Glad I am not the only one…

 …who cannot stand the media’s willingness to assign aviation stories to people who, for the most part, do not have the foggiest idea about modern aviation technology, procedures, or operations.

From Salon’s “Ask the pilot” column:

On Jan. 17, a British Airways Boeing 777 arriving from Beijing landed short of the runway — crashed, if you prefer — at London’s Heathrow airport. It was the first serious accident involving a 777 since the type entered service 13 years ago. …

Before getting to the how and why, allow me a moment to critique the media‘s handling of the event.

Coverage was more or less as expected, which is to say misleading at best and embarrassing at worst. The networks trundled out their “aviation experts,” while the newspapers did their usual hatchet job, garbling facts and turning a complicated incident into a silly caricature. (Alan Levin’s analysis for USA Today tops a short list of decent efforts.) The Associated Press peppered its stories with gratuitous quotes from passengers, including a fellow who had this to say following the evacuation of all 152 people from the badly damaged plane: “I didn’t speak to the pilot, but I saw him, and he looked very pale.”

…And of course he looked pale … he was British!


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