Ventilation and oxygen uptake during escape from a civil aircraft

J A Ross, S J Watt, G D Henderson, J H Vant

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1 Citation (Scopus)


To help develop a specification for equipment providing personal respiratory protection in the event of aircraft fire a study was carried out to quantify ventilation and oxygen consumption during escape from a Trident aircraft. Data were gathered using the P.K. Morgan 'Oxylog' apparatus after its response time to rapid changes in inspired to expired oxygen concentration difference was assessed using a bench test. The 'Oxylog' had a lag time of 30-32 s and a 5-95% response typified by a half time of 20 s. The data gathered were corrected in the light of these findings. Fourteen male subjects aged 17-38 years were studied under two conditions. Four mass evacuations each involving 40 people; a total of nine subjects escaping from the front rank over eight seats being monitored. Six evacuations each involving only two people escaping from the rear of the cabin; a total of 11 subjects escaping over 14 seats being monitored. Escape was made over the seat backs, down an escape chute to a position 12 m from the base of the chute. Resting minute ventilation (mean 16.7 1 STPD) and oxygen consumption (mean 0.41 min-1 STPD) were similar before both evacuations. There were no significant differences between the two conditions either during, or up to 180 s after escape. Ventilation and oxygen consumption were greatest in the recovery period. The highest oxygen consumption seen was 2.08 l min-1 and maximum minute ventilation was 641. Mean total oxygen consumption for the escape and a 150 s recovery period was 2.41 l (s.d. 0.64, max. 3.11) for the mass evacuation and 2.97 l (s.d. 0.68, max. 4.09) for the two person evacuation. The mean total amount of gas inhaled during the same time period was 89.3 l (s.d. 25.6, max. 121.3) for the mass evacuation and 99.01 (s.d. 26.2, max. 137.3) for the other. These was no correlation between ventilation or oxygen consumption and either escape time, body weight, height or age.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-24
Number of pages12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1990


  • Accidents, Aviation
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aerospace Medicine
  • Fires
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Exertion
  • Respiration
  • Respiratory Protective Devices
  • Videotape Recording


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