My irritation and feeling of unease at the pressure being exerted by airlines and the media to get planes back in the sky should be clear to you by now.
A few years after I was posted, my old company in 1 RHF was sent to clear up Lockerbie. I know men who suffer from the lasting trauma of that event today. No ones sense of urgency in getting home for social or business appointments, or the airlines fear of losing revenue, is worth the slightest risk of another Lockerbie.
Dr Colin Brown of the Institute of Mechanical Engineershas been crystal clear. He is robust in his view that it's no time for the "Let's give it a go guys!" approach. If a plane's jet engines fail, it will fall from the sky. This means, according to Dr Brown, "everybody dies". The Daily Telegraph weren't quite clear about that on their hysterical front page this morning. That's what happens when you hire Daily Mail journalists. Anyway, Joan Mcalpine has beaten me to it with a good piece here and a clip from an interview with Dr Brown.
Notwithstanding that, it's good to see the Royal Navy back to their spiritual home, in Spanish and French waters. Obviously, we need to get the 200 lads from 3 Rifles back to their families from Spain who are en route from Afghanistan. If some civpop come too, then despite it being a bit political it's useful PR for the Andrew after years of neglect, (although as Think Defence points out, ferries are mostly operating quite happily at summer levels).
Coincidentally, I was lucky enough to spend some time on HMS Albion a couple of years ago with my children. It's just a fantastic ship, probably the best big boys toy in any of the services.
Sitting in the Wardroom having tea, my youngest boy turned to me and said, "Dad, there's a bar, flat screen television, carpets and no mud. What exactly was the attraction of the Army?" Perceptive!