Posts Tagged ‘Aviation’

Aviation Writer James Fallows Commits the MSM Blunder of the Year with “Don’t Blame Malaysia Airlines” in the NYT

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

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:

Asiana Airlines

Korean Air Lines  

China Airlines

Air France

British Airways

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?

Mr. Fallows continues in The Atlantic:

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

Indeed.

Why James Fallows wants to shut down the conversation about the question of responsibility is a mystery to me…

Here’s the Reason Why Atlantic Writer James Fallows is So Wildly Enthusiastic About High Speed Rail – One Simple Trick!

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

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!

It wasn’t.

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.

Or us.

Ashton Kutcher and Jay-Z want to Disrupt Civil Aviation by Backing “BlackJet” – It’s “Uber for Private Jets!”

Friday, July 12th, 2013

Here’s the news:

“A new chapter in the private jet market has opened in LA. BlackJet now allows its members to step into the lap of luxury at the cost of a business class seat on a commercial airline. The company is backed by tech moguls and Hollywood A-Listers Ashton Kutcher and Jay-Z. Each recognized that BlackJet’s technology will allow the top 15% of earners to step into a private jet as opposed to the top 1%. Instead of waiting in security lines and sitting in terminals, members are greeted by a red carpet, park next to their jet, and fall into an oversized captain’s chair.”

Check it:


Again, check it:

“Blackjet customers must be members of the service and pay an annual membership fee, currently set at $2500. The company said its target market is  business executives making more than $200,000 per year who already fly on private jets and would like to spend less money, as well as people who currently fly on commercial airlines but are looking for more of a premium service.”

Coverage:

A Remarkable Safety Record: No Passengers Have Died in an American Jetliner Crash the Past Ten Years – We Made It

Friday, November 18th, 2011

Well we made it. We’ve gone ten years without a passenger dying on a commercial jetliner flying above America, or coming to America or leaving from America. (Now that doesn’t include regional jets – I’m talking about jet airliners, narrow-body or wide-body, made by Airbus, Boeing,  Lockheed, or McDonnell Douglas.)

The last day passengers died was November 12th, 2001 on American Airlines Flight 587.

Of course, we’ve had some close calls since then, like with that shoe bomber guy or with Sully Sullenberger and his famous water landing.

Military flights, well that’s a different story. Capt. Christopher Stricklin punches out (and lives to tell the tale) 200 feet above Idaho:

Click to expand

(And this no-deaths record doesn’t include smaller aircraft like regional jets or turboprops or private airplanes.)

Needless to say, this streak of good luck hasn’t happened before. Back in the day, back in the 1960′s, 1970′s, 1980′s and 1990′s, people would die on big jets all the time.

But not anymore.

Hurray.

Media Smackdown: National Aviation Journalist vs. ABC7KGOTV’s Michael Finney on the “Trapped 8 Days at SFO” Bit

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Uh oh, I smell trouble brewing after this recent bit from the Bay Area’s Michael Finney.

Check it:

“…a loyal reader sent a link to what ABC seven-on-your-side reporter Michael Finney  in San Francisco thinks is news, a 2 minute plus tear-jerker of a story about Terri Weissinger, who made a home for herself in the San Francisco Airport in April.”

The battle is now well and truly joined:

Mr. seven-on-her-side, Finney had the nerve (reporters are very nervy, busted!) to call the airline for a response as if Ms. Weissinger’s inability to pay for the services of an airline to take her and her stuff from A to B was worthy of a response from the airline and got a somewhat gracious,  “We have apologized for her experience but cannot refund her ticket.” Stuck in the airport because of baggage fees, is the characterization of the reporter. She wasn’t stuck in the airport because of baggage fees, she was stuck in the airport because while she certainly looks like an adult, she was as ill-informed and as helpless as a child.”

This is what the lecture on “Aviation Reporting 101″ looks like:

Can’t we all get along?