How The Old Targa Florio Lives On In A Special Way

Illustration for article titled How The Old Targa Florio Lives On In A Special Way

Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today, we have reports from The New York Times, Medium and Grantland.


In Italy, the Targa Florio Rally Keeps an Eye on the PastThe New York Times

Targa Florio is a decorated name from rally history, so it's great to keep hearing it today. Even if the new is very different from the old.

The Targa Florio in which Vaccarella drove — which, when it was last run in 1977, was one of the oldest races still in existence — is gone. But a new version has taken its place in the years since — a rally devoid of the sleek Ferrari, Alfa Romeo and Porsche sports cars but populated with drivers piloting modern, street-legal rally cars from marques like Ford, Peugeot and Renault.

Two Weeks Ago, I Almost Died in the Deadliest Plane Crash EverMedium

Very long, but very interesting. In all the recent airplane talk, here's more evidence we actually don't know a lot about what's going on up there.

Weightless and staring downhill at the thirty-some rows of passengers ahead of me, I had a rare and terrible reminder of the absurd improbability of human flight. We were hairless apes crowded into a thin metal tube hurtling through the sky at a speed and height beyond anything evolution prepared us to comprehend. The violence was over after a few seconds. United 1205 leveled out, having dropped at least 600 feet without warning.

The Rise of Nintendo: A Story in 8 BitsGrantland

Part of the book Console Wars. Where would be without Donkey Kong?

On September 23, 1889, just weeks before his thirtieth birthday, an entrepreneur named Fusajiro Yamauchi opened a small, rickety-looking shop in the heart of Kyoto. To attract the attention of passing rickshaws and wealthy denizens, he inscribed the name of his new enterprise on the storefront window: Nintendo, which had been selected by combining the kanjicharacters nin, ten, and do. Taken together, they meant roughly "leave luck to heaven" — though, like most successful entrepreneurs, Yamauchi found success by making his own luck. In an era where most businessmen were content to survive off the modest returns of regional mainstays such as sake, silk, and tea, he decided it was time to try something new. So instead of selling a conventional product, Fusajiro Yamauchi opted for a controversial one, a product that the Japanese government had legalized only five years earlier: playing cards.


Photo: AP


For Sweden

[Pushes air safety professional glasses up bridge of nose]

Just because an incident was potentially deadly doesn't mean it was complicated. From reading the author's account, the non-human system, TCAS, worked beautifully and tragedy was avoided. If I had to guess, I would say the controller gave the wrong altitude or the pilots in the other aircraft keyed the wrong altitude into the autopilot; a human failure. A failure in the autopilot in the other aircraft is possible and worth investigating, but far more unlikely.

I'm not familiar with the airspace around Hawaii, but if the flight was outside of ATC radar, the flight is still under ATC full control. In this case, ATC will not automatically learn of a TCAS intrusion, and would rely on the airlines to tell them.

This may seem counter-intuitive, but it's a critical part of a just safety culture. A just safety culture is one where all involved parties are only punished for actions stemming from malice or willful negligence, not simple errors. If they didn't operate under a just safety culture, airlines and other parties would have to weigh the risk of punishment and prosecution against the safety benefits of reporting incidents. In a just safety culture, such reports can be made freely. In fact, many operators now use an active safety management culture, where people work full-time to analyzing operations and data, looking for improvements.

Obviously more can be done, and it seems like data streams via satellite from aircraft to ATC, both regular updates and emergency exceptions, will be the next step taken. But all parties in commercial aviation are well aware of the incidents that happen every day.