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September 22nd, 2006

Die Dummies! DIE!

This one is for Tadlock: --> techno mix of plane crash test dummies <-- Dark Humor. (*Not for everyone).  Here's the story ...

NASA and the FAA tested some anti-flammable jet fuel in the 1980's and it blew up in their face! -- quite literally.  How ironic. *evil grin*  What I find even more amusing is how the plane wasn't suppose to crash this way:


The landing gear "jammed" so the plane needed to emergency land, the "pilot underestimated" the runway's location so the plane prematurely touched down, the "pilot overcompensated" for his off-center approach and tilted the left wing undercarriage, causing the first impact as pictured above, et cetera mishaps.  The ensuing, uncontrolled crash was more realistic: the plane dumped the remote pilot and flew off with Mother Nature, to a fatal end for the poor dummies who burnt to a crisp in the ensuing fireball.  Die Dummies! DIE!


I find it fascinating that these seemingly minor errors (emergency landing, landing on level -- albeit pre-runway -- surface, last-minute landing corrections) built up to such a cataclysmic incident.  Planes must be finicky beasts.  Youtube has the most dramatic video: watch dummies burn.  NASA's website has three videos to demonstrate your aerodynamic death: external side-view, external tail-view, and internal cabin-view.  Don't ya just 'luv government documentation? it's better than Discovery Channel!  ;)  The fed has too much money at their disposal ...

... Actually I am still being sarcastic: I do not believe the government spends enough money on testing planes, as they do for cars, because this is the most recent, documented crash test of a passenger plane that I could find with the intention of making civil air-travel safer.  Boeing's 707/720, the plane in this crash test, is so old even our military won't touch it; they were the kind our parents flew in during the 60's and 70's, and this test was performed over twenty years ago.  Has that double-decker superjet, the A380, passed a crash test? other than inside the artificial brain of a computer simulation?!  I bet not, yet you say they're safe?!  HAH! (gullible disciples of statistical inference!!)

For the curious reader I will note three points: 1) the anti-flammable jet fuel (actually an additive called AMK) was never implemented, so you're still flying around the world on a gas tank, 2) despite the 720's age, its fuselage is the basis for contemporary 737's and 757's (according to the Wiki article), and 3) the 720 was a transcontinental aircraft but for this test was only filled to about half its fuel capacity (deduced from NASA's and Boeing's weight specs).

P.S.  I am obsessed with plane crashes ... I admit it!