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Argument mapping stage...

1. Read the following article and construct an analysis map of its argument:


Trundle Air must reconsider in-flight catering!

Chase Stevens, The Condoblin Tribune

May 15th, Trundle, NSW

Bill Pilsner, CEO and sole pilot of local carrier Trundle Air, is considering suspending in-flight catering services after recent reports of a food-related explosion and fire on a major international airline.

In that incident, a supermarket curry ready-meal exploded in a Boeing 747’s microwave at 35,000 feet, causing nearly $50,000 damage.  The international airline involved subsequently banned cabin crew members from microwaving non-airline food.  As their chief safety officer Damien Bentley explained, food intended for high-altitude reheating needs special packaging.

Trundle Air is Australia’s smallest regional air carrier.  Its fleet consists of just one main plane, a Beechcraft Bonanza, and a backup plane, a vintage crop-duster, which only flies when the Bonanza is in maintenance.  Bill doesn’t have any cabin crew, but says, ‘after the international incident I’ll be consulting with Trundle Air's in-flight catering manager, my Mum Betty, on this matter.  She’s the one who packs the Esky with home-made sandwiches for our passengers’.

The overseas incident puts a spanner in the works for Trundle Air, who offer reheated curried chicken & marshmallow toasted sandwiches for winter flights.  ‘It’s a worry’, says Bill, who had already moved a portable microwave from his caravan into the Bonanza in preparation for this winter.  ‘It seems that microwaving food on a plane can cause an explosion.  I can't take that risk, financially speaking.'

A microwaved food explosion on the Bonanza would be financially disastrous for Trundle Air, says Bill. He points out ‘the 747 involved in the international incident took days to repair, and they didn’t need to get the parts sent up from the Big Smoke by road!  That would take us weeks!’  If the Bonanza were grounded, Trundle Air would use the crop-duster instead.  Bill points out that this would reduce the airline’s carrying capacity by up to 75%: ‘we can only carry a single passenger in the crop-duster, which is well down from the 3 or 4 passengers we can carry in the Bonanza, depending on where we put the Esky and the microwave’

But neighbour Vic Parkes thinks the financial consequences would be zero: he reveals that Bill flies at only 25% capacity most of the time anyway.

The risk of exploding winter meals aside, Trundle Air’s existing in-flight menu is possibly reason enough to reconsider the in-flight catering service.  Betty Pilsner makes sandwiches for the passengers the night before each flight, using truly hideous sandwich filling combinations.  These include the ‘Mile High’ (sultana, egg & mayonnaise), the ‘Aviator’s Fuel’ (ham & marmalade), and the ‘Skydiver’ (tuna, onion & honey).  Such horrible food just shouldn’t be served!

Local conspiracy theorist Iris Gilvrey thinks that reconsidering the in-flight food service is a waste of time.  She says this is so because Trundle Air's main plane is doomed anyway.  'The Beechcraft Bonanza is quite simply a doomed kind of plane', says Iris.  'It's well known that a number of famous people have meet their doom in accidents involving Bonanzas' Iris insists, including the singers Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper, and Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist Randy Rhoads.  While it's true they all died in Bonanza accidents, is it really proof, as Iris insists, that this particular kind of plane is doomed, doomed, doomed?

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© Austhink 2007.  Rationale Exercises version 0.1, Sep-07

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