USAirALB
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Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Sun Oct 14, 2007 9:53 pm

I have noticed that WN recently added Life Vests to their aircraft. Why? I thought the FAA requires it on 100+ seating aircraft but the NW A319, and UA B733+735 don't have them. Then I thought it was for more direct routes. Another possibility was for international expansion. Other that those I am clueless.
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luv2fly
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Sun Oct 14, 2007 9:55 pm

Overwater flying, Gulf of Mexico and the East and West Coasts.
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USAirALB
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:00 pm

Quote from Luv2fly: Overwater flying, Gulf of Mexico and the East and West Coasts.

Why did they get them thought, they were fine with flotation cushions. Again NW does it all time.
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OPNLguy
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:06 pm

Quoting USAirALB (Thread starter):
I thought the FAA requires it on 100+ seating aircraft but the NW A319, and UA B733+735 don't have them. Then I thought it was for more direct routes. Another possibility was for international expansion. Other that those I am clueless.

Seating capacity has nothing to do with it, we just needed more operational flexibility in being able to go further out over the water. Prior to lifeVESTS being put onboard, seat cushions only allowed you to go out as far as 50nm from the nearest shoreline, and that limitation sometimes created some problems when Florida thunderstorms required deviations in excess of 50nm offshore. Between that, and not being able to use shorter, more direct routes over the Gulf and up and down the Atlantic coast, our increasing flight frequencies eventually made it cost-effective to install them. We did, and we're now able to go out as far as 162nm from the nearest shoreline. Should we ever need to go further out than 162nm, we'd have to install lifeRAFTS as well.
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
 
USAirALB
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:12 pm

Prior to 2006 on WN what would babies do if the aircraft ditched? The adults couldnt hold on to both the baby and the cushion.
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OPNLguy
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:17 pm

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 4):
Prior to 2006 on WN what would babies do if the aircraft ditched? The adults couldnt hold on to both the baby and the cushion.

Do you know how the seat cushion bottoms were configured and used?
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USAirALB
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:32 pm

Yeah

Your seat cushion may be used as a flotation device, simply place your arms through the straps and hug the cushion to you chest.

But still what would the babys do?
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contrails
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:33 pm

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 3):
We did, and we're now able to go out as far as 162nm from the nearest shoreline. Should we ever need to go further out than 162nm, we'd have to install lifeRAFTS as well.

The 737-300's I was on last week (2) had life raft compartments in the forward ceiling. I don't recall any instructions from the FA's about them, however.
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USAirALB
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:38 pm

are you sure you were on WN?

maybe Wn bought it from another airline. Im flying WN soon. I will check.
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OPNLguy
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:42 pm

Quoting Contrails (Reply 7):
The 737-300's I was on last week (2) had life raft compartments in the forward ceiling. I don't recall any instructions from the FA's about them, however.

Just because the the compartments are there doesn't mean there are rafts within them. I can't recall if the "stock" -3H4 have the compartments labeled, but then again we have numerous non-3H4 -300s in the fleet that came from other operators that equipped theirs with rafts. Do you happen to recall the registration numbers of the ones you flew?

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 6):
Your seat cushion may be used as a flotation device, simply place your arms through the straps and hug the cushion to you chest.

But still what would the babys do?

Well, given that the straps are on the side of the seat cushion furthest away from you, I'd have tucked my youngster between myself and the side of the seat cushion closest to me, but that's just me...

[Edited 2007-10-14 15:50:34]
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USAirALB
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:27 am

You know if they get life rafts and ETOPS rated, they could fly to Hawaii.

PS. Do life rafts have like food, h20, first aid kits in them?
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atrude777
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:33 am

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 10):
You know if they get life rafts and ETOPS rated, they could fly to Hawaii.

We know, thats why we have ATA do all the work for us Big grin

Alex
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EMBQA
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:20 am

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 2):
Why did they get them thought, they were fine with flotation cushions

For the same reason jetBlue has them on their planes... to allow them to fly over water. Seat bottoms only allow you to hug the coast line.... vests allow you to fly over open water

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 4):
Prior to 2006 on WN what would babies do if the aircraft ditched?

Prior to 2006 Southwest was not allowed to fly over water. They had to hug the coast.

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 10):
Do life rafts have like food, h20, first aid kits in them?

Nope... nope and nope.

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 10):
You know if they get life rafts and ETOPS rated

I'm not even sure if the planes Southwest fly can be made ETOPS. There is a lot more to it then you'd understand. It's not just throwing a life raft on-board and calling it good. There are ETOPS B737's, but not all B737's can be made ETOPS

[Edited 2007-10-14 18:36:42]
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MCOflyer
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:51 am

Quoting Contrails (Reply 7):
The 737-300's I was on last week (2) had life raft compartments in the forward ceiling. I don't recall any instructions from the FA's about them, however.

I think you were on one of the ex US aircraft that WN has. If I am not mistaken, WN has other a/c they bought from other airliners with this feature.

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EWRCabincrew
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:58 am

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 10):
Do life rafts have like food, h20, first aid kits in them?

Life rafts have some of the following in them:

Sea anchor, bailing bucket, signaling tools, survival book, canopy, heaving line, tablets to purify water (to name some of the things).

Food, first aid kits, etc. and the like would come from crew (or passengers) after the evacuation was done (mind you if it ever got that far).
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OPNLguy
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:19 am

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 12):
Seat bottoms only allow you to hug the coast line.... vests allow you to fly over open water



Quoting EMBQA (Reply 12):
Prior to 2006 Southwest was not allowed to fly over water. They had to hug the coast.

Nope.

As someone who has been dispatching SWA flights for over 25 years, I can assure you that we've been flying over water for decades, like ever since we started HOU-CRP, HOU-HRL, and MSY-HOU. At the risk of repeating myself, seat bottom cushions allowed us to be as far as 50nm from the nearest shoreline; lifeVESTS allow us out to as far as 162nm from the nearest shoreline; and beyond 162nm (if we wanted to do that) we'd need to add lifeRAFTS as well.
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GoAllegheny
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:20 am

My question is - when was the last time that a US carrier accident required the use of life vests?
 
EMBQA
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:37 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 15):
At the risk of repeating myself, seat bottom cushions allowed us to be as far as 50nm from the nearest shoreline

I understand that... I'd call 50nm 'hugging the coast line'.....I just didn't remember if it was 40 or 50 miles
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aloha73g
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:39 am

HA's Life Rafts did have some water (1 or 2 quarts I think) and food (energy bar types) in them. Nothing substantial though.

These items were in the SURVIVAL portion of the provided equipment. There would also be equipment for SIGNALING (mirror, dye, flare) and MAINTENANCE (bailing bucket, patches).

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OPNLguy
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:41 am

Quoting GoAllegheny (Reply 16):
My question is - when was the last time that a US carrier accident required the use of life vests?

The only events that remotely come to mind are..

1. A Delta 767 or 757 LAX-CVG that got a little low after takeoff from LAX (can't recall the exact cause) and pax donned lifevests in preparation from ditching. Whatever the problems was, they got it recified and continued on to CVG, and some of the pax still had their vests on when they deplaned.

2. Eastern L-1011 MIA-NAS some years ago that shutdown an engine about 30 minutes into the 45 minute flight. They went back to MIA, but about halfway there, they started losing the other two engines, and started making preparations to ditch. (Aircraft was fresh out of overnight MX at MIA, where a chip detector on each engine had been checked, but had been replaced WITHOUT O-rings, which allowed engine oil to escape.) They got the engine re-started that had been shutdown first, and landed on a single engine.

3. National Airlines dunked a 727-200 in the Bay off PNS in the late 1970s....

3. Not a U.S. carrier, but an ALM DC-9 ditched off SXM back in the 1970s...
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OPNLguy
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:53 am

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 17):
I understand that... I'd call 50nm 'hugging the coast line'

Well, you previously had said "Prior to 2006 Southwest was not allowed to fly over water" as if no water was allowed under the belly of the aircraft, and that along with "hugging the coast" kinda suggests that they were staying just over the land area...

Whatever... You understand my points... Later...
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EMBQA
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 2:58 am

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 19):
Eastern L-1011 MIA-NAS some years ago that shutdown an engine

When I was in A&P School my powerplant Instructor (former EAL Mech) had very-very close ties to this event. After he told us the story..and I went on to become a mechanic, it always reminded me to check filters when changing them out of the new package.

I should have said before 2006 Southwest was required to stay withing 50nm of the coast....my error. I worked for an airline that fell under the same restriction and I just saw them as one in the same. 50nm was hugging the coast

[Edited 2007-10-14 20:02:48]
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tdscanuck
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:42 am

Quoting EMBQA (Reply 12):
Quoting USAirALB (Reply 10):
You know if they get life rafts and ETOPS rated

I'm not even sure if the planes Southwest fly can be made ETOPS. There is a lot more to it then you'd understand. It's not just throwing a life raft on-board and calling it good. There are ETOPS B737's, but not all B737's can be made ETOPS

Their 737NG's certainly can be made ETOPS-capable, if they aren't already. Not sure about their 737-Classics.

Tom.
 
chris133
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 10:47 am

Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 22):
Their 737NG's certainly can be made ETOPS-capable, if they aren't already. Not sure about their 737-Classics.

Tom.

All of the 737 even the classics had some sort of ETOPS capability, starting with the 732 in 1985. Here are the dates from the FAA and Boeing.

"ETOPS is nothing new to the Boeing 737 family. The 737-200 model was approved for 120-minute
ETOPS in 1985, the 737-300/-400/-500 in 1990 and the 737/-600/-700/-800 received 120-minute
ETOPS approval late last year. In fact, 737 models have performed over 100,000 ETOPS flights to
date." (from boeing.com)


In fact the 73NG are now 180 minute qualified.

chris
 
gkirk
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 12:38 pm

Thought life vests would have been mandatory
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Pope
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 1:10 pm

Has there ever been a successful ditching of a transport category passenger aircraft more than 50 miles offshore?
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
48v
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:40 pm

Quoting Pope (Reply 25):
Has there ever been a successful ditching of a transport category passenger aircraft more than 50 miles offshore?

Sure. Here's one example (Pan Am flight 6): http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19561016-0
 
IAHFLYR
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 4:50 pm

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 19):
National Airlines dunked a 727-200 in the Bay off PNS in the late 1970s....

The original slam dunk!  Smile
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OPNLguy
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 5:24 pm

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 27):
The original slam dunk!

I can recall the penned-in comments that I saw on a news clipping of the photo that was hanging on a crew bulletin board:

"Dive! Dive!"

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Pope
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:21 pm

Quoting 48V (Reply 26):
Sure. Here's one example (Pan Am flight 6): http://aviation-safety.net/database/...016-0

Wow. Impressive. I'd never heard of Pan Am Flt 6. You learn something new every day.

Thanks for the education.

I always thought that life vest and rafts on aircrafts were just a waste of space and weight because they'd never get to be used. Now I know differently.
Hypocrisy. It's the new black for liberals.
 
GeorgeJetson
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 7:19 pm

There was also a Boeing 767-260 (ER) of Ethiopian (registered ET-AIZ) that ditched in the shallow waters off of Moroni in the Comores Islands on November 23, 1996, after it ran out of fuel. Flight 961 en route from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Nairobi, Kenya, was hijacked by three Ethiopian males. Sadly, 123 of the 175 passengers and crew members died, as well as all three hijackers. There is a video of this aircraft ditching at:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GAg5Y5WK24
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luv2cattlecall
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 8:24 pm

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 10):
PS. Do life rafts have like food, h20, first aid kits in them?

If they did, it would just be honey roasted peanuts and Wild Turkey...if you wanted water you'd get a few tablespoons in a cup jam packed with ice cubes!
.
 
Viscount724
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:24 pm

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 19):
Not a U.S. carrier, but an ALM DC-9 ditched off SXM back in the 1970s

Actually that flight was being operated by a US carrier and cockpit crew under a wet-lease arrangement with charter carrier Overseas National Airways. ONA pilots but ALM cabin crew.

Quoting Pope (Reply 29):
Wow. Impressive. I'd never heard of Pan Am Flt 6. You learn something new every day.

There were 2 other relatively successful Stratocruiser ditchings with only a few fatalities, Pan Am about 50 miles off the Oregon coast in 1955 (4 of 23 fatal) and NW in Puget Sound near SEA in 1956 (5 of 38 fatal).
http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19550326-0
http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19560402-0

Also a Varig L1049G Super Constellation ditching in the Caribbean in 1957 with only 1 fatality (on a 3-engine ferry flight with only 11 crew aboard).
http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19570816-0

Interesting article below by the captain of that Varig flight:
http://www.contrailsmagazine.com/1.3/1.3PDF/Ditching.pdf
 
USAirALB
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:42 pm

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USAirALB
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RE: Why Did WN Add Life Vests?

Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:52 pm

my dad owns a mooney a says that when he when he goes to Fl, they send him 26 miles out without any flotation device
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