Unintended Effects

By Deane Barker on September 22, 2005

Passengers saw landing drama unfold on TV: I bet no one ever thought about this when they were installing the system.

The airliner circled Southern California for hours, crippled by a faulty landing gear, while inside its cabin 140 passengers watched their own life-and-death drama unfolding on live television.

While satellite TV sets aboard JetBlue Flight 292 were tuned to news broadcasts, some passengers cried. Others tried to telephone relatives and one woman sent a text message to her mother in Florida attempting to comfort her in the event she died.

“It was very weird. It would’ve been so much calmer without” the televisions […]

Joe and I had some debate about how this should have been handled. Do you shut the TVs off? How would that have played out in the passenger cabin, I wonder?



  1. From Engadget today:

    “We don’t doubt that the crew of JetBlue flight 292 made the right call when they decided to shut off anything that they thought might potentially interfere with communications during yesterday’s emergency landing at LAX, but by also shutting off DirecTV (which they offer in every seat) in the last few minutes before the plane “touched” down, they spared passengers the creepily recursive prospect of watching their own crash-landing live on satellite TV. Thankfully no one was hurt in the whole ordeal.”

  2. The funniest thing about that landing that I’ve heard is a comment from one of the passengers; the landing was probably the smoothest she’d ever experienced. Kinda ironic.

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