The aviation industry places safety at the forefront of its operations, ensuring that aircraft and their various components are of the utmost caliber. Though air travel today is generally safe, all aircraft are supplied with the proper equipment to keep aircrew and passengers safe in the case of an accident. With this in mind, this blog will cover the wide range of aviation safety equipment present on aircraft.
As air is colder and less dense at higher altitudes, it contains fewer oxygen molecules, making it harder to breathe. For this reason, air filtration systems convert the outside air into breathable air. In the case of system failure, the emergency oxygen systems ensure that everyone onboard still has access to oxygen. Oxygen systems consist of three separate systems, those of which include the cabin oxygen system, flight crew oxygen system, and portable oxygen system.
The cabin oxygen system is the most familiar to passengers as it comprises the oxygen masks that automatically deploy when the cabin altitude reaches 14,000 feet. Meanwhile, the flight crew oxygen system is found in the cockpit and contains one mask for each member of the flight crew as well as inflatable harnesses. Additionally, a flow-control knob enables the operator to tweak the ratio of ambient air to pure oxygen, and a built-in microphone allows for continuous communication with the rest of the crew. Finally, the portable oxygen system permits oxygen to be utilized in emergencies where the cabin’s oxygen system is not required. This system is helpful in instances where one passenger is experiencing trouble breathing.
If an emergency landing takes place, evacuation tools ensure that passengers and aircrew can safely exit the plane. Below, we will outline all of the standard aircraft evacuation tools.
To begin, high-intensity flashlights can be located just behind the pilot seats. A crash ax can be found stored behind the copilot’s seat, and it is strong enough to cut through metal, open holes, and force open doors. When there is a power outage, megaphones allow the crew to share critical information. Furthermore, escape ropes can be attached to loops on the wings so that passengers can steady themselves as they exit the plane. Similarly, evacuation slides are stored in the emergency exit doors. Lastly, a break-in area on the fuselage allows emergency personnel to force their way into any aircraft.
Enhanced Emergency Medical Kits (EEMK)
All flight crew members are obligated to complete first aid training and every aircraft necessitates an EEMK. Beyond bandages, antibiotic ointments, and other materials, the FAA requires that EEMKs contain specific amounts of other life-saving materials. Some of these materials may include medications, heart stimulants, inhalers, and more.
Fire Safety Equipment
Though fires in an airplane are not common, safety measures are still put in place in the case of such occurrences. For instance, Halon 1211 fire extinguishers are used when an electrical, oil, or fuel fire starts. Though the number of fire extinguishers vary based on the size of the aircraft, most passenger airplanes will at minimum have two or three cylinders. Water fire extinguishers are also present for wood, paper, and fabric fires. These cylinders hold a pressurized solution of alkali salts in water. Protective Breathing Units (PBUs) are personal smoke hoods that protect crew members from smoke inhalation.
Water Emergency Equipment
In a water landing, everyone on board is required to deploy water flotation devices to remain safe until help arrives. Each person has access to a life vest furnished with a locator light, an instruction manual, and an oral inflation system. In addition, life rafts stored in the ceiling near the exits are equipped with signal flares, knives, and covers to block harmful rays.
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