Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Green Flash

A long day today, ninety minutes in the simulator and then some shuttling of aircraft around the South-east for maintenance, so I ended-up making six flights in all. In a short break at Stapleford, I was flicking through one of the CAA Safety & Regulation publications for larger passenger aircraft. Basically, it lists any 'reportable' incident and can make interesting reading; well for some at least.

What caught my eye most was the remarkable number of incidents involving "Violent & Obstructive Behaviour" by passengers on Easyjet flights. Across the board, there were quite a number of smoking in the toilet problems but it struck me as worrying, seeing the frequency that drunk and violent passengers, of both sexes, have to be restrained and subsequently arrested!

Another fact that caught my eye was the increase in the number of reports by pilots of green lasers being directed to the cockpit as they made their final approach into an airport. This is no less than a deliberate attempt to blind the pilot at a vital time in the flight, although, it's unlikely that the cheaper light-pen products would achieve such a warped objective.

Staying on the subject of aircraft and airports, while I recognise the right of the "Stop Manston Expansion Group", AKA 'SMEG' to protest at the presence of a facility that has been with us for close to a hundred years, I take issue with the constant alarmist drip of disinformation and exaggeration I find on their website. My view is that if you wish to influence the argument and potentially, local opinion, it's best to stick to the facts and not speculate wildly about matters which are totally irrelevant.

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