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What you really need to be afraid
of when you get in an airplane

Original Article

Posted By: DW626, 4/6/2021 7:31:13 AM

I have a friend who is fearful of commercial airlines. At the gate, before boarding, he asks the agent the following question: "What is the captain's name?" If the answer indicates the pilot is female, he will not board that flight. Any criticism of my friend's lack of confidence in any qualified aviatrix is answered along these lines: "She can't drive a stick shift. I should trust her with a Jumbo Jet?" My friend is right to be cautious about flying, but for different reasons. Like most air travelers, he doesn't know what he doesn't know.

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Reply 1 - Posted by: Lazyman 4/6/2021 7:43:03 AM (No. 746013)
Affirmative action is dangerous many times along with the white guilt of professors who pass incompetents into the work place. Use risk management as much as possible. What's unfair is there are many well qualified that have to suffer because of this systemic racism.
28 people like this.

Reply 2 - Posted by: SkeezerMcGee 4/6/2021 7:54:26 AM (No. 746020)
The TV Series titled "Air Disaters" discloses the mind boggling array of things that cause airplanes to crash. Don't watch the reruns. If you watch them you may never again get on an airplane. Although flying on commercial airplanes is probably the safest form of mass transportation, the survival rate is miniscule. The saying is: "FAA Safety Regulations are written in crew and passengers' blood."
17 people like this.

Reply 3 - Posted by: BeatleJeff 4/6/2021 8:01:08 AM (No. 746026)
When I'm on a plane, I'm mostly afraid of that screaming baby two rows behind me.
22 people like this.

Reply 4 - Posted by: HotRod 4/6/2021 8:13:30 AM (No. 746038)
So true. About this same time frame as the example, my son wanted to be an Air Traffic Controller and had to travel about two hours to the testing site. One of the testing staff, who must have been about to retire, told him he could test, but it was no use because he was the ''wrong color.'' He said this in a discreet manner to my son. My son tested anyway and scored in the top 10%. He never got a call. I haven't flown in 12 years now. If I can't drive there, I won't go. I'm retired, so I have that luxury.
43 people like this.

Reply 5 - Posted by: Strike3 4/6/2021 8:17:20 AM (No. 746041)
Airline travel was once a pleasure, from the time you arrived at the airport until the always on-time landing. That all ended sometime in the nineties and it has never recovered. My last flight was around fifteen years ago and I don't intend to do it again. Yes, the safety record is excellent but still, there are those crashes that remain "unexplained." As for affirmative action, it is so ingrained in American society that there is very little that anybody can do about it except to vacation and do business where you can avoid it. I recently had a problem with the online service of a major bank and the incompetence of customer service was shocking.
29 people like this.

Reply 6 - Posted by: lakerman1 4/6/2021 8:17:50 AM (No. 746042)
I attended a conference where Rabbi Abraham Twerski was the keynote speaker. Twerski, a psychiatrist who founded Gateway Rehabilitation in Pittsburgh, Pa, traveled extensively, usually flying out of Pittsburgh on U.S. Air. He said that when he got onto an airplane, he became really nervous if he did not recognize the pilot who had not ben rehabbed for drugs or alcohol.
12 people like this.

Reply 7 - Posted by: Catfur27 4/6/2021 8:33:11 AM (No. 746067)
...I'm as much against institutional racism ( aka "Affirmative Action) as the next guy ...but ..c'mon man...this article is kind of weak on cause/effect data...??....he cherry picks ONE incident ...out of the tens of millions of flights since the 90's....???...and blames it on A.A> ...without being specific how that policy actually resulted in the crash ?? ( as opposed to the alleged cover up) ..... I don't think this article is up to usual Luicanne standards .
16 people like this.

Reply 8 - Posted by: LC Chihuahua 4/6/2021 8:45:54 AM (No. 746081)
What scares me about flying? Everything. The airport in upstate NY I would fly into is down to one flight a day. Blame COVID. Blame NYs terminally ill economy. What could go wrong? Again, everything. Have to wonder if that little airport will eventually shut its doors for good. Used to have 4 airlines serving it. Now its down to one Delta flight a day. The scary part is things could get worse. Shudder to think what goes on behind the scenes out of eyesight.
10 people like this.

Reply 9 - Posted by: bpl40 4/6/2021 9:04:04 AM (No. 746103)
Black incompetence is nowhere a threat as big as white guilt!
9 people like this.

Reply 10 - Posted by: Clinger 4/6/2021 9:21:10 AM (No. 746120)
It's the gremlin on the wing that gets me.
12 people like this.

Reply 11 - Posted by: athina 4/6/2021 9:22:09 AM (No. 746122)
Lol good to know. I haven’t flown since 1998 - a commuter flight from NY Stewart to Baltimore that scared the living daylights out of me - and I’ve found I’ve never needed to. I’ve discovered I have a distinct lack of a sense of adventure and I like it that way. Four wheels in the ground is just right ;).
9 people like this.

Reply 12 - Posted by: bigfatslob 4/6/2021 9:31:40 AM (No. 746148)
Last time I flew was a one way flight from Atlanta to southern Louisiana was in 1990. If my wife and I can't drive in the car we don't go. This is a chilling article to read. Hiring of air controllers sound like a major oil company I once worked for I was the last white hired in 1969 before they entirely loaded up with 'people' of color'. It's also the reason I left twenty years later they were 'unteachable' and promoted for incompetence.
10 people like this.

Reply 13 - Posted by: Lawsy0 4/6/2021 9:33:09 AM (No. 746152)
Oh good. Something else to lie awake at night over. Thanks, Willie.
5 people like this.

Reply 14 - Posted by: kidsmom 4/6/2021 9:37:00 AM (No. 746162)
Respectfully, Willie, your friend is an idiot. Women of my generation drove straight shift cars. My daughter is 26 and she drives a stick. Having said that, the rest of the article is chilling in the least. I'll rethink flying anywhere.
8 people like this.

Reply 15 - Posted by: presty 4/6/2021 9:59:24 AM (No. 746189)
BS story. I'm an active commercial pilot and was an air traffic controller. Director of Safety for a small airline. Can give you chapter and verse of how many ways this article is not worth paying ANY attention to to include substantial personal experience in the tower, radar facility, and flight deck for DECADES with very competent and professional female controllers and pilots. There are lots of issues with affirmative action hiring, but this article does nothing to address those valid concerns with well-researched data and reasoned, dispassionate argumentation. For those afraid to's largely a perception of a loss of control and there is a strong correlation between professional accomplishment/intelligence level and a fear of flying. It can be addressed pretty quickly with the right therapy if you're inclined...
27 people like this.

Reply 16 - Posted by: presty 4/6/2021 10:01:53 AM (No. 746194)
And yes, both my daughters know how to operate a manual transmission quite well.
13 people like this.

Reply 17 - Posted by: red1066 4/6/2021 10:15:02 AM (No. 746212)
Now I know why I didn't get that air traffic control job even after passing the test. I was the wrong color. I thought it might have been that, but Reagan was president so I thought that kind of thinking wasn't allowed.
3 people like this.

Reply 18 - Posted by: LC Chihuahua 4/6/2021 10:15:18 AM (No. 746213)
Pardon second post... Agree the article is problematic. The main incident the author refers to happened 30 years ago! Can't they find things more recent, like in the last year or two, to support their claim? They have to do better than dredging up some 30 year old incident. Also the claim that affirmative action is the problem is problematic. My experiences with incompetence lead me to think that it is largely color blind, which kind of blows a hole in the author's affirmative action assertion. Not disputing that affirmative action has lead to some terrible hires, it has. Sadly, articles like this can be used to give credibility to racism claims out there. All that being said, still hate flying.
4 people like this.

Reply 19 - Posted by: msjena 4/6/2021 10:22:38 AM (No. 746221)
I know how to drive a stick shift and am not afraid to fly for fear of crashing. I am afraid of someone leaning their seat back on me.
9 people like this.

Reply 20 - Posted by: mc squared 4/6/2021 10:37:44 AM (No. 746240)
19 posts and not a mention of the old movie: 'Muslims On A Plane'.
6 people like this.

Reply 21 - Posted by: AltaD 4/6/2021 11:02:43 AM (No. 746265)
Earlier this morning I read that United will train 5,000 pilots this decade, with "plans for half of them to be women or people of color." From Coke to insurance companies to airlines, the message is clear - not hiring straight white men.
10 people like this.

Reply 22 - Posted by: stablemoney 4/6/2021 11:30:56 AM (No. 746313)
I quit flying after 911. It is no longer any fun. More waiting, more hassle, always an unruly or rude passenger. No thanks. I will drive or stay home.
7 people like this.

Reply 23 - Posted by: DVC 4/6/2021 11:49:24 AM (No. 746336)
Yes, affirmative action in the aviation industry is a potentially deadly thing. Any time that the merit based system is distorted, then less-than-top-quality folks get into places where the maximum possible skill is sometimes just barely enough to keep everyone alive. The less skilled, there because of affirmative action, will get people killed. And "she can't drive a stick shift"??? REALLY? What jerk thinks that this is true of all women? I have personally taught a number of women to run a stick shift and know two female relatives who will NOT own an auto transmission because they greatly prefer to shift for themselves. And one female relative is a retired naval aviator who landed the largest aircraft on carriers for many years, and followed that with a long airline pilot career, now retired. If ANY pilot, female, black, whatever is in the cockpit because of affirmative action, beware - they may be dangerous. Check out Tara Hultgren's story. She was pushed up to be an F-14 pilot when here carrier landing grades were sub par and she was flunked out "at the boat". The top brass insisted that she be retested (with the not so subtle hint that 'getting the wrong answer again' would be bad for the instructor's and tester's careers), and surprise.....she passed, and got assigned to fly F-14s, a fairly unforgiving aircraft, with great publicity about it. But, when 'in the fleet', she had an emergency, needed to land with one engine, she lost control and crashed, fortunately not hitting the ship, which could have killed a lot of people. The radar intercept officer survived the ejection, she did not. Later discussions with an active F-14 pilot in my family indicated that while the single engine landing on the carrier with the F-14 was no piece of cake, it would be very "doable" by any competent naval aviator. So, that affirmative action pilot only killed herself. On an airliner, it won't be like that.
9 people like this.

Reply 24 - Posted by: Bur Oak 4/6/2021 12:24:20 PM (No. 746380)
The story sounds suspect. A pilot on an instrument flight plan must have enough fuel to make the approach and if the approach is missed fly to the alternate airport and have 45 minutes more fuel. If the pilot in the story didn't have enough fuel to fly to the alternate and make an approach he shouldn't have tried multiple approaches at the first field. Been there done that but didn't crash.
2 people like this.

Reply 25 - Posted by: FL_Absentee_Voter 4/6/2021 2:00:44 PM (No. 746479)
Tim Conway, Jr. tells the hilarious story about once flying with his dad and Harvey Korman on a puddle jumper from LAX to Reno to do a show there. Two females in uniform were serving sodas prior to the door closing when Harvey asked where the pilots were. When one of the girls replied, "We are the pilots" he immediately bolted from the plane, not to be seen again until Reno. When asked what happened, he told the Conways that in the event of an airborne emergency a male pilot could always be depended upon to mash buttons, pull levers, and hit pedals right up to impact with the ground but at some point on the way down a female pilot is going to just throw her arms in the air and start screaming. Funny stuff.
1 person likes this.

Reply 26 - Posted by: ControlFreak 4/6/2021 3:51:21 PM (No. 746614)
I have lost 3 family members plus two friends and one neighbor to plane crashes. I won't even go near an airport, much less an airplane.
1 person likes this.

Reply 27 - Posted by: enemyofthestate 4/6/2021 3:52:28 PM (No. 746617)
Always disconcerting for me when I discover the pilot on my flight is female. One time I got two female pilots.
0 people like this.

Reply 28 - Posted by: 4Liberty2020 4/6/2021 8:48:49 PM (No. 746885)
My husband and I love to fly, from hot air balloons, gliders, bi-planes, single engine, and commercial jets. I even did skydiving several times when I turned 70 and 72, hope to do it again this year at age 77. The only time I was scared was when I flew on EuroFlot in Russia in 1979, the wings of the plane shuddered, thought that they were going to fall off. In Dec. I hope to visit Egypt, Jordan and Israel, and the only scary part is when they inspect you in Germany. They hit you hard between your legs and into your crotch with a metal pipe, now that is scary.
1 person likes this.

Reply 29 - Posted by: 4Liberty2020 4/6/2021 8:50:16 PM (No. 746887)
Also, I love using a stick shift, too.
0 people like this.

Reply 30 - Posted by: DVC 4/7/2021 1:21:54 AM (No. 747003)
#24, IIRC the flight was put into a holding pattern with a huge delay for landing, and complained several times that they were low on fuel. IIRC, the holding pattern time burned up their extra fuel.
0 people like this.

Reply 31 - Posted by: Annie Xango 4/7/2021 1:52:23 AM (No. 747006)
started flying in 1959..and for many years it was wonderful...worked for TWA in sales..I still mourn the demise of Pan that was an airline.!!!! got all the traveling I needed to do..pretty much done..heck, I was even on a plane several weeks after 9/11 as soon as they let them back in the sky.
0 people like this.

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Posted by DW626 4/6/2021 7:31:13 AM Post Reply
I have a friend who is fearful of commercial airlines. At the gate, before boarding, he asks the agent the following question: "What is the captain's name?" If the answer indicates the pilot is female, he will not board that flight. Any criticism of my friend's lack of confidence in any qualified aviatrix is answered along these lines: "She can't drive a stick shift. I should trust her with a Jumbo Jet?" My friend is right to be cautious about flying, but for different reasons. Like most air travelers, he doesn't know what he doesn't know.
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