33 injured in Airbus evacuation drill
Last Updated Sun, 26 Mar 2006 19:50:32 EST
Thirty-three people were injured Sunday during an evacuation drill in Hamburg for the latest Airbus super-jumbo airliner.
One man broke his leg and 32 people suffered minor friction burns and other injuries during an exercise in which 853 people and 20 crew members practised the emergency drill.
These drills are standard practice in the aerospace industry as the airplane manufacturers strive to meet international safety regulations.
The United States, Europe, Canada and other countries will not approve a new airplane model unless the airplane meets strict evacuation times.
The manufacturers also fly new planes to harsh environments to prove they will work under a variety of conditions. The Airbus, the largest plane in the world, was tested in Nunavut this winter to show it will fly in the extreme cold.
Many manufacturers practise these evacuation routines ahead of the government tests, pushing the passengers to leave the airplane as quickly as possible. People are frequently hurt as they climb onto the airliner's wings, clamber through windows or tumble down exit chutes.
In this case, 873 employees of Germany's Lufthansa AG tumbled out of the huge double-decker airliner in 80 seconds, in the dark, well within the limits set by the European Aviation Safety Agency.
The EU wanted 650 people to exit the airplane in 90 seconds.
"That (test) was a very great success," Airbus manager Gustav Humbert told Associated Press after the test.
Try to get over 850 people out of an airliner in less than a minute and a half, in the dark, and you know there are going to be some knocks. In fairness, considering what you're doing, (Egressing burning or sinking aircraft) friction burns are hardly a major issue. About the only major item is the one broken leg.
No shit. That's one of the inherent problems with such a large pax aircraft.
And that was just a drill. Maybe they'll come out of that with some lessons learned.
see, there is the problem. They used Germans.
If they had used Frenchmen, they could have just said "The German Army has captured this aircraft, everyone off NOW" and they could have had 900 guys off that sucker in 35 seconds flat, lined up on the tarmac with hands in the air.
Aircraft evac drills for time (and certificate) usally result in injuries.
I went through the FAA egress training at the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center in OKC.
They have an aircraft fuselage mounted up as high as a 707, after the smoke drills the last egress is down the slide.
When I went down I bounced and got off center and when I hit the ground one of my legs got caught and I was "high-sided". I did a flip and a summersault.
The FAA rep and the Navy Cdr both gave me a 10.