Trivia Testers : Body By Coke

Body By Coke?
The average 1970s vintage Cessna 172 has enough aluminum to make the equivalent of roughly how many typical soda cans?

  1. 250
  2. 2,500
  3. 25,000
  4. 250,000
  5. irrelevant. The alloys are totally different.

Answer: C and E. The average 172, minus the seats, instrumentation, tires, plexiglass, and all other non-metallic parts, as well as all parts that are not made of aluminum, contains approximately 740 pounds of this wonderful metal. This information, using a 1976 model, comes straight from Cessna’s Technical Services group in Wichita. (Media Relations at Cessna/Textron gave me a slightly lower estimate of between 600 and 650 pounds, by the way.) Technical Services’ figure of 740 pounds, I was told, is also fairly close to the amount contained in a late model Skyhawk. An average empty soda can (say, a can of caffeine-free Coke) weighs about 13.5 grams (with the pull-tab still attached). That would come out to 33.6 cans per pound. That, multiplied by 740 pounds (using the first figure, from the engineering folks) is 24,864 or around 25,000 cans. As for choice E, there’s a bit of an explanation there. Aluminum is usually alloyed with other elements such as copper, magnesium, manganese, or zinc, which is indicated by the first of four digits in the alloy designator series. Soda cans are made with alloy 3003 for example, and which contain around 1% manganese. But the aluminum alloys used in aircraft construction are the 2xxx series (such as 2014) which uses copper, or the 7xxx series (such as 7075) which uses zinc… more than you ever wanted to know, I’m sure…

Hometown Sluggers, 9…Search And Rescue, 1 ??
Many distress alerts that are sent from the NOAA’s Sarsat Mission Control Center in Suitland Maryland over to the Air Force’s Rescue Coordination Center at Langley AFB, Virginia are false alarms. Although there is some reduction in their number by the time the AFRCC initiates activity with the Civil Air Patrol (or also, the Coast Guard), about 75% of the distress signals received by the AFRCC are not actual beacons, but are instead transmissions from devices such as:

  1. ATM machines
  2. pizza ovens
  3. stadium scoreboards
  4. all three, and many more

Answer: D. If you guessed all three, you would be correct. Although many false ELT signals are caused by events such as hard landings, malfunctioning ELT units, etc., actually according to Dr. Ajay Mehta, the Sarsat Program Manager with NOAA in Suitland Maryland, with whom I recently spoke, around three-quarters of the alerts sent from their Mission Control Center are not actual beacons. This is because EPIRBs and ELTs operate in a very crowded neighborhood, frequency-wise.

From the Ministry Of Silly Walks
Why would you see two sets of figures on an aircraft’s compass correction card, one labeled “DAY” and the other labeled “NIGHT”?

  1. You might if you’ve been a tad lax on the eight hour bottle-to-throttle rule and you’re seeing double, because there is no such distinction, and you will never see a two-column compass correction card.
  2. In Great Britain, being much closer to the active nighttime ionospheric F2 layer, which descends to lower levels after sunset, there is significantly greater interference at night (and which is fairly constant and predictable). This requires a second column. This also affects other nations in northern Europe.
  3. Oh those zany Brits! Yes those same folks who have brought us Monty Python and John Cleese have decided to use a second column to take into account the differing magnetic fields inside an aircraft when it is operated with and without navigation and panel lights. The compass correction cards in British aircraft contain two sets of figures; day and night corrections are required by Section K of the British Civil Airworthiness Code (BCAR).
  4. Although it is technically required under FAR 135.149(d), it is seldom followed.

Answer: C. That stuff about the ionosphere regarding compass readings is just so much ozone. (The behavior of the various layers is important to radio frequency propagation, but doesn’t affect the behavior of a magnetic compass.) The regulation cited from CFR Title 14 Part 135 regarding equipment requirements for commuter and on-demand operations is nothing more than fish bait, because right now, it’s still empty (or as they say, “reserved“). Assuming that there are such measurable diurnal differences caused by internal lighting, they are not deemed significant by U.S. authorities. This is with possibly good reason: on the various cardinal headings for which separate corrections are given, they each amount to about a degree or so difference. (I guess you could say that they’re hardly night and day!)