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Author Topic: Didcot demolition goes wrong?  (Read 657 times)

sevenlayermuddle

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Didcot demolition goes wrong?
« on: August 18, 2019, 08:44:12 AM »

Iím visiting friends in Oxfordshire.

Lying awake in the early hours, I heard a deep, distant rumble which I quickly realised would be the Didcot cooling towers being demolished, as planned.    I looked to see the time but the clock was blank.  The power had gone off, but a glance at my watch confirmed it was precisely 7:00 am At exactly 7:02, the clock lit up again, as power was restored.   SSEN are claiming the two events are unrelated.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-49375917
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Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) insisted the fault "wasn't linked to the demolition".

Pull the other one. :D

A picture is also circulating (and on the above BBC page) of a pylon that caught fire due to the demolition.    Hmmm, unrelated?  ???
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Didcot demolition goes wrong?
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2019, 08:57:25 AM »

Found another report that suggests a drone may have struck cables, causing the pylon fire.  Maybe more credible than the Beebís suggestion that it was caused by dust.

https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/17844534.power-cut-across-didcot/

That might mean it was not SSENís fault.   But it wouldnít mean the events were Ďunrelatedí    ::)
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kitz

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Re: Didcot demolition goes wrong?
« Reply #2 on: August 18, 2019, 11:58:38 AM »

This appears to be the tweet that caused the BBC to say witnesses say dust from the demolition made the electrical cables flare up.

He has added to his original tweet that it was a drone hitting the cables..  actually some of the comments are quite amusing if you read it in full especially his reply to some of the journalists ;)

linky

 
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Didcot demolition goes wrong?
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2019, 12:49:53 PM »

Thanks, very amusing. :D

I listened to the news on BBC Radio Oxford not long ago.   It seems SSEN are now accepting that the power cuts and the demolition  are ďprobably linkedĒ after all.  With such amazing powers of deduction, I expect GCHQ will be head hunting the staff?

The drone theory sounds credible, personally I find the things always make me uncomfortable.   I was nearly tempted to drive out to a nearby hillside to watch. I knew all good vantage points would be busy, but hadnít realised the drones would be out in force.  Glad I stayed in bed.

My own first thought was ďOops, I bet they forgot to switch it off before they blew it up.Ē ::)
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kitz

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Re: Didcot demolition goes wrong?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2019, 08:32:49 AM »

>>  personally I find the things always make me uncomfortable.

Had a weird occurrence with one of these about 6/7 weeks ago which I found slightly perturbing.   

I was sat on the ground on my front driveway weeding the flower bed when I heard a strange buzzing noise.  At first I half ignored it thinking it may have been a neighbours garden tool ie strimmer, but that didn't sound quite right and as the volume increased slightly I looked up to see a drone directly over the boarder fence between mine and my neighbours house. 

It wasn't particularly high - only about 6-8ft at the most above house height and I could see it quite clearly as my side gate was open.   It slightly flitted slowly for a while over mine and my neighbours back garden then rather eerily moved to the area between our houses which separates them by about 20ft (2x driveway width) and still not that much higher than my house.    It stayed there for a good 4-5 mins which in itself is strange because nothing to see there aside from drive or garage and shed roofs...  except it would also have had a good view of me sat there weeding on the edge of the drive.

There was no one in the street which is a quiet cul-de-sac.   My neighbours were out and bearing in mind the ages of my neighbours over the back they are highly unlikely to be the sort to play with drones.   Only when it must have noticed I was looking around for someone who could be controlling it, did it speed off due west into the distance at some speed. 

I didn't think they were supposed to fly over residential areas?  ... and I've still no idea what it would have found so interesting to view in either mine or my neighbours back garden...   nor even more puzzling why it should hover over the space in between our houses for so long.   I'm assuming the controller was some distance away due to how fast it took off and soon was out of line of my sight.   
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johnson

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Re: Didcot demolition goes wrong?
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2019, 09:22:32 AM »

Could have been a creep with a camera drone kitz, but from your description of its movement maybe more likely a drone someone had lost control over (out of range due to what ever reason) that went into GPS "loiter" mode before either regaining control or doing an auto return home.

I suggest this only as you mention it flitting slowly about, its what they do when in GPS position hold. Standard GPS will be accurate to a few meters, so any position hold will drift around in a couple of meter box.

Could also have been someone playing (recklessly) with autonomous way point navigation, i.e go to this far away place, hold, move to next etc.

Did you notice if the "front" part of it, or any particular "side" i.e with 2 rotors facing you next to each other, seemed to be deliberately facing you? That would be a give away that it was under someones control and they were looking at you, most cheap drones dont have cameras on gimbals to track without actually orienting the thing towards target.
 
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Didcot demolition goes wrong?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2019, 09:36:38 AM »

From https://www.gov.uk/government/news/drones-are-you-flying-yours-safely-and-legally
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not to fly your drone over a congested area, never fly within 50 metres of a person, vehicle or building not under your control

Same ref also points out privacy issues, line of sight requirements etc.   

I can see the fun to be had from drones and Iím sure Iíd personally enjoy having one.   But if thatís the law, then itís hard to imagine many places they can legally be used.  My own garden is pretty big, being out in the sticks.  But no part of it is more than the limit of 164 feet from a road, or from a neighbour, so my whole garden would seem to be out of bounds?   I can only assume that the rules are simply ignored, most of the time. :(

Back to Didcot though, maybe not a drone after all...

https://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/17844787.didcot-power-station-demolition-debris-hit-power-cables/
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Didcot Power Station demolition: SSE confirms debris DID cause power cut

In that case, maybe lucky no members of the public got hit by the debris.   People had been asked to stay away but judging by the stuff showing up on social media they seemed to be allowed to ignore the request, and gather in nearby fields.   To be clear btw, the hillside that I had thought of using as viewpoint was just over 3 miles as the crow files.   So hopefully, would have been safe.

I saw another video where the power lines were waving around like out-of-control skipping ropes, as if resonating with the shockwaves.
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kitz

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Re: Didcot demolition goes wrong?
« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2019, 01:56:54 AM »

>>  I suggest this only as you mention it flitting slowly about, its what they do when in GPS position hold.

Sounds feasible because for a while it was flitting about as if it couldn't quite hold a fixed position.
However when it did move to the area over our drives then it did hold a static position for several minutes.
I was surprised at how quickly it did fly off though and quite sooncompletely out of view.   I suppose it is possible that whoever was controlling it could have been on the prom or at the beach.   I'm not sure of their range, but the beach isn't that far from me.

>>  Did you notice if the "front" part of it, or any particular "side" i.e

Was several weeks ago now so my memory is hazy..  but from what I can recall is that it was white and the 'body' was slightly rectangular with rotors coming off the sides.   It was easy to spot that it had distinct sides, but it was not quite close enough for me to be able to definitely see a camera.  ie it didn't have one suspended underneath, so it was inbuilt and either pointing directly at me.. or showing me its rear end and facing directly away from me. Position of the sun didn't help, but it sure as hell felt like it was looking at me!
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kitz

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Re: Didcot demolition goes wrong?
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2019, 01:58:25 AM »

>>>   never fly within 50 metres of a person, vehicle or building not under your control

Well for sure they were breaking regulations.  It was easily within 5m from the roof of my house and I dunno 20m? at most from me. :mad:


>> I saw another video where the power lines were waving around like out-of-control skipping ropes, as if resonating with the shockwaves.

When they first started talking about drones, I wondered if it was shock waves which had blown the drone out of control. 
Thanks for the updated photos.  The one of the debris hitting the power line is quite spectacular!   Easy to see why someone may have thought it was a drone - especially if there had been one flying around earlier.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Didcot demolition goes wrong?
« Reply #9 on: August 23, 2019, 05:00:13 PM »

When they first started talking about drones, I wondered if it was shock waves which had blown the drone out of control. 

Nice theory, even if not a contributing factor here. :)

I know a guy who does major landscaping projects and uses a semi professional drone (sub £1000 he told me) for publicity shots of his work.   Iíve seen his drone hovering, steady as a rock, in surprisingly strong and gusty winds.    But shockwaves may well present more specific problems, Iíd not be surprised.
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