I can’t decide if this is amazing or terrifying. Either way, it’s good to know it’s physically possible.
The US Federal Aviation Administration and the European Aviation Safety Agency require all aircraft with a seating capacity of 45 or more to demonstrate a full evacuation in under 90 seconds.
Back in 2006, Airbus performed this trial with 873 participants (853 passengers and 20 crew members), completing the evacuation in a blistering 77.4 seconds. One passenger suffered a broken leg, among other minor injuries.
A few of the test requirements included:
- Lights will be out in cabin
- Half of exits will be closed
- Drill must feature 40% women, 35% people over 50
- Passengers will not be told which exits are in use
- Passengers must wear their seat belts
Also worth mentioning, the largest A380 seating configuration currently in use only has 526 seats, so let’s call it an even minute to empty that thing.