reply to post by ArMaP
Well you certainly ask some good questions. I am not an expert in aeronautics by any means so I had to look this information up. I hope it helps!
1. When an aeroplane gets too high and the pilot passes out because of the lack of oxygen, does the pilot recover when the aeroplane looses
altitude and returns to levels with more oxygen?
A person suffering from serious symptoms of altitude sickness has a relatively short period of time of useful consciousness in which corrective
action can be taken. The following is a correlation of approximate altitude to the amount of time that a person will have useful consciousness:
20,000 ft / 6,100 m = 5-12 minutes (peak of Mount McKinley or Mount Kilimanjaro)
25,000 ft / 7,620 m = 3-5 minutes;
29,000 ft / 8,840 m = 1-2 minutes; (peak of Mount Everest)
40,000 ft / 12,200 m = 9-15 seconds (represents the oxygen that was in a person's system before the exposure)
A list of the most common indications (symptoms) of hypoxia pilots may or may not recognize:
1 an increased breathing rate
2 lightheadedness or dizziness.
3 tingling or false warm sensations in appendages
5 reduced field of view, tunnel vision
6 blue coloring of skin, fingernails and lips
8 behavior changes
9 inability to warm extremities
Recovery from hypoxia Recovery from mild hypoxia can be rapid, usually within 15 to 20 seconds, after oxygen is administered you will witness a
remarkable change. Dizziness from head and body motion may occur during the recovery making piloting a craft more difficult. A pilot recovering from
moderate to severe hypoxia is usually quite fatigued and can suffer from a degradation in mental and physical performance for many hours.
So in severe cases he wouldn’t wake up in time. Plus the G-forces from an uncontrolled decent may make him unable to respond.
2. How long does it take for an aeroplane to fall from 30000 feet?
Very hard question to answer and it involves math and aerodynamics, as well as understanding of gravity. The terminal velocity for a P-51 Mustang with
a drag coefficient of 0.03(that is what I entered) is about 209 meters per second(682 feet per second). So with some simple math we can deduce that a
likely answer to your question would be about 43 seconds.
Also keep in mind since I could not know the exact specifications needed I had to
estimate on some of the variables.
3. Is it normal for an aeroplane (a fighter) to break while falling? This was an aeroplane capable of speeds of more than 400 mph.
Without a pilot controlling the craft(as we think is the case since he was likely blacked out) he could not utilize his flaps to increase drag and
thus slow down.
4. When not under pilot control, does an aeroplane just fall or does the shape of the wings sustain somewhat the fall? They are design to do
That depends on the angle of flight, if the craft is in a good position for an unpowered glide then it will glide(to an extent, remember these things
are heavy) while it decrease altitude . The Mustang stalled out at that altitude and thus lost power, and the angular position Mantell had the craft
in (a strong upwards angle) would cause I rather rapid, uncontrolled fall.
5. If some people heard an explosion before the aeroplane hit the ground, why does it look almost complete? Shouldn't there be many pieces
scattered around the area?
If the plane exploded completely or in a true explosion sense then yes. But the “explosion” could have been a result of the structural integrity
of the plane breaking up in some parts, while staying intact in the other, more solid parts. Also in my OP I have a quote from a Captian who asks the
very same thing as you and says that it is not consistant with what should have happened.
6. Is it normal for an aeroplane, specially one made for speed, to "belly flop" when falling without control? I do not know much about
aeroplanes, but could it be that the pilot was trying to use the belly of the aeroplane to reduce the speed, using it as an aerobrake?
That could happen, again it depends on the angle the craft was in when power was lost. But a belly flop from a unpowered craft is unusual. It made
some experts think his plane was “pushed” down by some force.
7. I don't remember seeing it, but was there an autopsy, and what was the result?
There isn’t one available. However it has been reported that he was “impaled on the control stick”. Some other explanations for COD(cause of
death) could be High Altitude Cerebral Edema
High Altitude Pulmonary Edema
. However the evisceration sounds more plausible.
There are a lot of interesting things in this case not explained, I left them out because there isn’t enough information to present them. But I knew
someone would ask the good questions, so I knew these things would get discussed anyways. Oh, sorry for taking so long to reply but I have been busy.
So again VERY GOOD QUESTIONS and I hope I answered them well enough.
[edit on 5/22/2009 by jkrog08]
[edit on 5/22/2009 by jkrog08]