Saturday, September 20, 2008

Flying ....

So, we are in Seattle right now, getting ready for a nice two week vacation. We had a nice, bumpy flight to Seattle, skimming the tops of clouds and the like. During the flight a few thoughts came to mind...

First, why on the pre-flight safety video don't they actually show things how they will be? Realism is good. For example, when the oxygen masks come down, why don't they show the aircraft in some unusual attitude and the passengers panicking, fighting each other over the lone oxygen mask that actually fell from the ceiling? "Yes, there are three other masks, they just didn't manage to fall", the announcer should say, "rather than fight your seatmate for the one that did fall, simply reach up and pull the other mask down." This segment should end in the two passengers falling out of their seats fighting for the lone mask. While we are at it, we need to see an appropriate level of panic in passengers faces... I mean, if the masks come flying down, and the aircraft it pitched 45 degrees nose down trying to get below 10,000 feet, wouldn't you feel some panic?

Then there is always the scene of the mother or father calmly putting the mask on their very calm, very still, child. Um, yeah, there is reality. Again, 45 degree, nose down pitch, the floor falling out from under them, I doubt those kids are going to be calm, still or quiet.

But thats just me....

Rather, perhaps, the child should be screaming, looking all around in panic and shouting "WE ARE ALL GONNA DIE!!" now that would be reality. Oh, and perhaps to add a touch of realisim we should some cheerios orbiting in the simulated zero G as the airplane plummets to an uncertain fate.

What is it with people who think that the sign that means "put on your seatbelt" actually means "it's ok to get up and go to the bathroom now"? I am constantly amazed.... 2 minutes after take off, Yule Gibbins gets up and shuffles to the bathrom. Now, not only is Yule not supposed to get up (and doing so actually breaks a federal law) BUT Yule is not exactly a young man... a young man might be able to grab onto something should we hit turblance, and survive (I'll not address the possible state of the bathroom after a severe turbulence hit... let's just say that pooping at zero G isn't a good thing). Yule, instead, will be flung around to and fro, his poor hairpiece will be all that will be left of the poor man.

On our flight to Seattle, fully 20 to 30% of the people on the flight got up to use the bathroom when the fasten seatbelt sign was on. Now, honestly, turblance was not too bad (light) but apparently the captian expected it might become bad enough that he had the flight attendents discontinue food service and had them sit and buckle up. THAT should be a clue.

And I also notice that it's always the people who are not all that physicaly able to withstand a 2000 foot drop in altitude and the attending loss of gravitational pull that will ensue. Like I said, Yule Gibbins.

I can see the CNN story now.... An airliner lands and the emergency support personel are called to scrape twenty elderly folks off of the ceiling of the airplane.

I fully understand needing to go, and needing to go *badly*, but did it ever occur to these folks to go *before* you get on the airplane. One might think to ones self, "Self.... I'm going to be captive in an airplane for two hours, maybe I should go now, when it's actually safe to go."

Some people don't understand the risk of flight even in severe clear. It's real, we call it CAT or Clear Air Turblance. In rare cases, with CAT, you could encounter a sudden drop of altitude of several hundred or even (in very rare cases) thousand feet very quickly. Trust me, you don't want to be out of your seatbelt if that happens. I've been though CAT in my little airplanes at low altitude, it's no fun.

So, anyway, we are in Seattle now.... I love Seattle....


Gary Myers said...

"Then there is always the scene of the mother or father calmly putting the mask on their very calm, very still, child."
There was an after-dinner talker from the industry who suggested the announcement be changed to
"If you are travelling with a child, put your own mask on before helping your child. If you are travelling with two children, decide now which one you love more."

Wazzup said...

Its the same people who get in the car and the next rest area is 2 hrs away and 5 mins into the trip, "I gotta go potty".

Joe Testa

Wazzup said...

Because those are the same people who know they are getting in the car for a 2 hr trip before the next rest area and 5 mins in, "I gotta go potty" :)

joe testa

PS: I'm sitting here reading your 10g/11g new features books for OCP exam in Dec :)

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