Thursday, 4 June 2009

an air tragedy can affect us all

We have all been concerned about the Air France tragedy .... and today the headlines state:

Air France jet likely broke apart above ocean

which is what we had all been talking about ... hoping and praying that nobody did suffer.

and in the news this morning:

The pilot sent a manual signal at 11 p.m. local time saying he was flying through an area of "CBs" — black, electrically charged cumulonimbus clouds that come with violent winds and lightning. Satellite data has shown that towering thunderheads were sending 100 mph (160 kph) updraft winds into the jet's flight path at the time.

Ten minutes later, a cascade of problems began: Automatic messages indicate the autopilot had disengaged, a key computer system switched to alternative power, and controls needed to keep the plane stable had been damaged. An alarm sounded indicating the deterioration of flight systems.

Three minutes after that, more automatic messages reported the failure of systems to monitor air speed, altitude and direction. Control of the main flight computer and wing spoilers failed as well.

The last automatic message, at 11:14 p.m., signaled loss of cabin pressure and complete electrical failure — catastrophic events in a plane that was likely already plunging toward the ocean.

"This clearly looks like the story of the airplane coming apart," the airline industry official told The Associated Press. "We just don't know why it did, but that is what the investigation will show.

I wanted to blog yesterday about this tragedy, but no words could describe how I felt. That is until another Expat friend wrote the following on her blog and describes perfectly how we all feel:

Since I am officially an expat in another country, when we hear of plane crashes they hit close to home. The chances we know of *someone* on that plane have gone up tremendously since we took this job. Most expats spend a good bit of time in the air; for us it is 24+ hours flying home and 27+ hours flying back. It is difficult to plan your lives around expat life. Our friends in Singapore are expats as well, and fly as often as we do.

I have no idea why I am posting this on here. Maybe I wanted the world to know that even though we lost someone we have never met, they are 'family' in a different way and we are deeply affected by their deaths and saddened we will never have the opportunity to get to know them. Maybe I am posting this to ask for prayers, not only for their families, but for all the other families affected by this tragedy. Maybe I am posting this to say 'I love you' to all the other expats I have met. You have certainly changed my life and I love what you have given me in return. Every day is precious and today I realize that even more than yesterday.

Yesterday, I received an e-mail from a sister in our company informing us of the worst possible news; we have lost 2 (company) family members - we lost not only an employee (vice president of a division) but another employee's young son as well. The young man was apparently going home for holiday. He was not yet a teenager.

Maybe I am posting this, just because it hits so close to home it hurts. Words seem inadequate to express the loss we feel. Our company has been touched by a tragedy worse than the financial crisis - we have lost a colleague and a child.

to read her blog in better detail, click here.

She is an excellent writer and puts me to shame with her very newsy, informative, funny and sometimes sad postings.

my reply to her was:

.. .. this posting has brought tears to my eyes.... you could never have spoken a truer word.

It is not until we live away from 'home' that we begin to appreciate what each and everyone of us has to go thru.

Some people wonder why I am concerned about the Air France tragedy as we did not know anyone on it.

Do we have to, to feel the pain and anguish of others?

But as expats we all have friends here that work in the oil industry, and we did hear of the (oil) people on the flight ... and immediately you do a mental check as to where everyone is.

Thanks for this very heart warming post.

Thoughts and prayers to all family, friends
and work colleagues of the crew and passengers from the Air France disaster.

1 comment:

cajunsis said...

Thanks Leone for the compliment. I am so saddened by this entire ordeal. I can only hope they find the answers to all the plane crashes lately and start turning things around.

I love your posts and your pictures. You do a wonderful job!