Daily Archives: December 2, 2009

News Report Describes Strange Jet Behavior

Despite the adage about glass houses and stones, I can’t help pointing out this hilarious story I just ran across about the emergency landing of a private jet at Bradley International Airport recently.

I’ve had a typo or three in my blog entries, and plenty of the kind of mental errors that a friend calls “mindos,” so I sympathize with the writer of this story for WGGB-TV in Springfield, Mass., who clearly had other things on his or her mind.

The story (and headline) imply that the jet had an emotional consciousness and the story goes on to suggest that it reported this itself:

A distressed plane landed at Bradley International Airport shortly before 8 a.m. Monday after reporting the smell of smoke in its cockpit.

The story subsequently clarifies that the pilot reported the smell of smoke but describes the Learjet as a “Leer jet.”

Ah, those smoldering, leering jets. Quite the danger to civil aviation.


Very Large Passenger Stirs Debate

A photo of a remarkably large man sitting on the armrest of an airplane seat that he clearly can’t fit into has renewed debate over obese passengers.

The photo, purported to be from an American Airlines 737 or 757, was published first on FlightGlobal’s Unusual Attitude blog and later in the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph. Commenters on the blog who claim to be familiar with the case say the man assigned to the middle seat accepted compensation to take a later flight so the large passenger could occupy two seats.

The question of how to deal with passengers too large to sit in a single seat is certainly a volatile one. I think it’s fair to require the large passenger to pay for two seats or to wait until a flight with an unsold seat is available. But plenty of people disagree with me.

WSJ Looks At Commuter Airline Safety

The Wall Street Journal has taken a careful and reasoned look at the question of safety and commuter airlines, particularly in terms of pilot experience.

It describes how commuter airlines have been hiring pilots with just a fraction of the flight time required just a decade ago. (Which might be what you have to do when you don’t offer a decent wage.)

The scariest part: ” … since 2003 commuter airlines have had a serious-accident rate per 100,000 departures 10 times that of major airlines, according to government and industry data, not to mention scores of unpublicized close calls.”

But go ahead. Read the whole thing.