Eat The Rich: A Few Facts On Airline Safety From Discovery Scientists

We had a pair of scientists here answering questions about crashing a plane on purpose for Discovery's new show, Curiosity. It wasn't just about awesome explosions; we actually learned a few things about air safety.

We put together a few of our favorite responses, but we encourage you to read through the whole chat. It's awesome.


Matt Hardigree

Does being in First Class give you any sort of advantage in terms of survivability? Or is it actually worse for you?

Dr. Cindy Bir

In our crash, First Class actually fared the worst. We saw the highest chance of surviving in the back of the plane.



Is wearing a lap belt really going to make a difference in surviving a plane crash?


Dr. Thomas Barth

Yes it does. Not if the airplane falls out of the sky during cruise flight. But most crashes are survivable and occur in the take off or landing phases. In these accidents, it's important not to fly through the cabin.



Given the complexity of the experiment, what main factors could have interfered with your results?

Also, just how awesome was it doing this?

Dr. Cindy Bir

I think the main factor that limited us was the cost in terms of instrumenting the entire plane. We would have loved to place more crash test dummies, but it was cost-prohibitive.

It was a very surreal, amazing experience! We walked away with some great data that we hope to disseminate to the scientific community in the near future. Thanks to Discovery Channel for making sure we were able to get the data we wanted!


Seriously, go look through the full chat. The amount of science going on alone is worth a read.

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