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#28615 - 06/28/04 02:30 AM Jumping in a Falling Elevator!?
ScottRezaLogan Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 01/07/04
Posts: 723
Loc: Pttsbg SWestern Pa USA N-Amer....
At First Glance this Sounds like a Hopeful and Promising Prospect!

But I've Read, -a Bit Ruefully, -that even if you Somehow Timed your Physical Jumpup Perfectly! To Jumping Just At or Before the Elevator's Final Impact Point, -Your so Doing in a High Rise Elevator Fall will at Most Only Reduce your 60 or so M.P.H. Speed by a Few M.P.H.! Still the Effect of a Speeding Car Running Head On into a Thick Concrete Wall!

Not Enough! And Not Enough to Make any Really Effective Difference! So that Idea is Unfortunately Something of a Non-Starter!

Oh you could Still Do It in Principle! And Out of your Still Present Will and Determination to Live! And Hit at Least a Little Less Hard! But Even There it would Make Practically No Difference! And There's Still the Matter of Neccessarily Perfect Timing!, -Something which you Aren't Likely to be Able to Accurately Guage!, -in any Event.

And to Boot!, -If you Misguage your Timing a Bit!, -You'd *ADD*!, -Not Subtract!, -Several Miles per Hour from your Final Impact Speed!

Elevators Falling from Far Smaller Heights May be a Good Bit More Hopeful! Whether or Not you Jump Up Inside, at the Appropriate Time!

Your Best Bet here, -or Indeed in any Falling Elevator Situation, -May Be to Get Yourself into the Best Crash Position as you Can! What Little to No Good that will Often Do you!, too!

Of course in the Rather Unlikely Event, -that you or Others there with you, -are Carrying a Sizeable Enuff Quantity of Blankets or Other Soft Materials, -You can Quickly Set Yourself On and About these, -as a Sort of Cushion! Even That may Often Only Do So Much Good!

I'm Afraid that this is Very Much to Entirely the Unfortunate Story!, -When it Comes to Finding Yourself Entrapped!, -in a Free Falling Elevator! [color:"black"] [/color] [email]ScottRezaLogan[/email]

Edited by ScottRezaLogan (06/28/04 02:35 AM)
"No Substitute for Victory!"and"You Can't be a Beacon if your Light Don't Shine!"-Gen. Douglass MacArthur and Donna Fargo.

#28616 - 06/28/04 01:33 PM Re: Jumping in a Falling Elevator!?
elnath Offline

Registered: 06/07/02
Posts: 38
Loc: SouthEast New Hampshire
You need to remember that your speed is relative to the earth, not the inside of the elevator. Momentum is based on speed. When you are falling you pick up a bit over 20mph per second that you are falling (at least for 6-7 seconds when air resistance starts to be an issue). So if you have fallen for 5 seconds you have gone about 400 feet (30+ stories) and are moving a bit over 100 mph.

How much speed you think you can get into a jump? Even if you could get youself up to 10 mph (which is unlikely), you still hit going 90 mph at the bottom.

#28617 - 06/28/04 03:00 PM Re: Jumping in a Falling Elevator!?
aardwolfe Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 923
Loc: St. John's, Newfoundland
With the possible exceptions of 9/11 and Oklahoma City, I doubt if anyone's been killed in a "falling elevator" since before the Second World War; my understanding is that all elevators must include a safety mechanism which will cause a free-falling elevator to jam in the shaft.

People have (rarely) been killed in elevator accidents, but mostly by being crushed between the doors or by stunting (riding on top of the elevator for cheap thrills).

The ones where people are crushed by the doors closing are a result (rant warning on - MHOO) of the general public using a safety mechanism as a general purpose convenience. Specifically, the automatic mechanism to prevent doors from closing if there's something or someone in the way, is used to prevent doors from closing if you're running to catch the elevator. The problem, of course, is that these mechanisms (at least, the older ones) were not designed for regular use and are liable to fail. Having experienced two such failures (and witnessing a colleague nearly lose her arm by trying to hold open a door that was intent on closing) I make it a rule never to stick any body part between two automatic doors that are closing. I use the "Open Door" button if I'm inside the elevator, and I may use a briefcase to stop the door from closing, but never my arm, leg, or torso. <img src="/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" />

But I believe the "free-falling elevator" scenario is on a par with the "wings falling off the airplane" scenario.
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."

#28618 - 06/28/04 03:22 PM Re: Jumping in a Falling Elevator!?
Tjin Offline

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1731
well just after WW2 a B 25 bomber hit the empire state building, which cutted a elevators cable. Killing the elavator operator. But elavator cable failing is just like everyone else already said, to unlikely.

#28619 - 06/28/04 03:57 PM Re: Jumping in a Falling Elevator!?
M_a_x Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/16/02
Posts: 1020
Loc: Germany
Thereīs a catch with the speed reduction. Even if your timing is perfect, your speed is reduced at the time of the impact of the elevator. You still have to drop to the floor. That drop gives you an opportunity to regain the lost speed (minus a neglectible amount for air resistance). Assuming a good position for the impact might be a good idea though.
If it isnīt broken, it doesnīt have enough features yet.

#28620 - 06/28/04 06:53 PM Re: Jumping in a Falling Elevator!?
frenchy Offline

Registered: 12/18/02
Posts: 1320
Loc: France
"Modern" elevators have "parachute" mecanism (generally same kind of big claws) , which, like you said are designed to jam in the shaft and prevent an outright fall.

and I may use a briefcase to stop the door from closing, but never my arm, leg, or torso.

good thinking ..... every mecanism, even safety mecanism, can fail ....

#28621 - 06/28/04 07:25 PM Re: Jumping in a Falling Elevator!?
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
I take the stairs. It's cheap aerobic exercise and putting one foot in front of the other still one of my lifetime's greatest achievements. Seriously, familiarise yourself with any building you enter; doorways, emergency equipment,stairwells, windows that are sealed or can be opened. Remember that most fatalities are from people stampeding and not the initiating threat. A recent archaeological investigation revealed the same phenomenon; rain,mud,sloping ground in a perfect funnel caused the defeat of the french at Agincourt and not Longbows. Every fatal fire reveals bodies stacked up at locked exits or trampled in narrow aisles. Elevators are the least of our concerns.

#28622 - 06/28/04 07:46 PM Re: Jumping in a Falling Elevator!?
cliff Offline
Sultan of Spiffy

Registered: 05/12/01
Posts: 271
Loc: Louisiana
Man, I feel like I am back in freshman physics.

OK. Force equals mass times acceleration, see, and....... Oh, forget it. If you did jump, you will only be meeting the TOP of the cab all that much faster. <img src="/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

Elevators today, be they traction or hydraulic, have built in brakes. Even if the cables on a traction system are cut, they will stop. This has been the case since WWII, I believe. I'd have to go and look at the Elevator Code to be sure. (Yes, there is such a thing ? ASME a17.1)

People recently have been killed by elevators. Notice I said BY, and not IN. Mostly, they have been thrill-seekers or pranksters. Riding atop elevators ("elevator surfing"), exploring the elevator pit on a dare, or stopping the elevator between floors and opening the doors are simply tickets to the Darwin Awards, IMHO. I do recall an incident recently where an elevator broke down between floors. During the evacuation of the people inside, the cab?s brakes slipped and killed one of the occupants as he was climbing out. Sliced in half. Not pretty. <img src="/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> But, such incidents are very, very rare.

Now, let?s see if we can get some comments on what to do if you are trapped in an elevator. (Hint: that Spark-Lite won't be too handy?. <img src="/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> Though, a window squegee just might.)


#28623 - 06/28/04 08:25 PM Re: Jumping in a Falling Elevator!?

Not so - the elevator operator, a woman, plunged with the car all the way to the bottom of the shaft, something like 900 feet, but the safety springs in the bottom cushioned the fall enough so that she survived.

#28624 - 06/28/04 08:38 PM Re: Jumping in a Falling Elevator!?
bountyhunter Offline

Registered: 11/14/03
Posts: 1224
Loc: Milwaukee, WI USA

A window squegee? For crying out loud, not all of us have Jay-Lo's assets!

A small body repair putty applicator will do fine, or as the Roman's did, have a few sea shells in your PSK.

Bountyhunter <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

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