kabq737
Topic Author
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:06 am

MD-90 Rear Air Stair Procedure

Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:11 am

Good evening all,

Recently I was on a Delta MD-90. When we arrived at our destination the jetway was broken so we used the rear air stair. The flight attendants did not open the stair instead the captain did. All of the passengers waited for him to shut down the aircraft and then walk to the back of the aircraft to activate the stairs. Is there any reason the captain has to open the rear air stairs? How come the flight attendants couldn't do it?

Thanks so much for your answers!
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Max Q
Posts: 5902
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 12:40 pm

Re: MD-90 Rear Air Stair Procedure

Thu Aug 31, 2017 4:03 am

If its the same as the MD80's I flew and I remember right there's no internal
control for the ventral stairs (unlike the B727)

Not sure why the Captain would be operating the stairs though, that doesn't
sound right, normally ramp personnel will do this, or at least he'd send his
First Officer !
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
Adispatcher
Posts: 62
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:52 pm

Re: MD-90 Rear Air Stair Procedure

Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:37 pm

Interesting, I've never seen the flight crew operate the stairs. Usually the ramp guys drop them for the cleaners or anyone else who needs to get on.
 
Lpbri
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Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:18 pm

Re: MD-90 Rear Air Stair Procedure

Thu Aug 31, 2017 5:38 pm

It is possible to lower the aft stairway from the inside. The flight crew probably would not know how. You open the tail exit door, lower the cat walk, and with your foot, actuate the valve to lower the stairs. Not advised because you want to make sure nobody is underneath. A flight crew member would not want to walk back into the dark, noisy and dirty aft accessory compartment. If it were an emergency, they could just blow the slide.
 
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exFWAOONW
Posts: 450
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Re: MD-90 Rear Air Stair Procedure

Wed Sep 06, 2017 3:08 pm

Lpbri wrote:
It is possible to lower the aft stairway from the inside. The flight crew probably would not know how....
I cannot imagine a flight crew not knowing how to operate a piece of their aircraft. A new ramp agent, on the other hand, I could see lack of familiarity training being an issue, requiring an inside job.
Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
 
Max Q
Posts: 5902
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Re: MD-90 Rear Air Stair Procedure

Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:00 am

exFWAOONW wrote:
Lpbri wrote:
It is possible to lower the aft stairway from the inside. The flight crew probably would not know how....
I cannot imagine a flight crew not knowing how to operate a piece of their aircraft. A new ramp agent, on the other hand, I could see lack of familiarity training being an issue, requiring an inside job.



Well I can tell you our flight attendants were certainly not trained in that procedure on our MD80's.
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
Dalmd88
Posts: 2601
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 3:19 am

Re: MD-90 Rear Air Stair Procedure

Thu Sep 07, 2017 9:13 am

Max Q wrote:
exFWAOONW wrote:
Lpbri wrote:
It is possible to lower the aft stairway from the inside. The flight crew probably would not know how....
I cannot imagine a flight crew not knowing how to operate a piece of their aircraft. A new ramp agent, on the other hand, I could see lack of familiarity training being an issue, requiring an inside job.



Well I can tell you our flight attendants were certainly not trained in that procedure on our MD80's.

They are not trained because it is not an approved way to open the stairs. I've never even done it as a mechanic. It is really an unsafe way to open the stairs since you do not know if it is clear below.
 
aeropix
Posts: 77
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 2:08 pm

Re: MD-90 Rear Air Stair Procedure

Thu Sep 07, 2017 11:15 am

exFWAOONW wrote:
I cannot imagine a flight crew not knowing how to operate a piece of their aircraft


Well, I can tell you for sure that Pilots, who are trained in the flying of the airplane, are almost never trained to operate things like the Fuelling and Cargo Handling systems. At my carrier, though we are trained to operate the Cabin doors (at least), we are actually prohibited to operate the doors, because management is terrified of us deploying the escape slide by accident.

So, it's not as unusual as you think.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: MD-90 Rear Air Stair Procedure

Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:59 am

aeropix wrote:
exFWAOONW wrote:
I cannot imagine a flight crew not knowing how to operate a piece of their aircraft


Well, I can tell you for sure that Pilots, who are trained in the flying of the airplane, are almost never trained to operate things like the Fuelling and Cargo Handling systems. At my carrier, though we are trained to operate the Cabin doors (at least), we are actually prohibited to operate the doors, because management is terrified of us deploying the escape slide by accident.

So, it's not as unusual as you think.


Indeed. While I know how the fuel system works, I am neither trained nor permitted to fuel the aircraft or load/unload cargo. The only time I've opened and closed a cabin door "for real", that is outside safety training, was during a ferry flight.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
kabq737
Topic Author
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:06 am

Re: MD-90 Rear Air Stair Procedure

Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:12 am

There was very little ground equipment around and only a couple of ground crew at Harrisburg Airport at 1AM. Maybe this had something to do with the decision?


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exFWAOONW
Posts: 450
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Re: MD-90 Rear Air Stair Procedure

Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:15 pm

Max Q wrote:
exFWAOONW wrote:
Lpbri wrote:
It is possible to lower the aft stairway from the inside. The flight crew probably would not know how....
I cannot imagine a flight crew not knowing how to operate a piece of their aircraft. A new ramp agent, on the other hand, I could see lack of familiarity training being an issue, requiring an inside job.



Well I can tell you our flight attendants were certainly not trained in that procedure on our MD80's.

Not picking on you specifically, but it sounds like you're saying the tail stairs is not considered an emergency exit. I would think all avenues for egress would be available. How many times have people died trying to get to an exit when a perfectly usable exit is only a few feet in the other direction?

Aeropix, so you never had to stick the wing tanks to verify the correct fuel load?

Lion, So you've never opened the cargo door to look inside or check that it was secured during a pre-flight walk-around?

I bring these up because I've seen it done. Granted, it might be much more difficult to check cargo doors and wing tanks on a wide-body than a narrow-body.
Is just me, or is flying not as much fun anymore?
 
KLDC10
Posts: 680
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Re: MD-90 Rear Air Stair Procedure

Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:43 pm

exFWAOONW wrote:
Max Q wrote:
exFWAOONW wrote:
I cannot imagine a flight crew not knowing how to operate a piece of their aircraft. A new ramp agent, on the other hand, I could see lack of familiarity training being an issue, requiring an inside job.



Well I can tell you our flight attendants were certainly not trained in that procedure on our MD80's.

Not picking on you specifically, but it sounds like you're saying the tail stairs is not considered an emergency exit. I would think all avenues for egress would be available. How many times have people died trying to get to an exit when a perfectly usable exit is only a few feet in the other direction?


Using the rear exit in the event of an emergency is a different procedure altogether. Take a look at this pictures of an American Airlines MD-80: http://startelegram.typepad.com/sky_tal ... ohare.html
Similar pictures are available of Delta 1086 at LaGuardia

In an emergency, the entire tailcone is designed to separate from the aircraft, leaving room for the emergency slide to deploy. Lowering the stairs is altogether different. As others have pointed out, it ought be done from outside the aircraft in order to make sure you aren't lowering them onto some poor individual's head. There's little reason to train Flight Attendants to open them from the inside, because in an emergency you won't be using the stairs, you'll be using the slide. Rest assured that the Flight Attendants know how to operate the emergency exit :)
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YankeeTech
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:14 am

Re: MD-90 Rear Air Stair Procedure

Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:14 pm

kabq737 wrote:
Good evening all,

Recently I was on a Delta MD-90. When we arrived at our destination the jetway was broken so we used the rear air stair. The flight attendants did not open the stair instead the captain did. All of the passengers waited for him to shut down the aircraft and then walk to the back of the aircraft to activate the stairs. Is there any reason the captain has to open the rear air stairs? How come the flight attendants couldn't do it?

Thanks so much for your answers!


The "normal" operation handles were removed to prevent in-flight deployment, ala D.B. Cooper. There is an alternate method to lower from inside, if one has the training. For security reasons, the knowledge is restricted, plus it takes some muscle power to accomplish.
 
kabq737
Topic Author
Posts: 412
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2015 3:06 am

Re: MD-90 Rear Air Stair Procedure

Sun Sep 17, 2017 3:49 am

YankeeTech wrote:
kabq737 wrote:
Good evening all,

Recently I was on a Delta MD-90. When we arrived at our destination the jetway was broken so we used the rear air stair. The flight attendants did not open the stair instead the captain did. All of the passengers waited for him to shut down the aircraft and then walk to the back of the aircraft to activate the stairs. Is there any reason the captain has to open the rear air stairs? How come the flight attendants couldn't do it?

Thanks so much for your answers!


The "normal" operation handles were removed to prevent in-flight deployment, ala D.B. Cooper. There is an alternate method to lower from inside, if one has the training. For security reasons, the knowledge is restricted, plus it takes some muscle power to accomplish.

Aaaah that makes sense. That's probably why the big muscular captain took care of things...
320, 321, 333, 733, 73G, 738, 739, 744, 752, 764, 789, C208, CR7, CR9, BE20, MD88, MD90, E70, E90, TRIM
 
Dalmd88
Posts: 2601
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 3:19 am

Re: MD-90 Rear Air Stair Procedure

Sun Sep 17, 2017 1:20 pm

kabq737 wrote:
YankeeTech wrote:
kabq737 wrote:
Good evening all,

Recently I was on a Delta MD-90. When we arrived at our destination the jetway was broken so we used the rear air stair. The flight attendants did not open the stair instead the captain did. All of the passengers waited for him to shut down the aircraft and then walk to the back of the aircraft to activate the stairs. Is there any reason the captain has to open the rear air stairs? How come the flight attendants couldn't do it?

Thanks so much for your answers!


The "normal" operation handles were removed to prevent in-flight deployment, ala D.B. Cooper. There is an alternate method to lower from inside, if one has the training. For security reasons, the knowledge is restricted, plus it takes some muscle power to accomplish.

Aaaah that makes sense. That's probably why the big muscular captain took care of things...

No it doesn't take a big muscular captain to open the stairs the normal outside way. You flip open a little door in the belly of the tail section and shift the lever. You don't even need hydraulics on to lower the stairs.

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