At Large Morbid Thoughts As The Flight Crew Closes the Cabin Door
posted by January 23 at 12:45 PMon
The only interesting/beautiful thing about LAX—that space ship held aloft by soaring concrete arches—is covered in scaffolding right now. And it actually makes the thing more beautiful, particularly when you drive under it.
Anyway, sitting on the plane, bracing myself for my flight home from LA last Saturday, a recurring morbid thought tormented me as we taxied to the runway: The takeoff and landing are the deadliest and most dangerous moments of a flight. Takeoffs and landings: that’s when the overwhelming majority of plane crashes occur. So if the plane I was on was fated to crash and I was going to die on this flight… would I prefer die during the take off or landing? Everyone agrees that flying is thoroughly miserable… so why endure the misery of the flight itself if you’re just going to die on landing? Better to die on takeoff. But everyone also agrees that every single moment of life a precious, precious gift and a few extra hours of life—spent reading, thinking, sipping a ginger ale, and wishing the two people behind you would shut up so you could sleep—are worth savoring even if you’re doomed to spend them on an old, filthy Alaska Airlines jet. Better to die on landing.
I go back and forth when I white-knuckle my way through this entertaining little debate. Sometimes I decided it would be better to die during takeoff, sometimes I decide it would be better to die during landing. I’d like to settle this debate once and for all, though, so I’m putting it to a vote. Die on takeoff or die on landing? It’s up to you, Sloggers….