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ACRO E-mail Archive Thread: [IAC-L:1385] Re: EZ


Thread: [IAC-L:1385] Re: EZ

Message: [IAC-L:1385] Re: EZ

Follow-Up To: ACRO Email list (for List Members only)

From: harley at (harley Carnes)

Date: Fri, 17 Oct 1997 01:35:39 UTC


 Harold J. Hitchcock wrote:
> Sorry to put a second post on here.  But after reading many of the
> comments it seems there is a general theme.  The media (in general
> terms) thinks that homebuilt aircraft are less the safe.  What I am
> wondering is this, since many here, myself included, are building or
> flying homebuilts, what can we do to get the word out?  EAA and IAC both
> have worked extremely hard to promote safety, this is the time to make
> use of this and try and correct the misperceptions of the media and
> public.  Does anyone have any suggestions?
> Hal Hitchcock
> Eagle 21H

  A couple of thoughts from an insider.  I anchor 5 hours a day on WCBS
Newsradio in NYC.  
   1 - News people are basically ignorant about aviation.
   2 - News people are basically ignorant about the chemical industry.
   3 - News people are basically ignorant about medical issues. 
   It follows right on down the list.  

   They are not endowed, very often, with native knowledge about any
subject - but they tend to learn a few facts and begin to SOUND like
they have some expertise.  
    There is also the public psychology that expects news people to have
a clue - to be tapped in - and therefore to be believable on whatever
the subject of the moment may be.  
    There is a truism about dealing with the media.  You must take them
by the hand and make it simple - while trying not to appear to step on
the toes of their inflated egos.  These egos are inflated by the glow of
public attention, and the aforementioned notion that somehow the
vicarious observers of life have some notion of what the actual do-ers
of life experience.  After a while, they begin to believe it.  

    So - enough digression and self flaggelation. 

    Invite reporters to go for a ride in your little airplane.  Couch
the invitation something like this:  "I've noticed that among so many
reporters who seem to know so little about what they report, YOU - are a
golden exception.  YOU exhibit an intelligence rarely seen, (he/she
already believes this - trust me) and I just want to say thank you - by
giving you an opportunity to actually fly this airplane of mine.  You'll
have an exclusive. (this is an important word), and those of us in
aviation will be blessed by a fair and unbiased report. 
    Feel free to embellish, expand upon, and in short, lay it on thick. 
They'll lap it up. 

    If you get lucky, you'll get a good one.

     Word of warning: 
If the following questions come up: 
1. - Ever had a close call? 
2. - What's the scariest thing you ever experienced? 
3. - Why do you think John Denver crashed? 

These are the answers: 
1. -  Nope.  Every pilot I know flies carefully, and as professionally
as possible - because, after all when we are up there in our airplanes
with our friends and families, we are more interested than anyone else
in arriving safely at our destination. 
2. -  Scary things in aviation are vastly overrated.  Fact is, they
rarely happen.  That's why, like fish stories, they tend to get better
and better with repeated telling.  Sorry to be a disappointment on that
score, friend, but the gospel truth is - God really is my co-pilot. 
3. -  That's a real mystery.  That's why it'll take the NTSB experts 6
months or more to figure it out.  It would be irresponsible of me to

   Above all - do not - do NOT - do anything unexpected in your ride
with aforementioned reporter - even though you may be sorely tempted to
toss in an innocent little pull-push-pull humpty just for grins. 

Whew,I feel a lot better. 

Harley Carnes 
WCBS Radio - NYC 
Pitts S1T /  IAC #22895


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