An Expert Opinion

We all talk about it.  It is on our minds.  How can he? How could he?  What state of mind can a man have who could, who would do the unthinkable?

But in the midst of the shock and the unbearable images and the thought of a plane and its human cargo running 600 feet per second into solid rock, in what amounts to a further assault on our senses, METRO, the daily morning newspaper “spoke with Ronan Hubert, an expert in aviation accidentology (sic!) and specialist in psychological preparedness for mass disaster at the Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives.

Let’s see what this Expert has to say.   Following is the interview verbatim:

What is the mindset and psychology of a pilot? — Of course, they are under a lot of stress and pressure. They have to deal with the weather, thunderstorms, etc.  But there is no particular problem that we have seen during the last decades. It is the first suicide that we have in a European Company.

What indicates that a pilot wants to commit suicide? — It’s really difficult to say because it happens with normal people every day.   A pilot wakes up in the morning, everything seems to be all right, and during the day, he suddenly decides to commit suicide.  We do not know for which reason, except if he leaves a message.

What’s the difference between suicide and a terrorism act when it’s committed onboard? — When a pilot commits suicide, that’s true, he kills all the people who are in the aircraft.  But these two things, in my point of view, cannot be compared because the motivation is completely different.

End of quotation.  Here is the blogger speaking again: well, the interview and the grand display of expertise in accidentology leaves me quite speechless.  If a pilot commits suicides, he wakes up in the morning, feeling normal, and then in the course of the day he suddenly decides, and we don’t know why, unless he leaves a message.  Duuh! And take this: the mindset and psychology of a pilot is characterized by the impact of the weather, think of thunderstorms!

Karl Kraus used to say (and I only paraphrase him) that poor attention to punctuation (das Setzen von Kommas) is one of the causes for the miserable state of the world.  In expanding on Kraus’ dictum we could say that experts such as Mr. Hubert and newspapers that mindlessly quote them, such as Metro, are the true causes of our world’s decline.

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