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Emergency Exit Question  
User currently offlineCaptainsimon From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2006, 127 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3557 times:

Whilst on a recent flight on a B738, I was wondering if the over wing emergency exit doors could just be opened during flight or are they locked until the captain activates them for passenger emergency use if the aircraft gets into trouble.

If they are able to be opened during flight this could be catastrophic if some idiot plays with them.

Sorry if this is a silly question.

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline7474ever From Israel, joined Oct 2006, 370 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 3543 times:

Of course not. The emergency exit doors only can be opened after they have been avtivated from the flight deck.

User currently offlineEWRCabincrew From United States of America, joined May 2006, 5527 posts, RR: 56
Reply 2, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3498 times:

Quoting 7474ever (Reply 1):
Of course not. The emergency exit doors only can be opened after they have been avtivated from the flight deck.

At no time does the flight deck have control over the opening of the doors. They do, however, have indicators that the doors/exits are opened. closed, armed and disarmed.

When the cabin is pressurised, the doors/exits cannot be opened. When the pressure is equal (i.e. on the ground or below cabin altitude) you can open doors/exits.

If the flight deck had control and they were incapacitated for any reason, it would render all exits useless.

This is where flight attendants come in. Flight attendants are placed at doors and exits.

When the cabin is pressurised, you cannot just simply "open a door or exit".



You can't cure stupid
User currently offline7474ever From Israel, joined Oct 2006, 370 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3481 times:

Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 2):
At no time does the flight deck have control over the opening of the doors. They do, however, have indicators that the doors/exits are opened. closed, armed and disarmed.

We're talking about emergency exit doors, like the ones over the wings, not the regular passenger doors.


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3486 times:

Quoting 7474ever (Reply 1):
Of course not. The emergency exit doors only can be opened after they have been avtivated from the flight deck.

Nope.

Quoting Captainsimon (Thread starter):
I was wondering if the over wing emergency exit doors could just be opened during flight or are they locked until the captain activates them for passenger emergency use if the aircraft gets into trouble.



Quoting Captainsimon (Thread starter):
If they are able to be opened during flight this could be catastrophic if some idiot plays with them.

The "gull-wing" emergency exit doors on the 737 NG family are held closed by mechanical locks and cabin air pressure. The lock system is designed to ensure that the flight lock will automatically lock during takeoff, inflight, and landing, and unlock on the ground to allow for opening of the door in emergency situations. The flight lock gets sensor input from various other systems on the aircraft.

Bottomline here is that the system protections are automatic, and that someone can't open them inflight. Worry not.


User currently offline7474ever From Israel, joined Oct 2006, 370 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3470 times:

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 4):
and unlock on the ground to allow for opening of the door in emergency situations

That means they can be open by the passengers while the plane is taxiing ?


User currently offlineNzrich From New Zealand, joined Dec 2005, 1523 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3468 times:

Quoting 7474ever (Reply 3):
Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 2):At no time does the flight deck have control over the opening of the doors. They do, however, have indicators that the doors/exits are opened. closed, armed and disarmed.
We're talking about emergency exit doors, like the ones over the wings, not the regular passenger doors.

Yes and everything EWRCabincrew said was 100% correct im also crew and the exits can not be opened during flight but can on the ground at any time... The captain/co pilot can not lock these doors at all...They are armed at all times and ready for any evacuation at any time as long as the plane is on the ground theses exits can be opened..

cheers NZrich crew on the 737

[Edited 2006-12-02 22:38:24]


"Pride of the pacific"
User currently offlineEWRCabincrew From United States of America, joined May 2006, 5527 posts, RR: 56
Reply 7, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3460 times:

A door is a door is a door. Whether it is over the wing (DC-10, 747) or an auxiliary exit door just behind the wing (757-300, some 767-300/400), or an auxiliary door at the wing (A310), it is a door.

Then there are window exits.

Regardless, they are not 'activated' by the flight deck. They cannot be opened when the cabin is pressurised. There is no 'locking mechanism' that prevents inadvertent openings. Such openings happen from time to time.

Window exits can be opened at the gate, during taxi to and from runway and at anytime the the cabin is not pressurised.



You can't cure stupid
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3457 times:

Quoting 7474ever (Reply 5):
That means they can be open by the passengers while the plane is taxiing ?

As I said, there are other sensors tied into the system, and I'm not going to get into specifics (for obvious reasons) other than to say that if the overwing exit doors needed to be used in an evacuation that they'd be readily available just as the entry and service doors would be.


User currently offline7474ever From Israel, joined Oct 2006, 370 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3451 times:

Thanks for the info.

User currently offlineEWRCabincrew From United States of America, joined May 2006, 5527 posts, RR: 56
Reply 10, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3442 times:

Quoting 7474ever (Reply 5):
That means they can be open by the passengers while the plane is taxiing ?



Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 7):
There is no 'locking mechanism' that prevents inadvertent openings. Such openings happen from time to time.

When passengers do this, it makes for delays and unhappy people.



You can't cure stupid
User currently offlineEWRCabincrew From United States of America, joined May 2006, 5527 posts, RR: 56
Reply 11, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3426 times:

This just happened this year in FLL. The guy opened the window exit during taxi...it happens.

http://www.keepmedia.com/pubs/MiamiH...1/23/1167093?extID=10037&oliID=229



You can't cure stupid
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3417 times:

Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 11):
This just happened this year in FLL. The guy opened the window exit during taxi...it happens.

Yes, it does, but that aircraft was a 737-300, and not a member of the NG family, which was the subject the OP asked about....


User currently offlineEWRCabincrew From United States of America, joined May 2006, 5527 posts, RR: 56
Reply 13, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3404 times:

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 12):
Yes, it does, but that aircraft was a 737-300, and not a member of the NG family, which was the subject the OP asked about....

Fair enough, but the article was to relay that inadvertent exit openings happen. It could have easily happened on a NG aircraft. No special locking device to prevent it.

Follow the instructions and you have a lot of explaining to do to the authorities.



You can't cure stupid
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3404 times:

I don't really have anything to add that hasn't been said except that if you're in the window seat you can usually hear the "locking mechanism" (I'm assuming it's a solenoid of some type) make a fairly loud click at the point at which the over wing exits are "locked" during taxi/takeoff and then again when they're "unloacked" during landing.

Lincoln
(A frequent occupant of seat 14F on CO's 738 and 73G)



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineWe're Nuts From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5722 posts, RR: 19
Reply 15, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3368 times:

And even if the cabin were not pressurized, the shear force of all that air rushing past the fuselage would make moving the exit impossible. They are idiot-proof by design.


Dear moderators: No.
User currently offlineEWRCabincrew From United States of America, joined May 2006, 5527 posts, RR: 56
Reply 16, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 3365 times:

Quoting We're Nuts (Reply 15):
And even if the cabin were not pressurized, the shear force of all that air rushing past the fuselage would make moving the exit impossible. They are idiot-proof by design.

When we had the 747 in our fleet, we had procedures for clearing smoke out of the cabin during flight.

Oerationally the flight would need to be under 10,000 ft, crack open door 1L and 5R to get a 'cross vent'. We always joked about that. Gratefully we never had to implement it.



You can't cure stupid
User currently offlineMarkHKG From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 3310 times:

Quoting We're Nuts (Reply 15):
And even if the cabin were not pressurized, the shear force of all that air rushing past the fuselage would make moving the exit impossible. They are idiot-proof by design.

Actually, if for some reason the O/W locks are not functional on a 737-NG aircraft (or 747 upper deck exit), the exit can still be opened at low pressure differentials. I asked this question on the Tech/Ops page, and some responded that carriers will specifically place some sort of crewmember (could be ground staff) at these exits if these locks are not working to prevent inadvertant opening by pax.

Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 16):

When we had the 747 in our fleet, we had procedures for clearing smoke out of the cabin during flight.

And let's not forget the A330 Philippines Airlines aircraft that had Door 4R opened in mid-air (after the cabin was depressurized at a safe altitude intentionally) to let a hijacker jump off with his home-made parachute. The hijacker did not survive.



Release your seat-belts and get out! Leave everything!
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3266 times:

Quoting MarkHKG (Reply 17):
Actually, if for some reason the O/W locks are not functional on a 737-NG aircraft (or 747 upper deck exit), the exit can still be opened at low pressure differentials. I asked this question on the Tech/Ops page, and some responded that carriers will specifically place some sort of crewmember (could be ground staff) at these exits if these locks are not working to prevent inadvertant opening by pax.

That may have been the case before, but the 737 MMEL (and subsequently, individual airline MELs) changed to delete the ability to defer them, and they're now no-go items. Used to be MEL 52-15, IIRC. Don't know about the 747, but I'd assume they lost MEL relief as well...


User currently offlineMarkHKG From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3198 times:

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 18):
and they're now no-go items.

Somehow, that's kind of a relief to me.  Smile Thanks for the update.



Release your seat-belts and get out! Leave everything!
User currently offlineZippyjet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 5487 posts, RR: 13
Reply 20, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3184 times:

Though it wasn't an emergency exit, James Bond between shagging Pussy Galore and saving the world in Goldfinger accidently shot out a window on an inflight Lockheed Jetstar and everything including the tub of lard Goldfinger got Hoovered out into the great wide open. Stuff for the movies. Just thought I'd take a flight down memory lane in regard to popping open an emergency exit whilist inflight.


I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 3176 times:

Quoting Zippyjet (Reply 20):
popping open an emergency exit whilist inflight.

...except that an emergency exit can't open inflight due to the normal cabin pressure exerting force upon it (since it's a plug)...


User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 3150 times:

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 21):
...except that an emergency exit can't open inflight due to the normal cabin pressure exerting force upon it (since it's a plug)...

I could be wrong since I'm just a very enthusiastic exit-row pax, but my understanding was that the over-wing "gull wing" exits on the 737NG are not plug-type and that between this, the tension on the spring, and the internal pressure (when pressurized) opening of an over-wing exit on the 737NG in flight was, theoretically at least, possible hence the reason they have the locks.

Lincoln



CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineIAHcsr From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 3449 posts, RR: 42
Reply 23, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 3110 times:
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Quoting MarkHKG (Reply 17):
Actually, if for some reason the O/W locks are not functional on a 737-NG aircraft (or 747 upper deck exit), the exit can still be opened at low pressure differentials. I asked this question on the Tech/Ops page, and some responded that carriers will specifically place some sort of crewmember (could be ground staff) at these exits if these locks are not working to prevent inadvertent opening by pax.

The requirement at CO is that a CO employee (any employee) MUST be seated at the exit if the lock is inop. A co-worker got paid to fly IAHBDL/Hotel/BDLIAH a few months ago for this reason.  crazy 



Working very hard to Fly Right....
User currently offlineDebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2444 posts, RR: 4
Reply 24, posted (7 years 10 months 3 weeks 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 3090 times:

Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 16):
When we had the 747 in our fleet, we had procedures for clearing smoke out of the cabin during flight.

Yeap, the same you can do on the MD-80 as well! Wonder me, if there is any othe a/c type...

Quoting 7474ever (Reply 5):
That means they can be open by the passengers while the plane is taxiing ?

well, complicated question- but it could be possible! to my knowledge, it depends on the engine-speed. as soon as the enginge have reached a special speed, the exits will be locked!

Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 10):
Quoting EWRCabincrew (Reply 7):
There is no 'locking mechanism' that prevents inadvertent openings. Such openings happen from time to time.

When passengers do this, it makes for delays and unhappy people.

Well, this is true! But NOT that problem... You will have more problems on the B767, B757, A320 etc.- where the slide will be automatically activated over the wing! It happened in the past! Then a new slide is needed- and this takes looooooooong! Big grin  Big grin


25 SSTsomeday : Is this true? Or is the "click" you hear the door becoming "armed," so that the slide will automatically inflate and extend if the door is opened. I'
26 MarkHKG : There is no overwing slide on the 737, even on the new gullwing design. The click noise is not an arming feature.
27 Post contains links and images IFixPlanes : No Slide. You have to use the extended Flaps... The Crew can not lock them remotely. It is done automaticly: yellow = Trust Lever (both) or green = "
28 Post contains images Nonfirm : Correct.28v dc. Not correct the handle if it can be open will also act like a vent. That is correct.It is when cabin psi is below 4 psi. Not true.We
29 OPNLguy : You are right, and I stand corrected. I mistakenly assumed it was changed in the MMEL, and according to Rev 49 of the MMEL, it's still in there. Obvi
30 SSTsomeday : Excellent graph. Thanks for clarifying.
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