Thursday, May 14, 2015

This Just In!

Well, wouldn't you know it. No sooner do I hit the "publish" button on my blog post earlier today about the scanty news coverage of our skydiver crash than along comes more coverage.

No worries for me, however, because it doesn't make the reporting look any better. In fact it raises more questions than it answers.

The fresh story was posted by Vallarta Opina, a local paper and website that's supposed to be as good as it gets around here.

The new development was a summary issued by the state prosecutor's office on its previously unreported investigation of the incident.

The summary included a brief paraphrase of the pilot's statement to investigators. He's supposed to have told them that he took off with two pairs of jumpers aboard and that the first pair -- two men -- cleared the airplane with no problem.

The second pair -- the two women -- got caught on the plane as we know. The pilot tried but failed to reach them from the cockpit, so he began to descend. But the women's parachute suddenly deployed, and its drag pulled the plane into a spin that the pilot couldn't control.

If we accept this as an accurate summary of what the pilot said, he had to be the only person left inside the plane when it crashed. The Cessna 80 has a maximum of six seats, and it's been reported only five were aboard at the start of the trip. Two parachuted safely, which left the pilot and the two missing women.

Yet the rescue teams said they rescued three. Did the two men who jumped safely not make it to their planned landing site and need rescuing themselves? Or was the plane overloaded and there were actually two more passengers?

Vallarta Opina makes no effort to reconcile the pilot's statement with any of the previously reported facts. In fact it seems unaware of them, reporting incorrectly today that the dead women remain unidentified, which they aren't. The paper follows local custom and confines itself to reporting what came in over the transom.

And to make things even weirder, searchers located the plane in water either 500 meters deep or 1,000, depending on which story you believe. The wreckage is too deep to retrieve with any equipment available here. But they say they can see it, and there's no sign of the women's bodies.

Maybe this sort of slow dribble of factoids is the right way to tell a story after all. I'm certainly hooked.

No comments:

Post a Comment