Plane Sailing

There was a story on the BBC News website recently about a pilot (from Sunderland) who was recalling the recent events where he nearly crashed in the Channel Islands.

Mark Eddlestone’s single-engine aircraft began plummeting at 300ft-a-minute as the crew headed to Jersey.

Plummeting at 300ft-a-minute? There’s nothing plummeting about a descent rate of 300ft/minute. That’s a very gentle downward slope for even the most nervous of passengers.

Don’t forget that once descending at a constant rate, it’s only air pressure which tells you that you’re dropping in height. You can only sense a change in rate of speed (i.e. acceleration), not speed itself. That’s why in a car you can feel hard acceleration yet you’re only doing 30mph, but you can’t feel anything at a constant 70mph.

Plummeting indeed.

And We’re Back Again

Yup, back again in our own bed after a long weekend in Sunderland for Lucy’s Christening.

The whole weekend went off with hardly any problems (a novelty), although driving up I did manage to watch a rather nasty accident in my rear-view mirror on the A1 Northbound. Someone ignored the "Debris in road" flashing gantry signs, especially the bit which warned lane 3 was closed. When you get to the "debris", it’s actually a set of ladders lying across the carriageway. Someone decided that the gantry signs were wrong, pulled out, saw the ladders, swerved twice and then catapulted into the central crash barrier. After that the car disappeared from my mirrors and I don’t know what happened next. I’m assuming nothing was too serious, because the police haven’t contacted me about it after I dialled 112 (the 999 service for mobiles).

The 325-mile drive home today only took 7 hours due to numerous unscheduled feeding and nappy stops. Unlike the last time we didn’t have to divert via the hell-hole that is Mansfield because of the M1 being shut from J29-28. That took 10 hours and really sucked.