Re: BA fuel dumping

From:         Pete Mellor <pm@csr.city.ac.uk>
Date:         08 Aug 95 02:14:39 
References:   1 2
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In reply to my quote from the Guardian:-
>> "Approximately every 11 days, a British Airways airliner jettisons
>> one-and-a-half juggernaut-loads of untaxed fuel before landing at
>> its destination."
>>
>> The original information is taken from the British Airways Environmental
>> Report 1994, which records 33 occurrences totalling 1260 tonnes in one year.

Pete Finlay <pete@meads.demon.co.uk> points out (06 Aug 95 13:15:52):-

> You're right about the Grundiage, but their article is wrong. No British
> Airways aircraft (or any other aircraft I know of) need to dump fuel prior
> to landing at their *destination*.
> ...
> There has never, to my knowledge, been a case in B.A. where the aircraft
> took off knowing it was going to dump fuel prior to landing at it's
> original destination. Doesn't make sense, does it?

Quite! The original information (in small print at the foot of the page)
makes this obvious: only 33 occurrences in one year.

The snippet came from a regular column in their Saturday magazine
called "Digitations" (I think, not having my copy to hand). The method
of producing the column is devastatingly simple. You get hold of some
heavyweight statistical report and read through it until you find an
apparently alarming statistic which you then convert into terms which
you imagine the average Guardian reader will find more understandable.
(They had another one last Saturday, also pinched from the British Airways
Environmental Report 1994, about the amount of garbage taken off BA
flights at Heathrow in the year, in which the quantity of garbage was
expressed in "juggernaut loads". Unfortunately I can't remember the
actual figures.)

It's an easy way to fill up a column. (Gissa job! I could do that! :-)

I agree that in this case (and maybe others?) they have misled their
readers. Why not forward your reply to "letters@guardian.co.uk"? :-)

Pete
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