Different Rear Exit On Air Canada DC-9

Fri Jul 09, 1999 6:02 am

Today I was looking at my Aircanada DC-9 Saftey Card, and it showed to exit through the rear (Under the Tail) you have to blow the cone off the back of the plane, and swing down on a rope. I thought the DC-9 had air stairs? Can anyone explain this?

Colin Kumpunen
Posts: 389
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2005 8:23 am

RE: Different Rear Exit On Air Canada DC-9

Fri Jul 09, 1999 10:54 am

I find this very weird. I thought maybe it would be in the event of a ditching, but then the plane would sink that much quicker and a rope wouldn't be necessary....
Maybe their DC-9's don't have one (although I doubt it), or in case of any emergency there would be no time to deploy the rear stairs. If you would walk through the rear door through the tail cone and go outside, you would have to walk right over the rear stairs. That I know for sure.......

Posts: 2137
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 8:02 am

RE: Different Rear Exit On Air Canada DC-9

Fri Jul 09, 1999 1:26 pm

I remember reading on the safety card, I think it was on Eastern or Northwest, that some of their DC-9s had the rear stairs under the tail, and some didn't. Those that didn't required you to pop off the tail cone if you had to use it as an emergency exit. I don't remember the rope, but there might have been one. You can tell which type of DC-9 you're on by looking at the rear of the cabin. If there is a full-sized door, there is a stairway exit under the tail. If there is not a full-sized door, but a small hatch about half the size of a door, then you don't have a stairway exit, but you have the kind where you have to release the tail cone.
I really think I read this on Northwest, since they got their DC-9s from so many different airlines, which would explain why they have both types.

Bob Bradley
Richmond, VA
Fly Eastern's Golden Falcon DC-7B
Posts: 1066
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:29 pm

RE: Different Rear Exit On Air Canada DC-9

Fri Jul 09, 1999 1:53 pm

The Air Canada DC-9's (1960's vintage, I think) have an emergency escape through the tail cone. It is as described on the safety card you saw.

On occasion, I remember it happening at least once about 20 years ago, the hatch is not securely fastened and can jettison once the aircraft pressurizes.

There is no airstair out the back under the fuselage as in a 727.
Posts: 438
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 11:24 am

Speaking Of Airstairs.

Fri Jul 09, 1999 2:46 pm

I know this is a little off topic, but i remember see on tv sometime a large robbery occuring on an airplane with a rear airstair. I cant remember the details but i think it was pretty famous, something wants to tell me it happened in the northwest somewhere. When the robber had the money he was able to let down the airstair in flight and dump the loot along with himself. I think there is a legend that goes with this saying that most of the loot was never found, and the guy? Can anyone shed some light on this story? what airline, and what were the details? If im not mistaken also after this incident, there was a requirement that the rear airstairs were not able to be released during flight.


Posts: 61
Joined: Tue May 19, 2009 2:44 am

RE: Different Rear Exit On Air Canada DC-9

Fri Jul 09, 1999 10:18 pm

Hey L1011 you are right about the rear door.If there is a small hatch it will have no rear stairs.What happens in an emergency, once the hatch is open there is a tailcone release cable that has to be pulled, that releases the tailcone as the cone falls then a shute will deploy.So passengers can slide down.
P from NYC
Posts: 134
Joined: Thu Jul 01, 1999 12:45 am

RE: Different Rear Exit On Air Canada DC-9

Fri Jul 09, 1999 11:17 pm

I think that MD made a running change fron the cone to rear airstairs around 1974-75 (starting with new -50's, and changing on -30's at the same time).

spirit MD-80
Posts: 85
Joined: Wed May 26, 1999 5:13 am

RE: Different Rear Exit On Air Canada DC-9

Sat Jul 10, 1999 12:30 am

the A/C I fly which are DC-9s MD-80s DC-9 have stairs except form one that has a hatch in case of an emergency you open the hatch theres a catwalk to where you pull to jettison the tail cone and the slide inflates automatic. whith regular back doors. you open the door use the catwalk pull to jettison the tailcone and the automatic slide deploys. the airstairs can only be used from the outside. so someone outside deploys the airstairs.
Posts: 422
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 1:55 am

To Stlbham

Sat Jul 10, 1999 3:29 am

About the incident you described: it took place in early 1970 when a robber hijacked a UA 727-100 and demanded several million dollars. After he got the money, he had the plane flown over the forest in Washington or Oregon States and parachuted out from the rear exit. Indeed, he was never caught and the loot never found. People reported several days before this took place, there was a small plane practicing touch and go on the dirt strips around that area. They suspect there were accomplice that picked the robber up after he landed and went to never never land.
David L
Posts: 8552
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: To Stlbham

Sat Jul 10, 1999 3:40 am

His name was Cooper and the "Cooper Vane" was subsequently developed to prevent the airstairs opening in flight.

Actually, this was a trivia question posted here some months ago. Somebody challenged us to expain what a Cooper Vane was and we got the full story... and what a story. Maybe his chute was too big and he hasn't reached the ground yet.