SpanAir Plane Crash in Madrid

Being resident in Spain and relatively close to Madrid (only six hours drive away) I thought I should say something here. After my post Writing in the Heat, now my attention is turned to tragedy.

The Spanish news has been all over this crash on the several national TV station news programs and fingers are starting to be pointed.

I know quite a lot about how airlines work having a partner who works for one of them. SpanAir recently laid off over a thousand workers to cut costs (still further) and some of those that were sacked were aircraft engineers. That meant the engineers they kept on are overworked and probably still underpaid so its no wonder planes take off that are possibly not fit to fly. I’m not saying that was definitely the case in this instance, but it does make you wonder.

That plane went technical (meaning repairs had to be carried out before the plane could take off) and the company made all the passengers stay on the aircraft while those repairs were carried out. This in itself is highly dangerous for obvious reasons. Want to know the worst thing I just heard?

Many of the passengers begged to be let off the plane while those repairs were being carried out – which I believe is their right. They were refused because any further delay would have cost the airline more money. Of course some smarmy company PR man will gloss over all that and find some barely believable reason to justify that action. How would you feel if you knew a relative or loved one was on that plane begging to be let off and told they had to stay put and suffer the consequences. Well they suffered the ultimate consequence, didn’t they? All to save some damn money.

Well its now cost SpanAir a whole lot more than just money.

Just now we heard more of the survivors have died from their burns leaving just 6 alive.

The world is going economy crazy. When big companies started cutting staff in the 1980s to cut their costs (read grow their profits) the trend was set. Now when a company like an airline who has the lives of their passengers in their hands cuts costs by reducing still further its already thinly stretched workforce they are playing Russian roulette with the lives of those passengers, as well as the staff aboard those aircraft.

For all those people who wouldn’t fly with a budget airline for various reasons of their own, their fears have been vindicated in this tragedy. Let’s face it, you get what you pay for in this world and when you want to fly on the cheap, you may regret it.

Those 140+ passengers on the SpanAir flight out of Madrid yesterday did not live to regret anything. The company will likely come out of this unscathed by withholding the truth until its been forgotten about, as I have heard it said that the exact cause of this crash may not become known for up to two years. Doesn’t that just make you wonder what the hell the investigators are going to take two years to figure out?

It beggars belief.

Terry Didcott

Writing in the Heat

My last post was all about writing and making use of Constant Content for Writers, as a source of income online. This one takes a turn for the worse as the heat is turned up here in southern Spain, making the process of getting much work done a difficult one.

We are of course now in the hottest month of the year, but the last weeks have been particularly hot. In fact the met people are calling this one of the hottest summers on record so far! Global warming, it seems has returned with a vengeance, at least in this corner of the world!

With the hot Saharan wind (el terral) making going outdoors seem like standing in a hairdryer and pushing daytime temperatures up to around 40ºc its no wonder most construction ceases this month and people stay indoors either sitting in the dark bemoaning “que calor, que calor” or collapsing in front of the aircon unit devoid of the energy to get up again!

I don’t have aircon in my place here on the Costa del Sol, but thankfully it is shaded well enough on the sunny side by a large jasmine plant I planted 4 years ago and strategically placed toldos (blinds) to keep the temperature down below 27ºc, which is still comfortable. Well, comfortable or not, it’s still hot enough to make a good writer feel less like writing and more like going down to the pool with a cold beer or several!

Well, we all know how much that would accomplish, none of it having anything remotely to do with getting any work done.

So I sit here and carry on regardless, keeping my chin up and fingers moving in an effort to at least justify spending these hours in front of this computer building websites and making the most of my own blog host. Which, incidentally for those to whom it may matter a jot, is powered by an AMD Athlon processor which runs at about 42ºC, the heat from which is pumped relentlessly out of the rear of the box housing it into the room where I’m working and trying to keep from overheating! Bad choice when I built this thing – I should have gone for a cooler running Intel chip. But of course it was something I didn’t find out about until after I’d built it, so moot point really!

So back to this heated writing ramble which is not really going anywhere apart from informing the rest of the world that Malaga is actually as hot, if not hotter than most of the traditionally sun scorched cities in the interior of Spain, the inhabitants of which tend to flock to these shores in their millions this month to escape from the heat of their homes. Only this year, they’re literally jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire as it doesn’t look like the wily Africans are going to turn off their northward facing wind machines (its all a conspiracy, didn’t you know…) anytime soon.

I can see our communal pool from the window I keep catching myself blankly staring out of and the few people that are there look like they’re really enjoying themselves. Now where did I leave those cold beers…

Terry Didcott