Thursday, March 17, 2011

Safety Equipment Quietly Removed From Airplanes (Including Oxygen Masks -- Seriously)

It is a change that affects every single airline that operates in the United States. The federal government has ordered safety equipment be removed from 6,000 commercial passenger planes, and the Federal Aviation Administration kept the decision to do it a secret.

It is officially called Air Worthiness Directive 2011-04-09, and unlike most air worthiness directives, the FAA delayed publishing its contents online. Local 2 Investigates previously obtained a copy of the document that orders airlines to remove the emergency oxygen generators from all lavatories."It's a risk you take when boarding an airplane. You should know. People can die," one airline industry veteran said on condition of anonymity.

The "retrofit" is already complete, and now in the rare event of aircraft rapid decompression, no air will flow through the oxygen masks in the lavatory." If you have a rapid decompression and you're in the bathroom, there's a good chance you won't survive it, and the rest of the airplane will," the airline industry source said.Rapid decompression, when all the air is suddenly sucked out of an airplane, is rare, but it does happen. (read more)