A British daredevil has just earned the reputation as the first pilot to travel the globe on a gyrocopter. The 6 month trip came to a harrowing conclusion as he scarcely escaped a lighting strike.
The pilot who outran lightening is James Ketchell. He traveled 24,000 nautical miles on his tiny aircraft. And if you aren’t familiar with gyroscopes you should know the cockpit is exposed to the elements.
After his narrow lightening dodge he landed at an airport in Hampshire, England to a crowd of cheering fans.
Ketchell’s aircraft is only capable of a 700 nautical mile range and its speed is rated at just 70 knots, so his trip had to be completed in several parts. His path took him first to Europe’s mainland and through Russia before he fly through Canada and the United States. He then proceeded to Greenland and Iceland. Ketchell’s final stop as in the Faroe Islands which is just north of Scotland.
Whether it is for business or pleasure, when we fly, we want to feel rested and ready when the flight is over. On longer flights getting some rest might figure into feeling good when one lands. While there are many distractions on a flight that might keep some up, others just don’t sleep well while flying, quiet plane or no.
Over the counter medications or alcohol may help some people relax and sleep, however these will usually leave one groggy after waking.
Fliers should do their best to be comfy. Wear loose fitting and, if you need them, warm clothes. Try to use the restroom before falling asleep. Undo your belt and other restrictive accessories. Let your neighbors know you want to try and sleep through the flight.
It is best to bring one’s own comfort items like pillows and blankets as these are becoming more and more rare on flights. Noise canceling headphones, music, white noise, noise generators or some television episodes downloaded from your favorite streaming app help some people sleep.
The cues of your nighttime routine can help your brain prepare for sleep. Try sticking to any of them you can during the flight. Make your routines portable, not only for the plane, but your destination as well. Likewise, following your rituals will prepare your brain for sleep in an unfamiliar place and time zone.
The most important thing to remember is that if you can’t sleep, it is best not to stress out about it. Relax as much as you can. Even just lying back, shutting your eyes and letting your mind wander can be restful.
Google is already an essential part of many travelers’ tool kits. Here is an overview of the ways in which Google will be improving their travel tools in 2019.
Google Lens now lets a user scan a menu and get user images of the various dishes. It will also now read the menu to the user in either the original or into a translated language. Lens is also collaborating with museums to give users more information about the exhibits and displays they are viewing in real time.
Google Assistant voice interactive travel booking feature will come to web users. The service will now try to create a reservation itself using its own format and this will be facilitated by data in the Google user’s account.
Google’s advances in thing like automated captions for video, instant speech to text transcription and voice recognition for those with speech impairments have some folks thinking that Google’s demoed, but not released instant language translation technology might be coming closer to a reality.
Google Map updates will include things like position tracking via the camera. The recommendation engine will also be getting an update to suggest things like current and upcoming events as well.
For travelers who use Google heavily as a tool 2019 looks to be an exciting year.
It is hard to believe, but an alarming number of deadly accidents are caused each year by people trying to get the ultimate selfie. Given the popularity of the ubiquitous selfie, maybe it isn’t so hard to believe after all.
Some researchers are now calling for what they call “no-selfie zones” at tourist locations all over the world. The reason? To prevent tourists from engaging in risky behavior trying to get that gold medal selfie.
Research found in the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care found that 259 people died while taking a selfie in an approximately six-year period between 2011 and 2017. The age range who scored highest for risky behavior were 20 to 29 years old and almost 73% male.
One recent example is a man who tried to snap a selfie while perched precariously above the very swollen Potomac River in Maryland. The decision nearly turned deadly when the man fell into the Potomac’s dangerous waters and had to be rescued by strangers who just happened to be nearby.
Ashley Spencer, Philadelphia native, boarded a flight bound for Cleveland this past Saturday in hopes of having her eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA), an extremely rare autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in a person’s blood vessels, treated at the Cleveland Clinic.
As it turned out, it was Spencer’s severe peanut allergy that almost killed her. 28 year old Spencer believes the bag of chips she ate pre-flight may have triggered the allergic reaction. On board the plane she went into anaphylactic shock. Thankfully a Dr. Erich Kiehl was on flight and agreed to help Spencer. Along with assistance from a North Carolina doctor, Kiehl, of the Cleveland Clinic, gave Spencer four shots from an EpiPen to stem her allergic reaction.
Spencer was rushed to a hospital in Pittsburgh where the plane made an emergency landing.