Harmonic_Vibe Posted March 14, 2009 Report Share Posted March 14, 2009 Anyone who has spent more than a little time in aviation has experienced the loss of a co-worker, or a friend, or a family member, or an acquaintance. I don't think I would have any fingers left if I started counting the people I have known fairly well who have pulled up stakes for warmer climes. But the impact of such a large loss as we have just experienced has made itself felt across a broad stretch of the Canadian landscape. As the Premier of Newfoundland said in a recent statement, "We are a seafaring people who have for centuries lived from the sea, people risking their lives every day... yet, we will never, ever be able to accept the loss of precious lives to the sea". That is certainly true of the people of Newfoundland, who have been hit hardest by this tragedy, but aviators are truly modern seafarers and have a close bond with each other around the world. It's impossible for me not to contemplate being onboard Cougar 491 and I feel as though I have been stabbed through the heart. Those in aviation, almost from the very beginning of flight, have engaged in "grave yard humour" wherein we make light of the potential dangers we face and tragedies past, but there's always the momentary silence at the end of levity, as our inherent mortality and shared humanity makes itself felt. One of the worst things in a situation like this is the "not knowing", and (as pointed out in another thread) anyone in maintenance who has ever watched their ship fly off never to return has felt the proverbial sword of Damocles hanging above them as they fervently hope and pray that nothing they did contributed to, and nothing they could have done would have changed, the final outcome. We all err and it's human nature to shoulder a feeling of guilt like a dark cloud blocking the sun, even when our rational brain tells us we did what we were supposed to do properly and well. It's important for all of us to show support to all involved and reassure those close to the heart of the matter that we're all in the same boat. Finally we have the passengers, who everyday put their trust in us and our aircraft, knowing we will get them to where they need to be and will get them home when it's time. I think it's harder for the loved ones of the "innocents" in such a calamitous occurrence, as a life in aviation comes with an understanding of what may happen, slim though the chances may be. But for those not in the business, an aviation occurrence is something to be watched on the news, not brought home at night. Newfoundlanders are know around the world for being very hardy people, but also for being close and community minded, a natural development from eking out a joint existence on a huge chunk of granite, and making it one of the most pleasant places to visit I have ever been. I can only imagine the emotional turmoil in many houses in Newfoundland and elsewhere tonight. Words are just words, but all we have sometimes. I have heard from many people over the last couple of days and I wanted to pass on the shared emotion and hearfelt condolences of people I know around the world who have been touched by our shared loss. We are all in it together. HV Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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