Sunday, October 28, 2012

Are You Not Entertained? Are you NOT ENTERTAINED!?

There's a reason why the NFL is the Tyrannosaurus Rex of professional sports in America.

Put simply, there is nothing that compares as pure athletic spectacle.

Little known Colts RB Vick Ballard provided another vivid reminder of this fact Sunday. His impossible flying, twisting, launching effort at the magic orange pylon in overtime, was something that had to be seen, to be believed.

And seen, and seen, and seen again.

My first reaction was "holee sh**!"

My second reaction was: "Hey, didn't Denzel do that in the movie "Flight?"

I once angered hardcore baseball fans, by saying that if you've seen 12 basic baseball highlights, you've essentially seen them all.

Home runs, the $20 bill of baseball highlight currency, are reduced to nothing more than saying: "Wow, that went far."

Football, however, is endlessly splendid in highlight form. While a game may drone on for 3 hours with nothing to chew on but your fingernails, there's always that chance something truly shocking - magical, maybe - will suddenly unfold in front of your eyes.

In glorious 1080p high definition.

Hey, don't yell at me. The World Series, is well on it's way to a new record low in TV eyeballs, dipping below even the NBA Finals nadir of the Nets-Lakers annihilation.

Which brings me to something I've been wondering for a while now. That clip in "Flight" where the plane screams low overhead, UPSIDE DOWN? I mean, is that possible?

Says the interwebs... no, not really.... unless Denzel was just barrell rolling.
Commercial aircraft are definitely not designed to fly upside down and could not sustain flight.

Airplane wings have a specific shape - curved on the top and relatively flat on the bottom. Air flowing over the curved top of the wing has to travel faster than the air flowing across the relatively flat bottom of the wing because it has farther to go. This difference creates a low-pressure area (vacuum) on top of the wing, and this is where the majority of our lift is generated.

Flip the airplane over, and the lift is destroyed. While rollovers and very short times of inverted flight are possible, too long like that stresses the airframe and aircraft in ways it can't handle, and result in either structural failure, stalling, or simple complete loss of lift.
Okay, but like, um, has this ever actually HAPPENED to a passenger jet flight? Answer: (gulp), YES!

An All Nippon Airline pilot screwed up in the most stunning way possible, and nearly killed 100 people...
Here's what happened: the co-pilot mistook the rudder trim knob for the cockpit door lock switch so when he "opened the door" for his captain, he actually caused the jet to roll and drop 1,900 meters in 30 seconds. According to internal investigations, "the narrow-body aircraft continued to roll until it reached 131.7 degrees to the left, leaving it almost belly-up. Its nose pointed down as much as 35 degrees at one point."
In the movie, they get on Denzel's ass because he likes booze, coke, and waitress tail. Damn. Big deal. Some pilots can screw up when stone cold sober.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Dez, that's how it's done. There's no "bracing for impact" in the NFL...