Singapore Airlines plane dropped 178ft in five seconds

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Huxter

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https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/c9xx5pj095jo

"The Transport Safety Investigation Bureau's (TSIB) preliminary findings found rapid changes in gravitational force (G) and the altitude drop - a distance almost equivalent to the height of Italy's Leaning Tower of Pisa - likely injured those who were not wearing seatbelts."

"It said the flight operated as normal until it probably flew over an area of "developing convective activity" while passing over the south of Myanmar at 37,000ft (11,300m)."

"rapid changes in gravitational force (G)"? because of "developing convective activity"? WTH? Changes in Earth's gravity can cause this? Can someone please explain how the G changes that much over a few minutes?
 
I don't read that as 'earth's gravity changing'. Just the perceived G forces on the plane and passengers changed because of air temperature/pressure changes causing it to drop suddenly.
 
Sounds like they possibly flew into a downdraft caused by connective activity in the atmosphere and the plane was pushed down. Passengers would feel sudden negative Gs and anyone not belted in would rise out of the seat. Turbulence happens. It is wise to wear your seatbelt as much as possible when flying.
 
The journalists involved should have had better educations so they'd know the difference between saying that there was a momentary but somehow local change in the universal gravitational constant (G), and a plane dropping because of a gust or downburst.

What I want to know is whether the plane acceleration was straight down or at a slight angle like the tower. ;-)
 
I've been in a plane where that happened, though I don't know the exact numbers. But we dropped fast enough and far enough that everyone on the plane that was asleep all woke up, grabbed the back of the seat in front of them and yelled expletives before we stopped plummeting. Basically, a type of turbulence where the plane gets pushed down. Scared the crap out of many of us on that plane...
 
That's only about 2000' a minute. That is not extreme for aircraft but can be a little startling for the passengers. 😆 Especially if you weren't expecting it! Even in most light turbulence, the plane is not moving that much, it just "feels" like thousands of feet all at once.
 
The journalists involved should have had better educations so they'd know the difference between saying that there was a momentary but somehow local change in the universal gravitational constant (G), and a plane dropping because of a gust or downburst.

What I want to know is whether the plane acceleration was straight down or at a slight angle like the tower. ;-)
What is wrong with the text in the article? They're certainly not implying a 'local change in the universal gravitational constant' the way I read it.
 
I'm generally tired of people treating flying like it's taking the party bus to the casino. If you're ambling around the cabin because you're bored and the plane hits turbulence, you deserve to get injured. I fly with the belt on, because I'm fully aware that what's between me and -50c and very little O2 is a thin wall of recycled coke-cans and some plastic.
 
Not much.

That's just turbulence. It gets nasty. Airline passengers need a good slap to remind them, sometimes.
 
Why is it so difficult to use a seat belt?
I don't fly a lot. I usually sit down, buckle the belt, and don't unbuckle it until I'm ready to get off at the destination. More than once I've waited patiently for everyone in front of me to get off then when it's my turn I get ready to stand up and find out I'm still buckled in.
 
What is wrong with the text in the article? They're certainly not implying a 'local change in the universal gravitational constant' the way I read it.
What's wrong is that there were NO changes in gravitation*. There was some vertical acceleration involved, but that's not the same thing. At least if you have an outside reference. If you woke up from being sedated and kidnapped, welded inside an elevator, you might not be able to tell whether your elevator was doing up steadily on Earth or was wildly accelerating on Mars or almost free falling on Jupiter.
Furthermore, capital G generally refers to the universal gravitational constant. The gravitational attraction between two objects, at least in Newtonian physics. can be calculated by Gm1m2/r^2 .
I admit that Newtonian physics is only an approximation, but it's very close if you're looking at the behavior of relatively large objects well outside of the orbit of Mercury. Atoms and smaller particles, electromagnetic radiation, or anything in the neighborhood of very large masses are different stories.
I think articles and headlines like the ones at the beginning of this discussion contribute to people's lack of understanding of science.
I'm generally tired of people treating flying like it's taking the party bus to the casino. If you're ambling around the cabin because you're bored and the plane hits turbulence, you deserve to get injured. I fly with the belt on, because I'm fully aware that what's between me and -50c and very little O2 is a thin wall of recycled coke-cans and some plastic.
I think "deserve to get injured" is a bit much. If someone didn't know anything about airplanes and was distracted during the safety talk, and saw how poorly everyone else was paying attention, I wouldn't be quick to assign blame. I suppose one might argue that the airline should have CORRECT summaries of a few stories like the one that started this discussion slipped in the seatbacks for passengers to look at. But it wouldn't be great for business or for nervous fliers. In any case, I prefer to have my seat belt fastened when the plane is moving unless I'm going to the head**.
Thank you all for the answers. I just read it wrong then.
You didn't read it wrong. It was written wrong.

----------
*Ok, ok. I suppose you could say it was possible that space aliens were doing reckless experiments with a massive black hole in the vicinity, but that's not the way to bet. If that's what really happened, though, let's hope they don't accidentally drop the black hole into the Earth while they're here.

**Or whatever the aeronautical equivalent of that nautical word is.
 
What's wrong is that there were NO changes in gravitation*. There was some vertical acceleration involved, but that's not the same thing. At least if you have an outside reference. If you woke up from being sedated and kidnapped, welded inside an elevator, you might not be able to tell whether your elevator was doing up steadily on Earth or was wildly accelerating on Mars or almost free falling on Jupiter.
Furthermore, capital G generally refers to the universal gravitational constant. The gravitational attraction between two objects, at least in Newtonian physics. can be calculated by Gm1m2/r^2 .
I admit that Newtonian physics is only an approximation, but it's very close if you're looking at the behavior of relatively large objects well outside of the orbit of Mercury. Atoms and smaller particles, electromagnetic radiation, or anything in the neighborhood of very large masses are different stories.
I think articles and headlines like the ones at the beginning of this discussion contribute to people's lack of understanding of science.
You're fighting incredibly hard to turn this into something that it simply isn't.
 
Yes there is.

Most all decisions have a cost-benefit ratio to consider (monetary or non-monetary).

Nope. More seat belts are always better. Air bags, too. Especially the exploding Takata kind. And helmets. And knee and elbow pads. And teeth guards. And hearing protection. And asbestos and nomex suits. And a shark cage. Nothing spared in the pursuit of safety!
 
Nope. More seat belts are always better. Air bags, too. Especially the exploding Takata kind. And helmets. And knee and elbow pads. And teeth guards. And hearing protection. And asbestos and nomex suits. And a shark cage. Nothing spared in the pursuit of safety!
Not always true. At my boss's request I lifted 10' high compliance microwave dish, with a guy tied to the bottom of the dish, up a tower to about 100' with the winch on my work truck. About a month later I broke the same winch cable trying to extract myself from a snow drift. The thought of what could have happened gives me the shivers all these years later. That cable made a terrible hissing sound as it separated. I was/am glad that I was not standing in the "kill zone" of the cable.
 
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Nope. More seat belts are always better. Air bags, too.
Watch the first 20 Minutes of "Fight Club". Edward Norton's character explains perfectly that if the cost of the lawsuits is predicted to be less than the cost of a recall, the defective component is not replaced.
 
Watch the first 20 Minutes of "Fight Club". Edward Norton's character explains perfectly that if the cost of the lawsuits is predicted to be less than the cost of a recall, the defective component is not replaced.
Straight out of the mouth of the Ford executive, who testified that they saved $0.05 on each car, at the cost of exploding Pintos.
 
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