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Senator James Inhofe
April 13, 2011 2:28 PM   Subscribe

A released FAA investigation describes how in October last year, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) deliberately landed his plane on a closed runway, and then caused the plane to "hop" over terrified construction workers and their vehicles. More recently, Senator Inhofe has taken to the Senate floor in praise of his friend (and friend of C Street), deposed Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo. [Previously, previously]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 (81 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Everyone knows safety regulations have a notorious liberal bias and that the FAA is a partisan body.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:34 PM on April 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm not seeing a connection here... unless the point of the thread is that Senator James Inhofe is an asshole.
posted by BobbyVan at 2:34 PM on April 13, 2011 [26 favorites]


Has anyone looked in the new budget? Is there still an FAA?
posted by Danf at 2:35 PM on April 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Senile dementia?
posted by orthogonality at 2:38 PM on April 13, 2011


Oh, it happened in Texas. I was gonna say, if it happened at National Airport here in DC, he could have probably claimed that controller in the tower was asleep and couldn't tell him where to land.
posted by crunchland at 2:40 PM on April 13, 2011




I'm not seeing a connection here... unless the point of the thread is that Senator James Inhofe is an asshole.

Connected Asshole. Anybody else does that -- and there have been cases -- and they lose their ticket for at least a year. If, of course, they don't die. The usual reason a runway is closed is that it is quite simply not safe to land on, and landing on it is a good way to kill people.
posted by eriko at 2:45 PM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Did he really "hop" over the workers malicously, or did he try to land in front of them before realizing there was stuff on the runway?
posted by smackfu at 2:46 PM on April 13, 2011


The moron incorrectly claimed that "People who fly a lot just don't [check NOTAMS]," which are the "notices to airmen" that would have informed him of the runway closure.

Granted, the NOTAM system is fairly archaic, being filled with cryptic abbreviations in all caps and information about unlighted towers that is not useful to most pilots, but dude, missing a runway closure? At the very least he could have just, you know, looked at the runway before trying to land on it.
posted by exogenous at 2:46 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Danf: "Has anyone looked in the new budget? Is there still an FAA?"

They've been repurposed as prenatal care advisors at the newly revamped Planned Parenthood.

"The doctor will be with you shortly. Please circle counterclockwise around the waiting room until we let you know that the ultrasound machine is free and you can land on the examining table in room four."
posted by zarq at 2:47 PM on April 13, 2011 [12 favorites]


Chip the trainers
crack the crates
buzz the airfield
with our dictates.
Ivory Coast is free to build
thats what Laurent Gbagbo hates.
posted by clavdivs at 2:48 PM on April 13, 2011 [13 favorites]


I have a friend who used to run the website I write for; he quit that to focus all of his energy (aside from his day job) to running an anti-Inhofe blog. And that was in...like...2007 or something.
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:49 PM on April 13, 2011


Did he really "hop" over the workers malicously, or did he try to land in front of them before realizing there was stuff on the runway?


The report states that the closure was clearly marked, and furthermore, that he was aware of it.
posted by entropone at 2:51 PM on April 13, 2011


As we speak no doubt X-Plane and Flight Simulator fans are crafting this exact mission scenario.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:51 PM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


In a land of assholes, this guy is running for mayor.
posted by gottabefunky at 2:58 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:58 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's agist to make fun of his wacky airplane antics while our nation also celebrates Maverick buzzing the tower despite being clearly denied the privilege.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:59 PM on April 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


Dipshit should pay a heavy fine and lose his ability to fly for at least a year if not more.
posted by zombieApoc at 2:59 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


But yeah, this guy deserves to lose his pilot's license. If he gets away with this, it sends the message that congresspeople are above the law.
posted by mccarty.tim at 3:01 PM on April 13, 2011


"He also told the Post that an airport official, not identified, "hates me, I don't know why."

Well that explains it then. I'm sure this was just a personal vendetta by a crazy airport official and the fact that he nearly killed several workers had nothing to do with it.

The so-called "remedial training" he received as punishment seems to have consisted of seven hours of flight training and the matter will drop off his record in two years. That seems a lot more like the punishment for a speeding ticket. What do you think would happen if someone gunned his car onto an obviously closed highway, nearly hit several highway construction workers, and was utterly unapologetic and unconcerned when questioned afterwards? That sounds like reckless driving to me, and a DA could well threaten to charge the driver with attempted manslaughter.

The consequences for pilots are supposed to be more serious than for drivers, and his job as a senator certainly shouldn't matter.
posted by zachlipton at 3:02 PM on April 13, 2011 [13 favorites]


it sends the message that congresspeople are above the law.

Message received, loud and clear!
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:03 PM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Inhofe was an asshole waaaaaay before he got in the plane.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 3:06 PM on April 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


Extraordinary rendition his ass to Ivory Coast for crimes against humanity. Have the State Department issue a statement demanding the return our our Senator for plausible deniability and explain that the Senator's plane apparently got lost or intercepted by enemy agents. No one noticed because of his history of erratic flight behavior. Then call Canter/Boehner to talk about the budget negotiations.
posted by humanfont at 3:06 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


"He also told the Post that an airport official, not identified, "hates me, I don't know why."

Maybe because you do shit like this, asshole?
posted by notsnot at 3:07 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


One set of laws for the rich and powerful, and another, harsher set for us regular jackoffs.
posted by indubitable at 3:08 PM on April 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


> Boyd also said that Inhofe showed little contrition following the close call. “He come over here and started being like, 'What the hell is this? I was supposed to have unlimited airspace.'”

It's a good thing he didn't hit anyone. Those construction workers might have damaged his plane!
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:08 PM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Le aéroport c'est moi"
posted by Max Power at 3:13 PM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


"'What the hell is this? I was supposed to have unlimited airspace.'”

You did, idiot, but these guys were on the GROUND. You know, the big flat thing that's smarter than you are?
posted by eriko at 3:16 PM on April 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


I was watching CSPAN during the shutdown drama last week, and Inhofe interrupted Senate debate for ten or fifteen minutes to talk about the Ivory Coast and how horrible it was, and how people were being massacred. I haven't really been following the situation there, so I thought to myself, "Oh, wow, it's like how Sam Brownback used to care about Darfur."

When I mentioned it to my roommate, he told me that I had the positions wrong and that I'd just heard an impassioned defense of refusing to transfer power after an election. My mind is still boggling at it.
posted by Copronymus at 3:17 PM on April 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


“I’ve got over 50 years flying, three tours of Vietnam,” Reece said, “and I can assure you I have never seen such a reckless disregard for human life in my life.” He then added, “Something needs to be done. This guy is famous for these violations.”

Must be why the guy hates Inhofe.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:25 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Gbagbo may be his friend, but if he had met the Young Patriots who supported Gbagbo, he'd be dead now.
posted by Nothing at 3:26 PM on April 13, 2011


At the very least he could have just, you know, looked at the runway before trying to land on it.

That's what the big yellow X is for!
posted by mikelieman at 3:30 PM on April 13, 2011


"When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal."

- Dick Nixon

"When a congressman does it, that means he is not an asshole."

- James Inhofe
posted by kozad at 3:33 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Senile dementia?
I'm going to go with Occam's Razor: Republican.
posted by Flunkie at 3:34 PM on April 13, 2011 [10 favorites]


Tom Coburn is Oklahoma's other senator: A Christian conservative quasi-libertarian who does crappy things like withhold medical funding for 9/11 first responders in the name of "fiscal responsibility."

When Tom Coburn is your GOOD senator, then you know you have a problem.

All the sadder to me because I went to school with one of the Inhofe kids; another one was a YoungLife leader. Nice people.
posted by dw at 3:44 PM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


This just reminds me how very, very glad I am that my dad and uncle finally got my grandpa to sell his plane. My grandfather has always been amazing at cognitive dissonance, to the point where he'd complain about how he could barely see out of one eye due to the shingles infection he was fighting and then launch into a story about how he went flying with a friend the preceding weekend.

If you think it's bad when old people won't stop driving their car and give up their driver's license, replace those words with "pilot's license" and "plane."

* shudder *
posted by mikeh at 3:50 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


'He also told the Post that an airport official, not identified, 'hates me, I don't know why.'"

I think I know why.
posted by Mitheral at 3:58 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Flunkie: "I'm going to go with Occam's Razor: Republican."

Walks like an elephant, quacks like an elephant...

(thx to the wife for that one...)
posted by notsnot at 4:01 PM on April 13, 2011


The Inhofe airport incident is a few months old now; the news here is tapes of the FAA complaints. The FAA decided a month or two ago not to pursue legal action. Inhofe's quote about his remediation is breathtaking
"I elected the remedial training program because that is something that is very easy to do,'' he said, explaining he took the training in Tulsa from a young man he had trained to fly.
Inhofe's a real pilot and has been a good friend to general aviation. Still, all the pilots I know think he's a jackass who got special treatment because he's a senator. You just don't do something like that with an airplane.
posted by Nelson at 4:11 PM on April 13, 2011


Anybody else does that -- and there have been cases -- and they lose their ticket for at least a year.

Well, this just happened. Not sure what's going to happen to him but it was definitely a dick move.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:12 PM on April 13, 2011


Dear Senator Inhofe:

I really like the tricks you do with your plane! You are a regular barnstormer. I would like to see more daring maneuvers on your next flights. Can you hop higher next time?
posted by benzenedream at 4:15 PM on April 13, 2011


The construction workers weren't fetuses so they had no rights.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:19 PM on April 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


Fun Inhofe Fact: In 2005, he snuck a rider into a transportation bill requiring preventing tribes here in Oklahoma from getting TAS (Tribes as States) status with the EPA without state approval. So you can add Indians to the list of humans for which he seems to maintain a reckless disregard.
posted by Dr. Zira at 4:38 PM on April 13, 2011


Didn't we sell a whole lot of Stinger missiles off to a bunch of different people back in the '80s? I wonder what happened to those?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 4:42 PM on April 13, 2011


We forgot to tell them the stingers were for Inhofe's plane.
posted by klangklangston at 4:44 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


“I’ve got over 50 years flying, three tours of Vietnam,” Reece said, “and I can assure you I have never seen such a reckless disregard for human life in my life.”

I just going to assume Reece immediately followed this up with "Besides the whole war, I mean."
posted by hydrophonic at 4:47 PM on April 13, 2011 [13 favorites]


I'm pleased that our elected officials are less and less interested in pretending to not be evil.
posted by clockzero at 4:51 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


ECONOMY CLASS | BUSINESS CLASS | FIRST CLASS

ECON CLASS | BIZ CLASS | 1ST CLASS

CATTLE CLASS | BIZ | 1ST

CATTLE | 1
posted by panaceanot at 4:57 PM on April 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just hope he had his 3-oz. shampoo in a quart-sized ziplock baggie.
posted by telstar at 5:04 PM on April 13, 2011


I don't know a single private pilot (and I know a lot of em) who doesn't check NOTAMS when he's planning on landing at an airport other than the one he takes off from. They often contain information that will keep you from being killed.

Asshole or not, the guy is just stupid.
posted by Thistledown at 5:16 PM on April 13, 2011


Far as I'm concerned, 57% of Oklahoma's voting population are assholes. After reading these links and glancing at his Wikipedia entry, I see nothing that would designate him as anything less than an asshole.

So, it appears, those that voted for him know his douchbaggery, and for them, that's OK.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 5:30 PM on April 13, 2011


One set of laws for the rich and powerful

What laws? Seriously, this asshole would be doing hard time if he wasn't connected.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:34 PM on April 13, 2011


If a muslim pilot had done that, they'd have made him take off again and circle the airfield until the F-16s got there, just so they could blow him out of the sky.
posted by Naberius at 5:38 PM on April 13, 2011


Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) don't care...

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) don't give a shit...
posted by Windopaene at 6:08 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


James Inhofe (R-Not OK)
posted by dirigibleman at 6:21 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


They need to use honey badgers as ground crew.
posted by zippy at 6:21 PM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


If he gets away with this, it sends the message that congresspeople are above the law.

Are you new to this country? Don't they cover this in the citizenship test?
posted by odinsdream at 6:22 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


We can only hope the next time he blows off FAA regulations, it kills him.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:34 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like to imagine that his defense to the FAA went something like this.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:45 PM on April 13, 2011


Rachel Maddow is covering this right now, FYI.
posted by Medieval Maven at 6:57 PM on April 13, 2011


Time to update the ol' 'who they really represent' list with:

James M. Inhofe (R-Anal Apertures)
posted by mephron at 7:42 PM on April 13, 2011


Far be it from me to defend this bozo (that means I'm about to defend this bozo), but the FAA's flight briefing system is pretty awful. Here's the crap at the top of every briefing. Most of that has been there since 9/11. The sentence that irritates me the most is "With Aviation Security the primary issue in the United States today. . ." No it isn't.
CSC DUAT System

Session number: 00333


Enter DUAT access code -or- last name:
Enter your password:

Transaction number: 003775
Thu Apr 14 03:27:36 2011 (UTC)

Welcome to the CSC DUAT System

***********************************************************************
* Effective immediately until further notice..... The following special notice
information may be viewed by requesting FDC NOTAMS.

* ALL RESTRICTIONS FOR OPERATION IN ENHANCED CLASS B AIRSPACE BY VFR/IFR
GENERAL AVIATION.

* IFR OPERATIONS IN THE U.S.

* VFR OPERATIONS IN THE U.S.

Advisories affecting the Air Traffic System are available in National Flow
Control messages and National FDC NOTAMS.

To request these messages it is recommended you use the Location Weather
feature of DUATS:
For FDC NOTAMS:
National Locations ZZZ and FDC, Weather Type FDC
For National Flow Control Messages:
Location DCC, Weather Type ATC
For TFR, ARTCC ID, Example: ZDC:
Weather Type FDC

***********************************************************************
**********************NOTICE******NOTICE******NOTICE*******************
* The U.S. Government continues to receive credible indications that
extremist individuals are planning additional terrorist operations
against U.S. and Western interests within the U.S. and overseas. Such
operations, possibly involving civil and general aviation (GA) aircraft,
could be carried out whenever attack preparations are complete and
operatives are in place. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
has no credible information concerning specific targets, timing, or
methods of attack. However, the GA community should observe good
physical security for aircraft and facilities and be continuously on the
lookout for suspicious persons, activities, and operations around airports.

* Terrorists who are no longer able to hijack commercial airliners because
of increased security at commercial airports may turn to GA airports and
aircraft to conduct operations.

* The TSA asks members of the GA community to report all unusual and
suspicious activities. If you observe persons, aircraft, and operations
that do not fit the customary pattern at your airport, you should
immediately advise law enforcement authorities.

* Your immediate action is requested for these items:
- Secure unattended aircraft to prevent unauthorized use.
- Verify the identification of crew and passengers prior to departure.
- Verify that baggage and cargo are known to the persons on board.
- Where identification systems are in place, encourage employees to
wear proper identification and challenge persons not wearing proper
identification.

* Increased vigilance should be directed toward the following:
- Aircraft with unusual or unauthorized modifications.
- Persons loitering in the vicinity of aircraft or air operations areas.
- Persons who appear to be under stress or the control of other persons.
- Persons whose identification appears altered or inconsistent.
**********************NOTICE******NOTICE******NOTICE*******************
* With Aviation Security the primary issue in the United States today
the FAA has issued the following WARNING which is directed at
unauthorized users, abusers, and hackers and is not meant to
discourage legitimate users in any way. DUATS is a free FAA
sponsored service to pilots, dispatchers and others authorized by
the FAA. Legitimate users are encouraged to use DUATS as much as
needed and without reservation.
*********************WARNING*****WARNING*****WARNING*******************
* This is a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) computer system.
FAA systems, including all related equipment, networks, and network
devices (specifically including Internet access) are provided for
the processing of official Government information. Unauthorized
access or use of this computer system may subject violators to
criminal, civil, and/or administrative action. All information on
this computer may be intercepted, recorded, read, copied, and
disclosed by and to authorized personnel for official purposes,
including criminal investigations. Access or use of this computer
system by any person whether authorized or unauthorized,
constitutes consent with these terms.
OLAB:
posted by Hello Dad, I'm in Jail at 8:34 PM on April 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Maybe this will convince Oklahomans to vote for a Democrat, he said, with infinite weariness.
posted by ormondsacker at 8:40 PM on April 13, 2011


I'm not seeing a connection here... unless the point of the thread is that Senator James Inhofe is an asshole.

Yes. This.

(And it certainly seems like he is.)

But this is worse that The Right laughing at Al Gore when it snows. This post is classic, Fox News worthy ad hominem ridiculousness.
posted by Cyrano at 8:56 PM on April 13, 2011


Oh, and you're supposed to get all available information about your flight and destination, which would certainly include a whole bunch of similarly cryptic weather information, plus NOTAMs ("NOTices to AirMen"), but the online flight briefing system isn't very selective. I'm not going to further crap up this thread with another huge list of stuff, but I got back over a thousand lines of text (210 exactly, oddly enough) when I asked for a standard briefing from Palo Alto, CA to Pullman, WA, a 600 mile flight over mostly empty terrain.

I note that the FAA incident report suggests giving NOTAMS in plain English, which I think would be a swell idea. This stuff looks like a holdover from Telegram/Cable days. Anyway, here are just the Runway NOTAMS. In particular, notice the date/time "WEF 1104150701-1104151300." I think that means effective ("WEF?") from April 15th, 2011 7:01am to 1pm GMT, which is probably 12:01am to 6am Pacific Time, but I'm not 100% sure.
******** Runway NOTAMs ********
!SJC 04/046 SJC RWY 12L/30R CLSD WEF 1104150701-1104151300
!SJC 03/057 SJC RWY 11/29 CLSD WEF 1103312301-1104222300
!SJC 03/068 SJC RWY 12R/30L SAFETY AREA REDUCED TO 400 FT WIDE
WEF 1103312301-1104222300
!SJC 04/045 SJC RWY 30L RAIL OTS
!SJC 01/062 SJC RWY 30L PAPI UNUSBL BYD 7 DEGREES OF CENTERLINE
!SJC 03/069 SJC RWY 29 REIL OTS TIL 1104222359
!SFO 04/057 SFO RWY 19L ALS OTS WEF 1104141600-1104141700
!SFO 04/056 SFO RWY 1R/19L WEST SIDE HOLD SIGN MISSING AT TWY F
!SFO 03/072 SFO RWY 28L RAIL OTS
!SFO 04/054 SFO RWY 28L ALS OTS WEF 1104141600-1104142200
!SFO 04/043 SFO RWY 10R/28L CLSD WEF 1104140700-1104141500
!SFO 04/047 SFO RWY 10L/28R CLSD WEF 1104150700-1104151500
!OAK 03/101 OAK RWY 11/29 RUNWAY SAFETY AREA 200 AT TWY V INT
!OAK 04/018 OAK RWY 11/29 SAFETY AREA 200 AT TWY V INT WEF
1104040700-1105090600
!SMF 07/032 SMF RWY 16L PAEW 3500 N, 7500 N AER 16R, W RWY 16R
ALL EQUIPMENT FLAGGED AND LGTD WEF 1007260001
!RNO 04/027 RNO RWY 16L/34R CLSD WEF 1104141500-1104142100
!RBL 12/004 RBL RWY 15/33 LDA 5429 TODA 5429
!SVE 02/003 SVE RWY 11/29 PCL OTS EXC LOW/MED INTST
!RDM 04/004 RDM RWY 28 PAPI OTS WEF 1104041400-1105012359
!RDM 04/003 RDM RWY 28 REIL OTS WEF 1104041400-1105012359
!RDM 04/002 RDM RWY 10 VASI OTS WEF 1104041400-1105012359
!RDM 04/013 RDM RWY 10/28 CLSD EXC TAXI BTN TWY A,F
!RDM 04/001 RDM RWY 10 REIL OTS WEF 1104041400-1105012359
!LGD 02/007 LGD RWY 30 REIL OTS
!GEG 04/028 GEG RWY 21 PAPI OTS WEF 1104111400-1104212359
!GEG 04/011 GEG RWY 21 ALS OTS WEF 1104111400-1110201400
!GEG 04/030 GEG RWY 21 LAND AND HOLD SHORT OF RWY 7/25 NA WEF
1104111400-1110151400
!GEG 04/025 GEG RWY 3 TDZ LGTS OTS WEF 1104111400-1110151400
!GEG 04/014 GEG RWY 3/21 CENTERLINE LIGHTS OTS WEF
1104111400-1110151400
!GEG 04/013 GEG RWY 3/21 CLSD WEF 1104111400-1104141400
!GEG 04/006 GEG RWY 3 PAPI OTS WEF 1104111400-1104141400
!GEG 04/007 GEG RWY 3 ALS OTS WEF 1104111400-1104141400
!GEG 04/026 GEG RWY 21 TDZ LGTS OTS WEF 1104111400-1110151400
posted by Hello Dad, I'm in Jail at 9:14 PM on April 13, 2011


Maybe this will convince Oklahomans to vote for a Democrat, he said, with infinite weariness.

Oh ormondsacker, you know what happens when we have Dems in office...things go well and we just can't have nice things.
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:14 PM on April 13, 2011


This post is classic, Fox News worthy ad hominem ridiculousness.

I am sorry if I committed ad hominem. I think Senator Inhofe is a wonderful human being. It is only his deranged crimes and sociopathic abuse of power which I wish to address.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:18 PM on April 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Fun Inhofe Fact: Inhofe's connections to The Family. He's really just hangin' with a deposed African strongman to share the love of the Jeebus to entire African villages who are in awe of his mad senator skillz.
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:29 PM on April 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whew, thanks for the warning. I will stay off the sidewalks, bridges, and overpasses when the senator flies near Tulsa.
posted by dragonplayer at 9:29 PM on April 13, 2011


Inhofe on the subject of 9/11: "One of the reason I believe the spiritual door was opened for an attack against the United States of America is that the policy of our government has been to ask the Israelis, and demand it with pressure, not to retaliate in a significant way against the terrorist strikes that have been launched against them."
posted by homunculus at 9:31 PM on April 13, 2011


Maybe this will convince Oklahomans to vote for a Democrat, he said, with infinite weariness.

Dan Boren could probably beat Inhofe, though he'd instantly become the most conservative Democrat in the Senate by a long shot.
posted by dw at 11:47 PM on April 13, 2011


Hello Dad, I'm in Jail, do I understand you correctly? Your argument is that flying airplanes involves sometimes having to read and understand lists of information in order to ensure you don't kill anyone or yourself? And that this is somehow a bad thing?
posted by odinsdream at 5:37 AM on April 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Anyway, even if he ignored the posted warnings, there's a giant fucking X on the runway. No excuse.
posted by odinsdream at 5:39 AM on April 14, 2011


I hereby formally request that we change the MeFi meme: "Christ, what an asshole" to "Christ, what an Inhofe" for the foreseeable future.
posted by ob at 5:39 AM on April 14, 2011


Senile dementia?

Penile dementia?
posted by lathrop at 8:16 AM on April 14, 2011


Hello Dad, I'm in Jail, do I understand you correctly? Your argument is that flying airplanes involves sometimes having to read and understand lists of information in order to ensure you don't kill anyone or yourself? And that this is somehow a bad thing?

I think he's just saying that it would be a lot safer for everyone if this information was presented in a much more accessible format such as plain English. The FAA safety inspector agrees, which is why he made that recommendation in his report. Most people are more likely to read and successfully understand complex information if it's not a bunch of all caps gobbledygook.

None of that, however, excuses Inhofe's failure to exercise his basic responsibility to look out for obstacles and obstructions in his intended path of travel and to take action to safely avoid them. This is basically the fundamental job of anyone operating virtually every type of vehicle or even walking down the street, certain rocket launches excepted.
posted by zachlipton at 8:29 AM on April 14, 2011


Hello Dad.. is right, the flight briefing system is terribly archaic, information design at its worst. But it's what pilots do, we read our 70s teletype briefing and understand it. And if there's an AD CLSD in it you damn sure want to know about it. If that's too difficult for Sen. Inhofe we have a fine LockMart telephone briefing service paid for by tax dollars, too.

The more astonishing thing is apparently Inhofe noticed the runway was closed and there were people on it well before landing, but chose to land near / over those people anyway.
posted by Nelson at 8:31 AM on April 14, 2011


I went flying today and got a briefing online. But because of the security theater situation where I fly near DC, I also have to call and talk to a Flight Service briefing person if I don't want to get shot down. I told him I had an online briefing but I didn't want "to pull a Senator Inhofe" so could he please advise me of runway closures or anything like that. He didn't acknowledge the reference, unfortunately.
posted by exogenous at 7:33 PM on April 14, 2011


Agreed that the text briefings are crap.

Which is why I don't use them.

You can call Flight Service and tell them what you're looking for. They always ask me if I want the full list of NOTAMS. I usually get any en-route NOTAMS related to tower light outages in my path and ANYTHING related to my destination airport. The info is there, it takes 5 minutes to make the call and take notes.

There are other, easier options for briefings as well. DUAT/DUATS is a mainstay because it's available everywhere and most CFIs use what they were taught with. Personally, I like talking to Flight Service and gathering my own weather data, etc...
posted by Thistledown at 8:39 PM on April 14, 2011






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