One blogger writes that during the recent power interruption in Southern
California, the electric-eye toilet flushing mechanisms at UC-San Diego
refused to work.
The older model toilets, ones with actual handles, continued to function
during the blackout without interruption.
Ain't technology grand?
Great lesson for some folks.
My toilets don't work during a power outage because I am on a well.
Since we have frequent power outages where I live because of trees, I
have redundant backups like a generator, stored water, flashlights, camp
Some people that this has never happened to, may not even have a flashlight.
Around this part of country, the flush button on electric toilets trips
a solenoid, it isn't a mechanical lever. Still needs juice to work, as
do the damn automagic sink faucets. Some have battery backup, at least
when first installed, I think.
What I don't know is how they get power to the damn things. Some, at
airports, are flushed into wall, but the retrofit ones in many places
have no apparent wired connection. Maybe they are battery-only?
Notice pilots boarding commercial airliners. They will (were) carrying
catalog cases. In those cases were Jeppeson manuals containing information a
pilot might need to know.
For example, if the destination airport is closed - say, due to weather -
and the aircraft has to divert, the flight crew scrambles for their cases
and pulls out the volume containing the alternate airport. They need the
information about runways, approach control, radio frequencies, and lots of
other stuff. For any given airport, the manual may contain several pages of
maps, frequencies, Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS), etc.
As for what could go wrong, there are already two things wrong with the
First, the manual set weighs about thirty pounds. For a three-man crew
that's almost a 100 pounds of weight and, for approximately 5,000 commercial
flights per day, that's a lot of dross (250 tons) and the necessary fuel to
move it around.
Second, the manuals have to be updated weekly. If the update doesn't get to
the pilot, or he neglects to update his personal binder, we have a
significant safety risk. This risk is, of course, somewhat minimized in that
there are usually two other copies on the flight deck.
Contrast the above with a three-pound iPad that's updated automatically
Absolutely. What if over Scranton the plane is hijacked and ordered to fly
to San Juan Capistrano? Or, even more likely, what if, upon landing in
Pittsburgh, the flight crew is rescheduled for a hop to San Francisco?
Thank you for the uppity, though immaterial, corrections.
It's been several decades since I flew a plane and am, admittedly, out of
date. My salient facts (heavy manuals and the necessity for individual
updating) still apply, even though some minor, insignificant, details
glommed on by pedantic fuddy-duddies, are no longer in play.
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