Monday, June 1, 2009

Waiting for bad news...

I got back from a great workout at the gym and right before starting abs and pushups (I prefer to do them in privacy), I checked my email and hit up the usual suspects: Facebook, Twitter, CNN. It was just then that the first line of breaking news about Air France 447 popped up.

I've been sitting here, waiting very anxiously for updates. I feel sick to my stomach. Airplanes don't just disappear. They just don't. Yes, they crash. Yes, they can have mechanical problems or run out of fuel or have engine failures, but to just vanish with no communication? No mayday? No nothing? It cannot, cannot be good. This isn't a decrepit plane, this is a relatively new A330. Relatively new A330s do not just completely and utterly disappear. And this isn't some airline from a third world country with questionable pilot training and safety/maintenance records. This is Air France. This is basically as good as it gets in terms of airline quality and company legitimacy.

The plane was now supposed to have landed at CDG and didn't.

It's horrible, but my mind has gone straight to terrorism. Just because I can't wrap my head around it otherwise. Planes don't just fall from the sky with no warning. But terrorism isn't exactly seeming logical either.

As a frequent flyer, it's always, always in the back of your mind that something could happen, but you have to push it out or you'd never get on a plane. And honestly, that's one of my worst airplane fears, that transatlantic crossing, when for large stretches of time you're just out there in the middle of ocean, far from contact, far from land, and far from other people. That's always the point in the transatlantic I hate the most, when you look on the map and see you're smack in the middle of the ocean. It just feels so very, very lonely.

My dad is flying out here on Friday, and I'm flying down to London on Saturday morning to meet him. I generally feel like major air incidents happen the week before I fly (though maybe that's just coincidence because I fly a lot), but I really feel for him, because I can't imagine the anxiety about getting on a transatlantic flight just a few days after an incident like this.

There but for the grace of God go we, every time we step on an airplane. Safest form of travel, yes. But the magnitude of incidents like this seem so much more powerful.

It's a sad day today. A very sad day indeed if the worst is confirmed.


At June 2, 2009 at 2:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your second paragraph pretty much wraps it up.
Captain Dave


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