Early this morning, AirAsia flight QZ8501 went missing from radar en route to Singapore. The plane lost contact somewhere over the Java Sea and while there was no emergency or distress call, the pilot did request an altitude change citing severe weather just before the plane vanished from radar. While the search for the plane is still in an early phase, apparently, it's never too early to start spouting inane speculation regarding the tragic situation.
Today Fox News host Anna Kooiman invited former FAA spokesperson Scott Brenner to discuss the difference in the way American pilots and non-American pilots were trained and if maybe that had anything to do with what happened to flight QZ8501. While it seems pretty clear Brenner was probably about to address the difference in pilot training, Kooiman took the opportunity to highlight the dangers of the metric system and "a difference in the way that we measure things." Via Raw Story:
"Even when we think about temperature, it's Fahrenheit or Celsius," she pointed out. "It's kilometers or miles. You know, everything about their training could be similar, but different."
Yes, similar, but different. Obviously this is a pretty classic misunderstanding. When Brenner politely pointed out that he was referring to pilot error and the reliance on autopilot Kooiman began to understand that maybe the imperial system, which no one else fucking uses except for the US, might not be related:
"It's not just a difference in the way that we measure things?" Kooiman replied. "Is it not as safe in that part of the world? Because our viewers may be thinking, 'International travel, is it safe? Is it not safe?'"
Brenner reassured her that it was, indeed safe to fly outside the US. But the idiocy did not end there. Kooiman's co-host Charles Payne wondered if the reason why "a lot of these incidents" have occurred in Asia is a cultural difference, "certain respect for procedure." Yes, because all Asian people will humbly and unquestioningly obey procedure even if that means crashing an airplane killing hundreds of people lest they bring shame and dishonor on their family.
Payne compares this submissive attitude to the "cowboy" attitude of American pilots because duh, didn't you see that one documentary about Harrison Ford becoming the president and kicking those Russian terrorists off his plane? I mean, the plane crashed, but only the bad guys died, and it was fucking awesome. That right there is America. Wait, what were we talking about?