3 Links I Love: An Unsolved Eastern Crash, American’s Business Class Saga, Long Beach Customs

This week’s featured link:
What Happened to Eastern Airlines Flight 980?Outside
Here’s a good, long read about the crash of Eastern flight 980. It’s an unsolved accident, and these guys decided to go climb a mountain in Bolivia to try to figure out what happened. If you like happy or satisfying endings, then you might not want to read this. It’s really frustrating. But it’s an interesting read, that’s for sure.

Links I Love

Two for the road:
American opens up with story of cancelled Zodiac “Concept D” seatRunway Girl Network
Here’s a great look at American’s forward/backward alternating business class seats that ran into manufacturer issues. American has stopped installing them, but they’ll remain on part of the fleet that’s already outfitted.

EDITORIAL: Look At Facts In Debate Over Long Beach AirportLong Beach Gazette
Now that the consultant study has been released, the anti-airport crowd is going to start ramping up its fight against a customs facility in Long Beach. The problem is that the report makes it sound like it’s not such a bad idea. Local newspapers like this one have jumped on board the plan. Does that mean others will agree? Ooooh no. This is just going to get more interesting.

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13 Responses to 3 Links I Love: An Unsolved Eastern Crash, American’s Business Class Saga, Long Beach Customs

  1. Ken says:

    The link to the Eastern Airlines crash was a great read. Thanks for the link, would never have seen it without your blog.

  2. Peter says:

    Awesome article about the Eastern crash, thanks for posting

  3. Mike Kowal says:

    Cranky, Your link, which ends saying… “We just want that say to be based on fact, not fear-mongering. And the fact is, an international capability at the Long Beach Airport is not an expansion of the Long Beach Airport. Let’s be honest about that, at least.”

    Really? Honest? Inviting International operations will not increase neighborhood impacts or threaten the Noise Ordiance? What you and many of the non-impacted residents of Long Beach need to understand is the potential impact of increased operations at LGB could devastate already impacted neighborhoods. Bixby Knolls, California Heights, Los Altos and their surrounding neighborhood residents know this… they live it daily! If these quality neighborhoods become further impacted the entire city will face the unspoken reality of the unintended consequences of increased flights. Home owner occupancy will decline, costs of police, fire and other services will increase. Property values and the taxes they generate will suffer. Considering the airport is currently operating under the Noise Ordiance at less that 60% capacity (CNEL), encouraging International Flights is akin to leaving the barn door open allowing your livestock to escape and become the victims of vicious predators. Once all the Commerical, Commuter, Charter, Industrial and General Aviation noise buckets are full and creating over 40% more impacting operations than exist today there will be challenges to the Ordiance from those who want more access for profit and/or pleasure at our airport and at our residents expense!

    • James says:

      1. ” Inviting International operations will not increase neighborhood impacts or threaten the Noise Ordiance?”

      In what way will international operations “threaten the Noise Ordiance? [sic]”

      2. ” Bixby Knolls, California Heights, Los Altos and their surrounding neighborhood residents know this… they live it daily! If these quality neighborhoods become further impacted the entire city will face the unspoken reality of the unintended consequences of increased flights. Home owner occupancy will decline, costs of police, fire and other services will increase. Property values and the taxes they generate will suffer. ”

      AKA the NIMBY argument

      3. ” Considering the airport is currently operating under the Noise Ordiance at less that 60% capacity (CNEL), encouraging International Flights is akin to leaving the barn door open allowing your livestock to escape and become the victims of vicious predators. Once all the Commerical, Commuter, Charter, Industrial and General Aviation noise buckets are full and creating over 40% more impacting operations than exist today there will be challenges to the Ordiance from those who want more access for profit and/or pleasure at our airport and at our residents expense!”

      If the NIMBYs didn’t want the airport operating at the noise ordinance maximum, then maybe they should have set the maximum at a lower level? And what’s wrong with people threatening the noise ordinance? Sounds like a good thing.

      • Kilroy says:

        I honestly don’t see what the issue is with the NIMBY crowd. I have lived on the approach path to an airport of about LGB’s size, and it wasn’t that bad at all. Took me all of a week to get used to the sounds of aircraft coming in on their approach, and after that I didn’t even notice it anymore. It was like living on a busy street- after a while, the noise just fades into the background… And living near an airport was MUCH better than living near a railyard (I can almost set my watch by the train whistles at night).

        It isn’t like LGB suddenly appeared overnight as a surprise to the residents; the airport has been around far long than most of the residents have. You make your decision on where to live, and you live with the consequences. If things get bad (in terms of crime/noise/commute/etc), you move. Not a big deal.

        The claim that the airport is operating at <60% of the noise ordinance is all the more reason to expand it.

    • CF says:

      Mike – I know that we’ll never agree on anything about the airport, so all I’ll mention is that I most certainly am impacted by the noise. But I bought my house knowing an airport was here and understood the risks involved. I don’t see a serious threat to the noise ordinance coming out of this, and if this allows us to bring more stability to JetBlue’s operation, then there’s a real benefit. I could go on, but I know it won’t change your stance.

  4. mike kowal says:

    James, Thanks for taking the time to respond and for your *(Aviation Special Interest) typical arguments. If I’m a NIMBY… what are You… na na na!

    * Money grubbing, special interest, me first, screw the residents and their kids who are stupid enough to live by an airport!

    • Mr.K Van De Beek says:

      MIKE KOWAL…How dare you? You accuse “James” as an ‘aviation special interest na na na.’ Are you denying you don’t represent any special interest? In fact, you represent more than special interest, you represent ‘self interest.’ That’s the problem with Joe Sopo, Rae Gabelich, and yourself, it’s more than special interest, it’s about self interest. Another term for self interest is “GREED!!!”

      There are almost half a million people in Long Beach, most will benefit from an FIS facility. In fact over 40% of the population is Hispanic in Long Beach and the surrounding areas. Flights to Guadalajara, Hermosillo, or even Mexico City would be very popular, as would flights to other Mexican destinations and Central America. With the longest runway in LA County, outside of LAX, I’m sure LGB (with an FIS), flights to Tokyo and London!

      MIKE KOWA: – don’t be a NIMBY and a self interest radical!

  5. Kilroy says:

    The Eastern article was very good as well, by the way. Surprised that no one has taken the guys up on their request to have the cockpit voice recorder analyzed, but I guess that is politics for you.

    Outside produces some very good long form journalism, and given the nature of its focus (expeditions, etc), their articles tend to be pretty dramatic.

    Finally, as someone who has flown out of La Paz, Bolivia, I highly recommend it. The airport is on a plateau above the city (which is mostly in the valley), and taking off basically feels like flying off the edge of a cliff, as the land falls away from the plane while the plane is struggling to gain altitude, and the city is visible in the valley below. Definitely the coolest takeoff I have experienced.

    With regards to the altitude out that way… Even once you are acclimated to it (coca leaf tea helps a lot with altitude, as an aside), going up a few flights of stairs at 14,000 feet is enough to wind someone in pretty decent shape. I saw some people running up a dirt mountain hiking trail at that altitude, and I could only imagine what kind of shape they must have been in- running up a mountain trail that goes 1k or 2k feet up vertically over the course or a mile or two horizontally at 12-14k feet above sea level… I can see why top athletes train at high altitude, let’s put it that way.

  6. Don Kemp says:

    Count on the Long Beach realtors to be the ones who are at the forefront of the conspiracy theories, half truths and fear mongering. The local social media threads are full of indignant misinformation and threats to public officials. NONE of them take the time to fully educate themselves. They think they do, but they don’t.

    • Mike Kowal says:

      Mr. Kemp, Realtors, at least those who work and represent buyers and sellers that are impacted by the airport are acutely aware of the economic, social and environmental impacts caused by local aviation. In fact the impact is so great that a property’s proximity to local airports must be disclosed by law to all potential buyers.

      • ASL says:

        Mr. Kowal, residents are tired of realtors’ fallacious reasoning in regards to the airport. There is simply no evidence to support claims of lower house/property values around airport areas. Articles given by realtors are from Thailand, and other areas of the US. In fact, the area around JFK (according to the study) showed an increase in house values close to the airport.

        It upsets me that people, like realtors are so self serving and won’t support any data that shows positive attributes of an airport, commercial flights, and now a FIS Facility. I’m sure, with the new FIS, we’ll be seeing the super jumbo A380 from places like Dubai, Tokyo, and other world gateways!

      • Don Kemp says:

        Yet Mr. Kowal, you fail to define “impact”. It also strikes as amusing that you MUST DISCLOSE the obvious- hey kids, you’re near an airport. Of course they are! Anyone can see that and the blind can certainly hear it. Matter of fact, for just some 40 flights a day spread out between 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m., you can get a 1200 square house near the airport for less than you could if it weren’t near the airport. Less cost to purchase, a commensurate drop in property tax and you have the same house as the other guy does.

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