The role of the media in the fate of the aircraft industry

Aviation under pressure

(A rare example of decent work as a journalist, tags — mine)

It’s no secret that the media have a significant influence on the processes occurring in modern life. Media is very important in the political life of the states, and is sometimes even referred to as the fourth type of power. It has an effect on you and me. However, the influence of the press on the aviation industry in Russia has special features. 

It would seem, in what could be a connection and why this is a particular area of activity? At first glance, the aviation industry in the light of interaction with the media is no different from, say, a car or whatever. But this is not the case. If there were only specialized trade publications (and they certainly exist) for producers and direct consumers of products of the aviation industry, the reasons for focus attention on this aspect would not be. But apart from the trade press and there is "yellow" press, and specialized press of "yellow" shades. With your permission and for the sake of simplicity, I will also be the last in this article to rank as the tabloid press, and by the press I will understand all kinds of media.

"Yellow" press — the most massive phenomenon in the print media and in the culture of the consumer society — has become the focus of mass illusions. Yellow journalism — is a meta-discourse that arose on the basis of hedonic myths, leading away from the reality of the recipient, myths, gradually destroying the intellect of an underdeveloped part of the society, the children.
B. Khorolsky

Yellow press

We all know or at least have an idea of what the tabloids. But I will focus on the core features that are of interest to us now. In general, all of them succinctly expressed in the quotation above.

Tabloids has a very wide audience. This by definition means that most of the readers do not know the area. Especially if it has complex and specialized nature, as in our case. It is obvious that the number of people with knowledge of the processes and cause-effect relationships, they characterize, in the aviation industry is limited to a sufficient degree. Among the readers of the "yellow" press the circle even narrower. Many who read these lines, already indignant: "How can that be? To assess, for example, the quality of consumer vehicle does not necessarily have to be the constructor! "And they will be right. But the plane — not a car. This will be discussed later.

Tabloids deliberately shifts the emphasis to a more pleasing to the perception of the facts and their interpretation, thereby focusing on the physical needs of the audience. For some reason, lately more and more popular and gain news articles describing the problems in the country’s political life, corruption, etc. Every self-respecting journalist tabloid press loves fried facts and scandalous stories.

Tabloids intends to distort the meaning of news or fact, also trying to make them more "scandalous" and make it more enjoyable for the audience. In other words, it just simply is lying and takes the reader away from the real events.

Word of mouth

As the chain, causes the yellow press is another interesting effect similar to the so-called "Word of mouth". And if word of mouth is characterized by positive reviews about products or services, transmitted by word of mouth, that here there is an inverse, negative effect. Distorting the actual events and playing on low and pleasant feelings of the audience, the yellow press passes the baton to the people themselves. They begin to discuss, form judgments and express opinions about events, issues and resources required to address them. Typically, such discussions are negative connotations, ie, in contrast to the word of mouth, spread "anti-advertising".

Naturally, the effect is similar to word of mouth, and there is no means of tabloids. But that it amplifies it, gives it a more negative and all further distracts from the real situation. Most people have nowhere to draw more information about what is happening in avitsionnoy industry.

Why the plane — not a car

In one of the conversations about the Russian aviation industry I had heard an interesting argument. If it slightly rephrase the meaning of something like this — do not have to be an expert in the automotive industry to evaluate the properties of the ordinary consumer of cars, ie to understand that cars originally produced in Russia can not stand no comparison with similar foreign cars. As I said, it is a fair comment. Only here the analogy is wrong. The plane — not a car, with the aircraft much more complicated.

With some exaggeration we can agree that car is also very complex product that the automotive industry also has its own complex processes and cause-effect relationships, causing them. But there is a significant and important difference — the direct consumers of the product or target audience. If cars are created for you and us, theAirplanes and helicopters are … for the airlines, but rather to the so-called operators.One more important thing: if the vehicles are designed to meet our desires, our objectives and goals which are quite diverse, the airline bought a commercial airliner with only one purpose — to make money. Maybe for some people it may sound harsh and too cynical, but it is. Someone will complain that all the same these aircraft we fly with you. Yes, it is. But we do not choose which aircraft to purchase airline (we can only very indirectly influence this choice by selecting one or another airline). The competitive advantages that we can evaluate with you, the common people (we are mainly talking about the level of comfort), are only a small part of all the competitive advantages of the aircraft, which we estimate will not have any opportunities, not being experts.

But the complexity does not end there. If the real situation a little easier, we can draw the following model. The only important criterion for choosing a particular aircraft for the airline passenger cost is calculated taking into account the huge number of factors that take into account peculiarities of the airline’s route network, etc., for a given level of comfort and provide a high level of security. Like, it seems simple, but even the experts are the major airlines can not figure out all the factors and get a reasonably accurate figure, especially for new types of vehicles. In addition to the cost of the transport of matter and other important factors is not affected by, for example, the estimated residual value, is available for purchase, etc.

In front of us there is a great example of what the task is not as easy as it seems. Since the early 90s we see fierce competition in the sector of single-aisle aircraft family of 320m between Airbus and Boeing 737. It would seem that some of these aircraft certainly better than your opponent. But if it were that easy, they would not be delivered to customers at approximately 450 units per year each.

As for the level of comfort that we seem to be able to easily evaluate, in fact, too, is not so simple. Not everyone knows that the level of comfort in a given plane depends primarily on the airline. That airline chooses which piece and what steps to set (one of the key indicators of comfort in passenger air transport), what, how much and where the kitchen and toilet modules to use, install, or no passenger entertainment system, etc. Airlines may even, in some cases, to choose the type of engine installed on the aircraft. And most importantly — the airline chooses how to serve you in flight. In other words, part of the comfort cha
racteristics of aircraft flight itself does not play a major role too.

But back to the analogy with cars. The attentive reader will have probably noticed that the above I emphasized the word "passenger". Of course, this was done deliberately. Based on the foregoing it is clear that a commercial airliner is not correct to compare with conventional passenger car and the commercial vehicles. Of course, the situation with the choice of aircraft is still much more complex and multifaceted, but with commercial vehicles is not as clear what such a wonderful car has a competitive advantage Gazelle, allowing it to sweep the whole of our country rather big. The answer to this question lies more in the plane of the calculator, rather than with you in our subjective views on the characteristics of the car.

Public opinion

We have already seen that the common man in most cases, is unable to understand the maze of competitive advantages and disadvantages of modern commercial airliners. However, this does not prevent people form their personal opinion on the overall quality of certain aircraft. As you may have guessed, this is a subjective opinion often diverges significantly from the actual state of affairs. And if the discussion of aircraft, considerable time and in substantial quantities in service this discrepancy may be small (but it is still present, as shown in the example above), or with the new technique is not very common situation can be quite depressing.

Another favorite activity, spurred tabloid, is pulling out of any one of the aircraft of the myriad (and it is really great, believe me, even the distance to the warehouse, where is the spare engine, the rental price of the engine and response time are important AOG) and a comparison of the characteristics of this aircraft with competitors. Apart from the fact that such a comparison is meaningless (otherwise, for example, aircraft with 4 engines have long ceased to exist), and are often not comparable aircraft with their competitors, and with the aircraft of other classes, which is doubly aggravated the situation.

Analysis of accidents

Another interesting exercise is analysis of accidents. Everyone is taking part in this entertaining game.

Once, after a controversial crash involving Letter of the aircraft, I accidentally had to listen to one teleperadachu, which just discussed the possible causes of the disaster. Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to see proihodyaschee on the screen and therefore do not know what it was for the transfer. Most likely it was something like, "big wash", ie Media in their traditional "yellow" manifestation. But it did not hit me. In the studio, apparently, has been invited several guests, all of whom were extremely far from the aircraft, not only formally but also in fact. It can be easily concluded by phrases such as "refusal right turbines," and others. Now, these people, along with the audience and the presenter, not even waiting for the results of the preliminary investigation of the incident, live speculated about what happened. Not difficult to assess the level of confidence voiced assumptions, and the fact that they do not sound adds joy.

Naturally, in the course of these discussions and games in the "guessing game" is often to blame is the main plane. Do not come to the aid of any statiska causes accidents, no preliminary data of accident investigation, nor even the official conclusion of the MAC.People and the press invariably prefer the version in which innocent domestic airplane, and all reports are considered not only as a conspiracy.


"So what?" — You say. "Discuss-sworn, scolded, stomped their feet and left. No one was hurt, what is it all? "But this is not quite true. He suffers from the aviation industry and the industry as a whole. As soon as the noise level reaches a certain limit, it immediately affects the fate of the aircraft, the carrier or the industry. On the one hand, it is even useful. If the noise goes up on the case, well, it has an immediate impact and measures taken to rectify the situation (although the measures do not always provide adequate and often lead to the opposite result.) I want to note that in this case we are discussing a situation where public opinion and the opinion of the media or by other means sidetracked and do not correspond to reality. In this case, the hype is really dangerous. How so?
I probably will not open the secret to say that the vast majority of modern aircraft can not be bought for a "live" money. Planes and helicopters purchased by the so-called finance the purchase. Options such financing may be very different: it may be credit, financial or operational leasing, various governmental and other guarantees, exchange for other assets, stocks, etc. All (or most) of these cases, purchase of aircraft is seen as an investment project. Accordingly, the project based on these aircraft has a certain investment attractiveness. I will not delve into the particular evaluation criteria such appeal and speculative to talk about this kind of business, except to say that public opinion is not the last value in making a decision on such an investment.

New types of aviation technology, while under the influence of this kind of confusion of public opinion, falls into a vicious circle. Public opinion scolds plane, it loses investment appeal (the same key cents to the cost of passenger-kilometers begin to grow), the aircraft becomes less competitive and demand in the market, and its starting to scold for it — the circle closes.

Unfortunately, this is not the only consequence of error of public opinion. Often it leads to a reaction of government regulators and even the government. But most worryingly, the pressure of public opinion, the aviation industry representatives themselves do not hold back the onslaught and forced to react. Not respond to the actual course of events, and blurred public opinion.


Unfortunately, all of what you read above — not my imagination. All this we can observe in reality. I will cite only a few examples that have occurred in recent years.

29.12.12Roll out the scandalous story of the Tu-204 a / the Red Wings in Vnukovo, heated discussions. Following the publication of pre-trial detention IAC specialized press with shades of "yellow" publishes news about it. In this case, the title has been carefully chosen to attract attention, it gives you streamlined headlight, on a plane that did not work reverse and brake pads with interceptors (made some allusion to the fact that there was a failure in the systems of the aircraft, which did not allow them to work). Strictly speaking, it is difficult to hang on, reverse and automatic braking does not work. Another thing is that most of the articles and the conclusion of the IAC is clearly seen even a layperson that they did not have to work. That is, whether locally Tu-204 plane any other modern, the situation would be completely analogous. By the way, despite numerous disturbances in comments to the news and in the forum, the publication has not deigned to correct the headline. Here is a typical example of a shift in focus in the media. Next is non-specialized press, like a spoiled phone, began to spread the news to the already strong emphasis in the fact that the plane failed. Public discontent is growing like a snowball. Rosaviaciya initiates an unscheduled inspection of the Tu-204 and a / c Red Wings (this is a normal and appropriate response), followed by finding cling to what the scan (remember, the aircraft in all that happens is still not guilty), Rosaviaciya public pressure temporarily suspend the Air Operator Certificate (remember, Red Wings operates exclusively Tu-204).
The press continues to write nonsense like: "The cause of the disaster, according to the IAC, have not been triggered reversal system." © Forbes. Tupolev also under the pressure of public opinion, but on its own initiative, conducts unannounced tests on simulated landing in similar conditions by Tu-204SM than once again confirms pilot error and lack of fault plane. Transaero Airlines suspends operation of its Tu-214 (again under the pressure of public opinion, but on its own initiative). Alexander Lebedev, the owner of a / the Red Wings, is going to sell the company for 1 ruble (ie present) as for each day of aircraft it is a huge loss.

Total acute discussion, I saw only one edition, which penetrated into the problem. To my deep regret, it was not a Russian edition, it was the publication Flight International, which is published in the UK. Rate the paradox of the situation — all the Russian media, including publications who regard themselves as "expert" or specialized, criticized the Tu-204, a really special edition British aircraft "protects".

That’s right, almost out of the blue and the efforts involved in some form to the fourth power play almost the last chords in the already plight of Russian aircraft Tu-204/214. What can we say about the project and the new modernized Tu-204SM.

09.05.12Right on the day of the Victory in Indonesia on a demonstration flight crashed another Russian aircraft — Sukhoi Superjet 100. Despite the official opinion on overall health of the aircraft, public opinion is not so clear. The official conclusion is considered nothing more than a factor of a "plot". The main argument — "Well, we know how to write reports". Let’s leave these conclusions on the conscience of their advocates. I just remind you that the original investigation was conducted by the Indonesian side. And it was she who first made a conclusion about the serviceability of the aircraft. Let me remind you also that on board the crashed plane were Indonesian citizens, potential buyers SSJ-100 aircraft. I have no idea how ambitious to be a "conspiracy" to prevent an objective investigation into the death of the Indonesian authorities to their citizens. I can not imagine what could make the Indonesian authorities in this situation side of a foreign aircraft manufacturer, and then validate it a type certificate. Let me remind you that the customer already has a contract with the GSS (designer and manufacturer of SSJ-100) for the supply of aircraft and whose members also died in the crashed plane, did not give up the contract and are still going to buy them.

Numerous discussions about this incident, the ongoing discussion of the aircraft, sources of funding for its creation, its characteristics, comparisons with ostensibly competitors (for the time of intense discussion SSJ-100 aircraft in the press, I have never seen a mention of his only direct competitor — Embraer E-Jet ), etc. in the tabloids and the Russian public has consistently aggravate the situation. This results in a significant reduction of investment attractiveness of the purchase of such aircraft. As I said above, this leads to higher rates of lease payments (which in fact is now seen not only in Russia, but all over the world), which directly affects the cost of operating the aircraft and reduce its cost effectiveness. The circle is complete.

Once again, I repeat, I am not trying to advocate for a particular aircraft. At the same SSJ-100 and Tu-204 is really full of problems, it is far from ideal planes. I’m just saying the facts of deliberate distortion of reality. And these examples are many, but unfortunately, the amount of this article and turned so huge.

How can that be, and what do you do?

By itself, the situation is not new, so the recipe of this "disease" invented a long time ago. In short, it looks like this:
— And — God forbid you — do not read Soviet newspapers before dinner.
— Um … Why not others?
— Here no and do not read.

If deployed, the same classic mouth of the same professor said:
— Ruin, Philip Philippovich.
— No, — quite confidently said Philip Philippovich — no. You’re the first, my dear Ivan Arnoldovich refrain from the use of the word itself. This is — a mirage, smoke, fiction — Philip Philippovich widely spread his short fingers, making two shadows, like turtles, squirmed on the tablecloth. — What is this your ruin? The old woman with a crutch? A witch who has beaten all the windows, put out all the lights? Yes it does and does not exist. What do you mean by that word? — Philip asked furiously Philippovich unhappy with cardboard ducks hanging upside down next to the buffet, and he answered for her. — It is this: if I, instead, to handle every night, I’ll start in his apartment to sing in chorus, I have come devastation. If I am going to the bathroom, I’ll start, excuse the expression, by the toilet to urinate and the same will be done Zina and Darya Petrovna, in the dressing room will ruin. Therefore, the disruption is not in the closet, and in their heads. So when these baritones shout "hit the devastation!" — I laugh. (The face of Philip Povich contorted so that the bitten one opened his mouth.) I swear to you, I find it funny! This means that each of them must peel myself on the head! And that’s when he hatched from themselves all sorts of hallucinations, and will be engaged in cleaning barns — direct his own business — devastation will disappear by itself. Can not serve two gods! It is impossible at one and the same time to sweep the tram tracks and establish the fate of some Spanish ragamuffins! This no one can, doctor, and even more so — the people who, generally lagging behind the Europeans 200 years, is still not entirely confident button up their own pants!

So I want to appeal to the few who still read up to these lines. Let us cease to believe in all sorts of nonsense, especially if you and I do not understand the question. Let’s stop shouting at each corner that everything is bad, and thus exacerbate the already difficult situation in the industry. Come work better. And try to make our country, and with it the whole world just a little better.

Good luck to you

Opinion | Blogger temig
Source:Aviation under press


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