When Smart Politicians Say Boneheaded Things
I've never followed politics much and Mitt Romney just gave me another reason as to why I probably still won't. Of course we're all prone to say stupid stuff, but few of us have a platform with which to sound off and too bad for Mitt that he let a comment fly that caused pilots and aviation enthusiasts everywhere to raise an eyebrow, or both. Read on:
After his wife's plane was forced to make an emergency landing this weekend, Romney told the Los Angeles Times, he was worried for her safety. The candidate then continued on a bizarre tangent that showed just how little the Republican nominee understands about flight... Romney said the biggest problem in a distressed aircraft is that "the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem. So it’s very dangerous."
This well-intentioned but misguided question from the presidential hopeful can be answered as easy as 1+1=2 and as you'll see, an open window is far more dangerous than Mr. Romney realizes. Unlike Mitt, I know a thing or two about aviation and would be delighted to use my platform to sound off on why this isn't the brightest of ideas.
You see, as you climb higher into the atmosphere (especially at altitudes of 10,000 feet and above) oxygen becomes more and more scarce until it disappears altogether making it impossible to breathe at higher altitudes. Airplane cabins are pressurized which means they can simulate a lower atmosphere say at 3,000 feet when they are actually flying at 30,000 feet. If you were to "roll down" a window at that elevation, the airplane would decompress (all of the oxygen would be sucked out) and render the crew unconscious and the airplane difficult to control or worse, to break apart in flight. Not to mention that when you're flying that high, the temperature also drops quite rapidly too, so add frostbite to the list of minor annoyances you would encounter should you desire to "get some air".
While this well-intentioned Republican's comment in no way impairs his ability to run the country and he was just trying to take the edge off of his wife's ordeal, I just figured with as much flying as he does on the campaign trail that he might decide to familiarize himself with his vehicle of choice before trusting his life to it or speaking out loud about something he knows obviously very little about. God forbid the windows actually did have a roll down option because Obama would end up being a shew-in by default as the only candidate in the running!
Here are a couple of other hap-hazard comments that high-profile politicians have passed off as knowledge, one of which is from none other than Mitt Romney's incumbent buddy in office. You be the judge as to the context but it just goes to show you how human these guys are even thought they would rather us believe otherwise. Gosh, who to vote for? Well, following voting day I'll likely watch the whole thing unfold from the comfort of my pilot's seat... Windows rolled up of course!