Wednesday, July 18, 2007

[flight information] call this blog [2]

I'm really terribly sorry to push this point and all that, especially in the light of the latest disaster but I really must ask you to:

1] look back over this post which, despite its semi-jocular tone, has a far from jocular message embedded within;

2] consider a summary of the latest crash:

A TAM Linhas Aereas Brazilian Airbus A320, carrying 176 people, was flying into Sao Paulo's Congonhas airport from Porto Alegre in southern Brazil when it lost control on landing. It skidded off the rain-soaked runway and flew over a bustling avenue just below, hitting a petrol station and cargo termina and bursting into flames.

Last month, two passenger planes clipped wings while taxiing at Congonhas, increasing concerns about safety. Last September, 154 people were killed when a Brazilian passenger plane collided with a small executive jet and crashed in the Amazon jungle in the worst air accident in the country's history.

The Congonhas airport, located in the heart of South America's largest city, has had runway problems for years and recently repaved one of its landing strips. Earlier this year, officials tried to ban wide-bodied jets from the airport because of fears they could skid off its short landing strips.

Air travel in Brazil has repeatedly been disrupted since the September crash unveiled a series of problems, including insufficient infrastructure and overburdened, underpaid staff.

3] notice the supposed cause of the crash and the type of aeroplane it was. It was an Airbus yet again.

Against this, aviation sources repeatedly stress that air travel is the safest way to go and that most disasters are due to pilot error.

So what's for us to do?

1] I feel we need to be a little more circumspect, a little more critical and a little less trusting in accepting "air packages". The major carriers are fine but it's the "connecters" I'd like to know more about.

2] I'd also like to know if the airport I'm flying into, like Los Rodeos for example, has a previous history and whether anything has been learnt from this. Surely we need to look at national character as well while we're there and not give a damn if it steps on toes and wounds national pride. Who gives a toss about that when it comes to maximizing your chances of living?

Go through the records yourself and find out here up to 2001 and here after 2000.

3] Possibly you'd agree with the above but not with my final criterion. I'd really like to know that someone like, say Larry McDonald, wasn't on board our Korean Air Lines (KAL) flight 007 and the plane wasn't flying over, say, Sakhalin or that John Kennedy Jnr wasn't on the flight list despite it being all his fault or indeed that yours truly wasn't entered on any passenger manifest.

I don't wish to travel on any flight which would accept me as a passenger, thank you, Groucho. But this is stretching incredulity too far, isn't it?


Colin Campbell said...

I am very grateful that I don't fly much now. I have done my dash.

Lord Straf-Bilderberg said...

Not that there's anything necessarily wrong with it, of course. :)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...


Ruthie said...

I'm flying to New York in a month.

This is freaking me out.

I haven't flown since 9/11. I don't think I'm going to handle it well.

jmb said...

At least I'm not going to Brazil next month. I hope this is the end of these flying safety posts, James. I can't afford to "fear flying".