Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Excellent James Fallows column on the Germanwings crash

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James Fallows writes at his blog in the Atlantic:

As I write I am listening to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s announcementthat the Germanwings crash in France this week was apparently a deliberate act of suicide/murder. The ramifications:

1) Has anything like this ever happened before? Yes it has. Back in 1999, EgyptAir flight 990, shortly after taking off from Kennedy airport in New York en route to Cairo, disappeared into the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Cod. In 2001, my friend and then-Atlantic-colleague William Langewiesche, who has spent all his life around aviation, wrote a celebrated story for our magazine about the evidence that the plane’s pilot had deliberately flown the aircraft into the sea. You can read “The Crash of EgyptAir 990” online here. It is probably the most useful work of journalism to consider today.

William Langewiesche’s piece contains this observation, which so far reflects to the great credit of French and German officials:

One of the world’s really important divides lies between nations that react well to accidents and nations that do not. This is as true for a confined and technical event like the crash of a single flight as it is for political or military disasters. The first requirement is a matter of national will, and never a sure thing: it is the intention to get the story right, wherever the blame may lie. The second requirement follows immediately upon the first, and is probably easier to achieve: it is the need for people in the aftermath to maintain even tempers and open minds.

2) Could this happen in just the same way on U.S. airlines? In exactly the same way, no. In a somewhat similar way, yes.

It wouldn’t happen in exactly the same way, with one member of the flight crew left alone in the cockpit, because on U.S. airlines . . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

26 March 2015 at 12:30 pm

Posted in Business, Daily life

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