Re: passenger stairs in aircraft tail

From: (Lou Salz)
Organization: Hewlett Packard Sonoma County
Date:         10 Jul 95 16:36:58 
References:   1 2
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Robert Dorsett ( wrote:
: In article <airliners.1995.873@ohare.Chicago.COM> Martin Fiddler <> writes:
: >Why don't all aircraft have them?   Is it something to do with the rear
: >mounted engines on the above two models?    I guess it's much more complex
: >from the rear pressure bulkhead aspect, but that doesn't explain why, say,
: >the B737 doesn't have them but the DC9 does.

: The DC-9 does not have arstairs.  You are confusing it with the 727, which
: lowers airstairs out the back.

I don't think Martin is the one that's confused on this one.  In the
last 6 months I have been on 3 MD80s and 1 DC9 that had stairs in the
rear that were being used to load passengers.  The airlines involved
were Austral in Argentina, Finn Air in Italy and Alitalia in Italy.

: The reason they exist at all is for remote field operations.

I don't consider Buenos Aires (AEP) or Milan (LIN) to be "remote field
operations".  Both cities have populations well into the millions.  Both
airports use buses to move passengers between the gates and the planes.
I suspect rear stairs are still in use at these airports because when
combined with front stairs, they speed the boarding process.

I still kind of enjoy the chance to board a plane this way every once in a
while.  Seeing the plane on the outside up close and climbing up the stairs
past the screaming APU keeps you from getting too isolated from the machine
you're flying on.

Lou Salz