April 30, 2013

    Photo: Knumina Studios via Shutterstock

2 Cessnas Collide Midair Near L.A.

One pilot killed, three injured

Two Cessna 172 airplanes collided over the Santa Monica Mountains Monday, leaving one pilot dead after his plane plummeted into the mountains. The pilot of the second plane managed to land on the third fairway of the Westlake Village golf course, leaving all passengers with only minor injuries. 

After crashing at an altitude of 3,500 feet, both aircraft hit the ground within minutes of each other, about 10 miles apart. Firefighters discovered the first plane in the Santa Monica Mountains when they responded to a small wildfire the crash created. Rescuers found the body of the pilot later that evening.

At the Westlake Village golf course, witnesses to the second plane's landing reported that it had a surprisingly gentle landing, making only a thud when it hit the ground. The plane landed 50 feet to the left of golfer Aaron Jess just after he’d hit his ball into some trees to the right. “Finally being a bad golfer paid off,” he said.


    Photo: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Victory For Iceland's Pirates

Won three seats in parliament

Today, in cruelly misleading news, Iceland’s nascent Pirate Party made an electoral breakthrough. In a Saturday poll, the party earned 5.1% of the vote and several of the 63 seats in Iceland’s parliament, the Althingi.

Sadly, the party has little to do with the country’s seafaring roots. Formed in 2006 by a group of hackers and file-sharers, the "Pirates" have devoted themselves to freedom of information and expression. They are, according to party leader, Birgitta Jonsdottir, the "political arm of the information revolution." Though the party sports a buccaneering black flag as its logo, its members are largely free of scurvy and wooden limbs.

The Pirate Party has made significant headway in Iceland since the country’s 2008 financial collapse, pushing populist ideas such as a new, crowd-sourced constitution. Jonsdottir, who has collaborated with the group WikiLeaks in the past, served in the government in 2009 as part of the Citizens’ Movement, and is the only elected member with parliamentary experience.


    Photo: Lorence Photo

Rusch Crushes Kokopelli Record

Mountain biker tackles 142-mile trail

Mountain biker Rebecca Rusch set a new female speed record on the 142-mile Kokopelli Trail, riding from Moab, Utah, to Fruita, Colorado, in just 13 hours, 32 minutes.

Rusch, who won the Leadville 100 four times in a row and is the reigning champion of the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo, ran into several hitches during her ride, starting when she separated her finger in a crash early on.

"Without thinking I put it back in place, flexed it to see if I could still operate the brake, and hopped back on," she said. "It hurt but felt fine in the flexed position."

Her light later died in the middle of the night, forcing her to ride the last section of the trail by moonlight.

Learn more about how Rusch has made a career out of suffering in The Queen of Pain.


Peace Agreement at Everest

Peace Agreement at Everest     Photo: Alan Arnette

Peace Agreement Signed on Everest

Parties meet at Base Camp after fight broke out

On Monday at Everest Base Camp, with Nepal army major Sunilsingh Rathor standing witness, a group of Sherpas and the alpine trio of Simone Moro, Ueli Steck, and Jonathan Griffith signed a peace agreement. The parties feuded this past weekend while climbing between Camp II and Camp III. In simple language that any law official—or parent—would appreciate, the parties apologized for their fighting, agreed not to talk about the issue again, and resolved to go to the appropriate authorities at Base Camp for any further disagreements.

1. On April 27 2013, above Everest Base Camp, at Camp 2 and Camp 3 an agreement arose between foreign climbers and Nepali climbers and the situation was discussed today at this meeting. Both parties have realized their errors and apologized to each other in front of those present. Furthermore, both parties agreed to help each other in the future to make successful each others goals. It has also been decided that this issue will not be raised again.

2. All those present agreed and committed that such activities must never be repeated by anyone in mountaineering and in the tourism sector. If any party is dissatisfied with the actions of another party, they commit not to go into conflict or use violence against the other party. Instead they commit to report the actions to the government representatives or releventent government recognized association present at the base camps, to come to an amicable solution between the parties.

Full text and pictures of the signed peace agreement are available at AlanArnette.com. Stay tuned for an account from climbers at Base Camp.