Moderator: Van Canna
"Alain Robert says that he has fallen 7 times in his life.
At the ages of 19 and 20 he suffered 2 accidents, where he fell 49 feet (15 meters) and suffered multiple fractures and permanent vertigo, and underwent 3 operations. The doctors considered him 60% handicapped and told him he would not be able to climb again.
But 6 months later he was back to climbing, taking on more and more challenging structures and improving his skills.
The worst was his second fall in 1982 when he fell 15 meters when his rope came undone. He was in a coma for 5 days and fractured both forearms, his elbow, pelvis, and nose. His elbow was also dislocated and a nerve was damaged leaving him partially paralyzed. He also suffered cerebral edema and vertigo. He underwent 6 operations on his hands and elbow.
In 1993, he fell 26 feet (8 meters) while ironically showing students how to rely on their legs when climbing. He kept his hands behind his back on an easy route but lost his balance and fell headfirst shattering both wrists. He went into another coma and spent 2 months in the hospital.
In 2004, he fell 6.5 feet (2 meters) when climbing the building of a Korean television station after an interview. He landed on his elbow and needed forty stitches, but a month later he climbed the world’s tallest skyscraper, Taipei 101, as part of its official opening week."
Van Canna wrote:Great 'quality of life' for this guy
Usually, they don't find a willing mate to share the years...they must be pretty lonely and frustrated in many ways.
You can see why the U-2 is considered the most difficult plane in the world to fly. Each p ilot has a co-pilot, who chases the plane on the runway in a sports car. Most of the cars are either Pontiac GTOs or Chevrolet Cameros — the Air Force buys American. The chase cars talk the pilot down as he lands on bicycle-style landing gear.
In that spacesuit, the pilot in the plane simply cannot get a good view of the runway.
Upon takeoff, the wings on this plane, which extend 103 feet from tip to tip, literally flap.
To stabilize the wings on the runway, two pogo sticks on wheels prop up the ends of the wings.
As the plane flies away, the pogo sticks drop off.
The plane climbs at an amazing rate of nearly 10,000 feet a minute.
Within about four minutes, I was at 40,000 feet, higher than most commercial airplanes. We kept going up to 13 miles above Earth's surface.
You get an incredible sensation up there. As you look out the windows,
it feels like you're floating, it feels like you're not moving, but you're actually going 500 mph..
The U-2 was built to go higher than any other aircraft. In fact today,
more than 50 years since it went into production, the U-2 flies higher than any aircraft in the world with the exception of the space shuttle.
It is flying more missions and longer missions than ever before —
nearly 70 missions a month over Iraq and Afghanistan , an operational
tempo that is unequaled in history.
The pilots fly for 11 hours at a time, sometimes more than 11 hours up
By flying so high, the U-2 has the capability of doing reconnaissance
over a country without actually violating its airspace.
It can look off to the side, peering 300 miles or more inside a country without actually flying over it.
It can "see" in the dark and through clouds.
It can also "hear," intercepting conversations 14 miles below.
The U-2, an incredible piece of history and also a current piece of
high technology, is at th e center of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan .
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