Monday, October 17, 2011

Buckles Chance of Survival

I love flying. I can't say I've always felt that way, nor that I enjoy flying in any aircraft smaller than a 777. But get me on something built in this century by either Boeing or Airbus, plop me in a business class seat and I'm a reasonably happy traveller.

The newest livery in the Singapore Airlines fleet is swish to say the least - the largest business seat in its class, the seat truly is wide enough for two of me - or indeed me and a close, thin friend. Alas, they expect me to occupy this seat on my own for the most part, so they've had to come up with a means to address the safety issues relating to having so much free air around me.

The solution takes the form of a seatbelt mounted airbag. Now I'm a fan of airbags in cars, though the stories of broken noses received from an ill timed deployment coupled with a poorly situated hand on the steering wheel are numerous. For the most part, I believe in their efficacy and indeed believe the stats regarding the number of lives saved since their inception. (Research sponsored no doubt by the airbag manufacturers themselves, but such is life.)

I must admit to being skeptical as to the likelihood of what looks like a large tea towel wrapped in a sumo suit saving me in the event of a fiery, abrupt landing - particularly after 34 seconds of whiplash, scream and pee inducing free fall from 37,000 ft. I can't quite envisage me jumping up from my seat, which is now several metres from the main wreckage, all the better for having been strapped to a pillow which inflates only upon impact.

But then again, I'm not 100% confident that, in the event of a successful water landing, the light and whistle on my life-vest are going to attract anything other than sharks.

Better just to sit back and order another glass of champagne. I remember reading somewhere that a significant portion of drunk people walk away from crashes as they don't tense up on impact. Yep, that'll save me.

Love, Me

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