Wednesday, November 10, 2004

just a business cost?

ok let me clarify here from the start
i'm trained inthe ways of business
from a very business minded family
to official training in school, college and uni
business is business
and i know business quite good
not that i'm the business god like warren buffet..
but i know my business, the theory, the practicalities
and i know what i believe in business
i suppose you could call them..
business moralities

so watching this episode from the show,
airplane crash investigations..
was very disturbing to me
and i would think,
to any other person,
who has ever used, is using, or will use the services of flight companies
and all attendant services (e.g. the FAA, Boeing etc)

if you want to know the gist of it..
basically there was once a flight by United called flight 811..
whilst in flight,
the cargo door opened,
causing it to be sucked out and away from the plane,
and with it.. 9 other lives
5 went into one of the plane's engines upon being sucked out of the plane
4 went into the sea
they knew the figures from the body parts and DNA recovered from the engine

what a choice,
to be sucked into an engine and becoming mince
or to be dropped into the sea, 4 minutes to live and a whole life to revisit
9 whole lives in front of them

that is the gory part...
if u thought that was disturbing think again.. i haven't even started

one of the people that got sucked out was Lee Campbell
when his parents found out that he had died,
they started on a personal journey to find out what happened to their son exactly
and i mean, EXACTLY
the journey took them across time lines,
through PR lies and pish posh
and eventually
they would find that the thing that caused that great big gaping hole in the plane on which their son would die
was something that Boeing, the FAA and all related airlines knew about
for a LONG time before those 9 lives died

it's something very techincal about short circuiting and door locks opening on their own accord
the solution was very simple
but to fix it and fix it fast would cost the airlines alot of money
because it meant having planes out of service for 10 to 12 hours each.
and that is at least one flight per boeing 747 that they have
which adds up..
well.. even if you are not a maths whizz..
you'd know that is alotta moolah

so what the airlines did was to lobby for time
during which the planes would continue flying
until a time convenient for the airlines to bring the planes in to fix the problem

during this time,
these 9 people died
as the aviation lawyer on board who survived this whole thing puts it..
"they were just gambling that nothing would happen during this time"

it's public relations sense that even after the people involved in the investigations
including the top gun in the National Transportation Safety Board (an overseeing body)
even after admitting to Lee Campbell's parents that they were right,
that they would not change their public report,
that the accident happened because some dumbo on the ground failed to close the door properly
blame on the little guy..
we'll fire him and then everything would be ok

business side..
we can see why
but for god's sake..
at least..
but no..
they did not do anything about it
until one day,
2 years later,,
another flight another plane,
about to take off..
and its cargo door opened
on its own..
now.. what would the FAA, Boeing, the Airlines, the NTSB do?
blame the poltergist?
come on..

of course then all airlines were ordered to immediately fix the problems in 30 days
30 days..
compared to what they were given before.. 18 months..
and by the way..
that lee campbell died within the first year the first directive giving the airlines 18 months to change the locks.
the second cargo door opened 2 years after that
which adds up to..
let's see.. 1year+2years = 18 months??
geez... maybe my maths teachers in school were conning me all along..
maybe there is only 6 months per year huh..

they could have fixed the problem within 30 days
then no one would've died
but they chose 18 months and convenience instead
and i bet you somewhere there is a piece of paper that announces that 18months is the shortest possible time to be able to complete the exercise, yada yada yada, we try our best to do it in the shortest possible time yada yada yada, safety of passengers utmost importance yada yada yada
but here in your face
30 days
30 days and 9 lives
i would challenge any PR personel to give me an explanation for this that i would be satisfied with..
like i say..
it had better be hell of alot of amusing bullshit so at least i would be amused

as the aviation lawyer puts it..
its just economics
"look at the track record,
one plane, 200 or so lives every decade,
compared to the cost of fixing all known defects and problems,
200 lives and one plane,
just a business cost"

excuse me..
just a business cost?
let me tell you about business cost...
it doesn't include human lives
i assure you i'm on a flight
you are on a flight
anyone on a flight
of course
Mr/Ms PR person is free to try to explain and convince me that it is JUST a business cost
and like i say
it had better be amusing

by the way,
it appears that there are still plenty of known problems and defects on airplanes
solutions for which are available
but which do not make economic sense
(1 plane 200 lives every decade is cheaper)
which have not been fixed yet

did you know..
there are planes with wirings in them that are 20 or more years old..
20 years of being on a planes means
exposed wiring
which on a plane..
even an exposure of 1 mm is not acceptable to me

ahem.. 10 years is old already ok..
if i'm flying and i want to be assured my safety on board the flight is numero uno NUMBER ONE priority
those wires had better be nice young wires that are not 20 years old
which is why those PR people better be amusing

oh yes.. and how many people have died from these faulty wirings alone?
well.. in the show they emntioned..
you know..
a couple of flights
fatal crashes..
you know.. just,
more than 2 since the 811 flight
not too many..
just a couple of planes and a couple hundred lives

and that's just downed planes from the nasty wiring business

i wonder if the flight were called 911 instead..
would the airlines be more bothered about their cutomers' safety..
and by the way..
i'm SURE mr airline boss.. you fly too
care to fly with me and a couple of 20 years old wires?

oh yes..
perhaps indicative of just how far the cover ups go..
just speculation on my part admittedly
but when i did a search using the key "lee campbell", boeing, flight 811
and in different combinations
i only found ONE website that had anything on it

its people like the Campbells who have saved countless lives
the pilot who managed to land the plane on flight 811
hats off to them
and now
would someone..
please do something about all these wires?
plus other known defects
plus other known faults
plus other possible dangers

mr airline boss and me..
we use planes to get around
and i assure you
we ain't no business costs
do you not agree, mr airline boss?

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