Air India Express accident at Calicut was facilitated by the regulator, how?

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  Air India Airbus Landing at Port Blair (Source Dr Puneet) Blaming the pilots alone for an accident is like addressing the symptom rather than the root cause. The root cause of the Calicut accident of IX1344 on 7th Aug 2020 is the poor safety culture prevalent in India and the ineffective regulatory oversight. This landing(YouTube video) can be categorized as a deliberate attempt to endanger the lives of passengers and crew. This is not the Calicut landing but a landing at another critical airport where most of the year the airport experiences tailwinds. Since the airport has a unidirectional runway ( landing from one direction only), the flight crew has no option but to land in tailwinds. The situation worsens during the monsoons when there is a tailwind and the runway is wet and braking action reduces. Action has not been taken either by the regulator or by the airline safety. Why? What is the role of the regulator? The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is the regulatory

Does food taste different inflight, at 35000 feet? Here is why.

In-flight meal(Courtesy CC Commons)


 


Passengers in general love the in-flight meals. There may be a scientific reason behind the way in-flight meals taste. The humidity in the air at 30,000feet is less than 12% which is drier than that in the desert. The altitude of the cabin is equivalent to that at 8000feet even though the aircraft is flying high. This is possible due to pressurised air maintaining sufficient breathable air under pressure.

Under this combination of low pressure, dry air and high speed of the aircraft, the taste buds and sense of smell changes. The sensitivity of the tastebuds reduces by almost 30%.

The latest research shows that loud noise suppresses our ability to taste sweetness and saltiness, while other studies show that the background buzz in airplanes actually enhances the taste of umami (one of the five basic tastes).

A number of airlines offer tomato juice or bloody mary which contains umami rich tomatoes. Some food expert advise not to have Champagne even if the high end ones are available. An experiment by French Champagne producer Taittinger in 2010 showed that the aroma lessens with altitude and the bubbles stick to the sides of the glass instead of producing a steady stream of bubbles indicating a change in the quality of the Champagne.

Despite all this, it is the experience of being pampered at 30,000 feet with a meal that enriches the food taste.

P.S. Keep a check on the additional salt and sugar that you may end up adding to the already salty or sweet meal.



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