Back in the mid eighties I went for an interview with British Aerospace in Hatfield, who at the time were just starting to roll out the BAe146 (In fact there were two of the first production planes off the line being guarded by the RAF after acceptance tests for Queenie's flight). I was given a great tour, and one of the items I saw was a prototype nose & cockpit, which had a big dent in it. I asked about it and I was told that as part of testing they had a big canon that shot chickens at 100+ miles an hour, which they used to assess the in-flight damage a bird hit would cause. Originally they had used live birds, but at some point they decided that this was cruel and started to use shop-bought ones as the mess was easier to clean up. I was told that the dent was made by a member of staff loading the canon with a frozen one instead of a fresh one...
If there is a miracle in this story it is the miracle of education, of learning from our mistakes, of bloody hard work that nobody wants to pay for until it is too late, and of people like the Airbus crew who put others safety before their own.
But in the real world, I suspect that bitch who wouldn't leave without her luggage will probably sue the airline.
Did any of you know that there is a "Roll Of Honour" with 500+ names in it at Farnborough Air Sciences Trust Museum, listing every test pilot and aircrew who died over the last 100 years to make aircraft safer for the rest of us? Apart from £1000 donated by BAe Systems, not a single corporation or government body have contributed to this memorial.
The title page of the book has the following quote form Samuel Taylor Coleridge:
"and everywhere the blue sky belongs to them and is their appointed rest and their native country".
As to luck, I would say that even a passing glance at the pilot & co-pilot's logbooks would show that "The harder I work the luckier I get" still applies.