Daily Archives: July 5, 2012

John Gapper

I’m never sure whether to be reassured or not that the biggest reason for aircraft to crash is through pilot error, rather than mechanical failure or terrorism. In the case of the Air France Airbus 330 crash in July 2009, in which 228 people perished, pilot error is the culprit once again.

The statistics show that many of the things that typically worry passengers — turbulence, engine failure, the possibility of hijacking etc — are much less dangerous than the simple risk of someone in the cockpit making a mistake. 

Two decades ago, I attended one of the most gripping press conferences of my life. It was called by Andrew Buxton, Barclays’ then-chairman, to apologise for the bank’s £414m loss, mainly on reckless property lending, and to announce that he would be halving his job by resigning as its chief executive.