Back, fill dodge, weave: Gaping hole in Qantas plane after mid-air bang.
Experts say the probable cause of the bang was an explosion of some sort, although not necessarily caused by a bomb.
Yoohoo, guys, since the Chinese invented gunpowder we have known that "BANG!!" equals explosion, they are, you know, closely tied together. So why do you bother saying it? Well, talking about the cause of the bang, instead of the cause of the explosion helps to keep the proles quiet. And, of course, many things can cause an explosion, aircraft are full of shizzle that detonates, especially in the wing root fairing next to the baggage hold. Now, lets see, the list would include.
Failing that, some sort of corrosive material could have been gnawing away at the plane's hull, eventually tearing it and creating a hole that gradually grew in size before succumbing to pressure.
Great. I would much rather it WAS a bomb because the incidence of actual terrorism is trivial compared with the number of flights in 747s every day. When American Airlines flight 587 crashed just two months after the attacks of September 11, a mate hoped that it was not another terrorist attack, to which my reply was that we should hope it WAS because the entire tail fin had shorn off at the base which was potentially MUCH more serious.
In the end it turned out that bad pilot practise in using the rudder for course corrections in turbulence was the problem.
If this little number turns out to be a design, corrosion or maintenance problem, it is orders of magnitude more serious that someone with a grievance and some explosives knowledge. It calls every single jumbo into question, you know, like this.
Either way, the 346 passengers and 19 crew on board, none of whom were hurt, would later share tales of their brush with death.
Meanwhile, isn't this fascinating.
Dramatic mobile phone footage, which showed cabin crew exuding a calm authority to suppress the initial panic that engulfed the aircraft, captured the saga for posterity.
Once we have the tools, it turns out that, even if this is the last thing we do, we want to record the event so others will know what has happened.
Tools change brains.
My increasing kit of handyman tools is changing the way I think and what I think and also changing my practise around the place; information tools do the same, we just don't see how much they have changed until an event like this.
Update: media not listening as usual. This paragraph appears in the story.
The aircraft, which was about 200 miles from Manila when it underwent "rapid decompression", plunged nearly 20,000ft before being levelled out by the pilot.
Please note, the rules for sudden decompression of an aircraft at 11,000 metres is to get down fast. The reason is simple, there isn't enough oxygen up there to breathe and it is seriously cold, around minus 40 celsius, if you don't die of asphyxia, the cold will kill you in short order.
Ah, but it sounds SO much scarier if we imply that the plane "lost altitude" of its own accord before the pilot "regained control" doesn't it?