On March 22, 1992, 44-year old pilot, Captain Wallace J. Majure II, climbed into his pilot seat to make a routine flight from LaGuardia Airport in New York to Cleveland, Ohio. The flight had become routine for him, having flown the USAir Fokker F28 for seven years. After completing his pre-trip checks and preparations, Majure and his crew made their way onto the runway and waited to be cleared for take off. Nasty New York weather delayed air traffic, and unknown to the captain, that delay was allowing the build up of ice, although he had been through the de-icing procedure twice.
Finally, takeoff was initiated. The takeoff thrust and rotation surged forward normally. Passengers were pressured back into their seats indicating that they would soon be off the ground. The jet rushed forward, nose-gear lifted from the ground, and the craft was air borne. The normal lift that the crew expected did not come. The nose of the liner began to dive. The capable captain attempted to level the jet as it banked to the left, back to the right, then left again. The plane rushed forward only a few feet above ground. It touched down, then lifted slightly again, while the left wing dragged the ground for 110 feet. Finally the left wing clipped some light towers and a pump house, which severed it from the fuselage. The plane spun and flipped down an embankment and into Flushing Bay of the Hudson River.
Of the 51 people on board, 27 were killed in the accident, including the captain and one of the cabin crew members. Tragedy had struck, caused by a craft carrying more weight than it could lift, in the form of ice on the wings.
Young people are supposed to be able to fly. Each one has been gifted in a unique way. Each one has a role to play in the world. Each one has something to contribute toward the betterment of the world.
But somehow, the process of take off has been delayed. The system into which our youth are immersed does not equip them for take off. Instead, it actually ices their wings. The result is catastrophic. In our culture, by the time a young person reaches the age of eighteen, and finishes his high school training, he is still completely illequipped for life. He can go off to war, smoke cigarettes, impregnate his girl friend, even take her for an abortion, but cannot balance a check book, cannot be trusted with a credit card, and is not prepared in any way for the work force.
The default mode for continuing that young person’s preparation is to pursue a college education. So he or she engages four to six years of additional training, and thousands, rather tens of thousands, of dollars of expense. The net result is a huge debt load resulting in a modesty more employable person, who in all likelihood will end up in a job that is completely unrelated to the diploma that represents ice on his wings.
The young man marries a sweet young lady, who by the way, has pursued a course very similar to him. They each enter the job market, not only to provide for their new household, but also to shoulder the burden of their college debt. That debt requires them to have someone else raise their children, because each of them has to work, and usually more than one job. Their family struggles under huge pressure. They do not have meals together. Small decisions become large decisions because there is no time to develop good communication. Their children develop a distorted sense of family, because the house is usually empty, and when there are people there, it’s not fun.