Saturday, November 19, 2005

And here we thought it was safe to fly!!

Well, as if this upcoming week and time of year does not have enough stress (I will not outline it, each person reading this knows it chapter and verse), the NBC Nightly News, Saturday Evening Version, came up with a great one: THE SKIES ARE NOT SAFE!

Here, as a bookie would say is the skinny: the NBC report stated that flying the 'friendly skies' is not as safe as it once was because there have been one too many 'runway incursions' (meaning that two planes either while taxiing to takeoff or after landing almost running into each other] or near misses in the air [George Carlin called it right though; 'It is not a near miss, it is a NEAR HIT!!!'). But the same report also mentioned that the current number of these incidents is DOWN from several years ago.

While there was a mention of some new technologies that will aid in lowering the number of these potential accidents: new runway lights, more information intensive displays for the air traffic controllers and other things. There is one invention that is available now that can help alleviate the worry of these accidsents in the making...and it is available now. Any person who has Flight Simulator on their system knows about it and even NASA has had a hand in its development. It is called TCAS, short for Traffic Collision Avoidance System. It is an alert that comes flashes on the flightdeck to let the crew know there is a problem ahead in the form of other aircraft.

Maybe I am being a little hard on the media, NBC in this case-but why was this left out of the equation? Was it the fact that this is a Saturday night and people think that 'facts' and 'research' are better left for the weekdays or even 'Meet The Press'? Interesting concept. However the fact that air travel is still safer than driving down the local interstate should keep whatever butterflies there are at bay.


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