I have always feared flying. The recent trend of these so called super advanced jets falling out of the sky has compounded my fear, it means that am not going to fly again any time soon,

I always wonder if there can be really any accident proof aircraft there that I can use, if there aren’t any, then am gonna create one someday,

The infamous crashes of two ultra modern aircrafts a few months ago is especially shocking, The crashes of  Indonesian Lion air, and the Ethiopian airlines shook the world, even with the mounting overwhelming evidence, the airline manufacturer Boeing denied responsibility many times before admitting fault with its brand new 737 Max jet. Boeing is of course the largest manufacturer of corporate passenger aircrafts in the world, they think they can get away with a few unfortunate crashes because people have no better alternatives. When the crashes first came out, Boeing cast the blame on the pilots calling them poorly trained professionals from third world countries, Only the similarities in the two crashes raised eyebrows from the authorities and the general public, the resulting outrage placed a negative spotlight on the manufacturer and forced them to retract their  defensive claws.

I remember just a few years ago Boeing was having troubles with one of its great planes, another popular model called the  “787 Dreamliner,” they were quickly  grounded around the world after batteries started exploding in the planes while on runways, it was later found out that Boeing was subcontracting a company that delivered poor quality and hazardous products, however this battery problem and other issues in the aircraft which were discovered later were fixed and the plane put into service, this matter was laid to rest and was quickly forgotten. The new crashes are raising new concerns for Boeing altogether, are they really doing enough to make sure every passenger is safe?  Has Boeing tossed its quality standards into the trash in pursuit for more profits? The company’s safety policy on all its aircrafts is now being scrutinized to the uttermost extreme. It looks like Boeing a true champion of aviation is turning into a rogue company, we should now start building better alternatives.

The problem now is that even if you have a very robust aircraft all perfect to every nut and bolt, there are other problems in the aviation industry that are likely to lead a plane into a crash, variations in weather patterns, human error on both or either side of the control towers and the Pilots, and many countless issues that are likely to arise, so I prefer to use cars, buses, trains, and ships. Planes only come about when its absolutely necessary to fly,  Only when I have an urgent matter, and am left with no other choice, that’s the moment when I have got to board a plane.

I myself have lost close relatives in plane crashes before, it was one of the most painful and unbearable moments of my life, what I went through, I cannot describe it in words here, so for those who have lost a loved one in an air accident before, I really understand them, their anguish and pain are things I have also experienced.

When we compare air accidents to other accidents, then we can honestly say that planes take the least number of lives compared to roads, rails and waterways, our highways are a lot more dangerous than our airways, according to some trusted data, there are less than a thousand civilian aircraft fatalities a year worldwide on average, on the other hand, there are millions of road accident fatalities worldwide every year, yet we fear planes more than we fear cars. I believe it owes to the fact that we have grown very fond of the cars so much that we become oblivious of their dangers, the car travels on roads, so people say, “this thing is down to earth, its something we can handle,” they are under the illusion that because they are very familiar with cars, they can handle all the problems that arise from them, planes on the other hand fly very very high into the skies into the spaces unknown, they happen to be very complex, most of its workings are not really known to the ordinary folk, they understand that anyone operating an aircraft has to be extremely careful, even the tiniest of mistakes often bring down the biggest and most expensive of planes

 

Fragile birds of steel.

I went to a hangar and saw this huge aircraft being towed out of a shelter, it had large wings each the length and size of a small train. It had four massive fans that sucked in everything that walked nearby.

These huge metal beasts of wings have fooled man into trusting them too much and being overconfident while inside their bellies, they trick travelers into thinking that all is going to be okay while they’re on the runway but when they actually reach cool airs above, they abruptly change their minds, they say, “I have carried a luggage a little too heavy so they throw extra luggage and passengers off board” or then unexpectedly say, “I need a drink, or I have not taken a shower in months,” with that in mind it goes straight down and dives into the sea without concern of joyriders in her underbelly.

These creatures are so huge, some are bigger than many palaces, they can carry the queen and the royal family with all their servants in just one journey, yet they are so fragile, they are more brittle than glass, even a child can shoot them down from a rooftop using just small rocks, stones and a slingshot.

When am travelling, I tell Angelina, “please go first with Alfred, and I shall follow behind with Naomi, we shall take the next flight,” “why are you doing that? Don’t you want the kids to enjoy the journey together?” she asks? Then I say this to her, “I cannot risk anymore”, “risk what?” when she thinks for a while then realises what I mean by the word “RISK” she is flabbergasted, she covers her mouth in shock and breaks down in tears, “oh! No! Please don’t wish it, I dare you not wish us any bad thing on our journey home,” she remarks, “I don’t wish anything bad, you know, I just can’t risk putting all my family in that freaky bird of steel…” “Oh! No, please stop, don’t mention any of that to me, STOP!” she screams and covers her ears, not wanting to hear a thing from me. Full of rage and confusion she grabs Naomi by the hand and walks away with them both to the terminal, “if you are too lazy to watch over both kids in flight, then I shall go with them, you stay behind here and go  ahead  with your bad wishes, if bad guys are going  to  blow us up in the air then I shall be glad to have both of my children when I walk into paradise.” she rebukes me further and hurriedly walks away with the kids to the terminal as if she did not want to see me again, “Angelina!” I call her loud, she does not answer, and she does not look back.

That was the last conversation I had with Angelina, when they were airborne, a group of albatross flew past them, they observed the metal beast carefully and became envious of its flying speed, so the flew past it and went their way, another wedge if geese came flying through the air and cut right through its fuselage, the metallic bird was continually mauled by waves upon wave of birds that came in huge formations, there came a wake of buzzards, a charm of finches, a host of sparrows, a mustering of stork, a descent of woodpeckers, the list was endless.

The skies darkened with stormy clouds, the poor creature struggled to fly to its destination when it was repeatedly pounded by hailstorms, large blocks pounded hard on it till when it was unable to continue flying…

I wish I had my Angelina and my sweet little lambs with me here now, oh! My Angelina how could you have left me so quickly, before that her scorn was sour as grapes, now the memory of her voice is sweet as honey, if only their path would have been less trapped, I could still be happy by now, no amount of reward can take place of my family, even a present of a thousand aircrafts cannot spark a shred of joy in my heart.

During my last flight back to my roots, A kid who had a seat next to me wrote this text onto a sticky note and attached it to the head rest of his seat, it says, “oh father please send your mighty angels to come and carry this aircraft’s wings on their shoulders till when I your humble servant reach to my home safely.”

Why is flying so dangerous? Every time you board a plane you feel like you are making a bargain with your life, you are always feeling uneasy, you heart never rests until when you are safely back on the ground, man has made these machines so complex that a simple mistake could bring the entire thing down, when a pilot sprawl on their seat or slump forward due to weariness, that’s enough to cause a disaster, or when they stare too much at one particular direction of the window and not the other, then they have made a terrible mistake which is life costing.

If your priced birds of steel are so precious to you, why don’t you pump gas into them or hang balloons on their top so they would not fall from the sky? If not so then train every traveller bungee jumping skills and give each seat a parachute, so that we shall no longer conduct services for our friends and families who are murdered by these beast machines each day, it’s so painful to learn that your loved one has been cut off from your life by some heartless metallic beast of wings. 

Each night you hear that a bird of steel misbehaved while in the air and has cost the lives of many poor fellows.

“How can I feel safe in this machine where you have to monitor a thousand gadgets, that which if you lower your guard, to dose off for a minute, or mishandle even a single one of them you could be signing your death sentence, there are a million things that can go wrong, and it’s the captain’s duty to prevent any of that from happening.”

An aircraft owner called his pilots and all mechanics, he gave these instructions to them, “whenever that bird of steel speaks to you, then you must listen carefully, whatever instructions it gives you to do something  then you must carry them out without delay, if it says to you, “I have a back ache, I cannot fly today,” or say, “my feathers are a bit soaked, I won’t make it to the air,” then you must not try to force it to fly you out of town, make sure it’s well fed with lots of energy drinks, don’t overwork it to the point where it gets too exhausted, otherwise it will turn against you in the air out of frustration, make sure his belly is full before you set off for your journey, otherwise it might throw you over to the ground, or fly in another direction different from the one you have clearly instructed it to, it might carry you up high and drop you on a mountain peak and leaves you there to sort yourself out.

If it cries out to you saying, “my claws are worn out, I need an extra new pair,” then you must give it what it wants at once, if it says, “the winds are too strong, they will break my wings,” or say, “the sky is too dark, rain clouds have brought gloom to the horizon, I won’t be able to see clearly,” than you must never force it to leave its perch.

With an aircraft crashing every second, it makes me dread flying even more, and for someone who has survived an air accident, flying again is a never after undertaking, it’s like following a mad man’s dream. They will never fly again. 

These metallic birds are very fragile objects, it’s like when you visit a scrap metal dealer, you come across this huge pile of metals loosely attached standing more than twenty foot high and when you remove one shiny and tiny screw that attracted your attention from the bottom the whole thing then collapses onto your head, as if it were hanging in thin air. So huge and intimidating it is to other birds of the air yet a small pigeon can knock it out of the sky and send it tumbling over to the ground. A group of stork can puncture its wings with their sharp beaks and draw back to laugh at the metal wings, as they watch it struggle to stay airborne, a gushing wind can easily blow it into pieces,

What hope is left for our birds of steel?



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