View Full Version : If you want to understand aviation... don't read the Daily Telegraph

5th Sep 2008, 13:21
Two howlers in the Daily Telegraph today

On the front page we learn from the Transport Editor reporting on the 777 crash landing at Heathrow:

'The AAIB said it believed the aircraft lost power after the flow of fuel dropped shortly before it was due to land. This was thought to be because the supply was impeded by ice, preventing the reverse thrust needed to slow the plane for a normal landing.'

and on Page 17 re Spanair crash at Madrid we learn that:

' Initial findings from the black box recorders suggest that the Spanair MD 82 jet did not have the landing flaps fully extended during take off.'

Sort of high standard of attention to detail that makes the Daily Mail sound authoritative.

No wonder joe public gets confused! :ugh:

5th Sep 2008, 14:16
I wrote to them after their dreadful reporting of the Madrid accident (no chance my letter was going to be published...). Now we get today's drivel. There is no excuse for these howlers in this age of super-quick communication. Why don't they just get a proper pilot to give it a look?

5th Sep 2008, 14:29
I wonder if some journalists are reporting other news with the same lack of proper knowledge!

5th Sep 2008, 14:38
I totaly agree. I have been very surprised by what the media write and say, including CNN. Suddenly all kinds of experts appear and have their saying. I heard after the 777 crash in heathrow a "former accident investigator" say that this was a typical controled flight into terrain accident???? While the only things we knew were that, the ac had a technical problem (not a perfectly flyable airplane) and the pilots knew exactly where they were. (in a controled flight into terrain accident the pilots think they are somewhere else than where they are)

So a very stupid comment I thought.

Another thing that I found interesting is that the BA pilots were immediately after the accident hero's in the media. Where with other incidents in other companies and countries the pilots are usualy worse off. In all cases we don't know what happened.

Also if they can't find the cause of the crash, other ac types will be grounded. The 777 kept flying after this incident.

But that is just the way it is.....

5th Sep 2008, 14:46
Brilliant!! This clearly shows that teachers have a hard time, the saying really should be. Those who can do, those who can't write fictional stories about it with their reaserch coming from quality sources such as the film Airplane!:ok:

5th Sep 2008, 14:52
You can call "terrain" whatever, but I think it's the most controlled flight "into the grass" there has ever been in commervial aviation. :rolleyes:.

peter we
5th Sep 2008, 14:52
Now they are blaming 'Environmental rules'

Environmental rules 'could cause plane crashes' - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/09/05/eaheathrow105.xml)

I would have though airlines mainly reduce fuel use to save money.

Is there any 'Environmental rules' in existence that specify the cruising speed of aircraft??

5th Sep 2008, 14:52
I Reckon it just ran out of fuel ..:E

5th Sep 2008, 14:58
I have worked for over 30 years in the airline business and in recent times have become increasingly appalled by some of the media reports and speculation that is forced down our throats on a daily basis. It does not matter if it's aviation related or not, but I guess it is now an unfortunate sign of the times that we have to endure some of the rubbish both in newspapers and on TV news. Inaccurate reporting by uninformed individuals often causes more harm than good. One prime example is the current economic doom and gloom constantly spurted out to us. Has the situation been made worse by this, of course it has !

Personally, I think it's about time that there was legislation put in place to protect not only the avaition industry but the public in general from this.

5th Sep 2008, 15:08
Given the issues with press misreporting, but i guess in most cases missing the knowledge to properly report (time pressures), it is time the industry appointed a body which concentrates on properly briefing the media, an outlet which is immediately available for comments/checks.

So it s too easy to blame the media. Lets blame the industry for failing to properly help the media publishing correct facts.

I gather some journalists use PPRuNe, but because this forum is open to other people than pilots, there is too much garbage here for the press to decipher..

Garbge in, garbge out....

Chris Scott
5th Sep 2008, 15:10
Haven’t seen the paper today, but, as one who has taken delivery of the good old D Tel through my letterbox most days since the early 1970s, and rarely buys another daily − save when abroad − I agree with you nevertheless, Soarhead.

Their air correspondent in those days, Air Cmdre Donaldson, used to drop some clangers − despite his credentials as a former holder of the air-speed record (Meteor?). Well, we can all err under pressure, even when sitting at a desk. What really incensed me in the end was a leading front-page report − not one of his, fortunately − of an air-show accident at Biggin.

Having watched the A-26 fall out of a barrel-roll into the valley the previous day, I could only speculate that the reporter had toppled out of an hospitality tent at the sound of the impact. The description was rubbish, made worse when implying that the rest of the show had been abandoned, which was not the case.

I wrote in protest, saying that “on the rare occasions I read something about which I have personal knowledge, I use this as an indication of the accuracy of the rest of your coverage.” Judging from the reply, I needn’t have bothered. Little seems to have changed since. Maybe fantom has a point (see above).

More in sorrow…

charter man
5th Sep 2008, 15:26
I disagree vanHorck - the Daily Telegraph (along with every other newspaper in the world) is a commercial operation, selling information. If their reporters don't have sufficient knowledge or expertise to write an authoritative piece then buy the correct information! I am sure there will be a few of my industry colleagues willing to cast their experienced eye over a piece before it is published on the front page.....in return for a small donation to the retirement fund?

5th Sep 2008, 15:31
I just glanced through the Telegraph article on the environmental stuff. What's an A240-600? :E

5th Sep 2008, 15:37
Daily Telegraph (along with every other newspaper in the world) is a commercial operation, selling information.

Wrong! They don't sell information - they sell advertising space. The price you pay at a newsagent just covers the printing and delivery.

charter man
5th Sep 2008, 15:44
No matter v6g - my point is that if you are in business to provide information - whoever is ultimately paying for it - then paying qualified people to ensure accuracy is surely the way forward? Soarhead and fantom would be only too happy to oblige I am sure...

5th Sep 2008, 17:48
Sitting at a desk? I thought all aviation correspondents, especially those working for the Daily Tel., sat (temporarily) on a bar stool!:rolleyes:

5th Sep 2008, 17:50
I wonder if some journalists are reporting other news with the same lack of proper knowledge!

Of course they are. Their reporting of my field is equally off the mark,

Pugilistic Animus
5th Sep 2008, 17:54
preventing the reverse thrust needed to slow the plane for a normal landing.'

I guess Boeing did learn a few new ideas from Ol' Douglass;):}

5th Sep 2008, 18:32
Next they will be telling us that the Spanair plane was missing its "Left Falangy"!!!

5th Sep 2008, 18:42
"I wonder if some journalists are reporting other news with the same lack of proper knowledge!"

My guess is a big YES. War, terror, finance......Frightening, isn't it?

5th Sep 2008, 18:51
The newspapers may be commercial activities, advertising or not. I was making the point that if WE feel OUR industry suffers WE should do something about it, not just whine...

Our industry is complex and drama's in the air catch so much more attention, so i feel we re leaving ourselves weak by not doing anything about it.

5th Sep 2008, 21:50
to Van Horck

Maybe we should buy a newspaper publisher or two? It seems like that is the only way forward.

As long as idiots continue to speculate on here their words will be fed off. I have had a few theories about incidents myself but, as the last time I had 'hands on' was Nimrods in 1984 (E&I Tech), I don't voice them. Maybe we (you) should be taking the media to task about wild speculation. And flame all those who fuel it.

Rant over

5th Sep 2008, 22:13
I'll say it again........Definition of "Expert" ....... "X" is an unknown quantity, and a spurt is a drip under pressure

5th Sep 2008, 23:15
Earlier this year the BBC brought on a climate "expert" during the main lunchtime news. She was claiming that short haul flights should be discouraged but that long haul flights were OK. This is because longer flights could save fuel by using "slipstreams". Presumably, the BBC paid her for this contribution to our knowledge.

Farmer 1
6th Sep 2008, 09:42
I'll say it again........Definition of "Expert" ....... "X" is an unknown quantity, and a spurt is a drip under pressure

You missed out the "E", which is part of the "x". It means, of course, "has-been".

Chris Scott
6th Sep 2008, 10:33
Incompetently misinforming the public, and then failing to correct (never mind apologise), is evidently not a serious issue, Soarhead.

So we all can either shut up about it, or continue our ineffectual mutterings here in the scuppers.

Well, it ran for most of a day; and someone, somewhere, may have "taken it on board". But I'm not holding my breath...

6th Sep 2008, 11:16
I wrote to the offending author regarding the rubbish published after the Madrid accident and suggested he talk to a 'pilot' before launching into print; he replied that he had!
I have written to him again after the BA 038 report drivel suggesting that he run his copy past a 'real pilot' before he goes into print yet again; I have had no reply!

Swedish Steve
6th Sep 2008, 13:51
I must admit I burst out laughing when I saw the Telegraphs graphic last night.
An outline of a B777-300, with a fuel tank in the aft cargo, and a heat exchanger in where the centre tank should be instead of one in each engine., And not realising that the fuel was in the wings not the fuselage.
I really wonder how they make it all up. There were diagrams in the report they could have copies instead of inventing their own system.

6th Sep 2008, 17:46
Guys, it's international problem.
A Russian news web-site published info about Spanair at Madrid. In the English text it was said pilots should have checked flaps settings during pre-departure check. After translation it transformed into pre-flight check. :ugh:
I try to imagine flaps settings pre-flight check but... it's not so easy...:rolleyes:

6th Sep 2008, 21:39
don't know if anyone else caught this little gem in the letters page of today's Telegraph;

Letters to the Telegraph

6 September 2008

De-icing aeroplanes

SIR – As a frequent flier with smaller aircraft, I know that it is common knowledge among pilots that condensation builds up in fuel tanks. This water sinks to the bottom of the tank and must be periodically drained to avoid it being drawn into the engine.

One would assume that ice forming in the fuel lines of a big jet (report, September 5) indicates that there’s too much water around and that someone hasn’t been doing their job properly.

Roger West, Appenzell, Switzerland

Why the hell didn't anyone else think of that......:rolleyes:

Item from Nopax,thanx (http://www.pprune.org/members/49184-nopax-thanx) on BA 038 thread

7th Sep 2008, 21:05
Farmer 1

You missed out the "E", which is part of the "x". It means, of course, "has-been

But they're not en Ex drip !!!

Alloa Akbar
7th Sep 2008, 22:03
A word of caution chaps...

anyone ever told an engineer what the faulty component was, instead of telling him what the indication or symptom was and then letting him do HIS job???

I agree the press do have a responsibility to check facts, but is it worth getting bent out of shape over a journo error?? Lets face it.. who the hell reads the Telegraph these days anyway??:}

Chris Scott
9th Sep 2008, 16:06
When I last heard, the Daily Telegraph had a larger circulation than The Times.

As already said, I've been a regular reader for decades, warts and all. Unfortunately, their reliable aviation coverage is to be found mainly in the excellent Obituaries columns...