One of the topics under discussion is Budget Airlines, and are they as good as the big names?
The first time I flew to Canada, I flew with CanAir, a budget company who flew one flight a week from Gatwick. My only bugbear was I had to wait several hours for the flight to take off. That is not their fault, living in Bristol I had to travel over night to be at the airport for 0630.
The second time I flew to Edmonton, I flew with the larger company Air Canada, who have a daily schedule to Canada. I had no problems with either flight, or company. The flight crews were very well trained, and polite at all times.
This is the acronym for the term Controlled Flight Into Terrain, this is usually caused by spatial disorientation by the pilot. More often the main cause is heavy/low cloud forcing the pilot to drop the altitude of the plane.
Several years before the fated Munich Air Disaster http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munich_air_disaster which claimed the lives of 20 people, there was a similar tragedy which hit Italian soccer http://fiveinmidfield.com/2011/05/04/gone-but-not-forgotten-%E2%80%93-il-grande-torino-and-the-tragedy-of-superga/ Among the victims was Valentino Mazzola, whose son Sandro would gain recognition as one of Italy's great players during the 1960's and 70's.
The first reports from the local people said they knew the plane would crash; it was flying to low over the range. Other people say they saw the plane break into pieces in mid-air, this is why President Obama was quick to dispel the terrorism theory.
The air control reported the plane deviated from its scheduled route, before the crash. After watching the descent, and then seeing the plane vanish from radar; the air control diverted all planes near the flight path to avert a possible disaster. Pilots who had flown the Airbus A320 have said the plane could have held a steeper glide path, and still landed safely.
The pilot's voice recorder is the most damning evidence yet. On the recording the second pilot can be heard leaving the cockpit, and moments later banging on the door to get back in. The official reports says he was "locked out." This would indicate a deliberate action by the other pilot.
If the pilot was fighting to gain control of his plane, he couldn't have opened the door. Another damning piece of evidence is the emergency door code didn't work, and the handle was in the "locked" position.
This would fit in with the controlled flight path, and the refusal to answer the air control for several minutes before the crash.
However, until the black box data has been analysed, we have no idea how the plane was reacting. We have no idea what happened on the other side of the cockpit door. Did the pilot have an aneurysm, or a heart attack in his struggle to regain control of his plane?
From what I've read, I am sticking with my original theory. It fits the scenario, assuming the pilot had no wish to be classed as a mass murderer.
The plane fell apart through explosive decompression caused by a split hydraulic pipe, the split could not have been found; so no blame is to be attributed. The icy weather, mixing with the hot fluid caused an internal explosion- the plane fell apart in mid-air.
The pilot realised what had happened and was trying to fight the plane's natural reaction to spiral out of control. I prefer to think he died trying to save lives, than he died as a mass murderer.
In the aftermath of 9/11 and the rise of Islam terrorist threats, another disaster like the Twin Towers isn't inconceivable. However, a Muslim trying to go to Mecca with killings to his credit, would surely have chosen a more note-worthy airline, on a major route.
My phobia of flying
I often tell people who question the safety of flying "Go to any airport for an hour, count the number of planes landing and taking off. This is one airport, for one hour of one day. Multiply the number by 16 for the hours the airport is open, and then think how many airports there are in the world. The unfortunate thing about air crashes is the always make the headlines." Statistics show flying is one of the safest ways to travel; I never hear people say we shouldn't travel by train, but they have accidents too.
In 2009, I had to conquer my fear of flying, I was flying to meet a late friend who lived in Lac La Biche, Alberta. I knew if I didn't fly over, she would think I backed out because of our age gap. It is hard to convince somebody who is convinced of a reason, that my fear of flying was the reason.
I don't know if my fear was of flying, or of being in an enclosed space for nine hours. In the end, I did beat my fear, the flight was a wonderful journey, and I went back a few months later.