All things considered I challenge that its off to a bad start. I have a CFI gig and fly everyday, just broke 1000 hrs, am 3 for 3 on students passing checkrides in Feb, no accidents, close calls or gotcha moments. Tens of thousands of flights have departed and landed safely and tens of millions of passenegrs and pilots get home and never end up in the news. Not to diminish anyones loss or be ignorant of the fact that tragedy could befall any of us at a moments notice but this is no more a sign that the sky is falling on aviation than the deaths of the family of 4 a mile down the street last night when their minivan rolled over is a sign that driving is off to a bad start this year.
I really wonder if, like so many other things, is this really national news worth taking up space on MSNBC and in our collective conscious? I think it just feeds the myths and misbeliefs about flying and without a personal connection, lessons learned or a never before encountered cause its of little value to pass it on.