Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Fly the Friendly Skies

Update below.

Even worse than the standard Friday Night News Dump is the steaming pile that NASA deposited on New Years Eve.

NASA has just released the Air Safety report they previously ordered destroyed, but only after they were sued under FOIA:
NASA gives glimpse of air safety survey

NASA grudgingly released some results Monday from an $11.3 million federal air safety study it previously withheld from the public over concerns it would upset travelers and hurt airline profits.
[...]
Released on New Year's Eve, the unprecedented research conducted over nearly four years relates to safety problems identified by some 29,000 pilots interviewed by telephone.
[...]
The data was posted as NASA officials began a telephone news conference, allowing no time to look at the material and ask them questions about it.
[...]
[NASA Administrator Michael Griffin] dismissed suggestions that NASA chose to release the data late on New Year's Eve, when the public is distracted by holidays and news organizations are thinly staffed.

"We didn't deliberately choose to release on the slowest news day of the year," Griffin said.

[...]
The Air Transport Association of America, an organization representing major airlines, responded to the NASA release with a statement praising U.S. skies as the safest in the world and said NASA's study "was not designed to capture real-time, verifiable data" and that FAA reports are more meaningful.
So once again the corporations and government colluded to suppress science because it might hurt the bottom line.

Anyone else see a pattern here? The bush government has deliberately lied and obstructed justice about everything. Whether it's toxic toys or infected food or drug safety or air safety or torture or spying or national security, all they do is lie.

Am I the only one that thinks we're living in Bizarro World?

UPDATE:
NASA Administrator Michael Griffin told reporters in a conference call that the agency had no plans to study the database for trends. He said NASA conducted the survey only to determine whether gathering information from pilots in such a way was worthwhile.
He's such a liar! They spent years and millions of our dollars and he sez it was just an experiment on data gathering!?

I call BS!

The current system the FAA uses relies on anonymous self-reporting that they started in 1975, it is/was a good idea because pilots in general tend to be safety conscious because after all, they're the first ones to the scene of the crash.

But self-reporting has inherent statistical problems. As professionals at NASA and the FAA realized. So in 2001 they started a 4 year, $11 million project that used telephone surveys of airline pilots.

Then Bushco political appointees didn't like the results. And, as always, when they don't like the results they tried to suppress them, and then attack the messenger/methodology, and then partially release them in a flood of redacted statements deliberately put forth in a confusing manner on New Years Eve when they didn't think anyone will pay attention.

And they're right, in a way. They got away with lying about reasons to go to wars, they got away with lying about air standards at ground zero, they got away with subverting the JustUs department, etc, etc, etc.

FAQ:
Q:Is the US air traffic system the best in the world?
A:Probably. We don't know because they won't release the actual data.

Q:Can it be improved by simple measures?
A:Absolutely. More rest for pilots and air traffic controllers seems to be the key.

Q:Will it affect the airlines?
A:No, if all the current obstacles in place don't stop people from flying this report won't and shouldn't.

Q:Is it safe to fly?
A:Probably safer than ever. See #1. But we can make simple changes that will make flying even safer.



Cross posted at VidiotSpeak