NIKV69
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Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:08 pm

Another great episode. That redhead (tori) has a myth when some guy sitting next ot her on a flight told her that airlines tell you to get in the brace position because it causes you to die instantly by breaking your neck because the airlines insurance companies figure it's cheaper to pay a wrongful death suit than if you are injured for life.  Wow!

They are testing the myth now. This show rocks!

So what do you all think?

Personally I would think you would have the best chance of survival if you got yourself into a position that most closely resembles a ball. Tuck everything in and have no limbs extended. Tuck your head in your chest and hope you can run once the fire hits after impact.
Hey that guy with the private jet can bail us out! Why? HE CAN AFFORD IT!
 
graphic
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:12 pm

This one's an oldie I think. They tested it and it came back that the brace position gives you the best possible chance because the force of impact isn't centered on your spinal column when you're in the brace position.
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AF340
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:14 pm



Quoting Graphic (Reply 1):
This one's an oldie I think. They tested it and it came back that the brace position gives you the best possible chance because the force of impact isn't centered on your spinal column when you're in the brace position.

But wouldn't it leave your neck exposed to falling baggage or the actual compartments? I liked this episode but this was the only question I had about it.


AF340
 
ANITIX87
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:14 pm



Quoting NIKV69 (Thread starter):
Personally I would think you would have the best chance of survival if you got yourself into a position that most closely resembles a ball. Tuck everything in and have no limbs extended. Tuck your head in your chest and hope you can run once the fire hits after impact.

Which is essentially what the brace position is, if used correctly.

As stated above, they tested this myth using Buster and were so confident in their findings that they themselves were put into the rig to test the myth. It was a success.

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Jpax
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:16 pm

It is an old one as stated above was was busted.

"Episode 33: Killer Brace Position
Everyone knows that talking on a cell phone while driving is potentially dangerous, but is it as risky as driving drunk? To find out, Adam and Kari head to a local raceway to try their hand at driving a skills course, first, while being distracted on a cell phone, and then after knocking back a couple of rounds of beers. Then, the guys strap themselves into their own homemade mock airplane and go for a little ride straight down to test the efficacy of that oh-so-familiar brace position that airlines outline in their safety procedures.
premiere: June 22, 2005 "

From: http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/my...ers/episode/00to49/episode-04.html
 
haggis79
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:17 pm



Quoting AF340 (Reply 2):
But wouldn't it leave your neck exposed to falling baggage or the actual compartments?

it might... but if you sit up straight your head is exposed to the same.... so I think the brace position is still the best compromise... (apart from sitting backwards, it seems)
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AF340
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:20 pm



Quoting Haggis79 (Reply 5):
it might... but if you sit up straight your head is exposed to the same.... so I think the brace position is still the best compromise... (apart from sitting backwards, it seems)

 scratchchin  True....


AF340
 
NIKV69
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:22 pm

Makes sense, I remember when I used work at the track the jockreys always said that if they ever went down in a race or on the training track their first instinct was to tuck their head and get into a ball and roll. Gave them the best possible chance of survival and least amount of injury.
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0newair0
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:26 pm

1) From a money side of things, it would be cheaper for a passenger to die than to live for the airlines.
2) I'm not going to touch on the "would they rather you die" question because that's just sick
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spacecadet
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:46 pm



Quoting NIKV69 (Thread starter):
That redhead (tori) has a myth when some guy sitting next ot her on a flight told her

Hate to tell you, but Tori's a guy  Smile

You probably meant Kari.

btw this was a pretty disturbing episode if it's the one I'm thinking of. They found that a drop from something like five feet was enough to dislodge airplane passenger seats from their floor moorings, and they came out of that drop themselves in pretty bad shape. One of the conclusions they came to was that airliner interiors are not built to very strong specifications and that they wouldn't want to be involved in *any* kind of accident, however theoretically survivable, given their experience.
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NIKV69
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:07 pm



Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 9):
Hate to tell you, but Tori's a guy

Thanks, btw nice down the shirt camera shot of Kari at the end.

Was cool when they actually took a 5 foot drop in the sim.
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Tod
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:13 pm



Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 9):
One of the conclusions they came to was that airliner interiors are not built to very strong specifications

That is because the don't actually know what they are talking about.


Just a few of the requirements:


http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text...ode=14:1.0.1.3.11.3.169.63&idno=14

http://ecfr.gpoaccess.gov/cgi/t/text...ode=14:1.0.1.3.11.4.177.50&idno=14

Tod
 
skoker
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:17 pm



Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 9):
btw this was a pretty disturbing episode if it's the one I'm thinking of. They found that a drop from something like five feet was enough to dislodge airplane passenger seats from their floor moorings, and they came out of that drop themselves in pretty bad shape. One of the conclusions they came to was that airliner interiors are not built to very strong specifications and that they wouldn't want to be involved in *any* kind of accident, however theoretically survivable, given their experience.

You are thinking of the one where they tried to duplicate the results of the old story of the flight attendant who survived the 35,000 foot drop... they used an old CO (I think) plane and dropped it (the aft 16th) from a helicopter at 2500 ft up...
 
xtoler
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:28 pm

I missed that show. And yes, Kari is hot!! Sitting backwards does help survivablity. I can't really remember the reason behind it. If you ever find yourself in a USAF cargo aircraft equipped with "airliner" type seats either palletized or screwed to a floor, or if you are in the pax compartment in a C5, you'll find that the seats face to the rear of the aircraft. It's different in a KC10, the seats face forward. And the seats are always in front of the cargo. I know it's for safety. Sitting in front of cargo seems to make sense anyway, but to sit backwards, I just can't remember the reasoning.

BTW the only time I saw pax sit behind the cargo was on an RAF VC10, and on a US Navy C9. At least on the Navy C9 the one or two 463L pallets were very low profile. But that VC10 was maxed out, but at least there was a clear aislway on the side of the aircraft.

One little cryptic side note. Human remains carried onboard USAF cargo aircraft, Space A pax or not, are always carried as far forward as possible. I'll let ya'll guess the reason why.
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unattendedbag
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:53 pm

Quoting NIKV69 (Thread starter):
Personally I would think you would have the best chance of survival if you got yourself into a position that most closely resembles a ball. Tuck everything in and have no limbs extended.

you have apparently never flown before.  wink  I am on the slinder side and I can't see myself curling up into a ball in a tiny aircraft seat, much less some of the larger folks I have had the pleasure of sitting next to.

[Edited 2007-11-26 15:06:15]
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BoeingOnFinal
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:25 pm



Quoting ANITIX87 (Reply 3):

Quoting NIKV69 (Thread starter):
Personally I would think you would have the best chance of survival if you got yourself into a position that most closely resembles a ball. Tuck everything in and have no limbs extended. Tuck your head in your chest and hope you can run once the fire hits after impact.

Which is essentially what the brace position is, if used correctly.

Actually, you are suppose to have some limbs extended. Legs forward and arms on your knees.

The principle of the head between your legs, legs and arms forward is so that you already have completed the movement that the inertia of the limbs would do in the retardation, only in a less harmful way. If you have a shoulder strap, you only tilt your head down so your chin touches the chest.
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ltbewr
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:28 pm

In some accidents, it may not make as much difference what position your head is in. Still, like with UA emergency landing many years ago as well in many emergency landings, the 'tuck' position along with tight lap belts will save many lives and reduce injuries. Part of the reason for the 'tuck' position is to minimise the swinging of the upper body in a crash situation as well reducing risk from flying and dropping object or parts of the aircraft (such as luggage, the overhead bag bins). Another is lets say the a/c skids off the runway; if there is enough space after the end of the runway such as no structures in the skid route, in the crash position then there is a very good chance of survival in the 'secondary' crash. If you notice, the cabin and cockpit crew members use multi-point shoulder and lap straps with the seats very upright to reduce injury and death risk upon a crash/hard landing.
 
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:36 pm



Quoting NIKV69 (Thread starter):
Personally I would think you would have the best chance of survival if you got yourself into a position that most closely resembles a ball. Tuck everything in and have no limbs extended. Tuck your head in your chest and hope you can run once the fire hits after impact.

You do that. I'll keep my feet flat on the floor.

As mentioned, oldie: http://www.tv.com/mythbusters/killer...sition/episode/424874/summary.html

Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 7):
Makes sense, I remember when I used work at the track the jockreys always said that if they ever went down in a race or on the training track their first instinct was to tuck their head and get into a ball and roll. Gave them the best possible chance of survival and least amount of injury.

Roll where?  Wink
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EMBQA
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:44 pm



Quoting Graphic (Reply 1):
This one's an oldie I think.

2 or 3 years old........
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boeingpride800
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:12 am

I watched this episode. It happens that passengers morely survive a crash landing or an impact, however getting out of the aircraft is the hard part. With the seats buckling under you on impact and such, your legs, knees and things like that are likely to break, and it is very hard to maneuver out of a plane with such injuries. With that situation, one would suffer smoke inhalation and fire damage.
 
dmanmtl
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:14 am

I'd rather die on impact than in the fire that follows...
 
unattendedbag
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:26 am



Quoting Dmanmtl (Reply 20):
I'd rather die on impact than in the fire that follows...

Make sure you tell that to the reservations agent when booking travel.
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AADC10
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:47 am

Aircraft accidents are investigated rather thoroughly, more so than other forms of transportation. Passengers breaking their necks from the brace position has never shown up as a major cause of fatalities. As others have mentioned, the main purpose is probably to prevent getting hit in the head from loose debris.
 
FlyDeltaJets87
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:50 am

I've seen this episode before. Pretty good.

There was a made-for-tv movie about that centered around this same topic. I forget the exact plotline, but there was a supersonic transport aircraft that went into distress over the Pacific. Something happened to the pilots and the passengers were flying the plane. The owners of the airline tried to get the passengers to go through procedures that would cause the plane to crash (and almost succeeded) because the head execs knew it would be cheaper for the plane to crash then to land safely. I believe it aired on one of the major networks. Anyone else know which movie I'm talking about or seen it?
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JoeCanuck
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:12 am

The movie was "Mayday"...it was painful to watch...but not as bad as the book...
What the...?
 
lazybones
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:19 am

I thought the brace position was modified after the Kegworth crash in the UK. The 734 impacted the M1 motorway after a controversal incorrect inflight engine shutdown. The brace position adopted by most of the survivors was studied and caused a change to the brace position.

Quoting NIKV69 (Thread starter):
They are testing the myth now. This show rocks!

Yup, this is the best show on the box!

Personally, after seeing the Ethiopian 767 ditch at sea. I'd adopt the upright position with my head tilted at about 30degs. Not good for surviving, but at least i'd be able to finish my inflight alcohol!!  Smile
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:37 am



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 25):
Quoting BoeingOnFinal (Reply 15):
Actually, you are suppose to have some limbs extended. Legs forward and arms on your knees.

I wouldn't want them too forward. Since you are strapped into a seat you are not going to move much but if you started to be thrown about you would want your legs folded under you trust me.

Legs should not be extended. Feet should be flat on the ground, with heels touching the bar under the seat.

Quoting Lazybones (Reply 28):
Personally, after seeing the Ethiopian 767 ditch at sea. I'd adopt the upright position with my head tilted at about 30degs. Not good for surviving, but at least i'd be able to finish my inflight alcohol!!

 rotfl 
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SkyyMaster
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:49 am

Actually, it's been proven in tests that the safest way for pax to survive a crash is if all the seats faced the rear of the plane (assuming it's a nose in crash landing). Of course, we know that no one is going to turn all the seats around. Although sitting in WN's old lounge seats was fun - especially in the front row at take off, look down at all the people  Smile In reality, I doubt many people would remember what to do in such an emergency anyway. I'd rather not ever have to find out.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 6:17 am

Personally, aviation and Mythbusters do not mix, IMO. But that is just me.
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Ward86IND
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 6:33 am

Someone told me another reason for the tuck position is so that your intestines and other free-sitting organs wont come up during the event of a dive.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:20 am



Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 32):
Personally, aviation and Mythbusters do not mix, IMO. But that is just me.

You said it. I am a big fan of the Mythbusters but they sometimes take too much of a "everything can be fixed with welding and lathing" approach. The occasional visit from a subject matter expert would help. The whole "if the birds take off inside the truck, will it be lighter" discussion was begging for a high school physics prof.
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Markhkg
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 10:20 am



Quoting Xtoler (Reply 13):
I can't really remember the reason behind it.

The primary reason is the HEAD. When you are in a forward facing position, your head will move forward and strike the object in front -- even if you are in the brace position. This can easily lead to serious head injury (a Head Injury Score of above 1,000), particularly if you are unbraced. (Remember that many accidents are unplanned so people may not have assumed the brace position.) In a rear-facing seat, your head will only move back into the seat during a frontal impact rather than suddenly striking something. However, in a rear facing seat, your face could potentially be exposed to debris in the cabin moving forward. (The brace position for a rear facing seat is to stay upright, look straight ahead, hands under thighs.)

Incidentally the WORST seat (not tested by Mythbusters) is a side-facing seat. In corporate aviation, the side facing divan is morbidly (but accurately) called the "death seat".

Quoting BoeingOnFinal (Reply 15):
Legs forward and arms on your knees.

The FAA used to recommend this, but has since revised it. There are currently two trains of thought:
1) Feet flat on the ground, but not under the seat or the seat in front (FAA recommendation). The belief behind this is that if the seat collapses, you could be trapped.
2) Feet flat on the ground, feet back slightly behind the knees (JAA Recommendation). This was, as noted previously designed after the Kegworth air disaster. Having feet slightly back can prevent flailing of the lower limpts.

Quoting BoeingPride800 (Reply 19):
With the seats buckling under you on impact and such, your legs, knees and things like that are likely to break, and it is very hard to maneuver out of a plane with such injuries.

The Brace Position is actually designed to prevent these very injuries by reducing limb flailing.
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Mudboy
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:17 pm



Quoting MarkHKG (Reply 36):
The primary reason is the HEAD. When you are in a forward facing position, your head will move forward and strike the object in front -- even if you are in the brace position. This can easily lead to serious head injury (a Head Injury Score of above 1,000), particularly if you are unbraced. (Remember that many accidents are unplanned so people may not have assumed the brace position.) In a rear-facing seat, your head will only move back into the seat during a frontal impact rather than suddenly striking something. However, in a rear facing seat, your face could potentially be exposed to debris in the cabin moving forward. (The brace position for a rear facing seat is to stay upright, look straight ahead, hands under thighs.)

This is correct! You have what is known as the ,"head strike envelope", which is ten inches in any direction your neck may flex. In car accidents, the number one cause of deaths, is head trauma. This can be caused by your head striking the interior of the vehicle, hence the reason for airbags, or flying objects from inside your vehicle striking you during impact. The same forces are applied during an airplane crash, just multiplied due to speed and altitude. (Force=Mass X Acceleration). Also, as equaly important as protecting your head, is protecting your arms from flailing around. This keeps them also, from striking objects and being broken. Even with a broken Pelvis, you can still pull yourself out of the plane, if your arms are not broken. Imagine surviving the initial crash with several broken bones, but being unable to extricate yourself in time, when you could have. This was a harsh reality I was taught, when I started flying on a medical helicopter, and made me understand, why these positions are important.
 
2175301
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 1:23 pm

Actually, there was some testing done in the late 70's that was very revealing.

This testing was done on private aviation and small business jet sized planes - but the results were stunning - and had a large effect on the design of airline seating and emphasized the importance of a brace position.

The key question of the day was why did so many people suffer head, neck, back, etc injuries during relatively mild "crashes" (say where a plane does a hard skid type landing).

The key opportunity to do this testing occurred when some aircraft companies production facility flooded (or some other general disaster). All airframes under construction were condemned and hauled off to NASA as test frames. NASA paid to complete some airframes for the testing.

NASA build a giant rolling plane support rig that could then crash these planes at controlled speeds and angles. Auto Test dummies, Different seating arrangements, instrumentation, and lots of cameras filming what happened in the cockpits and passenger areas during the crashes followed.

The small plane results were so stunning to the industry - that if I recall correctly that NASA got additional funding to purchase some additional airframes of the next larger series of planes (small business jet sized) that had more headroom and supposedly better seating.

Key results from the studies:

1) All aircraft bodies tested underwent elastic deformation and momentarily sprung into a flattened oval - significantly reducing headroom - and then sprung back to its normal round configuration (or slightly distorted for the more significant crashes). The key reason for so many of the head and neck injuries was that the people were being smacked hard from the frame/storage bins above them during the crash. Prior to this study everyone thought that the basic structure held its shape during a crash. With the film evidence it was obvious to all that a really big misunderstanding of basic properties permeated the industry (how many people today think of the fact that the storage bins above you may move down a substantial amount during a crash - and then spring back up).

Bending over in a brace position eliminated this kind of injury entirely, and minimized other likely injuries.


2) Some seat structures were not as robust as thought.

All aircraft designed since has incorporated lessons learned from that testing. In addition, my memory was that the test protocols for aircraft seating was significantly revised as well (how do you mimic in a lab what was happening in a crashed plane - the previous test protocols were not so good).


In the end, nothing will help during the worst crashes. The concept is to try to survive the mild crashes. The above NASA study really opened a lot of eyes on what goes on inside of an aircraft that has a mild crash - and a bent over brace position was found to maximize survivability in a restricted environment.
 
AirEMS
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 3:49 pm

Kari is hot!

Don't forget this position places you in the perfect spot to kiss your a*s goodbye!

-Carl
If Your Dying Were Flying
 
cloudy
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 4:27 pm

Hate to go negative on this one -

Someday someone could die or be seriously injured because he believes this myth. If that happens, I hope that everyone who has been spreading it hears about it. And feels as guilty as heck. Because unfortunately there is no other justice possible if we want to maintain a free society.

Why the heck would anyone, especially with this little knowledge, advise people to disobey an airliner crew in an emergency? It just boggles the mind how careless and stupid people are with what they say sometimes.
 
YYZYYT
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 5:47 pm



Quoting Haggis79 (Reply 5):
Quoting AF340 (Reply 2):
But wouldn't it leave your neck exposed to falling baggage or the actual compartments?

it might... but if you sit up straight your head is exposed to the same.... so I think the brace position is still the best compromise... (apart from sitting backwards, it seems)

I always assumed that it also was to prevent your head/neck from being struck by debris from behind, in the event of a very sharp deceleration.

Quoting FlyDeltaJets87 (Reply 26):
There was a made-for-tv movie about that centered around this same topic. I forget the exact plotline, but there was a supersonic transport aircraft that went into distress over the Pacific. Something happened to the pilots and the passengers were flying the plane. The owners of the airline tried to get the passengers to go through procedures that would cause the plane to crash (and almost succeeded) because the head execs knew it would be cheaper for the plane to crash then to land safely. I believe it aired on one of the major networks. Anyone else know which movie I'm talking about or seen it?

No, but I think that happened on an A-Team episode as well. They were trapped on a 747 with terrorists, and Murdoch (the helo pilto who could fly the 747 otherwise) had been blinded... ATC had planned to talk them into the ocean to avoid damage and injury to those on the gorund... I forget who, but someone learned of the plan, and forced ATC to guide them in after all. Murdoch landing blind.

Ahhh... they just don't make tv like that any more.
 
MD80Nut
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 5:53 pm

Anyone who thinks Mythbusters is a great show needs to have their head examined. They use questionable procedures based on questionable assumptions to produce highly questionable results. Of course, given the sorry state of education in general, and science in particular in the United States, it's not surprising so many people think this garbage of a show "rocks."  irked 

The real myth that needs to be broken is that this show has anything to do with real science and research.

Cheers, Ralph
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bennett123
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 6:33 pm

YYZYYT

Some would say "just as well that they do not make TV like that any more".

David
 
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RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:42 pm



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 34):
You said it. I am a big fan of the Mythbusters but they sometimes take too much of a "everything can be fixed with welding and lathing" approach. The occasional visit from a subject matter expert would help. The whole "if the birds take off inside the truck, will it be lighter" discussion was begging for a high school physics prof.

They did do a bit more of that during the first season or two. In the very first episode for the "JATO Chevy" myth they had a representative from the highway patrol from the state where the incident supposedly occured come on the show and state that they had no record of it ever happening, and they declared it busted based on that. For the one about the guy who fell through a skyscraper window, they called it confirmed because they were able to find a newspaper account of it actually happening, even though they had trouble getting their experiment to work as I recall.

I agree that in the more recent seasons they've gotten to relying more on their erperiments without doing other types of research. My friend and I were greatly annoyed that they called the Civil War "bullet hitting another bullet" one "plausible" based on thier experiments, when all they had to do to to completely confirm it was to look at one of the many actual examples from Civil War battlefields.
 
robsawatsky
Posts: 477
Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2003 7:07 am

RE: Mythbusters. Airline Would Rather You Die.

Tue Nov 27, 2007 9:32 pm



Quoting MD80Nut (Reply 45):
Anyone who thinks Mythbusters is a great show needs to have their head examined. They use questionable procedures based on questionable assumptions to produce highly questionable results. Of course, given the sorry state of education in general, and science in particular in the United States, it's not surprising so many people think this garbage of a show "rocks." irked

The real myth that needs to be broken is that this show has anything to do with real science and research.

I think you're being a bit harsh. It is a show for and by the TV/movie crowd, not research doctoral candidates in the various sciences. They use crude techniques but generally come out with a result that approximates the truth. It is fun for the characters and creative "reconstructions" not as pure educational television, which would be like reading a academic journal. The problem with doing research is that almost everything they examine could have the answer readily provided by available data, science and expert opinion - but then they wouldn't have a show.