Tuesday, October 26, 2004

I'm a terrible flier. My flight anxiety has gotten so bad that I now take this weird herbal drug that my mother found for me at GNC before take off. I fast forward past the plane-crash flashbacks in Lost. I'll never watch Cast Away again. And now this:

"Afterward, Airbus told the NTSB that it included a warning that abrupt rudder movement in some circumstances "can lead to rapid loss of controlled flight," and, in others, could break off the tail."

Ummm, isn't that a problem? Isn't that a big, gigantic, HEY COME SUE US problem? I mean, if moving the rudder abruptly can cause the tail to break off, why allow the rudder controls to move the rudder abruptly? Surely there's a program that could be written to prevent an excessive amount of input from being relayed to the mechanism.

I get the sense that airlines are like restaurants: If you could see what goes on in a restaurant's kitchen ever day, you'd never eat out again. If we really knew how the airlines worked, we'd all take Amtrak.


Anonymous said...

Don't feel bad--a friend of mine who's a pilot for American had flown the plane (that crashed) in the previous week on his regular segment to Puerto Rico.

Apparently the problem has much to do with training and experience. There's lots of things pilots do that can turn dangerous, if they do something the wrong way.

Good luck with the anxiety.

Hei Lun said...

If we really knew how Amtrak worked, we'd all be driving.

Anonymous said...

My wife used to work on Air Traffic Control systems...believe me, if you know how shoddy these things were, you would NEVER fly again. She used to enjoy telling me about all of the bugs and flaws they were working on fixing (all of which were distributed all over the world) as she drove me to the airport for my various business trips...