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My stomach felt like it fell to my feet when my spotty cell reception in North Carolina hit a patch of service and I saw all the tweets about Asiana Flight 214 come through. Rational or not, when you live among a world of frequent flyers, you feel connected to everyone on every flight. You know that it could be you or someone you care about on any flight at anytime.
There is absolutely some risk in flying, but there is also risk in driving to the grocery store, or even laying on your couch and eating Doritos all day. Clearly I am not an aviation crash expert, and know nothing more about this incident than anyone who has turned on CNN, but the fact that the plane remained so intact, and emergency procedures were so effective as to allow for so many to get off safely as they did, actually emphasizes for me how safe air travel is.
I do get nervous sometimes when flying, and I do try to keep my daughter strapped in as much as possible – and always upon take-off and landing, but I know the statistics are very much in my favor. For the most part, flying is very safe, and as scary and stomach-turning as this crash is, it also reinforces that even when things go wrong, they can potentially be survivable.
It goes without saying, but if you have children who fly, just be aware of their exposure to the coverage of this accident on TV. Seeing images of a crashed plane may make them overly fearful of future flights. I think talking about some airplane safety regarding locating the emergency exits, how to go down the slides, etc. can be useful, but seeing too many images of a crashed plane may do more harm than good.
And if you ever have the misfortune of being involved in any kind of crash or hard landing, please, please leave your bags on board the aircraft. Seconds matter. Teach your kiddos that as well.
Thoughts are with all involved. Safe flying everyone.