Skip to comments.Questioning Safety of Heavy Passengers on Planes
Posted on 05/08/2012 10:18:55 AM PDT by Brandonmark
More than six decades ago, when the federal standards on the strength of airplane seats and seat belts were written, government regulations specified that seats be designed for a passenger weight of 170 pounds. But now the average American man weighs nearly 194 pounds and the average woman 165.
Now, some engineers and scientists have raised questions about whether airplane seats, tested with crash dummies that reflect the 170-pound rule, are strong enough to protect heavy travelers.
If a heavier person completely fills a seat, the seat is not likely to behave as intended during a crash, said Robert Salzar, the principal scientist at the Center for Applied Biomechanics at the University of Virginia. The energy absorption that is built into the aircraft seat is likely to be overwhelmed and the occupants will not be protected optimally.
Nor would the injury necessarily be confined to that passenger, Dr. Salzar said. If seats collapse or belts fail, he said, those seated nearby could be endangered from the unrestrained motion of the passenger.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
In the event of a crash, just what part of the aircraft will be 'behaving as intended', anyway?
Is this actually a worry? I mean, is it that they’re getting calls from crippled fatties, or is it a theoretical problem that only popped up when someone did the math on the 170-pound rule? Because, I’ll tell you, we have a lot of other things to worry about. How many people are affected by plane accidents, really? And how many plane accidents are hard enough to hurt you without killig you?
I swear, if they could figure how the victims of out of date safety rules, it’d be something like 13 people.
Notice the narrative in the media the last few days attacking ‘fatties’? Yep! Obamacare!
Rush is ALL OVER this, today!
I’m sorry, but I think “big boned” folks should pay more for airfare. Why not charge by the pound, like we do steak, or volume as we do for so many things?
I go about 5’7” and 150 pounds, a few years ago my bag was 52 pounds and I got nailed $50 or so for the 2 pound overage. I turned around to see the next passenger who was 6’5” and 300+, and I wondered how I got nailed for 2 pounds and my wife and I weighed less than that giant.
Does this mean that Michelle can’t fly commercial? How are they going to get back to Chicago in January?
The men in my family (and women) are extremely tall. The women are 6 ft. to 6’3 the men range from 6’2-6’7. Sure a 5 ft 10 gentleman is likely to look healthy at 170 lbs or less but a 6ft 7 gentleman looks like he just got out of a prison camp at less than 170. These people just lump everyone into a category and forget that everyone is not made in the image of government guidelines. I would venture to say that based on height and size Mrs. Obama surpasses the airline “safety” guidlines.
Here’s the narrative throughout:
Someone has gotten their ‘marching orders’.
If they are fat, they are a danger to themselves as well as other passengers and crew.
Do not let the overweight people on the plane.
By that logic, an AIDS victim who gets cut in a plane crash could endanger all of those in the vicinity.
But then, the BMI police don’t see things that way.
I figure...maybe a few airplane seats have saved a few people...somehow or another. But, I’d say it’s really not all that important.
I’m not sure what advantage/disadvantage weight makes when your falling from 30,000 feet.
I just realized something, This war on weight began as Chris Christie is considering the VP slot. Coincidence? I think not.
When the IDEAL weight for a man who is 6 foot is 180, shouldn’t the seats be designed to deal with more that 170 pounds?
Or should everyone be gaunt or short or shot?
And how many plane accidents are hard enough to hurt you without killig you?
The point is that we should not let people impair the safety of others. If a bank of three seats is rated for 510 lbs, then there should be appropriate limits and rules.
Note that increasing the weight “capacity” of the seats no only makes the aircraft heavier and thus flying more expensive, but it harms the safety of normal passengers, because the seats are designed to collapse controllably (like car structures) to absorb the energy of the crash.
Certainly, if someone is 250 pounds (50% over the limit) they should be paying a surcharge, and a seat should be left empty between two biggies.
If someone is much more than that (say, over 300) then they should have two seats (leave it to the airline how and whether to charge them.
Mind your own business Michelle obama.
Your 2 lb overage fee is to discourage people from packing heavy objects in baggage that has to be handled by many different people. You see the people at check in, the people who load the bags on the conveyor belt into the aircraft, but what about those people you don’t see? Those folk in the belly of the aircraft who have to stack the baggage in confined areas, the people who load the racks behind the ticket counter.
Although a lot is automated, it’s not all automated, and a lot of people will touch your luggage before you pick it up at your destination. The goal is to arrive at some ‘reasonable’ weight that allows you to pack, but doesn’t permanently harm the baggage handling personnel from the ticket gate, all the way to the baggage claim.
50 lbs was the weight the airlines decided on. And as a frequent flier, it’s pretty easy to manage this. All it takes is a bathroom scale, some 3rd grade arithmatic and a few minutes of your time.
Life would be a lot easier if everyone were blessed with your height/weight; but life isn’t fair.
The safety guidelines presume a butt that is less than two axe handles wide.