The musings of Mr Monkeysized

Plane Crashes and Sir Isaac Newton by monkeysized
February 25, 2010, 19:38
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

The final four minutes of flight AF447, the Air France jet that hit the Atlantic on a flight from Rio, are picked apart in a chilling article in Der Spiegel. It’s compulsive reading, even for those of us who love flying or depend on it rather too much to want to work out just when you would have realised that it was all going wrong, or exactly what forces of 36G (the impact) would do to your body. How much would you know?

Certainly, if I’m in an air accident I will be miffed, livid and rather put out. I may even purse my lips in silent anger (if I remember to do it before the 36G kick in). But they aren’t the real thing that bugs me about air travel.

People are what bug me about air travel. In particular the acceptance of air travel as routine. It’s not. It’s amazing! Grab that window seat and see the world from astonishing angles as you blast through the sky in a pressurised aluminium tube. What doesn’t look better from high up?

And then try to imagine just how remarkable what you’re seeing is. What you’re doing. How it works. Where you’re going and how quickly you get there.

How much, I start wondering, would people from a pre-plane age pay for just one Easyjet flight from Stansted to Marbella? A window seat, obviously. How much would the great philosophers pay? The natural scientists? How much would the great Sir Isaac Newton pay, out of his life earnings? Would he be able to convince others to stump up part of the fee, on condition that he described it to them once back on the ground? Would he calculate a payment based on fees for the fabulous written and spoken accounts where he would relate the experience afterwards. Far more, I would imagine, than what it would cost to fly to Australia on silk sheets while being caressed by a quartet of gorgeous lovelies made entirely of chocolate.

And he’d probably go for priority boarding too. Sensible man.


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