How safe is your in-flight entertainment? Possibly, not very.

There you are on your international flight flipping through the channels of your in-flight offerings. A movie? Music? TV? games? Movie then music? Music than movie? Parts of different movies? It’s remote heaven.

The problem with all that bounty is the power that allows it to happen. All those electronics generate enough heat to make an armrest reach 100 to 115 degrees–even when the in-flight system is not in use. Think of all those screens and all those armrests and all that wiring.

According to some experts and the people who maintain airplanes’ electrical systems, there are safety issues to think about. In-flight systems are disasters waiting to happen.

Reading this article in USA Today with this disasters waiting to happen news brought up images of an electrical strip with every gadget imaginable plugged into it. It seems to me there must be some way to install a switch that would break a circuit if one part of the system got too hot–sort of how a fuse works.

I’m not sure if I should worry or not when I settle in my seat this summer as I wing my way from Columbus to Venice. I’ll probably be too excited channel surfing to wonder if my arm rest is getting too hot. If I see smoke, I’ll tell the flight attendant and look for something to smother the flames just in case. [photo by davitydave]