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May 16, 2005

The other side of the TINS

But not yet. First, my contribution to the Festival of the Links. Yesterday, John mentioned Dave Chappelle's views on the remoras who attach themselves to the Hollywood glitterati. Here's the Huntress' considerably more animated expansion on the theme.

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I've had one or two [*whap*] *ow! okay--"a lot of"* unplanned excursions into the realm of Aviation Emergencies. And, just to prove the major players in the MSM aren't the only ones spinning otherwise factual stories into "events that never were"--from the Big Bag o' Trons comes:

CW4 William S. Tuttle
Trenton-Mercer Airport
West Trenton, NJ 08628-1302

Mr. H.L. Schwartz III
The Trentonian
600 Perry Street
Trenton, NJ 08602

Dear sir;

Reference the above item [note: refers to a newspaper clipping pasted to the original letter. Didn't take here, cuz the paste won't stick to the monitor, for some reason...] which appeared on page 3 of May 13th’s Trentonian--there are four factual errors in a filler only four sentences long, which may cause you--as Editor-- some consternation.

First, the pilot never stated that he “might have to crash land;” he said he would have to make a “running landing,” which is the prescribed emergency procedure for a hydraulic failure in this particular helicopter.

Second, “10 tense minutes” did not elapse; the aircraft was on the runway three minutes after the pilot’s initial call to the control tower.

Third, the pilot never called the tower and said that “the problem suddenly corrected itself.” The second radio transmission between the pilot and the controller took place after the aircraft landed; the controller asked the pilot if he would be shutting down on the runway, and the pilot answered, “Yes--there’s a ground crew coming over to tow it off.”

Fourth, the problem never “corrected itself;” if it had, the running landing would have been unnecessary.

Still, it was an improvement over your coverage of a similar incident which occurred last year, in which the pilot was reported to have crashed the aircraft into the runway--resulting, astoundingly enough, in no damage to either pilot or helicopter.

If your staff writers ever evince curiosity about the difference between an
“emergency landing” and a “crash landing,” feel free to call me--I was the helicopter pilot in both incidents.

Chief Warrant Officer Four
New Jersey Army National Guard
(phone number deleted as obsolete. billt)

Nope. They didn't call...heh.