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btacon

Plane Dumb

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Recently I posted here on the topic of the refusal of the FAA to release bird strike information pertaining to the Hudson ditching of Flight 1549.My premise was that the FAA has no business keeping aviation safety data secret. For that matter, the FAA has no business keeping ANY data on aviation hidden (excluding national security topics). Some of you agreed with me, some did not and felt it was not big deal to keep data that may, and I paraphrase, "...needlessly frighten the public" from the public domain and discussion.That type of mindset is exactly what led to yesterday's debacle with Air Force 1 and the New York skyline. The flyover caused widespread and unnecessary panic, and could have been avoided had the public been informed. Unfortunately, the officials who were notified of the flyover were specifically told not to tell anyone, under penalty of law!The Post and I are completely on the same page...aviation information should be public. Secrecy for secrecy's sake is dumb, counter-productive, and does not serve the public well in any way.bthttp://www.nypost.com/seven/04282009/posto...dumb_166542.htm"The Federal Aviation Administration seems to see the public as Enemy No. 1. Why else, after all, would it repeatedly hide information about potentially dangerous situations -- as well as those that appear to be, but actually aren't?"

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Agreed. I find the FAA to be arrogant, and often times dismissive in regards to aviation safety. On another note, if it is true that this flight was a photo op, than I think it was a poor decision and location. I see no need to spend taxpayer dollars for pictures in such economic times.

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Recently I posted here on the topic of the refusal of the FAA to release bird strike information pertaining to the Hudson ditching of Flight 1549.My premise was that the FAA has no business keeping aviation safety data secret. For that matter, the FAA has no business keeping ANY data on aviation hidden (excluding national security topics). Some of you agreed with me, some did not and felt it was not big deal to keep data that may, and I paraphrase, "...needlessly frighten the public" from the public domain and discussion.That type of mindset is exactly what led to yesterday's debacle with Air Force 1 and the New York skyline. The flyover caused widespread and unnecessary panic, and could have been avoided had the public been informed. Unfortunately, the officials who were notified of the flyover were specifically told not to tell anyone, under penalty of law!The Post and I are completely on the same page...aviation information should be public. Secrecy for secrecy's sake is dumb, counter-productive, and does not serve the public well in any way.bthttp://www.nypost.com/seven/04282009/posto...dumb_166542.htm"The Federal Aviation Administration seems to see the public as Enemy No. 1. Why else, after all, would it repeatedly hide information about potentially dangerous situations -- as well as those that appear to be, but actually aren't?"
I partially agree w/the NY Post. But terrorists never make public their plans either. They won't even tell us where their SAM's are located here in the United States (or even if they have them)! They read the newspapers and watch various media outlets for intelligence too. So, agreed this could have been publicized in advance but not early enough for those mean ole terrorists to set up one of their secret weapons, like a shoulder-fired SAM, to shoot down the President's aircraft flying only about 1000 feet off the ground. They could have simply publicized that an Air Force aircraft and F-16 fighters would be flying at low level training flights around Manhattan (but then they would have been lying and not telling the full truth again!). It's my understanding that there's an office inside the White House which is responsible for Presidential aircraft and I'm sure they (and the Secret Service) made sure this was kept secret for as long as they could. It's too bad they didn't notify the NY Mayor though! That was dumb!Jim

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Agreed. I feel bad for the poor people that ran for their life as if it was 9/11 all over again. They could have at least informed people in the local area so they knew not to worry.

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The purposes of the secrecy are completely different thoughThe bird strike data secrecy is out of concern that airports and/or airlines wouldn't report minor incidents for competitive reasons. That would skew the data making the analysis even less reliable (there may already be some unreported incidents). Press coverage often makes safety issues like that sound far worse than they actually are. Auto accident victims are more numerous than aviation accident victims, but get much less news coverage because they are more common and usually involve fewer victims per incident. Yet there aren't many press reports advocating tougher penalties for excess speed, repeat DUI or even tougher standards (harder tests or better operator history) for auto operator licesening. Commercial aviation wants as little press coverage about bird strikes as possible because any press report reminding the public frightens them away.For security reasons the movements of the VC-25s are intentionally given little prior publicity. If anything, the issue should be over the failure to make the flyby at a higher altitude and use a telephoto lens to make the photo(s) look like the VC-25 was flying lower. As far as the expense, the crews probably need to log some real plane flight time to maintain proficiancy anyway.

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The purposes of the secrecy are completely different thoughThe bird strike data secrecy is out of concern that airports and/or airlines wouldn't report minor incidents for competitive reasons. That would skew the data making the analysis even less reliable (there may already be some unreported incidents). Press coverage often makes safety issues like that sound far worse than they actually are. Auto accident victims are more numerous than aviation accident victims, but get much less news coverage because they are more common and usually involve fewer victims per incident. Yet there aren't many press reports advocating tougher penalties for excess speed, repeat DUI or even tougher standards (harder tests or better operator history) for auto operator licesening. Commercial aviation wants as little press coverage about bird strikes as possible because any press report reminding the public frightens them away.For security reasons the movements of the VC-25s are intentionally given little prior publicity. If anything, the issue should be over the failure to make the flyby at a higher altitude and use a telephoto lens to make the photo(s) look like the VC-25 was flying lower. As far as the expense, the crews probably need to log some real plane flight time to maintain proficiancy anyway.
Robert-I agree with you.Several commercial airliner crashes this year with lots of deaths-but the media hypes the one that had none- birds suddenly a bad thing-even though they have been causing troubles since the beginning of time...Normal flu kills 40,000 a year worldwide a year but the media hypes the swine flu which so far has done a fraction...No reason to take down industries because the shallow media finds it a great way to sell advertising temporarily.Y2k, Sars, Mad cow, bird flu, are all examples...Media is out of control...advertising just too lucrative to let facts get in the way.

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Unfortunately Geof, when the media caught fact that the FAA was not releasing the bird strike information it also caused hype. If information is to be kept secret, than it needs to be SECRET. As soon as the media discovered that the FAA had accumulated bird strike info but was not releasing it, the media automatically assumed that the findings must have been very significant. Perhaps the real numbers are considerably less than what is now being speculated, perhaps not. Either way speculation fuels hype and can lead to the same effect, if not worse, than if the information was released. As for my 25 years in aviation I can say that I've hit more birds in X-Plane than in real life.

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Unfortunately Geof, when the media caught fact that the FAA was not releasing the bird strike information it also caused hype. If information is to be kept secret, than it needs to be SECRET. As soon as the media discovered that the FAA had accumulated bird strike info but was not releasing it, the media automatically assumed that the findings must have been very significant. Perhaps the real numbers are considerably less than what is now being speculated, perhaps not. Either way speculation fuels hype and can lead to the same effect, if not worse, than if the information was released. As for my 25 years in aviation I can say that I've hit more birds in X-Plane than in real life.
I agree too and don't think withholding info is a great thing-but sometimes temporarily (hopefully temporary) things have to be done for the greater good. Even though I am not wild about a lot of what the Faa does-they are very often caught in an uncomfortable position of having to regulate, yet protect aviation-and with the bird statistics I think it was a short term fix to get the media off their mania which had the potential to hurt aviation. Seeing as the hype about bird strikes in the media has died down now perhaps it was a good decision. I am still puzzled why there have been 3 major fatal commercial accidents recently with lots of deaths and we have not heard a peep about those-the bird strike stories stayed around quite a while even though there were no fatalities in that incident?!Bird strikes are a possibility on every one of my flights up here-I haven't had one yet but many of my friends have. Bird warnings are often in the local atis's-as if you can do much about it. It doesn't help that up here we have lakes surrounding airports and one of the biggest bird populations in the US. Land at Burke Lakefront (Cleveland) and you will be dodging seagulls the whole way down as they had the good judgement to put a landfill on short final. Doesn't keep me from flying-and I certainly don't want my passengers panicked about a bird strike, or an engine failure or all the other stuff that can happen flying but is unlikely to. Despite all these possibilities in aviation, driving kills about 40,000 a year vs. about 400-500 in Ga airplanes, same as the normal flu kills about 36,000 in the US every year vs. what the new strains may or may not do. As you say you have had more bird strikes in xplane than real life-I've also had more engine failures in fsx!I never see the press doing a story on the above statistics-or even relating them. But they are not really interested in fact, but hype as that is what sells advertising.

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I agree too and don't think withholding info is a great thing-but sometimes temporarily (hopefully temporary) things have to be done for the greater good. Even though I am not wild about a lot of what the Faa does-they are very often caught in an uncomfortable position of having to regulate, yet protect aviation-and with the bird statistics I think it was a short term fix to get the media off their mania which had the potential to hurt aviation. Seeing as the hype about bird strikes in the media has died down now perhaps it was a good decision. I am still puzzled why there have been 3 major fatal commercial accidents recently with lots of deaths and we have not heard a peep about those-the bird strike stories stayed around quite a while even though there were no fatalities in that incident?!Bird strikes are a possibility on every one of my flights up here-I haven't had one yet but many of my friends have. Bird warnings are often in the local atis's-as if you can do much about it. It doesn't help that up here we have lakes surrounding airports and one of the biggest bird populations in the US. Land at Burke Lakefront (Cleveland) and you will be dodging seagulls the whole way down as they had the good judgement to put a landfill on short final. Doesn't keep me from flying-and I certainly don't want my passengers panicked about a bird strike, or an engine failure or all the other stuff that can happen flying but is unlikely to. Despite all these possibilities in aviation, driving kills about 40,000 a year vs. about 400-500 in Ga airplanes, same as the normal flu kills about 36,000 in the US every year vs. what the new strains may or may not do. As you say you have had more bird strikes in xplane than real life-I've also had more engine failures in fsx!I never see the press doing a story on the above statistics-or even relating them. But they are not really interested in fact, but hype as that is what sells advertising.
I've had the pleasure :( of flying into Burke Lakefront when I went up to watch my Brownies lose last year. Normally I fly into Wadsworth Mun just a few miles away from my parents, but for some assinine reason I thought I'd try Burke. I got to enjoy not only the seagulls from the landfill, but also from a barge on Lake Erie that I passed coming out of Sandusky. Quite an experience that was. I never realized how big those birds really are until you see them up close in flocks. The media is going to compromise between what sells and what fits into there ideology. I've gotten the impression that media outlets, the same that use helicopters for traffic reports and other aerial news coverage as well as private aircraft for there executives, has become obsessed with reporting air travel in a bad light.Local 4 up in Jacksonville covered the bird strike story for a few days, each day sounding more doomsday-like than the day before. The Jacksonville Times Union covered this story with haphazardly estimated statistics that could easily lead the reader to believe there next flight would be there last. It's simply disgusting how air travel is all too often portrayed. And when the facts don't fit the media's agenda, they just alter them to there liking.While in Pensacola, Corpus Christi, Jax, and Holloman I had a grand total of 0 strikes. At Skybus I had a grand total of 0 strikes. The Baron has thus far been feather free, which leaves me with just one incident in the 206, which was about as minor as a bird strike can be. That's not bad in my book.

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The FAA does not own any data. It is the property of the people. If I were the chief executive or administrator of any branch of government, from dog catcher on down, I would make every employee understand this. If they failed to understand this, I'd show them the door.

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that makes a good slogan, but I'm not too sure about the practical application. A government organization like FAA is going to have to possess a great deal of data which is proprietary to the aviation industry, as well as data which have national security impact. You also have to at least consider the problem that if data is subject to discovery by the adversarial legal tort industry, how does that affect the willingness of interested parties to be forthcoming.scott s..

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Corporate profits=National Security=Corporate profits=FAA=Tombstone regulation. Until it's your loved one

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I partially agree w/the NY Post. But terrorists never make public their plans either. They won't even tell us where their SAM's are located here in the United States (or even if they have them)! They read the newspapers and watch various media outlets for intelligence too. So, agreed this could have been publicized in advance but not early enough for those mean ole terrorists to set up one of their secret weapons, like a shoulder-fired SAM, to shoot down the President's aircraft flying only about 1000 feet off the ground. They could have simply publicized that an Air Force aircraft and F-16 fighters would be flying at low level training flights around Manhattan (but then they would have been lying and not telling the full truth again!). It's my understanding that there's an office inside the White House which is responsible for Presidential aircraft and I'm sure they (and the Secret Service) made sure this was kept secret for as long as they could. It's too bad they didn't notify the NY Mayor though! That was dumb!Jim
My government teacher was talking about that today, and he said, "Why not tell the public that the plane will fly over NY and tell them to bring cameras and make it a cool event, instead of make everyone ###### in their pants event..." He talked about some secret military training mission that we were supposed to have here in VA/DC/MD, but was canceled due fear of scaring the public. I cannot possibly, EVER see how someone could live in this country or be in the US with some kind of massive rocket launcher or whatever. Either the cops, fbi, etc, will find you, OR the public will see you and beat you so hard you would never live a life of wrong doing again :(, and I'm serious... They will tear you apart. I am also sure that Air Force One, and the fighter jets have tons of technology that no has ever heard about, to prevent damage to the plane. I think are country is too safe, even right now, for something like that to happen. If they gave 1 days notice they could at least notify the public and keep the news from spreading to the rest of the world.

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Well the faa has released the data. Now lets see it the media can break away from swine flu hype to hype the bird strikes again. FAA's Bird-Strike Data ReleasedFollowing a controversial debate, the FAA released data on bird strikes this month. The call to release the data was driven in large part by the January US Airways incident, in which pilots Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles ditched their Airbus 320 in New York's Hudson River. The successful water landing came after striking multiple Canada geese and disabling both engines. According to the FAA, there have been five fatalities related to bird strikes since 2000, with 93 injuries and 28 aircraft destroyed. Figures dating back to 1990 list some 89,000 "wildlife" strikes, most involving birds but many resulting from collisions with animals on runways. There is some controversy over the validity of the figures, attributed to inconsistency in reporting. It is estimated overall that only 20 percent of bird strikes are reported. In one positive note, the report indicates that the number of strikes causing major damage has decreased significantly since 2000 when pilots reported 178 such incidents. There were 125 in 2007 and only 85 in the first 11 months of 2008 (final numbers are not yet available).--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Well the faa has released the data. Now lets see it the media can break away from swine flu hype to hype the bird strikes again. FAA's Bird-Strike Data ReleasedFollowing a controversial debate, the FAA released data on bird strikes this month. The call to release the data was driven in large part by the January US Airways incident, in which pilots Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles ditched their Airbus 320 in New York's Hudson River. The successful water landing came after striking multiple Canada geese and disabling both engines. According to the FAA, there have been five fatalities related to bird strikes since 2000, with 93 injuries and 28 aircraft destroyed. Figures dating back to 1990 list some 89,000 "wildlife" strikes, most involving birds but many resulting from collisions with animals on runways. There is some controversy over the validity of the figures, attributed to inconsistency in reporting. It is estimated overall that only 20 percent of bird strikes are reported. In one positive note, the report indicates that the number of strikes causing major damage has decreased significantly since 2000 when pilots reported 178 such incidents. There were 125 in 2007 and only 85 in the first 11 months of 2008 (final numbers are not yet available).--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks for this post Geof. I look forward to getting the media's doomsday take on this report tonight. I'm sure my local stations and newspapers will provide nothing short of a fair analysis with accurate figures :( I can see the chain of events that will follow.1) PETA will file a lawsuit on behalf of the dead birds.2) The FAA will change the wording from bird strikes to "bird made disasters".3) PETA files another lawsuit to change the wording to "aircraft made disasters".4) The FAA will post more nonsense regulations.5) GA taxes and fees go up once again.

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Thanks for this post Geof. I look forward to getting the media's doomsday take on this report tonight. I'm sure my local stations and newspapers will provide nothing short of a fair analysis with accurate figures :( I can see the chain of events that will follow.1) PETA will file a lawsuit on behalf of the dead birds.2) The FAA will change the wording from bird strikes to "bird made disasters".3) PETA files another lawsuit to change the wording to "aircraft made disasters".4) The FAA will post more nonsense regulations.5) GA taxes and fees go up once again.
Jeremy-Exactly!I don't think they are done hyping the swine flu yet though-it may be a few days...

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