LA to Las Vegas -Matthew Chien

Matthew Chien

Dr. Morrison

AVN2200

22 July 2018

 

LA to Las Vegas is a brand new sitcom that recently aired on television, starring Jackpot Airlines and a group of staff that operate the daily flight between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.  Filled with interesting characters from the captain to flight attendants and of course the passengers, LA to Las Vegas ‘took off’ this season bringing laughter to households in a relatively unconventional setting.  However, due to the nature of the show, producers tries to entice laughter at the expense of accurate real life portrayal.  Though this show is all fun and games for those who are familiar with aviation, it has very real potential to spread misinformation, either directly or unconsciously to audiences who are not in the know yet still uses the public aviation network.  The scale of the problem is put into perspective when we take into account less than 1% of the entire population of the USA is actively flying in one form or another.  That leaves the other 99% at risk of incorrectly assuming some of the information from the show must have basis in real life, when the truth is the show is blown out of proportion for the sole purpose of entertainment.  For example, there was a scene where Captain Dave snuck in a drink right before his flight, much to the dismay of other passengers.  Though many will realize this is a scene shown for the purpose of entertainment, it will still undoubtedly put the idea that it might not be uncommon for pilots to take a shot before their flight into the minds of those who are disconnected from the world of aviation, who doesn’t know better.  Another aspect of stereotypes that was reinforce was the lax attitudes of the crews on board, who worry more about their personal problems than keeping the flight orderly and safe.  Cockpit hierarchy was also an idea that was reinforced, not only with how the captain affirms his authority on the plane, but also the fact that the first officer is comparatively quiet and reserved.    This show is just one example of many that portrays the world of aviation in an inaccurate way to the outside world, and that has the effect of misinforming the public about how aviation functions in the modern world.  In a sense, LA to Las Vegas was also partially a failure in entertainment with how everything is exaggerated beyond proportions.  With no base in facts from the real world, the cabin space is too obviously seen as constructed than observed.  It is almost as if the setting of flight is an afterthought thrown into the comedy series to give it a more unique spin.  It is truly unfortunate that LA to Las Vegas has been cancelled, getting no second chance to redeem itself.

“Sully” Aviation Perception

Byrdsong, Kyle

Dr. Morrison

July 22, 2018

For this blog post I decided to write about the Film “Sully.” The film is based on an autobiography of two U.S. Airways pilots who stuck a flock of birds and had to make an emergency landing onto the Hudson river. I chose this movie because the event had a lot of controversy about what happen during that flight that forced the pilots to make the decision to abort the calls from the towers to turn around and land at a near airport, and instead proceed towards the river.

The film was starred Tom Hanks who played US Airways Pilot Captain Chelsey “Sully” Sullenberger and Aaron Eckhart as Co-Pilot and First Officer Jeff Skiles. The flight was US Airways Flight 1549 from LaGuardia Airport with a destination to Charlotte Douglas International Airport. When Flight 1549 departed that day, just three minutes into the flight, with an altitude just under 3,000 feet, The US Airways Airbus A320’s engine had struck a flock of birds that led to a failure of both engines. After a loss of engine power, Both Sully and Jeff had to decide on what to do next. Captain Sully made a few calls to the nearest tower and declared an aircraft emergency and went back in forth with multiple towers on where they would be cleared to make an emergency landing. The towers gave him clearance to land at an airport just 7 miles away and ordered Sully to land there. Due to the small delay, enough time was exhausted to force sully to make the call to land in the Hudson River. After Sully ditched the aircraft into the Hudson River, he ordered the crew and passengers to be evacuated out of the aircraft as it was sinking into very cold water. Sully later found out that there were no casualties during the emergency landing and that everyone survived.

Later, Sully begins to get both praise and scrutiny from the public and the government. On one side he had a lot of people calling him a hero, and on the other, he was being blamed for his actions as pilot error instead of aircraft error. He was questioned by the court of his sobriety and the mistake he made during flight. A group of aircraft simulator operators, engineers and more were claiming that it was impossible that both engines were out and that one was still active. Sully argued, and they still didn’t believe him. They then proceeded to simulate the flight and try to prove that it was still possible to land safely at an airport. But in Sully’s case he argued that the operators and engineers already knew what to do in such situation as they had time to look it over and correct it; however, they failed to account human error in the state of emergency. He claimed that with the count of lives that was in his hands, the height of the aircraft in air, and no engines to support a landing, that he was forced to make a quick decision and that was the river.

The engineers later accounted for human error by adding more time and re-simulated the flight; resulting in a failed landing every time. This later proved that Captain “Sully” did the right thing, and that he was a hero. Eventually they recovered the other engine and diagnosed that both engines did fail. I chose to write about this film because it effects perception of people on all levels (Aviation industry/and consumers of the industry). It was easy for the engineers to do math calculations to try and determine faults, however, in aviation it proves that math calculation could only go so far, and human factors play a big role. There are many things such as precise weather that couldn’t be accounted for. For example, when I pre-flight weather observation sometimes says one thing the weather is doing, but when I am in flight it is a whole lot worse and sometimes it is less. There are also weather discrepancies such as thermals that can’t always be predicted. This is important because at the elevation the aircraft was in, they could have possibly experienced this, and the situation could have been a lot worse. We are constantly told as pilots to make quick and timely decisions when in an emergency based on time, elevation, and location. In this situation the pilot clearly did that. It is inhumanly impossible to memorize everything or possibility that happens in an emergency. That is why there is an emergency manual and people in different careers that are experts in such fields of aviation. It also possibly has opened the eyes of lawyers, engineers, and the people of the many possibilities that can happen instead of relying on pure calculations.

“The Aviator” – Sean Horujko

The Aviator stars Leonardo DiCaprio portraying Howard Hughes who developed an empire  in the early 1900’s through his passion of aviation.  In the beginning of this movie Hughes parents passed away granting him a large sum of money in inheritance in which he pursued his passion of film making and incorporated aviation into it spending millions of dollars and years on capturing flight on film and dog fights.  His film was a success which launched him into many other facets of the aviation boom involving TWA airlines as well as defense contracting in WWII.  This movie gave an insight to Howard Hughes journey in his aviation and entrepreneurship career.  With the timeline of the movie starting roughly from 1915 to 1955 this film showed an interesting evolution of aviation and how aircraft changed throughout history.  This film had vibrant imagery throughout and gave special attention to creating a sense of importance and magical vibe when aircraft were in flight or a focus of the scene.  Not only was flight to be mesmerizing to the films audience it was also portrayed as extremely dangerous in multiple scenes as Hughes in this film had two engine failures with crashes in separate airplanes.  With Hughes successful part of the aviation industry near the end of the film he proclaims that jet engines are the future for aviation as a whole and will change the way the industry operates as a whole.  Hughes had a major part in history for the further development and evolution of aircraft of the future and played a major role in the public eye for aviation in entertainment as well as public and military roles regarding aviation as well.

This film impacts public opinion about aviation in a positive way I believe as it ensures a sense of wonder and serious respect for aviation altogether especially its upcoming throughout the 20th century. Scenes such as the dog fighting he was attempting to capture on film, solo flights, and many others create the sense of danger and awe.  With Hughes risk taking on many of the flights he flew, the danger factor and portrayal of that might over exaggerate to an audience that aviation is dangerous but in the same light it shows how aircraft and the aviators who piloted them of that era were something to be highly respected not only then but presently today as well.  The film does shed some negative aspect as to the dangers of flight but this is due to the fact that it is set in the early 1900’s where safety regulations and free reign on certain protocols as such were much more lenient when flying aircraft whereas today there is an expected level of redundancy and safety involved when operating new age aircraft.  All together this film gave a glimpse into what aviation had developed into from an individuals frame of reference throughout the early 1900’s and there is a high level of respect and courage that Hughes honed in order for those tasks and accomplishments he made which came to fruition regarding aviation as well as his other ventures.

Abhi Bhatt – Flight Movie

The aviation-related film that I watched is called Flight, which was released in 2012. The story of the film is this. A southjet airline captain uses cocaine to wake up after the little sleep he got the night before his flight back to atlanta. He is the captain for southjet 227, which he is going to operate back to atlanta. During takeoff, the plane experiences severe turbulence but is able to make it out of it to get to the cruze flight, where his co-pilot takes over the controls. So during that, the captain walks out of cockpit and goes in front of the passengers by the galley and apologizes for the turbulence. But while he is talking, he discreetly mixes vodka in his orange juice and then goes into the cockpit to nap. As the plane is approaching the Atlanta airport, the center tells them to descend and as the Co-pilot goes to descend but the plane suddenly dives down instead. The captain, who was taking the nap, was jolted awake. The captain takes over the controls and crash landed the plane in the nearby field. I am really confused on how captain landed the plane. After the crash, Captain wakes up in the hospital with moderate injuries and is greeted by his friend, Charlie, who represents the pilot’s union. Captain managed to save 96 out of 102, losing 2 crew members and four passengers. After his recovery, the captain has a meeting with charlie and an attorney named hugh. They explain that NTSB has performed a drug test while he was sleeping and found out that he was intoxicated during the flight. The captain has a heavy drinking problem and he has failed to stay sober many times after the crash. Attorney hugh was able to throw captain’s toxicology report out of the case due to some technical issues with equipment used to perform one. At the final hearing, NTSB explains that a technical fault has brought the plane down. The head of the investigation says that they found two vodka bottles in the galley despite the fact that captain suspended the beverage service. One of the crew members was also had alcohol in the body. So captain here unable to bring himself to blame his crew member for his doing, just gives out the truth that he did drink that vodka. Captain is given jail time.

 

Public’s opinion of a pilot has been exactly like the movie has shown the pilot to be. A pilot who sleeps with the flight attendant and is drunk when he is flying. I want to exclude female pilots from this discussion. Cause most of the public would not even think of a female pilot when someone says captain. But if hollywood showed normal pilot doing this exact emergency landing then of course that would not be any drama. I have read some policy from some airlines about drug and alcohol use. You see pilots are forced to take random.drug and alcohol test. Also no pilot would want to fly with another pilot who is drunk. So captain in this movie would have been kicked out of the airline and had his license suspended long time ago. Let’s talk about how the movie portrayed the captain and the first officer. The captain is shown to be arrogant and so full of himself and the first officer shown to be someone who is shy and meek. They are trying to show the first officer is an apprentice to the captain. Which is not true but this myth is only reinforced by this movie. I feel like in this movie filmmakers should have tried little bit more to get realistic and get some facts right cause it was a bad bad representation of Aviation industry.

Smithsonian Channel’s “Air Disasters” – Randall George

“Air Disasters” on the Smithsonian channel is a documentary series focused on aviation accidents, most of which are airline related. Each episode documents a single accident along with chronological events leading up to the crash which provide the viewer with the context of the accident. Examples of contextual information included in each episode are failure of equipment and maintenance errors, pilot errors, air traffic controller errors, and general miscommunications. The show uses devices such as re-enactments, animations, and interviews with personnel affiliated with the crashes to help the viewer further understand the crashes as they unfolded. Each episode also includes some information on the investigation of the crash and whether or not the investigation was successful in finding the cause. Each episode is about 45 minutes long and therefore doesn’t go into great detail, but they provide enough information to help the average person gain an overview of why the accident happened. Some of the accidents featured in the series are very well know such as the collision of two Boeing 747’s in Tenerife, Spain in 1977 and thus have historical significance in the aviation industry, while others are less known with less significance. The show is broadcasted on the Smithsonian Channel which is a TV network focused on broadcasting educational content including the series “Air Disasters,” therefore, the show is fact based and does not intend to dramatize the accidents, although some of the re-enactments may seem a little cheesy. The information in the series is more than likely credible as well considering it comes from the Smithsonian Institute.

 

From the perspective of the general public, this show may have a negative impact on the interpretation of the aviation industry and could cause some viewers to be more hesitant about flying. The name of the show, “Air Disasters,” may imply aviation accidents (including major accidents) happen all the time and so much that the Smithsonian Channel was obligated to make a show about it; in this case they may as well have produced a show titled “Major Car Crashes.” In reality, major aviation disasters, especially those that include the loss of an aircraft are rare. Alternatively, the show may also make some viewers feel safer when flying, knowing a sequence of events must happen for an accident to occur and more specifically, an accident resulting in the loss of an aircraft and lives. By viewing this show the general public should understand airplanes do not fall out of the sky by chance and flying in an aircraft is actually safer than they may have previously thought.

 

I chose to write about this show mainly because I have been a fan of it as well as other aviation accident investigations shows. This particular series is good quality in my opinion and provides as much educational value as it does entertainment value. The quality of the show is also reflected in the fact that it has been running for ten seasons with over 100 episodes aired to date. I believe this show is serving a good purpose in educating the public about aviation accidents and safety alike with factual and un-skewed information.

City in the Sky (Netflix)- Matt DeCubellis

I chose to review the short Netflix documentary series “City in the Sky”.  The series delves into what most people that transit through the sky on a daily basis take for granted.  Some light is shed on the background and often overlooked jobs that are necessary to the function of the aviation system as a whole.  The series might be more for those interested in the industry such as airport operations, aircraft maintenance and assembly, etc., rather than the average Netflix or program viewer.

The series covers interesting jobs that one might often overlook and makes you appreciate the complexity of the whole system.  Some of the world’s busiest airports like Atlanta, Dubai, etc. are discussed and how these operations manage such surge capacity when processing passengers and luggage.  Dubai’s luggage conveyor belt system is examined and just how much of a ripple effect will occur if there is a delay in the system for even 5 minutes.  If there is a delay of at least 5 minutes in Atlanta’s baggage system, there could be a ripple effect at all the surrounding areas and flights in most of the country with Atlanta’s connectivity to most of the surrounding hubs.

“City in the Sky” also examines the manufacture of the Airbus A380 and the assembly of the fuselage, tail, and wings.  All of these parts come from different companies and are shipped across the country to be ultimately assembled in Germany.  These monumental task gives me great appreciation for Aircraft assembly and Depot level maintenance. Then the series shows how the aircraft is riveted together by hand.  This is extremely impressive in that the aircraft has no welding of any kind on the fuselage support and is completely held to together by thousands of rivets placed with only hands tools as to not damage the aircraft.  Transporting massive fuselage, tail, and wings across Europe makes you appreciate the careful efforts that go into just one A380.

While regard to media effects on the public’s view of aviation, this series does not have mass media attention and it is not designed to be viewed by a large population of the public.  Someone who may already be interested in aviation will likely view this, however, being on Netflix there will likely be a large number of viewers.  This series gives insight into the massive task that aviation truly is.  There are several positions that are discussed that are generally overlooked and underappreciated.  The public does not have access to many programs that share information on how massive passenger aircraft are built and assembled.  Also with the trends of aircraft security issues and threats there is even less information shared with the public on how the airport system is maintained and designed.  The public’s opinion will be more informed on how much goes into all the different communities and roles in the industry.  This series and others like it will make the public more appreciative of how safe flying has become and how those who work in the industry must remain proactive in ensuring safe daily operations in whatever the task one is assigned.

 

Jihhsin Chen- PilotEYE.tv

Jihhsin Chen

Aviation 2200

Dr. Morrison

07/22/2018

Public perceptions about aviation industry is heavily affected by the media production. Among all the media production, video is one of the most widespread and influential way to demonstrate the aviation industry to people who don’t involve in this industry. From the excited Top Gun to the documentary about the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. All kind of films and TV shows can reflect the aviation industry, connecting people with aviation industry.

The media I choose is called PilotEYE.tv, a German documentary series that explain everything happened in a commercial jet cockpit. By using multiple high definition camera, they capture more footage that other documentary doesn’t even care to record, and show the audience what is the thing that pilot see and how they react with different situation. Also, they are making documentary on many different airline, aircraft and route, making the public audience experience many different cultures and how they are doing their cockpit resource management(CRM) with different airport. Normally, their documentary is from the beginning of a flight to the end of a flight. The audience will see all the major operation procedures of a flight. I already watched multiple episode of this documentary. I watched my very first episode years ago, at that time I am a high school student who loves everything about aviation industry, especially the commercial sector. I constantly search aircraft video online, and I found the a PilotEYE video about Lufthansa A380 from Frankfurt to San Francisco. It was the first time I see the full process of a flight, to me it was an aviation feast. I believe every aviation enthusiast will love this documentary series. And, people who don’t familiar with this industry will have a solid understand about pilot’s job and making them trust this transportation tool, because they know the pilot is very professional and well trained. This documentary series also explain many things related to aviation industry, for example in one of the A350 episode, the pilot visit Airbus and give us a tour about how Airbus manufacture their latest A350 aircraft.

The public opinion of the PilotEYE.tv is good. I checked their YouTube cannel, they have more than 190,000 subscribers and many comment said they enjoyed by the videos they uploaded. I think PilotEYE.tv really did a good job for transforming very technical, specialized, and complicated aviation industry things to the public audience. If a high school student who understand limited English can found their documentary interesting and watch episode by episode, all audience will at least understand what the documentary wants to explain and making a positive image about aviation industry. I personally get interested about aviation industry, because I took plane between Taiwan and China frequently due to my parent’s job. I been fascinated about everything of the aircraft. At first, I ask my parents about all the things related to aircraft. Since my father is a mechanical engineer, he can explain the aircraft from engineer point of view, such as pressurized cabin, wing tips and turbofan engine. However, I also missed others view about an airplane. This is why I think as a people who interested about aviation industry, the PilotEYE.tv documentary series will be perfect media for you to understand aviation industry from pilot point of view.

 

The following link is a short video of Swiss A330 landing in Miami by PilotEYE.tv:

Berg Media Post – “The Horn”

For this post I chose a documentary series on Netlfix called “The Horn.” The series follows a search and rescue team in the Swiss Alps (Around the world-famous Matterhorn mountain for which the series is named). While the series is about the crew as a whole, the catalyst that enables the team to be successful, and their reason d’etre are their fleet of rotorcraft. Their combination of Bell and Eurocopter helicopters are used to perform missions in a variety of different conditions in which different space and weight requirements are necessary. The series has cameramen embedded with the team, but also is shot with cameras attached to team members’ equipment. It allows viewers to watch as rescuers rappel into crevasses and dive into icy lakes to rescue hikers, skiers, etc. And as the paramedics and guides stabilize the patients they always have a shot of the medevac pilot doing a precision mountainside landing with one skid floating in the air in a perfect hover, rock steady, as the team loads the patient onto the bird and they take off again into the poor visibility and strong variable wind conditions, as they rush to the hospital. The cinematography and pace of the show is exhilarating and draws viewers in. Paralleled with the drama from the nature of subject of the show, as well as the background exposes the producers did on the team members, evokes an emotional response from viewers. “The Horn” is an insightful piece into the Emergency Medical Services community as well as a positive portrayal of rotorcraft aviation. It really highlights the capabilities of helicopters to go anywhere and do anything. The crew members also discuss how survivability rates of patients increased dramatically with the ability to evacuate them with air transport. The ability to cover larger terrain areas and scan for people with sophisticated imaging arrays (thermal, infrared, etc.) onboard the aircraft also played a large part in increasing survival rates not only in the unforgiving terrain of the Swiss Alps, but with EMS providers all around the world. The Zerrmat team (The EMS company that “The Horn” is about) are world renowned professionals and train people on all aspects of their operations. I personally have had the opportunity to hear Claude Vuichard, a former Swiss EMS pilot discuss his Vortex Ring State recovery technique that has since been implemented by agencies and taught around the world. The combination of high altitude (with low service ceilings that rotorcraft have) low visibility, adverse and variable weather conditions make the Swiss Alps a very difficult place to be a helicopter pilot. Watching these pilots in this show perform maneuvers flawlessly and fly with grace is a testament to their abilities that I think resonates not only within the aviation community, but also serves as a role model to the public.

Barnes – Top Gun

Tanner Barnes

Avn 2200

Dr. Morrison

22 July 18

Judt Kidding, I’m not doing Top Gun. I’m doing Wings! The cheerful little American sitcom from the early 90’s that was sandwiched right between the Cheers and Frasier years (and produced by the same crew) while also being early enough in the decade to really have to fight with Seinfeld for ratings, Wings is a lighthearted look into the world of aviation, particularly that of ultra small airliners.

Tim Daly owns and operates Sandpiper Air, a one plane operation out of Nantucket’s “Tom Never’s Field”. He flies a Cessna 402, the precursor to the Cessna 310. He has only has one other employee to assist him in the operation of the airline, his ticket agent, baggage check, and gate agent Fay. David Schramm plays Roy Biggins, the owner of competing airline Aeromass. It is slightly larger and slightly more successful.

The TV show is centered at the small airport where antics abound, and the laughs almost never stop. It is a light show, easy to watch, and easy to forget that every character is supposed to be playing a professional in the industry. They often don’t act like professionals, that’s for sure. For example, the airport mechanic’s name is Lowell Mather. Lowell is presented as a rather slow person, but who does their job well. About every episode, he is shown in someway to be underwhelming when it comes to the brains category. I know plenty of A&P’s from around the country doing a variety of things. There is one thing that they have in common, and it’s that they’re highly intelligent people. Most of them are college graduates which is more than I can say for myself at this point. This interpretation of an aircraft mechanic may be good for laughs and mechanical scares, but is far from the reality of stress and professional job knowledge that most A&P’s have.

Tim Daly plays Joe Hackett, the main character, pilot, and airline owner. From time to time we see him managing the books, or talking about work, but a great majority of the time, he spends in antics with his brother or chasing after the lunch counter girl. I think a good deal more of his time should be focused on planning for his multiple flights. The show has almost none of that. The day that I can just go up in the air and do a cross country flight in a multiengine aircraft with that amount of planning will be a happy day. He also spends a lot less time working on the actual company. We don’t hear money discussions much, and if there is a few things I’ve learned, it’s that its all about the money coming in and the money going out.

Wings doesn’t necessarily present the aviation industry in the truest of lights, but it does make for a good sitcom setting. The flying public should not be using this as their basis of standards for industry professionals. Unfortunately, somebody somewhere will use it for just that and may not fly due to the show’s poor portrayal of what really happens at an airline.

Nick Hogsed – Flight Movie

Nick Hogsed

Aviation 2200

Dr. Morrison

July 21, 2018

The movie Flight featuring Denzel Washington is a solid example of a film that alters the public’s perception of aviation. In this movie, Denzel is an experienced airline pilot that has drug and alcohol addiction problems. In the movie, Denzel starts off his day doing a line of cocaine, before leaving his hotel he was staying at overnight for his layover. He then is at the airport taking off in one of the planes, as a captain, with a flight full of passengers. In the takeoff scene, it is obvious he is intoxicated. Moving to the middle of the flight scene, he is talking to the passengers on the intercom normally, while mixing a vodka/orange juice drink for himself (the passengers are unaware of the drink). The next scene is where all the action occurs.

In this scene, it shows where he is sleeping and his co-pilot is flying the plane. The flight attendant acts like its routine for him to pass out on flights. Going into the decent for landing, the elevator has a malfunction, sending the plane into a dive. Denzel wakes up and then takes control of the plane. Unable to control the plane and out of options, he inverts the aircraft, stopping the dive. He eventually rolled out of the invert and landed in a field, saving most of the lives on the plane.

Over the years, this eight minute “going down” scene has always been one of my favorite clips to watch on YouTube. Recently, as I’ve begun flying and becoming more experienced with aviation, I’ve become to realize how unrealistic the scene is, as well as how uncommon an event like that occurs. This thrilling scene is entertaining for me, but for others it might spook and scare the public to fly. The cause of the elevator malfunction was due to a recall on a part that was never replaced due to maintenance negligence. To my knowledge, such negligence rarely occurs today, especially with airliners. The public has no idea what 50 and 100-hour inspections are, so I can’t imagine it being hard to convince them that planes are not maintained.

On another note, the drug and alcohol addictions that Denzel had in the movie are very uncommon. From what I have observed over the years, pilots are very conscious about drugs and alcohol, as it is a career killer. I doubt students ever get sobriety test at the OSU airport, but I’m confident that airline pilots probably get randomly tested for substances. In the eyes of the public, they probably assume that what takes place in the movie, probably occurs on a regular basis. In addition, the passengers have no idea what is going on up in the cockpit, so it is easy for everyone to assume we are goofing around and cracking a cold one, without anyone noticing. Overall, it is easy for the public to jump to conclusions. This movie is fun to watch, but comes at a price of perception.