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QANTAS B747 evacuation

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QANTAS B747 evacuation

Old 2nd Jul 2003, 14:39
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QANTAS B747 evacuation

The Sydney Morning Herald reports today that an QANTAS B747 (QF6 from FRA via SIN) was evacuated, following a normal landing and taxi to stand, when an engineer advised the Flight Deck crew there appereard to be smoke coming from the MLG area. The report mentions 5 people were injured during the evacuation, and that an airport spokesman said it appeared that one of the slides may have malfunctioned.
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Old 2nd Jul 2003, 23:55
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"STILETTO heels may have punctured two evacuation chutes"

Looks like a later report in the Melbourn Herald Sun:


Five injured in aircraft emergency

STILETTO heels may have punctured two evacuation chutes, causing five passengers to tumble on to the tarmac as they abandoned a Qantas jumbo jet yesterday.

The jet's brakes caught fire as it landed in Sydney early yesterday, forcing the captain to order an emergency evacuation of the 347 passengers.
But passengers said they were not told to remove their shoes before sliding down the emergency chute.

Two chutes collapsed, spilling travellers 3m to the ground.

Injuries included friction burns, grazes and a bumped head.

Passenger Gordon Garratley, 51, a NSW Central Coast businessman, said he saw one of the chutes collapse under the terrified travellers.

"There was about two or three people coming down and it collapsed in the middle, so they would have had a fall of probably 10 feet," he said.

Mr Garratley said the drama unfolded very quickly.

"No one said 'Take shoes off' or anything like that. It was just straight down the chute. There was a lot of panic," he said.

Qantas executive general manager of aircraft operations David Forsyth confirmed that two emergency chutes had collapsed. He said stiletto heels could puncture the chutes.

"Obviously not all of them will necessarily work the way you want them to," he said.

"That's why we usually ask passengers to remove stiletto heels in an emergency evacuation.

"It could be something like that. It could be that something dislodged from a person's clothing -- who knows? It could have just folded badly when it hit the tarmac."

The plane was taxiing to the terminal when a ground engineer noticed smoke coming from one of the brakes.

Passenger Princzie Dekrauwe, 75, said the crew screamed at everyone to "get out".

"It was terrifying landing on the concrete. That was the worst experience I have ever had," Mrs Dekrauwe said.
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Old 3rd Jul 2003, 00:02
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If it was pax not removing stiletto heels - then no one should be surprised. I would lay a bet that even if you DID tell the pax at the point of evacuation - that many would not hear it.

Not necessarily because they are deliberately not listening but they have no expectation of anything going wrong. When it does, they are mentally destablised to a significant degree.

They also had the misfortune for this to occur at the end of an extremely long haul flight. Many folks will have been onboard for close on 24 hours and not be thinking straight anyway.
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Old 3rd Jul 2003, 00:11
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Every flight I have been on I have been told during the pre-flight saftey brief that shoes are to be removed if the chutes are to be used. Don't people pay attention?

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Old 3rd Jul 2003, 04:46
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Dufwer: Don't people pay attention?
No. Many pax are stupid or can't understand what's being said. Many of the rest are so stressed or terrified just about flying that nothing sinks in. All of this is compounded by the soothing tones that airlines use for the safety briefings. They could punctuate the briefing with phrases like "Do this, or you might needlessly kill yourself." It would bring home how important it is that pax pay attention and remember what they're told, but then they'll go away wrongly thinking that planes crash like crazy all the time.
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Old 3rd Jul 2003, 06:15
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Perhaps stilletto heels should be banned on security grounds - if they puncture evacuation chutes they could be used as weapons.
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Old 3rd Jul 2003, 10:27
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Was this a knee-jerk reaction following the Bangkok debacle? (Runway over-run and no evacuation)........Often a small hydraulic weep onto a warm/hot brake pack will result in a little white smoke/fuming. This is very different from a brake fire, and if the correct info had been passed to the pilot, then he might have elected to use steps. A brake can't 'burn' (unless it's on a Shuttle that's breaking up), it can overheat and cause a fire in the wheel (very dangerous, 'cos magnesium involved) or in other combustible materials/fluids adjacent to the brake. Certainly, we must evacuate for a wheel fire, but ground personnel entrusted with communicating to the pilot should know what they are seeing, and should clearly tell the pilot if they are seeing smoke OR flames OR both, and whether it is getting better/worse. Then he/she can make an informed decision about evacuation options.
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Old 3rd Jul 2003, 15:45
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Chosun I agree. Ban the stilettos (and all cabin bags) and there would be alot less hassle. Would have thought a closer inspection before ordering an evacuation would be sensible. Can't blame the Captain. What else could he do if someone on the outside was squawking Fire Fire?
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Old 3rd Jul 2003, 15:55
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"Ban all cabin bags" - for the poor souls faced with a 24 hour flight ?

Just think about it for a few seconds.

Maybe you would like to anaesthetise the pax as well and feed them intravenously ?

Obviously you have never flown far.
Old 3rd Jul 2003, 16:15
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Surely the crew noticed the brake temp. warnings after landing. Even if the landing were normal, brakes can get hot especially if a long taxi is involved or maybe they pulled up a bit sharpish to make the nearest runway exit.
But then the guy on the headset is or should be qualified enough to distinguish between hot brakes and a brake/wheel well fire, if he/she squarks fire on the headset, would you wait.
I'm not an expert on escape slide construction, but I did think they were compartmenalised to prevent rapid deflation.
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Old 3rd Jul 2003, 16:25
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It was also being reported in Sydney that this was as a result of anti-noise regulations banning the use of reverse thrust after landing.
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Old 3rd Jul 2003, 16:28
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Noise procedures, no reverse thrust? Minimal and idle only perhaps. Haven't read that in the notams but still, why no brake temp. indications to the crew.
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Old 3rd Jul 2003, 18:01
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Reverse thrust is of little significance in the normal operation of a pax 744. The carbon brakes work more efficiently when warmed up to a certain degree so reverse thrust is seldom used. Also, I suspect that QANTAS like most 744 operators specify the use of autobrake - which at any setting other than max will deccelerate the aircraft at a set rate so that the use of revers thrust will just release the brakes a bit while the reversers do their stuff.

The crew should have had brake temp indications - they are standard on the 744 and you have to brake very hard to get them in the amber section which is nowhere near the danger zone. They were posiibly concerned that the engineer had reported smoke with no abnormal temperature indications - which would get most pilots thinking laterally.
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Old 3rd Jul 2003, 20:06
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QANTAS B747 evacuation

No one said 'Take shoes off'
So there was no pre-flight safty demo and no one was told to read teh emergency instruction card in the seat pocket.

Sounds more like 'I panicked and forgot, but it was not my fault as no-one checked'.
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Old 3rd Jul 2003, 20:36
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Looking at the photo of the deflated chute - If I remember rightly, during the mid 1980s, some airlines wanted to seal that emergency exit (BA unsealed the exit after a big outcry).

I heard on the grapevine that the chute out of that exit is not always reliable to inflate properly.
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Old 3rd Jul 2003, 23:08
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Dan Winterland says: "Reverse thrust is of little significance in the normal operation of a pax 744."

Boeing does not endorse nor recommend QF's technique of precluding the use of reverse thrust, irrespective of high energy carbon brakes. OF had been strongly criticised for this procedure during the BKK accident investigation.
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Old 4th Jul 2003, 01:09
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I very much doubt anyone was wearing 'stiletto' heels, but it does make for a nice headline The point is nonetheless valid, any hard-soled footwear can puncture the slide.

I obviously must not fly on any of your airlines, as I cannot remember the last time (if ever) that land evacuation procedures were mentioned in the pre-flight safety demo. Likewise the brace/emergency landing position. I think they are on the the safety card, but when did you last see anyone reading that ?
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Old 4th Jul 2003, 01:10
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As a Cabin Crew member for 12 years now,I'm starting tio get awere that PAX(with flying beeing more common now),do pay less and less attention to the safety demo's done either by the Crew or by film..I don't remember last time I saw a Grown-up Pax having a proper look at the safety leaflet.
So I'm not schoked at all with what happened with the Quantas aircraft shutes.

At the Airline I fly for(and all the others around the world I'm sure)...we do make Pax remove theyr "stilleto's" only if we are going to have a prepared emergency landing with high probalities of an vacuation.The situation that happened with the Quantas cabin crew is tottaly diferent.

-Told to evacuate...with probably an alert of fire...so what they did(and well)...is to get those PAX out of the Aircraft as fast as they could(there is no time to ask pax to remove shoes at an evacuation like that).

It all comes down to the Pax lack of interest and attention to basic safety procedures that are allways shown to them.
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Old 4th Jul 2003, 01:43
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Speaking only as SLF - I expect certain things of you and equally you expect certain things of me.

I ALWAYS pay attention to the safety briefing and I always read the card, as I am VERY interested in my survival but I do accept that flight has its risks just as driving in the crowded SE of England has. Let's face it, the concept of "landing" on the sea and us all sailing off safely in inflatable life-rafts is a tad optimistic surely? Maybe not, but I'll certainly go for it if the option is there.

However. if you have a KNOWN problem with a safety device I expect it to be sorted out - not ignored. Any known chute problem not resolved is unforgiveable as we put our trust in you. I've made it to 50 without anything more than severe turbulence scaring the sh1t out of me so far - let's hope it stays that way...
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Old 4th Jul 2003, 02:49
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alangirvan...... BA operated our classic 747's with the door 3 sealed till they were taken out of srevice.

EAL have usealed the door on the ones that they have taken.


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