Re: SAA crash in the Indian Ocean

From:         ditka!sgiblab!uunet.UU.NET!sq!trigraph!briand (Brian Dickson)
Organization: Trigraph Inc.
Date:         07 Dec 93 11:39:16 PST
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In <airliners.1993.795@ohare.Chicago.COM> kls@ohare.Chicago.COM (Karl Swartz) writes:

>>(which doesn't make a whole lot of sense... how would the flight attendants
>>communicate with the pilots---anyone remember these things??)

>For simple communications they can just use the intercom, as they do
>often on all-passenger configurations.

>Such configs still do exist -- OAG shows both Air Canada and Alaska
>Airlines as having mixed-config 737-200s with the cargo area ahead of
>the passengers.

Having travelled on such a config, I can attest to its strangeness. I
watched them load the cargo from the lounge -- they have "pallets",
shaped like 1/2 the inside of the airliner, that get rolled in through
enourmous openings, which I assume are either cargo doors or removable
body sections. The cargo units apparently are designed to be locked
down, with a passageway left from cockpit to passenger area -- there is
a door in the forward "bulkhead" of the passenger section, and I believe
I saw it used (if memory serves.)

The passenger section in such a config is a surreal environment -- about
a dozen or so rows of seats, four (I think) cabin attendants, which
makes the pre-flight safety blurb much less formal -- there are few
enough passengers that it is possible for everyone to become acquainted
on even a short haul. Until it starts moving, it doesn't even feel like
a real airplane, more like one of those mockups you might see in a
museum, or a ride at Univeral Studios (except with shorter lines ;-).
If you're one of those people who like flying on just about everything
not made by Airbus ;-), its quite an unusual (even exciting, almost
scary) way to fly.
Brian Dickson
Trigraph, Inc.