Another flying thing blog post

(After we doubled (or trebled?) up in this one.)

Drug-taking. It’s all the rage in France at the moment. A number of fairly famous drug-takers are cycling around the country in their annual tour, and weirdly, people still want to watch them doing it.

People can be odd.

Best way to watch EPO-fuelled bike riding? Helicopter.

Helicopter times 3, in fact. With drunk pilots.

OK, so clearly, those pilots aren’t drunk. That was a slur against them and their profession in exactly the same way that saying the cyclists are cheating wasn’t. Those circling manoeuvres, avoiding each other and any surrounding buildings and countryside are the perfect way to film the race.

Other not drunk people who have made pretty patterns in the sky more locally include a BA Captain and Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden.

Planes, Trains and… Ships.

We shared Flightradar24.com with you back in 2010.

We shared MarineTraffic.com with you back in 2011.

We’ve fallen down a bit on finding you online transport tracking options in the intervening 6 years, but now we’re back with a bang – and with Raildar.co.uk.

Singularly useless in South Africa, but absolutely invaluable in the UK, you can track every train in Britain LIVE, as if it were a plane or a boat on one of those websites we mentioned above.

There (as an example) is the 13:26 from Lincoln to Sheffield – bang on time as it passes the industrial hellhole that is Worksop.

It’s wholly hypnotic, utterly nerdy and actually rather useful if you’re catching or meeting a train. But since I’m not catching or meeting a train today, I’m just being a hypnotised nerd.

Choo choo, m***********r!

Iron Maidgone

They came, they saw, they went all around Table Bay and Robben Island.

im1

And then they left, on flight 666 once again.

Observant people will have noted that it was basically 54 minutes before they actually went anywhere. The cost of flying a Boeing 747-400 for that long? Somewhere around $25,000, or just under R400,000.
Just to play in the sky over Table Bay.

But then, if you had that money, a 747 and a day like today – why on earth wouldn’t you?

Swedish Sun Shot

The solar eclipse passed over a cloudy UK yesterday, annoying many would-be observers and photographers. When it passed over Umeå in Sweden, however, things were a bit different – giving us stuff like this:

16871384241_87ae93a7fc_bI’m not sure if this was a planned shot, or if Joakim Poromaa Helger (for it was he wot took it) meant to catch the moment.
A quick look at his photostream suggests it may well have been the latter. It’s a bit wow. Check out his shots from South Africa in particular.

What makes this shot even more incredible is the fact that the crew at flightradar24 got hold of it, did some calculations, and worked out that this was flight SK5:

SK5 is the daily SAS flight from Luleå to Stockholm.

Now we know.

Flightaception

This is cool. Tracking your flight on FlightRadar24 while you’re actually on your flight that you’re tracking:

image

Other good news: I have a row of four seats to myself. And the wifi is free because of a special Eid deal. And we’ve made it safely over Syria. And I’m very, very impressed with Emirates: food, service and entertainment are all awesome.

More on why I’m actually on the flight that I’m tracking later.