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DC-9 "Emergency Escape Chute" Deployment? Thoughts?

Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:35 pm

Hi all:

I stumbled upon some video of the DC-9 during flight testing, and noticed something pretty amazing. I wanted to get your thoughts.

Here's a GIF showing what it is:


If the GIF above doesn't display, here's the 19sec video itself (same as GIF).

Does anyone know more about this feature? I assume it would allow passengers to escape (hope they packed a parachute in their carry-on LOL) while in flight before a crash? Did this feature ever make it onto a production DC9?

Any and all input is appreciated!
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Re: DC-9 "Emergency Escape Chute" Deployment? Thoughts?

Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:47 pm

I suspect it was a special installation for initial flight testing only. Somewhere on the 'net are all kinds of pics/vids of similar installation on the A380 and the B747 type aircraft.
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Re: DC-9 "Emergency Escape Chute" Deployment? Thoughts?

Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:03 pm

Yes, the first few models of any aircraft are customized test aircraft anyway. Those test aircraft have specialized egress "doors" which can be opened in flight.

Some further info here: ... -parachute

And here more pictures, mostly involving A350: ... cated.html

Reading accident reports is what calms me down
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Re: DC-9 "Emergency Escape Chute" Deployment? Thoughts?

Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:26 pm

The reason for this was concerns of possible loss of control during deep stall tests that could result in an uncontrollable spin. As extreme as certification flight testing can be, a fatal crash resulted only a handful of times. My recollection includes the BAC-111, a version of a Gulfstream and one of an Airbus A330.
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Re: DC-9 "Emergency Escape Chute" Deployment? Thoughts?

Tue Mar 07, 2017 6:44 am

As flight testing involves much higher risk than normal operations, emergency egress is provided for the crew. This has been used several times.

In the deep stall accident during flight testing of the Canadair CL600 Challenger on April 3rd 1980, two of the three crew members were able to bailout via the baggage hatch.

In the deep stall accident during flight testing of the BAC 1-11 on October 22nd 1963, the crew fired the charges that opened the emergency egress hatch too late and weren't able to bailout. They were deceived by a 10,000 feet/min descent rate at zero pitch angle and waited too long.

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