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Newspaper article

Old 19th Nov 2001, 19:24
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In today's Wall Street Journal there is an article about this web site.
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Old 20th Nov 2001, 02:00
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Pilots Meet Online To Discuss Airline Crashes

The Professional Pilots Rumour Network(PPRuNe) is an online meeting place for professional pilots to discuss aspects unique to their profession. In the 15 minutes after American Airlines Flight 587 crashed, the site was full of messages from pilots trying to offer some explanation. The pilots quickly refuted media notions of a possible engine failure and focused on the plane's tail section. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) (11/19)

[ 19 November 2001: Message edited by: LAZYB ]
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Old 20th Nov 2001, 02:52
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OK Don't groan, and this is written by what can only charitably called a lay person.

When we were not at war and with no precedent like the WTC, TWA 800 was firmly believed by most to be a terrorist attack, even to the point that the FBI shouldered the NSTB out of the way for the first few weeks.

Now it is being played in exactly the opposite fashion, though we have precedent and the obvious presence of those with a will to do such a terrible deed.

Also, no one has explained in detail to the public why a hand held SAM type of weapon was not deployed in AA 587. Therefore many are suspecting some sort of cover-up. The lack of any clear definition of the cause of the crash or strongly held theories is also causing concern.

Seeking to dispel such thoughts, one hits the www to find out about Stinger hits on aircraft and is even more confused to find out that China Lake reports that Stinger hits usually do not result in a combustible explosion beyond that of a sharp bright white flash, and drop the target through causing break-up as key parts of the craft shear off which initiates a sharp sudden vertical fall. Of course this does sound like flight AA 587, with the sudden thrust/lurch to the right , the shearing of the tail, and then the dropping away of the engines prior to a large G-force vertical descent.

Could those on this board, especially the many with military flight training behind them, eliminate a SAM as a possible cause of AA 587?

While this may seem silly to request to those who already have such knowledge which seems obvious from their vantage point, it should be reminded that many of your passengers do not share your certainty. It would help if they started to share such certainty as a industrial/parts failure is something that can be understood while a Stinger strike would be a serious problem.

If you feel there is a possibility of a Stinger or similar weaponry strike, why do you think so?

If you can explain with certainty that it is impossible that a Stinger can be the cause, I would love to hear it so we can drive on.

Many thanks.
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Old 20th Nov 2001, 04:26
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Here's the article in its entirety. As the WSJ has borrowed liberally from Pprune, I doubt they'll mind our reprinting it here - but for what it's worth, this is Copyright 2001 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Pilots' Site Handles Crowds
In Wake of Airplane Crashes

WHEN AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT 587 crashed one week ago Monday, the tragedy was keenly felt by airline pilots around the world. At the Professional Pilots Rumour Network, an online meeting place based in Cheshire, England, people who fly airplanes for a living gathered to express grief and puzzle over what had gone wrong.

They also braced for a new surge of interest in their tightly knit electronic community. In the hours and days following an air disaster, everyone is looking for answers. And there are few better places to find out what professional pilots think than on the Rumour Network, known as PPRuNe for short and pronounced "P-prune."

It happened again last week, as the world absorbed the news of American's doomed flight to the Dominican Republic. It also happened on Sept. 11, when PPRuNe's Web servers nearly ground to a halt from all the traffic. Whenever disaster strikes in aviation, this six-year-old Internet outpost is inundated as more new users discover it.

For an online community, that kind of attention can be tough to cope with. Rapid growth can dilute a sense of belonging, and an influx of outsiders can create tension. The way PPRuNe balances the needs of long-time members with the curiosity of newcomers offers some lessons on nurturing community.

BARELY 15 MINUTES after Flight 587 plunged to earth, the first message appeared on PPRuNe's "Rumours & News" message board. (The site can be found at www.pprune.org1.) Titled "AA crash near JFK," the posting described an early news-wire report that the flight was down. More messages were added as pilots offered condolences and shared details from television news broadcasts.

Visitors quickly began speculating about the possible cause, wondering about everything from engine failure to bombs, Stinger missiles and sabotage. Other members urged visitors to avoid unfounded speculation. But a few hours into the discussion, one person suggested that the U.S. government would seek to portray the crash as an accident to avoid further economic damage of the sort that followed the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

That's when "Capt PPRuNe," Danny Fyne, stepped in. "Now that we have the basic news and the uneducated speculation is raising its ugly head I am putting this thread to bed," wrote Mr. Fyne, an airline pilot and the founder of the Web site. "Also, would the conspiracy theorists please find a more appropriate Web site."

Mr. Fyne doesn't take such actions lightly, but he believes reserving the right to intervene is essential to preserve a sense of community at PPRuNe. After all, what community doesn't have rules or limits? Often he finds he doesn't need to do anything, as site members "self-police" the discussions to keep them on track. And when Mr. Fyne does intercede, most members usually understand.

"Occasionally I'll get someone complaining about free speech, blah, blah, blah," he explains. "And I'll remind them there is no free speech here -- I've paid for the Web site." That's not to say controversy isn't welcome at PPRuNe. Intense debates rage about everything from security measures to employee-benefit plans. But Mr. Fyne wants to recreate the atmosphere of a crew lounge, not a free-for-all chat room.

Speculation isn't unwelcome, either, as long as the tone remains civil. As early as Monday evening, while most media reports were still focused on potential problems with Flight 587's engines, members on PPRuNe had begun to focus on the tail section of the Airbus -- the area that is now under scrutiny by investigators. A PPRuNe member posted a photo of the vertical stabilizer being lifted from the waters off Queens, N.Y. Others quickly volunteered that the tail's nearly intact appearance didn't fit with the engine-failure theory.

MR. FYNE LAUNCHED PPRuNe in late 1995. A native of Liverpool, he dreamed of flying as a child and earned his private pilot license at 21. Fifteen years later, after years of working with computers, he decided to try to make aviation his career. He got a commercial rating and started out flying turboprops on night cargo flights. These days he flies Boeing 757s and 767s as a senior first officer for a United Kingdom charter airline.

Receive e-mail notifying you of the latest publication of E-World. See the Personal Journal e-mail setup page4 for details on how to subscribe.

He started PPRuNe on a whim, after his Internet-service provider offered members the chance to create personal Web pages. "One thing I discovered as a pilot was that we are very detached. We don't have a 9-to-5 environment, and we don't see our colleagues for the most part," Mr. Fyne says.

As word got out, the site grew. While Mr. Fyne runs it as a hobby, he has added advertising to cover the Web-hosting bills. Now, to finance further growth, he's working with friends to set up a company that would run PPRuNe.

The site attracts plenty of pilot "wannabes." Rather than discourage them, Mr. Fyne has created separate message boards where nonpilots can post their aviation questions for professionals to answer. The wannabes are also welcome at the get-togethers that PPRuNe occasionally organizes for its members. "Thinking back to when I wanted to become a pilot, there was very little information. It was a closed shop," he says. "I realized I had to cater to these people."

E-mail Tom Weber at [email protected].

Edited for format and to fit this screen.

[ 20 November 2001: Message edited by: J-Class ]
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Old 20th Nov 2001, 04:50
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Trader Al, whilst we appreciate the interest and concerns of people not involved in our business the theory you put forward and the subsequent conspiracy to cover it up have been done to deat on these forums. I think that once the initial emotion of the event has had time to settle down we then waited for our resident experts, and there are many of them, to put forward what would appear to be more rational explanations.

Invariably it turns out to be something less obvious but altogether more plausible behind many of the tragedies that have beset us recently. Most of us but certainly not all prefer the Ockhams Razor maxim and in this case may I refer you to a thread that is currently dealing with the issue. AA 587 -- Vertical stabilizer & composites (thread#3).

It is also much better and easier to respond when we keep the content of threads more or less remotely associated with its title. Like the maxim of Ockham's razor, when trying to explain something, assumptions must not be needlessly multiplied.
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Old 20th Nov 2001, 07:33
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I found you guys through ATA's Smartbrief, myself.

I don't THINK it's a conspiracy!
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