Thursday, January 15, 2009

Fate luck and airplane crashes


I was thinking about the miracle on the Hudson. Those passengers were lucky to have that particular pilot. Not only did he have years of experience but from what was reported he had a background in aircraft accident investigation and safety. Lastly he was able to figure that he couldn't make it back to the airport or get to the one across the river. I'm no pilot but I can see the difficulty pilots have when they fly. Most flights are a no brainer. Aircraft have become so automated that they almost fly themselves. I'm sure you could go years without incident and then the poop hits the fan and you have to make life and death judgments. That is difficult. In my profession we play it like a game of chess. At the start of any job there's a safety meeting and all the known risks and preventions are spelled out. That's not to say things can't and don't change. I always go in with the attitude - what can jump out and kill me today and how can I prevent that? I think it's been that attitude that's kept me fairly safe with all limbs in tact over the last eighteen years.
But there is something else in all of this. Crum from Lost in the Bozone got me thinking about this from his post the other day. You have all had days when nothing seems to go right. You get up late. Your shoe lace breaks. The milk is sour. You forgot to get coffee and of course the bus you just missed came early. Then every 20 years or so something strange happens. Like some strange virus in one day it seems you can do no wrong no matter what you do. You show up late but the boss says that's okay because the job was running late. You thought you did the wrong thing but it turns out right. You get all the green lights. You find a parking space right in front of where you're going. When you get there it turns out this is the one day they're having a 50% off appreciation day and you just happened to have a coupon for the item you wanted. I guess you could call this the luck zone.

4 comments:

dana wyzard said...

The three fears of my life are FLYING, WATER, and.....

Okay. I'm in the plane, then I find myself standing on a wing near icy cold water.....what's missing in my fear category? Fire. Yep. That would just about kill me just standing there.

Demeur said...

Dana in any nasty situation I've faced over the last many years I've always kept one thing in mind no matter what happens. Even with some near life threatening situations you need to remember you're not dead yet. And just about only counts in horse shoes and handgernades.

BBC said...

He did a great job, but there was a lot of just plain luck involved also.

I stopped flying years ago, I just don't want to die with a bunch of people screaming and suddenly sorry they got on a plane while I'm thinking, "Man, this is going to fuck up my whole day."

BBC said...

I'm reminded of something a pilot once said. Something like, "They all return, on a runway or a pile of wreckage, we've never left one up there."

She is right, fire isn't fun, was in a car fire once when I was about five. Had a burn scar on my forehead for many years, can hardly see it now.