Is Flying Really Safe?

Plane going down via https://www.flickr.com/photos/motograf/939192240/

by motograf / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

You’re not crazy.

You’re not getting on that tin tube filled with toxic explosives – also known as jet fuel. Trying to free yourself from the universal constant of gravity? On a drizzling icy winter day somewhere on a slippery runway in the deep north on the fringes of the civilized world – also known as Canada.

Map of search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 By MrAurum based on File:Reunion_debris_compared_to_MH370_flight_path_and_underwater_search_area.svg by User:AHeneen [CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

by MrAurum / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

  • Malaysian jet liners disappearing into the Indian Ocean.
  • Crazed suicidal German airline pilots deciding to end the lives of innocent passengers on their way back from Spain.
  • An overworked radar system where one tiny error can mean two large airliners clipping each other’s wings, and sending the airliners spinning out of control at hundreds of kilometers an hour. They end up breaking up into pieces, and hurling their passengers out into the freezing air to hurtle back to earth. And die horribly.
  • You have no idea who your pilot is. You have no idea who your fellow passengers are. You have no idea if one of the flight attendants is suicidal and will lock the pilot out of the flight cabin when he goes to relieve himself. And then poisons the co-pilot and turns off the autopilot and lets the plane start drifting into a death spiral.
  • You have no control. You have few if any rights as a commercial airline passenger. You are guilty until proven innocent. Anything annoying you on the flight? A drinks-cart banging painfully against your stretched knee by a busy, obnoxious flight attendant who doesn’t give a hoot? Shut the heck up or find yourself in handcuffs when you finally arrive at your destination and the SWAT team swarms into the cabin to take you down.

Hijacking By 2010 World Cup - Shine 2010 [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

by 2010 World Cup - Shine 2010 / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

 

Getting onto a plane is an act of faith

I have no wings, but I can pretend to be Superman and a few hours later, I will arrive at Gotham City or Madrid or Istanbul or Paris or Singapore. Because I can fly. Like Superman.

Take control. Drive. Or crew on a cargo ship. Like in the olden days. And don’t let those damn statisticians fool you. So take control. 

Powerboat via https://pixabay.com/en/powerboat-boat-speedboat-motorboat-350481/

[Public Domain]

Drive to Key West from Canada, and then hire a boat to take you to Cuba. Don’t be too choosey about the boat. A fast speedboat that does the night run and has a crew with Colombian accents will get you there in a hurry. Do not surrender your control to an unknown, anonymous airline pilot. Give your cash to Colombians wearing sunglasses at midnight.

Ok, so the stats say that you have a 1 in 8,000 chance of dying in a traffic accident in the USA. But you have a 1 in 2,900,000 chance of dying in a commercial airline accident. Wow! 2,900,000 is like nearly 40 times 8,000! It’s crazy to fly!

But hey, 8,000 is a pretty big number, isn’t it? And what if a state trooper mistakes you for an ISIS recruit because you just had to grow that big gnarly beard? You might end up in Cuba. But at Guantanamo Bay. 

So why even drive? All that way down crowded Interstates? Better yet.

Stay home and go to the local tanning salon. Keep your spending in Canada!

With our dollar at 70 cents take advantage of the great exchange rate! The US dollar is worth almost CAD$1.50. If you have any US dollars.

And you avoid risking your life by getting on those tin tubes packed with explosive jet fuel.

Tanning bed by Tristanb at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

by Tristanb / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

Yes, it’s true. People who frequent tanning salons are 74% more likely to develop skin cancer in later years. But who knows if the earth will still be here??

Asteroid via https://www.flickr.com/photos/will_spark/8603571212

by Wilerson S Andrade / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

The likelihood that a bus-sized asteroid will collide with planet Earth in the next 1,000 years is pretty high. You can check out that stat here. Truth, dude. Imagine dying like a Velociraptor on the firestorm-ravaged dust plains of Southern Ontario. Under a blood-red sky.

Of course if you just lock your doors and shut your windows and never leave home, you’ll die of starvation unless the pizza delivery guys drop your medium pepperoni down your chimney. And you don’t have a fire going to keep you warm. 

Because you’d rather not risk getting electrocuted with baseboard radiators, or blowing up real good if you have a gas-powered furnace.

And even if food is somehow delivered to your locked home or apartment, the odds of hydrogen-sulfide poisoning from sewer gas, because having dried up water traps in your plumbing is a possibility you can’t ignore.

You should take control and watch travel shows on your HD.

Of course, watching too much high-resolution digital images, especially drama, can re-inforce negative stereotypes across gender and ethnic groups, according to studies.

So now you’re a racist and a misogynist and if you step outside your home, you will be reviled and abused.

Oh yes, watching too much HD television can also produce temporary fatigue in your eyes that can be cured with a good night’s sleep.

So take control. And just stay in bed. Who cares about the risk of bed sores, obesity, light deprivation, and muscular degeneration? You are taking back control of your life. From airline pilots; from state troopers on the highways to Florida; from flight attendants; from hurtling asteroids heading towards Earth; and from nasty political commentators who will nail a target to your racist, lazy forehead. 


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