Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Airplane Window Imponderable

Poor Ann Romney.  First, she is asked to play political surrogate for her husband when the man has no specific policy details on anything.  Then, her plane fills with smoke due to an electrical fire and the plane is forced to make an emergency landing.  Not sure which is worse.  Thankfully, she is fine and no one was injured.

Governor Romney was relieved to know she was safe as well, and made this statement:

"I appreciate the fact that she is on the ground, safe and sound. And I don't think she knows just how worried some of us were," Romney said. "When you have a fire in an aircraft, there's no place to go, exactly, there's no -- and you can't find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don't open. I don't know why they don't do that. It's a real problem."

My degree is in Psychology, but I do know something about air pressure and high altitudes.  I can’t give you the science, but I do know that rolling down the windows in flight is generally frowned upon by the laws of nature.  How do I know this?  I’ve seen the effects of a midair opening of a cabin door in any number of movies.  For example, I remember vividly a portly man being sucked out of a window hole in a James Bond movie once.  In Airforce One, the good guys had to trick the bad guys into taking the plane down to 15,000 feet before jumping.  Otherwise “it would be suicide”, said the William H. Macy character.  Stuff like that has GOT to be true.

Now, in Mitt’s defense, I am confident that he was talking about installing child safety windows, the kind that don’t roll all the way down.  That is the height of safety.  While he did not specify, I am also certain that he would support a locking mechanism so kids couldn’t play with the windows up and down during an entire trans-Atlantic flight.  He’s a practical man we’re told.

This is not the first time that Romney has made questionable suggestions about ways to improve modern air travel.  He has clearly given the issue a lot of thought.  Here are his Top Ten recommended changes:

1.      Available roof rack privileges for family pets on overseas flights.
2.      Power all jet aircraft with matter-antimatter pods like the Starship Enterprise to reduce dependence on foreign oil.
3.      Start collecting federal income taxes with ticket purchases on the 47% of frequent fliers who are currently ‘moochers’ with a victim complex.
4.      Rename the coach section of all aircraft to the “Middle Class”.
5.      Install fine, Corinthian leather seats in the First Class cabins.
6.      Enlarge the overhead storage bins so that job creators are no longer is required to check their oversized wallets at the gate.
7.      Use drone technology to eliminate the need for pilots, thereby busting the union.
8.      Construct the entire plane out of the same material used to build the Black Box since that never seems to get destroyed in a crash.
9.      Allow early boarding privileges to all those passengers with seats on the Far Right of the plane.
10.  Empower TSA agents to inquire about citizenship status of any suspicious fliers.  ‘Suspicious’ is defined as having an accent or a union card.

And my favorite, as a bonus, was tweeted by Deborah N. Tornello (@litbrit):

“Passengers are given a voucher to purchase their own oxygen masks & life-vests.”

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