Posts Tagged ‘1549’

Straight Out of Emeryville – AMTRAK’s So-Called Train From Hell and Its Whiny Passengers

Monday, January 11th, 2010

How much would you expect from Amtrak if you paid $145 to board the California Zephyr in Emeryville, CA on January 3rd, 2010 with the expectation of getting to Chicago in a day-and-a-half? Well, what if your fellow passengers called this ride the “Train From Hell” or something?

How did it get that name? Well, the train arrived in Illinois almost a day late a few days back due to it hitting a truck abandoned on the tracks(!) and encountering snowdrifts  higher than an elephant’s eye  in Nebraska and other typical travel issues.

The number of deaths and injuries continues to be reported as zero. So how does that earn this particular Zephyr the sobriquet “Train From Hell” or whatever?

Amtrak’s CZ on a happier day: 

via Patrick Rasenberg

Perhaps Amtrak’s riders took a lesson from the whiny passengers of Flight 1549, famously piloted by CoCo County’s Captain “Sully” Sullenberger? Those particular airline passengers are getting at least $15k-$20k, plus free traumatic stress counseling sessions, plus a refund of their ticket cost, plus upgrades to first class on other flights  for the past year, etc., and yet some of them are still whining.

Sometimes when you travel, Things Happen.* Please make a note of this.  

Lower your expectations and you’ll never be disappointed… 

*People used to die on jetliners – not Beechcrafts nor Cessnas oh no, we’re talking about your Boeings, Airbuses, Lockheeds, McDonnell Douglasseses – people would board and then die, it happened all the time. But how many passengers have died due to jetliner crashes in America since 2001 (which was a bad year, of course)? That’s a Big Fat Zero.

So count your blessings the next time a flock of birds or a pickup or a snowstorm or an Act of God or an Act of Gaia wettens your iPod and/or delays your Journey Through Life.

Our Captain Sullenberger is Getting Dissed from France – Was Sully’s French Plane the Real Hero?

Monday, November 16th, 2009

I don’t know, it seems like writer William Langewiesche, currently residing in France, wants to have it both ways with his new book, Fly by Wire: The Geese, the Glide, the Miracle on the Hudson. He wants to rip on Sully, thusly:

“His performance was a work of extraordinary concentration, which the public misread as coolness under fire. Some soldiers will recognize the distinction.”

“Like it or not, [French pilot Bernard Ziegler] reached out across the years and cradled them all the way to the water.”

But then when Langewiesche gets a little blowback, he folds up like a deck chair, talking about how he’s surprised by Sully’s reaction, and how he’s neither pro- nor anti- fly-by-wire, and how he thinks cockpit automation is merely ”a part of the story,” anyway, of Flight 1549. Well, duh, it’s a part of the story. 

But that’s Langewiesche’s “Truth About the Miracle on the Hudson” – that’s it, that’s all there is?

Haven’t read Fly by Wire myself. Probably would rather read it more than Sully’s less-techy book (mostly about the his Search for What Really Matters), which I haven’t read either. Oh well.

sully-copy

Obviously, there are pros and cons to Die by Wire. If William Langewiesche is now going around saying that, as he is, then there’s not much of a dispute anymore, we’ll take solace in the certainly that the bruised egos of French Airbus execs (who want Sully to thank Gaia for Airbus every chance he gets) will heal over time.

I don’t know, pretty cheesy (fromagey?) Monsieur William Langewiesche.

Pretty cheesy.