The world and its nations developed and were created to entice all its people to travel. Tourist attractions are strategically distributed around the world for people to choose and plan ahead for vacations.

However, there is but one continent in the world that defines the word “tour”. This continent, though the smallest of the seven, offers a lot of sites for people around the world to dream to visit. The continent that I’m introducing here is no other than Europe.

Europe has it all. It is the seat of human history, art, natural wonders, and architecture. When one gets an opportunity to tour the continent, literally, that person can already die after. The tourist attractions that ca be found all over Europe satisfies not just the eyes but also the heart and tummies. No wonder that for all the years, Euro trips remain to be the most well-planned and most desired vacation for most people because you can do things listed below and it fulfills most of everyone’s bucket list.

1. Make use of the ‘Hop-On and Hop-Off’ tours.

Definitely there is no other fastest way to get an overview of certain city other than riding a guided bus tour. This leisure bus trip will bring you to magnificent metropolis attractions without wasting your valuable time.

Moreover, aside from letting you enjoy the beautiful places, the good thing about this ride is the piece of background and information that you’ll get from the tour guides themselves.

2. Explore the history of Rome.

In glorious places like Rome, history sits all around you. With the superb sites that Rome can offer, delving deeper to the sites’ momentous impact to human civilization itself is a good way of appreciating and understanding them.

3. Rank the museums on the later part of your travel list.

Europe is truly packed up with world-class museums and galleries that are undoubtedly the best must visit places. However, behind the classic, nostalgic feel and unexplainable goose bumps that museums can offer is actually an endless and exhausting jam-packed lines of tourists.

Instead of spending your precious time waiting for your turn to get in, why don’t you use it on checking out other attractions perhaps? Unless if you are a creative type and takes pleasure in appreciating art, then you should endure the infernal lines.

4. Watch the all-time cabaret show.

Surely, most of us have watched the movie “Moulin Rouge” and grooved at the same time wit it. However, do you know that “Moulin Rouge” is actually an existing club somewhere in Paris? Yes folks, it is one of the first cabarets that emerged in the 1880’s.

Take part of the exciting and heel-kicking cabaret show. Make your Paris experience a romantic and a jazzy one!

5. Have a cup of coffee by the Eiffel Tower.

Give a twist to your coffee routine with the mesmerizing view of the remarkable Eiffel Tower.

6. Have a taste of the Italian’s wine.

Take a sip on Italy’s very own celebrated product- the wine. Guaranteed, there’s nothing like savoring a wine right where it’s created.

7. Take a canal tour in Amsterdam.

When in Amsterdam, you can do almost anything a relaxing tourist do while riding a gondola or open boats along their world famous canals. You can eat and drink while peeking through inside the houses which may have surprises for you. The whole of Amsterdam does not really care too much about personal privacy and they’re too open even to tourists.

8. Meander through the beautiful garden of Kensington.

When traveling over Europe, make sure to visit one of London’s striking green landscapes – the Kensington Gardens. The landscape comprises of stunning foliage as well as historic statues. Aside from the scenic view, Kensington Gardens is situated near the Kensington Palace, the late Princess Diana’s when she was still alive.

9. Pay a visit to the famous Trinity College.

The Trinity College is the home for the renowned 9th-century manuscript of the monks – the Book of Kells. Aside from offering pleasure to bookworms, the college campus has incredible architecture and dramatic interiors which makes it a good must-visit structure in Europe.

10. Indulge on the flavorful oyster in Croatia.

Croatia’s very own oysters have gained popularity in the region over the years for its delicate burst of flavor.

11. Watch a flamenco show in Andalusia.

Take part of the flamenco show in Andalusia. Grab some wine, sit back and enjoy the graceful performances.

12. Have a date with someone special at the Vienna Opera House.

Spend a night on the busiest, classiest, most romantic and celebrated opera house in Vienna. Definitely, you and your date will be fulfilled by the amazing show. Likewise, you’ll be amazed by the grand interior design of the theater.

13. Shop for authentic treasures in the Grand Bazaar.

If you’re opting to buy genuine materials and rare finds from traders, drop by at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul. The place is not just a tourist spot but also a very vivacious setting where locals gather all the time.

14. Have some thermal spa bathe in Budapest.

One of the delights that you can find in Budapest is their outdoor thermal Bath and Spa. Budapest is actually situated on a mélange of numerous thermal springs and taking a plunge on one of these thermal waters has been a part of their everyday routine.

Final Thoughts…

Vacations are not always planned and should be that way if I were to suggest. In that way, you’ll get more of your trip and most of time, you can visit more places and enjoy most of your time compared to a rigid itinerary.

Take time to put away your handy list of destinations even for just a day, be spontaneous and just simply enjoy the outdoors. Take a stroll or ride a bike around the Amsterdam, go swimming in the clear waters of Amalfi Coast, adore the beauty of Norway’s magical fjords, brave to skydive over the Swiss Alps, cross the river of Bosphorus and any other activities that you can possibly do under the sun.

There are so many ways to win a basketball game, but only one basis – the score. That’s why most players do their best to make points with field goals or free throws. Some players, on the other hand, make sure to support the best shooters. Are you curious who the front-runners are when it comes to making points? Check this out:

10. Elvin Hayes – 27,313

Elvin Ernest Hayes is already a retired American NBA player. He is one of the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. He is also a Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee.

For his whole career with the Baltimore/Capital/Washington Bullets and the San Diego/Houston Rockets, Hayes managed to play 1,303 games in 16 seasons. That’s how he came up with a total of 27,313 points. Aside from the points, Hayes also made 16,279 rebounds as a whole. He was a pretty hardworking basketball player because he tried his best to not miss a game.

Interestingly, Hayes refused to attend the Hall of Fame from 1990 to 2012. He really wanted the organization to acknowledge his coach back when he was still in the University of Houston – Guy Lewis. Thankfully, Lewis finally belonged to the Hall of Fame last 2013. Right on cue, Hayes attended the ceremony for the first time.

Jerry Wachter/NBAE via Getty Images

9. Moses Malone – 27,409

The late Moses Eugene Malone was the ninth highest scorer in NBA history. He experienced playing for the American Basketball Association (ABA) starting 1974. Playing center, he got the title of the NBA Most Valuable Player for three times. He also got NBA All-Star 12 times and All-NBA selection eight times. But, he only won NBA championship for the first and last time in 1983. He was with the Philadelphia 76ers for the Finals MVP. In 2001, he became an inductee of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

In 1974, Malone began his career with the Utah Stars when he was chosen in the third round of the ABA Draft. As a rookie, he got the title of ABA All-Star. He played for two seasons with the ABA before the league joined with the NBA.

Sport/Getty Images

8. LeBron James – 28,248

One of the most popular NBA stars in this generation, LeBron Raymone James is currently playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. He won three championships, specifically in 2012, 2013 and 2016. His awards in the NBA include: four MVPs in 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013; three Finals MVP in 2012, 2013 and 2016; two gold medals in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics; one NBA scoring title in 2008; and the Rookie of the Year Award in 2004. He has been selected for 13 All-Star teams, 12 teams in All-NBA and six teams in All-Defensive.

James is one of the biggest celebrity athletes. He has a lot of endorsements for big companies. He was also featured in several TV commercials, documentaries and books. In 2015, he even appeared in the movie “Trainwreck.”

7. Shaquille O’Neal – 28,596

Like LeBron James, Shaquille O’Neal is also one of most famous athletes. The difference is that he has been in the basketball and entertainment industry for a very long time already. Simply called Shaq, O’Neal is already retired in the league. But, he will always be known as one of the heaviest, most humorous and most strategic NBA players in history. He managed to play for six teams in his whole NBA career spanning 19 years.

Amazingly, O’Neal was also a rapper. He actually released several albums and got a platinum for his first one titled “Shaq Diesel.” He also appeared in a lot of movies and TV shows.

6. Dirk Nowitzki – 29,952

Dirk Werner Nowitzki is a German player for the Dallas Mavericks. In 1998, he was the ninth pick by the Milwaukee Bucks in the NBA draft. But, he ended up playing with the Mavericks until the present. He is considered by basketball critics as one of the best power forwards in NBA history.

Nowitzki played with the Mavericks in 15 Playoffs. He is an All-Star 13 times and a member of the All-NBA Team 12 times. He will always be remembered in the industry because he is the first European to play an All-Star Game and win the MVP Award. In 2002, he won a bronze medal with the national basketball team of Germany during the FIBA World Championship. He also won a silver medal in EuroBasket last 2005. He remained as one of the most popular European athletes.

5. Wilt Chamberlain – 31,419

The late Wilton Norman Chamberlain will never be forgotten by the industry because he was one of the best dominant NBA players in history. He was known for durability, rebounds and scores. He remained as the only player who scored 100 points in just one game, and had an average of 20 rebounds and 30 points in every game in one season.

Because of his super-tall height, Chamberlain was called “Wilt the Stilt” and “Goliath.” But, he hated both those nicknames. The only one he liked was “The Big Dipper.” Chamberlain was also an all-around athlete. After retiring from the NBA, he joined the International Volleyball Association. He was even the president of that organization.

4. Michael Jordan – 32,292

Even young children nowadays know Michael Jordan. Known as MJ, this athlete is one of the most influential personalities in history. The official NBA site even tagged him as “the greatest basketball player of all time.” Jordan is already retired, but he is still being compared to existing basketball players. He played a total of 15 NBA seasons for the Washington Wizards and the Chicago Bulls. Basketball analysts regarded him as essential for making NBA popular worldwide from the 1980s to the 1990s. Jordan gained the nicknames “His Airness” and “Air Jordan” because of his powerful leaps and slam dunks. Aside from being an expert in scoring, he is also one of the greatest defensive basketball players.

The commercial popularity of Jordan’s name is insane. The Air Jordan sneakers of Nike will always be popular, even for the modern generation. Not only that, Jordan starred in the 1996 hit movie “Space Jam.” There’s no doubt about it – Jordan is the first billionaire basketball player. He was second to Oprah Winfrey when it comes to the wealthiest African American personalities.

3. Kobe Bryant – 33,643

Kobe Bean Bryant just recently retired from the NBA after 20 years. He remained loyal to the Los Angeles Lakers, winning five championships together. He is currently holding the record in the NBA for being a player with the longest stay in just one franchise. Obviously, he was inspired by his father Joe Bryant who was also a basketball player in the league.

Bryant is the youngest NBA player to reach a massive total of 30,000 points. He is considered by some critics to be the best NBA player during the 2000s.

2. Karl Malone – 36,928

Karl Anthony Malone is already retired from basketball career. He is known as “The Mailman” and one of the best power forwards. He is currently holding the NBA record of the most free throws, both successful and attempted. Malone is an inductee for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame twice. Why? One is for his personal career while the other is for being a member of the American basketball team for the 1992 Olympics.

1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar – 38,387

Also known as Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor,Jr. as his birth name, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is a retired NBA player who will always be popular because of his 20-season career with the Los Angeles Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks. Playing as a center, he became one of the 50 best players in the history of NBA. Julius Erving, Isiah Thomas and Pat Riley considered him as the best NBA player in history. Abdul-Jabbar had a trademark basketball move called “skyhook” shot.

ESPN tagged Abdul-Jabbar as the best center in NBA history and the best college basketball player. As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton even selected him as cultural ambassador. One of his biggest and latest honors is President Barack Obama’s Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Some married couples are adventurous – and that’s a good thing. They want to try new things with each other or simply relive once again their favorite outdoor activities. Good thing that there are a lot of various outdoor activities to choose from. Just in the category of forest recreational activities alone, there are so many options to consider already. Here are some forest activities that adventurous married couples might like to do while away from kids:

Paintball

If you and your partner are up for some intensity outdoors, then paintball is the right choice. It is an outdoor activity filled with adrenaline rush moments. Paintball follows straightforward rules. Players just have to eliminate opponents by hitting them with breakable pellets or paintballs composed of dye-filled gelatin and oil. These paintball pellets are shot from a paintball marker that’s powered with compressed air or carbon dioxide.

Paintball is usually played by groups of friends or families, sometimes during organized sports competitions or tournaments. However, there are some special services and events that cater for all couples who would like to have some fun with paintball. Just keep your eyes open for news and updates, especially on social media. One great thing about paintball is that it can be a couple’s therapy session – a healthy way to let go of anger and unresolved issues.

ATV Riding

Adventurous couples might also like ATV riding. ATV is short for all-terrain vehicle. It is also called a quadricycle, four-wheeler, three-wheeler, quad bike or simply quad. It is a vehicle with low-pressure tires. An ATV is preferred in forests because of its big tires. It is even illegal to drive this in most city streets. If a couple knows how to drive motorcycles, then ATVs will just be a walk in the park for them.

The best part about ATV riding is that couples can see beautiful sceneries while riding the vehicle. ATV is designed to reach high and rocky places. Stunning never-before-seen views will surely be a delight for the couple.

Orienteering

Married couples who love adventure and the famous reality show “The Amazing Race” will definitely be thankful for this forest recreational activity. Orienteering is composed of sports that need navigational skills. The participants should use a compass and a map to move from one unfamiliar area to another in the shortest time possible.

Fortunately, even though this activity is kind of rare, there are actually some recreational services that offer orienteering activities to families, couples and friends. Through this activity, you and your significant other will see amazing views. Your relationship would even go stronger because of your cooperation and patience in finding the locations.

Mushroom Hunting

Young couples and kids might find this activity boring. That’s why I suggest this activity to matured couples, especially those who love cooking and eating mushrooms. Also known as mushroom foraging, mushroom picking, mushrooming or Houby hunting, mushroom hunting is simply gathering different kinds of mushrooms in the forest. Most guides encourage picking mushrooms that are edible, so the participants can eat them afterwards.

Mushroom hunting is actually popular in Europe, India, Canada, Korea, Japan and Australia and some parts in the United States. Seeing baskets filled with colorful mushrooms is exciting and rewarding. Not only that, couples would know interesting facts about mushrooms.

Adventure Park

This activity is the epitome of adventure. An adventure park contains various activities in just one location. The usual recreational activities in adventure parks are zip-lines, obstacle courses and rope climbing. Some adventure parks don’t focus on educating visitors with nature and stuff. They just aim to entertain the guests with mental and physical challenges. They also don’t require the guests to be physically fit. As long as safety precautions are followed, all is well.

If a married couple decides to bring kids in an adventure park, it is totally fine. Adventure parks are family-friendly as well. The kids will have fun, that’s for sure.

Tree Climbing

Couples would feel closer to nature with this activity. Tree climbing is a recreational activity that involves climbing and transferring from one tree to another. It is a pretty safe activity because of the equipment used such as a harness, helmet and a durable rope. Additional equipment is used for inexperienced climbers.

Here’s the amazing part: fearless climbers even take hammocks specially designed for this activity. Treeboat hammocks and Portaledges enable these climbers to spend the night above the trees, nap for a while or share a picnic with each other. That’s a very nice idea for a unique date during wedding anniversaries.

Elephant Safari

Usually, elephant safaris that are open to guests looking for recreational activities are designed to resemble the natural habitat of the elephants. You would see tropical trees everywhere, as if you’re in a genuine rainforest. Typical activities inside the elephant safari are petting, feeding and riding on the elephants. However, while looking for the perfect elephant safari online, choose a service that ensures safety of the animals. Don’t look for a location wherein the elephants are treated as if they are in a circus. Some elephant safaris just focus on giving the visitors a taste of what it’s like living with the elephants. Elephants in these safe environments just sit and walk around as if they are in their real habitat.

Birdwatching

Also called birding, birdwatching is a relaxing and educational outdoor activity. In this activity, you would either watch the birds with or without devices such as telescopes and binoculars. Part of birdwatching is listening to different bird sounds. These sounds are also used to track the birds’ locations. Many birds can be detected easier by ear.

Camping

One of the basic forest activities, camping is still fun despite being common to adventurers. It is also a romantic activity, since you and your spouse can do star-gazing and share marshmallows near the bonfire. Just make sure to choose the safest camping spots and those with beautiful overlooking views.

Wildlife Safari

With or without the whole family, going to a wildlife safari is still one of the best outdoor recreational activities. Wildlife safaris are exciting all the way. They are usually home to hundreds of different animal species that wander freely around the place. Visitors ride a protective vehicle to see the bigger wild animals. Meanwhile, they can just walk around some exhibits showing smaller animals.

Final Thoughts

One of the ways to keep your marriage alive is by having fun and creating more exciting memories with each other. Sometimes, married couples need time away from kids to spice up the relationship once again. If you were adventurous as a young couple, you can relive it again with outdoor activities no matter how old you get together.

I’m sure most of us would want to choose the ability of flying as a superpower. To live that dream, here are extreme activities to give you a glimpse of what it feels like to fly:

Paragliding

This competitive and recreational sport is for adventurers who want to fly with paragliders. Paragliders are launched by running until the vehicle totally pulls you to lift you off the ground. It is free-flying, which means that it doesn’t need a direct mechanism to make it fly. It mainly relies on the wind with its gigantic yet lightweight parachute-like material. The vehicle pulling you is just an external force to keep you flying. However, some experienced riders just launch themselves on a mountain. They just have to wait for the wind to catch up before launching.

The rider is secured with a harness hanging below the fabric wing. On the other hand, what makes a harness secured is the string of many baffled cells interconnected to the wing. The reasons why the fabric wing maintains one shape throughout the flight are suspension lines, aerodynamics and air pressure.

One of the most amazing things about paragliding is that the flight can last for several hours. You can also reach places, hundreds of kilometers away from your starting point.

Paramotoring

If you’re waiting for jetpacks to be finally available in the market, you can try paramotoring for now. Paramotoring is very similar to paragliding. The only difference is using a machine for a speedier flight. Paramotoring is also known as powered paragliding. The machine, also called as paramotor, is installed behind the rider. Because of this, the rider can just launch himself.

Interestingly, many countries don’t ask for license from people who want to do paramotoring. This extreme activity can be done low and slow with only a few equipment and cheaper cost for maintenance. The equipment can also be brought anywhere because of portability.

Wing Walking

Wing walking is one of the most extreme flying activities. There are only a few services granting this opportunity because of how dangerous and scary it is. Most people doing this are already professionals when it comes to stunts. The whole concept started with airshows back in the 1920s. Wing walkers moved on a flying airplane’s wings.

In the United Kingdom, IntotheBlue offers daredevils a ride of their life with wing walking. A biplane is used to let people stand on the wings in a more stable manner. The company makes sure to record the whole thing. Before wing walking, a training takes place for the aspiring wing walkers despite the ultra-secure harness firmly attached to the wings.

IntotheBlue

Ultralight Flying

In this type of extreme activity, small planes that are simply composed of frames are used. These planes have no windshields, so you would really feel like flying. It is kind of difficult to find this type of plane. The only location I can think of is in Pampanga, Philippines. Specifically in Angeles City, extreme sports enthusiasts can fly their own plane. But obviously, they need to undergo training first and pay quite a huge sum of money to rent a plane.

Zipline

When I visited Philippines, I made sure to ride a zipline. My most favorite in particular is the zipline in Lake Sebu. You can ride it twice because the strong metallic ropes go across three mountains. One ride also takes longer than other ziplines located in other places in the country. It is also higher than most ziplines.

Some ziplines require you to sit or stand. But in Lake Sebu, you’ll be lying on your harness facedown. This is where you can really channel your dream to fly like a superhero. The whole thing looks scary because your harness is supported by a contraption which slides down metallic ropes. You would think “How about friction?” Don’t worry because the whole mechanism is totally secure because of strong and durable materials. The ride is totally worth it anyway. You would see a stunning view of the mountains, waterfalls and trees below.  Luckily for me, I even saw a rainbow.

Trapeze

This is more on swinging, not flying. But, you would still feel the wind all over your body as you swing back and forth. Besides, it is a unique extreme activity. Who would have thought that anybody can now experience what it’s like in the circus. You can also change in different positions as you swing, thanks to the training professionals give before the actual thing. Modern trapeze is also very secure because different parts of your body are securely connected to fixed objects in case of hand slips.

Giant Swing

There’s one epic scene in “Superman” comics and movies wherein the Man of Steel swoops down to save Lois Lane. You can experience almost the same thing with the extreme activity Giant Swing. A go-to location for this activity is at Wild Canyon. Called the Sling Swinger, you can go solo or with a companion to share the adrenaline with.

The Sling Swinger is safe because of high-quality equipment and comprehensive safety instructions for the riders. The first step of the activity is free fall. But after that, you would start swinging back and forth at 140 km/hr.

Wild Canyon

Skydiving or Parachuting

You might not know this yet – skydiving is also the same as parachuting. I also tag this as one of the most extreme and most dangerous recreational activities. Before the parachute is deployed, you would experience a staggering free-fall from a plane. Although the activity is very risky, fatalities are quite rare.

I know a friend who did this stunt and said that he would do it again. He said the best part was after the parachute got finally deployed because he felt like flying. He even explained that the training was very detailed and serious. Each of them also signed some sort of contract. I found it hilarious that despite the strong wind greeting him from head to toe, he said he was sweating like a pig during the whole thing.

Hang Gliding

This extreme recreational activity is the same as paragliding. But, the two differ with the equipment used. While paragliding uses a fabric wing, hang gliding requires a light metallic aircraft but still not motorized at all. Modern hang gliders are composed of aluminum alloy. Some are made of composite frame surrounded by synthetic sailcloth. Of course, the rider is secured with a harness. Unlike paragliding wherein the rider can do the sitting position, hang gliding usually requires the rider to pose horizontally facedown.

Pinterest

Wingsuit Flying

Another insane reactional activity, wingsuit flying is also simply called wingsuiting. You have to channel your inner flying squirrel here because before deploying the parachute, you must go in a free-fall while spreading your body to utilize the wingsuit. Unlike skydiving, wingsuit flying is more suited to pros in extreme sports. This is a solo activity – you just have to rely on your wingsuit and parachute.

Final Thoughts

Science and technology literally make dreams come true. I’m still amazed at how possible flying is nowadays. Still, you’re no superhero. So, you should take these activities seriously to avoid accidents.

It has been 15 years since the World Trade Center attacks happened yet the memories of people who witnessed the horrific tragedy are still fresh like it was just yesterday. Many documentaries and investigation reports were already passed down to the public as to what really happened that day especially the events that occurred inside the hijacked planes that flew straight into the towers. The terrorists who executed the plans were prepared and ready to stage a simple play that if executed well will bring success to their murderous intent. The funny thing is, the hijackers didn’t actually have the right tools to dominate the passengers in fact, they just used fake bomb assemblages and box cutters to carry out their plans yet they pulled it off. Their main weapon in those instance though is as powerful as the real bombs and that is instilling fear and terror. By simply striking fear into the passengers and crew, they were able to maneuver the plane’s flight path directly to oblivion.

All of the investigation reports that were publicized enumerated all points of failure in the security measures that were implemented that day. However, if everyone takes a second look at it, everything could have been averted and prevented if there was just a single firearm carried by an able person in those flights.

There are already a lot of movies that depict plane hijacking and almost all of these movies are lucky since among the passengers there is always a Federal Air Marshal who is on board. These special law enforcement agents are usually the thespians of the stories and are able to save the plane at the end of the day. Unfortunately, in the real world, not all flights have a secret Air Marshal that can protect everyone onboard. The truth is, it has been a challenge to the agency to hire enough marshals to cover all commercial and high-threat flights that takes off day in, day out.

Having to know this, worried pilots and crew members had appealed to the authorities to grant them permission to conceal a firearm which they can use for emergency situations wherein hijackers wants to take over the plane and use it for more heinous plans. In this way, attacks like what happened during 9/11 could have been stopped by the pilot and crew members themselves or may persuaded the hijackers to re-consider their motives.

This realistic request gained enough supporters that the US Congress introduced a new program to realize the effort in arming pilots and crew members of commercial flights. The name of this program is the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO). Following its implementation, a total of 44 undisclosed plane crew members were sent to training in Glynco, Georgia. To many pilots, FFDO program is a first real step in ensuring the protection of plane cockpits and the passengers that the plane carries. Now, all commercial planes are equip to defend itself from terror and hijacking attacks and loss of innocent lives may never be experienced anymore.

The FFDO program certifies a trained crewmember or pilots to get authorization from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to “use firearms to defend against an act of criminal violence or air piracy attempting to gain control of an aircraft.” A rigid training is needed for a crewmember to be a FFDO. The complete training includes mindsetting, knowledge on firearms, defensive tactics, legal, and effective use of force. Aside from the rigid training, applicants also undergo strict medical screening and background check to ensure that the person who will be authorized to carry a firearm in planes will not be the one who will hijack the plane himself.

Since there is just a little law enforcement power given to FFDOs, these people may not make arrests or do things like a police would do. Their main function is to carry the consented firearm and apply lethal force when necessary. Since the job of FFDO entails overriding a lot of security protocols of airlines and airports, their identities and involvement in the program are kept on 100% secrecy, much like the Federal Air Marshals.

The program specifically teaches selected crew on how to properly use a firearm and guidelines on the specific types that can be used. In the end, FFDOs are actually given the privilege to choose their own handguns to carry.
There are a lot of handguns’ make and model that FFDOs can choose from however, Glocks 4th Gen are usually preferred. Glocks are preferred mainly because cockpits are usually are tight and small. This type of handgun is easy to conceal and use in tight spaces. It is also consistent and user-friendly especially when there is constant movement involved like riding a plane.

Below are the type of Glocks that were preferably selected by FFDOs during their deployment.

Glock 19 Gen4


The Glock 19 Gen4, in 9×19, has a revolutionary design that makes it so famous as a service firearm for both private and public agencies. The handgun has a modular backstrap that aids in adjusting grip suited for the shooter of owner. The surface of the frame employs the scientifically-designed, real-world-tested, Gen4 rough textured technology. It also has a dual spring recoil system in its assemblage that prolongs the life of the pistol. The Glock 19 magazine is reversible which allows faster reloading and accommodates both left handed and right handed shooters. This 4th gen Glock still has its rail for attachments.

Glock 26 Gen4

The Glock 26 G4 9mm Bodyguard also known as the “mini Glock” is similar in size and weight to the small frame .38 snubnose revolver. The G26 is packed with 11 rounds of 9mm cartridge that is the combined capacity of a 6-shot Detective Special and a 5-shot Chiefs Special. G26 has a better recoil, better accuracy and a faster rate of fire compared to other similar sized handguns. Like all Gen 4 glock series, the backstrap is modular which adjusts itself to accommodate small to large frame hands. Also, just like the G19, The Glock 26 magazine is reversible which allows faster reloading and accommodates both left handed and right handed shooters.

Glock 23 Gen4

As of today, most police and military personnel prefers Glock 23 handgun as their service firearm, chambered in .40 Smith and Wesson, because of its reliability and robustness of its revolutionary design that proved to be effective in different situations. Still considered as a compact and perfect for concealment gun, G23 packs a 13-round magazine, enough firepower to be a reliable service firearm.

The most sellable feature of a Glock handgun, especially in the Gen 4 series is being a user-friendly pistol. Standard design features include a reversible magazine which can be easily accessible by both right and left-handed shooters and the modular backstrap that is perfect for all grip sizes. Suprisingly, even with .40 S&W cartridge, G23 is still smooth on the recoil due to the dual spring system assemblage.

People who participates shooting competitions usually register and use a G23 handgun because of its high customization feature. This is also a perfect handgun for people who wants to have one to protect their homes and properties since it can easily be hidden in any parts of the house.

Glock 27 Gen4

Glock 27 or G27 is commonly called as the “thinking person’s secret gun”. For the last 20 years, G27 is the most preferred side arm for defensive and law enforcement use a sit provides some best 9mm power but less recoil compared to the heavier .45 caliber pistols. This handgun has 10 rounds of .40 Smith & Wesson cartridge and is slightly larger than a .38 pistol.

Glock 43 Gen4

With its subcompact, slimline design, Glock’s G43 Pistol is a smart choice for all shooters, regardless of hand size. Ultraconcealable size makes it a great choice for self-defense. Grip features a built-in beaver-tail design, allowing shooters to acquire a high, tight grip. Aggressive grip texture promotes easy operation. Large magazine catch allows for easy removal of six-round magazine. Trigger reach and pistol grip are familiar and dimensionally equivalent to the larger 9×19 pistols in Glock’s lineup.

Final Thoughts…

There are also other sidearms or handguns that are requested by some FFDOs especially those who have military background. For them, they are more adept in using the .45 caliber handguns since it is the standard sidearm issued by the military. However, if given an alternate Glock choice, they usually choose Glock 30 which is pretty much pack the same power that of a .45 and still can be easily concealed.

The dream is that there should be no another 9/11 incident that should happen in the future. Arming a plane crew member and trained to be a FFDO may be the solution at hand in order to ensure that dream. There maybe some groups that are against to this effort, but they too recognize that threats in air travel are still present. These threats should be mitigated and countered to ultimately save lives in the process.

When kids finally go to school and start to learn things, adults usually have a common question for them that solicits interesting answers. This question is actually asking a particular kid what would he/she wants to become when he/she grows up, and a kid can give an answer from the hundreds of profession existing nowadays. The answers given become the guides and aspirations of the kids as they develop and experience more of life in the road to adulthood.

All professions always have this noble cause to improve each and every person’s well-being and of the world, except to those jobs that destroy lives, if you guys consider them as professions too. There are professions that protects the rights of the people and other living things, while there are a few that save their very lives. There are jobs that gives privilege to some to rule and govern organizations and lands. Some even blessed certain number of people with divine calling to lead other people, believing in the higher powers.

While there are a lot of professions that have interesting job descriptions, there are very special ones wherein a certain professional needs to maneuver modes of transportation that without valuable experience and long trainings would spell death to a number of human souls. What I’m talking about here are the public drivers, ship captains, and commercial pilots. These special people are directly entrusted with human lives as they themselves course their day-to-day itineraries which is for me kind a scary and too much of a burden.

Let’s narrow down to commercial pilots. These real-life superheroes battle overwhelming odds of piloting large chunk of metal and tanks of highly-combustible fuel thousands of feet over certain plunge of death. What’s more scary is that they do this almost everyday which means that everyday, they need to muster all their skills and experience to safely transport people. However, not everyday pilots draw the best cards and perform their job satisfactorily. Sometimes, probably a one in a thousand chance, everything goes south from them and their planes just give up. Throughout history, there were already a couple of horrible sky travel accidents that happened which saddened the world however, there were also stories of miracles out from certain demise. These miracles mostly were achieved because of the quick and efficient decisions of the pilots maneuvering the planes, and maybe with a truckload of luck.

 

Below is short list of notable commercial plane pilots who cheated death and saved the lives of their passengers. Their stories are nothing short of amazing and will be forever etched in the history of commercial aviation.

1. Alastair Atchison

June 10, 1990 – Mr. Atchison may not be the main pilot of British Airways Flight 5390 but he was definitely the man who saved all other people when the incident happened. The incident is like what you see in an action-packed movie. The BA flight was en route to Malaga carrying 81 passengers and a standard crew size. During the flight, a loud bang was suddenly heard over the fuselage and suddenly the windscreen panel on the main pilot’s side was dislodged sucking out the pilot himself.

Luckily, with safety belt still strapped on, the pilot’s tragic ejection was prevented halfway by one of the crew members. While the flight crew were desperately trying to pull in their pilot, our hero, Alastair Atchison, took matters into his own hand and performed an emergency descent to stabilize the plane and to save their pilot from suffocation and frostbite. While maneuvering the plane, Alastair was also trying to contact the nearest air traffic control for help and emergency landing. Because of the noise of strong winds from the opened windscreen, the communication was difficult at first but eventually got through and Alastair got his emergency assistance.

The plane safely landed in Southhampton where only the pilot, who was clinging on to his dear life during the entire incident, was the only person who needs to get rushed to a hospital due to a broken arm and frostbite.

2. Malcom Waters

April 13, 2010 – We all know that plane travel so fast in mid-air to keep flying and resist gravity. However, the plane’s speed is still being regulated by the pilot especially when it’s time for its descent. In this particular story, the plane was probably been rigged by Vin Diesel and suddenly had the need for speed.

Cathay Pacific Flight 780, piloted by Malcolm Waters, is a huge plane and this particular trip carried 309 passengers and 13 flight crew. During the course of their trip from Surabaya to Hong Kong, the plane’s monitoring screen flashed a control system fault for its 2nd engine which made wary the 2 people on the cockpit. The message shows and hides a few times which the pilot reported to their maintenance control for checking.

When the plane is almost inbound for Hong Kong, suddenly the message changed to a more serious one, signifying a compressor stall for engine 2 and that time, it was already coupled with a control system fault for engine 1. When the messages appeared, Waters noticed the plane lost its ability to change thrust which at the time was a need since they are already descending.

Entrusting solely to his long flight experience, Malcolm Waters, with the help of his co-pilot, maneuvered the speeding plane down to the nearest runway with a speed almost double than what is required for landing. Together, they safely landed the plane, of course with damages on the nose due to the dive. However, even with almost certain demise that was averted, only 57 passengers were hurt and only 1 had a serious injury.

Malcolm Waters and his co-pilot were awarded with the Polaris Award due to their airmanship and heroism.

3. Richard Champion de Crespigny

November 4, 2010 – A 35-year veteran pilot in the name of Richard Champion de Crespigny piloted a large double-decker Qantas jet carrying 469 passengers into the blaze of glory.

When the Airbus A380 was flying over Indonesia, its 2nd engine suddenly exploded damaging the wing and causing a huge fire on the section. With a calm mind and unparalleled skills in flying, Richard maneuvered the plane into safe emergency landing at Singapore Airport with no passengers hurt. When the plane landed, it blew four of its tires due to the emergency landing maneuver.

What is more interesting to this story is that the moment the plane safely landed in Singapore, our pilot hero, immediately debriefed shocked passengers into what truly happened and offered assistance to all passengers who were physically and psychologically affected, Because of his airmanship, heroism, and exemplary service, Richard Champion de Crespigny was recently inducted into the prestigious Order of Australia for his contribution to the aviation industry and to the community.

4. Bob Pearson

July 23, 1983 – This is a story of a simple miscalculation that almost led to the loss of 61 human souls.

Before we start reliving what happened, let us first know the plane, Boeing 767-233 and what were the things that made the incident one which we could do a “facepalm” to ourselves. The 767 is one of the 1st commercial planes to include an electronic flight instrument system which operates from the electricity generated by the jet’s engines. Not only that, the hydraulic system of the plane which controls the flaps is yes, also being powered by the engine. Lastly, at that time, the plane’s measurement system was switched from imperial to metric.

Now that we spelled out the obvious reasons why this flight was doomed to fail, let us know the details of this rare incident that made our hero pilot the hero he became.

It all started during the refueling of the plane. Due to the sudden change of the measurement system, the refueling crew miscalculated how much fuel the plane needs to do its journey and unfortunately they filled her up so much less than expected. In the middle of the flight, the plane suddenly stopped working because it ran out of juice. Since the new control panel and the hydraulics system all rely in the engines, the moment the engines stopped, both systems also ceased to function. At this time, the plane is nothing more like a large metal with no life and is already expected to fall violently towards the Earth’s lithosphere.

At this point enter our hero, pilot Bob Pearson. With nothing working on his command, and worse, the emergency checklist didn’t have a section where both engines fail, he relied on his experience and skill in gliding. Bob, aside from being a commercial pilot, is also a professional glider during his downtime. Gliding techniques are almost a taboo in jet plane piloting but at that time, Bob knew that it is the only way he can save all people onboard on his plane. He glided Air Canada Flight 143 into a racing car track at Gimli, land hard blowing tires, nose fell off causing fire, but in the end, all passengers and crew were safe and sound.

5. Chesley Sullenberger III

January 15, 2009 – We are saving the best and the most famous pilot in our time for the last.

Just after US Airways Flight 1549 took off from New York, the pilot noticed that a flock of birds is in collision with his plane. The birds blew off both of the plane’s engines disabling the plane mid-air. With not enough time to spare and recalculate things, Chesley eyeballed the situation and decided to land the plane on the Hudson River.

Although the emergency water landing was successful, the next problem was the immediate rescuing of all 155 passengers since that time, the winter chills are blowing like crazy and people are at risk to frostbite. Luckily, the New York rescue teams and ferrymen were quick to the scene securing the lives of all 155 people onboard of the plane.

An investigation quickly followed to contest the decision our hero pilot made during the incident and was later proved correct and the most sound. Chesley Sullenberger became a hero and a celebrity to all New Yorkers and was awarded with a book deal and an early retirement.

If you want to more of this amazing story, I suggest you go watch the Academy-nominated film starring Tom Hanks. The movie is quite moving and at the same time exhilarating.

Final Thoughts…

With no doubts, being a pilot is not only a mind-boggling but also a nerve-wracking profession. Their career path is not at all times clear-cut or trouble-free. The struggle doesn’t end in getting their license, in fact it’s only the beginning. Overcoming the intellectual and emotional unimaginable pressure they get during their flights, that’s the real struggle.

Nonetheless, pilots on board offer not only their full potentials on flying air vehicles but also their dearest lives. The commitment of taking their passengers safely on tiring long-distance destinations truly deserves countless applause. Yet, there are some cruel and vindictive passengers who don’t appreciate the immense sacrifices made by the men behind the wings. Thankfully, pilots are professional enough to handle such situations.

I really do hope that there will be no more aviation accidents like the ones mentioned above. In this generation, we’re breathing in a world in which roughly every person choose to travel by air, and the populace ought to have a precise good judgment of how air crafts operate, and what pilots truly do in every flights that they’re in – especially in times of heavy workloads and unexpected emergencies. Furthermore, for pilots, it’s not all calm-soothing blue skies and not all workdays will be perfectly sun-drenched. When things get shitty, blaming the pilot or any other aviation crew is not always the right thing to do and should be the last thing that any person would do because accidents happen, whether you like it or not, and pilots are definitely pledging their lives on saving the passengers first more than their own, and that is the ugly truth.

Hence, at the end of the day,  just like any other regular travelers, pilots also have something to look forward to – to go home and spend some quality time with their families, friends and loved ones.

New aircraft models have noticeable design changes, especially when you look outside the window. The prominent bent tip of the wing actually has significance to the whole aerodynamics of the plane.

Winglets vs. Vortex Drag

Winglets are designed to give planes a faster and smoother flight. How? They minimize vortex drag. When planes fly, air flows above and below the wings. When this happens, a vortex forms at the back of wings’ tips. You can actually see a vortex sometimes when you look at the wing from the window, specifically during rainy weather. The vortex trails behind the wing.

A vortex seems to be an amazing spectacle. However, it makes the plane exert extra effort. It is the reason for a risky drag, which forces the plane to use more fuel for additional power.

Now, winglets help the wings avoid vortex drag. They enable less air to surround the wings, preventing the formation of swirls that lead to drag. Aside from a smoother flight, winglets also help for a smoother take off. They are actually inspired by the actual wings of a bird. The feathers on the wing normally become upturned while flying.

Winglets, starting from smaller sizes, became popular in the 1980s. But, as time progresses, winglets become larger, more bent and more complex. These aviation innovations are products of continuous aerodynamic research, which includes digital modelling and spending time in wind tunnels.

Types of Winglets

Winglets have different varieties for functional and aesthetic purposes:

Production-Standard

Among the major types of winglets, this one is the simplest. The tip just sharply bends upwards. The first aircraft that had these winglets is Bombardier’s Challenger 601 last 1987.

Blended

This follows a smooth big curve. It is made for long flights. Why? This type of winglet is the most effective in reducing drag. So, it gives the plane a reduction of 4% in burning fuel. An example is 737NG of Aviation Partners Boeing.

Sharklet

This winglet type is an upgrade from the simple blended design. It is big and has a curve like the original kind. But, it has sharper edges. It was first used for Airbus’s A320. The similar design to Aviation Partners’ blended type started a lawsuit.

Dual-Feather

Now, this one looks so feminine and elegant. The wingtip is bent into two directions: upward and downward. The upper part is larger than the lower one. This design idea aims to provide additional 1.5% reduction in burning fuel compared to the blended type. It was used originally by Boeing’s 737 MAX.

Split Scimitar

With the ongoing unwritten competition for the best wingtip design for fuel-burn reduction, Aviation Partners created an upgrade for the dual-feather type. The only difference is bigger and even pointier tips. The result resembles a bird’s claw. The design aims for another 2% saving in fuel.

Spiroid

Aviation Partners just keeps on moving forward with more complex innovations in wingtip technology. The Spiroid winglet is extremely bent to form a big hole. Its goal is a whopping 10% in fuel savings.

Final Thoughts

Air travel is considered to be safer than land transportation due to minimal cases of accidents. But, that became possible because of nonstop aviation research. All parts of an aircraft, even the simplest ones like the wingtip, are essential for a safe flight. One tiny flaw can lead to a disaster.

Skellefteå Stads trädgårdssällskaps STYRELSE

Ordförande
Gunilla Lundmark
Furubacksvägen 14
932 37 Ursviken
Tel: 0910 – 515 48
gunilla.ursviken@gmail.com
Vice ordförande
Ledamot
Eva-Britt Norberg
Lindegårdsvägen 3
931 91 Skellefteå

Tel: 0910 – 860 98
evabritt.norberg@gmail.com

Sekreterare
Kerstin Marklund
Varvsgatan 6D
391 34 Skellefteå
Tel: 0910 – 160 07
070-667 70 42
kemilia@bredband.net
Kassör & medlemsansvarig
Eva Lindmark
Hedgatan 26
931 49 Skellefteå

Tel: 0910 – 107 35
070-211 90 28
kurt.lindmark@gmail.com

Ledamot
Ulla Holmström
Hemmansgatan 249
931 56 Skellefteå
Tel: 0910 – 150 79
070-392 63 54
ulla.holmstrom@torpet.ac
Ledamot
Inger Höglund
Östra Nygatan 138
931 35 Skellefteå
Tel: 0910 – 157 08
070-24 68 375
inger.hoglund@skola.skelleftea.se
Ledamot
Ingrid Bredberg
Norra Stationsgatan 6
931 41 Skellefteå
Tel: 0910 – 387 12
070-695 42 41
ingrid.bredberg@telia.com
Ledamot
Annika Huring
Slipvägen 33
931 91 Skellefteå
Tel: 0910 – 529 03
070-60 122 67
annika.huring@telia.com
Ledamot
Bengt Block
Forslundagatan 1
931 64 Skellefteå
Tel: 0910 – 179 82
Sammankallande i valberedningen
Gunnar Karlsson
Varvsgatan 6D
931 34 Skellefteå