What’s the matter with Joe Sharkey??

Guys, I don’t know if you remember my post about the accident that happened in September 2006…well, if you don’t, here’s a brief, basic, summary (might be inaccurate, ‘cause I’ve read about this many months ago): 7 people were flying on a tiny brand-new jet, and more than 100 people were flying on a huge 737 Boeing when, somewhere over the Amazon forest in Brazil, both planes collided. But here’s the amazing thing: the 7 people who were in the tiny jet barely noticed anything and survived without a scratch, while the + 100 people died during the crash of the Boeing.


This fact alone would be tragic and bad enough on its own. However, one of the passengers who were at the Legacy jet was Joe Sharkey, a journalist for major publications (The New York Times, etc – just take a look at the "About me" section of his blog: http://www.joesharkey.com/).


While it might be true that the Brazilian press judged both (Joe’s North-American compatriots, let it be known) jet pilots hastily (but then again, which press vehicule in the world isn’t thirsty for some polemic, and publishes only the truth without speculating and forming judgement??), this Joe Sharkey individual has been unceasingly defending the pilots and accusing not only the Brazilian press, but he’s also been mercilessly attacking the Brazilian air traffic control system, pilots, government, etc etc…you don’t even need to read the aforementioned blog in its entirety to grasp how much this guy seems to hate the country (my country, let it also be known!) to the point of spreading doubtful facts and opinions on subjects about which he has no clue (while behaving as an expert, that’s the worst part!). 


Those of you who know me (or who have been reading my blog) know that I’m the first to criticize our government, our rampant absurd violence, the bureaucracy, clumsiness and everything else that prevents my country from improving the daily life conditions of our inhabitants. However, it’s inadmissible that a foreigner, who relies on translated articles, who doesn’t know our history and people anywhere near well enough, to spread such hatred against the whole country solely because of an accident which certainly wouldn’t have happened due to multiple causes (the jet pilots INCLUDED!).


I have no knowledge about aviation, or jets or Boeings or anti-collision systems, or about the conditions of Brazilian air-control workers (they’re probably under-paid and working in non-ideal conditions, true – then again, that’s how it works around the world, right? Otherwise profit wouldn’t be possible!), but what I do know is that an accident of such magnitude could not have happened if only one single mistake had been made.


It could not have happened if both the jet pilots and the Boeing pilots would be 100% "faultless". I mean come on, how come the anti-collision system wasn’t on?? How come they didn’t change their altitude when they were supposed to have changed it TWICE?? How come they didn’t have a clue that such a HUGE airplane was near them??


Saying that the brazilian controllers don’t speak proper English is a poor and *very* lame excuse for what happened! (Do the pilots or the journalist know Portuguese or any other language for that matter?? Do they at least know ready-made aviation sentences or expressions? I doubt it.). Saying that the brazilian air system is obsolete, blablabla, that the radars don’t cover the entirety of the Amazon forest territory, etc. etc., is likewise unacceptable, for this is the first time this type of accident happened here, while *experts, insert statistics here* a number of airplanes fly everyday many times a day over the brazilian territory. It takes at least two to tango…


What makes me angry is not just the number of people who died because of all the silly (yes, silly, because there were some pretty basic precautions and procedures that were not followed) mistakes the controllers and the pilots might have commited, but also the biased treatment this case has received for the single reason that it didn’t happen in the US, it happened in an "underdeveloped" country like our own. Yes we have thousands of problems, we don’t need anyone telling us that, it’s been clear enough for centuries now. Centuries of exploitation, of greed. Not just by the foreigners, but also the brazilian ruling class/elite/whatever you want to name the few people who control us like puppets.


But see, it’s much easier to point your finger at the face of another than yourself…I wish the US (and its citizens, bien entendu!) would stop pointing their finger (a distraction as much as a magician’s trick, performed with one hand while the other is attracting attention on itself so that nobody notices the trick), interfering and looking down on the rest of the world and took care of its own problems, which are already big enough.

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