Sunday, November 15, 2009

Update: Air crashes (not), crashing defeats, and crashes avoided

Ah, the week that was.

Can you actually get TWO feet in your mouth? Yes! Just ask Oman Air and The Wave!
Local bloggers Muscat Mutterer and Jet Driver covered the debacle that was the EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE Wave Airplane Crash, complete with:
- actual panicked residents of the Wave (no notice given except a flyer dropped hours before),
- simulated condolence statements posted on the actual Oman Air active website,
- burning tires,
- real traffic jams, etc

For some bizarre reason even the numbers of passengers and crew couldn't even be made to add up in the pre-prepared scenario used for the accident. And someone actually phoned in to report the hallucination of seeing an actual plane crash. EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE

Lessons to be learnt all round, no doubt. Next time chaps, while the Army are excellent at shooting things, logistics, and getting things done (like setting fire to and extinguishing burning things), maybe think about subcontracting the whole "PR and Project planning" side?

JD's photoshop jest summed it all up really. I have to report it again here, it's so good.

Perhaps a great opportunity for the Blue City to point out how very far away from an airport they are... or maybe not.

Meanwhile, ....
Oman's football team manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. This is the life. And someone in the crowd threw a firecracker. Ooooh. As my ol' gran would say "its all good fun until someone loses an eye!!!"

Speaking of planes plummeting into Integrated Tourist Development sites built at the end of new runways for our main airport, the earlier story of the catastrophic shut down of Muscat's entire Air Traffic Control system, that happened mid day October 6th. There's been ome typical stuff being discussed on the fascinating forum for all things airborne PPRuNe where had I mentioned the shut down in a back room dedicated to, of all things, Muscat Air Traffic Control (I'd point interested readers to the comment "shit happens" made purportedly by an Omani ATC).

Black Hawk Down:
mabrook(cong) as if there is no any faults world wide but in Muscat
what are you digging for my friend,yes Muscat is a system which isnt 100% perfect?!?! and i guess all systems around the world arent either
spit it out?what happened that day was the first time ever.and i tell you we are 99%radar in Muscat and i guess the 1% happened that day so tuff luck to all,at least we never(at least since i joined) fired anyone because of see it a dominos effect else where(like next door) everyone blames who is below him for faliures,but we dont here in Muscat we support each other.


well st does happen doesnt it?

Love that safety attitude! (there's more. Dragon haters will love it)

UPDATE: I have it on good authority (multiple sources) that the only air traffic controller mentioned in the earlier links on Muscat Confidential - Australian C.M - did a sterling job (unlike the suggestion of a UAE ATC commenter). Further facts to come, as now the story's out many involved are talking openly about it. But it sure happened.

The problems however - and they are legion - are at last under investigation by those accountable and on high. The tender for the new ATC radar and control system went out months ago anyhow. As I've always insisted the problem was first and foremost a systematic and pre-existing one, and not really down to individual ATCs (except perhaps the likes of Black Hawk Down). The Muscat ATCs in general - I'm sure - all did their level best to keep everyone up there at the time alive, and they succeeded, thankfully.

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