Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: In the bad news today . . .

  1. #1

    In the bad news today . . .

    There are an average of 17,000 car crashes a day in the USA - but 2 airplanes accidents in 2 weeks and they "investigate"


    Two tragic plane crashes in two weeks have exposed a booming interest in home-built aircraft - a phenomenon the FAA says has tripled in popularity since the 1980s.

    Four people died when a single-engine aircraft crashed off the coast of Half Moon Bay in California on January 14. Among them was a 27-year-old 'experimental plane enthusiast' who piloted the four-seater homebuilt aircraft he'd bought for $100,000 from a retired dentist last year.
    A week later another single-engine two-seater homebuilt plane plowed into a car at a busy intersection 60 miles away in Concord, killing its pilot and injuring the car's driver. Both accidents are being investigated and have renewed scrutiny on a burgeoning subculture.
    There are more than 33,000 home-built planes licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration - a number that has tripled since the 1980s - and over 100,000 people are interested in the hobby, so DailyMail.com spoke to homebuilding experts to find out how safe home-built aircraft really is.



    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...alifornia.html

    kudos to Ron Wanttaja for keeping it real.
    Last edited by cavelamb; 02-03-2024 at 05:24 PM.

  2. #2
    Auburntsts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    524
    Crap journalism akin to internet clickbait. They compare the accident rate of homebuilts to commercial aviation. Yes it is higher and is the highest segment in GA which even without the E-AB numbers is also way higher than commercial aviation. But that’s not anything we don’t know. GA as a whole has fatal accidents all the time. Case in point, day before yesterday we had a V35 Bonanza go down here in FL that killed 3 (the pilot and 2 on the ground).
    Todd “I drink and know things” Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying
    EAA Lifetime Member
    WAR DAMN EAGLE!

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,342
    The UK's Daily Mail is one of the "yellow journalism" (look it up) rags. Not to be taken seriously.

    Best of luck,

    Wes

  4. #4
    Aviatrexx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    30
    Obviously, this "journalist" was paid by the word. I don't think I've read a less accurate article on any subject in which i have expertise. This lengthy, repetitive, ill- and mis-informed piece of word-salad is obviously designed to generate clicks. Which, sadly, we have now boosted. Thanks, Ron, for trying to inject some facts and expertise into this dog's-lunch of an article. Remember when publishers had people called "editors"?

    Want to take any bets on how much of it was generated by ChatGPT?
    -Chip-
    1959 Cessna 172A
    2016 Mosquito XE285

  5. #5
    rwanttaja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    2,947
    Let me put some of my thoughts out, here....

    First off, I think the editors of the Daily Mail had a headline in mind ("...how safe is this high-flying hobby!"), and then got one of their writers to do the story. If you read the text of the story, the message there is quite a bit different. As has been mentioned, the Daily Mail leans towards sensationalism and clickbait. This is one of the British tabloid publications that pushed stories about Princess Diana, for instance.

    For the story itself, the Mail tapped Alex Hammer, who is based in New York. I hadn't met Mr. Hammer, nor (knowingly) read any of his previous work. He posted to a Facebook homebuilding group that he was working on an article about homebuilt safety and was looking for information.

    I sent him a PM offering to help, and he sent me nine questions about homebuilts, homebuilt safety, and homebuilt popularity.

    These were not "Are you still beating your wife" sort of questions. For example, he did not ask, "Why is homebuilt safety so bad"; he asked merely how the homebuilt safety rate compared to those of production aircraft. These were very professionally worded, neutral in tone, and not leading questions.

    Now, there was one issue here: He had a tight deadline. We got in contact on a Thursday, and the article was to come out that weekend!

    On Friday morning, I replied with an email about 1700 words long. I did not sugar-coat things, I did not try to minimize the difference in our accident rate vs. those of the production world. I *did* provide mitigating factors, such as the higher accident rate involved with non-traditional engines. Even there, I tried to work in mitigation...one of his questions involved the affordability of homebuilt aviation, and I pointed out that we could trade a (slightly) higher risk of an engine failure for a much lower-cost project. And even there, we could minimize the risk through the use of standard practices, etc.

    I included the email address and phone number of Dick Knapinski, EAA's Director of Communications, with the hope he'd contact EAA and get their take on it. Didn't see any such contact mentioned in the article, but that might have been due to the tight deadline.

    It's certainly true that the article mostly consists of quotes from me and the other persons the author contacted. This is acceptable...he may or may not believe what we said, but he can quote us and not imply he held the same opinions. There are errors in the article (especially in the photo captions), but that sort of thing happens. I'm happy enough with it. I believe most of the sensationalism came from the editors of the Daily Mail, not the author of the article. There's a TON of information in the article minimizing the sensationalism.

    One thing I will comment on: When the author posted to Facebook looking for input, a lot of folks instantly attacked him as planning a "hit job" and telling us we shouldn't help the guy.

    I don't agree with that (obviously!). There are two scenarios here:

    The first is that the person is an honest journalist, and is seriously looking at both sides of the story. I think this is the case with the vast number of journalists out there*; few of them are specialists on a particular topic, and are looking for people who can provide the accurate information they need.

    * I of course exclude journalists associated with [XXX] (insert name of least-favorite news service here).

    The other type is just looking for ammunition for a hack job. They'll ignore what you tell them or distort it to produce whatever messages they want. See the asterisked comment above.

    Best bet is that these are serious journalists honestly trying to gather information about a story. They aren't experts in the field. They're going to make mistakes. Yes, we complain when they make fundamental errors in aviation stories, but you hear that from ANY other field. Lawyers complain about errors in articles about legal matters, doctors complain about errors in medical articles.

    It's gonna happen...but if you're working with the journalist, you have the opportunity to provide the right information. If you DON'T help them...where are they going to get the information they need? From the ***hole at the airport who hates homebuilts? Or just echo their own beliefs and prejudices?

    TRY TO HELP THESE FOLKS. The positive news about homebuilding is not going to get out unless we provide the facts.

    Ron Wanttaja

  6. #6
    Dana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    921
    "If it bleeds, it leads."

    Actually the article was surprisingly reasonable (credit to Ron, of course), considering that the Daily Mail is a sensationalistic tabloid rag. That said, it's somewhat right leaning; consider how it would have read in some of the left leaning outlets out there.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Posts
    49
    I did. It showed a photo of an ancient Trade-A-Plane.


    BJC

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,342
    I have a relative who was a TV reporter for a while. I can confirm that most reporters know nothing about the topics that they get assigned. That said, for the aviation world, I can report that my friend Pete Muntean competes in IAC aerobatics in a Decathlon and professionally has worked his way up to being the transportation reporter for CNN. I am sure that Pete would be a great resource for any other reporter looking for info on aviation. pmuntean is at gmail.com

    Best of luck,

    Wes

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •