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Cause Of Dr Saulos Chilima’s Death: An Umpteenth Wake-Up Call

Dr Saulos Chilima

By Napoleon Ato Kittoe

The world is in shock following the recent air crashes involving personalities supposed to be flying in the best flights. The President of Iran died last month in a helicopter crash and the Vice President of Malawi has just lost his life in a plane crash. Both were internal flights and preliminary investigations had cited poor weather as the cause of the accidents.

In the Malawian case, the Vice President had just returned from the Korea-Africa Summit and was dashing to Mzuzu city to attend the funeral of a former Attorney-General.

These two examples bring to attention why VVIPs will not want to travel by road as a strategic measure but indulge freak air shuttles. Why would dignitaries more often than not avoid road journeys, but take to convenient but highly risky air travels? However, some experts have argued that air travel is relatively safer. Its main advantage of moving faster on high altitudes carry the risk of death of all passengers should accidents occur.

Aviators run into the realm of foolhardiness if they fail to connect all the factors that put aircraft into danger. Sometimes, they underrate the risks when any of the precautionary measures are overlooked. In the midstream of a flight, it is not out of place to take the U-turn if the prognosis is not favourable.

Yes, this is a common practice among aviators yet the accidents that occur could be the few which might have overlooked some precautions. This paragraph doesn’t specifically relate to the given examples in this story. Saving lives is more important than reaching a geographical destination.

Some long journeys within countries to be embarked upon by presidents and persons in their ilk, may also be done by road even if it takes two or three days to reach the destination, with stops in major towns for resting.

If the road journeys are not comfortable, even as the dignitaries use the best of cars, then it pays to apply a nation’s wealth to improving conditions on the roads. It raises questions to find countries in the paradox of enormous state resources yet with very poor roads to show. In many African countries, roads are riddled with potholes, not good enough.

Again, all nations must consider as an imperative the acquisition and use of the best of aircraft for their leaders, and certainly, the people would have basis for seeking evidence from private sector players if their carriers are also in excellent condition. Ultimately, the human factor is paramount as the decisions to move machines are taken by humans.

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