Tracey and I jumped on the computer last night and noticed the picture of the plane in water with people standing on the wings. We thought, what the heck? We read the news article, realized what happen and checked out the news. Awesome stuff. Ditching a plane on water is tough, and usually unsuccessful as the plane tears apart from the speed and the force of hitting the water. The people on that plane were lucky to have a pilot and co-pilot with their skill.
I was then reading my blogs last night and stumbled on this post about Air Canada Jazz on Amber MacArthur’s blog. Long story short, Air Canada Jazz made the decision this summer to remove lifejackets from the planes to save weight, which in turn, saves fuel. I did a quick internet search and found this well detailed article about the lifejacket cuts from the Toronto Star. Basically, it goes on to explain that Transport Canada doesn’t require lifejackets just floating cushions on flights that don’t go further then 50 nautical miles from shore. Since Transport Canada doesn’t require lifejackets, then Air Canada Jazz won’t put them on the plane. But we have lots of water in Canada; if you are flying into Toronto, chances are you are circling over Lake Ontario at some point. Flying to St John’s or Victoria? Last time I checked, they were next to major bodies of water too.
Ok, so the seats float, but you have to be able to hold on to them. They also won’t put you upright in the water if you are unable to do so yourself like a lifejacket will. They were lucky they could stand on the plane for a bit as help arrived quickly. If they hadn’t been able to, in cold weather like yesterday, holding on to something in the water would be tough as your hands and body start to go numb from the cold water almost instantly. If you lost your cushion you might be able to swim for a few minutes before hypothermia set in (that water is cold this time of year). A life jacket properly worn will keep a person afloat and their nose and mouth in the air so they can breath even if the wearer is unconscious. We have lots of water in Canada too; if you are flying into Toronto, chances are you are circling over Lake Ontario. Flying to St John’s or Victoria? Last time I checked, they were next to major bodies of water too.
In times of corporate cost cutting, its easy to come up with many ways to save money. Some of them, aren’t always thought through properly. In the IT world, I’ve heard of places not renewing antivirus subscriptions, they’ll stop having their backups removed offsite, or they’ll l have a technician only come in once a week on a schedule to fix things. These things always look good on paper, but breakdowns don’t happen on a schedule or disaster like a fire can affect a site and make it no longer useable.
Anyways, in light of yesterday’s “Miracle on the Hudson”, don’t you think Air Canada needs to rethink the whole cushion works as good a life jacket thing?