Tuesday, October 24, 2006


We watch programmes on the National Geographic channel and have learnt a lot from them. One of the series they run is about aircraft disasters. Now those are scary especially when the aircraft involved are the same ones we use to fly back to England in.

During the programmes they examine each crash in great detail to determine exactly what caused it. In some cases it is human error but too often it is a design fault or a faulty repair to an aircraft. The other night it was the rear of the plane that had been repaired by Boeing and they had only used one row of rivets to fix the new panel instead of two. On a previous programme it was the cargo door that opened outwards instead of inwards to make loading quicker. A failure in the hydraulics seems to feature all too often.

Next time I fly I might just ask the pilot “has this plane been repaired properly”, “when was it last checked”, “which way do the cargo doors open”, “are all the hydraulics routed through one part of the plane”. Never mind the stewardess telling us “in the event of landing over water” – most of our trip is over land – what happens then? I think I know the answer to that one from the programmes we have watched.

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