5:10 PM

This will sell a lot of papers

Sometimes the sensationalization of GA accidents in the print media is downright laughable. Here is today’s best example, an actual headline and pull quote from a Philippines newspaper presenting the news of a downed Duke B60:

6 cheat death in plane crash

Six passengers and crew cheated death yesterday after their aircraft crash-landed along an airstrip in the northeastern province of Aurora.
Cheat death? I thought that’s just a term we pilots use just for yucks out on the ramp after we’ve greased in a good one. But for a real newspaper to use it suggests the pilot and his souls on board looked the Grim Reaper square in the eyes before kneeing him in the nuts.

From the paper’s point of view, man-o-man, these flying machines seem pretty dangerous. Death’s door is just a few nautical miles away, waiting to suck you in and vaporize your passengers without a trace.

Oh, but there is still tomorrow, and as sure as the sun will rise, another fish wrapper will try to blast one out of the park with another powerful headline like this. I was in the real media once or twice, and there is some sort of weird aura that comes over a newsroom when the scanner screams that there is an “airplane crash” somewhere in the vicinity. The place explodes with activity, the kind of excitement that “SUV rollover” just cannot possibly generate.

Maybe there IS a reason I'm no longer a man-on-the-streets beat reporter.

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