In the aftermath of 9-11 and the aircraft hijackings, the FAA issues some directives concerning aircraft structure and modifications to make similar hijackings more difficult. One of these changes was strengthening the cockpit door. Before 9-11, the door, if it existed, was of light aluminum. It was for crew privacy more than anything else. Afterwards the door was strengthened to prevent someone from simply kicking it open.
I had a thought about that door at the time. What would happen if it got stuck? Well, that’s now happened.
January 29, 2015 4:37 PM
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Delta Air Lines flight traveling from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Las Vegas has landed safely at its destination after the pilot was unable to reenter the cockpit, according to the airline.
According to a statement from Delta, prior to the plane’s final approach the captain was not able to enter the flight deck due to a door jam. The First Officer, or co-pilot, was able to then take control and land the aircraft safely without incident.
“A commercial aircraft can be landed with one pilot at the control and Delta pilots are fully trained to do so if the situation were to occur,” Delta said.
The door will be evaluated by Delta maintenance technicians.
Frankly, I’m surprised something like this hasn’t happened before. It may have on a non-passenger or cargo flight where it would have received much less notice. The problem with strengthening the door, making it more rigid, is that airplanes aren’t rigid. They flex.
On the tarmac, the wings and fuselage droop. The wings droop more with filled with fuel. In flight, the wings rise. If you look out the window in flight you can actually see the wings curve upward. The aircraft body, in flight and on the ground flexes in numerous ways.
When a plane is in flight, fuel is burned, air density changes with altitude and weather. The forces and stress on the aircraft changes and the aircraft flexes. People moving around inside changes the weight and balance of the aircraft. Sometimes cargo shifts slightly. All these changes could cause the new, stronger, cockpit door to get pinched in it’s frame. If the pilot has to visit the head (the restroom for you non-military folks), a sudden change of those stresses and forces could cause the cockpit door to bind behind the pilot…locking the pilot out and locking the copilot in.
The copilot is often as fully experienced as the pilot, only lacking flight hours and time in service to be bumped to pilot. In this circumstance, pity the poor copilot. The pilot is locked out, he’s locked in, and both have been swilling coffee for hours!
Breaking news! Mitt Romney won’t run for Prez in 2016. Whoop! I also heard all his moneymen slithered off to back Jeb Bush. Other close advisors say Romney will support some new, unannounced candidate. Hope it’s not another RINO like Lindsay Grahamnesty.
Ref yesterday’s post about the FCC. The FCC issued new regulations concerning internet speed. It actually does nothing except when it comes to reports concerning the number of people with access to “high-speed broadband internet.” When the facts don’t support the FCC’s agenda, change the labels to change the numbers to support the agenda!
New benchmark means 55 million Americans currently lack broadband access after chairman derides internet companies’ advertisement claims
The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday changed the definition of broadband to increase the threshold speed – a move that has already angered cable companies.
In a 3-2 vote, the commission approved a measure that increases the minimum standard for broadband speed, giving the agency more power to force internet service providers to improve their service.
The definition of broadband is set to be raised from 4 megabits per second (Mbps) to 25Mbps for downloads and 1Mbps to 3Mbps for uploads.
With that speed as the benchmark, significantly fewer Americans have access to high-speed broadband. Under the previous definition, 19 million Americans were without access; the new definition means that 55 million Americans – 17% of the population – now do not have access to high-speed broadband, according to the FCC’s 2015 Broadband Progress Report, which is in the final editing process but was cited at the hearing.
Under the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the FCC is responsible for ensuring that broadband “is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion”.
The FCC chairman, Tom Wheeler, had repeatedly expressed support for the proposal ahead of the vote. In his remarks at the vote meeting, he was critical of telecommunications companies including Verizon, Comcast and AT&T. He said these companies’ statements to the commission differ wildly from what they tell consumers – part of his testimony included an incredulous reading of advertisements promoting the company’s seemingly fast broadband speeds.
“Our challenge is not to hide behind self-serving lobbying statements, but to recognize reality,” said Wheeler. “And our challenge is to help make that reality available to all.”
The cable industry’s largest lobby group, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), said in a statement that changing the definition is an attempt by the FCC to expand its ability to regulate industry:
“While cable network internet speeds already meet and exceed the FCC’s new broadband description, we are troubled that the Commission majority has arbitrarily chosen a definition of broadband in its Section 706 report that ignores how millions of consumers currently access the Internet. Instead of an accurate assessment of America’s broadband marketplace and the needs and uses of consumers, the FCC action is industrial policy that is not faithful to Congress’s direction in Section 706 to assess the market, but a clear effort to justify and expand the bounds of the FCC’s own authority.”
US broadband speeds clock in as the 25th fastest in the world, according to analyst Ookla’s Net Index. Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan top the list. Countries including Finland, France and the Netherlands boast of higher speeds than the US.
In reality, this change affects those broadband providers that use DSL technology instead of the faster cable based methods used by Comcast, Time-Warner, and others. Telecommunication carriers like AT&T use DSL taking advantage of their embedded facilities, often 2-wire telephone cables to individual homes. The internet speed of DSL is less the further the home is from the carrier’s local central office or remote signal amplifiers.
If you read the comments by FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn who voted for the change, you’ll understand this is nothing more than political maneuvering to acquire more federal power over providers.
“What is crystal clear to me is that the broadband speeds of yesterday are woefully inadequate today and beyond,” said Clyburn. — The UK Guardian.
FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, who opposed the change said this:
O’Rielly said he supports expanding broadband access but that the report relies on “intentionally flawed analysis”. He said that increasing the definition does not resolve broadband access because it does not include a plan to promote deployment in the areas lacking it.
“Selecting an artificially high standard and applying it in a way that is impossible to meet in order to reach all Americans certainly in the near term makes a mockery of a process that was supposed to provide an honest assessment of broadband deployment in the United States.” — The UK Guardian.
This is, in part, reminiscent of the Broadband fiasco here in Cass County—a federal solution is search of an issue. Millions wasted nation-wide on an agenda what couldn’t be supported by fact. There are methods to acquire broadband internet access where cable and DSL does not exist. Yes, it may be more expensive but it exists. The fallacy of government is to use taxpayer money to subsidize those few users.
Every day another federal agency sticks its foot into the political arena supporting some liberal agenda. And every day, I make another federal agency that has proved its worthlessness. The FCC is near the top of my list.