Model plane tries to take on real plane – Australian FAA not amused

This is one of those video clips that you have to see to believe. An Australian model plane enthusiast/idiot, took his model plane and came within about 100 feet of hitting a real plane.

The Virgin Blue jet was not hit, but the model plane appeared to get caught in the turbulence from the jet engines and plummeted to the ground.

To make the video clip more “exciting”, the maker even added some Top Gun music. The Australian CAA (their equivalent of our FAA) is investigating.

Fly to Australia for free?

The recession is not just an American problem. The economies of Europe and Asia are struggling as well. And, Australia is feeling the slowdown now, too. What does that mean for us? Potential travel deals in the future. The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting Virgin’s interest in participating in a program that would offer free flights for foreign travelers heading to Australia.

The Mayday Project was proposed by Glenn Millen, the innovation direction of Independent Tourism Holdings. Recipients of the free flights would be required to spend a minimum amount of money in Australian hotels, shops and restaurants. When asked if Virgin would be interested in the program, Virgin Blue’s chief executive, Brett Godfrey, said, “Sure we would be. I don’t see a lot of downside in it for the tourism industry at all. In fact, I see nothing but positives.”

These are the types of win-win ideas that help generate business and allow people who are on strict budgets to still enjoy life. It also is not unprecedented Down Under. After World War II, the Australian government offered Ten Pound Pom fares, which were low-cost fares for British citizens traveling to Australian in order to entice people to migrate permanently. Australia, at the time, was seeking to increase its population and viable workforce.

Difficult times call for innovative ideas, and few airlines have been as innovative as Virgin. Qantas is less eager to get involved in the Mayday Project at this time. Still, this remains something to keep an eye on. You can be sure that we’ll update you as we learn more.


Travel Alert! Virgin sale to from LA – Sydney — for $480!

Alert! Virgin just put Sydney on sale from Los Angeles! Their front page says $1600, but if you get in and tinker with the dates, the price will drop to about 250$ one way. Combined trip: less than $500.

Here’ s how I got my fare.

  1. Go to Virgin’s homepage first.
  2. Make sure you’re on the America site, if you aren’t change it.
  3. Click Departure from Los Angeles and Arrival to Sydney
  4. Select dates after March 1
  5. On your search, if you don’t see the fares you like, click back and forth on the “Arrivals” box. Sooner or later a fare will come up around $250.
  6. Then click back and forth on the departures.
  7. You may have to mess around with the dates to find something that works.
  8. Good luck!

Mind you, Virgin had to push back launch a bit from December from the strike that’s currently rocking Boeing. So there is a chance that things could get jiggered a bit.

You also might recall that a few people had problems with the initial sale that Virgin offered last year.

But if you’re willing to take the risk (for <500$) and are confident that you’ll get a refund if things turn south, give it a go.

See you in OZ!