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Luck In Accidents?

Sat Sep 25, 1999 10:50 pm

Some views out there about the QF 744 incident yesterday has included some references to "luck"...I was wondering just how many people thought that "luck" was a major factor in aviation accidents and incidents.

Luck, at its best, is an intangible way of explaining a phenomenon. There are two things that I would like to say about it:

(i) Why do people consider bad luck to be something like a QF 744 sliding off the runway? Surely luck is related to complacency of some description. Do people believe that their luck will run out, or that the aviation system is blessed with a certain amount of luck?

(ii) Jack Niklaus once said: "funny... the more I practice the more luck I have". Is luck, then, just a neat way of getting around human error by making it some mystical random chance of the universe?

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