Over the last 50 years
the airline industry has proven beyond any doubt the value of crew
The results have firmly cemented the industries’ position as the safest way to travel.
Which is a remarkable achievement considering:
- How far there is to fall.
- How congested the popular airspaces and airports are.
- How tired the pilots may be.
- How many critical parts there are on a passenger plane.
- How low the profit margins generally are.
- How expensive the consequence of missing your deadlines are.
And then there is the weather, which has absolutely no regard for your timetable.
Storms, hail, rain, icing, wind shear and periodic lightning strikes. And birds.
There is the quantity of fuel that is all around, in the wings and fuselage tanks.
If you board a fully fuelled Boeing 777-300, you will have more than 45,150 (US) gallons - (171,000 litres) of fuel stored around you. And this is not the long range version.
It is unlikely you will drown in it.
With typical combustion temperatures around 1,300 degrees C, the presence of the engines guarantee this fuel will ignite if the aircraft suffers a contact hard enough to break it.
When landing with a low fuel load, this same capacity contains an explosive fuel/air vapour mix.
Blow or Burn. But probably both. Blow and Burn.
The fuel is contained by an airframe and fuel tanks made as light as possible with the extensive use of aluminium alloys.
There are not many metals that burn, but aluminium does.
Aluminium is added to the fuel in some types of solid fuel rocket designs. It increases the performance of the fuel.
And inside the cabin, with you, is all the duty free alcohol you and your fellow passengers have placed in the overhead lockers.
This optional fuel source is a proven way to rapidly accelerate combustion inside the air plane.
So this is not an environment to make errors.
Carefully honed training for the flight crew is a critical component in safely delivering so many passengers to their destinations.
Air crashes resulting from pilot error nearly always include inadequate training in the final report.
By comparison, adequate training for drivers is going to be simpler, easier to learn and faster to achieve.
But it is a matter of doing it.
There is a real comprehension of the forces, controls and human deficiencies that is required.
With relevant information, you can substantially reduce risk to yourself, your passengers and other road users.