Thursday, March 29, 2012

Airline crews going bonkers in flight – what’s up with that? Here are a couple of paranoid theories.

By now you’ve most assuredly read or heard that the pilot of a JetBlue aircraft went nuts enroute from New York to Las Vegas, had to be restrained by the passengers and other crew, and is now in Texas facing Federal charges for interfering with the crew, which presumably included himself.

Amusing, save that

A) the charge in effect says he was interfering with himself, among others, a felony that can result in a long prison sentence, and that

B) had things not  been handled as well as they were by the co-pilot, crew and passengers, we could be reading about a crashed Airbus and a lot of dead passengers.

But before we rush to throw the captain in the clink, let’s remember that he had an umblemished 12-year record with Jet Blue. And that pilots as a class have a deserved reputation for calm under situations of extreme stress. Sully Sullenberger isn’t the only one of his kind:

Uh, this is your captain speaking. Looks as if our landing gear somehow fell off sometime during flight. No need to get upset about this. We’re simply going detour a bit and fly over a big old glacier in Alaska and put ‘er down like a giant toboggan. Since we may be slipping and sliding on the ice for a while, I do strongly recommend you put your head between your knees, cover it with your arms, and  fasten your seat belts. I'll be having another chat with you folks just as soon as we put this big bird down and bring her to a stop.

So how does an airline captain suddenly go bonkers? It almost certainly wasn’t a case of his consciously making a decision to be a bad boy. One theory floated is that he forgot to take his meds – except that there’s no record that I’ve seen of his ever having been on meds.

Then, eerily, there was the American Airlines hostess who went similarly bonkers in flight earlier the same month. Go here, to listen to her swimming so far past the deep end that you might be tempted to throw her a pair of water wings. She, was reported to have said she was off her meds. But she also raved about the aircraft crashing – mid-flight scripting and behavior not terribly different from the JetBlue pilot’s. So declarations about not being medicated might have been nothing more than another example of irrational raving that had nothing to do with reality.

And all this highly unusual behavior in the course of one month.

Of course, it could be coincidental. But let me stroke your paranoia gland for just a bit here. Is the similarity just a coincidence or….

• Did the CIA or some other American governmental entity slip both crew members some weird kind of psychedelic? Remember, unaware Americans were poisoned with LSD once as part of a CIA experiment that made them  "unwitting subjects in social situations."   Is it possible we have a new generation of mad government scientists (or private entrepreneuers like the former Blackwater Group, which changed its name from Blackwater to Xe, an then from XE to Academi) playing cloak-and-dagger games?

• Is it possible that the hostess and the pilot are both victims of an Iranian or Al Queda poison-the-crew operation, designed to bring down airplanes without smuggling anything onto planes? And if so, will they keep trying until they succeed? 

I don’t know which paranoid thought is scarier, but when there are no previous events in recent memory of airline crew dropping their marbles all over the airplane, and then two occur in the same month, I would caution you to be afraid, be very afraid.

Most especially be very afraid if the airline pilot is sequestered, with no exposure to the public during which he can tell his own story – and instead we’re simply told informed he is in an instution somewhere.

Yeah, probably along with that American Airline hostess. What did become of her after a month, by the way?

Only asking. 


Anonymous said...

A law suit by the a air crew union found that new planes can save fuel By cutting back on new air pumped in. The back of the plane where the cheap seats are, had dangerously high co2. The less fuel a pilot uses pumping new air the less likely he is to be fired. Consumer reports magazine did the own tests and backed the air crews. But that was then.

Cirze said...

I'm with you, P.

The CIA is getting us ready for something super nice in the un-friendly skies.

And no American citizens would be "imprisoned" in facilities and unable to communicate their concerns otherwise.

Looks like another 9/ll type event soon.

And you can't say that they haven't done everything possible to ensure that people throughout the middle east and Asia aren't mad enough at US to get the blame.


As the Grateful Dead said, we need to "learn to duck."