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Thread: US airlines disable oxygen generators over security

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    US airlines disable oxygen generators over security

    US airlines disable oxygen generators over security

    US airlines have over the past three weeks removed or disabled bathroom oxygen generators on 6,000 jetliners and other aircraft over security concerns, officials said on Thursday. The Federal Aviation Administration issued a secret directive to airlines in February to address the issue, concerned someone could exploit the privacy of the bathroom to use the generator to fuel an explosive or fire.

    The FAA said it was working with manufacturers to develop a tamper-proof generator for the bathroom.
    Has anyone heard of this? I've never flown - what effect might this have on overall air quality inside the airline?
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    Re: US airlines disable oxygen generators over security

    airplane bathrooms have oxygen generators?

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    Re: US airlines disable oxygen generators over security

    Apparently so It makes sense, sort of, that they would be necessary - at such extreme temperatures, speed and high altitude - gotta breath somehow
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    Re: US airlines disable oxygen generators over security

    I wasn't aware those bathrooms were airtight. That's about the only reason I'd expect them to need an oxygen generator. Oh well... learn something new every day.

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    Re: US airlines disable oxygen generators over security

    Quote Originally Posted by Aunt Spiker View Post
    US airlines disable oxygen generators over security

    Has anyone heard of this? I've never flown - what effect might this have on overall air quality inside the airline?
    They're calling them "oxygen generators." We most commonly know them as oxygen masks that drop down from the ceiling in an emergency. Can't imagine it effects the plane as a whole at all -- unless you're the unlikely one in the bathroom when the cabin decompresses.

    From your link:

    The directive on generators, which pump oxygen through masks that drop from the ceiling above each passenger in the event of decompression, did not apply to the main cabin. Rapid decompression on commercial aircraft is rare.
    From How Stuff Works:

    Modern oxygen canisters are an extremely lightweight way to store oxygen. You find oxygen canisters (also known as chemical oxygen generators) on airplanes, submarines and space stations -- places where oxygen can run out unexpectedly. Typically, an oxygen canister contains a sodium chlorate pellet or cylinder and an igniter. The igniter can be triggered by friction or impact. It generates enough heat to start the sodium chlorate reaction, and then the heat of the reaction sustains itself. The sodium chlorate does not burn -- its decomposition just happens to give off lots of heat and lots of oxygen.

    The reason why oxygen canisters can cause fires is because they are hot and they generate oxygen. Anything nearby that happens to ignite will burn intensely because of the rich oxygen supply.
    HowStuffWorks "How does an oxygen canister on an airplane work? How can heat generate oxygen?"

    Interesting post. Learned something today. Well, two things. You've never flown.
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    Re: US airlines disable oxygen generators over security

    Ah - ok . .. I read that part and thought it was something other than a face-mask, like an air filtration system.

    Thanks! Now it makes sense.

    Nope - I've never flown! I have no intention - the idea is terrifying. But my husband flies all the time - He takes 200+ trips on average each year.
    Last edited by Aunt Spiker; 03-11-11 at 11:55 AM.
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    Re: US airlines disable oxygen generators over security

    Heh, I guess this doesn't leave much to debate does it?
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    Re: US airlines disable oxygen generators over security

    Quote Originally Posted by American View Post
    Heh, I guess this doesn't leave much to debate does it?
    No it doesn't

    Nothing more giddy-making that pure oxygen, though . . . *cue Project Mayhem*
    A screaming comes across the sky.
    It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.
    Pynchon - Gravity's Rainbow

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