Boeing 747 Survives Simulated Flight 253 Bomb Blast
05 MAR 2010 On December 25, 2009 a passenger on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253 attempted to detonate a small explosive device as the Airbus A330 was descending towards Detroit. The man was subdued and arrested after a safe landing.
What damage would have been caused had the bomb exploded? A BBC Two documentary (How safe are our Skies? Detroit Flight 253) wanted to answer that question.
A controlled experiment was carried out using the same amount of the explosive pentaerythritol (or PETN) allegedly carried by the passenger.
All conditions were replicated using a decommissioned Boeing 747 at Kemble, Gloucestershire, England. A video shows the explosion did not rupture the skin of the airplane. Two experts concluded that the quantity of explosive used was nowhere near enough needed to rupture the skin of a passenger plane.
The airplane used in the test was probably a 26-year old Boeing 747-267B(SF) registered N2868R. The airplane had been parked at Kemble as of August 2009 after 25 years of service for Cathay Pacific Airlines as VR-HIH and B-HIH.
(BBC) + Flight Safety Foundation
Martha Says~ Comforting news, I guess. I’m sure useful information for future underwear bombers and crackpots. BBC has now confirmed for all terrorists (and wannabe’s), that they need to be packing better, stronger, and more powerful explosives.
I’ll continue to be vigilant, follow instincts, and be even more focused on unusual underwear lumps, bumps, and bulges. As safety professionals, flight attendants are required to do “safety checks” whenever the seat belt sign is illuminated. You’ll see us walk through the cabin ensuring all passengers are safely buckled into their seats. The (inside) industry term for the practice is “groin scans”, or “crotch watch”.
I will now perform “groin scans” earlier, maybe even at Starbucks and airport gift shops. For sure in the gate areas, and especially during the boarding process. During boarding, I’ll position myself at the door, with my game face on. Just know that the latest new-fangled airport scanner technology has nothing over me. And who needs bomb sniffing dogs? I can sniff out unusual (and sometimes unsightly) bulges like there’s no tomorrow. I’m good, really good. I’ll be looking, scanning, and sniffing. You know, for safety.
Just know if you board one of my flights, and it looks like you’ve got a Butterball turkey stuffed in your pants, I’ll need to have a look. You know, for safety.