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Re: unpronouncable volcano

Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 5:15 am
by Kasuha
mrgumby wrote:Look at the air safety record in countries where the regulations are less stringent.
I don't see anything special in US air safety records.

Regulations and laws are useful to some extent. After that they start to be limiting without any measurable positive effect added. Recently I can see Europe getting largely over-regulated.

Re: unpronouncable volcano

Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 6:53 am
by mrgumby
Kasuha wrote:
mrgumby wrote:Look at the air safety record in countries where the regulations are less stringent.
I don't see anything special in US air safety records.
Try South America

Re: unpronouncable volcano

Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:51 am
by Kasuha
mrgumby wrote:
Kasuha wrote:
mrgumby wrote:Look at the air safety record in countries where the regulations are less stringent.
I don't see anything special in US air safety records.
Try South America
Saying "we're not worst" is not the same as saying "we're best". It doesn't even work as "we're good".

Edit: by the way, the ban was lifted. Not because there is less ash in the air. Another proof that I was right - flight was banned not because it was dangerous but because "there was no proof it is not dangerous". Anyone sees some similarity to reasons under which certain people were (and still are) trying to stop LHC?

Re: unpronouncable volcano

Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 3:56 pm
by March_Hare
I agree with Orion on both counts.

Also - I understand that the ban was lifted because...
- Test flights showed that planes can fly at certain altitudes without any damage to the engines
- The bans were originally based on a computer model without any hard data to back the claims of the model up. For unknown reasons the confidence in the computer model was so high that it took a while (= days) before someone got the bright idea to test if the predictions about ash concentrations were even true (and apparently the model was a little off).

Disclaimer - that's based on what was reported in the news today morning. I haven't had a chance to read up on stuff so there may have been further developments in the meantime.

Re: unpronouncable volcano

Posted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 7:44 pm
by Kasuha
March_Hare wrote:For unknown reasons the confidence in the computer model was so high that it took a while (= days) before someone got the bright idea to test if the predictions about ash concentrations were even true (and apparently the model was a little off).
Yes I agree this was the problem. And because someone was a bit overconfident in his model without bothering to verify it against reality, real people were losing their real money and their real lives for five days. And I bet nobody's going to take the responsibility for that.

What happened now is, that the decision where to fly and where not to fly is left up to these so called greedy companies - which surprisingly have no problems agreeing on zones where no or reduced flights are allowed, but this time based on real measured data, not someone's wild decision. Because while being greedy they pretty much realize that it'd be them losing money in the first place if their planes crashed. I think this is what should have been done the first day, not the fifth day.

There's too many things already where people don't do, do, or demand others to do something based just on models which are either not verified against reality or even already proven wrong except in special cases (while applied out of these cases).
Motion to stop LHC is perfectly this case.
Global hysteria around global warming is another example.

Re: unpronouncable volcano

Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 2:13 am
by mrgumby
Kasuha wrote:real people were losing their real money and their real lives for five days.
The decision to suspend flights was made using the best knowledge available. As better knowledge became available (after studying the ash cloud) different decisions were made.
This is the way things are done in a responsible society. To act in any other way would have been irresponsible.

Yes...money was lost...better that than risk a plane load of people dead.

I don't know where you get the bit about people losing their lives?

Are you proposing that the authorities should not take action until AFTER a plane crash?

There may well be too many beurocratic rules around (spelling is deliberate) but this is not an example of them.

Next time there is an ash cloud, we will have more knowledge and will take different decisions... but still decisions that err on the side of caution.

Re: unpronouncable volcano

Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:08 am
by Kasuha
mrgumby wrote:The decision to suspend flights was made using the best knowledge available.
This is what I have serious doubts about.
mrgumby wrote:I don't know where you get the bit about people losing their lives?
People who couldn't fly used cars to travel and died in car accidents which would not happen if they could fly.

What I am proposing is:
instead of just banning all flight and then sitting on their asses for five days they should have go and measure what ash concentrations are where and based on that decide where it is safe to fly and where it's not. That's what they are doing now but that's what took them five days to start doing.

I live in central Europe, fairly close to our country's main airport. I see no volcano ashes in the sky, no clouds, no smells, nothing. What I see is perfectly clear sky. It's been the same all the time, if I didn't read a volcano erupted I would never guess anything happened.

I can't tell there are no ashes in the air. Maybe there is slightly increased amount of dust particles, something measurable but not visible with naked eye. But what I can tell is that whole Europe including Italy and Spain was grounded for five days, then in just one day they moved the boundary by several thousands of kilometers. It screams incompetency in decisions to me and that's what I am complaining about.

There's no way I'd ask for planes to fly through volcano ash clouds. All I'm asking about is to leave it up to experts.

Re: unpronouncable volcano

Posted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 9:03 am
by Mailo
You assume there is a research institute around that keeps a plane on "scan air for ash particles" standby mode.
There was a measurement flight two days ago. It took them 5 days working day and night to set up the plane for the measurement.

Just because you cannot smell or see anything at ground level does not mean there isn't anything up at 10km. By the way, my parents reported much reduced visibility (also central europe), yet humidity was rather low (so it wasn't water vapor reducing it).

Also, all these test flights done by airlines don't really mean that it is safe to fly. How many test flights were there? 10? 100? It still is possible that only one flight in 1000 will encounter ash. Which means roughly 20 crashes a day if all restrictions are lifted.

Put yourself in the shoes of the guys making the decision. Do you really think the public will say "Oh, it's all right, we pressured them into releasing flights too early" if something does happen? No, every paper and airline spokesperson will instantly switch from "fry them because they forbid flights" to "fry them because they didn't forbid flights" mode. I can't blame them for being too cautious, I'd do the same thing.

Re: unpronouncable volcano

Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:22 am
by mrgumby
Well said Mailo.... :thumbup:

Re: unpronouncable volcano

Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:10 am
by Kasuha
It'd be even better if it was true.
I highly doubt IATA would file official protest if everything was being done correctly.

Nevermind, situation reasonable now so I think the only thing we can do is to wait for aftermath.

Re: unpronouncable volcano

Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:20 am
by mrgumby
IATA has filed an official protest as the first step in a process designed to get the Govt (taxpayers) to compensate airlines for their losses.

Law suits are not decided by who is right or wrong, they are decided by who has the best lawyers.

It will drag on for years, cost the taxpayers millions, and in the end it will only benefit the lawyers.

Whoopee...

Re: unpronouncable volcano

Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:14 pm
by March_Hare
mrgumby wrote:It will drag on for years, cost the taxpayers millions, and in the end it will only benefit the lawyers.
Whoopee...
Yes... and unfortunately I'm not a lawyer so I guess I'll end up as the other taxpayers...

... paying
:angry-cussingblack:

Re: unpronouncable volcano

Posted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:45 pm
by Kasuha
Considering that these "evil companies" are the ones making the value represented by money we get and from which we pay taxes which the government is so carelessly spending, part of them would at least get back to where they belong.

But I don't see any lawsuit coming.

Re: unpronouncable volcano

Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 2:34 am
by mrgumby
No-one except you called them "evil companies". The airlines are doing what all companies must do...maximise profits. This is fine. This is how the world works. No-one is complaining about that.
What most people are saying, is that airlines have different priorities than governments.
Governments are supposed to look after the people. Airlines are supposed to make money.

lets leave it like that.

Re: unpronouncable volcano

Posted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:28 am
by Kasuha
mrgumby wrote:No-one except you called them "evil companies". The airlines are doing what all companies must do...maximise profits. This is fine. This is how the world works. No-one is complaining about that.
What most people are saying, is that airlines have different priorities than governments.
Governments are supposed to look after the people. Airlines are supposed to make money.
If we talk about what who is supposed to do, then:
companies are supposed to do work, provide employment and services for people
government is supposed to take care everything is working smoothly

I have no problems with that. My problem is in what they really do. There sure are problems on both sides but as far as I can see it's the government who fails on larger scale.