A Theory About Air France 447 and a TSA Dance Off

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I’m sick of the pets dying and the abuse of the ESA rules stories. Pets don’t belong in the cargo hold if they can’t be safe in the process, but pets also can’t take priority over paying passengers based on their fake ESA titles/documents. There needs to be a compromise. Place pets at the back of the cabin with a partition (like a smoking, non-smoking section of an establishments). Tighten rules on ESAs. Ask passengers to declare their allergies in their reservations. I don’t know, but this is all ridiculous.

  2. Gary, the story link on AF 447 only tells part of the story, what happened after the junior flight crew was already deep in trouble. The primary causes were:
    1) Defective pitot tubes that hadn’t been replaced under recall and
    2) An unusual weather condition known as super-chilled water which froze the pitot tubes.

    Here is a video that shows the science behind super-chilled water:

    When the pitot tubes froze, the auto-pilot began to shutdown and the junior air crew were faced with a parade of error messages that appeared faster than they could read them. On top of that, the Captain was in the crew rest area and the junior crew flying the plane failed to immediately call the Captain back to the flight deck. Now the story of the dueling joysticks comes into play.

    The problem with commercial flying today is that pilots are becoming too dependent on automated systems and less on actually flying the airplane old school. One of the recommendations from the investigation is that pilots need more training in high-speed stall recovery.

  3. Super interesting and informative post on the AF447, Always discuss similar points with my friends and I agree 100% on the Boeing advantage on many of the exposed points.

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