Aircraft Accidents and Political Confusion

Well it has been a jaw-dropping week in the land of political confusion. It just proves that political appointees and political elect-ees just don’t get simple concepts like safety.
The first nominee for the ‘What-Did-He/She-Say’ award is FAA Administrator Michael Huerta, who told the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) that he was, “Sorry we’re [the FAA] so slow.” This political appointee then revealed his boss, aka President Obama, who uses drones to fight ISIS, “doesn’t get’ drones and that trillions of dollars were being lost in revenue and we were falling behind the international market. What he failed to remember was that reconciling drones to an aviation network (America’s) that is more complex and saturated with every aircraft from commercial, GA, Experimental, helicopter, etc. than many of these international markets put together may be causing the slow-down in rulemaking. Or that in the name of safety, AUVSI is failing to keep their amateur members in line while the rulemaking wheels slowly turn. It’s apparent he does not know how his own rulemaking process works.
Then there is John Goglia, who, while speaking to students at Vaughn Aeronautical College’s International Drone Day, said things that go against his position as an influential aviation public figure. Now Vaughn is my alma mater (although it was called the Academy of Aeronautics in those days) and I fully support the drone study program they have; it is THE future. However, former Member Goglia’s comments were irresponsible in so many ways, I don’t know where to start:
But I will say this: using the example of an airliner’s engine, whose fan is rotating at about 3600 rotations per minute (60 rotations per second), ingesting a drone made from metal and hard plastic cannot be compared to the same engine ingesting a goose or other bird made of raw meat, feathers and hollow bones. For Goglia to suggest that the aviation industry’s airliners are prepared for the possibility of drone engine ingestion over a major metropolitan area is absurd and downright dangerous.
And this blog topic wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Congress, those silly troupe of lawmaking nominees – whose combined understanding of the airline industry couldn’t be measured in a teaspoon – again made the news with pleas to airlines to stop charging baggage fees. We’re being attacked by ISIS, our economy is in the toilet, and the dangers to our power grids keep mounting, but … hold those thoughts because the baggage fees are killing us? This stunt, aimed at pandering for votes, does not mean the elected officials have suddenly begun to care about the little people paying bag fees; let’s be honest, they couldn’t give a flying leap through a rolling donut what you pay as long as the taxes come in. And what makes it more ludicrous is the fact the Congress has nothing to do with bag fees, the size of seats, airline routes, or even if you get a soda with those peanuts; that’s all within the airlines’ purview and Congress is ab-so-lute-ly impotent in these matters. They, through the DoT, guarantee safety, not cost fixing.
And the award goes to … any fool who buys this slop.

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