11/07/1983 at 01:00 AM EST
Thank you for giving MTV (PEOPLE, Oct. 17) the recognition it deserves. It is true that the music industry would still be floundering if it weren't for MTV; however, one should also remember that if it weren't for the music industry and stars like Michael Jackson, MTV would never have happened.
I loved your cover story about my favorite new television station, MTV. May I add a footnote about how veejay Martha Quinn got her job? She heard about the auditions from friends and dashed down to the studio to try her luck. The next morning MTV called her lawyer (her father) and signed her up, just two weeks before the show went on the air. Your writer kindly said that being news broadcaster Jane Bryant Quinn's stepdaughter didn't hurt her any in getting the job; it didn't help, either. I can't claim any credit for Martha's success.
Jane Bryant Quinn
New York City
We read your article on John Galipault and his Aviation Safety Institute with special interest. In July 1982 we boarded a DC-10 Pan Am charter flight from Paris to New York. We found that the plane was dirty. Not more than 10 minutes after we took off, the left engine backfired and the whole plane shuddered. This happened three times before the pilot came on the intercom to say that one engine was out and that he was in the process of dumping fuel so we could return and land in Paris. After spending two days in and out of the airport and being promised a new engine or a new plane, we took off again on the same plane with the same engine. Five minutes after takeoff, the same problem occurred. This time the pilot joked, "If that sounds like a familiar sound, it is." We were again forced to dump fuel over the city, after which we made a risky landing at Paris. The problem was diagnosed as a fuel governor that apparently had not been serviced because of a labor strike at Orly Airport. I cannot tell you the terror that my wife and I experienced on that flight. All I can say is that it was a hell of a way to end a honeymoon!
David and Sandy Sobel
At the time, Pan Am spokesman Jim Arey said, "The procedure executed by the crew in returning was totally correct. The service people did what they were supposed to do, and obviously the problem persisted."—ED.
I was shocked to learn that there are airlines that do not provide every safety feature they are capable of providing; however, the airlines are not completely at fault for the decline of safety standards. Passengers are also to blame. When they make the decision to use cheaper airlines, they must be aware that some compromises, including those of safety regulations, have been made to achieve lower fares. Are they not intelligent enough to realize that a life is worth far more than the saving of a few dollars, or are they, like the airlines, relying too much on the low probability of an accident?
Your interview with John Galipault on the hazards of airline cost-cutting left out one disturbing fact that has been confided to me by friends who work for major airlines. A wide-body jet has three air-conditioning packs that circulate, filter and reoxygenate cabin air. When big jets reach cruising altitude, pilots are now instructed to shut off one of those packs. Savings are minimal, and passengers and crew are left breathing less oxygen and more cigarette smoke than they should be. Anyone notice their jet lag has been worse in the last couple of years? That may be one side effect. More dangerous than the effects on passengers, however, are those on crew members who are working and moving around and so require more oxygen. Flight attendants' resultant fatigue and grogginess might lead to trouble in an emergency, when they need to think quickly. Airline personnel want the public to know about this but are afraid to spill the beans for fear of losing their jobs.
New York City
My congratulations for a spectacular article on Chorus Line's record-breaking performance. I saw the show four times; my dream is to see it made into a film. Why hasn't Michael Bennett done the movie?
Director and choreographer Michael Bennett did make a four-picture deal with Universal that included directing Chorus Line. However, Bennett discovered, as many others have, that Hollywood was not his cup of tea. "They weren't mean to me out there," he says. "I didn't know how to play the game. I was naive." After several months, Bennett penned a sign that said "Gone Fishing" and went home to New York.—ED.
Candy and Aaron Spelling
Your piece on Aaron Spelling and wife Candy was fair, but I came away from it with the sense they were making a fortune by dedicating themselves to TV mediocrity. I knew Aaron, then both of them, during the Dick Powell and Mod Squad days, when I was a TV-exec-from-New York type. Aaron worked like an animal and always with taste, inventiveness and loyalty to his people. He filled network sitcom and sit-dram pipelines while others were essaying such thoughtful artworks as the Beverly Hillbillies and My Mother the Car. He tried what is critically called "quality" many times and bombed, as most did and do. I have always found Candy Spelling bright, great-looking and totally decent. Avarice is not behind her commercial success; she always preferred doing something to knocking back margaritas at the Polo Lounge while Daddy went a-hunting on the soundstages. These are decent and stable people in a land of loonies, and they deserve their success.
Sackets Harbor, N.Y.