Just wanted to share my experience with you guys I had last week here in London. My company organised a "Flight Awareness" course at Heathrow Airport. We did the following things:
-Slides! A lot of talk is going on about slide evacuations and how dangerous they are. I finally got to do a slide, of course not a congested one like a real evac but just to see how it's like. It was a 737/320 height slide. I can tell you the "brake pads" at the bottom of these slides really stop you!
-Smoke room! We were seated in a "cabin" that was heated to 40°C, and smoke was introduced in the room. That showed us how the smoke stays high and that the evacuation lights on the floor really are effective! There were red lights near the celing, very powerful. There was no way you could see them with such thick smoke. Now I know how useful these lights are!
-Cabin simulator! We were seated in a cabin of a 737 (fake one) but it looked really good. Overhead bins, seats, belts, windows etc.. We had the safety demonstration, the thing really was moving, simulating taki and takeoff. The crew really looked real. Then suddenly, lights went out, smoke in the cabin, we made an emergancy landing, brace position and emergency evacuation of the plane. Really nice!
-How to open the emergency exits! Now I know how heavy one of these doors are! We opened doors of a 737-200, and it's fine to open but damn heavy. Good thing to know! We also got to learn how to open one of the overvwing exits, these things really fall off easily!
All in all, great guys at British Airways, funny but serious lesson on how to behave, and happy to know how these exits look like when handeled.
If you want to make it, it's 95£ per person, is about 4 hours long, and there's even a B747 slide to do! Unfortunately, my company decided it was too dangerous... oh well, next time mabye!
I have some pics made with mobile phone, too short notice to take my camera (I was warned at the office at 12 that we were leaving a 1:15!) Just ask and I can post a few. Hope you enjoyed!