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  1. 1. Reese 1 Cassidy Reese Professor Alicia Bolton English 101 21 November 2013 Technical Difficulties We are surrounded by technology daily. We have learned to depend on technology for awide variety of things. Depending on technology is not the best choice we have made. They say that the use of technology can help us advance in the science field. Even though they say technology can help us, it can also hurt us. The story “Tigershark!” is a prime example on how technology can hurt us if we depend on it. In this story, Engineering Test Pilot David Barnes is constantly finding out the technical hitches of flying planes. Barnes had completed three different flights in one day and he was getting ready to complete a fourth and final run. During his final run, Barnes had to complete several different maneuvers; two of these moves would take Barnes up to nine gs for several seconds. He had a special technology suit that was made to allow his body to hold up the pressure of the flight by pushing the blood from his lower body to his upper body, keeping his head and chest supplied with blood. During Barnes’ last maneuver, the suit failed to do so. Since the suit failed, the blood was not getting to his upper body. Barnes soon lost his vision due to the constricting blood vessels in his eyes. Before long, he lost his memory due to the lack of blood flow in his brain. Barnes crashed into a snow-covered hilland died on impact.The technology in the suit was not able to keep up with the fast pace technology of the plane. We should not depend on technology during flightbecause it cannot replace human functions and the results of depending on technology during flight can be more devastating than we think.
  2. 2. Reese 2 If the story told about Barnes’ flight failure is not devastating enough, there are many more to tell. America’s first production jet fighter was made in 1944. This jet was known as the F-80 Shooting Star. The Shooting Star was the first jet to have an ejection seat. America got the idea of an ejection seat from Germany. The purpose of the ejection seat is to get the pilot over the tail of the plane and prevent them from hitting the tail. If they were to hit the tail of the plane, it could kill them instantly. Pilot Bob Hoover was the first person to try out this new ejection seat in an emergency. This procedure did not go as planned. Hoover was flying his test plane with the jet engine unexpectedly malfunctioned. Hoover completely lost control of the plane. He reached down and pulled on the handle of the ejection seat, but nothing happened. He had no other choice but to open the canopy of the plane. Hoover was immediately sucked right out of his seat. Since there was no ejection seat to push him over, Hoover went right into the tail. He broke both of his legs through the knees on impact. Hoover landed and, hours later, was picked up by a farmer that had seen the parachute in the sky. Fortunately, Hoover survived this tragic failure of technology unlike Barnes. This story is just another reason on why we cannot put our trust into technology during flight. Technology can only help us so much and we should not try to push it beyond its ability. Pushing technology beyond its ability will only result in negative and tragic ways. There are many other examples of technology failure during flight. Such as the United Airlines Flight 173. This plane, a DC-8, was filled with 181 passengers. As the plane was getting ready to land, a landing gear problem occurred. The plane was unable to land because of a technology failure in the landing gear. Since the plane could not land, they circled around the airport for an hour trying to figure out the cause of the problem. The fuel supply of the plane was lessening quickly while they were trying to figure out the problem with the landing gear. They
  3. 3. Reese 3 were not able to figure out the problem soon enough. The plane ran out of fuel and crashed into a suburb. This plane crash took the lives of 10 people on board. The article “Wingin’ it – American Airlines Copes with Massive Technological Failure” written by David Koenig is another, but less tragic, story on why we should not put our trust in technology. Airlines use technology software to book flights, track bags, and load and fuel the planes. Using special software for these things may seem like an easy, efficient way to get the job done; but what if the software was to fail? American Airlines found out the stressful results of the failure of technology software. American Airlines software unexpectedly broke down which prevented them from booking flights, took away the ability to track luggage, and prevented them from loading and fueling the planes that were supposed to be taking off. American Airlines had to cancel around 1,000 flights and another 1,100 flights were delayed due to the technology software failure. EmreSerpen, a consultant who works with airlines on technology issues, says, “Airline technology is notoriously complicated because so many pieces of the system rely on each other for information.” That is a reason why we should not depend on technology. Technology can have a domino effect. If one thing messes up, it causes another part to mess up, which messes up another part, and so on. Depending on technology can lead to multiple issues. Even though this story is not as tragic as the rest, it still gives a good example on why depending on technology can be a bad thing. They say that technology helps us move forward. They think that technology has no down sides, that technology only has plus sides. Technology does have many pros; it can help us advance forward in some cases. Though there are many positive outcomes of technology, there are also many negative outcomes. These negative outcomes are tragic enough to outweigh the positive results. People tend to think that adding more and more technology, and depending on
  4. 4. Reese 4 technology, is a good thing. Technology has its flaws and we should not depend on it. The results of putting our lives in the hands of technology can be more devastating and life changing than we think.