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Scruffle
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Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Mon Nov 19, 2018 12:01 pm

Can anybody offer a valid (practical, technical, ethical or any) reason why cargo aircraft should not be fitted with ejector seats for the flight crew?
Last edited by atcsundevil on Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Title edited for clarity
 
slcguy
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:37 pm

Why would they need ejector seats? Most civilian cargo aircraft (Boeing, Airbus and MD) are the same as passenger aircraft with the same forward exit doors, cockpit window exits and escape hatches for the cockpit crew. Military based cargo aircraft maybe not so much, they might be the only planes that might benefit from an ejection system.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Mon Nov 19, 2018 1:55 pm

In transport aircraft, landing or ditching are far more safe than trying to eject.

Fighter and strike aircraft have ejection seats but this is the last resort for vehicles which routinely operate at the edge of their envelopes. In transport aircraft, we endeavour to stay very much near the centre of the envelope.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:08 pm

Remember, there is frequently more than the basic crew—deadheading crew, loadmaster or other load specific people. How many seats would you need? Then there is expense.

GF
 
zanl188
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Mon Nov 19, 2018 4:25 pm

Not to mention the pax that often fly on “cargo” aircraft...
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Flow2706
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:37 pm

As the previous posters have mentioned you would have to install ejector seats for all occupants. Then, how many times will crews be saved by such a system? Most accidents happen during takeoff and landing and often develop very quickly where there is not enough time to eject anyways. And modern aircraft are quite sturdy and protect the crews during many takeoff and landing accidents. There would be special training requirements for such a system and the system itself will be costly - this money could be better invested in other safety measures.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Mon Nov 19, 2018 7:54 pm

Most accidents happen during takeoff and landing and often develop very quickly where there is not enough time to eject anyways.


Well, my one ejection took about 12 seconds from onset of the accident to being caught in a tree. A mere 300 milliseconds from being too late to pull the handles. The seats work wonderfully even from being on the ground. Just not in anyway suitable for transport aircraft.

GF
 
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rjsampson
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Mon Nov 19, 2018 9:17 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
In transport aircraft, landing or ditching are far more safe than trying to eject.

Fighter and strike aircraft have ejection seats but this is the last resort for vehicles which routinely operate at the edge of their envelopes. In transport aircraft, we endeavour to stay very much near the centre of the envelope.


Most of us know that, while not an airline transport aircraft, the Cirrus family of GA aircraft come equipped with that parachute. Presumably those aircraft also try to stay within limits, too. The company claims it has saved hundreds of lives (which of course implies an incident at altitude). The parachute, as mentioned above, wouldn't do anything on T/O or landing.

This is not to refute Archer (Starlion) at all -- it's quite a false equivalency (121 aircraft have far more redundancy and, most importantly [in most cases] much more highly trained pilots than GA).

I suppose if a Cargo Crew, Deadheader, etc. were so inclined, I GUESS they could each carry their own parachutes, and bail out DB Cooper-style without having to worry about an aircraft full of souls going down.

Of course, that's assuming the critical incident occurred at sufficient altitude, so severely compromised the aircraft, that bailing out is the best option. I can't think of many 121-class incidents in which "ejector seats" would save lives. ...One of the few exceptions (thought experiment here): If the crew of United Airlines Flight 232 were flying Cargo, all had parachutes, and no souls on board: DB Cooper time.)

Off-topic: UA 232 is one of the most heroic, tragic, and absolutely most incredible examples of airmanship in the history of aviation, IMHO.
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ClipperYankee
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:48 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Most accidents happen during takeoff and landing and often develop very quickly where there is not enough time to eject anyways.


Well, my one ejection took about 12 seconds from onset of the accident to being caught in a tree. A mere 300 milliseconds from being too late to pull the handles. The seats work wonderfully even from being on the ground. Just not in anyway suitable for transport aircraft.

GF



More details, please!!
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Mon Nov 19, 2018 10:49 pm

An ejection seat is NOT an elevator to the ground—there’s a high probability of injuries to young healthy military pilots. Bailing out “DB Cooper style” is highly unlikely in any transport, you have to open a door, leap so far away from the fuselage to avoid being injured by the skin and not sucked into an engine. That’s in level flight, out of control flight is impossible at jet speeds.

GF
 
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fr8mech
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Mon Nov 19, 2018 11:41 pm

It’s interesting how the question was phrased and how everyone automatically accepted the premise that the decision NOT to have ejection seats on cargo aircraft should be defended, even from an ethical point-of-view.

I would like the OP to defend, from a practical, technical and ethical point-of-view why there should be ejection seats.
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ChrisKen
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:26 am

rjsampson wrote:
Most of us know that, while not an airline transport aircraft, the Cirrus family of GA aircraft come equipped with that parachute. Presumably those aircraft also try to stay within limits, too. The company claims it has saved hundreds of lives (which of course implies an incident at altitude). The parachute, as mentioned above, wouldn't do anything on T/O or landing.

There's a reasonably strong argument that the device has also contributed to a great deal of those instances where it's 'saved lives'. Many Cirrus accident reports contain human factors of poor decision making due to over confidence, as they have the 'get out' of the parachute.
 
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:42 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
An ejection seat is NOT an elevator to the ground—there’s a high probability of injuries to young healthy military pilots.
GF


I knew a RIO when I was in the Navy who ejected and his injuries were as such he could no longer fly. Mind you this happened in his youthful prime. Have some fifty year old freight dog eject................
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Tue Nov 20, 2018 12:57 am

ClipperYankee wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Most accidents happen during takeoff and landing and often develop very quickly where there is not enough time to eject anyways.


Well, my one ejection took about 12 seconds from onset of the accident to being caught in a tree. A mere 300 milliseconds from being too late to pull the handles. The seats work wonderfully even from being on the ground. Just not in anyway suitable for transport aircraft.

GF



More details, please!!


Mid-air between two A-10s at about 500’ AGL. Flying one moment, in a fireball the next. I remember struggling to grab the handles, pulling the right handle, the canopy going away, the rocket firing, blacking out (not unconscious, just loss of vision under high G), the chute opening with a ruffling noise and chute opening. Check out a You Tube video to see how fast the sequence of an ACES II seat is, about a second until chute opens in the low altitude, low speed mode.

GF
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:26 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
ClipperYankee wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:

Well, my one ejection took about 12 seconds from onset of the accident to being caught in a tree. A mere 300 milliseconds from being too late to pull the handles. The seats work wonderfully even from being on the ground. Just not in anyway suitable for transport aircraft.

GF



More details, please!!


Mid-air between two A-10s at about 500’ AGL. Flying one moment, in a fireball the next. I remember struggling to grab the handles, pulling the right handle, the canopy going away, the rocket firing, blacking out (not unconscious, just loss of vision under high G), the chute opening with a ruffling noise and chute opening. Check out a You Tube video to see how fast the sequence of an ACES II seat is, about a second until chute opens in the low altitude, low speed mode.

GF


Thanks for sharing that.

It partly proves the point about the use case. In airliners, we don't do aggressive manoeuvring at 500ft in close proximity to other aircraft.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Tue Nov 20, 2018 1:38 am

They don’t even put ejection seats in flight test articles of transport category aircraft. And stall tests, some of the minimum controllable airspeed tests aren’t exactly low risk.

GF
 
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:00 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
They don’t even put ejection seats in flight test articles of transport category aircraft. And stall tests, some of the minimum controllable airspeed tests aren’t exactly low risk.

GF


This is true. They do have parachutes and escape chutes, though...

Here's Concorde's.

Image
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rjsampson
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:04 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
They don’t even put ejection seats in flight test articles of transport category aircraft. And stall tests, some of the minimum controllable airspeed tests aren’t exactly low risk.

GF


Engineers and pilots testing aircraft, however do often have parachutes and... let's call it a DB Cooper hatch from which to bail.
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Woodreau
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:39 am

I ride as a passenger on FedEx and UPS frequently.

I would be a little upset if the flight crew ejected leaving me and the other 3 passengers in the back with all of the cargo in a now pilotless aircraft.
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Tue Nov 20, 2018 2:43 am

I’d hate to see the Concorde crew try to get out at 400KEAS. Similarly, I’d hate to see a test crew in say a 787 or G7500 try to crawl out of a spinning jet thru a hatch, assuming they could walk to it.

GF
 
Flow2706
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Tue Nov 20, 2018 7:43 am

I think the Space Shuttle had some sort of ejection capability during the first flights, which was removed after a while, but was reintroduced after either the Challenger or Columbia disaster (I think it were not actual ejection seats but rather the astronauts had to slide down a bar and eject from the main deck). I think that the astronauts were rather sceptical of its usefulness - the shuttle had to be in controlled/level flight in a (for a space shuttle) relativity low altitude. There were only a few cases (mostly additional failures during abort cases) where they could have been used. I think the case would be similar for an airliner, but even worse considering that astronauts are highly trained highly fit individuals which may not be the case for airline/cargo pilots (obviously they have to pass the medical every year/every 6 month but this nothing compared to the physical and mental training received by astrounauts).
[quote=„galaxyflyer“]

Mid-air between two A-10s at about 500’ AGL. Flying one moment, in a fireball the next. I remember struggling to grab the handles, pulling the right handle, the canopy going away, the rocket firing, blacking out (not unconscious, just loss of vision under high G), the chute opening with a ruffling noise and chute opening. Check out a You Tube video to see how fast the sequence of an ACES II seat is, about a second until chute opens in the low altitude, low speed mode.

GF[/quote]
Interesting thanks for sharing.
 
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:13 am

The KC-135 has a cockpit escape hatch (entry door) that made it at least in theory possible to get out with a chute. Similar to the Antonow An-124 that was configured to fly in war zones. There is a cockpit floor door opening leading to some main deck jump door in the front. Not sure how likely a safe egress from a crashing airplane is and if one would clear those engines...
The B-52 has ejection seats for the pilots and MOST of the crew onboard. The Vulcan similar.
 
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TOGA10
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:37 am

Noshow wrote:
The KC-135 has a cockpit escape hatch (entry door) that made it at least in theory possible to get out with a chute. Similar to the Antonow An-124 that was configured to fly in war zones. There is a cockpit floor door opening leading to some main deck jump door in the front. Not sure how likely a safe egress from a crashing airplane is and if one would clear those engines...
The B-52 has ejection seats for the pilots and MOST of the crew onboard. The Vulcan similar.

I saw a documentary about the Vulcan a little while ago and they talked about this. The pilots have ejection seats, however the rest of the crew had the jump out via a downwards opening door underneath the aircraft, which apparently was highly dangerous as there was a risk of hitting the nose gear assembly on the way out, so the had to swing outwards as they jumped of the stairs attached to the door...
Last edited by TOGA10 on Tue Nov 20, 2018 9:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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TOGA10
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Tue Nov 20, 2018 8:53 am

Double post..
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Tue Nov 20, 2018 3:04 pm

Woodreau wrote:
I ride as a passenger on FedEx and UPS frequently.

I would be a little upset if the flight crew ejected leaving me and the other 3 passengers in the back with all of the cargo in a now pilotless aircraft.



and the last one said "no worries mates, we are getting help".

sorry I could not resist :lol:

Much better would be if the Integrators get their customers aware on DGR/Hazmat. And their staff as well.. Also the sales staff should be trained to verify what their accounts are shipping. And offer Training to the customers.
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Tue Nov 20, 2018 11:06 pm

[quote="Flow2706"]I think the Space Shuttle had some sort of ejection capability during the first flights, which was removed after a while, but was reintroduced after either the Challenger or Columbia disaster (I think it were not actual ejection seats but rather the astronauts had to slide down a bar and eject from the main deck). I think that the astronauts were rather sceptical of its usefulness - the shuttle had to be in controlled/level flight in a (for a space shuttle) relativity low altitude. There were only a few cases (mostly additional failures during abort cases) where they could have been used. I think the case would be similar for an airliner, but even worse considering that astronauts are highly trained highly fit individuals which may not be the case for airline/cargo pilots (obviously they have to pass the medical every year/every 6 month but this nothing compared to the physical and mental training received by astrounauts).
[quote=„galaxyflyer“]

I used to cover shuttle launches and I was told pretty much that about the shuttle escape pole.
There was also another system where if there was a major issue on the pad they could ride a type of trolley down a rather steep wire to a bunker near the launch tower, Once there they could take shelter and if need be the bunker had a former Army armored personnel carrier backed up to it and waiting so the crew could pile into it and drive away. There's pictures out there of some astronauts being trained to drive it and I got to see it once, painted white with NASA markings. Word was when the APC was requisitioned from military spares it was delivered with all the weapons still installed though I don't know how true that is. The idea was to escape the possibility of the orbiter exploding on the pad, something that could create a blast ring that would expand for a couple of miles.
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Starlionblue
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:19 am

ClipperYankee wrote:
Flow2706 wrote:
I think the Space Shuttle had some sort of ejection capability during the first flights, which was removed after a while, but was reintroduced after either the Challenger or Columbia disaster (I think it were not actual ejection seats but rather the astronauts had to slide down a bar and eject from the main deck). I think that the astronauts were rather sceptical of its usefulness - the shuttle had to be in controlled/level flight in a (for a space shuttle) relativity low altitude. There were only a few cases (mostly additional failures during abort cases) where they could have been used. I think the case would be similar for an airliner, but even worse considering that astronauts are highly trained highly fit individuals which may not be the case for airline/cargo pilots (obviously they have to pass the medical every year/every 6 month but this nothing compared to the physical and mental training received by astrounauts).
[quote=„galaxyflyer“]

I used to cover shuttle launches and I was told pretty much that about the shuttle escape pole.
There was also another system where if there was a major issue on the pad they could ride a type of trolley down a rather steep wire to a bunker near the launch tower, Once there they could take shelter and if need be the bunker had a former Army armored personnel carrier backed up to it and waiting so the crew could pile into it and drive away. There's pictures out there of some astronauts being trained to drive it and I got to see it once, painted white with NASA markings. Word was when the APC was requisitioned from military spares it was delivered with all the weapons still installed though I don't know how true that is. The idea was to escape the possibility of the orbiter exploding on the pad, something that could create a blast ring that would expand for a couple of miles.
Just adored the program, I miss it terribly.


Enterprise (the drop test article) and Columbia had ejection seats, but only for the Commander and Pilot. The first four missions of Columbia were flown with two crew and the ejection seats enabled. The next two had more than two crew and the decision was made to disable the seats. On subsequent missions they were replaced with non-ejecting seats.

After the Challenger disaster, a crew escape system was devised with a pole which went out the hatch. The crew members would, very much in theory, ride down the pole with a harness, leading them away from the leading edge. The chances of a successful escape were slim.

During the first two minutes of flight, the firing of the SRBs pretty much precluded escape. After that it was traveling quite fast which would have made escape... interesting.

In contrast, dropping out of a simple chute on a subsonic airliner, even one not entirely in control, seems like it would have been quite a survivable proposition. Plenty of such ejections happened out of WWII bombers, without even the escape chute...


Rant on the Space Shuttle follows.

While they made quite a spectacle, IMHO the Space Shuttles were deathtraps from day one. The lack of realistically survivable abort modes combined with solid rocket boosters was a horrific "design feature", as was the non-inline stack leading to debris falling on the very sensitive Shuttle skin. So many design compromises and cost savings were made in the program... Astronaut John Young spent much of his career at NASA in charge of manned spacecraft safety. Reading his memoir made me realise that it was even worse than most people thought. Safety reports were made. Chilling conclusions were reached. Said conclusions were ignored by program management.

To add insult to injury, the cost figures given at the start of the program were a total sham. Not only was the vehicle dangerous. It didn't come close to meeting its design objectives.

End rant.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Wed Nov 21, 2018 12:19 am

ClipperYankee wrote:
Flow2706 wrote:
I think the Space Shuttle had some sort of ejection capability during the first flights, which was removed after a while, but was reintroduced after either the Challenger or Columbia disaster (I think it were not actual ejection seats but rather the astronauts had to slide down a bar and eject from the main deck). I think that the astronauts were rather sceptical of its usefulness - the shuttle had to be in controlled/level flight in a (for a space shuttle) relativity low altitude. There were only a few cases (mostly additional failures during abort cases) where they could have been used. I think the case would be similar for an airliner, but even worse considering that astronauts are highly trained highly fit individuals which may not be the case for airline/cargo pilots (obviously they have to pass the medical every year/every 6 month but this nothing compared to the physical and mental training received by astrounauts).
[quote=„galaxyflyer“]

I used to cover shuttle launches and I was told pretty much that about the shuttle escape pole.
There was also another system where if there was a major issue on the pad they could ride a type of trolley down a rather steep wire to a bunker near the launch tower, Once there they could take shelter and if need be the bunker had a former Army armored personnel carrier backed up to it and waiting so the crew could pile into it and drive away. There's pictures out there of some astronauts being trained to drive it and I got to see it once, painted white with NASA markings. Word was when the APC was requisitioned from military spares it was delivered with all the weapons still installed though I don't know how true that is. The idea was to escape the possibility of the orbiter exploding on the pad, something that could create a blast ring that would expand for a couple of miles.
Just adored the program, I miss it terribly.


Enterprise (the drop test article) and Columbia had ejection seats, but only for the Commander and Pilot. The first four missions of Columbia were flown with two crew and the ejection seats enabled. The next two had more than two crew and the decision was made to disable the seats. On subsequent missions they were replaced with non-ejecting seats.

After the Challenger disaster, a crew escape system was devised with a pole which went out the hatch. The crew members would, very much in theory, ride down the pole with a harness, leading them away from the leading edge. The chances of a successful escape were slim.

STS-1 pilot Robert Crippen said the following about the ejection seats.
In truth, if you had to use them while the solids were there, I don’t believe you’d—if you popped out and then went down through the fire trail that’s behind the solids, that you would have ever survived, or if you did, you wouldn't have a parachute, because it would have been burned up in the process. But by the time the solids had burned out, you were up to too high an altitude to use it. ... So I personally didn't feel that the ejection seats were really going to help us out if we really ran into a contingency.

So during the first two minutes of flight, the firing of the SRBs pretty much precluded escape. After that it was traveling quite fast which would have made escape... interesting. And that was with the ejection seats. Forget the pole...


In contrast, dropping out of a simple chute on a subsonic airliner, even one not entirely in control, seems like it would have been quite a survivable proposition. Plenty of such ejections happened out of WWII bombers, without even the escape chute...


Rant on the Space Shuttle follows.

While they made quite a spectacle, IMHO the Space Shuttles were deathtraps from day one. The lack of realistically survivable abort modes combined with solid rocket boosters was a horrific "design feature", as was the non-inline stack leading to debris falling on the very sensitive Shuttle skin. So many design compromises and cost savings were made in the program... Astronaut John Young spent much of his career at NASA in charge of manned spacecraft safety. Reading his memoir made me realise that it was even worse than most people thought. Safety reports were made. Chilling conclusions were reached. Said conclusions were ignored by program management.

To add insult to injury, the cost figures given at the start of the program were a total sham. Not only was the vehicle dangerous. It didn't come close to meeting its design objectives.

I have the greatest of respect for those brave souls who rode the shuttle into orbit and back. Balls of steel, for certain.

End rant.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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ClipperYankee
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Wed Nov 21, 2018 1:03 am

Not arguing the negatives of the shuttles at all, but when were at the media center watching a launch (I got to cover six launches and one return) it was a truly amazing thing. Very glad I got to do it.
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Starlionblue
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Wed Nov 21, 2018 3:03 am

ClipperYankee wrote:
Not arguing the negatives of the shuttles at all, but when were at the media center watching a launch (I got to cover six launches and one return) it was a truly amazing thing. Very glad I got to do it.


I hear you. That must have been awesome. It was quite the spectacular vehicle in many ways.
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B777LRF
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Wed Nov 21, 2018 7:06 am

rjsampson wrote:
Off-topic: UA 232 is one of the most heroic, tragic, and absolutely most incredible examples of airmanship in the history of aviation, IMHO.


Indeed, but not quite as good an example as the incident with similar outcome (loss of all hydraulics) experienced by DHL above Baghdad in 2003. Unlike United, they landed on all 3 without destroying the aircraft. Whilst on fire. In a war zone.

Eric, Steeve and Mario did a fantastic job that day, and all lived to tell the tale.

Not taking anything away from Al Haynes and the UA232 crew, but a lot of people forget that virtually the same incident type saw a much happier ending with DHL.
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Woodreau
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Wed Nov 21, 2018 5:31 pm

PanHAM wrote:
Woodreau wrote:
I ride as a passenger on FedEx and UPS frequently.

I would be a little upset if the flight crew ejected leaving me and the other 3 passengers in the back with all of the cargo in a now pilotless aircraft.



and the last one said "no worries mates, we are getting help".

sorry I could not resist :lol:



lol

well at least now I could use the door code they gave us to get back into the flight deck. hmm... I wonder what panels/screens remains functional after the rocket exhausts have done their damage, I guess there's the melted FMC keys and scorched screens - never mind the big holes where the crew got ejected through.

Definitely no pilot seats left to sit on to fly the airplane.

Actually that would make an interesting infocom-zork-ish planetfall/stationfall/leather goddesses of phobos puzzle for you to figure out.

You are in a maze of twisty passages all alike.
>__
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Fabo
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Thu Nov 22, 2018 12:02 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
ClipperYankee wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:

Well, my one ejection took about 12 seconds from onset of the accident to being caught in a tree. A mere 300 milliseconds from being too late to pull the handles. The seats work wonderfully even from being on the ground. Just not in anyway suitable for transport aircraft.

GF



More details, please!!


Mid-air between two A-10s at about 500’ AGL. Flying one moment, in a fireball the next. I remember struggling to grab the handles, pulling the right handle, the canopy going away, the rocket firing, blacking out (not unconscious, just loss of vision under high G), the chute opening with a ruffling noise and chute opening. Check out a You Tube video to see how fast the sequence of an ACES II seat is, about a second until chute opens in the low altitude, low speed mode.

GF



OT: Made me start rethinking my career choices.
Not many such stories shared by the "old guard" of various banks IT departments...
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GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:23 am

I’ve lost a dozen friends, including the “other” guy over years. Evenly split between civil and military. The civil pilots were 135 “check haulers” in old Barons flying the Northeast. One had a route that did 9 approaches every night, four nights a week. In the winter that was 9 200-1/2 ILSs in snow and ice. The others were military in fighters. One I served with and flew checks with died ferrying a light airplane in bad weather, odds caught up with him, I guess.

GF
 
CATIIIevery5yrs
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Thu Nov 22, 2018 4:16 am

I always thought it was because the military wants to protect their investment in the pilot they've trained. In commercial ops, you just bump the next folks up in seniority and hire a couple of new hires at first year pay.
 
WPvsMW
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:17 pm

I once asked a seatmate his most interesting flight. He said, "Definitely when Charlie shot the wing off my B-52 over Hanoi."... Ejected and then Hanoi Hilton.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:30 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
In transport aircraft, landing or ditching are far more safe than trying to eject.


I would tend to agree, but with the increasing amount of highly combustible batteries being carried in cargo aircraft, perhaps it would be wise to reconsider that. What really stuck with me from cargo flying, was that your time to react and get onto the ground in case a load of lithium batteries goes up is probably under than 3 minutes.
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:26 pm

It might be more useful to design an ejection system for the burning lithium batteries in the cargo hold...
 
PanHAM
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Fri Nov 23, 2018 7:16 am

The air cargo industry has a System that prevents DGR shipments to get loaded unchecked, Unfortunetaley, the Integrators cut out the freight forwarder who knows his customer and the Kind of shipments they have.
Was Erlauben Erdogan!!!
 
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SuseJ772
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Sat Nov 24, 2018 2:39 am

rjsampson wrote:
Most of us know that, while not an airline transport aircraft, the Cirrus family of GA aircraft come equipped with that parachute. Presumably those aircraft also try to stay within limits, too. The company claims it has saved hundreds of lives (which of course implies an incident at altitude)... This is not to refute Archer (Starlion) at all -- it's quite a false equivalency (121 aircraft have far more redundancy and, most importantly [in most cases] much more highly trained pilots than GA).


As a Cirrus pilot, I of course agree that ATP are better pilots than us GA pilots and Airbus/Boeing make more redundant aircraft that Cirrus. That being said the single biggest benefit of CAPS is that most of the time we are single pilot / single engine. Even though I am 36 and in great health you are very acutely aware of the fact that the wife and kids in the plane’s life literally is in your hands. The Cirrus provides a great level of comfort knowing that all I have to teach her is retard the throttle, wait until we are below 133 KTS and the pull the chute at or above 500 feet. She can remember that in the case I have a heart attack.

rjsampson wrote:
The parachute, as mentioned above, wouldn't do anything on T/O or landing.


It depends on what you mean by T/O and landing. CAPS will work above 400/500 feet depending on who you ask. While pulling the chute wouldn’t be my preferred first option at that altitude, depending on where I am and the circumstances (engine out, over water or unsuitable landing location) I’d pull the CAPS if I thought it was best option on Takeoff and Landing as long as I was north of 500 AGL
Currently at PIE, requesting FWA >> >>
 
747Whale
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Sat Dec 08, 2018 9:16 am

rjsampson wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
Most of us know that, while not an airline transport aircraft, the Cirrus family of GA aircraft come equipped with that parachute. Presumably those aircraft also try to stay within limits, too. The company claims it has saved hundreds of lives (which of course implies an incident at altitude). The parachute, as mentioned above, wouldn't do anything on T/O or landing.




Cirrus makes a lot of assumptions for the sake of advertising, not the least of which is that every deployment of the CAPS system is a "save," when in fact that's untrue. Most of the CAPS deployments have been absolutely unnecessary.

Of particular note was a deployment in Colorado in which the aircraft had an onboard fire; the pilot could have made an expedited emergency descent and got out on the ground, safely. Instead, he deployed the parachute, and was captured on video burning to death as the aircraft was consumed by fire as it slowly descended under canopy.

An instructor for the Cirrus owners association had a deployment a few years ago. He posted online about his experience, saying he was in instrument conditions (in a single engine piston airplane), skirting thunderstorms using xm weather (10-15 minutes out of date weather). He perceived an instrument failure, which did not occur, declared an emergency because he perceived an autopilot failure (the emergency was that he might have to actually fly the airplane), and dove for the ground, well below the minimum enroute altitude, in the hopes of getting beneath the weather. Somewhere in there he deployed the parachute, which failed, and wrapped around the tail. He reports crying hysterically and screaming for God to save him. He broke out about 700' above the ground and continued to an airport where he landed, fortunate to have not killed himself. Every element of that flight was an error, starting with putting himself in conditions well beyond his capabilities...unnecessary, as he shouldn't have been there to start with.

The notion of applying an airframe parachute to a transport category aircraft is ridiculous.

In most all cases, we anticipate using the aircraft again, and we have systems redundancy to enable that. Additional engines, generators, fuel pumps, fuel sources, hydraulic pumps, bleed air, etc.

rjsampson wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
I suppose if a Cargo Crew, Deadheader, etc. were so inclined, I GUESS they could each carry their own parachutes, and bail out DB Cooper-style without having to worry about an aircraft full of souls going down.


Shortly after DB Cooper's adventure, the ability to lower the stairs in flight was disabled, and getting out of most other transport category aircraft in flight is a no-go. In any event, even if there were a door near the rear of the aircraft that could be opened in flight, how would one get to it? Especially past cargo on the main deck? A departure from a hot seat in the cockpit area would have to get past the rest of the aircraft.

It's hard enough to get operators to keep the seat motors working on the pilot seats in cargo aircraft, let alone the idea that anyone would invest the hundreds of millions (billions, really) necessary to engineer ejection seats into an airliner.

The suggestion of doing so would merely elicit laughter.
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Sat Dec 08, 2018 3:01 pm

fr8mech wrote:
It’s interesting how the question was phrased and how everyone automatically accepted the premise that the decision NOT to have ejection seats on cargo aircraft should be defended, even from an ethical point-of-view.

I would like the OP to defend, from a practical, technical and ethical point-of-view why there should be ejection seats.


Not an OP, but will try to counterpoint.

Is there any ethical defense to force cargo pilots to perish with a doomed machine, if it cannot be saved, and the only reason they are still in their seats -- is that there is no other option.

Case in point UPS flight 6.
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Starlionblue
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Sun Dec 09, 2018 12:43 am

Phosphorus wrote:
fr8mech wrote:
It’s interesting how the question was phrased and how everyone automatically accepted the premise that the decision NOT to have ejection seats on cargo aircraft should be defended, even from an ethical point-of-view.

I would like the OP to defend, from a practical, technical and ethical point-of-view why there should be ejection seats.


Not an OP, but will try to counterpoint.

Is there any ethical defense to force cargo pilots to perish with a doomed machine, if it cannot be saved, and the only reason they are still in their seats -- is that there is no other option.

Case in point UPS flight 6.


There is no ethical defence if you put the argument that way. However in almost all cases staying with the aircraft is safer. You can't design safety systems for extreme outliers. Parachuting out of a large and fast airliner is not a very safe proposition by any means.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
747Whale
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Sun Dec 09, 2018 1:49 am

Phosphorus wrote:
fr8mech wrote:
It’s interesting how the question was phrased and how everyone automatically accepted the premise that the decision NOT to have ejection seats on cargo aircraft should be defended, even from an ethical point-of-view.

I would like the OP to defend, from a practical, technical and ethical point-of-view why there should be ejection seats.


Not an OP, but will try to counterpoint.

Is there any ethical defense to force cargo pilots to perish with a doomed machine, if it cannot be saved, and the only reason they are still in their seats -- is that there is no other option.

Case in point UPS flight 6.


UPS 6 is a poor case to which to point.

Had they made an immediate landing in Doha, which was far closer than Dubai, they'd have had a chance. The delay and the return to Dubai was an impossible choice.

Ejection seats are a fantasy, and frankly, for transport category aircraft, a stupid idea.

The threat to UPS 6 was lithium ion batteries, a hazardous material that is found on most cargo flights these days, along with a number of other hazards which stipulate "cargo aircraft only."

UPS is a US carrier. US cargo supplementals are the only air carrier in the United States excluded from the Part 117 duty and rest protections that were approved eight years ago.

There are a lot of protections that can be provided reasonably and that are realistic. Ejection seats are not among them.

You might look at UPS' incorporation of the EVAS emergency visibility system in their fleet as an appropriate response that has yet to see service in other cargo operations. It was a direct result of UPS 6, in which the remaining crewmember couldn't see to tune a radio or navigate. This is realistic. Better protections against hazmat: this is realistic. Putting ejection seats in cargo aircraft is a ridiculous fantasy.
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:07 am

747Whale wrote:
In any event, even if there were a door near the rear of the aircraft that could be opened in flight, how would one get to it? Especially past cargo on the main deck? A departure from a hot seat in the cockpit area would have to get past the rest of the aircraft.


... and past the flaming cargo. Because otherwise there'd be no reason to leave...
 
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AirlineCritic
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:14 am

By the way, despite all the reasons why this is a technically bad idea, there *is* an ethical defence to rethinking the situation:

It may well have been that the situation has changed since the design of current cargo airliners. With the advent of highly powerful and potentially flammable batteries being shipped en masse on aircraft, the situation arguable *has* changed.

I don't know what the solution is, or if there's one, but it is IMHO likely that the situation gets worse before it gets better. Battery technologies are only increasing the power densities, and from a physics point of view, that can't help the energy containment. What would help is better chemistries that are safer or less likely to overrun, but I don't know if that's in the cards. Or, you could prohibit these items from cargo aircraft, but that has a business impact. Or, you can improve survivability if a batter fire occurs, with fire suppression and containment systems, or even escape systems.
 
747Whale
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:28 am

Ejection seats require that those using them be equipped to exit the aircraft, including fire resistant clothing, something to handle the .54 degree temperature outside the aircraft, supplemental oxygen worn at all times preparatory to ejection, recurrent ejection training, and the crews would need to wear a helmet at all times.

In most transport category aircraft, considerable systems structure is located over the pilots, including circuit breaker panels, and system control panels. In order to have ejection capability, the cockpits would all need to be redesigned to allow only a frangible structure above each ejection seat, and that structure either easily jettisonable, or laced with explosives to allow the seat passage on firing.

Much more delicate handling would be required, and the ability to strap pilots in and have the seats armed by third parties. Additionally, pilots would be unable to get up to go the the restroom or perform other functions in flight, without securing the seat.

With the exception of short flights, airline aircraft do not contain adequate oxygen to use for entire flights, nor the necessary masks and set up, and these would restrict crew operation during the flight.

I'm curious about how many of those who are calling for the "ethical" installation of ejection seats in airline aircraft are actually pilots who fly these aircraft. I can't honestly say I've ever heard a single professional pilot flying an airline aircraft, cargo or otherwise, suggest or request an ejection seat.
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Mon Dec 10, 2018 12:08 pm

747Whale wrote:
Ejection seats require that those using them be equipped to exit the aircraft, including fire resistant clothing, something to handle the .54 degree temperature outside the aircraft, supplemental oxygen worn at all times preparatory to ejection, recurrent ejection training, and the crews would need to wear a helmet at all times.

In most transport category aircraft, considerable systems structure is located over the pilots, including circuit breaker panels, and system control panels. In order to have ejection capability, the cockpits would all need to be redesigned to allow only a frangible structure above each ejection seat, and that structure either easily jettisonable, or laced with explosives to allow the seat passage on firing.

Much more delicate handling would be required, and the ability to strap pilots in and have the seats armed by third parties. Additionally, pilots would be unable to get up to go the the restroom or perform other functions in flight, without securing the seat.

With the exception of short flights, airline aircraft do not contain adequate oxygen to use for entire flights, nor the necessary masks and set up, and these would restrict crew operation during the flight.

I'm curious about how many of those who are calling for the "ethical" installation of ejection seats in airline aircraft are actually pilots who fly these aircraft. I can't honestly say I've ever heard a single professional pilot flying an airline aircraft, cargo or otherwise, suggest or request an ejection seat.


You are trying to say that bomber aircraft (like B-52) crews (who do have escape systems) are unable to get up and use restrooms, once airborne?
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747Whale
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Mon Dec 10, 2018 5:53 pm

Phosphorus wrote:
You are trying to say that bomber aircraft (like B-52) crews (who do have escape systems) are unable to get up and use restrooms, once airborne?


You just said that.

I did not.

Speak for yourself.
 
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Phosphorus
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Re: Pilot ejection in cargo aircraft?

Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:23 pm

747Whale wrote:
Phosphorus wrote:
You are trying to say that bomber aircraft (like B-52) crews (who do have escape systems) are unable to get up and use restrooms, once airborne?


You just said that.

I did not.

Speak for yourself.

Right.

OK, let's try it this way

747Whale wrote:
Additionally, pilots would be unable to get up to go the the restroom or perform other functions in flight, without securing the seat.


Can you please elaborate -- is this procedure of "securing the seat" to get up complicated/elaborate/delicate/demanding to a point, when performing this procedure is impractical?
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