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Guy straps into falling helicopter to prove Neil deGrasse Tyson wrong

There aren't many people who'd strap themselves into a plummeting helicopter voluntarily, but apparently when you really, really love science, you've got to do whatever it takes to demonstrate the laws of physics.

Or, at least, that's Destin's excuse over at YouTube channel Smarter Every Day, as he puts his life on the line, all to prove Neil deGrasse Tyson wrong.

The whole experiment was inspired by a tweet from deGrasse Tyson about how helicopters fall:

Physics

For those of you who aren't familiar with Smarter Every Day, Destin just happens to be something of an expert on helicopters, and he was pretty sure this wasn't true – helicopters don't just drop like bricks.

In fact, he was so confident about it that he was willing to get into a helicopter and cut the engine mid-air, just to prove that it would glide, thanks to a technique known as autorotation.

We don't want to give away the ending here, but as you might have guessed by the fact that Destin lived to upload this video, he was right.

Pilots arrested in Scotland on suspicion of being too drunk to fly passengers to Canada

An Air Transat plane taxis on the tarmac

Two pilots have been arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol shortly before they were due to fly a transatlantic passenger jet.

Concerns over the pair’s behavior were raised at Glasgow Airport shortly before the Air Transat A310 with 250 passengers on board was due to depart for Toronto on Monday afternoon.

Officers arrested the men, aged 37 and 39, on suspicion of being “impaired through alcohol” before they were due to take off at 1pm.

Police Scotland said the pair will appear in custody at Paisley Sheriff Court later.

The Canadian airline confirmed the arrests and said passengers had been put up in hotels while alternative flights were arranged.

A spokesman said: “Air Transat has learned of the arrest on 18 July of two crew members assigned to its Glasgow-Toronto flight.

“We will await the results of the investigation and judicial proceedings before commenting on the matter before making any further comments.

“The safety of our crews and passengers is, and will remain, a top priority at Air Transat.”

Passengers who complained on social media about being delayed were told by the airline: “For operational reasons we have no choice.” A rescheduled flight is expected to leave on Tuesday.

The Most Tricked Out Private Jumbos

The opulent dining rooms, kitchens and lounges of the types of Boeing 787 and Airbus A350 planes sold to private buyers

private jet

The dining room with a sitting area onboard a private 787 scheduled to be delivered to a Chinese buyer at the end of this week. Private widebodies get plush, durable carpet that can cost $200 a square foot and the latest communications technology.

The Boeing 787 and the Airbus A350 can fly nonstop between just about any two cities in the world. They can each hold 300 passengers. Or a family of four.

In the rarest air of wealth, jumbo jets are being outfitted as private planes.

They cost $300 million or more.

A Boeing 787 outfitted by Kestrel Aviation Management is scheduled to be delivered this week to a Chinese company, HNA Aviation Group, that plans to use it for its CEO and for VIP charter trips. The tricked-out jet was put on display at an aviation conference this year and pictures of its interior were made public—something unheard of in the world of ultra-fancy, ultra-secretive private-jet buyers.

A peek inside is more than just airplane voyeurism. Sometimes innovations in private jets make it into the commercial airline fleet, such as new communications equipment or wing tips that increase range and fuel economy. Private buyers are demanding, and manufacturers can experiment when they are outfitting one plane rather than a fleet.

Kestrel chief executive Stephen Vella says new materials and lightweight construction techniques pioneered on private planes often get adopted in fancy first class airline cabins.

We are the only part of the company that sells aircraft to passengers,’’ says David Longridge, president of Boeing Business Jets.

The biggest selling point of the 787 and A350 is the range—10,000 miles or more depending on weight and fuel capacity of the plane. That means they can fly from Asia to the U.S. East Coast and from the Middle East to the West Coast without stopping for fuel.

They don’t like to stop,” Mr. Vella says of his clients.

The private 787 Mr. Vella was hired to sell took two years to design and outfit. Mr. Vella says he went all-out, even buying two tons of marble that a contractor sliced into very thin pieces that were mounted on lightweight structures with a flexible membrane in between so they wouldn’t crack in turbulence.

The plane was recently bought by HNA, a transportation company and parent of several airlines, including China’s Hainan Airlines.

It was Mr. Vella’s 11th widebody project, but “for the first time in my career I’ve been able to show [the public] what type of work we do,” he says. Mr. Vella took an empty shell of an airplane from Boeing and worked with a French design firm to create a cabin that would be distinctive enough for a billionaire buyer but plain enough to accommodate the aesthetics of clients from both the Middle East and Asia, the regions where most private jumbo buyers come from. The plane was turned over to Greenpoint Technologies, a Kirkland, Wash., firm that specializes in building aircraft interiors and retrofitting airliners, for more than a year of construction on the interior.

Boeing has sold 15 787s, which carry about 220 to 300 passengers for airlines, in recent years to private buyers, most of them individuals, Mr. Longridge says. In the past, its biggest offering for most nongovernment buyers used to be the single-aisle 737, which seats about 150 people for airlines.

The world has moved on and has moved up and people are flying bigger airplanes,” he says.

At 2,408 square feet, a private 787-8 cabin has homey comfort on a 17-hour flight for a staff of 40 or just a billionaire’s family. The plane is usually fitted with a living room, dining room and den. Showers as big as those in five-star hotels have flow rates of 2.2 gallons a minute, which is close to the U.S. federal standard for new shower heads. Gourmet kitchens have induction cooktops, since flames aren’t allowed, plus steam convection ovens, chillers, freezers, espresso makers and rice cookers.

Master bedrooms have a “gust belt”—a giant seat belt covering the mattress—plus oxygen masks scattered in the ceiling. Furniture is constructed with thin slices of wood, metal or marble covering lightweight honeycomb material to look real but save weight.

Greenpoint, one of the largest outfitters of big private airliners, has one client’s 777 in its hangar, along with a new private 787.

Greenpoint executive vice president Bret Neely says a widebody offers three times the space inside the plane, but operating costs aren’t three times as large.

The luxury is really amazing. If you’ve been in a really, really high-end hotel, that starts to get at what it’s like in one of these master suites,” Mr. Neely says. “The 787 and A350 are the future of VIP.

Building all that fancy into an airplane turns out to be a difficult engineering challenge, and not just because everything needs to be lightweight. Most everything on board has to be bolted down and capable of withstanding extreme forces. Private jets must meet FAA requirements and prove the interior isn’t going to come apart should the cabin suddenly decompress or crash land.

A bed has to withstand an event with nine times the normal force of gravity, Mr. Neely says, and meet flammability requirements.

Tables may have head-strike pads to make surfaces less lethal in accidents. Candleholders can’t have candles—Evergreen has a local glass artist fabricate candle holders with a hole in the bottom where an LED light is placed.

Some private jumbos have guest bedrooms, offices, staff seating, even rooms for providing medical treatment, hospital beds and all. Some have missile defenses installed—not nearly as elaborate as military defenses installed on the Boeing 747s used as Air Force One, but commercially available systems that use radar to detect missiles and deploy flares as countermeasures. The planes also have a full range of security systems, such as alarms if cargo doors are opened on the ground, motion sensors and cameras. Some carry private gun lockers and almost all carry at least one, if not two, safes for cash and jewelry. Cargo bays have room to carry spare parts like extra wheels.

Crystal Cruise Lines just put a Boeing 777 into Greenpoint’s hangar in Moses Lake, Wash., to be turned into a flying cruise ship. The plane, with 3,000 square feet of space, will have a bar, lounge and gambling table, plus 84 first-class seats instead of close to 400 airline seats. A round-the-world trip with stops at hotels in several cities would take 14 to 28 days by plane. Its maiden voyage is scheduled for 2017.

The well-traveled leisure market is looking for new things,” says Richard Ziskind, vice president and managing director of Crystal Luxury Air and Crystal AirCruises.

private jet

Crystal, which operates ocean liners, riverboats and yachts, sees its plane as a natural extension. With a water cruise, 80% of the experience is on the ship. With an air cruise, 20% will be in the air and the rest on land excursions. The plane may be available for charter, Crystal says, depending on its tour schedule of around-the-world trips.

jet

Several firms already offer luxury air trips with specially outfitted private planes, such as narrowbody 757s fitted with 50 or 75 seats instead of 180. Those trips often cost $80,000 or more.

Teacher Punished For Giving Oral Sex To Students

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If this woman, Jill Meldrum-Jones, looks to you like she’s feeling terrified, that could well be the case. She admitted to doing something completely wrong and inexusable on an airplane (and other places), lost her teaching career and faces jail time because of what she did.

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You would think a married teaching assistant and mother of two living and working in England would enjoy a chance to chaperone and be part of a four-day school trip to South Africa just for the break, wouldn’t you?

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Wouldn’t you expect that a 37-year-old teaching assistant, who is also a wife and mother, would teach the kids about South Africa since that’s where the class was going? But instead, Meldrum-Jones went where she shouldn’t have ever gone at all…

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On the airplane full of students, Jill Meldrum-Jones sexually molested a 15-year-old student of hers by masturbating him and giving him oral sex during the flight home to England from South Africa. She actually admitted to doing those two acts three times each during the 10 hour flight “under the cover of darkness.”

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Even worse, this wasn’t the first time Meldrum-Jones had performed sex acts on this child. She told the court there were several other occasions she engaged in sexual acts with this student during this school trip. The teaching assistant admitted that the first time she performed a sex act on the child was on a mini-bus on the way back from a day-long excursion. In addition to the charges of child molestation, Meldrum-Jones pled guilty to two counts of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity which involved him performing oral sex on her.

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After the South Africa school trip, rumors about something going on with the teaching assistant and student were circulating and the two were often seen going for walks together. The school can’t be named to protect the child. Under questioning by authorities, Meldrum-Jones admitted what she’d done before pleading guilty in court.

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Jill Meldrum-Jones was given a jail sentence of two years, eight months. She has been added to the sex-offender registry list.

Did The Punishment Fit The Crime? Your chance to reply below…

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