Saturday, January 17, 2009

Of Airplane accidents and other things

So, as usual, I have been very interested in the crash of USAir 1549. I don't know what it is about airplane crashes that interests me so. Is it because my brother flies planes for a living? Is it because I fly fairly frequently? No clue but I just have this thing about plane crashes. That sounds morbid and it isn't really. I am not interested in the gory details. Rather, I am interested in the personal aspects of people interaction and of how people react during these stressful situations. Perhaps I can blame it on the original plane crash movie, Airport, which is a wonderful pleasure to watch. Or perhaps it is my favorite made for TV movie A Thousand Heros, which deals with the crash of United 232 in Souix City, IA in July 1989.

When I read about one of these crashes I most often wonder how I would act in that situation. I think that we all want to believe that we would be the person who selflessly allows others off the plane first, who helps rescue people. The person who, when confronted with an emergency situation puts others before themselves. It feeds into that little part in all of us that wants to be the hero in the situation. The "Walter Mitty" in all of us and don't tell me that you don't have even a tiny shred of this in you. We just never know if we will be like the selfless pilots from USAir 1549 or the passengers on Flight 93. Or will we be like the idiot in the movie Airport who keeps yelling, "We are going to die, we are going to die." Until the nun slugs him that is.

I will have to admit that I usually have a "disaster plan" in my head when I get on board an airplane. I do know where the exits are and I look around me to get a take on the people that I might encounter. If I have time I know that I will take my little travel wallet out of my back pack and put it in my poclet. And, I am sorry to say for myself, I would then take out my camera and start taking pictures. I hate to say that about myself but I know that if I had the chance I would do it.

You may be wondering, won't you be scared if this were to happen to you. I am sure that I will be but it won't be because I am scared of death. That is one thing that I am not scared of because I know where I am going after I die, I will be with my Savior in heaven. No, I am more worried about not actually dying but living with some horrible injury. I think we will leave that right there.

So, I am overly interested with plane accidents but that won't stop me from getting on another plane. It just makes me cautious. It means that when the flight is done and I am deplaning I always thank the pilot or co-pilot who might be standing there for a flight well done. It also means that I am going to spend the next hour on this very cold morning reading about air disasters on Wikipedia. What else do I have to do, it is cold outside.


  1. Very good post, thanks for the wikipedia links, I had a long a but nice read! It's nice that you thought about how you would act if you're in the "actual" situation, that is, in an airplane crash. You know, there are quite a few who would like their imagination to go that far! A New York law firm describes airplane crash as "When the Unthinkable Happens" - Airplane Crashes.

    I had a good time reading your blog, Debbie. Thanks :)

  2. You do have to wonder what it feels like to be in a life-and-death situation. Well, who doesn't want to be a hero in times of danger? Then again, talking about it is scary on its own. I have a friend who studied aeronautical engineering. He says a few mistakes in maneuvering the plane can lead to a tragic accident.


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