Clapping On Landing

When I’ve travelled on a plane, the nervy, split second moment after bumping into the tarmac of the runway is often followed by a smattering of applause. After exhaling my own sigh of relief on landing alive and well, I usually exchange a knowing look with whoever is sitting next to me at the sound of the applause. Rolling my eyes, I find myself thinking:

Who claps on landing? Why do people even clap when landing?

I’m don’t really have a fear of flying, I’ve been lucky enough to travel a number of times, but there are moments when my own mortality hits me. Particularly at take-off and landing, I find myself saying a quick prayer in the hope we’ll all make it safe and sound.

The technological advancement of being able to fly worldwide, cheaply and quickly is a marvel. I take it for granted, but it’s what has enabled me to explore some of the world. The skill of pilots is incredible. The responsibility for so many lives is not something I feel like I could do for a living, every day of my career.

Technology and gifted humans have changed the world and our lives.

Maybe clapping on landing isn’t such a silly thing.