Posts tagged: safety

Congratulations Air New Zealand

I’ve just flown back from Auckland and have two big ‘ups’ for Air New Zealand.

Firstly there’s a huge thankyou to the flight crew that painted their bodies and appeared naked for the Air New Zealand video safety message. It is absolutely brilliant and a better-than-perfect way at instructing passengers on the safety measures and procedures on board the aircraft.

Many times in the past I would slump in my seat and never even glance at the monitors while the video droned on about following the lights to the exit, or adopting the brace position.

Today when the video played I swear to God nearly everyone was watching that screen. It wasn’t just because the staff were naked (that was part of it I’m sure) -but it was more that they kept your attention and gave you everything you needed to know with good humour and good grace, and with a wry smile.

I even saw people turn and actually count the rows of seats to their nearest exit. That’s a stunning success. I know I’m late off the mark – more than 4 million people have viewed the clip on YouTube – but if you haven’t seen it here it is now:

YouTube Preview Image

My second round of congratulations goes to the flight deck of Flight NZ 451 which departed from Auckland today at 5pm.

We knew it would be a rough flight when the pilot told us he would be flying at a lower altitude because the wind at normal cruising altitude was blowing 250kph.

Of course we could expect some turbulence on descent into Wellington (it’d be unusual if this was not the case).

Anyway, ten minutes out of the capital the roller coaster began, and got worse. It was dark and the cloud was low, and we (the passengers) couldn’t see a thing. I knew we were getting close to approach when I heard the wing flaps go down and they switched on the landing lights.

Just before we touched down the pilot did an abort and we climbed at full power to 5000 feet. We were going around again as the plane had struck ‘dead air’.

Another 10 minutes of roller coaster activity, and I must say apparent calm from myself and the other passengers, as we went back around to make another approach.

This time – success! Thankyou pilots and crew of NZ451. I really didn’t fancy travelling on a bus from Palmerston North to home. This was our alternative if our second attempt had been unsuccessful.

Youths arrested for taxi driver killing

Two youths have been arrested for the slaying of Christchurch taxi driver Abdulrahman Ikhtiari. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that this death, and attacks on other drivers, could have been prevented.

I heard drivers making all sorts of excuses for not installing perspex screens, or cameras in cars. The reality is that these foils work, and either reduce or eliminate attacks.

In Victoria, Australia, safety cameras in cabs are compulsory. This initiative was introduced in 2000 following comprehensive research that clearly showed that cameras were the most effective method to improve safety in taxis.

As well it is mandatory to have a polycarbonate protection screen fitted to a cab working between the hours of 10.00pm and 5.00am. The government will fund 50% of the cost of purchase and installation up to December 31 2008.

What are we doing here in New Zealand? Nothing.

We’re complaining that these initiatives cost too much, but at the expense of what? A man’s life, and potential income of those other drivers too scared to drive at night?

While some drivers complain, and the government does nothing, a widow and her five children are inconsolable in Christchurch. This is a family who have been through more than most, fleeing to New Zealand as refugees seeking a better life, only to be faced with immense loss and suffering.

The taxi company Mr Ikhtiari worked for has set up a trust fund for donations. You can donate here:

Rahman I Trust
ASB account 12 32400098055 00

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