Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Vultures and Coyotes

Helicopters and TV Entertainment posing as "News".

Now, before I go off screaming about the blood sniffing "News" helicopters...

Some of my best friends have been helicopter pilots. (They say that statement is a sure sign of prejudice. That's another post.)

'Green 1' is a good example. I always thought the DAO Call-Signs were lame. Just be glad you weren't a DAO wife... 'Green Whiskey'. The Major is a great guy and a rotor wing pilot.

Bob and Hal. I've never met them. OK, I haven't yet met them. They both fly helicopters. Both fly for a living.

Hal flies for PHI. (Keep me straight here guys. I don't know my cyclic from my collective!) It seems that Hal's job is flying other folks to and from off shore oil rigs to do their jobs.

Bob flies for a guy that needs to be highly mobile and has the where withal to buy a helicopter and hire a pilot to get him where he needs to be to run his business.

It wouldn't surprise me a bit for Hal to write about a search and rescue mission or having come to the aid of a vessel in distress.

I wasn't surprised to read about Bob 'dropping in' to check on a burning house in Alabama.

Nor was I surprised to see two helicopters hovering high and East of Wiley Post Int'l yesterday.

There are several helicopters operating out of here but these two were in what I refer to as, "Strange Attitudes."

Basically, they were at odd altitudes in odd locations and hovering.

Three emergency vehicles rolling out to the taxiway confirmed my suspicions- They were Vultures.

I scanned around for other traffic. There were planes landing and planes "Holding Short".

Then a small single engine airplane landed and rolled midway down the runway and stopped. The fire trucks rolled out to him and...

That was it. No crash. No fire. No fatalities. No Blood...

Guess what, No vultures. Whoosh! They peeled off. Probably looking for a car wreck.

Imagine a scenario from oh, 30 years ago.

"Joe John Pilot" is out and about in his single engine airplane with retractable landing gear.

"Mrs John" knows he's flying. He does it all the time.

Joe John gets home.

"Hi Honey! How was your flight?"

"Oh, it was OK. When I got back to Wiley Post light the bulb in my nose gear down and locked annunciator was burned out. I had to declare an emergency. Flew past the control tower and they said all three were down. I knew they went down and was purtty sure I heard 'em all lock but I flew by. Landed. Just a burnt out bulb. What's for dinner?"

Versus Today-

"BREAKING NEWS!!! AN AIRPLANE IS ABOUT TO CRASH AND WE HAVE OUR CHOPPER ALL OVER IT!!!"
"Ralph! do you read me? Has the plane crashed? How high are the flames? We think there could be 10 to 12 people aboard this 'turbineprop' Piper Cub. Ralph, Are any of them famous? Are they dead yet? Ralph do you read me?!?!?!?!?"

"Mrs John! It's Mary! Turn on the Channel. Joe John is on TV and he's about to die!!!"

These people chap my ass.

2 comments:

Bob Barbanes said...

I agree with you 100%, man. It's sad. We Americans seem to have this insatiable thirst for news, and we want it NOW, dammit! We just have to know everything as it's happening. The cable news networks have to fill 24 friggin' HOURS per day with...well...something. And nowadays, any idiot at any t.v. station in any podunk town can uplink his story to the satellite and attain instant fame if not fortune as CNN's newest on-the-scene reporter. Andy Cooper, move over! Jim Cantore, outta the way!

It's our fast-food habit, man; we don't want to wait for anything anymore. We're a nation of people who want not just *instant* gratification, but INSTANT!!! AND I MEAN THIS SECOND!!! gratification.

TV stations with news helicopters are always on the prowl, searching for something...anything... that's "newsworthy" and that can add some color to the otherwise drab report. "Let's switch to CHOPPA FOUR now! Uh, Jim, can you hear me...is that cat still stuck up in that tree? Can you get a shot of it?"

It's so pathetic that it often makes me cringe.

DAVID said...

Glad I didn't piss you off. Wasn't sure how you and Hal would take that.

Hey, not all good guys wear white hats and not all Helicopter Pilots are Vultures.

LOL! I guess that's the difference between Helicopter Pilots and CHOPPA jocks.

It's been getting bad for a long time now.

The worst I've seen personally, so far, was at a water park in Atlanta.

A little kid went under and didn't come back up. Someone got to him and pulled him out. The EMT's arrived and hauled him off. He WAS OK thankfully.

Thing is, about ten minutes later three CHOPPAS showed up and jockeyed around that airspace for a while.

No dead kid in sight so they went away.