Top Letters And Comments, December 27, 2019


Boeing CEO Resigns

Very predictable…Muilenburg did his assigned task…handle the MAX debacle fallout, take the brunt of the criticism, go through the congressional grilling, and be the one who publicly sheds the emotional tears for the loss of life. Once that portion of PR campaign is done, he is history. How he was fired, how he is compensated, and what his relationship was with the Boeing’s board in the recent weeks will be revealed soon.

If he was fired because he was deemed a liability showing signs of becoming a “whistle blower,” he will surface soon at some sort of congressional investigation. If still loyal to the board teeming with investment interests outside of Boeing, he will get a handsome job offering as a reward for successfully doing damage control duty.

Somebody had to take the public humiliation, provide the public emotional display, and say all the choreographed and scripted words that was required in the initial phase of Boeing’s damage-control team. He did that well.

Now it’s phase two of Boeing’s damage-control team. Since they have no choice but to complete MAX with MCAS, it stands to reason that the next CEO will be MCAS loyal, and has had a proven track record of defending it both publicly and professionally within the Boeing ranks. I am sure they have their new public “Gumby” all picked out. The remaining part of phase two is to wait for the inevitable wave of predictable criticism of Muilenburg, note the reaction of the collective aviation press to this “housecleaning,” and public/consumer response to so-called “new leadership” implying a new direction of safety.

Then phase three begins with the new “Gumby”…in my opinion, already groomed, well compensated for, and well prepared his/her participation in this MAX PR resurrection.

This airplane will be returned for service. The FAA needs the MAX to fly to justify its role in the certification approval. Boeing will use this new approval to claim vindication of the MCAS concept, design, and engineering. There is no extra airliner manufacturing capacity to replace it. Boeing, Airbus, and all of the 4300+ back log airline customers know that. So do all the politicians who have constituents who live where Boeing has it’s footprint, and all of the supply chain companies needed for continued production.

Muilenburg’s “resignation” is just another phase of public posturing that is needed for a smooth as possible MAX return to service sign off. Muilenburg’s “resignation” is a sign that MAX will fly soon.

Jim H.

Poll: Do You Think Pilots Haven’t Recently Seen Real UFOs?

I really REALLY want to believe, but in all my years as control tower operator, radar controller, and pilot up through ATP and LearJet rating every incident of UFO ended with identifying the intruder as an airplane, contrail, bird or definite optical illusion.

Mac H.

After 33 years of flying all over the world, I always figured if anyone saw a real UFO it would be me. Never happened! However, as a F/O I had a Captain tell a very interesting story that occurred over Middleton Island just prior to descent into ANC. He saw an “object” sitting just off his left wing. ANC Center confirmed that there was indeed something there. Then the ‘OBJECT” accelerated away at a very high speed. The Captain asked Center; “Did you see that?”. The controller replied; “yes, but I don’t believe it.” He filed a report about the incident. Later, a USAF Colonel called him at his home and advised him that he should never say anything about it. The Captain replied; “Colonel, I’m a civilian, I outrank you, and I’ll tell anyone I damn well please.” End of story.

Paul B. (Not Bertorelli)

I think the Navy pilot said it best. “He saw an object, it was flying, he could not identify it. Leaves a lot of possibilities.

Davis N.

I’m an 82 yr. old retired ATP – flown for 54 yrs. & 14K hrs.+. I have seen 4 UFOs. 3 were daytime & 1 @ night. None of them looked alike – all very different. One of the daytime events was airborne on an IFR flight plan between broken cloud layers with an A.E. on board who saw it through 7X35 binoculars w/in about 2 miles. His non-verbal body reaction was of shock and surprise, plus his comment, “WHAT IS THAT?” My reply was, “You’re an A.E. – you tell me!” He later refused to acknowledge what he had seen. It apparently violated his beliefs paradigm. Jacksonville ARTCC did not have it on radar.

The first one on 2-29-1967 was the most spectacular. Its initial near vertical downward speed from over 20K ft. high in 2 sec. & abrupt deceleration and 90-degree short radius curved change to level flight @ about 2K ft. high was impossible technology in the atmosphere for then nor now. The sound from the dive pull-out was as loud as very close to very loud thunder & echoed across the sky in a similar manner. It was seen @ about 4 miles away for about 5 min. before instantly disappearing after coming to a complete stop 30 degrees nose up. Its size was that of a quarter coin @ arm’s length. Its plan-form was a saucer-shape oval – wider at the back than front with a small fin-like swept back truncated cone on the top back. Its color was that of a dull burnished gray-silver – non-shiny. This was no illusion. Those do not hang around for 5 min. & make thundering noises. All of these seen and more are described in NASA A.E. Paul Hill’s book, “Unconventional Flying Objects”, read many years after these events. This first one event plus the others forever changed my view of the Universe. Like UFO expert, Dr. Stanton Friedman, said, ‘I’ve never seen a UFO and lot of things, but I know they exist’. He was the lead engineer researching nuke powered airplanes overseeing a B-36 project with an on-board reactor.

Von I.

  • I started watching the sky while flying, and from the control tower and radar scope, in 1956. I would love to have seen a UFO but I have never seen something that I could not ultimately identify. There have optical illusions galore but they always were eventually identified as such.
  • UFO means UNIDENTIFIED so if they don’t know what they saw then, yes, it was a UFO.
  • I’ll believe pilots over other sightings.
  • Optical aberrations.
  • That’s why they’re called “unidentified.”
  • Imagination is a powerful thing.
  • There are mirrored (wandering slowly or erratically moving) reflections of sunspots from satellites (and/or their solar panels) passing overhead projecting underneath the observer on (flat) clouds or sea surfaces. Like, for example, a turning window flashing sunlight spots reflected from a settling sun in the early evening over an area with cloud shadows.
  • Yes. I saw one in one occasion and informed ATC.
  • Well, they couldn’t identify them, so… but aliens? Don’t be ridiculous.
  • If it can’t be identified, it’s a UFO.
  • What is a Real UFO?
  • There are usually optical factors that confuse people and even lightning such as the red spurts from top of clouds that John Deakin explained.
  • Because it is not natural – it must be supernatural.
  • Yes. I have seen one myself.
  • Of course they have, hasn’t everyone?
  • Visual illusions; real phenomena, not real green men.
  • Don’t drink before flying.
  • Well, they saw something flying around, and don’t know what it is. Seems like that’s the literal definition of “Unidentified Flying Object.”
  • I’m not saying it was aliens, but it was aliens.
  • Not only pilots, but other qualified observers who can tell you it was not Swamp-CFII Gas.
  • If it flew but wasn’t identified then they saw a UFO.
  • What you’ve seen is not what you saw!

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  1. According to the whistle blower Edward Snowden in his recent book – Permanent Record, he searched the CIA and NSA records and there was no evidence of captured or recovered alien UFOs. Obviously that should settle the issue! He did however, confirm that the US put men on the moon.