Wednesday, June 19, 2013

TWA Flight 800 Investigators Claim the Official Crash Story Is a Lie

A new film claims the official government report on the crash of TWA Flight 800 in 1996 is an elaborate fabrication, but the most shocking part of the story is that charges are being leveled by some of the very investigators who put the report together. Six experts who appear in the film were members of the National Transportation Safety Board investigation team that concluded the crash was an accident, but they now claim they were silenced by their superiors.
The movies, "TWA Flight 800" will debut on EPIX TV next month, on the 17-year anniversary of the crash.
TWA Flight 800 was en route from JFK Airport in New York to Paris, France, when it exploded and crashed off the coast of Long Island, killing all 230 people on board. From the very beginning, there were some who speculated that the plane was the victim of a terrorist attack, leading the FBI to conduct its own criminal investigation. Among the possibilities that were suggested as the cause were a bomb in the cargo hold, or an anti-aircraft missile. Several witnesses even claimed they saw an object or streak of light that looked liked a missile or rocket moving toward the plane before it exploded.

The final NTSB reported said that faulty wiring connected to a central fuel tank caused a blast that destroyed the fuesalage, however, there were still many skeptics and conspiracy theorists who have long doubted that official story. In one particularly famous example, Pierre Salinger, a former Press Secretary for President John Kennedy and reporter for ABC News, claimed he'd seen proof that the U.S. Navy shot down the plane and then covered it up.

Now, those theories are likely to get a new airing, thanks to accident investigators who worked on the TWA 800 case, but say they were not allowed to speak up at the time of the official report. The experts include NTSB and TWA accident investigators, who say they are only able to speak up now that they are retired. According their statements in the film, they believe the official explanation is wrong and the damage was caused by an explosion that came from outside the plane.

The filmmakers won't speculate on what could have caused such an explosion, and haven't yet offered up evidence to support their theory (you'll have to watch on July 17), but they are asking the NTSB to re-open the investigation. Whether or not that happens, or even if a follow-up reaches the same conclusions as the original, this new film will ensure that the alternate theories and claims up a cover will probably never be put to rest.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

10 Things Flight Attendants Wish They Could Say But Can't
How rude passengers and their strange requests and poor behavior get on their nervesby Kelsy Chauvin, Frommer's, April 3, 2013

There's no doubt that being a flight attendant requires more patience than most jobs. Imagine coping with hundreds of passengers at a time, each one convinced that his or her needs are the most important. Demands can be wacky, unreasonable or outrageous, while the smallest of slights (or perceived slights) can spark fiery tantrums. Amid all the craziness, flight attendants serve as calm mediators with the forbearance of saints. Most of the time, anyway.

Sometimes, even the most professional and courteous flight attendant can barely bite his or her own tongue. We asked two veterans to share the things they'd love to tell passengers … if only they could.
Flight attendants often have to bite their tongue when dealing with rude airline passengers.

1. "Your shoes are so cute, but they would smell better on your feet."Tracy Christoph, a seasoned, Boston-based JetBlue flight attendant and travel blogger, notes that an airplane is no place for olfactory assaults.

2. "We love your child, but would appreciate if he didn't use the flight-attendant call button to compose the next great symphony." Before you take a nap and let Junior play freely, remember that someone like Christoph has to deal with the noise.

3. "You know, you do have the opportunity to select your seat in advance."
Not all airlines allow passengers to choose their seats before flights, but many do. A flight attendant who began her career 25 years ago with Pan Am and wants to remain anonymous (we'll call her Pam) is baffled when tall people stuck in the middle seat beg for an aisle only after they're on the packed airplane.

4. "We know our comfy leather seats and individual TVs make you feel like you're on your couch, but we have some great hotel partners for those more intimate moments with your loved one." Sure, travel is romantic, but there are far better — and more private — places for getting frisky.

5. "Why are you asking me that now?"It might be a request for a drink two minutes before takeoff or for the vegetarian option during meal service, but attendants get frustrated when passengers have bad timing or resist planning ahead.

6. "Let me gate-check that for you." "You can't fit a 10-pound bologna in a 5-pound bag It never fails: Someone's always trying to slip a little more luggage onto the plane.

7. "What was it like being raised by wolves?" Pam says her parents always taught her to make requests with a "please" and respond with a "thank you." But for some reason, too many passengers seem to check their manners at the gate.

8. "Compassion goes a long way." All too often, a childless passenger ends up seated next to a parent with an upset, fidgety baby on a fully booked airplane. When Pam hears, "Can't somebody shut that kid up?" she often wants to hand the child to the complainer and relocate the parent to first class with a tray full of drinks.

9. "So you're mad because someone's asked you to do your job?" Pam admits that sometimes it's her fellow flight attendants who frustrate her, returning in a huff to the galley to complain about having to serve someone yet another Coke.

10. "I'll be right back."
 OK, this one is really spoken out loud. But Pam says this is a flight attendant code phrase for something a little more, let's say, expressive — usually in response to an overly demanding, absurd or downright rude passenger request.