Friday, August 25, 2006


This is your pilot speaking

One story bouncing around the web but not getting too much attention yet in the press is that airline crew are subject to crazy pre-flight screening just like passengers.

See if these two reported incidents make you think that someone ought to stop this madness.

Danny Schechter's News Dissector blog reports today that airline pilots are restricted as to what they can take on board, just as we passengers are:
"Meanwhile, across the pond, airline officials and pilots are fed up with security measures and delays. RyanAir CEO Michael O'Leary said last week that measures such as banning shampoo and lipstick in carry-on bags are "farcical, Keystone Cops-like and completely insane and ineffectual.... We are not in danger of dying at the hands of toiletries." He said he would sue the government if security is not restored to normal levels within a week. His airline lost about £2 million during the latest security crisis. Pilots also have been banned from taking contact-lens solution into the cockpit, The Mirror reported. "There is no logic at all in this," said Capt Mervyn Granshaw.

Another pilot told the Sunday Herald it was ironic that his glasses were taken away for security reasons. "While my glasses were deemed potentially deadly dangerous items, I once again took my seat at the controls of 185,000 kilos of aeroplane, people and fuel and managed to restrain myself from taking the crash axe to all and sundry prior to rolling, inverted and diving, into the Channel," he said. Another pilot said: "It's high time BALPA [the British pilot's union] and our representatives exposed these shameful rules for what they are -- some half -witted mandarins making up petty and useless rules to justify their existence, with equally inept and stupid people interpreting the rules."
I know that my eyes often get dry on an airplane flight, so I carry contact lens fluids so I can re-wet the lenses when necessary. Imagine that your pilot's eyes are itchy and red, and he's in charge of getting you to your destination safely.

It's nuts not to let pilots carry their contact lens solutions.

And the second one takes the cake -- a pilot can't take his glasses on an airplane? Again, this person is supposed to get us home safely, but they won't let him take his glasses on board??

This is so crazy that it had better stop.

Airlines are paying a premium for fuel due to this administration's antics in the mid-East and transfer of political power to oil and energy companies (remember that secret meeting with Cheney). The security measures, some of which probably make us more secure but most basically just keep us in a state of fear, are sure to discourage people from flying.

You'd think that airline executives would be great supporters of the impeachment movement.


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