Feeds

Playmonauts could down airliners, Canuck flyboy warns

Amateur balloon mission menace

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A Canadian pilot has warned that audacious miniature figurine balloon missions could represent a "concern to aviation".

Captain Barry Wiszniowski, chairman of the Air Canada Pilots Association’s safety division, issued his alert following the recent Canuck Legonaut's ascent to 80,000ft (24,384m), which saw teenagers Mathew Ho and Asad Muhammad claim a slice of the upper atmosphere for their country.

Wiszniowski said: "I think in the 25 years that I’ve been flying I’ve seen two weather balloons that passed on one side of the aircraft or the other."

Not exactly a major threat to air traffic, then, but the flyboy insists that pilots "might not have enough reaction time if such a balloon popped up unexpectedly", and the results of an engine ingesting a large latex sphere could be serious.

Although Canadian Aviation Regulations don't cover amateur balloons, anyone wanting to hit the heights should inform Transport Canada before launching.

Ho and Muhammad did their homework before letting sending their Lego man on his way, to ensure they "weren’t doing anything dangerous or illegal". However, Ho admitted: "We got very lucky that nothing happened because there is always the possibility that something could go wrong."

For the record, El Reg's Paper Aircraft Released Into Space team, whose Vulture 1 aircraft and Playmonaut soared to a dizzying 89,591ft (27,307m) above Spain, had the necessary permission from local authority AENA for its launch.

Given that PARIS was the first high-altitude figurine mission, Ho's advice to wannabe balloonists raised a smile down here at Vulture Central. He said: "Try not to copy us. Pursue other creative interests and do your own thing and follow the rules." ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.