In the midst of grief and news about a plane crash like the one that happened to Sriwijaya Air SJ182, it is natural that people are afraid of flying. But there is no need to worry, because every mode of transportation is equipped with safety technology.
In addition, airplanes are the safest mode of transportation compared to other types of transportation. Quoted from the Aviation Tribune, 95.7% of airplane passengers are confirmed to be safe, so plane accidents are less frequent than other modes of transportation.
Air transport is responsible for billions of passengers each year, and it is imperative that airlines adhere to strict air safety standards. To encourage a safer flight, here are 5 main technologies in aviation safety.
1. Wing Frame
During takeoff, at cruising altitude, and making landings, the wings of the aircraft, especially the spars, are subjected to a lot of stress. The safety of each flight is very dependent on the condition of the aircraft wing.
Therefore, the development of an aerodynamic fuselage frame and reduce air pressure is very helpful. To keep the spars from being damaged, one of the techniques the flight crew uses is ultrasound.
The crew used it to check for early signs of failure through the skin of the fuselage. The wing spar problem can also be avoided through the use of resin-filled nano-structures that can patch cracks as soon as they are discovered through techniques such as ultrasound.
2. Weather Alerts
Bad weather can clearly affect all aspects of flights, as well as airport operations. This is the reason it is so important for pilots to have access to the latest weather data alerts at all times.
Weather alerts that include warnings for lightning in the clouds, wind shear, heavy rain and hail can prevent planes from taking off during unstable weather conditions and help the airport keep running smoothly.
In addition to weather alerts, the Low Level Wind Shear Alert System (LLWAS) also helps pilots determine whether it is safe to land, avoid micro-explosions and maintain a glide tilt ensuring a safe landing.
3. Ground Proximity Warning System
Another of the most important aircraft safety features is Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning Systems (EGPWS), also known as Terrain Awareness Warning Systems (TAWS).
Through sensory data, this system reduces the chance of an emergency landing or a fatal ground collision. In the 1990s, the EGPWS was upgraded to rely more heavily on the Global Positioning System (GPS) to provide pilots with a visual orientation of any location in the surrounding area.
4. Aircraft Wheel Bearings
Wheels and wheel bearings are other very important aircraft components that have a direct impact on safety. This component supports the entire load of the aircraft with a surface area of only a few square inches.
In addition, the wheels accelerate from zero to 2,000 rpm in less than a second of landing. To ensure a safe landing, safety features must not only meet standards but also be upgraded whenever a better and safer model becomes available. For example, the newest wheel bearings, made from a new ceramic formula, are better at resisting the changes in temperature and physical stress caused by landings.
5. Thermal / Acoustic Insulation
When planes crash, there are often many casualties related to the fires that occur. To minimize flight-related fatalities, aircraft use an insulating blanket covered with metalized polyethylene terephthalate with thermal or acoustic insulation. This new insulation technology not only meets fire propagation standards, but also effectively increases the aircraft’s resistance to external flames.