The bizarre world of the forecaster continues to amaze. Here are some choice snippets from a few recent gatherings of harassed aerospace execs.....

Hairbrush's seerer, Monsieur Règarde Silvous Plate, gives us the following good news:

"Don't worry about zis downturn. Soon it will all be over. Ze Gulf crisis is in phase wiz solar activity and ze recent peaks 'av induced some sort of emotional behaviour. As you probably know, this follows an 11-year cycle and ze good news is solar activity is on ze downslope and will cool off from 2003-4 onwards - which is fortunate as it is one year before the first flight of the A380."

Or Senor "Copa" Cabana from Latin America: "One of our top execs was walking miserably along the beach worrying about the industry when he saw an old bottle washed up in the surf. Picking it up, he rubbed the label and was amazed when a genie popped out. 'You have one wish,' it boomed. The man immediately drew a map of the Middle East, explained the various problems, and asked for peace in the region. But the genie shook his head, saying the request was way out of his league. 'Try something easier,' it suggested. 'OK', says the man, 'how about fixing the aviation industry?' The genie replied 'ummm.....let's have a look at that map again'."

Or Megafan's Terry Turbine: "We've spent countless dollars analysing the cyclical nature of this problem and we can tell you, beyond a shadow of a doubt that this industry is cyclical. It is also a Darwinian-type cycle. A sort of death and rebirth - which is fine, unless you're one of the guys that's going to die."

Source: Flight International