Re: 747-300 and -400

From: (Robert Dorsett)
Organization: Netcom Online Communications Services (408-241-9760 login: guest)
Date:         20 Apr 96 14:02:49 
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In article <airliners.1996.556@ohare.Chicago.COM> (Mary Shafer) writes:
>R> The overhatch thing with the inertial reels is for the flight crew
>R> only.
>According to an article I read years ago in Callback, 747s had a
>knotted rope that could be tossed out one of the windows so that the
>cockpit crew could shinny down it.  I read about this in an article
>that discussed the practice of taxiing on two engines to save fuel
>because of OPEC, so it was some time ago.

The windows on the 747 are bolted closed.  This caused a howl among pilots
when this was announced, for a variety of operational reasons.  Among them,
in a smoke emergency or damaged windscreen, in other airplanes (both
older and newer), pilots can poke their heads out the side and maneuver the
airplane by visual reference.  They are protected from wind blast by the bow

I ran across as SETP paper a few years ago which indicated that this
practice was extremely unusual, and was one of the things that was destined
to die in the wave of "need to know" analyses.

Interestingly, I ran across a reference in some 757 training material
recently which indicates the pilots can poke their heads out the side,
safely, to maneuver. :-)  I wonder if this had anything to do with the
loss of a South African Airways 747 cargo flight off Mauritania a few
years ago, after a fire caused by cargo resulted in dense smoke in
the cockpit.  Shit happens. :-(

As far as I know, it is not feasible to modify the 747's windows to open,
and no carriers have pursued that as an option.

The overhead inertial reels are just handles with maybe .20-gauge steel
cable attached.  There's only one way to go: DOWN.  And hopefully the braking
action will work.  This was put to bad use by the crew of a Pan American
747 which was hijacked to Karachi around 1985/86 (the lack of leadership
arguably resulted in the high death toll, later, in contrast to the role
that the late Jack Testrake played on the TWA 727 which was hijacked
by terrorists just a few months later).

Robert Dorsett                         Moderator, sci.aeronautics.simulation