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Airplanes aren't safe for fat Americans?

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thundarr2000 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08/May/2012 at 18:23
Quote Decades-old safety standards mandate that airplanes seats be designed to accommodate an average passenger weight of 170 pounds about 25 pounds lighter than the people who are actually sitting in them. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the average weight of an American man is 194 pounds and average woman in 165. Yet, as The New York Times reports today, airplane seats have been remained essentially unchanged in size and strength for decades, leading some engineers to question whether they can actually protect a large passenger in the event of a crash.  The airlines themselves already assume that people riding in their airplanes are much heavier than the 170 pound standard, at least when it comes to calculating the weight of a full craft. Yet, those heavier passengers haven't gotten any extra protection if something actually goes wrong. With no new designs or safety laws on the horizon, we suppose the solution is lose weight or start taking the train.
What about the people that aren't overweight?  Are they at any greater risk?  Or are the tubbies just extra padding for them?
The last time I flew, I could barely get my knees in.  There was no leg room for me.  I guess I'm not surprised there's no belly room either.  I also thought most airlines charged the really big passengers 2 seats and required them to rent a belt extender. 
That last crack about trains annoys me.  For more than 20 years we've been trying to get passenger rail service in the region.  Plans were all drawn up to establish a new passenger route between Chicago and Omaha.  The federal government set aside a lot of money for the project.  But then the governor of Iowa blocked it.  So we can't even get 19th century mass transit service.
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