BHD From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2005, 282 posts, RR: 0 Posted (6 years 2 months 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 13311 times:
For those of us in the UK/Ireland with Sky TV, you may wish to know that the new series of Air Crash Investigation kicks of tonight at 9pm on National Geographic - tonight's episode concerns the British Airtours accident/engine fire at MAN in 1985
I really think this program shows the importance of F/As and good cabin design. I have done a lot of research into cabin safety (yes I have no life lol) and have seen the big differences F/A actions and cabin design make.
I personally don't think the current 1:50 F/A to passenger ratio is enough. The CO1404 and US1549 F/As did an EXCELLENT job but three F/As can only do so much. Passengers, who usually have no idea what they're doing, are left to open the over wing exits of the aircraft. Also, the over wing exits are very small and are the closest exits to the majority of the passengers. At least one F/A should be positioned in the over wing exit area to direct passengers. Although this wasn't discussed in the show, a young girl was sitting in the over wing emergency exit row and struggled to open the exit. Once another pax figured out how to open the exit the exit fell onto her trapping her. Bottlenecks are also likely to form at the over wing exit rows.
An F/A at the overwing exits would be able to direct passengers away if it wasn't safe, open the exit if necessary, and send passengers to main doors for a quicker evacuation.
I'm sure we are all familiar with AF358. AF358 had three more F/As than the minimum requirement. The minimum was six and there were nine on board. TWA 843 had 14 F/As on board when it only required six. These were two evacuations famous because everyone survived despite the intense fire. On CO1404, a bottleneck formed at the overwing exit row. Two off duty CO pilots were seated in the vicinity of the overwing area and helped passengers. On US1549, a bottleneck again formed at the overwing exit row and one of the forward F/As started yelling for passengers to come forward.
Basically what I'm saying is one F/A per 50 passengers is not enough and over wing exits can be made a lot safer.
My opinions, statements, etc. are my own and do not have any association with those of any employer.