Friday, 13 February 2009

Are these simple 'coincidences'?

The last few months have been interesting in the world of aviation. It is only February and two planes have come a cropper in New York state. The first one, you will remember, was the flight that hit a flock of geese and lost both engines. Only the absolute professionalism of the pilot and, by common consensus, a little bit of luck saved those people that day, the pilot executing a perfect ditch into the Hudson River. Jolly bad luck that one plane should lose both engines to a bird strike when when the chances are slim at best that you will lose one to a bird strike. Many airline pilots go through their whole career never hitting anything! You could call that unlucky and weird.

Only a few weeks later, as I turned on the TV this morning, a plane has crashed into a house in Buffalo, which incidentally is in New York, as is the Hudson and the WTC, and forty nine people are reported dead including the occupants of the house. Jolly bad luck that, a plane getting into trouble and crashing in New York. Or is it?

If you examine all the aviation related accidents in America and compare them to New York in the last decade, the Big Apple seems to be quite disproportionately represented. The WTC was an act of terrorism (by whom is debatable) but what is to say that these more recent 'accidents' were not planned? A double bird strike taking out both of an aircraft's engines? Statistically improbable but OK. Now a plane has trouble and crashes into a house, Statistically improbable but OK. Both can be accepted in isolation. Those events happening within miles of each other and within weeks of each other? I don't think so. When you consider that they both happen in a city that has a psychological scar from a devastating airborne attack, you have to consider that these things are not accidents and there is something occurring that they don't want us to know.

Another 'coincidence' is the story of two satellites colliding over Siberia. Wow who'da thunk it? You could let this pass if they didn't make such an issue about it but with all the reports on TV I have picked up on a few 'inconsistencies' and made a hypothesis of my own.

Firstly these were low-orbit satellites of little importance. One chap on the TV said that the important communications satellites are in geosynchronous orbit much higher up, about 4600Km from Earth and these low orbit satellites are just for weather and 'observation', important word that. Apparently there are lots of low orbit satellites just bombing around the earth uncontrolled and it's blind luck they haven't had a collision before. Really? They just hoof around willy-nilly and you take whatever data they grab at random? You mean you cannot direct a satellite to a specific location to perform a specific task? I'm pretty sure we have always been told you can. There is the first little doubt.

The second doubt is that these low orbit satellites are for 'observation'. So what exactly were they observing in Siberia? A place where Russia carried out much of it's military strategies because the place is virtually impenetrable by a mobile armoured force. Men cannot carry their equipment or think logically in -40c blizzards. Petrol and diesel freeze in those temperatures too. There is no natural cover to hide in or spy from. For nuclear installations and research labs it is ideal. You cant get so much as a camera within 100 miles, perfect anti-espionage terrain. Unfortunately in this day and age you can send a satellite with thermal imaging equipment and ultra-powerful cameras to look into these places. Even google can photograph your house from space, I dare say the Americans and Russians have similar abilities. Call me paranoid but I'm much more inclined to believe that an American satellite was looking at something it shouldn't and the Russians slapped it out of the skies. Either by crashing a 'weather' satellite into it or a good old fashioned rocket. This story was concocted in case some amateur astronomer saw the explosion.

Another lie I picked up on was the excuse for how much space debris there is floating about in low earth orbit. Apparently, the amount of CO2 in the stratosphere has cooled the air and the debris cannot fall to earth because it 'bounces' of the cold CO2. I don't know how stupid we are supposed to be but does CO2 not WARM the planet? Is that not why we recycle and turn off lights and reduce our 'carbon footprint'? Or do they just say whatever they want and hope we swallow it? Also, things do not burn up in the atmosphere because of the gasses in the outer layer or because of Ozone. They burn up because gravity gets a hold of them and pulls them towards Earth. Falling from that height causes a lot of friction, that causes a lot of heat. Every day there are bits of space debris falling to earth, they don't get within a few miles because the heat caused by friction disintegrates it. That's why space shuttles glow red on re-entry. That's why re-entry is an exact science that can very easily go wrong. If the atmosphere was that cold they would just plow into the atmosphere and charge towards terra firma, instead of controlling the speed of descent to stop the shuttle breaking into a million pieces because of friction and heat.

That gives lie to another statement about the satellites. That they just buzz around uncontrolled. They actually have a very complex system of 'thrusters' to stop them falling to earth. The way they stay up is that they are in the gravitational pull of the planet and they use occasional bursts from a rocket to counter the force. That is how orbit works. When the fuel runs out they can no longer maintain force against gravity and they go into 'decaying orbit' which basically means they fall and burn up. Is it not logical to assume those thrusters can be used to send a satellite to wherever you want? Or that you could make an old, almost useless satellite smash one you objected too? Seems pretty straightforward to me.

Lastly, on our own soil, or should I say in our own airspace, two planes collide in Wales, killing two cadets and their instructors. Two planes without flight recorders over a piece of country where the last thing people would be looking at is the sky. Why planes that are used to train cadets do not have flight recorders is a mystery to me I thought all planes from the smallest Cessna to the biggest Jumbo had flight recorders. I would have thought a flight recorder would be an invaluable training aid to show the cadets how smooth fluid movement of the controls gave better results than jerky sudden movements. They use this technology to teach racing drivers I'm fairly confident aviation would be ahead of them in the technology stakes. Maybe I'm a bit cynical but the dropping oil prices should be bringing down travel costs. A few 'safety issues' would be a good excuse to keep fares high in the name of 'safety' and 'security'.

Think on. Accidents are supposed to be rare!!

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