Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Air Travel, The New Thrill Ride

My first airplane flight was in 1952.  Washington D.C. to La Guardia on an American Airlines Lockheed Constellation.  I was four.  Since then I've taken hundreds of trips by plane, flying in everything from the relatively safe Boeings to the dreaded Lockheed Electra.  For most of my life I just enjoyed the excitement of it, without worrying about the possibilities of trouble.  More recently, I must admit, the thrill has become a little darker.

No surprise.  These days I even get a little bit scared on the upper floors of high buildings. 

I'll be leaving for the airport in a couple of hours.  This trip is one of those twenty-four-hour marathons from South East Asia to California.  As a cheerful sendoff, a GermanWings Airbus A-320 crashed into the French mountains this morning. 

Honestly, I still understand that there are a huge number of successful take-offs and landings around the world every day, virtually all of which are trouble free.  But the last year or so has not been without signs of trouble in the air travel business.  Pilot errors, total mysteries, and the growing suspicion that modern planes are so automated that pilots are forgetting how to fly, quite a litany of crashes. 

Still, the odds are with me.  I won't be getting any travel insurance.  I'll be fine.  I'm sure!  Probably.

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