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Seconds to Disaster. US Edition by Glenn…
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Seconds to Disaster. US Edition

by Glenn Meade

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A few years ago, my husband and I were on a flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco. As usual, the preflight announcement stated that in case of an emergency, the crew was trained to help. Soon after we were told we could unfasten our seatbelts, the flight attendants began rolling the cart in the aisle to serve beverages. Just then we hit a 300-foot air pocket. Things went flying; people who had unfastened their seatbelts hit their heads on the overhead storage compartments. The flight attendants also went flying, one of them breaking her arm and the back of a seat on the way down. The other one was also out-of-commission. Luckily, some of the passengers knew enough first aid to help stabilize the casualties. (We discovered the first aid kit had children’s scissors and lack of other supplies to needed for this particular emergency) Air control moved everything out of our way and brought in ambulances so we could land and get professional help quickly.
While traveling by air is a very common occurrence, and more people die in automobile accidents than in airplane crashes, SECONDS TO DISASTER catalogues the reasons that most airline crashes occur.
The usual reason given by the airlines is pilot error. That is true sometimes, but often the pilots are the scapegoats because the airline doesn’t want to admit any causes for which they may be held accountable. As airlines try to increase their incomes by lowering fares, squeezing in more passengers, paying lower salaries which translates into younger, less experienced captains, , and using less qualified contractors in Asia or South America to build and maintain their planes, the risks to passengers, crews, and people on the ground increase. Counterfeit parts have been found on a large percentage of airplanes, including Air Force One. Trying to keep on schedule to keep expenses lower sometimes involves taking a risk, such as flying in inclement weather or allowing the captain to divert to another airport. Airlines sometimes take risks by by not allowing the captain to make changes in the flight plan. Whistleblowers have been fired.
The book discusses these areas and provides tips on how to survive a plane crash. Some of the primary reasons for crashes are extending the hours that crew members must work, including travel time, the use of automatic and computer-driven operation without thoroughly instructing the crew what to do if the system doesn’t work, and improper maintenance. It focuses on several crashes and details what went wrong in each case.
SECONDS TO DISASTER points out that unless children are seated in approved car seats, like found in automobiles, they are more at risk than are adults. When the airline has the child ride in someone’s lap, that child serves as an airbag for the adult. Amazingly, some airlines will not permit passengers to bring on a safe car seat for the child’s use even though they are available.
The authors list several tips for consumers to watch for to help ensure safe flying. They include knowing which airlines to avoid, sitting within five rows of an exit, knowing how big the exit door is (the ones in the front and rear are larger and easier to exit), being prepared to quickly release the seat belt (pull, don’t push), and don’t try to take anything out with you such as packages in the overhead compartments. Unfortunately, the pilot’s mental state is not one of them and it’s nearly impossible to know if the pilot has mental issues which may lead to suicide by plane.
Chapter 1 was the worst chapter of the book It stated at least seven times that the plane was headed for disaster. The remainder of the book had a better presentation but people who are afraid of flying shouldn’t read it. For everyone else, it details the many pressures that airplane crews face which affect passengers in a somewhat simplified manner.
This book was a free Amazon download. ( )
  Judiex | Jun 30, 2015 |
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