Imagine you are in a terrible aviation crash. Thankfully, you survive, but no one else on board made it. It is a horrific scenario to picture, but it is reality for 14 sole survivors of large commercial aircraft disasters.
A new documentary, Sole Survivor, takes a look back at those who were the lone survivors of plane crashes. It focuses on George Lamson as he tries to connect with the other 13 sole survivors, including Bahia Bakari, Cecelia Cichan, and Jim Polehinke. Most have never spoken publicly about their ordeal. One survivor, Cecelia Crocker, just recently broke her 26-year silence in this article.
It is easy to forget about airline safety. For me, it is beyond personal imagination that the plane I am on could go down violently, much less that I would be only survivor. I fly back and forth to different destinations nearly every week and I don’t think about planes going down but I do think about safety. That’s why after every flight I always thank the flight attendants, and the pilots if they are available. I am not thanking them for great service, though that may be part of it. Instead my thanks are to the flight crew for getting me to my destination safely. And if the men and women of tech ops were around, I would thank them as well for keeping the aircraft flight worthy.
And don’t forget to take a moment after your next flight to thank the crew. I know sometimes flights can be miserable, what with cold coffee, non-working IFE, and cramped seats. But looking at this in perspective, the only reason you can complain about these things is because you survived.