Modern aviationMay 3rd, 2017
Aviation. The word itself has heft, like a Boeing 777 floating through the air three miles away from touching down at any major airport. We are 114 years removed from the Wright brother’s flight experiments at Kitty Hawk. We went from Orville and Wilbur’s endeavors to the moon in 66 years. So why is it a TV news staple to report every glitch that happens on an aircraft when no one is remotely injured? I get why a Malaysian airliner that goes missing is a story or when a pilot deliberately crashes a plane, as was the case with the Germanwings atrocity. I’m talking about smoke in the cockpit and the plane lands safely or the favorite go to moment to report on…turbulence. This week a Russian airliner hit severe turbulence and 19 people were hospitalized. The injured did not have their seat belts fastened. When stories like that make the news it gives the impression as if we’ve been flying for only 6 months and this is all new territory. Here are some numbers; 44 people were injured because of turbulence last year out of around 900 million passengers. A plane lands on a broken wheel, a plane skids off a runway, a plane bumps another plane on the ground, eh, no one is hurt but there it is on the news and it’s not even your local airport. Okay, a doctor got dragged down an airplane aisle and now we have to hear about every passenger getting yelled at? Aviation is an amazing confluence of imagination and technology, and it works very well day in and day out with a remarkable safety record. I’m sure passengers were yelled at everyday somewhere for whatever reason but since the doctor dragging moment we now are hearing about every bada boop, bada beep that happens on planes.
It’s because people have vid capability on their phones isn’t it? We only hear about these dust-ups because news operations have pictures, otherwise we’d never know any of this. It makes you long for the days when airlines served meals on one hour flights, didn’t charge for baggage, the blankets were cleaned more than once a year and flight attendants wore nice uniforms. The Wright bros busted their asses so we can now fly anywhere on the planet in a day. So curl up under that cootie blanket, fasten your seat belt and hopefully you won’t be on the news for some stupid reason.