Friday, May 10, 2013

Skywhale makes maiden flight over Canberra

Photo: The Skywhale was commissioned for the 2013 centenary of Canberra celebrations. (AAP)

The controversial Skywhale hot air balloon has taken to the skies above Canberra in a maiden flight to celebrate the city's centenary. 

 A crowd gathered at the National Gallery of Australia next to Lake Burley Griffin to see the 34-metre-long creation take flight.

The balloon sculpture, designed by artist Patricia Piccinini, is twice as big as an average hot air balloon.

It took 16 people seven months to make the hot-air balloon, which can carry a pilot plus two passengers to an altitude of 3,000 feet.

The design has divided opinion, as has the $300,000 cost of the project.

Centenary of Canberra executive director Jeremy Lasek has urged people to see the balloon in flight before making a judgement about it.

"Everyone can see what all the fuss is about and hopefully people will have a different view," he said.

"If they are a critic or at least they get a chance to see the Skywhale up close and personal and they can base an opinion on seeing it in the flesh so to speak."

"I won't make my final decision and verdict on whether I like it or not until I see it."

Piccinini's creation was commissioned by the ACT Government, though the balloon is not actually owned by the territory.

The artist says her inspiration came from the wonder of nature.

"My question is what if evolution went a different way and instead of going back into the sea, from which they came originally, they went into the air and we evolved a nature that could fly instead of swim," she said.

"In fact coming from a place like Canberra where it's a planned city that's really tried to integrate and blend in with the natural environment, it makes a lot of sense to make this sort of huge, gigantic, but artificial and natural looking creature."

Piccinini says she understands the artwork will challenge public opinion.

"I think that's confounding for people because they don't know what the creature is, but secondly they don't know if it's an artwork or what it's trying to do," she said.

Hanging from its giant whale-like body are ten huge pendulous breasts.

Ms Piccinini says they reflect how whales are mammals and breast-feed their young.

The Skywhale will travel to the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania in June and the work will be presented at the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne later this year.

The Centenary of Canberra also hopes the balloon will appear at galleries and festivals throughout Australia, acknowledged as being commissioned for Canberra's centenary.

Story and Photos:

"I will always love you": Unruly woman, belting out Whitney Houston songs, kicked off flight

CBS 5 - KPHO  

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) - It was a coast-to-coast flight that some passengers won't soon forget. 

The American Airlines flight made an emergency stop at Kansas City International Airport due to an unruly passenger, authorities said.

The woman disrupted the flight in part by belting out Whitney Houston songs. And based on the video posted by a passenger on the flight, the woman won't be getting a golden ticket onto the American Idol competition anytime soon.

The American Airlines flight departed Los Angeles International Airport at 3:30 p.m. Thursday. It was headed to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

But it made an unscheduled landing at KCI at 6:06 p.m.

"The woman was being disruptive and was removed from the plane for interfering with the flight crew," airport spokesman Joe McBride said Friday. "There was a federal air marshal on the aircraft, who subdued the woman and put her in cuffs and removed her from the plane."

As she was leaving the plane, she crooned, "I will always love you," which was written by Dolly Parton and sang by both Parton and Houston.

The plane took off from KCI at 7:11 p.m.

The woman was interviewed and released without any charges. McBride said American refused to fly the woman on to her destination, so she had to make other arrangements.

McBride said the woman reportedly claimed she was diabetic.

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Folkestone Airshow cancelled by organizers: UK

Organizers of the Folkestone Airshow have confirmed the 2013 event has been cancelled. 

 In what will come as a shock to many, project manager Yvonne Holder admitted this year's spectacle would be scrapped due to a "number of factors".

Last year, the popular event returned to the Folkestone seafront for the first time in nine years, but a lack of funding has led to the cancellation of this year's event, due to be held on June 8.

Yvonne Holder said: "After a very difficult few weeks, the hard decision has been taken to cancel Folkestone Airshow for a number of factors.

"We will continue to look into the financial viability of continuing the work already completed, to see if it is at all possible of postponing until 2014 and to carry forward the commitment of our sponsors and organizations who have supported Folkestone Airshow into 2014.

"We will continue to contact those personally involved over the next few days with further information and a full news release will be issued early next week.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support for Folkestone Airshow and I do hope that you will continue to support us into 2014."

Fans of the event have taken to social networking sites to express their shock.

Nia Price wrote on Facebook: "This is incredibly sad news. Amongst our friends, we've been looking forward to and planning going to this for months. Is there anything that can be done to save it?"

Shelly Law added: "Oh no, I was so looking forward to it. We went last year for the first time and had such a ball. Sad times."


New restaurant opens at Nampa Municipal Airport (KMAN), Idaho

The Picnic Basket Eatery opened at the Nampa Airport terminal Wednesday and is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

The airport’s previous restaurant, Blue Sky Cafe, moved to a new location on Nampa’s Greenhurst Road at the end of February. The airport sent out a request for proposals for a new restaurant operator, and a committee selected the Picnic Basket.

The Picnic Basket Eatery, owned and managed by Traci Docherty, had previously been located on 2nd Street South downtown.

The restaurant serves breakfasts, burgers, salads and desserts. It also offers delivery service, Docherty said. For more information call 467-9633 or go to to check out the menu.


Flying Lessons Saturday May 18th: Jet Air Group at Austin Straubel International Airport (KGRB), Green Bay, Wisconsin

 Published on May 10, 2013
May 18th is National Learn to Fly Day, Fox 11's Emily Deem has more.

Previewing National Learn To Fly Day: Jet Air Group at Austin Straubel International Airport (KGRB), Green Bay, Wisconsin

Published on May 10, 2013

 Fox 11's Emily Deem flew in preparation for National Learn To Fly Day.