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Why no one was blown out through the hole. Southwest Jet

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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:39 PM
Original message
Why no one was blown out through the hole. Southwest Jet
That Didn't Suck
The top of a Southwest Airlines passenger jet popped open at 36,000 feet, but no one was blown out through the hole. Why not?


A Southwest airplaneA five-square-foot hole opened in the roof of a Southwest Airlines jet as it was cruising at 36,000 feet on Friday afternoon. Passengers reported hearing an explosive noise and feeling "air being sucked out" of the cabin, but the pilot was able to land the plane safely and there were no major injuries. Why wasn't anyone blown through the hole?

<snip>

How risky might the latest incident have been for passengers? The pressure differential between the cabin and the outside was approximately 7.5 pounds per square inch, and the hole measured 720 square inches. That means the maximum force applied would have been around 5,400 poundsmore than enough to blow an unrestrained person out of the plane. But a passenger would only feel that much force if he were literally plugging the hole

Keep in mind that the hole was not right next to any passengers or beneath their legs. It was in the ceiling of the cabin, which would have been at least two to three feet away from the heads of anyone sitting inside. At that distance, the force of an explosive decompression would be greatly dissipated. Air-flow patterns are complicated, and it's impossible to quantify this effect for any given passenger. But as a simple way to visualize the effect of distance, we might imagine the force spreading itself out across the surface of an expanding hemisphere centered on the hole. Using the formula for spherical surface area, we see that at a distance of three feet, the 5,400 pounds of force would be spread across an area of 8,143 square inches. Four feet from the hole, it would cover 14,476 square inches, and so on. As the force gets more and more stretched out, the proportion of it that would be working to push a body out of the plane diminishes. On top of that, the air would be free to flow around the passengers in their seats, which would make its impact still weaker. Since the hole was in the ceiling of the plane, any decompressive force would have had to act against the full body weight of any passengers, lifting them up and out of their seats before it could eject them in a gust of air.

http://www.slate.com/id/2290316/?GT1=38001

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Drale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. Because its not a James Bond movie?
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damntexdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Oh, then it wasn't SW Flight 007?
;-)
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. badda boom!
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buddysmellgood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. I just watched Goldfinger with the kids. The scene
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 12:48 PM by buddysmellgood
where Goldfinger gets sucked out the window looks really cheesy by today's FX and my boys thought it pretty funny.
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Buzz Clik Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:45 PM
Response to Original message
3. I thought it was Jeebus who saved them.
:shrug:
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JPZenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
6. It was an inside job... it was a missile, not a plane.... WTC #5 was dynamited...
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Drale Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Where do you find dynamite in todays world?
:rofl:
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-..__... Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
8. Aloha Airlines Flight 243
Despite the extreme nature of the damage, only 1 person was "sucked"/"blown out.

Perhaps even more amazing... the pilot was able to safely land the aircraft...



Aloha Airlines Flight 243 (AQ 243, AAH 243) was a scheduled Aloha Airlines flight between Hilo and Honolulu in Hawaii. On April 28, 1988, a Boeing 737-200 serving the flight suffered extensive damage after an explosive decompression in flight, but was able to land safely at Kahului Airport on Maui. The only fatality was flight attendant C.B. Lansing who was blown out of the airplane. Another 65 passengers and crew were injured.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aloha_Airlines_Flight_243

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thereismore Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:01 PM
Response to Original message
9. There's still gravity you know. Pointing down. nt
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:04 PM
Response to Original message
10. Don't worry, nobody was killed. . .this time.
:eyes:

I just deplore these rationalizations that try to downplay major incidents.
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Hugabear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
11. Just means that nobody happened to be standing or walking by at the time
People have been sucked out of airplanes under similar circumstances. In this case, nobody died, but only because of sheer luck.
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