Been there, done that

February 27th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

At least 19 people, most of them Asian and European tourists, died when a hot air balloon crashed near the ancient Egyptian town of Luxor after a mid-air gas explosion, officials said.

The balloon came down in farmland a few kilometres from the Valley of the Kings and pharaonic temples that draw tourists to Luxor.

Rescue workers gathered the dead from the field where the charred remains of the balloon, gas canisters and other pieces of wreckage landed.

I’ve been to Luxor and have done that exact dawn balloon trip. It is spectacular seeing the sun come up over the Valley of the Kings.

But chilling to have such a nasty fatal accident at the exact site where I had been three years ago.

All tourist activities have a degree of risk – in , safaris in Africa etc. But you do have a real sense of vulnerability when you are stuck in a fairly small basket scores of metres above the Earth, with large hot flames powering the balloon.

After the Carterton accident and now this one, I think it will be a fair while until I go ballooning again. Am thinking of skydiving at some stage though!

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19 Responses to “Been there, done that”

  1. Adele Keys (39 comments) says:

    Skydiving is great! Would thoroughly recommend it.

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  2. RRM (8,988 comments) says:

    LOL – IIRC Parachutes were invented to give you a chance of survival when jumping out of an aircraft that is on fire.

    How much of an endorsement is that? The Carterton balloon tragedy, as well as this Egyptian one and 9/11 have illustrated pretty clearly that even jumping with no parachute is still better than being in a fire.

    And do you remember that skydive incident down the west coast where the plane crashed on take off and everyone was killed? Overshadowed later in the day by the CHCH earthquake IIRC.

    Just stay away from small Biggles & Co aviators, and fly with proper airlines only.

    I do enjoy some of those “dream lines” wingsuit base jumping videos on youtube though :shock:

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  3. All_on_Red (941 comments) says:

    I saw a guy fall to his death parachuting once at Taupo. It was his first jump, the main got tangled, he cut it away but didnt pull the reserve.
    Wasnt nice watching his arms windmilling as he panicked, and he left quite a dent in the ground.
    Very sad.
    On a lighter side, I used to take parachutists up in the plane (Cessna 185 with no door on one side) over Bridge Pa. I had five on board one day and was passing through 5000 feet when the engine coughed. The jumpmaster asked me what was up, I said I think its fuel and as I leveled off the engine stopped. I did my checks and when I looked round to tell them , I saw that the fuckers had all jumped out!
    I was above the airfield so landed ok. Those 185′s dont need much space to land and you can really slow them down. Great plane.
    Yes, they bought the beer that night.

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  4. Longknives (4,039 comments) says:

    “And do you remember that skydive incident down the west coast where the plane crashed on take off”

    I believe this was the result of yet another another ‘Cannabis Baked’ Pilot?
    Yet the deluded Pro-Cannabis brigade still beat their chests and claim it is wonderful ‘Harmless’ drug..

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  5. barry (1,317 comments) says:

    skydiving with or without a parachute…..?

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  6. cha (3,524 comments) says:

    I believe this was the result of yet another another ‘Cannabis Baked’ Pilot?

    FYI, the pilot Chaminda Senadhira tested negative but don’t let the truth get in way of your stupidity.

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  7. Longknives (4,039 comments) says:

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Skydive-instructors-took-cannabis-before-fatal-flight/tabid/423/articleID/253566/Default.aspx

    Yes clearly your precious ‘Sacred Herb’ had absolutely nothing to do with this accident….

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  8. cha (3,524 comments) says:

    Was the tandem skydive instructor flying the aircraft?.

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  9. Longknives (4,039 comments) says:

    Did you put down your bong for a minute and actually read the article?

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  10. labrator (1,691 comments) says:

    @longknives You mean this bit?

    TAIC says the presence of the drug, albeit at low levels, did not contribute to the accident

    As Cha said, the pilot was cleared, the skydive instructors had smoked it. Also, those that are for more liberal drug laws don’t advocate for getting stoned and then doing things that require clarity of thought just like those that wanted wine in supermarkets don’t condone driving drunk.

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  11. cha (3,524 comments) says:

    You’re libelling a thoroughly decent young man and that’s your best shot, pathetic.

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  12. Longknives (4,039 comments) says:

    “those that are for more liberal drug laws don’t advocate for getting stoned and then doing things that require clarity of thought”

    Bullshit. Potheads I know all claim it makes them better drivers…
    Then there was the pothead I used to do regular battle with on Kiwiblog who openly advocated giving Cannabis to children to ‘enhance their brains’!

    Don’t try to tell me that all Stoners are responsible, sensible people- We both know that’s crap.

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  13. cha (3,524 comments) says:

    Bullshit. Potheads I know all claim it makes them better drivers…

    Wow, some of your best friends are…idiots like you.

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  14. Longknives (4,039 comments) says:

    “Wow, some of your best friends are…idiots like you.”

    Only Three minutes to come up with such a side-splitting witty response- Clever boy.

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  15. cha (3,524 comments) says:

    Indeed, but not half as clever as the libelling of a decent young man who lost his life doing his job.

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  16. ChardonnayGuy (1,023 comments) says:

    How awful. Is there anywhere we can send condolences to the families of the victims?

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  17. iMP (2,147 comments) says:

    I proposed to my wife in a hot air balloon over Canterbury. The thing I hate most about these accidents, is the total doom of the people in the basket. At least on the ground you have a chance, but being 300m or more up in the air, on fire, is utterly horrific. Won’t find me up in one again, I’m afraid. I’ll climb a hill for the view.

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  18. Chuck Bird (4,401 comments) says:

    DPF – What sort of skydive have you planned – tandem or Accelerated Free Fall (AFF)?

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  19. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,785 comments) says:

    Come on David, the only thing you should be thinkng about is Hand Gliding off the Cliffs of Rio. That would be a real incentive to complete your weight loss program. Plus you just know the Brazian Government is going to ban this for the Rio Olympics in 2016. If not the World Cup next year.

    YOLO

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