Day 389 – Of helicopters

Helicopter news. Firstly, tenuously, the Cape Town fire continues today. Reports that it was under control were quickly rubbished by a huge flare-up and with the South Easter continuing to pump, the City Bowl remains the place not to be this afternoon. The helicopters were doing their bit when they could, but the wind has kept them grounded for at least some of the day. The fire is heading the other way from us at the moment, but we can still smell smoke everywhere and there is ash falling in the garden. There has been a lot of damage, not least to the UCT library:

And some video here.

Elsewhere, a local radio station reported on a trail runner who was chased by the fire yesterday. She’s pretty fast.

10 to 20 km per second is rapid.
10km/s is about Mach 30.
20km/s is 72,000kph. That’s 2½ times faster than the International Space Station travels.

Lisette was very, very lucky to survive unscathed, given that running at that speed, she would likely have spontaneously burst into flames from the air resistance alone. I don’t know how she did it.

More seriously, the emergency numbers to call in Cape Town are Landline: 021 480 7700 or Cell phone: 107.

And then, another helicopter thing, this time 287.52 million km away.

It might not look like much, but I remember the first time I flew my drone. It was amazing and that was only done in my living room. It wasn’t on Mars. And I didn’t video it.

I watched the live feed at NASA’s JPL as the data from this flight came in. Absolutely incredible.

Here’s the full video. Mind-blowing stuff.