Yesterday’s blog attracted a few criticisms from pilots who would like to point out that airplanes continued to take off and land at Heathrow in the fog (I didn’t actually say they weren’t, but I admit it could have been implied), and that the main reason why flights were cancelled is the extra time needed on the ground for visual checks by pilots to taxi safely. So I return to my point that humans aren’t really necessary, and that remains true for taxiing as well as take off, flying and landing, but it would cost a lot of extra airfare dollars and pounds to put the technology into practise. And the same is with having infrared head-up displays or screens, in cockpits that can see through fog. Others have pointed out that radar and radio signals are interfered with on the ground with so much metal clutter such as slow airplanes. I suppose it is similar to snow clearing on our roads in the UK. Everythings skids to a halt when the flakes descend because we are not prepared to devote huge tax money to storing and maintaing snow clearing equipment for only a few days use per year. Thanks to Simon Hobson, son of the great Gladys at Beyond Hill writers’ group for the putting-me-right information! And to the wish-to-be anon Boeing pilot in Seattle!
I’ve just returned from a wonderful meeting with fellow BeWrite.net writer, Donna and her feller, Doug, in Shrewsbury. The hours whizzed by as we chatted about colleagues, work, stories we’ve written, half-written, and going-to-write! My wife came too. I think she suspects the people I meet in the virtual Internet world are not real. Well Donna and Doug are the third and fourth computer people she now knows are flesh and blood. We had a great time in the wonderful antique Shrewsbury – thanks Donna and Doug.