Wednesday, August 03, 2005

"Remarkable" is right

I was at a friend's house yesterday evening when he turned on the television and I heard the ominous words, "An Air France flight with 309 people aboard crashed..." and my whole body immediately braced, expecting bad bad news.

But the news wasn't very bad at all. As this AP article rightly states, it was remarkable. And so I'm remarking on it. A series of terrible calamities hit this airplane, and somehow there were only a few minor injuries.

A bit less remarkable--but remarkable nevertheless--is the lead sentence in the AP article. It reads like one of those contests New York magazine used to feature, in which the reader tries to submit a ridiculous run-on sentence that could be the plot of an over-the-top disaster movie:

A jetliner carrying 309 people skidded off a runway while landing in a thunderstorm Tuesday, sliding into a ravine and breaking into pieces, but remarkably everyone aboard survived by jumping to safety in the moments before the plane burst into flames.

These people are either very lucky, or the crew and flight attendants on board the plane deserve a medal. Or perhaps both.


At 7:59 AM, August 03, 2005, Blogger goesh said...

Thank God they all made it out OK. My first thought was terrorism and I was relieved it was a malfunction, which could have been as bad, but at least no malicious.

At 11:20 AM, August 03, 2005, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the guy I was with piped up, 'You know, he's getting pretty close to the end.' Immediately afterward, right off he went."

It looks as though this was a weather related accident, although the investigation will provide the final word.

I am amazed, albeit happily so, that there were no fatalities. The pictures made it look like a horrendous crash, yet as far as everyone knows, everyone on the plane, crew included, got off alive. What a great piece of news!

As Goesh said, my first thought was terrorism too. After I found out that weather was the leading "suspect", I actually felt relieved. "Whew! It wasn't a bomb." Then I got to thinking, how bad is that attitude, that I'm actually relieved it wasn't a terrorist act? People are just as dead or injured from a weather-related plane crash as they are from a terrorist induced one. Goesh is right -- at least weather causes would mean there was no malicious act -- but I still feel a slight tinge of shame at what I felt. Have I become that desensitized that I view suffering and potential death due to weather as not being as tragic as suffering and potential death due to terrorism?

At 12:06 PM, August 03, 2005, Blogger karrde said...

"Any landing that you can walk away from is a successful landing"
--attributed to a WWII bomber pilot.

Still, it is remarkable how the success happened in this case.


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