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Puckinflight

An all things aviation blog

The documentary TV show “Airport 24/7” started its second season last night. Following the format of the first season they showed two episodes back-to-back. The show follows a pretty standard format; there is the “big event” which carries throughout the episode, a smaller event and a human interest segment. The first episode was about the January 10th accident where an Aerolines Argentias A340 taxied on the wrong line and their winglet dragged into the elevator on an Air France 77W scheduled to depart for Paris. The second episode dealt with a fatal bus accident that killed two people landside.

I am equal parts entertained and disgusted with this show. Being a travel addict it’s great to see a show about airports. Airports are inherently dramatic places. One only has to tune into the credits scene of Love Actually to know that.

With this show you do a get a good look at the behind scenes machinations of the Miami airport. The problem with the show is that they try, too hard, in my opinion to over-dramatize the situations. Ok, there is no going overboard on a fatal bus crash, that story writes itself. But a minor collision between aircraft, while infrequent, was over-hyped. A concrete example of this was one of the airport staff stating that, “[i]f the wing tank was punctured, thousands of gallons of jet fuel could be pouring out on to the ramp.” That line was played at least three times in the episode, and in all the previews. For the airplane equivalent of a fender bender these statements were way out of line. Next, the camera crew found the people coming off the Air France plane and asking stupid questions like “was it is a big crash;” thus, displaying all of the journalistic credibility of asking a person in Oklahoma what a tornado sounds like. Following that up, with the idea that every line is best said three times, the 22 minute show could have easily been 7 minutes long and immanently more interesting.

The show had some upside to it though compared to last season. Last season’s “over-cooked ham” MIA security director only had a minute or two of screen time. She was the one in the first season hamming up all of the security segments. Less of her, made for a better show.

Of course it is easy for me to throw stones at the show’s obvious and painful flaws. Even with the flaws it is a good show to watch, it gives a decent insight into what it takes to run a large hub airport in the United States. If you have any interest at all in airport, I would suggest you tune in and enjoy. If you need to catch up on season one, all of the episodes are on youtube.com

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