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Allegedly Self-Taught Pilot Flew Passenger Planes Without Ever Attending Aviation University

Russian media recently featured the story of Taras Shelest, a highly-regarded passenger jet pilot who turned out to be a complete fraud. Despite having never attended aviation university and instead faking his diploma, Shelest allegedly flew thousands of people all around the world for several years, until a bizarre incident finally exposed him.

In August of 2015, Taras Shelest was a co-pilot on a passenger flight from Moscow to Cyprus. When entering Ukrainian airspace, he contacted the ground controller as per protocol, only instead of sticking to the strict technical language, he used a very peculiar greeting – “Glory to Ukraine!” This was apparently so unusual that Shelest was reported to his company’s security service, which in turn contacted the FSB, Russia’s federal security service. Taras’ fellow pilots were whispering to each other that he had lost his mind, for using that bizarre greeting, but the result of the investigation into his background revealed something even crazier – the man was not even a real pilot, but a flight enthusiast who had taught himself to fly using flying simulators and faked his aviation university diploma.

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Birdly – A Unique Virtual Simulator That Lets You Fly Like a Bird

If you’ve always dreamed of soaring the skies like a bird, here’s your chance. You can’t fly for real, of course, but you can experience what it feels like thanks to a futuristic virtual simulator called Birdly.

According to the inventor, Swiss artist and software developer Max Rheiner, Birdly stimulates all the user’s senses to give the user a sense of flying, based on human dreams. “People who have dreams about flying, they can just fly without training and they have great feelings,” he said. “We tried to model this experience like those dreams.”

To use the machine, users are required to lie flat on their stomachs with their hands sprawled out. They also strap on special VR goggles that are programmed with real skylines and landscapes of American cities. Tilting the body up and down produces the effect of ascending or diving. The machine even blows wind with the appropriate force and recreates smells that relate to the landscape below. So users experience a salt-air aroma as they fly over the sea, and and industrial odors while gliding over cities.

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The World’s Scariest Airport Is a Real Heart-Stopper

As if being situated at 10,000 feet above sea level, in the Himalayas, didn’t make it hard enough for pilots trying to land on or take off from Tenzing-Hillary Airport, in Lukla, Nepal, the short and  narrow runway ends at the edge of a precipice, making it one of the most dangerous airports in the world, and definitely the scariest.

Lukla is the gateway to the Himalayas, so despite its reputation as one of the world’s most dangerous airports, it’s actually one of the busiest in Nepal. Mountain climbers trying to conquer the world’s highest mountains have to land here before beginning their journey on foot, so small airplanes and helicopters land here every day. For most mountaineers, the landing on Tenzing-Hillary Airport is a lot more scarier than climbing Everest, and taking into account its extreme location and difficult weather condition, that’s perfectly understandable. Even on its best days, the airport is only available for takeoffs and landings for only a few hours, before the fog sets in or strong winds start to blow. And even then, a miscalculation of just a meter or two on landing can cause a plane to either hit the side of the mountain, or go through a fence and hit a rock wall.  Taking off is no walk in the park either, as failure to build enough speed before the end of the runway can lead to a crash in the abyss below.

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Airline Offers Wealthy Passengers Luxury Suites Complete with Double Beds and Armchairs

Even when you’re in business class, long flights can get pretty uncomfortable. For some it’s the leg space, others are annoyed by noisy passengers, but now Singapore Airways offers a very simple-yet-expensive solution to any problem – luxury private suites.

That’s right, from now on, wealthy passengers flying on the company’s A380 jets will be able to relax in their very own cabins in the sky, complete with double beds and comfy Italian-stitched armchairs. No more having your legs squashed in that tiny space between chairs, or having to endure a total stranger’s snoring or loud obnoxious voice. Instead of trying to watch the in-flight movie on a tiny screen, with a headset in your ears, you can sit back and enjoy whatever film you like on your private 23-inch TV. From now on, rich business types will have their own little oasis of privacy and luxury even when they’re flying.

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People CAN Fly: Man Takes Off with Custom-Made Bird Wings

How many times have you wished you could soar through the sky like a bird, only to remind yourself that it wasn’t possible? For me, it must have been a million times. But now it doesn’t seem like such a remote possibility, not after watching this video of a man flying with a pair of custom-made wings.

Flying is something humans have been obsessed with, the one form of movement that we’ve never been able to master. Several attempts have been made over the centuries to invent the perfect set of wings that could enable man to fly independently. Now, it appears that this has finally happened, if the claims of Jarno Smeets are to be believed. The authenticity of a video he created of himself flying is being questioned, but it sure does appear like he’s doing it for real. And he looks like he’s having a hell of a time.

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