There has been all kinds of misinformation and bad reporting with this missing AirAsia plane, but I think we have a winner for the most incorrect press report thus far.
Hmm. Looks like a military helicopter to me. The fact that the press gets plane types wrong is something we Aviation Geeks are well used to, but I have never before seen them mistake a helicopter for a plane. This is a new level of wrong.
I have been nice and removed the name and twitter ID of this press person though others may not be so nice.
Some might see this post as a bit petty. While it could certainly be interpreted that way, I want to make the reason I am posting it clear.
When reporting anything, the press should TRY at least to get the things they say correct. When they cannot get something as simple as a helicopter VS a plane right, how can anyone trust the other words they say?
It will take time to find out what has actually happened here. In the meantime, this is my advice to you –
Take any reports re what has happened to this flight as pure speculation. Was it weather, was it X, was it Y, was it Z? We have zero idea and anyone claiming otherwise you should treat with enormous suspicion. The only fact we know presently is that the plane lost contact with Air Traffic Control (ATC) and was no longer to be found on radar.
Ignore reports of the plane being denied to climb to a higher altitude. If the pilot had a reason to climb and he communicated to ATC that it was necessary and urgent, the request would have been allowed even if other traffic had to be re-routed as a result. I have listened to ATC scanners for years. Planes often make requests to ATC that are declined for a multitude of reasons. ATC have a job to do. If an emergency is declared their job is to assist the pilot to get safely on the ground. If an emergency is not declared, then their job is to manage the airspace. A request from a pilot to fly at a certain altitude or track is simply that – a request.
Ignore reports of “wreckage” found until you actually see it with your own eyes. We’ve been here and done this before with MH370. So much “wreckage” was found and none of it turned out to be related to MH370.
If you are looking for actual info, my advice is to forget the general media. They are clueless when it comes to aviation. You can try these sources –
There is a good article from Australian Aviation here if you are unfamiliar with the story thus far – Indonesia AirAsia A320 missing 24 hours (last updated 1040am AEDST)
The PPrune Thread
Aviation Journalist John Walton on Twitter. John often links to some other reliable sources as well, and if you have any questions he will try to answer them.
Aviation is difficult at the best of times. When you are taking people up into the air, a place we were never designed to go, there are always risks – as there are risks in anything that we do in life. Things can and do go wrong, people are lost, and that is utterly heartbreaking for their friends and family.
I cannot imagine how the families of MH370 must feel, so many months have passed and still that plane has not been found. I hope for a different outcome with QZ8501. Of course my present hope is that the plane landed somewhere and everyone is ok. The more time that passes, the less likely that hoped for outcome seems. :(
When things do go wrong in aviation, it would be wonderful if the media could report actual facts rather than hours upon hours of endless speculation, just because they have air time to fill.
I have written about air safety previously – Plane Safety – a must read for all – What Not To Wear In The Event Of A Plane Crash.