Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Computer models just don't work

Via The Englishman, it seems that the no-fly policy caused by the volcano erupting in Iceland may be something of an over-reaction—as several test flights have shown.

So why the blanket shut-down of air services? [Emphasis mine.]
The Dutch airline KLM had earlier carried out a test flight through the ash cloud over Dutch airspace. A spokesman for the airline said: “We have not found anything unusual and no irregularities, which indicates the atmosphere is clean and safe to fly.”

Lufthansa also flew 10 aircraft from Munich to Frankfurt on Saturday with the blessing of the safety authorities.

A spokesman said: “We found no damage to the engines, fuselage or cockpit windows. This is why we are urging the aviation authorities to run more test flights rather than relying on computer models.”

Good to see that catastrophic anthropogenic climate change (CACC) is not the only area in which computer modelling is proving itself to be worth absolutely stuff-all...


JuliaM said...

Didn't a couple of military jets suffer severe engine damage from ash?

They landed ok, but the repairs will be long and costly. Mulitply that by all the airline stock, and it'd be catastrophic.

Ian E said...

Steve appears to think that the airlines would be happy to take vast risks with their passengers' safety. This is ludicrous - even under normal circumstances airlines lose out terribly after any crash, especially if there is any culpability involved. In the current situation, airlines that flew, if there were any significant risk level, would be committing suicide. No, I do not believe that these companies are altruistic - but I do believe they have a great self-interest at stake.

Anonymous said...

Airlines wouldn't fly if they thought there was a significant probability of crashing. I'm stuck in Paris and I'd get on a plane for free. Why should airlines have to pay 20 million euros? I'd sign a disclaimer. What has gone wrong with this country?

Elby The Berserk said...

Ah, but now they tell us - there are DIFFERENT sorts of ash! Where have we heard that before?

Anonymous said...

I always hate myself for considering the worst. But there are a few that nag in my mind.

a) the countries involved, mostly the UK and Iceland. With Icelands refusal to honour the european debt, you could say that closing down their airspace will smash their economy, and that having every global news network showing images of 2 rupturing volcanoes has quite likely fucked over their tourism economy for the next year.

b) the only early exceptions were a single flight from Iceland to Scotland, and two flights from the US to Scotland. Probably a coincidence but it would be curious to know if anyone "important" was on those planes.

c) in the context of the military/EU governance, a plane full of anti-Brussels/anti-Russia-entering the EU Polish politicians gets downed on the Russian border. EU airspace closed within days?

Anyway, must get back to productive things rather than internet ramblings.

John said...

If this event leads to the collapse of the budget airlines, or at least gives them a sizeable push in that direction, I would be inclined to question if it was not exaggerated.
We know there are various current agendas, one of which includes reducing the middle class and establishing an aristocracy/serfdom society with not much in between, so it might be sensible to look for connections if one is interested?

Lord T said...

Computer models are like any other program. They can be crap ranging to excellent and then there is the data fed into it.

Businesses for some reason seem to have very good programs and data while guvmint seems to have poor programs and data.

Can't really understand why that happens. :) It seems there must be a guvmint standard that insists on it.

Ed P said...

I wonder, has there been a surreptitious "security upgrade" carried out at airports in the UK during this shut-down? It seems an opportunity too good to miss.