Thursday, December 02, 2010

Apparently, God Wasn't Their Co-Pilot

It's the old story: Pilot gets up to use bathroom. Co-pilot tries to adjust seat. Co-pilot accidentally sends plane into a death plunge. Huffington Post has the story, as cribbed from a real news source:

An Air India Express co-pilot on a May 25th flight from Dubai to Pune, India nearly killed the plane's 113 passengers when he tried to move his seat and sent the plane into a 7,000 foot nose-dive, according to ABC News.
The unidentified pilot was trying to adjust his seat forward and pressed a control column forward which sent the plane into a 26-degree nose dive, according to India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
Naturally, the airplane's pilot was in the bathroom and couldn't get into the cockpit because the co-pilot "got in a panic situation." The pilot used a secret code to gain access and pulled the plane out of it's nose dive. Aviation authorities said that the plane would have broken apart if it had continued on that path.
Indian authorities said that the co-pilot, who was 25, had not been trained to handle this type of situation.
You'll note that the author used nose-dive in the first paragraph, and
nose dive in the other two mentions (as it happens, nosedive is also an acceptable variant). But the problem goes beyond a lack of internal consistency: Nose-dive is in fact the verb form, as in: "he sent the plane
nose-diving toward the earth."

Also, "it's nose dive" should be "its nose dive."

Also, I'd like to point out, in the co-pilot's defense, that this is yet another problem caused by tall people. I know because I have done something similar when driving the car after my (relatively) lanky wife has been using it. I try to adjust the seat forward while driving, apply brake, and find my sternum propelled into the steering wheel at just shy of air-bag deployment velocity.

So why am I not wearing a seatbelt to prevent this? Because I have a habit of not buckling up until I reach the end of the block when leaving home.

So why don't I learn from previous experience and adjust the seat when the car is stopped? Look, maybe you should stop asking so many questions and just click your little mouse over there and move along.