May 05 2014


Category: Aviation,Entrepreneurship,ReviewsTeknovis @ 10:20 pm

I finished reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell this weekend. For more information about it see Outliers or Outliers (book), and you can buy it at Outliers: The Story of Success.

I enjoyed reading it. It was fairly easy going, and it was always interesting.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

There are plenty of reviews online already, so I am not going to add another. However, there was one very interesting piece of information that surprised me, so I will describe it here.

Chapter seven discusses plane crashes, and it describes a concept called the Power Distance Index (PDI). I will summarise this index by stating that a high DPI basically means that a subordinate is unlikely to be confident enough to contradict a superior, whereas a low DPI means that a subordinate sees himself/herself as an equal to his/her superior.

In the context of flying a plane, it is more desirable to have a pilot and co-pilot who come from a low DPI culture so that they can work well as a team of equals. In other words, if the pilot is doing something incorrect, then you want to co-pilot to be comfortable enough to clearly point-out the problem.

The book lists the five countries in the world where the PDI is highest between the pilot and the co-pilot. They are (in descending order):

  • Brazil
  • South Korea
  • Morocco
  • Mexico
  • Philippines

It is an interesting mix covering south and central America, Africa, and Asia. I am not able to see any pattern there.

However, the book also lists the five countries in the world where the PDI is lowest between the pilot and the co-pilot. They are (in descending order again):

  • United States
  • Ireland
  • South Africa
  • Australia
  • New Zealand

The thing that strikes me here is that they are all English speaking countries, and all former colonies of the UK. (This makes me wonder why the UK is not in the mix!)

I do not find this in any way surprising, because in a general sense these are all countries that share a language (English) that does not support formalities, and they provide relaxed workplace environments where subordinates and superiors are all friends!

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Apr 15 2014

US Airways Embraces Twitter

Category: Aviation,Humour,Internet,Social NetworkingTeknovis @ 9:56 pm

It is fascinating to see how US Airways is embracing Twitter, as described in US Airways Just Tweeted Out One Of The Most Graphic Things You’ve Ever Seen A Brand Tweet.

What are even funnier are some of the tweets in 38 Priceless Twitter Reactions to That NSFW US Airways Tweet.

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Jan 29 2014

Paper Plane

Category: AviationTeknovis @ 8:13 am

Luca Iaconi-Stewart is building a paper plane – but not any paper plane! He is building a pretty excellent model of a Boeing 777!

Read about it in Coolest paper airplane ever and the plane nut who built it (Q&A), and look at the photos in his photo sets!


Jun 14 2013

First A350 Test Flight

Category: AviationTeknovis @ 10:09 pm

The A350 had its first test flight today – see Airbus A350 successfully completes maiden test flight. The video in Airbus A350 Rolls Royce XWB engine: Close up look is also worth watching.

Congratulations Airbus!!!


Oct 05 2012

Live Flight tracking

Category: AviationTeknovis @ 4:19 pm

I am amusing myself for the last few minutes of the day looking at Plane Finder!

It is very impressive, although I do not know how accurate it is.

Dec 09 2011

Air France Flight 447

Category: AviationTeknovis @ 8:12 pm

Remember Air France Flight 447? Somebody sent me this fascinating article about it today – What Really Happened Aboard Air France 447.

It is so tragic that the accident could have been prevented at multiple occasions, and that ultimately that the accident was due to unforced human error.

I definitely blame the airline and the pilots.


Oct 30 2011

First Boeing 787 Commercial Flight

Category: AviationTeknovis @ 10:37 pm

Another news story that caught my attention during the week was the first commercial flight of the Boeing 787 (otherwise known as the Dreamliner), as reported in Boeing’s Dreamliner completes first commercial flight. There are some good videos in the article, and as a passenger I am impressed with the extra overhead baggage room.

For more information about the aircraft see Boeing 787 Dreamliner, and for the best photos see


Jun 05 2011

Ryanair Cookie Based Pricing

Category: Aviation,eShoppingTeknovis @ 6:30 pm

Wow – I recently read that Ryanair uses HTTP Cookies to remember when a user returns to book flights for which he/she previously checked the availability. Fair enough, but apparently Ryanair charges a higher fare in this case!

I do not know if this is true, but I think it would be unfair and deceptive. This sort of practice certainly strengthens the arguments for the current EU proposals regarding HTTP Cookies!


May 02 2011


Category: AviationTeknovis @ 7:41 pm

Interesting site for finding cheap flights:

Jan 19 2011

Ryanair and Prepaid Mastercards

Category: Aviation,eShoppingTeknovis @ 7:07 pm

Last weekend I needed to book Ryanair flights. I have a Visa Electron card, and I used to use it all the time to avoid the 5€ per flight administration fee. However, Ryanair changed the rules so that the only card that does not attract such a fee is a prepaid Mastercard. This is described in Why is there an administration fee when I reserve my flights?:

As a special offer to Mastercard Prepaid Debit (MP) card holders, Ryanair, will not apply an administration fee to those customers paying by this method of payment.

I am sure that the only reason for this prepaid Mastercard exception is that Ryanair can still advertise the fare excluding the fee, and it is probably the least common card type available.

Anyway, over Christmas I was lucky to receive a gift voucher for use in a large shopping centre (Whitewater). This gift voucher is actually a prepaid Mastercard, so I decided to give it a try.

Unfortunately, it did not work. I got a generic payment failure error instead of the page with my confirmation number and booking details. Perhaps this was related to the fact that I used my home address as the cardholder’s address, even though my address would not be associated with the card.

I was tight on time, so I went ahead and booked the flights using my normal credit card. If I had more time I would follow it up directly with Ryanair.

I have since read a very interesting thread describing how other prepaid Mastercard shopping vouchers have successfully been used. See Prepaid Mastercard No Loading or Purchase Charges (Works with Ryanair).

I will try one of these the next time!

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