST
GIFTS DELIVERED
1,745,345,282
LAST SEEN
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
HEADING FOR
Thimphu, Bhutan in 2 minutes, 21 seconds.
~Steve~

And Now For The Rest of The Story…

I’ll take  Things that make you go hmmm  for a thousand Alex. It sounds good to me. Wanna argue? Bring it.  LOL————————————

Railroad tracks.

The US standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches. That’s an exceedingly odd number.

Why was that gauge used? Because that’s the way they built them in England, and English expatriates designed the US railroads.

Sounds good to me.

Sounds good to me.

Why did the English build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that’s the gauge they used.

Why did ‘they’ use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they had used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.

Why did the wagons have that particular odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing, the wagon wheels would break on some of the old, long distance roads in England, because that’s the spacing of the wheel ruts.

So who built those old rutted roads? Imperial Rome built the first long distance roads in Europe (including England) for their legions. Those roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts in the roads? Roman war chariots formed the initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagon wheels.

Looks like wheel ruts to me.

Looks like wheel ruts to me.

Since the chariots were made for Imperial Rome, they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing. Therefore the United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches is derived from the original specifications for an Imperial Roman war chariot.

Bureaucracies live forever.

So the next time you are handed a specification/procedure/process and wonder ‘What horse’s ass came up with this?’, you may be exactly right. Imperial Roman army chariots were made just wide enough to accommodate the rear ends of two war horses.

Now, the twist to the story:

Couldn't  find shuttle thru tunnel. But found a horses arse. They'll work.   hehehhehe

Couldn’t find shuttle thru tunnel pic. But found a horses arse. They’ll work. hehehhehe

When you see a Space Shuttle sitting on its launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at their factory in Utah

The engineers who designed the SRBs would have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line from the factory happens to run through a tunnel in the mountains, and the SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than the railroad track, and the railroad track, as you now know, is about as wide as two horses’ behinds.

So, a major Space Shuttle design feature of what is arguably the world’s most advanced transportation system was determined over two thousand years ago by the width of a horse’s ass. And you thought being a horse’s ass wasn’t important? Ancient horse’s asses control almost everything…

even today, in places like Washington, DC.

I’ll buy it. Sounds good to me.   :)

~Steve~                                   H/T   I_Man

 

U.S. State Dept memo on bringing foreign Ebola patients to America

Dr. Eowyn:

We now have the actual State Department memo recommending the “expeditious” importing of Ebola-infected non-citizens into the United States for medical treatment.

It would cost $300,000 to treat each patient and another $200,000 for transportation — expenses that the State Dept. claims will be borne by the patient or their parent organization, and NOT by U.S. taxpayers. But do you actually believe the Obama administration? I don’t.

Since when has Obama actually told the truth about anything? Or have we forgotten his grand promise of “If you like your health insurance, you can keep your insurance,” or “your health insurance premium will actually go down with Obamacare”?

Then there is the graver matter of intentionally bringing into the United States even more people who are Ebola-infected — as if the case of “Patient Zero” Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan isn’t enough — and thereby increases the likelihood that the deadly hemorrhagic virus contaminate and infect more Americans.

Originally posted on Consortium of Defense Analysts:

Barack Ebola logoTwo weeks ago, on October 17, 2014, Judicial Watch, the non-partisan D.C.-based citizens watchdog group, claimed that the Obama administration is actively formulating plans to admit Ebola-infected non-U.S. citizens into the United States for treatment within the first days of diagnosis.

Doing so would require special waivers of laws and regulations that currently ban the admission of non-citizens with a communicable disease as dangerous as Ebola.

Judicial Watch’s source said the Obama administration is keeping from Congress this illegal plan that endangers the public health and welfare of Americans.

Now, the watchdog group’s initial report is confirmed to be true.

From Judicial Watch, Oct. 29, 2014:

This several media outlets have confirmed JW’s story, attributing the information to an unclassified State Department report. It spells out a plan to rush foreigners into the U.S. for Ebola treatment […] It would cost $300,000 to treat each patient and…

View original 1,761 more words

The Hobbit goes flying: Air NZ’s epic safety video

New Zealand is and will always be the closest we’d ever get to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

Epic!

I can hardly wait for December 17, when the 3rd of The Hobbit movie trilogy, “The Battle of the Five Armies,” comes to our movie screens.

It’ll be bitter sweet — probably our last visit to Middle-earth as the Tolkien Estate has not given screen rights approval to Tolkien’s other literary works beyond The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.

H/t GoodNewsNetwork and FOTM’s CSM

~Eowyn

Obama to import Ebola-infected foreigners into America

President Ebola

Thomas Eric Duncan, an Ebola-infested Liberian whom U.S. Customs allowed into the U.S., had managed to transmit the virus to two nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas before he died from the terrible hemorrhagic fever. Now Obama means to import in more Thomas Eric Duncans into the United States.

As President Ebola continues to refuse closing America’s borders to travelers from West Africa — the epicenter of the Ebola epidemic — Judicial Watch, the non-partisan D.C.-based citizens watchdog group, reports on Oct. 17, 2014 that the Obama administration is actively formulating plans to admit Ebola-infected non-U.S. citizens into the United States for treatment.  Specifically, the goal of the administration is to bring Ebola patients here for treatment within the first days of diagnosis.

Crazier still, Obama’s plans include special waivers of laws and regulations that currently ban the admission of non-citizens with a communicable disease as dangerous as Ebola.

Judicial Watch’s source says the Obama administration is keeping from Congress this illegal plan that endangers the public health and welfare of Americans.

Well, all you Congress critters in the House and Senate, now you know! So what are you gonna do about this travesty?

Meanwhile, to add to the cheery news [sarc], scientist Peter Jahrling of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease warns that the Ebola virus may have already mutated into an even more virulent and contagious variant than previous strains.

Jahrling has dedicated his life to studying some of the most dangerous viruses on the planet. In 1989, he helped discover Reston, a new Ebola strain, in his Virginia lab.

Julia Belluz reports for Vox, Oct. 13, 2014, that Jahrling’s team discovered from tests on Ebola patients in Liberia that the virus appears to carry a much higher “viral load.” In other words, Ebola victims today have more of the virus in their blood — and that could make them more contagious.

Jahrling describes the current Ebola virus as burning “hotter and quicker,” which means it’s more contagious and easily spread. As he puts it, “If true, that’s a very different bug.”

On the Ebola virus being air-borne, Jahrling says, “You can argue that any time the virus replicates it’s going to mutate. So there is a potential for the thing to acquire an aerogenic property but that would have to be a dramatic change.”

There are five strains of Ebola, four of which have caused the disease in humans: Zaire, Sudan, Taï Forest, and Bundibugyo. The fifth, Reston, has infected nonhuman primates only. Though scientists haven’t been able to confirm this, the animal host of Ebola is widely believed to be the fruit bat, and the virus only seldomly makes the leap into humans.

The current outbreak involves the Zaire strain, which was discovered in 1976 — the year Ebola was first identified in what was then Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). That same year, the virus was also discovered in South Sudan.

The Ebola virus is extremely rare. Among the leading causes of death in Africa, it only accounts for a tiny fraction. Africans are much more likely to die from AIDS, respiratory infections, or diarrhea.

H/t FOTM reader America UNITE and The Extinction Protocol

~Eowyn