Do Smoking Bans Endanger Airline Passengers?
04/04/2011 1 Comment
It’s all the non-smokers’ fault.
When a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737-300 suffered a five-foot gash in its fuselage April 1, causing an emergency landing and some shaken up passengers, no one thought to blame the lack of a smoking section on the aircraft for the accident.
You see, in the days of in-flight smoking, some of the smoke got sucked to the outside through any micro-cracks in the outer aluminum skin of the fuselage. These micro-cracks were early indicators of fatigue in the metal and warned maintenance crews that it was time to replace that section of the skin. All inspectors had to do was remove a portion of the aircraft’s headliner, and they were able to see the cracks by looking for nicotine stains that lined them. Smoking bans on flights deprived the inspectors of a traceable dye and made micro-cracks invisible.
It makes you wonder how many times second-hand smoke has saved the lives of airline passengers.