• rmacculloch

A Win for Humanity? Lets do the math.

In the interests of non-partisanship, one should call out Kiwiblog for running the headline, "A win for humanity" which was the topic of a Tweet the website is highlighting (see below). The Tweet says "Incredible beyond words. A US Globemaster C17, carrying more than 5 times its passenger limit. 640 Afghans saved from The Taliban. The crew made the decision to go. American heroes". Kiwiblog added commentary that it is "heart warming to see the common humanity as the crew of the Globemaster decided to stuff the rules & regulations & help as many as possible".

Since we're a somewhat techy blog, let's do the math. The C17 can take 171,000 pounds of cargo. What was the weight load of the 640 people on board? At most around 640 people * 200 pounds per person which equals 128,000 pounds. So that plane was well within its weight limits. Okay, the plane exceeded the number of passengers that were recommended on board to ensure passenger safety. But there was zero risk to the crew of the plane in terms of it not being able to take off due to weight issues. On the other hand, we concur with Kiwiblog that "This would be a good time for NZ to announce we will take in a special quota of say 1,000 refugees from Afghanistan". But why not more? And fast? Canada announced two days ago it would be resettling 20,000.

By the way, Newshub is also showing the photo of the C17, saying that "A recording believed to be between military commanders & crew onboard has been posted online:"800 people on your jet? Holy. Holy cow", they respond after crews inform them of how many people are onboard". Given the plane was never overloaded in the first place, have photos on the plane and private military conversations been deliberately leaked as part of some kind of attempt to spin news headlines in a more positive way about the pull-out?