Category Archives: Safety and Security

A kind of groin check

A full body scan is optional for all passengers. This is what the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) tells us on its web site. Thus, passengers who wish to avoid exposure to radiation or naked pictures may opt for alternative screening, including a metal detector and physical pat-down. Well, theoretically at least. What may happen in reality highly depends on TSA agents’ behavior as John Tyner, a San Diego software programmer, found out at San Diego International Airport/Lindbergh Field on November 13, 2010. A TSA officer directs him toward the full-body scanner in the security line. If Tyner says...
Read more

Safety dancing

Many travelers consider the safety instructions that flight attendants give before departure quite boring. Right or wrong, the instructions do not need to be boring. Cebu Pacific Air, a low-cost airline in the Philippines, has its own way to draw passengers' attention to the safety instructions. If you are a male watch this video. If you are a female watch this video.The question is, however, whether passengers pay more attention to the flight attendants or to the safety instructions....
Read more

Economic aspects of terrorism

“Understanding the economic aspects of terrorism can help to prevent or to mitigate terrorism”, writes Michael D. Intriligator in the January 2010 issue of Economic Inquiry. A professor emeritus of the University of California at Los Angeles and a former president of the Western Economic Association International, Intriligator presents important conclusions: - The Bush administration made the classic mistake of generals fighting the last war as opposed to the current war by concentrating too much on airports and airplanes and by creating an ineffectual bureaucracy in US Department of Homeland (DHS).   - DHS...
Read more

Is flying still safe?

An Air France flight has gone down into the Atlantic Ocean on its way from Brazil to France. It had 228 people on board, 216 passengers and 12 crew members. An electrical storm may have been to blame for the disaster although this would be extraordinarily exceptional. Lightning usually stays on the outside. Pilots and passengers should not experience anything more than a bright flash and loud noise. But if lightning finds a way into an airplane, it can destroy electronics and ignite fuel. Watch the video of a lightning striking a Qantas plane. Do we need to...
Read more

Bizarre plane accidents

A British pilot observed that the engine of his World War II-era Tiger Moth stalled just after takeoff southwest of London. Therefore, he made an emergency landing. However, when he was about to touch down in a field a cow wandered into his way. Watch the cow being knocked to the ground and watch other (near) accidents. The two-seater was damaged, but landed safely. Although the cow was hit by the plane's lower left wing (watch the video), she was reportedly uninjured. A tragic incident occurred in Australia, also with a Tiger Moth. Both the pilot and his female assistant died....
Read more