You Don’t Need to Know This
Move along. Nothing to see here.
sssshhhhhhh…airline travel is very very dangerous, much more dangerous than you ever suspected. NASA interviewed 24,000 pilots over a 4-year period. Near-collisions and runway interference are much more common than anybody imagined.
But YOU will never have this information. NASA has refused to release it, and they’ve ordered the contractor who conducted the survey to purge all data from their computers.
A senior NASA official, Thomas Luedtke, said the information could damage public confidence and jeopardize airline profits. “Release of the requested data, which are sensitive and safety-related, could materially affect the public confidence in, and the commercial welfare of, the air carriers and general aviation companies whose pilots participated in the survey.”
Hey, remember in Jaws when local tourism officials didn’t want anyone to know about those shark attacks because it would jeopardize tourism? Hmmm, wonder what made me think of that. Anyway…
Luedtke also claimed that pilot confidentiality was one of his reasons for suppressing the information. Nice try, asshole. No airlines or pilots were identified in the survey.
The pilots reported more than twice as many bird strikes, near-collisions and runway incursions than government monitoring systems have shown. Pilots also reported higher-than-expected numbers of “in-close approach changes” — last-minute changes of landing instructions.
Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) said: “If the airlines aren't safe I want to know about it. I would rather not feel a false sense of security because they don't tell us… The data appears to have great value to aviation safety, but not on a shelf at NASA.”
When asked about NASA suppressing this information, he said “there is a faint odor about it all.”
Feel safer yet? Wanna book an airline flight?