"Defective airplanes or parts"? I think not

This morning I reported on how several U.S. airlines that operate the MD-80 had to perform additional checks on wiring covers. A few hours later, I received a comment on that blog post that was rather entertaining. (Here are a few excerpts - for the entire comment in all of its gloriousness, click here.)

Dear Your Excellencies, And Other Honorable World Citizens:
I am a lawyer in New York, an American citizen, and a man who greatly values the sanctity of human life.
Airline companies within the United States may be about to seek to “dump” defective aircraft upon, and/or sell harmful cannibalized aircraft parts to, businesses and citizens within your respective many countries...
To the extent that you may not already be aware of the current aviation safety crisis occurring now in America that has caused this clear-and-present threat, please inform your countrymen and countrywomen of this potentially-imminent and hazardous occurrence. Please ask your country’s officials, private firms, and citizens, to be vigilantly on the look-out for offers to buy these defective airplanes or parts. It is important you ensure that your friends and neighbors do not buy these items. The safety and lives of your fellow citizens may depend upon it...
...The fleets of a number of United States commercial airlines are deteriorating. Our federal government in the U.S. has finally caught up to the decay. We in America are now effectively in the painful process of outlawing these aged, dangerous planes – and holding civilly and criminally accountable those malicious individuals that would continue to sanction their use, regardless. This threat to us is from within. The airline companies’ next move will be to try to jettison the bad planes for profit.

My first thought was that this was a Nigerian spam comment, or something of the sort. It turns out that although it wasn't a spam letter, it had just about the same amount of factual value. The safety checks that have been carried out throughout the past month have more to do with making sure that paperwork is up-to-date, rather than having "dangerous airplanes". The US is home to some of the safest airlines in the world. There is no "current aviation safety crisis" in this country, as the author of the comment writes. As far as I know, none of the airlines are looking to "“dump” defective aircraft" - they're merely making sure that the planes get another look-over. And besides, even if they were, would you likely need to "ensure that your friends and neighbors do not buy these items"? I don't know about you, but I'm not shopping around for "defective aircraft" or "harmful cannibalized aircraft parts".

By the way, who wrote that comment? A click of the author's Blogger profile reveals that he is none other than John J. Tormey III, Esq. A quick Google search turns up the fact that he is involved with the "Quiet Rockland" project, which appears to be concerned with aircraft noise. What airplane noise and "defective aircraft" have in common is not immediately apparent. Tormey also writes a blog entitled "THE END OF SOUTHWEST AIRLINES" in which he writes vitriolic blog posts. These have titles like "THANK YOU FOR FLYING AIR KEVORKIAN a/k/a SOUTHWEST AIRLINES - YOU ARE NOW FREE TO SPRINKLE YOURSELF ABOUT THE COUNTRY" and "Thank You For Flying Air Kevorkian - I Mean, Southwest". In a blog post entitled "NO LUV LOST," he quotes himself as saying that "the persons that should be flying Southwest at this point, should be only those referred by Doctor Kevorkian."

I'm saving Mr. Tormey's comment and writing about it because I think it's rather hilarious. I don't think he realizes that Southwest Airlines has never had a fatal accident due to "defective airplanes".


747-8 said...

I agree with your post. US Airlines (and FAA) have very stringent safety requirements. There are times, when airlines have to delay/cancel airplane due to small maintenance issues. All airplanes have mandatory servicing done, and there are times when they are completely overhauled.

Delta said...

I'mglad they took the extra time to check all of the wiring harnesses. It helps me feel a little bit safer.

Anonymous said...

Well, as of recently, we've seen pilot complaints regarding the "cozy" relationship between airline officials and the FAA. Heck, most of management hasn't even stepped into a cockpit before. They should take their pilots more seriously and work to fix their problems instead of to appease complacent FAA officials.

Anonymous said...

reply to "anonymous" about being taken seriously: airline management may not step "into" the cockpits, but they do take safety issues very seriously. Have you never heard of "check" pilots?

By the way, how many pilots actually step into a board room meeting at American Airlines, and thank the management for avoiding bankruptcy, continuing to fund pension plans, paying the American pilots better than almost every known airline, and more?

If you are looking for sympathy for the few whining American pilots you see on TV moaning about airline safety, dont look here. Instead, realize they only want more money in their paychecks, and go so far as to backstab the company to try and get it. That is totally disgusting behavior. In fact most employees of any company that go on TV to criticize the hand that feeds them, instead of working inside the company to fix any SPECIFIC safety issues, could and should be fired on the spot.
These are not legitimate whistle-blowers, they are traitors, crybabies, and they deserve NO sympathy.

Anonymous said...

... of course I have heard of check airmen.

If you think that management always has the pilots' best interests in mind, then you are using a drug that I need to get my hands on. Pilots are neither being greedy nor acting despicably when they ask for the money that they deserve and management constantly withholds. Saying that American maintains the best salaries for their pilots is a relative statement. Pilots and teachers rank as some of the most underpaid professionals in the world.

I'm not looking for sympathy for the pilots who "moan" on T.V. I think you're overlooking the thousands of pilots who go on STRIKE to stick up for their rights. You're the kind who would be a scab, aren't you? It's people like you who undermine the profession of piloting. You would cross a picket line that is being held by FELLOW PILOTS who are sticking up for their worth -- not acting as greedily as everybody so readily thinks. Is it because of the misconception that all pilots get 20 days off a month and earn 300,000 dollars? Quite possibly. Either way, you come off as ignorant and insensitive to deride pilots who merely want to be paid as the professionals they truly are.

And as for your ridiculous point regarding keeping an airline out of bankruptcy and funding pension plans, how many people clap after a safe flight?