The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Technology to Prevent Fuel Tank Explosions:
Installed a Decade Too Late

Mar 1, 2004

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) says it hopes to propose a rule this fall requiring airlines to make changes to prevent fuel tank explosions like the one that caused the crash of TWA Flight 800 in 1996, killing 230 people.

The FAA congratulated itself on developing a new technology to prevent these explosions. Marion Blakey, FAA director, said, "Once planes are equipped with inerting technology, we can close the book on fuel tank explosions. It’s a major moment in the safety of aviation." The technology involves taking compressed air from the jet engines and separating out only the nitrogen, which is then pumped into the fuel tanks, lowering the oxygen level from 21% to 12%, so that a spark or flame won’t cause an explosion.

So is the FAA going to require this be put in planes right away? No, the rule will take effect only in 2006, and will be phased in over seven years. Almost a decade will pass before all planes are fit. The FAA itself estimates that a plane will crash due to such explosions every five years, so several hundred more people will likely die.

What is this but legalized murder carried out by the big airline companies, abetted by the government that claims to be insuring safety?