Re: Aircraft Evacuation

Date:         28 Jul 97 01:13:25 
From:         shafer@ferhino.dfrc.nasa.gov (Mary Shafer)
Organization: NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards CA
References:   1
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On 14 Jul 97 20:27:01 , "P. Wezeman" <pwezeman@blue.weeg.uiowa.edu> said:

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

Yes, if the configuration is markedly different, with more passengers,
from those tested previously.  I believe that the airline will
frequently contract with the airframer to do this testing.

The sample population, by the way, has to be representative of the
usual mix of passengers for the configuration, so the tight-pack
military transport configuration used for the CRAF 747s need only be
demonstrated with military personnel, rather than "laps", seniors,
etc.  (A "lap" is a child of 24 months or less, riding on someone's
lap rather than in a seat.)

It's not just the FAA, either.  British Airways had to demonstrate to
the British authority (CAA?) the evacuability of the 747 with the
overwing exits blocked when they tried to squeeze in another row of
seats.  Although this configuration could be evacuated in the required
90 seconds, public and industry outcry stopped it from going into
service, as I recall.
--
Mary Shafer               NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA
SR-71 Flying Qualities Lead Engineer     Of course I don't speak for NASA
shafer@ferhino.dfrc.nasa.gov                               DoD #362 KotFR
URL http://www.dfrc.nasa.gov/People/Shafer/mary.html
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