It is a shock that one of the most technologically advanced civilian aircraft in the world can just vanish. One only hopes the incident will make the authorities pay closer attention to how the entire system of aviation operates, while reiterating the importance of safety, training and maintenance.

Galanki Sreeja Vasthavi,

Hyderabad

The fact that Asian countries are setting aside territorial disputes and giving it their all in the rescue and search operations is commendable. The odd note is that India hasn’t actually stepped in and appears reluctant to do so. Five of our nationals were on board the aircraft and we have deep ties with Malaysia that go a long way. What is holding us back from sending one of our advanced military aircraft, that we are so proud to flaunt, to participate in the mission? Such a gesture will go a long way in fostering regional ties.

N.K. Manohar Lal Thakur,

Kolkata

This refers to the article, “Once again, the fear of flying” (March 10). While one appreciated the tone and tenor of the article in attempting to educate the lay reader, it was upsetting, as a pilot, to find the writer hinting at pilot error and generally singling out the Indian aviation system as being flawed. Placing pilot error as a cause of an aviation accident is often the easy way out, and has often been controversial. He must realise that modern accident investigators attempt to avoid the words “pilot error,” as the scope of their work is to determine the cause of an accident, rather than apportion blame. Furthermore, any attempt to blame pilots does not take into account the fact that they are part of a broader system in aviation, which in turn may be at fault for their fatigue, work pressure or lack of training.

S. Puri,

Mumbai

After being subject to an avalanche of checks and body scans during the course of an air journey, a passenger expects to reach his destination safely and in one piece. Therefore, it was horrifying to read that it is all an illusion — that the authorities have been found wanting as Interpol data on lost passports and other documentation is not interfaced with global immigration systems. This spells grave danger in countries with lax security. Why cannot Interpol data be obtained by these countries on a periodic basis and uploaded to a system at each airport to ensure the authenticity of travel documentation? But being quite a sensitive matter, involving the other and equally controversial issue of one’s privacy, it is not clear how airlines even from the advanced world will find a way out on this, especially in such countries where they operate flights to.

S. Parthasarathy,

Chennai

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Once again, the fear of flying March 10, 2014

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