Above, the French parliament stand in silent remembrance of the lost 228 souls aboard Flight AF 447. Somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, they rest in their watery grave. Most of us have travelled on aeroplanes. We have read the safety announcements and buckled our seatbelts but even as we pop the earphones in for the latest in-flight movies or unwrap our plastic cutlery, somewhere in the back of our minds lurks a nagging fear of aviation disaster... it's always a possibility. Every year of my adult life there seems to have been at least one tragic plane crash somewhere on this planet.
I think the worst thing is having no control. You know the plane is plunging down and yet there is nothing you can do. You can't swerve or jam on the brakes. You can't smash the window and leap out or run to the emergency door and grab a parachute. You're doomed. Passengers are either deathly quiet or screaming. Your ears are popping. The end is nigh. You crumple at the fierce impact as the aircraft hits the water or as it sinks you breathe in the ocean, trapped in your communal coffin.
Flight AF447's passenger list was dominated by French and Brazilian citizens but many other countries were also represented from Turkey to Taiwan, Iceland to England. Let us join with those French politicians and commiserate quietly for the lost ones, their lost hopes and dreams and the heartbroken friends and families left behind. You know - it could have been me and it could have been you. R.I.P..