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Aircraft Safety
Emergency Exit Doors

Getting in...and getting out.

The first thing any traveller will notice on boarding an aircraft is the entryway they come through. These are special doors on all commercial jetliners of which the seal becomes tighter as altitude increases. Applied, this means that by a complex physics calculation using NTSB figures, a force of around 2000N would need to be applied at a height of 35000ft, the normal cruising altitude for major jetliners. There are two settings to these exits, called manual and automatic. Prior to departure, the captain or first officer of the aircraft will announce over the PA, cabin doors to manual. When cabin doors are set to manual, rotation or depression of the opening lever will result in the inflation of emergency evacuation chutes. Therefore, this setting is used whenever the situation of evacuation may arise, ie whenever the aircraft is in motion.
A door to automatic is the other setting, and this is used when the aircraft is stationary and passengers deplaning, (the ordinary and non-emergency evacuation of passengers from an aircraft).
Per door there are around 35 passengers. Safe evacuation of all passengers of an aircraft of whatever size should take a time of no more than ninety seconds.
There are two main door operation handles, and a further three combinations of chute deployment.

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Top Ten Causes of Fatal Aircraft Crashes

1. Human Error
2. Faulty Wiring/Circuitry
3. Terrorism
4. Structural Malfunction
5. Inflight Fire
6. Pnuematic Systems Failure
7. Engine Fire
8. Engine Failure
9. Flaps failing
10. Fuel exhaustion

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