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July 01, 2009



Now the Jomettes will start drooling.

Danube of Thought

Spectacular photo. Wow.




Forget Spiderman. this is a real hero.


But does he have the superior wisdom of a wise Latina?Remember this when you hear all that NOWhining-In the end we usually rely on men for the really hard stuff.

Now I return you to the regularly scheduled aren't men awful/stupid/unfair programming.


How long before a photo of the vertical stabilizer from that A310, emblazoned with Yemenia's logo, found drifting with the currents in the I.O., makes the front pages?

Of Drudge, at least.

If it ain't Boeing, I ain't going (at least, if the only alternatives are flying Airbus or walking).


Exactly, Mustang--No airbuses for me.

Speaking of Latinas, hot air cites Ras to show that the Sotomayor nomination is proving to be a problem for Ibama:
"Send to a Friend | Share on Facebook | printer-friendly The high-profile reversal of Sonia Sotomayor’s judgment on Ricci has taken the momentum away from public support. A new Rasmussen poll shows that a previous eight-point plurality favoring her confirmation to the Supreme Court has turned into a two-point plurality of opposition. The real risk is to Barack Obama’s efforts to paint himself as a reasonable moderate on the judiciary:
A heavily publicized U.S. Supreme Court reversal of an appeals court ruling by Judge Sonia Sotomayor has at least temporarily diminished public support for President Obama’s first Supreme Court nominee.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, conducted on the two nights following the Supreme Court decision, finds that 37% now believe Sotomayor should be confirmed while 39% disagree.
Two weeks ago, the numbers were much brighter for the nominee. At that time, 42% favored confirmation, and 34% were opposed.
As usual, the crosstabs tell an interesting story. First, the most damaging numbers may not come from the confirmation question at all, which is a statistical split. Her favorability rankings look simply terrible for someone supposedly outside the political arena. She has a net favorability of -13, with 49% having an unfavorable view of Sotomayor. She has a -8 among women (47%-39% unfavorable) and a -16 among men (53%-37% unfavorable). Majorities find her unfavorable in almost every income bracket, with the exception of <$20K and $60-$75K.
That spells trouble for Obama as Sotomayor heads into high-profile hearings in which issues like Ricci and other reversals will get scrutinized even further. "


The Wise Latina would have insisted on a making sure there was balanced diversity in the rescue team. Then there would be a discussion on the phallic implications of the crane.


Right you are, PUK--So complained about the rescuer having muddied up the office on his return.


Speaking of DRUDGE, I can't decide which picture I like better: The Obama EVIL EYE or Al Sharpton grinding some woman on the dance floor.


Two hours to launch a rescue effort for a crash at sea that was witnessed from the shore?

I'd expect better from a dog-paddling wise latina with an accordion handcuffed to her left wrist.

Who would pretty much exceed the ASR capabilities of the Comorros, apparently.


I vote for Sharpton..Really, it's so smarmy, it deserves a special place.

Well, Mustang..that's another thing..pay attention to the airlines you use and the destination.


I sure hope that people will stand up for them when OSHA cites the company for improper crane use. I see three violations just in that picture.

We faced an investigation when we used a backhoe in a non-standard way in a rescue.

Judge Sonia Sotomayor

The use of the word "backhoe" is obviously a calculated ploy to call into question the sexual equality and right to choose of the female victim.

Additionally, the specific use of a word containing "hoe", a commonly referenced spelling and usage of African-American speech patterns, suggests a deeply held racist bias.

This court finds in favor of the plaintiff and requires the female victim to be immediately placed back into the water until a Federal committee can fund and build a footbridge, painted with a colorful mural depicting not less than three protected classes of citizen, one of which shall be a woman.

Rick Ballard

"This court finds in favor of the plaintiff and requires the female victim to be immediately placed back into the water until a Federal committee can fund and build a footbridge"

Gosh, judge, that could take a while. You probably need to order that she be strapped to a sturdy anchor before they drop her back in - that way she won't drift away before the footbridge is completed.

Mark O

She looks like she is clinging to an outdated healthcare system, or maybe a gun or a religion. Just be the ball, Danny.

Original MikeS

Speaking of Latinas, hot air cites Ras to show that the Sotomayor nomination is proving to be a problem for Ibama:

It might be a good thing if Obama's Supreme Court appointee is some one who is generally recognized as the Fredo Corleone of that institution.


Speaking of Boeing and Airbus aircraft:

Last week the WSJ had a story on the already 2 year delay Boeing has had on launching the 787 Dreamliner. The story said they were having structural problems with areas where the wings were connected to the fuselage. I cannot link to that story but am happy that they are taking the delay and getting it right. ">http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124647012652581463.html#mod=testMod"> This WSJ story from today says:

"Boeing Co. is in negotiations to purchase operations from one of its main suppliers, as part of an effort to gain more control over the supply chain of its troubled 787 Dreamliner program.
The move would represent another admission by Boeing that it needs to take a more direct role in the manufacturing process of its marquee product. When Boeing first rolled out plans for its Dreamliner, it said that it was reinventing the way it builds commercial airplanes. Instead of manufacturing most of the plane at its Everett, Wash., facility, many parts would be made by suppliers around the world. The parts then would be shipped to Boeing's plant for final assembly.
Boeing, however, quickly discovered that keeping track of the different suppliers -- and keeping the whole project on schedule -- was more difficult than it had anticipated. Delays accumulated, and the plane is now two years behind schedule.
Bringing more of the production in-house could increase Boeing's ability to manage the complex project."

Sorry to post so much of that but it emphasizes that Boeing has decided to maintain local control over more of the components in order to ensure better quality control in creating the final product. Airbus, as I understand it, has a different philospohy in how to construct aircraft, farming different parts out to different countries. I rcently posted a story on how the Chinese are now producing a variety of the Airbus entirely within China.

It is also worthwhile to keep in mind as we discuss recent Airbus possible structural failures, that we are currently flying 50 year old B-52's (entirely US made), yet our Congress is still considering whether to select Airbus as the producer of our next generation long range military tankers. I am always hopeful that individuals in Congress are aware of this stuff when making decisions, but being exactly as old as our oldest B-52, I am frequently disappointed in discovering what our Congressmen does and does not know.

Rick Ballard


Boeing was a fine company - an excellent company. Take a hard, close look at its current Board of Directors.

Bidding for 747-757 routes seems the best bet from a longevity standpoint.



I like a Boeing product. 747 is a great aircraft. I'm also a fan of old Douglas products---they last forever, DC-9, DC-10's.
New isn't always better as we both know, and when it's new aircraft, I am always happy when somebody else is the launch customer guinea pig.

Rick Ballard


I suppose I might be overly sour about large companies at the moment. I keep wondering what the hell happened to GE. The paucity of engineers and engineering background on Boeing's board speaks to a shift in corporate culture that can be summed up as a "pooling of ignorance". Applying the "let's put a piece of this project in every Congressional district in order to purchase votes more easily" on a world wide basis doesn't impress me in the least.

Then again, Airbus allowing the Chinese to apply their rather exotic QC standards to complete aircraft production probably trumps Boeing's scattering bits and pieces around the world.

It doesn't really matter - two more years of the Ogabe Regime and no one in the world will be able to afford an airline ticket anyway.


Probably true Rick,

There is also a move on in the international industry to institute a new type of certification that allows folks with very minimal flight hours to qualify in positions in particular cockpits with very minimal experience. Sort of cutting the current FAA type qualifications out of the picture and allowing less skilled individuals in to drive the new aircraft with technology that requires less stick and throttle experience. Supposedly works fine, just as long as the technology works perfect etc. Don't know what the status of that is at the moment, but it pops up often enough on some websites I monitor to make me a tad anxious.

Rick Ballard


Boy, that's really comforting. So in the near future a reference to a "crackerjack pilot" may well have something to do with the provenance of his ticket to fly rather than his ability.



we are currently flying 50 year old B-52's (entirely US made),

Scary thing is, they expect to take em to 80, and, even then, there's no planned replacement.


Some years ago I was a member of 99's and a fellow member flew KC-135's out of Fairchild AFB.
She arranged a fly-in at the base and I got to land on a mile long runway. The tower was directing me where to put down so I would have to taxi forever but touring that base was a real thrill.
Got to climb into the cockpit of a B-52 and boy is it small in there. And as I remember there were two levels--one for navigation and then on up to flight.
Saw from the tower Harriers taking off and landing and that was a real thrill.


My fondest memory of Harriers is from when I worked a farm near Columbia Regional Airport. The Harriers from McDonnell Douglas used to sometimes come out for their shakedown flights. One day I was clearing brush, and a Harrier was practicing vertical takeoffs and landings and never really going into full horizontal flight. When he would go over a few hundred feet in the air I couldn't hear the chainsaw running in my own hands. It's just unbelievable how loud those things are in vertical mode. Pretty cool. We also got to tour Mac in St. Louis when my FIL retired. Got to look inside a Harrier that was being upfitted. It's basically about a trailer tractor trailer load of wiring fastened around an engine.

hit and run

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article6612165.ece>Airbus could be asked to ground all long-range airliners

Airbus is expected to face calls to ground its worldwide fleet of long-range airliners tomorrow when French accident investigators issue their first account of what caused Air France Flight 447 to crash off Brazil on June 1.


Um, back on the original topic, this morning's news video clips reveal that the woman was wearing not a stitch. Heroism is a beautiful thing, but really, any 'Bruce Willis look-alike' (an insult to the guys Bruce Willis gets to portray, and pretty sure Willis is down with that) who won't dangle from a crane to pick up a naked lady should turn in his steel-toed RedWings.


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--Got to climb into the cockpit of a B-52 and boy is it small in there. And as I remember there were two levels--one for navigation and then on up to flight.--

Yeah, the guys on the lower level have ejection seats which eject DOWN. Not too handy when experiencing trouble on approach or takeoff.

--we are currently flying 50 year old B-52's (entirely US made)--

When I was in SAC my Boeing KC 135 (a reconfigured 707) was five years older than I was and I think it's still in service at the ripe old age of 55.

--It's just unbelievable how loud those things are in vertical mode.--

I ran in to pull the chocks on a KC 135 which still had the old turbojets, which are far louder than modern turbofans, and some idiot was standing on the cord to my headset, which of course yanked them off as the pilot was running the engines up against the brakes. Being young and stupid I kept going and pulled the chocks anyway.
I still cringe thinking about how much that hurt and how overwhelmingly loud it was.



Repeat that again please. I missed some of what you said. And speak louder:)

Jack is Back!

I was a RN on a Buffer and I can tell you about cramped and grinding and adventurous. Nothing like a 14 hour sortie, courtesy of those welcome tankers, can make you appreciate a bed - soft and horizontal. The coffee is cold and bitter but the one moment of total excitement and danger is so exhilarating you find yourself sleeping peacefully vertically erect for the 5 seconds your crew can spare your valuable service. If it wasn't for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles I would have been totally bored.



Repeat that again please.--

Funny thing is daddy, after being a hunter/shooter my whole life, the AF, 25 years on bulldozers, skidders and loaders, not to mention running chainsaws the whole time, my hearing is just about perfect. Can't tell you how many little yellow foam ear plugs I've gone through.

Glad you never had to eject Jack.
We used to do short interval take offs to practice for the alert pad when the BUFFs were loaded with nukes. One got too close to the turbulence of the previous plane and stalled. Pilot sailed it out of the residential area but they never got more than a couple of hundred feet high; fully loaded and when the water injection ran out no way to recover. One or two of the guys tried to eject out the bottom; just made holes in the ground. Pilot and copilot rode it in; don't think anybody made it.
They changed the intervals after that.


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