Friday, July 12, 2013

You Just Can't Make This Stuff Up!

We are continually astounded at the ever expanding depths of stupidity plumbed by the media when it comes to reporting on aviation. Most of it is simply moronic speculation by talking heads who haven't the slightest idea of what they're talking about. For instance we heard one on NPR this morning explaining that the displaced threshold may have made the accident less severe. The theory being that the pilots were somehow flying their aircraft in relation to the runway they saw out the front windscreen and since the runway was displaced, they hit later than they would have otherwise. Brilliant.

What would have made the accident less severe in our estimation would have been if Asiana had actually staffed it's widebody aircraft with real pilots who actually knew how to fly an airplane.

It is amusing to watch complete imbeciles pontificate on some technical reason or another why a crew would fly a perfectly good airplane into the dirt on a calm and clear day. But don't let us stop the fun. Please proceed.

But today we were directed to what must be the most hilarious and ridiculous example ever to make a TV screen. You really just can't make this stuff up but have to see it for yourself:

1 comment:

  1. As a person who has a substantial number of hours flying the 777-200 simulator at home (X-Plane 10), I can imagine the chagrin of US Pilots as the crew of Asiana failed to do their job. I myself have experienced the pain of coming in too low or too slow and landed the sim short of the runway. It's unfortunate that the passengers must trust their lives to those in the cockpit, who might be a guy like Sully Sullenberger, or the opposite end of the spectrum, the hapless Asiana crew, apparently none of whom could make a simple visual approach in clear weather daytime conditions.

    I can speculate along the lines of Rob's theories- it seems that these gentlemen may have put undue reliance on electronic landing systems (VASI lights, ILS beams), neither of which were in operation on that sad day at KSFO.

    But even still, you would think of this accident as Flying 101- and the fact that they tried to pull up the plane's nose while applying maximum thrust- it was if they stepped on both the gas and the brakes at the same moment.

    The triple 7 is a lumbering beast, and unforgiving if you are below safe minimum reference speeds.

    What is astounding is the relatively small number of lives lost in comparison to the comedy of errors that occurred to cause the collision, then the delay in getting the passengers off the plane within the "90 second" rule.

    The pilots are something you just cannot duplicate in your cookie cutter. The guy with thousands of hours in a military role has likely experienced a wide gamut of the unexpected, and that's what sets GREAT pilots apart from the awful ones.

    Almost anyone can fly a plane of full automatic, and if the airport has a working CAT III approach system, the plane can even 'land itself'. It's what happens when the electronic wizardry is taken away that separates one level of expertise from the next.

    Of course professional commercial pilots in the USA are likely shaking their heads in amazement at the display of poor piloting skills, compounded by the "instructor" who also must have had his or her head implanted firmly between their buttocks.

    The fact that many airlines cheap out and elect not to purchase the heads-up display (HUD) offered as a customer-option by Boeing corporation just amazes me. A device that has all the relevant data including the speed tape, distance to ground, rate of descent, and the big bonus - cross-hairs to line up your touchdown point - all of this without taking your eyes off the runway. IMHO, FAA/NTSB need to make this MANDATORY in this day and age.

    No, it won't stop every accident, I mean you can't fix stupidity or carelessness, no matter how many checklists you run. Throw in fatigue, under trained crew and suspect maintenance - it's a recipe for more of the same.

    I truly believe in the joys of flight - but in the final analysis, it's still a job that requires a really complex set of skills, plus dedication and pride. The cockpit of a commercial heavy jet requires the best and brightest at the controls.


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Capt Rob