Posts Tagged ‘Movie Maths’


6. If the pilot dies the control tower can talk you down.

November 16, 2009

200px-Air_Force_OneIt worked for Air Force One (1997) with Harrison Ford and in Airport 75 (1974). It even worked recently in real life.

Doug White, 56, flying with his wife and two daughters, was shocked when the pilot of the Air King twin-engine plane lapsed into a coma and then died. White had his pilot’s license but he had never flown a plane as large as this.Airport_film

He turned to his wife and two daughters, ages 16 and 18 and said “You all start praying hard.” Behind him, his wife trembled. Sixteen-year-old Bailey cried. Eighteen-year-old Maggie threw up. Fortunately, the control tower could relay messages from an Air King pilot to talk him down.( 13 April, 2009 The Guardian UK)


 The King Air aircraft is used by The Royal Australian Flying Doctor Service.

Air Speed = 545 kph   @  7,600m

Range = 3,338 km

We are going to use How to fly a plane in an emergency on the WikiHow website.     

Your pilots dead. You have to fly the plane. Open the above page. Keep it handy. Now read on but very, very FAST!!!!!!!!!

NOTE: When calculating the distance d remaining (below) I am using 1 / t   x 3,338 ie.  1 hr fuel time left/t total fuel time x 3,338

fly plane 1 Correction

fly plane 2 Correction


10 You can out run a lava flow

November 16, 2009

Dantes_peak_ver2Every volcano disaster movie from Volcano (1997) with Tommy Lee Jones to Dante’s Peak (1997) with Pierce Brosnan someone somewhere tries to out run a lava flow. Is this possible?

The answer is maybe. You will find everything you want to know about lava flows @

On January 10,1977, at Nyiragongo lava sprang from the sides of the volcano moving at speeds up to 40 miles per hour (60 km/hr). About 70 people were killed.

lava temp Measuring the temperature of lava. Photograph by R.L. Christiansen, U.S. Geological Survey, January 9, 1973.
The fastest Lava flows recorded were in Hawaiiin 1950 when Mauna Loa erupted. The lava traveled at 6 miles (10 kilometers) per hour through thick forest. But once the lava flows became established and good channels developed, the lava in the channels was flowing at up to 60 km/hour (97 kph).

Speed of average sprinter = 19 – 24 kph

Can you out run lava?

Work it out mathspigs. You are 600m ahead of the lava flow and you need to get up a hill to escape, which is 1000m away. The lava is flowing at 30 kph and you are running at 18 kph.

running man

Will you make it??????

lava 2