vendredi 12 juin 2009

The tragedies of Flights AA 903, AA 587 and AF 447

I have no business taking part in the speculation furore over the probable causes of the crash of AF447. The experts will study the bits and pieces recovered both from the wreck site as well as from the automated messages and hopefully, succeed in providing the answers that victims’ families, passengers and airline operators want.
They may perhaps consider going through the Aircraft's design and specifications, with particular attention to the incidents of flights American Airlines 903 of 12th May 1997, 587 of 12th November 2001 and see if these could match up with that of AF 447 of 31st May 2009. That’s where I could throw in my 2-bits worth!

Both AA flights encountered turbulences that compromised flight and control.

AA flight 903 managed to land safely. Subsequent investigation seemed to indicate that at some point, tail-fin failure could have occurred.
AA flight 587 apparently ran into severe wake turbulence shortly after take-off, had a tail-fin break–up from crew desperately trying to regain control and crashed with loss of all 280+ lives on board plus 5 ground fatalities.

There seems to be consensus that AF 447 ran into heavy turbulence just before it crashed.

Two images seem to point to the horrifying similarities between the AA flight 587 and AF 447:
This is the image of AA flight 587’s tail fin.
This is the image of AF 447’s tail fin.

Could AF447 have suffered a catastrophic tail-fin failure, notwithstanding the precipitating factor of the pitot tube/ sensors icing over? Speculate: Initial loss of flight control as auto-pilot is automatically switched off, crew frantically struggles to regain control, pressure applied on tail-fin rudder pushes it to beyond theoretical design limits, tail-fin failure, bulkhead pressure dome compromised as tail-fin breaks away, cabin explosive decompression and hull disintegration……Hey! I am just a layman who should perhaps do best to keep his nose away from where he has no business sticking it in! And that’s the truth! No need to point any artillery at me!

mardi 9 juin 2009

Another About Turn

Here we go again! Yet another turn-around on the SPUP-SPPF-SPP merry-go-round started since 1977! Abolish this, abolish that, in the quest to forge a new country with revolutionary vision for a prosperous future!
Three decades later, the revolutionary fervour has long dimmed, the prosperous future a promise that remains somewhere out there, always out of reach and the country has just about made a complete about-face in politics, education, health, social welfare, transportation, business, housing, economy, etc. to be where it was before the revolutionaries started messing things up.
The latest turn around due will be Personal Income Tax.
That very beast that was put to death in 1987, as part of the revolutionary zeal to ease the burden on the country’s suffering population!!
Obviously, the 1987 Income Tax abolition was accompanied with the inevitable personal salary down-sizing across the board in both public and private sectors, and merrily joined the ranks of all the other indirect taxes that cummulated to drive the average family finances to and through the ground.
22 years later, in the Seychelles Nation daily of 10th June, we read that a personal income tax will be introduced from 2010 as part of the new 2010-2013 tax reform, itself part of the November 2008 Economic reform.
Introduced? Like in ‘it-wasn’t-there, you-guys-never-knew-or-experienced-it, before?” Those wallahs got it wrong! It was there from the first years of settlement in the islands until 1987!
The proposed Tax Reform is just another of those vital bits of information that somehow failed to find a suitable place in the SPPF's 2006 –2011 presidential election program. This in itself is all rather unfortunate. What makes it worse is that we, as a people, gobble it all up with little protest at being so misled and taken for granted!!

mardi 2 juin 2009

From SPPF to Parti PePe - What’s in a name?

So the SPUP / SPPF has a new name? Seychelles People's Party (Parti Lepep?)

As Shakespeare put it, call the Rose any other name, it would still remain a specific bunch of coloured petals with a scent, beauty and appeal that, in our minds, distinguish it from all others of the floral world!

It took 14 years to move from “People’s United Party” to “People’s Progressive Front” and 31 more years to dump that too-elusive unity and cohesive front and get down to just plain “People”. Clearly, the Reds seem to be in perpetual quest for a defining label, but are condemned to share the lot of the leopard who cannot change its spots!
The new “People’s Party” will be another name which will gradually fit into the local political landscape and vocabulary, if only by the sheer will and clout of its sponsors, the incumbent, Seychelles Government!
But let there be no doubt about it. The 1964-1978 version of the party never achieved anything close to uniting the people. Its 1978-2009 did usher in what was, for the cold-war time, the politically correct, island-bred version of international socialism, but not in the scope of a national cohesive front that it sought. If anything, it only contributed to heightening the depth of the divisive politics that pit Seychellois one against the other.
With this history of the stubborn wolf trying on sheep’s clothing, one can be forgiven to see the People’s Party as only another freshly –cloaked entity travelling down the road of political dedication, muttering its self-taught mantras and hoping for that final, unencumbered, freely given and deserving political respectability!
The new name will not wipe away the party’s archives and memory of its leaders of the victimisation, corruption, cronyism, state-engineered violence, abuse of human rights and liberties, exile and unexplained disappearances and deaths of political opponents!
Had the new party only bothered to have a good bath before doffing its new cloak, then maybe, just maybe, it could have washed itself off the filth accumulated over at least the last three decades, and start walking down the road of national reconciliation. Then, it could truly have called itself a People’s Party. For now, it will only remain “Parti PePe” (Hopefully not "Parti Pipi")