On this day in 1977 theTenerife airport disaster occured: As per wikipedia “Two Boeing 747 airliners collide on a foggy runway on Tenerife in the Canary Islands, killing 583 (all 248 on KLM and 335 on Pan Am). Sixty-one survived on the Pan Am flight.”
And it was down to an impatient and behind-schedule KLM chief pilot not willing to hear the doubt/uncertainty in his co-pilot’s voice over whether they did indeed have permission to take off.
The aviation industry initiated major changes after this, in how crews were trained to interact, and in the language they use when communicating with Air Traffic Control.
Sadly, our ability to learn from slower, but far more deadly, disasters, appears to be fundamentally limited…
At a ceremony in Toulouse, the latest and biggest aerial behemoth, the A380 double-decker jumbo was unveiled. It was an elaborate ceremony about which Roland Barthes would have known exactly what to write. And the atmospheric concentrations of CO2 that year? 380…
Aviation, eh? Such freedom, such power, such ease. The Greeks myth-peddlers would have known what to say though. They’d had said that we were melting wax to fix our wings…
By the way, there’s a lovely graph here where you can check out monthly C02 levels back to when you were born (assuming you’re less than 60ish)
Bridger, R. (2013) Plane Truth: Aviation’s Real Impact on People and the Environment. London: Pluto Press.
Other things that happened on this day:
YEAR:1943 – Warsaw Ghetto Uprising: The first uprising of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. You have to fight. Even if you know it is hopeless, you have to fight.
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