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AVmail: January 19, 2009

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Each week, we run a sampling of the letters received to our editorial inbox here in AVmail. One letter that's particularly relevant, informative, or otherwise compelling will headline this section as our "Letter of the Week," and we'll send the author an official AVweb baseball cap as a "thank you" for interacting with us (and the rest of our readership). Send us your comments and questions using this form. Please include your mailing address in your e-mail (just in case your letter is our "Letter of the Week"); by the same token, please let us know if your message is not intended for publication.

Letter of the Week: Flight 1549 How Many Rafts?

[All the major news outlets] missed the big story that there were not enough rafts. Remember the Titanic. Had this not been in the river, 80% of passengers would have died in the cold water.

How many rafts? Enough for all the passengers? There were a few on a raft and the rest on the wing.

Dick Rutan


Nationality in Dispute

In your AVwebAlert of January 15, 2009, I thought that it was a bit inappropriate of your editors to speculate as to the national origin of the Canada geese which are reported to have contributed to the demise of the airliner. In all fairness, these geese could have been summer inhabitants of Canada, given that they were encountered in the Eastern Flyway. But this late in the season, they could have just as easily been northbound to summer homes in Alaska or Siberia. Or, for that matter, they may have been perennial residents of New York.

If any survived, their passports should be checked ... .

Dale McKee

AVweb Replies:

We received more e-mails on our incorrect use of the term Canadian geese in our hurried attempts to get our alert out than on anything else regarding Flight 1549. For the record, the ornithologically correct name is Canada geese, but Canadian geese is also used, even if incorrectly.

Russ Niles
Editor-in-Chief

Passing of an Icon

You should note the passing of Australia's Nancy Bird-Walton, one of our pioneer and premier aviators who, incidentally, happened to be a woman. This made her achievements even more notable.

Duncan Watts


Zero for 24

Anyone notice how the producers of the TV series 24 pretty much got everything wrong about aviation (which played a starring role) during the recent premiere?

For example: Upon receiving descent clearance, the Captain pushed the nose over and powered up. During a go-around, he pulled the nose up and throttled back. ATC was referred to as air traffic control, as opposed to "center" or "approach." Turbulence was reported as minor vs. light. Our fearless captain was cleared to "one five hundred." Perhaps we, as pilots, are the only ones in the world who care or are bothered by the fact that they got almost nothing right at all. Perhaps AVweb should offer their considerable expertise as consultants to these terribly misinformed producers.

Makes you wonder if anything about the show is at all close to reality.

Mark Hangen

AVweb Replies:

We'd be happy to help! (With the aviation parts, not the reality.)

Russ Niles
Editor-in-Chief

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