Just because a 172 has a max cruise at 125kt does not invalidate one's observation of an object moving (bike)between two marked points (painted stripes on the highway). i.e the relative velocity of the airplane vs the bike has nothing to do with the observation of the bike going between two stationary points (absolute velocity). This is how state troopers did it before Radar. So even if he is moving he can stil time you and nab you.... if he has two stationary reference points. Having done air recon in a 182 for several years I think the kid is screwed. I used time how fast slurry (air retardant) bombers were making their runs. using the same approach
As a person who lives in MN and travels that road there isn't a place straight enough to hit that speed let alone 186. Also the local news stations are showing the guy was on a RC51. I just got a call from my insurance agent after this and he told me since I ride a sport bike they will not renew with me for next year. I'm getting quotes of 1800 dollars to cover my RC51. Needless to say the bike is going to be sold and I'm looking at a BMW R1100S or R1100R instead. I'm through.
I'm afraid there's not much this guy can do to defend here. The aircraft doesn't have to be going as fast as the observed vehicle; in fact, it doesn't even have to be going in the same direction. If you're circling a few thousand feet up you'll have a nice wide view, plenty of time to watch anything short of a bullet, and be suffering from virtually nil parallax error. Whether you can say something about the reflex or reaction involved with the stopwatch buttons is debatable, but really, how much difference would the sentence be between a 190mph ticket and the 205 ticket?
Yeah?...Id like to be there when he fought it."Your honor i was nt doing 205;not a whisker past 160" i dont think the judge would say "Only 160? Case dismissed" On a more serious note,you can get fairly accurate(+/- 10 %) speed data from an air platform goung slower than the object being measured.
Now, I think this guy shouldn't get out of it. This is the sort of thing that gives insurance companies the excuse to harass all riders of sportbikes.
That being said, he needs a lawyer because he has a good case. It is impossible for an RC51 to travel 205 mph. All the defense has to do is demonstrate that the officer screwed up the clocking of the speed and the case is thrown out. The defendant need say nothing about how fast he was going.
I believe that the timing strips on the highway are 1/4 mile apar - correct me if this is wrong, but it's only somewhat relevant to my point.
At very high speeds, unless the points used for measurement are very far apart, you'll need some fairly precise timing to get an accurate reading. Let's assume my 1/4 mile for discussion purposes. At 60 MPH, this distance takes 15 seconds to traverse. At 90 MPH, it takes 10 seconds. We're still within the realm of reason. At 180 MPH, though we're down to five seconds and small timing increments have dramatic impacts. One-half seconds less time will give you a reading of 200 MPH, while one-half second more will yield 164 MPH. While the difference between 180 and 165 and 200, from a legal point of view, is probably irrelevant, measurements become more error prone the finer they have to be.
I doubt parallax had much to do with this, as the measurement points would be almost adjacent to the bike (painted marks on the highway). If the measurements were far from the bike, then parallax with a moving observer would be more of an issue.
My ultimate point is that the difference between 205 and 200 and even 180 is huge to sportbike geeks (like me) - but such unrealistic difference in top speed is easily attributable to imprecise estimates.
Also note that at slow speeds, the officer has time to take a bite of doughnut and slurp some coffee and still have a reasonable estimate of speed because of the relatively long time it takes to travel the measurement distance at speeds closer to the legislated speed limit.
It doesn't matter if it is 180 or 205 mph. This is so completely stupid. Right up there with the idiot that killed himself doing naked wheelies for some bunch of idiots that actually film and sell this crap.
Parallax error is error caused by the offset between a sight and path of the projectile being fired (or clocked). The idea is that the airplane could NOT be directly above both lines for the timing of the pass and it is likely (considering the improbability that the bike was actually travelling at anything near 205MPH) that the error in the reported speed is due to the officer triggering his timing device at the wrong moment, due to mistaking his reference points. -Sean
The idea is to prove that the observation isn't anywhere near the actual speed that the vehicle was travelling and to say that because of this obvious error, no determination of actual speed can be made. -Sean
If that bike wasn't seriously Hopped Up I hope he secured it away were it can't be tampered with, the "Law" has probably taken care of that for him. There is no way a stock 1000cc RR or RC51 (or anything) is going to go 205MPH unless there was a STRONG tailwind, or a long fall. Any number of experts could testify to that. If the guy was on Miguel's spare bike, well that would be a different story. There was most likely a timing error. This guy needs a Good lawyer (I know, oxymoron). If Justice is served (we all know that always happens in this country right?) the case should be thrown out, Next! Of course there is a lot of money to be made on victimless crimes in this Country.
An aside, I have always (since 14 anyway) wanted to go over 200MPH on a Motorcycle. If that guy was going close to that fast I'll bet he has had to LHAO over the bragging rights. Maximum Style points, an International Star? I'd buy him some drinks for the story but he may end up busy for awhile.
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