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Two U.S. senators want the FAA to rearrange aircraft evacuation procedures in accordance with real-life conditions

WASHINGTON — Two U.S. senators want the Federal Aviation Administration to rewrite aircraft evacuation standards by taking into account real-life conditions. Existing regulation proposes that airlines must be able to evacuate passengers within 90 seconds but make no reference to cabin capacity. ( More...

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nemosteve1080i 23
Factors affecting an emergency evacuation need to include:
Airlines are operating full flights.
Passengers have difficulty finding their row/seat during boarding, will they find the exits during evacuation?
There will be those that try to take their overstuffed roll-aboard bags with them.
Some larger passengers have to difficulty walking down the aisle during boarding and deplaning. How could they
slow down the evacuation process?
There are those that will panic and freeze up, raising anxiety for all involved.

Highflyer1950 10
Evac is based on full flights, Pax can read and observe where their closest exit is, ( or follow the exit lighting), I be in favour of locking overhead bins for t/o & landing, No bags allowed to stick out from under the seat, I’m all for a sizer like used for carry on,( if your ass won’t fit in this seat, buy another one), those that panic & freeze will get thrown out of the aircraft “very quickly”…….by the other passengers. BTW larger aircraft have more exits. Based on statistics. the sudden stop from a great height in an airliner it won’t matter much how big you are or where the exits are?
linbb 9
Yes they are always done with full pax did them many years back. Last one was on the 747 mock up at Boeing Field. The others were a Super Connie and a DC7. The killer problem these days are those who want to get stuff out of the overhead bins. It has caused problems several times.
Torsten Hoff 26
The problem is that the tests are run with manufacturer and airline employees. They are fit, focused, and have a clear understanding of what to do. There are no injuries or confusion, nobody tries to grab their precious carryon, and everything is pretty orderly.

It’s pretty clear that the tests that have been conducted in no way represent real world scenarios.
Miro Lehky 2
The manufacturer test used to be done with people off the street. But due to injuries during the test the rules were changes to make the test itself safer.
EMK69 6
Actually, the last one was just a couple of years back here at the FAA Field in Oklahoma City. Here is how they work, they notify folks who would like to participate and take them to the retired 747 they have at Will Rogers. Normal instructions are given and then Evac drills are run by the Human Factor folks over there. I forget the Dr name of who was in charge. I usually visit the center about 3 times a month next time I'm over there I will get the details of their last data test with Oklahoma residents and see how, or what, details they can provide. Our company deals with the FAA here in Oklahoma City daily so I get to learn a great deal about the Human Factor studies they conduct.
Hal Gates 5
Out of curiosity, how do they try to factor in disabled passengers in drills to make it representative? Is the volunteer pool large enough to select for a typical or critical pax load?
Miro Lehky 3
When I did them (as a simulated passenger) we had certain individuals who had to roleplay various disabilities. We also had simulated infants (dolls) that certain participants were responsible for.
Bernie20910 1
Roleplay in no way will reflect true disabilities. Unless you actually are disabled you will miss subtleties that will greatly affect the test.
Patrick Richter 5
Easy enough to make overhead compartments auto lock after takeoff
susan mandeville 1
People will still try to get their stuff!
Torsten Hoff 5
The problem is that the tests are run with manufacturer and airline employees. They are fit, focused, and have a clear understanding of what to do (and what not to do). There are no injuries or confusion, nobody tries to grab their precious carryon, and everything is pretty orderly.

It’s clear that the tests that have been conducted in no way represent real world scenarios.
William Ableman 2
Yeah, if we are being realistic, I believe a lot of people would try to get their bag from the overhead compartment. I'd bet on it.
susan mandeville 1
All good considerations!

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

EMK69 10
Factually, you are wrong. I can tell you dealing with the FAA numerous times a month here in Oklahoma City where most of the training, Human Factor (HF,) and other FAA-related things are tested, conducted, etc....they allow ample opportunity to provide input in the HF side of the house.

Like anything, car accidents, home accidents, work-related accidents, etc....there are possible solutions to keeping a majority of the traveling passengers alive during an accident. Lives will be lost to some degree but lessening that degree a notch or two can and is being achieved with the HF team.

I'm Working on several projects with the FAA in both OKC and Dallas on a 16G seating that would ensure self-extinguishing with a weight loss ratio of less than 5% during a crash. Me, and others on my team, are looking at a loss of less than 3% which increases the survivability rate to 50%-60%. The issue is to ensure added weight to each seat is not increased for each A/C W&B.

Never say never to "no cure" when many of us are working very hard to ensure the survivability is near 90-95%.
Gregg Bender 8
This is long overdue. With the tight seat pitches and additional seats being crammed in everywhere but the cabin ceiling, cabins are becoming harder to evacuate from. That doesn't even take into account the habit of passengers to grab all their **** and try to go down the slides with it... 🙄
rlowney 15
Are any of these simulations actually run with disabled people onboard or children? Have they ever asked for volunteers so they can actually do an accurate assessment? Perhaps they should do a simulation where people are on the plane for 4 hours drinking and handling unruly children, where the wifi doesn't work, then pour smoke through the cabin and tell them it isn't a drill. See how it works then.
Bill Butler 8
Careful. You're applying logic to a government situation....
Michael Pawl 0
We are from the Government and are here to help.
Stefan Sobol 5
We are from the Government and we're not happy 'til you're not happy.
Roger Curtiss 5
For a long time I advocated for the availability of an overwing exit door mockup in airport terminals so that passengers who will be seated in those rows can be "certified" to operate them and have the experience of doing so to preclude the first time being during an actual emergency under likely and potentially less than ideal circumstances.
Miro Lehky 2
That is a lot of different doors you need. Even within the 737 family the design of how the overwing opens has changed.
Annette Vasickanin 5
Please don’t put up an article that demands that I not use DuckDuckGo to read the article. This piece would not permit me to read unless I removed all my ad blockers which I will not do.
SmokedChops 2
wasn't just me...yeah, no, the ad blocker stays in place.
Dubslow 1
John Haller 0
So, you are saying that writers should write for free? We outlawed slavery in 1865.
Chris B 3
Let's include 30% of all passengers take their hand luggage
sweeper239 3
What they should be looking into is airlines selling Emergency seats to the public. People pay extra simply for the extra legroom. Whey are often overweight and the elderly. Sure the flight attendant comes around and asks each person if the are capable. Of course they all say yes. Most don't have any idea what what it takes to open a 40 pound door and throw it out of the plane! When I look at the people seated in these rows I think NO WAY! I always identify myself as an "off duty" pilot. I ask at the boarding counter show them my pilots license and 95% of the time they assign my the emergency row usually the window seat. Being 6'8" helps too!
Tom Zaidman 1
Agree with you. Saying yes to the questions is often answered by non English speaking passengers. Aisles not wide enough for quick exit, often pilots too slow ordering evacuation, looking up instructions, even with engines on fire.
Better safe than sorry, no matter if the emergency is real or mistaken.
John Haller 1
You are supposed to put the door on the back of the seat, and not yeet it somewhere onto the wing.
Miro Lehky 3
So much inaccuracies in that article. There are two tests done, one by the manufacturer in a generic cabin configuration and generic procedures with the max number of passengers that they plan to certify the aircraft for.

The airline then also has to do a demo using it’s exact cabin configuration and it procedures…at the pax passengers it’s ops specs will allow in that configuration.

Also the 90 second requirement is using only half the exits. When the test is done the participants will not know which exits are blocked. Normally as the participants look out the exit windows/door they will see a test conductor wave a red flag (simulated fire) if that exit is blocked. All the other windows a blocked over to make it dark in thee cabin to ensure you are doing the test just with the emergency lighting.

I’ve participated in several of these test scenarios and all where conducted in that way.
Dubslow 7
Good god the last time congress interfered in aircraft safety, they made it worse, not better
randy everett 1
That's pretty much true of everything the Government touches.
Dale Johnson 2
I thank God that I don't have to fly anywhere anymore...
John Cannon 2
Long overdue, while they're at it they should update the ARFF capacity for airports which are based on length of aircraft, which were established in the era of the Boeing 707 & DC8's. The standards were never updated to reflect increased passenger capacity of wide-body aircraft.
jmilleratp 2
Like, where everyone will be grabbing their carry-ons, purses, laptops and everything else they brought with them before even thinking of exiting?
avionik99 1
Not like there isnt time for that! Might as well grab your stuff while waiting for your turn to get up and out.
joe danser 2
yes we are getting way to may folks on aircraft... cram and jam.... frontier's a321 has 230 seats. I would love to see how fast people can really get off..
jbermo 3
Now what would draw the senator's attention to this subject other than looking for something to do?
W L Pat Patterson 2
I have often wondered why all pax, disabled, children, elderly, etc., are not used in testing evac procedures. Today's seat size and spacing guarantee significant major injuries and fatalities during real-world emergency evac. I firmly believe more realistic criteria be developed.
Miro Lehky 2
Because you don’t want those people to get hurt. Are you willing for your 6 month old, for example, to be used as a test subject. What about your 75 year old parent.

Many aircraft evacuations in real life result in injuries such a burns from the slide, broken limbs as multiple people collide on the slides, etc.
Bernie20910 2
Speaking as a 66-year-old disabled person... sign me up if you'll provide the full medical care needed for any injury incurred. I'll risk the injury if it will get the tests to be more realistic.
Tony Baucom 1
I am just a passenger who has an interest in Aviation and I fully agree that the emergency exit row should have some qualifications that a reasonable person would believe that the people in the row will have the ability to do the job. Currently it is over 15 years of age and can speak English which to me seems to betray the role of what may be needed. Also someone suggested a mock up of the emergency exit. This idea does not seem practical but a video demo of the process for that planes exact equipment, review of the passenger (age, size and command of the English language would seen to better than what we have now.
Jim Hackman 1
After 911, Congress ordered FAA to add photos to pilot certificates. No problem, mine has Orville and Wilber on the back! Seat size ought to be a snap.
Miro Lehky 1
That never got past the NPRM stage of rule making. Their is no current rule for a phone on a pilot certificate, there is a rule (61.3) that requires airmen to carry a separate ID that has a photo (drivers license for example).
Leander Williams 1
I don't think the number of passengers is a major factor, but those people who CANNOT deplane without their overhead luggage are the ones who hamper evacuations. I recently saw a video on YouTube which showed the proper way to come down an emergency slide. If everyone did that correctly, there would be few injuries from slide rash. If anything, aircraft manufacturers should strengthen the aircraft skin to allow for a couple of additional minutes of protection in the event of a fire. Who knows if
adding an additional exit on each side of larger aircraft would help or cause more confusion.
Stuart Murray 1
I think the test is expected and I know the outcome. A true aircraft disaster will include panic and adrenaline. Big difference. Yes, people will do stupid stuff. The more realistic the test the better.
Dj Jacobson 1
The time would be better spent regulating seat size and pitch, as in bigger seats and more room between rows. New aircraft have the rows so close together you cannot stand up in the row. It certainly slows down evacuation speeds.
susan mandeville 1
All good considerations!
bbabis 0
Real-Life?? The government hasn't operated in real-life for decades.
SorenTwin 0
Oh? I didn't know they had the qualifications or industry experience for that. Smh
jeffrey delong -1
Those two Senators should be worried more about other issues like freezing elderly folks and food prices not to mention others ... Oh right I forgot ... they want that to happen dah !
D Rotten -4
The Two Tammy Twits are funny! There have been countless 'real-life evacuations', from all around the world, for MANY years now. And MANY of those plane evacuations were 'plane fulls'. But, hey....lets listen to a couple of bimbos who have no idea of what they are talking about! LOLOL

(Just an FYI: I am don't even go to non existent 'sexist' BS!)
btweston 1
You are an idiot. Thank you for your time.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Andy Bridger 6
I’m not sure why that has anything to do with this? Safety is safety, it’s nothing to do with politics…..
btweston 4
Those Democrats and their regard for human life… They’re digging into my delicious profits!


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