Talk:British Caledonian

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Cleanup tags[edit]

  1. The article is now almost 190kB, which is 6x larger than the recommended limit. Editors should either consider trimming material which isn't notable, or splitting the article over several pages.
  2. For an article this big to have only six external links and no citations is completely unacceptable. If it can't be verified externally it shouldn't be on Wikipedia. There's a hell of a lot of content here which is in danger of being deleted if it can't be cited elsewhere. No original research!
  3. Not tagged, but of concern, is the sub-heading "British Airways' revised bid backed up by bullying tactics carries the day", which probably violates our WP:NPOV policy.

--DeLarge 10:48, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

I agree that the person who has written this article has included a hell of a lot of facts that have made it very long.
However, I came across several citations that person or somebody else must have included subsequently. I also found that there are now nine rather than only six sources at the bottom of this long article. And, by the way, why do you think that six sources are insufficient if they do happen to contain all relevant information? Therefore, I think you should amend or delete your second comment.
I have got a feeling that the article's author either must have worked for that company, known someone who worked there in an authoritative position very well or conducted several years of extensive research on it. This leads me to another question. What about information the author recalls from his personal experience but for which there are no sources because the event[s] happened a long time ago, especially in the days when there was no internet? I am of the opinion that it would be wrong to say that such information should not be included in an article only because there are no sources in the public domain if what is written is valid and can be verified by someone who was present at the time who had access to the same information.
krishnanr_iyengar@rediffmail.com (12-12-2006)


To take your points in order, the subsequently added citations are still insufficient. The whole point of citing a source is to allow third parties to check your facts. This is not currently feasible...
  • They don't follow any of the recommended styles at WP:CITE;
  • They're not nearly specific enough - there's numerous huge sections which still don't cite their sources. As an example, take a look at some featured articles. Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) is 43.8kB and contains 27 directly cited notes and nine other references. Ryanair is 43.9kB and contains 43 embedded citations (although that article also doesn't follow any recommended citation styles).
Where books, are cited, we need an ISBN number, author, publisher, date of publication, and if possible a page number as well.
As for the question about personal recollections, these are absolutely forbidden by two of the three basic policies governing Wikipedia's content:
  1. Wikipedia:Verifiability ("The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. "Verifiable" in this context means that any reader should be able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source.")
  2. Wikipedia:No original research ("Original research is a term used in Wikipedia to refer to material that has not been published by a reliable source. It includes unpublished facts, arguments, concepts, statements, or theories, or any unpublished analysis or synthesis of published material that appears to advance a position — or which, in the words of Wikipedia's co-founder Jimmy Wales, would amount to a "novel narrative or historical interpretation.")
Please note these problems and try to solve them. Do not simply delete the maintenance tags at the top of the article, as I assure you I will continue to restore them indefinitely. --DeLarge 12:25, 17 December 2006 (UTC)


Here is my proposal for splitting this article into several interlinked sub-articles, following the example of the article about the US highway system.

Split it into 4 parts, i.e. The formative era covering the airline's creation until (and inclusive of) plan S (part 1), attaining commercial success covering the company's resurgence from the late 1970s until the mid-1980s - up to (and incl.) changing the game plan (part 2), the firm's decline from the 1986 crisis until its takeover by BA - up to (and incl. end of a tale [part 3]) and the analysis, facts of interest as well as accidents/incidents sections in the final part (part 4).

18-01-2007, 18.40 GMT

Dear moderator,

Please DO N O T re-insert the sections I have removed from the main article because I have just split it further to comply with your maximum length requirements.

Thanks.

Narayanaswamy, 22-1-2007

16.40 GMT

N.B. I am the author of this article.

I suggest trimming rather than splitting it. --Guinnog 16:44, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

Merging the other British Caledonian category articles into this article[edit]

I am of the opinion to leave the article as it is, including its sub-articles. One reason is the length. Other reasons are potential loss of valuable 'behind-the-scenes' information that enables interested readers to get the 'complete picture' of the key events that ultimately determined the airline's fate and which, in my opinion, makes this article refreshingly different from some of the articles about other airlines that seem to have been written by plane spotters for plane spotters, with very little informative value for people outside this group.

I also disagree with the classification of the 'Facts of interest' section as a trivia section. In my opinion it isn't (perhaps, apart from the last "fact" about the Bud Spencer movie) because it states facts relevant to the airline that are worth mentioning and have been referenced, but that break the chronolgy of the article if integrated into it. Therefore, I am of the opinion that we should leave as it is, apart from removing the Bud Spencer "fact" (because of its low informative value). Pimpom123 09:05, 09 August 2007 (GMT)

Some of the behind the scenes information in the sub-articles is very valuable. To simply say BCal was absorbed into BA would make the article shorter but not very useful for those trying to learn about the airline. Archtrain 19:37, 11 August 2007 (UTC)
I totally agree with your opinion and therefore think we should leave the sub-articles that are hyperlinked to the main article. I will try to integrate some of the additional facts that are worth mentioning into the appropriate sections of the main/sub-articles. To do this, I will revert to the additional facts section of the previous version as this version already omits some of these. Then we can see what to do with what will be left, i.e. whether to keep it as a shortened additional facts section, whether to integrate the remaining facts into the relevant sections of the main/sub-articles, or whether to simply delete it. Pimpom123 08:48, 13 August 2007 (GMT)

minor word changes to be more accurate[edit]

BCal had an unblemished safety record throughout its 17-year existence.

During that time there never was a fatal accident involving a BCal aircraft as a result of good airmanship and an extremely high safety consciousness throughout the organisation. - - The above is the old version. I added that it had an unblemished safety record as far as not having any fatalities throughout its 17... The airline did have some non-fatal accidents.

...as a result of good airmanship... This is an assumption and is probably true but unprovable. I've put "involving a BCal aircraft. The airline has been regarded as having pilots exercising good airmanship and an extremely high safety consciousness throughout the organisation"

These are minor changes but are made to improve accuracy. Archtrain 19:37, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the changes to the accidents/incidents section, which I totally agree with you makes this section of the article more accurate. Pimpom123 08:43, 13 August 2007 (GMT)

Issues[edit]

Here are thie issues i can see with this article.

  • Some sections are possibly too long and just need to be reworded.
  • Some sections it would be goods if there was a small summary in each of those to explain about them
  • Possibly some more images or move the current ones to throughout the page.
    • I agree with you that the article and its sub-articles could have more pictoral illustrations. It would be nice to have images of the airline's BAC One-Elevens, both in its original as well as in its revised livery, and of the company's DC-10s and 747s as well as these aircraft constituted an important part of its fleet. Is anyone in a position to supply these? Pimpom123 13:35, 23 August 2007 (GMT)
  • Although it may look fully referenced, most of these seem to be from one book and so a few more sources would be good.
    • Further to this, if this is all taken from one book, the information needs to be summarised a lot more.
  • It seems to read like a story or news article, minor, but possibly change some of the titles to make things more clear.

Simply south 21:40, 22 August 2007 (UTC)

  • Although it may look fully referenced, most of these seem to be from one book and so a few more sources would be good.
    • Further to this, if this is all taken from one book, the information needs to be summarised a lot more.
      • You are wrong on this one user Simply south. The entire article contains citations from eight different publications, not just one. Even though one of these may have been cited far more often than the others, you will come across the other references as well when you read through the entire article (including the hyperlinked sub-articles). I personally feel that there is nothing wrong with this. In addition, there are also nine external link that contain a lot of useful and interesting background information. (I have accessed and read through all of these.) Pimpom123 13:37, 23 August 2007 (GMT)
Sorry, i was thinking about changing this message this morning on the sources as i know i got it partly wrong. However, it still looks trange, at least to me, to look at one page with a large amount of the refs section filled up with citations from only one or two souces. Or if some are fom the same page in that book, you could use <ref name=blah>(source)</ref> and so the whole source does not need to be typed out again as you only have to use <ref name=blah></ref>. Or this could be used to show one source if the collection of information is scattered around the place.
Could some of these external links be used as sources or parts of the other sources be used more? Simply south 16:33, 23 August 2007 (UTC)
Hi user Simply South. I have actually done some research on this by borrowing some of the books cited in the reference section, i.e. High Risk: The Politics of the Air (written by the late Sir Adam Thomson, the BCal founder and chairman), Fly me, I'm Freddie (the late Sir Freddie Laker's biography co-written by Berry Ritchie and Roger Eglin), The Spirit of Dan-Air and The Story of Air Europe (both written by Graham Simons, an aviation book author), from my local library and read through the passages cited as references. I am of the opinion that the author[s] has[/have] referred to these passages correctly, using their own words. Hence, there shouldn't be any copyright problems. As to your comment concerning most of the citations coming from one book only (High Risk: The Politics of the Air), I have to admit that it initially surprised me as well. But after actually reading these citations, I feel that the book from which they were taken is the most appropriate source for this article as it is most relevant to the subject matter, i.e. British Caledonian Airways, having been written by the most authoritative person in that company. To do justice to the airticle's author[s], he/she[/they] has/[have] also included relevant citations form the other books and external links where appropriate. If you read through the entire article, including all hyperlinked sub-articles - especially, the "Changing the game plan" and "Three-way battle to win control of crisis-stricken airline" sub-sections of the "The 1980s roller coaster" sub-article, you'll find that in several instances there is more than one citation, referring to the other referenced sources - other than High Risk: The Politics of the Air - including the external links. This has been done whenever the relevant issues were described by different people - including those working for BCal's rivals at the time - from different angles in the cited sources. You will find a lot more of these in the hyperlinked sub-articles than in the main article because the main article mainly deals with the airline's formative era (1970/'71 - 1975/'76) when there were relatively few instances where the histories of the other Gatwick-based Independent airlines overlapped with BCal. This is why you'll only find the odd reference to the books concerned where Dan-Air's and Laker Airways' histories overlapped with BCal and where referring to it enhances the understanding of this article - for instance, where Dan-Air's launch of a Gatwick-Newcastle scheduled service in 1974 helped improve BCal's network connectivity by making its scheduled flights from Gatwick accessible to people living in Newcastle, or where the Government's decision to grant Laker a licence to commence Skytrain scheduled "no frills" services on the former BCal routes from Gatwick to New York JFK and L.A. undermined the Government's much vaunted Second Force aviation policy by adversely affecting BCal's future ability to reach the minimum size it needed to become an effective competitor to the generally much bigger, established flag carriers of that era. (Remember, this was the time when most established scheduled airlines where wholly or majority government-owned and protected by highly restrictive bilateral air services agreements that made it extremely difficult for wholly privately owned, Independent airlines such as BCal to compete with these airlines on a level palying field - something this article clearly conveys in my opinion.) On the other hand, as these airlines' histories became more intertwined with BCal's development at Gatwick during the latter part of the 1970s and the early to mid-1980s - BCal's most productive and profitable era - including Laker's demise and Air Europe's rise, you'll find more citations from different sources in the sub-articles that deal with these stages of BCal's development. Pimpom123 14:25, 25 August 2007 (GMT)

Reorganising the article[edit]

Have now completed reorganising this article - incl. the linked sub-articles - a bit over the recent Bank Holiday week-end. Hope the result makes for better reading. Another way to reduce the article's size is to use the same referencing system as in the Air Europe article as well as to "tighten" it a bit further and to create a separate article for detailed accident/incident descriptions. Maybe, other Wikipedians with an interest in aviation articles could help with this. The article (and the linked sub-articles as well) contain[s] a lot of detailed information that I personally consider very informative and therefore valuable. So, someone who knows how to tighten it further without simply deleting all that info, without changing the meaning completely (by leaving just a few disjointed sentences) and without making spelling or grammatical mistakes should preferably do this. Aviator369 (talk) 20:34, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

Linking[edit]

I have tidied links per WP:OVERLINK and WP:MOS by removing repeated links and links to plain English words, and spelling out acronyms on first use. These changes are consistent with Wikipedia style. Ground Zero | t 15:13, 27 May 2009 (UTC)

I have also removed inappropriate boldfacing per WP:MOS, change a US spelling to UK spelling, and mode some other copyedits, probably including spelling out acronyms on first use per WP:MOS. Ground Zero | t 22:45, 29 May 2009 (UTC)

Cities[edit]

I have unpiped the links to Rio de Janeiro and LA:

  • There are a lot of "Rios" around the world - the words means "River" in Spanish and Portuguese.
  • In the US, "LA" is an abbreviation for both Louisiana and Los Angeles, so using the full name of the city provides clarity of the reader.

Check these links: New York is the article about the state of that name. New York City is the article about the place where transatlantic flights land. Ground Zero | t 03:19, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Introduction[edit]

Per WP:LEDE:

The lead should be able to stand alone as a concise overview of the article. It should establish context, explain why the subject is interesting or notable, and summarize the most important points—including any notable controversies. The emphasis given to material in the lead should roughly reflect its importance to the topic, according to reliable, published sources, and the notability of the article's subject should be established in the first sentence of the lead. While consideration should be given to creating interest in reading more of the article, the lead nonetheless should not "tease" the reader by hinting at—but not explaining—important facts that will appear later in the article. The lead should contain no more than four paragraphs, should be carefully sourced as appropriate, and should be written in a clear, accessible style to invite a reading of the full article.

The first sentence of an article about an airline should explain that the company is question is an airline, and what country it is from. that is pretty straightforward. Ground Zero | t 03:23, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Please try to understand that this article already has a lot of information (far more than the average Wikipedia article) that is already very detailed and really explains it all. So, why then do you want to add even more information that really doesn't explain anything that is essential for the reader to understand the article? Please, please don't be a rule fetishist and jump to conclusions, ie assume that uninitiated readers aren't intelligent enough to understand for themselves without any prompting that the article about British Caledonian is about a defunct AIRLINE and that they were indeed BRITISH. If in any doubt, a quick glance at the airline info box right next to the introduction will confirm that THIS IS AN AIRLINE ARTICLE. Why for heaven's sake should there be an airline info box in an article that has nothing to do with airlines? Also, most people who will read that article will be bright enough to understand that if two British companies merge, the result must surely be abother British company. Any lingering doubts will be immediately dispelled by looking at the first sentence of the first chapter (the one immediately following the introduction). Also, before questioning any potential reader's intelligence, try to ask yourself why an article that has absolutley nothing to do with aviation should be illustrated with aircraft photographs. My understanding is that Wikipedia is meant to be read by people of normal intelligence, rather than the mentally challenged. Hence, in my opinion, you seem to enjoy spending far too much of your precious time on making unconstructive edits that don't add anything in value (improvement value:0 [zero]). Aviator369 (talk) 23:34, 31 May 2009 (UTC)

I do not have time to address each of your points tonight, but I will return to them. In the meantime, I ask that you review Wikipedia:Civility and Wikipedia:No personal attacks. There is no justification for name-calling and questioning my motives:

  • "please don't be a rule fetishist and jump to conclusions"
  • "ie assume that uninitiated readers aren't intelligent enough to understand for themselves"
  • "before questioning any potential reader's intelligence,"
  • "Wikipedia is meant to be read by people of normal intelligence, rather than the mentally challenged."
  • "in my opinion, you seem to enjoy spending far too much of your precious time on making unconstructive edits that don't add anything in value"

I ask that you reconsider these remarks. Ground Zero | t 01:51, 1 June 2009 (UTC)


"Please try to understand that this article already has a lot of information (far more than the average Wikipedia article) that is already very detailed and really explains it all. So, why then do you want to add even more information that really doesn't explain anything that is essential for the reader to understand the article?"
Adding a few words of context to the first sentence to give any reader an easy entry into the article does not clutter up the article. I d not understand why you are so opposed to this.
"Please, please don't be a rule fetishist and jump to conclusions, ie assume that uninitiated readers aren't intelligent enough to understand for themselves without any prompting that the article about British Caledonian is about a defunct AIRLINE and that they were indeed BRITISH."
Per WP:CIVIL, name-calling is not appropriate behaviour. Please withdraw the remark and apologise.
"If in any doubt, a quick glance at the airline info box right next to the introduction will confirm that THIS IS AN AIRLINE ARTICLE. Why for heaven's sake should there be an airline info box in an article that has nothing to do with airlines?"
The opening paragraph of an encyclopaedia article surely should be written simply and clearly and not require the reader to junp around the page to find the most basic of information. The infobox is intended to supplement the basic information in the lead paragraph, not replace it. Check any biography article -- the birth and death info appears in the lead paragraph even if it is also in an infobox.
"Also, most people who will read that article will be bright enough to understand that if two British companies merge, the result must surely be abother British company. Any lingering doubts will be immediately dispelled by looking at the first sentence of the first chapter (the one immediately following the introduction). Also, before questioning any potential reader's intelligence, try to ask yourself why an article that has absolutley nothing to do with aviation should be illustrated with aircraft photographs. My understanding is that Wikipedia is meant to be read by people of normal intelligence, rather than the mentally challenged. Hence, in my opinion, you seem to enjoy spending far too much of your precious time on making unconstructive edits that don't add anything in value (improvement value:0 [zero]). Aviator369 (talk) 23:34, 31 May 2009 (UTC)
Again, your insults are neither effective not appropriate. You have not explained your objection to including a few brief words at the beginning of the article to make things clear to the reader as is recommended by Wikipedia style guides, which have been developed by the Wikipedia community. I do not agree that the few words that I have added should be excluded because there are pictures further down will make the article clearer. Ground Zero | t 02:58, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Finally, your objection to me changing "1970/'71" to "1970/71" seems to be that you don't think I should spend my time making changes like this, even though they bring the article in line with the Wikipedia style. So why do you spend your time changing them back? Ground Zero | t 03:05, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Introduction - response to points raised by administrator/moderator[edit]

First of all, sorry for using inappropriate language to get my point of view across. I'm really sorry if I came across as abrasive. I didn't know that you are one of the administrattors. I was under the impression that you're just a Wikipedia user who wants to impose his opinions on other users. Once again, I'm really sorry for that misunderstanding and hope you'll accept my apologies.

In a nutshell, what I meant to say was:

  1. Even though I agree that Wikipedia protocols are important and should be adhered to as far as possible, this should not have to be done in a "slavish" manner - ie, protocols should be guidelines, not straightjackets. For example, to my mind the first sentence in the introduction of the main British Caledonian (BCal) article makes it quite clear that BCal was indeed an airline without explicitly saying so because it explains that this airline was the result of a merger involving British United Airways (BUA) and Caledonian Airways. It also explains that the former was the largest ... independent airline in Britain ... at that time and that the latter was a Scottish charter airline. Why do you think that it isn't clear enough even to uninitiated readers that the author who wrote this (not me, by the way) is talking about a new British airline being created as a result of two other British airlines merging? Perhaps, it would help if you discuss this with other Wikipedians before changing anything. If the majority among Wikipedians agrees with your opinion, I'm prepared to abide by the majority's decision.
  2. On a slightly different note, regarding my dislike of expanding every abbreviation is two-fold as well:
    1. Long-winded and difficult to comprehend expansions of abbreviations can be confusing and off-putting for uninitiated readers - ie, they may lose their interest in reading the article beyond that abbreviation. Also, expansion of abbreviations followed by the abbreviation itself in brackets can be stylistically awkward - eg, writing ... British Europen Airways (BEA)'s ... looks stylistically clumsy and is better re-written as ... of British European Airways (BEA) ... to look better from a stylistic perspective.
    2. Since Wikipedia articles aren't printed, typed or hand-written documents that are published on paper where expanding uncommon abbreviations in the introduction itself is essential to the uninitiated reader's understanding, an electronic encyclopedia like Wikipedia offers readers who don't know what a specific abbreviation stands for the opportunity to place their mouse pointer over the hyperlinked abbreviation, which will display its expansion in the tool tip. If a reader is interested in reading up on what this all means, he/she can click on the relevant hyperlink that will take him/her to the related article. These possibilities are non-existent as far as paper encyclopedias are concerned. Therefore, don't you think that there's nothing wrong with being more lenient regarding compulsory expansion of each and every abbreviation in Wikipedia articles as this unnecessarily takes up storage space and clutters the article by making it more difficult to read?
  3. Your comment that as well as means the same as and: This observation is correct. However, it looks stylistically clumsy if different parts in a long sentence that explains something complicated, which is essential for understanding the background to what is explained, are joined more than twice by and. Of course, the best course of action in such cases is to split up long sentences into shorter individual sentences that are easier to read and understand. Unfortunately, this isn't always possible without making the information in those shorter sentences appear disjointed. Therefore, I think it's appropriate to use as well as in certain cases rather than repeating and several times in the same sentence. Aviator369 (talk) 22:40, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Response[edit]

I do accept your apologies, ask that you try treat all Wikipedia editors (not just administrators) with respect, and avoid name-calling and questioning their motives. Almost all people I've encountered here are genuinely trying to improve Wikipedia, although I may not always agree with the ways in which they are trying to do so. There are relatively few people here who are intentionally disruptive. I note that I have not been trying to impose my opinions, only trying to improve the style and formatting of articles in ways that have been endorsed by the Wikipedia community.

With respect to the opening sentence, I find that the current version jumps into the subject without clearly defining what it is. I take direction from MOS:BEGIN on this:

"First sentence: The article should begin with a short declarative sentence, answering two questions for the nonspecialist reader: "What (or who) is the subject?" and "Why is this subject notable?""

1. With respect to expanding abbreviations, I agree that ... British European Airways (BEA)'s ... "looks stylistically clumsy", and will try to find better ways of expanding acronyms in future edits. I still support the Manual of Style direction that acronyms be expanded, however, for the sake of clarity for readers. Readers should not be forced to click on an acronym to find out what it means -- that disrupts their reading of the article all for the sake of making a sentence shorter for people already familiar with the subject. Wikipedia has a large and international audience, and we should be writing for the average reader, not the already-informed reader. Also, Wikipedia provides the convenient option of creating a printable format for each article so that articles can be printed and read by those who prefer to do so, or who wish to keep a copy. For those readers, the "pointing and hovering" option does not exist.

2. With regard to your comment about "compulsory expansion of each and every abbreviation in Wikipedia articles as this unnecessarily takes up storage space and clutters the article by making it more difficult to read", I note that:

  • abbreviations need only be expanding on their first use, and can be shown as acronyms on subsequent uses -- this, by the way, is not unique to WP:MOS, but I think you will find that it is direction that is common to style guides generally
  • we do not have to worry about storage space, especially for something that improves the clarity for an article for readers
  • I agree with WP:MOS that it is not expanding the acronym that makes an article more difficult to read, not the reverse. Wikipedia is here to explain. Wikipedia:Explain jargon has a good discussion about writing for a wider audience than those already familiar with a subject.

3. With regard to "As well as " or "and", I think tat in all of the cases where I changed the former to the latter, the new version is simpler and clearer. Is there a specific case where you think it is less clear now? In some cases, 'as well as" was being used to join a simple list of nouns, which really seems unnecessary. I agree that in some cases, it is even better to split up a long sentence. Regards, Ground Zero | t 17:22, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

User Ground Zero: Many thanks for taking your time and for your efforts to reply to the points I'd raised in detail. I noted your comments and agree that most of what you explained does indeed make some sense. Enjoy your week-end! Aviator369 (talk) 22:24, 5 June 2009 (UTC)

Halifax[edit]

I note that an IP editor has reverted a disambiguation i made the other day of Halifax to Halifax Stanfield International Airport. I am going to reDAB it, because otherwise it is unclear where the airline had stops as Halifax is not a clear link (did they stop in Halifax or Halifax or Halifax or...). Please don't revert it again without explanation. Cheers, LindsayHi 08:11, 14 December 2009 (UTC)

1970s BCAL logo in airline info box[edit]

The BCAL logo in the airline info box is NOT the original 1970s logo -- have a close look at the lion's tail by comparing it with one of the aircraft photos in the article showing planes wearing the 1970s livery (707s) and you'll notice the subtle difference (the type face is correct by the way).

Would it be possible to replace that logo with the "authentic", 1970s one? Aviator369 (talk) 23:35, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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