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Fear of Plane Crashes Part Two - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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When I say that people do not react well to the threat of danger, I do not mean that they are irrational but rather that they enter a phase of some kind of mental disturbance.

As a passenger on an airplane, I sat beside a woman who deeply feared flying. The woman slapped me and pulled my hair and ears every time we felt a tremor during the flight. She apologized after each round of violence and explained that she had a fear of flying. When we reached our destination, I thanked God for her well-being and that we were not subjected to further turbulence or even worse a fierce storm as I dreaded the thought of her possible reaction.

The truth is that my fear of flying does not stem from the idea of flying itself, or even the power of the plane”s engine or body. My fear is not even rooted in the efficiency of the pilot or the possibility of severe weather conditions. My fear lies in poor maintenance. The low revenues of airline companies force them to employ people of little or no experience and low expertise. We even hear of airline companies resorting to plumbers when electricians are needed. What frightens us passengers is the fact that the pilots are merely human beings like ourselves likely to falter at any point. Many people, including pilots, resort to alcohol to ease the stress of long transit hours, delays and the idea of flying and this is not a figment of my imagination as I have read that alcohol has become one of the major problems for pilots.

poor maintenance, low standards of professionalism and the lack of discipline for some pilots is what scares us courageous passengers more than the risk of hijack operations. Although there has been an increase in expenditure on security measures, a decrease in services, freight and hosting staff has also occurred.

I hope to witness the day when people no longer worry and leave matters in the hands of fate. We should look at the fate of one particular woman to understand this more clearly. This woman escaped death from the atrocities of the London bombings, only to die in the recent plane crash in Peru. Even terrorists seek to frighten potential travelers by providing the details of the airplanes that they want to destroy. They, however, cannot be trusted and are far from trusted by air security, which no longer take any risks in security measures.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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