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Transportation Technology

Crushable Runway Technology Saved Mike Pence's Plane (cnn.com) 106

Mike Pence, Donald Trump's running mate said Friday he is "fine" following his plane skidding off the runway at LaGuardia Airport on Thursday night, adding there were about 10 seconds of "uncertainty." The Indiana governor said, "It was about 10 seconds of uncertainty last night, but we're just so grateful to the pilots and to the first responders on the scene and (that) everybody came off the plane safely." From a CNN report: The press pool in the back of the aircraft, a Boeing 737-700 chartered from Eastern Airlines that was painted with the campaign's logo, could also feel the plane fishtailing as it touched down and slid off the runway before coming to a very sharp halt in the grass off the side of the runway. Once the plane came to a full stop, the Indiana governor walked to the back of the plane to check on the press. As everyone on board deplaned, Pence could be seen speaking with emergency responders. Donald Trump said, I just spoke to our future vice president, and he's OK. Do you know he was in a big accident with the plane?" A report on Business Insider explains how "crushable runway technology" saved Pence's plane: The positive resolution to a potentially disastrous event can be attributed to the Engineered Material Arresting System located at the end of the runway. The system is designed to prevent a runaway airplane from careening into the roads, buildings, and bodies of water commonly found near many airports. EMAS is made up of massive blocks of material designed to collapse as the wheels of an airplane roll over it, sinking the plane into the runway and bringing it to a safe and gradual stop. The system is designed to be able to stop aircraft traveling at speeds up to 80 mph. The Federal Aviation Administration began studying the technology in the early 1990s in conjunction with the University of Dayton, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the company Zodiac Arresting Systems in New Jersey. According to the FAA, more than 60 US airports -- including JFK and LaGuardia in New York and O'Hare in Chicago -- have installed the technology.
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Crushable Runway Technology Saved Mike Pence's Plane

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  • compiler failure, unknown variable. pick up your cards and fix it.

  • The Indian governor (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward

    seriously you're doing it intentionally now
    this is next level suck

  • Well (Score:5, Funny)

    by The-Ixian ( 168184 ) on Friday October 28, 2016 @02:42PM (#53170519)

    Crushable Runway Technology Saved Mike Pence's Plane

    I was really worried that Mike Pence's plane might have been damaged....

  • I'm glad Pence isOK, otherwise I'm sure Trump would have declared himself his own running mate and Vice President. I don't think I could have handled a Trump-Trump 2016 ticket.

    • would of helped if there is an Electoral College Tie

    • Trump-Palin
    • REALLY ! ! ! - Imagine if Trump got to select a 'compatible' running-mate. At least Pence is someone that could deal with the mess leftover from Trump when someone 'takes him out' - tongue-in-cheek.

      SORRY Secret Service / Big Brother - - - just speaking my mind. NOT advocating wiping out a sitting president (or candidate), but the US political system has dropped from a 'pretty boy / girl' running candidate to - not even the least of 2 evils - but only worth voting for "NONE OF THE ABOVE".

  • It says even in the summary that it isn't "Mike Pence's Plane" - it appears to be Eastern Airlines plane....

    • by cdrudge ( 68377 ) on Friday October 28, 2016 @02:54PM (#53170613) Homepage

      Mike Pence was on the plane. It was Mike Pence's plane. It was also his journalist pool's plane. And the pilots' plane. And Eastern Airlines Group, Inc's plane.

      Showing possession doesn't necessarily mean having ownership.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The fact this has to be explained...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      It says even in the summary that it isn't "Mike Pence's Plane" - it appears to be Eastern Airlines plane....

      Come by my apartment, and I'll explain it to you. Oh, wait... I mean, come by my landlord's apartment, which I've leased as my domicile.

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      It says even in the summary that it isn't "Mike Pence's Plane" - it appears to be Eastern Airlines plane....

      I was about to ask, "What? Eastern went out of business long ago.". Didn't know someone had bought up the branding and started a new airline with it to confuse people.

      • by slew ( 2918 )

        It says even in the summary that it isn't "Mike Pence's Plane" - it appears to be Eastern Airlines plane....

        I was about to ask, "What? Eastern went out of business long ago.". Didn't know someone had bought up the branding and started a new airline with it to confuse people.

        Bit of trivia, the original Eastern Airlines sold their east coast shuttle service to some NY real-estate developer who renamed it after himself...

        • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

          Bit of trivia, the original Eastern Airlines sold their east coast shuttle service to some NY real-estate developer who renamed it after himself...

          +1, On-topic/Off-topic

  • Why can they use a sand pit instead of a multi million dollar proprietary technology ? An equivalent area of sand would work just as well and would not need expensive renewal every time a plane does overrrun.

    • I thought the same thing about having a large gravel bed.

      But then realized that the blast/wash from the jet engines would erode it a bit when each plane takes off.
    • by whodunit ( 2851793 ) on Friday October 28, 2016 @03:01PM (#53170685)

      No, sand wouldn't work just as well. Commercial aircraft are big and heavy enough that their tires would just compress the sand underneath it, accomplishing little. Plus, the purpose-built technology is probably designed to do minimal damage to the aircraft as well, which is a significant benefit.

    • Sand and gravel will freeze solid in winter months.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Basic physics. Do you want to destroy every plane that runs over the runway and still possibly injure or kill people, go for it. If you want to save the plane and lives, you need something like this.

    • by bws111 ( 1216812 ) on Friday October 28, 2016 @03:20PM (#53170889)

      For one thing, you don't want to have the plane end up in a big pile of sand. People need to get off (and away from) the plane. Not easy to do if they have to walk/run through sand. Emergency vehicles need to get to the plane. Are you going to have fire engines and ambulances driving through sand?

      They need to be able to keep the thing clear of snow and ice. Going to drive a runway snowplow through sand?

      There is a requirement that the arresting action is predictable. A pile of dry sand is going to act much different than a pile that has been rained on for a week. A pile is frozen sand is going to be practically worthless.

      I bet the engineers at these evil proprietary companies (and their pawns at the FAA) could figure this stuff out.

    • The material is designed to exhibit a specific rate of retardation on an aircraft regardless of the weather conditions - sand changes its properties depending on stuff like water retention etc, meaning an aircraft of a specific given weight would have a range of stopping distances, and that is what you want to avoid. You dont want a rate that is too high, as that may damage the aircraft or its passengers, and you don't want a rate that is too low, as the aircraft may escape the zone and cause death or inju

      • by Anonymous Coward

        The material is designed to exhibit a specific rate of retardation on an aircraft regardless of the weather conditions

        as opposed to the variable rate of retardation exhibited at the top of both tickets regardless of weather conditions

    • by Pascoea ( 968200 )

      Why can(sic) they use a sand pit instead...An equivalent area of sand would work just as well...

      Damn, I doubt anybody even considered that as on option, or tested it and proved if it worked not. Too bad you weren't on the project, you could have saved us millions!

    • They studies many things including sand; they have better experts than you.

      The crushable material is designed to gradually slow the aircraft while doing as little damage as possible, and to do this you want a strong solid base under it that will keep the massive aircraft from sinking below runway level. A wide range of aircraft of wildly varying unloaded and loaded weights and rolling at a wide range of speeds and with different landing gear configurations would respond differently to a golf course style sa

    • Because sand/gravel plus water plus cold equals, essentially, permafrost.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot AT worf DOT net> on Friday October 28, 2016 @04:57PM (#53171651)

      Why can they use a sand pit instead of a multi million dollar proprietary technology ? An equivalent area of sand would work just as well and would not need expensive renewal every time a plane does overrrun.

      The only proprietary part of the technology is how the material is made.

      The material itself is basically foamed concrete. When something light is on it like a vehicle or a person, it's like normal concrete - a hard surface that can be driven on quite easily. Something heavier like a plane causes the concrete to collapse, which arrests the plane in an orderly manner. And for emergency vehicles rushing to the scene, they can still drive on it.

      The FAA and many other agencies around the world have spent decades finding overrun surfaces that try to arrest a speeding plane and slow it down safely. Foamed concrete has proven to be the best material of the lot, and the processes used to make it are proprietary to the company making it. (There are multiple companies who do this.)

      You are, of course, free to invent your own way to make this material and to then release it to the world, open-source style

      • You are, of course, free to invent your own way to make this material and to then release it to the world, open-source style

        At which point the airports are, in turn, not able to use it because they're commercial use and the techniques you just (re-)invented are freshly patented (close enough to sue, anyway). Or at least it's expensive to ask a lawyer if they might be, and just in case, there are probably lobbyists ensuring that the insurance companies demand a solution from a specific whitelist of brands. And those, in turn, are why the solutions stay expensive. Oh, by the way, the purpose of the patent system is to release the

    • by jbwolfe ( 241413 )
      Operative word here is "engineered": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Engineered_materials_arrestor_system [wikipedia.org] It works better because it was given enough thought during the evolutionary process.
    • Because then you'd have to rip apart and rebuild the engines to get all the sand/gravel out that's been sucked through them. When I first saw it the first thing to come to my mind was, wow, they're using paper mache. Then reading further they talk about 'cellulose cement' or something like that. Which again, sounds like paper mache. I don't think its super expensive compared to an engine overhaul.
    • by idji ( 984038 )
      You can't paint the sand, and the wind could blow it away, or worse, onto the runway. Sand is not an option. Wet sand dry sand wet frozen sand.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    So let's start with taking away that FAA regulation, Gov. "No Regulations" Pence.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Didn't know they were still around... Who's running it? Rickenbacker or Borman?

  • Crushable Runway Technology

    ... it was made of their campaign's hopes and dreams. :-)

  • by jo7hs2 ( 884069 ) on Friday October 28, 2016 @03:46PM (#53171123) Homepage
    I hadn't seen a picture from overhead yet, but I wondered how did the plane end up at the *side* of the runway if EMAS stopped the plane? It appears it slid THROUGH the EMAS somewhat diagonally and came to a rest at the side of the runway's end. http://a.abcnews.com/images/US... [abcnews.com]
  • Overwhelmed ... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BenBoy ( 615230 ) on Friday October 28, 2016 @03:55PM (#53171199)
    Overwhelmed [xkcd.com] by the design of everyday things. Engineering marvels everywhere, everyone enriched thereby.
    What are the odds that this is the only politically neutral post in this thread?
    • What are the odds that this is the only politically neutral post in this thread?

      You blew it, though.

    • There are many discussing the crushable runway tech (which I dont think politically oriented). So the odds of your post being the only neutral one is really bad.

    • by BenBoy ( 615230 )
      The odds, as I discovered to my delight later, were really poor. There was lots of good, informative discussion about the tech (like why a sand-pit was a bad alternative, for example). Thank you, Slashdot-ers!
  • Donald Trump said, I just spoke to our future vice president, and he's OK. Do you know he was in a big accident with the plane?"

    So Tim Kaine was involved too?

  • I know we're short on good metaphors for a Trump presidency, but this seems a little over the top.
  • Well then I say, fuck crushable runways. We could have had some awesome last-minute election drama, but nooooooooooo, some goddamn crushable runway saves the day.

    Thanks a lot, crushable runways, whatever the fuck you are.

  • "Crushable Freaking Runways!"

  • Somebody actually planned ahead AND designed something that worked AND implemented it properly.

    All 3 of these happening is rare, KUDOS to those involved!

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