Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Air France aircraft slildes off runway, bursts into flames - no deaths

Someone was looking out for the passengers and crew of an Air France aircraft the slid off the runway in Canada yesterday and then burst into flames. Having worked in the commercial aviation field, I was briefed in nauseating detail about the effects of a fire on an aircraft and what one could expect if a fire broke out in that environment. That 309 persons could get out of that kind of situation all alive is nothing short of miraculous. The aircraft was an Airbus A340, a four-engine commercial jet relatively common in use in European nations for long-haul flights.

Obviously, an investigation needs to commence to figure out what happened that the jet crashed at all. The work of the crew in getting everyone out, however, needs to be studied and written up in a new textbook on how cabin evacuations should be performed. Bravo to that crew! They did the job right in the worst-case scenario.