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A380 evacuation trial seen for the first time (video clip)

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A380 evacuation trial seen for the first time (video clip)

Old 2nd May 2007, 12:37
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A380 evacuation trial seen for the first time (video clip)

http://www.flightglobal.com/articles...irst-time.html
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Old 2nd May 2007, 12:43
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Some of this footage was shown on the Discovery Channel series: Worlds largest airliner. Interesting to see the full footage. Thanks for posting.

S
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Old 2nd May 2007, 12:54
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Sadly it is totally unrealistic and purely for certification purposes.

There were no:

1) People over the age of about 40.
2) Immobile people
3) Any bags anywhere blocking anything
4) People were all doing exactly as told (no trying to take hand luggage etc)
5) No wind/rain anything that would affect the slides useability.

I am sure other people will spot how highly planned it was!

J
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Old 2nd May 2007, 13:10
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Julian, how on earth can they have a un-planned test for certification????????????????
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Old 2nd May 2007, 13:12
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Julian - Yes, but only half the slides were used and the PAX did not know which slides were going to be used until the order to evac was given.
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Old 2nd May 2007, 13:23
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Originally Posted by from the article

EASA and FAA regulations require that 35% of the participants must be aged over 50, a minimum 40% must be female, and 15% female and over 50.
Shows you know rather a lot about such tests Julian.
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Old 2nd May 2007, 13:25
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Interesting about the ages criteria, I didn't know that. I put my hands up - however the video didn't seem to show many 50+ year olds. However it still leaves the fact that fit 50+ year olds are not representative of an overall full plane as to passenger make up. Anyone know the percentage of flights that have at least one wheelchair or disabled passenger on board? Quite high I would have thought.

An unplanned test for certification would be an interesting concept. Try bringing along your whole test hundreds of people. Get them in their seats on a "this is a trial on our safety demo pre talk flight and oxygen mask falling scenario - Advise they read the safety cards after the safety brief" Once they have listened to the talk then get them to expect something else to happen, not the evacuation.

Then go for the evacuation.

That is more realistic and would be an "unplanned" evacuation.

And before people say "oh yeah but you would be prepared on the plane prior to landing to evacuate" - not in all scenarios.
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Old 2nd May 2007, 13:42
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However it still leaves the fact that fit 50+ year olds are not representative of an overall full plane as to passenger make up. Anyone know the percentage of flights that have at least one wheelchair or disabled passenger on board? Quite high I would have thought.
And your point is what? That we should artificially skew the test so that it includes at least one immobile person who can't get out of their seat and thereby perishes? That we should put somebody in the way to block everybody elses egress by their slower pace? What would such an exercise prove? That the wheelchair passengers are more likely to die in a crash?

An unplanned test for certification would be an interesting concept.
It certainly would

[/quote] Try bringing along your whole test hundreds of people. Get them in their seats on a "this is a trial on our safety demo pre talk flight and oxygen mask falling scenario - Advise they read the safety cards after the safety brief"[/quote]

What, you mean exactly like what happens now?

Once they have listened to the talk then get them to expect something else to happen, not the evacuation.
Like what exactly? How do you realistically simulate an event in a cabin designed for X hundred people?

Then go for the evacuation.
That is more realistic and would be an "unplanned" evacuation.
No it's not. It certainly isn't unplanned as all the volunteers know what is going to happen. I would question whether it was even realistic. How many evacuations have taken place recently which were accompanied by anything other than a catastropic break up of the aircraft or a raging inferno in the cabin, neither or which can be adequately represented by simulation?

And before people say "oh yeah but you would be prepared on the plane prior to landing to evacuate"
I don't think anybody who has the first idea about commercial aviation would say that!
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Old 2nd May 2007, 13:44
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Good show! They managed to get 783 people off in 77 seconds, according to one account, out of half the exits. Quite amazing, despite criticisms.
You can see people piling up at the bottom of the slides. Might make for a mess in an actual situation.
Some US airlines show flight attendants how to train first off passengers to "shake hands!" with following evacuees, pulling them to their feet and directing them away from the aircraft.
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Old 2nd May 2007, 13:48
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There were no:
3) Any bags anywhere blocking anything
If you read the article...

Two anonymous guys, presumably from the regulatory authorities, wander through throwing blankets and simulated baggage - lots of it - in the aisles.
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Old 2nd May 2007, 13:53
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Ok stupid me hands up in the air - perception of the video is not the reality. It all looked so straightforward, but you guys are right. Assume nothing, read everything and hang your head in shame when you get it wrong for doing so....

So let me and you can and I will take a and we wont have and we will all be
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Old 2nd May 2007, 14:00
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Sadly it is totally unrealistic and purely for certification purposes.

There were no:

1) People over the age of about 40.
2) Immobile people
3) Any bags anywhere blocking anything
4) People were all doing exactly as told (no trying to take hand luggage etc)
5) No wind/rain anything that would affect the slides useability.

I am sure other people will spot how highly planned it was!
I wonder if Boeing do it any differently?
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Old 2nd May 2007, 15:17
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It's funny that you should want a more realistic evacuation. I don't know who it was but one manufacturer offered a prize for first out. I don't remember the value or how many people actually got the prize but I think it led to an overly agressive evacuation. Passengers were clawing to get out first, where in an evacuation there would be an element of assistance from some passengers. Unfortunately, at least one woman was killed during these tests and some people were paralysed.

Nice one on admitting your error

Last edited by Jimmy Macintosh; 4th May 2007 at 20:34. Reason: unsure of actual aircraft manufacturer, so removed it!
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Old 2nd May 2007, 15:30
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Regulations and certifications do not guarantee perfect safety, they only confirm an acceptable level of safety compared to the historical experience.

Random variations do affect our overall individual safety, based on the plane that you are on, the crew that is flying and the seat that you are allocated. Now couple this to the passenger themselves, are they infirm, intoxicated, or the type likely to freeze in the headlights.

A single test only seeks to confirm that on average most have a chance of making it out alive (no regulations on the injuries). If you really want a more realistic confirmation, then simply add in the infirm, and the drunks and see how many of these get trampled to death, but do be prepared to accept that you may have to force them at gunpoint to board the test vehicle.
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Old 2nd May 2007, 15:35
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Thumbs up

Like what exactly? How do you realistically simulate an event in a cabin designed for X hundred people?
You use this...
http://fseg.gre.ac.uk/fire/aircraft_...imulation.html

This CAA Paper Makes interesting reading...
http://www.caa.co.uk/application.asp...detail&id=1706

It was quite sobering to see the number of Ambulances parked up outside paint shop at Hamburg in antcipation of mass casualties due to this test.

.
To save you reading the whole paper I've pasted the conclusion page below.
Conclusions
Before computer models can reliably be used for certification applications they must
undergo a range of validation demonstrations. While validation will never prove a
model correct, confidence in the modelís predictive capabilities will be improved the
more often it is shown to produce reliable predictions.
A key component of the airEXODUS evacuation model is the use of the generalised
passenger exit hesitation time data and exit ready times. The generalised data is a
statistical composite of all available data from previous certification trials. The results
from the six test cases considered has shown that the same broad conclusions
concerning aircraft performance can be derived from simulations utilising the
generalised data for exit hesitation times and exit opening times as simulations using
the actual data. This suggests that the generalised data represents a good
approximation for how key aircraft components will perform under certification
applications. This provides the modelling and regulatory community with strong
evidence to support the use of the generalised data for aircraft certification
applications in which the standard configurations and components are being
considered.
This general approach can be extended to situations in which the generalised data is
not applicable, for example, when a new or significantly modified aircraft exit type is
being used. In this situation, rigorous testing of the exit component under certification
conditions is necessary in order to generate the appropriate data to use in the model.
This testing should be sufficient to provide data of similar quality to that used to
generate the existing generalised data. This approach is identical to that used in those
simulations that made use of the actual data rather than the generalised data.
This project has added an additional six test cases to the list of validation already
undertaken by airEXODUS. These cases have shown that the model is capable of
successfully reproducing the overall evacuation performance of both wide-body and
narrow-body aircraft under certification conditions. Using the mean of the airEXODUS
generated total evacuation time distribution for each aircraft and the single time
achieved by the aircraft in each of the trials to represent the typical evacuation
performance, airEXODUS is capable of predicting the total evacuation time to within
5.3% or 3.8 seconds on average. It was also shown that the model is able to reliably
predict the likely evolution of the evacuation from its start to its completion.
The analysis has also highlighted the inability of the current certification process to
meaningfully rank aircraft performance, on the basis of a single trial result due to the
probabilistic nature of the evacuation process. In order to rank aircraft performance it
is necessary to undertake repeated evacuation trials. Alternatively, computer
simulation could be used to generate the total evacuation time probability distribution
and base a ranking system on the statistical information provided by such a
distribution.
The analysis has also shown that even though an aircraft may pass a single one-off
certification trial, there may be a finite chance that the aircraft will fail to meet the
requirements of the certification process if the trial were repeated a number of times.
This information is invaluable when attempting to assess the true evacuation
performance of the aircraft. It provides insight into the design of the aircraft that can
only be practically provided through evacuation simulation.
Finally, the success of airEXODUS in predicting the outcome of previous 90 second
certification trials is a compelling argument of the suitability of this model for
evacuation certification applications.

Last edited by ARINC; 2nd May 2007 at 15:49.
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Old 2nd May 2007, 15:43
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Julian,
I think you miss a point.

The purpose of an evacuation trial for certification is to obtain a baseline figure for evacuation under specified conditions (age groups, scattered luggage, half the slides blocked, etc.), that you can match to a requirement.

If you can't meet the requirement, it's usually indicative of a problem somewhere : bottlenecks in the evacuation path, insufficient signposting, people heading the wrong way (especially in a huge beast such as the A380), etc.

Making it too "realistic" (smoke, flares, panic, people with reduced mobility, blind people, etc.) introduces so many extra variables, that it rapidly becomes impossible to evaluate the result of the basic evacuation itself.
Not to mention that preferably you want to do the trial without people getting trampled underfoot or getting killed in other ways.
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Old 2nd May 2007, 16:44
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Since the tests are the same for Mr Boeing's aircraft and anyone else's (I presume in all jurisdictions, using the same baselines)at least there is an element of authenticity throughout.
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Old 2nd May 2007, 17:01
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Luoto,

I wouldn't call it "authenticity" so much as "consistency".
The certification trial specifications are drawn up as a check on those items that the aircraft designers can do something about (evacuation paths, correct siting of exits, etc.).
And those rules should apply equally across the board.
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Old 2nd May 2007, 17:08
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Sorry, I used the wrong word. Was thinking of it and couldn't be sure.
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Old 2nd May 2007, 19:02
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A further aspect to be considered during these tests is the ethical aspect - it is not acceptable to put people at risk of serious injury (there is plenty of evidence about how these tests can go wrong and, sadly, some permanently injured people).

There is a duty of care on the test organisers to minimise the injury risk (legally and moraly). I saw some of the video on the Arte documentary broadcast in France & Germany and noted that the participants also performed warm-up exercises first - like for any sporting event.

As others have said there is a standardised set of data produced that can then be used in a simulation for validation and scenario testing.
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