16 January 2009

On the possibility that they are right after all...

The other night, I was watching the immediate aftermath of the New York crash landing on the news channel. Apart from being amazed and gratified that everyone--everyone!--survived, I was challenged at a personal level. I've watched those videos and witnessed those choreographed demonstrations so many times (including a micro-teaching exercise about training cabin crew to do it...) and always thought it was simply a benign euphemistic mythology which no-one believed.

I suspect that the airlines and the authorities thought the same. There's a common joke about the assuming the crash position which concludes, "...and kiss your a*** goodbye!" It was well advised but never tested.

I heard some expert on the radio being interviewed about it and his reaction to seeing the plane floating. Was he surprised? No, not really--that was that it was supposed to do--but he was pleased, because to his knowledge none of the manufacturers had ever tested it in practice (it would be prohibitively expensive).

So perhaps I should not be so sceptical? Perhaps.Hey, it is difficult to re-learn trust...


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