We assume it has been updated
Since our brave playmonaut was lost in the channel, in spite of the best efforts of Lester and myself to recover him?
Back in September, the Low Orbit Helium Assisted Navigator (LOHAN) team sent a mighty orb aloft on a test flight of our magnificent Vulture 2 spaceplane's rocket motor igniter. The mission was a textbook operation, with the the payload eventually returning to terra firma within a few hundred metres of the awaiting team, at a …
The problem was actually that the met office didn't launch their normal quota of balloons that day, so the prediction was based on older data than usual. A weather front was predicted to come in during the evening, but actually came in several hours earlier, changing the flight path enormously and thus dooming our heroic playmonaut to an early, salty, wet grave.
A splendidly bare target landscape - the highest thing in sight a large bale. BUT - given the propensity of things like gliders and radio controlled models to find trees, it can almost be guaranteed that a mighty oak will spring 'full armed from the soil' just in time.
Or, as it might be put on the Disc World 'Million to one chances are dead certs.'
I wouldn't leave the ladder at home if I was you ! But I will raise a glass to a safe flight when it happens.
This is what hot air balloon pilots do. In city flights you may need to drop onto a park or a football ground (or else.) A balloon that might be moving at a couple of metres a second and wind changing speed and direction on the way requires a canny brain function running a three dimensional path integration with imprecise parameters, plus a good dose of self confidence that stops short of hubris.
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