The Toronto Star reports on a plane crash in Bogota.
“A Boeing 737 jetliner carrying 131 people crashed in a thunderstorm and broke apart as it slid onto the runway . . . ”
“It was a miracle and we have to give thanks to God,” that only one person died, said Gov. Pedro Gallardo.
Ninety-nine passengers were taken to the Amor de Patria Hospital on San Andres, said the hospital director, Dr. Robert Sanchez. “It’s incredible. For the dimension (of the accident), there should be more,” he said.
Wrong, wrong and wrong, if we are to trust our own brains and other parts of the same news report.
The plane hit short of the runway and slid forward on its belly as the fuselage fractured and bits of landing gear and at least one engine were ripped off.
“When we fell, we wound up on the pavement still in the seats,” said Ramirez, who struggled to free himself and his wife from their safety belts.
The plane was close to the runway before control was lost.
A fall from a height, but not a great height by the sound of it.
Energy is the killer – human bodies have not evolved to deal with impacts above twenty miles an hour – if that, but here we find that the plan slid along the runway. That’s the best way I can think of for losing energy. Let me slide for five, ten miles, I don’t care, just use up the energy to grind away the fuselage on the earth’s surface.
The pilots seem to have been able to land the plane on its belly rather than nose- or tail-down.
Landing gear and an engine were ripped away. That takes energy. Good.
“… we wound up on the pavement still in the seats”, still strapped in, too.
Good. Seat belts save lives and also reduce injuries.
I daresay down the road a report will be released. I’m prepared to bet a good lunch at The Montreal Deli that the greatest portion of the seriously injured were Not wearing their seat belts, doing the usual unstrap-and-get-to-the-overhead-bin routine.
Seat belts keep you in place partially-surrounded by a metal-fabric device that absorbs some of the impact. Sorry, “that absorbs some of the energy”.
All in all I don’t see this as a miracle. I see it as a natural consequence of good design, good pilot training and experience, and proper use of seat belts.
In other words, it’s the outcome I would expect from such a situation.
It doesn’t need a God to do this, just adherence to sound rules on physics and mathematics, applied to design and application.
You’ll get the same result every time.
And it is not incredible.
It is absolutely credible.