I was channel surfing and watched the 'panic and distress' over the recent aircraft mishaps.
Okay, I spent fifteen years working on Naval Aircraft. Five years on the S-3B (VS-33, World Famous Screwbirds! Yar!) which is a low level sea based attack aircraft and 10 years on P-3 Orion (various forms) which perform SIMILARLY to commercial aircraft in their performance.
As a result I've seen aircraft wear and tear up close, it was part of my jobs. A plane is a LOT different in how wear and tear effects it than a car or truck. There are some common elements but compared to what a car has to undergo for 'safe performance' and what a plane goes through to be 'airworthy' is a MASSIVE undertaking.
First off, multiple components and systems have 'active lifespans.' Using the P-3 as an example. Engines have X numbers of hours before they due to an inspection. The airframe has to be in for similar NDI (non-destructive inspection) and active inspections over their lifespan. For a variety of reasons.
The way the news portrays it (MSNBC, CNN, HLN, Fox News) all act like these inspections are something new or unusual. Drives me nuts how one anchor was saying folks needed to cancel their AA tickets.
That's silly, stupid and borderline fear mongering. I was gritting my teeth to hear this sort of foolishness.