Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Helios and Boomr
The main reason that no one compromises in politics these days is party “loyalty.” A small number of oligarchists within each party creates a “platform” upon which all party members must stand. Platform. Another architectural metaphor for the misguided politics of the here-and-now. Either you stand on the platform, or you’re kicked off to fall through the political air, only to suffer deceleration trauma upon landing in a campaign without party money to support you....I believe that this is true.
Only incredibly entrenched politicians (say, John McCain) can get away with issue-specific party “disloyalty” – and most of them catch heat from their own party stalwarts anyway. So, center-right Republicans and center-left Democrats are precluded from agreeing with each other in public, even though they agree with each other in their consciences on all but a miniscule number of issues.
Also, the Helios plane crash becomes both more and less mysterious. The man who claimed he received a text message from his cousin has been arrested. He has admitted that no cousin of his was on the plane and that he made it up to get on television. So one discrepancy is solved.
But with new reports that one pilot, a flight attendant and various passengers were alive when the plane crashed, the mystery grows. IndiaDaily reports that a flight attendant was found in the cockpit wreckage. The coroners are continuing their investigation. The jets reported that they saw oxygen masks dangling in the cabin, but severe decompression should have killed them all because they were at high altitude for a long time. The oxygen isn't set up to last forever.
Perhaps a fire or fume event began the sequence of disaster; there had been an earlier unofficial account on PPRuNe that at least one of the Helios aircraft was having an oil fume problem in the cockpit and that climate control had been turned off in an earlier flight to deal with it. One account on PPRuNe was that a nitrogen cylinder instead of an oxygen cylinder was found for the flight deck system. This would explain some things but it is totally unconfirmed and there are plenty of rumors circulating.
Yeah, pretty creepy when the kind of death in air thing happens and jets just fly on their own for a while. Depressing...