Thursday, October 07, 2010

Aviation Update

The story getting all the play is the passenger aboard Qantas flight QF-29 en-route from Melbourne to London with a stop in Hong Kong who yelled out "you will all die" as he ran up and down the aisles terrifying passengers. One mysterious passenger named "Helen" is being quoted far and wide as saying this:
'He was praying in what was believed to be Hebrew and yelling out that he was going to kill himself and all the passengers would die,' said Helen, who had been sitting in Premium Economy.
Some of the more obscure sites and message boards are taking this to mean the man was an Israeli. Yet did "Helen" even hear the man at all? Here's how a Brisbane paper put it (emphasis added):
But an Australian passenger, Helen, said another woman on the flight told her a man, whom she believed was praying in Hebrew, suddenly started shouting: "I'm going to kill myself, you are all going to die, it will be God's will, what will be will be, I'm going to open the door."
So prudence would say wait until further information to make any judgments about crazed Israelis. That's surely what Obama would recommend if it appeared the nut was a Muslim.

BTW, there's really less to worry about as some might think:
Question: Can you address the recent incident where the woman tried to open an airplane door in flight? Were the passengers in any danger? How hard would it be for someone to get a door like this open?

—Anthony Hazzard, Marlboro, N.Y.

Answer: Pressurization exerts a very strong force against the inside of the plane, sealing the doors shut and preventing them from being opened in flight. You can twist the handle and tug on it all you want, but it's impossible for a human, or even several humans, to overcome this pressure. Still, it's not recommended that you play with the door handle at any time as unauthorized tampering with aircraft equipment may result in arrest..
Then again, it would be pretty upsetting nonetheless.

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Still not much news about the UPS cargo crash in Dubai. Many are hinting at an age old problem--exploding lithium batteries, although nobody is saying how many if any were on the aircraft. According to some sources the recorders were sent to the US, presumably to be examined by the NTSB, but as of today their website still indicates the UAE is doing the investigation. As with many other international incidents this is falling into a black hole but it's unclear whether that void is due to security fears or litigation fears.

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Finally, another incident made news today:
About 100 passengers on Bermuda-bound US Airways flight 1070 were evacuated from the plane at about 11:15 a.m. and towed to an isolated area at the airport in order to be searched after a man in a US Airways uniform allegedly had wrong identification to prove he was a real employee.

The man had ID that allowed him into the airport but two US Air baggage handlers noticed the man with no employee tags loading the plane with them.

When they questioned the man he allegedly took off on a baggage cart.
This could have several explanations, at least one of which is very troubling. We'll see if they find the guy. It could be something innocent or just plain stupid. Or maybe just another crazed Israeli.

4 comments:

LASunsett said...

I do not fly much and I am glad.

The last time I flew was when I flew to Florida two years ago... for Mustang to kick my ass in person. That kind of broke me of that habit.

A.C. McCloud said...

I didn't know Mustang was a crazed Israeli. Hmm.

But don't worry LA, flying is safer than riding down the freeway with people who are texting.

Debbie said...

Would love to hear more on the Helen and Bermuda events. Tried to post a comment just now and Blogger crashed.

A.C. McCloud said...

We'll have to keep scanning Aussie news sites for any updates, if they come. The narrative has been set.