MH 370 The Preliminary Report: How Short Is Too Short?

By now you know, the Malaysian Government has released the preliminary report (http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2014/04/world/malaysia-flight-documents/) regarding MH 370.  The media response has been to pick it apart word by word, as if there is some hidden code within it.  They have also attacked the report as being too short, pointing out that the Air France preliminary accident report was over 100 pages.

The fact of the matter is that of the last 20 NTSB preliminary aviation accident reports, only three have been longer than one page.  They are, in fact, preliminary.

Five have been about one page.  Five have been one-half to three quarters of a page and seven have been one sentence that states “NTSB investigators use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.”

Sure, you can find longer preliminary reports.  But you can hardly say that the MH 370 preliminary report, when we still know virtually nothing about anything, should have been longer than five pages.

Plane-ly Spoken has been very critical of the Malaysian Government in this whole matter.  However, for the media to go off on them because the preliminary report is too short is, in a word, silly.  Frankly, I’m surprised that the media hasn’t pointed out the fact that the preliminary report’s margins are very generous, the text is double or triple spaced or more and the typeface appears large.  If you reduce the margins, use single spacing for the lines and double spacing between paragraphs and a more standard typeface, the report is probably less than five pages!

(Originally posted May 2, 2014)

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