A judge calls it a ‘life-and-death safety concern.’ A government document shows there may not be enough room to brace for impact. Inside the potential dangers.
As airlines pack seats tighter than ever, the tests supposed to show that passengers can get out alive in a crash are woefully out of date. The FAA won’t make the results public, and a court warns there is “a plausible life-and-death safety concern.”
For years the airlines have been allowed to steadily shrink the size of coach class seats and the space between seat rows without regulators considering the impact of this on safety. A Daily Beast investigation has found:
• The tests carried out to ensure that all the passengers can safely exit a cabin in an emergency are dangerously outdated and do not reflect how densely packed coach class seating has become—or how the size of passengers has simultaneously increased;
• No coach class seat meets the Department of Transportation’s own standard for the space required to make a flight attendant’s seat safe in an emergency;
• Neither Boeing nor the Federal Aviation Administration will disclose the evacuation test data for the newest (and …