A Florida pilot picked a colorful way to test the effects of zero gravity while airborne — by using a handful of candy and filming it as the sweets appeared to float weightlessly in the air.
In the brief, slow motion video, Geoffrey Graf pilots what appears to be a single engine P92 Eaglet propeller plane, while his companion clutches a handful of candy.
As Graf puts the plane into a dive, his companion simply releases her grip on the candy, which seems to disperse of its own accord and then gently float back into the recesses of the cockpit.
Graf called the flight maneuver a ‘Zero G Pushover’ and described it as ‘Pushing the plane over from a climb to a dive’ when posting the 23 second clip to his YouTube channel.
His maneuver was similar to that of NASA’s famous ‘vomit comet’ parabolic flights, which produce about 20 seconds of weightlessness at a stretch.
Since being posted three days ago, the clip spread around the Internet and has become a viral sensation with more than half a million cumulative views on various platforms.
Viewer reaction to the video was divided, however, with some expressing awe, while a greater number questioned the video’s reality and true zero gravity nature.
first candies begin to float out of Graf’s companion’s hand, as the experiment commences
‘Zero grav? looks more like slow motion to me,’ wrote LiveLeak user Benobins.
‘not a single god damn thing in that description describes what happened other than the word candy,’ complained Boily MoonCan of the LiveLeak video title, ‘Pilot Takes a Dive for Zero Gravity Experiment.’
Fellow LiveLeakers like Bleys scoffed, ‘Instead of slow motion video, just take a picture next time for full Zero Gravity experience,’ while daveholt wrote, ‘I can do that by jumping up and down.’
Over on Facebook, posts of the Graf’s video drew similar skepticism.
‘Zero gravity or candy falling in slow motion? If he was diving I would think we would see the ground coming straight at him,’ wrote Facebook user Jonah Kenny.
‘If this is zero gravity, why does the candy comes towards the pilot upon release as apposed to just floating straight up?’ wondered JT McCabe.
Science geeks, however, viewed the zero G or not zero debate as a teachable moment.
‘It actually not zero-g just the simulation of it,’ Facebook user Norman Mason noted.
He went on to add, ‘Gravity is still acting on the candy and plane. The plane is descending as fast as the candy so appears to have no gravity to it. If plane was descending faster than candy it would appear to float to the ceiling of the plane. In other words it would appear as reverse gravity. Physics is fun.’
Meanwhile, LiveLeak user wankmycrank wrote, ‘Not a state of weightlessness……..rather, a state of relative acceleration. The powered dive has the plane and everything attached to it, including the pilot and passenger falling faster than gravitational freefall.
‘When the hand is opened, the candy, which is now no longer tethered to the plane through the hand of the strapped in passenger, begins to gravitationally freefall.’
There was even an answer to JT McCabe’s query about why the candy flies back towards the camera instead of being statically suspended in midair.
According to wankmycrank, it’s because ‘the plane is falling faster than the candy. That’s why the candy appears to float backwards towards the rear of the plane.’