There's something interesting going on, not just in the unfolding accounts of how and why Air France Flight 447 and Yemenia Flight 626 ended, but in the way the accounts are presented. Air France Flight 447 apparently hit the ocean intact, according to an early report.
"... "The plane went straight down ... towards the surface of the water, very very fast," air accident investigator Alain Bouillard said.Yemenia Flight 626 crashed more recently, and there haven't, as far as I can tell, been any official statements, preliminary or otherwise, about what's known. Weather Graphics has a pretty good summary of what's known, what's assumed, and what's speculated: together with a rather detailed analysis of weather conditions in the area at the time of the crash.
"Based on visual study of the physical remains of the Airbus A330 that have been recovered, "we were able to see that the plane hit the surface of the water flat. Therefore everything was pushed upwards -- everthing [!] was pushed from the bottom to the top" of the plane, he said.
"The 228 people killed in the crash 'had no time to prepare,' he said.
"But Bouillard said he did not have autopsy results from the bodies recovered, and did not know why no one lived through the crash.
" 'I don't know why nobody survived,' he said. 'I don't know the intensity of the impact. Perhaps we will find out from the autopsies. Perhaps we will never know.'..." (CNN)
What may become a rather lively discussion over who's to blame for what is developing:
"French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has refuted Comoran Vice-President Idi Nadhoim's claims that France had failed to inform Comoros of a ban on the Yemenia Airbus A310 which crashed off the Indian Ocean archipelago on Tuesday.
"French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner responded Wednesday to criticisms levelled by the Comoran vice-president and transport minister, Idi Nadhoim, that Paris had failed to inform Comoros on the record of the Yemenia Airbus A310 that crashed Tuesday.
"The plane was banned from flying to our country, everybody knew it,' said Kouchner during a visit to Senegal. 'Everybody knew it in the Comoros, everybody.'..." (France 24)
Technology of the late Industrial Age, coupled with a lucrative trade in petroleum, brought people in cultures which had been out of the loop for centuries - or millennia - into contact with the outside world.
Then the dawn of the Information Age brought Barbies, Mickey Mouse, and bikinis into the homes of people whose customs were ancient when Abraham moved out of Ur.
I remember the shock and disgust expressed by parents and religious leaders, when rock and roll was new in American culture: and that was a reaction to something which was developing in their own culture.
In a way, it's no wonder that some people in the Middle East have gone a little crazy. Fast-forwarding through several thousand years of change could be a bit stressful.
France and Comoros: He Said / She SaidThere's nothing unusual, I think, about the dialog starting between France and Comoros, over who dropped the ball on maintenance. We saw something like that happen in America a few months ago, when the Peanut Corporation of America made the mistake of poisoning its end users. (Apathetic Lemming of the North) It's human nature to deny fault, even when the prudent course of action would be to make a full disclosure and make the best of a bad situation. My view.
"Dustbin" Airline: Prejudice or Inclusion?What jumped out at me this morning was euronews' use of " 'dustbin' airline" in their headline.
What struck me a as a rather harsh pejorative term could indicate quite a few things, including:
- A rather traditional view of foreigners and other 'inferior races'
- Inclusion and acceptance of non-Europeans to the point where editors felt comfortable insulting their institutions
This isn't a universal rule, by any means, but I think you may find it a bit familiar:
- Utter outsiders
- These people, and anything connected with them, may be insulted freely
- Capitalist pigs
- Strip mall developers
- Regular folks
- They should be treated with some degree of courtesy, since insulting them may hurt their feelings - and their feelings matter
- Members of your car pool, economic class, whatever
- Close friends and family
- These folks are so close to you, and you know each other so well, that it's safe to insult (some) of their possessions and qualities
I rather hope it's the latter. Western civilization has enough problems, without reviving attitudes that were wrong in the 19th and 20th centuries, and self-destructive in the 21st.
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- "Air France plane crashed intact - report"
CNN (July 2, 2009)
- "No second survivor from Yemenia crash: minister"
The Age (Australia) (July 2, 2009)
- "Comoros 'knew' about plane faults, says Kouchner"
France 24 (July 2, 2009)
- "Yemenia crash survivor returns home "
Al Jazeera (July 2, 2009)
- "EU demands assurances from Yemenia on air safety"
thestar online (July 2, 2009)
- "'Daddy, I couldn't see anything' – Yemenia Airbus crash survivor speaks"
guardian.co.uk (July 2, 2009)
- "Doomed Air France plane was not destroyed in flight"
Reuters (July 2, 2009)
- "EU halted Yemenia maintenance of European jets in Feb"
Retuers (June 30, 2009)
- "Anger at Yenin's 'dustbin' airline"
euronews (June 30, 2009)
- "Yemenia Flight 626: A detailed meteorological analysis"
Weather Graphics (Updated July 1, 2009)