Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > PPRuNe Worldwide > The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions
Reload this Page >

PC Gone Mad in B200 Accident Report

The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions The place for students, instructors and charter guys in Oz, NZ and the rest of Oceania.

PC Gone Mad in B200 Accident Report

Old 6th Jul 2017, 06:50
  #1 (permalink)  
601
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Age: 74
Posts: 1,102
PC Gone Mad in B200 Accident Report

Gender-free plural pronouns: may be used throughout the report to refer to an individual (i.e. they, them and their).
So we have an aircraft crewed by one pilot. Within a couple of paragraphs, the ATSB is referring to the single pilot as "they"

The report then chops and changes between "the pilot" and "they"

It may have been used in educated speech and in all but the most formal writing to refer to singular indefinite pronouns or singular nouns of general personal reference but where an investigation into an accident has established that there was only one pilot, I would have thought that the use of "the Pilot" would be more appropriate and consistent.

Is this now the level of written English in the public service?

https://www.atsb.gov.au/publications...r/ao-2016-170/
601 is offline  
Old 6th Jul 2017, 07:18
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: 500 miles from Chaikhosi, Yogistan
Posts: 3,655
Following the accident, the pilot reported that their biggest lesson was not to hesitate during emergency procedures. They believed that their doubt in the veracity of the warning resulted in their hesitation while completing the four engine fire drill (memory) actions, resulting in them missing the step to feather the propeller.
Agreed, this would have to be one of the most bone jarring paragraphs I have read in a long time. And, if gender discretion is required, it could have simply been written thus (which is still just as clunky, but keeping the same sentence structure):

"The biggest lesson the pilot reported following the accident was not to hesitate during emergency procedures. The pilot believed that initial doubt in the veracity of the warning resulted in hesitation whilst completing the four engine fire drill (memory) actions, subsequently resulting in missing the step to feather the propeller."

----------------
Carson: May I take it that you think "The Priest and the Acolyte" was not immoral?
Wilde: It was worse; it was badly written.
compressor stall is offline  
Old 6th Jul 2017, 07:37
  #3 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Sunshine Coast
Posts: 84
Originally Posted by 601 View Post
So we have an aircraft crewed by one pilot. Within a couple of paragraphs, the ATSB is referring to the single pilot as "they"

The report then chops and changes between "the pilot" and "they"

It may have been used in educated speech and in all but the most formal writing to refer to singular indefinite pronouns or singular nouns of general personal reference but where an investigation into an accident has established that there was only one pilot, I would have thought that the use of "the Pilot" would be more appropriate and consistent.

Is this now the level of written English in the public service.
In short, yes. Per the Macquarie Dictionary;

they
/ (say dhay)
pronoun (personal), third person, plural, subjective (objective them)
  1. plural of he, she, and it.
  2. people in general: they say he is rich.
  3. (used with singular force in informal contexts, and increasingly in formal contexts, in place of a gender-specific form where the sex of the antecedent is not determined): if anybody cheats they will be disqualified.

[Middle English; from Old Norse their those, related to Old English thā, plural of tht THAT]

Usage: The use of they, them, and their as non-gender-specific singulars (as in a doctor and their patients) has always had currency in spoken English and is now increasingly accepted in written English. This use of they gives rise to the form themself for the reflexive pronoun by analogy with myself, himself, etc.
The usage is "increasingly accepted in written English". From the perspectives of clarity and brevity why would you persist in using two words "the Pilot" when one conveys the same meaning.
MickG0105 is offline  
Old 6th Jul 2017, 09:41
  #4 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: down under
Posts: 400
love it, absolutely love it.
cooperplace is offline  
Old 6th Jul 2017, 10:27
  #5 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Sydney
Posts: 310
I wonder if they argue about IFR minimims on the grammar forum......
no_one is offline  
Old 6th Jul 2017, 10:44
  #6 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: 500 miles from Chaikhosi, Yogistan
Posts: 3,655
Mick - There is no "clarity" using a pronoun that can apply to either a single person or multiple people. Reading the sentences as written has me rereading previous sentences to work out to whom the pronouns are referring. Hardly an exercise in clarity or brevity.

There are ways to avoid this abomination resulting from the search for the epicene pronoun. The use of "they" for the third person singular might be increasingly accepted - and I cannot argue with that - but it is lazy and there are alternatives.
compressor stall is offline  
Old 6th Jul 2017, 11:34
  #7 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Next door to the neighbor from hell, who believes in chemtrails!
Age: 71
Posts: 1,652
Pilot is now back working for the same company "they" were working for before "they" joined the RFDS - Broken Hill Aviation.

DF.
Desert Flower is offline  
Old 6th Jul 2017, 13:08
  #8 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 155
What's wrong with using "he" if the pilot is a male and "she" if the pilot is a female? Like it was in the olden days.
Bull at a Gate is offline  
Old 6th Jul 2017, 13:34
  #9 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,973
What's wrong with using "he" if the pilot is a male and "she" if the pilot is a female? Like it was in the olden days
Its called "political correctness" much loved in government bureaucracy.
Centaurus is offline  
Old 6th Jul 2017, 13:38
  #10 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: repeatedly crossing the equator
Age: 34
Posts: 116
Thank you

Originally Posted by no_one View Post
I wonder if they argue about IFR minimims on the grammar forum......
This is one of the funniest things I've ever read on the internet
kibz2005 is offline  
Old 6th Jul 2017, 14:06
  #11 (permalink)  
601
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Age: 74
Posts: 1,102
As Compressor Stall alluded to, when I first read the report, I had to re-read paragraphs to confirm that it was in fact a single pilot operation and that a second crew member had not materialised out of the ether.

Being a technical report setting out the facts as determined by the investigators, accurate descriptions and terminology should take precedent over the push for "gender-free plural pronouns".

But in their rush for "gender-free plural pronouns," the ATSB overlooked the fact that there was only one pilot.
601 is offline  
Old 6th Jul 2017, 21:12
  #12 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Vermont Hwy
Posts: 479
The pc/grammar is what concerns you folks on this report?
Car RAMROD is offline  
Old 6th Jul 2017, 21:51
  #13 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 1,279
One that grates on me is "fishers" when you're not allowed to say "fishermen". When spoken, it's not immediately clear if one is talking about the catcher or the catchee.
Fris B. Fairing is offline  
Old 6th Jul 2017, 22:29
  #14 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Australia/India
Posts: 3,063
Originally Posted by Car RAMROD View Post
The pc/grammar is what concerns you folks on this report?
You're missing the point.

In order to work out the operational/safety implications of the report, you have to read what it says. If what it says is confusing, it makes it difficult to work out the implications.
Lead Balloon is offline  
Old 7th Jul 2017, 00:04
  #15 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Sydney
Posts: 320
I read the report and due to the grammatical use of 'their' instead of 'he' totally failed to understand it, I could not grasp what it was trying to alert me to and as a result of that lack of understanding I subsequently crashed my aeroplane.

It is an outrage! An outrage I say!

The ATSB owe me a new aeroplane!

The sentence is totally indecipherable! I challenge anyone to make any sense of it. I certainly can't.

The world is going to pieces.





And don't get me started on people who put the toilet roll on backwards now get off my lawn!

jonkster is offline  
Old 7th Jul 2017, 00:34
  #16 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 258
So why did the pilot get dismissed? The report suggests that CASA was deficient in not knowing how to interpret their own Part 61 requirements and the RFDS was deficient in not incorporating the change to the false fire detection warnings. Basically if the pilot had ignored the warning and just landed then he would still have a job with the RFDS! Clearly a case of damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Did the B200 that crashed at Essendon have a similar fire warning system and did that pilot also not shut down the engine properly.It seems as though the King Air has quite a few traps for young and old players.

Last edited by Lookleft; 13th Jul 2017 at 01:05. Reason: Kharon, not sure why I owe you but happy to buy you a beer at your next indaba.
Lookleft is offline  
Old 7th Jul 2017, 08:51
  #17 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Sunshine Coast
Posts: 84
Originally Posted by compressor stall View Post
Mick - There is no "clarity" using a pronoun that can apply to either a single person or multiple people. Reading the sentences as written has me rereading previous sentences to work out to whom the pronouns are referring. Hardly an exercise in clarity or brevity.

There are ways to avoid this abomination resulting from the search for the epicene pronoun. The use of "they" for the third person singular might be increasingly accepted - and I cannot argue with that - but it is lazy and there are alternatives.
Pronouns require an antecedent - the noun that they replace - they don't just sit there on their Pat (or Patricia) Malone. In the report in question for the most part there is only one character - the pilot - and where there are additional characters such as the operator or the trainer the actual noun phrase always immediately precedes the pronoun.

The ATSB has been writing reports this way for what? at least a year, probably longer. I'd hazard a guess that if it wasn't for the fact that they recently started flagging the use of gender-free pronouns in the footnotes no one would be complaining (well, they certainly weren't a year ago).

Addendum.

Near as I can tell the ATSB has been using "they" and "their" as singular non-gender pronouns in their reports since at least April 2015 (see AO-2013-136 Final – 7 April 2015; "The pilot’s logbook indicated that, prior to the flight, they had accrued a total of 2,316 hours helicopter flight time, of which 561 hours were in 412 helicopters."). They have only started drawing attention to this practice by way of a footnote (viz Gender-free plural pronouns: may be used throughout the report to refer to an individual (i.e. they, them and their).) since May this year.

It's interesting, if not instructive, that for two years readers have been blissfully unaware of, and presumably not confused by, this usage and that the matter seems to have become an issue only after its somewhat well established use was specifically highlighted to readers.

Last edited by MickG0105; 7th Jul 2017 at 11:50. Reason: Addendum. Spelling correction.
MickG0105 is offline  
Old 7th Jul 2017, 09:52
  #18 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Surrounded by aluminum, and the great outdoors
Posts: 3,788
from my experience in these aircraft, one has a clear enough view of the engine in the -200 to determine if it is blazing away or not....
ironbutt57 is offline  
Old 7th Jul 2017, 13:29
  #19 (permalink)  
601
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Age: 74
Posts: 1,102
It's interesting, if not instructive, that for two years readers have been blissfully unaware of, and presumably not confused by, this usage and that the matter seems to have become an issue only after its somewhat well established use was specifically highlighted to readers.
Could the reason be is that not all reports are read by everyone. I only read the reports that are of interest to me, aircraft type, type of operation etc., It is the first time that I have noticed the use of gender-free pronouns. The reason I picked it up was not the footnote but the the report referring to "the pilot" and in the next paragraph referring to the pilot as "they."

For the last 25 years I have been writing manuals and reports for the aviation industry. When referring to a human in the sharp end, it was "the pilot," "the flight crew" or in a multi-crew situation, "the pilot in command" or "the co-pilot."

It grates as much as using "guys"
601 is offline  
Old 7th Jul 2017, 15:19
  #20 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: 500 miles from Chaikhosi, Yogistan
Posts: 3,655
It's interesting, if not instructive, that for two
No, I remember seeing it in a report some time ago and there was a discussion here about it too.

It annoyed me then and continues to annoy me now.
compressor stall is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.