The Fate of Flight KGL9268

The Oban Times - - Births, Marriages & Deaths - John­ston Adams

AIR dis­as­ters used to be rel­a­tively rare, but large-scale tragedies like this seem to oc­cur with in­creas­ing and alarm­ing fre­quency.

Air travel has changed the world, and the ma­jor­ity of us take it quite for granted. I know the prin­ci­ples of physics and aero­dy­nam­ics make it tech­ni­cally pos­si­ble for heav­ier-than-air ma­chines to take off and stay air­borne for many hours, but manned flight still mys­ti­fies, fas­ci­nates and scares me in equal mea­sure. Most of us are quite used to fly­ing across oceans and be­tween con­ti­nents, and we tend not to think about the con­se­quences of things go­ing wrong.

It’s only nat­u­ral – very few peo­ple ever sur­vive plane crashes.

We might never know ex­actly what hap­pened to the plane on Satur­day, but the tragedy of 224 pre­ventable deaths in hor­ri­fy­ing cir­cum­stances is fur­ther dark­ened by the long list of pos­si­ble causes.

Ex­perts have ruled out a sur­face-to-air mis­sile strike by mil­i­tants in the re­gion, but not the pos­si­bil­ity of a bomb on board the air­craft. What if it was a mis­take?

The re­gion is so heav­ily mil­i­tarised that any one of many armed forces could have shot it down by ac­ci­dent. It has hap­pened be­fore.

What if it was a de­lib­er­ate mil­i­tary strike, in­tended to fur­ther desta­bilise the re­gion and lead to re­crim­i­na­tions and war?

The con­se­quences of any of th­ese causes are too ter­ri­fy­ing to con­tem­plate – mean­while the fam­i­lies and friends of the vic­tims suf­fer heartache and loss. There is no happy end­ing, but if Flight KGL9268 did suf­fer a cat­a­strophic tech­ni­cal fail­ure, no more un­nec­es­sary deaths need fol­low.

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