I don't like the term 'accident'. Too often people refer to an event as an accident, when in fact there is a clear cause. The word 'accident' implies that the event was unforeseeable, and that nothing could be done to prevent it (and therefore, crucially, no-one is to blame), where this is rarely the case. When you break an event down into immediate causes (car pulls out), proximate causes (rider going too fast to take avoiding action) and ultimate causes (poor training, careless attitude, inadequate maintenance), you can nearly always find something that someone did wrong, and which, done right, could have prevented the 'accident'. It's just a question of how far you are prepared to look. Of course, as a rider you cannot control the road users around you. You can't heal the functionally-blind Prius driver, or sober up the sales rep on his way back from a team-building weekend. But you can anticipate their presence, and ride accordingly. In other words, any accident should, in theory, be avoidable by a well-trained, experienced, patient and mature rider. (I said in theory, and I am making digital contact with many tree-derived objects as I write this.)
And then something like this happens.
At least two people have been killed and another 11 injured after a plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Burma, officials say.
The Air Bagan plane was carrying more than 60 passengers. Two Britons are believed to be among those hurt.
It was on its way from the city of Rangoon to Heho airport in Shan state when it crash-landed about 3km (two miles) from the runway.
Reports say a fire in one of the engines may have caused the accident.
Burmese government officials have confirmed a passenger was found dead inside the plane.
A motorcyclist near Heho airport was also killed when the Fokker jet made its emergency landing in thick fog in a rice field.
What to say? One minute you are riding along on your 125 beside your family's rice field, and the next minute you are hit by an sodding aircraft. I am prepared to admit that this is one of those occasions when the rider was simply a helpless victim.
And, without wishing to make light of a sad story, what's the betting his last words were, like so many others have been, "Bloody hell, what's that Fokker doing?"