A book to read regarding airplane safety - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 132 Old 04-22-2009, 12:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Black box: the air-crash detectives
the link is to the Google book version pages 66 and 67 which addresses the Sioux City crash where someone was told to put their baby on the floor.
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#2 of 132 Old 04-22-2009, 01:43 PM
 
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YES! That was the one that came to mind the worst when thinking these things over. I work in the aerospace industry, though not on aircraft. The safety rules are written in blood.

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#3 of 132 Old 04-22-2009, 02:55 PM
 
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The funny thing is that the FA wouldn't let me put my 30lb 20 mo in the seat belt for takeoff. We didn't buy a seat, but ended up with an extra. Unfortunately my dh had gate checked our carseats all the way through on accident, so we didn't get the seat in between flights. She said the seatbelt wouldn't hold him. Which I think is funny, because it would have held him better than my arms!

Personally, though, more babies IN CAR SEATS in CARS die every day then have on airplanes unrestrained or not in the last 10 years.

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#4 of 132 Old 04-22-2009, 04:44 PM
 
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The funny thing is that the FA wouldn't let me put my 30lb 20 mo in the seat belt for takeoff. We didn't buy a seat, but ended up with an extra. Unfortunately my dh had gate checked our carseats all the way through on accident, so we didn't get the seat in between flights. She said the seatbelt wouldn't hold him. Which I think is funny, because it would have held him better than my arms!

Personally, though, more babies IN CAR SEATS in CARS die every day then have on airplanes unrestrained or not in the last 10 years.
That's not a great argument. Just because something isn't likely to happen does not mean we should not do all we can do to protect ourselves from a danger.
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#5 of 132 Old 04-22-2009, 05:13 PM
 
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Yup, but when it comes down to not buying a seat for an infant or driving, safer to fly with a lap infant. Personally I don't have a problem with people choosing it. It's very safe overall.

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#6 of 132 Old 04-22-2009, 05:46 PM
 
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Did anyone see the recent article about a woman breaking her neck while experiencing severe turbulence while flying? She was thrown to the ceiling while in the bathroom. I honestly don't get why folks won't buy seats for their under 2's, when they will have to when they turn 2 anyway. I decided long ago I would always get my son his own seat with his car seat in it. Our next trip he will be without car seat while flying because of his age and size, and I wish it weren't so. He sleeps so much better in his car seat, as well as he can actually see out the window while in the car seat.
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#7 of 132 Old 04-22-2009, 11:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Did anyone see the recent article about a woman breaking her neck while experiencing severe turbulence while flying?
How is that relevant to whether in-arms children are safe on airplanes?

Actually, don't answer that, it'll get the thread locked and I want the link in the OP to stay available.

It's not as good as an actual study, but it is the only place I've seen someone mention a child's death that could've been prevented by using a car seat in an airplane.
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#8 of 132 Old 04-23-2009, 12:41 AM
 
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How is that relevant to whether in-arms children are safe on airplanes?
Hmm, you don't see the relevance in a woman unrestrained getting her neck broken during severe tubulence to an unrestrained lap baby who might also experience severe turbulence? I have said it many times before, if the flight attendants deem it necessary to restrain coffee pots during flight, why would my baby deserve anything less? Severe turbulence does happen, I have experienced it myself, and that's one reason why I purchased a seat to put my son's car seat in while flying. My child might not be killed, but certainly could experience an injury, or injure someone else during turbulence. Not to mention rough landings, etc.
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If a full grown adult can sustain injuries like that when unrestrained, I'd hate to see what could happen to a 10 (or 20, or 30) pound baby unrestrained (e.g. being held on a lap) in that situation.

What's crazy is that the NTSB, who investigate crashes and collect crash data, have been recommending that ALL children under two be restrained in a child restraint when on an airplane, but the FAA is loathe to implement their recommendation because they would lose money.

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#10 of 132 Old 04-23-2009, 01:51 AM
 
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Hmm, you don't see the relevance in a woman unrestrained getting her neck broken during severe tubulence to an unrestrained lap baby who might also experience severe turbulence? I have said it many times before, if the flight attendants deem it necessary to restrain coffee pots during flight, why would my baby deserve anything less? Severe turbulence does happen, I have experienced it myself, and that's one reason why I purchased a seat to put my son's car seat in while flying. My child might not be killed, but certainly could experience an injury, or injure someone else during turbulence. Not to mention rough landings, etc.
Yes, but I would assume it was sudden turbulence (without the seatbelt light on) since the woman was in the bathroom. In the case of no warning, who knows if infants would be in their seats or in arms, say nursing, at that same moment. Anyone not buckled in sudden onset turbulence is in danger, but they still allow you to get up during the flight and flight attendence to serve drinks because the risk is very low. Usually they know and can warn people.

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but the FAA is loathe to implement their recommendation because they would lose money.
No, they are loathe to REQUIRE it because they believe it will lead to more families driving rather than flying, and that will, statistically speaking, lead to many more infant deaths than would be "saved" by not having lap infants. As has been said before, a lap infant on a plane is safer than an infant in a carseat in a car.

Airlines could easily encourage car seat use by training attendants properly so they don't harrass parents bringing car seats, letting families preboard to install them, and most substantially, by making tickets for children under 2 lower cost. They were half-price when my brothers and I were little IIRC. The people who don't want to lose money here are the airlines themselves, not the FAA.

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#12 of 132 Old 04-23-2009, 02:21 AM
 
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Yes, but I would assume it was sudden turbulence (without the seatbelt light on) since the woman was in the bathroom. In the case of no warning, who knows if infants would be in their seats or in arms, say nursing, at that same moment. Anyone not buckled in sudden onset turbulence is in danger, but they still allow you to get up during the flight and flight attendence to serve drinks because the risk is very low. Usually they know and can warn people.
I agree. Sudden turbulence isn't a good argument for car seating infants on planes IMO. You could just as easily be in the bathroom with the baby changing a diaper if it was so unexpected, even for a baby who had a car seat sitting on the plane.

I was surprised, though, that a dad on the flight we were on yesterday had his 14 month old standing in the aisle literally as the plane landed. Still, I don't see that it would be my business to scold another adult in public!

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#13 of 132 Old 04-23-2009, 02:36 AM
 
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No, they are loathe to REQUIRE it because they believe it will lead to more families driving rather than flying, and that will, statistically speaking, lead to many more infant deaths than would be "saved" by not having lap infants. As has been said before, a lap infant on a plane is safer than an infant in a carseat in a car.
I don't get that argument at all. Parents have to buy a seat when their kid turns two, so they have to deal with the extra expense very soon anyway. So what are people going to do, refuse to buy a seat for a 1 year old and instead drive, but then when the kid turns two buy a seat and fly? Either people are going to drive or fly, I really don't think it will make a huge difference. Planes should implement a reduced fare, like some companies used to , since kids are lighter.

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I can't find it now, but the FAA did do studies on how many passengers said they would drive instead of fly if they had to buy a seat for infants, and if even 25% of them did drive instead of fly, that would increase deaths tremendously.

For an ideal solution, car seats and seats would be required, but they would be half price. Airlines would also offer FAA approved car seats for use on the plane. Fund it through car seat manufacturer donations or other charitable donations. You book the seat for an under 5 let's say, and you can mark if you'd like a RF car seat or a FF car seat. That eliminates the cost and the lugging car seats issues.

Of course, for an ideal situation, airlines also wouldn't increase the danger for everyone on the airplane by starting their inane and dangerous baggage fees. That's led to millions of people lugging heavy bags onto the planes and putting them over the heads of innocent passengers in order to save far less money than an extra seat.

The next page in that book linked above mentions how those bags kill and injure people by blocking exits and falling on people. Like the flight attendant there said "Luggage compartments are for bags. The cabin is for people." I've certainly seen hundreds upon hundreds of bags that should not be above my or my children's heads in baggage compartments that can fly open even without turbulence.

I watched an idiot on the plane this weekend pull his overstuffed bag out of the overhead so he could get painkiller. Meanwhile, he smacked the sleeping woman sitting under his bag in the head.

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#15 of 132 Old 04-23-2009, 03:07 AM
 
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That's crazy! If airlines are trying to reduce costs to themselves and conserve fuel, you'd think they would impose a reasonable weight for carry-on luggage as well (say, 20 pounds or so).

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#16 of 132 Old 04-23-2009, 03:09 AM
 
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Ah, but making a rule about baggage weight and actually enforcing it are two entirely different things, you see. They check when you check a bag in because there are scales there when you set your bag down. They don't have scales at the gate or on the plane or at security for that matter.

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ITA that planes should offer reduced fares for infants. The only one I know of that does is Southwest.

And yes, the baggage thing is a real issue. People are lugging tons on the planes and it's unbelievable what is allowed. How about weighing everything at check in and charging overweight fees for carryons. Then there could be an approved tag that goes on your carryon that security could visually see, or something like that. I personally think that charging for checked bags is discriminatory against families with small children, who usually cannot lug extra carryons through the airport and who usually can't pack just in carryons due to things their children require.

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Does anyone know what the current guidelines are for lap children in a crash? The Sioux city crash happened in 1989...

I agree that the carryon thing seems really ridiculous. They do have the boxes that your carryon is supposed to fit in, but no one EVER checks, IME!

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Yes, but I would assume it was sudden turbulence (without the seatbelt light on) since the woman was in the bathroom. In the case of no warning, who knows if infants would be in their seats or in arms, say nursing, at that same moment. Anyone not buckled in sudden onset turbulence is in danger, but they still allow you to get up during the flight and flight attendence to serve drinks because the risk is very low. Usually they know and can warn people.
The article I've read says that the fasten seat belt light was on. Now, whether it got turned on WHILE she was in the bathroom, or she got up to go ignoring the light, I do not know.

On one flight, a passenger ignored the light and stood up (not takeoff or landing), and a flight attendant told him that they were not liable for injuries sustained due to removing his seatbelt when the light was on.

Unfortunately, I've also flown, pregnant, when the crew did not turn off the light for something like an HOUR after takeoff... and we'd been waiting to take off for a while too. So even I've ignored the rule when I absolutely HAD to go.

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#20 of 132 Old 04-23-2009, 09:50 AM
 
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Kinda unrelated, but does anyone know why they have lap only belts on airplanes?
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#21 of 132 Old 04-23-2009, 09:52 AM
 
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On one flight, a passenger ignored the light and stood up (not takeoff or landing), and a flight attendant told him that they were not liable for injuries sustained due to removing his seatbelt when the light was on.
This would make me angry, because the damage might not only be to him/herself -- it could be to ME, a nearby passenger! I don't want his body flying into mine, breaking my neck. I would also not sit anywhere near an unrestrained child for the same reason, though I guess I might not have a choice. I would certainly try to move to a different area of the plane. It's not just about the parent and the baby, it's about other people into whom the projectile body could go flying. This is why I won't start my car until everyone is buckled in, and won't let anyone lean over my son's car seat to play with him...

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#22 of 132 Old 04-23-2009, 11:31 AM
 
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The article I've read says that the fasten seat belt light was on. Now, whether it got turned on WHILE she was in the bathroom, or she got up to go ignoring the light, I do not know.

She ignored the sign and got up anyway. My argument still stands, this woman broke her neck, a lap child could sustain serious injuries, as well as injure others. When my son was under 2 we got half price fares each time, though I had to ask by phone, you can't do in online. I also take issue with the whole drive instead of fly thing also, it's not like you can drive to all destinations, and when the kid turns 2 they have to buy them a seat anyway.

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#23 of 132 Old 04-23-2009, 11:47 AM
 
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Yes, they don't do half priced fares. We fly frequently and I have asked. It's something airlines stopped doing a while back, unfortunately. Since 2005 (when I had my first) I have never been able to get a discounted fare for my under 2 child. And this has been on Alaska, JetBlue, Continental, United, US Airways, American...

I think the reason they put the cutoff at 2 is because by that point most kids are getting too big to hold. Maybe the FAA figures it based on body weight or something like that. I personally wouldn't have a problem with them moving the age to 1.

And honestly, yes, now that we'll have to buy 4 seats we probably will fly less due to cost. It's more convenient to fly, and we like to travel, but we do have to take that expense into account. Just one of those things.

As for current guidelines for lap infants, in the event of a crash landing they want you to hold them in a cradle position. On one of our last flights, the FA was very thorough in going over guidelines with all parents with lap babies. And letting us know how to hold the child, that there were 4 air masks, etc. She was paranoid overall, reminding the whole cabin while we prepared to land that in case of a water landing there were life vests and rafts. Comforting, eh?

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Oh, and in the article it also mentions that there were a few injuries during descent as well.
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#25 of 132 Old 04-23-2009, 12:18 PM
 
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The thing that gets me is that the only accident where an infant in arms died that i have heard of was this one in 1986 i think, using a practice that is not longer in use (the infant in the floor thing), If there were any statistics supporting that infants are more at risk in a lap than in a carseat then go ahead by a seat but one death in 25 years isn't significant at all.

And I don't think they should do half price for infants they occupy a whole seat not half a seat.

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#26 of 132 Old 04-23-2009, 12:27 PM
 
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The thing that gets me is that the only accident where an infant in arms died that i have heard of was this one in 1986 i think, using a practice that is not longer in use (the infant in the floor thing), If there were any statistics supporting that infants are more at risk in a lap than in a carseat then go ahead by a seat but one death in 25 years isn't significant at all.

And I don't think they should do half price for infants they occupy a whole seat not half a seat.
However, they weigh far far less than an average size adult. They charge fees for overweight checked luggage supposedly because of the increase in fuel costs for hauling more weight. Infants, even in car seats, take up much less weight.

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#27 of 132 Old 04-23-2009, 12:56 PM
 
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If it's impossible to hold onto a child in your arms during a car crash, I assume the same holds true for an airplane crash or crash landing.
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#28 of 132 Old 04-23-2009, 01:24 PM
 
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If it's impossible to hold onto a child in your arms during a car crash, I assume the same holds true for an airplane crash or crash landing.
That's correct, the laws of physics still hold. An airplane takes off and lands somewhere above 100 mph. I believe the applicable equation is mass * velocity squared. Can you lift / hold 10000 lbs?

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#29 of 132 Old 04-23-2009, 02:34 PM
 
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That's correct, the laws of physics still hold. An airplane takes off and lands somewhere above 100 mph. I believe the applicable equation is mass * velocity squared. Can you lift / hold 10000 lbs?
Of course, do it everyday!
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#30 of 132 Old 04-23-2009, 03:48 PM
 
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The point is that there are no real statistics on how many lap children are injured during turbulence, rough landings or take-offs, or emergency landings. These occur much more often than crashes. We can talk number of children or people who die during these things, but the real issue is injury, not death. Obviously death is terrible, but really we are trying to avoid injury, including to other people. As for offering half price fares, of course they should, for the safety of the children. The FAA themselves tell passengers that children under 2 should be in CRS's, they just don't require it. The flight attendants have been lobbying for it for years as well. The NTSB would like to see it be a requirement. Why not take all of these people's advice, seems they would know a lot more than we do.
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