Federal Aviation Administration

Photo Of The Day

Lawnchair Larry: Larry Walters is barely visible as his helium balloon-rigged aluminum lawnchair drifts skyward after tether lines broke during what was supposed to be a short flight, on July 2, 1982. The flight turned into a 45-minute venture during which Walters was spotted by pilots of TWA and Delta jetliners at an altitude of 16,000 feet.

Lawnchair Larry: Larry Walters is barely visible as his helium balloon-rigged aluminium lawnchair drifts skyward after tether lines broke during what was supposed to be a short flight, on July 2, 1982. The flight turned into a 45-minute venture during which Walters was spotted by pilots of TWA and Delta jetliners at an altitude of 16,000 feet.

LawnChair Larry

You have to love the heart and spirit of true free-thinkers. Instead of “I can’t,” they are the ones who always consider the “why not?”

That was the mindset of Larry Walters, a North Hollywood, Calif., trucker who, in 1982 at age 33, captured the attention of people who dare to dream big. But being a true pioneer has its price: He also captured the attention of law enforcement and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Born Lawrence Richard Walters in April of 1949, Larry had always dreamed of flying.  At the age of 13, on a visit to an Army-Navy surplus store, he saw several empty weather balloons hanging from the store’s ceiling, and thought that it would be an interesting way to attain flight.  But a more practical way, learning to fly an airplane, was much more reasonable.  Nevertheless, the method was filed away in Walters’ subconscious.

When he came of age, he enlisted in the United States Air Force, with the hope of finally learning to fly.  However, it was discovered that he had poor eyesight – killing his flight career before it could even begin.

After leaving the Air Force, Walters began to hatch his plan.  It called for him to attach a couple of helium-filled weather balloons to a lawn chair, then cut away an anchor, and float above his backyard at a height of about 30 feet for a couple of  hours.  The flight would end when he would use a pellet gun to pop the balloons, one after another, to gently return to the earth below.

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They fry birds now they are a hazard to aircraft…welcome to green energy

Birds are being fried by the new solar plant in California and now the massive plant is blinding pilots…not sure this green energy malarky is working so well.

Airplane pilots cruising over southern California have been complaining about a “nearly blinding” glare emanating from a massive government-funded solar thermal facility.

The Ivanpah solar energy plant in San Bernardino County is the world’s largest solar thermal plant and has 173,500 large mirrors that reflect sunlight onto boilers in three 459-foot towers. A feat of modern engineering — to green energy advocates, but a flying hazard to pilots.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) got two anonymous complaints in August that mentioned a “blinding glare” coming from the Ivanpah solar facility. One complaint came from a Los Angeles air traffic controller and the other from a small transport plane pilot that took off from an airport in Boulder City, Nevada.

“The FAA is aware of potential glare from solar plants and is exploring how to best alert pilots to the issue,” an FAA spokesman told The Daily Caller News Foundation.  Read more »

A new Godwin’s Law?

We all know what Godwin’s law is…leftists usually are the first to break it, but now it is thought there is a new Godwin’s law.

Samuel Johnson once said that “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Patriotism, and bad analogies.

For the uninitiated, Godwin’s Law is one of the cardinal rules of the Internet. Coined in 1990 by Internet law expert Mike Godwin, the principle — confirmed by countless contentious comment threads across the web — is that the longer an online discussion persists, the greater the odds become that someone will make a comparison to Nazis or Adolf Hitler, to the point of near-inevitability. Nothing ends a debate faster than the hyperbolic unsupported counterfactual: “You know who else did [INSERT SUBJECT OF ARGUMENT HERE]? Hitler!”

We get this all the time…usually from teachers unions…they used it against Anne Tolley and are yet to deploy it against Hekia Parata…only a matter of time though.

But Hitler and the Nazis aren’t the only recurring straw men used to end debates. Over the past 12 years, it’s become clear that the longer a national security debate persists, the more likely it becomes that someone will try to end it by suggesting something — some policy, some person, some technology — “could have prevented 9/11.”  Read more »