Disaster Porn: Airplanes Crashes!

Google Maps Mania recently highlighted a website that should satisfy your urge for disaster porn during that dry spell between hurricane season and tornado season: AVCRASH, a Google Map mashup with aviation accident (i.e. plane crash) data from the National Transportation Safety Board. You can narrow your search by time period, location, type of aircraft, even number of fatalities.

ScreenShot003.pngSo I know, for example, that on 1/13/2006, a Piper PA-30 went down near Fresno, California, killing the pilot and all three passengers.

The NTSB’s full report, conveniently linked to the map, tells me further (and get ready for the soft core disaster erotica) that “Vertical aft accordion crushing was evident on the forward engine.” Oh, baby. And then there’s this sexy image: “The right propeller was located approximately 3 feet from the right wing tip and buried in soil.” That is so hot. But what about some wing-on-wing action, can we have some of that? “The empennage section was circumferentially buckled 3 feet forward of the vertical stabilizer.” Omigod, it’s better than “Planes Gone Wild Seatac Style”!!!

Okay, I admit it, I’m being a tiny bit facetious (though those quotes are real). The disaster porn really doesn’t do much for me. But it must for somebody out there. Why else would you go to all the trouble to make AVCRASH?

I know! To sell airplane insurance!! It makes perfect sense, in a bizarro world, to entice potential customers to buy your aviation insurance, when you enable them to see in such grueling detail all the things that can go wrong when you go up in a plane. Why, the kind people at Aviation Marine Insurance have even included a handy “Get Quote” button on the bottom of the map.

Maybe later. I’m too busy right now drooling over the way the “left propeller was examined, still attached by two flange bolts to the left engine.” Oh yeah, oh yeah.

Google Mapping Spain

I’ve been experimenting with a good way to incorporate a dynamic Google Map into this blog, specifically one that plots key points in our travels in Spain. Don’t ask me why. I really don’t expect anybody to ever look at this thing, but I’ve been inspired by the possibilities of geomapping memories (see the Center for History and New Media’s September 11 Digital Archive map of “Ground Zero” to see the most evocative use of the same tools I’m using).

I’ve only charted one point so far, trying to test the map while I figure out how to have the map appear “live” on my front page (in this very space). But for now, the beta version is available at Google Mapping Spain.