When it comes to airline emergency evacuation procedures, it is important to define first the objectives of the emergency egress system. Emergency egress systems, when properly designed and implemented, allow passengers and crew members to evacuate the aircraft in a safe manner. Such systems are essential in ensuring the safety of air travel.
An emergency egress system is (10) a system that facilitates emergency egress from an airplane during an emergency. It involves (a) movement of personnel from their seated positions to an emergency exit of the aircraft; (b) provision of a fire extinguisher or other means of emergency fire assistance on-board the aircraft; (c) provision of food and drink to the passengers; (d) installation of a mass flight exit sign that directs emergency and distress personnel to the area; (e) provision of emergency medical assistance if necessary; and (f) provision of information regarding the location of alternate sources of departure and the nearest helipad. An emergency egress system must meet certain criteria, such as (a) it should provide for a rapid evacuation of the cabin by passengers, without any delays in the notification of the control tower; (b) the evacuation routes should be defined; (c) all passengers and their luggage should be brought to a halt; (d) all emergency equipment, including the required oxygen, should be operational; and (e) the emergency location and rescue guidelines must be followed.
The objectives of an emergency egress system include preventing passengers from being harmed in an emergency situation by preventing collision between aircraft; preventing loss of life; preventing catastrophic damage to the aircraft; and protecting the aircraft, its occupants and any emergency responders located aboard the aircraft. Such a system must also provide for a rapid transfer of people from the affected aircraft to another capable aircraft when the latter becomes inaccessible or unable to assist. The emergency egress system may be initiated by the controller or by a passenger in the aircraft. If the emergency egress system is initiated by a passenger, both the passenger and the air traffic controller must take action to bring the passenger safely out of the aircraft. The emergency egress system may also be initiated by an authorized emergency person such as a member of the crew or a fire warden.
Both the passenger and the emergency egress system initiate the emergency egress systems. The passenger application includes a strip of plastic known as the “stitch ring,” which holds the passenger to the seat in place during movement. The strips of plastic also have openings in which lanyards can be fitted to hold belts or other attachment devices. The emergency egress system also consists of attachment devices known as “grabbers” that fit inside the hole in the emergency egress panels. When the grabbers are used, they push the occupant out of the cabin, and the opening in the panel is sealed so that it cannot be opened again.
The method of opening an emergency egress system depends on whether it is a permanent or temporary installation. Temporary installations consist of installation of the required components and fastening of them to the airplane structure through use of external hardware such as an external jettison lever or internal jettison lever. Permanent installations involve installation of the required components into the plane structure through use of internal hardware. Both permanent and temporary installations require the installation of attachment points such as grabbers, lanyards, and retention devices.
The first step in knowing the emergency egress system’s (80) mechanism is to know that there are three major types: the first type is where there is a disposition of the emergency egress opening toward the exterior of the airplane. The second type is where said opening is disposed proximal to the aircraft’s interior. The third type entails opening of said opening toward the airplane’s exterior after which it is retained in such a manner that it can immediately open to the aircraft interior. The first and the second types are respectively classified as primary and secondary openings. If any one of these three openings is the primary opening, then the emergency egress system’s mechanism is classified as primary only.
Now, if the aircraft has no emergency egress system, then the third type is to be selected. This system involves the installation of a series of retention devices whereby the exit from the aircraft will be controlled through use of a pull chain. It is important that the pull chain is properly tightened so as to prevent the aircraft from being shot down in an air collision. The emergency egress system’s mechanism may also include a secondary exit where the emergency egress panels are ejected toward the ground instead of being retained in the aircraft.
There are certain advantages associated with the above-mentioned emergency systems. First, they reduce the risk of ejection by eliminating or greatly reducing the chances of debris striking the pilot and passengers. They also help prevent debris from hitting the aircraft itself especially those near the tail and the engine when it is in flight. Further, it helps in maintaining cabin pressure by preventing cabin depressurization. Thus, it is imperative for an airline to make use of such systems for safe evacuation from an aircraft in case of an emergency.