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mats
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Posts: 545
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 11:20 pm

Rafts In Overhead Bins

Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:11 am

In light of today's accident in New York, I was thinking about escape and floatation equipment. I can understand how life vests and detachable slide rafts work. But I'm confused about how one could use rafts that are kept in overhead compartments.

The scenario would be as follows: the plane is falling from the sky, about to hit water. You have to find the raft, get it out of the compartment, get it out the window, inflate it, then get in it. It seems somewhat implausible.

Can anyone comment on this?
 
mrskyguy
Posts: 309
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2008 7:13 pm

RE: Rafts In Overhead Bins

Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:59 am



Quoting Mats (Thread starter):

The scenario would be as follows: the plane is falling from the sky, about to hit water. You have to find the raft, get it out of the compartment, get it out the window, inflate it, then get in it. It seems somewhat implausible.

Mats, you pretty much answered your own question. The alternative to this is automatic deployment, which is not only costly to own but costly to maintain.

The manufacturers have instead focus on producing aircraft that can meet FAA (and other) standards for minimum time afloat, etc. vs. rapid release items. Ditching is quite literally the last of last options when it comes to landing, and is usually done as a forced option (no land in range) or a forced-choice option (water ditching is safer than attempting a small field or road landing in a metropolitan area).
"The strength of the turbulence is directly proportional to the temperature of your coffee." -- Gunter's 2nd Law of Air
 
rwessel
Posts: 2448
Joined: Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:47 pm

RE: Rafts In Overhead Bins

Fri Jan 16, 2009 5:07 am

You don't get the raft out of the bin until after you've stopped. Then you pitch the bundle through an open exit, and yank the lanyard. At 6:58 in the following, a small raft is being inflated:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-wCqoiuCrg

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