Caution, rant about clickbait ahead. WARNING, this article IS clickbait.
I decided to write something up just as an opinion piece after noticing more and more as I read the news websites and eat my lunch that aviation is making it far out of the “Travel” section and into the “Breaking News” section more frequently.
There’s constantly headlines such as “Passengers almost obliterated by massive winds” when it should read “Pilot follows years of experience and training, lands plane safely, day goes on”.
Then there’s the more and more frequent call out on rowdy passengers causing immeasurable risk to human life, blah blah blah.
Does it seem to anyone else that regular life events are a whole big thing if you’re on a plane. If someone is out at a fancy restaurant and their food isn’t great you’re not going to see it on the front page. A piece of cheese in the wrong spot on an inflight burger and break out the news cameras. Seems a bit silly when you look at it this way doesn’t it?
Forget the reality that half the time it’s “oh my god everyone nearly died because of passenger x” when in reality the flight hasn’t left the gate yet.
Sure there’s probably call to this media hype on occasion. People’s lives are put at risk when someone catastrophic happens but really how often is this the case?
It seems the people writing most of these articles have no clue and are just after click bait. Seriously no aviation expert’s are sitting in the newsroom waiting for a story, else we wouldn’t be continually having references to every inch of the airport ground as “tarmac”. We’re in the information age now, we can safely call it a runway, a taxiway or an apron. Everyone’s seen Nat Geo, we’ve all heard the terms.
So first off, there’s always something the airlines are doing WRONG!. If it’s not a cancelled flight because there’s a mechanical problem it’s bad food coming out of the galley. Fly across an ocean with an engine not running right or cancel the flight to fix it …. you decide? How about that diverted flight due to bad weather and running low on fuel. How inconsiderate! The airlines are going out of their way to put passengers out, heaven forbid they’re being honest when they say they put safety first.
Can’t even get a boarding pass without having something to say:
Here’s an article about Qantas introducing digital boarding passes on an effort to minimise paper usage and be more environmental. But it’s a BOMBSHELL. Sorry screams click bait to me.
At the same time there’s another:
A passenger found a camera on the inflight entertainment system, after investigation was informed this was a disabled feature of the hardware, nothing to see here. Well and truly after the fact it’s a disturbing find? Not to mention, privacy aside, you’re sitting in a tin can with 200+ other people surrounding you, what privacy are you referring to?
Keep in mind here that both of these articles relate to things found on the ground long before the flight even leaves the gate. I’d ask if McDonalds gets a write up for proposing they ditch plastic straws but you just know they will.
This one was commented on by numerous Australian pilots across social media as nonsense.
The article proposes if you hear cabin crew utter the phrase “Easy Victor” on a flight then you’re moments from disaster and evacuation is imminent. Some research indicates this is, or has been used by some American airlines, however this is an Australian news article. How is this not click bait? There’s always plenty of articles about secrets sounds and codes and so on that cabin crew use that passengers can get the inside scoop by knowing, reality is, each airline trains it’s staff differently and often these are not globally recognised procedures, it’s just a way for the cabin crew to be alerted without having to pickup an intercom or how to describe a smelly passenger in 13C.
You don’t even need to discuss flights to get the news articles going.
The premise of this article is discussions about the Sydney Airport curfew and movement restrictions. I hate to put a further negative spin on this but seriously, if you buy a house under a flight path, you have to expect some aircraft noise. Much the same as if you move next door to a freeway you’re bound to hear some trucks. The report goes on to state that flights forced to hold over Sydney are creating far more noise than more open/manageable slots would, seems like someone is thinking here about how best to minimise an issue and yet here we are villainising before anyone’s even had time to get an idea out.
Last but certainly not least I’d like to share my all time favourite. The crosswind landings. These pop up from time to time with headlines such as “miracle no one injured” or “pilot flukes amazing landing”. I wonder has anyone writing these articles a clue of the training that goes in to flying that Boeing 777, or Airbus A320, or whatever. Do they honestly think these “miracle” landings have never happened before. Miracle on the Hudson I get, Sully was lucky his training lined up with every other factor and landed a plane in a river, but I’m pretty sure the rest of these crazy stories don’t have much merit. Especially when the only “on the ground reporters” they have are inexperienced passengers. You’d like to hope in a dangerous situation the pilots would call a go around or divert if conditions dictated the need. These pilots aren’t just screaming out “hold my beer and watch this” at the last minute, they have weather reports, reports from other aircraft, hundreds, if not thousands hours of flight experience and constant training to land just in this scenario. You’d think every runway had this weather year round…
Anyway, flying is scary, as humans it’s highly unnatural lest we’d have feathers, but it’s one of the most regulated, well trained activities on the planet. Thousands of flights have landed in the wind, thousands of people have been drunk and rowdy, as long as it’s not the pilot you’re most likely going to get to your destination without a worry in the world. Have faith in the years of training and dedication those amazing people at the pointy end of the plane have put into their life’s career, not to mention the cabin crews who are extensively trained to handle all manner of situations you couldn’t even begin to imagine.
If disaster does strike, write a story about it. If some guy forgets to flush the toilet half way over the Pacific it honestly shouldn’t be making the breaking news column.
All in all I kind of feel like this article is as much click bait as the damn aviation stories I am writing about. Here I am writing about clickbait articles with my own. Where does it stop these days?
If you’ve got an opinion on the way the media handles aviation please leave a comment below and be sure to share this article so we can start a dialog.
If you have some time spare, head over to Youtube and search “crosswind landings” and enjoy watching some crazy landings but some amazing aviators.