Friday, August 27, 2010

Drill, Baby, Drill!

On Tuesday, a British Airways flight over the North Sea made an erroneous announcement that the plane may soon crash into the water. The pilots quickly corrected it, but not before passengers panicked.

Am I the only person who thinks we should have disaster drills on plans and perhaps other vehicles like trains and buses, just as schools, dorms and workplaces have fire and other drills? I wonder if, once passengers have prepared themselves for likely announcements of, say, likely imminent crashes, we'll make a habit of knowing what to do (eg, go for the life jacket, put it on and then inflate it, or maybe grab and apply the oxygen mask) and therefore not panic so much and more likely survive.

Also, what if we have reason to believe the end is near, and it would be our last chance to use our cell phones and we probably wouldn't want to take even a full minute or two in a true emergency? (Not to mention once you hit the water or likely even the ground your cell phone may get lost or destroyed.)

Perhaps it would be nice to prepare by typing and saving an appropriate text message, such as "PLANE ABOUT TO CRASH - I LOVE YOU AND WILL WAIT FOR YOU IN HEAVEN" (or maybe "PLANE ABOUT TO CRASH - I LOVE YOU AND DON'T FORGET MY WILL IS IN THE SAFE DEPOSIT BOX" - whatever your beliefs dictate), that you could pull up and then send with a touch of a key or two.

That way you'll save as much time as possible for putting on the life jacket or oxygen mask, and make it as likely as possible you'll stay alive and be able to give good news later - while if worse comes to worst you can die in peace knowing you said your last goodbyes.

Or might such a text message pose serious problems?

What do you think?

PS: More out with the old, in with the new - this is my first blog post using Google Chrome. Given who owns Blogpost, last time I checked, it seems only fitting.

PPS: On this day, 23 years ago, I went away to college for the first time, at American University.

UPDATE: We now have an Android app that - while intended for a somewhat different situation - will do the job for a possible plane crash!

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