On Morning Joe, a veteran pilot has just made clear his exasperation with the two Northwest pilots who flew right by Minneapolis, engrossed, they now claim, with a scheduling exercise on their laptops. (It seems likely that this is less than the whole story.) The veteran has just fulminated that, if your seats are "in the pointy end" of the aircraft, you'd better have your act together better than that.
This seems to be a stock metaphor in the air flight/rocket biz, but it certainly travels well. You can throw spitballs if you're hanging out in the back row, but when the time comes for you to sit down in the pointy end, you'd better be ready to lead.
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