19 August 2010

Down, down, down on a burning wing of fire

Do you remember when that Boeing 747, filled with Qantas passengers travelling from London to Australia, apparently had an explosion of some kind which blew a hole in the fuselage?

That's not good.

For the passengers this was - understandably - a very frightening experience. The oxygen masks appeared in front of them as the plane was forced to drop rapidly from 29,000 feet to 10,000.

Passengers were shaking and largely silent, with some vomiting, as the cabin crew yelled at them to put the masks on.

How did we know that last bit?

Partly because it was in the papers. And partly because of the footage on the TV.

That's the footage on the TV with the words "mobile phone video" in the top left corner.

mobile phone video.

Now correct me if I'm wrong (actually - don't; I don't like it) but doesn't everyone in the world know that having your mobile phone on on the plane is the - wrong - thing - to - do?

Don't they?

They do.

Not least, because - rumour has it - they interfere with the navigation systems.

So why the fuck would somebody who has just discovered that the plane they are on has a fucking great hole in the fuselage and is plummeting towards the earth very, very quickly, turn on the mobile phone so they can capture the moment??


Because - of course - their own little life is SO much more important than the safety of the other 346 passengers or the 19 crew, that taking video footage of everybody dropping like a stone is the natural thing to do, isn't it?

"Hey - yuk, yuk, yuk - I didn't make Big Brother, and I may die in a ball of flame because I'm fucking with the navigation sytems, but at least I'll get on the tee-vee! Neat!"

I suppose (and I've never seen a use for it before) that maybe that's why the mobile phone companies gave us 'Aircraft Mode'.

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