Thursday, October 25, 2007

Right wing emails: return to sender

A friend recently sent me this email. Read it, but then please also read my comments following it, and check out the links if you like.

For anybody who is not familiar with a jet engine, a jet fan blade should be perfectly smooth. You might want to think twice the next time you fly on a Chinese Airline. A pilot for a Chinese carrier requested permission and landed at FRA (Frankfurt, Germany) for an unscheduled refueling stop. The reason became soon apparent to the ground crew: The Number 3 engine had been shutdown previously because of excessive vibration and because it didn't look too good.

It had apparently been no problem for the tough guys back in China: as they took some sturdy straps and wrapped them around two of the fan blades and the structures behind, thus stopping any unwanted windmilling (engine spinning by itself due to airflow passing thru the blades during flight) and associated uncomfortable vibration caused by the suboptimal fan.

Note that the straps are resourceful! After making the "repairs", off they went into the wild blue yonder with another revenue-making flight on only three engines! With the increased fuel consumption, they got a bit low on fuel and just set it down at the closest airport (FRA) for a quick refill.

That's when the problems started: the Germans, who are kind of picky about this stuff, inspected the malfunctioning engine and immediately grounded the aircraft. (Besides the seatbelts, notice the appalling condition of the fan blades.) The airline operator had to send a chunk of money to get the first engine replaced **(took about 10 days).The repair contractor decided to do some impromptu inspection work on the other engines, none of which looked all that great either. The result: a total of 3 engines were eventually changed on this plane before it was permitted to fly again.

Soon the Chinese will export their cars to Australia.

Well, that's the email.
Actually, this set of photos has something of a history that pre-dates the comment - obviously meant to please the multinational car manufacturers lobby in Australia, about Chinese car exports to Australia. To sum up, (1) they’re not seat belts and were most likely attached as part of blade removal safety practice; (2) the damage is consistent with ingestion of foreign objects during a flight, as happens to all carriers from time to time; (3) there is nothing to positively identify it as a China Airlines plane.

For further discussion, see

This sort of anti-China material comes regularly out of the US, where there is much hysteria about competition from China. The car manufacturers in particular are worried about a very cheap small car, the Chery, that China is about to release for export (see here, and note the relavance of the final comment!).
China has exceptional quality and skill in the manufacture of their own cars, and has had manufacturing plants for the likes of Audi, Volkswagen, Jeep and General Motors for years. The Chinese-designed Buick La Crosse is regarded as better than the US version (see ).

Heaps of these emails do the rounds, some having a go at migrants, some at welfare recipients or some other group that rich people think their taxes are wasted on.

Like Elvis said, "Return to sender" is my advice.


Amigos de Cuba said...

I really love the Falun Gong photos of apparent Chinese death camps. The victims lie on wrought iron and brass beds whilst they peer through windows which are draped with snow white lace curtains It would be almost funny if it wasn't taken so seriously by some.

Anonymous said...

OK, so it's not ok to trash China, but it is ok to imply that this is the product of U.S. 'hysteria'?

Anonymous said...

Here's another story with the same pics.,_BIAP_5.jpg

Go figure that probably both are not true.