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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 24th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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The Snowflake Award for 2019 goes to...

21 January 2019

Many groups of workers have representative bodies that lobby strongly for their rights and to protect their members.

Sometimes those bodies do a lot of whining... an awful lot of whining.

There was a time when the Police Association was one of this country's worst bunch of whiners and Greg O'Connor was the consummate grizzler. Of course he's now moved onwards and upwards, joining a whole horde of other grizzlers in parliament. He has found his true vocation, one might say.

Since he left, the Police Association has become a far more reasonable organisation, focusing on the real issues rather than seemingly just acting as a vehicle for one man to get his name in the media on a very regular basis.

However, the baton of "best whingers" now seems to have been handed on well and truly to Airline Pilots and their association NZALPA.

Whinger in chief for NZALPA is one Tim Robinson, and boy, he seems to whine louder than a 707 turbojet (much louder than today's high-bypass turbofans).

Not content with screaming for "tougher regulation" and "compulsory registration" every time one of his snowflake members even sees a drone, Tim is now rolling out that very tired old "It's only a matter of time before..." phrase again -- but it's not drones in his sights.

According to this story Mr Robinson thinks that laser pointers are going to bring down an airliner. It's "only a matter of time" you know!

And, of course, he is dead right. However, it's also only a matter of time before we're all wiped out by a rogue asteroid (in fact it's THREE times more likely today than it was 300 million years ago!).

Oh, the humanity!

According to Mr Robinson, there were 228 incidents involving laser pointers reported last year so he wants these evil things BANNED.

Oh dear... I can see that once he's left the employ of NZALPA, Mr Robinson (like Mr O'Connor) is lining himself up for a career in politics. He obviously lacks the intelligence to come up with good ideas so falls back on the proven ineffectiveness of prohibition as his only solution, just like so many politicians do.

But is Mr Robinson's fear of lasers justified any more than his fear of drones?

Well let's ask a *real* airline pilot... you know, one who isn't a precious little snowflake. One who comes from a military background and who's really faced danger in the air.

Here is another one of Captain Chris Manno's wonderful JetHead blog entries, this time titled: Airline “Scare in the Air:” Laser Mythology

I love this guy's blogs. He shoots from the hip, doesn't give a damn for the union's hymn book and certainly isn't a snowflake like those NZAPLA members who, through Mr Robinson, seem to express fear and outrage over everything they see.

For those who can't be arsed to read the linked blog entry, here's the first paragraph:

Took a laser in the side of my face last night as I was hand-flying a Boeing 737-800 with 170 people on board through about 500 feet on approach. My reaction?

Shrug. No big deal.

What the hell? Does this pilot not know that "it's only a matter of time before"...

I suspect that Chris Manno is an old-school "real man" pilot who isn't constantly on the lookout for things to complain about. Unlike Mr Robinson, Manno is a "get the job done" kind of guy who properly prioritises risk and doesn't use every little thing as an opportunity to get his own name in the media.

Well I have to say, if Mr Robinson is so deathly-afraid of lasers and so sure that drones are going to bring down an airliner, he really ought not watch this video I made a couple of years ago:

Oh dear... how will Mr Robinson and his snowflakes sleep tonight?

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