Recent Tragedy

It’s never been my intention to use this blog site as a platform to voice political commentary or complain about events in the real world.  I’ve mainly kept the topics related to the hobby of flight simulation.  However, sometimes events of the real world touch us in such a way that writing about it and sharing feelings can help.

First, let me say that my sincerest condolences are with the families of those passengers and crew of the Malaysia Airlines flight 370 which was lost over the weekend.  Like anyone who shares a passion for aviation and flying, I’m following the news cycle as closely as possible.  I also know that news of these types of events is very slow at first.  As of the updates I’ve been reading on Monday morning (US time) 10 March, basically…the oil slicks which were reported over the weekend do not belong to the missing plane.  In addition, other possible wreckage items have also been determined not to be from MH370.

I believe it was sometime Saturday when I heard about the two passengers who were allowed to purchase tickets and board the flight on stolen passports.  While I’m not the type of person to immediately play the terrorism card when I hear about a disaster, as more news became available it got me thinking.  What are the odds of one of the most reliable aircraft in the history of aviation, along with being operated by an airline with a satisfactory maintenance record just simply falling out of the sky?

Of course, who is to say that passengers fly all the time with stolen passports?  Is this a common event?  I suppose it is very likely we would not have learned about the stolen passports if the plane would have made it safely to Beijing.

I’ve often felt the further away from the events which took place on the morning of September 11th 2001, the closer to another event like this we were approaching.  At least in the US, we seem to be slowly relaxing security to a pre-9/11 timeframe.  As a nation, our focus (and that of our leaders) appear to be on other things.

As I’m learning more about these stolen passports, I’m left thinking to myself why do we have such a technology disconnect?  Interpol stated they knew about the stolen passports, but no one had checked their databases on stolen documents.  Why?  Why is this information NOT automatically cross referenced?  The idea of identity theft is not new nor is the concept of a person (or persons) using fake and forged documents to gain access to places they shouldn’t have access.  Is this just another example of having to wait for tragedy to strike before something is done?

Again…perhaps this happens all the time.  Perhaps something occurred with this particular aircraft and the pilots just could not recover…or never had the chance to recover.  Will we learn the truth?

Until next time…

Jerry

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