Sunday, April 14, 2013

Surviving a Plane Crash - hints from the sea

ABC world has a serious story  about How to Survive a Plane Crash based on
The impact of an airplane crash into the sea today on the Indonesian resort island of Bali snapped the jet into two pieces, but somehow all 108 people on board survived and had no serious injuries, according to a hospital official.  Watch the video at ABC

Now the story goes on to describe something that sounds like it should have been done by the MythBusters, but was actually done by its sister show Curiosity. Wikipedia describes the test:
On April 27, 2012, a team of scientists staged an airplane crash near Mexicali, Mexico. An unmanned Boeing 727-200, fitted with numerous cameras, crash-test dummies and other scientific instruments, was flown into the ground. The exercise was filmed for television. 
ABC describes the test as:
Discovery TV had a Boeing 727 equipped with more than a half a million dollars worth of crash test dummies, 38 specialized cameras and sensors, and a crew of incredibly daring pilots. The pilots, who'd donned parachutes, bailed out of a hatch in the back of the aircraft minutes before the huge jetliner careered into the ground in a horrific crash that tore the plane apart.
The photos from that test are at:  and they include this one:

Now this makes me realize that most of us do not actually watch or listen to the safety announcements on flights. This prompted Air New Zealand to put out this unique safety video

But after seeing the results of this Bali crash I think I will watch them a little more closely in the future.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Airline Seats: Priced per pound

In the past people complained at the idea that Ryanair passangers would have to pay to use the bathrooms on an airplane, and again when airlines reduced allowed checked luggage, charged for food/snacks on short flights.

Now we have a new twist in the "make the passenger pay" business model of airelines. It seems that Samoa Airlines is now not only charging passengers bast on the weight of their luggage but of themselves.

As shown in this article from the originally reported in The Sydney Morning Herald 

Airline to charge overweight passengers more 

"This is the fairest way of travelling," chief executive of Samoa Air, Chris Langton, told ABC Radio. "There are no extra fees in terms of excess baggage or anything – it is just a kilo is a kilo is a kilo."

Under the new system, Samoa Air passengers must type in their weight and the weight of their baggage into the online booking section of the airline's website. The rates vary depending on the distance flown: from $1 per kilogram on the airline's shortest domestic route to about $4.16 per kilogram for travel between Samoa and American Samoa. Passengers are then weighed again on scales at the airport, to check that they weren't fibbing online.
(I presume that these are AU$:  Today (3 April 2013) $US1 equals 0.95 Australian Dollars)

Or reported in the NY Daily News where I saw it:

Samoan airline to start charging fat people more to fly: report 

Samoa Air, which flies small planes, will begin charging passengers based on weight. 'This is the fairest way of traveling,' the airline's chief says.

As if to confirm this Samoa Airlines website says:
Samoa Air, Introducing a world first:
'Pay only for what you weigh'!
We at Samoa Air are keeping airfares fair, by charging our passengers only for what they weigh. You are the master of your Air'fair', you decide how much (or little) your ticket will cost. No more exorbitant excess baggage fees, or being charged for baggage you may not carry. Your weight plus your baggage items, is what you pay for. Simple.
The Sky's the Limit!
Additional reporting:
 Think  of this as another incentive to get down to that "beach ware" body before traveling to the South Pacific.