Archive for the Aviation Category

World Trade Center Building 7 And The AIA (May 18, 2015)

Posted in Airlines, Architecture, Aviation, Awards / Incentives, Collapse, Courage, Perjury, Profile In Courage Award, Pulitzer on May 18, 2015 by

. . .

A          “If they presented a Profile in Courage lantern, would someone seek the light?”

B          “If they provided a Pulitzer Prize, would someone pursue the truth?”

A          “If they fielded a Fields Medal, would someone prove that 2 plus 0 is not 3?”

B          “It they supplied only two planes, could someone destroy three buildings?”

. . .

A          “On Saturday, delegates of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) overwhelmingly voted down Resolution 15-6 which called for AIA to support a new investigation of the destruction of World Trade Center Building 7 on 9/11 2001.  By a vote of 3892 – 160, the resolution, introduced by AIA member Dan Barnum FAIA, was voted down.”

B          “96% of the delegates voted to ignore the facts, the science, and the evidence which is today common knowledge among those who care about the destruction of Building 7.”

A          “The vote says more about architects, at least 3892 architects, than anything ever said about architects.”

B          “And about 160 architects.”

. . .

Bumper sticker of the week:

Give prizes for the truth and you may get some truth; give prizes for untruth and you will get untruth.

Going The Extra Mile: Today’s Airline Mileage Programs (August 19, 2013)

Posted in Aviation, Market Solutions, Markets on August 19, 2013 by

. . .

A          “That is correct.”

P          “So I drive from my home near Raleigh to the airport and then fly sitting in a middle seat to Kuala Lampur International and wait for seven hours and then fly to Kathmandu International and sit for ten hours and then fly to Timbuktu International Airport and then go I arrive.  That is the best you can do under the mileage program.”

A          “That is correct.”

P          “I get it.  I had to accumulate a lot of miles and then the available routes entail enduring all kinds of miles in the air on inconvenient routes with long delays between flights.”

A          “That is correct.”

P          “So that is why they call it a mileage program.”

A          “That is correct.”

P          “That is the best itinerary to get to Durham Airport.”

A          “That is correct.  Would you like the available flights from Ft. Worth to Dallas?  In August, we can route you through Antarctica.”

. . .

P          “The president of the airline is a Harvard MBA and a sociopath who makes 120 million a year and could not make a HO gauge train in his den run on time.” 

A          “That is correct.” 

. . .

P          “You are required to read from a script and stay on message.” 

A          “That is correct.” 

. . .

[See the “e-ssay” at An Airline (Partial) Survival Guide (January 24, 2005).]

Bumper sticker of the week:

“Remember, we are not happy until you are not happy.”  Today’s Airline. 

Seeding Pollution From The Heavens (February 2, 2009)

Posted in Aviation, Gas/Fossil Fuel, Global Climate Change on February 2, 2009 by

Geopolitical changes opened the northern polar routes to regular commercial air travel.

Commercial aviation cross-hatches the northern skies and deposits exhaust particles from on high.

Exhaust particles create a black shroud on the white snow and clear ice.

The black exhaust particles absorb the sun’s heat and melt the snow and ice rapidly.

The next day, planes fly over and do it again.

Bumper sticker of the week:

Better to be on the ground and wish you were in the air

Than to be in the air and wish you were on the ground

An Airline (Partial) Survival Guide (January 24, 2005)

Posted in Aviation, Economics, Politics on January 24, 2005 by

How do you create a small profitable airline?  Start out with a large profitable airline.  The move of small and large airlines to unprofitable status in America is cause for concern.  The survival of many of Americas private air carrier system is in everyone’s interest.

The current insane pricing system is too baroque and requires one to earn a merit badge or obtain an MA in Ticketology.  There is so much effort expended and time wasted that does not provide any utility attempting to find an even cheaper ticket.  On any given flight, one would need to search a few rows to find someone who paid the same or even a similar price for a ticket.  “That fellow in seat 6C looks smug.  He got a better deal.  I know it.  Next time, one more search, by golly.”  The search itself provides no social benefit.  By contrast, a hurricane that inflicts a billion dollars in damages also inflicts a billion dollars in benefits because of the resulting purchases of plywood, overtime for insurance adjusters, sales of batteries and bottled water, etc.  By contrast, the process of searching for a cheaper ticket does not provide much utility even if a successful outcome provides some fleeting happiness.

The fare structure should be simplified to one fare with desperately few restrictions, conditions or limitations.  Business class fares are undesirable because the tickets are purchased by the public via an income tax deduction provided by our even more baroque and byzantine tax system.  On the other hand, in a free market, perhaps a business class section meets an acceptable public desire.  A Saturday night stay or a Tuesday afternoon stay or a Friday morning stay is not related to the actual cost of transporting humans; stay stays altogether.  Current thirty-day limitations on travel are unfounded, although a requirement that travel be completed within a year provides for the elimination of the liability to the airline within the fiscal year; this limitation really only impacts five customers.  Charging more for a ticket as one gets close to the date of the flight may appear to trap those who have no other alternative.  Trapping those who have no other alternative is inelegant, unsporting and bad business.  Set one price and then let those who want to have that ticket in hand buy a ticket early.  One astute frequent flyer plan allows a participant to walk up to the booth on the day of departure and fly if there is an available seat.  The airline satisfies a previously satisfied customer while extinguishing a liability.  The additional cost of the passenger is little more than peanuts, although admittedly some more fuel is consumed, blankets are worn and thus worn out, flight attendants must attend, etc.

The airlines should not serve much more than peanuts on a domestic flight.  They should provide fast flights not fast food.  All the different dietary needs that have been met commendably by the airlines to date (such as no peanut products in the food, etc.) are too expensive and unwarranted.  Food courts at the terminals provide food more efficiently.  Aircraft space currently committed to the galleys could be used for more seats and for an additional two inches of knee room between each seat.  Flight attendants who were originally nurses would no longer hand out fries and would instead nurse the safety of the larger number of passengers in more spacious seats.  Eliminating the food delivery to the aircraft eliminates the most vulnerable opportunity for a security breach of the aircraft.  And if someone wants to change a return time and there is an available seat, change the time once for $25 and a second time for $100.  Allowing for free time changes does not force the passenger to spend sufficient time at the outset determining his or her realistic travel plans.  Passengers treated this way will be back.

Any action by the government is likely to botch up the necessary market forces.  Create a CAB II?  BAD.  Those who laud the apparent lack of government involvement in the airline industry since 1977 overlook the nearly complete regulation of the industry at this time by the government.  The government agency is known as the United States Bankruptcy Court For The __________ District Of __________.  Bankruptcy courts are appallingly poor economic air traffic cops.  The airlines need to behave rationally with as little government activity as possible.

An airline that cut costs by eliminating these inefficiencies (and absurdities) may survive long enough to achieve profitability.  That best serves the public interest.  There are still the problems of unfunded pension plans and inadequate health care, but that is for another flight.