Fear of flying… What fear of flying? Defiant Mancs not put off by Germanwings tragedy

Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 crashed into the Alps last Tuesday, killing all 150 people on board  passengers and crew.

Investigators have determined that the plane was apparently crashed deliberately by co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, after he managed to lock the pilot out of the cockpit.

The tragedy follows two other airline disasters in all too recent memory.

In March 2014, Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 went missing between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing. It is believed the plane went down in the Southern Indian Ocean, killing all 239 people on board.

Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was also shot down over Ukraine last July. All 283 passengers and 15 crew members were killed.

After yet another horrific aviation disaster, MM took to the streets to find out whether these incidents have changed people’s attitudes to flying or put them off boarding a plane.

James Lancashire, 27, and fiancée Rachel Woods, 28, both primary school teachers from Wigan were not put off the idea, and indeed plan to go abroad for a special occassion later this year.

“No, it doesn’t really change my mind about flying,” said James.

“I just figure what will happen, will happen. We can’t do anything about it.” 

And it would seem love conquers all – even the fear of flying – as Rachel admitted she is still determined to fly with James in August for their honeymoon despite feeling a little nervous.

“I’m not saying I wouldn’t fly, but I do feel a bit more wary of it. I think it just makes people a bit more apprehensive,” she said.

“We’re going to fly when we go on our honeymoon in August! We’re not sure where we’re going yet, but we’re going!”

HONEYMOON: Rachel Lancashire admitted to being a bit wary about flying

Kevin Faulkner, a 54-year-old school site manager from Failsworth, was also not dissuaded, and argued that we repeatedly risk death when we travel.

“You could be driving down the road and someone could drive into the back of you,” he said.

“Tragedies happen, so no it doesn’t put me off.”

Martin Jepson, a 48-year-old vehicle fitter from Blackburn, shared Kevin’s view that we shouldn’t let tragedies put us off doing everyday things.

“You would never do anything if I let things like that put me off,” he said

“If you are flying there is always something going on somewhere in the world. We can’t let it put us off.”

His daughter Georgia, a 16-year-old student, spoke of how her attitude to flying after the crash has changed.

“When I first heard about it I thought of how we are trusting a pilot when we are flying because we are not going to survive a plane crash. We are putting our trust in them,” she said.

“Now I have thought about it, I am still open to being on a plane.”

Dave Taylor, a 27-year-old electrician from Glossop, perhaps showed more anxiety about flying than most, but was determined not to be deterred from his regular flights abroad.

“To be fair, it is a bit worrying to me as a frequent flyer – I go to Holland a lot,” he said.

“It is off-putting, but it won’t put me off.”

Gary Naylor, 45, is the director at Biker Asylum, a motorbike company in Preston, and still believes it is safe to travel by plane and these incidents are deceptively rare.

“It is still one of the safest ways to travel, isn’t it?” he said.

“When was the last time someone crashed a plane into a mountain?”

PROCEDURES: Mikkel Brons believed a Germanwings-type incident wouldn’t happen again

Mikkel Brons, a 25-year-old videogame animator living in Didsbury, believes the procedures put in place after the crash will go a long way to preventing this type of tragedy from happening in the future.

“The first thing that happened after this incident was that other airlines came out and changed their procedures and now there has to be at least two other people in the cockpit at all times,” he said.

“I do not think that this going to happen again, but something else will happen. It is still safer to fly than it is to drive. I fly quite a bit.”

His wife Ditte Brons, a 27-year-old children’s TV animator, also reasoned that flying is getting safer, and so is not put off.

“It does not make me not want to fly,” she said.

“I read that if they had been flying as much in the 70’s as much as we are now, there would be a plane crash every 40 minutes. It makes me feel more safe to know that.”

SAFER: Ditte Brons said it is safer to fly now than in the past

Image courtesy of Mark Harkin via FlickR, with thanks.

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