Re: 747 question

From:         Brian Avery White <>
Organization: Columbia University
Date:         12 May 95 03:22:47 
References:   1 2
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On 17 Mar 1995, Sense wrote:

> I can reply to the emergency slide question.  Prior to take-off, the
> captain will say something like "Flight Attendents prepare for departure",
> and then they will position the actuating arm that attaches to the door.
> This arm actuates the slide upon opening the door.  Naturally, before
> landing the captain will say "....prepare for arrival." and that tells the
> attendant to disable the actuator.

Substantially correct, however the timing is off.  The Flight Deck crew
notify the cabin crew to "arm the doors" prior to pushback.  Doors are
disarmed only after block-in.  The rule is, unless the aircraft is
blocked-in, the doors nearest any section of the aircraft containing
passengers must be armed.

Instructions from the Flight Deck vary from airline to airline ("flight
attendants, prepare for departure and cross-check", or "doors to
automatic and cross-check", to the European "Cabin crew, lock-in
slider-bars and cross-check").  "Cross-check" requires visual
confirmation from another attendant that the door is properly (dis)armed.

Note also that the major European carriers all give this particular
command in English, but not in their native language...hmmm.

Also note: the "actuating bar" is the covered lever located where a
door-knob would be, and is called a mode selector.  It allows the flight
attendant to select either "manual" or "automatic" deployment for the
> In short, the slides can only be activated from inside the plane.

To the best of my knowledge, quite correct.  However, the door could be
opened from the outside and manual deployment of the slide could be
initiated.  Any time you open the door of the plane from the outside,
however, the mode selector automatically pops into the manual position
and disarms the automatic deployment of the slide.  Wouldn't want to open
the door and get knocked on the head.