Flight 800 and the Peruvian plane landed in the sea, the 1972 Staines crash was in open land and reservoirs and an American jet not long ago took off ice-bound and landed in a river.
One day a large aircraft will break up in mid-air and land on a conurbation, or will crash land on to it, and the chances are that it will be London, given the absurd location of Heathrow. Our prevailing winds are from the south-west, which means that the landing approach is over the London conurbation, often over the city itself. (I have been on a KLM flight when the pilot deliberately banked over Westminster to afford a night time aerial view for those of us on the starboard side).
When not from that direction, our winds come mostly from the east - hence the layout of Heathrow's two main runways. On easterlies, as when the wind is light, the 747s lumber up into the air over my house or over Brentford. I often speculate on the point at which the results of a catastrophic break-up would be carried by their own momentum beyond my house.
It will only stop once the worst has happened. Terminal 5 will, of course, bring that day nearer.
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