I’m sorry, I tried to let it go today, but I can’t. This Michelle Obama plane story is making me crazy. If it weren’t the First Lady, and this didn’t happen on the heels of controllers falling asleep on the job, we’d never have even heard about it. But, since it was the FLOTUS and controllers have fallen sleep lately, we have instead all been subjected to idiotic headlines like this:
ABC News: First Lady Michelle Obama’s Plane in Near Miss
NY Post: Plane carrying Michelle Obama narrowly avoids collision
The Washington Post: First lady’s plane in close call
No, sorry, there was no “near miss,” her plane did not “narrowly avoid” collision, and it definitely wasn’t a “close call.” It was an error where instead of her plane staying 5 miles behind the plane in front they were 3.8 miles. That meant there was some small chance that the plane in front MIGHT not clear the runway before they landed. It happens all the time. An issue? Yes. A near collision? Not even close.
And as if the sensational headlines weren’t enough, there was also this understated image as part of a video on ABC News. I’m not entirely sure why the 737 would be flying on top of the cargo plane and, while I’m no cartographer, it seems to me that unless the tail of the cargo plane is 3 miles long the distance they are showing between the planes is not exactly to scale.