View Full Version : NTSB: Plane Emergency Slides Often Fail

27th Jun 2004, 16:56
The National Transportation Safety Board estimates that slides fail in about one-third of all evacuations.


Boss Raptor
27th Jun 2004, 17:07
Amazing NTSB come clean for once...

Unlike NTSB admitted their domestic flight security was a joke prior to 9/11 as discussed many times on these forums prior to the event...

How convenient NTSB can blame the manufacturer in this event and can avoid their own continual shortcomings :uhoh:

or FAA can accuse someone for the crap spares that come from the US or the crap paperwork/tracability that is allowed by their system when they expect 'back to birth' bullshit from everyone else...

Still waiting for when NTSB, TSA and FAA have something useful to say...

How many of us listen to them...not?!

27th Jun 2004, 17:20

This video of an Iberia evacuation is particularly interesting - every passenger using the escape slide has shoes and cabin baggage, completely against common-sense and regulations! I only hope Iberia's crew were rebuked for their failure to take control of the situation!

27th Jun 2004, 21:13
bealine agreed, an interesting clip, but I feel your judgement on the crew is a little harsh - hindsight being 20/20 and so on...

Cabin crew procedures require that evacuation flow be maintained, without halting it unecessarily for various transgressions: Every time you stop to try and remove items, you slow and/or stop the flow. It is an individual judgement as to when a problem is significant enough to actually halt the evac flow.

I hold no brief for Iberia, and am unaware of the specifics of the incident. However I do know enough to know that making post incident judgements about the performance of the Crew based on an internet streamed amateur video would normally be considered unwise.


28th Jun 2004, 13:00
I hold no brief for Iberia, and am unaware of the specifics of the incident. However I do know enough to know that making post incident judgements about the performance of the Crew based on an internet streamed amateur video would normally be considered unwise.

Agreed! Apologies to IB for making disparaging remarks without being in full possession of all the facts! (My first reaction).

28th Jun 2004, 14:43
Side stepping abit but does anyone know if there are any other vidoes/footage of any evacuations? If so, do you know where/how to get them?

Many thanks!


28th Jun 2004, 16:17
Boss, I'm intrigued about the NTSB's alleged shortcomings. Apart from TWA800, where they apparently cow-towed to the FBI (and possibly other political pressures), they always seemed to me to be competent and open. OK, they could stand some grammatical improvements in their reports, and the 'contributory factors' they often list would be amusing were these not serious matters.

Now regarding the FAA and the TSA, I agree, but I think you misunderstand the NTSB's mandate. They have nothing to do with security, nor are they beholden to the manufacturers.

Young Paul
28th Jun 2004, 19:56
From the cited report: Grant Brophy, an air safety investigator and director of flight safety and security programs at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla., likened getting on a plane with a malfunctioning slide to being at sea without a life jacket.

"Nine times out of 10, the boat's not going to sink, but there's always that one time," Brophy said. He thinks the board does not go far enough in recommending testing for 10 percent of slides.

"You're going to test more than 10 percent to statistically prove if there's an issue or if there is no issue," Brophy said.

This seems flawed - the "talking head" who doesn't actually know what they are talking about. Statistically, you don't need a sample of 10% to establish whether 10% are faulty, or whether there is an issue. You look at the number of failures in the percentage that you test, and the percentage you test gives you some idea of the confidence with which you know the answer.

Also, if the problem is rigging, then it's not as though having tested the slide, you know it is free from problem - because once it is repacked, it might be wrong again.

Also, the metaphor is misleading. Except for in a ditching, a slide that fails to inflate isn't going to be useless.

Also I wouldn't put too much store by the fact that 8 people were injured in an emergency evacuation in the States - even if all the slides were working. Knowing the litigious nature of society there, I'm surprised that as few as 8 were injured! And what does "injured" mean, anyway? Sprained ankle? "A slight bruise to the upper arm" (vide Douglas Adams)? Confined to a wheelchair for the rest of their life? And were they obeying the instructions? Insufficient data to attach significance to this fact.

Sorry, whilst other correspondents may be impressed that somebody has "come clean", this looks to me like an attempt to make a story into something more dramatic than it actually was.

28th Jun 2004, 21:24
Except for in a ditching, a slide that fails to inflate isn't going to be useless.Say whaaat ? Ever tried jumping from door height even on a narrow-body ?

29th Jun 2004, 18:35
Emergency slides usually have "no fail assiast handles" desiged to be used if the slide fails to inflate or is punctured during the evacuation. I guess thats what Young Paul meant.

30th Jun 2004, 09:28
While in the US the other week, there was a report in the newspaper (for what that's worth!) that United had been fined by the FAA for flying a new plane from Boeing for over a year with the safety pins in the slides so that they couldn't deploy. Nobody was down to check that they'd been removed.......

8th Jul 2004, 15:58
Strange they never fail to deploy when cabin crew inadvertently open an armed door.

8th Jul 2004, 18:48
at every inter/major check here at BA, random slides (up to three) are chosen by the CAA to be deployed on their maintenance input. Each one of these must be videotaped too. We used to be allowed to jump down them :) but now that has all stopped after someone broke both ankles when they hit the ground at the end of the upper deck slide.
Now what I DO want to try is the dog-lead style handle that the flight crew of the 747-400 are suppposed to grab and jump 30ft out of the hatch, descending at a controlled rate to the tarmac! :\

9th Jul 2004, 00:59

During the reassamble of a B747 Flightdeck after a D-Check I had the pleasure to reinstall those "dog-lead style" devices. I was amazed at the two downright tiny screws that hold the whole bracket attached to the airframe. I am not talking about the bolt that holds the steel cables on, I am talking about two screws underneath that attach the whole unit. I would only go down that flightdeck window when flames are licking through the door and smoke starts filling the upper deck. Absolutely scary!

It seems to be a similar case when pax seats are designed to withstand 9G but the seattracks are limited to 6G only.

Huge bolt to hold the steel cable on the dog lead style device attached to a bracket, two tiny screws that attach the whole bracket to the airframe, what the....?

12th Jul 2004, 06:20
Depends whether theywere to be stressed in shear or tension. You'd be amazed what a couple of tiny screws can hold in the right direction.