Airline Safety What Should the Regulations be Regarding Airline Safety? Introduction It was early in the morning, warm & sunny. We had the day off from school for some reason, but I can’t remember why. I was riding my bike in the street with my friend, Mike, about 4 blocks from my home in the North Park area of San Diego when I heard a faint blast, looked up and saw a jetliner falling out of the sky on fire. I can’t remember thinking anything except It’s going to hit my house. Then I realized there were probably a lot of people on the plane, and was immediately so scared I began to cry.
Then I didn’t hear anything until the plane hit the ground. Watching that plane on impact is a sensation I hope I never have to relive again. The aircraft was diving at a steep angle and one wing was on fire, with flames shooting everywhere. I remember the plane disappearing behind some tall trees and then feeling the ground shake like an earthquake, and the deafening roar of the impact and following explosion. It was an absolute nightmare.
It seemed like the entire neighborhood was on fire. The TV stations & news reporters were converging on the scene in what seemed like only a matter of minutes, but must’ve been at least half an hour. I think I just stood there talking to people for the longest time, but I don’t remember anything they said. There were only distant sirens. In a short period of time the police and several residents had blocked off the streets to traffic, and I remember hearing people screaming in the background, and others yelling to get help.
I also remember the trees being on fire and this incredible column of black smoke rising into the clear air, and the smell of jet fuel burning. All these people – some Firefighters, some Police Officers, and some ordinary people – were carrying injured people and passengers into the private school across the street. I didn’t know then, but some of them were dead. I remember how weird it was that the freeway traffic was completely stopped on I-805, which was only a block from the impact site, and it was eerily quiet except for the distant chaos. My friend Mike disappeared.
I found out he was okay, but he had gotten scared. Today the area where the plane crashed looks oddly newer than the older homes in the area. I can’t imagine living there and knowing what had happened in 1978. I think a lot of those people have no idea what took place… but maybe they do. I no longer live in San Diego, but I always drive by when I visit and say a little prayer (Peters).
The above was a witness’s description of an accident that was caused by a malfunction in an airplane. It shows what happens to individual people, families, and their communities. People that don’t even have anything to do with airliners are often affected be these tragic events. We are here to address these events, discuss their causes, and foresee any possible ways to prevent, or at least cut down, these occurrences. We want to know what the regulations should be regarding airline safety. History and Background The topic of airline safety is a very controversial one with no real good answer that best suits everybody.
The two extreme answers to this problem are either, increase airline safety regulations, or don’t. Both answers help and hurt a number of people, in a number of ways. If the airline regulations are increased, more tragedies would be avoided and more lives would be saved, however, if they were increased, than a chain of events will occur that will cause everything to be more expensive. First of all, in order for the airlines do adequately meet these new regulations, they will have to devote more time and more man – power to the project. This will then increase their input costs. With input costs being increased the ticket prices for consumers will then go up.
Since obviously nobody likes rises in ticket prices, consumer consumption will then decrease dramatically. So basically, if the regulations become stricter, prices will go up, but lives will be saved. On the other hand if the regulations do not increase, prices will not be as high, yet more lives will be lost. What basically has to be done is people have to agree on how much of each they feel is important. The basically have to put a price on their lives.
If they choose to not increase the regulations, then airline disasters will occur more frequently. There have been several accidents involving the U.S. in the last few years. The last accident occurred on July 25, 2000 involving an Air France Concorde near Paris, France: The aircraft was on a charter flight from Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris to JFK airport in New York. There was apparently a problem with at least one of the engines, either during takeoff or shortly after takeoff.
The aircraft caught fire and crashed into a hotel near the airport. All 100 passengers and nine crewmembers were killed. Four people on the ground were also killed. On January 31 an Alaska Airlines MD83 crashed near Pt. Mugu, CA: The aircraft was on a flight from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to San Francisco when it crashed into the Pacific Ocean about 20 miles (32 km) northwest of the LAX airport.
Reportedly, the aircraft was diverting to Los Angeles and started a rapid descent from about 17,000 feet. All 83 passengers and five crewmembers were killed. On Halloween of 1999 an EgyptAir 767-300ER plane went down in the Atlantic Ocean near Nantucket Is., MA: Radar and radio contact with the aircraft was lost shortly after the aircraft departed JFK Airport in New York on a flight to Cairo. The aircraft was last sighted about 60 miles (96 km) SSE of Nantucket Is. The flight was carrying 15 crewmembers and 202 passengers.
In June of 1999 an American Airlines MD80 went down in Little Rock, Arkansas. The aircraft ran off the runway, broke up, and caught fire after a night landing. There were thunderstorms in the area at the time of the event. One of the six crewmembers and 10 of the 139 passengers were killed. On September 2, 1998 a Swissair …