RFT 043: Emergency Evacuation

August 29, 2016

Photo credit: heraldsun.com.au

Worldwide, there have been 11 airline emergency evacuations so far this year. Although it’s unlikely you will need to evacuate from an airliner you’re traveling on, it is prudent to always be prepared for an event that could be catastrophic if not performed correctly.
In this podcast we discuss airline evacuation procedures and steps you can take to prepare yourself for the unlikely event.

Recent evacuations:

Regent B737 at Dhaka on Aug 24th 2016, rejected takeoff due to gear fire, evacuation

Emirates B773 at Dubai on Aug 3rd 2016, touched down with gear retracted during go-around, aircraft on fire

Air China B738 at Beijing on Jul 31st 2016, rejected takeoff due to engine failure

American A320 at West Palm Beach on Jul 21st 2016, fuel leak

Batik B738 and Transnusa AT42 at Jakarta on Apr 4th 2016, collision on runway, both aircraft on fire, takeoff clearance with towed aircraft on runway

India A319 at Mumbai on Mar 28th 2016, tower reports smoke from landing gear

Peruvian B735 at Cusco on Mar 20th 2016, runway excursion during rejected takeoff due to blown tire

India A320 at Mumbai on Mar 15th 2016, burst tires on landing

Peace B735 at Port Harcourt on Mar 12th 2016, false smoke detector indication

JAL B738 at Sapporo on Feb 23rd 2016, smoke from right hand engine prompts evacuation on taxiway

Orenair B772 at Punta Cana on Feb 10th 2016, engine shut down in flight, burst tyre and smoke on landing

Airlines are required to be capable of evacuating all pax out of half exits in 90 seconds in night conditions.

One Flight Attendant is required per 50 pax capacity, unless more are required for the evacuation test. This number is based on seating capacity, not number of passengers on any particular flight.

Recommendations:

  • read passenger information card – not all exits are alike
  • pay attention to pre-departure briefing
  • count seat rows between yourself and exit
  • wear shoes, not flip-flops
  • wear natural fabrics – nylon melts
  • keep shoes on during takeoff and landing
  • keep important items on your person – passport, etc
  • keep head low during evacuation
  • do not carry anything to the exit during an evacuation
  • look out window before opening exit
  • jump onto slide
  • move upwind away from airplane

Here’s a great video showing an evacuation test: