Thursday, June 01, 2006

More Quote Mining

Watching Markyx's video I noticed an example of quote mining, that I missed before. The filmmakers do this a lot, where they take a select quote, or part of a quote, completely out of the context of what the people said in order to give an impression which is not supported by the speaker. Wally Miller, Ben Fountain, the air traffic controllers, are among some of the examples. In this case it is Marcel Bernard, a flight instructor at an airport where hijacker Hani Hanjour tried, unsuccesfully to rent a Cessna. Here is an excerpt from the interview they show, which starts at the 13:45 mark:

This was the case of Hani, he wanted to get "checked-out" as we call it to rent our aircraft. And our insurance requires that he flies with one of our instructors to be found competent to rent. And that was the process that he was going through. And consensus was , he was very quiet, average, or below average piloting skills.

OK, so we get the idea that he probably wasn't the greatest pilot in the world, but it's not like he was going to be required to instrument land a 747 in the middle of a Minneapolis snowstorm in the middle of the night or anything, all he had to do was crash into the largest building in the world in broad daylight. I can do that with Microsoft Flight Simulator without even spilling my beer.

But regardless, we are left with the impression that he was too poor of a pilot to have done this. But here is an interesting question. Why didn't they just ask Marcel Bernard this, rather than inferring it? He was an instructor. He saw Hanjour fly personally. If anyone would be qualified to answer the question, it seems he would.

Oh wait, they did. For some strange reason it didn't make the movie though. Maybe it will be in Loose Change Version 3? Here is what the flight instructor had to say on the actual point at hand:

O'CONNOR: Hanjour didn't come back, and while landing a Cessna is far different from landing a 757, Bernard says keeping it in the air isn't.

BERNARD: We believe that even though he didn't necessarily have experience in jets, that once the airplane was airborne, that he could have easily pointed it in any direction he wanted to, and crashed it into a building or whatever would be a real feasibility, real possibility.

Odd, that this somehow was left out of the movie. It almost makes you want to think they are trying to mislead us or something...

17 Comments:

At 02 June, 2006 06:04, Blogger JoanBasil said...

http://www.physics911.net/harel.htm

Please take the trouble to read that link. Where did "Hani Hanjour" get the skills to navigate to the Pentagon? At the point the plane was taken, the Pentagon wasn't just "over there."

This whole "who were the pilots" issue is important but handled lackadaisically by the official version. One of the hijackers who is "alive and well" is an actual airlines pilot.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1559151.stm

 
At 02 June, 2006 06:14, Blogger LT said...

have you ever heard of GPS?

 
At 02 June, 2006 06:39, Blogger JoanBasil said...

It,
you didn't read the link. Where do you find any evidence that "Hani Hanjour" trained on the kind of equipment one would need to train on to navigate that route he took with a large commercial airliner?

I'm putting quotes around Hani Hanjour because for all we know, someone was impersonating him for a while and the fellow who went to the flight school could have been putting on an act of being a crummy pilot. 9/11 was a complicated operation that was years in the making, IMO.

 
At 02 June, 2006 06:40, Blogger John B said...

Further to It:

The weather was clear and sunny. Washington isn't hard to find - and neither is a structure like the Pentagon.

 
At 02 June, 2006 06:42, Blogger John B said...

joanbasil:

You can't use the link - too long for the frame. You need to use link tags.

 
At 02 June, 2006 06:48, Blogger LT said...

the kind of equipment? The kind of equipment can be found on Flight Simulator 2000, and as James has pointed out, unless your a complete idiot, piloting a plane into is really not difficult. Perhaps I'm missing your point, I don't know, but most fourteen year olds can use a GPS.

 
At 02 June, 2006 07:01, Blogger LT said...

i guess the point i'm trying to make Joan, is don't make it so complicated because its not.

 
At 02 June, 2006 07:13, Blogger undense said...

http://www.physics911.net/harel.htm

What kind of pilot is he as well? I have a couple of friends who are pilots and own their planes, but they are private pilots, not commercially rated. I have another friend who is a commercial pilot and flies for Delta. There's a difference between the two, but they all have the same basic skills and knowldge. My younger brother is one of the best helicopter pilots ever to come out of the Army, and I worked in Air Traffic Control Towers as a weather observer while in the military, so I picked up a little bit about piloting myself along the way.

For an aeronautical engineer and "pilot," Harel certainly doesn't describe things very well, such as what IFR is. There are two types of conditions for flying - IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) and VFR (Visual Flight Rules). Both are contingent on the weather, primarily visibility. If visibility is above a certain level, VFR is permitted. If visibility falls below a certain level, IFR is required. A commercial pilot flying by instrumnts does not imply that he is flying IFR. It merely implies he is navigating by instrumentation, which is what all commercial airline pilots do anyway. They use a waypoint system to guide them and occassionally check out the window for visual verification of known landmarks. However, flying by the navigation system is not the same as flying IFR.

Harel also distorts and mistates a lot of the details about Hanjour's skill as a pilot, but if you've bothered to read Gravy's debunking of LC, you'd know that already. You'd also know that Hanjour had earned his commercial pilot rating as well as an instrument rating, and had flown a simulator, so he was already well aware of how to use the instruments and operate the navigational aspects of the airplane.

Then Harel goes on to repeat garbage that's already been debunked numerous times over relating to no Arabs being on the plane, etc. His article is crap.

 
At 02 June, 2006 07:38, Blogger Randal said...

I'm a pilot and I can tell you that it takes no great skill to fly an already airborne aircraft into a building. The challenge in flying commercial airliners is in takeoffs, approaches, landings, and maintaining precise headings and altitudes, none of which the hijackers had to worry about. If you don't care about safety, ATC commands or FAA regulations, a ten-year old child could be taught to steer an already airborne aircraft toward a compass heading and ramming it into a building. In fact kids do it all the time on computer flight sims.

The Pentagon would be no challenge to find; it's right alongside the Potomac river. If you can find the river you can find the Pentagon. It would take only rudimentary navigational skill to do it.

 
At 02 June, 2006 07:38, Blogger LT said...

undense,
I couldn't have said it better.

LT

 
At 02 June, 2006 07:53, Blogger LT said...

joel harrel must want himself to be thought of as an extremely intelligent person, because he makes all this sound so terribly confusing, when in fact, its not.

all aircraft have some basic instrumentation, regardless of whether its a cessna or a 767, and they're all layed out in a similar fashion - in a location that allows the pilot to easily glance at them for situational awareness. artificial horizon, compass, airspeed - if you have those, you can fly. His assertion of how confusing it must have been for someone like Hanji to take over the controls is a laugh. airspeed, heading, and vertical speed - basic instruments anyone with the slightest bit of aviation knowledge can understand is all it takes.

 
At 02 June, 2006 08:05, Blogger undense said...

A little bit OT, but to Pat and James...

I saw on JREF that an HTML version of Gravy's LCv2 debunking is now available. It might warrant its own post.

http://tinyurl.com/jnfp8

Thumbs up to CurtC of JREF for creating the HTML version.

 
At 02 June, 2006 08:05, Blogger shawn said...

Joan, the Pentagon is THE LARGEST OFFICE BUILDING ON THE PLANET EARTH.

 
At 02 June, 2006 15:12, Blogger Alex said...

Joan, your argument is something along the lines of saying that your average car driver wouldn't be able to hijack a bus and drive it into the side of a building because he doesn't know how to operate a bus or how to navigate with it. In other words, it's utter nonsense. He might not be able to paralel park the damn thing, but he could certainly steer it around and find the building he wants.

 
At 02 June, 2006 15:41, Blogger undense said...

Alex,

You know you'll just get that uncomprehending stare and the reply of "But it wasn't a bus."

 
At 02 June, 2006 16:17, Blogger Alex said...

*sigh*

If only they had been planes made by Airbus instead of Boing....

 
At 03 June, 2006 18:36, Blogger insidejob said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 

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