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KaiGywer
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NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Sun Mar 07, 2004 3:06 pm

Do NWs DC9s have the aft stairs? I've never seen it in use.
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kalakaua
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Sun Mar 07, 2004 3:11 pm

Umm... I think so. I know that HA does, and when the DC-9s were in service, the airstairs and aft stairs were used for passengers boarding the plane. I thought it was odd, but it was fun. But I thought these were only used as an emergency exit. Hmm..?
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MSYtristar
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Sun Mar 07, 2004 3:12 pm

Yes, all NWA DC9's (all DC9's for that matter) have the aft stairs. They are primarily used by the cleaning crew when the aircraft are parked overnight. There is a switch that operates the stairs on the fuselage of the aircraft underneath the left (facing the nose of the plane) engine.


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KaiGywer
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Sun Mar 07, 2004 3:16 pm

MSYtristar, thanks. I know all SK DC9s had them. They used them both as an exit, and access for the cleaning crews. I've never seen NW use them. I've seen both DL and AA use them on their 80s though.

Kalakaua, nope. They are actually not used as emergency exits at all. In case of an emergency, the stairs don't get put down, so when the door in the back of the cabin opens, it leads into the tail cone. The tail cone can then be ejected and serves as an emergency exit.
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miles_mechanic
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Sun Mar 07, 2004 3:20 pm

yes the DC-9's definitely have the aft stairs, I got to use them boarding one morning when it was only -30 C and was no available bridge to board through. It was funny watching all the passengers running across the ramp to board the plane as they had taken off there winter coats and put them in there suitcases as we were going to Minneapolis where it was warmer, did they get a surprise, lol. It was also very noisy as they kept the APU running to keep the heat on in the cabin as the aft stairs were open for boarding. All in all it was a interesting flight, and one I won't soon forget after that boarding experience.

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KaiGywer
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Sun Mar 07, 2004 3:23 pm

...they had taken off there winter coats and put them in there suitcases as we were going to Minneapolis where it was warmer...

Hehe, now what does not sound right in that sentence?  Big grin
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asqx
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Sun Mar 07, 2004 3:28 pm

Yes, all NWA DC9's (all DC9's for that matter) have the aft stairs.

Not true. The aft passenger stairs were not standard features on the DC-9 Series 10 or Series 30. While it is true that all DC-9 Series 20, 40, and 50s were ordered with the aft stairs, the stairs were not available on the DC-9-11 and -14 and were optional on the DC-9-15, -31, -32, -33, and -34.

The aft stairs were standard equipment on MD80s and MD90s and are available as an option on the 717, but so far none have been built with them. Considering that all DC-9s from the DC-9 Series 10 thru the MD80 and even the 717 come with integral air stairs mounted under the forward passenger door the aft stairs were somewhat redundant option.
 
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Sun Mar 07, 2004 4:16 pm

KaiGywer

I am serious about that statement, as I saw some of the passengers putting them in there suitcases while checking in at the counter. Me personally I was flying down to Tennessee where it was +15 C on that day, so I wore my jacket, I just had a lighter spring jacket on.

Miles
 
AirframeAS
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Sun Mar 07, 2004 4:48 pm

The common mistake of opening an aft exit on any D9 or M80 is ejecting the tail cone and then having MX repair the thing. This mistake is done mostly by rampers. Yet, funny to see though.....
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NWFltAttendant
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Sun Mar 07, 2004 9:25 pm

OK folks...here it is from the mouth of a Northwest flight attendant.

Some of the DC9s have the ventral airstairs like the 727. While having similar exterior looks, they are not used in any manner like those on the 727. From the cabin there is either a plug hatch (that is lifted out and laid flat on the floor), or a pressure bulkhead (fancy name for a hinged door). THIS GETS COMPLICATED - READ CAREFULLY.

AIRCRAFT WITHOUT VENTRAL AIRSTAIRS
These aircraft have a 14ft catwalk that leads through the tail to the tailcone and slide, nothing complicated at all.

AIRCRAFT WITH VENTRAL STAIRS
The ventral airstairs are located below the 14ft catwalk that leads to the tailcone and slide. When you open the back pressure bulkhead or plug hatch, you'll see two things. Either a straight shot to the tailcone, or the catwalk up at an angle, exposing the airstairs beneath. Its like a reverse trap door that opens upwards. The stairs are opened from the outside, somebody ascends them halfway, pushed the 'reverse trap door' up at 45 degrees and goes in the back door of the cabin. These stairs CANNOT be opened from the inside (DUMB!). If your conducting an evacuation via the tailcone, and after opening the aft door you find the catwalk up, all you do it pull it down and continue as normal. All NWA evacuation procedures call for the tailcone and slide to be used. It would have made way more sense to refit these aircraft to use the airstairs instead.

The DC9 is NOT the first aircraft you encounter in initial flight attendant training at NWA. You are about 3/4 through aircraft training before doing the DC9. The tailcone is a very complicated (as far as emergency management) exit that many people have problems with at first. There are different commands for different styles of exit (pressure bulkhead vs. plug hatch) and many variations in the application of the use of the DC9s tailcone. The overwing exits are the primary means of egress in the back, with the tailcone to be used only if necessary. No flight attendant would ever hesitate at using the tailcone, but if the flight was light, would most likely force people forward to the overwing exits and 1L/R exits.

If you still have questions about the DC9 tailcone, post here or email me and ill answer. Ive got pics I took at NWA inside a real tailcone exit on the ground in GFK.
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KaiGywer
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:00 am

Miles_mechanic, I know. It just sounds funny, that MSP is actually WARMER, than the place you are coming from, as we are not the warmest place in the country...  Big grin

Nwfltattendant, thanks for the detailed explanation. I believe that SK was able to open their stairs from the inside, could that be an option?

This is one of the first things you'll see inside the tail cone.
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jetjack74
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:12 am

The aft stars can't be opened from the inside because the they removed the interior control unit and replaced it with the Forward Tailcone Release Handle. They're never used except for the maintainers use of them.
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srbmod
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:21 am

The reason why the ventral stairs cannot be opened from inside the a/c is because of the D.B. Cooper incident and the several copycat incidents as well. The handle for the ventral stairs is located to the right of the aft doorway (if you were coming out of the a/c). The handle has either been removed or was covered up so nobody could use the handle. The only ventral stair door control on the flight deck is to close the door, as sometimes rampers will forget to close the door (or it would not close because the hydraulic systems onboard were not activated when the ramper tried to close the stairs). At AirTran, the aft stairs were mainly used by the cleaning crews, but on occassion if the jetway was inop, we'd board the a/c from both the front and rear stairs.
 
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:24 am

Srbmod, so it's a mod then. Cause I know we opened the door from the inside on an SK plane. Maybe it's just here in the US it has to be covered or removed. What incident are you talking about anyways?
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isitsafenow
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:30 am

On the DC 9 aft stairs for NW, I have a list of all DC 9's operated by NW by "N" number and by the airline's aircraft number. The DC 9'-30-s from EA do not have the aft stairs. Some from Air West have aft stairs and some don't. The ones from North Central have them because I used them at LAN, MBS and DTW a few times. The ALitalia DC 9's also have aft stairs. You will know which plane belonged to which former carrier by the N number. I wont list all these DC 9's. That would take a while to enter and I think most of you know that.
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:33 am

Isitsafenow, who did NW get their DC9s from? I see you list AZ, any other international carriers?
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isitsafenow
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Mon Mar 08, 2004 1:52 am

A few planes came from Austrian, the 40's came from SAS, 28 of the 50's with North Central(republic) and the others were a variety pack...One from EA, one from Muse, a couple from Swissair..The model 10's that remain in service were Easterns. They had some from DL, that went to Southern(republic), but those were parked a while back. A good many of the model 30's are from the Republic merger, which was made up of Air West, Southern, and North Central.
They have at least 30 model 30's that were with EA when EA shut down in 91.
I see at least one from Ozark listed. I see some model 30s from Atlantis, Aero Posti, and Swissair.
I don't see any from the orient or South America, but who know?
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srbmod
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Mon Mar 08, 2004 2:05 am

Srbmod, so it's a mod then. Cause I know we opened the door from the inside on an SK plane. Maybe it's just here in the US it has to be covered or removed. What incident are you talking about anyways?

The FAA made it a requirement that all a/c with rear stairs be modified so that those stairs could not be opened in flight (this modification affected the any DC-9 and and 727 build before the mid 1970s, as later built a/c did not have the handle inside the stairway). The 727s also have a device on the outside of the stairs (called a Cooper Vane) which produces enough lift on the vane to prevent the door from being opened in flight. The D.B. Cooper incident was a skyjacking incident in the NW US back in 1971 on a Northwest Orient 727 flight from Portland to Seattle. When the a/c landed in Seattle, he demanded $200,000 in ransom (which he got) and then the plane was ordered to Mexico (with a fuel stop in Reno). Somewhere over the Cascades he lowered the aft stairs and parachuted out of the a/c @ 10,000 ft. No trace of D.B. Cooper has ever been found, but some of the money has been found. Here's an article that details the incident:

http://www.super70s.com/Super70s/News/1971/November/24-DB_Cooper.asp
 
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KaiGywer
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Mon Mar 08, 2004 2:25 am

Srbmod, wow! That is an awesome story. Picture skydiving out of a DC9  Smile I guess it only applied to US registered planes though.
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Mon Mar 08, 2004 5:32 pm

The removal/covering of the aft stairway controls from the inside is an FAA requirement valid for U.S. registered planes only.
The aft stairway has been an option ever since it was offered with the DC-9-30.The forward integral airstairs are also an option.
In SAS,we have had both stairways as a standard fit on the DC-9's and MD-80's.The MD-90's were "off-the-shelf" versions and came without the forward airstairs,but with the aft ones fitted.
The aft stairway controls are located to the rear of the aft entrance door.The a/c has to be unpressurised to open this door.Basically,power from the right hydraulic system is needed to operate the aft stairs,but they will free-fall to extend even without power.Opening the aft entrance door will present you with a view of the catwalk in the lowered position.On the DC-9,a handle has to be pulled in order to jettison the tailcone,on the MD-80 this operation is automatic if the door is armed.If the automatic jettison does not work,there is a manual release possibility.
Actuating the aft stairway handle will raise the catwalk to the ceiling as the stairway starts to open.
We operate to many airports in Scandinavia that does not have jetbridges and both forward and aft stairways are used as standard exits for passengers.Aft stairways are almost always extended when parked so as to have the exit ready in case an evacuation has to be performed while embarking or disembarking.The aft stairway will also stabilize the aircraft during high wind periods.
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NWFltAttendant
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RE: NW DC9 Aft Stairways?

Mon Mar 08, 2004 8:55 pm

Just a note about the 727s airstairs and fueling....

The airstairs were REQUIRED to be down for fueling to occur. This was a non-negotiable requirement.
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