A fresh coat of hatred has been poured over a hoary old internet fakement about ignorant — allegedly “Arab” — pilots and a brand new Airbus they destroyed on the ground in France.

The critical issue about this fast spreading lie isn’t the aviation side of it — everyone in the airline business knows it is rubbish — but the poisoning of cyberspace with hate filled fantasies like the Virgin Blue going broke slander traced to a Qantas computer last Friday.

The facts are that two now presumably former Airbus employees forgot to chock the wheels under a new A340-600 jet that was being ground tested in Toulouse on 15 November 2007 before delivery to Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi. And they fire walled the engines, which was really dumb.

Within 13 seconds they had destroyed a $US200 million jet and injured a number of people including some of the seven Abu Dhabi technicians who were on board as observers.

On 16 May last year the right wing unthink tank “To the Point News” run by Jack Wheeler in the US authored the original fakement, inventing a sequence of events involving Arab pilots and claiming that the story had been suppressed in the European media because it would be offensive to “Moslems”.

In fact it was screaming headlines with big pictures all over Europe, where Airbus bashing is a media blood sport.

The latest version of this drivel contains a number of hysterical embellishments, including real pictures of the interior of a Singapore Airlines A380, which is totally unrelated to the fictions that are told.

Jack Wheeler is a nut case, who claims that John McCain was a North Vietnamese collaborator who willingly had his jaw rearranged by his captors as part of a ploy to deceive Americans into playing into the hands of his masters in Hanoi.

His home page describes his news service as “an oasis for rational conservatism’.

It is “The Pro-America, Pro-Capitalist, Pro-Western Civilization Intellectual Ammunition Service for Defenders of Liberty.”

If you want to discover a potential source for the sort of drivel that is popular in shock jock radio or lunar right loony columns in The Australian or the Sydney Morning Herald, you can subscribe for only US 29 cents a day and watch for the contents to get “adopted” or plagiarised.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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