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Altitude thickness

In the Olden Days (2005), Manston’s radar wasn’t good enough to tell them exactly where their planes were. They couldn’t tell the exact height because they only had Primary Surveillance Radar.

In the Modern Age (2009) they also have Secondary Surveillance Radar (they buy a feed from the MoD) so they can now tell the height of planes as they pass over Herne Bay. And elsewhere, presumably.

But they don’t record it.

Better monitoring needs better radar

Altitude thickness

In the Olden Days (2005), Manston’s radar wasn’t good enough to tell them exactly where their planes were. They couldn’t tell the exact height because they only had Primary Surveillance Radar.

In the Modern Age (2009) they also have Secondary Surveillance Radar (they buy a feed from the MoD) so they can now tell the height of planes as they pass over Herne Bay. And elsewhere, presumably.

But they don’t record it.

This is perplexing me. Given the aviation industry’s healthy obsession with safety statistics and analysis, I would have thought that recording the actual position, speed and direction of all aircraft within detectable range of any airport would be encouraged to the point of compulsion.

This begs a question: when someone (like me) complains to KIA about low, noisy, off-route planes (as I have), how can they possibly be so certain that the plane was at an appropriate height, given that they have no record of it?

Another question: for a presumably modest outlay, Infratil would be able to to publish clear, accurate information about flight patterns, like this example from Luton Airport. How can they resist? It’s a very effective way of letting everyone know exactly what’s happening.

Oops. Did I just answer my own question?

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  1. In logic, begging the question has traditionally described a type of logical fallacy (also called petitio principii) in which the proposition to be proved is assumed implicitly or explicitly in one of the premises. Begging the question is related to the fallacy known as circular argument, circulus in probando or circular reasoning. The first known definition in the West is by the Greek philosopher Aristotle around 350 BC, in his book Prior Analytics.The phrase is commonly misused to indicate that some crucial questions are relevant to the topic at hand. For example: It begs the questions, (1) how did he do it, and (2) why? This use, however, has nothing to do with the fallacy.

  2. Thanks, Jeremy, I am now wiser, if not better. So I should have written 'it invites the question…', 'it leaves unanswered…', suggestions?

  3. Wow! And with one masterly touch of the "post" button, Jeremy makes the main topic disappear and produces in its place a discussion about the origins of a phrase. Such cunning misdirection of the audience! Which begs the question (modern English usage – to invite a question or point that has not been dealt with), "why would he do that?"