I saw a patient in the office today that recently retired from the aeronautics industry. We were musing over my latest trip that mimicked several he had taken as it related to his career, now ended.
We were able to laugh at a few of the questions and the subsequent conclusions that have been drawn by mankind over the relatively short history of flight. One such question was, “Where is the safest place to sit on an airplane?” When I have the option of choosing my seat, believe me, I want to know.
Some argue that any seat over the wings would provide an extra level of safety. Others speculate that it is the seats near the tail piece that afford the best chance of survival. We then spent a few moments studying the physics of flight including both concepts of lift and thrust.
We closed our conversation by examining the path flight that occurs when an airplane loses power and falls to the earth. It is apparently NOT a smooth glide home. In fact, the airplane drops like a rock (See Sir Isaac Newton). When you are traveling at 600 miles per hour and hit a mountain, or when your airplane loses power at 20,000 feet above the ground, it apparently doesn’t matter where you are sitting. At least that’s what we were finally able to conclude.