The news erupted Monday morning with the bulletin that Barack Obama's chartered plane had to make an "unscheduled landing" because of some control issues.
OK, let's not kid about that part. It is prudent to say the least to land your aircraft when something is not right. Otherwise as opposed to an unscheduled landing you may have to deal with an uncontrolled landing which is far worse and far less predictable.
But the news talkers were literally gushing about what must have been happening in the cockpit.
"OH MY GAWD, WE HAVE A CONTROL ISSUE! THE POTENTIAL NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IS ON BOARD. WE BETTER LAND POST HASTE!"
Uh, yeah. Or maybe it was something like the first officer - copilot for you non-aviation types - clicking on the cockpit intercom and saying "Captain do you have stability control on your side?"
Captain: "Sure Do."
FO: "OK, I've lost it on this side. Can you set trim to -" (insert your favorite degree setting here.)
Captain: "Roger that. Let's set this down and see what's going on, just to be on the safe side."
And with that they set a course for the nearest airport with sufficient runway and drop the bottom out of that baby. All Right, I know they don't drop the bottom out of it, but it sounded good.
Anyway, issues like the one on Sen. Obama's aircraft are far more common than the flying public is probably aware, and the pilots handle them fairly routinely. Because truth be told, America's commercial flight crews are about as professional and well trained a group as you will find worldwide, even if they occasionally fall asleep and overfly Hawaii.
But you wouldn't know that to listen to the news today. Before this relatively normal malfunction was an hour old I was listening to horror stories of past crashes where control problems caused death and destruction. Nothing like that occurred today.
Nonetheless, the chartered aircraft was safely landed in St. Louis, the press corps was forced to stay on board, just in case it blew up on the ground I guess, and the senator got off and walked far, far away until he got the 'all clear' to come back.
I would like to personally thank the flight crew and note once again that their professionalism and extensive, ongoing training obviously enabled them to handle a routine in-flight malfunction without it turning into a major issue.
But I wonder if that flight crew took any time after they got on the ground to consider that the guy who just bailed out on them as fast as he could run is pushing energy policies that are putting flights on the ground faster than gravity, and if he gets elected they may well lose their jobs.
No kidding! He doesn't want drilling anywhere in the US except on 38 million barren acres leased by the oil companies which have no proven or even suspected reserves beneath them. He wants a total shut down on all petroleum refining, the consequences be damned!
And who will be the first to suffer the biggest impact over skyrocketing fuel prices?
Right! The airlines, which fly airplanes, which use jet fuel! Fuel costs go up, airlines cut back flights, personnel are let go, and Barack Obama sits back in the Oval Office, puts his feet up on an antique desk, smiles and gives himself a verbal "Well done."
He will too! I bet he will!
So, while I admire the professionalism of the flight crew, I can't help but wonder if they actually support the guy they are flying all over America, talking out of both sides of his mouth at once.
And while we're on the subject, what is this flying all over America stuff anyway? On a non-scheduled charter aircraft no less! What exactly does Barack Obama's carbon footprint look like?
It must be huge! How much carbon dioxide is added to the atmosphere every time Barack Obama takes a campaign trip? And that's just from his speeches. I bet his airplane does a number on the global warming statistics too!
How can you FLY all over creation making the claim that you want to reduce so-called greenhouse emissions? Isn't that just a tad contradictory, if not outright hypocritical?
Barack Obama. Flyboy For President. Don't Do As I Do, Do As I Say!
Monday, July 07, 2008