What is clear from video footage taken on board is that many of the passengers were not doing what they were told and were, almost in slow motion, taking their belongings from the overhead bins with no sense of urgency. It is therefore a miracle that many of them did not end up victims of their own stupidity. It is a great credit to the crew of the Emirates Boeing 777 that they persevered until every passenger was off the plane and their courage and training are an example of how things should be done.
As to the cause of the crash, we are still not clear but it does seem that the plane was attempting a Go Around (see FAQs on the website and in our downloadable audio and ebook) - maneouvre whereby the plane aborts a landing at a late stage in order to return for a second approach. This is normally done if the first approach is not quite right for some reason, and is quite safe and routine, so whey this one went wrong is not known at this stage. Shortly - the recorders will usually survive, we will have the full picture. Lessons will be learned and in the way that the industry now works, all pilots will learn from the event and procedures will change so as to avoid a recurrence.
This year is the safest on record so far in the history of aviation with 3.5 billion passengers flying and less than 150 fatalities world wide in two accidents. One was in Russia, and another the Egyptair plane lost over the Mediterranean in mysterious circumstances. To put that another way - there is nowhere on earth safer to be than on an aircraft - and as the crash last week shows, that can be true even if it has an accident. Captain John