Re: Aircraft Evacuation and Injuries

Date:         01 Aug 97 04:04:16 
From:         l.a.ram@ix.netcom.com (Louis A. Ramsay)
Organization: Netcom
References:   1 2
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>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.

     When we introduced the Convair-990 to our "fleet" we had to have
the evacuation demonstration.  Bad thing about the 990 was the lack of
inflatable escape slides.  Instead, they had a canvas slide with rope
loops one each side at the bottom.  The first two passengers out each
door were male passengers (preferably) that lowered themselves to the
ground via rope.  They were then responsible for holding the slide taut
for the remaining passengers.

     We had mattresses placed below the slides to catch anyone that
slid off the slide sideways.  As luck would have it, it was one of our
flight attendents that came off the slide.  She landed on her head and
injured her neck.  Luckily, she only missed the summer's worth of
flying before she could go back to work.

     Years later, I was at the airport that had the first "for real"
evacuation of a loaded B747.  They got somewhere around a total of 320
people off the plane in less than 90 seconds even with one or two
slides INOP.  Aside from some ladies, who were flying in dresses or
skirts, suffering from burnt butts, the only injury was to a three- or
four-month old infant that was held in its mother's arms.  Somehow or
other, the child got a broken ankle.

     Lou.