2014 did not get a good start, and it certainly didn’t end on a good note. The overturned Sewol Ferry in April took so many innocent lives. MH370 shocked the entire nation when it went missing. With the technology advancement in our age today, we didn’t think it was possible to have a plane gone missing. Yet again, this morning, QZ8501 faces the same fate of going missing.
Having worked as a cabin crew previously, I too have multiple experiences sitting in the plane with the turbulence so bad that I thought I would never make it home. I see the passengers turned their heads looking at me for assurance, and all I could do was to give my best poker face, while I was strapped tightly to the safety harness, as though everything was under control.
In fact, I didn’t know if everything was under control. I couldn’t give any assurance because I too have my own doubts and fear. At that time, all I did was non-stop running through the safety procedures in my head so that if we ever land safely and I am still alive, I could immediately spring up from my seat and do the necessary. Shout the necessary commands, check the conditions outside the plane and hopefully determine it is safe enough to open a door and evacuate everyone to safety.
Fortunately for me, no matter how rough the flights were, I always made it home safely, thanks to the Captains and First Officers I flew with. It dawned upon me that whenever we bump into fellow crew along the hallway previously, we always greeted each other in a loud cheery voice “Have a safe flight!”, but I never really meant what I said. To me back then, it was a protocol to follow, a culture I adapted to in the line of work. It never occurred to me that one of us might not make it home.
QZ8501 is an Airbus A320 aircraft that I was so familiar with. Back in the days when I was flying, the airline I worked for only operates on Airbus A320. The route from Surabaya to Singapore is almost a weekly trip for me, if not multiple trips in a week. I used to say that going to work back then is like taking a bus ride. This route is approximately 2hrs, and it is almost equivalent to the the time I took to travel from my house to my work place. Yet today, those crew and passengers on QZ8501 might not make it back home safely and my heart aches just at the thought of it.
Have faith in the flight deck crew. Be safe please, I pray.