FAA To Require Longer Fuses on Commercial Planes

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Vol 30 Issue 08

Advertiser Reaches Out To Youth With Off-Set, Mixed-Typography Font

NEW YORK—In a bold, unconventional attempt to target America's elusive youth demographic, the advertising firm of Saatchi & Saatchi will utilize an off-set, mixed-typography font in its upcoming print campaign for Sprite. "We feel this crazy, jagged, broken typewriter-style font will resonate strongly with the jaded youth of Generation X," said Stephen Freed, co-director of creative services for the New York-based advertising giant. "Its broken, imperfect look captures perfectly that disillusioned, anti-commercial, 'I don't fall for slickness, dude' sentiment of today's slacker youth grunge culture. It also scanned extremely well with our test focus groups."

Local Muppet Held For Questioning In Chicken Sex Ring

SHELBY, OH—An area muppet is being held for questioning regarding its role in an illegal underground chicken sex ring. The unnamed muppet, described as a blue, hyperactive, beaked male of unknown species, is suspected to have master-minded the operation, which involved some 2,500 chickens in 11 states. "Henrietta! Myrtle! Lucy!" the muppet shouted as Department of Animal Welfare officials dragged him from his home, where he was found naked Monday with more than two dozen female chickens.

West Bank Rioting Shatters 45 Minutes Of Middle East Peace

NABLUS, WEST BANK—Riots broke out in the streets of Nablus at 3 p.m. Monday, shattering a Middle East peace that had lasted for nearly 45 minutes. The violence, which left 15 Palestinian civilians and at least a dozen Israeli soldiers dead, was the most significant fighting to erupt in the volatile region since 2:15 p.m. that same day, when an Israeli tank ran over 85 rock-throwing Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. "Just before lunch, I believed things were moving forward," said disappointed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking from a Jerusalem-area falafel shop. "But now that this delicious falafel and hummus sandwich is done, I just do not know." Netanyahu vowed to work with PLO leader Yasser Arafat to secure a true, lasting peace that will endure well into weekend.

Area Cockroach Fucking Huge

CLEVELAND—According to reports, a local cockroach discovered in a downtown apartment Monday is fucking huge. "Jesus Christ," said tenant Jeff Reiner, invoking the noted savior's name to emphasize the tremendous size of the insect. "That thing is fucking huge—did you see the size of that thing?" Added Reiner: "Damn, that's a fucking big cockroach."

Yeltsin's Failing Health

Russian President Boris Yeltsin's questionable physical condition has been the subject of much discussion lately, reaching a fever pitch with last week's announcement that he is too weak to undergo a heart operation. What do you think about his poor health?

I Would Like To Win a Prize

This morning the telephone rang while I was downstairs washing some slacks, so I rushed upstairs and caught it on the 14th ring. To my surprise it wasn't my daughter in Tulsa or my neighbor Cecil, but a young man who told me I'd qualified for the final prize round for a trip to exotic Mexico City! I didn't remember signing up for any trip to exotic Mexico City, but I told the man, "Why, that's super—I would like to win a prize!"

Local Moviegoer Enjoying Movie So Far

OAKLAND, CA—It was recently learned that local moviegoer Jane Pressler, who went to see a showing of The First Wives Club at Oakland's Sunrise Multiplex just a short while ago, is enjoying the movie so far. "I'm really enjoying this movie so far," said Pressler, a dental hygienist whose favorite film is The Bodyguard. "I just can't wait to see what Goldie, Bette and Diane do to get even with those no-good, jerk ex-husbands of theirs." Moments later, Pressler erupted in laughter at a Bette Midler wisecrack relating to the IQ of her ex-husband's current, younger girlfriend. Said Pressler: "She's crazy!"
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FAA To Require Longer Fuses on Commercial Planes

WASHINGTON, DC—In a move calculated to reduce significantly the number of catastrophic midair explosions aboard U.S. airliners, the FAA announced Monday that longer fuses will be required for all commercial air carriers beginning in 1997.

The move toward longer fuses began earlier this year when the older, shorter fuses on several commercial flights, including TWA's infamous Flight 800, burned all the way down to the fuselage and into the airplanes' detonators, causing them to explode in mid-air.

"This is a step in the right direction," U.S. Secretary of Transportation Federico Peña said. "No longer will passengers on long trips be sent into fits of panic as they watch their airplane's fuse sputtering inexorably shorter and shorter, sobbing hysterically in the fear that they may not reach the ground before being engulfed in a fireball thousands of feet in the air."

Peña added that to help make flights more enjoyable for passengers, the new fuses would not be visible to anyone but the flight crew.

Reaction to the new safety legislation has been largely positive. "I look forward to flying the new, longer-fused aircraft," Delta Airlines pilot Edwin Jenkins said. "Some of my colleagues will no doubt disagree, but a fuse of merely 20 or 25 feet is cutting it mighty close when you fly from Chicago-O'Hare to Tokyo International three times a week. It's probably a major reason one out of every three planes on that route explodes."

A United Airlines ground crew at New York's LaGuardia Airport is shown here lighting a 747 in preparation for takeoff. The plane exploded minutes later.

"Maybe if TWA Flight 800 had a longer fuse," said Erie, PA, resident Danielle Long, who lost a friend in that crash, "those people would be alive today."

TWA officials insist the doomed plane's fuse was 21 feet long, five feet longer than the FAA minimum.

Those who oppose the longer fuses claim it is just the latest in a series of moves by the FAA to take control out of human hands.

"I flew Mustang fighters in World War II," said Elroy Bruss, 78, a retired United Airlines pilot. "In those days, the fuses were eight inches long, and we used to cut 'em in half before we took off so they didn't get blown out by the wind. Now some of the 747s have fuses 20 times that long. Men aren't allowed to be men anymore."

Though there has been some argument over whether a modern airliner should be equipped with a fuse at all, Peña is hesitant to legislate such radical change. "When you look at a modern jumbo jet that has been serviced, fueled and readied for takeoff, it weighs three-quarters of a million pounds. Roughly two-thirds of that weight is highly explosive aviation fuel, making the aircraft basically an enormous flying bomb. To build a bomb that large without a fuse would be bad design."

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