[OPE] questions re transition

From: Jurriaan Bendien <adsl675281@telfort.nl>
Date: Wed Jun 03 2009 - 12:18:00 EDT

As regards flight AF 447, what a shocking, terrible thing to happen. I
suppose this is not structuralist-objectivist Marxism, but I feel grief for
all the victims, and for their friends and relatives. It would be even more
horrific if it was a premeditated act of sabotage, but that is probably not
very likely - well, we will not know much for certain, until they salvage
the flight recorder 7,000 metres under the water, if they can find it, that
is. The French government has sent a research vessel to the area, with a
deep-diving submersible. There's partial listings on the net of who was on
board, e.g. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/brazil_plane_list

I don't really think though, Jerry, that if they had had a better warning or
tracking system, that it would have made any difference to the survival
chances of those aboard, not primarily because major systems failure
occurred in the middle of the journey across the Atlantic (there could
obviously have been vessels nearby), but because this plane, weighing about
230 tonnes, and cruising at circa 840 kms/h, was about 10 kms up in the
air - and so, in terms of the laws of ballistics - with malfunctioning
turbines or malfunctioning steering controls - by the time the plane
actually hit the surface of the water, then insofar as it was still in one
piece, it is highly unlikely that anybody aboard could have survived that
impact. They've found one of those orange inflatables and a flight seat in
the water, but no bodies yet, none. Actually, from what I understand, the
final signal, received four minutes after the warning of systems failure,
indicated cabin depressurization already, and there were very bad weather
conditions. At that point, the plane could not have lost all that much
altitude yet - it had meanwhile covered at least another 50-60 kms in its
trajectory, within those four minutes (flying at least 230 metres per
second!), obviously not straight down, but rather gradually arcing
downwards. It is quite possible, therefore, most people aboard were in fact
already unconscious or dead, before the plane hit the water.

I suppose there will now be people who say that airplanes should be banned,
but the real challenge is to improve human cooperation, so that such a
tragedy is much less likely ever to happen again.


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