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  • August 2005
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Lessons Learned

There was really very little reason to mention that I was going on a trip. I should have just blogged from my remote location and left it at that, as Captain Bogs did a bang up job producing enough content to cover for my limited access.

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Airline Stuff

This is your Captain speaking…

Another airplane accident, this time in Peru. I’m tired of this accident stuff. It becomes repetitive. Let’s see: foreign airliner crashes in bad weather. Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

There is no substitute for good training, and if these guys had the same training we had at United they wouldn’t have stuck their jet in where it had no chance. They crashed in a thunderstorm with severe turbulence. We don’t do that anymore here in America. We have had thunderstorm related hull losses by Southern, Pan American, and Delta Airlines, and one afternoon at Denver there were three United jets that got caught in a severe windshear that easily could have caused all three to crash. With the training we got and they still get at my old airline, all three pilots took immediate, correct, competent actions and all three survived; scared, airsick and alive. The MSM had nothing but bad things to say about United since we were forced into bankruptcy. CNBC berates the legacy carriers about their cost structure, but, Mark Haynes to the contrary, there is no better or safer way to travel than with the great legacy carriers of the US of A. Their stocks suck, their business plan is so bad that you can get from almost anywhere with a commercial airport to anywhere else with an airport, unlike Jet Blue or Southwest or any of the other cherry pickers out there. But on the whole, they will get you there safely, on time and with your luggage. (Over 90% on the last two, over 99.999999% on the first one.) I guess that isn’t enough for the naysayers out there, but it sure is enough for me.

That being said, please stay away from Northwest. They have probably lost a 9 or two on the safety stat, and their completion stat is not as high as it once was. The only way the unions can get the airline to bargain in good faith is to hurt the statistics, and that always means hurting the passengers one way or another. The customers are the weapon each side uses against the other, and the weapon always gets beat up as it does its job.

That brings me to airline security. As the readers of this blog already know, the security in the Twin Cities is not really what it should be. At most airports you need a ticket to get through the security check point, but Jr got through with an e mail message that could have come from anyone. Then he actually managed to go from MSP to LAS and eventually to SLC with just that message and a reservation. Now the libs are bitching about some great data base in the sky that tries to identify possible hijackers by identifying people who have indicated one way or another they might not have our Nation’s best interest at heart. Guess Senator Leahy thinks they might be talking about him. Anyway, IMHO, our security people need as much information as they can get in order to make our skyways safer. If this bothers you, I have a more radical solution: ARM EVERYONE IN THE PLANE. That will insure that 4 or 5 guys with box cutters will never take over another jet. They may have pistols, but so will everyone else. They’ll never get close to the cockpit. And if there is a bloodbath back there, so be it. They will never be able to use the jet as a weapon, and that is what we are after.