ATC Privatization Dead For Now
Key actions in the bill:
* Studying within 18 months of the minimum space between rows of airline seats required to assure the safety of passengers, including those with disabilities;
* Revival of the Concorde: The bill also orders the FAA to review its supersonic overland flight ban to certify if technology has advanced enough to change the rules;
* Allow pilot training to be counted toward the 1,500-hour minimum required of air carrier pilots.2
The next step is full Senate consideration. Other Congressional business, most notably health care, could push back the FAA bill past the August recess.
Account by a Passenger in an Emergency Evacuation Last week
Key information: It took 5 minutes to evacuate 60 passengers. The FAA requires all planes to be able to evacuate in 90 seconds with half exits inoperable. This story was told to the editor of Quartz media outlet
Things could have been sped up if everyone followed the instructions not to take anything with them.One of our fellow passengers noted that people all slowed down at the bottom of the stairs to the tarmac, turning around to look at the fire. In retrospect, I or someone else could have stood there to whisk them away from the plane and help speed the exit of those stuck behind.
* Social media leads people to do stupid things. A number of passengers lingered by the plane to take selfies with the burning engine in the background. They had no information that should have given them confidence that the plane wasn’t going to explode and shower them with fiery metal if they stuck around. Protip: forego selfies.
It can pay to fly first class. The highest-ticketed passengers got off well in advance of the rest of us, since they were closest to the front exit.
We all got off fine, so it didn’t matter in the end-but the first class passengers had the best chances in our burning plane. ( On the other hand, other studies have concluded that in the case of a plane crash, those can be the worst seats.)
* Panic sets in. There was a brief yelling match during the evacuation as passengers behind us-who had seen the fire closeup out their windows-started panicking and yelling at the people in front of us to speed up. One passenger in front turned around and yelled back that they were going as fast as they could.
Part of the disconnect seemed to be that the people in front of us in the plane didn’t realize it was on fire. Calm urgency is critical.