Where Are They Now?Please feel free to post contact information here if you are looking for long lost friends or trying to find out what has happened to colleagues. Obituaries and condolences can be posted here too.
What a superb post that should be repeated daily on all forums on PPRuNe and also emailed to every Chairman, MD and Cheif Exec of every airline, ATS provider and aircraft maintenance organisation on the planet.
The more I have read this thread, the more outrageous it seems to me. I am frankly embarrassed that this one guy should attract such negative interest from people who make no allowances for the difficulties of representing the aviation industry. My own view is that David Learmount is a good guy doing a difficult job extremely well. There are very few of us who could safely be put in front of a camera to spout forth sensibly and rationally. David Learmount seems to have that basic skill and I wish him well.
I think what Bigbrutha is trying to say in asarcastic way is that perhaps DL made an innaccurate statement. Thanks for all the replies, I didn't expect quite the thread I ended up with. I still look forward to reading his articles.
BigBruther, I am an ex RAF 'bretheren' who knew DL many years ago. It has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I was in the RAF as to my reason for supporting him. I am simply stating that I would never be quite as rude as some of you about a man you have clearly never met. If you had watched the video footage of the Concorde crash, you, in all your wisdom and years of flying experience, might also have concluded that the raising of the gear was a contributary factor and could have been caused by an oversight of the crew. Indeed, it was probably stated as fact soon after the crash by a poster on PPRuNe! All of us, so-called experts, proffesional pilots as we call ourselves, would do well to remember that we all have a job to do. Yours is to fly, whinge endlessly and spread scurillous gossip on these pages. His is to speculate, hypothesise and report on all aspects of aviation safety when asked to do so. Enough already!!
It is unfortunate however, that Sky News was reporting that the pilots of the doomed 737 had told ATC they had problems with the pressurisation before they lost contact and in the same report quoted David speculating that the aircraft may never have pressurised after take-off and the pilots were unaware that there was a lack of pressurisation. I can only assume that nobody had told him, or his remarks were made before that information became available. In any event it discredited him to the viewing public who had a small knowledge of aviation and has perhaps attracted some of the unwelcome remarks here on PPRuNe.
Grease Weasel do you still believe DL was discredited by his remarks with reference to this post?
I don't know DL at all but I admire him for the job that he does in a very tricky situatiion. If any of you who critise him think that you could do a better job, explaining to the laymen aviation matters in a clear, concise, 25 second slot whilst biting your tongue at the stupid questions of the interviewers, quite frankly I don't believe you! You have already proved, en masse, that you wouldn't be suited to this work purely by virtue of your reactions to him - what would your reactions be to the interviewers? Biting their heads off? Great advertisement for the industry, don't you think? I have had to do similar jobs in the past and believe me, it's no mean feat working with journalists in this way - I sure as heck don't do them any more!
Many years ago I worked for the BBC, and have subsequently featured on several occasions in a similar role to DL in respect of a variety of radio and communications-related issues.
I can't ever recall being paid by broadcast media, except occasionally a small sum (£15-20 or so) for certain types of pre-scripted contribution. I can't now remember the rates for BBC outside contributors but they certainly weren't anything other than pin-money.
Unless times have changed a lot, I'd be very surprised if DL makes much -- if anything -- from his broadcasting work.
Have only had infrequent professional contact with DL and although I soon formed the opinion that he is not my favourite person on the planet, it really could be a heck of a lot worse. The media need talking heads whenever a juicy story breaks – better DL than some jerk who was once pax on a holiday charter!
I couldn't resist reading most of this thread, partly because I could not believe that one individual could trigger 10 pages and counting. I would like to make a couple of points myself:[list=1][*]I have read and heard David Learmount's views on aviation over many years, in FI and elsewhere (and also on one occasion discussed a particular incident with him with which i had been peripherally involved) and have generally found his approach to be light years ahead of most journalistic comment[*]He has been outrageously vilified by several posters for apparently exhibiting ultimate ignorance at daring to suggest that the 737 in question may never have pressurised during its climb. However it appears from the considerably less hysterical comments posted on about page 47 of another thread on PPRuNe that early findings are that this may indeed have been the case. If so, I do hope DL's critics on this point will have the grace to post apologies that are equally intense as their original rants.[/list=1]
All the very early evidence pointed to exactly what DL said. Which is why as an experienced and thoughtful aviator he said what he did.
Among those who so rubbished the notion that the aircraft never pressurised is one whose profile says he is a BA Captain. Let us hope (even pray?) he is actually still at school. Surely the lack of understanding or ability to analyse such issues as cabin leak rate on the symptoms and the ease with which the wrong mindset could arise could never apply to an actual Captain could it?
Yamaha, I think that you'll find that this thread allows those of us who do feel that DL is very good at his job to put our points of view across and counter those of the negative kind that have been shown on here, in my opinion, to be without merit.
Just like to add my few cents-worth that DL is more knowledgable that most pundits the meejah go for in these cases. One anecdote to illustrate: after the United DC10 crash at Chicago, media interest and speculation were sky high. On the monday after, BBC's World at One announced they were going over to Geneva to talk to, er, I think it was David Beatty, a well known author of 'Unsafe at any Height' type literature. The great man explained that of course, aircraft could sustain the loss of power of one engine on take off, but if they actually LOST the engine too (as had clearly happened here) they woud be unable to withstand the loss of weight and would roll over.... The presenter failed to notice what was wrong with this, so I rang the duty office and patiently explained that if anyone looked at the press phots one would see that in fact the aircraft rolled TOWARDS the side of the lost engine, not away from it as his expert would have it, adding that if we could chuck the dead weight of a dead engine away we would be tempted, though this might make us unpopular with a lot of folks on the ground. The voice at the other end didn't seem very convinced, so I listened to the next, 5pm, bulletin with some interest. Eventually they returned to the hot topic - 'And we are going now to' - who could it be, not me there had been no phone call - 'Wing Cdr (ret) X' who explained that he would have prevented the loss of the left engine because he had always noted, as a station maintenance chief, that pilots tended to land on the left wheel and bits on the left always broke first..... you couldn't make it up, could you. (for those younger readers or those with short memories, the actual cause was the retraction of the slat on the failed engine side cause by the breakage of the cable commanding slat extension, cut by the departing engine. The original root casue was found to be cracking in the support lugs caused by unapproved maintenance procedures, specifically the use of a fork lift to manoeuvre the engine into place).