AirIndia Express Co-Pilot's life & others lost probably to a failed emergency response plan

  The crash of the Boeing 777 on July 6th 2013, at San Francisco killed two and injured more than 180. The first police and fire personnel arrived at the crash scene in about two minutes, and local officials said brave rescue efforts and effective triage of the many wounded likely saved lives.  A stark contrast was the Air India Express IX1344 accident at Calicut airport where the aircraft plunged 35 meters killing 21 people including the pilots. The victims were transported to various hospitals in ambulances and private vehicles. While ambulances are equipped with life saving medical equipment, the Co-Pilot was rushed to a hospital 25km away an hours drive on the backseat of a private car thereby depriving him of the critical life saving equipment. While it was a helping gesture but who ever decided this inhumane treatment to the co-pilot did contribute to the sad demise of the young pilot. The airport emergency response plan which is mandatory and is rehearsed periodically failed mis

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.


Popular posts from this blog

Etihad incident at Calicut,June'19, highlighted airport infrastructure issues. This could have been the wakeup call!

IndiGo flight followed a similar flight pattern and landed safely before the ill-fated Air India Express crashed

Much defended, Kozhikode Runway RESA & Runway Strip do not meet ICAO standards