Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: McVicar and the media

187 Responses

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  • Sacha,

    I think Toby Ziegler shot this down within about 2 minutes of the first episode of the West Wing.

    I find him more credible than many publications. Not sure if that counts as sad or strange.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I find him more credible than many publications. Not sure if that counts as sad or strange.

    I did wonder how far up into the air cell phone coverage extends. I presume the towers send receive to all points, including straight up.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    No refs, but I believe the argument is that cellphones can't actually "interfere" with the aircraft electronic systems - but a passenger could become unmanageable as a result of a mid-flight phone call.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    No refs, but I believe the argument is that cellphones can't actually "interfere" with the aircraft electronic systems - but a passenger could become unmanageable as a result of a mid-flight phone call.

    No, there's concern that electronic transmitters could cause interference with flight systems. Think of the noise when you place a transmitting GSM phone near a speaker, for example. In the absence of testing, it's a reasonable expectation that similar results could be observed with avionics systems, especially in large aircraft where you might have dozens of passengers on the phone at the same time and the effect could be amplified by the hundreds of kilometres of systems wiring running through the fuselage.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    And you really think they haven't trested that by now?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I think Toby still has it right:

    We’re flying in a Lockheed eagle series L-1011. It came off the line 20 months ago and carries a Sim-5 Transponder tracking system. Are you telling me I can still flummox this thing with something I bought at Radio Shack?

    If there is indeed a potential problem surely they should design planes that can withstand a terrorist attack by Nokia.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    And you really think they haven't trested that by now?

    I think some people at Air New Zealand are working on it as we speak.
    ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Typos have their own lives

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Just thinking,

    Cell phones and Aircraft don't mix & it becomes a serious issue when visual cues are absent, ie night or cloud.

    The Ansett Piolts who crashed out of Palmy weren't prosecuted (eventually), because there was conflicting evidence about this. Specifically that the 'hero' with his cell phone directing the emergency crews to the crash site, was the cause of the crash for using his cellphone and locking the instruments in place as they flew through cloud above hills.

    Putaringamotu • Since Apr 2009 • 1158 posts Report Reply

  • James W,

    Just heard the interview (why are the podcasts so late?) and loved it. Good job, Russell. You certainly asked questions I've never seen asked of McVicar. If only you had more time - I felt you were letting a lot of his evasive answers go because you only had 10 mins and wanted to get to the next topic before time ran out. But really good interview.

    Since Jul 2008 • 136 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    I too just watched that now -- I'm off work today with the dreaded lurgi.

    At first I felt Barbosa's damning assembly of clips was a bit mean but by the end of the interview my sympathy had completely evaporated.

    Perhaps I am imagining, but it seemed to me that McV*c*r felt bad about his evil take on the Emery case. The way he shied away from answering any question about that directly was telling.

    Russell, if McV*c*r shook my hand like that I'd wash it with bleach afterwards.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    In striking contrast to everything else he mustered, McVicar's last line in that interview was surprisingly apt. For the most part he seemed like a possum caught in the headlights.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

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