Monday, 26 April 2010

Turbulent Times

Take a look at the adword placement below the headline. Neat, huh? The Du ad is, BTW, by no means the first time that their clap-happy strapline has been at odds with the news it appears against!

The Times of India yesterday reported that Emirates' EK530, the plane that hit heavy turbulence en-route to Kochi, 'dropped 15,000 feet in a few seconds'. This, the key fact in the TOI story, seemed pretty unbelievable - 15,000 feet is nigh-on three miles and you'd have to be dropping at above the speed of sound to do that in a 'few seconds' (about 15 seconds at Mach 1), which would, incidentally, be way above the likely terminal velocity of an airliner. Wow! Do I win anorak of the year?

In fact, a short period of heavy turbulence, including a reported drop through a 200ft air pocket, meant minor injuries sustained by some 20 passengers. Things could have been a great deal worse and EK's pilot certainly deserved the round of applause he apparently got when the plane landed.

The TOI piece, obviously in error, still hasn't been corrected and a lot of people took that amazing fact at face value - you've got to admit, a 15,000 foot hellish power-dive is a great story and was likely the one fact in the piece that sent it global with amazing rapidity (Twitter was all a-Twitter, of course!). Without that attention-getting 15,000 feet, we'd just have a minor incident.


EyeOnDubai said...

Shame on you, Alexander. A skilled and conscientious journalist on such an august publication as the ToI would never stoop to such depths in pursuit of hits rather than the truth, would they?


talha said...

love the adwords thing.... expect it to go viral v soon :D

btw interesting how on arabian business website sm dude has been singing praises how TOI can NEVER go wrong.... so 15K ft in a few seconds SHOULD be plausible....

alex u gotta work harder for ur anorak!

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