Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Expert Opinions

As everyone except the TSB offers an instant opinion on the Air France runway excursion, I encountered another example of the media consulting a dubious expert.

The Nanisivik airport serves the community of Arctic Bay, on the north coast of Baffin Island. It was originally built to serve a mine, but the mine shut down a few years ago, and, in wrapping up operations, cut off power to the airport. I've landed at plenty of airports not serviced with electrical power, but it's nice to have a functioning AWOS (automated weather observation something) and a vending machine with cold pop. The best part of this particular news story is the quote:

Rod Reid, a cargo handler at the airport, said he didn't feel it was safe for planes to land when the power was out.

All respect to cargo handlers, especially 1200 km north of Iqaluit, and he might even be a pilot working the ramp for an 'in' with a company, but was 'cargo handler' the highest level of expert commentary they could elicit on aircraft operations?


dibabear said...

Reid also says that there is "no radio contact" implying that pilots somehow don't use the radio unless there's a tower.

Yeah they could've found someone else to comment.

Anonymous said...

Sloppy journalism!

Anonymous said...

Maybe a pilot can get a quote into that paper about how the cargo handlers at the airport don't go through adequate background checks and are a big security risk...

rich said...

I have a question for the assembled plane experts if that's OK...

Over here in the UK we have just (as of last night) started getting the TV programme "Lost" in which there is a plane crash on an island and the series tracks the survivors adventures.

In the first episode last night the plane had crashed and was pretty well smashed up, but there was still an engine spinning. It was obviously powered too, because it managed to suck one poor chap though its blades before exploding.

Is this very likely? Can a jet engine continue to operate like that in the event of a crash?