That Monday's plane crash in New York was not caused by an act of terrorism was no consolation to residents of the Big Apple and across the United States, who are still reeling from the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre on September 11. Unfortunately, despite the best human efforts, planes do occasionally run into problems, although it is still much safer to travel by air than by car. Our thoughts go to those whose loved ones were among the more than 260 killed in the accident. The mishap could not have happened at a worse time. It occurred while memories of two hijacked planes levelling two blocks of the World Trade Centre, leaving 4,000 people dead or missing, were still fresh. Despite the grief, Americans were beginning to return to their normal routines. Before the accident, US airlines hard hit by a sudden slump in air travel were starting to see a gradual increase in passenger traffic. Non-essential travel, such as leisure trips, was still severely hit, but business travel was picking up. Now, confidence in aviation safety has taken another severe beating, aggravating the risks of bankruptcies among the airlines. Ordinary Americans already wracked by the pressure of waging a war with elusive terrorists on the home front and dealing with an anthrax scare will now find even less reason to celebrate the forthcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. The ensuing plunge in consumer confidence in the world's biggest economy will have a knock-on effect on other parts of the world, and a global recession has become a real danger. US President George W. Bush did an admirable job pacifying the jittery mood of his people in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Now, he will have to do more to restore confidence to lessen the impact of a looming downturn. He deserves the support of leaders of other countries, whose people's fortunes are inter-locked in this global village.