I was just getting to the airport earlier today when the news broke about the engine issue with Southwest Flight 1380. At first, it sounded like a relief, like a major catastrophe was averted. I was dealing with some other matters and I wasn’t really dialed in to the coverage. Then, the news that there had been a loss of life
One person. Someone’s mother, daughter, sister, cousin, girlfriend, spouse. The news left me feeling so conflicted, especially after seeing some pictures. An uncontained engine failure is quite rare in commercial aviation. The fact that it happened and managed to shatter a window but not compromise the fuselage in a way that caused more loss of lives is, in my opinion incredible.
And yet, the loss of life……I can’t resolve the two in my head. I was sitting on my flight for almost 3 hours reading about the incident and just thinking. I wanted to write and couldn’t think of where to start.
My friend Summer wrote some words that really struck home for me, crystallizing some of the thoughts in my head. I’ll admit, I had trouble with the images in the post. They weren’t graphic but my imagination got working. Inevitably, I thought about my wife and kids.
The Final Two Pennies
Air travel is incredibly safe. We hear all the time how more folks die in our country from car wrecks every year than airline crashes. I get it. And yet, I still don’t think I’ll be discussing this with my kids when I get home. I didn’t tell my wife when I called to check-in, just in case she hadn’t seen the news. No sense in making her nervous when I’m on a plane, right?
Maybe it’s the wrong decision not to disclose what happened to my kids. They’ve flown Southwest and have seen the heart and those colored wing-tips plenty of times. The last time there was a commercial airline fatality in the US, my son wasn’t born and my daughter was not quite 3 years old.
My heart goes out to the loved ones of the passenger who lost their life. It goes out to the passengers on flight 1380. And, it goes out to all the members of the Southwest family.
I’m honestly a bit lost on where to end a post like this. The life lost of someone on a Southwest flight shouldn’t be any more touching or tragic than recent tragedies in far away lands. It just feels more local. More personal.
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