Re:Plane crashes and other accidents

Arjen Kamphuis (
Wed, 15 Apr 1998 23:47:59 +0100

At 06:53 4/15/98 -0500, ChuckKuecker <> wrote:
>At 23:47 4/14/98 -0700, you wrote:
>>As people's lifespans slowly but surely start to increase, the frequency
>>of death from "unnatural causes" will also increase.

Lifespan increases trough better technlogy, better technology also makes
safer cars and airplanes and such. I would suspect that things like cancer
would be the primary cause of death in the (near) future. or Smoking.

>>Eventually, the
>>chance of dying in a car accident or plane crash will become quite
>>significant. Approximately one in 2 million flights go down. That means
>>that if you make only 100 flights in your life, the chance is one in
>>20,000 that one of the planes will go down - that's way "better" than
>>the lottery.

But not as good as heart faillure, cancer or breaking your neck in the

>>I saw a rather horrifying TV program recently called "Why
>>planes go down". Human error is by far the major reason. Anyway, there
>>was one crash in which one of the engines blew out, and the pilots had
>>to land the plane as best they could. Even though they had 1/2 hour to
>>get the plane down, something like 150 people died. A rather obvious
>>question is "why do airlines not make parachutes available to
>>passengers." Admitedly, there are some incidents where you have _no_
>>time to save anybody, but sometimes there _is_ time to bail out. It may
>>seem like a naive question, but I would appreciate people's opinions.
>If the parachutes could be made sufficiently automatic so as to require NO
>user interaction, and the aircraft could be equipped with a door openable in
>the air (old 727's come to mind, and DC-8's?) this could become a reality.
>If the airlines see the same public relations benefit to this that they see
>in putting defibrillators on board, they might do it without governmental

Of course one must not panic, you know, remember to pull that cord and
stuff. Considering the way most people behave during situations a lot less
stressful (a small traffic accident) I would not bet on this saving many
lives. Better to spend the money elsewhere. Improving the planes and better
training of the pilots (maybe even more pilots per plane). The most
dangerous part of any plane-trip is the car-ride to the airfield.

>The biggest problem I see is how do you control landing? Coming down in an
>urban area, on power lines, in water, etc...

Even if there's a nice meadow you can still break quite a few bones
(including but not limited to your neck) if you have no training in

>Personally, I wish I did have access to a 'chute when I fly. Trusting my
>safety to a machine of unknown maintainance history, operated by persons of
>whom I have no knowledge of their abilities and mindset, always makes me
>quite nervous..

That's a healty attitute, but where do you find the time to check-up on
your local Nuclear powerplant, ICBM-silo's in Kazakstan or the factory that
produces the packaging of your dairy products? ;-)

Stay out of the sun. Don't smoke. Don't drink, Don't have unsafe sex, Mind
your diet. Live outside a city. Don't do dangerous sports. You'll be bore
but alive ;-)


Arjen Kamphuis | "Here Be Dragons", read the ancient maps | in all the white spots that seemed large
enough to hold the fabled creatures.

let's go dragon hunting.

Transcedo, the Dutch Transhumanist site: