Study: Ship Crews Re-Directed 28% of the Time

An analysis by the Center For Galactic Studies shows that, on 28% of all industrial ship flights, the crew isn’t sure why they are even going that way. The study gathered data from hundreds of flight crews, who all gave a consistent picture of pointless turnarounds and empty cargo holds. One pilot, who wished to remain anonymous, told the following story:

A ship about to turn around and land again. [^1]

So the other day we were in the observation deck at the base, watching the loading guys fill up one of the ships, right? Then sure enough, instructions came through for us to get in the other ship and fly to Moria Station. So we queried it, right? Because obviously it was the wrong ship. But as usual we just got the same standard response of “That’s what the order says.” So hey, I mean, we get paid either way, right? So we get in the empty ship and take off and head to Moria. Around 20 hours later we’ve docked, and now we’re in the observation deck at the station. And there’s this long wait while nothing happens, you know? I mean, you can tell that someone in HQ is trying to figure out why the cargo is still at the base, or whatever. Then, eventually, a tiny little container of rations and water gets shunted into the ship’s hold, and we’re told to fly that all the way back. So I call the new kid over, you know, he joined this crew like a week ago, and he’s still all star struck and thinks the company operates like a well oiled machine or whatever. Hah! So I call him over and say “Watch this” and I radio back to my bud who’s in the other flight crew, and I say to him “Hey, I bet I know what you’re doing right now. You’ve just taken off and are headed to Moria Station, right?” And he’s like - ‘cos he knows how the system works, right, he immediately knows what’s happened - he’s like “Molpdammit, I coulda been with my girl this weekend. Why don’t those muppets at HQ ever listen to us?” And the poor kid, haha, he’s all wide eyed, like you can see the idealism draining outta him at that moment.

Similar tales were gathered from many other company flight crews. The problems appear to be widespread, and are independent of faction alignment or galactic quadrant. As one analyst explained:

It’s the dirty little secret of the entire ship flight industry. You get this wall of silence most of the time. Nobody who works in flights will admit that this happens, until you gain their trust. Then the stories start pouring out.

The analysis concludes with an estimate that around 10% of all take offs are followed by an immediate landing back in the same place, while at least 17% of inter-system flights are aborted during the first jump. In the vast majority of these cases, the flight crews already know the likely outcome before the ship leaves the hangar, with one insider saying that after a few months you generally get a feel for which flights are legitimate, and which are the result of “a screw up”.

We reached out to industry figures to ask what was being done to address these inefficiencies and to improve the system. Most of them refused to comment, but we eventually secured the following from a confidential source within π—±π—²π—―π—Ώπ—Άπ˜€β„’οΈ brand Rocket Fuel:

You didn’t hear this from me, but our PR department actively lobbies to keep things how they are. All those extra flights mean more fuel sales. We would actually prefer if there were fewer pre-flight checks, and less feedback going from the ship crews to their HQs.

For now at least, it seems that unnecessary and erroneous industrial flights will be an ongoing issue throughout the galaxy.

[^1] Image Courtesy: