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Old 11-29-2019, 08:45 AM   #1  
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Default Evacuation times

Please see below:

https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/new...s-14869499.php

Now I wonít mention which airplane manufacturer hired a bunch of college kids my freshman year at the University of Washington and bused us to their nearby facility for an aircraft mockup evacuation test. But I can tell you that except for a couple of freshmen footballers from my dorm, I donít think one of us tipped the scales over 170#. I was about 155#(ah, those were the days...)

But there sure werenít any people on the bus who were mobility impaired, or blind, or fat...and I know damn well there were no dogs or mini horses. They instructed us, had us do three Ďdry runsí at progressively faster speeds and then did one run they actually timed. Not sure if that was actually for certification or just for some proprietary sales pitch. But it sure seemed a little....artificial.
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:26 AM   #2  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Excargodog View Post
Please see below:

https://www.stamfordadvocate.com/new...s-14869499.php

Now I won’t mention which airplane manufacturer hired a bunch of college kids my freshman year at the University of Washington and bused us to their nearby facility for an aircraft mockup evacuation test. But I can tell you that except for a couple of freshmen footballers from my dorm, I don’t think one of us tipped the scales over 170#. I was about 155#(ah, those were the days...)

But there sure weren’t any people on the bus who were mobility impaired, or blind, or fat...and I know damn well there were no dogs or mini horses. They instructed us, had us do three ‘dry runs’ at progressively faster speeds and then did one run they actually timed. Not sure if that was actually for certification or just for some proprietary sales pitch. But it sure seemed a little....artificial.
It's kind of dammed if you do and dammed if you don't, as if you have people with disabilities, older people, animals, etc., people are going to get hurt during the demonstration. Obviously they are going to get hurt during the real thing, but convincing those demographic groups to participate with the real or even certain possibility that they'll get hurt in the process is probably not a good selling point.

We did computer modeling at the university with the A-380, given how many exits, how many people can fit through the exit at once, how many people would be using each exit, speed data, and so on. During optimal conditions, everyone as an "able bodied adult" moving at the normal speed a human is capable of in those conditions, everyone could get out in 90 seconds. While some other teams tried some more complicated approaches, our team went with a simple way to simulate some slow-downs. Given a few "slow downs", like a 30% of the population moving at half speed, there was no way it would work, it blocked the egress and the time went significantly more. This could probably be done fairly well with ergonomic data on rate of movement, the hardest part would probably be modeling getting out of the row, maybe need test data for that, but it would at least significantly decrease the injury issue. One significant conclusion from the computer modeling was that those in first-class had a higher probability of evacuating successfully due to the increased space, being able to essentially move double-file, etc.
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:40 AM   #3  
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Until the emotional support animals stampede.

Then all bets are off.
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Old 11-29-2019, 09:57 AM   #4  
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I still donít understand how people in wheelchairs, and especially aisle chairs, are expected to evacuate.
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Old 11-29-2019, 11:02 AM   #5  
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I still don’t understand how people in wheelchairs, and especially aisle chairs, are expected to evacuate.
It looks like under 121.586 your airline could develop procedures/policy as to where someone with such a disability will be seated, such as window seats, to minimize their affect on others. The expectation is that they have an attendant to help them move expeditiously in the event of an emergency evacuation, which is in 121.571:

121.571
Quote:
(3) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(4) of this section, before each takeoff a required crewmember assigned to the flight shall conduct an individual briefing of each person who may need the assistance of another person to move expeditiously to an exit in the event of an emergency. In the briefing the required crewmember shall—

(i) Brief the person and his attendant, if any, on the routes to each appropriate exit and on the most appropriate time to begin moving to an exit in the event of an emergency; and

(ii) Inquire of the person and his attendant, if any, as to the most appropriate manner of assisting the person so as to prevent pain and further injury.
Paragraph (a)(4) simply states that someone who has already been briefed doesn't need to be re-briefed.

So according to 571, the airline should probably have procedures that require those with disabilities to have an attendant, then the procedures under 121.586 would exist and without such attendant, the airline could refuse travel to the person because they would be unable to comply with the airline's procedures.

Nothing in 586 seems to "require" the airline to have procedures for having an attendant, so to your original question, it doesn't appear the airline has to do anything. That right there is ripe for a lawsuit if they either don't have procedures or aren't enforcing them, assuming something tragic occurs.

The other "expectation" for those in wheelchairs, casts, etc., is the FA will "throw them out", making sure everyone is out and they(the FAs) are the last ones. That is usually a big part of the evac cert/process. Likely with the FA a 110lb 65 year old? I'll let that one just sit here
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:05 AM   #6  
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No, tested evacuation time is not a realistic value, but it can show the Relative ease or difficulty required to get the folks out. If an able bodied test passenger can egress in 90 seconds, it is a fairly reasonable assumption that someone who moves half as fast outside an aircraft would take about 3 minutes to complete the same egress.

As for the folks that use a straight back/isle chair, they, like lap kids, are pretty much out of luck. If a crew member decided to block the isle for 15 minutes assisting a handicapped person while trapping a bunch of able-ish bodied pax, to me that would be something like malpractice or neglegence.

But ...

It doesn't matter if everyone were a 20ish track star or not. At least 10% of the people will be on the phone, packing up a laptop while blocking the isle and getting annoyed with all the other folks who just want to get to a safe place.
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