An intermittent series in which I repost statements of great truth found around the web. Today’s installment will be no surprise to those who know me. From last week’s Ask the Pilot column in Salon:
Editors and fact checkers will go to the ends of the earth to verify certain details — God forbid a writer get the birth date wrong of some obscure 18th century philosopher. But why is it that aviation references commonly slip through the cracks? Time and time again writers get it wrong, and nobody seems to care. Consider the New Yorker, arguably the most prestigious magazine in the country. In the latest issue, in a “Talk of the Town” piece, editor David Remnick speaks of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s “Falcon 9” private jet. There is no such thing as a “Falcon 9.” There is, however, a Falcon 900. Did somebody drop some zeroes?
This is so true. Major newspapers and magazines, the sorts of places that would indeed assign a fact checker to nail down every important fact in an article, make profound mistakes about aeronautic terms all of the time. In days gone by, I guess I can see how this happened, but it is so easy now to find an enthusiast on the internet who would provide all of the information a person would need for free.
Regarding yesterday’s British Airways crash at Heathrow Airport, I have noticed that every new outlet has correctly identified the type of plane as a 777. I think this has much more to do with the fact that this crash is the type’s first hull loss in twelve years of service than the start of any new trend towards accuracy among the media.
Previously on couldn’t agree more: Coca Cola’s rebranding