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Book Review: Cockpit Confidential

August 6, 2014

Cockpit Confidential by First Officer Patrick Smith is an excellent everything-you-have-ever-wanted-to-know about the airline industry and airplanes. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever flown and works or has worked in the airline industry. I finally know what that sound is underneath the Airbus 320 series aircraft that sounds like somebody is sawing off the landing gear. Also, a lot of mysteries that were presented to me when I worked in the airline industry myself have been demystified, Mr. Smith is an insightful, intelligent man and I love his views on the ineptitude of the TSA. Around page 182 he shares a confrontation he had with the TSA boobs because he had in his carry-on a butter knife that his airline provides for passengers inflight. The TSA were not listening or were in George W. mode and didn’t seem to understand that they were denying him silverware that he can just get again once he boards his airplane. Let me share some of it here if for nothing else, so you can see the dimwits that this fascist government has working as our security supposedly and their poor command of the English language. The writing in parentheses are mine own and not part of the book:

TSA: Bag check!…You got a knife in here?

Smith: A knife?

TSA: A knife, she barks. Some Silverware? (Can you just imagine an obese woman from West Philly here?)

Smith: Yes, I do. I always do. Inside my suitcase I carry a spare set of airline-sized cutlery–a spoon, a fork, and a knife…Its identical to the cutlery that accompanies your meal on a long-haul flight…Yes, I tell the guard. There’s a metal knife in there—a butter knife.

TSA: You aint taking this through, she says. No knifes[sic]. You cant bring a knife through here. (notice the excellent English grammar).

Smith: Ma’am, that’s an airline knife. Its the knife they give you on the plane.

TSA: Have a good afternoon, sir (the obese boob with the poor English from West Philly is not listening, obviously).

Smith: You cant be serious, I say.

Mr. Smith has an excellent and accurate view of the uselessness of the TSA. In fact, I also have to share this bit on page 186 for your education:

“In fact, TSA workers do not hold law enforcement power as such—much as they have done a good job fooling people into believing otherwise. TSA holds the authority, legitimately, to inspect your belongings and prevent you from passing through a checkpoint. It does not have the authority to detain you, interrogate you, arrest you, force you to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, or otherwise compromise your rights. Both TSA and the traveling public need to remember this.”

And yet although First Officer Smith is on point with his analysis of TSA and security at the airports today, he is very harsh on what he calls 9/11 “conspiracy theorists” which is just a harsh way of saying kook or someone who has a view that does not match the official story. I have written to Mr. Smith and one day I would say about this is, okay, I will concede some views about 9/11 may be a stretch, but I am wondering Mr. Smith, can you explain to me how did building 7 collapse considering that no plane hit it? Also, Mr. Smith tries to debunk the controlled demolition theory, yet even the firefighters of New York City heard explosions after the planes hit the building. One more thing Mr. Smith, can kerosene, the fuel used to fly an airplane, get hot enough to collapse a building like the World Trade Center? A builiding which its Japanese architect built it specifically to withhold airplanes smacking into it?  One of the things I admire about you Mr. Smith is that you bring your pilot expertise and well-thought out analysis into your book, but at some point you must concede that you are not an architect. Mr. Smith watch this video, the fire department of New York City knew they would have to bring down the building, here they are saying it.

Regardless of where we disagree, First Officer Smith is a level headed, insightful author and I still recommend this book to anyone. His view on the TSA and security is spot on and he will teach you everything there is to know about the airline business. Get this book!


From → Book Reviews

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