Simon Jenkins has written a stupid article

Danger Lurks Everywhere

“There are two skies up there overhead. There is one for the rich and another for the rest of us. The jet charter business has just had the week of its life. It assesses risk for itself and spent the Icelandic eruption finding ways round it. From the moment Europe’s transport ministers went collectively mad last Thursday, not a small jet was idle.”

A few hundred private jets can fly around ash clouds on an ad-hoc basis; thousands of commercial airliners can’t.

“No one flew up to test the cloud when the volcano erupted.”

Factually inaccurate:

Do your research Simon.

“The 90 jets throughout history that have encountered volcanic ash – surely enough to yield reliable science – had one thing in common. They all reportedly passed through dense ash concentrations and not one crashed.”

Er…but they have caused all four engines in a boeing 747 to cut out in one instance,  so not that great? One percent of 1000’s of aircraft in Europe having all engines fail means hundreds of 747 gliders in the sky.

Other instances of ash causing engine failure.

“Hurricanes and electric storms must have killed thousands of air passengers over the years, but skies are not closed for the risk from them.”

‘Must have’?? Excuse me, is that a properly researched fact Simon? Sounds very thorough.

And in any case, planes avoid electrical storms where possible for obvious reasons, but as storms are localised  whole fleets are not grounded. So your point is Simon?

“Lawyers may be smacking their lips over transport secretary Lord Adonis’s brave admission of overcaution. This could see the first significant class action against “hypersafe” regulation in history – and most significant it would be. The airlines claim to have been punished to the tune of £1.7bn by the government’s mistake, but the secondary cost in lost business, ruined freight, insurance and general mayhem must be as high as that of bailing out a bank – another result of regulatory dysfunction.”

Lawyers would be smacking their lips if planes had crashed through bad advice.

“A decision cannot be validated just because no planes crashed. Such absolutism is now casually used to justify any amount of over-regulation, such as the absurd measures taken against terrorism, swine flu and such menaces to the official peace of mind as from male teachers, swimming pools, scaffolding and stale food. So long as no one dies, ministers are comfortable. Protest the cost and you are damned for “putting a price on human life”, which is what good risk assessors do all the time.”

Oh this really is just gibberish, I can’t be bothered to go through all of it.


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