Flights and Fear
I didn’t say anything about the Dana crash that happened on Sunday because I had nothing to say. I was sitting in Salamander having lunch when I started seeing tweets about it coming through.
For me, it’s all too familiar. In 2005 when Sosoliso crashed I lost two great friends and looking back at how I took the news I was an absolute mess. I’m still an absolute mess every time I think about it so I can imagine how the families of the victims of this crash are feeling.
Got home from Salamander to find an abnormal number of cars on my street. The street was so full the taxi I was in had to manoeuvre slowly around them to get past. Absent mindedly I wondered if anything had happened not connecting the dots at all.
It turns out that my next door neighbour had been on that plane. He left behind his wife and adorable little daughters. All the cars in the street were people paying condolence visits.
Ever since Sosoliso crashed I have been utterly terrified of flying. This is a huge shame because before the crash I absolutely loved flying. Now just thinking about entering a plane makes me feel very ill. Even writing this blog post is making me feel ill. I have to travel soon and I’ve been having nightmares every night for the past two weeks. Every day my heart pounds and I feel like vomiting. I just can’t calm myself. I keep seeing pictures from the Sosoliso crash and the Dana crash and I am absolutely paralysed by fear.
At this rate I think I might have a panic attack on the flight.
When people in charge of businesses forget that at the end of the day, human lives are involved, this is the result. Smaller companies with smaller planes can often be safer to travel on. While a private jet might not be for everyone, you can use this aircraft rental service to look into options for your next flight. A lot has been tossed around about the owners of Dana air and the fact that they are Indians and how they forced the staff to continue even though they knew the planes were faulty.
That they are Indians is a separate issue that Nigerians really need to talk about because we have all heard about the never ending cases of foreign owned companies abusing their Nigerian employees, especially companies with Indian or Chinese or Lebanese management.
However, I think it’s irrelevant (or almost irrelevant) in this case.
No matter the ethnicity of the management, it was criminal of them to put profit above the safety of human life by insisting that planes that needed maintenance or engineering attention continue to fly. Absolutely criminal.
A plane is not a car. Totally kpafuka’d jalopies can be “managed”. Planes cannot. There is no “management” the moment a plane is involved. You don’t get a chance to roll to the side of the road and park well. Any plane that is in the air must be in TOP shape 24/7. Why the fuck can’t these greedy bastards understand this?
Then back to the issue of Indian managers. It is also well known that Nigerians in general tend to treat non-Nigerians better than their fellow Nigerians or fear them (as long as said non-Nigerians do not appear to be black). It is a very real possibility that because of this tendency those under these Indian managers might have felt significantly more afraid to complain or escalate this issue than they otherwise might have had the management been Nigerian.
I don’t know, but I have SEEN Nigerians let non-black non-Nigerians get away with shit they would NEVER let a Nigerian pull.