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Title: Factors influencing passenger evacuation from smaller transport aircraft including the operation of the Type-III exit
Author: Wilson, Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 2729 8847
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2008
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Accident reports and experimental research have documented difficulties when operating and evacuating through overwing emergency exits. The factors influencing exit operation and evacuation from smaller regional transport aircraft are less understood as previous studies have focussed solely on large single aisle aircraft. Experiment One examined the influence of a smaller interior configuration and the seating configuration close to the exit on evacuation rates. The results indicated no effect for interior configuration or vertical projection. Experiment Two investigated the influence of interior configuration, a modification to the exit operating handle and the exit operator’s briefing on exit operation time. The results showed the exit was operated significantly faster when an in-depth briefing was delivered. No significant differences were attributable to the operating handle mechanism or the interior configuration. Experiment Three investigated a major modification to the overwing exit mechanism on exit operation time. The results showed the exit was operated faster when an automatically opening hatch was installed compared to the traditional plug exit. Experiment Four examined the effect of the placement of the disposed traditional exit hatch on evacuation. The results showed the evacuation rate was significantly slower when the hatch was placed inside the cabin. The experiments have contributed to knowledge regarding exit operation and evacuation from smaller transport aircraft. The benefits of an automatically disposed hatch exit mechanism on a smaller transport aircraft and an in-depth exit operator’s briefing in both large and small aircraft interior configurations have been shown. The work has highlighted that the interior configuration of the smaller transport aircraft, in particular the restricted headroom, is perceived as a hindrance. Finally the work has quantified the negative impact of an inappropriately placed exit hatch inside a smaller transport aircraft cabin. Recommendations for further research in evacuation and exit operation from smaller transport aircraft are suggested.
Supervisor: Muir, Helen Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available