Re: Aircraft Evacuation

Date:         28 Jul 97 01:13:25 
From:         D.P.Rhodes@lboro.ac.uk (Darren Rhodes)
Organization: Loughborough University
References:   1
Followups:    1
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On 14 Jul 97 20:27:01 , "P. Wezeman" <pwezeman@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu> wrote:

>   Does the FAA require airlines to demonstrate evacuation of airliners
>in every seating configuration that the airline uses? In other words, if
>an airliner wanted to squeeze more seats into an airliner than anyone
>had ever used before, would they have to demonstrate that the new
>configuration would still meet standards for evacuation time with a
>random half of the exits blocked, X% seniors, dummy infants and all
>the other test requirements?

The answer is no. The aircraft are certificated in a very high density
layout. However, the limit is often set on the number of doors present
and then confirmed by tests.

Examples are the Boeing 777-200, Airbus A330/340 which all have 4
pairs of type A doors. The FAR and JAR allow 110 people per pair for
these doors giving an exit limited capacity of 440 people. Currently I
don't know of any operator using a layout anywhere near this limit.

The stretch 777-300 has a extra set of doors in oen of the plug
increasing exit limited capacity to 550.

The Boeing 747-400 has 6 pairs of Type A doors giving a theoretical
exit limit of 660 people. However, I don't think the 747-400 has ever
been certficated to this limit.

Charter operators often get very close the the max seating capacities.
Typical 757 seating layouts for UK charter operators are 235, the
certificated limit is 239.

The tests are also done in a very controlled manner now, since a
volunteer was paralysed in 1989 whilst participating in an MD-11
certification test. As I understand it the passenger tripped at the
top of the slide and descended head first.