Plane English awards

Passengers de-boarding, Image: Jetstar | CC BY-SA 2.0

The aviation industry, with its unique jargon, has performed well in the Plain English Foundation’s 2017 Worst Word of the Year awards.

Coming in behind the overall winner, alternative facts, was involuntary de-boarding, made famous when United Airlines overbooked a flight and forcefully dragged a bleeding passenger from its aircraft. United’s CEO made matters worse when, in a very lukewarm apology, he tried to downplay the overbooked situation and having to reaccommodate passengers who had already been assigned their seats.

In March, a propeller fell off a Regional Express Airlines (REX) plane mid-flight, narrowly missing homes south-west of Sydney. The pilot reported ‘We’ve just had uncommanded engine operation and then our propeller has just sheared off.’ It makes you wonder whether a lost propeller is ever a ‘commanded operation’.

And Flight Safety Australia would like to make some nominations too.

Why is it you have to deplane after you land rather than just get off the aircraft? Why do you need a transponder rather than a cockatoo in order to SQUAWK? And why do we sometimes call a drone a UAV?

May your festive season be CAVOK—clear of cloud with good visibility. Please standby for more Flight Safety Australia in 2018.