News you can’t use, courtesy of James Fallows:
Yesterday I mentioned that yet another NYT story on a brush-with-danger aboard an airliner was suspicious.
Let me rephrase that: The story the imperiled traveler told is phony, and America’s best paper shouldn’t have credulously passed it along. (I’ve written the reporter to ask if she knows any more about it.) In short:
The passenger said that a plane banked sharply on approach to “Midway International” Airport in Chicago. That is probably true, as you’ll read below.
He said it banked because the plane was mistakenly headed for O’Hare, with the pilot realizing the gross error only at the last minute. I say that is flat-out false, an invention by the traveler. And if he proves it’s right, I’ll make an abject-apology video and stop harping on this theme.
He says the captain fled in shame and embarrassment from the cockpit. I say, if the captain left in a hurry, this was not the reason.
Let’s let the experts speak. First, Rod Peterson, a career air traffic controller who, as it happens, handled exactly the kinds of flights under discussion. He says “it is virtually impossible” that the story is true.
Read the whole thing.