All of us who write about this industry do it because we are fascinated with flight. Especially for those of us who don’t have an engineering background, the idea that a large hunk of metal can somehow get off the ground and take us 6,000 miles away in a few hours will never cease to amaze me. The child-like wonder I have watching a 747 take off, plus the infinite complexities of actually running a business based on those aircraft, is the reason I get up every morning and write about this stuff.
Which makes waking up to the news of the crash of Continental 3407 all the more painful. Living in New York, and being a frequent traveler on Continental, makes it hit home all the more. As we travel around today, I think it’s important to remember that for all of the complaining, whining, moaning and bitching people do about the food, the delays, or the whatever, that it’s still a miracle that the industry moves so many of us around safely, efficiently, and at a reasonable price. It’s incredible when you step back and think about it.
As always, there is initial speculation about the cause of the accident, and all of that should be ignored for now (as should any suggestion that the Q400, which SAS has claimed has had some landing gear issues, is to blame). Our prayers are for the crew and families of those on board who were just trying to get home after being away.