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RCP0909_008-017_Hangar Talk 10/18/09 7:18 PM Page 10
August In New York, A Sad Summer’s Day
From Matt Zuccaro, HAI and
As you know, a terrible tragedy took you showing the link to my consulting ommended a stop to all aircraft opera-
place in August over New York City. On company Web page on the screen?” Many tions. Special hearings were subsequently
a sunny summer day, a helicopter and unhesitatingly stated the accident cause, convened by the NYC Council Trans-
small airplane collided over the Hudson and action that should be taken; interest- portation Subcommittee, the U.S. Senate,
River, resulting in nine fatalities, a tragic ing that such statements were made ab- and the U.S. House of Representatives ˜,
event and terrible loss indeed. As to ex- sent any facts, with rescue personnel still at which I testified.
actly what caused the accident, I will in the water. I think serious consideration My frustration is; the lack of facts, his-
leave that to the experts at the NTSB. should be given to changing the name of tory, and logic displayed by the news me-
Immediately following the event, head- these individuals, from “Talking Heads” dia, elected officials, the public, and
lines emerged declaring, “tragedy in Wild to a more fitting name, which better re- unfortunately our own industry. I think
West airspace, cowboy pilots out of con- flects the part of the anatomy I think they this complete overreaction to aircraft ac-
trol.” Next there came the “talking heads, are actually talking from. cidents occurs because such events are so
experts who suddenly appear on television Although other industry representatives rare, and people are surprised when they
and radio, expressing their wisdom but and I provided comment, it apparently do occur. Imagine if everyone reacted this
with such caveats as, “Although I have was not what the press, public, and elected way to vehicular accidents. All roads
never flown helicopters or airplanes.” officials wanted to hear. Not surprising, a would be shut down, and all vehicle oper-
“Even though I have not flown in com- press conference was called by elected of- ations prohibited.
plex airspace, certainly not NYC.” One ficials along the river with rescue work- Case in point; about the same time as
individual, seeking his 15 minutes of tele- ers in the water behind them. They offered this aviation accident, a mother driving
vision fame, stopped his statement and a cause of the accident, spoke of their per- under the influence of alcohol just north
asked the news anchor, “By the way, are ceived dangers of the airspace, and rec- of Manhattan, in the wrong direction,
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