Friday, August 7, 2009

Military stupidity in the air

I'd like to meet the idiot who thought it would be a good idea to have the chiefs of staff of the Army, Air Force and Navy of Canada travel to the same destination, on the same flight. Apparently, they were involved in an almost tragic incident back in April when their Challenger jet had a near miss with a commercial airliner.

Having all the executives of the same company together on a flight would be stupid on its own. There has to be someone to continue the company if something were to go wrong. And it's very very hard to think of any other democracy where something so stupid would be tolerated. Aren't there always at least one MP and one Senator who sits out the Throne Speech, just in case "God forbid" happens? Why can't the military abide by a similar principle?

This isn't a Liberal or Conservative thing. It's just plain common sense, something that seems to be lacking no matter who's running the show. I don't know what the fiscal situation of the military is day to day, but was it so hard to find a second plane; or to have one of the three stars fly commercial?

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Anonymous said...

Nothing stupid with it at all.

1) Splitting Generals off a flight for said reasons shows no confidence in the Air Force pilots that fly the jets, or the crews who maintain them. They are all highly competent and not putting trust in that is very bad leadership, if you cant understand that then you will never understand our military.

2) Everyone and I mean everyone in the military is groomed to do the job of the commander above him in the chain of command. The military has no problems filling these holes and besides all of these guys are within a couple years of retirement anyways for the most part.

3) Each branch promotes from its own pool of talent. Meaning the chief of the air staff has to come out of the air force etc. You are not losing the # 3,4,5 guys in the military, it is not a series chain.

BlastFurnace said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Anon. Just a couple of points. First, the reports on the newscasts tonight suggest that there may have been as many as nine senior leaders on the flight -- a bit alarming quite frankly.

And second, part of the fault does lie with the commercial jet as well; you just don't stray into the path of a jet with a military call sign without a reason. Emirates, wasn't it? A bit suspicious there. The near miss was, like, 200 feet or so, way too close for comfort.

penlan said...

That's 700 ft. not 200 ft. Still close though.

"The military business jet and the Emirates Boeing 777-200 passed within 700 feet vertically after some last-minute manoeuvring prompted by high-tech equipment on both jets that alerted the pilots to the potential collision."