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Quote# 60871

A Tunisian pilot who paused to pray instead of taking emergency measures before crash-landing his plane, killing 16 people, has been sentenced to 10 years in jail by an Italian court along with his co-pilot.

The 2005 crash at sea off Sicily left survivors swimming for their lives, some clinging to a piece of the fuselage that remained floating after the ATR turbo-prop aircraft splintered upon impact.

A fuel-gauge malfunction was partly to blame but prosecutors also said the pilot succumbed to panic, praying out loud instead of following emergency procedures and then opting to crash-land the plane instead trying to reach a nearby airport.

Unnamed pilot, Irish Times 49 Comments [3/25/2009 10:38:16 AM]
Fundie Index: -42
WTF?! || meh
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Corwin

And that's the difference between a crash landing, and a safe water landing.

3/25/2009 10:39:40 AM

Shadoboy

And would it been so difficult to pray AND doing the emergency procedures...?

3/25/2009 10:43:10 AM

Grigadil

What Corwin said.

3/25/2009 10:47:59 AM

Sanity

That's actually not the whole story.

The pilot did manage to put it plane down, semi-controlled, in the water instead of letting it plummet it to ground.

So, it's not so much "pilot prays instead of landing plane", but more "Prayer fails spectacularly once again".

3/25/2009 10:49:16 AM

Dio Fa

Prayer really does work! The pilot's life was spared. Now he is being persecuted by those heathen Catholics and atheists in Italy for his faith.

3/25/2009 10:50:31 AM

Blackvoice

Prayer is bugged, we all know that. It kills people instead of saving them.

3/25/2009 11:04:16 AM

Rat of Steel

A pilot saw and felt his plane malfunctioning, which later crash-landed because he had an "oh, shit" moment where which his piloting skills were forgotten during the brief time when he might have been able to save.

Sad and unfortunate, but not fundie-like. I don't see where his theism had anything to do with his lapse in judgement. His prayers were, as I see it, simply the first thing his panic-stunned mind could grasp onto. This event could just as easily have happened to an atheist pilot.

*records his first "meh" under this new site's Fundie Index system, then moves along to other threads*

3/25/2009 11:14:17 AM

rw23

He was judged to have made the wrong decision, to have tried for a water landing rather than a glide into Palermo Airport. There's a cockpit recording on YouTube if anyone's interested.

3/25/2009 11:30:34 AM



Wow. I wonder if a case like that would make it to court in the US.

3/25/2009 11:31:21 AM



He should be strung up..

3/25/2009 11:37:03 AM

Papabear

So wait, you're saying that prayer didn't work? Egads! Surely you're mistaken.

3/25/2009 11:41:01 AM

tracer

The key word here is "panic."

The fact that the panic took the form of a prayer, instead of a long girly scream and/or curling up into a ball, is largely irrelevant. Panic prayer has as much to do with religion as screaming "HOLY SHIT!" does.

3/25/2009 11:42:52 AM

Old Viking

Hold on! If he hadn't prayed the plane might have crashed. Oh. Wait.

3/25/2009 11:44:13 AM

Syb

I'm not wholly sure this is really fundie, since there's no evidence that this was a concerted decision--i.e., really thinking that prayer was the best solution--but rather a response to panic. Which someone of any religious background, or no religious background at all, could do in this sort of situation, and which pilots are paid *not* to do in this situation regardless of their faith or lack thereof.

3/25/2009 11:51:08 AM

Brain_In_A_Jar

When you really think about it, even most theists should consider this kind of behaviour, and the implicit beliefs it represents, to be stupid and nonsensical. Why would an omniscient god need a devout believer to specifically drop everything and ask for help at the very instant it was needed? Surely a god would both know whether that person was a sincere follower or not, and whether he needed help, without that person even needing to consciously think it, let alone divert his attention and effort entirely away from the task at hand like this chump of a pilot apparently did. Otherwise, how far would this crap go? If a person must specifically pray before god will help, just how exact is the requirement, and what is the minimum required for something to constitute a valid prayer? Do you have to remember to say "amen" at the end? Does it not work if you don't put your hands together? Does diction count? Do you have to phrase your request in such a way that it couldn't possibly be construed to be "putting god to the test", in which case he'd probably do nothing anyway, on account of his apparent reluctance to provide proof of himself? Suppose a devout believer suffers an accident without even having time to pray at all, is he just flat out doomed not to receive divine help?

3/25/2009 12:01:32 PM

anti-nonsense

Not the cleverest thing he could have done, but not really fundie. Unless he honestly thought praying and ignoring the emergency procedures was the best response.

But I suspect it was just a case of panicking in the heat of the moment. An atheist could have panicked and ended up screaming "Oh shit!" instead of doing the emergency procedures.

3/25/2009 12:05:37 PM

aaa

I call this severe incompetence by the pilot.

3/25/2009 12:07:01 PM

Brain_In_A_Jar

The fact that the panic took the form of a prayer, instead of a long girly scream and/or curling up into a ball, is largely irrelevant. Panic prayer has as much to do with religion as screaming "HOLY SHIT!" does.

Surely the fact that prayer tends to be stimulated by panic or desperation raises questions about its rational value. Besides, regardless of whether the man praying was in a rational frame of mind or not, I think it's pretty obvious that it didn't work in this case, which is evidence against the validity of any religion that asserts prayers will always be answered (or make the dual assertion that god hears all prayers and cares about everyone, which together are equivalent to this) except of course for the ones sneaky enough to define their god's actions in such a way that they'd be indistinguishable from the events that would have naturally arisen if he didn't act.

3/25/2009 12:09:46 PM

breakerslion

Brain_In_A_Jar: Bravo.

Dear God, You probably already know what I'm going to say, but... Wait! Probably? What am I saying? Of course you know. I really wasn't doubting you, but then you know that too... Sorry again... yeah, I know. All knowing, I didn't have to say it... moving on... I guess we're done! Thanking you in advance, amen.

Any other prayer is superfluous and equally useless.

3/25/2009 12:12:20 PM

David B.

And now, for the benefit of FSTDT.net, we can present the pilot's prayer in full...

"OH S**T! OH JESUS F***ING CHRIST! OH GOD! OH GOD! OH GOD! HOLY F***ING MOSES WE'RE GOING TO CRASH! OH JESUS WE'RE GOING DOWN! OH GOD THIS IS IT! OH MY F***ING GOD WE ARE GOING TO CRASH! OH MARY MOTHER OF GOD, PLEASE DON'T LET ME DIE!"

Funny thing was, when he took off he wasn't even Catholic!

3/25/2009 12:14:19 PM

Fanatic-Templar

I'm with the 'panicking, not being a fundie' crowd.

3/25/2009 12:14:50 PM

Temujin

@Brain_In_A_Jar

All wonderful and useful if this was a site dedicated to disproving theism. But it isn't, and I don't think you really need to convince anyone here that prayer's irrational.

This goes for any other non-theists reading this. Don't let your desire to take pot shots at religion overshadow you good judgment. This is something I see a lot of arguing atheists do, and it makes you look condescending, detached, and as righteous as the guys you're arguing with.

3/25/2009 12:25:10 PM

Temujin

@Brain_In_A_Jar

All wonderful and useful if this was a site dedicated to disproving theism. But it isn't, and I don't think you really need to convince anyone here that prayer's irrational.

This goes for any other non-theists reading this. Don't let your desire to take pot shots at religion overshadow you good judgment. This is something I see a lot of arguing atheists do, and it makes you look condescending, detached, and as righteous as the guys you're arguing with.

3/25/2009 12:27:07 PM

LabRat

Ok, he ain't Sully.

The reason safe water landings are rare (aside from special planes) is because everytime a plane ditches it ends badly.

3/25/2009 12:29:39 PM

Equalist

I agree with most of the other people here I think. Not really fundie, just a guy who panicked and forgot everything he was trained to do at the wrong time. Could have happened to anyone. Now if he'd made the conscious decision to pray, thinking that prayer would help him more than the emergency procedures he had been trained to do, then THAT would be fundie.

3/25/2009 12:31:22 PM
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