I think about a world to come where the books were found by the golden ones, written in pain, written in awe by a puzzled man who questioned, "What are we here for?" All the strangers came today and it looks as though they're here to stay.

-David Bowie "Oh! You Pretty Things"

Saturday, June 19, 2010

JetBlue Flight 292

One of the most riveting stories I've read on the internet is a series of posts my friend Ashleigh Walker wrote on her blog Keep My Words regarding a plane malfunction that lead to a dangerous landing. (Aside: Is it hokey to call a story "riveting" when it is about an airplane, a machine that, unless I am mistaken, is actually held together by permanent mechanical fasteners known as rivets?)

As you read through these stories I've linked you to, consider how a dangerous landing will be spun depending on where you are in the narrative. On the one hand, the flight attendants and airline staff aboard the plane prepared Ashleigh and the other passengers for a difficult landing, but did so in a manner that seemed to reassure the passengers of their safety. Even if there was immanent danger, one would expect them to do whatever they could to keep people calm. On the other hand, the passengers had access to a television feed with a news report on the unfolding situation where this series of events was portrayed in a negative light. While the reporters couldn't possibly know the details of the situation, it is clear that a tragedy waiting to happen will make for better news. I want you to think about what it would be like sitting in this situation where you're hearing two different stories, both biased by necessity. I want you to consider what it would feel like trying to discern who to trust while your life is possibly on the line.

I also want you to read this exciting story. I'm incredibly impressed by Ashleigh's account.

Ashleigh's account entitled "JetBlue Flight 292" is available on Keep My Words in three sections: Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.

In addition to this, Ashleigh is quoted in a Washington Post article about the incident which can be read here.

Below are three pictures of the airplane in question followed by a copy of the letter written to Ashleigh by JetBlue following the incident. All of these can be found on Keep My Words.

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