Monday, August 01, 2016

Physics and the Problem With No Name --Again?

BACKGROUND  (CANADA, 2007)



A similar incident had occurred earlier in August (same month) in the central Canadian province of Manitoba, where 12 people were injured.  Company spokesman John K. George said at the time he did not know why the balloon caught fire shortly after takeoff

Helpful Suggestions:
  • Weigh passengers and their carry on en masse
  • Comply with mfr. safety charts incorporating air temperatures versus total safe lift
  • Observe recommended safety margin of (least 50%)
RECENT REPEAT  (LOCKHART, Texas | July 30, 2016)

No survivors after hot air balloon catches fire, crashes in Texas 
Sixteen people were confirmed dead after a hot air balloon caught fire  ...According to FAA officials, "the hot air balloon crashed after striking a high-voltage power line in the area and catching fire".

Pilot died with all his passengers. What will be cited by FAA / NTSB authorities who appear to have ignored Canada's 2007 accidents, as an immediate cause?
  • Pilot error  
  • Overloading
  • Other (e.g. global warming: safety data outdated)
  • NTSB/FAA Bureaucratic paralysis 
Translation of "the hot air balloon crashed after striking a high-voltage power line in the area and catching fire":  The overloaded balloon could not rise quickly enough to avoid fatal contact with a nearby power line, which was only 40 to 50 above ground.

How many Helpful Suggestions were followed by Heart of Texas Hot Air Balloon Rides?  Here's a clue:
"It’s unknown whether the NTSB recommendations in an April 2014 letter to the FAA could have averted Saturday’s crash. But the incident is likely to spark debate over how balloon operators are regulated and what can be done to prevent accidents."  source
Really?  A huge, bureaucratic government that currently cannot decide which agency is accountable constantly tells its taxpayers why it must grow even bigger.  Bumbling, bureaucratic politics and unaccountabilty promotes fraud, waste, and abuse. Have not seen much of that lately, have we?

Submarines are always silent and strange.  Hot air balloons need not be.

 

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