Human Crash Investigations

I watch very little TV. But for many years there has been one show i really enjoy. That show is "Airplane Crash Investigations." I grew up around aviation, even worked for an aviation company for a few years and have many friends involved in the industry so i have a special interest in the subject.

One of the things I really find fascinating are the "event-chains". Very few, perhaps no, accidents are triggered by one singular factor. Even where mechanical failure brings a plane down, often pilot error will play a role. There are always multiple factors from so many angles that cause aeroplanes to crash. One good example was a DC-9 that crashed on take off. Ice had formed on the wings and the pilot had pulled too far back on the yoke and climbed too steeply. If he had climbed normally, they would have made it despite the ice. If the ice had not been there, the steeper climb would have been fine.

The ice buildup was because following de-icing, a delay had left them on the ground longer than was permitted for this aircraft. This fact had not been passed on to the pilots. They were delayed because of some errors by ATC. So many factors all coming together to bring a plane down.

But it struck me that this is like us broken humans. Its never just one cause. If a man is a psychopathic killer - genes play a role, environment, upbringing, etc etc. And the damaged people that may be a factor in his life were the result of other damaged people (and other factors). So the "event-chain" runs down so many pathways and with so many linkages that it seems to me, in a sense, we are all responsible for all brokenness of humanity, present and future. We are all in that event-chain. Which is why it behooves us most strongly to do better, to be good and kind and helpful to people around us.

But also, it reminds me over and over, as I have found myself posting frequently about, that the faults we see in people , the people who hurt us, annoy us, anger us - aren't just what we see. They are the product of a complex event-chain. That is why we need to be gracious and merciful. That's not to excuse bad/criminal/evil behaviour. Just to keep it in context and remember, but for the Grace of God, you could have a similar event-chain. We need to be part of the "Human Crash Investigations" team.

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