Monday, February 13, 2012

Ripton Vermont's Robert Wagner Throws A Hissy Fit Over A Delayed Flight Out Of Rutland's Airport

By now you've all heard of Vermont secessionist Robert Wagner's tendency to fly off the handle for the slightest perceived cause, whether it be communities solving and paying for local needs that he disapproves of based on his own specious reasoning while at the same time seeking to bellying up to the state and federal funding trough to get some goodies delivered to his community at statewide expense.

Wagner, who prefers to be called "Senator" despite having never held such an office, is once again running for the Addison County senate seat in the Vermont legislature; he proclaims such again for the umpteenth time in this recent announcement. Perhaps it's because the media doesn't immediately scrub the news lineup to highlight the latest Wagner barrage of hate directed at his neighbors from Addison County who serve in the legislature that Wagner feels compelled to offer these serial announcements, but whatever the reason it's all getting quite old - like his lie about having six others (that he alleges will ultimately will become thirty) who are running arm in arm with him to takeover the Vermont Senate from those already there who are "corrupt" and are "thieves," as Wagner wrote in his post "How the Vermont Legislature Steals From Us". None of the four (not five) candidates that he lists at his website are as yet registered candidates for Senate; some of their nonsense websites have even gone "dark." Even "Senator" Wagner hasn't bothered to complete the necessary registration form, despite his redundant announcements. What's his strategy this time - a write-in November surprise?

We can now add to the river of nonsense that spews from candidate Wagner his thoughts on flight operations. You see, Wagner would have us believe that flight control is dictated merely by the the weather at the end of his nose. In what can only be described as Wagner's "air rage" snit in his recent rant here over his delayed departure from the Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport (RUT) we learn that he was told that weather was the cause for his hour long delayed departure. Never mind his muddled understanding of modern, more effective weather services, such delays are not uncommon in the airline industry. Delays or cancellations are normally due to weather or mechanics, mechanics being something as mundane as a malfunctioning gauge where no true mechanical issue is involved other than a minor electrical fix.

Bear with me as I explain a few air industry fundamentals since there's one helluva punchline to the whole fuss that Wagner raised on the ramp at RUT.

Wagner's sophomoric misunderstanding of the essentials of Air Traffic Flow Management are breathtaking. Ground stops that necessitate aircraft to remain on the ramp or runway awaiting takeoff clearance are not exceptional when varying weather conditions en route or at the destination require readiness to rejoin the "flow" at a few minutes notice. Necessary pre-flight check procedures when re-starting an aircraft can lead to a missed opportunity to rejoin that "flow," particularly in the case of small aircraft such as the small twin engine, nine seat Cessna 402 (oh, yeah, Wagner didn't tell you about that in his rant, did he?). Also, Cessna 402s are much more subject to wind activity at an arrival airport such as at his destination, Logan Airport, than are the larger, instrument heavy aircraft that can handle the tricky Boston Harbor offshore winds (believe me, I know), if not on runway 19 at RUT.

Certainly, this isn't the first time that Wagner's, willfully or not, displayed a self-serving ignorance of basic facts in order to advance his meme-of-the-day. But in this case it flies (pun intended again) in the face of his oft stated principles as a candidate for the Vermont Senate. Let me quote the would be senator from his most recent campaign announcement:
Question: "Would you vote to end government subsidies to private industry?"
Answer: "End them immediately!"

"In 2012, I’m going to be a grandpa. Folks, it takes something like this to broaden your perspective… and now it’s personal for me: I am strongly opposed to Vermont taking federal money, because it’s borrowed money that my grandchildren will get stuck paying back. Deprived of the opportunities that I had, simply because of one short-sighted, greedy generation."

"I say this now: the job of a State Legislator is to protect the rights and fortunes of the people who sent him
(why not her, Robert?) to Montpelier. Not; I repeat NOT to give up those rights to gain federal grants for make-work projects in his district."

"These federal grants, stimulus and other welfare is DEBT: money borrowed from my grandkids without my consent and spent today. We Vermonters would be better off holding onto our hard-earned cash. It is a traditional Vermont value to do without what we cannot yet afford, to scrimp & save until we can buy something honestly. Handouts simply aren’t the Vermont way."

Here's the deal: Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport receives what's called an Essential Air Service federal grant subsidy (government documents file folder may be accessed here) in the amount of $797,151 per year to operate commercial flights using Cape Air's nine passenger Cessna 402 aircraft. A 14 day one way advance booking costs a passenger $49. Based on the CY 2010 enplanements, the taxpayer's federal subsidy for Robert Wagner's round trip excellent adventure computes to be $288.30! Cha-ching!

The question now for Vermonters is when will Wagner, who is "strongly opposed" to goverment subsidies and federal grants, reimburse the Vermont tax paying community for his recent (as well as possibly earlier) bellying up to the federal grant trough? How 'bout a check to the Vermont General Fund so that Vermonters and their grandchildren aren't saddled with underwriting Wagner's whiny travels, a luxury that many Vermonters in today's economic climate can little afford for themselves.

I wouldn't hold my breath but I'm gonna keep asking when he or his employer intend to pony up the $288.30 "handout" he so "strongly oppose(s)"; that is, when it's not him slopping at the federal subsidy trough that he demands not be afforded to his Vemont neighbors.

Robert Wagner - What. A. Flaming. Asshole. Hypocrite.

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