No Kum-Sok, also known as Kenneth Rowe, was ER’s father. I didn’t realize that he had written a book about his defection from North Korea.
Archive for Aerospace
Trouble is, he left the microphone on.
That reminds me of a story–not sure if it’s true, but heregoes…
A pilot, shortly after takeoff, left the intercom on, offered the following commentary to his co-pilot: “I could sure use a good blowjob and a cup of coffee right now!”
One of the flight attendants, realizing that the intercom was still on, rushed to the cockpit to alert the pilot about his faux pas.
A passenger chimed in: “Don’t forget the coffee!”
40 years ago yesterday, the Apollo 13 began with a launch. This was supposed to be a moon mission, but that did not happen.
In fact, this nearly became a tragedy in the same line as Apollo 1. Except this time, the astronauts–and the ground crew–teamed up for a real-life episode of MacGyver, times ten.
MSNBC reports here.
Well, not really. If this were Hollywood, it would be entertaining. Unfortunately, given that the incident may have emanated from a lax attitude toward professionalism, it is likely indicative of the need for fundamental change in the system.
One of the reasons I admire President Reagan was his willingness to fire the air traffic controllers, who went on strike even though they had agreed contractually not to do so.
This time, it is likely that some heads need to roll at the FAA.
A civilian, riding shotgun in a military craft, accidentally pulled the ejection handle.
The crew of Northwest Airlines Flight 188, which overshot their destination by 150 miles–and attracted the attention of the White House–first said they were arguing over airline policy. Now, the NTSB is saying that they were using their laptops.
Whatever they were preoccupied with, it was enough for them to fail to notice the air traffic controllers who were contacting them, and serious enough that they failed to notice the fighter jet that was trailing them.
Gee…I wonder what had them so distracted…
This latest disaster involves a highly-experienced flight crew. So far, the media coverage has focused on lightning and turbulence.
Can lightning bring down a jet? Yes, but that is not easy: they are designed to withstand lightning strikes. On the other hand, the Airbus A330 is a fly-by-wire aircraft, and if you lose the wire…
Can turbulence bring down a jet? Yes, but again that would not be easy. The structure is built to withstand 150% of the design limits, and those limits are pretty high. Still, given that the storms in the area at the time had thunderheads going up to 50,000 feet, one can’t rule the turbulence out either…
Here’s another factor that I have not seen discussed: hail. Given the magnitude of the storms, it is possible that one could encounter softball-sized hail. If the jet is traveling at 500 mph and hits a piece of hail like that, it could smash the windshield. This would be disastrous at such speeds, and could explain why the automatic message–sent by the flight control systems–indicated both a loss in electrical functionality and cabin pressure.
Given that there was no MAYDAY message from the crew, whatever caused those failures was immediately catastrophic to the crew, and was sufficient to knock out even the backup systems.
What about terrorism? At this point, it’s anyone’s guess. Still, satellite data would probably have picked it up if there were a midair explosion. Then again, I’m old enough to remember the Lockerbie disaster. If there was a bomb, investigators will be able to tell, as there will be evidence of explosive decompression, as well as residue consistent with the use of explosives. The damage to the fuselage will be indicative of a blast from inside the aircraft.
Right now, it’s hard to speculate without more information. Given the magnitude of the storms in the area, I’m thinking catastrophic turbulence or a large-sized piece of hail.
If the security screeners had to look at my naked body, I would be prosecuted for murder after they died of heart attacks.