Aircraft Meets Retaining Wall – Wall Wins. Priceless!

THIS STORY, allegedly being withheld from the media, was doing the rounds on the Internet today…

This brand spanking new Airbus 340-600, the largest passenger airplane ever built, sits just outside its hangar in Toulouse, France – without a single hour of airtime.
     
Enter the Arab flight crew of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) to conduct pre-delivery tests on the ground, such as engine run-ups prior to delivery to Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi.

The ADAT crew taxied the A340-600 to the run-up area. Then they took all four engines to takeoff power with a virtually empty aircraft.

Not having read the run-up manuals, they had no clue just how light an empty A340-600 really is.
  
The takeoff warning horn was blaring away in the cockpit because they had all four engines at full power. The aircraft computers thought they were trying to take off, but it had not been configured properly (flaps, slats, etc.).
   
Then one of the ADAT crew decided to pull the circuit breaker on the Ground Proximity Sensor to silence the alarm. This fools the aircraft into thinking it is in the air.
   
The computers automatically released all the Brakes and sent the aircraft rocketing forward. The ADAT crew had no idea that this is a safety feature so that pilots can’t land with the brakes on.

Not one member of the seven-man Arab crew was smart enough to throttle back the engines from their maximum power setting, so the $200 million brand-new Aircraft crashed into a blast barrier, totalling it!
   
The extent of injuries to the crew is unknown due to the news blackout in the major media in France and elsewhere.
   
Coverage of the story was deemed insulting to Muslim Arabs.

One French Airbus: $200 million dollars.
Untrained Arab Flight Crew: $300,000 annual salary. 
Unread Operating Manual: $300.

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Go Compare Advert Voted Most Irritating In 2009

(Telegraph) – THE OPERA-SINGING STAR of the Go Compare commercial has helped propel it to the title of most irritating advert of 2009.

The price comparison website advert was followed closely by Cash4Gold, which tries to persuade viewers to part with their broken jewellery for money.

In third place was the advert for Glade Touch ‘n’ Fresh, which features a young boy telling his mother that he wants “to do a poo at Paul’s”, where the bathroom has been fitted with the air freshener gadget.

The Gillette adverts, starring footballer Thierry Henry golfer Tiger Woods, who recently had his numerous affairs exposed, also figured highly.

A spokesman for advertising bible Marketing magazine, which compiled the list, said: “It was a vintage year for irritating ads. The end of Kerry Katona’s contract with Iceland did remove one regular fixture but a host of other brands has joined the fray.”

Top 10 most annoying adverts of 2009:

  1. The opera singer in the Go Compare adverts
  2. Cash 4Gold – encouraging people to trade in their beloved trinkets for cash
  3. Glade air freshener, featuring a little boy telling his Mum he wants: “to do a poo at Paul’s”.
  4. Swiftcover – Indie rock god Iggy Pop representing a firm that doesn’t insure musicians.
  5. Confused.com – people talking about insurance quotes.
  6. 118 247 – jingle rhyming the company name with “directory heaven”.
  7. Churchill – the talking dog that can only say two words. Oh, no.
  8. Webuyanycar.com – repetitive jingle that won’t go away.
  9. Nintendo – Ant & Dec interacting with their public.

Bookie Refuses To Pay-Out £7m On Snow Bet

(Reuters) – BOOKMAKER LADBROKES is refusing to pay out more than seven million pounds to a man who gambled on a white Christmas across the UK, as the bet was accepted by mistake.

Cliff Bryant, 52, had placed two five-pound accumulator bets that snow would fall on 24 towns and cities across the north of England on Christmas Day.

“We have apologised to the customer for any confusion and for mistakenly accepting an accumulator bet when our own rules state that only single bets are available on a market of this nature,” said a Ladbrokes spokesman.

“We are happy to void the bets and to pay the customer his winnings on the relevant singles.”

They however amount to just 31.78 pounds, rather than the 7.1 million Bryant was expecting.

The graphic designer from Southampton, who told the local Southern Daily Echo newspaper he was “gutted” and would seek legal advice, claims the first accumulator would have won him 4.9 million pounds, with the second adding 2.2 million.

“If I make a mistake in my work like that it costs me dearly and I think the offer should be a lot more generous than they have made,” he told the paper.

Ladbrokes should have made their rules clearer, he added.

“They are one of the leading bookmakers in the country and I think they ought to do their homework a bit better in future.”

Ladbrokes gave Bryant details of the Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS), an impartial adjudicator on disputes that arise between gambling operators and their customers.

Danny Cracknell, a manager of the IBAS, told Reuters that Bryant had been in contact and they would be investigating the issue once he had completed the relevant forms.

Bank Robbers Who Blew Themselves Up Win Darwin Award For ‘Improving The Human Gene Pool’

(Daily Mail) – TWO BANK ROBBERS have been declared the winners of the Darwin Awards 2009 after they blew themselves up while trying to crack open an ATM machine.

The Belgian pair used so much explosive to get their hands on the cash that they destroyed the whole bank building.

Nobody else was in the building at the time of the attack.

When police arrived at the scene, they found one of them with severe head injuries, and rushed him to hospital.

Investigators initially assumed that his accomplice had managed a getaway, but the second one’s body was excavated from the debris twelve hours later.

Wendy Northcutt, the founder of the annual awards, declared them the 2009 winners of the Darwin Awards, given to those ‘doing the most to improve the human gene pool by removing themselves from it’.

The two bank robbers had attempted to make a sizeable withdrawal from the ATM, but died when they overestimated the quantity of dynamite needed for the explosion.

The blast demolished the building the bank was housed in.

The first robber was rushed to the hospital with severe head trauma; he died shortly after arrival.

The bank robbers just edged ahead of their main rival Shawn Motero from U.S., who was stuck in a traffic crawl in Florida when he realised he needed to use the toilet.

Without one handy, he got out of the car before jumping over a concrete wall to find a more secluded spot.

Unfortunately, the 30-year-old had not realised he was on a bridge, and fell 65 feet to his death.

Award organisers said the accident proved you should ‘Look before you leak.’

Police revealed Mr Motero had been drinking at a bar in Pompano Beach before his tragic death, adding: ‘He probably thought there was a road, but there wasn’t.’

His mother said: ‘Shawn didn’t do a whole lot for a living. He got along on his charm, just like his father.’

In third place was the first ever woman to be nominated for the award.

Rosanne Tippett drove her moped into a flooded river, despite the warning signs.

She was rescued by police, but jumped back into the river in an attempt to recover the two-wheeler.

Four inches of rain had fallen in Greensboro, North Carolina, but the 50-year-old was determined to follow her usual route home.

Before embarking on her final journey she phoned her mother and told her: ‘My moped has two rubber wheels, Mom, I’ll be fine.’

She then drove through a police road block before losing control of  the scooter and falling into a swollen creek.

After being rescued by police she jumped back into the water to rescue her vehicle. Her mum admitted: ‘She loved that thing.’

Other nominees for the 2009 awards included an armed robber who, with an alleged accomplice, tried to disguise his face with gold paint as he raided a convenience store.

However, Thomas James from South Carolina used spray paint, which released toxic fumes and he collapsed shortly after the robbery.

To add insult to injury, the disguise was ineffective and witnesses had no problem identifying the 23-year-old.

His accomplice was charged with armed robbery.

The only U.K. victim to be nominated was a 41-year-old man from York.

The unnamed father-of-three was trying to demolish a garden shed. He succeeded but the roof collapsed on top of him and he was trapped in a pile of concrete rubble.

Fire-fighters used hydraulic rams and high pressure air bags to allow paramedics to reach the man after the accident in April, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Steam Locomotive Rescues Passengers Stranded By Modern Trains

Tornado (Daily Mail) – PASSENGERS stranded when modern-day trains fell victim to the freezing weather have been rescued by the crew of a steam engine.

About 100 passengers climbed aboard the first mainline steam locomotive to be built in Britain for almost half a century at London Victoria when electric trains were delayed.

The 1940s technology used to power Tornado, a £3million Peppercorn class A1 Pacific, was able to withstand the snow and ice that brought much of the South East to a standstill on Monday night.

The locomotive’s ‘Cathedrals Express’ service was offering festive trips in the region when staff on board heard about the stranded passengers.

The travellers were offered free seats and were dropped off at stations as it chuffed through Kent, said Mark Allatt, chairman of the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust, the charity which built Tornado.

Mr Allatt said they were pleased to be able to help some of London’s stranded commuters ‘get home in style’ and joked that rail operators could learn lessons from them.

‘It’s amusing because this engine is predominantly made up of 1940s’ technology and we were able to keep running despite modern trains not being able to,’ he said.

‘If any of the rail operators would like to use this technology for themselves, we would be more than happy to build them an engine.’

Built partly by volunteers with donations collected over 19 years, the apple-green locomotive can reach a top speed of 100mph and is designed for long-distance express journeys.

In 1990, a band of enthusiasts came together to work on their ambition to construct a brand new Peppercorn A1 Pacific, and achieved their aim when that locomotive, No 60163 Tornado, moved under its own steam last year.

The A1 60163 Tornado is the 50th Peppercorn class A1 locomotive, all of which were designed to cope with the heaviest passenger trains on the East Coast Main Line.

The A1s were among the last steam engines to be withdrawn from service from British Rail in the late 1960s in favour of the more reliable diesel.

The locomotive was officially named Tornado by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall earlier this year and has since entered regular service on excursion trains on the Network Rail main line.

Foreign Prisoners Handed £500 Cash Cards To Go Home

(Telegraph) – FOREIGN MURDERERS, rapists and other criminals are being handed £500 “cash cards” as part of a bribe for them to go home.

More than 2,000 foreign prisoners have been handed the money in the last two years in a desperate bid to clear Britain’s overcrowded jails.

Some prisoners are given the money even though they are also freed from their jail terms up to nine months early.

They can spend it on anything they wish once they have returned home and is part of a package worth up to £5,000 each.

It means the taxpayer has funded more than £1 million alone just to give overseas criminals who have preyed on Britons cash in their hand.

One of those was a Malaysian migrant who killed a 17-month-old baby.

Dominic Grieve, the shadow Justice Secretary, said: “This is simply outrageous. It is bad enough that Gordon Brown lost control of our borders and has let thousands of foreign criminals into the country.

“Now we learn that foreign prisoners are being given cash cards loaded with hundreds of pounds of taxpayers’ money. The lesson is clear: under Labour, crime pays and the taxpayer foots the bill.”

The cash cards are part of the so-called Facilitated Returns Scheme which was launched in October 2006 and encourages overseas offenders to return to their home country once they have passed the point they would be released if British.

It is aimed at preventing lengthy and expensive legal battles against deportation and can see inmates given resettlement packages worth up to £5,000, with most coming in the form of “in kind” support.

One in four of the foreign criminals who was deported last year only went home after being offered a voluntary return package — a 60 per cent increase in such agreements in one year.

In total 2,200 prisoners have taken advantage of the package in the last two years meaning £1.1 million of public money has been spent just on providing cash cards to encourage offenders who have no right to be in Britain to leave, including £1.1 million in cash.

The overall bill, including the full packages, runs to several million pounds.

Under a separate early removal scheme, foreign prisoners can be freed up to 270 days in advance of their release date so long as they are willing to return home and can still take up the returns packages.

The cash element was quietly introduced by the Home Office in October.

The cards can be used as Visa chip and pin meaning the prisoners could feasibly even buy duty free on the plane home.

However, a Home Office spokesman insisted most deportees are returned on charter flights where such services do not exist.

“Every day that we can get these individuals out of the country early saves taxpayers over £100 a night in detention costs. Last year we removed a record 5,400 foreign national prisoners.”

Matthew Elliott, chief executive at the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It’s a disgrace that we bribe foreign criminals to go home at all, they should be deported immediately. The fact that we also give them a hefty cash bonus to spend as they wish will rightly anger the law-abiding taxpayers who are footing the bill for this hare-brained scheme.

“The Government’s attitude to foreign criminals has been far too much carrot and not nearly enough stick, and this sort of treatment is financially and morally unjustifiable at a time when ordinary people are struggling to make ends meet.”

There are just under 12,000 foreign prisoners in jails in England and Wales, making up one in seven of the population behind bars.

One of those to have taken up the returns package is Malaysian Agnes Wong, 29, who was jailed for five years in 2008 for the manslaughter of toddler Hugo Wang she was supposed to be child-minding.

She was released in July this year, having served the minimum jail term of two-and-half years, including her time spent on remand, and put on a plane home with a returns package worth £4,500.

Phil Woolas, the Border and Immigration minister, said: “Our Facilitated Returns Scheme saves the taxpayer money because foreign criminals are removed direct from jail or immigration detention, often before their sentence ends.

“This means foreign lawbreakers cannot drag out the removal process for months with frivolous appeals which clog up the legal system.”

Christmas Gifts Galore For The Family Of Six On £23,000 Benefits

Catherine Scott and Dean Evans (Daily Mail) – TO THE MILLIONS OF US struggling to pay for Christmas this year, Dean Evans and his teenage girlfriend Catherine Scott have a simple message – save up.

After all, they’ve managed to set aside £1,000 so they and their eight children can enjoy the festive season together.

So pleased are they with their budgeting that they feel qualified to hand out advice to the rest of us – advice which might be better received if their Christmas piggy-bank wasn’t full of state handouts.

The couple, who live in a four-bedroom house paid for by the council, managed to save the money after Miss Scott, 18, gave birth to twins in May – resulting in their benefit allowance being raised from £7,000 to £23,000.

Each week they put aside at least £15 of their £480 state payments in a jar so they would be able to enjoy the festive season.

The rise in handouts allows them to drive an expensive Italian sports car and subscribe to satellite TV. They also regularly receive £200 from Miss Scott’s mother.

Critics say the couple from Sevenoaks, Kent, should be ‘ashamed of themselves’ for boasting of their luxurious lifestyle.

‘I feel sorry for people who’ll struggle to buy presents, but they should’ve budgeted,’ Miss Scott declared.

They do, however, say they need even more from the state to get by. Miss Scott told Closer magazine: ‘Babies are very expensive, although we get extra.’

Mr Evans, 41, added: ‘Our only luxury is the £47-a-month Sky package for the TV.

‘I did buy a new Alfa Romeo recently, but we needed it because the BMW was old.’

The couple met when Mr Evans was dating her friend. They soon moved in together and Miss Scott became pregnant within months.

As well as their seven-month old twins, Presley and Amber, Mr Evans has five children with three different women.

He is unemployed and receiving disability allowance. He has no desire to return to work after an accident on a building site hurt his groin.

Miss Scott was raised by adopted parents in a £1million home in Sevenoaks.

But by the age of 12 she started playing truant.

She has a four-year-old son whose father was a Big Issue seller that she met at a train station when she was only 14.

The father was later placed on the sex offender’s register for having sex with a minor and has no contact with the child.

The couple say they want to splash out on their family this Christmas and have already spent hundreds of pounds on presents.

Miss Scott said: ‘Our families have been great. They really spoil us. My parents didn’t approve of us at first, but I told them to like it or lump it. They eventually came round.

‘As we’re all getting along, this Christmas is going to be great. We’re going to get both sets of parents round and tuck into a massive turkey, then we’ll all watch Only Fools And Horses on the 32in TV Dean’s dad bought us.

‘So far we’ve saved nearly £1,000 and we’ll share that between the children and buy ourselves gifts with whatever’s left.

‘I want to buy Dean some Elvis CDs and I’m hoping he’ll buy me some sexy undies and a big bouquet of lilies.’

Mr Evans boasts of having sex with more than 200 women but insists he will marry Miss Scott next year.

He will pay for the honeymoon with an expected £200,000 compensation from his former employer.

While it appears certain families can look forward to a good Christmas, research reveals four out of ten plan to spend less this year than they did last because of financial worries.

Parents said they thought they would spend an average of £442 on presents and other festive items.

The Financial Services Authority study also found around 16 per cent of parents said they had struggled with money during the past 12 months.

Susie Squire of the Taxpayers’ Alliance said: ‘This family should be ashamed of themselves.

‘Benefits are not for luxuries or to save up in a jar. They are meant to be for the most vulnerable in society who spend the money on essentials.

‘There is something very wrong with our welfare system if a couple like this can boast of splashing out on luxuries.’

… (15/02/2010) – £7,000 A Month Rent For Mansion Paid For By The Taxpayer