News of Interest 110507

Does anyone attend a church that dictates to them the decisions they should make in the voting booth?  Why on earth would ANYONE allow the Catholic church, (who’s reputation is as tarnished as an 1840s spittoon,) to govern their personal voting decisions?  How can the church endorse candidates and still have tax status as a church?  Electa Draper explains and readers comment in this Denver Post article.

Driverless robot race in Oro Grande, California.   Carnegie Mellon’s team took first prize.  Cool photo essay here.

Hysterial headlines resulted D.C. to Denver’s unnamed flight in which both pilots allegedly fell asleep. This story was covered last week, and I posted the following in the comments:

I don’t believe this in its entirety. The cross country portions of piloting are dull, but arrival at a major class B airport necessitates preparing arrival procedures from miles out. Similar to driving and approaching a major city. Your senses perk up, and you just don’t fall asleep.

When I see the actual details and hear admissions by the pilot’s I’ll believe it, but until then it’s just a scary news story that makes attention with headlines like “Hurtling towards DIA at twice the normal speed.” That line is simply BS. Even if the pilot’s were asleep and unable to communicate most likely the airliner was on auto pilot, and controllers could easily route other planes around it.

Today I read this AP article  which contains one key phrase that gives proper perspective:

The captain noted the plane was about 60 miles away from Denver International Airport and was approaching a point where it was to begin its descent when he woke up.

That means the airliner was at cruising altitude, (the most boring/dull part of flight.)  If they were sleeping then plane would overfly Denver on autopilot.  Definitely unsettling to a passenger, and certainly requiring authoritative action, but not nearly as perilous as your bus driver falling asleep.  It DOESN’T mean the airliner was “hurtling towards the city” uncontrolled requiring a Superman movie scene to save it.  The “twice the normal speed” simply means they were flying at cruise speed, (at cruise altitude,) when it was time to configure for approach.

The Consumerist posted this story today.  Fortunately the commenters on the Consumerist aren’t bent in reactionary hysterics, and realize headlines like “hurtling uncontrolled” just aren’t true.

James Van Dellen

One thought on “News of Interest 110507

  1. I’m sure this is much more common than anyone realizes. There is a shortage of pilots and many have to work extra to cover in case of delays/cancellations elsewhere.

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