Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Airplane thoughts

So, when I drive to work everyday, I tend to listen to NPR podcasts on my iPod nano. I really enjoy doing that. My normal order of listening is to start with "7AM ET News summary" and then "Most emailed stories". That usually takes me to work, give or take.

Today on the news summary they had the story of the crashed Yemen plane. And I do not know why, but I started thinking about that it seems like the airplane seats and seat belts have not developed much in the last, what, 30 years or so. I guess 30 years ago many drove cars without seatbelts and childseats, well, they did not look like they did today, if you happened to have one. Not that it is a fair comparison, a plane and a car, but still. Remember that plane that crashed into the Hudson river? Well, there all, or almost all, were safe. Not to say that the rest of this blog entry would have necessarily saved anyone in a crash...

So, back to the thought... I am wondering why the airplane seats are not facing backwards instead of forwards. I have always thought that if one do get into a crashlanding, then it seems like a really bad idea to sit and have the next seat like 2 feet or less from your face. And let's face it, it's not like a plane will ever go backwards. So if the seats were facing backwards, one could have support on the whole back, neck and all, if one were unlucky enough to experience a mishap.

I can understand that some people needs to face forward when riding a train or bus, but in a plane, it is not much one sees out the window, so that should not be a big argument. And the planes should be good to go as the seats today are secured on some kind of rails. So it should not matter for the plane. The seats might need some modification I guess. Now, could someone working at Boeing, McDonnell Douglas, or Airbus, help me out here. Why would it be worse to sit and look backwards in a plane. I cannot think of any reason, can you?

1 comment:

ongr said...

Seats sit forward for passenger comfort, not for safety. People have hard enough time getting sick from the turbulence and thrust. You're right, it would be safer, but there would be more people yacking. In military planes there is less of this consideration and seats are often backwards, forwards, and sideways--whatever fits in the fuselage.