Technology is a beautiful thing. It enables me to do what I love for a living every day. iPhone apps are also a lovely thing. They enable all kinds of things, from an on-demand car service, to other on-demand “services.”
CNN had a story today about a new iPhone app which will tell you the chances of your plane crashing. “Am I Going Down?” is available in the iTunes store for 99 cents.
When you use the app you enter your origin, destination, airline, and aircraft, and it will tell you the probability of you “going down.”
So, you want to fly British Airways on a 747 from New York to London?
You only have a 1 in 9,283,062 chance of going down.
How about Malaysia Airlines on a 777 between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing?
Your chances of going down just increased roughly ninefold, to 1 in 1,035,932.
According to the app, you’d be about five times safer flying an airberlin CRJ between Los Angeles and Honolulu! 😉
When you select each parameter, there’s color coding to indicate how safe something is. So the MD80 is “green” (apparently very safe), while the Concorde is red (apparently not safe)…
The same goes for airlines. Air Canada? You’re good to go. Aeroflot? Stay away. Air France or Air India? Somewhere in the middle.
Okay, so this app is so beyond ridiculous that it’s almost amusing. What’s the inspiration behind it? Per CNN:
Developer Nic Johns says it’s geared toward those who are uneasy about air travel.
“The initial inspiration comes from my co-founder and wife, Julie, who for many years has suffered from a fear of flying,” says Johns.
“In developing ‘Am I Going Down?’ I wanted to present the fact that the vast majority of flights are incredibly low risk. Our app is meant as tool to help reassure fearful fliers.”
Except that’s not what it does. At all. I was showing my mom the app this evening, and I explained to her that green meant “safe” while red meant “less safe.”
We scrolled over Cairo, which was “red.” My mom gasped in shock and said “I don’t want you flying there anymore.” “Why?” “Because it’s not safe, it’s red!”
This is utterly ridiculous. You want to prove flying is safe? Then don’t call your app “Am I Going Down?”