Facts, Not Fear

Photo of two pilots in the cockpit, before take off.

There is no question, the recent crashes involving the Boeing 737 Max 8 in Ethiopia and Indonesia are disconcerting.  

Flying remains one of the safest ways to travel, but such disasters naturally lead us to question our own confidence.

But this is not a time to let fear prevail.

Let’s look at the facts.

Aviation is based on redundancy.  Pilots are bound by checklists.  Their preparation is far from frivolous.  Complacency can lead to catastrophe.   The commercial carriers dedicate countless resources to make sure nothing is taking for granted.  Nothing should be routine.

When mistakes happen, lessons are learned.  A lot of aviators in recent days have been pointing to the Colgan Air crash near Buffalo, New York.  In 2009, 50 people died when the Q400 plunged into a residential area as it drew near to the airport.

The crash lead to consequential change.  Reforms were made when it comes to pilot rest and conduct in the cockpit.  While it will never ease the pain of the lives lost, thanks to a firm push by the victims’ families, measures were instituted to make the skies safer.

Hopefully the same will happen with the MAX crashes.  Firm facts, not rumor, not speculation will lead to revisions that will have meaning and influence for the future.