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"City in the Sky" on Netflix

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  • "City in the Sky" on Netflix

    Okay, so I just watched the series, City in the Sky. I thought that seeing behind the scenes of the airline industry would be reassuring. And some of it was. But what I came away with was how complicated the system is and how that leaves so much room for error. Several times they would say something like, "if one little piece of debris is left on the runway, it could cause a disaster," or "if one little stress crack in the wing goes undetected, it could bring down the plane," or even, "if there is the slightest impurity in the jet fuel, it could clog the fuel lines, causing the engines to fail." Well, we all know human error is inevitable, so seeing how the tiniest mistake can have catastrophic results is NOT reassuring. One of the things that scares me about flying is how many people you have to trust - it isn't just the pilot. It is the plane manufacturers, mechanics, technicians, baggage handlers, TSA, ATC - everyone along the line. One person could be careless, or one person could be a saboteur along this chain, and a disaster happens. I wish they had spent some time talking about security clearance for all the people involved.

    Also, what frightened me was the graphics showing how many planes are in the air at any given time. They'd show the skies full of planes going and coming toward each other at 500 mph, and tell us that they were kept one mile apart laterally and 5000 feet vertically. That doesn't sound like much distance at those speeds. I had never pictured what the "highways in the sky" looked like until I saw that, and it scared me!
    Last edited by Amelia Chickenhart; 10-05-17, 10:37 AM.

  • #2
    TV programs on flying are rarely if ever helpful. The companies that produce them are intellectually dishonest. When I was being videoed for one of those shows, I was told what they wanted me to say. I refused. They said they needed me to say that because the premise of the show was that this particular thing was an unresolved problem. The producers need unresolved problems so they show will be aired for years. The cameras were turned off. They had to call the producer in LA. We finally reached a compromise. But, since the compromise undercut their dishonest premise, it was edited out.

    You gave an example: "if one little piece of debris is left on the runway, it could cause a disaster." This refers to the Concord crash. The French claimed a piece of metal fell off a U.S. plane that departed prior to the Concord takeoff. We don't know if that is true or just French B.S. In any case, when the Concord was taking off, a tire failed. On any other airliner this would have been a non-event. But, the Concord takes off at over 200 MPH, so the tires spin so fast prior to lift off that if a tire fails, a piece of tire tread can be slung off. And only on the Concord, because it's aluminum skin was so thin, a piece of slung off tire tread could go through the skin and rupture a fuel tank.

    That's what happened. The problem was the Concord, for all its fame, was an unsafe airliner. It was fragile and vulnerable to things other airliners had no problem with. A fix was devised so that the skin would not be penetrated by a tire failure. But the Concord was retired anyway because it was so fuel in-efficient.

    Instead of telling you that debris MAY have caused this particularly fragile plane - which is no longer flying - to crash, it left you misinformed, victimized by the TV producer, and afraid.

    Apparently, they did not tell you that when something does go wrong, on normal airliners, there is a backup system, and even one or more backups for the backup. So when things go wrong, there is no catastrophic result.

    Apparently, they did not tell you about TCAS, a device in the cockpit that alerts pilots if another airplane can possibly become a traffic problem, and what to do about it to make sure it doesn't.

    If you want to get reliable info, sign up for Complete Relief at http://www.fearofflying.com/relief/ which will also show you how to train your mind to automatically control feelings when you fly.

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