Are planes safe for overweight passengers?

Discussion in 'Travel Security' started by rwoman, May 9, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    NYT: Are planes safe for overweight passengers?

    I know weight can be a sensitive issue, but can it affect the safety of the passenger and others?

     
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  2. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    I think this could go either way depending on the situation.
    This would be also true of small adults and children.
     
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  3. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    not to mention getting out in a crash situation if the "large" person is blocking the egress:oops:
     
  4. NYCAdventurer

    NYCAdventurer Gold Member

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    If they purchase 2 seats or FC then yes
     
  5. Valentine

    Valentine Silver Member

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    Posted the same link here myself. Less response than this thread though! A mod might want to merge if possible.
     
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  6. mhnadel
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    mhnadel Silver Member

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    I'd be very surprised if 170 pounds were actually the standard used. The mean weight of American men is 191 pounds and of American women is 163 pounds. A typical human factors standard is to design for the 5th to 95th percentile population, i.e. 3 standard deviations from the mean. I don't know what the standard deviations are for weights, but even the mean is above that 170 pounds.
     
  7. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    But was 191 lbs the mean weight when the standard was created?
     
  8. mhnadel
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    mhnadel Silver Member

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    Rereading the article, the 170 pounds was the number used as the mean when the seats were designed. But that does not mean that the seats were designed only to be safe for people who weigh 170 pounds or under. Engineering design is full of safety margins and my guess is that those margins were even more conservative 60 years ago than they are now.

    This is also not really an issue about overweight people. All of us know big (tall and muscular) people who exceed those weights and could not even be remotely considered overweight.
     
  9. FlyingBear
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    FlyingBear Silver Member

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    This is interesting timing for the article, as there was another one on obese people suffering more in car crashes. That's one hell of an issue to address, as physics of a heavier body can be negated only to a certain level. There's only so much room for creating anything that can absorb increased energy that goes together with a heaver person. Be it obese or full of muscle.

    All this calculation is quite amusing. When was the last time you looked at the elevator ratings? In 1960s, the numbers were 166 and 140. How often do standards get updated?

    I'd argue the opposite. Evidence: less planes fall out of the sky now than before :)
     
  10. USAF_Pride
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    USAF_Pride Gold Member

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    From the Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
    I don't want to get all "engineer" on you, but it isn't as simple as 170# * 1.33
     
  11. FlyingBear
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    FlyingBear Silver Member

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    I would hope so, that point is in regards to the inertia forces and not the weight. Weight standard remains 170 lbs.
     

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