747-400 Emergency Exits

Thu Feb 24, 2000 1:08 pm

I was on a (pristine; just like new) Air France 747-400 from CDG-LAX, and the emergency exit at the left wing was inoperative on departure.

The overhead signs had been taped over, and crude signs directed passengers to the opposite wing exit.

The safety card did not indicate that the exit in question was inoperative; and neither did the announcements at take off.

A crewmember told me, "It's no problem."

Apparently, a 747-400 departing from France can depart with at least one INOP emergency exit.

Is there a standard on this?

(an unrelated note: the AF flight crew made a REALLY HARD landing in calm winds at LAX - - so much so that a substantial ceiling assembly broke loose in the main cabin ... it was a hard enough landing to make one think about emergency exits)
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Joined: Wed Sep 08, 1999 7:32 pm

RE: 747-400 Emergency Exits

Thu Feb 24, 2000 3:57 pm

Things do break on aircraft and sometimes it is the door mechanism or related structure, though generally doors are pretty reliable. It is permitted to operate an aircraft like a B747-400 with one door inoperable whilst still carrying pax, however personally I doubt a full complement could be legally uplifted, though I may be corrected on that. I have travelled on a B747-200 with a door inop and as SkyKingXB70 mentioned, the exit sign and other indications of the door being a means of escape were also in this case blanked over.
Cockpit paperwork includes a MEL (Minimum Equipment List) which contains the carriers' and Internationally recognised rules for operating an aircraft with some malfunction. I should really make an enquiry as to the procedures relating to an inoperative exit next time I fly!