Re: Plane crashes and other accidents
Thu, 16 Apr 1998 13:53:31 -0500 (CDT)
At 08:38 4/16/98 EDT, you wrote:
>I spend a LOT of time on airplanes and have thought about this quite a bit and
>have to agree with Hal -- individual parachutes seems a completely unworkable
>solution. Almost every idea I've ever considered to make large commercial
>airliners more safe has always ended up making the plane too heavy to fly, or
>at least fly profitably.
>Two ideas contiue to intrigue me, though. One is a detachable passenger
>compartment that has SOME sort of deployable aero-drag device or combination
>of devices. The other is an internal fire-retardant foaming system that
>activates in anomolous situations (read crashes). Even if done with the
>lightest, cleverest materials and designs, both would add significantly to the
>weight and therefore operating cost of the planes and both would also have
>safety COSTS, since accidental deployment of either system would tend to ruin
>your whole day . . .
How about a grown-up version of the ballistic parachute gaining in
popularity in the small plane market? Three or four fairly large 'chutes
would add little weight to the plane, and could bring it down fairly
gently...these could also include drogues to decelerate the craft to a safe
speed for deployment..
Again, not a panacea, but it could save some lives in some circumstances.