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From the New York Times, 2 July 2002:
"Monday's crash was the eighth serious one this year. In January, a Boeing 727 belonging to an Ecuadorean airline with 92 passengers and crew crashed in Colombia, killing all on board. In February, an Iran Air Tours Tu-154 crashed near Khorramabad; all 119 people aboard died. In April an Air China Boeing 767 passenger aircraft traveling from Beijing to Pusan, South Korea, crashed into a mountain. Of the 166 on board, 38 survived. There were four crashes in May in Nigeria, 148 people were killed; in Tunisia, 15 died; in the sea off Dalian, in northeast China, all 112 passengers and crew were killed; and a China Airlines Boeing 747-200 with 225 people on board crashed into the sea on a flight from Taiwan to Hong Kong. "

Bon Journal

Not another crash!

Late Monday night as I was busily updating my guestbook, I heard the awful news on the radio. Two planes collided over southern Germany.

I closed my eyes and winced. Not another crash, I though.

First I thought of my friends in Amberg and Munich.

Then I thought of the passengers and crews on those planes.

The next morning I cycled to my health club with my earphones. I was anxious to plug the earphones into the TV channels to hear the news. One was a cargo plane - thank goodness - but how terrible for the pilots! The other was mainly children on their way to Barcelona. How horrible!

I don't think I can bear to hear about another airplane crash.

After three days on the cruise through the Three Gorges in China, I learned of the China Airlines crash. It was a spooky feeling to learn that we could have been on that plane. A family of six by my surname was on that fatal flight to Hong Kong. My surname was rare in Taiwan though more common in Jiang Su province. That plane carried five tour groups from Taiwan. My father could easily have selected one of those tours!

Last October departing from Milan, I experienced the same fog that had shrouded the two planes (SAS and a private CESNA) in their ground collision. I had called my mom just before take-off that I was scared of the thick fog.

Last September in New York, I witnessed on television the second plane that crashed into one of the twin towers. Later I walked around town like a zombie wondering what the world has come to.

Since then, everytime I hear news of a plane crash, I shudder. For someone who loves travelling as much as I do, selecting the right airline has become a critical decision. A plane-crash expert told me that the American and most European carriers were safe. But once I'm sitting on an airplane, I'm as powerless as everybody else.

3 July 2002 Wednesday

Some links:
Ten deadliest crashes
Airline safety records and comparisons
Airline safety report card
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