Access-to-Egress I: Interactive Effects of Factors That Control the Emergency Evacuation of Naïve Passengers Through the Transport Airplane Type-III Overwing Exit

Simulated emergency evacuations were conducted from a narrow-body transport airplane simulator through a Type-III overwing exit. The independent variables were passageway configuration, hatch disposal location, subject group size, and subject group motivation level. Additional variables of interest included individual subject characteristics, i.e., gender, age, waist size, and height, all of which had been shown in previous studies to significantly affect emergency egress. Participants were restricted to those who had no previous emergency evacuation (research) history. The dependent variables of interest included hatch operation time and the time for individual subjects to egress. Evacuation trials were conducted with 48 groups of either 30, 50, or 70 subjects per group, for a total of 2,544 subject participants. Each subject group completed 4 evacuation trials, totaling 192 evacuations. Results reported for hatch operation time include data from all trials, since each trial had a different, naïve hatch operator. The egress time results include data only from each group’s first evacuation trial in which every subject was naïve. Significant main effects of hatch disposal location on both Exit-Ready-To-Use Time (p<.004) and First-Person-Out Time (p<.008) were revealed, without effects of the other variables. Significant main effects on individual subject egress time were found for waist size (p<.0001), gender (p<.0001), and age (p<.0001). A small, but significant, main effect was also found for passageway configuration (p<.001), which was confounded by improper hatch disposal and a between-groups imbalance in individual subject characteristics. This situation produced a significant (4-way) passageway configuration by hatch disposal location by subject group density by subject group motivation level interaction effect (p<.008). The findings replicate prior research showing that passageway configuration has only minimal effects on emergency egress, as long as ergonomic minimums are respected. In contrast, differences in the physical characteristics of individual subjects produce large differences in emergency evacuation performance, as does subject naïveté.

  • Record URL:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Civil Aerospace Medical Institute

    Federal Aviation Administration
    PO Box 25082
    Oklahoma City, OK  United States  73125

    Advancia Corporation

    655 Research Parkway, #400
    Oklahoma City, OK  United States  73104

    Federal Aviation Administration

    Office of Aerospace Medicine, 800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Authors:
    • McLean, Garnet A
    • Corbett, Cynthia L
    • Larcher, Kenneth G
    • McDown, Jerry R
    • Palmerton, David A
    • Porter, Keith A
    • Shaffstall, Robert M
    • Odom, Rita S
  • Publication Date: 2002-8


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 40p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01710373
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DOT/FAA/AM-02/16
  • Created Date: Jun 17 2019 9:30AM