On Choices Given by Life

Life grants a unique set of circumstances to each person. Most of the people complete a natural cycle of childhood, youth, middle and then finally old ages. Some, however, are not that fortunate.

Sometimes my mind shifts towards Air France Flight 447, particularly if I am outside at night time. First, some details about this flight taken from Wikipedia are below.

Air France Flight 447 was a scheduled passenger international flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Paris, France, which crashed on 1 June 2009. The Airbus A330, operated by Air France, stalled and did not recover, eventually crashing into the Atlantic Ocean at 02:14 UTC, killing all 228 passengers, aircrew and cabin crew on board the aircraft.

(During the flight,) the aircraft encountered icing conditions (the cockpit voice recorder recorded what sounded like hail or graupel on the outside of the aircraft, and the engine anti-ice system came on) and ice crystals started to accumulate in the pitot tubes (pitot tubes are devices that provide critical information about how fast the aircraft is moving through the air). The autopilot disengaged because the blocked pitot tubes were no longer providing valid airspeed information.

While the pilot manually handled the turbulence, he also abruptly pulled up on his side-stick, raising the nose. This action was unnecessary and excessive under the circumstances. The aircraft started to climb and actually rose to its maximum altitude of 38000 feet. the aircraft had its nose above the horizon but was descending steeply.

The aircraft remained stalled during its entire 3 minute 30 second descent from 38,000 feet (12,000 m). The aircraft crashed belly-first into the ocean at a speed of 282 km/hr. The Airbus broke up on impact and all 228 passengers and crew on board were killed instantly.

Sometimes I cannot help thinking how unfortunate it was for these people to have their lives lost in this way. In a starry night, I imagine a massive airplane falling from the sky at a height of 38000 feet. How would it feel like sitting inside and seeing everything striking the ocean at 282 km/hr, sinking into a big ocean of a small planet looking into the night sky full of stars and planets — the only known conscious beings taking their last breathes under such a vast show put up by the universe.

This makes me sad and then shifts my perspective towards how tiny my problems are. Wouldn’t I have opted myself for each and every problem I have today in exchange of what those souls suffer? Each day I survive to live, I am grateful for just being alive. And I eagerly welcome the set of choices life has given me.

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