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17 กันยายน 2550
 
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A foreigner's fault ?

I MSned a friend from my old work earlier. We started talking about the Plane Crash in Phuket and one of the questions that he asked me was whether I thought that the pilot was 'no good' or not. I don't think it was the pilot's fault, I told him. I think it was probably the weather.

News reports indicate that the plane landed in driving rain, and very, very strong winds, a monsoon storm by the sound of it. I saw something on the net yesterday evening that suggested that other pilots, who'd also landed in Phuket that afternoon had found conditions difficult too. Another report mentioned that, just before he tried to land the plane, the pilot said that he couldn't see the runway at all. OK, a lot of take offs and landings are automated nowadays but, given the fact that the pilot couldn't see where he was going, should the airport have remained open?

If there's one thing that Thailand isn't short of, it's airports. There are several other airports nearby. To close the airport, and divert flghts to Krabi, Samui, Nakorn Sri Thammaraat for a few hours wouldn't have been that problematic would it ?

When I first came to travel around here, almost 3 years ago, my plane was delayed for a few hours. There was a sandstorm and fog at Abu Dabi airport. It was closed, and our plane was diverted to some strange miltitary base instead. At the time, it was very annoying. I was tired, and really looking forward to getting off the plane, and finally walking around for the first time in 6 hours. Instead we were stuck in the middle of a big piece of tarmac for over an hour, and weren't allowed to leave the plane. But, irritating as it was, I accepted that satefy comes first, or should do... always.

After school, I went to meet a friend, who'd arranged for me to get my haircut. We were sat in the babershop, waiting, and looking at the newspaper headlines. She asked me the same question. I gave her the same answer. If anything, it was probably the weather, rather than the pilot that was to blame.

No one knows the real cause, and probably won't for months, but she mentioned that a lot of her friends also seem to think that the crash was probably the pilot's fault.

The pilot was Indonesian. One 2 Go, company that leased the plane that crashed, hit the headlines a few months ago because it was trying to save costs by hiring Indonesian, rather than Thai pilots. It's far easier for the Thai newspapers to suggest that the pilot (a foreigner) was to blame for the tradgedy than to think about questioning the management of Phuket airport, and asking them important questions such as:-
- given the stormy conditions, why was the airport open ?
- why did it take so long for rescuers reach survivors ? One victim reported that they spent around 45 minutes in a ditch before they were found by rescuers.

Sometimes, some Thai's can be fiercely proud, and nationalistic. People like this won't want to accept that a Thai company, or a Thai managed airport could be partially to blame. Finding a foreign victim for the media to pin problems onto is becoming a common theme here. When Taksin sold his shares in Shin Corp, the media did its best to stir up anti-singaporean sentiments. When small corner shop style businesses started complaining that they were losing out to the big supermarket chains, the main target was a british owned company, Tesco Lotus.

What's happened is shocking and tragic. I feel so sorry for all the people affected. People who a few days ago were dreaming of holidays by the beach, are now badly burnt and emotionally scared. Many are in hospital, some still fighting for their lives. 90 are now known to be dead, their greiving families left to try to comprehend the emormity of what's happened, and accept the fact that the people they love are gone, forever.

What would be even more shocking, to this westerner, is if the Thai langauge media continue to promote the idea that the crash was a 'foreigner's' fault, an Indonesian pilot who was 'ไม่เก่ง', rather than doing real investiagtive journalism and asking the questions that ought to be asked. If they are unwilling to do this, maybe they are too graeng jy, lazy or downright inept, then they should at least wait for the results of the offical invesitagation before apportioning blame.


Create Date : 17 กันยายน 2550
Last Update : 17 กันยายน 2550 22:50:24 น. 7 comments
Counter : 6146 Pageviews.

 
Babe
you should read my dissertation... it's on investigative journo in thailand... (just during a specific period...) even so, you can still see the trend.


โดย: no name IP: 58.9.54.203 วันที่: 19 กันยายน 2550 เวลา:0:55:22 น.  

 
If anyone's interested in reading more about this...

//blog.nationmultimedia.com/ChristySweet/2007/09/18/entry-1


โดย: Kerrie IP: 58.9.140.62 วันที่: 19 กันยายน 2550 เวลา:11:23:23 น.  

 
Or this...

//www.thaivisa.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=142829&pid=1544562&st=495&#entry1544562


โดย: Kerrie IP: 58.9.140.62 วันที่: 19 กันยายน 2550 เวลา:11:47:40 น.  

 
Totally quite agree that sometime to be nationalistic and patriots in the wrong time is not a good decision. Accident's happen, someone always there to be blame and in this case they blame the captain, we better keep mouth shut and wait till the final result comes from the investigate than start to throw responsibility to one whom dead for the cost. Death can't argue. So we better pay respect and condolescense..for whom lost and grief is far more for us to bear with.


โดย: Srisuda IP: 89.211.4.3 วันที่: 21 กันยายน 2550 เวลา:3:09:36 น.  

 
check out investigateudom.com seems there is a lot more to this crash than just a wind shear, mismanagement and blatant disregard for sfety practices... Thai Visa is a piece of crap discussion forum and is censoring this story


โดย: christysweet IP: 58.26.131.162 วันที่: 14 กรกฎาคม 2551 เวลา:20:42:53 น.  

 
An update on this...

Just read that somebody did actually challenge the results of the Thai "investigations" ...in England... and the coroners findings are something you probably won't find in any of the Thai newspapers...

//www.andrew-drummond.com/2011/03/24/thailands-aviation-cover-up-and-bonnie-rind/

from Bonnie Rind (quoted in the above article...)

“In OG269, young, healthy people — powerless Thais and farang, ie tourists — died horribly due to corruption and wonton and willful disregard for human life. The Thais cover it up quickly, so the public forgets about it and tourism continues. That was the plan. Hopefully, we sort of foiled that plan."



โดย: Kerrie IP: 113.165.58.18 วันที่: 26 มีนาคม 2554 เวลา:10:12:11 น.  

 
An update on this...

Just read that somebody did actually challenge the results of the Thai "investigations" ...in England... and the coroners findings are something you probably won't find in any of the Thai newspapers...

//www.andrew-drummond.com/2011/03/24/thailands-aviation-cover-up-and-bonnie-rind/

from Bonnie Rind (quoted in the above article...)

“In OG269, young, healthy people — powerless Thais and farang, ie tourists — died horribly due to corruption and wonton and willful disregard for human life. The Thais cover it up quickly, so the public forgets about it and tourism continues. That was the plan. Hopefully, we sort of foiled that plan."



โดย: Kerrie IP: 113.165.58.18 วันที่: 26 มีนาคม 2554 เวลา:10:12:12 น.  

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