We are more connected now than at any other time in the course of history; what with our cell phones and the internet and all of the various means of communication that goes along with these wonders of technologies; however I think it has also given us the equivalent of what fighter pilots call “helmet fire.” Helmet fire happens when fighter pilots get information overload from all of the data that they have to process while flying their jets, and if not handled appropriately it can get them killed. Granted our civilian version of helmet fire does not include having to engage the enemy and conduct evasive maneuvers, while flying at near supersonic speeds, but that doesn’t mean that ours can’t be any less deadly. By now most, if not all of us, have learned about the dangers of trying to multitask while driving our cars. There have been multiple studies that have demonstrated that even relatively simple tasks such as eating and drinking (in this instance I am referring to nonalcoholic drinks) dramatically reduce our reaction times while driving. Then there are the studies that have shown that people talking on their smart phones and driving are about as dangerous as someone who is drunk behind the wheel. Of course there is also the texting driver, who must literally take their eyes off the road to send that oh so precious “LOL,” yeah, not a very smart idea to do that.
Well, apparently there is one place where you can still use your phone and operate a vehicle at the same time, and that place is none other than in the cockpit of a passenger jet. Sounds safe, what could possibly go wrong; right? Imagine, while all of the passengers are banned from using their wireless devices, because I guess it destroys the physics that make an airplane fly (that’s sarcasm), you could be in the cockpit hauling those poor communication deprived schleps around the globe texting and tweeting your heart out. As it turns out though being able to text and fly isn’t such a good idea either (duh). A Jetstar pilot was on final approach to land his passenger filled plane in Singapore when he had to abort his landing. Why? Because he had forgotten to lower the plane’s landing gear. Why did he forget to lower the plane’s landing gear? Because he was too busy fiddling with his mobile phone to remember to do so. Luckily no one was killed in this instance, but it certainly illustrates the dangerous distraction that our little miracles of modern communication can be while trying to do other things â€“ like flying an airplane.