There is a special kind of helplessness that comes with getting into a commercial plane. Unlike being a fighter pilot, when you can use the ‘eject’ button, flying commercial does not come with the option of punching out. Neither does it come with parachutes. Once you leave the ground, you do so in the hope that everything is okay when you take off. If this isn’t the case, there is nothing you can do about it.
At thousands of feet in the air, you essentially put your life in the hands of the pilot, air traffic control, air hostesses, and a whole host of others in the system. If enough of them don’t do their jobs, you won’t make your destination.
In the aftermath of the Dana Air crash on Sunday, all kinds of revelations have made the news about the poor safety record of the plane. A lot of questions also need to be asked in addition: How does a plane lose both engines between Abuja and Lagos?
It is becoming increasingly clear that a lot of people did not do their jobs, and it lead to 153 people dying in the plane, and 69 people dying on the ground. How do you comprehend a plane ramming into your house on a Sunday afternoon? Two hundred and twenty-two people are dead, and nothing can bring them back. The best we can do is to honour their memory by making sure the whole truth about this incident comes out, and that it never happens again.
I hope anyone with any information on this crash will turn it over to the authorities, and to the press. I also hope that anyone who has information about airlines who use faulty planes will speak up.
We all know about the corrupt in our midst, and it is claiming more and more of our loved ones. Shall we persist in passing the blame while they continue to die?