Saturday 22nd March
It gives me no pleasure in having guessed correctly (or so the consensus seems to be forming) that the reason for the plane going missing was a suicide by the pilot. The news is strange. We have 24 hour news and yet we are told very little. Whether this is deliberate or due to massive cock-ups I am really not sure. There was an unconfirmed report that the pilot’s wife had left him the day before the plane disappeared – and then nothing. As if that had never been it is now not mentioned at all. I suspect that it is true but they are now rapidly ensuring the safety of the wife and children. In any case it is hardly her fault if her husband whom she wanted to leave should react so disastrously. Amid all the coverage it has emerged that actually pilots committing suicide with a full plane-load of passengers is not unheard of at all, in fact there have been a few cases. Makes flying that bit more risky.
One of the consequences of 9/11 was that the cockpit on passenger planes has been sacrosanct, locked from the inside to stop any crazy or terrorist passengers attempting a hijack. What no-one thought of was that the crazy person could be inside the cockpit after all. And why on earth is the pilot able to switch off all communication with the ground; what possible reason could there be for giving him (or her) the possibility of doing this?
It is also amazing to think that in this day and age, when we are told that satellites can identify a packet of cigarettes on the ground (nonsense as it turns out), when we have all this technology that once a plane leaves one countries air-space all radar coverage is lost until it enters another country. So, all those transatlantic flights are completely untracked. Hopefully one of the long-term results of this tragedy will be that a re-think of the responsibility given to the pilot will take place. Of course accidents can never be totally eliminated, both human and machine error can never be completely over-ridden, but with each disaster hopefully flying becomes that tiny bit safer. It is of little comfort to know that flying is statistically by far the safest form of transport, as when a plane does crash the chances of surviving are so small. Sit back and have a nice flight – you are in the safe hands of the pilot.