Re: Cabin Depressurization

Date:         06 Oct 97 02:14:24 
From:         GLenssen@t-online.de (Gerhard Lenssen)
Organization: Telekom Online Internet Gateway
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On 01 Oct 97 19:57:50 , don@news.daedalus.co.nz (Don Stokes) wrote:

>In article <airliners.1997.2358@ohare.Chicago.COM>,
>Ragamuffin <wdockery@mindspring.com> wrote:
>>Also, wouldn't cabin depressurization be a way that could be used
>>during a hijacking situation to render the hijackers unconcious?
>>The flight-deck crew would be on oxygen masks and could therefore
>>regain control.  Mind you the passengers would all become unconsious
>>also, but I'd rather have that happen to me than to have the plane
>>blow up or end up in some undesired location. -- just a thought...
>
>Several reasons that I can think of:
>
>- I don't think you can depressurise an aircraft quickly enough to
>  overcome someone by surprise, short of smashing a window.
>
>- The oxygen masks drop automatically.
>
>- It takes a couple of minutes to lose conciousness from anoxia, plenty
>  of time for the hijackers to realise what's going on, panic, and kill
>  someone (or everyone).
>
>- The risk of someone innocent dying as a result of anoxia on an already
>  frail system would be too high.

I may fully confirm this remarks. Long ago, during WW2 in the German
Luftwaffe, I had to make two times tests, under medical surveying,
suited with a mask, to breath in a mixture as it is in a height of
7500 m. This tests had the intention to become acknowledged with our
own bodies in case of oxygendelivery-failures.

During the tests we had to write the figures from 1000 downwards on a
paper, and we had to make an arrow, if we think our condition is so,
that the pilot had to dive immediatly in lower regions (under 4000 m)

Depending from the personal conditions, about 40 to 70 seconds after
the beginning of the test everyone lost any control. I remember, I
could worte until 980, but couldn't more find 979, but did repeat 982,
981, 980, and the scripture became more and more unreadable.
Finally the doctor switched to oxygen.

The danger of oxygen-loss is, that the personal feeling is
always very good, really euphoric, but fast ending in unconsciousness
and damaging the brain, with following death.
But we all have been convinced, the death by oxygen-shortness must be
a special agreable one. Only for the person, who is suffering it! For
the spectators it looks dramatically, the breath becomes deeper and
deeper, the face becomes blue and bluer, and on sees, the end is
coming. But nothing feels the one, who undergos the test.

Tschuess, Gerhard