Was this airplane at least 500 feet above Pacific Heights as it journeyed north the other day?
I don’t know. I don’t think so.
Planes is dangerous.
Hoo boy: “Don’t Blame Malaysia Airlines”
“Was this disaster somehow the airline’s fault? The answer is no — but to understand why, you have to look at the complex realities of modern commercial aviation.”
My isn’t this a touch patronizing? Well, obviously the primary fault is with the crew and commanders of the Gadfly missile system used to shoot down the plane. But Malaysian Air Systems is partially to blame for its negligent operation.
“Malaysia Airlines, already world famous because of the still-missing flight MH370, appears to have been following all normal safety rules.”
Is anybody suggesting that this flight was somehow illegal? I don’t think so. So talking about Malaysian following the “rules” is pointless.
“…explicit prohibitions are critical, because the entire aviation system works on the premise that unless airspace is marked as off-limits, it is presumptively safe and legal for flight.
OK again, Jimmy, the flight was unsafe but legal. Nobody’s suggesting that the flight was not legal.
“…when they crossed this zone at 33,000 feet, they were neither cutting it razor-close nor bending the rules, but doing what many other airlines had done, in a way they assumed was both legal and safe.”
Again, Jimmy, why are you harping on what’s “legal” to make your point that Malaysian wasn’t negligent? It’s as if the New York Times has turned into the Public Relations arm of Malaysian Air Systems or the government of Malaysia.
All right, it’s time to review. Here’s a partial list of airlines that were specifically avoiding this part of eastern Ukraine before the shootdown:
Korean Air Lines
Air Berlin [Germany's second-largest airline]
The operators of these airlines would have been able to fly over eastern Ukraine legally, but they chose not to. Why’s that, Jimmy? Why would these airlines spend more on kerosene for no reason?
Somehow I suspect that if it had been a Lufthansa plane that was attacked, there would be fewer starting-point assumptions that the carrier had somehow been cutting corners at the cost of its passengers’ safety.
This sounds like it came straight from Malaysian Airlines, this racism (or whatever) argument he’s pushing. In any event, corner-cutting at the expense of passenger safety is exactly what occurred here.
And here’s the stinger:
“If a government or rogue faction shoots down a commercial plane, is that really an “air safety issue?”
Well, hell yes it is, Jimmy. It’s exactly an air safety issue. That’s why all those airlines cited above, plus others, were avoiding the area. For safety.
Comes now aviation writer Christine Negroni to offer views contrary to that of flyboy fanboy James Fallows:
So while Malaysia is self-evidently correct it its statements; the airspace was open and hundreds flights between Europe and Asia were using it every day, it is a weak reply to a valid question of responsibility.
Why James Fallows wants to shut down the conversation about the question of responsibility is a mystery to me…
Click to expand
Yowzer. I myself have never seen a tilt-rotor IRL
Bob Smolenski has the deets and some video:
“Three V-22′s landed at Crissy Field in San Francisco. Followed by 2 Presidential helicopters. Not sure who was riding on them today. Both Pres. Obama and VP Biden are in Washington DC”
Back in 2001, James Fallows wrote a stupid book called Free Flight: Inventing the Future of Travel about how we’d soon be flying around on tiny Very Light Jets (VLJ’s). (Actually, the book should have been called Jimmy Likes Planes ’cause that’s basically what’s inside).
Then 9/11 happened (so that’s the current excuse as to why things didn’t work out for the bold predictions in Free Flight).
But in 2002, Jimmy came back to say that, ahora mas que nunca, now more than ever in a post 9/11 world, tiny jets were going to transform the world of commercial aviation. He had an “optimistic vision.”
And then in 2008, Jimmy doubled-down with this wildly enthusiastic tale about people at companies that would soon go bankrupt. Every last one of the companies that Jimmy was so wildly enthusiastic about went BK. Read through the whole thing if you want. It’s like oh yeah, we’re going to do everything better cheaper faster lighter and, oh well, the plane’s engines will be coming two years late BUT THAT”S A GOOD THING!
So that’s Jimmy’s undeclared baggage, three trunks full of embarrassing writings on The Coming Transportation Revolution.
Comes now James Fallows to say how great California High Speed Rail is going to be.
IDK, why not instead just be realistic, Jimmy Fallows?
‘Cause I don’t think the whole Jimmy Likes X, where X is the latest big transportation revolution / scheme, is working out for Jimmy.
Well, nobody really “lost” QANTAS, but SFO used to have the big Australian carrier like for a half-century and now it doesn’t so that’s what SFGov was upset about back in the day. Let’s review.
Here’s 2009, from Qantas:
“In 1954, San Francisco became Qantas’ first US mainland destination and we have a long association with the city. We are delighted to showcase our new aircraft to the people of San Francisco.”
And here’s 2009, from Newsom:
“San Francisco International Airport was designed to accommodate the new A380 aircraft, and we are extremely pleased today to welcome Qantas Airways in the first commercial A380 flight to SFO,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. “This state-of-the-art, environmentally sensitive new aircraft provides yet another bridge of friendship between San Francisco and Australia, and we look forward to continuing our long and successful partnership with Qantas.”
Now IRL, the Airbus A380 was and is just another airplane in the sky. And IRL, the state of the art of large commercial aircraft would be to use two large engines instead of the A380′s four smaller engines. And calling it “environmentally sensitive” was and is a bit of a stretch and, in fact, these days it’s considered a guzzler and so much so that Airbus is considering certifying completely different engines.
Anyway, what happened soon after this press conference in 2009 is that Qantas shut down operations at SFO and went to Texas. So instead of upgrading airplanes coming into town, they just upped and quit on us, they couldn’t wait to get out of here.
Why? Because it made sense for them to do so and also the airport people at Dallas Fort Worth came up with millions of dollars to throw at Qantas.
Who knows, Qantas might come back to SFO at some point (but it doesn’t really matter all that much).
Pretty much everything he said at his press conferences turned out to be wrong – this is just an example.
This Russian-made Yak-50 acrobatic airplane used to be seen all over the skies of the San Francisco Bay Area – buzzing Mount Tam in Marin County, checking out anti-abortion rallies along San Francisco’s waterfront, that kind of thing.
But here’s your take-away: These things had a working life of just 50 hours back in Mother Russia, as the stress of all them 9G loop de loops and whatnot led to bad things, such as “main spar collapse.” Ouch.
Anyway, looks like fun:
Circa 2005, Marin County, Canon 300mm 2.8L IS + 2x extender