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February 27, 2004

Airplane Crashes - Wrong Reaction

There were two things wrong with the crash of US Airways Express Flight 5481 - a Beech 1900 (operated by Air MidWest) at Charlotte-Douglas Airport last year, which killed 21 people.

As simply put as I can:

1. The luggage and people on board weighed too much.
2. The controls and mechanisms that would have compensated for this weren't working.

The proposed solution - along with improved weight guidelines? Now passengers may have to be weighed on a regular basis.

Can you say, bye bye airline industry? Look, flying in many many many many ways bites right now. Cost? High. Time it takes? High. Aggravation? High. Carrying around heavy bags? Not fun.

Now you want to weigh people? Next they'll want to measure thigh circumference and the size of bald spots.

In fact, as well as a wide latitude for weight per bag and passenger, loaded passenger planes are weighed as they sit by the gate. If they are within a range they take off and, if needed, they compensate by bringing the nose down some. If they are too heavy some bags are removed (and the passenger whose bags they are not usually told until they land).

These fat-asses at the NTSB need to stop sitting on their hands and come up with real solutions. And realize that if this happens the industry goes down the crapper even more than it already is.

Can anyone say
Easyjet.com Airlines. Yes, that's right a new airline is a .com. What happens when that bubble bursts?

Link here.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Air travel would be safer if airlines weighed their passengers from time to time to make sure they know how much weight their planes are carrying, the National Transportation Safety Board says.

The Beech 1900, operated by Air Midwest, was virtually uncontrollable because of two fatal mistakes, the safety board concluded.

First, the airline's guidelines for estimating the weight of passengers and baggage were inaccurate. The pilots, therefore, didn't realize the plane's rear section was too heavy.

Second, mechanics had improperly rigged cables connected to the elevator, the tail flap that controls the up-and-down direction of the aircraft's nose. The errors meant the elevator's downward motion was restricted to half its normal range, according to the NTSB.

Without a fully maneuverable elevator, the pilots couldn't force the nose of the plane down to compensate for its heavy tail, investigators said.

As a result, the plane pitched sharply upward just seconds after takeoff for Greer, South Carolina, then fell from the sky.