Fri, May 11, 2012
Experts Concerned About Increasing Passenger Weight
Scientists that study aviation accidents say that overweight passengers can “blast through” seat belts in a plane crash due to outdated safety standards. The New York Times reports that aircraft engineers are still designing seats for passengers weighing 170 pounds, in line with international standards. This is concerning to U.S. experts where the average American man is now 194 pounds and woman 165 pounds. A spokesman from the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority confirmed that seats were tested in his country with 170 pound dummies.
Robert Salzar, principal scientist at the University of Virginia Center for Applied Biomechanics told the Times that airline seats were not likely to behave as expected during a crash if a heavier person completely fills a seat. “The energy absorption that is built into the aircraft seat is likely to be overwhelmed and the occupants will not be protected optimally,” Dr Salzar said. He added seat belts needed more testing as “you’d be amazed at how the large person blasts through that restraint”.
The solution, according to Yoshihiro Ozawa from Jasti Ltd (a crash dummy manufacturer) is to test with more weight. “If we don’t test with heavier dummies, we won’t know if it is safe enough. There is no regulation that says they have to test for heavier” he said. Larger passengers, he said, could also injure those sitting nearby if seats collapse or belts fail.
The CASA spokesman said although the test weight had been fixed for many years, it did not mean standards were out of date or had not been improved.
‘Most Restful Groundschool Ever Devised' John King Says ANN’s April 1 “April Fool” Special Edition The latest innovation in ground schools has been introduc>[...]
Lycoming's Latest Innovative Technologies Unveiled In Surprise Announcement ANN's April 1 "April Fool" Special Edition Lycoming Engines is set to unveil its newest engine technolog>[...]
Also: Inhofe Demands Media Aero-Accountability, "Super Duper" Cub, RANS' Exclusive WalMart Deal, Obama To Keep Air Force One, Cessna Bringing Back Bamboo Bomber Pop-star legend, Da>[...]
Pilot, 67, Fatally Injured In Accident A prototype BD-22 has gone down in Port St. Lucie, FL, resulting in the fatal injury of the pilot, the only person on board the airplane.>[...]
Fines Would Total More Than $328,000 The FAA has proposed two civil penalties totaling $328,550 against Southwest Airlines for allegedly violating Federal Aviation Regulations.>[...]