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Thread: Safety Mindset

  1. #1

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    Safety Mindset

    Ive been thinking about a long topic on safety, but Im short of time so will try to hit the main points. Safety starts with a philosophy, and if a vehicle is moving danger is always there, boat, car, plane, cycle, etc. What design things or operational things put safety as prime? And what is the wrong way to think of it.
    One of the great historic tragedy is the sinking of the Titanic, when the magnificent new Cunard liner hit an iceberg and 1550 people were lost. I had a classmate who had relatives on it, if you see the movie the older couple the Srauses whose wife will not leave her husband are them. With the sea being calm and the damage just barely critical they sank in 2 hours. They had left port with only 1/3 of the lifeboats needed. Why? I call this the Titanic Theory, that means, no worry, what could possibly go wrong? You can be when the Andrea Doria sank about '58 they had plenty of lifeboats for everyone, My school had a teacher who had a room on it. Ships also paid attention to wirless for pireps on dangere and have radar now etc.
    How about cars, by far the way most people are lost these days? There is one simple thing you can do in a car to double survival in an accident, WEAR SEAT BELT/SHOULDER HARNESS. So simple ,so effective, still ignored. We just had two acidents here, family of 7 in an SUV on the hwy hit a bear, all ejected from the car, 3 fatal , 4 serious injuries. No one using seat belts, after all what could go wrong, how often do you hit a bear? Another SUV slides off the tricky mountain road over Independence Pass, lands upside down, severe damage but the couple had belts on and uninjured. That brings us to planes, most people wear belts, but I know of two cases personally where a friend was lost after not having them on, And a recent airline hitting severe turbulence with dozens of serious injuries with passengers who were not buckled in, After all what could go wrong? Two other big factors in private planes, always have enough fuel and reserves. and caution about low altitude acro where Ive lost many good friends.Tecnoogy like the Cirrus is another factor, not going to cover that now. If you are riding a bike you are lilely to fall and a helmet can save you. Im going to ride a motorcycle today and you bet Im going borrow my SonS race helmet.
    And there is no music in this post but it is about airplanes as well as broader safety.

  2. #2
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    They had left port with only 1/3 of the lifeboats needed. Why?
    That's pretty well known: They complied with government standards and no further. The government required lifeboats for only a fraction of the ship's occupants, and to save money, White Star only installed that many.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    I call this the Titanic Theory, that means, no worry, what could possibly go wrong? You can be when the Andrea Doria sank about '58 they had plenty of lifeboats for everyone, My school had a teacher who had a room on it. Ships also paid attention to wirless for pireps on dangere and have radar now etc.
    The Andrea Doria had enough lifeboats, because the loss of the Titanic showed how it was necessary. After the Titanic disaster, government regulators mandated that enough lifeboats be carried to accommodate all the passengers and crew. There were also new requirements regarding manning of the wireless stations aboard ships, and other safety-related changes.

    It's not that the RMS Titanic disaster suddenly highlighted how people on ships were in danger; the difference was the high number of casualties among the British upper classes. HMS Birkenhead, a troop transport, sank in 1852 and over 400 people drowned due to lack of enough lifeboats. But, of course, these were mostly common sailors and common soldiers...no one of importance, as far as the British government was concerned. The soldiers aboard actually fell into formation and STAYED THERE, to leave the boats free for the women and children. Few soldiers survived. Kipling even wrote a poem about it..."To stand and be still, to the Birkenhead Drill, is a damn tough bullet to chew...."

    It's a pity that "women and children first" tradition wasn't followed in the Titanic disaster. More men in first class were saved than women in third class. Geofrey Marcus' "The Maiden Voyage" is a good book on the Titanic.

    In any case, it took the deaths of hundreds of upper-crust Britons and Americans for the regulating agencies to finally require ships had enough lifeboats for everyone. The two other ships of the Titanic's class were modified to carry more lifeboats. When HMHS Britannic was torpedoed in 1916, it went down in a quarter of the time its sister ship took. Only 30 people died (many of them in the explosion of the torpedo), partly because the sinking happened in much warmer water, but greatly because the Britannic had enough lifeboats for everybody.

    The lessons of the Titanic and other nautical disasters have their echos in aviation. Aviation regulations ARE written in blood. Most of the FARs are in place because of some accident in the distant past. Harriet Quimby's death way back in 1912 probably helped lead to the requirement that pilots wear seat belts. Studies of accidents led to the required addition of shoulder harnesses to new aircraft in the 70's. Closed box spars were banned for commercial aircraft after Knute Rockne's death. And we're all aware how the Colgan crash affected the requirements for ATPs.

    Frank Borman addressed it best: When asked what the root cause of the Apollo 1 fire was, he called it a "Failure of imagination." Someone, somewhere, has to visualize that the failure COULD occur, and convince those in control that it MIGHT occur. Apollo 1 was an example of that, as was the Titanic, as was the Space Shuttles Columbia and Challenger, and many of the horrific events that have happened in the past 20 years.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    And there is no music in this post but it is about airplanes as well as broader safety.
    Careful, or I'm gonna start singing sea chanteys..... :-)

    Ron "Weeeeee'll man the good capstan, and run 'er around, AWAAAAAAY....RYE-OH!" Wanttaja
    Last edited by rwanttaja; 10-07-2017 at 12:16 PM.

  3. #3
    FlyingRon's Avatar
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    We'll haul up the anchor to this jolly sound, and we're bound for the Rye-eye-oh Grand!

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