Thursday, September 29, 2005

Podcast of JetBlue Pilot's Conversation With Ground Crew

With all the talk about blogs being worse than pr0n, it's not really difficult to pick out examples that show precisely why this is just plain wrong and bizarre. Blogs provide a function that the MSM can't because it simply...well, can't. Here's one example. I've just noticed this podcast at Mike Gilbert's blog (he's the Lead Program Manager of Microsoft Flight Simulator) of a recording done by the podcast's creator (also a pilot) between the Jetblue pilot Scott Burke and ground crew. Burke had to land his plane with a faulty landing gear at Los Angeles last week; he was in total control of the situation, and did a careful Level One diagnostics just as Lt. Data would, and averted disaster. And he was so calm; it's scary. Now this is the reason why pilots are so highly paid, I heard someone say before. Not because they can fly a plane (because it isn't really that impossible for a lot of people), but because they are paid to handle an emergency. Handling emergencies is hard work. For me, I just press the 'panic' button. Anyway, Mike goes on to say:
[The podcast] highlights the incredible level of competence, training and professionalism of commercial air transport pilots. It also provides a counterpoint to traditional media coverage of the event that almost without exception overplayed the disaster potential. I'm not sure what makes me more sad: that news organizations feel they need to add their own drama to the news or that the American public seems to accept (and believe) it.
What makes me sad (OK, mad) is that I know many in the MSM still think of blogging as some sort of fringe activity where weird and irresponsible people come together and have their virtual powwows. The thing is, we won't be able to hear the pilot's conversation if not for blogs and the podcast technology. Yes, there isn't much fact checking, simply because you can listen to an unedited version of things, and do your own fact checking, which in this case probably involves comparing the MSM's account of things with 'reality'. Anyway, the next time another pilot saves the day, I'd be looking for the up-close-and-personal story, from the blogs.


WhiteOut said...

you left out the part where pilots get paid for putting their heads on the chopping board everytime they fly.

the FAA clearly draws the line that pilots have the final authority to make the go/no-go decisions.

thats why there lies the irony of autopilots.

jeffyen said...

Hey I use autopilot all the time haha... Although by right the pilot has all the authority to do whatever he thinks is necessary, often time he gets pressured by his boss, management, nagging ATC etc. to the extent that the choices that are eventually made aren't necessarily in the best interest of the passengers. So it's one thing to be given the authority, it's quite another to take ownership of that authority when things get heavy...

xenoboysg said...

Took JetBlue once before, first experience with budget airline. Stewardess threatened to bump a drunk college kid out of the plane, definitely un Sg Girl hehehe

jeffyen said...

jon: nice of you to drop by. If, in the future, I happen to decide to sell approved factory fastener mutual roofing, you'd be the first to know!

xeno: yes, bump them off the plane! They're a security hazard! lol